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ThePilgrim
KAMANITA

~ALegendaryRomance~

ByKARLGJELLERUP

TranslatedfromtheGermanby
JohnLogie

Editedby
AmaroBhikkhu

Illustrationsby
ChuangMuanpinit
ii

ORIGINALLYPUBLISHEDTOCOINCIDEWITH
THEDEDICATION
OFTHENEWTEMPLEAT
AMARAVATIBUDDHISTMONASTERY,
JULY4,1999.

AmaroBhikkhu1999
SecondEditionAmaroBhikkhu2008
AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery
16201TomkiRoad
RedwoodValley
California95470
USA

www.abhayagiri.org

ISBN:9748700771
iii

Namotassabhagavatoarahatosammsambuddhassa
Namotassabhagavatoarahatosammsambuddhassa
Namotassabhagavatoarahatosammsambuddhassa

HomagetotheBlessed,Nobleand
PerfectlyEnlightenedOne!
iv

~CONTENTS~

PREFACETOTHE2008EDITION:pvii
PREFACETOTHE1999EDITION:pviii
AUTHORSNOTE:pxiii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:pxvi
MAPOFINDIAINTHETIMEOFTHEBUDDHA:pxix

1.THEBUDDHAREVISITSTHECITYOFTHEFIVEHILLS:p1
2.THEMEETING:p9
3.TOTHEBANKSOFTHEGANG:p13
4.THEMAIDENBALLPLAYER:p21
5.THEMAGICPORTRAIT:p29
6.ONTHETERRACEOFTHESORROWLESS:p37
7.INTHERAVINE:p49
8.THEPARADISEBUD:p55
9.UNDERTHECONSTELLATIONOFTHEROBBERS:p63
10.ESOTERICDOCTRINE:p73
11.THEELEPHANTSTRUNK:p81
12.THEGRAVEOFTHEHOLYVJASHRAVAS:p89
13.THECOMPANIONOFSUCCESS:p99
14.THEFAMILYMAN:p109
15.THESHAVENHEADEDMONK:p117
16.READYFORACTION:p125
17.TOHOMELESSNESS:p135
18.INTHEHALLOFTHEPOTTER:p145
19.THEMASTER:p153
20.THEUNREASONABLECHILD:p159
21.INMIDCAREER:p171
22.INTHEPARADISEOFTHEWEST:p181
v
23.THEROUNDELAYOFTHEBLESSED:p187
24.THECORALTREE:p193
25.THEBUDOFTHELOTUSOPENS:p199
26.THECHAINWITHTHETIGEREYE:p205
27.THERITEOFTRUTH:p213
28.ONTHESHORESOFTHEHEAVENLYGANG:p219
29.AMIDTHESWEETNESSOFTHECORALBLOSSOMS:p225
30.TOBEBORNISTODIE:p231
31.THEAPPARITIONONTHETERRACE:p237
32.STGIRA:p247
33.ANGULIMLA:p255
34.THEHELLOFSPEARS:p261
35.APUREOFFERING:p273
36.THEBUDDHAANDKRISHNA:p283
37.THEBLOSSOMSOFPARADISEWITHER:p297
38.INTHEKINGDOMOFTHEHUNDREDTHOUSANDFOLD
BRAHM:p303
39.THEDUSKOFTHEWORLDS:p309
40.INTHEGROVEOFKRISHNA:p315
41.THESIMPLECONTEMPLATION:p325
42.THESICKNUN:p333
43.THEPASSINGOFTHETATHGATA:p341
44.VSITTHSBEQUEST:p355
45.NIGHTANDMORNINGINTHESPHERES:p363.

APPENDIX1:NOTESANDREFERENCES:p370
APPENDIX2:THEDHTUVIBHANGASUTTA:THEDISCOURSEON
THEEXPOSITIONOFTHEELEMENTS,M140:p479
APPENDIX3:THEANGULIMLASUTTA:THEDISCOURSEON
ANGULIMLA,M86:p488
APPENDIX4:THEMAHPARINIBBNASUTTA:THEDISCOURSE
ONTHEBUDDHASLASTDAYS,D16.2.22.6.12:p496
vi

~PREFACETOTHE2008,WEBEDITION~

ITHASBEENNEARLYTENYEARSsincetheAbhayagirieditionofThePilgrim
Kmantawaspublished.Duringthattimetheoriginalprintrunofafew
thousandcopieshaslongsincebeenexhaustedyet,eventhoughinterestinthe
bookhasmaintainedasteadylevel,sadlytherehavenotbeentheresourcesto
fundasecondprintrun.
However,theseinterveningyearshavealsobroughttechnological
developmentsofanorderofmagnitudethatmighthaveevensurprisedafewof
thedeitiesintheupperechelonsofthebrahmworldsmentionedinthisstory.It
isthusnowpossibletomakethisbookfreelyavailableinthepublicdomain,via
theagencyofourmonasterywebsite.Weareverypleasedtobeabletodothis
andtohelpthisclassicandilluminatingtaletobecirculatedevermorewidely.
Thetextofthestoryislargelyunchangedfromthe1999edition,although
poeticlicenceoftheauthornotwithstandingafewmorefactualerrorshave
beencorrected.Therehavealsobeenafewadditionsandamendationstothe
NotesandReferencessince,overtheyears,moreoftheauthorssourceshave
becomeapparent.
Theoriginaleditionthatweproducedin1999wasprintedforfree
distributionanditisinthissamespiritthatthis2008,webeditionisoffered.The
materialinthisbookcanbecopiedforpersonalusebutpermissionwillnotbe
grantedforanyofthematerial,textorillustrations,tobesoldcommercially.It
haslongbeenpartofourtraditiontooffertheteachingsoftheBuddhafreely,as
bothamarkofrespectfortheirtrulypricelessqualityandalsoaspartour
endeavourtoembodywhathasbeencalledaneconomyofgiftsinaworldthat
iseasilyfixatedonwealthandprofit.
Thegiftofthisstoryanditswisdomcametousfreelyanditisoffered
freelytoyou,gentlereaderenjoy!

AmaroBhikkhu
AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery
December,2008
vii
~PREFACETOTHE1999EDITION~

ITWASSOMETIMEduringthewinterretreatof1989atAmaravatiMonastery,in
theChilternHillsofHertfordshire,England,thatIfirstmetupwithKmanta.
AjahnSumedho,theabbot,wasawayinThailandandhadinvitedme,as
oneoftheseniormonks,tousehisroomduringhisthreemonthabsenceto
keepitcleanandlookedafter,andalsobecausetheamenitiestherewere
considerablymoresalubriousthanchezmoi.
AjahnSumedhoseemstoattractasmanybookstohimselfasIdo,so,
beinginhisplace,Ifoundmyselfsurroundedbyafreshsupplyoffascinating
literaturetopickthrough.Ofthemanybooksinhiscollection,alargeproportion
wereinThaialanguagethatIcanholdasimpleconversationinbutwhichI
hadneverlearnedtoread.ThusinscanninghisshelvesIpassedovertheThai
sectionnumeroustimeswithoutreallylooking:evenatthefewvolumesthathad
EnglishscriptonthespinestheseoftenonlybearingAnglicisedtitlesandno
morethanascatteredwordortwoinEnglishontheinside.EventuallyIpicked
outaparticular,plasticwrappedvolume,mostlyoutofcuriosityintheelegant
quasiDevanagariEnglishscriptonthecover.Atfirstglanceithadlookedlikea
bookofchantsbutthenitstruckmethat,ifthatwerethecase,ithadavery
strangepictureonthejacketamaleandafemaledevat,floatinginthesky.
MaybeitsabookofParittachants,protectiveversesandmagicspells...I
pondered.SoIopeneditand,tomysurprise,foundpagesofEnglishscriptas
wellasThai;verycurious...Istartedtoread,soonrealising:Well,well,well
itsaBuddhistnovel.AndwrittenbysomeobscureDanishscholar.ItwasThe
PilgrimKmantawhobynow,sometenyearslater,feelslikeanold,old
friend.
AsIstartedtoread,familiarpassagesleaptoffthepage:wellknown
charactersandutterances,famousandfavouriteincidentsfromtheBuddhist
scriptures,hadallbeenwoventogetherandrearranged,spunintoaclothof
beautifulhueandtexture.Idivedinanddissolvedmyselfintothestory
pickingitupduringeverysparemomentofthedaysandnightsthatfollowed
convincingmyselfmeanwhilethatmeditativeabsorptionintoanobjectcanbe
veryrewardingwhenonedoessomindfully...
Bythetimethelastpagewasreached,andthebookfinallyputdown,
therewasaprofoundglowleftinmyheartandtheconvictionthatThisisnot
onlyagreatyarn,itsgotmostoftheessentialBuddhistteachingsthreaded
throughittoothisshouldntjustbeacurioofByronicEnglishandBuddhist
viii
history,thisshouldbeouttherefortheworldtosee,atleastforthosewhoare
interested.
OncetheretreatwasoverIstartedtoeditthetextofaneveningandto
givereadingsfromitatthecommunitysdailymorningmeetings.Afterafew
weeksIhadhadtogooffandleadaretreatinIrelandandhadleftthereadingto
becarriedonbyAjahnAttapemo.Ihadintroducedhimtothestoryandhewas
similarlyenamouredofit,howeverhehadrunintoproblemspreparingthetext,
repleteasitwaswithcomplexhyperboliclanguageandsyntax,tortuousclassical
sentencestructuresandquaintlyredundantidioms.ThenonEnglishspeakersof
thecommunityweregettinglostandalsosomehadbeengettingbaddreams
aftertheVjashravasepisodethereadingswerethusabandonedandthebook
shelved.
Butnotinmymind,norinAjahnAttapemos.
WithBuddhismtakingrootandbeginningtoflowerintheWestwe
realisedthatsomethingmorethanmeditationpracticeisneeded:amongsta
multitudeofotheressentialelementsweneedtodevelopboththeaspectsof
educationandculturesowherearethegoodBuddhistnovelsandplays?What
goodbookorpieceofmusiccanyougivetoateenagertoletthemtastethe
flavouroftheDhamma?Theresnotmuchsofar.
ThenewDharmaSchoolinBrighton,England,hasalotofenergybehind
itnow,asdothevariousannualfamilysummercampsandtheYoungPeoples
retreatsheldatInsightMeditationSocietyinMassachusetts,SpiritRockCenter
inCaliforniaandatAmaravati.AjahnAttapemoandIhadbothhadafair
amountofinvolvementwithsomeoftheseenterprisesovertheyears,sothetwo
ofuscametothedecision,sometimearoundthesummerof95,that,ifwe
wantedtheretobegoodinfluencesavailableforthepeople,weshouldntjustsit
aroundcomplainingandwaitingforsomeoneelsetoproducebutweshoulddo
somethingaboutitourselves.Andintheflushofthemomenthesaid:Ifyoucan
editKmantaandputitintoreadableEnglish,Iwillgetitprinted,somehow.
OK,Ireplied,itsadeal.
Sowhatyounowholdinyourhandsistheproductofthatconversation.
Beforeyoudiveintothestory,however,andforthosewholikehintsand
explanations(andwhocanbeartoreadboringprefaces)itmightbehelpfulto
givealittlemorebackgroundonsomeissuesrelatedtothisbook.
Firstly,theauthor:KarlGjellerup(18571919)wasaDanishwriterwho
spentmostofhislifeeitherinCopenhagenorinDresden,Germany.Hewasnot
aBuddhistscholarinparticularbutwrotemostlyonspiritualmattersnovels,
poetryandplays,andalsocriticalessays.Hewasoriginallytrainedasa
Christiantheologian,butbetweenthemid1890sand1913,havingbeenheavily
ix
influencedbySchopenhauer,hewrotealmostexclusivelyaroundthemesof
BuddhismandIndianspirituality.ThePilgrimKmantawaspublishedin
Germanin1906,andtranslatedintoEnglishin1912publishedbyE.P.Dutton&
Co.ofNewYork.OnsimilarthemestoKmantaare:TheSacrificialFires(a
playinspiredbytheUpanishads);TheWifeofthePerfectedOne(onPrincess
Yashodhar,thebrideoftheBuddhatobe,SiddharthaGotama,beforehis
renunciationofthepalacelife);andTheWorldWanderers(acontemporary
Indianspiritualtale).AfterthisperiodhereturnedtoChristianthemesandin
1917hewasawardedtheNobelPrizeforliterature.
Secondly,thematerialandformatofthisbook:itshouldbenotedthat
althoughKarlGjelleruphasbeenveryfaithfultotheoriginalscripturaltexts,
particularlywithrespecttoindividualeventsandteachingsoftheBuddha,he
hasbeenextremelyliberalwiththeprincipalcharacters,theirrelationshipsand
thetimesequencesofevents.
Forexample,thecentralincidentofthetalecomesfromDiscourseNo.140
oftheMiddleLengthSayings,theDhtuvibhangaSutta.Onedoesnthavetogo
veryfarintothistextbeforefindingthatthecentralcharacteriscalledPukkusti,
notKmanta,andthat,unlikeourhero,herealisestheidentityoftheperson
speakingtohim.Idonotwanttogetaheadofthestorybutitisveryimportant
torealisethatsomeofwhatyoureadhereisfaithfultothescriptureandsomeisthe
fabricationoftheWeaveroftheYarn.(Forthesakeofinteresttothereaderthe
wholeofthesuttamentionedabovehasbeenincludedattheendofthebookin
Appendix2).
Thirdly,thereadermightalsobeinterestedinhowitcametobethatthe
bookIfoundwasinThaiandEnglish,whenitseemstohavestartedlifeasa
novelbyaDanewritteninGerman.
ItseemsthatapairoftalentedThaiacademics(Prof.PhraAnuman
RajadhonSathirakosesandPhraSaraprasertNagapradipa)discoveredthe
book,intheEnglishversion,sometimeinthe1930swhentheywerestudyingat
Oxford.TheytranslateditintoelegantandpolishedThaiandalsofleshedoutthe
textinafewplaces.Curiouslyenoughtheyalsopublisheditanonymously(as
theyhaddonewithGreysElegyandafewotherclassics)tohelpitbe
disseminatedwithoutpreconceptionorbiaswithinThaisociety;itwaswell
received,bothasaworkoffineliteratureandalsoasagoodlearningtextfor
Buddhistprinciples.Afterayeartheyrevealeditsprovenanceasaworkbya
EuropeantothegreatsurpriseofmanyThaipeopleandKingRamathe
Seventhadoptedandpromoteditashischosenliteraryworkforthenation(a
customofthepreviousmembersofhisdynasty).Asectionofitwasusedaspart
ofthestandardhighschooltextbookonThailiterature.
x
Wethenmoveforwardtoabout1952,whenSulakSivaraksa,thefamous
Thaisocialcriticandreformer,wasastudentinLondon.Heknewofthebookin
ThaiandmanagedtoborrowacopyoftheEnglishversionfromtheBuddhist
Societylibrary.Hewasinterestedinhowthetwoversionscompared(he
preferredtheThai)and,whenbackinLondonagainmanyyearslater,in1977,he
lookedonceagainforthebookbutithadvanishedfromtheBuddhistSocietys
shelves.EventuallyhetrackeddownacopyintheS.E.AsianStudiesdepartment
ofU.C.Berkeley,California;takingthisheproducedaneditionwithbothThai
andEnglishtogether.Thiswaspublishedin1977andthenreprinted,together
withtheillustrationsincludedinthisvolume,in1985.Thislattereditionhaving
beenproducedbyMATICHONawellknownnewspaperandpublishinghouse
inBangkok.
Theworstthingthatcouldhappentoastorytobereadforpleasureisto
haveitsurroundedbyfootnotesandappendices.Thisistrue;butitsalsotrue
thatsomereadersmightliketoknow:DidthiscomefromtheBuddha?Where
canIfindtherestofthatquote?Thattraditionsoundsinteresting,Iwonder
whatitsymbolises?Whatwehavedone,therefore,istocreateanappendixof
notesandreferences,outliningthesources(asfarasweareabletotrackthem)of
allthederivedmaterialthatKarlGjellerupused.Themainbodyofthetextisnot
markedinanywaytoindicatethesenotes;however,ifyouarecuriousabouta
certainpassage,gotoAppendix1,lookforthepageandquotationinquestion
andseeiftheresacommentorreferenceforit.Thisway,ifyoujustwanttoread
thestoryandignoretherestyoucaneasilydoso,or,ifyouareinterestedin
findingoutmoreandcheckingthefacts,theoriginsaremostlyoutlinedtherefor
you.Wewillalsobedelightedtohearofanymistakes,omissionsorunwanted
intrusionsthatanyreadermightfindinthesenotesfeedbackwillbehelpfulfor
anyfutureeditions.Also,gentlereader,pleasenotethattheauthor(K.G.)
switchedfreelybetweenusingSanskrit(thelanguageoftheNorthernBuddhist
andHinduscriptures)andPli(thelanguageoftheSouthernBuddhist
scriptures)duringthecourseofhistale.Inoureffortstobetruetohisoriginal
stylewehavemaintainedthismixtureofusage.
OnelastpointthatIshouldmakeisthat,ineditingthiswork,Ihavetried
tobeasfaithfulaspossibletotheoriginalauthorstext.Ifeltthatmyremitwas
simplytoputitintoalanguagethatpeopleofthelate20
th
/early21
st
Century
couldeasilyunderstand,andyetforitstilltobeinaformthattheauthorwould
begladtoread.Iknowhowagonizingitcanbetoseeyourworksbutcheredby
othersinthecauseofimprovement(MikhaelBulgakovsBlackSnowisa
greatessayonthissubject).Ihavetoconfess,however,thattherewereafew
passagesthatIdidrewrite.Thesewerealteredforavarietyofreasons:someto
coveruptheauthorsoccasionalinaccuraterepresentationoftheBuddhaandhis
xi
teachings(sometimesIgotthefeelingthatK.G.sawtheBuddhaasakindof
genialoldphilosophyprofessoronecouldalmostseethegoldrimmedglasses,
thebushymoustache,thetweedjacketwithleatherelbowsandpipe
smoulderinginthetoppocket,allsurroundedbyamultihuedauraofchalk
dust);somechangesweremadetofixinconsistenciesinhisplotline;someto
representthepracticeofthemonasticdisciplinemoreaccurately;andsometo
representeventsinawaymoreinkeepingwithpresenttimes.IfIhavedonethe
masterwronginanyofthis,meaculpaaccordinglyIaskforforgiveness.

AmaroBhikkhu
AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery,
California
February,1999/2542
xii
~AUTHORSNOTETOTHEFIRSTEDITION,1906~

WITHTHEEXCEPTIONoftheBuddhasencounterwiththepilgriminthe
hallofthepotter(M140,inwhichthepilgrimbothrecognisesand
understandstheBuddha)andtheconversionofAngulimala
*
,allevents
toldinthisbookaremyownfictionImentionthisbecauseafewreaders
ofthemanuscriptthoughtIjusteditedanancientIndiantale.Admittedly
IalsotooktheaccountoftheballgamefromDandinscycleofstories,the
DasakumaracaritamandinthebrilliantintroductiontotheGerman
translationofthisworkbyJ.J.MeyerIfoundmanyausefulhint.For
thepurposeofembellishmentofthesocialmilieuIdrewfromboth
historicalandculturalworks,botholderandnewertheformermainly
fromtheJatakasalthoughthishardlyneedsamention;ofmodernworks
Iused,amongstothers,RichardSchmidtsBeitrgezurindischenErotik
(ContributionstoIndianEroticism)whichisanamplesourceof
information(LotusVerlag,Leipzig1902;thesamehousewhichpublished
theDasakumaracaritam.)
TheauthenticwordsoftheBuddhaareeasilyrecognisableassuch
bytheirstyleeventhoughonecouldmistakeafewIimitated(onpp
1647[1999/2008edns.])asauthenticones.MostlyItookthewordsofthe
BuddhafromtheoutstandingtranslationsofDr.KarlE.NeumannsDie
RedendesBuddhos(MajjhimaNikaya).HoweverIamalsoendebtedto
Prof.Oldenberg,fromwhoseepochalandstillunsurpassedworkBuddha
Itookafewimportantquotes.
Ithardlyneedstobementionedthatthefewquotesfromthe
Upanishads(pp43ff,148,165)aretakenfromProf.DeussensSechzig
UpanishadsdesVeda.Tothesecondgreattranslationofthisexcellentand
indefatigableinquirer,DieSutrasdesVedanta,mytenthchapterowesits
origin.IfthiscuriouspieceisinsubstanceapresentationofIndian
bermenschentum[thedoctrineoftheAriyanmasterracewhichbecame
thebasisofAdolphHitlersphilosophy,afterK.G.stime]astheextreme
antithesistoBuddhismitisinitsformapainfullyaccuratecopyofthe
VedanticStrastyle,withtheenigmaticbrevityofthetext,thetrue
principleofwhichasDeussenhasrightlyrecognisedconsistsingiving

*
Chapter34.ThedetailsfollowM86butthepreventedshootingofthearrowismyownaddition.Theimageofhellis
alsonotfoundtherebutinM50;thefollowingpart,aboutthejudgeinhellisfromMN130;thesubsequentscaleofthe
ManyandtheFewbelongstoadifferentpartoftheCanon(ANtakenfromK.E.NeumannsBuddhistischeAnthologie,
p106ff.)
xiii
onlycatchwordsforthememory,butneverthewordsthatareimportant
tothesense.Inthiswaythetextcouldwithoutdangerbefixedinwriting,
sinceitwasincomprehensiblewithouttheoralcommentaryoftheteacher,
whichthususuallybecameallthemorepedanticallyintricate.Indeed,
theseKlStraslikethewholeVjashravasepisodeareajocular
fictionofminebutone,Ibelieve,whichwillbegrantedbyeverystudent
ofancientIndia,tobewithintheboundsofthepossiblenay,ofthe
probable.
Indiaisindeedthelandwhereeventherobbermustphilosophise,
andoccasionallybecomestrangesaints,andwhereeventheGuardiansof
Hellremainpoliteuntilthelaststepupthegallows.
ShouldanyonefamiliarwithancientIndianowbeinclinedto
castigatemebecauseofsomeinaccuracies,Iwouldnowliketoaskthem
toconsiderwhetherornothewhowroteThePilgrimKmantamight
notknowbestwhatlibertieshehastakenandwhy.Insteadofthelater
Sukhavati[whichappearsonlyintheNorthern,MahayanaBuddhist
scriptures]IcouldeasilyhavechosentheHeavenoftheThirtyThree
Gods,andwouldhaveremainedaccurateandcorrect.Butwhat,for
heavenssake,shouldIhavedonewiththoseThirtyThreeGodswhenI
didntevenhaveauseforAmitabhaBuddhainSukhavati?Also,enjoying
thelicenceofapoet,thequestionofwhetherornottheMahbharata
existedatthetimeoftheBuddha,orinwhatform,didnotbotherme.I
wouldalsoliketoconfessthatIdontevenknowwhetheritispossibleto
seethesnowcappedpeaksoftheHimalayasfromKusinara,Iactually
doubtitverymuch;thisisnotjustbecauseofdistance,however,since
Schlagintweitwasabletoespythemfromtheevengreaterdistanceofthe
Plains.Whateverthecase:Iamoftheopinionthattherequirementsof
poetrypreempttherequirementsofgeography.
IfnotforthisprincipleIwouldneverhaveallowedmyself,for
poetryssake,tochangeanythingevenslightlyintheoriginalBuddhism;
thefactthatI,asIalreadymentioned,usedthemuchlaterandhighly
popularimageofSukhavaticannotbereckonedassomuchofa
distortion,sinceidenticalideasarealiveinspiritintheoldesttraditionsof
Buddhism.Muchmorewasitmyheartsdesiretounrollapictureofthe
genuineBuddhistLebensundWeltanschauungviewoflifeandtheworld.
Dr.K.E.Neumann,withoutwhoseworksthisnovelcouldneverhave
comeintoexistence,wroteintheAfterwordtohisPathtotheTruth
(Dhammapada)thirteenyearsago:Onlythelastdecades,thelastyears,
havegivenussomeideaofwhotheBuddhawasandwhathetaught...the
poesyofBuddhismsinnermostnature,however,remainsabookwith
xiv
fiveseals.Oneafteranothertheyhavetobeopenedifwewantto
understanditsheart...Afterthescholarshavedonetheirwork,maythe
poetsnowcomeforthanddotheirs:thePaliscripturesarewaitingfor
them.OnlythenwilltheBuddhasteachinghavecometolivehereinour
land,onlythenwilltheGermanlanguageblossomamongstGermansit
ismyhopethatmylearnedandhonouredfriendandmaybeafew
otherswithhimwillfindinthisworkthebeginningofthefulfillmentof
thatwish.

KarlGjellerup
Dresden,
September1906
xv

~ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS~

THISWORKHASBEENhelpedalongbymanyhands:
thestaffofMATICHONPublishersinBangkok,whoprintedtheeditionthatwe
usedasourtext;
JeanneBendikandDeeCuthbertwhotypedoutthewholeofthefirstdraftof
themaintextontodisc;
KhunChuangMuanpinit,whoverykindlyallowedustousehisfine
illustrationsfromtheMATICHONedition,andproducedawholenewcover
paintingforusastheoriginalhadbeenlost;
MarionandBartGruzalski,whoreviewedanearlydraftofthetextandgave
somehelpfulsuggestions;
VenerablesVipassiandVarado,DrThaisDaRosa,PeterDaleScottandSaran
(NonaOlivia),whocontributedgreatlytothecomplexresearchneededforthe
references;
AnagarikMaureenBodenbach,whogenerouslytypedoutAppendices2,3
and4bothspeedilyandflawlessly;
RichardSmith,whoundertooktheformidabletaskofdesigningand
typesettingthebook,oversawtheprocessofpublishing,andhelpedin
innumerableotherways;
KhunVaneeLamsam,Dr.ChateWansom,TheCenterforMindfulLiving,and
ananonymousdonor,whogenerouslysponsoredthelionsshareofcopiesof
thisfirstedition;
JohnKandhisstaffatSquareOnestudio,whoweregenerouswithboththeir
timeandskillsinpreparingtheillustrationsandcoverartforpublication;
GertJorgensenandthestaffofCraftsmanPressinBangkok,whoundertookthe
taskofprintingwithgreatcareanddedication;
BhikkhuBodhi,MauriceWalsheandWisdomPublications,whogenerously
gavepermissionforthequotesfromtheirtranslationsoftheLongandMiddle
LengthDiscourses,aswellasforthenumerous,uncreditedquotationsscattered
throughouttheNotes&ReferencesbothfromthemandfromBhikkhu
namoli;
MarionWoodmanandElinorDickson,andShambhalaPublications,fortheuse
oftheirworkinthereferences;
AjahnSamvaro,forhistranslationoftheAuthorsNotefromtheGerman.
xvi
VenerableSuvaco,forhisdiligentresearchforbiographicaldetailsaboutthe
authoramongstthedustytomesoftheDanishNationalLibrary.
and,ofcourse,theindefatigableAjahnAttapemo,withoutwhose
encouragement,energyandnetworkingskillsthisbookcouldnothavecome
intoexistence.
Toallofthese,andtothemanyothersinvolvedinthisproject,abundant
gratitudeisduemaytheyallrealizeNibbna.
xvii

twasthemomentdeep
Whenweareconsciousofthesecretdawn
Amidthedarknessthatwefeelisgreen
Thyfacerememberedisfromotherworlds,
Ithasbeendiedfor,thoughIknownotwhen,
Ithasbeensungof,thoughIknownotwhere
besidethee
Iamawareofothertimesandlands,
Ofbirthfarback,oflivesinmanystars.
Obeautyloneandlikeacandleclear
Inthisdarkcountryoftheworld!
StephenPhillips:Marpessa

Ifyoulovesomebody
youleadthemtoenlightenment
youdontdrawtheminto
yourowndefilements.
AjahnSumedho
xviii

xix

xx

~1~
THEBUDDHAREVISITSTHECITYOF
THEFIVEHILLS
THUSHAVEIHEARD.Thetimecamewhenthe
lifespanoftheLordBuddhawasdrawingtoanendand,
journeyingfromplacetoplaceinthelandofMagadha,
hecametoRjagaha.
ThusitiswrittenintheBuddhistStrasofancient
India.

* * *

AstheMasterdrewneartotheCityoftheFive
Hills,daywasalmostover.Thebenevolentraysofthe
eveningsunlayalongthegreenricefieldsandmeadows
ofthefarreachingplainasiftheywereemanationsfroma
divinehandextendedinblessing.Hereandtherebillowing
cloudsofpurestgolddustitseemedrolledand
creptalongtheground,showingthatfarmworkersand
oxenwereploddingwearilyhomewardfromtheirlabour
inthefields;andthelengtheningshadowscastbyisolated
groupsoftreeswereborderedbyahalo,radiantwithall
thecoloursoftherainbow.
Framedinawreathofblossominggardens,the
embattledgateways,terraces,cupolasandtowersofthe
capitalshoneforthdelicatelyclearasinsomeethereal
vision;andalonglineofrockyoutcrops,rivallingin
1
colourthetopaz,theamethystandtheopal,werepatterned
intoanenamelofincomparablebeauty.
Movedbythebeautyofthelandscape,theBuddha
stayedhissteps.Aquietjoywelledupwithinhimashis
heartgreetedthosefamiliarforms,boundupwithsomany
memories:theGreyHorn,theBroadVale,theSeersCrag,
theVulturesPeakwhosenoblesummittowers,rooflike,
overalltherest.AndthentherewasVebhra,the
mountainofthehotsprings,underwhoseshadow,inthe
cavebeneaththeSatapannitree,theyounghomeless
wandererhadfoundhisfirstretreat,hisfirstrestingplace
onthefinaljourneyfromSamsratoNirvna.
Forwhen,inthatnowremotetimewhilestill
young,ablackhairedyoungmanintheflowerofhis
youth,intheprimeoflife,thoughhismotherandfather
wishedotherwiseandgrievedwithtearfulfaces,he
shavedoffhishairandbeard,putontheochrerobeand
wentforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessnesshe
hadlefthisroyalfathershouseinthenortherncountryof
theSkyasandhadturnedhisstepstowardthevalleyof
theGang.Andthere,undertheshadowofloftyVebhra,
hehadallowedhimselfhisfirstlengthystay,goingevery
morningintoRjagahaforalmsfood.
Itwasatthattimealso,andinthatverycave,that
theyoungBimbisra,KingofMagadha,hadvisitedhim
seekingtopersuadehimtoreturntothehomeofhis
fathersandtothelifeoftheworldalthoughhisefforts
hadbeeninvain.Atlengththeroyalvisitor,strangely
movedbythewordsoftheyoungascetic,hadfeltthefirst
tremblingsofanewfaiththatlatermadehimafollowerof
theBuddha.
Fiftyyearshadpassedsincethatday,andinthe
intervalhehadchangednotonlythecourseofhisown
lifebutalsothatoftheworld.Howvastthedifference
betweenthatpast,whenhedweltinthathumblecave
2
andsatbeneaththeSatapannitree,andthepresent.Then
hewassimplyaseekeronestrugglingforliberation.
Terriblespiritualcontestslaybeforehimsixlongyears
ofselfinflictedmortification,inhumanagoniesthatwere
assickeningastheywerefruitless,justthedescriptionof
whichmadethefleshofeventhestoutestheartedlisteners
creep.
Eventually,havingrisenaboveallsuchselftorturing
asceticism,throughprofoundmeditation,hehadreached
theLight,therealisationofNirvna,hadlefttheconflict
behindhimandwasdedicatedtotheenlightenmentofall
livingbeings.Filledwithadivinecompassion,hebecame
asupremeandperfectBuddha.
Thosehadbeentheyearsinwhichhislifehad
resembledachangefulmorningintherainyseason
dazzlingsunshinealternatingwithdeepestgloom,asthe
monsoonpilescloudabovecloudintoweringmassesand
thedeathladenthunderstormcomesgrowlingnearer.But
nowhislifewasfilledwiththesamecalmsunnypeace
thatlayupontheeveninglandscape,apeacethatseemed
togroweverdeeperandclearerasthesunsdiscdipped
towardsthehorizon.
Forhimtoosunset,thecloseoflifeslongday,was
athand.Hehadfinishedhiswork.Thedispensationofthe
Dharmahadbeenestablishedonsurefoundationsand
theliberatingteachinghadbeenproclaimedtoallhuman
kind;manymonksandnunsofblamelesslifeand
transcendentknowledgeandbothwomenandmenlay
followerswerenowfullycapableofsustainingthisRealm
ofTruth,andupholdingandspreadingitsteachings.
And,evenashestandsthere,thereabidesinhis
heart,asaresultofthereflectionsofthisdayspentin
solitarytravelling,theinalienableknowledge:Foryou
thetimeiscoming,andsoon,whenyoushalldepartfrom
hereandleavethisworldwhichyou,andmanywhohave
3
followedyou,havetranscended,andtherewillbethe
peaceofFinalNirvna.
Andlookingoverthelandspreadoutbeforehim
withajoyfulrecollectionwithinwhichtherelayanote
ofdeeppoignancyhebadethisbelovdlandfarewell.
Whatbeautyyoupossess,Rjagaha,Cityofthe
FiveHills.Howlovelyyourlandscapes,howrichlyblessed
yourfields,howgladdeningyourwoodedgladesgleaming
withwaters,howstatelyyourclusteringhillsofrock.
ForthelasttimeInowlookdownuponyourgraceful
bordersfromthis,thefairestofallplacesfromwhichyour
childrenlovetogazeuponyourface.Onlyoncemore
onthedaywhentheTathgatagoesforthfromhereand
looksbackfromthecrestofthatfarmountainridge
shallheseeyouagain,belovdvalleyofRjagaha;after
that,nevermore.
AndstilltheMasterstood,untilfinallyonlytwo
structuresofallinthecitybeforehimtoweredinthe
goldensunlight:one,thehighestpinnacleofthepalace
fromwhichKingBimbisrahadfirstespiedhimwhen,as
ayoungandunknownascetic,hehadpassedthatway
and,byhisnoblebearing,calledhimselftothenoticeof
theKingofMagadha;theother,thedomelikesuper
structureofthegreattempleinwhich,intheyearsbefore
histeachinghaddeliveredthepeoplefrombloodysuper
stition,thousandsuponthousandsofinnocentanimals
hadbeenannuallyslaughteredinhonourofsomedeity.
Finallyeventhepinnaclesofthetowersslipped
downintotherisingseaofshadowandwerelosttoview,
andonlytheconeofgoldenparasolsstillglowed.Rising
oneaboveanother,theycrownedthedomeofthetemple,
suspendedasifinmidair,flashingandsparklingasthe
redglowdeepenedagainstthedensecobaltblueback
groundofthetalltreetops.
AtthispointtheMastercaughtsightofthestill
4
somewhatdistantgoalofhisjourney.Forthetreetopshe
sawwerethoseoftheMangoGroveonthefarthersideof
thetown,thegiftofhisdiscipleJvaka,thekingsphysician,
inwhichawellappointedmonasteryprovidedthe
monasticcommunitywitharesidencethatwasboth
peacefulandsimple.
TothishomeoftheOrder,theSangha,theBuddha
hadsentonthemonkswhohadaccompaniedhim
abouttwohundredinnumberundertheleadershipof
hiscousinandfaithfulattendantnanda;sincehehad
beeninclinedtowardstastingthedelightofadayssolitary
wandering.Hewasalsoawarethatabandofyoung
monksfromthewest,ledbyhisgreatdisciplethewise
Sriputra,wouldarriveintheMangoGroveatsunset.
Inhismindseye,capableofpicturingtheunfolding
ofeventsinalltheirdetails,hewentoverthescenes
thatwouldbeenacted.Hesawthosearrivingexchange
friendlygreetingswiththemonksalreadythere,sawthem
conductedtorestingplacesandhutsintheforest,their
robesandalmsbowlsbeingtakenfromthem;andhe
heardallthistakeplaceinaracketofnoiseandloud
conversation,likethecrowdsoffisherfolkdownatthe
landingsquarrellingovertheirspoils.Heknewthistobe
noexaggeration;andtoonewholovedsilenceand
serenity,anddislikedclamourasdoesthesolitarylionin
thejungle,thethoughtwasdoublyuninvitingofbeing
involvedinsuchbustleafterthedelightoftravellingalone
andtheblessdpeaceoftheeveninglandscape.
Sohedetermined,ashewentonhisway,thathe
wouldnotgothroughthecitytotheMangoGrovebut
wouldrestforthenightinanyhouseinthenearestsuburb
inwhichhecouldfindshelter.
Meanwhiletheflaminggoldofthewestern
heavenshaddieddowninburningorangetints,andthese
inturnhadmeltedintoablazeofthefieriestscarlet.
5
Roundabouthimthegreenfieldsdeepenedandgrew
moreluminous,asthoughtheearthwereanemeraldlit
upfromwithin.Butalreadyadreamyviolethaze
envelopedthehorizon,whileamysteriouspurpleflood
whetherlightorshadownoonecouldsayrolledin
fromeveryside,risingandsinking,fillingallspace,dis
solvingfixedoutlinesandcombiningfragments,sweeping
nearobjectsawayandbringingcloserthosethatwere
distantcausingeverythingtoundulateandwaverin
tremblinguncertainty.
Startledbythefootstepsofthesolitarywanderer,a
fruitbatunhookeditselffromthebranchofablackSla
treeand,spreadingitsleatherywings,sweptwithashrill
cryawaythroughthedusktopayavisittotheorchardsof
thearea.
ThusbythetimethattheMasterhadreachedthe
outskirtsofRjagaha,thedaywasfarspentandshadowy
nightwasathand.
6

~2~
THEMEETING
ITWASTHEINTENTIONoftheMastertostopatthe
firsthousehecametointhisinstancea
buildingwhosebluewallsshoneoutfrombetweenthe
treesofthesurroundinggarden.Ashewasaboutto
approachthedoor,however,henoticedanethungupon
abranch.Withoutamomentshesitationhewalkedpast,
repelledbythehouseofthebirdcatcher.Hereatthe
extremeoutskirtsoftownthehouseswerescattered,in
additiontowhichagreatfirehadrecentlysweptthearea
sothatsometimeelapsedbeforehecametoanother
humanhabitation.Itwasthefarmhouseofawelltodo
brahmin.TheMasterhadhardlysteppedwithinthegate,
whenheheardtheloudvoicesofthebrahminandhistwo
wivesastheyscoldedandwrangled,hurlinginvectivesat
oneanother.TheBlessdOneturnedhimselfaround,
wentoutthroughthegatewayandmovedon.

* * *

Thepleasuregardenoftherichbrahminextended
foraconsiderabledistancealongtheroad.TheMasterwas
alreadyconsciousoffatigueandhisrightfoot,injuredbya
sharpstone,painedhimashewalked.Inthisconditionhe
approachedthenextdwellingplace,whichwasvisible
fromagreatdistanceowingtoabroadpathofvividlight
thatstreamedacrosstheroadfromthelatticeworkof
9
shuttersandfromtheopendoor.Evenhadablindman
comethatwayhecouldnothavefailedtonoticethis
house,forlustylaughter,theclangofsilverdrinkingcups,
theclappingofhands,thebeatofdancingfeetandthe
rhythmicnotesofthesevenstringedvnroseclearly
upontheair.Leaningagainstthedoorpostwasabeautiful
girlrobedinrichsilksandhungwithjasminegarlands.
Laughing,sheflashedherteeth,redfromchewingbetelnut,
andinvitedthewayfarertostay:Enterhere,stranger.
ThisistheHouseofDelight.ButtheBlessdOnewent
onhisway,andashedidsoherecalledhisownwords:
ForonewhoisenrapturedwiththeTruth,thesmileof
smilingeyesisallsufficing.
Theneighbouringhousewasnotfardistantbutthe
noiseofthedrinking,singingandvnplayerspenetrated
there,sotheBuddhawentontothenext.Besideittwo
butchersassistantswerehardatworkbythelastglimmer
ofdaylight,cuttingupwithsharpknivesacowtheyhad
justslaughtered.AndtheMastermovedonpastthehouse
ofthebutcher.
Infrontoftheonefollowingstoodmanydishes
andbowlsfreshlyformedfromclay,thefruitofadiligent
dayslabour.Thepotterswheelstoodunderatamarind
tree,andthepotteratthatmomentremovedadishfrom
thewheelandboreittowheretheotherslay.
TheMasterapproachedthepotter,greetedhim
courteously,andsaid:Ifitisnotinconvenienttoyou,
respectedfriend,Iwouldliketospendthisnightinyour
guesthall.
Itisnotinconvenienttome,sir.Butatthismoment
anotherseekerlikeyourself,awandererwhoarrived
tiredfromalongjourney,hasalreadymovedintherefor
thenight.Ifitisagreeabletohim,youarewelcometo
stay,sir;itsuptoyou.
TheMasterreflected:Solitude,itistrue,isthebest
10
ofallcompanions,butthisgoodpilgrimhasarrivedhere
late,justlikemyself,tiredfromhiswanderings.Andhehas
alsopassedbythehouseswherepeoplefollowunwhole
someandbloodylivelihoods,pastthehouseofwrangling
andstrife,thehouseofclamourandunholypleasure,and
hehasnotresteduntilheenteredthehouseofthepotter.
Inthecompanyofsuchamanitispossibletospendthe
night.
SotheBuddhaenteredtheouterhallandtherehe
perceivedayoungmanofnoblebearingsittingina
corneronamat.
Ifitisnotdisagreeabletoyou,friend,saidthe
Master,Iwouldliketospendthenightinthisplace.
Thehallofthepotterisspacious,brother;please
stayhereifyouwish.
TheMasterthusspreadouthismatclosetooneof
thewallsandsatdownwithhislegscrossed,hisbody
perfectlyupright,focusinghismindindeepmeditation.
TheBlessdOneremainedsittinginthiswayduringthe
firstpartofthenight.
Theyoungmanalsoremainedsittingthusduring
thefirstpartofthenight.Seeingthis,theBuddhathought
tohimself:Iwonderwhetherthisnobleyouthishappyin
hissearchafterTruth.HowwoulditbeifIaskedhim?
Soheturnedtotheyoungseekerandenquired,
hisvoicebothdeepandgolden:Whatwerethereasons,
youngfriend,whatwerethecausesthatencouragedyou
tochoosethelifeofhomelessness?
Theyoungmananswered:Thenightisyetyoung,
venerablesir,ifyouarehappytolendanearIshallgladly
tellyouwhyIhavechosenthelifeofthespiritualseeker.
TheBlessdOnegaveassentbyafriendlymove
mentofhishead,andtheyoungmanbegantotellhistale.

11
12

~3~
TOTHEBANKSOFTHEGANG

MYNAMEISKMANTA.Iwasbornin
Ujjen,atownlyingamongthemountains
fartothesouth,inthelandofAvanti.Myfatherwasa
merchantandrich,thoughourfamilycouldlayclaimto
nospecialrank.Hegavemeagoodeducationand,when
ofagetoassumetheSacrificialCord,Ialreadypossessed
mostoftheaccomplishmentswhichbefitayoungmanof
position,sothatpeoplegenerallybelievedImusthave
beeneducatedinTaxil,atthegreatuniversity.
Icouldwrestleandfencewiththebest.Myvoice
wasmelodiousandwelltrained,andIwasabletoplay
thevnwithconsiderableartisticskill.Icouldrepeatall
theversesoftheMahbharatabyheartandmanyothers
also.Iwasmostintimatelyacquaintedwiththemysteries
ofpoeticconstruction,andwasmyselfabletowriteverses
fulloffeelingandingeniousthought.Icoulddrawand
paintsothatfewsurpassedme,andmyoriginalityinthe
artofarrangingflowerswasuniversallylauded.
Iattainedanunusualmasteryintheknowledgeof
thecolourationofcrystalsand,furthermore,couldtellat
sightfromwhatplaceanyjewelcame.Myparrotsand
minahbirdsItrainedsothatnonespokesowellasthey.
AndtoalltheseaccomplishmentsIaddedathorough
commandofthegameofchess,thewandgame,archery,
ballgamesofeverydescription,riddlesandofflower
13
games.Sothatitbecame,myfriend,aproverbialsayingin
Ujjen:TalentedastheyoungKmanta.

* * *

WhenIwastwentyyearsold,myfathersentforme
onedayandsaid:
Myson,youreducationisnowcomplete;itistime
foryoutoseesomethingoftheworldandbeginyour
careerasamerchant.Asuitableopportunityhasjustoffered
itself.Withinthenextfewdaysourkingwillsendan
embassytoKingUdenainKosamb,whichliesfartothe
north.ThereIhaveafriendnamedPanda.HeandIhave
visitedandstayedwitheachotheratvarioustimes.Hehas
frequentlytoldmethatinKosambthereisgoodbusiness
tobedoneintheproductsofourland,particularlyinrock
crystalsandsandalwoodpowder,andalsoinartistic
wickerworkandwovengoods.Ihavealways,however,
shunnedsuchbusinessjourneys,holdingthemtobetoo
hazardousanundertakingonaccountofthemanydangers
oftheroad;butforanyonegoingthereandback
alongwiththeembassytherecanbenodangerwhatso
ever.Sonow,myson,wehadbettergotothewarehouse
andinspectthetwelvewagonswiththeirteamsofoxen
andthegoodswhichIhavedecidedonforyourjourney.
Inexchangefortheseitemsyouaretobringbackmuslin
fromBenaresandcarefullyselectedrice;andthatwillbe
thebeginning,andItrustasplendidone,ofyourbusiness
career.Thenyouwillhaveanopportunityofseeing
foreigncountrieswithtreesandgardens,landscapesand
architectureotherthanyourown,andothercustoms;and
youwillhavedailycontactwithcourtierswhoaremenof
thehigheststationandofmostrefinedaristocraticmanners.
AllofthisIconsiderwillbeagreatgain,foramerchant
mustbeamanoftheworld.
14
Ithankedmyfatherwithtearsofjoy,andafew
dayslatersaidfarewelltomyfriendsandmyhome.
Whatajoyfulanticipationmyheartbeatwithas,at
theheadofmywagons,Ipassedoutofthecitygates,a
memberofthismagnificentprocession,andthewide
worldlayopenbeforeme!Eachdayofthejourneywasto
melikeafestival,andwhenthecampfiresblazedupin
theeveningstoscarethepanthersandtigersaway,andI
satinthecirclebythesideoftheambassadorwithmenof
yearsandrank,itseemedtomethatIwasinsomekindof
wonderfulfairyland.
ThroughthemagnificentforestregionsofVedisa
andoverthegentlyswellingheightsoftheVindhaya
mountainswereachedthevastnorthernplain,andthere
anentirelynewworldopeneditselfoutbeforemeforI
hadneverimaginedthattheearthcouldbesoflatandso
huge.
Itwasaboutamonthafteroursettingoutthat,one
gloriousevening,fromapalmcoveredhilltop,wesaw
twogoldenbandswhich,disengagingthemselvesfrom
themistsonthehorizon,threadedthroughtheimmeasur
ableacresofgreenbeneath,andgraduallyapproached
eachotheruntiltheybecameunitedinonebroadzone.
Ahandtouchedmyshoulder.
Itwastheambassadorwhohadapproachedme
unperceived.
Those,Kmanta,arethesacredriverYamunand
thedivineGangwhosewatersunitebeforeoureyes.
InvoluntarilyIraisedmyhands,palmstogether,in
reverence.
Youdowelltogreettheminthisway,mypatron
wenton.ForiftheGangcomesfromthehomeofthe
godsamidthesnowcladmountainsofthenorthand
flowsfromtheAbodeoftheEternal;theYamun,onthe
otherhand,takesitsriseinlandsknowntofardistant
15
heroicdays,anditsfloodshavereflectedtheruinsof
Hastinapura,TheCityofElephants,anditwashedthe
plainwherethePndavasandtheKaurvasstruggledfor
mastery;whereKarnaragedinhistent,whereKrishna
himselfguidedthesteedsofArjunabutofallthatIdo
notneedremindyou,Iknowthatyouarewellversedin
theancientheroicsongs.
OftenIhavestoodonthatprojectingtongueof
landwherethebluewavesoftheYamunrollonward
sidebysidewiththeyellowwatersoftheGang,andblue
andyellowhavenevermingled.Blueandyellow,warrior
andbrahmininthegreatriverbedofCaste,passing
onwardtoeternity,approachingunitingforever
sidebysideforevertwo.Thenitseemedtomethat,
blendedwiththerushingofthesebluefloods,Iheard
warlikesoundstheclashofweaponsandtheblowing
ofhorns,theneighingofhorsesandthetrumpetingofwar
elephantsandmyheartbeatfaster,formyancestors
alsohadbeenthere.AndthesandsofKurukshetradrank
theirheroicblood.
Fullofadmiration,Ilookeduptothismanfrom
thewarriorcasteinwhosefamilysuchmemorieslived.
Buthetookmebythehandandsaid:Come,son,
lookatthegoalofyourfirstjourney.Heledmeafew
stepsaroundsomedenseshrubberythathad,upuntil
then,hiddentheviewtotheeast.
AsitflasheduponmyvisionIgaspedinadmiration
forthere,atabendofthebroadGang,laythecityof
Kosambgreatandsplendidinitsbeauty.Withitswalls
andtowers,itspiledupmassesofhouses,itsterraces,
quaysandbathingghatslitupbythesettingsun,itreally
lookedlikeacityofredgoldacitysuchasBenareshad
beenuntiltheunwholesomelivesofitsinhabitants
changedittostoneandmortarwhilethecupolasthat
wereofrealgoldshonelikesomanysuns.Columnsof
16
smoke,darkredbrownfromthetemplecourtsabove,
lightbluefromthefuneralpyresonthebanksbelow,rose
straightintotheair.Carriedaloftonthese,asifitwerea
canopy,therehungoverthewholeaveilwovenofthe
tenderesttintsofmotherofpearl,whileinthebackground,
flungforthinthewildestprofusion,thereflashed
andburnedeveryhueofheaven.Onthesacredstream,
whichmirroredallthisgloryandmultiplieditathousand
foldintheshimmerofitswaters,countlessboatswere
rocking,gaywithmanycolouredsailsandstreamers.And,
distantthoughwewere,wecouldseethebroadstairsof
theghatsswarmingwithpeopleandnumerousbathers
splashinginthesparklingwavesbeneath.Asoundof
joyousmovement,floatingoutupontheairlikethebusy
humofinnumerablebees,wasborneuptousfromtime
totime.
Asyoucanimagine,IfeltasifIwaslookingupon
acityoftheTavatimsaheaven,theabodeoftheThirtythree
Gods,ratherthanoneofhumanbeings;indeed,the
wholevalleyoftheGangandtheYamunwithitsluxuriant
richnesslookedtousmenofthehillslikeParadise.And,in
truth,thisveryplaceofallothersonearthwasindeedto
becomeParadiseforme.
ThatsamenightIsleptunderthehospitableroofof
Panda,myfathersoldfriend.
EarlyonthefollowingdayIhurriedtothenearest
ghatanddescended,withfeelingswhichIcannotattempt
todescribe,intothesacredwaterswhichshouldnotonly
cleansemefromthedustofmyjourneybutalsofrommy
unwholesomekarmaaswell.Thiswas,owingtomy
youth,ofnogreatgravityasyet;howeverIfilledalarge
bottlefromtherivertotakehometomyfather.Unfortu
nately,itnevercameintohispossession,asyouwillsoon
learnfrommytale.
ThegoodPanda,agreyhairedoldgentlemanof
17
venerableappearance,nowconductedmetothemarkets
ofthecityand,withhisfriendlyassistance,inthecourse
ofthenextfewdaysIwasabletosellmywaresatagood
profitandtopurchaseanabundanceofthoseproducts
ofthenorthernplainswhicharesohighlyprizedamong
ourpeople.
Mybusinesswasthusbroughttoahappyconclusion
longbeforetheembassyhadbeguntothinkofgetting
readytostartonitsreturnjourney;andIwasinnoway
sorry,forIhadnowfulllibertytoseethetownandto
partakeofitspleasures,whichIdidtothefull,inthe
companyofSomadatta,thesonofmyhost.
18

19
20

~4~
THEMAIDENBALLPLAYER
ONEDELIGHTFULAFTERNOONwetook
ourselvestoapublicgardenoutsidethetowna
reallymagnificentparkitwas,lyingclosetothehigh
withshadygroupsoftrees,largelotus
in
gseat
my
densinKosamb
reju

aint.

banksoftheGang
ponds,marblesummerhousesandjasminearbours
which,atthishouroftheday,lifeandbustlereigned
supreme.Hereweweregentlyrockedonagoldenswin
bytheattendants,whilewithravishedheartswe
listenedtothelovesicknotesoftheKokilabirdandthe
sweetchatterofthegreenparrots.Allatoncethererose
ontheairthemerrytinklingofanklets,andinstantly
friendsprangoutoftheswingandcalledtome:
Look,Kmanta!Thefairestmai
a stapproaching,virginsspeciallychosenfromthe
richestandmostnoblehouses,cometodohonourtothe
GoddesswhodwellsontheVindhayamountainsby
engaginginballgames.Countyourselffortunate,my
friend,foratthisgamewemayseethemwithoutrestr
Come,wemustnotmissourchance.
NaturallyIwaitedfornosecondbiddingbutmade
hastetofollow.

* * *

Onaspaciousstagedecoratedwithprecious
stonesthemaidensappeared,readyforthegame.And,if
21
itmustbeacknowledgedthatitwasararesighttobehold
f
jewels
ndg

amesofmanykinds,theyallsteppedback
e

andglowedineveryfeaturewiththe

l.

thisgalaxyoffairyoungcreaturesinalltheirgloryo
shimmeringsilk,airymuslinveils,pearls,sparkling
a oldenbangles,whatmustbesaidofthegameitself
thatgavetoallthesegraciousfiguressuchvariedopportu
nitiesofdisplayingtheirwealthofsubtlebeautyinthe
mostcharmingofpositionsandmovements?Andyetthat
was,asitwere,butaprologue.Forwhenthesegazelle
eyedworshippershadentertainedusforaconsiderable
timewithg
exceptforone,whoremainedaloneinthecentreofth
jewelledstage:inthecentreofthestage...andinthe
centreofmyheart.
Ah,myfriend,whatshallIsay?Totalkofher
beautywouldbeanaudacity!Ishouldneedtobeapoet
likeBharatahimselftoconjureuptoyourimagination
evenafaintreflectionofit.Letitsufficethatthismaiden,
withthegentleradianceofthemooninherface,wasof
suchfaultlessform
freshnessofyouth,thatIfelthertobetheincarnate
GoddessofFortuneandBeauty.Everyhaironmybody
quiveredwithdelightasIbeheldher.
InhonouroftheGoddesswhomshesoperfectly
represented,shesoonbeganaperformanceworthyofa
greatartist.Droppingtheballeasilyonthestage,asi
slowlyroseshegaveit,withflowerlikehand,thumb
slightlybentandtenderfingersoutstretched,asharp
downwardblow,thenstruckit,asitrebounded,withthe
backofherhandandcaughtitagaininmidairasitfel
Shetosseditinslow,inmediumandinquicktime,now
incitingittorapidmotion,thengentlyquietingit.
Then,strikingitalternatelywiththerighthandand
withtheleft,shedroveittowardseverypointofthe
compassandcaughtitasitreturned.Ifyouareacquainted
withthemysteriesofballplayasitseemstomefrom
22
theintelligenceofyourexpressionthatyouareIneed
onlytellyouthatyouhaveprobablyneverseenthe
CurnapdaandtheGtamargasoperfectlymastered.
ThenshedidsomethingthatIhadneverseenand

Idonotunderstandhowit
ast
of
s
h
r,Isuc
eededintrippinghimup;buthe,inordertoholdme
hIworeroundmy
eck,andtowhichanamuletwasattached.Thechain

il
I
ofwhichIhadnotevenheard.Shetooktwogoldenballs
and,whileherfeetmovedinadancetothetinklingofthe
jewelsshewore,shemadetheballsspringsorapidlyin
lightninglikelines,thatitwasasifonesawthegolden
barsofacageinwhichawondrousbirdhoppeddaintily
toandfro.
Itwasatthispointthatoureyessuddenlymet.
Tothisday,Ostranger,
w hatIdidnotinstantlydropdead,toberebornina
heavenofbliss.Itmaywellbe,however,thatthefruits
deedsdoneinaformerlifewerenotyetexhausted.
Indeed,thiskarmafrommywanderingsinthepasthas,it
seems,carriedmesafelythroughvariousmortaldanger
downtothepresentday,andItrustitwilldosoforalong
timetocome.
Buttoreturn.Atthisinstantoneoftheballs,whic
hadhithertobeensoobedienttoher,escapedandflewin
amightycurvedownfromthestage.Manyyoungmen
rushedtoseizeit.Ireacheditatthesamemomentas
anotherrichlydressedyouthandweflewatoneanother,
becauseneitherwaswillingtoyieldit.Owingtomy
absolutefamiliaritywiththetricksofthewrestle
c
back,caughtatthecrystalchainwhic
n
snapped,hewentcrashingtotheearthandIsecuredthe
ball.Inafury,hesprangupandhurledthechainatmy
feet.Theamuletwasatigereye,notaspeciallyprecious
stone,yetitwasaninfalliblesafeguardagainsttheev
eye;andnow,justashisenragedglarelandeduponme,
waswithoutit.Butwhatdidthatmattertome?DidInot
23
holdinmyhandtheballwhich,amomentbefore,herlily

etoan
nd,t
e
ight
whomy
indifference,praisedwiththelan
d,at

day
handhadtouched?Atonce,asanyhighlyskilledplayer
should,Isucceededinpitchingitwithsuchanaccurate
aimthatitcamedownjustinfrontofonecornerofthe
stageand,risingagainwithagentlemovement,itlanded
asiftamedwithinreachofthefairplayer,whohadnotfo
amomentceasedtokeeptheotherinmotion,andwho
nowwoveherselfagainintohergoldencageamidthe
wildjubilationofthecrowdofspectators.Withthatthe
ballplayinhonouroftheGoddessLakshmcam
e hemaidensdisappearedfromthestageandwe
turnedourstepshomeward.
Ontheway,myfriendremarkedthatitwasfortu
natethatIhadnobusinesstoconductatcourt;forth
youngmanfromwhomIhadcapturedtheballwasno
lessapersonagethanthesonoftheMinisterofState,and
everyonehadnoticedfromhislooksthathehadsworn
undyinghatredtome.Thatdidnotmovemeinthesl
est;howmuchratherwouldIhavelearned
Goddesswas.Ifoughtshyofasking,however;infact,
whenSomadattawantedtoteasemeaboutthefairone,I
evenaffectedperfect
guageofaconnoisseurthefinishofherplaybutadde
thesametime,thatwehadinmynativetowngirlplayers
atleastasskilfulwhileinmyheartofheartsIbegged
theincomparableonetopardonmyfalsehood.

* * *

Ineedhardlysaythatthatnightbroughtnosleep
tomyeyes,whichIonlyclosedinordertobepossessed
anewbytheblissfulvisionIhadseen.Thefollowing
wasspentbymeinacornerofmyhostsgarden,far
removedfromallthenoiseoftheday,wherethesandy
soilunderamangotreeministeredacoolingbalmtomy
24
lovetorturedbodymyonlycompanionbeingthe
sevenstringedvntowhichIconfidedmylonging.As
oona
c
nderedthroughthewhole
ark edin
from
ongthem.
Bitterlydisappointed,InowpretendedthatIwas
possessedbyanirresistiblelongingtoenjoythestrangely
fascinatinglifeoftheGang.Wevisitedalltheghatsand
finallygotintoaboat,inordertobecomeoneofthe
joyousflotillawhicheveryeveningrockedtoandfroon
thewavesofthesacredstream.Ilingereduntiltheplayof
lightandthegoldenglowofeveningwereextinguished,
andtheblazeoftorchesandtheglimmeroflanterns
dancedandwhirledonitsglassysurface.
ThenatlastIwasobligedtogiveupmysilentbut
nonethelesspassionatehope,andIbidmyboatmansteer
forthenearestghat.
AfteranothersleeplessnightIremainedinmy
roomand,inordertooccupyandrelievemymindwhich
wasstillutterlypossessedbyherimage,Isoughtwiththe
aidofbrushandcolourtotransfertothewoodenpanel
onmywallherfairlineamentsasIhadlastbeheldthem,
whendancingshehadstruckthegoldenball.Iwas
unabletoeatamorsel;forevenastheCakorawithits
exquisitelytendersonglivesonlyupontheraysofthe
moon,sodidIlivesolelyupontheraysthatemanated
fromherwhosefacewasasthemooninitsfairness,
althoughthesecametomeonlythroughthemistsof
memory;yetIconfidentlyhopedthatthiseveninginthe
pleasuregardenstheywouldrefreshandvivifymewithall
s sthelesseningheatpermittedmygoingout,how
ever,IpersuadedSomadattatodrivewithmetothepubli
gardens,althoughhewouldhavegreatlypreferredtogo
toaquailfight.Asitwas,Iwa
p invain.Manymaidenswerethereandallengag
games,asthoughbentonluringmewithfalsehopes
onespottoanother,butthatunsurpassedoneSri
Lakshmsveryimagewasnotam
25
theirglowandradiance.Alas!Iwasagaindoomedto
disappointment.
AfterwardsSomadattawishedtotakemetothe
gamingtables,forhewasaspassionatelyaddictedtothe
diceaswasNlaafterthefierceGoddessKlhadentered
intohim.Ifeignedtiredness.
Insteadofgoinghomehowever,Itookmyself
againtotheghatsandoutontotheriver,but,tomy
unspeakablegrief,withnobetter esultthanonthepre
cedingevening:Shewasnotthere.
r
26

27

28

~5~
THEMAGICPORTRAIT
ASIKNEWTHATformesleepwasnottobe
thoughtof,Ididnotundressatallthatevening,
butsatdownattheheadofmybedonthegrass
matintendedformeditationanddevotionalprayers.I
pent s thenightthereinwhatItooktobeasuitablyspiri
tualfashion:filledwithferventthoughtsofloveand
absorbedincontemplationofthelotusbearingLakshm,
ed
on

hercelestialprototype.Theearlymorningsun,however,
foundmeagainatworkwithbrushandcolour.

* * *

Severalhourshadalreadyflownawayasifon
wingswhileIwasthusoccupied,whenSomadattaenter
theroom.WhenIheardhimcoming,Ionlyjusthadtime
tothrustthepanelandpaintingmaterialsunderthebed.I
didthisquiteinvoluntarily.
Somadattatookalowchair,satdownbesideme
andlookedatmewithasmileonhisface.
IntruthIperceive,hesaid,thatourhouseisto
havethehonourofbeingthespiritualbirthplaceofaholy
o man.Youfastasonlythemoststrenuousofasceticsd
usbed.Forneither andrefrainfromusingtheluxurio
our y pillowsnoronyourmattressistheretobeseenthe
faintestimpressionofyourbody,andthewhitesheetis
29
withoutacrease.Nevertheless,althoughastheresultof
adygrownquiteslim,yourbody
not

nut.Thereonthewall,thewreathof
nel

d
yaMountainsmight
ellb steri
.

.
yourfastingyouhavealre
is yetentirelydevoidofweight,astheobservantmay
seefromthisgrassmatonwhichyouhaveobviously
spentthenightinprayerandmeditation.ButIfindthat,
forsoholyatenant,thisroomlookssomewhattoo
worldly:hereonyourdressingtable,thejarofskincream
untouched,itistrue;theboxofsandalwoodpowder;
thecarafeofscentedwaterandthedishwithbarkofthe
lemontreeandbetel
yellowamaranths,andthevn,but...whereisthepa
whichusuallyhangsonthathook?
InmyembarrassmentIwasunabletoframeany
answertothisquestionandhemeanwhilediscoveredthe
missingboard,anddrewitforthfromunderthebed.
Why!Why!Whatwickedandcraftywizard,he
cried,hascausedthefascinatingpictureofamaiden
playingballtoappearbymagicontheboardwhichI
myselfhungquiteemptyonthathook?Plainly,theyhave
donethiswithevilintent,toassailtheembryoascetican
tempthimattheverybeginningofhiscareer,andthusto
confusebothsenseandthoughtinhim.Orcoulditbethat
thisistheworkofagod?Forweknowitisafactthatthe
godsfeartheomnipotenceofgreatascetics;and,begin
ningasyouhavedone,theVindha
w egintobelchsmokeatthefervencyofyourau
ties;indeed,owingtoyouraccumulationofblessings,the
kingdomofheavenlybeingsmightalmostbegintototter
AndnowIalsoknowwhichdeityitis!Certainlyitishe
whomwenametheInvisible,theGodwiththeFlower
DartswhobearsafishonhisbannerKma,thegodof
love,fromwhomyougetyourname,asInowremember
And,heavens,whatdoIsee?ButthisisVsitth,the
daughteroftherichgoldsmith!
AsIthus,forthefirsttime,heardthenameofmy
30
belovd,myheartbegantobeatviolentlyandmyface
grewpalefromagitation.
Isee,mydearfriend,thisincorrigiblejesterwent
on,thattheideaofthemagicofKmahasgivenyoua
greatfrightand,truly,weshallbeobligedtodosomething
inordertoaverthisanger.Insuchacase,however,Ifeel
thatawomanscounselisnottobedespised.Ishallshow
eof
ose er

tifulredofabrillianthue
ndin t,
as

spair
as

medtohimmuchtoosimple,andheinformed
eth
ina
thispicturetomybelovdMedin,whowasalsoon
th atthedanceandwhois,furthermore,thefostersist
ofthefairVsitth.
Withthat,hewasabouttogoaway,takingthe
panelwithhim.Perceiving,however,whattheroguehad
inmindIbadehimwait,asthepicturestilllackedan
inscription.Imixedsomebeau
a afewminuteshadwritten,inthedaintiestofscrip
averseoffourlineswhichrelatedinsimplelanguagethe
incidentofthegoldenball.Theverse,whenreadback
wards,statedthattheballwithwhichshehadplayedw
myheart,whichImyselfsentbacktoherevenattherisk
ofherrejectingit.Itwaspossible,however,toreadthe
verseperpendicularlythroughthelinesandwhensoread,
fromtoptobottom,itvoicedinsaddestwordsthede
intowhichmyseparationfromherhadplungedme;ifone
readitintheoppositedirectionthenthereaderlearned
thatneverthelessIdaredtohope.
ButofallthatIhadconveyedtoherinsucha
surreptitiousfashionIsaidnothing,sothatSomadattaw
bynomeansenchantedwiththisspecimenofmypoetic
skill.Itsee
m atIoughtcertainlytomentionhowthegodKma,
alarmedatmyasceticism,hadbyhismagicskillcreated
thispicturewithwhichtotemptmeandthatbyitIhad
beenwhollyvanquishedSomadatta,likesomany
others,beinghighlyimpressedbyhisownwit.
AfterhehadcarriedoffthepictureIfeltmyself
31
particularlyexaltedandenergeticmood,forastephad
nowbeentakenwhich,initsconsequences,mightleadto
leto
lightmeal,Itookdownthevn
om ere
n
rew

urlineswrittenin

y
backwards,upwardsanddownwards.Itgave
ea dge,
he

thelongedforgoalofallmyhappiness.Iwasnowab
eatanddrinkand,aftera
fr thewallanddrewfromitsstringsmelodiesthatw
sometimesnomorethantunefulsighsbutnowandthe
g exultingandjoyous,whileIrepeatedtheheavenly
nameofVsitthinathousandendearingaccents.
Somadattafoundmethuswhen,afewhourslater,
hecameinwiththepictureinhishand.Theballplayin
destroyerofyourpeacehasalsobeenmovedtoverse,
saidhe,butIcannotsaythatIamabletofindmuchof
consequenceinwhatshehaswritten,althoughthehand
writingisunusuallypretty.
Anditwasindeedpretty.Isawbeforemewith
inexpressiblejoyasecondverseoffo
characterslikespraysoftenderblossomsswayedbysum
merzephyrs,andlookingasiftheyhadbeenbreathed
uponthepicture.Somadattahad,ofcourse,beenunable
tofindanymeaninginthem,fortheyreferredsolelyto
thatwhichhehadnotperceived,andshowedmethatm
faironehadcorrectlyreadmycompositioninevery
direction
m goodideaofherexaltededucationandknowle
nolessthanitdidtherevelationofherrarespiritint
graciouslyhumorousturnshegavetomyfierydeclara
tion,whichshechosetoacceptasapieceofgallantryor
aneffusiontowhichtoomuchimportanceneednotbe
attached.
Inowattempted,Iconfess,toreadherverseinthe
crisscrossfashionwhichhadbeenpossiblewithmine,in
thehopethatImightfindinitacovertconfessionorother
secretmessage,perhapseventheinvitationtoarendez
vous,butinvain.AndItoldmyselfatoncethatthiswasin
truthbutaconvincingproofofthehighestandmost
32
refinedfemininevirtue:mydarlingshowedmethatshe
asp
softhemasculinemindbutcouldnotbe

ws
eenherfostersister,my
ere
on
ldlike
Ashesaidthis,helaughedwithmuchslynessandI
laughedwithhim,assuringhimthathewouldhavemy
company.Inthebestofspirits,wetookthechessboard
whichwasleaningagainstthewallandwereabouttopass
thetimebyengaginginthisgamewhenamanservant
cameinandannouncedthatastrangerwishedtospeak
withme.
IntheentrancehallIfoundtheambassadors
attendant,whoinformedmethatImustpreparefor
departureatonceandcometothecourtyardofthepalace
thatverynight,bringingmywagonsinordertobeableto
startwiththefirstglimmerofdaylightonthemorrow.
MydespairknewnoboundsandIimaginedthatI
musthaveoffendedoneofthedeitiesinsomemysterious
way.AssoonasIwasabletocollectmythoughtsIdashed
awaytotheambassadorandfilledhisearswithliesabout
somebusinessthatIhadnotyetarranged,andthatit
couldnotpossiblybebroughttoasatisfactoryconclusion
insoshortatime.WithhottearsIbeggedhimtoputoff
w erfectlycapableofunderstandingthesubtletyand
daringway
inducedtoimitatethem.
BesideswhichIfoundimmediatecomfortformy
disappointedexpectationsinSomadattasnextwords.
Butthisfaironewiththebeautifulbrows,evenif
sheisnogreatpoetess,reallyhasagoodheart.Shekno
thatforalongtimeIhavenots
belovdMedin,exceptatlargesocialgatheringswh
onlytheeyesmayspeakandeventhesesolelybystealth.
Andsoshehasarrangedameetingfortomorrownight,
theterraceofherfatherspalace.Tonightitis,Iregretto
say,notpossibleasherfathergivesabanquet;sountil
tomorrowwemusthavepatience.Perhapsyouwou
toaccompanymeonthisadventure?
33
thejourneyforbutasingleday.
Butyousaideightdaysagothatyouwereready,
hereplied.
Iassuredhimthatafterwards,andquiteunexpect
edly,theopportunityofgaininga valuableprizehad
presenteditself.Andthatwasindeednofalsehood,for
whatgaincouldmeanmoretom thanwinningtheheart
ofthisincomparablemaiden?So finallysucceededin
willingthisonedayfromhim.
Thehoursofthenextdayworequicklyaway,
filledastheywerewiththepreparationsnecessaryforour
journey,sothatinspiteofmylongingthetimedidnot
drag.Wheneveningcameourcartsstoodloadedinthe
courtyard.Everythingwaspreparedforyokingintheoxen
sothat,assoonasIshouldappearthatis,before
daybreakwemightbeabletostart.

e
I
34

35
36

~6~
ONTHETERRACEOFTHESORROWLESS

deep

*
n
nwhohadplayedballwithmyheart.At
esig
NOWTHATNIGHTANDdarknesshadcome,
SomadattaandItookourselvescladin
shadowcolouredclothingwhichwegatheredwellup
aboutus,ourwaistsfirmlybeltedandwithswordsinour
handstothewesternsideofthepalatialhouseofthe
goldsmith,wheretheterracethatwesoughtwasperched
crowningthesteepandrockysideofadeepravine.With
thehelpofabamboopolethatwehadbroughtwithus,
andbythedexteroususeofafewexistingprojections,we
climbedthefaceoftherockataspotveiledin
darkness.Weswungoverthewallwitheaseandfound
ourselvesonaspaciousterracedecoratedwithpalms,
Asokatreesandmagnificentfloweringplantsofevery
description,allnowbathedinthesilverlightofthemoon.

* *

Notfaraway,besideayounggirlonagarde
benchandlookinglikeavisitantfromtheheavenly
spheresinherwonderfullikenesstoLakshm,satthe
greateyedmaide
th htIbegantotremblesoviolentlythatIwasobliged
toleanagainsttheparapet,thetouchofwhosemarble
cooledandquietedmyfeveredandfailingsenses.
MeanwhileSomadattahastenedtohisbelovd,
37
whohadsprungupwithalowcry.Seeingthis,Ialso
pulledmyselftogethersofarastobeabletoapproachthe
atthe
s

d
me
ats
d
er
nks
shedidnotseemtounderstandwhatI
adm
h
frommyeyes,which
ust et
ou
incomparableone.She,toallappearancessurprised
arrivalofastranger,hadrisenandseemedundecideda
whethersheshouldgoorstay;hereyesmeanwhile,like
thoseofastartledyounggazelle,shotsidelongglancesat
me,andherbodyquiveredlikeatendrilswayingina
gentlebreeze.Asforme,Istoodinsteadilyincreasing
confusion,withdisorderedhairandtelltaleeyes,andwas
barelyabletostammerafewwordsinwhichItoldher
howmuchIappreciatedtheunhopedforhappinessof
meetingherhere.Butshe,whenshenoticedmygreat
shyness,seemedherselftobecomecalmer.Shesatdown
onthebenchagain,andinvitedmewithagentle
movementofherlotushandtotakeaseatbesideher;an
then,inavoicefulloftremuloussweetness,assured
th hewasverygladtobeabletothankmeforhaving
flungtheballbacktoherwithsuchskillthatthegame
sufferednointerruption;for,hadthathappened,the
wholemeritofherperformancewouldhavebeenlostan
theGoddesssoclumsilyhonouredwouldhavevisitedh
angeruponher,orwouldatleasthavesentherno
happiness.TowhichIrepliedthatsheowedmenotha
asIhad,attheverymost,onlymadegoodmyown
mistakeand,as
h eantbythat,Iventuredtoremindherofthe
meetingofoureyesandoftheensuingconfusionwhic
causedhertofailinherstrokesothattheballflewaway.
Butshereddenedviolentlyandabsolutelyrefusedto
acknowledgesuchathing:Whatshouldhaveconfused
herinthat?
Iimagine,Ianswered,that
m haverivalledflowersinfullbloomthen,suchaswe
odourofadmirationstreamedforththatforamomenty
werestupefiedandsoyourhandwentbesidetheball.
38
Oh!Whattalkisthisofyoursaboutadmiration?
sheretorted,youareaccustomedtoseeingmuchmore
t
ifshe
idntand,inspeakingofit,Ihappilyforgotmybashful
eher,andtold
erhow,atthesightofher,theLoveGodhadrainedhis

e
pinherbreastalso.
ekonmy

uldexpireforjoy,until
lllike
h

ing
skilfulplayersinyourhometown!
FromthisremarkIgatheredwithsatisfactionthatI
hadbeentalkedofandthatthewordsIhadusedto
Somadattahadbeenaccuratelyrepeated.ButIgrewhot
andthencoldatthethoughtthatIhadspokenalmost
slightinglyandIhastenedtoassureherthattherewasno
onewordoftruthinmystatement,andthatIhadonly
spokenthusinordernottobetraymyprecioussecretto
myfriend.Butshewouldntbelieveit,ormadeas
d
ness,grewpassionatelyeagertoconvinc
h
flowerdartsuponme:Iwasconvinced,Isaid,thatina
formerexistenceshehadbeenmyheartscompanion
otherwisehowcouldsuchasuddenandirresistiblelov
havearisen?Butifthatwereso,thenshemustequally
haverecognisedinmeherformerbelovd,andasimilar
lovemusthavesprungu
WithsuchaudaciouswordsdidIbesiegeher,until
atlengthshehadherburningandtearfulche
breastandacknowledgedinwordsthatwerescarcely
audible,thatithadbeenwithherasithadbeenwithme,
andthatshewouldsurelyhavediedhadnotherfoster
sisterbroughtherthepicture.
Thenwekissedandcaressedoneanothercountless
timesandfeltasifwesho
suddenlythethoughtofmyimpendingdeparturefe
adarkshadowovermyhappinessandforcedadeepsig
fromwithinme.
Dismayed,VsitthaskedwhyIsighed,butwhenI
toldherofthecauseshesankbackfaintingonthebench
andbrokeintoaperfecttempestoftearsandheartrend
sobs.Vainwereallmyattemptstocomfortmyhearts
39
belovdone.InvaindidIassureherthatassoonasthe
rainyseasonwasoverIwouldreturnandneveragain
leaveher,evenifIhadtotakeserviceasamanual
labourerinKosamb.Spokentothewindswereallmy
assurancesthatmydespairattheseparationwasnotless
ity
,
stw

get
thereweremanymaidens
ore lful
e
nderthat
soonfoundmyselflyingatherfeet,coveringthehand
tears,andthatI
romisednottoleaveher?Andwhocouldthenhavebeen
ore
was
et

aid
s,
din
thanherown,andthatonlystern,inexorablenecess
toremeawayfromhersosoon.Betweenhersobs,she
wasscarcelyabletoutterthefewwordsneededtoask
whyitwassoimperativetogoawayasearlyastomorrow
ju henwehadfoundoneanother.AndwhenIthen
explaineditalltoherveryexactly,witheverydetail,she
seemedneithertohearnortocomprehendtwosyllables
together:Oh,shesawperfectlythatIwaslongingto
backtomynativetownwhere
m beautifulthanshe,whowerealsofarmoreski
ballplayers,asImyselfhadacknowledged.
Imightaffirm,protest,andswearwhateverIchos
sheneverthelessadheredtoherassertion,andever
morecopiouslyflowedhertears.Cananyonewo
I
thathunglimplydownwithkissesand
p
m blissfulthanIwhenVsitthflunghersoftarms
aroundme,kissingmeagainandagain,laughingand
cryingforjoy?
Itistrueshenowinstantlysaid:There,yousee,it
notatallsonecessaryforyoutotravelaway,forthen
youwouldunquestionablyhavehadtogo.ButwhenIs
myselfoncemoretoexplaineverythingclearlytoher,
sheclosedmymouthwithakissandsaidthatsheknewI
lovedherandthatshedidnotreallymeanwhatshehads
ofthegirlsinmynativetown.
Filledwithtendercaressesandsweetconfidence
thehoursflewbyasinadream,andtherewouldhave
beennoendtoallourblisshadnotSomadattaandMe
40
suddenlyappearedtotellusthatitwashightimetothink
e
ste
ttled
d

notknowwhatkindofbusinessis
nha self

asalreadytoo
any st,
ofreturninghome.
InthecourtyardatSomadattaswefoundevery
thingreadyformysettingout.Icalledtheoverseerofth
oxwagonstomeandbiddinghimusetheutmostha
senthimtotheambassadorwiththeinformationthat
mybusinesswas,Iwassorrytosay,notyetentirelyse
andthatImust,asaconsequence,relinquishtheideaof
makingthejourneyundertheescortoftheembassy.My
onerequestwasthathewouldbesogoodasgivemylove
tomyparentsandwiththatIclosedmymessage.

* * *

ScarcelyhadIstretchedmyselfonmybed,inorder
ifpossibletoenjoyafewhourssleep,whenthe
ambassadorhimselfentered.Thoroughlydismayed,I
boweddeeplybeforehimwhilehe,inimperiousvoice,
askedwhatthisunheardofbehaviourmeant:Iwasto
comewithhimatonce!
Inreply,Iwasabouttospeakofmystillunfinishe
business,buthestoppedmeinmidstream.
Whatnonsense!Business!Enoughofsuchlies.Do
yousupposeIwould
o ndwhenayoungpuppysuddenlydeclareshim
unabletoleaveatown,evenifIhadnotseenthatyour
wagonsalreadystandfullyloaded,harnessedupwiththe
oxen,inthecourtyard?
OfcourseInowstoodscarletwithshameand
trembling,completelyrevealedinmylie.Butwhenhe
orderedmetocomewithhimatonce,
m oftheprecious,coolmorninghourshadbeenlo
heencounteredanoppositionforwhichhewasplainly
notprepared.Fromatoneofcommandhepassedtoa
threateningone,andfinallywasreducedtopleading.He
41
remindedmethatmyparentshadonlydecidedtosend
meonsuchadistantjourneybecausetheyknewIwould
ss

.
sinvividlygloomycolours,butallthathe
aidw
s

ed
ournextmeeting.Themoonlightseemedto
eto e

ereelseintheworld.
performitinhiscompanyandunderhisprotection.
Buthecouldhaveputforwardnoargumentle
suitedtohispurpose.ForIatoncerealisedthatthenI
shouldhavetowaituntilanotherembassywentto
KosambbeforeIcouldreturntomyVsitth.No,Iwould
showmyfatherthatIwaswellabletoconductacaravan
alonethroughallthehardshipsanddangersoftheroad
Itistruethattheambassadornowpaintedallof
thesedanger
s asspokentothewinds.Finally,inagreatrage,he
leftme:Hewasnottoblame,hebarked,andImust
smartformyownfolly.
TomeitseemedasifIwererelievedfroman
insufferableburden;Ihadnowsurrenderedmyselfcom
pletelytomylove.InthissweetrealisationIfellasleep
anddidnotwakeuntilitwastimeforustotakeourselve
totheterracewhereourlovedonesawaitedus.

* * *

Nightafternightwecametogetherthere,andon
eachoccasionVsitthandIdiscoverednewtreasuresin
ourmutualaffectionandboreawaywithusanincreas
longingfor
m bemoresilvery,themarblecooler,thescentofth
doublejasminesmoreintoxicating,thecalloftheKokila
birdmorelanguishing,therustlingofthepalmsmore
dreamy,andtherestlesswhisperingoftheAsokasmore
fullofmysteriouspromisethantheycouldpossiblyhave
beenanywh
Oh!HowdistinctlycanIstillrecallthesplendid
Asokatreeswhichstoodalongthewholelengthofthe
terraceandunderneathwhichwesooftenwandered,
42
holdingeachotherincloseembrace.TheTerraceofthe

ywhere
lse.T
,

the
ed
r
the
ple

thirdriverforbythis
ow
ngherhand,pointedtowhereitshonefar
bove
g
p

by
se
Sorrowlessitwascalled,fromthosetreeswhichthepoets
nameTheSorrowlessTree,andsometimesHeartsease.I
haveneverseensuchmagnificentspecimensan
e hespearshapedsleeplessleavesgleamedinthe
raysofthemoonandwhisperedinthegentlenightwind
andinbetweenthemglowedthegolden,orangeand
scarletflowers,althoughwewereasyetonlyatthebegin
ningoftheVasantaseason.Butthen,brother,howshould
thesetreesnothavestoodinalltheirglory,seeingthat
Asokaopensitsblossomsatonceifitsrootsaretouch
bythefootofabeautifulmaiden.
Onewonderfulnight,whenthemoonwasatits
full,Istoodbeneaththemwiththebelovdcauseofthei
earlybloom,mysweetVsitth.Beyondthedeepshadow
oftheravinewegazedfaroutintotheland.Wesawthe
tworiversbeforeuswindlikesilverribbonsawayover
vastplainanduniteatthatmostsacredspot,whichpeo
calltheTripleUnion,becausetheybelievethattheHeav
enlyGangjoinsthemthereasa
beautifulnametheycallthewonderfulheavenlygl
whichweintheSouthknowastheMilkyWayand
Vsitth,raisi
a thetreetops.
ThenwespokeofthemightyHimalayasinthe
north,whencetheblessdGangflowsdown;the
Himalayas,whosesnowcoveredpeaksarethedwellin
placesofthegodsandwhoseimmenseforestsanddee
chasmshavegivensheltertothegreatascetics.Butitwas
withevengreaterpleasurethatIfollowedthecourseof
theYamuntowhereittakesitsrise.
Oh,Icalledout,ifIonlyhadafairyshipof
motherofpearl,withmywishesforsailsandsteered
mywillitwouldcarryusontheswellofthatsilver
streamupwardstoitssource.ThenHastinapurawouldri
43
againfromitsruinsandthetoweringpalaceswouldring
upth eatBhshmainhissilver
armo ed
locks, hisloftychariotand
rainh hevaliantPhaga
datta drunk
bulle sweepwiththe
fourw esttumult
ofthe
hisbelonging
tothe s
r.
I

mamatchforanyman.
esweetaromaoftheAsoka

stthe
es,
withthebanquetingoftherevellersandthestrifeofthe
diceplayers.ThenthesandsofKurukshetrawouldyield
eirdead.Therethegr
ur,overwhichwouldfloathislongwhitebraid
wouldtowerabovethefieldon
ispolishedarrowsuponthefoe;t
wouldcomedashing,mountedonhisbattle
lephant;theagileKrishnawould
hitewarriorsteedsofArjunaintothefierc
fight.
Oh!HowIenviedtheambassador
warriorcaste,whenhetoldmethathisancestor
alsohadtakenpartinthatnevertobeforgottenencounte
Butthatwasfoolish.Fornotonlybydescentdowe
possessancestors;weareourownancestors.Wherehad
beenthen?Probablyalsothereamongthecombatants.For
althoughIamamerchantsson,thepracticeofarmshas
alwaysbeenmygreatestdelight;anditisnottoomuchto
saythat,swordinhand,Ia
Vsitthembracedmerapturouslyandsaid:I
mustcertainlyhavebeenoneoftheheroeswhostilllive
oninsong;whichoneofthemofcoursewecouldnot
know,astheperfumeoftheCoralTreecouldscarcely
penetratetousthroughth
blossoms.
Iaskedhertotellmesomethingofthenatureof
thatperfumeofwhich,totellthetruth,Ihadneverheard,
forindeedIfoundthatfantasy,likeallotherthings,
blossomedfarmoreluxuriouslyhereinthevalleyofthe
Gangthanitdidwithusmorearidfolkupamong
mountains.
Sosherelatedtomehowonce,onhisjourneying
throughIndrasworld,Krishnahad,atthemartialgam
wonthecelestialCoralTreeandhadplanteditinhis
44
garden,atreewhosedeepredblossomsspreadtheir
fragrancefararound.Andshesaidthatonewhoinhaled
thisperfumewouldrememberinherheartthelong,long
ndaddedalmost
.
?EvenifwewerenotNlaand
e
oughts,profound
andstrange.
Butsheaddedandsmiledgently,probably
guessingwhatwasinmymind:Oh!Iknow,Ireally
oughtnottohavesuchthoughts;ouroldfamilybrahmin
becamequiteangryononeoccasionwhenIhintedat
somethingofthekind:IwastopraytoKrishnaand
leavethethinkingtothebrahmins!So,sinceIamnotto
thinkbutamonlyallowedtobelieve,Iwillbelievethat
wewere,reallyandtruly,NlaandDamayant.
And,raisingherhandsinprayertotheAsoka
beforeus,inallitsgloryofshimmeringblossomand
flimmeringleaf,shespoketoitinthewordswhichDama
yant,wanderingheartbrokeninthewoods,usedtothe
pasttimesofformerliveslongsincevanished.
Butonlysaintsandholyonesareabletoinhale
thisperfumehereonearth,shesaid,a
roguishly,andwetwoshall,Ifear,hardlybecomesuch
Butwhatdoesthatmatter
Damayant,Iamsurewelovedeachotherquiteasmuch
whateverournamesmayhavebeen.Andperhaps,
afterall,LoveandFaitharetheonlyrealities,merely
changingtheirnamesandforms.Theyarethemelodies
andwetheinstrumentsuponwhichtheyareplayed.Th
vnisshatteredandanotherisstrung,butthemelody
remainsthesame.Itcansound,itistrue,fullerandnobler
ononeinstrumentthanonanother,justasmynewvn
soundsfarmorebeautifulthanmyoldone.However,
whateveristhecasewithustwo,wearebothsplendid
instrumentsforthegodstoplayuponfromwhichto
drawthesweetestofallmusic.
Ipressedhersilentlytomybreastdeeply
movedaswellasastonishedattheseth
45
Asoka.Butonherlipstheflexible versesofthepoet
seemedtogrowwithouteffortandtoblossomevermore
richly,likeayoungshoottransplantedintohallowedsoil:
OhSorrowlessOne,
Ofthisheartstrickengirl,heartheanguishedcry!
You,sowellnamedHeartsease,
Bringthepeaceofyourpeacetome.
Yourblossoms,allseeing,aretheeyesofgods;
Yourwhisperingleavestheirlips,
Tellme!Ohtellme,wheremyheartsbelovd
wanders.
WhereisitmycherishedNlawaits?
Thenshelookedonmewithlovefilledeyes,in
whosetearsthemoonlightwasclearlymirrored,andshe
spokewithlipsthatweredrawnandquivering:When
youarefaraway,andyourecallthissceneofourbliss,
imaginetoyourselfthatIstandhereandspeakthustothis
nobletree.OnlythenIshallnotsayNlabutKmanta.
Ilockedherinmyarms,andourlipsmetinakiss
fullofunutterablefeeling.
Suddenlytherewasarustlinginthesummitofthe
treeaboveus.Alarge,luminousredflowerfloateddown
wardandsettledonourtearbedewedcheeks.Vsitthtook
itinherhand,smiled,blesseditwithakiss,andgaveitto
me.Ihiditinmybreast.
Severalflowershadfallentothegroundinthe
avenueoftrees.Medin,whosatbesideSomadattaona
benchnotfarfromus,sprangtoherfeetand,holdingup
severalyellowAsokablossoms,cametowardsuscalling
out:Look,sister!Theflowersarebeginningtofallalready.
Soontherewillbeenoughofthemforyourbath.
Youdontmeanthoseyellowthings!exclaimed
mymischievousfriend.Vsitthmaynot,onanyaccount,
putthemintoherbathwater,thatis,ifherflowerlike
bodyistoblossominharmonywithherlove;Iassureyou,

46
onlysuchscarletflowersasthatonewhichKmantahas
justconcealedathisheartshould eused.Foritiswritten
intheGoldenBookofLove:Itis alledSaffron,Yellow
Affection,whenitattractsattentionbutthenlaterfades
away;itiscalledScarlethow itdoesnotfade
butlaterbecomesonlytooapparent.
Atthesame edintheir
y,confidential
Vsitth,however,answeredgravely,thoughwith
d:
colourof
e
ckblueblackasShivas
roatbecamewhenthegodswallowedthepoisonwhich
ngbeings.Andso
mustalwaysbe.Truelovemustbeabletowithstandthe
at
r
b
c
ever,when
timeheandMedinlaugh
way. merr

hersweetsmile,andgentlybutfirmlypressedmyhan
Youaremistaken,Somadatta!Mylovehasthe
noflower.ForIhavehearditsaidthatthecolourofth
truestloveisnotredbutbla
th
wouldotherwisehavedestroyedalllivi
it
poisonoflife,andmustbewillingtotastethebitterest,in
orderthatthelovedonemaybespared.Andfromth
bitterestitwillassuredlyprefertochooseitscolour,rathe
thanfromanypleasures,howeverdazzling.
InsuchprofoundfashionspokemybelovdVsitth,
thatnightundertheSorrowlesstrees.
47

48

~7~
INTHERAVINE
DEEPLYMOVEDBYTHESEvividmemories,the
youngseekerbecamesilentforashorttime.
henhesighed,drewhishandoverhisforeheadand
.
le
le
fac
ded
s!
ed
at

.
o
only
T
wentonwithhisnarrative

* * *

Inshort,Obrother,Iwentaboutduringthiswho
timeasifintoxicatedwithblissandmyfeetscarcely
seemedtotouchtheearth.OnoneoccasionIfeltobliged
tolaughaloudbecauseIhadheardthattherewerepeop
whocalledthisworldavaleoftears,aplaceofdissatis
tion,andwhodirectedtheirthoughtsandaspirationsto
notbeingbornagaininthehumanrealm.Whatmisgui
fools,Somadatta,Icried,asiftherecouldbeamore
perfectabodeofblissthantheTerraceoftheSorrowles
ButbeneaththeTerracewastheAbyss.
Downintothiswehadjustscrambled,asIhadcall
outthosefoolishwordsand,asifIweretobeshownth
eventhegreatestofearthlypleasureshasitsbitterness,we
wereatthatveryinstantattackedbyseveralarmedmen
Howmanytherewereofthemitwasnotpossibleforust
distinguishinthedarkness.Fortunately,wewereableto
coverourbacksbyplacingthemagainstthewallofrock;
and,withthecalmingawarenessthatwewerenow
threatenedfromthefront,webegantofightforlifeand
49
love.Webitourteethtogetherandweresilentasthenight
er
n

erthem
ndsobedelivereduptothetendermerciesofour
th the thenwithdrewafew
tepsforwenolongerfelttheirhotbreathinourfaces.
r
lind
saw
e
ly
refullyopenedholder,besidewhicha
arty een.
rty
as
d
lly
n.
asweparriedandthrustascoollyaspossible;butour
opponentshowledlikedevilsinordertourgeoneanoth
onandwebelievedwecoulddistinguisheightortenof
them.Eveniftheynowfoundacoupleofbetterswords
menbeforethemthantheyhadexpected,oursituatio
wasstillgrave.Twoofthem,however,soonmeasured
theirlengthonthegroundandtheirbodieshinderedthe
fightingoftheothers,whofearedtostumbleov
a
swordpoints.Weguessed at y
s
IwhisperedafewwordstoSomadattaandwe
movedacoupleofpacessideways,inthehopethatour
assailants,imaginingusintheoldspot,wouldmakea
suddenleapforwardand,insodoing,wouldrunagainst
thewallofrockandbreakthepointsoftheirswords,
whileourswouldfindafirmlodgingplacebetweenthei
ribs.Althoughwewereascautiousascouldbesomefaint
soundmusthaveawakenedtheirsuspicion,fortheb
attackwehadhopedfordidnotcome.ButpresentlyI
anarrowstreakoflightstrikethewall,andalsobecam
awarethatthisraywasemittedfromalampwick,evident
fixedinaca
w noseandacunninghalfclosedeyeweretobes
Asthebamboopolebythehelpofwhichwehadscaled
theterracefrontwasstillinmylefthand,Imadeahea
thrustwithit.Therewasaloudshriekandthedisap
pearanceoftheray,nolessthanthecrashofthesmall
lampasitfelltotheearth,borewitnesstotheefficacyof
mystrike.Thisbriefrespitewemadeuseoftogetaway
rapidlyaspossibleinthedirectionfromwhichweha
come.Weknewthatherethegorgebecamegradually
narrowerandtheascentsomewhatsteep,andthatfina
onecouldscrambleuptothetopwithoutanygreatexertio
50
Itwasneverthelessapieceofgreatgoodfortunethat
ourwouldbemurderersverysoongaveupthepursuitin

d
er,
lovingexchanges.
lowerspassedtoandfrobetweenusand,aswehad
bothbeeninitiatedintothemysteryoftheirsecretlan
guage,weconveyedmanythings oneanotherbythe
helpofthesesweetmessengers.Later,asourstrength
cameback,manyadaintyversefounditswayfromhand
tohand.Ourconditionwould oonhavebecomereally
quiteendurable(ourrecovery ccurredatthesamepace
forbothofus,justasifweweretootrulyunitedtoallow
anyprecedencewhatsoeverbetweenus)ifthefuturehad
notapproachedandfilleduswithgraveconcern.
Ishouldsayherethatthe natureoftheenigmatic
thedarknessatthefinalascent,mystrengththreatened
togivewayandIfeltthatIwasbleedingcopiouslyfrom
severalwounds.Myfriendwasalsowounded,thoughless
severely.
Ontheleveloncemore,wecutupmyshirtand
temporarilyboundupourwounds,andthen,leaningon
Somadattasarm,Ifortunatelysucceededinreaching
home,whereIwasobligedtopassseveralweeksona
bedofpain.

* * *

ThereInowlay,torturedbythreefoldtroubles:my
woundsandafevertogetherconsumedmybody;aburn
inglongingformybelovddevouredmyheart;butto
thesetwowassoonaddedapprehensionforherprecious
life.Forthedelicate,flowerlikebeinghadnotbeenable
toendurethenewsofthemortaldangerinwhichIha
been,andperhapsstillwas,andhadfallenvictimtoa
severeillness.HerfaithfulfostersisterMedin,howev
wentdailyfromonesickbedtoanotherandsowestill
enjoyedconstantcommunicationand
F
to
s
o

51
andsuddenattackhadnotremainedamysterytous.
Noneotherthanthesonofthe inisterofState(Stgira
washishatedname)withwhom hadwrestledonthat
unforgettableafternoonintheparkforVsitthsball
noneotherthanhehadsetthehiredmurderersuponme.
Beyondadoubthehadnoticed thatIhadremained
behindintownafterthedepartureoftheembassyand,his
suspicionshavingbeenthereb awakened,hehadvery
soonspiedoutmynightlyvisitstotheTerrace.

* *

Ohmyfr lesswas,
love,likeasunkenislandnow.True,Iwouldhave
ain

or
M
I

y
*
iend,thatTerraceoftheSorrow
toour
joyfullyflungmylifeintothebreachoverandoverag
tobeabletoembracemybelovd.ButevenifVsitthhad
hadthehearttoexposemeeverynighttodeadlydanger
anysuchtemptationwassparedus.Stgira,inhislow
cruelty,musthaveinformedtheparentsofmysweetheart
ofoursecretmeetings,foritwassoonapparentthat
Vsitthwascarefullyandjealouslywatched;besides
which,stayingoutontheTerraceaftersundownwas
forbiddentoherostensiblyonaccountofthedangerto
herhealth.
Thus,then,wasourlovehomeless.Thatwhich
mostofallfeelsitselfathomeinsecret,mightonlybeso
nowwherethewholeworldlookedon.Inthatpublic
gardenwhereIfirstmetthesightofherdivineform,and
hadsearchedforherseveraltimesinvain,wemetonce
tw asifbychance.Butwhatmeetingstheywere! ice How
fleetingthestolenminutes!Howhesitatingandfewthe
hastywords!Howforcedthemovementswhichfelt
themselvesexposedtocuriousorevenspyingglances!
Vsitthbeggedmetoimmediatelyleavethistownin
whichIwassothreatenedwithdeadlydangerbecauseof
52
herpresence.Shereproachedherselfbitterlyforhaving
revaileduponmetostay,andtherebyhavingallbut
sevenatthisvery
at
it
lone,
plished.

and,in
lllov
n

p
drivenmeintothejawsofdeath.Perhap
momentinwhichshewasspeakingafreshbandof
assassinswasbeinghiredtoslayme.IfIdidnotdepart
once,andsoplacemyselfbeyondthereachofthisperil,I
wouldmakeherthemurderessofherbelovd.Suppres
sedsobschokedhervoice,andIwasobligedtostand
therewithoutbeingabletoenfoldherinmyarmsorkiss
awaythetearswhichrolled,heavyasthefirstdropsofa
thundershower,overthestrainedcontoursofherdusky
cheeks.SuchafarewellIcouldnotabide,andItoldher
wasnotpossibletoleavewithoutfirstmeetinghera
inwhatsoeverwaythismighthavetobeaccom
Justatthatmomentwewereobligedtopartowing
totheapproachofseveralpeople;Vsitthsfacehelda
despairingandbeseechinglookbutitcouldnotshakemy
determination.Spurredonbylongingformeandfearfor
mylifeandcounselledmoreoverbyherclever
a ematters,experiencedfostersisterMedinI
trustedthattheingenuityofmybelovdwouldbecertai
tofindsomewayoutofthedifficulty.AndIwasnot
deceived;forthatverynightSomadattainformedmeofa
wonderfullypromisingplanofhers.

53

54

~8~
T

long
e
re
HEPARADISEBUD
A LITTLEBEHINDTHEeasternwallofKosamb
liesabeautifulSimsapwoodwhichis,strictlyspeaking,
asacredgrove.
stillstood, Inanopengladethetemplesanctuary
thoughinasadlydilapidatedcondition.Ithadbeena
timesinceanysacrificialritehadtakenplaceinthis
ancientclearingbecauseKrishna,towhomitwasdedi
tandmuchlargertemplebuilt cated,hadhadamagnificen
him to insidethetownitself.Intheruin,however,there
dwelt,alongwithapairofowls,aholywomanwho
enjoyedthereputationofcommuningwithspirits,by
whosehelpshewasabletolookintothefutureand
suchinsightthegoodsouldidnotwithholdfromthos
whobroughthervotiveofferings.
chpeoplemadepilgrimagestoherinlarge Su
numbers;amongthem,andparticularlyaftersunset,we
youngcoupleswhowereinlove.Andtherewerenota
fewmalicioustonguesthatassertedthattheoldwoman
r shouldhavebeencalledafortunetellercummatchmake
ratherthanasaint.Howeverthatmayhavebeen,this
saintlinesswasjustwhatweneededandherlittletemple
waschosenastheplaceforourmeeting.

* * *
55
NextdayIstartedwithmyoxwagonsandtook
thelawcourts.IndoingsoI
my
urstravel,however,I
y
afreshhorseand,wrappedin
eco
rtheroadwehadjusttravelled.
I

s,half
bytheunexpectedfeelingofa
ing lypast.
inhadpulledtheoldprayerbellandthis
ads
n
carethatitshouldbeatthehourwhenpeoplewereon
theirwaytothebazaarorto
intentionallychosethemostfrequentedstreetssothat
departurecouldnotpossiblyremainhiddenfrommy
enemyStgira.Afteronlyafewho
haltedinalargevillageandhadmycaravangointonight
quartersthere,tothegreatdelightofmypeople.Shortl
beforesunsetImounted
th arsecloakofoneofmyservants,rodebackto
Kosambove
Nighthadfallenanditwasquitedarkbythetime
reachedtheSimsapwood.AsIcarefullyguidedmyhorse
betweenthetreetrunks,Iwaswelcomedbytheintoxic
atingfragranceoftheblossomsofthenightlotus,which
rosetogreetmefromtheancientKrishnapond.
Verysoonthecrumblingroofofthetemple,with
itsswarmingimagesofgodsanditsjaggedandtangled
outlines,begantoshowagainstthestarlitheavens.Iwas
attheappointedplace.ScarcelyhadIswungmyselfouto
thesaddlewhenmyfriendswereatmyside.Withacryof
rapture,VsitthandIrushedintooneanothersarm
besideourselveswiththejoyofmeetingagain.Allmy
recollectionsnowareofcaresses,stammeredwordsof
endearmentandassurancesofloveandfidelity,which
absorbedusutterly.
Iwasrudelystartled
w thatsoftlyfannedmycheekasitbrushedlight
This,togetherwiththehootofanowlwhichimmediately
followedthejarringclangofacrackedbronzebell,
hadtheeffectofcompletelyrousingmefrommy
lovetrance.Med
h caredtheowlfromtherecessinwhichshedwelt.
Thegoodheartedgirlhaddoneitnotsomuchtosummo
thesaintlywoman,asbecauseshesawthatthat
56
formidablepersonwasalreadycomingoutofthesanctu
ary,plainlyindignantthatsheshouldhearvoiceswithin
reat
n

elapof
time.Theholywomanraisedherglancesearchinglyto
wardstheheavensandgaveitasheropinionthat,asthe
Pleiadesoccupiedaparticularlyfavourablepositionwith
regardtothePoleStar,shehadgoodreasontohopethat
thespiritswouldnotrefusetheirhelp;uponwhichshe
invitedSomadattaandMedintoentertheHouseof
Krishna,theSixteenthousandonehundredfoldBride
groom,whodelightedingrantingtoapairofloversthe
inmostwishesoftheirhearts.
VsitthandI,however,asthesupposedatten
dants,remainedoutside.Howwenowassuredonean
other,withthemostsolemnoaths,thatonlytheAll
destroyer,Death,shouldbeabletopartus.Avidlywe
spokeofmyspeedyreturnassoonastherainyseason
wasover,anddiscussedwaysandmeansbywhichher
extremelyrichparentsshouldbebroughttoconsentto
ourunion.
Howallofthiswasintermingledwithinnumerable
kisses,tearsandembraces,Icouldnotnowdescribeto
youwithevenanattemptattruth,foritabideswithme
onlyastheremembranceofavaguedream.
StilllesscanI,ifyouyourselfhavenotlived
throughasimilarexperience,giveyouanyideaoftheway
inwhich,ineveryembrace,sweetestraptureandheart
rendingdespairclaspedeachotherclose.Foreachembrace
remindedusthatthelastforthistimewouldsoon
thesacredprecinctsalthoughnoonehadeitherrungor
knocked.
Medininformedtheancientwomanthatherg
reputationforholinessandthereportofhermarvellous
knowledgehadbroughtherselfandthisyoungma
pointingtoSomadattatoseekher,inordertoreceive
informationaboutwhatwasasyetconcealedinth
57
come,andwhocouldgiveusthe ssurancethatitwould
notthenbetheverylastforalltime?
Alltoosoon,Somadattaand Medincameforth
fromthetemple.Thesaintlywomanwishedtorevealthe
futuretousnowalso,butVsitth shrankfromthe
thought.
HowcouldIbearit,sheexclaimed,ifafuture
thatportendeddisasterweretob unveiled!?
Butwhyjustportendingdisaster?saidthewell
meaningoldwoman,whoselifeexperiences,presumably
astheresultofhersanctity,hadprobablybeenhappy
ones.Perhapsfortheservantalso,happinesswaits,she
added,withalookbrimmingwithpromise.
ButVsitthwasnottobeallured;sobbing,she
clungaroundmyneck.Ohmylove!shecried,Ifeelthe
futuresinexorablefaceglaringdownuponus.IfeelitI
shallneverseeyouagain.
Althoughthesewordscausedanicychilltocreep
overme,Itriedtoreasonheroutofthisgroundlessfear;
butsimplybecauseitwasgroundlessmymosteloquent
wordsavailedlittleornothing.Thetearsrolledinan
unbrokenstreamoverhercheeks witha of
divineloveshecaughtmyhandandpressedittoher
breast.
Evenifweshouldneveragainseeeachotherin
thisworld,weshallstillremainfaithful;andwhenthis
shortandpainfullifeonearthisended,weshallfindone
anotherinParadiseand,unitedthere,enjoytheblissof
heavenforever...OKmanta,promisemethat.How
muchmorewillthatraisemeupandstrengthenmethan
anywordsofcomfort!Fortheseareaspowerlessagainst
theinevitablestreamofkarmaalreadysurgingtowardsus,
asreedsbeforethewatersofafloodingtorrent.But
sacred,deepseatedresolutionisallpowerful,andcapable
ofbringingforthnewlife.
a

e
,and look
58
Ifitonlydependsuponthat,belovdVsitth,
howcouldIfailtofindyouanywhere?Isaid,butletus
hopethatitwillbeinthisworld.
Hereeverythingisuncertainandeventhemoment
inwhichwenowspeakisnotours,butitwillbe
otherwiseinParadise.
Vsitth,Isighed,isthereaParadise?Where
doesitlie?
Wherethesunsets,sherepliedwithcomplete
conviction,liestheParadiseofInfiniteLight;and,forall
whohavethecouragetorenouncetheworldly,andtofix
theirthoughtsuponthatplaceofbliss,therewaitsapure
birthfromtheheartofalotusflower.Thefirstlongingfor
thatParadisecausesabudtoappearintheholywatersof
thecrystalpools;everypurethought,everygooddeed,
causesittogrowanddevelop;whileallunwholesome
nesscommittedinthought,wordanddeedgnawslikea
wormwithinitandbringsitnearertowitheringaway.
Hereyesshoneliketemplelightsasshespoke
thusinavoicewhichsoundedlikesweetestmusic.Then
sheraisedherhandandpointedoverthedarktopsofthe
SimsaptreestowheretheMilkyWay,withasoftradiance
uponitasofglowingalabaster,layalongthedarkpurple
starsownfieldofheaven.
Lookthere,Kmanta,shewhispered,the
HeavenlyGang!Letusswearbyitssilverwaters,which
feedthelotuspoolsoftheFieldsoftheBlessd,tofixour
heartswhollyuponthepreparingofaneternalhomefor
ourlovethere.
Strangelymoved,completelycarriedoutofmyself
andagitatedtotheverydepthsofmybeing,Iraisedmy
handtohersandourheartsthrilledasoneatthedivine
thoughtthat,atthatinstantintheendlessimmensitiesof
space,highabovethestormofthisearthlyexistence,a
doublebudofthelifeofeternallovehadcomeintobeing.
59
Vsitthsankintomyarms sthough,withthe
effort,allherstrengthwasexhausted.Then,having
pressedyetanotherlingerin ellkissuponmylips,
sherestedonmybreasttoa arancelifeless.

horse
a
gfarew
llappe
IputhersoftlyontoMedinsarms,mountedmy
androdeawaywithoutoncelookingback.
60

61
62

~9~
UNDERTHECONSTELLATIONOF
THEROBBERS
WHENIAGAINREACHEDthevillageinwhich
myfollowershadtakenuptheirquartersforthenight,
Ididnothesitatetowakenthem;andatleastacouple
ofhoursbeforesunrisethecaravanwasonitsway.

* * *

Onthetwelfthday,aboutthehourofnoon,we
reachedacharmingvalleyinthewoodedregionofthe
Vedisas.Asmallriver,clearascrystal,woundslowly
throughthegreenmeadows;thegentleslopesweretim
beredwithblossomingunderwoodwhichspreadalovely
fragranceallaround.Somewhereaboutthemiddleofthe

e,soa
altwasmade.Thetiredoxenwadedoutintothestream
s,enablingthemto
njoythetendergrassesonthebanksallthebetter.The
enr
extendedvalleybottomandnotfarfromthelittleriver,
therestoodaNigrodhabanyantree,whoseimpenetrable
leafydomecastablackshadowontheemeraldgrasses
beneath,andwhich,supportedbyitsthousandsecondary
trunks,formedagrovewhereintencaravanslikemine
couldeasilyhavefoundshelter.
Irememberedthespotperfectlyfromourjourneyout
andhadalreadydecidedonitasacampingplac
h
anddrankgreedilyofthecoolingwater
e
m efreshedthemselveswithabathand,collecting

63
somewitheredbranches,proceededtolightafireon
whichtocooktheirrice;meanwhileI,alsoreanimatedby
abath,flungmyselfdownfulllengthwheretheshadows
laydeepest,witharootofthechieftrunkasheadrest,in
ordertothinkofVsitthandsoon,asitturnedout,to

eir
bedrawnupintoacircleroundthetree,and
adb in
I

es;
isis

rekilledexceptone,an
dreamofher.Ledbythehandofmybelovd,Ifloated
awaythroughthefieldsofParadise.

* * *

Agreatoutcrybroughtmeabruptlybacktorude
reality.Asthoughanevilmagicianhadcausedthemto
growupoutofthesoil,armedmenswarmedaboutus,
andtheneighbouringthicketsaddedconstantlytoth
numbers.Theywerealreadyatthewagons,whichIhad
orderedto
h eguntofightwithmypeople,whowerepractised
thehandlingofarmsanddefendedthemselvesbravely.
wassooninthethickofthefight.
Severalrobbersfellbymyhand.SuddenlyIsaw
beforemeatall,beardedmanofterrifyingappearance:
theupperpartofhisbodywasnakedandabouthisneck
heworeatriplegarlandofhumanfingers.Likeaflashthe
knowledgecametome:ThisisAngulimla,thecruel,
bloodthirstybanditchief,whoturnsvillagesintoheapsof
blackenedtimbers,reducestownstosmokingruinsand
devastatesthewidelands,leavingthemasdesertwast
th theonewhodoesawaywithinnocentpeopleand
hangstheirfingersabouthisneck.AndIbelievedmylast
hourhadcome.Asamatteroffactthisogrelikebeingat
oncestruckmyswordoutofmyhandafeatwhichI
wouldhavecreditednocreatureoffleshandbloodwith
theabilitytoperform.
SoonIlayontheground,fetteredhandandfoot.
Roundaboutmeallmypeoplewe
64
oldservantofmyfathers owasover wh poweredand,like
yself,hadbeenmadeprisonerwithoutawound.Gath
redi
ir
hich
apartinthestrugglewithStgira(itwasachain
an
ss
ld

ither,carryingtotherevellersthestreaming
esh

t
ere,
d
n
roused
iths and
the
m
e ngroupsroundaboutus,undertheshadyroofof
thegigantictree,therobbersindulgedthemselvestothe
heartscontent.Thecrystalchainwiththetigereye,w
wastorn
whichmygoodmotherhadhungroundmyneckas
amuletatparting)wasrentfrommebyAngulimlas
murderoushand.Butmuchmoredistressingwasthelo
oftheAsokaflower,whichIhadconstantlycarriedover
myheartsincethatnightontheTerrace.IbelievedIcou
seeitnotfarfromme,alittleredflameinthetrampled
grassontheveryspotwheretheyoungestrobbersran
hitherandth
fl ofoxenwhichhadbeenhastilyslaughteredand
roastedand,whichwasevenmoreagreeabletothethirsty
passionsofthatcoarsethrong,calabashesfilledwith
alcoholicspirits.
Itwastomeasthoughtheytrampledonmyhear
everytimeIsawmypoorAsokaflowerdisappearunder
theirfoulfeet,toreappearamomentlaterlessluminous
thanbefore,untilatlengthIcouldseeitnolonger.I
wonderedwhetherVsitthnowstoodbeneaththe
Sorrowlesstreepleadingfornews.Howgood,ifshew
thatitcouldnottellherwhereIthenwas,forshewould
certainlyhaveyieldeduphertenderspiritanddiedha
sheseenmeinsuchacondition.Notmorethanadoze
pacesawaytheformidableAngulimlahimselfca
w everalofhiscronies.Thebottlecirculatedfreely
thefacesoftherobberswiththeexceptionofoneof
whomIwillspeaklaterbecamemoreandmore
flushedwhiletheycarriedonconversationsfullofnoisy
animationandexcitement,andnowandagainbrokeinto
openquarrel.
Atthattime,unfortunately,anunderstandingof
65
languageoftherobbershadnotbeenaddedtomymany
accomplishmentsfromwhichonemayseehowlittle
humanbeingscandiscernwhatacquisitionsarelikelyto
eof I
d

f.

e
lesslysquandered
any
in
b mostservicetothem.Howmorethangladwould
havebeentobeabletocomprehendthegistoftheir
raucoustalk,forIdidnotdoubtthatitconcernedmean
myfate.Theirfacesandgesturesshowedmeasmuch
withgruesomeplainness;andthetonguesofflame,which
fromtimetotimeflashedovertomefrombeneaththe
darkbushybrowsoftherobbercaptain,broughthome
withmuchbitternessthelossofmyamuletagainsttheevil
eye,whichIcouldnowseegleamingamongstthesevered
fingersontheshaggybreastofthedemonkinghimsel
Myfeelingwasnotatfaultfor,asIlaterlearned,Ihadcut
downafavouriteofAngulimlasbeforehisveryeyes
onewhowas,moreover,thebestswordsmaninthewhol
band.Thecaptainhadonlyrefrainedfromkillingmeon
thespotforthereasonthathewantedtoslakehisthirstfor
vengeancebyseeingmeslowlytorturedtodeath.Butth
otherswerenotinclinedtoseesucharichprize,which
belongedbyrighttothewholeband,use
in suchway.Abaldheaded,smoothshaven
robber,wholookedasthoughhemightbeapriest,struck
measthemanwhochieflydifferedinviewfromAnguli
mla,andtheonlyonewhounderstoodhowtocurbthe
savage.Hewasalsotheonlyonewhosefaceretainedits
composureduringthedrinking.Afteralongdispute,
thecourseofwhichAngulimlasprangupacoupleof
timesandreachedforhissword,victoryfellfortunately
formetotheprofessionalaspectofthecase.

* * *

ItshouldbementionedthatAngulimlasband
belongedtotheclanofrobbersknownasTheSenders,
66
socalledbecauseitwasoneoftheirrulesthat,oftwo
prisoners,oneshouldbesenttoraisethemoneyrequired
a

easontheywereknownasTheSenders.To
ise

hadprovedhimselftobe,

sona
alm
other
teal
e

as
fortheransomtheydemandedfortheother.Iftheytook
fatherandsonprisoner,theybadethefathergoandbring
theransomfortheson;oftwobrothers,theysentthe
elder;ifateacherwithhisdisciplehadfallenintotheir
hands,thenthedisciplewassent;hadamasterandhis
servantbeencaught,thentheservantwasobligedtogo
forthisr
th ndtheyhad,aswasusualwiththem,sparedmy
fathersoldservantwhentheybutcheredalltherestofmy
people;for,althoughsomewhatadvancedinyears,he
wasstillveryactive,andlookedintelligentandexperi
encedwhichindeedhe
seeingthathehadalreadysuccessfullyconductedseveral
caravans.
Hewasnowfreedfromhisfettersandsentaway
thatsameevening,afterIhadgivenhimaconfidential
messagetomyparentsfromwhichtheywouldbeableto
seethattherewasnodeceptionaboutthematter.But
beforehesetout,Angulimlascratchedsomemark
p leafandhandedittohim.Itwasakindofpassof
safeconduct,incaseheshouldfallintothehandsof
robbersonthewaybackwiththemoney.ForAnguli
mlasnamewassofearedthatrobberswhodaredtos
royalpresentsfromtheKingshighwaywouldneverhav
hadtheaudacityeventotouchanythingthatwashis.
Mychainswerealsosoontakenoff,astheyknew
wellthatIwouldnotbesofoolishastoattempttoescape.
ThefirstuseIputmyfreedomtowastoflingmyselfdown
onthespotwhereIhadseentheAsokaflowerdisappear.
Alas!Icouldnotevendiscoveraremnantofit.Thedeli
catefragmentofflamingflowerseemedtohavebeen
trampledtodustunderthecoarsefeetoftherobbers.W
itasymbolofourlifehappiness?
67
* * *

Comparativelyfree,Inowlivedwithandmoved
bout
erin

ls ot

da
drinkwithcompleteabandonuntilquite
d
mous,wantedtomakemehappyalsowithayoungand
beautifulbhajadere.ButwhenI,withmyheartfullof
Vsitth,spurnedthemaiden,andshe,overwhelmedby
theslightputuponher,burstintotears,Angulimlaflew
intoafrightfulrage,seizedandwouldhavestrangledme
thenandthere,hadnotthebald,smoothfacedrobber
a amongthosedangerouscharacters,awaitingthe
arrivaloftheransomwhichhadtocomewithintwo
months.
Aswewereatthattimeinthedarkhalfofthe
month,theftsandrobberiesfollowedupononeanoth
rapidsuccession.Thisseason,whichstandsunderthe
auspicesoftheterribleGoddessKl,wasdevotedalmost
exclusivelytoregularbusiness,sothatnonightpassed
withoutasurpriseattackbeingcarriedout,orahouse
beingbrokeninto.Severaltimeswholevillageswere
plundered.
Onthefifteenthnightofthewaningmoon,Mother
K festivalwascelebratedwithghastlysolemnity.N
onlywerebullsandcountlessblackgoatsslaughtered
beforeherimagebutseveralunhappyprisonersaswell,
thevictimbeingplacedbeforethealtarandhavingan
arterysoopenedthatthebloodspouteddirectlyintothe
mouthoftheterrifyingfigurehungroundwithHerneck
lacesandpendantsofhumanskulls.Thereafterfollowe
franticorgy,inthecourseofwhichtherobbersswilled
intoxicating
senseless.Duringthecourseofthisbacchanaliantheban
amusedthemselveswithsomeofthesacreddancers,
knownasbhajadereswho,withunparalleledaudacity,
hadbeencarriedofffromagreattemplenearby.
Angulimla,whoinhiscupsbecamemagnani
68
cometomyhelp.Afewwordsfromhimsufficedtomake
theirongripofthechiefrelax,andsenthimawaygrow
linglikeascarcelytamedanimal.
Thisremarkablemanwhothusforthesecond
timehadbecomemyrescuer,althoughhishandswerestill
bloodyfromthehideousKlsacrificehehadjustcon
ductedwasthesonofabrahmin.Butbecausehehad
beenbornundertheConstellation oftheRobbershehad
takentothatsametrade.Atfirsthehadbelongedtothe
Thugs,butwentoverforspiritualreasonstotheSenders.
Fromhisfathersfamilyhehadinherited,sohetoldme,a
leaningtowardsreligiouspractices.So,ontheonehand,
heconductedthesacrificialservicesasapriestand
peopleascribedtheunusualluckofthebandnearlyas
muchtohispriestlyknowledgeastoAngulimlasable
leadershipand,ontheotherhand,helecturedonthe
metaphysicsoftherobbernature,insystematicform.And
notonlyonthetechnicalsideofitbutonitsethicalside
also;forIobserved,tomyamazement,thattherobbers
didhaveamoralityoftheirownandbynomeansconsid
eredthemselvesworsethanothermen.
Theselecturesweredeliveredchieflyatnight,
duringthebrighthalfofthemonth,atwhichtimeapart
fromchanceoccurrencesbusinesswasquiet.Inaforest
clearingthehearersarrangedthemselvesinseveralsemi
circularrowsaboutthepraiseworthyVjashravas,whosat
withhislegscrossedunderhim.Hispowerfulhead,
barrenofallhair,shoneinthemoonlightandhiswhole
appearancewasnotunlikethatofaVedicteacherwho,in
thequietofastarlitnight,impartstheEsotericorSecret
Doctrinetotheinmatesofaforesthermitage.But,onthe
otherhand,manyanunholyandbestialface,andintruth
thatofmanyagallowsbird,wastobeseenthereinthat
circle.Itseemstome,brother,asthoughIseethemstillat
thismomentasthoughIhearagaintheseethingofthe

69
soundsinthatgiganticforest,nowswellingtothelong
rumblingsofthefaroffstorm,nowsinkingtothegentle
sighofthenightwindasitgoest restamidthelonely
treetopsatintervals,th growlofatigerorthe
hoarserbellow pantherandaboveitall,clear,
penetrating,m jashravas
adeep,full ceof
tlessgenerationsofudgtars,thesacrificialsingersof
useVjashra
wentsofaras
underthe
ayjoinmyselftothe
instincts

e
r
egin
o
edistant
ofa
arvellouslyquiet,thevoiceofV
tonedbass,thepricelessinheritan
coun
theVedas.
TotheselecturesIwasadmittedbeca
n vashadconceivedalikingforme.Heeve
assertthatI,likehimself,hadbeenborn to
RobbersstarandthatIwouldoned
ervantsofMotherKl. s
Itwasalsoforthisreasonthatheclaimeditwould
eformetolistentohisdiscourses,asthey beofvalu
wouldunquestionablywakentoactivelifethe
slumberingwithinme.OnsuchoccasionsIthusheard
Sects trulyremarkablelecturesfromhimonthedifferent
ofKlusuallycalledthievesandrobbersandonthe
activitieswhichdistinguishthemfromeachother.
Nolessinstructivethanentertainingwerehisother
descriptiveremarksonthemeslikeThevalueof
courtesansinhoodwinkingthepolice,orCharacter
isticsofofficialsoftheupperandlowerranksopento
e bribery,withreliablenotesastoeachmansprice.Irr
proachabletestimonywasbornetohisparticularlykeen
nnature,aswellastohissevere observationofhuma
logicalityindrawingconclusions,byhistreatmentofth
questionHowandwhyrascalsrecogniseoneanother
atfirstglance,whilehonestmendonot,andwhatadvan
tagesaccruetotheformerfromthiscircumstance;notto
ityof speakofhisbrilliantremarksonThestupid
ight n watchmeningeneral,astimulatingreflectionfo
ners.Thesleepingforestwouldringagainand b
70
againtosuchchorusesoflaughterthattherobbersflocked

,
d
or
larwillbe
but,on
theco ,occasionally
aband ndimmorality,I
count uresIhave
everh
eatto
togetherfromallsidesofthecampinordertohearwhat
wasgoingon.
Themasteralsounderstoodhowtohandledry
technicalquestionsinaninterestingfashion,andIrecol
lectreallyfascinatingdissertationsonHowtomakea
breachinawallwithoutnoise,orHowtoexcavatea
subterraneanpassagewithtechnicalaccuracy.The
properconstructionofdifferentkindsofcrowbar,partic
ularlyofthesocalledsnakejawandthecrableghook
wasmostgraphicallydescribed;theuseofsoftstringed
instrumentstodiscoverwhetherpeoplewereawake,an
ofthewoodenheadofamanthrustinatthedoor
windowtoascertainwhetherthesupposedburg
observedallsuchthingswerethoroughlydiscussed.
Hisdevelopmentofthetheorythataman,when
carryingoutatheft,mustunquestionablytakethelifeof
everyonewhomightbearwitnessagainsthim,asalsohis
generalconsiderationofthestatementthatathiefshould
notbeafflictedwithmoraltalkandconversation
ntrary,shouldbecoarseandviolent
oninghimselftodrunkennessa
amongthemostlearnedandwittylect
eard.
Inorder,however,togiveyouabetterideaofthe
profoundmindofthistrulyoriginalman,Imustrep
youthemostfamouspassagefromhisCommentaryon
theAncientKlStras,theEsotericDoctrineofthe
Thievesadiscourseofallbutcanonicalimportance.
71

72

~10~
ESOTERICDOCTRINE
THUSTHESTRAREADS:TheDivinealso,do
youthink?...No!...Nonresponsibility...On
accountofSpace,ofScripture,ofTradition.

* * *

TheworshipfulVjashravascomments
follows:
uponthisas
n
;

indee ble
s
TheDivinealso...,thatispunishment.
For,intheprecedingStra,suchpunishments
w spokenofasthekingortheauthoritiesmight ere
decreeupontherobber;theseareasfollows:themutilatio
ofhand,footandnose;theseethingcauldron;the
pitchgarland;thedragonsmouth;runningthegauntlet
therack;besprinklingwithboilingoil;decapitation;
rendingbydogs;impalementofthelivingbodythese
beingmorethansufficientreasonwhytherobbershould,
ifpossible,notlethimselfbecaughtbut,ifheshould
dhavebeencaught,whyheshouldineverypossi
way
Nowsomepeoplesay,Divinepunishmentalso
eektoescape.
threatenstherobber.No!saysourStra.Why?Because
Nonresponsibilitycomesintoplay.Whichmaybemade
clearinthreeways:bytheaidofreason,fromtheVeda,
andfromtheheroicsongshandeddowntous.
OnaccountofSpace...bywhichthefollowing

73
consideration,foundedonreason,ismeant.IfIcutoff
theheadofahumanbeingorananimal,myswordgoes
r

,andadivine
punis .Andif
thisb deeds
which humanlaw?
cripture.
ThesacredVedateachesusthatthatwhichalone
hasan d,theBrah
man. ptydeception.
Thist passage
wher youngNashiketas
ofthi Brahman,andamongotherthings,says:
believeshekills,
not,neitherdoeshekill.
ed
rn
na
tling
throughbetweentheindivisibleparticlestheatoms;fo
itcannotcutthroughtheseparticlesonaccountoftheir
veryindivisibility.Whatitcutsthroughthen,istheempty
spacewhichseparatestheseparticles.But,onaccountof
itsveryemptiness,onecannotdoanyharmtothisspace.
Fortoharmanothingisjustthesameasnottoharm
anything.Asaconsequenceonecannot,bythiscutting
throughofspace,incuranyresponsibility
hmentcannotthereforebemetedoutforit
etrueofkilling,howmuchmoresothenof
arepunishedlessseverelyby
Thusfar,reason;nowcomesS

ytrueexistenceistheHighestGodhea
Ifthisistrue,thenallkillingisanem
heVedaalsosaysinsomanywords,inthe
eYama,theGodofDeath,tellsthe
s
Who,whenslaying,
Who,whenslain,believeshedies,
Deceivedareboththisandthatonetoo
Hedies
Evenmoreconvincinglyisthisawfultruthreveal
tousinTheHeroicSongofKrishnaandArjuna
theBhagavadGt.ForKrishnahimselfhavingknown
nobeginning,destinedtoknownoend,theeternal,
almighty,inconceivableBeing,theHighestGod,whofor
thesalvationofalllivingbeingscausedhimselftobebo
asamaninthelastdaysofhisearthlypilgrimageKrish
helpedthekingofthePndavas,thehighmindedArjuna,
inthewaragainsttheKaurvasbecausethelatterhad
donehimandhisbrothersgrievouswrong.Nowwhen
botharmiesweredrawnupinbattlearray,theirbris
74
r opposedtooneanother,Arjunaespiedamongthe anks

rderedonewhoslyinghere,
dwon.Sothat
Krishna,thehumanbornHighestGod,bytherevelation
ofthisgreatesotericdoctrine,changedArjunafroma
shallowandweakheartedmantoadeeplythoughtful,
ironheartedsageandhero.
Intruththen,thefollowingalsoholdsgood
Whosoevercommitsacrimeorcausesittobecommitted,
whosoeverdestroysorcausestobedestroyed,whosoever
strikesorcausestobestruck,whosoeverrobsthelivingof
lifeortakesthatwhichhasnotbeengiventothem,breaks
intohousesorrobsothersoftheirpropertywhatsoever
itbethattheydo,theyburdenthemselveswithnoguilton
hostileforcesmanyaformerfriend,manyacousinand
comradeofpastdaysforthePndavasandthe
Kaurvaswerethesonsoftwobrothers.Arjunawas
movedtothedepthsofhisheart,andhehesitatedtogive
thesignalforbattleforhewasloathtokillthosewhohad
oncebeenhisownpeople.Sohestoodtherelooking
downfromhiswarchariot,hischinsunkonhisbreast,a
preytotorturesomehesitancy,undecidedastowhathe
shoulddo;andbesidehimstoodthegoldengodKrishna,
whowashischarioteer.AndKrishnaguessedatthe
thoughtsofthenoblePndavaking.
Smiling,hepointedtotherivalarmies,and
showedArjunahowallthosebeingscameintoexistence
andwillpassyetonlyapparentlydosobecausein
allofthemonlythatOneliveswhosepasthasknownno
dawn,whosefutureshallknownosunset,untouched
alikebybirthanddeath:
Whosoeverholdssomeonetobeakiller,
Ordescribesasmu
Theydonotunderstandthetruthofeithercase.
ComeArjuna!Nowbeginthefight!
Taughtinthisway,thePndavakinggavethe
signalforbeginningtheterriblebattle,an
75
thataccount;andifsomeonewer toslaughterevery
livingthingonthisearthwithasharplygroundaxeand
reducethemtoasinglebonelessmass,toonemassof
pulp,theywouldbeinnowayguiltyonthataccount
theywoulddonowrong.Andif weretomake
theirwayalongthesouthernban oftheGanglaying
wasteandmurdering,theywould,onthataccount,acquire
nobadkarma;andifsomeoneweretomaketheir
wayalongthenorthernbankoftheGangdistributing
almsandmakingofferings,onthataccounttheywould
acquirenomerit.Bymeansofgenerosity,gentlenessand
selfrenunciation,oneacquiresnothingmeritorious,
nothinggood.
Andtherenowfollowstheastounding,indeed
frightful,
477thStra.
Which,initsstrikingbrevity,runs:Rather...on
accountofTheEater...
Themeaningofthesefewwords,wrappedasthey
areindeepestmystery,theworshipfulVjashravasdis
closestousasfollows:Farremovedfromanysuchidea
asthatofdivinepunishmentthreateningtherobberand
murderer,Ratheristheoppositethecase;namely,that
suchaonegrowstobelikeGodHimself;whichbecomes
clearfromthosepassagesintheVedawheretheHighest
GodisglorifiedasTheEater,suchas:
Boththewarriorandthebrahmin,Heeatsforbread,
WhenwithdeathsgarnishingHesprinklesthem.
AstheworldhasitsbeginninginBrahman,so
alsoithasitspassingawaythereBrahmancausingit
constantlytocomeforthanewandconstantlydestroying
it.SothatGodisnotonlythecreatorbutalsothedevourer
ofalllivingbeings,ofwhomhereonlywarriorsand
brahminsarementionedasthehighestinrankbutwho
thereforerepresentalltheothers.
e
someone
k
76
Soalsoitreadsinanotherpassage:Ieatthemall,
butmetheydonoteat.
Theseweretheverywords,asyoushouldknow,
oftheHighestGodHimselfwhen,intheshapeofaram,
hecarriedtheboyMedhtithitotheheavenlyworld.For,
indignantathisforcibleabduction,thelatterdemandedto
knowwhohisabductorwasTellmewhoyouareorI,
abrahmin,willstrikeyouwithmywrath;andHe,inthe
semblanceofaram,revealedHimselfasthatHighest
Brahman,astheAllinAll,inthewords:
Whoisitthatkillsandalsoprisonertakes?
Whoistheramthatleadsyoufarfromhere?
ItisI,whointhisformappear,
ItisI,andIappearineveryform.

Ifonefeelsfearitbeofwhatsoever
ThatfearisMine,whoalsocausesfear;
Butintheholygreatnessliesthedifference
IeatthemallbutMetheydonoteat.

WhocanknowMe?
WhocancallMebyMytruename?
IstrikedownallMyenemies,yetnoonecanstrikeMe.

Bythistime,itmustbeplaintothedimmesteye
thatthelikenesstotheBrahmancannotlieinbeingdes
troyedandeatenaswouldbethecaseweregentleness
andselfrenunciationtoberegardedasvirtuesbuton
thecontrary,itliesindestroyingandeatingallothers.In
otherwords,itliesinusingotherstotheutmostandin
crushingthemwhileoneselfsufferingnoharm.There
cannotthereforebetheslightestdoubtthatthedoctrineof
thepunishmentofhellforonewhocommitsdeedsof
violenceisaninventionoftheweaktoprotectthemselves
fromthemightofthestrong,byintimidatingthem.
77
AndifintheVedaseveralpassagescontainthis
doctrineofpunishment,theymusthavebeentreacher
ouslyinterpolatedbytheweakas arequiteoutof
harmonywiththechieftenet faith.WhentheRig
Vedasaysthat,althoughth istheBrahman,
itisafactth odrecogniseshumankindtobethemost
fullypenetr same
entit alsoberecognisedthat,amongpeople,

d
o
ion
ndahindrancetothehighestpurposeforwhichhuman
ut teofwords,clear
atthievesrepresentthehighestTruth,astheyhave
ade
e
they
the sof
ewholeworld
atG
atedbythatBrahman.Byvirtueofthe
must argum
therealandtruerobberistheoneaboveandbeyondall
otherswhoismostfullypenetratedbytheBrahman,an
thattherobberisthereforetheCrownofCreation.
Butwithregardtothethiefwhodoesnotriset
thelevelofrobberhood:seeingthatscripturefrequently
declarestheideaofThatbelongstometobeadelus
a
itywascreated,itis,witho furtherwas
th
m ittheirlifeworktocombatthatdelusionbytheir
dailyactions.Neverthelessrobbers,onaccountoftheir
violence,standhigher.
Sothen,thepositionoftherobberasLordof
Creationhasbeenplainlymademanifest,bothbylogical
reasoning,fromscriptureandfromtradition,andisther
foretoberegardedasincontrovertible.
78

79
80

~11~
THEELEPHANTSTRUNK
AFTERTHEFOREGOINGspecimenofthecurious
beliefsofthisextraordinarymanonwhomone
couldatleastnotlaythecharge,unlikethecaseofso
any ries
enceofthesemanyadventuresandnew

ncewas
t

at
m othernotedthinkers,thathedidntputhistheo
intopracticeIresumethethreadofmynarrative.

* * *

Inthepres
mentaloccupations(Inaturallydidntneglecttheoppor
tunityofmakingtherobbersvernacularmyown)itwas
impossiblethatthetimeshouldnotpassquickly.Butthe
neareritapproacheditsend,themoremyconfide
shakenbyoppressivefears.Wouldtheransomcomea
all?Althoughthesafeconductgivenhimcouldprotectthe
oldservantagainstrobbers,atigermighthaverenthimin
piecesatsomepointonhisjourney,oraswollenriver
swepthimaway,oranyoneofthecountlessunforeseen
chancesoftravelmighthavedetainedhimuntiltoolate.
Angulimlasflamingglancesshotsooftenandsoevilly
methatIfeltasifhewerehopingforsomethingofthe
kind,andthenperspirationbornofpurefearbrokeforth
fromeverypore.
Howeverwonderfullyandsystematicallyintro
duced,andwithwhateverkeenlogicVjashravasrea
sonedstatementmightbeestablished(thatineverycase
81
inwhichtheransomwasnotforthcomingwithinthe
propertime,theprisonerinquestionhadtobesawn
throughthemiddlewithacrosscutsawandbothparts
tossedontothehighroadwiththeheadtowardsthe
risingmoon)Imusthonestlyconfessthatmyadmiration

d
e
ouraginglyontheshoulderandsaidthatthe
ing
st

.
lbebeheadedorimpaledin
ome
ed
nd,putona
e
forthis,scientificallyregarded,assuredlyastounding
performanceofmylearnedfriend,wassomewhatspoiled
byapeculiarsensationinmymorethanslightlyintereste
peritoneum,particularlyasthedoubletoothedcrosscut
sawusedonsuchoccasionswasfetchedand,toillustrat
whathesaid,wassetinmotionbytwohorriblelooking
fellows,itsvictimforthemomentbeingawoodenlog
representingahumanbeing.
Vjashravas,whonoticedthatIbegantofeelsick,
pattedmeenc
th shouldnotinanywayconcernme.Fromthis,I
naturallybelievedthat,incaseofnecessity,hewould
cometomyrescueforthethirdtime.ButwhenI,inmo
gratefulwords,hintedatsomethingofthekind,hedrewa
verylongfaceandsaid:
Ifyourkarmashouldreallybearyousucha
grudgeastocauseyourransomtocomelate,evenifonly
bysomuchashalfaday,thenassuredlyneithergodnor
devilcouldhelp,forthelawsofMotherKlareinviolable
Butcomfortyourself,myson,youaredestinedfor
otherthings.RatherdoIfearforyouthatoneday,aftera
notablerobbercareer,youwil
s publicplace.Butthatisalongwayoffyet.
Icouldnotsaythiscomfortupliftedmegreatly,
andsoIwasveryrelievedwhen,afullweekbeforethe
expiryoftheallottedtime,ourfaithfuloldservantarriv
withthesumdemanded.Ibadefarewelltomyhorrible
hostwho,rememberinghisslainfrie
gloomyexpressionasthoughhewouldmuchratherhave
hadmesawnasunderandaffectionatelypressedth
82
handofthebrahmin,whobanishedatearofemotionby

very
us

kins

to
hadlost,asyou

atonce.Yetthatwasasmallhindrancein
id

I
to

theconfidentassurancethatweshouldcertainlymeet
againonthenightlypathsofKl.Thenweleftaccompa
niedbyfourrobbers,whohadtoanswerwiththeirlives
foroursafearrivalinUjjen,forAngulimla,whowas
jealousofhisrobberhonour,promisedthem,ashesent
away,thatifIwerenothandedoversafeandsoundinmy
nativetown,hewouldflaythemaliveandhangtheirs
upatthefourcornersofacrossroadsandthemen
knewthathekepthisword.
Fortunatelyhoweveritdidnot,inthisinstance,
becomenecessaryandthefourrogues,whobehaved
admirablyontheway,maystillbeintheserviceofthe
Goddessdancerwithherswayingnecklaceofskulls.
WereachedUjjenwithoutfurtheradventureand,
tobequitetruthful,IhadhadenoughwithwhatIhad
alreadygonethrough.Thejoyofmyparentsatseeingme
wasindescribable.Butallthemorewasitimpossible
wringfromthemthepermissiontoundertakeanother
journeytoKosambverysoon.Myfather
know,allthegoodsandallthepeopleinmycaravanin
additiontomyransom,andhewasnotinapositiontofit
outanewone
comparisontotheterrorwhichovercamemyparentsat
thethoughtofthedangersoftheroad.Inadditionwed
notfailtohearfromtimetotimeofAngulimlasfurther
terribledeeds;andIcannotdenythatIhadnogreatdesire
tofallintohishandsasecondtime.Norwastherejust
thentheslightestpossibilityofgettingamessagethrough
toKosambtheroadsweresodangerousthatno
couriercouldbepaidenoughtomakethejourneyso
wasobligedtocontentmyselfwithmemoriesand,confi
dentlyrelyinguponthefidelityofmyadoredVsitth,
comfortmyselfwiththehopeofbettertimes.
Andatlastthesecame.Onedayarumourflewlike
83
wildfirethroughthetownthatthefrightfulAngulimla
s
nolongerabletoresistmy
eill,andwhenIrose
om sonwassonearthatitwas
ecessarytowaituntilitshouldbepast.
Then,atlast,nothingfurtherstoodinmyway.
Withmanyadmonitionstobeprudent,myparentsbade
mefarewellandIwasoncemoreontheroadatthe
headofawellstockedcaravanofthirtyoxwagons,witha
heartfullofjoyandcourage,andurgedforwardbycon
sumingdesire.
Everythingranassmoothlyonthepresentjourney
asonmyfirstone,andonebeautifulmorningIentered
Kosamb,halfcrazedwithjoy.Iwassoonaware,however,
ofahugethrongofpeopleinthestreets,andmy
progressbecameeversloweruntilatlength,ataspot
wherewehadtocrossthechiefthoroughfareofthetown,
ourtrainofwagonswasbroughttoacompletestandstill.
Itwasliterallyimpossibletoforceourwaythroughthe
crowd,andInownoticedthatthismainstreetwasmag
nificentlydecoratedwithflags,carpetsdrapedfromthe
windowsandbalconies,andfestoonshungfromsideto
sideovertheroad,asifforsomepageant.Cursingwith
impatience,Iaskedthosewhostoodinfrontofmewhat
wastakingplace.
Why!theycriedout,dontyouknow?Today
Stgira,thesonoftheMinisterofState,iscelebratinghis
marriage.Consideryourselfblessdtohavearrivedjustat
hadbeenutterlydefeatedbyStgira,thesonofthe
MinisterinKosamb,hisbandhadbeencutdownor
dispersedandhehimselfwithmanyofhismostnotoriou
followershadbeentakenprisonerandexecuted.
Myparentswerenow
passionateentreaties.Peoplehadverygoodreasonto
believethat,foralongtimetocome,theroadswouldbe
free,andmyfatherwasnotdisinclinedtotryhisluck
again.ButatthisjunctureIbecam
fr mybedtherainysea
n
84
thismoment:theprocessionisnowonitswayfromthe
templeofKrishnaandwill htbyhere.Assuredly
youwillneverhavebeheld magnificencebefore!
Th tgirashouldbecelebratinghismarriage
wasimp
seeking ve
been,alongwithth ts,oneofthe
greatesthindrancestoourunion. othewaitingdidnot
leaseme,especiallyintherealisationthatitcouldnot
ofa
edeaf
tthese
amb,
Almostdirectlybehindthemcametheelephant
nd astupendous
ightthecrusted,knolllikeforeheadofthegigantic
fthe
ant
e

t
s
edmyglance.Ihadseen
passrig
such
atS
ortantandwelcomenewstome,becausehis
thehandofmyVsitthinmarriagewouldha
eillfavourofherparen
S
disp
lastlongforalreadywewereabletoseethelances
cavalrydivisionwhichmovedslowlypastamidth
eningcheersofthecrowd.Thepeopletoldmetha
horsemennowenjoyedgreatpopularityinKos
becauseitwaschieflytheywhohaddestroyedAnguli
mlasband.

carryingthebridebeyo allquestion
s
animal(whichremindedoneofMeru,themountaino
gods)wascoveredwithaveilofmanycolouredjewels.
Andjustasearlyintheyear,whenafierybulleleph
movesalong,thedropsofperspirationrollingdownhis
templesandcheeksattractswarmsofbeesalluredbyth
sweetodour,soherehistemplesandcheeksshimmered
withthemostwonderfulpearls,abovewhichdangled
limpidgarlandsofblackdiamondsaneffectbeautiful
enoughtomakeonecryout.
Thepowerfultusksweremountedwiththepurest
gold;andfromthebreastplate,whichwasmadeofthe
samepreciousmetalandsetwithlargerubies,theairies
ofBenaresmuslinhungdownandsoftlywounditself
aroundthepowerfullegsoftheanimal,likemorningmist
aroundthestemsofregalforesttrees.
Butitwasthetrunkofthestateelephantthat,more
thanallothersights,enchain
85
processionsinUjjen,andgorgeouslydecoratedeleph
antstrunks,butneveronedisplayingsuchtasteasthis.
Withus,thetrunkwasusuallydividedintofieldswhich
formedoneexquisitepatternandwerecompletelycov
eredwithcolour.Butheretheskinwasleftfreeasthe
groundtone,andoverthisbranchlikefoundationwas
twinedaloosesprayoflancetshapedAsokaleaves,from

odourofthoseblissfulnightsupontheTerrace.
yh y
er
yconsciousofwhatIdid,Iglancedupward,
nda
le
re
inthatmassofrainbow
e
themidstofwhichyellow,orangeandscarletflowers
shoneforththewhole,intreatmentandfinish,the
perfectionofexquisiteornamentalstylisation.
WhileInowstudiedthismarvellouspieceofwork
withtheeyeofaconnoisseur,therebegantocreepover
meahomesickfeeling,andIseemedtoinhaleagainall
thelove
M eartbegantobeatviolentlyasIwasinvoluntaril
drawnontothinkofmyownmarriage;forwhathappi
adornmentthanjustthiscouldbeinventedfortheanimal
whichshouldonedaycarryVsitth,seeingthatthe
TerraceoftheSorrowlesswasfamedthroughoutKosamb
foritswonderfulAsokablossoms?
Inthisdreamycondition,Iheard,nearme,one
womansaytoanother:Butthebrideshedoesntlook
atallhappy!
Hardl
a strangelyuneasyfeelingstoleovermyheartasI
caughtsightofthefiguresittingthereunderthepurp
baldachin.Figure,IsaybecauseIcouldntseetheface
theheadwassunkuponthebreastbutevenofafigu
onesawlittle,anditseemedasif
colouredmuslins,althoughabodydidexist,itwasnot
onegiftedwithlifeoranypowerofaction.Thewayin
whichsheswayedhitherandthitherateverymovement
oftheanimal,whosepowerfulstridescausedthecur
tainedstructureonhisbacktorockrhythmicallytoand
fro,hadsomethingunutterablysad,somethingtomak
86
oneshudderinit.Therewasrealcausetofearthatshe
mightatanymomentplungeheadlongdownward.Some
suchideamayhaveoccurredtothemaidenstanding
behindher,forshelaidherhandontheshoulderofthe
ride
Anicyfearallbutcrippledmeas,inthesupposed
din An rethissuddenly
wakenedforebodinghadtimetogrowclearwithinme,
tg
b andbentforward,possiblytowhisperawordof
encouragementinherear.

servant,Irecognised...Me . dbefo
a
S irasbrideraisedherhead.
ItwasmyVsitth.

87
88

~12~

ATTHEGRAVEOFTHEHOLY
VJASHRAVAS

YES,ITWASSHE.Nopossibilityofmistaking
thosefeatures,andyettheyinnowayresembled
ers,
manmiserydid
eys
ravanserai.ThereIlaydowninthe

adaccompaniedmeonmyfirstjourney,I
ave lyaspossible
ifn

h theywereindeedlikenothingthatIhad
everseeninsuchnameless,superhu
th eemtobepetrified.

* * *

WhenIcametomysensesagaintheendofthe
processionwasjustpassingus.Myfaintingsosuddenly
wasascribedtotheheatandtothecrushofpeople.
Utterlywithoutpowerofvolition,Iallowedmyselftobe
takentothenextca
darkestcorner,withmyfacetothewall,andremainedin
thesamepositionformanydays,bathedintearsand
refusingallfood.Toouroldservantandcaravanleader,
thesamethath
g directionstosellallourwaresasquick
ecessary,evenonthemostunfavourableterms
asIwastooilltoattendtoanybusiness.Intruth,Iwas
abletodonothingbutbrooduponmyinconceivableloss;
inadditiontowhichIdidnotwishtoshowmyselfinthe
town,lestIshouldberecognisedbysomeone.Beforeall
things,IdesiredtokeepVasitthifromlearninganything
ofmypresenceinKosambi.
89
HerpictureasIlastsawherfloatedunceasingly
beforemyvision.True,Iwasindignantatherfickleness,
o heratherweakness,forIcouldnotfailtorealise rrat that
adnot
een

dherasshehadsworneternalfidelitytome,

Yetalwaysthatfacefullofdeepestmiseryrose
entwasdis
elledandonlytenderestcompassionwentsurgingforth
me
eve
ancesrendereditpossiblefor
yol

re,asIhad
onlythelattercameintoquestion,andthatsheh
b abletowithstandthepressurebroughttobearupon
herbyherparents.Thatshehadnotturnedherheartto
thetriumphantsonoftheMinisterwasmadeevident
plainlyenoughbyherattitudeandappearance.Butwhen
Iremembere
standingintheKrishnagrovewithherwholefacetrans
figured,Ididnotunderstandhowitwaspossibleforherto
yieldsosoon;andIcursedtomyself,sighingbitterlyin
mydespair:Onwomensoathsnoreliancewastobe
placed.

beforemeandinamomentallresentm
p
to etit.SoIfirmlymadeupmymindnottoaddtoher
troublesbyallowinganynewsofmypresenceinKosambi
tocometoherears.Neveragainshouldshelearnany
thingofme;shewouldthen,beyondallquestion,beli
thatIwasdeadandwouldgraduallyresignherselftoher
fate,whichwas,afterall,notlackinginoutward
splendour.
Fortunatelycircumst
m dservant,inanunexpectedlyshorttime,toex
changeorsellourwarestogreatadvantagesothat,after
onlyafewdays,IwasabletoleaveKosambwithmy
caravanveryearlyonemorning.
WhenIpassedthewesterngateonmywayout,I
turnedtotakealastlookatthecitywithinwhosewallsI
hadlivedthroughsomuchjoyandsorrowthattheplace
couldneverbeforgotten.Afewdaysbefo
enteredthetown,Ihadbeenfilledtosuchadegreewith
restlessanticipationthatIhadeyesfornothinground
90
aboutme.Impossibleasitmayseem,Ihadthusremained
blindtothefactthatnotonlythebattlementsofthegate,
butalsothecopingofthewallstoeitherside,werehid
eouslydecoratedwithimpaledhumanheads.
Therewasnoroomfordoubtthesewerethe
headsoftheexecutedrobbersfromAngulimlasband.

* * *

ForthefirsttimesinceIhadseenVsitthsface
underthebaldachin,anotherfeelingthanthatofgrief
possessedme,andIgazedwithunspeakablehorrorupon
nceleft

eredwith

ill
imperiously
rew
adoubt,Angulimlashadbeenputup
thoseheads,ofwhichthevultureshadlongsi
nothingbuttheboneswith,attheverymost,thepigtails
andhereandthereabeard,whosewildtanglehadpro
tectedtheplaceonwhichitgrew.Allofthemwouldthus
havebeenunrecognisablehadnotthesavageredbeard
ofonebetrayedhimandanotherbythepigtailwound
aroundonthetopofhisheadinthemannerofthe
asceticplaitwearers.Thesetwo,andwithoutdoubtmany
oftheothers,hadoftennoddedtomeincomradelike
fashionfromthecampcircleatnight;andIrememb
ghastlydistinctnesshowthatrussetbeard,flaringinthe
moonlight,hadwaggedwithmerrimentontheoccasion
ofthelectureuponTheStupidityofNightwatchmen.
Yes,sorealisticwasitallthatIcouldalmostimagineIst
heardtheraucouslaughterfromthatliplessmouth.
Butinthemiddleofthebattlementsoverthegate,
andsomewhatraisedabovetherest,apowerfulskull
shoneforthintheraysoftherisingsunand
d allmyattentiontoitself.HowcouldIhavenot
recognizedthoselinesagain?Itwashewhothatday
forcedusalltolaugh,withouthimselfmovingamuscleof
hisbrahminface.Vjashravasheaddominatedhere,
while,without
91
overtheeasterngate.Andacurioussensationstoleover
easIthoughtoftheprofunditywithwhichthatmanhad
tho us
y
t
a,whichisasweknow,thefruitofallourdeeds
pe

l
neday.
er

Myappointedcareerasarobber,(ac
ordi e
eandnotmerelyinpleasantbuteveninseductive
colours.
Robberchief!Whatcouldbemorealluringtomein
mymisery?ForIdidnotdoubtforamomentthat,withmy
manytalentsandaccomplishments,andparticularlywith
thosethatIowedtotheteachingofVjashravas,Ishould
atoncetakethepositionofleader.Andwhatposition
couldmeanasmuchtomeasthatofrobberchief?Why,
eventhatofakingwouldbeoflittlecountbeside.For
coulditgivemevengeanceonStgira?Coulditbring
Vsitthtomyarms?IsawmyselffightingStgirainthe
midstofaforest,splittinghisskullwithapowerfulstroke
m
in sepastdaysexpoundedthemysteriesofthevario
modesofcapitalpunishmentquartering,rendingb
dogs,impalement,decapitationandwithwhatgrea
carehethereuponsoughttoprovethattherobbershould
notlethimselfbecaught;butifunfortunatelycaught,how
hemustseekbyallpossiblemeanstoescape.Ofwhat
helphadhissciencebeentohim?Solittlemayweavoid
ourkarm
rhapsinthisorperhapsinsomeformerlife.
Tomeitseemedasthoughhestaredwithgreat
earnestnessfromthehollowsofhisemptyeyes,andhis
halfopenmouthcalledtome:Kmanta!Kmanta!Look
closelyuponme,considerwellwhatyousee.Foryou
also,myson,werebornunderaRobberStar,youalsowil
treadthenightlypathsofKland,justasIhaveended
here,sotooyouwillalsoendo
Yet,strangelyenough,thisfantasyfilledmeneith
withfearnorhorror,eventhoughitwasasvividasany
senseperception.
c ngtothissupposition)towhichIhaduptothistim
nevergivenanyseriousthought,suddenlystoodbefore
m
92
ofmysword;andagainIsawmyselfasIborethefainting
Vsitthoutofaburningpalace,whichrangwiththe
voicesofmyrobberband.
Forthefirsttimesincethat rrowfulsightofmy
lostVsitthhadmetmyeyes,my heartbeatwithcourage
andhope,andIbegantothinkof future;forthefirst
timeIwishedformyselfnotdeath,butlife.
Fullofsuchpictures,Ihad gone1,000
paceswhenIsawbeforemeacaravanwhich,evidently
comingfromtheoppositedirection,hadhaltedwhileits
leaderofferedupasacrificebesidealittlehillockcloseto
thehighway.
Iwentuptohimwithapolitegreetingandasked
whatdeityhewasworshippinghere.
Inthisgrave,hereplied,reststheholyVja
shravas,towhoseprotectionIoweitthat,passingthough
adangerousneighbourhood,Iamstillabletoreachhome
safelyandwithoutdamagetolifeorproperty.AndI
adviseyouearnestlynottoneglecttoofferupasuitable
sacrificehere.Forif,whenyouenterthewoodedregion,
youweretohireahundredforestguardians,theirhelp
wouldbeasnothingtoyoucomparedwiththeprotection
ofthisholyman.
Mydearfriend,Ireplied,thismoundseemsto
beonlyafewmonthsold,andifaVjashravasliesburied
beneathit,itcertainlywillnotbeanysaintbuttherobber
ofthatname.
Themerchantquietlynoddedassent.
ThesamecertainlyIsawhimimpaledatthis
spot.Andhisheadisstillupoverthecitygate.Butsince
hehassufferedthepunishmentimposedbytheKinghe
has,purgedtherebyfromhissins,enteredheavenwithout
spotorstainandhisspiritnowprotectsthetravellerfrom
robbers.Overandabovethis,however,peoplesaythat
evenduringhisrobberlifetimehewasanexceedingly
so

the
scarcely
93
learnedandalmostsaintlyman;forheknewevensecret
partsoftheVedabyheartatleastthatiswhatissaid.
Anditisperfectlytrue,Ireplied,forIknew
himwell,andmayevencallmyselfhisfriend.
Asthemerchantlookedsomewhatappalledwhen
Isaidthis,Icontinued:Iwasoncemadeprisonerbythis
band,andatthattimeVjashravastwicesavedmylife.
Themerchantslookpassedfromfrighttoenvious
admiration.
Thenindeedyoucantrulycountyourselfhappy!
IfIhadsostoodinhisfavour,Ishouldinaveryfewyears
betherichestmaninKosamb.Andnow,aprosperous
journeytoyou,Oenviableone!Sayingwhich,hegave
thesignalforhiscaravantoproceedonitsway.

* * *

Inaturallydidnotneglecttolayanofferingforthe
deadonthegraveofmyfamousandesteemedfriend;but
myprayer,incontrasttoalloftheothersoffereduphere,
hadforitssubstancethewishthathewouldleadme
straightintothearmsofthenearestrobberband,towhich,
withhishelp,Iwouldthenjoinmyself.Andtheleadership
ofwhich,asIhavealreadysaid,Ididnotdoubtwould
soonpassintomyhands.
Iwaspresentlytosee,however,thatmylearned
and,bypopularpronouncementnowsaintedfriend,had
beenmistakenwhenheaverredthatarobberconstellation
hadshoneuponmeatmybirth.Foronnopartofthe
waytoUjjendidweseeevenatraceofrobbers,andyet
scarcelyaweeklateracaravanwemet,afterwehadgone
throughalargeforestclosetothebordersofAvanti,was
fallenuponbybanditsatthatveryspot.
Ithasbeenthesourceofmanyathoughtfulreflection
tomethatthepurestchanceshouldtoallappearanceshave
94
ledtomyremainingincivillife,insteadofadopting,asmy
heartsoardentlydesired,thelife ftherobber.Notthatit
isimpossibleforoneofthenightlypathsofMotherKlto
leaddirectlytothepathofthespiritualseeker;justas,of
thehundredandoneveins ithquinquecoloured
fluid,only singleonelead headanditisthatone
bywhic
quitepo ht
rthelesshavebecomeaseekernowandonthe
s,
nonehasattainedenlightenment,allonesworks
s,asit
ere,inthefervourofilluminedknowledge.
albetweenthattimeandthis,
aditbeengivenovertothelifeoftherobberratherthan
civ you

ers,
itesovastasthe
tter pe
r
ularly
or
ofthe

o
filledw
stothe a
h,atdeath,thespiritleavesthebody,soitisalso
ssiblethat,evenifIhadbecomearobber,Imig
neve
spiritualpath,withenlightenmentasmygoal.Beside
whe
disappear,whethergoodorbad:burnttoashe
w
Moreovertheinterv
h
to illife,mightnothaveturnedoutasdifferentlyas
mightexpect,brother,insofarasitsmoralfruitsarecon
cerned.For,duringthetimethatIdweltamongtherobb
Icametoknowthatthereareamongthemmanydifferent
types,ofwhichsomepossessmostexcellentqualities,and
that,certainexternalfeaturesapart,thedifferencebetween
robbersandhonestfolksisnotqu
la wouldhaveusbelieve.Andfurthermore,intheri
periodoflifeonwhichInowentered,Icouldnothelp
noticingthatthehonestfolksdabbledinthehandiwork
ofthethievesandrobbers:anumberofthemasoppo
tunityofferedand,asitwere,improvising;othersreg
andwithgreataswellashighlyprofitableskill.Thusby
mutuallylesseningthedividingdistance,considerable
contacttookplacebetweenthetwogroups.
ForthisreasonIamreallyunabletosaywhether
notIhaveactuallygainedsoverymuchfromthehelp
protectivespiritwhichheldmebackfromthenightlypaths
oftheDarkGoddessdancerwithherswayingnecklaceof
humanskulls.
95
* * *
hroselargeandglowingintotheheavens

of
like
gthesmallestinklingoftheidentityofhim
le

Afterthisprofoundreflection,Kmantabecame
silentandturnedhiseyes,lostinthought,onthefull
moon,whic
directlyoverthedistantforestthehauntoftherobbers
andfloodedtheopenhallofthepotterwithastream
light,whereitseemedtotransformtheochremantleof
theMasterintopuregold,liketheraimentofsomegod
image.
TheLordBuddhaonwhomtheseekerinvolun
tarilyturnedhisgaze,attractedbythesplendourbut
withouthavin
whomhebeheldexpressedhissympathywithagent
inclinationofhishead,andsaid:Still,friend,Ionlysee
youturningyourstepstowardsthehouseholdliferather
thantohomelessness,althoughthepathtothelatterhad
intruthopeneditselftoyou.
Evenso,brother!Mydimeyesfailedtoseethe
pathtofreedomandItookmyway,asyousay,tothe
householdlife.
Theyoungseekersigheddeeplyand,inafresh
clearvoice,shortlyresumedtherecordofhisexperiences.

96

97
98

~13~
THECOMPANIONOFSUCCESS
T EENDOFTHEMATTERwasthatIcontinued H
toresideinthehouseofmyparentsinUjjen.

* * *

Asalltheworldknows,stranger,thismynative
townisfamedthroughoutJambudvpaasmuchforits
revelsandunstintedenjoymentoflife,asforitsshining
palacesandmagnificenttemples.Itsbroadstreetsresound
bydaywiththeneighingofhorsesandthetrumpetingof
nd
great
ds,
ly
t
e
rstrewn
treets.Incrimsonsariswithfragrantwreathsintheir
he liciousperfumes,
eirdressessparklingwithdiamonds:Doyousee
them,brother?Sittingontheirmagnificentgrandstandsor
elephants,andbynightwiththemusicofloverslutesa
thesongsofcarefreecarousers.
ButofallthegloriesofUjjen,noneenjoyarepu
tationsoextraordinaryasdoitscourtesans.Fromthe
ladieswholiveinpalacesbuildingtemplestothego
layingoutpublicparksforthepeople,andinwhose
receptionroomsonemeetspoets,artistsandactors,
distinguishedstrangersandoccasionallyevenprinces
downtothecommonwenches,allarebeautieswithsoft
swellinglimbsandindescribablegrace.Atallthegrea
festivals,inprocessionsandexhibitions,theyformth
chiefadornmentofthebeflaggedandflowe
s
hands,theairaboutthem avywithde
th
99

movingalongthestreetswithglancesfulloflove,seduc
veg
thatoneoranotherofthemhastoberecalledby
oyal
h
nytalentsand
ide l
s.
equarrelledwithaprinceonmyaccount.
nth
onthepathofa
ns
ing
ti esturesandplayfullylaughingwords,everywhere
fanningtheheatedsensesofthepleasureseekerstoliv
ingflame.
HonouredbytheKing,worshippedbythepeople,
sungofbythepoets,theyareaptlynamedThemany
colouredfloralcrownoftherockenthronedUjjen,and
theydrawdownuponustheenvyofthelessfavoured
neighbouringtowns.Notinfrequentlythechoicestofour
beautiesgototheseplacesasguests,andnowandagainit
happens
r decree.
Desiringtodrownthegriefthatwaseatingaway
mylife,thegoldencupofpleasure,filledtothebrimwit
itsintoxicatingLethedraughtsofforgetfulness,wasfreely
nay,prodigallyraisedtomylipsbythefairhandsof
thisjoyoussisterhood.Owingtomyma
w knowledgeofthefinearts,andnotlessofallsocia
games,Ibecameafavouredguestofthegreatcourtesan
Infacttherewasevenone,whosefavourcouldscarcely
bemeasuredbygold,whofellsopassionatelyinlove
withmethatsh
O eotherhand,owingtomycompletemasteryofthe
robbersdialect,Iwassoononconfidentialtermswiththe
girlsofthelowstreets,whosecompany
coarserandmorerobusttypeofpleasureIbynomea
despised,andofwhomseveralwereheartandsoulde
votedtome.
ThusmadlydidIdivedeepdownintotherush
whirlofthepleasuresofmynativecity,anditbecame,O
stranger,aproverbialsayinginUjjen:Asfastasyoung
Kmanta.

* * *
100
Itwasaboutthistimethataneventoccurredwhich
odfortunetosuchanextentthat
em ecidewhetherhe
ready
andwhichbecameofthegreatestserviceto
e.M hich
forthemostpartentrustedtohimforvaluation,
ere
e
in
ibed.
aswastheinstitutionofthecourt
sans f
thepoliceofficerhaveto
kep
kenin
must

goestoshowthatevilhabits,andsometimesevenvice,
maybethesourceofgo
th anofworldlymindcannoteasilyd
mostlyoweshisprosperitytohisgoodortohisbad
qualities.
Ireferparticularlytothatfamiliaritywiththe
womenofthelowerclassestowhichallusionhasal
beenmade,
m yfathershousewasbrokenintoandjewels,w
hadbeen
w stolen;andtoanamountwhichitwaspractically
impossibletomakegood.Iwasbesidemyselfforabsolute
ruinstaredusintheface.InvaindidImakeuseofallth
knowledgeIhadgainedintheforest.Fromthefashion
whichthesubterraneanpassagewasconstructedIcould
easilytelltowhatclassofthiefthedeedwastobeascr
Buteventhismostusefulhintprovedofnovalue
tothepolice,whoinUjjen,tobesure,werenotheldin
thesamehighregard
e eventhoughtherewasconsiderableevidenceo
someinnerrelationshipbetweenthetwobodies.Onone
occasion,inaverylearnedlectureontheloveaffairsof
thevariousclasses,Iheardwithmyownearsthefollow
ingsentence:Thegallantriesof
ta laceduringhisnightlyroundofinspection,andwith
thecourtesansofthecity.Byorder.Which,ta
connectionwithVjashravasremarksuponThe
servicerenderedbythecitycourtesansinhoodwinking
thepolice,gaveme,inthosedaysofanxiouswaiting,
muchfoodforthought.
Now,however,inthisstrangestofallworldsof
ours,thingsseemtobesoarrangedthatthelefthand
makegoodwhattherighthasdoneamiss.Andthatis
whathappenedhere.Forthoseflourishingblossomsfrom
101
Ujjensflowergardenactuallyyieldedtomethefruit
whichthethornyhedgeofthepoliceperhapsstunted
solelyonaccountofthatverysameflourishingcondition
oftheblossomshadfailedtoproduce.
Thesekindmaidens,seeingmeindespairbecause
oftheruinthreateningmeandmine,discoveredthe
culpritsandforcedthemtohandovertheplunderby
threateningthecompletewithdrawaloftheirfavours,so
d
e
it
perienceIhadjusthad.I
ads o
ve
n
husIresolvedtobecometherichestmaninUjjen
nd,tothisend,todevotemyselfwithallmystrengthto
Icarriedoutmyresolutions;andwhethermy

thatwegotofflenientlywiththelossofthelittlethatha
alreadybeenspent,andwithafrightwhichdidnotfailto
haveitseffectuponme.
ItwokemeupfromthedissipatedlifeinwhichI
wasuselesslysquanderingthebestofmyyearsand
strength.For,quiteapartfromthewakingupandth
reasonsforit,myfollyhadnowreachedapointwhere
wascertaineithertoenslaveanddepravemecompletely,
inthegarbofhabitor,onthecontrary,tofillmewith
graduallyincreasingdisgust.Thislatterresultwasnow
verymuchhastenedbytheex
h eenpovertystaringmeinthefacethepovertyt
whichthelifeIhadbeenleadingwouldhavehandedme
overdefenceless,afterithad,withallitscostlypleasures,
treacherouslyleftmeinthelurch.AtthisjunctureI
thoughtofthewordsutteredbythemerchantatthegra
ofVjashravas:IfIstoodashighinVjashravasfavour
asyoudo,inaveryfewyearsIwouldbetherichestma
inKosamb.
T
a
thetrafficofcaravansofgoods.

friendandmasterVjashravas,fromhisabodeintheother
world,didordidnotstandbymeinpersoninallmy
undertakingsIcannotcertainlysay,althoughIhaveat
timesbelievedit.Thismuchiscertain,thathiswordsin
102
theiraftereffectsnowdid.Formyhavingbecomefamiliar,
lconclusion

drewfrommyoldfriendsinstruction
ithr ls,

f
om
endedbysomemutualfriendsomeoneofthefair
onesofUjjenandwhonotonlyplayedthepartof
hostessbut,asoftenhappened,formedmybusiness
connectionsformeveryshrewdlyaswell.

* * *

throughhisteaching,withallthecustomsandusagesof
thevarioustypesofrobbers,andmyhavingevenbeen
initiatedintothemysteriesoftheirsecretrules,now
placedmeinapositionwhereIwasable,withoutridicu
lousfoolhardiness,tocarrytoasuccessfu
enterpriseswhichanotherwouldneverhavedaredto
ventureupon.AndsoitwasthesethatInowpurposely
selected,nolongercondescendingtotheordinaryroutes.
Asaresult,whenIconductedalargecaravantoa
towntowhich,formonths,noothermerchanthadbeen
abletoproceedbecausepowerfulbandsofrobbershad
cutoffthedistrictfromallcontactwiththeouterworld,I
foundtheinhabitantssodesperatelyanxioustobuymy
waresthatIwasattimesabletodisposeoftheseatten
timestheusualprofit.Butthatwasnotall;forinestimable
wastheadvantageI
w egardtoThedistinguishingmarksofofficia
bothofhigherandlowerrank,whoareopentobribery
withreliablenotesastoeachmansprice,andwhatI
gainedinthecourseofafewyearsbytheskilfuluseof
thesehintsalone,representedamodestfortune.
Soseveralyearspassed,duringwhichthevarious
delightsofmypleasurelovingnativecityalternated
healthilywiththehardshipsofbusinessjourneys,rich
indeedindangersbutneverthelessbynomeansbarreno
pleasure,inspiteofallperils.InstrangecitiesIalways
residedwithacourtesantowhomIwasasarulerec
m
103
Suchwasthetenorofmylifewhen,onemorning,
myfathercametomyroom.
AtthatmomentIwasbusy uttingsomelaconmy
lips,onlypausingfromtimetotimetoshoutdirectionsto
aservantwhohadledmyhorseoutintothecourtyardin
frontofmywindowandwassaddlinghimup.Thespecial
carerequiredonthepresentoccasionwasduetoaunique
contrivancebywhichcushionsweretobestrappedonin
frontofthesaddleforagazelleeyedbeautyIwastohold
there.Anoutinghadbeenarrangedfortheafternoontoa
publicgardenandIwasgoingbothwithwomenandmen
friends.
Iwelcomedmyfatherandwasabouttocallfor
refreshments,buthestoppedme;andwhenIofferedhim
somesweetscentedcashewsfrommygoldenboxhe
declinedthesealso,onlytakingsomebetel.Iconcludedat
oncefromthis,andnotwithoutmisgiving,thatmyrespec
tedparenthadsomethingonhismind.
Iseethatyouaregettingreadyforalittleexcur
sion,son,hesaid,afterhehadtakentheseatIoffered
him,andIcannotblameyou,seeingthatyouhavejust
returnedfromafatiguingbusinessjourney.Whereareyou
goingtoday?
Itismyintention,father,toridewithsomefriends
totheGardenoftheHundredLotusPonds,wherewewill
amuseourselveswithvariousgames.
Excellent,mostexcellent,myson!Charming,
delightfulisanafternoonintheGardenoftheHundred
LotusPondsthedeepshadeofthetreesandthecooling
breathofthewatersinvitethevisitortolingerthere.
Andsophisticatedandingeniousgamesaremostpraise
worthy,fortheyexercisebodyandmindwithoutstraining
them.Iwonderwhetherthegamesarestillinvoguethat
weusedtoplayinmyyouth?Whatdoyousuppose,
Kmanta,willbeplayedtheretoday?
p
104
Itdepends,father,onwho eproposalprovesto
bemostacceptable.IknowthatNimiwantstopropose
sprayingwithwater.
Idontknowit,saidmyfather.
NoNimilearntit outh,whereitisall
thefashion.Theplayersfil caneswithwaterand
sprayoneanoth dwhoeverbecomeswettesthaslost.
Itisveryamusin sting
mba.
layers
eanother,
oldenblossoms,serveasmagnificentweapons.The
stoftheblossoms,so
att y

e
re
eit,asitisanevidenceofyoursenti
p
t

sover,so
att
s
inthe
lbamboo
S
er,an
g.ButKoliythinksofsugge
Kada
Myfathershookhishead:Idontknowthat
either.
Oh!thatismuchinfavouratpresent.Thep
firstdivideintotwoparties.Thesethenattackon
andthebranchesoftheKadambashrub,withitsgreat
g
woundsarerecognisablefromthedu
th heumpiresareabletodecidewithoutdifficult
whichpartyhaswon.Thegameisbracing,andhassome
thingdaintyaboutit.Imyself,however,intendtopropos
theweddinggame.
Thatisagoodoldgame,saidmyfather,witha
decidedsmirk,andIamgreatlydelightedthatyoua
mindedtopropos
ments.Fromplaytotherealthing...hepaused,theste
isnotanexcessivelylongone.
Ashesaidthisheagainsmirked,withsucheviden
satisfactionthatitmademyveryfleshcreep.
Yes,son,hewenton,talkingofthatleadsme
straighttowhatbroughtmetoyoutoday.Youhave,on
yourmanybusinessjourneys,byyourcapacityandgood
fortunemultipliedourpossessionsmanytime
th heprosperityofourbusinesshasbecomeproverbial
inUjjen.Ontheotherhand,however,youhavealso
quaffedthedelightsofyouthsfreedominunstinted
draughts.Asaresultoftheformer,youarewellableto
105
provideforahouseholdofyourown.Andfromthelatter,
foll ink
ke
e,

e,
stemoftheyoungPisang,whileherfull
ipsl
e
hermanyandsopoeticallyextolledcharmsleft
eut

s
illinglythanbeforeandinthe
fsolelywithbusinessmatters.
it owsthatitisalsotimeforyoutodoso,andtoth
ofspinningthethreadofourracefarther.Inordertoma
thingsveryeasyforyou,dearson,Ihavesoughtouta
brideforyouinadvance.SheisSt,theeldestdaughterof
ourneighbourSajaya,thegreatmerchant,andhasjust
recentlyreachedmarriageableage.Asyoucanperceiv
shecomesfromafamilyoflikestandingwithourown,
respectedandveryrich,andshehasalargenumberof
relativesbothonherfathersandmothersside.Herbody
isfaultless;herhair,oftheblacknessofthebee;herfac
likethemooninitsbeauty;eyes,likeayounggazelles;a
noselikeablossomofthesesame;teethlikepearls;and
Bimbalips,fromwhichtherecomesthevoiceofthe
Kokila,sorarelysweetisit.Andherlimbsdelightthe
heartasdoesthe
h endtohercarriagetheeasymajestyoftheroyal
elephant.Itisnotpossible,therefore,thatyoucouldhav
anythingtoobjecttoinher.
Ihadindeednothingtofindfaultwith,saveper
hapsthat
m terlycold.AndIadmitthatamongthedetailsofthe
weddingceremony,intheprescribedthreenightsof
renunciationduringwhichIhadtoeatnoseasoned
food,sleeponthefloorandkeepthehearthfirealight
preservingthestrictestcelibacyinthecompanyofmy
youngwifewas,amongstalltheothers,theleastirksome
tome.

* * *

Anunlovedwife,brother,doesnotmakeone
homedear,noritsfourwallsattractive,soItookmyself
onjourneysalmostmorew
intervalsconcernedmysel
106
A sItogivethetruthitsduedidnotdealtoo nda
k
I

ynativetown.
tly
inthe
e
ose
thinthesefairdomainsInowgavefabulous

,
nt
gin
scrupulouslyinthese,butwithoutmuchhesitationtoo
whatwastomyownadvantageoneveryoccasion,my
richesincreasedtosuchanextentthat,afterafewyears,
foundmyselfneartothegoalofmyambitionandwasone
oftherichestcitizensofm
Withthathappystateofthings,asmasterofa
houseandfatherofafamily(Sthadinthemeantime
borneustwobeautifuldaughters:AmbandTamb)there
camethedesiretotastethesweetsofmyrichesabundan
andespeciallytomakeadisplayofthembeforemyfellow
citizens.TothatendIpurchasedalargetractofland
suburbsandlaidoutamagnificentpleasuregarden,inth
midstofwhichIbuiltaspaciousmansionwithhallswh
ceilingswerebornealoftonmarblepillars.Thisproperty
wasreckonedamongthemarvelsofUjjenandeventhe
Kingcametoseeit.
Wi
gardenpartiesandthemostluxuriousofbanquets,forI
hadnowbeguntodevotemyselfmoreandmoretothe
pleasuresofthetable.Themostlusciousmorselswhich
weretobehadformoneywerealwaysserved,evenat
ordinarymeals.AtthattimeIwasnotasyouseemenow
leanandweatheredbylonewanderings,bylifeinthe
woodsandasceticpractices;ratherIwasofafullendowme
ofbodyindeed,eveninclinedtobesomewhatportly.
Anditbecame,Ostranger,aproverbialsayin
Ujjen:HistableislikethemerchantKmantas.

107

108

~14~
THEFAMILYMAN
O kandforthin NEMORNINGIWASwalkingbac
th oundswithmyheadgardener,considering egr
I

ters

son.Now,itissaid,andwithmuch
uth, o

whereimprovementscouldbebestintroduced,
whenmyfatherrodeintothecourtyardonhisolddonkey.

* * *
Ihastenedforwardand,afterhelpinghimto
dismount,wasabouttogointothegardenwithhimas
believedhehadcometoenjoythebeautyofourflowers.
Buthepreferredtoenterthenearestreceptionroomand
whenIorderedmymantobringsomerefreshmentshe
declined:Hewishedtospeaktomewithoutbeing
disturbed.
Overcomebyafeelingofuneasinessandscenting
dangerahead,Isatdownonalowseatbesidehim.
Myson,hebegan,inatoneofdeepestearnest
ness,yourwifehas,sofar,onlyborneyoutwodaugh
andmybrahminstellmethatthereisnoprospectthatshe
willpresentyouwitha
tr thatthemandiesmiserablyforwhomthereisn
sontoofferthesacrificespropertothedead.
Idontblameyou,son,headdedhastily,perhaps
observingthatIhadbecomesomewhatagitated;and,
althoughIwasnotawarehowinthismatterIcouldhave
deservedblame,Ithankedhimwithsuitablehumilityfor
109
hisclemencyandkissedhishand.
No,Imustblamemyself,becauseinchoosing
yourwife,Iallowedmyselftobedazzledintoogreata
degreebyworldlyconsiderations,havingreferenceto
familyandpossessions,anddidnotobservethecharacter
andfarfromrich;norcanonepraise
erfo

home elf:Wellifithas
be.
ror.
nt
rs
the
a
ore

d
isticmarkssufficiently.ThegirlwhomInowhaveinmind
foryoucomes,itistrue,fromafamilywhichisbyno
meansdistinguished,
h rherpossessionofwhatthesuperficialobserver
mightcallbeauty.But,bywayofrecompense,shehasa
navelwhichsitsdeepandisturnedtotheright;both
handsandfeetbearlotus,urnandwheelmarks;herhairis
quitesmooth,exceptforonherneckwhereshehastwo
whorlscurlingtotheright.Andofamaidenwhopos
sessessuchmarks,thewisesaythatshewillbearfive
heroicsons.
Ideclaredmyselfperfectlysatisfiedwiththepros
pect,thankedmyfatherforthekindnesswithwhichhe
lookedoutformeandsaidIwasreadytoleadthemaiden
atonce.ForIthoughttomys
to ..
Atonce?!criedoutmyfather,inaccentsofhor
Myson,moderateyourimpatience!Weareatprese
inthesoutherncourseofthesun.Whenthisdeityente
hisnortherncourseandwehavereachedthehalfof
monthinwhichthemoonwaxes,thenwewillchoose
favourabledayforthejoiningofhandsbutnotbef
notbefore,myson!Otherwisewhatgoodwouldallthe
bridesqualitiesdoforus?
Ibeggedmyfathertohavenoanxiety:Iwould
havepatienceforthetimementionedandwouldinall
thingsbeguidedbyhiswisdom.Onwhichnotehe
praisedmydutifulness,gavemehisblessingandallowe
metoorderrefreshments.
* * *
110
AtlastthedayapproachedintruthIdidnot
onies
of
rinlawitishardlypossible
pu
e
ngwiththeactiontowhichitbelonged;
rmyfatherwouldassuredlyneverhaveforgiven
meforit.Andyet,inmyanxiety,Ihadalmostforgotten
thechiefthing,forinsteadoftakingmybrideSavitrs
thumb,Ireachedouttoseizeherfourfingers,asthoughI
wishedhertobearmedaughtersbutluckilyshehad
presenceofmindenoughtopushherthumbintomyhand
instead.
IwasliterallybathedinperspirationbythetimeI
wasfinallyabletoyokeinthebullsforourdeparture.
Meanwhilemybrideinsertedintoeachofthecollarholes
thebranchofafruitbearingtree,andIspoketherequired
coupletwithafeelingthattheworstwasnowpast.The
dangers,however,didnotbyanymeansliebehindusyet.
Itistruethatwereachedthehousewithoutencoun
teringanyofthenumerouslittlemishapswhich,onsuch
occasions,seemtolieinwaitfortheirunfortunate
victims.AndatthedoorSavitrwasliftedfromthewagon
bythreebrahminwomenofblamelesslifewhohadall
givenbirthtoboys,andwhosehusbandsyetlived.Sofar,
allhadgonewell.Butnow,brother,imaginetheshockI
receivedwhen,onenteringthehouse,mywifesfootall
buttouchedthethreshold.Tothisday,Icannotconceive
whenceIdrewtheresolutiontoliftherhighupinmy
arms,andtherebyhindersuchcontactfrompossibly
ardentlylongforitbutitwastheoneonwhichallthe
propitioussignswerefoundtobeunited.Thecerem
thistimeweremuchmoretedious.Ineededafullfour
teendaysofinstructionbeforehandinordertomasterall
thenecessarysentences.
TheagonyoffearIenduredduringthejoining
handsinthehouseofmyfathe
to tintowords.Itrembledwithoutintermissionfilled
withahorribledreadlestIshouldnotrecitesomevers
correctly,orinkeepi
fo
111
takingplace.Nevertheless,eventhiswasanirregularity
and,whenenteringthehouse,wasofitselfbadenough;
buttoaddtoitI,formyownpart,forgottoenterwiththe
rightfootfirst.Fortunatelytheweddingguests,andespe
ciallymyfather,weresonearlybesidethemselvesatthe
threatenedcontactwiththethreshold,thatmyfalsestep
wasallbutentirelydisregarded.
InthemiddleofthehouseItookmystationtothe
leftofmywife,onaredbullshidethatlaywiththeneck
towardstheeast,andwiththehairysideuppermost.Now
myfatherhad,afteralongsearch,andwithendless
trouble,comeuponamalechildthathadonlybrothers
andnosistersnotevendeadonesandwastheson
ofafatherwhohadbeenthesame,havinghadbrothers
only.Moreover,thiswasalsoactuallytrueofhisgrand
fatherand,totheaccuracyofthestatementsineachcase,
legaltestimonywasforthcoming.Thislittleboywastobe
placedonmybridesknee.Alreadytherestoodatherside
thecopperdishcontaininglotusflowersfromtheswamps,
whichshewastolayinthefoldedhandsofthechild;and
everythingwasprepared,when...thehaplesslittleurchin
wasnowheretobefound!Notuntilafterwards,whenit
wastoolate,didamanservantdiscoverthatthechildhad
foundthesacrificialbedbetweenthefiresalltooenticing
andhadrolledhimselfinthesoftgrassuntilhewaspracti
callyburiedinit.Now,ofcourse,thesacrificialbedhadto
bemadeupanewandfreshKusagrasscutwhichwas
initselfreversingthedueorderofthingsasthegrass
shouldhavebeencutattherisingofthesun.
Wewerefinallyobliged,asIhaveindicated,todo
withoutthiscrownofthewholefunction,andtocontent
ourselveswiththehastilyprocuredsonofamotherwho
hadborneonlysons.Butmyfatherwasinsuchastateof
excitementatthefailureofthisprecaution,onwhichhe
hadbuilthishighesthopes,thatIfearedafitofapoplexy
112
wouldsuddenlyputanendtohis preciouslife.True,he
wouldundernocircumstanceshavecommittedtheindis
cretionofdyingatthatmoment,inordernottointerrupt
theceremoniesintheworstofall ossibleways,butthis
comfortingreflectiondidn tomeatthetime.
Martyre themosthorriblefears,andinorderthatno
interval
waiting
traswithoutpause.
come
ter
h
id tha ifamanhadone
havetwo.Butalas,howsadly
adI

p
otoccur
dby
mightensue,Iwasobligedtopassthetimeof
forthesubstitutebyrecitingsomeappropriate
man
ThathourIsolemnlypromisedmyselfthat,
whatmay,Iwouldnevermarryagain.
Finally,aftereverythingwasended,Iwasobliged
tospendtwelvenightswithmynewwifewho,bythe
way,wasanythingbutthemonsterofuglinessmyfathers
descriptionhadledmetoexpectinabsolutechastity,
gonthefloor.Thistimeit fastingrigorouslyandsleepin
ast w welvenightsbecausemyfatherthoughtitwasbet
tobeonthesafesideanddotoomuchratherthantoo
little.Butthedoingwasdistinctlypainfultome;particu
larlybecauseIhadtodeprivemyself,duringthewhole
time,ofmyfavouritedisheshighseasoningsandall.
However,thisperiodofprobationIalsomanaged
g tosurvive,andliferanonagainontheoldlines,thou
soonwithaverysubstantialdifference.BeforelongIwas
toseehowthoroughlywarrantedwasmyaversiontomy
thersnewmarriageproposal.True,Ihadinstantly fa
comfortedmyselfwiththe ea t,
ife,hemightjustaswell w
h deceivedmyself!
Myfirstwife,St,wasasweetpersonandhad
alwaysseemedtopossessagentledemeanour,shecer
tainlyleanedtothesideofmellownessratherthantothat
ofirritablepassion;andSavitrwasalsoquiteloveableand
hadalwaysbeenpraisedforhergenuinewarmthandher
truewomanlysoftness.Inthesameway,brother,that
113
waterandfirebothhavetrulybeneficialqualities,when
theymeetonthehearth,onemustbepreparedfornoise
andsteam.Andfromthatunhappydayonwardtherewas
n
orst
e
as
verydevilsdanceoftrium
hant
e

n:theboywhomeverybodyknewbythe
lf
mbs,AmbandTamb,werenotsureof
eirl
uld
indeedthesoundofhissinginmyhome.Itwasmisery
andIalsochidedmyselfforhavingbroughtthissituation
about,wheretwogoodwomenweresetupincompetitio
witheachother,andthuscausedtobringoutthevery
w inthemselves.
Butimaginetoyourself,ifyoucan,whatbecam
ofthesituationwhenSavitrdidindeedbearmethefirstof
thosefiveheroicsons.NowStaccusedmeofnothaving
wantedsonsbyher,andofhavingrefrainedfromoffering
thefittingsacrificesinorderthatImightthushavean
excuseformarryinganother;whileSavitr,whenshew
irritatedbySta,performeda
p scorn.Then,betweenthetwo,therewasaconstant
wrangleastoprecedence;myfirstwifelayingclaimtoth
firstpositionashavingactuallybeenthefirst,whilethe
secondmadethesamedemandasthemotherofmyson.
Butworsewasyettocome.
OnedaySavitrdashedintome,tremblingfrom
headtofootinfrenziedagitation,anddemandedthat
IshouldsendStawayasshewishedtopoisonmy
belovdso
nicknameofKrishna,onaccountofhisunusually
darkcolorationandmisheviousnaturehadmerely
hadanattackofcolicfromeatingtoomanysweets,
ahabitinwhichhealsoimitatedhisdivinenamesake.
Irebukedherseverely,buthadscarcelyfreedmyse
fromherpresencewhenStstoodbeforeme,clamouring
thatourtwola
th ivessolongasthatvilewomanremainedinthe
house:Herrivalwishedtogetbothofmydearlittle
daughtersoutofthewayinorderthattheirdowriessho
notdiminishtheheritageofherson.
114

So,undermyroof,peacewasnolongertobefound.
rtway
kingtheairwith
eir
r
Ifyou,brother,chancedtodelayyourstepsatthe
farmhouseoftherichbrahminwholivesbutasho
off,andheardhowhistwowivesrailedatoneanother
disputinginhigh,shrilltonesandsha
th coarselanguagethenyouhave,sotospeak,
passedmyhouseontheway.
Anditalsobecame,Iamsorrytoconfess,aprove
bialsayinginUjjenatthattime:Thetwoagree:like
Kmantaswives!

115
116

~15~
THESHAVENHEADEDMONK
SUCHWASTHESTATEofaffairsinmyhome
when,onemorning,Isatinalargeroomwhich
layontheshadysideofthehouseandwhichwassetapar
forthetransactionofallbusinessmatters.Forthatreasonit
t

d
e
h
best
rit

eall,onaccountofthesparingdiettobeputup
overlookedthecourtyard,anarrangementwhichenabled
metokeepundermyowneyeeverythingrelatingtothe
administrationofmyaffairs.
Beforemestoodatrustedservantwhohad,fora
numberofyears,accompaniedmeonallmyjourneysan
towhomIwasgivingexactinstructionswithregardtoth
takingofacaravantoasomewhatdistantspot.Alongwit
thesedirectionsIwas,ofcourse,describingtohimthe
m ofdisposingofhiswareswhenhegotthere,the ode
producehehadtobringbackwithhim,thebusiness
connectionshewastoformandothersimilarmatters,fo
wasmyintentiontogivehimfullchargeoftheexpedition.

* * *

Tobesure,myhousewaslesshomelikethan
e andonemightsupposethatImyselfwouldha ver, ve
beengladtoembraceeveryopportunityofroamingabout
indistantlands.ButIwasbeginningtobesomewhatself
indulgentanddainty,andIshunnedverydistantjourneys
notonlybecauseofthefatiguestobefacedontheway
but,abov
117
w henactuallyontheroad.Yetevensupposingthe ithw
aswellasIdidat
tmycaravans
undertrustyleaderswhileIremainedbehindinUjjen.
Well,asIwassaying,Iwasinthemidstofgiving
mycaravanleaderveryminuteandwellconsidered
instructions,whenfromthecourtyardweheardthevoices
ofmytwowives,bothmuchlouderthanusualandwitha
flowoflanguagewhichsoundedasthoughitwouldnever
end.Irritatedbythistiresomeinterruption,Ifinallysprang
upand,afterhavingvainlylookedoutofthewindow,
Isteppedintothecourtyard.
ThereIsawbothofmywivesstandingattheouter
gate.Butfarfromfindingthemwranglingwithonean
otherasIhadexpected,Icameuponthemforthefirst
timeofonemind:theyhaddiscoveredandpouncedupon
acommonenemyandonhimtheynowpouredoutthe
vialsoftheirunitedwrath.Thislucklessvictimwasa
wanderingascetic,whostoodtherenexttooneofthe
pillarsofthegatequietlylettingthisstreamofabuseflow
overhim.
TheactualreasonfortheirattackuponhimIhave
neverdiscovered;Iimagine,however,thatthemother
instinct,whichwasveryhighlydevelopedinbothofthem,
scentedinthisselfdenieratraitortothesacredcauseof
humanpropagationandafoetotheirsex,andthatthey
hadjustasinstinctivelyfallenuponhimastwomongooses
uponacobra.
Outwithyou,youbaldpatedpriest,youshame
lessruffian!Justlookhowyoustandthere,withyourbent
shouldersandhangdoglook,breathingpietyandcon
templationyouoilyhypocrite!Yousmoothfaced
journeysendreached,withthepossibilityofmakingup
forlosttimeandofhavingthebestofeverything,there
werenumerousdisappointmentstobereckonedwithand
I,atleast,wasneverabletodineabroad
home.Asaresult,Ihadbeguntosendou
118
windbag!Itisthekitchenpotthatyoupeerandgazefor,
thatyousniffandsnuffleatjustlikeanyolddonkey
who,unyokedfromhiscart,runs therubbishheapin
thecourtyardandpeersandgaze andsniffsand
snuffles...Outwithyou,youlazy brazenfacedthief,you
shamelessbeggar,shavelingmonk!
Theobjectoftheseandsimilarexpressionsof
maternalcontempt,awandererbelongingtosomeascetic
schoolandamanofstrikinglyloftystature,stoodstill
besidethegatepostinanattitude ofeasyrepose.His
robe,oftheambercolouroftheKanikraflowerandnot
unlikeyourown,fellinpicturesquefoldsoverhisleft
shouldertohisfeet,andgavetheimpressionofcoveringa
powerfullybuiltbody.Therightarm,whichhunglimply
down,wasuncoveredandIcouldnothelpadmiringthe
hugecoilofmuscles,whichratherseemedtobethewell
earnedpossessionofawarriorthantheidleinheritanceof
anascetic;andeventheclayalmsbowlappearedtobeas
strangeandincongruousinhishandasanironbludgeon
inthatsamehandwouldhaveseemedtobeinitsproper
place.Hisheadwasbent,hisgazefixedontheground,
hismouthabsolutelywithoutexpression,andhestood
motionlessthereasthoughsomemasterlyartisthadhewn
thestatueofawanderingmonkinstone,hadpaintedand
clothedit,andthatIhadthereuponcausedittobesetup
atmygateasifitwereasymbolofmyliberality.
Thistranquillityofhis,whichIheldtobemeekness
butwhichmytwowivesregardedascontempt,
naturallygoadedthelattertoevergreaterefforts;andthey
wouldprobablyhavegraduatedtoactualviolence,hadI
notcomebetween,rebukedthemfortheirdisrespect
fulnessanddriventhemintothehouse.ThenIwentupto
thewanderer,bowedrespectfullybeforehimandsaid:
Itrust,MostVenerableOne,thatyouwillnottake
toheartwhatthesetwowomenmayhavesaid:Iknowit
to
s
,

119
hasbeenbothuncalledforandunfitting.Iamafraidthey
wereoverwroughtandnotentirelyincontroloftheir
faculties.Itrustthatyouwillnot,onthisaccount,strike
thishousewithyourasceticanger.Iwillfillyouralms
bowlmyselfwiththebestthishousehastooffer,
HonouredSir.Howfortunatethatthebowlisasyet
empty!Iwillfillitsothatitcannotcontainanothermorsel
andnoneighbourshall,thisday,earnmeritbyfeeding
you.Youhaveindeednotcometothewrongdoor,
VenerableOne;andIbelievethefoodwillbetoyour
taste,foritisaproverbialsayinginUjjen:Histableislike
themerchantKmantas,andIamhe.Itrust,therefore,
VenerableOne,thatyouwillnotbeangryatwhathas
takenplace,andwillnotcursemyhouse.
Whereuponheanswered,andwithnoappearance
ofunfriendliness:
HowcouldIbeangryatsuchabuse,Oheadof
thishouse,seeingashowitismydutytobegratefulfor
evenfarcoarsertreatment?Once,inthepast,Itookmyself
withrobeandalmsbowlintoatowntoreceivefoodfrom
thecharitable,asisourcustom.Butinthattown,Mra,the
EvilOne,hadjustthenstirredupthebrahminsandthe
householdersagainsttheOrderoftheBuddhaAway
withthesesocalledvirtuous,noblemindedascetics!
Abusethem,insultthem,drivethemaway,pursuethem.
Andsoithappened,asIpassedalongthestreetastone
flewatmyhead;nextabrokendishstruckmeintheface
andastickwhichfollowedhalfcrushedmyarm.But
when,withheadallcutandcoveredwithblood,with
brokenbowlandtornrobeIreturnedtotheMaster,his
wordswere:Bearit,brahmin!Bearit!Foryouareexperi
encinghereandnowtheresultofdeedsbecauseofwhich
youmighthavebeentorturedinhellformanyyears,for
manyhundredsofyears,formanythousandsofyears.
Atthefirstsoundofhisvoice,therequivered
120
throughmefromheadtofoot flashofhorrorand,with
everyadditionalword,anicycold esspenetrateddeeper
intotheveryrecessesofmybeing Foritwas,brother,the
voiceofAngulimla,thero howcouldIdoubtit?
Andwhenmyconvulsive editselfonhisface,I
recognisedita lthoughhisbeardformerlywentup
almosttohise deepinto
rehead,andwhereashenowstoodcompletely
e
asin
d
assuredlythesamethathadonceclutchedmythroat
kedevilishtalons.
I atabuse?my
ruesomeguestwenton,HasnottheMastersaid:

lf
y

a
n
.
bber
glancefix
lso:a
yesandhishairhadgrowndown
hisfo
cleanshavenbeforeme.ButonlytoowelldidIrecognis
againtheeyesunderthosebushy,coalescingeyebrows,
althoughinsteadofdartingflashesofrageatme,
thoseformerdays,theynowlookedkindnessitself;an
thesinewyfingerswhichencircledthealmsbowlthey
were
li
How,indeed,could growangry
g
Bhikkhus,evenifrobbersandmurderersweretosever
yousavagelylimbbylimbwithatwohandledsaw,one
whogaverisetoamindofhatredonthataccountwould
notbecarryingoutmyteachings.
WhenI,brother,heardthesewords,withtheir
diabolicallyconcealedyettomesoevidentthreat,myleg
shookundermeandtosuchadegreethatIhadtohold
ontothewallinordernottofalldown.
WiththegreatestdifficultyImanagedtopullmyse
togethersofarastoindicatetotherobberascetic,moreb
gesturethanbymyfewstammeredwords,thathewasto
havepatienceuntilIshouldprocurehimthefood.
ThenIhurried,asrapidlyasmyshakinglegs
wouldcarryme,straightacrossthecourtyardintothelarg
kitchen,wherejustatthatmomentthemiddaymealfor
thewholehouseholdwasbeingprepared,andwherefrom
everypotandpantherecamethesoundsofroastingand
boiling.
121
HereIchose,withnolesshastethancare,thebest
andmostsavourymorsels.Armedwithagoldenladleand
waituponand,
pos
followedbyawholetroopofservantsbearingdishes,I
dashedagainintothecourtyardinorderto
if sible,conciliatemyterribleguest.
ButAngulimlahaddisappeared.
122

123
124

~16~
READYFORACTION
HALFSWOONING,ISATdownuponabench.My
brain,however,begantoworkagainatonce.
Angulimlahadbeenthere,ofthattherecouldbeno
doubt;andthereasonforhiscomingwasonlytooclearto
anytaleshadIheardofhisimplacability
ndg

snot
ount
e
erhonour;yethe
y
ut
ad

halfofthe
me.

* * *

Howm
a reedforvengeance!Moreover,Ihadhadthemis
fortunetoslayhisbestfriendand,frommytimewiththe
robbers,Iwellknewthatfriendshipamongthemdoe
c forlessthanamonghighlyrespectablecitizens
indeed,ifanything,formuchmore.AtthetimewhenI
washisprisoner,Angulimlacouldntkillmewithout
contraveningthelawsofTheSendersandatthesametim
puttinganindelibleblotuponhisrobb
neverthelessallbutdidittwiceover.Now,however,he
hadatlastbeenabletoseekoutthisland,inspiteofits
lyingsofarfromthesceneofhisfavouredactivities,and
evidentlyheintendedtomakeupforthatpastomission.
Inthedisguiseofanascetichehadsucceededinleisurel
surveyingtheplacesintheneighbourhoodand,witho
doubt,hadresolvedtoactthatsamenight.Evenifheh
byanychanceperceivedthatIrecognisedhim,hedared
notdelay,forthiswasthelastnightofthedark
125
monthandtocarryoutsuchanenterpriseinthelighthalf
wouldhavebeenanoffenceagainstthesacredlawsofthe

.Icouldeasily
ave t,I
er,I

hehadnotbeenveryfriendlyto
e,a

y
gas
t,
s
or,
thaveruinedyourinner
robbers,andwouldhavebroughtdownuponhimthe
vengeanceofthewrathfulGoddessKl.
Iatonceorderedmybesthorsetobesaddledand
rodeintotowntothepalaceoftheKing
h obtainedanaudiencebut,tomydisappointmen
learnedthathewasjustthenresidingatoneofhisdistant
huntinglodges.Iwasthereforeobligedtobecontentwith
avisittotheMinisterofState.Asithappenedthiswasthe
verysamemanwhohadconductedthefatefulembassyto
Kosamb,andinwhoseprotectionasyouwillrememb
didnottravelback.Now,fromthatdayonwhichIhad
refusedtofollowhim,
m sIhadnoticedonseveraloccasionswhenwehad
chancedtomeet;inadditiontowhich,Iknewhehad
frequentlycriticisedmymodeoflife.Tohavetobringthis
matterbeforehimwasnotexactlyagreeable;itsjustifica
tion,however,wassoapparentthathere,itseemed,there
wasnoroomleftforpersonallikesordislikes.
Irelatedtohim,therefore,asshortlyandclearlyas
possible,whathadtakenplaceinmycourtyard,and
addedtheallbutselfevidentpetitionthatadivisionof
troopsmightbestationedforthenightinmyhouseand
garden,forthedoublepurposeofdefendingmypropert
fromthecertainattackoftherobbers,andofcapturin
manyoftheseaspossible.
TheMinisterheardmeinsilenceandwithan
inscrutablesmileonhisface.Thenhesaid:
MygoodKmanta,Idonotknowwhetheryou
havealreadyindulgedinanearlyandveryheavydraugh
orarestillsufferingfromtheeffectsofoneofyourfamou
nightlybanquetswhichhavebecomethetalkofUjjen;
indeed,whetheryoumayno
organstosuchanextentbyyournolessproverbialthan
126
remarkablespiceddishes,astonowbesubjecttonight
mares,andnotonlybynightbutalsoinbroaddaylight!
ForassuchIamcompelledtodesignatethisinteresting
le,p nce
ein
dintheunderground
d,
f
r
...
onders
fUjj
a
rther.
orth

ordsto
ta articularlyasweknowthatitisalongtimesi
Angulimlaceasedtosojournamongsttheliving.
Butthatwasafalserumour,aswenowsee!I
calledoutimpatiently.
Ibynomeansseeit,herepliedsharply.There
canbenoquestioninthisinstanceofafalserumoura
shorttimeaftertheaffair,Stgirahimselfrelatedtom
KosambthatAngulimlahaddie
dungeonsoftheministerialpalace,undertorture;andI
myselfsawhisheadononeofthespikesovertheeastern
gate.
Idonotknowwhoseheadyousawthere,Icrie
butthisIdoknow,thatonehouragoIsawtheheado
Angulimlasafeandsoundonhisshoulders,andthat,fa
frommeritingyourmockery,Ideservethatyou,onthe
contrary,shouldthankmeforgivingyoutheopportunity
...ofkillingadeadmanandmakingafoolof
myself?theMinisterinterruptedme.Muchobliged!
ThenIbegyouatleasttorememberthatthisis
notamatterwhichconcernsjustanyoldplace,butrelates
toamansionandgroundsreckonedamongthew
o en,andinspectedbyourgraciousKinghimselfwith
greatadmiration.HewillnotthankyouifAngulimla
reducesallthesesplendoursofhiscapitaltoashes.
Oh!thattroublesmeverylittle,saidtheMinister,
laughing.Takemyadvice:gohome,calmyourselfwith
shortsleep,anddontletthematterdisturbyoufu
F erest,thewholeaffairarisesfromthis,thatyou
plungedyourselfintoaromanticadventurethatyearin
Kosamband,inyourheadstrongfolly,flungmyw
thewindsratherthanreturnwithme.Hadyoulistened

127
then,Angulimlawouldneverhavemadeyouprisoner
andyouwouldnotnowhavebeentormentedbyan
emptyandbaselessfear.Moreover,yourtwomonthlong
fein

ceofsafetyinthe
ner
d

com
antsonlytrustworthyrascalsthatis,
eir
self
go toeachofthemwith
ess

shome.Ididntletthem
li thecompanyofthatrobberpackdidnotimprove
yourmorals,asallofushereinUjjenhaveperceived.
Atthispointhelaunchedintoafewadditional
moralplatitudesandthenhedismissedme.
EvenbeforeIreachedhomeIwasconsidering
whatwastobedone,seeingthatIwasnowthrownonto
myownresources.Arrivingthere,Ihadallthemovable
treasurescostlycarpets,inlaidtablesandsimilaritems
carriedintothecourtyardandloadedontowagons,in
ordertohavethemconveyedtoapla
in town.AtthesametimeIhadweaponsdistributed
amongstallmypeople;bothwagonsandweaponsbeing
forthcominginabundance,owingtothefactthatacara
vanhadbeenincourseofpreparation.ButIdidntlet
thingsrestthere.Myfirstmeasurewastosendseveral
trustedservantsintothetowninorder,bythepromiseofa
handsomereward,toenlistforthenightcourageousan
capablefightingmen.
Foranyotherpersonthiswouldhavebeena
hazardousprocedure,forhoweasilymightsuchfellowsat
thecriticalmomentmakecommoncausewiththeassail
ants.ButIrelieduponcertainfemalefriends,whore
mendedtomyserv
fellowswhowerecapableofanything,buttowhomth
solemnlypledgedwordandfightingmoney,onceaccep
ted,weresacred.AsIknewthisriffraffandtheircurious
customs,IwaswellawareofwhatIwasdoing.
Duringthesepreparations,asIhadnotimemy
to tomywives,Isentaservant
instructionsthattheyshouldholdthemselvesinreadin
Stwithhertwodaughters,Savitrwithherlittleson
tomoveintotowntomyfather
128
k thatitwasonlytobeforonenightbecauseIhad now

longer,andIshouldmeanwhileenjoya
ttlep se,that
succ taslittledidIlet
em
easonstowomen.
MeantimetheworkwentonandIwasonthepoint
ofmakingastirringspeechtomyarmedservants,anold
practiceofminewhendangerthreatenedonourcaravan
journeys,andwhichhadalwaysbeenattendedwith
excellentresults,when,withoneaccordandasifbypre
arrangement,mytwowivesdashedoutofseparatedoors
intothecourtyard,withanairofconsternationontheir
facesandshoutingloudly.Everyonelookedroundatthem
andIwasforcedtointerruptmyspeechbeforeitwas
wellbegun.
Stbroughtoutourtwodaughters,Savitrourlittle
son,withher.Nosoonerhadtheyreachedmethanthey
pointedeachattheother,andcriedsimultaneously:
Soatlastthisawfulwomanhassucceededin
turningyourheartagainstme,sothatyoudrivemeforth
andlayuponme,yourfaithfulwife,thedisgraceofbeing
sentbacktomyfathershouse,withyourinnocentlittle
daughters!/withyourpoorlittleson!
Howlongandbitterly,brother,haveIregrettedmy
greedandfollytohavemarriedmyselftotwowomenat
thesametimetohavedrawnthesetwointoasituation
fraughtwithsuchpotentialforfrictionhowpainfuland
joylessitwasforallthreeofus,tospeaknothingofthe
childrenandtherestofthehouseholdwhoallhadto
endureourconstantwranglings.Howrarely,Iwasto
discover,doessuchanarrangementbringanythingbut
griefforthusitwasbetweenusonceagain.
consideredthat,oncetheywerethere,theymightaswell
stayaweekor
li eriodofpeaceathomesupposing,ofcour
I eededinbeatingofftheattack.Jus
th knowthereasonforthisarrangementbecause,at
thattime,Ifoolishlybelievedthatoneshouldnevergive
r
129
Thefoamingragethatpossessedthembroughtitto
passthatneitherperceivedhowtheotheraccusedherof
theverysamethingwhichsheherselfbroughtforward,
andcomplainedofthesamehard whichsheherself
bewailedasherownandthat,withoutquestion,there
musthavebeenamistakesomewhere.
Farfromsuspectinganythingofthekind,they
screamedandhowled,tearingtheirhairandstrikingtheir
breastswiththeirfistsberatingmealsoformyfaithless
nessandfavouritismuntilatlast,asifbywayofrelax
ation,eachbegantopouroutabuseuponhersupposedly
victoriousrival,whichinitscoarsenessfarsurpassed
anythingIhadeverheard,eveninthecompanyofthe
womenofthestreets.
FinallyIsucceededinmakingmyselfheard,and
alsoinmakingcleartothemthattheyhadutterlymisun
derstoodmymessage:thatneitherofthemwastobesent
toherownparents,buttomyfathershouse,andbyno
meansasapunishmentorasasignofmydispleasure,but
solelyonaccountoftheirownandtheirchildrenssafety.
When,however,Isawthattheyatlastfullyunderstood
this,Icouldnolongercontainmyself,butcriedout:
Thisiswhatyouhavecreatedbyyourunbearable
rudeness;youbothneedtolearntobehaveyourselvesina
seemlyfashion!Thisiswhatyourshavelingmonkhas
doneforyou!Whodoyousupposethatwas?Itwas
Angulimla:therobber,thehorriblefiend,whoslays
peopleandhangstheirfingersaroundhisneck.Heitis
whomyouhaveabused,hewhomyouhaveangered!Itsa
miraclethathedidntbeatyoutodeathwithhisalmsbowl.
Butitisweothers,ifanyofusshouldfallintohishands,
whowillhavetopaytotheuttermostfarthing;andwho
knowswhetheryouyourselveswillbesafefromhim,
evenatmyfathershouse!
Whenmywivesfullycomprehendedthemeaning
fate
130
ofmywords,theybegantocryas iftheyalreadyfeltthe
knifeattheirthroats,andwanted rushoutofthegate
withthechildren.
Istoppedthem,however,andthencarefully
explainedthatforthepres ngerwastobefeared
becauseAnguli ,asIwellknew,wouldnotattackus
beforemidnigh oour
dwellingandp htheyand
ldrenwouldbelikelytoneedduringthetimethat
mainin

on
arrivedjustthen,
lsosaidthatthiswas
withdrew.
head
d

to
entnoda
mla
t.ThenIbadethemgobackint
ackallthethingstogetherwhic
thechi
thedangerfromrobberscompelledthemtore
town.Thistheythenatoncedid.
AtthesametimeIhadquiteoverlookedthepos
sibleeffectofmywordsonmypeople.Andthat,asIso
discovered,wasanythingbutagreeable.Forwhenthey
learnedthatitwastheterribleAngulimla,longsince
believedtobedead,thathadspiedoutmyhouse,and
wouldcertainlyattackitinthenight,firstoneandthen
anotherslunkquietlyaway,untilfinallytheythrewdown
theirarmsbydozensanddeclaredthattheywouldhave
nothingtodowithsuchadevilthatnoonecould
eenenlistedin possiblyaskitofthem.Thosewhohadb
etown,andofwhomthefirstcomers th
whentheyheardhowthingsstood,a
otwhattheyhadbargainedforand n
Onlyabouttwentyofmyownpeople,attheir
thebravestewardofmyhouse,professedthattheywoul
notleavemebutwoulddefendtheplacetothelastdrop
ed oftheirblood;fortheycouldallseethatIwasdetermin
nottosacrificethissplendidpropertyinwhichmyheart
waswrappedupbut,ifneedbe,toperishwithit.
Severalresolutefellowsfromthetown,attracted
almostmorebytheprospectofahotfightthanbythe
money,andwhonotonlydidnotfearthenameof
er Angulimlabuttalkedthemselvesintothebeliefthat,aft
theyhadfoughtwellandbeentakenprisoner,theywould
131
beenrolledinthebandseveralsuchdesperatecharac
tersjoinedthemselvestous,andsoIfinallyhadcommand
fabo
,to
Husband,dontforsakeus,dont
asty
g
rit
nce,
you
faultwillbe
urs.

d
o utfortywellarmedandbravemen.
Meanwhile,eveningwasalmostuponusandthe
wagonformywivesdroveup.Theycameout,bringing
thechildrenwiththem,andallwerebythistimequieted
down.Butafreshanxietyaroseatoncewhentheyper
ceivedthatIwasnotgoingwiththemthat,onthe
contrary,Ihadnottheslightestintentionofleavingthe
house.Theythrewthemselvesontheirknees,clutchedat
myclothesandbeggedmeasthetearsstreameddown
rescuemyselfwiththem:
c ourselfintothejawsofdeath!
Iexplainedtothemthat,ifIabandonedmypost,
ourhousewouldbecomeapreytoflamesandplunderin
hands,andmysonwouldlosethechiefpartofhisinhe
a while,ontheotherhand,ifweheldoutbravely,
therewasstillapossibilityofrescuingitasnoonecould
saywhetherornotAngulimlawouldattackingreatforce.
Kmanta,Kmanta!theycried,pleasedont
leaveus!TheterribleAngulimlawillmakeawaywith
andwillwearyourfingersonhisgorynecklace!Hewill
tortureyoutodeathinhisfearfulfuryandthe
o Becauseofourcursesandbadlanguageyou,our
belovd,mustsufferandonthataccountwewillbe
punishedinhell!
IsoughttocomfortthemaswellasImight,and
whentheysawthatIwasnottobemovedfrommyresolu
tion,theywereobligedtomakethebestofitandgetinto
thewagon.Scarcely,however,hadtheytakentheirplaces
whentheybegantohurlaccusationsatoneanother.
Itwasyouwhobeganit!
No!Youcalledmyattentiontohimashestood
therebesidethegatepost.Yes,thatyoudid!Youpointe
yourfingerathimrightthere.
132
Andyou,youspatathimredspittleupto
thattimeIhadntchewedanybetelIneverdothatin
Andsoitwenton;butthecreakingofthewheels,
pul ownedouttheirvoices.
themorning.
Butyoucalledhimatramp,alazybeggar!
Andyou,abaldpatedmonk...

astheoxennowbeganto l,dr

133

134

~17~
T
d
ed
ch
n
OHOMELESSNESS
WHATAHITHERTOunknownstillness
envelopedmenow,brother,asIagainentered
thehouseafterstationingmypeople,eachmanat
hispost.ThatIdidnthearthevoicesofmywivesit
wasntthatalone;itwasalsothatIhadheardtheirvoices
goingoutofthegate,awayintothedistance.Itwasthat
therewasnopossibilityofsuddenlyhearingoutofany
cornerthosescoldingtonesgrowinggraduallyshrilleran
shrilleruntiltheyfinallyunitedorratherbecamedisunit
inonecacophanousbrawlduetitwasthatwhichlent
tomyhouseanairofunspeakablequiet,whichasyetI
couldhardlybringmyselftobelievein.

* * *

AsIstoodtheremypalace,surroundedbyits
beautifullylaidoutparks,seemedtomemoresplendid
thaneverbefore,andItrembledatthethoughtthatallthis
magnificencewastobeutterlydestroyedwithinafew
h bytheinfamousbandofrobbers.Fearformyown ours
lifetroubledmefarlessthanthecruelconvictionthat
thesewellcaredforavenuesoftreeswouldbelaidwaste,
theseartisticallyhewnmarblepillarshurleddown,and
thatallthis,thebuildingupofwhichhadcostmesomu
thoughtandsuchtediouseffort,whosecompletionhad
filledmewithsomuchjoy,wouldbeaheapofruinswhe
135
thesunroseagain.ForonlytoowelldidIknowthetraces
leftbyAngulimla.
Therewas,however,nomoreformetodonow
butwait,anditwasstillyetseveralhoursbeforemidnight.

andintothegardenontheother,inthemidstof
llthe ughthe
rsth
ew
As
the
thepositionofthestarsandconstella
ons
;
ut
o,
of

Ihadforyearsbeenlivinginaceaselessroundof
businessandpleasureneveramomenthadItakenin
whichtocometomyself;andasIsattherewithnothingto
do,aloneinaroomopeningintothepillaredhallonthe
oneside
a deathlikestillnessofthepalace,Ilivedthro
fi ours,inasense,sincemyearliestyouth,which
entirelybelongedtome.
Mysuddenlyunfetteredthoughtsbegantofocus
forthefirsttimeonmyself.Mywholelifepassedinrevi
beforeme;andlookinguponitasastrangermighthave
done,Icouldfindnopleasurewhatsoeverinthesight.
ThesereflectionsIinterruptedacoupleoftimesto
makearoundthroughthehouse,courtyardandgarden,
andthusassuremyselfthatmymenwereonthewatch.
Isteppedoutforthethirdorfourthtimefrombetween
pillars,myeyes,trainedonmanyacaravanjourney,at
oncetoldmefrom
ti thatitwasbuthalfanhourtomidnight.
Ihastilywenttheroundsagainandexhortedmy
peopletobekeenlyonthealert.Imyselffelttheblood
hammeringineveryvein,andmythroatseemedtocon
tractfromtheanxietyandthestrain.Goingbacktomy
room,Isatdownasbefore.Butnothoughtswouldcome
Ifeltaheavypressureonmybreastandsoonitseemedto
measthoughIshouldsuffocate.Isprangupandwento
betweenthepillarstoinhalethecoolnightair.AsIdids
mycheekwassoftlyfannedbywhatseemedtobea
passingwaveofair,andimmediatelythereafterthehoot
anowlsoundedinthestillness.Atthesamemomenta
strongodouroftheblossomsofthenightlotuswaswafted
136
towardsmefromthegardenponds.Ihadraisedmyeyes
inordertocalculateoncemorethehourfromthestars,
when:Thereitwas!Ibeheld,acrossthedeepblue
the
sureonmybreast
ere

m.
dit
t

fruit,thekernelhaddriedup

theproud
allw
anewlight.
expanseoftheheavens,betweentheblacktreetops,
softlyglowingradianceoftheMilkyWay.

* * *

TheHeavenlyGang,Imurmuredinvoluntarily,
andinamomentitwasasifthepres
w loosening,wererisinginawarmwavewithinme,to
pouroutinastreamofhottearsfrommyeyes.ItistrueI
had,afewhoursearlier,whenmywholelifepassedin
reviewbeforeme,thoughtofVsitthandthebriefseason
ofmylovebutthenonlyasofsomethingdistantand
strangethatseemedtobenomorethanafoolishdrea
Now,however,InolongerthoughtofitatallIlive
again:Iwasallatoncetheselfofthepastandtheselfof
thepresent,andwithgenuinehorrordidIbecomeaware
ofallthedifference.AtthattimeIpossessednothing
exceptmyselfandmylove;andtheseweretheyno
inseparable?NowohwhatdidInotpossessnow!
Wivesandchildren,elephants,horses,cattle,draught
oxen,servantsandslaves,richlyfilledwarehouses,gold
andjewels,apleasureparkandapalacethepossessionof
whichmyfellowcitizensenviedmebutwherewas
I?Asinsomeblighted
disappearedandeverythinghadturnedtoempty
shell...
Likeoneawakening,Ilookedaroundme.
Theextensiveandbeautifullytimberedparklifting
itsdarktreetopsagainstthenightsky,sownwithmyriads
ofstarsandthreadedbytheMilkyWay,and
h herethealabasterlampsglowedbetweenthepillars
thesesuddenlyappearedtomeinquite
137
Hostileandthreatening,theysurroundedmelikemagnifi
pireswhichhadalreadydrained
renow
,after
and
firesofthecaravans
adc
er

deadliest

estpossession,thislifewhichyoudepriveme
f.W
otbelongnow;midnightwaspast,and
ithwhatjoydidIlookforwardtothecombat!Anguli
mlawouldseekme;Iwishedtoseewhetherhewouldbe
ablethistimealsotostrikemyswordoutofmyhand.Oh,
howsweetthatwouldbe,todie,afterIhadpiercedhim
tothehearthim,towhomaloneallmymisfortune
wasdue.
Itcannotbelongnow...howoftenIrepeated
thatcomforttomyself,ashourpassedhour,thatnight!
centlyglisteningvam
almostthewholeofmyheartsbloodandwe
gapinggreedilyfortheenjoymentofthelastdrops
whichtherewouldremainnothingbutthewithered
corpseofanabortivehumanlife.
Adistantandundefinablenoisemurmursof
footstepsasitseemedtomecausedmetostartup.
Unsheathingmysword,Isprangdownacoupleofsteps
andthenstoodstilltolisten.Therobbers!butno...
everythingwassilent,everythingremainedsilent.Far
wide,nothingmoved.Itwasonlyoneofthoseunfathom
ablesoundswhichbelongtothestillnessofthenight,one
ofthosewhichsooftenbythewatch
h ausedmetospringtomyfeet.Outside,therewas
nothing.Butwhatwasthatwithinme?Thiswasnolong
terrorwhichmadethebloodbeatinmytemples;noryet
thecourageofdespair;no,itwasexultantjubilation.
Welcome,yourobbers!Come,Angulimla!Layit
alltowaste,reduceittoashes!Thesearemy
enemieswhomyoudestroythatwhichwouldcrush
me,youtakeaway.Here,heretome!Immerseyour
swordsinmyblood!Itismybitterestenemyyoupierce,
thisbodydevotedtosensuality,givenovertogluttony!It
ismysadd
o elcomerobbers!Goodfriends!Oldcomrades!
Itcouldn
w
138
Nowatlast!No,itwasa ustlingofthetreetops
whichdiedawayinthedistance, riseagainasbefore
itsoundedasthoughagreatshaggyanimalhadshaken
itself.Againandagainitwasrepeated,andthenthere
soundedtheshrillcryofsomebird.
Werenotthesesignsofapproachingday?

* * *

Fearmademecold.WasitpossiblethatIwastobe
disappointed?Yes,Itremblednowatthethoughtthat,
afterall,therobbersmightnotcome.Howcloselywithin
myreachtheendhadappearedtobeashort,exciting
fightandthendeath,scarcelyfelt.Nothingseemedtome
sohopelessnowasthewretchedprospectofbeingfound
hereinthemorning,intheoldsurroundings,myoldself
again,andagainboundtotheoldlife.Wasthatreallyto
happen?Weretheynotcoming,mydeliverers?Itmust
assuredlybehightimebutIdidntevendaretolook.
Yethowwasthatpossible?WasI,afterall,thevictimof
someillusionwhenIrecognisedAngulimlainthatwan
derer?AgainandagainIaskedmyselfthequestion,but
thatIcouldnotbelieve.Andyetifitwerehe,hewouldbe
suretocomethisnighthewouldcertainlynothave
appearedatmyhouseinhisverycleverdisguisewithouta
purpose,onlytodisappearagainasthoughtheearthhad
swallowedhim;forIhadcausedinquiriestobemadeand
Iknewthathehadbeggedforalmsnowhereelse.
Thedrowsycrowingofayoungcock,inthecourt
yardnearby,wokemeoutofmybrooding.Theconstella
tionthatIsought,Iwasnowscarcelyabletofind,several
ofitsstarshavingalreadysunkbeneaththetreetops.All
theothergroups,withtheexceptionofthosethatstood
highestintheheavens,hadlosttheircleartwinkling.
Therewasnolongerroomfordoubt;thegreydawnwas
r
to
139
alreadyheraldingitscomingand nattackbyAngulimla
wasabsolutelyoutofthequestion.
Butofallthestrangething thatIhadexperienced
thisnight,thestrangestcamenow.
Therecognitionofmyimmunitywasatfirstaccom
paniedbyafeelingofdisappointment,ratherthanany
feelingofreliefbecauseofthedisappearanceofalldanger.
Butanewthoughthadsuddenly risenandpossessedme
utterly:
WhatdoIreallyneedthoserobbersfor?
Ihadlongedfortheirtorchesandpitchgarlandsto
comeandfreemefromtheburdenofthismagnificent
property.Therearepeople,however,whooftheirown
freewilldivestthemselvesoftheirpossessionsandlay
holdofthewanderingseekersstaff.Asabird,whither
soeveritflies,fliesbearingonlyitswingsandiscontent
withthese,soalsoitiswiththespiritualseekertheyare
contentwitharobetocoverthebodyandwithalmsfood
tosustainhealthandlife.AndIhaveheardthemsayin
praiseofthatlife:Thehouseholdlifeiscrowdedand
dusty;wideopen,likethefreeairofheaven,isthelifeof
onegoneforth.
Ihadcalledupontheswordsoftherobberstokill
thisbody.Butifthisbodycrumblesintodust,anewoneis
formed;andoutfromtheoldlifegoesforthanewoneas
itsfruit.Whattypeoflifewouldgoforthfrommine?Itis
truethatVsitthandIsolemnlysworebyyonderHeav
enlyGang,whosesilverwavesfeedthelotuspondsof
theWesternParadise,thatwewouldmeetinthoseFields
oftheBlessd.Andwiththatvowtherewasformed,as
shesaid,foreachofusthereinthecrystalwatersofthe
sacredsea,alifebud:abudthatwouldgrowbyevery
purethought,everygooddeed,butatwhicheverything
lowandunworthyinourliveswouldgnawlikeaworm.
Ah!Ifeltminemusthavebeengnawedutterlyawaylong
a
s
a
140
ago.Ihadlookedbackovermylife;ithadgrownunwor
thy.Unworthinesswouldgoforth fromit.WhatwouldI
havegainedbysuchanexchange
Butthereare,aswek oplewhobefore
theyleavethislife,destroy ssibilityofrebirthon
earthand howinthesteadfastcertaintyofeternalbliss.
Andthes ing,
thewanderingseekerslife.

uslybecause
entlyfor
emasmyonehopenowIneitherfearedthemnor
alikefromfearand
ope,Ifeltagreatcalm.InthispeaceIassuredlyexperi
nced
,asIstoodin

perfectpeace.

ndo s
ehouseIwent
and
took

?
now,pe
everypo
w
earetheverypeoplewho,forsakingeveryth
adopt
Whatthencouldtheburningtorchesoftherobbers,
whatcouldtheirswordsdoforme?
AndI,whohadatfirsttrembledanxio
oftherobbers,andhadafterwardslongedimpati
th
hopedforanythingfromthem.Freed
h
e aforetasteofthejoywhichistheirswhohave
reachedthespiritualseekersGoal.For
relationshiptotherobbers,sothoseseekerssurelystand
inrelationtoallthepowersofthisworld:theyneitherfear
themnordotheyhopeforanythingfromthem,they
simplyabidewiththeminsereneand
AndIwhoameretwentyhoursearlierhad
fearedtostartoutonashortjourneyonaccountofthe
hardshipsandthemeagrefareofthecaravanlifeInow
decidedwithoutfearorvacillationtojourneyshelterless
a nfoottotheendofmydays,contenttotakething
astheycame.
Withoutoncegoingbackintoth
straightawaytoashedlyingbetweenthegarden
courtyard,whereallkindsoftoolswerekept.ThereI
anoxgoadandcutthepointoffit,inordertouseitasa
staff;andIhungovermyshoulderagourdbottle,suchas
thegardenersandfieldworkerscarried.
AtthewellinthecourtyardIfilledthegourd,upon
whichthehousestewardapproachedme.
141
Angulimlaandhisrobberswillnotcomenow,
Master!Willthey?
No,Kolita,theywillnotcomenow.
But,Masterareyougoingoutalready?
Evenso,Kolita,Igo.AndofthisverymatterI

e
ath.
nsto
ureofthewandererhadstood,I
on,
ickly,andwithoutlookingback,Iwentthrough
esu
ll
desiretospeakwithyou.ForIgothewaynowthat
peoplecallthewayofthenoblestbirdsofpassage.From
thisway,however,Kolitathereisnoreturnforonewho
perseveresinitnoreturntothisworldafterdeath,how
muchlesstothishouseduringlife.ButthehouseIgiv
intoyourcare,foryouhavebeenfaithfuluntode
Administerthehouseandfortuneuntilmysonattai
manhood.Givemylovetomyfather,mywives,mylittle
girlsandtheboy,andfarewell!
AfterIhadthusspokenandfreedmyhandfrom
thegoodKolita,whocovereditwithkissesandtears,I
walkedtowardsthegate,andatthesightofthegatepost
besidewhichthefig
thought:IfitslikenesstoAngulimlawasbutavisi
thenIcertainlyhavereadthevisionright!
Qu
th burbwithitsgardens.Beforemethedesolate,far
reachingcountryroadlaystretchedoutinthefirstgrey
shimmerofthedawn,asifitwentonandeveronfora
eternity.
Thus,VenerableOne,didIadoptthelifeof
homelessness.

142

143

144

~18~
INTHEHALLOFTHEPOTTER
WITHTHESEWORDSthepilgrimKmanta
broughthisnarrativetoaclose,satsilently
andgazedmeditativelyoutuponthelandscape.

* * *

AndtheLordBuddhaalsosatsilentlyandgazed
meditativelyoutuponthelandscape.
Loftytreesweretobeseen,somenear,some
fartheroff,somegroupingthemselvesinshadowymasses,
othersdissolvingairilyincloudlikeformationsanddisap
pearingintothemistsinthedistance.
Themoonnowstooddirectlyovertheporch,and
edasthoughmountedinsilver.
a
sswithshortmeasuredjerks.
?
ow
nd

itslightshoneintotheouterpartofthehall,whereitlay
likethreewhitesheetsuponableachinggreen,whilethe
leftsideofthepillarsgleam
Inthedeepsilenceofthenightonecouldhear
waterbuffalosomewhereintheneighbourhood,cropping
thegra
AndtheMasterponderedwithinhimself:
ShouldItellthisseekerallIknowofVsitth
H faithfulshewastohim;how,withoutfaultofher
own,shewasforcedtomarryStgirabylowfraud;how
itwasherdoingthatAngulimlaappearedinUjjen;a
how,owingtothatveryvisit,hehimself,Kmanta,isnow
treadingthepathofthespiritualseekerinsteadofsinking
145
infoulluxury.ShouldIrevealtohimthepaththatVsitth
and
nowledgewouldnotbehelpfultotheseekerin
isef
weloveissuffering,
be
ofsuchanexperienceasyours.
Oh!howtrue!calledoutKmanta,inanagitated
voice,howprofoundly,deeplytrue!Who,stranger,
utteredthoseprofoundandwonderfulwords?
Thereisnoneedtobeconcernedaboutthat,
friend.Itisofnoconsequencewhoutteredthem,aslong
asyoufeelandrecognisetheirtruth.
HowcouldInot?Theycontaininafewwordsall
mylifetrouble.HadInotalreadychosenaMaster,Iwould
seeknoneotherthantheadmirableonewithwhomthese
wordsoriginated.
ThenyouhaveaMasterwhoseteachingyou
acknowledge,friend,andinwhosenameyouhavegone
forth?
Intruth,brother,Iwentforthinthenameofno
Master.Onthecontrary,myideaatthattimewasthatI
shouldwinmywaytotheGoalunaided.AndwhenI
restedbydayintheneighbourhoodofavillage,atthefoot
ofatreeorintherecessesofaforest,Igavemyselfup
withfervourtodeepestthought.Tosuchthoughtsasthese
WhatistheSelf?Whatistheuniverse?IstheSelf
eternalandtheuniversetemporal?Istheuniverseeternal
andtheSelftemporal?OrWhyhasthehighestBrahm
causedtheworldtocomeforthfromHimself?Andifthe
highestBrahmispureandperfecthappiness,howdoesit
happenthattheuniverseHehascreatedisimperfectand
isafflictedwithsuffering?
AndwhenIgavemyselfuptosuchthoughts,I
isfollowingnow?
Buthedecidedthatthetimewasnotyetcome
thatsuchk
h forts.TheMaster,therefore,spokeandsaid:
Tobeseparatedfromwhat
to unitedtowhatwedonotloveissuffering.When
thiswassaid,itwassaid

146
reachednosatisfactorysolution.Onthecontrary,new
doubtsconstantlyarose,andIdid notseemtohaveneared
bysomuchasasinglestep,theGoalforthesakeofwhich
thenoblemindedabandonhome oreverandvoluntarily
becomehomeless.
Yes,friend,theBuddhareplied,itisasifone
weretopursuethehorizon,thinking:Oh,ifonlyIcould
reachthelinethatboundsmyvision!Inthesameway
doestheGoalescapethosewhogivethemselvestosuch
questions.
Kmantanoddedthoughtfully,andthenwenton:
Thenithappenedoneday,when theshadowsofthe
treeshadalreadybeguntolengthen,thatIcameupona
hermitageinaforestglade,andthereIsawyoungmenin
whiterobes,severalofwhommilkedcows,whileothers
splitwoodandyetotherswashedpailsatthespring.
Onamatinfrontofthehallsatanagedbrahmin,
fromwhomtheseyoungpeopleevidentlylearnedthe
sacredsongsandsentences.Hegreetedmewithfriend
liness,andalthoughitwouldtake,ashesaid,scarcelyan
hourtoreachthenextvillage,hebeggedmetosharetheir
mealandtospendthenightwiththem.Ididsogratefully
enough,andbeforeIhadlaidmyselfdowntosleepIhad
heardmanyagoodandimpressiveutterance.
Onthefollowingday,whenIwasabouttogoon
mywaythebrahminaddressedmewithWhoisyour
Master,youngman,andinwhosenamehaveyougone
forth?
AndIansweredhimasIhaveansweredyou.
UponwhichthebrahminsaidHowwillyou,
friend,reachthathighestGoalifyouwanderalonelikethe
rhinoceros,insteadofinaherdandledbyanexperienced
leaderasisthewayofthewiseelephant?
Atthewordherd,heglancedbenevolently
towardstheyoungpeoplestandingroundabout;atthe

147
wordleaderheappearedtosmilewithmuchinward
satisfaction.
For,hewenton,thisisindeedtoohighandtoo
deepforonesowncomprehension,andwithoutateacher
itmustremainaclosedbook.On eotherhand,the
Veda,intheteachingofShvetaketu,saysJustas,O
belovd,amanwhohasbeenledblindfoldedhitherfrom
thelandofGandhra,andthenhasbeenletlooseinthe
desert,willstriketoofareastward,oritmaybetoofarto
thenorth,orthesouth,becausehehasbeenledhither
withhiseyesbound;buthewill,afteronehasunbound
hiseyesandsaidtohimThere,inthatdirectionlivethe
Gandhra,gothither,askhiswayfromvillagetovillage
andreachhishome,richerinknowledgeandwisdom;so
alsoisthemanwhohasfoundaMastertodirecthimto
thelandoftheSpirit.SuchamancansayIshallhave
partandlotinthisworldsturmoiluntilmyliberation
comes,andthenIshallgotomyrealHome.
Isawatonce,ofcourse,thatthebrahminwas
planningtosecuremeasapupil.Butthisverydesireofhis
destroyedanyconfidencewhichmighthavebeenawakening
withinme.Ontheotherhand,Iwaswellpleasedwith
thesayingfromtheVedaand,asIwentonmyway,
repeateditoverandoveragaintomyself,inordertofixit
inmymemory.Indoingso,asentenceoccurredtome
whichIhadonceheardusedregardingaparticularMaster
TheMasterdoesnotcravedisciples,butthedisciples,
theMaster.
Whataverydifferentmanhemustbe,Ithoughtto
myself,fromthisforestbrahmin!AndIlonged,Venerable
One,forsuchaMaster,whowasaboveallsuchcraving.
WhoisthisMasterwhomyouheardsopraised?
Whatishisname?
Heis,brother,theSamanaGotama,oftheSkya
clan,whorenouncedthethroneofhisfathers.ThisMaster
th
148
Gotamaisgreetedeverywherewithhonourandthe
yousacclaimHeistheBlessdOne,theHolyOne,
ImpeccableinConductandUnderstanding,Knowerofthe
Worlds,TeacherofGodsand theEnlightened
One,theBuddha.AndIjo winordertofindthat
SublimeOneandto owledgemyselfashisdisciple.
Butwhere,fr idethis
me,thisEnlightenedOne?
Fartothenorth,brother,inthekingdomofKosala,
mightytreesin
e
wn
rsagotherich
erchantAnthapindikapurchasedthegrovefromPrince
eB dha itcostsomuch
oneythat,ifspreadoverthesurfaceoftheground,it

so
ht
ve

cted:Formysakethisyoung

d
jo
Humans,
urneyno
ackn
iend,doeshenowres
Subli

liesthegreatcityofSvatthi.Justbeyondthetownis
therichlywoodedJetavanapark,filledwith
whosedeepshade,farremovedfromallnoise,thewis
andfaithfulareabletositandmeditate.Itscrystalpools
everexhalecoolness,anditsemeraldmeadowsarestre
withmyriadsofvaricolouredflowers.Yea
m
Jetaandpresentedittoth ud
m
wouldhaveconcealedthewholeproperty.There,then,in
thisdelightfulJetavanaoverwhosemeadowsthefeetof
manyofthewisehavepassed,theMaster,theFullyEnlig
enedOne,atpresentmakeshisabode.IfIstepout
bravelyIhopeinthecourseofaboutfourweekstoha
accomplishedthedistancefromheretoSvatthiandtosit
atthefeetoftheMaster.
Buthaveyoueverseenhim,brotherthis
BlessdOneandifyoudidseehimwouldyourecognise
him?
No,brother,Ihavenotyetseenhim,theBlessd
One,andifIsawhimIwouldnotrecognisehim.
ThentheMasterrefle
seekerisnowontheWay;heacknowledgeshimselfasmy
disciple;howwoulditbeifIrevealedtheheartofthe
Dharmatohim?AndtheMasterturnedtoKmantaan
said:Themoonhasjustrisenovertheporch,wearenot
149
yetfarintothenightandtoomuchsleepisnotgoodfor
themind.IfitisagreeabletoyouIcanoffer,inreturnfor
chingofthe yournarrative,tounfoldtoyoutheTea
Buddha.
Thatwouldmakemeveryhappy,brother,andI
begyoutodosoifyouareable.
Listenwellthen,myfriend,andreflectonwhatI
havetosaytoyou.

150

151

152

~19~
THEMASTER
ANDTHELORDBUDDHAsaid:TheTathgata,
theFullyEnlightenedOne,setthe wheelof
theDharmarollingatBenares,besidetheRockofthe
Prophet,intheGroveoftheGazelles.Anditcanneither
bestoppedbymonknorbrahmin neitherbygodnor
demon,norbyanyoneelseinthis

* *

ThatTeachingistheUnveiling,theRevelationof
theFourNobleTruths.WhatFour?TheNobleTruthof
Suffering,theNobleTruthoftheOriginofSuffering,the
NobleTruthoftheCessationofSuffering,theNobleTruth
ofthePathwhichleadstotheCessationofSuffering.
Butwhat,brother,istheNobleTruthofSuffering?
BirthisSuffering,ageingisSuffering,sicknessisSuffering,
deathisSuffering;sorrow,lamentation,pain,griefand
despairareallSuffering;tobeseparatedfromthelovedis
Suffering;tobeunitedwiththeunlovedisSuffering;notto
obtainwhatwedesireisSuffering;inshort,allthevarious
formsofattachmentinvolveSuffering.Thatis,brother,the
NobleTruthofSuffering.
Butwhat,brother,istheNobleTruthoftheOrigin
ofSuffering?Itisthis:thecravingthatcontinuallygives
risetofreshbirth,companionedbydesireandpassion,
everseekingfreshdelight,nowhere,nowthere.Inother

,
world.
*
153
words:cravingforsensualpleasu e,thecravingforexist
enceorthecravingforannihilation.Thatis,brother,the
NobleTruthoftheOriginofSuffering.
Butwhat,brother,istheNobleTruthofthe
CessationofSuffering?Itisthecompletefadingawayand
cessationofthatverycraving;its bandonmentandrelin
quishment;thefreedomfromand scardingofit.Thatis,
brother,theNobleTruthoftheCessationofSuffering.
Butwhat,brother,istheNobleTruthofthePath
whichleadstotheCessationofSuffering?ItistheNoble
EightfoldPathconsistingofRigh RightIntention,
RightSpeech,RightAction,Right RightEffort,
RightMindfulness,RightConcentration.Thatis,brother,
theNobleTruthofthePathwhich leadstotheCessation
ofSuffering.
AftertheMasterhadinthis setupthefour
cornerstones,heproceededtoraisethewholestructure
oftheTeachinginsuchawayastomakeitahabitable
homeforthethoughtsandfeelingsofhispupil.Heeluci
datedeachseparatesentenceasa masonhewsand
polisheseachindividualstone,andjustasonelaysone
stoneuponanothersodidhejoinsentencetosentence,
everywherelayingdownthefoundationscarefullyand
fittingeachsentenceintoitsownproperplace,initsdue
relationtoeveryother.Bythesideofthepillarofthe
PrincipleofSufferingheplacedthepillarofthePrinciple
oftheTransitorinessofAllThings;and,asanentablature
joiningthetwo,whilesupportedbyandoverarching
them,headdedtheweightyPrincipleoftheSelflessness
ofPhenomena.Throughthismightyportalheascended,
leadinghispupilcircumspectly,stepbystep,severaltimes
upanddownthewellbuiltstair thefundamentallawof
conditionalityDependentOriginationeverywhere
establishingandperfecting.
Andjustasanablebuilder, henerectingsome
r
a
di
tView,
Livelihood,

way
skilled
of
w
154
magnificentstructure,addspiece ofstatuaryatsuitable
pointsandinsuchawaythatthe servenotonlyas
ornamentsbutalsoasbearersofsupports,sotoothe
Masterattimesintroduced ingoringenious
analogy,consciousthatby thodtheveiledmean
ingofma profoundutterancecanbecomeclear.
Fin at
metime,asitwere,coveredthestructureoverby
rds:
t
er
is

newho
asfoundafreedomwhichstandstrueand
violable.Forthatwhichisdeceptiveandfleetingisfalse,
ha nundeceptivenatureisthe
upremeNobleTruththatistosay:Nirvna.
eandtodeath,marking
ellt ns

us

s
y
anamus
suchme
nya
ally,however,hesummedthewholeupand
thesa
placinguponitaresplendent,farseendomeinthewo
Byattachmenttoexistence,friend,onecomesinto
existence;lackingsuchattachmentonecomesintoexis
encenomore.
Andintheseekerwhoisnowhereheldfastby
suchattachments,theregrowsamidtheuncloudedche
fulnessofinnerpeacethisrealisationMydeliverance
unassailable,thisisthelastbirthofall,nowtherewillbe
nomorecomingintoanystateofbeing.
Theonewhohascomethusfarawakenstothe
highestwisdom.Andthis,friend,isthehighest,holiest
wisdom:Toknowthatallsufferingisended.O
hasfoundthish
in
myfriend;andthatwhich sa
S
Andone,whofromtheverybeginningwas
subjecttobirth,thechangesofag
w heremorselessnessoftheLawofNature,nowwi
thesafetythatknowsnobirth,noageingandnodeath.
Onewhowassubjecttosicknessandcorruptionth
reachestheassurancethatknowsnochange,thatispure
andholysuchaoneknows,withabsolutecertainty:
Birthisdestroyed,theknowledgeoffreedomis
clear;theholylifehasbeenfulfilled,whathadtobedone
hasbeendone,thereisnomoreofthistocomethe
worldhasbeenutterlytranscended.
155
Suchones,myfriend,arecalledFinishersbecause
use
ededouttheplantoflifebytheroots
otha

py
and
theyhavefinishedandmadeanendofallsuffering.
Suchones,myfriend,arecalledObliterators
becausetheyhaveobliteratedthedelusionofIand
Mine.
Suchones,myfriend,arecalledWeedersbeca
theyhavewe
s tnonewlifecanevergerminateagain.
Solongastheyareinthebody,suchonesare
seenbygodsandhumans;butwhenthebodyisdissolved
indeaththeyarenolongerseenbyanyoneatalland
neitherevendoesMotherNaturetheAllseeinges
themanymore.Suchoneshavealsoblindedtheeyeof
Mra,escapedfromtheEvilOne,theLordofIllusion
theSensoryWorld.Crossingthestreamofexistencethey
havereachedtheIslandtheonlyonethatlies
beyondageinganddeath:Nirvna.

156

157

158

ingandscepticalthoughts.

or
ofaneternallife
fsup
es
h

ew
~20~
THEUNREASONABLECHILD
AFTERTHEBUDDHAHADendedhisdiscourse,
Kmantaremainedsittingforalongtime,silentand
motionless,apreytoconflict
Finallyhesaid:Youhavetoldmemuchofhowthe
monkshouldmakeanendofsufferinginhislifetime,
butnothingwhateverofwhatbecomesofhimwhenhis
bodydisintegratesindeathandreturnstoitselements,
exceptthatfromthattimeonneitherpeoplenorgods,n
evenNatureHerself,seeshimagain.But
o remehappinessandheavenlyblissofthatIhave
heardnothing.HastheMasterrevealednothing
concerningit?

* * *

Evenso,brother,thusitis:theTathgatahas
revealednothingconcerningit.
ThatisasmuchastosaythattheLordBuddha
knowsnomoreofthismostimportantofallquestions
thanImyself,repliedKmantadiscontentedly.
Doyouthinkittobeso...?InthatsameSimsap
woodintheneighbourhoodofKosamb,whereyouand
yourVsitthsworeeternalfidelityandpledgedyourselv
tomeetagainintheParadiseoftheWest,theretheTat
gataatonetimetookuphisabode.Ashewalkedthrough
th oodhepickedupabundleofSimsapleavesinhis
159
handandsaidtothemonkswithhimWhatdoyou
think,bhikkhus,whicharemorenumerous,theseSimsap
ralltheotherleavesin
efo
Sir,
is
ichIhaverevealedtoyou.
ndw not
totheturning
way
ctto

age

you
ave five
thavebeendeniedandrejectedas
ff

leaveswhichIhaveinmyhand,o
th rest?ImmediatelytheyansweredTheleaves
whichyouhaveinyourhandareveryfew,Venerable
whereastheleavesintheSimsapforestarefarmore
numerous.
Inthesameway,bhikkhus,saidtheTathgata,
thatwhichIhavediscernedandyetnotrevealedtoyou
fargreaterinsumthanthatwh
A hyhaveInotrevealedeverything?Becauseitis
helpfulspiritually,itisnotinkeepingwiththepathof
simplicityandrenunciation,itdoesnotlead
a fromallworldlythings,nortothelettinggoof
passions,nortothefinaldisowningofallthatissubje
change,nortoperfectknowledgeandenlightenmentit
doesnotaidtherealisationofNirvna.
IftheMasterspokethusintheSimsapgroveat
Kosamb,answeredKmanta,thenthematterispro
bablyevenmoreseriousstill.Forinthatcase,hehas
certainlybeensilentonthepointinordernottodiscour
or,asmightwellhappen,eventerrifyhisdisciples;as
hecertainlywould,ifheshouldrevealtothemhisversion
oftheFinalTruthnamely,annihilation.Thisseemsto
metoresultasanecessaryconsequencefromwhat
h soplainlystated.For,afteralltheobjectsofthe
sensesandofthough
fleeting,aswithoutanyrealexistenceandasfullofsu
ering,thereremainnopowersbymeansofwhichwecould
graspanythingwhatsoever.
SoIunderstand,VenerableSir,fromthedoctrine
youhavejustexpoundedtome,thatthosewhohave
freedthemselvesfromalldelusionfallvictimtoannihil
ationwhenthebodydies,thattheyvanishandhaveno
existencebeyonddeath.
160
Didyounotsaytome,askedtheBuddha,that

youwouldseetheTathgataas
eing

ofthebodywithallitsqualitiesof
m
withinamonthyouwouldsitatthefeetoftheMasterin
theGroveofJetavananearSvatthi?
Iassuredlyhopetodoso,VenerableSir;whydo
youaskme?
WhenyousitatthefeetoftheTathgata,whatdo
youthink,myfriendisthephysicalformwhichyou
willseethen,whichyouwillbeabletotouchwithyour
handalongwiththemindthatthenrevealsitself,with
itssensations,perceptionsandideasdoyouseethatas
beingtheTathgata,thePerfectOne,doyoulookuponit
assuch?
Idonot,VenerableSir.
Perhapsthen,
b inthebodyandminddoyoulookuponitlike
that?
Idonot,VenerableSir.
Thenmayitbe,myfriend,thatyouseethe
Tathgataasapartfromthebodyandthemind?
Idonotlookuponitinthatlight,VenerableSir.
Doyouthink,then,thattheTathgataisthe
ownerofthatbodyandthatmind?Isthatyourview,my
friend?
ThatisnotthewayIseeit,VenerableSir.
DoyouseetheTathgatathen,ashavingnobody
andnomind?
Heisapartfromtheminsofarashisbeingisnot
fullycomprehendedwithinthoseelements.
Whatelementsorpowershaveyouthen,my
friend,apartfromthose
whichweareawarethroughthesenses,andapartfro
thoseofthemindwithallitssensations,perceptionsand
ideaswhatpowershaveyoubeyondthese,bymeans
ofwhichyoucanfullyapprehendwhatyouhavenotyet
apprehendedinthebeingoftheTathgata?
161
Suchfurtherpowers,VenerableSir,Imustacknow
of
hilation
hen
nifIhavenorighttomakethatassertion,he
aidf
ly
hehadhad
d

e
thepowerfulnetofcravingforexistence?And
hile
ledgeIdonotpossess.
Thenevenhere,friendKmanta,intheworld
senses,theTathgataisnotintruthandinhisveryes
sence,apprehendiblebyyou.Isitthenrighttosaythat
theTathgataoranyoneofthosewhohavefreed
themselvesfromalldelusionisdoomedtoanni
w hislifeends,thathedoesnotexistbeyonddeath,
solelybecauseyouarenotinpossessionofanypowersby
whichyoucan,intruth,apprehendhiminhisveryes
sencethere?
Questionedinsuchfashion,Kmantasatspeech
lessforsometime,hisbodybent,hisheadbowed.
Eve
s inally,itstillseemstometobeimpliedplainly
enoughinthesilenceoftheTathgata.Forhecertain
wouldnothavemaintainedsuchasilenceif
anythingjoyoustocommunicate,whichwouldofcourse
bethecaseifheknewthatfortheonewhohadconque
redsufferingthereremainedafterdeathnotonlynot
annihilation,buteternalandblessdlife.Itiscertainthat
suchacommunicationcouldonlyserveasaspurtohis
disciplesandbeahelptothemintheirspiritualefforts.
Doyouthinkso,myfriend?Howwoulditbeif
theTathgatahadnotpointedtotheendofallsufferingas
thefinalGoalevenashealsobeganwithsufferingin
thebeginningbuthadextolledaneternalandbless
lifeoutbeyonditandbeyondthislifeofours.Manyofhis
discipleswouldassuredlyhavebeendelightedwiththe
idea,wouldhaveclungtoiteagerly,wouldhavelonged
foritsfulfilmentbutwiththepassionatelongingwhich
disturbsalltruecheerfulnessandserenity.Sowouldthey
notalsothenhavebeeninvolvedunperceivedinth
meshesof
w clingingtoaBeyond,forwhichbynecessitythey
162
hadtoborrowallthecolouringfromthislife,wouldthey
nothaveonlyclungevenmoretothepresentthemore
theypursuedthatBeyond?
Whateverkindsofexistencethereare,inanyway,
anywhere,allareimpermanent,painhauntedandsubject

sReality?Theyseewhateverhas
ome

withvisionsees.
nthoughthey
ll
,Istillholdthatthe
ther
as
ly!
d

tochange.So,onewhoseesthisasitisabandonscraving
forexistencewithoutrelishingnonexistence.Andhow
doessuchaoneseethi
c intobeingassimplyhavingcomeintobeing.By
seeingitthustheyhaveentereduponthewaytodispass
ionforit,tothefadingandcessationofcravingforit.That
ishowone
For,likeawatchdogthat,boundtoapostand
tryingtofreeitself,rushesinacirclearoundaboutit
evensothoseworthydiscipleswho,eve
dearlylongtotranscendthisbodyandtheworld,theysti
remainboundtoitwhethertheyloveitortheyhateit,
rushinginendlesscirclesaroundit.
ThoughIamcertainlycompelledtoacknowledge
thisdanger,Kmantaanswered
o danger,theuncertaintyevokedbysilence,isbyfar
themoredangerous,inasmuchasitcripplestheenergies
fromtheverybeginning.Forhowcanthedisciplebe
expectedtoexerthimselfwithallhismighttoovercome
allsuffering,withdecisionandcourage,ifhedoesnt
knowwhatistofollow:eternalblissornonexistence?
Myfriend,whatwouldyouthinkinsuchacase
this?Letussaythatahouseisburning,andthattheser
vantrunstowakenhismaster,sayingGetup,sir!F
Thehouseisonfire!Alreadytheraftersareburningan
theroofisabouttofallin.Wouldthemasterbelikelyto
answerGo,mygoodfellow,andseewhetherthereis
rainandstormoutside,orwhetheritisafinemoonlit
night.Inthelattercasewewilltakeourselvesoutside?
How,VenerableSir,couldthemastergivesuchan
163
answer?FortheservanthadcalledtohiminterrorFly,
reburning
ndth
ide,
younotconcludefromitthatthemasterhadnot
eard at
ichhungoverhisheadhadbyno
eansbecomecleartohim?
Iwouldcertainlybeforcedtothatconclusion,
enerableSir,otherwiseitwouldbeunthinkablethatthe
couldgivesuchafoolishanswer.
Evenso,friendyoushouldthereforealsoactas
ifyourheadwereencompassedbyflames,asifyour
housewereonfire.Andwhathouse?Theworld!Andset
onfirebywhatflame?Bytheflameofdesire,bytheflame
ofhate,bytheflameofdelusion.Thewholeworldis
beingconsumedbyflames,thewholeworldisenveloped
insmoke,thewholeworldrockstoitsfoundations!
Addressedthus,Kmantatrembledasdoesa
youngbuffalowhenithearsforthefirsttimetheroarof
thetigerinaneighbouringthicket.Withbentbody,head
sunkonhisbreast,hisfacesuffusedwithburningcolour,
hesatforsometimewithoututteringaword.
Theninagruffalthoughsomewhattremulous
voice,heanswered:
ItstilldoesnotpleasemethattheMasterhas
revealednothingconcerningthismatter.Thatis,ifhewas
abletogiveanyinformationwhichwouldhavebeenfull
ofpromiseandevenifhehasbeensilentbecausewhat
heknewwascomfortlessandterrifying,orbecausehe
knewabsolutelynothing,Iamstillnobetterpleased.For
thethoughtsandtheeffortsofhumanbeingsaredirected
towardshappinessandpleasure,atendencywhichhasits
sir!Thehouseisonfire!Alreadytheraftersa
a eroofthreatenstofallin.
Indeedtheservanthadcalledtohimthus.Butif,
inspiteofthat,themasteransweredGo,mygood
fellow,andseewhetherthereisrainandstormouts
would
h correctlywhathisfaithfulservanthadsaidth
themortaldangerwh
m

V
man
164
foundationinNatureHerselfand beotherwise.
AndinkeepingwiththisisthefollowingwhichIhave
heardfromthelipsofbrahminpriests.
Letusimaginethecaseof youth,capable,eager
forknowledge,thequickest,strongest,mostpowerfulof
allyouths,andthattohimbelongedtheworldwithallits
treasures.Thatwouldbeahuman joy.Butahundred
humanjoysarebutasonejoyoftheheavenlydevat;and
ahundredjoysoftheheavenlydevatarebutasonejoy
ofthegods;andahundredjoyso thegodsarebutasone
joyofIndra;andahundredjoysofIndraarebutasone
joyofPrajpati;andahundredjoysofPrajpatiarebutas
onejoyofBrahm.Thisisthesupremejoy,thisisthepath
tothesupremejoy.
Yes,friend;butperhapsIcanuseanotheranalogy
toillustratethesituationIamdescribing:imaginethere
wasaninexperiencedchild,incapableofsensiblereasoning.
Thischildfeelsinhistoothaburning,boring,stabbing
pain,andrunstoaneminentandlearnedphysician
andpoursouthistroublestohimIbegyou,honoured
sir,togivemebyyourskill,afeelingofblissfulrapturein
placeofthispainatpresentinmytooth.Andthephysician
answersMydearchild,thesoleaimofmyskillis
theremovalofpain.Butthespoiltchildbeginstowail
Oh!Ihaveenduredaburning,stabbing,boringpainin
mytoothforsolong;isitnotreasonablethatIshouldnow
enjoyafeelingofrapture,ofdeliciouspleasureinstead?
Theredoexist,asIhaveheard,learnedandexperienced
physicianswhoseskillgoesthisfar,andIbelievedthat
youwereoneofthose.
Andthenthisfoolishchildrunstoaquack,a
miracleworkerfromthelandofGandhra,whocauses
thefollowingannouncementtobemadebyatowncrier
totheaccompanimentofdrumsandconchesHealthis
thegreatestofallgifts,healthisthegoalofallpeople.
cannot
a

f
165
Blooming,luxurianthealth,acomfor ableandblissful
feelinginallonesmembers,inevery andfibreofthe
body,suchasthegodsenjoy,eventh sickliestcanobtain
bymyhelp,ataverysmallcost.To ismiracleworker
thechildrunsandpoursouthistroublesIbegyou,
honouredsir,byyourskill,givemeafeelingofcomfortor
blissfulraptureinplaceofthispaininmytooth.
Andthemagiciananswers Mydearchild,in
doingjustthisverythingliesmy kill.Afterhehaspock
etedthemoneyofferedbythechild,hetouchesthetooth
withhisfingerandproducesamagicaleffect,bymeansof
whichafeelingofblissfulpleasuredrivesoutthepain.
Andthefoolishchildrunshome andsupreme
lyhappy.
Afterashorttime,however,thefeelingofpleasure
graduallysubsidesandthepainreturns.Andwhy?
Becausethecauseofthepainwasnotremoved.
Then,letusalsosupposethatanother,reasonable
personfeelsaburning,stabbing,boringpaininhertooth.
Andshegoestoalearnedandexperiencedphysicianand
tellshimofhertrouble,sayingHonouredsir,Ibegyou
byyourskilltofreemefromthispain.Andthephysician
answersIfyou,madam,demandnomorefromme,I
maysafelytrustmyskillthatfar.HowcouldIaskfor
more,repliesthewoman.Andthephysicianexaminesthe
toothandfindsthecauseofthepaininaninflammationat
itsrootGohomeandhavealeechputonthisspot.
Whentheleechhassuckeditselffullandfallsoff,thenlay
theseherbsonthewound.Bysodoing,thepusandthe
impurebloodwillberemovedandthepainwillcease.
Thisreasonablepersonthengoeshomeanddoesasthe
physicianbidsher.Andthepaingoesanddoesnotreturn.
Andwhynot?Becausethecauseofthepainhasbeen
removed.
NowwhentheMasterceasedspeaking,Kmanta
t
vein
e
th

s
overjoyed
166
satreducedtosilenceandsorelydisturbed,hisbodybent,
hisheadsunkonhisbreast,hisface withcolour
andwithoutaword,whileanguishedsweatdroppedfrom
hisforeheadandtrickleddow hisarmpits.Fordid
henotfeelhimselfcompared teacherto
afoolishchildand adeequalwithone?Andashewas
unabletofindana ostefforts,he
artoweeping.
sked
llthis
ha
,
y
ulysaythatI
ave,forsomeofwhathesaidhadcometohimjustthen.
m ta ardthisanswer,he
yfullyraisedhisbentbodyand,withglisteningeyeand
forcertainthatthis
r

ks,

s
suffused
nfrom
bythisvenerable
m
nswer,inspiteofhisutm
wasne
Finally,whenabletocommandhisvoice,hea
inasubduedtone:VenerableSir,haveyouhearda
before,fromthemouthoftheMaster,theperfectBudd
himself?
Now,itoccasionallyhappensthatBuddhassmile
andatthisquestionawryandgentlesmiledidindeedpla
momentarilyaroundtheMasterslips.
No,brother,hereplied,Icannottr
h
WhenthepilgrimK an he
jo
reanimatedvoiceheburstforth:
WasntIsureofit!Oh,Iknew
couldntbethedoctrineoftheMasterhimself,butrathe
yourowntortuousinterpretationofitaninterpretation
basedaltogetheronmisunderstanding.Isitnotsaidthat
thedoctrineoftheBuddhaisblissinthebeginning,bliss
inthemiddle,andblissintheend?Sohowcouldonesay
thatofateachingwhichdoesnotpromiseeternaland
blessdlife,fullofthemostsupremejoy?Inafewwee
ifIstepoutbravely,Ishallmyselfsitatthefeetofthe
MasterandreceivetheteachingofLiberationfromhis
ownlips,asachilddrawssweetnourishmentfromits
mothersbreast.Andyoualsoshouldmakeeffortstoget
theretooand,oncetrulytaught,maybeyouwillalter
yourmistakenanddestructiveviewofthings!Butlook,
thosestripsofmoonlighthavenowstretchedthemselve
167
outandhavealmostdisappeared,itmustbefarintothe
nightletuslayourselvesdowntosleep.
Asyouwill,brother,answeredtheMasterkindly.
And,drawinghisrobemorecloselyaroundhim,helaid
ng himselfdownonhismatinthepostureofthelion,supporti
himselfonhisrightarm,hisleftfootrestingonthe
right.
Andhavinginmindthehourofawakening,he
instantlyfellasleep.

168

169

170

~21~
INMIDCAREER
WHENTHEMASTERawokeinthegreydawn
hesawKmantabusyrollinguphismat,hanginghis
wn.
te

water.AndwhatdoyousupposeIlearnedfrom
er?T agine
ry

IshallhaveseenhimI,who
gourdoverhisshoulderandlookingroundforhisstaff,
whichhehadntatoncebeenabletoseeinthecorner
inwhichhedplacedit,owingtoitshavingfallendo
Whilethusengaged,therewasinhiseverymovement
theappearanceofamaninagreathurry.

* * *

TheMastersatupandgavehimafriendlygreeting:
Areyougoingalready,brother?
Ohyes,yes!calledoutKmanta,fullofexci
ment,justthink,itshardlytobebelievedabsolutely
laughableandyetsomarvelloussuchraregoodfortune!
AfewminutesagoIawokeandfeltmythroatquite
parchedafterallthetalkofyesterday.Withoutmoreado,I
jumpedupandwenttothewelljustacrosstheway,
beneaththetamarinds.Amaidenwasstandingthere
drawing
h heMasterisntinSvatthiatall.Butcanyouim
whereheis?Yesterday,accompaniedbythreehundred
monks,hearrivedhereinRjagaha!Andatthisve
momentheisintheMangoGroveonthefarsideoftown.
Inanhour,maybeless,
believedthatIshouldhavetojourneyforanotherfour
171
weeks!WhatdoIsayinanhour?Itisonlyagoodhalf
hourtothere,themaidensaid,ifyoudontgothroughthe
ain e

hall
ndr
whenhereachedthecitygateofRjagaha
was
me

t
tofacertaintowersothathemight
g
Inhisurgency
ekn
tawomanwhowasrinsingdishesatthe
edintoawatercarrier.Butthe
buse

m streetsbutrunthroughthelanesandsquarestoth
westgate...Icanscarcelybelieveit.Thegroundburns
beneathmyfeetfarewell,brother!Youhavemeantwell
byme,andIshallnotfailtobringyoualsototheMaster,
butnowIreallycannotdelayamomentlonger!
AndthepilgrimKmantadashedoutofthe
a anawayalongthestreetasfastashislegswould
carryhim.But
it notyetopenandhewasobligedtowaitforashort
ti timewhichseemedtohimaneternityandwhich
raisedhisimpatiencetothehighestpitch.
Heemployedtheminutes,however,ingetting
fromanoldwomancarryingabasketofvegetablestothe
town,andwho,likehimself,wasobligedtohaltatthe
gate,exactinformationwithregardtotheshortestway
astohowhewastogothroughsuchandsuchalane,pas
alittletempletotherightandtotheleftpastawell,and
thennottolosesigh
perhapsrecoverinthetownthetimehehadloststandin
outsideitswalls.
Assoon,then,asthegatewasopenedhedashed
recklesslyawayinthedirectionindicated.
h ockeddownafewchildren,thenhebrushedwith
suchviolencepas
kerbstonethatoneoftheserolledrattlingawayfromher
andbroke,thenhebump
a whichfollowedhimfellondeafears,soutterlywas
hepossessedbytheonethoughtthatsoon,sowonderfully
soon,heshouldseetheBuddha.
Whatrarefortune!hesaidtohimself,howmany
generationspassandhavenoBuddhawhosojournson
theearthintheirtime;andofthegenerationthathasa
Buddhaforitscontemporary,howfeweverbeholdhim.
172
Butthishappinesswillcertainlybeminenow.Ihave
alwaysfearedthatonthelonganddangerousroadwild
beastsorrobbersmightdeprivemeofthisjoy,butnowit
fromme.

e
atf om
dashingtowardshim,andhe
iled of
hind
him
ed
etoutofthewaydid
esee ebloodshot
yesa e
,
whohadwarnedhimbrought
ater

fearthathemightnot
Buddha.Inadeeplyagitatedtoneofvoicehe
cannotbetaken
Filledwithsuchthoughts,heturnedintoanarrow
littlelane.Inhisfoolishonwardrushhefailedtoobserv
th romtheotherendofitacow,madwithfearfr
somecauseorother,was
fa alsotonoticethatwhileseveralpeopleinfront
himfledintoahouse,othersconcealedthemselvesbe
aprojectingbitofwallnordidheheartheshoutwith
whichawomanstandingonabalconytriedtowarn
buthedashedon,withhiseyesfixedonthepinnacl
tower,whichwastopreventhistakingsomewrong
turning.
Onlywhenitwastoolatetog
h withhorrorthesteamingnostrils,th
e ndthepolishedhornwhich,thenextinstant,drov
deepintohisside.
Withaloudscreamhefelldownbythewall.The
cowdashedonwardandthendisappearedintoanother
street.

* * *

Peopleinstantlyhurriedup,inpartfromcuriosity
inparttohelp.Thewoman
w withwhichtocleansethewound.Theytoreuphis
robetomakeabandageand,ifpossible,tostaunchthe
bloodwhichgushedforthasiffromafountain.
Kmantahadhardlylostconsciousnessforan
instant.Itwascleartohimatoncethatthismeantdeath.
Butneitherthatknowledgenortheagonieshewasendu
ringweresuchtorturetohimasthe
nowseethe
173
beggedthebystanderstocarryhimtotheMangoGrove:
ejourneyedsofar,friends,Iwassonearmy
tocarrymethere.
ontthinkofthepaintome,havenofearthatIshallsink

lthattheseekerslifewasebbingfast.

ul
ractedattentiontoitself,anda
eilluminedbysuch
hea ear
ewhatanimatedmovements,asalsoinhis
ter
Inloftiness
fsta e.
etongues
tonc ormed
TotheMaster.
Ihav
goal.Havepityuponme,dontdelay
D
underitIshallnotdieuntilyouhavelaidmedownat
thefeetoftheBlessdOne;thenIshalldiehappy,and
happilyriseagain.
Someofthemrantofetchpolesandastretcher.A
womanbroughtastrengtheningdraughtofwhich
Kmantatookafewmouthfuls.Themenweredividedas
towhichwaywastheshortesttothehalloftheSanghain
theMangoGrove,foreverystepwouldmakeadifference.
Itwascleartoal
HerecomesomedisciplesoftheBlessdOne,
criedabystander,pointingalongthelittlelane,theywill
bestbeabletotellus.
And,infact,severalbhikkhusoftheOrderofth
Buddhawereapproaching,cladinochrerobes.Mostof
themwereyoungmenbutattheirheadwalkedtwo
venerablefiguresagreyhairedmanwhoseearnest,if
somewhatsevereface,withitspiercingeyeandpowerf
chin,involuntarilyatt
middleagedmanwhosefeatureswer
a rtwinninggentlenessthathealmosthadtheapp
anceofayouth.Yetanexperiencedobservermight,inhis
bearingandsom
flashingglances,havedetectedtheinalienablecharac
isticsofthewarriorcaste,whilethedeliberatecalmofthe
oldermannolessrevealedthebornbrahmin.
o tureandprincelycarriagetheywere,however,alik
Whenthesemonkshaltedbythegroupwhichhad
collectedroundthewoundedman,manyvolubl
a erelatedtothemwhathadhappened,andinf
themthattheywerejustabouttocarrythewounded
174
pilgrimonastretcherwhichwasthenbeingfetched
eoftheyounger
st
be
lves
m
farfromhere,added
eyo
a.
ld
e

,hewouldarriveonthepointofdeath,witha
indincapableofapprehendingtheMastersteaching.Let
him,however,takecareofhimselfnow,betreatedbyan
experiencedsurgeonandbecarefullytended,andthereis
alwaysthehopethathemayrecoverenoughstrengthso
astobeabletolistentoandcomprehendtheMasters
words.
Kmanta,however,pointedimpatientlytothe
stretcher:Notimedyingtakemewithyousee
himtouchdiehappywithyouhurry!
Shrugginghisshouldersthebhikkhuturnedtothe
youngerdisciples:
ThispoormanholdstheSupremelyPerfectOne
totheMangoGrove,totheBuddha,inordertofulfilthe
mansoverwhelmingdesire:Couldon
monksperhapsreturnwiththemtoshowthemtheshorte
waytothespotwheretheMasterwasatthatmoment
to found?
TheMaster,answeredtheoldmanwiththe
severeface,isnotintheMangoGrove,andweourse
dontknowwhereheis.
Attheansweradespairinggroanburstforthfro
Kmantaswoundedbreast.
Buthecertainlycannotbe
th unger.TheMastersentthecompanyofmonkson
aheadyesterdayandpursuedhisjourneyalone.He
arrivedlate,Iexpect,andsoughtquarterssomewhere,
probablyinthesuburbs.Wearenowonthewaytolook
forhim.
Oh,seekdiligentlyfindhim,criedKmant
EvenifweknewwheretheMasterwas,itwou
notbepossibletocarrythiswoundedmanthere,saidth
sternmonk.Fortheshakingofthestretcherwouldsoon
renderhisconditionsomuchworsethat,evenifhe
survivedit
m
175
tobesomekindofimageatwhosetouchonesimperfec
onsaredissolved.
HehasgainedfaithintheTathgata,Sriputra,
venifhelacksthedeeperunderstanding,saidtheother,
ndhebentoverthewoundedmantoascertainwhat
rengthhestillhad;perhapswemightriskitafterall.I
amsorryforthepoorfellowandIbelievewecoulddo
nothingbetterforhimthantomaketheattempt.
Agratefullookfromthepilgrimrewardedhimfor
hisadvocacy.
Asyouwill,nanda,answeredSriputrakindly.
Atthismomenttherecamestridingpast,fromthe
directioninwhichKmantahadalsocome,apotterwho
carriedonhisheadabasketwithallkindsofbakedclay
wares.WhenheperceivedKmantauponthestretcher
wheretheyhadjustlaidhimwithgreatcarethoughnot
withoutcausinghimviolentpainhestopped,stricken
withhorror,andsosuddenlythatthedishesandbowls,
piledoneaboveanother,camecrashingdownandwere
brokenintopieces.
HolyBrahm!Whathashappenedhere?Thatis
theyoungwandererwhohonouredmyhallbyspending
thenightthere,inthecompanyofamonkwhoworea
robelikethatofthesereverendmen.
Wasthatmonkanagedmanandofloftystature?
askedSriputra.
Hewas,VenerableSirandheseemedtometo
benotunlikeyourself.
Thenthemonksknewthattheydidnotneedto
seekanylongerthattheMasterwasinthehouseofthe
potter.ForThedisciplewhoresemblestheMasterwas
thedescriptionbywhichSriputrawasgenerallyknown.
Isitpossible?saidnanda,glancingupfromthe
woundedman,who,owingtothepainoccasionedbyhis
beinglifted,hadbecomeallbutunconscious,andhadnot
ti

e
a
st
176
noticedthearrivalofthepotter.Isitpossiblethatthis
oormanshould,thewholenightthrough,havehadthe
happinessforwhichhesolongs,withoutintheleast
suspectingit?
Thatisthewayoffool riputra.Butlet
usgo.Now

omebythepain.
e
elynoticedwhatwashappeningaroundhim.It
of
nthehighwalls
everthelesspiercedhisconsciousness,andmaywell
th Waycrossingthe
idnightsky.Hislipsmoved.
er
ed
upon

p
s,saidS
hecan,ofcourse,bebroughtalong.
Onemoment,callednanda,hehasbeen
overc
IndeedKmantasblankstareshowedthath
scarc
begantogrowdarkbeforehiseyes,butthelongstrip
morningskywhichshowedbetwee
n
haveappearedtohimlike eMilky
m
TheGang,hemurmured.
Hismindwanders,saidnanda.
ThosestandingnexttoKmanta,whohadheard
whathesaid,interpreteditdifferently.
HenowwishestobetakentotheGanginorder
thatthesacredwatersmaywashawayhissins.ButMoth
Gangisfarfromherewhocouldpossiblycarryhim
thither?
FirsttotheBuddha,thentheGang,murmur
Sriputra,withthewrypityawisepersonbestows
thefoolwho,beyondthereachofhelp,fallsoutofone
superstitionintoanother.
Suddenly,however,Kmantaseyesbecomewon
derfullyanimated,ahappysmiletransfiguredhisface;he
soughttoraisehimself.nandasupportedhim.
TheHeavenlyGang,hewhispered,withweak
buthappyvoice,andpointedwithhisrighthandtothe
stripofskyabovehishead.TheHeavenlyGang!We
sworebyitswavesVsitth

177
Hisbodyquivered,bloodgushedfromhismouth,
greetedtheMasterrespectfullyandsatdownbeforehim.
young

e
ebutonedesire,namely,toseetheMaster
cet

rer,beganSriputra,hasbeen

andhepassedawayinnandasarms.

* * *

ScarcelyhalfanhourlaterSriputraandnanda,
accompaniedbythemonks,enteredthepottershall,
Well,Sriputra,askedtheMaster,afterhaving
giventhemafriendlygreeting,didthecompanyof
monksunderyourleadershipreachtheendoftheirlong
journeywellandwithoutaccident?Didyouhaveanylack
offoodormedicineontheway?Areyourdiscipleshappy
andstudious?
Iamgladtobeabletosay,Master,thatwelacked
fornothingandthattheyoungmonks,fullofconfidenc
andzeal,hav
fa oface.Ihavebroughtthesenobleyouths,who
knowtheessentialsandhavefaithintheDharma,inorder
topresentthemwithoutdelaytotheBlessdOne.
Andatthesewordsthreeyoungmonksarosean
greetedtheMasterwithpalmspressedtogether,inthe
shapeofalotusbud:
Greetings,VenerableFather.
Welcome,saidtheMaster,andwithagentle
glanceandasmallmovementofhishand,invitedthemto
beseatedagain.
Anddidyou,Master,arriveafteryesterdays
journeywithouttoomuchfatigueorotherilleffects?And
haveyouspentapassablenightinthishall?
Evenso,Sriputra,Iarrivedatduskwithoutill
effectsfrommyjourneyandspentthenightinthecom
panyofayoungstranger,awanderingseeker.
Thatwande
robbedofhislifeinthestreetsofRjagahabyacow
178
andneverdreamingwithwhomhehadpassed
thenighthere,addednanda.Hisonedesirewastobe
broughttothefeetoftheBlessdOne.
Soonafterwards,tobesure,hedemandedthathe
shouldbecarriedtotheGang,remarkedSriputra.
Notso,BrotherSriputra,nandacorrectedhim;
e
hedied.
e?
ameandwishedtoprofesshimselfafollow
roft
aspirationsofhisheart
ere rim
ma
ParadiseoftheWesttheretoenjoy
epl
forhespokeoftheHeavenlyGang.Withradiantcount
nanceherecalledavowand,indoingso,utteredthe
nameofawomanVsitth,Ibelieveandso
Withthenameofsomewomanonhislipshe
wenthence,saidSriputra.Iwonderwherehehas
enteredagainintoexistenc
Foolishasanunreasonablechildwasthepilgrim
Kmanta,saidtheBuddha.Thisyoungseekerwent
aboutinmyn
e heoftheBuddhaDharma,yetwhenIexpounded
theTeachingtohim,enteringintoeverydetail,hetook
offenceatit.Thelongingsand
w centredonblissandheavenlyjoys.Thepilg
K nta,bhikkhus,hasenteredagainintoexistencein
SukhavatThe
th easuresofheavenforthousandsuponthousands
ofyears.

179

180

~22 ~
INTHEPARADISE OFTHEWEST
ATTHETIMEWHENtheMasterutteredthese
wordsinthehallofthepotteratRjagaha,Kmanta
awokeintheParadiseoftheWest.

* * *

Wrappedinaredmantle,whoserichdrapings
floweddownabouthim,delicateandglisteningasthe
petalsofaflower,hefoundhimselfsittingwithcrossed
legsonahuge,similarlycolouredlotusblossomwhich
floatedinthemiddleofalargelake.Onthewideexpanse
ofwatersuchlotusflowersweretobeseeneverywhere,
red,blueandwhite;someasyetweremerebuds,others,
althoughfairlydeveloped,werestillclosed.
Atthesametime,however,countlessnumbers
wereopenlikehisown,andonalmosteveryonea
humanformwasenthronedtheirrichlydrapedrobes
seemedtogrowupoutofthepetalsoftheflower.
Ontheslopingbanksofthelake,inthegreenestof
grass,therelaughedsuchawealthofflowersasmadeit
seemthatallthejewelsofearthhadtakentheformof
blossoms,andhadbeenrebornthere.Theirluminousplay
ofcolourtheyhadretained,butthehardcoatofmailthey
hadwornduringtheirearthlyexistencetheyhadexchang
edforthesoftandpliant,livingvestureofplants.The
fragrancetheyexhaled,whichwasmorepowerfulthan

181
themostsplendidessenceeverenclosedincrystal,in
keepingwiththischange,stillpossessedthewhole
heartsomefreshnessofthenaturalperfumeofflowers.
Fromthisenchantingbankhisenrapturedglance
sweptawaybetweenmassesofsplendidtrees,some
loftilypiercingthesky,otherswithbroadersummitsand
deepershade,manycladinrichemeraldfoliage.Numbers
ofthemwereresplendentwithjewelledblossoms,stand
ingnowsingly,nowingroups,someformingdeepforest
glades.Farupwardhegazedontowherecraggy
heightsofthemostalluringdescriptiondisplayedtheir
gracesofcrystal,marble,andalabaster,herenaked,there
coveredwithdenseshrubberyorveiledinanairydrapery
offlorets.Butatonespotthegrovesandrocksdisap
pearedentirelytomakeroomforabeautifulriver,which
poureditswaterssilentlyintothelake,likeastreamof
starrylight.
Overthewholeregiontheskyformedanarch,the
deepblueofwhichgrewdeeperasitnearedthehorizon,
andunderthisdomehungwhite,massycloudletson
whichreclinedlovelygandharvas,celestialmusicians,
whodrewfromtheirinstrumentsthemagicstrainsof
rapturousmelodiesthatfilledthewholeofspace.
Butinthatskytherewasnosuntobeseenand,
indeed,therewasnoneedforanysun.Forfromthe
cloudletsandthegandharvas,fromtherocksandflowers,
fromthewatersandfromthelotusblossoms,fromthe
garmentsoftheBlessdand,inevengreaterdegree,from
theirfaces,amarvellouslightshoneforth.And,justasthis
lightwasofradiantclaritywithout,however,dazzling
intheleastsothesoft,perfumeladenwarmthwas
freshenedbytheconstantbreathofthewaters,andthe
inhalingofthisairalonewasapleasurewhichnothingon
earthcouldequal.
WhenKmantahadgrownaccustomedtothe
182
sightofallthesesplendours,sothattheynolongerover
poweredhimbutbegantoseemlik hisnaturalsurround
ings,hedirectedhisattentiontothoseotherbeingswho,
likehimself,satroundabout lotusthrones.He
soonperceivedthatthosec dweremale,thosein
whit refemale,whileofthefigureswrappedinblue
robe
utexceptionwereinthefullestbloomofyouth,
emedtobeofamostfriendlydisposition.
ver

now
e,
t
YouareinSukhavat,theabodeofbliss.
an we onwithhisunspo
enquestioning.
e
imeimmemorial,an

newbeingappearandalsobecause
fthe

e
onfloating
ladinre
ewe
ssomebelongedtoone,sometotheothersex.But
ho allwit
andse
Aneighbourinabluecloakinspiredhimwith
particularconfidence,sothatthedesiretobeginacon
sationawokewithinhim.
Iwonderwhetheritispermissibletoquestionthis
radiantone?hethought.Iwouldsomuchliketok
whereIam.
Tohisgreatastonishmentthereplycameatonc
withoutasound,andwithouteventhefaintestmovemen
ofthebluecladfigureslips.

UnconsciouslyKm ta nt
k
Youwerehere,sacredone,whenIopenedmy
eyes,formyglancefellatonceuponyou.Didyouawak
atthesametimeasI,orhaveyoubeenherelong?
Ihavebeenherefromt
sweredtheneighbourinblue,andIwouldbelievethatI
hadbeenhereforalleternity,ifIhadntsooftenseena
lotusopenanda
o mysteriousperfumeoftheCoralTree.
Whatistherespecialaboutthatperfume?
Thatyouwillsoondiscoverforyourself.The
CoralTreeisthegreatestwonderofthisParadise.
Themusicoftheheavenlygandharvaswhich
seemedquitenaturallytoaccompanythissoundless
conversation,adaptingitselfwithitsmelodiesandstrains
183
toeverysucceedingsentenceasiftodeepenitsmeaning
andtomakeclearwhatthewordscouldnotconveyat
thesewordswoveastrangelymysticalsoundpicture.And
d
won
o

e,

itappearedtothelisteningKmantaasifinhisminden
lessdepthsrevealedthemselves,inwhoseshadowsdim
memoriesstirredwithoutbeingabletoawaken.
Thegreatestwonder?saidhe,afterapause.I
imaginedthatofallwonderfulthingsherethemost
derfulwasthatsplendidstreamwhichemptiesitselfint
ourlake.
TheHeavenlyGang,noddedtheblue.
TheHeavenlyGang,repeatedKmantadream
ilyandagaintherecameoverhim,onlyinaddeddegre
thatfeelingofsomethingwhichheoughttoknowandyet
wasnotabletoknow;whichthemysteriousmusic
seemedtoseek,intheprofoundestdepthsofhisown
being,asifforthesourcesofthatstream.
184

185

186

~23~
THEROUNDELAYOFTHEBLESSD
WITHAGASPOFastonishmentKmantanow
noticedthatawhitefigure,thronednotfarfromhim
onherlotusflower,suddenlyseemedtogrowupward.
Themantle,withitspiledupmassoffoldsandcorners,
unrolleditselfuntilitfloweddowninstraightlines
fromhershoulderstothegoldenborder.Andeven
thisnolongertouchedthepetalsoftheflowerthe
figuresweptawayuntrammelledoverthepond,upthe
bankanddisappearedbetweenthetreesandshrubbery.

* * *

Howgloriousthatmustbe,thoughtKmanta.
Butthatis,Iimagine,averydifficultaccomplishment,
althoughitlooksasifitwerenothing.IwonderwhetherI
shalleverbeabletolearnit.
Youareablenow;allyou todoisdesireit,
answeredhisneighbourinblue,towhomthelastquestion
wasaddressed.
InstantlyKmantahadthefeelingthatsomething
wasliftinghisbodyupward.Hewasalreadyfloatingaway
acrossthepondtowardsthebankandsoonhewasinthe
midstofthegreenery.Whithersoeverhisglancewas
directed,therehisflightfollowed, soonasthewishwas
formed,andasquicklyorslowlya hedesired.Henow
sawotherlotuspoolsequallysplendidastheonehehad

have
as
s
187
justleft.Hewanderedonthrough arminggroveswhere
birdsofbrightcolourssprangfrombranchtobranch,their
melodioussongsblendingwiththesoftrustlingofthe
treetops.Hefloatedoverflowerstrewnvalleyswhere
gracefulantelopestrottedandplayedwithoutfearinghim
intheleast,andfinallyhelethimselfdownonthegentle
slopeofahill.Betweenthetrunksoftreesandflowering
shrubshesawthecornerofalakewherethewater
sparkledroundlargelotusblossoms,severalofwhose
flowerthronesboreblissfulfigures,whileseveralothers,
evenoftheperfectlyopenedones,wereempty.
Itwasplainlyamomentofcommunalfestivity.As
onawarmsummereveningfirefliescirclehitherand
thitherunderthetreesandroundabouttheshrubberyin
noiseless,luminousmovement,soheretheseradiant
formsswayedsinglyandinpairs,inlargegroupsof
chains,throughthegrovesandaroundtherocks.Atthe
sametimeitwaspossibletoseefromtheirglancesand
gesturesthattheywereconversinganimatedlywithone
another,andonecouldeasilydivinetheinvisiblethreads
oftheexchangeswhichwerebeingcarriedonbetween
thenoiselesspassersby.
InastateofsweetanddreamyshynessKmanta
enjoyedthischarmingspectacle,untilgraduallythere
grewinhimadesiretoconversewiththesehappyones.
Immediatelyhewassurroundedbyawholecom
panywhogreetedhimkindlyasthenewlyarrived,the
justawakenedone.
Kmantawonderedmuch,andinquiredhowit
wasthatthenewsofhiscominghadalreadybeenspread
abroadalloverSukhavat.
Oh!whenalotusopensitselfalltheotherlotus
flowersinthelakesofParadisearemoved,andevery
beingisconsciousthatanotherhassomewhereamongus
awakenedintobliss.
ch
188
ButhowcouldyouknowthatIhappenedtobe
thenewcomer?
Thefiguresfloatingaround imsmiledcharmingly.
Youarenotyetfullyawake.Youlookatusas
thoughyouareseeingdreamfiguresandareafraidthat
wemightsuddenlydisapp thatruderealitywill
onceagainsurro you.
Kmantas
Idontqu eamfigures?
Youforget,saidonewhiterobedfigure,thathe

eardofit.Myneighbouronthelakementionedit;the
nd us e.Whatisthere
boutit?
ndroundaboutthefootofthehillandso,
yea

d.
h
ear,and
und
hookhishead.
iteunderstand.Whataredr

hasnotyetbeentotheCoralTree.
No,Ihavenotyetbeenthere.ButIhavealready
h
treeissaidtobesuchawo ro on
a
Buttheyallsmiledmysteriously,lookingatone
anotherandshakingtheirheads.
Iwouldlikesomuchtogothereatonce.Willno
oneshowmetheway?
Youwillfindthewayyourselfwhenthetime
comes.
Kmantadrewhishandoverhisforehead.
Thereisyetanotherwonderfulthinghereof
whichhespoke...yes,theHeavenlyGang...byitour
lakeisfed.Isthatsowithyoursalso?
Thewhiterobedfigurepointedtotheclearlittle
riverthatwou
b syturnings,onwardtothepool.
ThatisourSource.Countlesssucharteriesinter
sectthesefields,andthatwhichyouhaveseenisasimilar
one,evenifsomewhatlarger.ButtheHeavenlyGang
itselfsurroundsthewholeofSukhavat.
Haveyoualsoseenit?
Thewhiterobedoneshookherhea
Isitnotpossibletogothere,then?
189
Oh,itispossible,theyallanswered,butnoneof
ushavebeenthere.Besides,whyshouldwego?Itcannot
erhehasflownagainsincethentothe
,atoncecametheanswerfromhim
fthe

.Theywoundachainaboutthe
ingly
,

bemorebeautifulanywherethanhere.Severalofthe
others,tobesure,havebeenthere,buttheyhavenever
flownthereagain.
Whynot?
Hiswhiterobedvisitorpointedtowardsthepond:
Doyouseetheredfigure,almostattheother
bank?Hewasthereonce,thoughitislong,longago.Shall
weaskhimwheth
shoresoftheGang?
Neveragain
o redrobe.
Andwhynot?
Flythereyourselfandbringbacktheanswer.
Shallwe?TogetherwithyouImightdoit.
Ishouldliketogobutnotnow.
Forthfromaneighbouringgrovetherefloateda
trainofhappyfigures
meadowshrubberyand,whiletheyextendedthechain,
thefigureattheend,alightblueone,seizedthehandof
thewhiterobe.Shestretchedoutherotherhandinvit
toKmanta.
Hethankedhersmilingly,butgentlyshookhis
head.
Iwouldprefertobeaspectatorstill.
Yes,betterrestandawaken.Forthepresent,
farewell.And,gentlyledawaybythelightblue,she
floatedthenceintheairyroundelay.
Theothersalso,withkindandcheerfulgreetings
movedawaysothathemighthavequietudeinwhichto
collecthimself.
190

191

192

~24~
THECORALTREE
KMANTAFOLLOWEDTHEMlongwithhiseyes
andwondered.Andthenhewonderedathiswonder.

* * *

Howdoesithappenthateverythinghereseemsso
strangetome?IfIbelongtothisplace,whydoesntevery
thingappearperfectlynatural?ButeverynewthingIseeis
apuzzleandfillsmewithastonishment.Forexample,this
fragrancethatnowfloatspastmesosuddenly?How
absolutelydifferentitisfromallotherflowerscentshere
muchfullerandmorepowerful,attractinganddisquiet
ingatthesametime.Wherecanitcomefrom?Butwhere
doImyselfcomefrom?ItseemstomeasthoughIwas,
onlyashorttimeago,amerenothing.OrdidIhavean
existence?Onlynothere?Ifso,where?AndhowhaveI
comehere?
Whileherevolvedthesequestionsinhismind,his
bodyhadrisenupfromthemeadow,withouthisperceiv
ingit,andhewasalreadyfloatingonwardthoughnot
inadirectiontakenbyanyoftheothers.Hemadehisway
upwardstowardsadepressioninthecrestofthehill.As
hepassedoverithewasgreetedbyayetmorepowerful
breathofthatnewandstrangeperfume.
Kmantaflewonward.Beyondthehillthe

193
neighbourhoodlostsomethingof charm.Theshowof
flowerswasscantier,theshrubbery darker,thegroves
moredense,therocksmoreforbiddingandhigher.Herds
ofgazellesgrazedthere,butonlyin afewsolitaryinstances
wasoneoftheBlessdtobeseen.
Thevalleybecamenarrowerandendedinacleft,
andheretheperfumegrewyetstronger.Evermorerapid
becamehisflight;evermorenaked,steepandhighdid
therockywallsclosearoundhimuntilanopeningwasno
longertobeseen.
Thentheravinemadeacoupleofsharpturnsand
openedsuddenly.
RoundaboutKmantaextendedadeep,pitlike
valleyshutinbytowering,deepgreenmalachiterocks
whichseemedtoreachtheheavens.Inthemidstofthe
valleystoodthewondertree.Trunkandbrancheswereof
smooth,redcoral;slightlymoreyellowwastheredofthe
crispfoliageamidwhichblossomsofadeepcrimson
glowedandburned.
Overthepinnaclesoftherocksandthesummitof
thetreerosethedeepblueskyinwhichnotasinglecloud
wastobeseen.Nordidthemusicofthegandharvas
penetrateinanyappreciabledegreetothisspotwhat
stilltrembledintheairseemedtobebutamemoryof
melodiesheardinthelongpast.
Therewerebutthreecolourstobeseeninthe
valley:theceruleanblueoftheheavens,themalachite
greenoftherocks,thecoralredofthetree.Andonlyone
perfumethatmysteriousfragrance,sounlikeallothers,
ofthecrimsonflowerswhichhadledKmantathere.
Almostimmediatelythewonderfulnatureofthat
perfumebegantoshowitself.
AsKmantainhaledithere,inthedenseformin
whichitfilledthewholebasin,hisconsciousnessbecame
suddenlybrightened.Itoverflowedandbrokethroughthe
its

194
barrierswhichhadbeenraisedabouthimfromthetimeof
hisawakeninginthelakeuntilth present.
Hispastlifelayopenbefore
Hesawthehallofthe hehadsatin
conversationwiththatfool histmonk;hesawthe
littlela Rjagahathroughwhichhehadhurriedand
thecow
ndaboutandthegoldencladmonksthemselves.And
sawtheforestsandthecountryroadsofhisspiritual
race
d
Atoncehefoundhimselfinthecleftagain,likea
in thefirsttime,no
necanbeartheperfumeoftheCoralTreeforlong,and
ein
pen nd
iterobedonesaidsheimaginedIhadnotyet
een ine
hain
e
him.
r potte where
ishBudd
nein
tearingtowardshimthenthehorrifiedfaces
rou
he
wanderings,hispalaceandhistwowives,thecourtesans
ofUjjen,therobbers,thegroveofKrishnaandtheTer
oftheSorrowlesswithVsitth,hisfathershouse,an
thechildrensroom...
Andbehindthathesawanotherlife,andyet
another,andstillanother,andeverothers,asoneseesa
lineoftreesonacountryroaduntilthetreesbecome
pointsandthepointsblendintoonestripofshadow.
Atthis,hisbrainbegantoreel.

* * *

leafthatisdrivenbythew d.Foron
o
th stinctofselfpreservationbearseveryoneawayfrom
thereatthefirstsignofdizziness.
Ashe,byandby,movedmorequietlythroughthe
o valley,KmantaponderedNowIundersta
whythewh
b totheCoralTree.ForIcertainlycouldnotimag
thenwhattheyhadmeantbydreampictures;butnowI
know,forinthatotherlifeIhaveseensuch.AndIalso
knownowwhyIamhere.IwantedtovisittheBudd
theMangoGrovenearRjagaha.Ofcoursethatintention
wasfrustratedbymysuddenandviolentdeath,butmy
195
goodintentionshavebeenlookedonfavourablyandsoI
havereachedthisplaceofblissasthoughIhadindeedsat
athisfeetandhaddiedinhisblessdTeaching.Somy
pilgrimagehasnotbeeninvain.Atthisrealisationagreat
gladsighissuedforthfromhisheart,andheflewon.
VerysoonKmantareachedthelakeagain,where
helethimselfdownuponhisredlotusflowerlikeabird
thatreturnstoitsnest.
196

197

198

~25~
THEBUDOFTHELOTUSOPENS
ITSUDDENLYSEEMEDTOKmantaasthoughsome
thinglivingweremovinginthedepthsofthelake.In
thecrystaldeepshebecamedimlyawareofarising
tipped,shotlikeafishabovethesurface
nwhichitthenlayswimmingandrocking.Thewaters
themselvesroseandsankineverextendingringsand,
foralongtimeafterwards,trembledandglitteredinto
fragmentsandradiatinglight,asifthelakewerefilledwith
liquiddiamonds;thereflectionofthewaterycoruscations
flickereduplikeminiatureflamesoverthelotusleaves,
therobesandthefacesandformsoftheBlessd.

* * *

Kmantasownbeingtrembledandradiatedallits
hiddencolours,andoverhisheartalsothereseemedto
dance,asifinhappyplay,areflectionofjoyousemotion.
Whatwasthat?hisglanceaskedofhisblue
neighbour.
Deepdown,amongfardistantworldsonthe
gloomyearth,ahumanbeinghasthisinstantcentredtheir
heartsdesireuponenteringagainintoexistenceherein
Sukhavat.Nowletusalsoseewhetherthebudwill
developwellandfinallyblossom.Formanyfixtheirdesire
onthispureabodeofblissandyetarenotabletoliveup
shadow.Thewatersbubbledandseethed,andalarge
lotusbud,red
o
199
toitsfulfilmentbut,onthecontrary,theyentanglethem
selvesagaininamazeofunholy succumbtothe
cravingsofsensualityandremain boundtothecoarseness
oflifeonearth.Thenthebudwithersawayandatlast
disappearsentirely.Thistime,as ousee,itisamale.
Suchaone,inthechequeredlifeofearth,failsmoreeasily
onthepathtoParadise;andforthisreasonyouwillalso
noticethat,eveniftheredandwhiteareaboutequalin
number,amongstthebluethefemalesarebyfarthemore
numerous.
AtthiscommunicationtheheartofKmanta
quiveredstrangely,asifallatoncejoyblendedwithpain
andsorrow,bearingapromiseoffuturehappiness,had
setitvibrating;andhisgazeresteduponaclosedlotus
flowernearby,asthoughseekingthesolutiontosome
riddle.Itwasaswhiteasthebreastofaswanandrocked
gracefullyquiteneartohiminthestillgentlymoving
water.
Canyourememberseeingthebudofmylotus
risefromthedepths?Heaskedofhisexperienced
neighbour.
Surely,foritcameuptogetherwiththatwhite
floweryouarenowgazingupon.AndIhavealways
watchedthepairofyou,attimeswithsomeanxiety.For
fairlysoonafteritsbirthyourbudbeganperceptiblyto
shrivelup,andithadalmostsunkbeneaththesurfaceof
thewaterwhenallatonceitraiseditselfagain,became
fullerandbrighter,andthendevelopedmagnificentlyuntil
itopened.Thewhiteone,however,grewslowlybut
graduallyandevenlytowardsthedaywhenitshould
open,whensuddenlyitwasattackedasifbysomesick
ness.Itrecovered,however,veryquicklyandbecamethe
magnificentfloweryounowseebeforeyou.
AtthesewordstherearoseinKmantasucha
ofjoythatitreallyseemedtohimasifhehad
passions,

y
feeling
200
hithertobeenbutasadguestinasadplacetosucha
degreedideverythingnowappea toglow,tosmell
sweet,andtobreathemusic.
Andasthoughhisga hhadrested
unwaveringlyonthewhite adbeenamagicians
wand
flowe d
pgracefullydownoneveryside,andlo!intheir
ysmilingglancemethisown.
hedout
ted
dnot
con

life
in
nly
ingriver,whichemptied
selfnoiselesslyintothelake:
th watersoftheHeav
nlyGangfeedallthelakesinthefieldsoftheBlessd.

r
ze,whic
lotus,h
fortheraisingofhiddentreasures,theapexofthe
rbegantomove,thepetalsbenttheiredgesoutwar
todroo
midstsatthefairVsitthwithwidelyopeneyes,whose
sweetl
SimultaneouslyKmantaandVsitthstretc
theirarmstooneanother,andhandinhandtheyfloa
awayoverthepondtowardsthebank.
Kmantaobserved,ofcourse,thatVsitthha
asyetrecognisedhim,buthadonlyturnedtohimun
sciouslyasthesunflowertowardsthesun.Howcouldshe
haverecognisedhimseeingthatnoone,immediately
onawakening,rememberedanythingoftheirprevious
evenifatthesightofhimdimpresentimentsmight
havestirredinthedepthsofherheart,ashadhappened
hisowncasewhenhisneighbourspokeoftheHeave
Gang.
Heshowedherthegleam
it
Inthesamefashion esilver
e
TheHeavenlyGang...?sherepeatedquestion
ingly,anddrewherhandacrossherforehead.
Come,letusgototheCoralTree.
Butthegrovesandtheshrubberyaresobeautiful
overthere,andtheBlessdareplayingsuchdelightful
games,saidVsitth,pointinginanotherdirection.
Later!FirstletusgototheCoralTree;youwillbe
refreshedandrevivedbyitswonderfulperfume.
Vsitthfollowedhimwillinglylikeachildthat
201
onehascomfortedwiththepromiseofanewtoybecause
ards
ms
eenfilledwithexpectations,
n.
that
idthemalachiterocks,withthered
oral
y
ofnothavingbeenallowedtotakepartinthejoyous
gamesofherfriends.Astheperfumebegantofloattow
themherfeaturesgrewmoreandmoreanimated.
Whereareyouleadingme?sheasked,asthey
turnedintothenarrowgorgeamongtherocks.Never
beforehaveIbeensofilledwithexpectation;anditsee
tomethatinthepast,Ihaveoftenb
althoughyoursmileremindsmethatIhaveonly
justawakenedtoconsciousness.Butsurelyyouhave
mistakentheway,wecangonofartherinthisdirectio
Ohwecangofarther,muchfarther,smiled
Kmanta,andperhapsyouwillnowbecomeaware
thatfeelingofwhichyouspokehasnotdeceivedyou,
dearestVsitth.

* * *

Evenashespokethereopenedbeforethemthe
basinofthevalleyam
C Treeandthedeepbluesky.Thentheperfumeofall
perfumesenvelopedher.
Vsitthlaidherhandsonherbreastasiftocheck
heralltoodeepbreathing.Inanintenseinterminglingof
sympathyandexpectationKmantadiscerned,inthe
rapidplayoflightandshadowonherfeatures,howthe
stormoflifememorieswassweepingoverher.Suddenl
sheraisedherarmsandflungherselfonhisbreast:
Kmanta!Mybelovd!
Andheboreherthence,speedingbackthrough
thegorgewitheagerhaste.
Intheopenvalleywithitsdarkshrubberyand
thickgroves,wherethegazelleswereatplaybutno
humanformdisturbedthesolitude,hedescendedwith
her,findingshelterunderatree.
202
Oh,mypoorKmanta,saidVsitth,whatyou
musthavesuffered!Andwhatmustyouhavethoughtof
eetof
osamb,seenthebridalprocession,andhowthespeechless
ha ire lyconvincedhim
hehadonlyyieldedtothepressureofherparents.
But
I
at
mewhenyoulearnedthatIhadmarriedStgira!
ThenKmantatoldherhowhehadnotlearned
thatfromhearsaybuthadhimself,inthemainstr
K
miserygravenonherface dd ct
s
nopoweronearthwouldhavecompelled
me,myonlylove,ifIhadnotbeenforcedtobelievethat
wasinpossessionofsureproofthatyouwerenolonger
alive.
AndVsitthbegantotellhimoftheeventsofth
bygonetime.

203

204

~26~
THECHAINWITHTHETIGEREYE
WHENYOU,MYFRIEND,weregonefromKosamb,
Idraggedmyselfmiserablythroughthedaysand
nights,asawomandoeswhoisdevouredbyafever
oflonging,andisatthesametimeapreytoathousand
fearsonbehalfofherbelovd.Ididnotevenknow
whetheryoustillbreathedtheairofthisworldwith
me,forIhadoftenheardofthedangersofsuchjourneys.
AndnowIwasforcedtoreproachmyselfmostbitterly
because,withmyfoolishobstinacy,Iwastoblamefor
yournothavingmadethereturnjourneyinperfectsafety
undertheprotectionoftheembassy.Yet,withallthis,I
wasnotreallyabletorepentofmythoughtlessness,
becauseIowedtoitallthosepreciousmemorieswhich
werenowmywholetreasure.

* * *

EvenMedinscheeringandcomfortingwords
wereseldomabletodissipateforanylengthoftimethe
cloudofmelancholywhichhungoverme.Mybestand
truestfriendwastheAsokaunderwhichwestoodonthat
gloriousmoonlitnight,thetreethatyou,mysweetheart,
haveassuredlynotforgotten,andtowhichIaddressedon
thatoccasionthewordsofDamayant.Countlesstimesdid
Itrytoobtain,bylisteningtotherustlingofitsleaves,an
answertomyanxiousquestions,toseeinthefallingofa

205
leafortheplayoflightandshadowonthegroundan
omenofsomekind.Ifitthenhappenedthatthesign
givenbysuchaselfinventedoracleboreafavourable
interpretation,Iwasabletofeelhappyforawholedayor
evenlonger,andtolookhopefullyintothefuture.Butjust
forthatveryreasonmylongingincreased,andwiththe
longingmyfearsreturnedasnaturallyasbaddreams
resultfromafeveredtemperature.
Inthisconditionitwasalmostabenefitthat,aftera
shorttime,mylovewasnotpermittedtoliveinsolitary
inactivitydedicatedtosufferingalone,butthatitwas
forcedintoacombativeattitudeandobligedtogatherup
allitsstrengtheveniftherebyitbroughtmetothe
vergeofcompleteestrangementfrommyownfamily.
Itwasinthiswaythatitcameabout:Stgira,the
sonoftheMinister,pursuedmeevermoreassiduously
nowwithtokensofhislove,andIcouldnolongershow
myselfinapublicpleasuregardenwithmycompanions
withouthisbeingthereandmakingmetheobjectofhis
obtrusiveattentions.
UnfortunatelythefactthatIdidntrespondtothese
hadnottheslightestdeterrenteffectuponhimeven
thoughIshowedhimevenmoreplainlythanwaspolite
howhatefultheyweretome.Soon,however,myparents
begantopleadhiscause,firstwithallkindsofhintsand
thenwithlessandlessreserve,andwhenhefinallycame
forwardtopresshissuitopenly,theydemandedthatI
shouldgivehimmyhand.Iassuredthem,withbitter
tears,thatIcouldneverloveStgira.That,however,
madelittleimpressionuponthem.ButIwassimilarlyas
littleaffectedbytheirrepresentations,theirprayersand
theirreproaches,andremainedinsensiblealiketoboth
thepleadingofmymotherandtothethreatsofmyfather.
Driventobay,IfinallytoldthemstraightoutthatIhad
promisedmyselftoyouofwhomtheyhadalready
206
heardfromStgiraandthatnopoweronearthcould
eitherforcemetobreakmyword,whichhadbeensac
redlygiventoyou,ortobelongtoanother.AndIadded
that,iftheworstshouldcometotheworst,Iwouldkill
myselfbypersistentlyrefusingallnourishment.

* * *

AsmyparentsnowsawthatIwasquitecapableof
carryingoutthisthreattheyfinallygavethematterup,
althoughmuchputoutandveryangry,andStgiraalso
nowseemedtoyieldtohisfateandtobetakingpainsto
comforthimselfforhisdefeatinthecourtsofloveby
becomingtheheroofvictoriousdeedsonasternerfield
ofbattle.
Aboutthistimepeoplehadmanyterribletalesto
telloftherobberAngulimlawho,withhisband,hadlaid
wastewholedistricts,burntvillagesandmadetheroadsso
unsafethateventuallyalmostnooneventuredtotravelto
Kosamb.Ibecameaprey,asaconsequence,tohorrible
fearsforInaturallydreadedthatyoumightatlastbe
comingtomeandbeunfortunateenoughtofallintohis
handsontheway.
ThingsstoodthuswhennewsarrivedthatStgira
hadreceivedthesupremecommandofalargebodyof
troopswithwhichtosweepthewholeneighbourhoodof
KosambandifpossibletocaptureAngulimlahimself,as
wellastheothermembersoftheband.Stgirahad,so
thestoryran,sworntoaccomplishthisortofallfightingin
theattempt.
LittleasIwasotherwisedisposedtofeelkindly
towardsthesonoftheMinister,Icouldnotonthisocca
sionrefrainfromwishinghimthebestofsuccessand,
whenhemovedout,myearnestwishesforhisprosperity
followedhiscolours.
207
AboutaweeklaterIwasinthegardenwith
Medin,whenweheardloudcriesfromthestreet.Medin
rushedthereatoncetolearnwhathadhappened,pres
entlysheannouncedthatStgirawasreturningtothecity
intriumph,havingeithercutdowntherobbersortaken
themprisoner.
ItseemedthatStgirahadobtainedinformationas
tothewhereaboutsofthesecrethideoutofthebandby
capturingthebelovdofoneofAngulimlascroniesand,
throughboththreateningherlifeandpromisingrich
rewardsfortheircomplicity,hehadforcedthemanto
betrayhisrobberhonour.
Stgirahadthusbeenabletostealuponthegang
withhistroops,afteroneoftheirfestiveorgies,andhad
slaughteredmostofthemwheretheysleptAngulimla
himselfhadfallenintohishandsalive.
SheinvitedmetogooutwithherandSomadatta
intothestreet,towitnesstheentryofthesoldierswiththe
captiverobbers,butIdidnotwishStgiratohavethe
satisfactionofseeingmeamongthespectatorsofhis
triumph.SoIstayedbehindalone,morethanhappyatthe
thoughttheroadswerenowagainopentomybelovd
forsolittledomortalsunderstandoftheworkingsof
karmathattheysometimes,asIdidthen,treatasaspe
ciallyfortunatedayjustthatoneonwhichthecurrentof
theirlivestakesaturnfortheworse.

* * *

Onthefollowingmorningmyfatherenteredmy
room.Hehandedmeacrystalchainbearingatigereye
amulet,andaskedmeifI,byanypossibility,recognisedit.
IfeltasthoughIshoulddrop,butIsummonedup
allmystrengthandansweredthatthechainresembled
onewhichyouhadalwayswornroundyourneck.
208
Itisntlikeit,saidmyfatherwithbrutalcalmness,
itisit.WhenAngulimlawasmadeprisonerhewas
wearingthechainandStgiraatoncerecognisedit.For,
asherelatedtome,hehadoncewrestledwithKmanta
intheparkforyourballand,inthecourseofthestruggle,
hadseizedKmantaschaininordertoholdhimback.
ThechainpartedandremainedinStgirashandssothat
hewasabletoexamineitverycarefully.Hewasconvinced
thathecouldntbedeceived.AndthenAngulimla,when
closelyquestioned,confessedthattwoyearsagohehad
attackedKmantascaravanonitsreturntoUjjen,inthe
regionoftheVedisa,hadcutdownhispeopleandhad
takenKmantaprisoner,alongwithaservant.Theser
vanthesenttoUjjenforransom.Asthiswasnotforthcoming
forsomereason,hehadputKmantatodeath,
accordingtothecustomoftherobbers.
AtthesefrightfulwordsIshouldcertainlyhavelost
consciousness,hadnotapossibilitypresenteditselftomy
despairingmindofhopingagainsthope.
Stgiraisalowandcraftysnake,Ianswered,
withapparentcalm,whowouldnothesitatetocheatus;
andhehassethisheart,orratherhispride,upongaining
meforhiswife.Ifhe,atthetimeyouspeakof,examined
thechainsoattentively,whatwastohinderhimfrom
havingonemadelikeit?Iimaginethatthisideaoccurred
tohimwhenhefirstheardofAngulimla.Ifhehadnot
takenAngulimlahimselfprisoner,hecouldalwayssay
thatthechainhadbeenfoundinpossessionoftherob
bers,andthattheyhadconfessedtohavingkilled
Kmanta.
Thatishardlypossible,mydaughter,saidmy
father,shakinghishead,andforareasonwhichyou,itis
true,cannotsee,butwhichI,asagoldsmith,canfortu
natelyreveal.Ifyouwillexaminethesmallgoldlinks
whichconnectthecrystalswithoneanother,youwill
209
noticethatthemetalisredderthanthatofourjewellery
here,becauseweuseinouralloysmoresilverthancopper.
Theworkmanshipalsoisofthesomewhatcoarser
typeseeninthemountaindistricts.
Onmylipstherehungthereply:Soclevera
goldsmithashimselfwould,nodoubt,succeedasperfectly
inthematterofthepropermixtureofthegoldasin
turningoutthecharacteristicworkmanship.ForIsaw
everyoneandeverythingconspiringagainstourlove,and
didnottrustevenmynearestrelatives.However,Iended
thematterbysayingthatIwouldnotallowmyselftobe
convincedbythismerechainthatmyKmantawasnot
stillalive.
Myfatherleftmeingreatangerandthen,insolitude,
Iwasabletogivemyselfwhollyuptomydespair.
210

211
212

~27~
THERITEOFTRUTH
ATTHATTIMEIalwaysspentthefirsthoursof
thenightontheTerraceoftheSorrowless,either
aloneorwithMedin.Ontheeveningofthedayof
whichIhavejustspoken,Iwastherebymyselfand,
consideringthestateofmindinwhichIthenwas,solitude
wasmybestcompanion.Thefullmoonshoneasonthose
memorablenightsofthepast,andIstoodbeforethegreat
Asokawithitswealthofblossoms,tobegfromit,the
Heartsease,acomfortingomenformytroubledheart.
AftersometimeIsaidtomyselfIf,betweenmeand
thetrunk,asaffronyellowflowershouldfallbeforeI
havecountedtoahundred,thenmybelovdKmantais
stillalive.

* * *

WhenIhadcountedtofiftyaflowerfell,butan
orangecolouredone.WhenIreachedeightyIbeganto
countmoreandmoreslowly.Justthenacreakingdoor
openedinthecornerbetweentheterraceandthewallof
thehouse,whereastairleddownintothecourtyarda
flightofstepsreallyintendedonlyforworkmenand
gardeners.
Myfathercameforward,andbehindhimStgira.
Acoupleofsoldiersarmedtotheteethfollowed,andafter
themcameamanwhotoweredafullheadabovethe
213
others.Finally,yetothersoldiersbroughtuptherearof
thisstrange,nottosayinexplicable,procession.Twoof
thelatterremainedtoguardthedoor,whilstalltheothers
camedirectlytowardsme.AtthesametimeInoticedthat
thegiantintheirmidstwalkedwithgreatdifficulty,and
thatateverystepthereresoundedadismalclankingand
rattling.
Thatveryinstantasaffronyellowblossomfloated
downandremainedlyingjustatmyfeet.Ihadceased
countinghowever,fromsheerastonishmentand,asa
consequence,couldnotbesurewhetherithadfallen
beforeorafterthehundredhadbeenreached.
Thegroupnowadvancedfromtheshadowofthe
wallintothemoonlightandthenIsawwithhorrorthatthe
giantfigurewasloadedwithchains.Hishandswere
fetteredathisback,abouthisanklesclankedheavyiron
ringswhichwerelinkedtoeitherendofahugerodand
wereconnectedbydoublechainsofironwithasimilar
ringaroundhisneck.Toit,inturn,twootherchainswere
fastenedandthesewereheldbytwoofthesoldiers.Asis
usualinthecaseofaprisonerwhoisbeingconductedto
thescaffold,aroundhisneckandonhishairybreastthere
hungawreathoftheredKanaverablossoms;andthe
reddishyellowbrickdustwithwhichhisheadwaspow
deredcausedthehairhangingdownoverhisforehead,
andthebeardwhichreachedalmosttohiseyes,toappear
yetmoreferocious.Fromthismaskhiseyesflashedoutat
meandthenfelltotheground,wanderingfurtivelyhither
andthitheronthefloorlikethoseofanevilbeast.
AstowhostoodbeforemeIshouldnothave
neededtoinquire,eveniftheKanaverablossomshad
concealedthesymbolofhisterriblenamethenecklace
ofhumanfingers.
Now,Angulimla,Stgirabrokethesilence,
repeatinthepresenceofthisnoblemaidenwhatyou
214
haveconfessedontherackregardingthemurderofthe
youngmerchantKmantaofUjjen.
Kmantawasnotmurdered,answeredthe
robbergruffly,buttakenprisonerandmadeawaywith,
accordingtoourcustoms.
Andhenowrelatedtomeinafewwordswhatmy
fatherhadalreadytoldmeofthematter.
Istood,meanwhile,withmybacktotheAsoka
tree,andsupportedmyselfbyclutchingthetrunkwith
bothhands,buryingmyfingernailsconvulsivelyinthe
barkinordertokeepmyselffromfalling.
WhenAngulimlahadfinishedspeaking,every
thingseemedtobegoingroundinawhirl.Buteventhen
Ididnotgiveup.
Youareaninfamousrobberandmurderer,I
said,whatvaluecanyourwordhaveforme?Whyshould
younotsaywhatiscommandedtoyoubytheoneinto
whosepoweryourvillainieshavebroughtyou?
And,asifbyaninspirationwhichastonishedeven
myself,andcausedaglimmerofhopetoflashupwithin
me,Iadded:
Youdonotdaretolookmeintheeyesevenonce
you,theterrorofallhumanbeings,andme,aweak
girl!Youdonotdarebecauseattheinstigationofthis
manyouaretellingacowardlylie.
Angulimladidnotlookup,buthelaughed
harshlyandansweredinavoicethatsoundedlikethe
growlingofafetteredbeastofprey:
Whatgoodendwouldbeservedbylookingyou
intheeyes?Ileavethattoyoungdandies.Theeyesofan
infamousrobberyouwouldbelieveaslittleashiswords.
Andhisoathwould,Isuppose,signifyjustaslittle.
Hecameastepnearer.
Wellthen,maiden,bewitnessnowtotheRiteof
Truth.
215
Onceagainthelightningofhisglancestruckmeas
itsweptupwardandfixeditselfuponthemooninsucha
waythat,inthemidstofthetangleofhisdiscolouredhair
andbeard,onlythewhitesofhiseyeswerestillvisible.
Hisbreastheaved,sothattheredflowersmovedasina
dance,andwithavoicelikethatofthunderrollingamong
theclouds,hecalledaloud:
Youwhotamethetiger,snakecrownedGoddess
ofNight!Youwhodancebymoonlightonthepinnaclesof
themountains,yournecklaceofskullsswayingand
crashing,gnashingyourteeth,swingingyourbloodfilled
skullcup!MotherKl!Mistressoftherobbers!Youwho
haveledmethroughathousanddangers,hearme!Truly
asIhaveneverwithheldasacrificefromyou;trulyasI
haveeverloyallyobservedyourlaws;trulyasIdiddeal
withthisKmantaaccordingtoourstatutethestatute
whichcommandsusSenderswhentheransomdoesnot
arrivebytheappointedhour,tosawtheprisonerthrough
themiddleandcasthisremainsonthepublicroad
justastrulystandbymenowinmydirestneed,rendmy
chains,andfreemefromthehandsofmyenemies.
Ashesaidthishemadeamightyeffortthe
chainsrattledandshattered,armsandlegswerefree,the
twosoldierswhoheldhimlayproneontheearth,athird
hestruckdownwiththeironlinkswhichhungathiswrists
andbeforeanyoneofusclearlyunderstoodwhatwas
happening,Angulimlahadswunghimselfoverthe
parapet.WithafierceshoutStgiragavechase.
ThatwasthelastIsaworheard.
AfterwardsIlearnedthatAngulimlahadfallen,
brokenafootandhadbeencapturedbytheguard;thathe
hadlaterdiedinprisonundertorture,andthathishead
hadbeenplacedovertheeastgateofthetownwhere
MedinandSomadattahadseenit.
WithAngulimlasRiteofTruthmylastdoubtand
216
mylasthopeleftme.ForIknewwellthateventhefear
someGoddessKlcouldnothaveworkedamiracleto
rescuehimifhehadnothadthestrengthwhichtruthlent
tohisside.
AstowhatshouldnowbecomeofmeItroubled
myselflittle,foronthiseartheverythinggoodwashence
forthlost.OnlyintheParadiseoftheWestcouldwetwo
meetagain.YouhadgonebeforemeandIwould,asI
ardentlyhoped,soonfollow.Onlytherecouldhappiness
blossomallelsewasamatterofindifference.
AsStgiranowcontinuedtopresshissuit,andmy
mother,alwayswailingandweeping,keptonmaking
representationstomethatshewoulddieofabrokenheart
ifthroughmesheshouldsufferthedisgraceofhavinga
daughterremainunmarriedinthehouseofherparents:
Shemightjustaswellhavegivenbirthtotheugliest
maideninKosamb!Littlebylittlemyresistanceweakened.
Overandabovethis,Inolongerhadsomuch
bitternesstobringagainstStgiraasbefore:Icouldnot
avoidrecognisingthesteadfastnessandfidelityofhis
attachment,andIalsofeltthatIowedhimgratitudefor
havingavengedthedeathofmybelovd.
Thus,afteralmostanotheryearhadpassed,Isadly
becamethebrideofStgira.

217
218

~28~
ONTHESHORESOFTHEHEAVENLYGANG

WHENKMANTAPERCEIVEDthatevenhere
intheabodeofblissthesememoriesovershadowed,
withdarkandforbiddingwings,thestilldelicate,
newlyawakenedspiritofhisbelovd,hetookher
bythehandandledherawayguidingtheirflightto
thesoftgreenhillonwhoseslopehehadrecentlylain
andwatchedthegamesofthefloatingdancers.

* * *

Heretheysoughtarestingplace.Alreadygroves
andshrubberies,meadowsandhillslopeswerefilledwith
countlessfloatingfigures,red,blueandwhite.Groupafter
groupsurroundedthemtogreetthenewlyawakenedone.
Andthetwomingledjoyfullyamongsttheranksofthe
players.
Theyhadbeenglidinghitherandthitherforalong
time,whereverthechainofdancersledthemthrough
thegroves,roundabouttherocks,overthemeadowsand
lotuspoolswhentheyweresuddenlymetbythe
whiterobedcompanionwhohadformerlycalledupon
KmantatotakethejourneytotheGangwithher.
Astheyheldouttheirhandstooneanotherinthe
dance,sheasked,withasunnysmile:
Well,haveyoubeentotheshoresoftheGangyet?
219
Younowhaveacompanion,Isee.
Notyet,answeredKmanta.
Whatisthat?askedVsitth.
AndKmantatoldher.
Letusgothere,saidVsitth.Oh,howoften
haveI,downinthesadvalleysofearth,lookeduptothe
distantreflectionoftheheavenlystreamandthoughtof
theblessdplainsthatareenfoldedandwateredbyit,and
askedmyselfifweshouldreallyonedaybeunitedinthis
placeofbliss.NowIfeelmyselfirresistiblydrawnthere,to
lingerwithyouonitsshores.
Theywithdrewfromthechainofdancersand
turnedtheirflightinadirectionwhichledthemfarfrom
theirownlake.Aftersometimetheysawnomorelotus
pools,northeresplendentflowersbearinghappybeings.
Thewealthofblossomsdecreasedperceptiblyandmore
andmorerarelydidtheymeetthefiguresoftheBlessd.
Herdsofgazellesandantelopesheregavelifetothe
plainsandswansglidedalongonthelakes,drawingtrains
ofglisteningwavesbehindthemoverthedarkwaters.The
hills,whichinthebeginninghadgrowneversteeperand
morerocky,disappearedentirely.
Theyfloatedoveraflat,desertlikeplaincovered
withtigergrassandthornyshrubs,andbeforethemlay
stretchedtheendlesscurvesofaforestofpalms.
Theyreachedtheforest.Moreandmoredeeply
didtheshadowscloseinaroundthem.Theringedtrunks
gleamedlikebronze.Highabovethemthetreetops
resoundedwithaclangasofmetal.
Infront,glisteningpointsandstreaksoflight
begantodance.Andsuddenlytherestreamedtowards
themsuchablazeoflightthattheywereobligedtohold
theirhandsovertheireyes.Itseemedasthoughthere
stoodagiganticcolonnadeofburnishedsilverpillarsin
theforest,flashingbackthelightoftherisingsun.
220
Whentheyventuredagaintoremovetheirhands
fromtheirfaces,theywerejustfloatingoutbetweenthe
lastoftheforestpalms.
BeforethemlaytheHeavenlyGang,itssilvery
expansereachingouttothefarhorizon;attheirfeetwave
letsofliquidstarlightlappedthepearlgreysandofthe
shore,asifwithtonguesofflamebothcoolandargentine.
Asaruletheskybeginstogrowgraduallyclearer
downtowardsthehorizon,butheretheorderwasre
versed;theazurebluepassedintoindigo,andfinally
deepenedtoanallbutabsolutelyblackborder,which
restedheavilyuponthesilverwaters.

* * *

OftheperfumeoftheblossomsofParadisethere
wasnothingleft.And,whereasinthemalachitevalleythat
memoryladenperfumeofperfumeslaydensearoundthe
CoralTree,herethereblewalongtheStreamoftheUni
verse,acoolandfreshbreathwhichtookforitsperfume
theabsenceofallperfumeperfectpurity.AndVsitth
seemedtoquaffitgreedilyasarefreshingdraught,whileit
tookKmantasbreathaway.
Herealso,onedidnotcatchthefaintestnoteofthe
musicofthegandharvas.Butfromthestreamitselfthere
seemedtoriseupmightysoundslikethedeepbooming
ofthunder.
Listen,whisperedVsitth,andraisedherhand.
Strange,saidKmanta,onceonmyjourneyings
Ihadfoundlodgingsinahutwhichstoodattheentrance
toamountainravine,andpastthehutthereflowedalittle
rivuletwithclearwaterinwhichIwashedmyfeetafter
mylongdayswalk.Duringthenightaviolentrainfell
and,asIlayawakeinmyhut,Iheardtherivulet,whichin
theeveninghadrippledsoftlyby,rushandragewith
221
everincreasingvehemence.Atthesametimemyattention
wascaughtbyabanging,thunderingsoundwhichIcould
notexplaintomyselfatall.Thenextmorning,however,I
sawthattheclearbrookhadbecomearagingmountain
torrent,withwatersbrownandfoaminginwhichhuge
stonesrolledandboundedastheydashedonward.Andit
wasthesethathadcausedtheuproar.Whydoyousup
posethatjusthere,whenlisteningtothesesounds,this
memoryoutofthetimeofmypilgrimageshouldrise
withinme?
Itcomesfromthis,answeredVsitth,the
soundsareanalogous;thoughinthatmountainstreamyou
weremerelyhearingthecollisionofstones,hereinthe
streamoftheHeavenlyGang,worldsarerolledand
propelledalong.Itisthesefromwhichthebooming
soundslikethunderarise.
Worlds!exclaimedKmanta,horrified.
Vsitthsmiled,andfloatedonwardasshedidso;
butKmanta,fullofterror,caughtherandheldherback
byherrobe.
Takecareofyourself,Vsitth!Whoknowswhat
powers,whatfearfulforcesholdswayoverthisStreamof
theUniverse,forcesintowhosepoweryoumightfallby
forsakingtheshore.Itremblealreadyatthethoughtof
seeingyousuddenlytornfromme.
Wouldyounotdaretofollowme,then?
Certainly,Iwouldfollowyou.Butwhoknows
whetherIcouldreachyou,whetherweshouldnotbetorn
fromoneanother?Andevenifweremainedtogether,
whatmiseryitwouldbetobeborneawaytotheIllimit
able,farfromthisabodeofbliss.
TotheIllimitable...!repeatedVsitthdreamily,
andherglancesweptoverthesurfaceoftheHeavenly
Gang,farouttowherethesilverfloodtouchedtheblack
borderofthesky,hergazeseemingtodesiretopenetrate
222
everfarther.Isitpossible,then,sheasked,asifshe
werelostinthought,foreternalhappinesstoexistwhere
thereislimitation?
Vsitth!exclaimedKmanta,becomingtruly
alarmed.IwishIhadneverledyouhere!Come,love,
come!
And,evenmoreanxiouslythanfromtheCoral
Tree,hedrewherawayfromthere.
Shefollowedhimwillingly,butturnedherheadat
thefirstpalmsasshedidso,castingalastglanceback
wardattheheavenlystream.

* * *

Andagaintheywerethronedonthelotusseatsin
thecrystallake,againtheyfloatedbetweentreesbearing
blossomsofjewels,againtheymingledwiththeranksof
theBlessd,joinedinthedances,andenjoyedtheraptures
ofheaven,happyintheiruncloudedlove.
Onceinthedancetheymettheirfriendofthe
whiterobe,whogreetedthemwith:
Soyounowreallyhavebeentotheshoresofthe
HeavenlyGang.
Howcouldyoupossibleknowthatwehavebeen
there?
Iseeit;forallwhohavebeentherewearashadow
ontheirbrows.ForthatreasonIdontwishtogo.And
youwillalsonotgoasecondtime,nooneeverdoes.

223

224

~29~
AMIDTHESWEETNESSOFTHE
CORALBLOSSOMS
ASAMATTEROFFACT,theydidnotagainvisit
theinhospitableshoresoftheHeavenlyGang.Often,
however,theyturnedtheirflighttowardthevalley
ofthemalachiterocks.Reposingunderthemighty
crownoftheCoralTree,theybreathedthatperfumeof
perfumeswhichstreamedfromthecrimsonblossomsand,
inthedepthsoftheirmemory,therewasopenedupto
themthevistaoftheirformerliveslifeprecedinglifein
somestrangelyappointedorder,backintothefardistant
past.

* * *

Andtheysawthemselvesinothertimes,when
humanbeingsweremightierthannow,inthosememorable
heroicdayswhenhetorehimselffromherarmsand
rodehiswarelephanttoHastinapuratoaidhisfriends,the
Pndavaprinces,intheirquarrelwiththeKaurvas;when,
fightingatthesideofArjunaandKrishna,ontheplainof
Kurukshetra,onthetenthdayofthegiganticbattlehe
yieldeduphisspirit.Andwhenshehadreceivedthenews
ofhisdeathandhisshroudedbodyhadbeenreturnedto
her,shehadascendedthefuneralpyreinfrontofthe
palace,followedbyallofherwomen,andhadignitedthe
greatblazewithherownhand.

225
Andyetagaintheysawthemselvesinstrange
regions,amidsceneryofanotherkind.
ItwasnolongerthevalleyoftheGangand
Yamun,withitsmagnificentpalacefilledcitieswhere
warriorsinshiningarmour,proudbrahmins,richmer
chantsanddiligentworkerslentanimationtothestreets.
Thistheatrewhichhadsooftenframedthestageoftheir
commonlifewithitsluxurianttropicalmagnificence,as
thoughtherewerenootherworld,nowdisappeared
entirelytomakeroomforadrearierandharsherland.
Herethesunofsummerburns,itistrue,justashot
asbytheGang,driesupthewatercoursesandparches
thegrass,butinwinterthefrostrobsthewoodsoftheir
foliageandrimecoversthefields.Notownsreartheir
towersinthisregion;onlywidelyscatteredvillageswith
largesheepfoldslieinthemidstofitsrichpastures,and
theprotectingelevationnearbyisturnedintoasmall
fortressbymeansoframpartsandroughwall.Awarlike,
pastoralpeoplehavetheirhomehere.Thewoodsarefull
ofwolves;andmilesawaythetremblingwayfarerhears
theroarofthelionThebeastthatroams,frightful,
savage;whoselairisinthemountainsashedescribes
it;forheisasongmaker.
Afterlongwanderings,heapproachesavillage,an
unknownbutwelcomeguest;forthatheiseverywhere.
Overhisshoulderhangshissolevisiblepossessiona
smallharpbutinhisheadhecarriesthewholeprecious
heritageofhisfathers:ancientmystichymnstoAgni
andIndra,toVarunaandMitra,yes,eventounknown
gods;songsofwaranddrinkingchorusesformen,love
songsforthemaidens;fortunebringingmagicsayingsto
protectthecattle,thegiversofmilk.Andhehaspower
andknowledgewithwhichtoincreasethisstorefromhis
ownresources.Where,indeed,wouldsuchaguestnotbe
welcome?
226
Itisthehourwhenthecattlearebeingdriven
home.Attheheadofaherdtherewalks,withsupreme
graceineverymovementofheryoungbody,amaidenof
loftystature;byhersidegoesherpetcow,whosebellthe
othersfollow,andfromtimetotimethefavouritelicksher
mistressshand.Theyoungwanderergivesthemaidenan
eveninggreeting;shereplieswithkindlywords.Smiling,
theylookatoneanotherandthelookisthesameas
thatwhichwasborninthepleasureparkofKosamb,
whichflewbackandforthbetweentheballplayeronthe
stageandthehandsomestranger.
ButtheLandoftheFiveStreams,afterithasre
peatedlygiventhemshelterandahome,disappearsinits
turnasdidthevalleyoftheGang.Otherregionscome
intoview,otherpeoplesandcustomssurroundthem
everythingpoorer,rougher,wilder.
Thesteppeoverwhichtheprocessionpasses
horsemen,wagons,andpeopleonfootinendlesslines
iswhitewithsnow.Theairisfullofwhirlingflakes.Black
mountainslookdarklydown.Fromunderthetentlike
roofofaheavyoxwagon,amaidenleansforwardwith
suchhasteofmovementthatthesheepskinslipsaside,
andherwealthofgoldenhairflowsdownovercheeks,
throatandbreast.Anxietyburnsinhereyesasshegazes
outinthedirectioninwhichalleyesareturned,whereall
fingerspointtowhere,likeadarkcloudwhirledupby
thewind,ahordeofmountedhorsemencomessweeping
towardsthem.Butshesmilesconfidently,asherglance
meetsthatoftheyouthwhoridesonablackoxbesidethe
wagon;anditisthesamelookasbefore,evenifoutof
blueeyes.Theglancesetstheheartoftheyouthonfire
heswingshisbattleaxe,andwithloudcryjoinstheother
warriorswhorushtomeetthefoesetsitonfire,and
stillwarmsitwhenitispiercedbythecoldironofa
Scythianarrow.
227
Buttheysawgreaterchangesyet;ledbythe
fragrantodouroftheCoralTree,theyundertookeven
longerjourneys.
Theyfoundthemselvesasstagandhindinavast
forest.Theirlovewaswordlessnow,butnotsightless.
Andagainitwasthesamelook;deepinthedarkest
depthsoftheirgreateyes,asifprescient,therelightened,
evenifthroughdimbluemists,thesamesparkthathad
laterfounditswaysoradiantlyfromhumaneyetohuman
eye.
Theygrazedtogetherandwadedsidebysidein
theclear,coolforestbrook;bodybybodytheyrestedin
thetallsoftgrass.Theyhadtheirjoysincommonand
togethertheytrembledforfear,whenabranchsuddenly
becamealiveandthejawsofthepythonopenedwideor
when,inthestillnessofthenight,ascarcelyaudible
creepingmovementwascaughtbytheirquickears,while
flaringnostrilsdiscernedthepungentodourofabeastof
prey,andtheyfledwithmightybounds,justasarustling
crackmadeitselfheardintheneighbouringthicketand
theangryroarofatigerthathadfallenshortofitsprey
rolledthroughthewood,whichnowsuddenlywakened
tolifeallaround.

* * *

Fartheryet,andapairofgoldeneagleswerebuilding
theireyriehighupinasavagemountainfastness,
hangingovertheblueabyssesoftheHimalayas,circling
rounditssnowypinnacles.
Astwodolphinstheyploughedtheboundless
expanseofoldOceanssaltyflood.
Yes,oncetheyevengrewastwopalmsonan
islandinthemidstoftheseas,theirrootsintertwinedin
thecoolsandoftheshoreandtheirtopsrustlingtogether
228
inthecoolseabreeze.
Thusdidtheytwo,companionsinsomanywan
derings,lingerintheshadeoftheCoralTreeand,dayby
day,enjoythesweetsofmemoryexhaledbyitsfragrant
blossoms.
Forevenasaroyalcouplehavemanytalesrelated
tothembythecourtstorytellerinpursuitofamusement
andknowledgenowthelifestoryofaking,nowa
simplevillagetale;atonetimeaheroicpoem,atanothera
legendofancientdays;ormaybeafableofsomeanimal,
orafairytaleandallthewhiletheyknowthat,how
everoftenitpleasesthemtolisten,thereisnofearthat
thisprinceofstorytellerswilleverbeatalossforwords,
becausethetreasuryofhisknowledgeandhisowninven
tiveabilityarebothinexhaustiblesothesetwowere
abletosaytothemselves:Howeveroftenandhowever
longwemaylingerhere,evenifitwereforaneternity,
thereisnodangerthattheseblossomswilleverbeunable
towakenfurthermemories;forthefartherwegodown
intotheabyssesoftime,thefartherdoestimerecede
beforeus.
Andtheymarvelledmuch.
Weareasoldastheworld,saidVsitth.

229

230

~30~
TOBEBORNISTODIE
ASSUREDLY:WEAREasoldastheworld,said
Kmanta.Butuptothistimewehavewandered
on,neverresting,andtheLordofDeathwhenhehas
comehasalwaysprojectedusintoanewlife.Now,
however,wehavereachedaplacewherethereisnomore
passingaway,whereeternaljoyisoursweetpossession.

* * *

Atthetimewhenhespokethus,theywerejust
returningfromtheCoralTreetotheirlake.Hewasabout
tolethimselfdownonhislotusflowerwhenitsuddenly
struckhimthatitsredcolourseemedtohavelostsomething
ofitsfreshnessandgloss.Yes,ashenowremained
floatingoveritintheairandlookedattentivelydown,he
sawwithdismaythatthepetalsofthecoronahadbecome
brownattheedges,asiftheyhadbeenburnt,andthat
theirtipswerelosingtheirvitalityandcurlingup.
Vsitthswhitelotusdidnotlookanybetter;she
alsohadremainedfloatingoverhers,evidentlyarrestedby
thesamephenomenon.
Heturnedhiseyesuponhisblueneighbourwhose
lotusshowedjustthesamechange,andKmantanoticed
thathisfacedidnotbeamasjoyouslyasithadonthatday
whenhe,Kmanta,firstgreetedhim;hisfeatureswere
notsoanimatedasformerly,hisbearingnotsoopen.Yes,
231
eveninhiseyesKmantareadthesamedismaythathad
movedhimselfandVsitth.
Anditwasthesame,asamatteroffact,every
wherehelooked.Achangehadcomeoveralltheflowers
andtheBlessdofSukhavat.
Againhedirectedasearchingglancetowardshis
ownlotus.Oneofthepetalsinthecoronaseemedto
comealiveslowlyitbentitselfforward,butthenitfell
looseuponthesurfaceofthewater.
Butitdidnotfallalone.
Atthesameinstantacrownpetalwasloosened
fromeverylotusflowerthewholeexpanseofwater
glitteredandtrembledand,asitroseandfell,itgently
rockedthedainty,colouredfleetuponitsbosom.Through
thegrovesonthebankwentabreathoffrost;anda
showerofblossoms,likesparklingjewels,felltothe
ground.
Asighwaswrungfromeverybreast,andalowbut
cuttingdisharmonytraversedthemusicoftheheavenly
gandharvas.
Vsitth,mylove!exclaimedKmanta,seizing
herhandindeepagitation.Doyousee?Doyouhear?
Whatisthis?Whatcanitmean?
Vsitth,however,lookedathim,calmlysmiling.
ThiswasinHismind,whenHesaid:
Tobebornistodie;
Alldestroying,Oblivionsbreathholdssway;
AsinthegardensofEarth,
FlowersofParadisefade,andpassaway,
Whoistheauthorofthatterrible,hopedestroying
utterance?
WhobutHe,theBlessdOne,perfectinconduct
andunderstanding;whohasmadecleartheTruthoutof
compassionforall,fortheenlightenmentofusall,forthe
happinessofall;whohasrevealedthenatureoftheworld
232
withallitsbeings:thelowlyandthenoble,withitstroops
ofgods,humansanddemons;theGuidewhoshowsthe
wayoutofthisworldofchange;theMaster,thePerfect
One,theBuddha.
TheBuddhaissupposedtohavesaidthat?Ohno,
Vsitth,thatIdonotbelieve.Howoftenarethewordsof
suchgreatteachersmisunderstoodandinaccurately
repeated,asImyselfbestknow!Foronce,inRjagaha,I
spentthenightinthehallofapotterinthecompanyofa
foolishmonkwhoinsistedonexpoundingwhathecalled
theTeachingoftheBuddhatome.Whatheadvanced,
however,waspoorstuffaselffabricatedandstupid
doctrinealthoughIcould,itistrue,perceivethat
genuinesayingsoftheMasterlayattherootofit.They
werespoilt,however,intheattempttocorrectthemand
weremisinterpretedbythatcontrary,nihilisticoldman.I
amsurethatsimilarfoolshavealsoreportedthissaying
falselytoyou.
Notso,myfriend.ForIhearditfromthelipsof
theMasterhimself.
What,belovd?YouhaveyourselfseentheMaster,
facetoface?
Icertainlyhave.Ihavesatathisfeet.
Oh,happyVsitth!Foryouarehappynowinthe
memoryofitthatIcansee.IsupposethatIwouldalso
beashappyandasconfidentasyou,hadnotmydark
karmathefruitofunwholesomedeedsofthepast
whichhadgrownripeatthatsorrowfulinstantrobbed
meatthatlastmomentofthejoyofseeingthesublime
Buddha.ForaviolentdeathsweptmeawayasIwas
journeyingtohim,intheveryplaceinwhichhewas
residingtoo,inRjagahaitself,onthemorningaftermy
talkwiththatfoolofanascetic.Justthinkofit:mykarma
overtookmeonlyaboutaquarterofanhoursdistance
fromthemangogrovewheretheMasterhadtakenuphis
233
abode.Butnowthisisgiventomeforcomfortinstead
thatmyVsitthsucceededinobtainingwhatwasdenied
tome.Tellmeeverythingaboutyourcomingtohim,to
theMaster!Iamsureitwillraisemeupandstrengthen
me.Andperhapsthatsayingofhis,thatseemedsoterrible
andsodestructiveofallhope,willgrowclearandwill
loseitssting,yes,perhapsevencontainsomehidden
groundforcomfort.
Gladly,myfriend,repliedVsitth.
Theyletthemselvesdownontheirlotusflowers,
andVsitthwentonwiththestoryofherlife.

234

235

236

~31~
THEAPPARITIONONTHETERRACE
WHENSTGIRAHADREACHEDthegoalhehad
sethimselfthatis,possessingmeashiswifethe
ardourofhisloverapidlycooled;andallthemore
quicklysinceitmetwithnoresponseonmyside.Ihad
promisedtobeatruewifetohim,andheknewwellthat
Iwouldkeepmyword,butmorethanthatdidnotlie
withinmypower,evenifIhadwishedit.

* * *

AsIborehimonlyadaughterwhodiedinher
secondyear,noonewonderedandIleastofallthat
hetookasecondwife.Sheborehimthewishedforson.
Asaconsequenceshereceivedthefirstplaceinthehouse
andwasable,incleverfashion,toattachtoherselfthe
lovethatIhadsowillinglyresigned.Overandabovethis,
mattersofbusinessmoreandmoreclaimedtheattention
ofmyhusbandfor,afterthedeathofhisfather,hehad
succeededthelatterastheMinisterofState.
Inthisway,severalyearsslippedquietlybyandI
wasleft,forthemostpart,tomyself,whichwasjustwhatI
desired.Igavemyselfuptomygriefs,bothforthelossof
youandformylittlegirl;Ialmostfeltthatshe,finding
herselfinalovelessfamilyandwithamothergivento
suchmelancholy,hadsimplymadeupherinfantmindto
depart.SoIcommunedonlywithmemoriesandlivedin
237
thehopeofahappymeetinghereaboveahopein
whichIhavenotbeendisappointed.

* * *

Stgiraspalacelayclosetothesameravinefrom
whichyousooftenclimbeduptotheTerraceofthe
Sorrowlessbutatamuchsteeperplace,andithada
terracesimilartotheoneatmyfathershouse.HereIwas
accustomedtospendallthefineeveningsinthehot
seasonoftenpassingeventhewholenightthere,
reposingonacouch.Therockyfrontoftheravine,which
wasalsosurmountedbyahighwall,wassosteepand
slipperythatIfeltcertainnohumanbeingcouldscaleit.
Once,onamildandgloriousmoonlitnight,Ilay
onmybedunabletosleep.Iwasthinkingofyou,and
particularlyofthatfirsteveningtogether:themoment
whenIsatwithMedinonthemarblebenchontheTerrace
awaitingyourarrival,stoodvividlybeforemyminds
eye.AndIthoughtofhow,evenbeforewehadhopedfor
it,yourformsuddenlyappearedoverthetopofthewall
forinyourpassionateardouryouhadeasilyoutdis
tancedSomadatta.
Lostinthesesweetdreams,Ihadunconsciouslylet
mygazerestupontheparapet,whensuddenlyafigure
roseupaboveit.
Iwassoconvincedthatnohumanbeingcould
everscalethispartofthewall,thatIdidnotdoubtinthe
leastthatyourspirit,conjuredupbymylonging,had
cometocomfortme,andtobringmenewsoftheblessd
placewhereyounowawaitedme.ForthisreasonIwasin
nowayfrightenedbutgotupandextendedmyarmsto
embracemyvisitor.
When,however,hestoodontheTerraceand
approachedmewithrapidsteps,Isawthathisfigurewas
238
muchtallerthanyoursindeed,evengiganticandI
perceivedthatIhadthespiritofAngulimlabeforeme.
ButatthatIbecamesogreatlyterrifiedthatIwasobliged
toclingtotheheadofmycouchinordernottofalldown.
Whomdidyouexpect?askedthefearsomeappari
tion,comingclosetome.
Aspirit,butnotyours,Ianswered.
Kmantasspirit?
Inodded.
Whenyoumadeyourmovementofwelcome,he
wenton,Ifearedthatyouhadaloverwhovisitedyou
hereatnights.Ifthatwereso,youwouldnotbeableto
helpme.AndIneedyourhelpasmuchas,atpresent,you
needmine.
AtthesestrangewordsIventuredtolookup,and
nowitseemedtomethatintruthIdidnothaveaspirit
beforeme,butabeingoffleshandblood.Themoon,
however,wasbehindhimand,dazzledbyitsbeamsas
wellasconfusedbymyterror,Ionlysawtheoutlinesofa
figurewhichmightwellhavebelongedtoademon.

* * *

IamnotthespiritofAngulimla,hesaid,guessing
mythoughts,IamAngulimlahimself,alivinghuman
beingasyouare.
Ibegantotrembleviolently,notfromfearbut
becauseIwasstandingfacetofacewiththemanwhohad
cruellymurderedmybelovd.
Donotbeafraid,graciouslady,hewenton,
youhavenothingtofearfromme;onthecontrary,you
aretheonlypersonImyselfhaveeverbeenafraidof,and
whomIdarednotlookintheeye,because,asyousotruly
said,Iwasdeceivingyou.
Youdeceivedme!?Iexclaimed,andIscarcely
239
knowevennowwhetherjoyroseupinmyheart,awakened
bythehopethatmylovedonewasstillalive,or
whetheryetgreaterdespairseizedmeasIthoughtthatI
hadallowedmyselftobedeludedintoseparatingmyself
frommybelovd.
Idid,hesaid,andforthatreasonwearethrown
upononeanother.Forwebothhavesomethingto
avenge,andonthesamemanStgira!Hespatthe
name.
Withthebearingofaprince,thisrobbermadea
movementofhishand,biddingmebeseated,asthough
hehadmuchtosaytome.Ihadbeenholdingmyselferect
withdifficultyandnowsankdownuponthebenchwith
outpowerofvolition.Igazedathim,breathlesslyeagerto
hearhisnextwordswhichshouldenlightenmeastothe
fateofmybelovd.
Kmantawithhiscaravan,hewenton,fellinto
myhandsinthewoodedregionoftheVedisas.Hede
fendedhimselfbravelybutwascapturedunwoundedand,
astheransomarrivedingoodtime,hewassenthome
withoutmolestation.HearrivedsafelyinUjjen.
Atthisnewsadeepsighescapedmybreast.For
themomentIfeltonlyjoyintheknowledgethatmy
belovdwasyetamongsttheliving;foolishasthefeeling
was,forlivinghewasevenfurtherremovedfrommethan
hewouldhavebeenbydeath.

* * *

WhenIfellintoStgiraspower,Angulimla
continued,heatoncerecognisedthecrystalchainwith
thetigereyeamuletonmyneckasthesameonethathad
belongedtoKmanta.Onthefollowingeveninghecame
tomyprisonaloneandpromised,tomyunbounded
astonishment,togivememyfreedomifIwouldswearin
240
thepresenceofamaidenthatIhadkilledKmanta.
Youroathalonewouldnotconvinceher,tobe
sure,Stgirahadsaid,butshemustbelieveinaRiteof
Truth.
HeexplainedtomethatIwas,atthefirsthourof
thenight,tobeconductedtoaterracewherethemaiden
wouldbefound.Hewouldseethatthefetterswerefiled
throughsothatIcouldwithoutdifficultyburstthem,after
whichitwouldbeaneasymatterformetoswingmyself
overthebreastworkoftheparapet,climbdownintothe
ravineandescape;sincethegullyfinallyendedina
narrowwatercoursethroughwhichasmallbrookran
underthecitywallandemptieditselfintotheGang.With
asolemnoathhesworethathewoulddonothingto
hindermyescapefromKosamb.
ItistrueIdidnottrusthimovermuch,butIsaw
nootherwayofescape.ToperformtheRiteofTruth
andinsodoingtoutteranabsolutefalsehoodnothing
whatsoevercouldhaveinducedmetodothat,Iacknowl
edge,forIshouldtherebyhavecalleddownuponmyself
themostfearfuljudgementoftheangryandinsulted
Goddess.ButIsawatoncehowIcouldsoexpressmy
oathasnottotellanuntruth,yetatthesametime,every
onehearingwouldbelieveIhadkilledKmanta.AndI
trustedthatMotherKl,whofindspleasureincraftiness
ofallkinds,wouldstandbymewithallherpoweron
accountofthismasterpieceandwouldleadmesafely
throughthesnareswhichthetreacheryofStgiramight
layforme.
Asamatteroffact,everythingnowoccurredin
thewaythatwehadarranged,andyouyourselfsawhowI
bursttheironchainsasunder.But,tothisday,Idont
knowwhetherStgirakeptfaithwithmeandhadthe
chainsfiledthrough,ashehadpromised,orwhetherthe
DarkMotherhelpedmebyamiracle.Iammoreinclined,
241
however,tobelievetheformer,forscarcelyhadIswuma
fewstrokesoutintotheGangwhenIwasfallenuponby
aboatloadofarmedmen.Sohehadevidentlyreliedupon
thatambush.YetherecouldbeseenwhatKlshelpis
worthfor,althoughthepiecesofchainhangingonmy
wristsweremyonlyweapons,Isucceededinkillingevery
manofthem,andontheboat,whichhadcapsizedduring
thefight,Ifortunatelyreachedthesafetyofthenorth
bank,thoughtobesurenotwithoutbearingawayso
manyandsuchdeepwoundsthatawholeyearpassed
beforeIhadrecoveredfromthem.DuringthattimeIoften
sworethatStgirawouldpayforwhathehaddone.And
nowthetimeforthatpaymenthascome.
Inmyheartthereragedastormofindignationat
theshamefuldeceptionwhichhadbeenpractisedupon
me.Icouldntblametherobberforsavinghislifeashe
didand,ashehadntsoiledhishandswiththebloodof
mybelovd,Iforgotforthemomenthowmuchother
innocentbloodadheredtothem,andIfeltneitherfearnor
disgustinthepresenceofthismanwho,whateverelsehe
mighthavedone,hadbroughtmethemessagethatmy
Kmantayetdweltinthisworld,evenasIdid.Butabitter
hatredroseupwithinmeagainsthimwhosefaultitwas
thatyouandIwereobligedtowanderapartuntiltheend
ofourearthjourney;and,whenIheardAngulimlathreat
enhislife,Iexperiencedadeepandinvoluntarypleasure
which,Iimagine,wastobereadintheexpressionofmy
face.For,inanexcitedandpassionatetoneofvoice,
Angulimlacontinued:
Iperceive,noblelady,thatyourloftyspiritthirsts
forrevenge,andsoonyoushallhaveyourdesire.Foritis
withthatendinviewthatIhavecomehere.Formany
weeksIhavelaininwaitforStgira,justoutsideof
Kosamb,andatlastIhavelearnedfromasuresource
that,inthecourseofthenextfewdays,hewillleavethe
242
townforthevalleyslyingtotheeastwherealegaldis
pute,atpresentimpendingbetweentwovillages,hasto
besettled.Myoriginalplan,formedbeforeIknewofthis,
wastoforcehimtomakeasallyagainstmeinorderto
takemeprisoneragain;butthisjourneyofhishasgreatly
simplifiedmatters.TobesureIhavemadenosecretofmy
presence,inaccordancewithmyoriginalintention,but
haveletmydeedsspeakformeandthereportofmy
reappearancehasforalongtimebeenfreelycirculated.
Althoughmostpeoplebelievethatsomeimpostor
hasarisenwhogiveshimselfouttobeAngulimla,still
fearhasalreadyseizedonpeopletosuchanextentthat
onlylargeandwellarmedbandsnowventureoutintothe
woodedregiontotheeast,whereIhavemyheadquarters.
Toallappearanceyouhaveheardnothingofthis,prob
ablyforthereasonthat,asawomandespoiledofherlifes
happiness,youdwellinsolitudewithyourgrief.
Ihavecertainlyheardofadaringbandofrobbers,
butasyetwithoutmentionofyourname;thatwaswhyat
firstIbelievedIsawyourghost.
ButStgirahasheardmenamed,therobber
wenton,dependonthat.And,ashehasgoodreasonto
believethatitisthetrueAngulimla,andhasyetbetter
reasontofearhim,itmaybetakenforgrantedthathewill
notonlytravelunderapowerfulescortbutwillalsotake
otherprecautionsandmakeuseofmanydeviceswith
intenttoconcealhisrealplans.However,althoughthe
bandwhichIcommandisnotverylarge,nokindof
precautionwillhelphim,ifIonlyknowforcertainatwhat
hourhemovesoutandwhatroadhetakes.Andthisitis
thatIhopetolearnfromyou.
AlthoughIhadupuntilnowlistenedtowhathe
hadtosaydumbwithamazementandasiflaidundera
spell,withoutthinkinghowmuchIwasalreadycompro
misingmyselfbydoingsoatthissuggestion,Iroseup
243
indignantlyandaskedwhatgavehimtherighttobelieve
thatIhadsunklowenoughtotakeathiefandrobberas
anally.
Inthecaseofanally,repliedAngulimlaquietly,
thechiefthingisthattheyaretobedependedupon,and
youfeelofthatIamconvincedthatIamabsolutely
toberelieduponinthismatter.OntheotherhandIneed
yourhelp,foronlyinthatwaycanIlearnwithcertainty
whatIwishtoknow.TrueIhaveasourceofinformation
whichisusuallyreliable,andfromwhichasamatterof
factIknowofStgirasjourney,yetifourmancausesa
falsereporttobecirculated,eventhissourcecanbecome
untrustworthy.Butyouneedme,becauseinacaselike
yoursaproudandloftybeingfindssatisfactiononlyinthe
deathofthetraitor.Ifyouwereaman,thenyouwould
killhimyourself;asyouareawoman,myarmisneces
sarytoyou.
Iwasabouttodismisshimangrily,butwitha
dignifiedmovementofhishandhegavemetounderstand
thathehadnotsaidallthathehadtosayso,against
mywill,Ipausedandbecamesilent.
Thusfar,noblelady,Ihavespokenofrevenge.
Butthereissomethingotherandweightiertocome.For
you,tosecurefuturehappiness;forme,toatoneforthe
past.Justly,itissaidofmethatIamcruel,withoutcom
passionformanorbeast.Yes,Ihavedoneathousand
deedsforeachofwhichonemustreceivetheconse
quences,astheprieststeach,forahundredorevena
thousandyearsinthelowesthell.ItistrueIhadawise
andlearnedfriend,Vjashravaswhomthecommon
peoplenowevenrevereasasaint,andonwhosegraveI
haveofferedrichsacrificesandthatheoftendemon
stratedtousthattherewerenosuchhellpunishmentsbut
that,onthecontrary,therobberwasthemostBrahman
filledofalllivingbeingsandthecrownofcreation.Yethe
244
wassomehowneverabletoconvincemeofthetruthof
hisposition.
Bethatasitmay,howeverwhetherthereare
hellpunishmentsornotthismuchiscertain,thatofall
mydeedsonlyoneliesheavilyuponmyconscience,and
thatisthatwithmydeceitfulRiteofTruthIcheatedyou.
EventhenIdidnotdaretolookyouinthefaceasyou
rightlydiscernedandthememoryofthathoursitsever
likeathorninmyflesh.Well,thewrongIdidyouthenI
wouldnowliketomakegood,sofarasthatisstillpos
sible,andsodoawaywiththehurtfulconsequencesof
myact.Bymyslydealingyouwereseparatedfrom
Kmanta,whomyoubelievedtobedead,andwere
chainedinsteadtothisfalseStgira.ThesefettersInow
wishtotakefromyousothatyoumaybefreetounite
yourselfwithyourbelovd,andIwillgotoUjjenmyself
andbringhimtoyousafeandsound.Nowdoyourpart
andIwilldomine.Itisnotdifficultforabeautiful
womantodrawasecretfromherhusband.Tomorrow,as
soonasitisdark,Ishallcomehereagaintogettheneces
saryinformationfromyou.
Heboweddeeplyand,inmybewildermentand
dismay,beforeitwaspossibleformetoutterasingle
word,hevanishedfromtheTerraceassuddenlyashehad
appeared.
245

246

~32~
STGIRA
THEWHOLENIGHTTHROUGHIremainedonthe
Terrace,theunresistingpreyofpassionshithertoun
knowntome,butwhichwerenowunchainedand
whichmadesportwithmyheartasthewhirlwind
flurriestheleaf.

* * *

MyKmantawasstillalive!Inhisdistanthomeland
hemusthaveheardofmymarriage,forotherwisehe
wouldhavecomelongago.Howfaithlessorhow
pitilesslyweakImustappearinhiseyes!Andforthis
degradationofmineStgirawasalonetoblame.My
hatredforhimgrewmoredeadlywitheverypassing
minuteanddeeplydidIfeelthetruthofAngulimlas
wordsthat,ifIhadbeenaman,Iwouldassuredlyhave
killedhim.
ThentheprospectthatAngulimlahadsounexpectedly
openeduptomepresenteditself:that,ifIwere
free,Icouldmarrymybelovd.Atthethoughtmywhole
beingbecamesowildlyexcitedthatIfeltasifmyblood
wouldrendmybreastandburstmytemples.Incapableof
holdingmyselfuprightIwasnotevenabletotottertothe
bench,butsankdownuponthemarbletilesandmy
sensesleftme.
Eventuallythecoolnessofthemorningdew
247
broughtmebacktomyunhappyexistence,togetherwith
itsterriblequestions:WasittruethatIwishedtoband
myselftogetherwitharobberandthousandfoldmurderer,
inordertogetthemanoutofthewaywhohadonceled
mearoundthenuptialfire?

* * *

Asyet,however,Ihadnottheleastknowledgeof
whenmyhusbandwastoleave.AndhowwasItoascer
tainthetimeofhisdeparture,ortheexactrouteheinten
dedtotake,ifhehadmadeasecretofthese?
Itisnotdifficultforabeautifulwomantodrawa
secretfromherhusbandthesewordsoftherobberstill
ranginmyearsandmadeplaintomethelownessofsuch
acourseofaction.NeverwouldIbeabletomakeupmy
mindtoinveiglemyselfintohisconfidencebytenderness,
inorderthentobetrayhimtohisarchenemy.Butjust
becauseIfeltthissoclearly,sodiditalsobecomeclearto
methatitwasreallyonlytheideaofthetreacherousand
hypocriticalwormingoutofhissecretthatIdeeply
loathed.HadIalreadybeeninpossessionofithadI
knownwheretogoinordertofindatabletonwhichitall
stoodwrittenIshouldcertainlyhavefurnished
Angulimlawiththefatalinformation.
WhenthisbecameplaintomeItrembledwith
horror,asthoughIwerealreadyguiltyofStgirasdeath.
Ithankedfatethattherewasnopossibilityofgettingthis
information,forevenifIhadbeenabletolearnatwhat
hourtheyweretostart,stillonlyStgirahimselfandat
themostperhapsoneconfidant,wouldknowwhatroads
andpathshadbeendecidedupon.
Isawtherisingsungildthetowersandcupolasof
Kosamb,asIhadseenthisravishingspectaclesomany
timesfromtheTerraceoftheSorrowlessbutwithwhat
248
quitedifferentfeelingsthanwhenIspenttheblessdnight
hourstherewithyou!Unhappyasneverbefore,weary
andmiserableasthoughIhadinthisonenightagedby
decades,Itookmyselfbacktomyquarters.
InordertoreachmyroomsIwasobligedtogo
throughalonggallery,openingoffwhichwereseveral
chamberswithlatticedwindows.AsIpassedoneoftheseI
heardvoices.Oneofthem,thatofmyhusband,wasjust
thenraised:
Good!Westarttonightanhouraftermidnight.
Ihadstoppedinvoluntarily.SoIknewthehour!
Buttheroad?Aflushofshamesuffusedmyfaceforhaving
playedtheeavesdropper.Fly,fly!avoicemadeitself
heardwithinme,thereisstilltime!ButIstoodasif
rootedtothespot.

* * *

Stgira,however,saidnothingfurther.Hemay
haveheardmyfootstepsandtheirstoppingatthedoor,
forthelatterwassuddenlytornopen.Myhusbandstood
beforeme.
Iheardyourvoiceinpassing,Isaidwithquick
resolution,andthoughtofaskingwhetherIshouldbring
yousomerefreshmentsasyouhavebusinesssoearly.
ThenIfearedtodisturbyouandwasabouttopasson.
Stgiralookedatmewithoutsuspicionandevenwith
greatfriendliness.
Thankyou,hesaid,Ineednorefreshments,but
youinnowaydisturbme.Onthecontrary,Iwasaboutto
sendforyouandonlyfearedthatyouhadnotyetrisen.
Youcan,justatthismoment,beofthegreatestserviceto
me.
Heinvitedmetoenterhisroom,whichIdidina
stateofgreatastonishment,verycurioustoknowwhatthe
249
servicemightbewhichhedesiredfrommejustatthis
moment,whenadeadlypurposeagainsthimfilledmy
wholebeing.
Aman,whomIrecognisedasthemasterof
Stgirashorsesandhismosttrustedfollower,wassitting
onalowbench.HeroseasIenteredandbowed.Stgira
invitedmetositdownbesidehimself,signedtotheofficer
tobeseatedagain,andturnedtome.
Thematteristhis,dearVsitth.Iamobliged,as
soonaspossible,toundertakeajourneyinordertosettle
avillagequarrelintheprovincetotheeast.Now,for
severalweeks,robbershavebeenactiveinthewooded
regioneastofKosamband,asamatteroffact,verynear
tothetown.Indeed,afoolishtalehasevenarisenthat
theirleaderisnoneotherthanAngulimlapeople
havingtheunheardofaffronterytoassertthatAngulimla
had,onthelastoccasion,escapedfromprisonandthatI
had,inplaceofhishead,stuckupanotherverylikeit
overthegate.Ofcoursewecanaffordtolaughatallsuch
fantasticstories.But,nevertheless,thisrobberdoesnot
seemtostandmuchbehindthefamousAngulimlain
pointofaudacityand,ifhereallygiveshimselfouttobe
thelatterinordertogainalargefollowingbytheuseof
hisrenownedname,hisintentionassuredlyistoperform
someparticularlybrilliantanddeadlyfeat.Forthatreason
acertainamountofprudenceis,underallcircumstances,
advisable.
Asmalltable,inlaidwithpreciousstones,stood
besidehimandonitasilkhandkerchief.
Hetookthehandkerchiefupandmoppedhis
forehead,observing,ashedidso,thatthedaywasvery
hotinspiteoftheearlyhour.Iperceived,ofcourse,thatit
wasfearofAngulimlawhichhadcausedtheperspiration
toflowfromhiseverypore.
Insteadofawakeningmycompassion,however,
250
thesightonlyfilledmewithcontemptforhim.Isawthat
hewasnoheroafactthathadnowbeenmadedoubly
clearbyhisdeceptionofmeandthecowardlysubterfuge
hehademployedintakingAngulimlaprisoner.
Now,however,myhusbandwenton,Icannot
wellarriveinthesevillageswithawholearmy;indeed,I
shouldnotliketotakemorethanthirtymountedmenwith
meonthisjourney.Soallthemoreareprudenceand
diplomaticstratagemessential.Ihavejustbeendiscussing
thiswithmyfaithfulPandukaandhehasmadeagood
suggestion,ofwhichIwillalsoinformyou,inorderthat
youneednotbeintoogreatastateofanxietyonmy
accountduringthesedays.
Imurmuredsomethingthatwasintendedtosignify
gratitudeforthisconsideration.
Pandukawill,therefore,hewenton,makeall
necessarypreparationsand,withagreatdealofostenta
tion,pretendasthoughIintendedtomakeanexpedition
earlytomorrowtotheeastwithafairlylargebodyof
troopstocapturetherobbers.Ifthese,then,havetheir
accompliceshereintownwhokeeptheminformedof
whatgoeson,theyarecertaintobedeceivedbyit.Inthe
meantimeIshallstartwithmythirtyridersanhourafter
midnightand,goingoutofthesoutherngate,shalltake
mywayinawidesweepthroughthehillylandtothe
southeast.Yet,evenso,Ishouldliketoavoidthemain
roadsuntilIhaveleftKosambseveralmilesbehind.Now,
justinthisneighbourhoodliesyourfatherssummer
residence,andthereyouknoweveryroadandpathfrom
yourchildhood;youwillbeablethen,Iimagine,tohelp
megreatlyinthismatter.
Iwasatoncereadytodoso,andwhileIdescribed
everythingtohimindetail,Ihadadrawingboardbrought
anddrewuponitanexactmapoftheneighbourhoodof
ourcountryhouse,withcrossesattheplaceswhichhe
251
mustespeciallynote.ButchieflydidIrecommendtohima
certainpathwhichledthrougharavine.Thisravine
narrowedgraduallyuntil,finally,forashortdistance,even
twomencouldnotridethroughitabreast.Ontheother
hand,however,thepathwassolittleknownthat,evenif
therobbersshouldsuspecthimofmakingsuchadetour,
notoneofthemwouldeverthinkoflookingforhim
there.
Inthisravine,however,Ihadasaninnocentchild
playedwithmybrothers,aswellaswithMedinandour
tenantschildren.
StgiranoticedthatthehandwithwhichIdrew
ontheboardtrembled,andaskedmeifIwerefeverish.I
answeredthatitwasonlyalittletirednessafterasleep
lessnight.Buthetookmyhandandfoundtohisappre
hensionthatitwascoldanddampand,whenIwishedto
withdrawitwiththeremarkthatitsignifiednothing,he
continuedtoholditinhisownwhileheexhortedmeto
beprudentandtotakecareofmyself.Inhislookand
voiceIobserved,withunspeakableresentmentandeven
withhorror,somethingoftheadmiringtendernessof
thosedayswhenhehadsuedformyhandinvain.I
hastenedtosaythatIreallydidnotfeelverywell,and
intendedtotakemyselfatoncetobed.
ButStgirafollowedmeoutintothegalleryand
there,wherewewerealone,hebegantoexcusehim
self:Hehad,itwastrue,neglectedmeforalongtime
forthemotherofhisson,butafterhisreturnthingswould
bedifferent;itwouldnolongerbenecessaryformeto
spendthenightsaloneontheTerrace.
Heshowedatendernessthatseemedtohave
arisenfromthegraveofalongforgottenyouthfullove
alovewhichIwasforcedtorecognisehad,withacertain
stubbornfidelity,onceexistedonlyforme;butalthough
thiscouldnotfailtoinclinemyheartsomewhatinhis
252
favoursothatforamomentIwaveredinmypurpose
hispartingwords,whichwereutteredwithahoneyed
smileandsuchaloathsomefamiliarity,wereofsucha
naturetodestroythisinclinationagainfortheyreminded
meofrightsofintimacywhichhadbeenfilchedfromme
byhisvileandcowardlytreachery.
253

254

~33~
ANGULIMLA
AFRIGHTFULCALMNOWcameovermeasIre
turnedtomyroom.Therewasnothingmoretobeconsi
dered,nodoubttobecombated,nomorequestionsto
beanswered.Allwasdecided;hiskarmahadordainedit
so.Byhisdoubletreacheryhislifewasplainlyforfeit
tomeandtoAngulimla.

* * *

SogreatwasthiscalmthatIfellasleeptheinstantI
laidmyselfdownonmycouch,asthoughmywholebeing
wereanxiouslyendeavouringtobridgeovertheempty
hoursofwaiting.
WhenitbecamedarkIwenttotheterrace;the
moonhadnotyetrisen.Ihadnotlongtowait;Anguli
mlaspowerfulfigureswungitselfovertheparapetand
camestraighttothebenchonwhichIsathalfaverted
fromhim.Ididnotmoveand,withoutraisingmyeyes
fromthepatternofthecolouredmarbletiles,Ispoke:
Whatyouwishtolearn,Iknow.Everything.The
hourwhenheleaves,thestrengthofhisescort,thedirec
tionhetakesandtheroadsandpathsoverwhichhegoes.
Undertheinfluenceofhisownbadkarmahehimself
forcedhisconfidenceuponme,otherwiseIwouldhave
knownnothingofit,forIcouldneverhavedrawnitfrom
himbyfeignedtenderness.
255
Ihadconsideredthesewordswell,forsofoolish
areweinourpridethatevennow,whenIwasmaking
myselfthetoolofacriminal,itwastomeanunendurable
thoughtthatIshouldappearlowerinhiseyesthanIreally
was.
Nolessstudiedweremynextwords:
Ofallthis,however,youwillnothearonesyllable
unlessyoufirstpromisethatyouwillonlykillbutin
nowaytorturehim;andthatyouwillkillonlyhimand
notevenoneofhisescort,unlessitbenecessaryinself
defence.Iwill,however,indicateaspottoyouwhereyou
candealhimhisdeathblowwhenheisabsolutelyalone
andsowithoutanykindoffray.This,therefore,youmust
promisemewithasolemnoath.Otherwiseyoucankill
me,butnotonewordmoreshallyouhear.
TrulyasIhavebeen,tothisday,afaithfulservant
ofMotherKl,repliedAngulimla,sotrulywillIkill
noneofhisescortandsotrulyshallhesuffernotorture.
Good,Isaid,Iwilltrustyou.Nowthen,listen,
andnoteeverydetailexactly.Ifyouhaveaccomplicesin
thetownyouwillhavelearntalreadythatpreparationsare
beingmadeforadvancingagainsttherobberstomorrow.
Thatis,however,allemptyshowtodeceiveyou.Inreality
Stgira,escortedbythirtyhorsemen,ridesfromthetown
bythesouthgateanhouraftermidnight,leavesthe
Simsapwoodlyingtohisleft,andsweepsoutinamore
southerlydirectioninorderthentomoveeastwardover
bywaysthroughthehillcountry.

* * *

AndInowgavehimanabsolutelyexactdescrip
tionoftheneighbourhood,includingthenarrowravine
throughwhichStgirawouldhavetopass,andwherehe
couldeasilyandsurelybekilled.
256
Anoppressivesilencefollowedmywords,during
whichIheardnothingsavemyownhardbreathing.Ifelt
thatIhadnotyetstrengthtoriseandleavetheterraceasI
hadplannedtodo.
FinallyAngulimlaspoke,andthegentle,evensad
noteinhisvoicesurprisedmetosuchadegreethatIwas
almostterrifiedandstartedinvoluntarily.
Andsoitwouldhavehappened,saidhe.And
you,thetender,gentlewifewhohasassuredlynever
intentionallyinjuredeventhesmallestofcreatures,would
nowhavebeeninalliancewiththevilestofhumanbe
ings,awretchwhosehandsdripblood.Yes,themurderof
yourhusbandwouldhaveburdenedyourconscienceand
wouldnowbespinningitsblackkarmicthreadsonthe
downwardpath,onintotheinfernalworldthatis,soit
wouldhavebeen,ifyouhadnowbeenspeakingtothe
robberAngulimla.
IdidntknowwhetherIcouldbelievemyears.To
whomelsehadIspokenthen?Itwascertainlythevoiceof
Angulimla,evenifwiththatwonderfulchangeoftone;
andasIturnedabruptlyround,nowthoroughlydismayed
andconfused,andlookedintentlyathim,itwasbeyond
alldoubttherobberchieftainwhostoodbeforeme,even
if,inhiswholebearinganothercharacterseemedtobe
expressedthanthatwhichonthepreviousdayhadheld
meinitsfearfulthrall.
Buthavenofear,noblelady,headded,allthis
hasnotyethappened.Nothinghashappened,notany
morethanifyouhadaddressedyourspeechtothistree.
Thesewordswereaspuzzlingtomeasthosethat
hadprecededthem.ButIdidunderstandthat,forsome
reason,hehadgivenuphisplanofvengeanceon
Stgira.
AfterIhadworkedmyselfupthroughfrightful
innerstrugglestosuchanunnaturalpitchofcrime,this
257
suddenincomprehensiblemeltingaway,thisghostlike
lossofaction,wasadisappointmentwhichIcouldnot
bear.Theunusualstraintowhichmywholenaturehad
beensubjectedfoundventinastreamofabusewhichI
hurledinAngulimlasface.
Icalledhimadishonourablevillain,afaithless
emptybraggart,acowardlycheatandmuchmorethe
worstnamesIcouldthinkofforIhopedthatwhen
irritatedinthiswaytheman,notoriousthroughoutJam
budvpaforhisviolenttemper,wouldstretchmelifeless
onthegroundwithoneblowofhisironfist.
ButwhenIstopped,morebecausebreathfailed
methanwordsdid,Angulimlaansweredwithasoftness
oftonethatquiteputmetoshame:
AllthisandmorehaveIdeservedfromyou;yet
withitIdonotbelievethatyouwouldhavebeenableto
soirritateeventheoldAngulimlathathewouldhave
killedyouforIcanseethattoaccomplishthisisyour
intention.Butevenifanotherhadnowsaidthisand
worse,Iwouldnotonlyhaveborneitquietlybutwould
indeedhavebeengratefultothemforgivingmethe
opportunityofundergoingausefultest.Hasnotthe
MasterhimselftaughtmeLiketheEarth,youshould
exerciseevennessoftemper.Evenasonecastsuponthe
Earthboththatwhichiscleanandthatwhichisunclean,
andtheEarthisneitherpleasednorhorrified,humiliated
ordisgustedatthatsoalsoliketheEarth,exercise
evennessoftempersothatpleasantandunpleasant
experienceswillnotinvadeyourmindandremain.For
youspeak,Vsitth,notwiththerobber,butwiththe
upsaka,thediscipleAngulimla.
Whatkindofdisciple!?WhatMaster?Iasked,
withcontemptuousimpatience,althoughthestrange
speechofthisincomprehensiblemandidnotfailtoexercise
apeculiar,almostfascinatingeffectuponme.
258
HewhomtheycalltheTathgata,theKnowerof
theWorlds,theFullyEnlightenedOne,theBuddha,he
answered.HeistheMaster.Haveyounotheardofhim
beforenow?
Ishookmyhead.
Icountmyselfhappy,heexclaimed,inthatIam
thefirstfromwhoselipsyouhearthenameoftheBlessd
One.IfAngulimlaonce,asrobber,didyoumuchharm,
asadisciplehehasnowdoneyoufarmoregood.
WhoisthisBuddha?Iaskedagaininthesame
tone,withoutwishingtoletitbeseenhowmuchmysympathy
hadbeenawakened.Whathashetodowiththis
strangebehaviourofyours,andwhatblessingishearing
hisnamesupposedtobringme!?
EventohearthenameofhimwhomtheycallThe
WelcomeOne,saidAngulimla,islikethefirstshimmer
oflighttoonewhositsindarkness.ButIwillrelateeverything
toyouhowhemetmeandhowhechangedthe
currentofmylifeforitiscertainthatitshappeningon
thisverydayhasprincipallybeenonaccountofhisconcern
foryourwelfare.
Inspiteofthefiercenesswhichemanatedfromhis
wholebeing,evenonthefirstofthesetwoeveningsa
certaingraceofbearinginhimhadsurprisedme;how
muchmorestriking,however,wastheunsoughtdignity
withwhichhenowsatdownbesideme,likeonewho
feelshimselfamonghisequals.
259

260

~34~
THEHELLOFSPEARS
AFEWHOURSaftersunrisetoday,hebegan,I
stoodattheedgeoftheforest,gazingoutat
thetowersofKosamb,mymindfullofvengeanceon
Stgiraandrevolvingthequestionastowhetheryou
wouldbringmethedesiredinformation.Ithenbecame
awareofasolitarytravellerontheroadwhichleadsfrom
theeasterngateofthecitytotheforest;hewalkedwitha
gentleandeasymotion,andwascladinanochrerobe.
Onbothsidesoftheroad,herdsmenandfarmworkers
werebusywiththeirdailytoil.AndIobservedhowthose
whowerenearesttheroadshoutedsomethingtothelone
traveller,whilethosewhowerefartheroffalsopausedin
themiddleoftheirwork,lookedafterhim,andpointed
withtheirfingers.Thewomenandmenwhowerenear
appearedtowarnhimmoreeagerlythefartherheadvan
ced,yes,eventoseektostophim;whilesomeranafter
him,seizedhisrobeandthenwithhurriedandhorror
strickengesturespointedtothewood.IalmostbelievedI
couldhearthemcallingtohim:Nofarther!Dontgointo
theforest!ThatswherethefearfulrobberAngulimlahas
hislair.

* * *

Butthetravellercameonwardundisturbed,inthe
directionofthewood.AndnowIsawfromhisrobesand
261
hiscloselycroppedhairthathewasamonk,awanderer,
oneofthosewhobelongtotheorderoftheSonofthe
Skyans,andanoldmanofcommandingstature.
Ithoughttomyself:Thisistrulystrange!Onthis
roadinthepast,groupsoften,twenty,thirtyorevenforty
havesetoutinwellarmedcompanies,andtheyhaveone
andallfallenintomypower;andthiswandererhere
comesonalonelikeaconqueror.
Anditnettledmethathesoopenlydefiedmy
power.Imadeupmymindtokillhim,andespecially
sinceIthoughttomyselfthathemightpossiblyhavebeen
sentintotheforestasaspybyStgira.Forthesewander
erssoIthoughtareallhypocriticalandcorrupt,and
arereadytobeusedinallkindsofways,feedinguponthe
superstitionofthepeopleandthesafetytheyenjoyasits
outcome;forthushadIbeentaughttoregardthembymy
learnedfriendVjashravas.
Instantlymakingupmymind,Iseizedmyspear,
hungmybowandquiverovermyshoulder,madeforthe
roadand,stepforstep,followedthemonkwhohadby
nowenteredtheforest.
Finally,whenIhadreachedafavourablespot
wherenotreesseparatedus,Itookdownmybowfrom
myshoulderandshotanarrowsothatitwouldpiercethe
leftsideofhisbackandpassthroughhisheart;butitflew
away,overhishead.
Bysomemistakeabadarrowmusthavegotin
amongsttheothers,IsaidtomyselfasItookthequiver
inmyhandandpickedoutabeautifullyfeatheredand
faultlessone,whichIaimedsothatitwouldtransfixhis
neck.Butthearrowstuckintothetrunkofatreetohis
left.Thenextflewpasthimtotherightandthesamething
happenedwithallmyarrowsuntilmyquiverwasempty.
Inconceivable!Amazing!Ithoughttomyself.
HaveInotoftenamusedmyselfbyplacingaprisoner
262
withhisbackagainstafenceandshootingmyarrowsat
himinsuchawaythat,afterhehadsteppedaside,the
wholeoutlineofhisbodywasindicatedexactlybythe
arrowsstickinginthefenceandthattoo,atagreater
distance?AmInotaccustomedtobringingdownfromthe
skytheeagleinfullflightwithmyarrows?Whateveristhe
matterwithmyhandtoday?
Meanwhilethemonkhadwalkedaconsiderable
distanceandIbegantorunafterhiminordertokillhim
withmyspear.ButwhenIhadcometowithinadistance
ofaboutfiftypacesfromhimIcouldntgainanotherstep,
althoughIranwithallmymightandheseemedtobe
walkingquiteleisurelyforward.
ThenIsaidtomyself:Intruth,thisisthemost
incrediblethingofall.HaveInotoutrunfrightened
elephantsandfleeingdeer?Andnow,runningwithallmy
might,Icannotovertakethisoldmonkwhoisjuststrolling
along.Whatisthematterwithmyfeettoday?
AndIstoppedandcalledouttohim:Stop,monk!
Stop!
Buthepacedquietlyonandcalledback:Ihave
stopped,Angulimla.Youshouldstoptoo.
AtthisIwasagainmuchastonished,andthought:
Plainlythismonkhasbaffledmyarcheryandmyrunning
bysomeRiteofTruth.Buthowcanhethenutteramani
festuntruthandassertthatheisstandingstillwhileheis
infactwalking,anddemandthatIshouldstandstill
althoughheseesperfectlywellthatIamalreadystanding
asstationaryasthistree.Somighttheflyinggoosesayto
theoakIamstandingstill,oak.Youshouldstandstill
too.Surelytheremustbesomethingbehindallthis.Maybe
itwouldbeofmorevaluetounderstandthemeaningof
thesewordsthantotakethelifeofsuchaholyman.
AndIcalledtohim:Walking,youimagineyourself
tobestandingstill,monk;andme,whilststandingstill,you
263
falselyclaimtobewalking.Explainwhatyoumeanby
this,greatmonk:howisitthatyouhavestoppedandI
havenot.
Andheansweredme:
Angulimla,Ihavestoppedforever:Iabstainfrom
doingharmtolivingthings;Iamatrestandwanderin
Samsranomore.Butyou,youwhostillrageagainstall
livingthings,mustwanderceaselesslyfromoneplaceof
sufferingtoanother.
Iansweredagain:
Thatwewanderforever,Ihaveofcourseheard
butthataboutstandingstill,aboutwanderingnomore,
Idonotunderstand.VenerableSir,pleaseexplaintome
whatyouhavejustexpressedinthesefewwords.See,I
haveputmyspearfrommeandsolemnlysweartogrant
youpeace.
Forthesecondtime,Angulimla,hesaid,you
haveswornfalsely.
Forthesecondtime?
ThefirsttimeithappenedwasatthatfalseRiteof
Truth.
Thatheshouldhaveknownofthatsecretmatter
wasnotthesmallestofthesemarvelstome;but,without
pausingoverthat,Imadehastetodefendmycraftydeed.
Mywords,VenerableSir,werecertainlysomewhat
ambiguousonthatoccasionbutIsworenothing
falseonlythesensewasmisleading.That,however,
whichIsweartoyounowistrueliterallyandinfact.
Notso,heanswered,foryoucangrantmeno
peace.Itwouldbegood,however,foryouifyouallowed
yourselftoexperiencepeaceinstead.
Ashespokethus,heturnedroundandmotioned
tomewithafriendlygesturetoapproach.
Willingly,VenerableSir,Ihumblysaid.
Listen,then,andpaycloseattention.
264
Hesatdownintheshadeofalargetreeandbade
meseatmyselfbeforehim.Hebegantoteachmeof
wholesomeandunwholesomedeeds,andoftheirconse
quences,allthetimeexplainingeverythingasfullytome
aswhenonespeakstoachild.Ihadnotlistenedtowords
sobrimmingwithdeepwisdomsinceIhadsatinthe
forestbynightatthefeetofVjashravas,ofwhomIhave
alreadyspokentoyouandwhosename,Iimagine,you
havealsoheardfromothers.
Butwhenthisholymannowrevealedtomethat
noarbitraryheavenlypowerbutourownheartsalone,
withthethoughtsanddeedsemanatingfromthem,cause
ustobebornnowhere,nowthere,atonetimeonearth,
atanotherinheavenandthenagaininhellIcouldnot
helpthinkingaboutVjashravasandofthewayinwhich
hehadprovedtousbyreasonsofcommonsense,andby
referencetothesacredwritings,thattherecouldbeno
suchhellpunishments.Andthatallthepassagesinthe
sacredwritingshavingreferencetosuch,hadbeeninter
polatedbyweakandcowardlypeopleinorderthatby
suchthreatstheymightterrifythestrongandcourageous,
andprotectthemselvesfromtheviolenceofthelatter.
Vjashravaswasneverquiteabletoconvince
me,Ithought,Iwonderwhetherthismonkwillbeable
todosoherestandsopinionagainstopinion,scholar
againstscholar.Forevenifthismonkshouldbeoneofthe
greatdisciplesoftheSonoftheSkyans,yetVjashravas
wasalsohighlythoughtofbyhisownfollowersandnow,
afterhisdeath,isevenworshippedbythecommon
peopleasasaint.Who,then,istodecideastowhichof
thesetwoisintheright?
YouarenolongerattendingtowhatIsay,
Angulimla,saidthemonk,youarethinkingof
Vjashravasandhiserroneousdoctrines.
Muchastonished,Iacknowledgedthetruthof
265
whathesaid.
Soyou,VenerableSir,alsoknewmyfriend
Vjashravas?
Peopleshowedmehisgraveoutsidethecitygate,
andIsawfoolishtravellersofferingupprayersthere
underthedelusionthathewasasaint.
Soheisnosaint,then?
Well,ifheseemsonetoyou,letusvisithimand
seehowitfaresnowwithhissainthood.
Hesaidthisasthoughitwereamatterofgoing
fromonehousetoanother.
Thoroughlytakenaback,Istaredathim.Visithim?
Vjashravas?Howisthatpossible?
Givemeyourhand,hesaid,andIshallenter
intothatstateofmeditativeabsorptionbytheaidofwhich
thepaththatleadstothegodsandthatwhichleadstothe
demonsbecomesvisibletoasteadfastheart.Thenwe
shallfollowinhistrackandwhatIsee,youshallalsosee.
Igavehimmyhand.Forsometimehesatthere
perfectlystill,hiseyescastdown,thevisiondirected
inwardIwasconsciousofnothing.Suddenly,however,
Ifeltasaswimmerwouldfeelwhenthedemonwho
dwellsinthewatersseizeshisarmanddrawshimdown,
sothattheblueheavensandthetreesonthebankdisap
pearandthewavesmeetoverhishead,anddarknessthat
growseverdeeperclosesroundhimoneveryside.
Fromtimetotime,however,tonguesofflame
flareduparoundmeandamightyroaringthunderedin
myears.Finally,Ifoundmyselfinwhatseemedtobea
vastcave,whereitwasquitedarksaveforthefitfulillumi
nationfurnishedbythefleetinggleamofcountlesslight
ningflashes.WhenIhadgrownsomewhataccustomedto
thedarkness,Idiscoveredthattheseflasheswerethe
reflectionsofsteelspearheads,whichdartedhitherand
thitherasthoughlanceswerebeingwieldedbyinvisible
266
armsasiftherewasabattlebetweenghostlyarmies.I
heardscreamsalsonotfierceandcourageous,how
ever,asthoseofwarriorsdrunkwiththejoyofthefray,
butscreamsofpainandgroansofthewounded,whom,
however,Ididnotsee.Fortheseterrifyingsoundscame
fromthebackground,wherethequiveringofthelance
headsformedonetremblingandwhirlingmist.Thefore
groundwasempty.
Inthisemptyspacetherenowappearedthree
figures,vomited,asitwere,fromtheblackmouthofaden
whichopeneduponitfromtheright.Themaninthe
middlewasVjashravas;hisnakedbodytrembledfrom
headtofootasthoughhefrozeterriblyorwasshakenby
fever.Hiscompanionsbothhadhumanbodieswhich
weresupporteduponbirdslegsarmedwithpowerful
claws,andweresurmounted,intheonecase,byafishs
head,intheother,byadogs.Inhishands,eachborea
longspear.Thefigurewiththefishsheadspokefirst:
This,HonouredSir,istheHellofSpears,where
you,accordingtothesentenceoftheJudgeofHell,have
toendurepunishmentfortenthousandyearsinbeing
ceaselesslypiercedbythesequiveringspears.Afterwards
youshallbebornagainsomewhere,accordingtothe
dictatesofyourkarma.
Thenhewiththedogsheadspoke:Asoften,
HonouredSir,astwospearscrossinyourheart,youcan
reckonthatathousandyearsofyourhellishtorturehave
passed.
Scarcelyhadhesaidthiswhenbothoftheinfernal
watchmenswungtheirlancesandskeweredVjashravas.
And,asifatagivensignal,allthespearsroundaboutalso
flashedtowardshim,theirpointsenteringfromeveryside,
justasravenshurlthemselvesuponanabandonedcarcass
andburytheirbeaksinitsflesh.
Overcomebythehorrorofthesight,andbythe
267
pitifulscreamsthatVjashravasutteredinhisagony,my
sensesforsookme.
WhenIcametomyselfagain,Ilayinthewood
underthehugetree,prostrateatthefeetoftheMaster.
Haveyouseen,Angulimla?
Ihaveseen,Master.
AndIdidnotdareeventoaddHelpme!For
howcouldIseektobehelped?
Ifafterthedissolutionofyourbody,asaresultof
yourdeeds,youcometotheroadthatleadsdowntothe
underworld,andifKingYama,theJudgeoftheDead,
thenpassesthesamesentenceuponyou,andtheguards
ofhellleadyouintotheHellofSpearstothesamepun
ishment,woulditbemorethanyoudeserve?
No,Master,itwouldnotbemorethanIdeserve.
Butacourseoflifewhichyouyourselfrealise
justlyleadstotheseunspeakabletorturesisthistruly,
Angulimla,acourseoflifethatisworthpursuing?
Master,thiscourseoflifeIhereandnowre
nounce;Iwillforswearallmydemonicpracticesforone
wordofyourTeaching.
Once,longagesago,Angulimla,theJudgeofthe
Deadofthattimepondereddeeply,andthiswasthe
outcomeofhisthoughtsTruly,onewhohascommit
tedoffencesinthisworldispunishedwithavastoceanof
misery!Oh,thatImightbecomehumanandthata
Tathgata,afullyenlightenedBuddhamightappearinthe
world,andthatImightbeabletobewithhim;andthat
he,theBlessdOne,mightexpoundtheDharmatome
andthatImightunderstandit!
Now,thatwhichthatJudgewishedsoardentlyfor
himself,thathascomeabout,Angulimla.Youhave
becomeaman.ButevenasinthislandofJambudvpa,
Angulimla,therearetobefoundonlyafewsmiling
groves,fewsplendidforests,fairheightsandcharming
268
lotuspools;andincomparisonwiththesetheraging
rivers,untroddenjungles,desolaterockymountainsand
barrendesertsarebyfarmorenumerous;
Evensoonlyafewlivingbeingsarriveinthe
humanstate,incomparisonwiththefargreaternumber
thatarebornindifferentrealmsofexistence;
Evensoonlyafewgenerationsareonthe
earthatthesametimeasaBuddha,incomparisonwith
thefargreaternumberinwhosetimenoBuddhaarises;
Evensoonlyafewindividualsofthosefew
generationsaresofortunateastoseetheTathgata,in
comparisonwiththatfargreaternumberwhodonotsee
him;
Butyou,Angulimla,youhavebecomeaman;
andthishashappenedatatimewhenaBuddhahas
appearedintheworld;andyouhaveseenhimandare
abletobewithhim,withtheTathgatahimself.
WhenIheardthesewords,Iplacedmypalms
togetherandexclaimed:
BlessdOne!SoyouyourselfaretheFullyEnlightened
Buddha!
Soyou,thenoblestofbeings,havehadcompassion
fortheworst!Andwillyouallowmetostaywith
you?
Iwill,answeredtheMaster.Andhearthisalso:
Evenasthereareamongthefewwhoseethe
MasteronlyafewwhohearhisTeaching,sotoothereare
butfewwhocomprehendit.You,however,willbothhear
theTeachingandwillcomprehendit.Come,disciple!
ThePerfectOnehadenteredthewoodlikean
elephanthunterwhoridesuponhistameelephant.Heleft
thewoodagain,astheelephanthunterleavesthewood,
followedbyawildelephantwhichhisskillhastamed.
ThusIhavenowcometoyouVsitth,notasthe
robberAngulimla,butasthediscipleAngulimla.See,I
269
havecastfrommethespearandtheclub,theknifeand
thewhip.Ihaveforswornkillingandtorturing,andtowards
alllivingbeingsInowextendonlyaheartofpeace
andlovingkindness.
270

271

272

~35~
APUREOFFERING
IDONOTKNOWHOWLONGitwasbeforeIopened
mylips;butforaverylongtime,Ibelieve,Isatthere
withoututteringaword,andleteverythingAngulimla
hadsaidrise,pointbypoint,beforeme;andthe
moreIreflectedthemoredidmywondergrow.
ForalthoughIhadheardmanylegendsofolden
timeswheremiracleswerewroughtbythegods,and
particularlyofthewonderfuldeedsofKrishnawhenhe
sojournedonthisearth,yettheyallappearedtrivialwhen
IcomparedthemwithwhathadbefallenAngulimlain
theforestthisveryday.

* * *

AndIaskedmyselfnowwhetherthatgreatman,
whohadinafewhourstransformedthemostbrutalof
murderersintothegentlebeingwhohadjustspokento
methatMasterwhohadsoeasilyandsurelytamedthe
mostsavagebeingtobefoundinthewholerealmof
naturewhetherhemightnotalsobeabletoquietmy
troubledandpassiontossedheart.Wouldhebeableto
banish,bythelightofhiswords,thenightcloudwhich
griefhadcausedtosettledownuponme?Orwasthis
maybemoredifficultaproblemthesolutionofwhich
wentbeyondthepowersofeventheholiestofsages?
Ihalffearedthatthelattermightbethecasebutyet
273
IaskedwherethatgreatmonkwhomhecalledhisMaster
wastobefound,andwhetherIwouldbeabletovisithim.
Itisgoodthatyoushouldaskthatquestionfirst,
answeredAngulimla,andreally,whatshouldyouask
butthis?Indeed,Ihavecometoyouforjustthisvery
reason.Wewhointendedbeingassociatesinworksof
darkness,letusnowbeassociatesingood.TheBlessd
OneabidesatpresentinthesameSimsapwoodwhich
youyourselfmentioned.Gotheretomorrowbutnotuntil
evening.Themonksandnunswillthenhavefinished
theirsilentmeditationandwillhaveassembledbeforethe
oldKrishnatemple,andtheMasterwillspeaktothem
thereandtoanyotherswhoarepresent.Atthathour
manywomenandmengotherefromthetowninorderto
seetheBlessdOneandtolistentohisilluminedteach
ings;andwitheacheveningthecrowdgrowsgreater.
Oftenthesemeetingslastuntillateintothenight.
Ialreadyhadexactinformationofallthatbe
cause,inthegreedandderangementofmyheart,Ihad
forgedthemonstrousplanofsomedaysoonfallingupon
theassemblywithmyfollowers.Thegiftsoffoodstuffs
andcloth,broughtbymanyofthevisitorsasofferingsto
theOrder,alreadyformedabootywhich,ifnotrich,was
yetbynomeanstobedespised.Butparticularlyitwasmy
intentiontocaptureseveralcitizensofdistinctionandto
forceheavyransomsfromthem;andIcherished,atthe
sametime,thehopethatIshouldbysuchadaringdeed,
doneattheverygatesofthetown,toatlastenticeStgira
outsidethewalls.For,whenIformedtheplan,hisim
pendingjourneywasstillunknowntome.
Donotneglectthen,noblelady,togotomorrow
towardssundowntotheoldKrishnatemple;itwilllong
beasourceofhappinesstoyou.Iwanttogetbackthere
nowasquicklyaspossible.Itisnotcertain,ofcourse,
whetherIshallbeintimetohearanything.Still,onsuch
274
beautifulmoonlitnightsthemonksstaytogetherlong,
deepinspiritualdiscussion,andwillinglypermitothersto
listen.
Hebowedhimselflowbeforemeandquickly
wentaway.ThenextmorningIsentamessagetoMedin,
whowas,withherhusbandSomadatta,justasreadyto
bearmecompanytotheKrishnagrovenowasshehad
beeninthosedaysofthepast,whenthematterinhand
wasthebringingaboutofameetingbetweentwolovers.
Asamatteroffactshehadalreadybeenbegging
herhusbandtotakeherouttheresomeevening,forshe
didntreadilyletanythingescapeherofwhichthepeople
talked.ButSomadattahadbeenafraidofhishouse
brahminscriticisms,andsoshewasmorethandelighted
tohavetheexcuseofasummonsfromthewifeofthe
Ministertowinoneoveragainstthatreligioustyrant.
WedroveatoncetothemarketswhereSomadatta,
whowasattendingtohisbusinessthere,helpedusin
seekingoutsuchstuffsasweresuitablefortheclothingof
thenunsandmonks.Ialsopurchasedalargequantityof
medicines.Reachinghomeagainweplunderedthestore
rooms.Vesselsfullofthefinestghee,boxesofhoneyand
sugar,jarswithpreservesofeverykindweresetasidefor
ourofferings.Myowncupboardsfurnishedthechoicestof
alltheycontainedinthewayofperfumedwater,sandal
woodpowderandincense;andthenwewenttothe
garden,whosewealthofflowerswedidnotspareinthe
excitementofournewfounddevotion.
Whenthelongedforhourcameallthesethings
wereloadedontoawagon,towhichouroxenwere
alreadyharnessed.Weourselvestookourseatsunderthe
awningofanothercarriageand,drawnbythetwosilver
white,fullbloodedSindhhorseswhicheverymorningate
threeyearoldricefrommyhand,wedroveoutofthecity
gate.Thesunwasalreadynearingthecupolasandtowers
275
ofthetownbehindus;anditsraysgildedthedustwhich
wasstirredupalongthewaybythefeetofthemultitude
that,likeourselves,hadcomeouttoseeandhearthe
Buddha.
Wesoonreachedtheentrancetotheforest.Here
westoppedourcarriageandwepursuedourwayonfoot
likealltheothers,followedbyourservantswhoborethe
collectionofofferingswehadbroughtwithus.

* * *

Sincethatnightwhenwetwohadtakenleaveof
oneanotherthere,Ihadnotbeenintothiswood.And
whenInowentereditscoolshadeinthesamecompany
asbefore,Iwasovercomebysopiercingabreathof
memorythatIfrozeinmytracksandremainedstanding
likeonestupefieditwasafragrancethatseemedto
havebeenstoredupformethereuntil,withthelapseof
years,itsconcentratedsweetnesshadbecomeapoison.
Itseemedtomeasifmyfeelingsoflovehad
placedthemselvesinmywayawakenedtotheirfull
strengthandchargingmewithdesertionandtreachery.
ForIhadnotcomethere,asIknew,togivethemfresh
nourishmentbyinhalingthefragranceofmemorybutto
seekpeaceformydisappointedandtorturedheart.And
couldthatnotrightfullybecalledforgettinglove,wilfully
renouncingit?Wasthatnottheviolationofmywordanda
cowardlytreachery?
Istoodthereinfearfuluncertaintyundecided
whethertogoonortoturnbacktothegreatdisap
pointmentofMedin,whoverilydancedwithimpatience
asothersovertookusingreatnumbers.
Thelookoftheinterioroftheforest,however
softlyilluminedbythegoldenraysofthelateafternoon
sun;thegentleadmonitoryrustleandwhisperofthe
276
leaves;thepeoplewhoatonceonenteringgrewsilent
andlookedaroundexpectantlyandalmosttimidly;here
andthereatthefootofsomegreattree,amonkwrapped
inthefoldsofhisgoldenrobe,hislegscrossedbeneath
him,absorbedinmeditation;atintervals,oneoranother
oftheserisingandwithoutevenalookround,moving
quietlyawayinthedirectionofthecommonthoughasyet
invisiblegoalallthisworeanairofquietmystical
serenityandseemedtobearwitnesstothefactthathere
eventsweretakingplaceofsounusualandsacreda
characterthatnopoweronearthmightdareplaceitself
inoppositiontothem,aye,thatLoveitself,ifitshould
raiseahostilevoice,wouldthroughthatloseitsevery
divineright.
SoImovedresolutelyforward,andthewords
addressedtoAngulimlabytheMasterconcerningthe
manygenerationsofpeoplewholiveandpassaway
withoutaBuddhasbeingintheworld,andofthevery
fewevenamongthecontemporariesofaBuddhato
whomitisgiventohearandtoseehimthesewords
soundedinmyearsliketheringingofatemplebell,andI
feltmyselflikeafavouredonewhogoestomeetan
experienceforwhichmanycominggenerationswould
envyher.
Whenwereachedthegladeinwhichthetemple
stoodagreatmanypeoplewerealreadyassembledthere,
laypeopleaswellasnunsandmonks.Theystood
brokenupintogroups,mostoftheminthevicinityofthe
ruinwhichrosejustoppositetous.Neartothespotwhere
weenteredtheclearingintheforestInoticedafairlylarge
groupofmonks;therewasoneamongstthemwhomit
wasimpossiblenottonotice,hewaspracticallyagiant
andhetoweredafullheadabovethetallestofthosewho
stoodbesidehim.
Then,whenwewerelookingaboutustodiscover
277
whereweshouldturnoursteps,therecameoutofthe
forest,betweenusandthosemonks,anagedandsagely
figurecladinthegoldenrobesoftheOrder.Histallframe
hadsucharegalbearing,andsuchacheerfulpeace
radiatedfromhisnoblefeatures,thatatoncethethought
cametome:IwonderwhetherthisistheSkyanprince
whompeoplecalltheBuddha.
InhishandheboreafewSimsapleavesand,
turningtothemonksofwhomIhavemademention,he
said:Whatdoyouthink,bhikkhus,whicharemore
numerous,theseSimsapleaveswhichIholdinmyhand
oralltheotherleavesintheforest?
Andthemonksanswered:Theleaveswhichyou
holdinyourhandareveryfew,Lord,whereastheleaves
intheSimsapwoodarefarmorenumerous.
Sotoo,bhikkhus,saidhe,whoInowknewwas
indeedtheBuddha,sotoothatwhichIhavediscerned
andyetnotrevealedtoyouisfargreaterinsumthanthat
whichIhaverevealedtoyou.AndwhyhaveInotre
vealedallthingstoyou?Becauseitwouldinnowayprofit
youspiritually,becauseitwouldnotassistyouintheholy
life,itwouldnotleadtoyourturningawayfromworldly
things,nortothedestructionofallcraving,nortothe
changewhichistheendofallchange;itwouldnotlead
youtopeaceandtotherealisationofNirvna.
Sothatfoolisholdmanwasrightafterall!ex
claimedKmanta.
Whatoldman?askedVsitth.
ThatmonkwithwhomIspentthenight,thelast
nightofmyearthlylife,inthehallofthepotterinthat
suburbofRjagaha.Hewouldinsistontryingtoexpound
tometheTeachingoftheMasterand,asIreadilyper
ceived,didnotespeciallysucceed.Buthemanifestly
quotedmanygenuinesayings,includingwhatyouhave
justtoldmeeventotheverywords.Heevengavethe
278
nameoftheplacecorrectlyandmovedmedeeplyashe
didso.HadIimaginedthatyouhadbeenpresentthere
too,Iwouldhavebeenmuchmoreprofoundlyaffected.
Hewasveryprobablyamongthosewhowere
there,saidVsitth;inanycase,heseemstohavegiven
youanaccuratereport.
AndthentheMasteraddedfurther:
Andwhat,friends,haveIdeclaredtoyou?Ihave
declaredtoyouwhatSufferingis,whattheOriginof
Sufferingis,whattheEndofallSufferingis,andwhatthe
PaththatleadstotheEndofallSufferingisallthishave
Ideclaredtoyou.Therefore,whatIhaverevealed,letthat
remainrevealed;andwhatIhaveleftunrevealed,leave
thatunrevealed.
Asheutteredthesewordsheopenedhishandand
lettheleavesfall.Andwhenoneofthesefluttereddown
neartome,describinggyrationsintheair,Itookcourage,
steppedquicklyforwardandcaughtitbeforeithad
touchedtheearth,inthatwayreceivingit,asitwere,from
theMastershand.ThispricelessmemorialIconcealed
withinmybosom:asymboloftheshortbutallsufficing
firstmessagecommunicatedtousbytheBuddhafromhis
measurelesswealthofunderstanding,asymbolfrom
whichIwasnottobeparteduntildeath.
Thismovementofminedrewtheattentionofthe
Mastertome.ThegiganticmonktowhomIhavealluded
nowbowedbeforehimandmadeawhisperedcommuni
cation,uponwhichtheMasteragainlookedatmeand
thenmadeasigntohim.
Thelatternowcametowardsus.
Approach,noblelady,saidthemonkandI
knewatoncefromthevoicethatitwasAngulimlas
theMasterhimselfwillreceiveyourofferings.
EventhoughAngulimlahadbynowshavedoff
hishairandbeard,andwascladintherobesofthe
279
Buddhasdisciples,itsomehowcameasnosurprisetome
tofindhimthustransformed.Hismannerhadchangedso
completelythattherobesofamonkseemedasnaturalto
himnowasthegarlandofseveredfingershadbeentohis
previousrobberstate.
Weallwentforwardtowithinafewpacesofthe
Buddhaandbowedlow,greetinghimreverently,our
handswithpalmsplacedtogether.ButIwasunableto
utteraword.
Yourofferingsarerich,noblelady,saidthe
Master,andmydiscipleshavefewneeds.Theyareheirs
ofTruth,notheirsofmaterialthings.ButalltheBuddhas
ofpastageshaverecommendedthepracticeofgivingand
havegladlyacceptedtheofferingsofdevotedfollowers;in
thiswaytheSanghaisprovidedwithlifesessentialsand
opportunityisgiventothefaithfultocultivategenerosity.
For,ifpeopleknewthefruitsofgivingasIknow
themthen,iftheyhadbutahandfulofriceleft,they
wouldnoteatofitwithoutgivingaportiontoonepoorer
thanthemselves,andtheselfishthoughtswhichdarken
theirspiritswoulddisappearfromthem.Letyouroffering,
then,begratefullyacceptedbytheSanghaapureoffer
ing.ForIcallapureofferingthatwithwhichthegiveris
purifiedandthereceiveralso.Andhowdoesthattake
place?Ittakesplace,Vsitth,whenthegiverispureinlife
andnobleinheart,andthereceiverispureinlifeand
nobleinheart;andwhenthatisthecasethegiverofthe
offeringispurifiedandthereceiveralso.Thatis,Vsitth,
thepurityofthesupremelypureofferingsuchasthe
onethatyouhavejustnowbrought.
ThentheMasterturnedtoAngulimla:
Go,friend,andhavetheseofferingsplacedwith
theotherstores.Butfirstshowournoblegueststoseatsin
frontofthetemplestepsforIshallspeakfromthereto
thosewhoarepresenttoday.
280
Angulimlabadetheservantswaitandcalledupon
ustofollowhim.First,however,wehadallourflowers
andalsoseveralbeautifulmatshandedtous.Then,con
ductedbyourstalwartguide,wemadeourwaytothe
templethroughtherapidlygrowingcrowd,whorespect
fullypartedandmadewayforus.
Herewespreadthematsuponthestepsand
twinedgarlandsofflowersroundabouttheoldweather
wornandcrumblingpillars.ThenMedinandIpickeda
wholebasketfulofrosesandstrewedthepetalsuponthe
feltedmatatthetopofthestepsfortheMastertoseat
himselfupon.
Meanwhiletheassembledcrowdhadgrouped
themselvesinwidesemicircles,withlaypeopletotheleft,
andthemonksandnunstotherightofthetemplethe
wholeassemblyeithersittingonsmallgrassmatsoronthe
carpetofSimsapleavesthatformedtheforestfloor.We
nowtookourplacesonanoverturnedpillar,onlyafew
pacesfromthesteps.
Therewereprobablyaboutfivehundredpeople
thereyetanallbutabsolutesilencereignedinthecircle
nosoundwastobeheardsavetheringingofthe
crickets,andthefitfulrustlingandlowwhisperingofthe
forestleaves.

281

282

~36~
THEBUDDHAANDKRISHNA
THESETTINGSUNSHOTitssheafofgoldenrays
throughthespacesbetweenthetrunks,seemingto
consecratethesilentandexpectantcompanyassembled
inthedepthsoftheforestwithaheavenlybenediction.
Betweenthetreetopsroseateeveningcloudslooked
downinevergrowingluminosityasthough,floating
outfromtheblueether,asecondassemblyweregath
ering,recruitednowfromthehostsofheaven.

* * *

Thetemplebuilding,withitsblackandcrumbling
walls,absorbedthisfarewellblazeofsunshineasabroken
downoldmanquaffsarejuvenatingdraught.Beneaththe
magicoftheredgoldlightsandthepurpleshadows,its
massesbecamewonderfullyanimated.Thejaggededges
oftheflutedpillarssparkled,thecornicesflashed,the
snailscurledthemselvesup,thestonewavesfoamedwith
frothofgold,thecarvenfoliagegrew.Alongthestairlike
projectionsoftheloftysubstructure,roundaboutplinths
andcapitals,onthebeamsandontheterracesofthe
domelikeroofeverywhereaconfusedmedleyof
strangeandmysticalformsseemedtobeinmotion.
Godscameforthinhaloesofglory:manyheaded
andmanyarmedfigureswithalltooluxuriantandoften
greatlymutilatedlimbs,theonestretchingoutfourhead
283
lessnecks,thenextwavingeightstumpsofarms.Breasts
andhipsofthevoluptuouslylimbedgoddesseswere
unveiledasthesecameswayingnearer,theirroundfaces
tiltedundertheburdenoftowering,diamondbespangled
headgear,asunnysmileontheirfull,sensuouslips.The
snakelikeextremitiesofthedemonswrithedandtwisted,
thewingsofthegriffinswerespreadforflight,grimmasks
ofmonstersgrinnedhorribly,showingtheirwhettedteeth.
Humanbodiesswarmedandreeledtogetherinatangled
mass:inandthroughthemadthrong,toandfro,now
over,nowunderelephantstrunks,theheadsofhorses
andthehornsofbulls,stagsantlers,crocodilesjaws,
monkeysmuzzles,andtigersthroats.

* * *

Thiswasnolongeranedificedecoratedwith
statuary.Thesewerestatuescometolifewhich,breaking
throughthespelllaiduponthembysomeenchanterof
thebuilding,hadfreedthemselvesfromitssolidmassand
wouldhardlytolerateitfurther,evenasasupport.A
wholeworldseemedtohavewakenedupoutofitsstony
sleepand,withitsthousandsoffigures,seemedtobe
pressingforwardinordertolistentolistentotheman
whowasseatedatthetopofthesteps,surroundedand
overshadowedbythewholeswarmofthem,thelong
hangingfoldsofhisrobebathedinagoldenglow.He,the
trulylivingtheoneperfectlycalmbeingamidthis
restlessanddelusorylifeofthelifeless.
Itnowseemedasifthestillnessoftheassembly
grewdeeper;yes,itevenseemedtomethatthevery
leavesofthetreesceasedtowhisper.
AndtheMasterbegantospeak.
Hespokeofthetempleonthestepsofwhichhe
sat,andwhereourancestorshadforhundredsofyears
284
worshippedLordKrishna,inordertobeinspiredtoheroic
actionandsufferinghereonearthbytheexampleofhis
heroiclife;tobestrengthenedbyhisfavourandfinallyto
passthroughthegatesofdeathtohisparadiseofpleasure,
andtoenjoytherapturesofheaventhere.Butnowwe,
theirdescendants,hadcometogethertohearfromthelips
ofaTathgatawordsoftruth,inordertolearnhowtolead
apureandperfectlifeand,finally,byacompletevictory
overhatred,anddesireforthefleetingandperishable,to
reachtheendofallsuffering,toreachNirvna.Inthisway
he,theBuddha,theFullyAwakenedOne,completedthe
workoftheDreamingGod;inthiswaywe,grownup,
completedwhatourancestorshadbegunwiththenoble
enthusiasmofchildhood.
Thereyousee,hesaid,howagiftedartistof
dayslongpasthasreproducedinstoneLordKrishnas
combatwiththeelephant,andhepointedtoahugerelief
whichlayalmostatmyfeet,onecornerpressedintothe
turf,theothersupportedbyahalfburiedcapital.Thelast
glowofthesettingsunlingeredcaressinglyonthemoss
coveredrelicand,initsmildradiance,onecouldstill
clearlyrecognisethegroupthatofayouthsettinghis
footupontheheadofafallenelephant,oneofwhose
tuskshebreaksoff.
AndtheMasternowrelatedhowtheKingof
Mathur,thehorribletyrantKamsa,afterhehadinvited
Krishnatoacontestathiscourt,secretlyorderedhis
mahouttodrivehiswildestwarelephantoutofthestables
upontheunsuspectingyouth,andtodothattoobefore
thecontestsinthearenawereduetobegin.Andhow
Krishnaslewthemonsterand,totheterroroftheKing,
enteredthearenabespatteredwithbloodandwiththe
tuskhehadbrokenoffinhishand.
SomewhowishedharmtotheTathgata,he
added,continuinghisdiscourse,alsooncesetloosea
285
savageelephant.Andatthesightofthemonsterbearing
downuponme,compassionaroseinmyheart.Forblood
streameddownthecreaturesbreastfromthemany
woundsrippedbythelancesofhistormentors.Andthe
compassiondeepenedasitwasseenthattherebeforeme
wasnotmerelyawoundedbutalsoaconfusedcreature,
whohadbecomepreytoapassionofblindrage.Acrea
tureblessedbynaturewithcourage,intelligenceand
enormousstrengthbutnowrousedtotheconditionof
madnessbythecrueltyoffoolishmen,whohadincensed
ittothepointwhereitwasactuallybeingbroughttotry
anddestroyaBuddha:awild,dazedbeingandnot
likely,exceptwithgreatdifficultyandafterendlesslylong
wanderings,toattainapropitioushumanexistenceandto
enterthepaththatleadstoenlightenment.
Beingthusfilledfullofcompassion,therewasno
roomforfear;andnothoughtofdangerarose.ForI
reasonedthusIfIshouldsucceedincastingeventhe
faintestrayoflightintothistempestuousdarkness,sucha
sparkoflightwouldgraduallygrow;andwhenthiscrea
ture,ledbyitsglimmer,arrivedatahumanexistence,then
itwouldmoreeasilyfindonearththeDharmaofthe
Tathgata,theveryoneithadoncetriedto
kill,andthisteachingwouldhelpittoliberation.
TheMasterthendescribedhow,fixinghismind
withthisintention,hehadhaltedinthemiddleofthe
road,raisedhishandwithaclaminggesture,looked
lovinglyattheragingcreatureandutteredgentlewords,
thesoundofwhichreacheditsburningheart.Thegiant
beingstoppedhischarge,rockedhismountainofahead
irresolutelybackandforthand,insteadofthethundering
pealheardfromhimamomentbefore,gaveventtoone
ortwotimidtrumpetcalls.
Atthesametimehetossedhistrunkintotheair
andswungitineverydirection,asifseekingsomething
286
likeawoundedelephantintheforestdoeswhenithas
lostthespoorofitshiddenenemyandhopestoscentit
againand,inverytruth,hehadbeenmistakeninhis
enemy.
Finallyhecameslowlytowithinafewpacesofthe
Masterand,bendinghisknees,loweredhimselftothe
ground,ashewasaccustomedtodobeforehisowner,
KingAjtasattu,whenthelatterwishedtomounthim.
Marvellingatthesight,theassembledpopulacecameand
laidgarlands,jewelsandornamentsonthegreatbeing,
almostcoveringitsbody.Theelephantthentookthedust
fromtheTathgatasfeet,sprinkleditonhisownhead
andretreatedtotheelephantstables;theMasterhadthen
returnedtotheBambooGrove.
Inthisway,sotheBuddhaendedhisparallel,
doestheTathgatatakeupKrishnasbattlewiththe
elephant,spiritualise,refineandcompleteit.

* * *

WhileIlistenedtothistale,howcouldIdoother
thanthinkofAngulimla,themostsavageofthesavage,
whoonlyyesterdayhadwishedtodestroytheBuddha,
andhadnotonlybeentamedbuthadalsoawakenedto
theDharmabytheirresistiblemightoftheBuddhasvirtue
andwisdom,sothatInowsawhimquietlysittingoppo
sitemeintheranksofthemonkstransformed,evenin
hisoutwardappearance,intoanotherbeing.Andsoit
seemedthatthewordsoftheMasterweremostparticu
larlyaddressedtome,astheonlypersonatallevents,
outsidethecircleofthemonkswhoknewofthis
matterandwhocouldunderstandthesignificanceofhis
words.
TheMasternowwentontospeakofKrishnaas
theSixteenthousandonehundredfoldBridegroom,foras
287
suchhadourancestorsworshippedhimhere.AndagainI
hadafeelingasthoughsecretreferencewerebeingmade
tome,forIrememberedthatonthenightofourlast
meetingthewizenedprophetesshadcalledthedivine
herobythisname;soIdidnothearitwithoutacertain
flutteringinmyheart.
Then,withthewrywitthatlaterwastobecomeso
familiartome,theMasterrelatedhowKrishnahadtaken
possessionofallthetreasureswhichhehadcarriedoff
fromthecastleofthedemonking,Naraka:
Andononeauspiciousday,itissaid,hemarried
allthevirginsfromthere,andallatthesamemoment,
appearingtoeachoneindividuallyasherhusband.Six
teenthousand,onehundredwasthenumberofthe
women,andinjustsomanyseparateformsdidtheGod
incarnatehimselfsothateachmaidensthoughtwas:ItisI
alonewhomtheHolyLordhathchosen.
And,inlikefashion,theMastercontinued,when
theTathgataexpoundstheDharma,andbeforehimthere
sitsanassemblyofseveralhundredmonksandnunsand
laydisciplesofbothsexes,thenmanyamongstthese
listenersthinkFormealonehastheSamanaGotama
declaredthisteaching.
ForIdirectthepowerofmymindupontheindi
vidualnatureofeachseekerafterpeace,andthewords
thatarespokenareinresponsetothecombinednatures
ofallthosepresent;thusthosewhoreceiveandunder
standtheTeachingarecalmed,filledwithharmonyand
madetobeatonewiththemselves,andmanymakethe
mistakenassumptionthattheyalonehavebeenchosen.
InthiswaytheTathgatatakesthesixteenthousand
onehundredfoldmaritalstateofLordKrishna,
spiritualisesit,refinesitandcompletesit.
Ofcourse,itatonceappearedtomeasthoughthe
Masterhadreadmythoughtsandhadgivenmeasecret
288
reproof,inorderthatImightnotentertainthedelusion
thatIoccupiedaprivilegedpositionandsobecomethe
victimofanuglyvanity.

* * *

AndnowtheBuddhawentontospeakofhow,
accordingtothebeliefsofourforefathers,LordKrishna
althoughhehimselfwastheSupremeGod,theUpholder
hadcausedaportionofhisowndivinebeingtodescend
fromhighheavenandtobebornasamaninthe
humanworld.Passingtohimself,theMastersaidthat
when,afterardenteffort,hehadrealisedperfectenlightenment
theblessdandabidingcertaintyofliberation
hisfirstinclinationwastoremainintheenjoymentof
thistranscendentserenityandnottotrytodeclarehis
understandingtoothers.
Ireasonedthus:ThisTruththatIhaverealisedis
profoundandhardtosee,hardtodiscover;itisthemost
peacefulandsuperiorgoalofall,notattainablebymere
conceptualisation,subtle,forthewisetoexperience.But
thispleasurelovinggenerationreliesonattachment,
relishesattachment,delightsinattachment.Itishard
forsuchagenerationtoseethisTruththatistosay,the
lawsofcausalityandDependentOrigination.Andhardit
willalsobeforthemtorealisetheimplicationsofthese
lawsthatistosay,thefreeingofoneselffromallthe
formsassumedbyexistence,thequenchingofallcraving,
therelinquishmentofalldelusions,therealisationof
Nirvna.IfItriedtoexplainthisabstruseinsight,others
wouldnotunderstandandthatwouldbewearyingand
troublesomeforme.
Consideringthus,mynatureinclinedtowards
inactionandnottotheteachingoftheDharma.ThenI
lookedyetonceagainwithfarseeingeyesuponthe
289
world.And,asinalotuspondoneseessomelotusflowers
whichdevelopinthewatersandremainunderthesurface,
otherswhichforcetheirwaytothesurfaceandfloatthere,
and,finally,otherswhichriseabovethewatersandstand
freefromallcontactwiththem;soalsointhisworldIsaw
thatsomebeingswereofacoarsenature,somewereofa
noblenature,andsomewereofthenoblestofall.AndI
reasonedthusThereareafewbeingswithbutalittledust
intheireyes,iftheydonotheartheDharmatherearesome
whowilllosetheirwayonaccountofthat;perhapssomeof
thesewillunderstandtheTruth.And,outofcompassionfor
suchbeings,IdecidedtoexpoundtheDharmatotheworld.
ThusdoestheTathgatatakeupKrishnascoming
downfromheavenandbecomingman,giveitinward
force,illumineandcompleteit.
Ashesaidthis,therecametomeafeelingofun
speakablejoyforIknewthattheBuddhanumberedme
withthelotusflowersthathadrisentothesurfaceofthe
water,andthatI,byhishelp,wouldonedayriseaboveit,
andwouldstandfree,unsulliedbymaterialthings.

* * *

Further,theMastertoldusofthoseheroicdeedsof
Krishna,bywhichhehadfreedtheworldfrommonsters
andwickedrulers,andhadaddedtothehappinessofall
livingbeings.Howhehadvanquishedthewaterserpent
Koliy,slainthebullshapeddemonAristha,destroyedthe
ravagingmonstersDhenukaandKish,andthedemon
princeNraka,hadovercomeandkilledthevillainous
kingsKamsaandPaundraka,andotherbloodytyrants
whoweretheterrorofhelplesshumanbeings,andhad
thusamelioratedinmanyawaythedistressfulfateof
humanity.
Buthe,theMaster,didnotcombatthefoesthat
290
assailedpeoplefromoutside,butthemonstersthatwere
withintheirownheartsgreed,hatred,delusion,loveof
self,thecravingforpleasure,thethirstforthingsthatpass
awayandhefreedhumanitynotfromthisorthatevil
person,butfromtheexperienceofsufferingthetyranny
oftheunawakenedheart.
ThentheBlessdOnespokeofthesufferingwhich
everywhereandalwaysfollowslifelikeitsshadow.AndI
feltasthoughsomeonewithagentlehandhadliftedthe
loadofpainmylovehadbroughtme,boreitawayand
hadcastitintothegreatmaelstromofuniversalsuffering,
where,inthegeneralwhirloftherisingandpassingofall
things,itdisappearedcompletelyfromview.
DeeplyinmyinnermostheartIfeltWhatrightdo
Ihavetoexpectenduringhappinesswhenitissonormalfor
beingstoexperiencesuffering?
Ihadenjoyedmyhappiness:ithadbeenborn,it
hadunfoldeditselfandithadpassedjustastheBuddha
taughtthateverythinginthisworldcomesfromsome
sourceand,afteritstimeisfulfilled,mustsoonerorlater
passaway.
Thisverytransitoryappearance,inwhichtheunrealityof
everyindividualthingveileditself,was,hetoldus,thefinal
unavoidablesourceofsufferingunavoidablesolongas
thedesireforexistencewasnotuprooted,solongasit
continuedtoflourishluxuriantlyandforevergaveriseto
somethingnew.Andaseachindividualisapartofthe
sufferingoftheworld,fromtheveryfactoftheirexistence,
Ishouldnowfeelobligedorsoitseemedtome
ifIhadbeensparedsomepain,tofeelmyselfdoubly
blessdandtobefilledwithareadinesstobearmypart
also.

* * *

291
Iwasnolongerabletobewailmyownlot;onthe
contrary,asIlistenedtotheMasterswordsthethought
awokeinmeIfonlyalllivingbeingswerenolonger
obligedtosuffer!Ifonlythisholymanmightsucceedin
hisworkofteaching,andthatalllivingbeingsall
purifiedfromdelusionandenlightened,mightreachthe
utterendofsuffering.
AndtheMasterspokealsoofthisendofsuffering
andoftheworld,oftheovercomingofeveryformof
existence,ofliberationintoaserenestateofbeing,voidof
allcraving,ofthedispellingofalldelusion,andofNirvna
strange,wonderfulwordstellingofthisonlyIslandin
allthetroubledseaofbirth,onwhoserockyshoresthe
breakersofdeathdashedinimpotentfoam,andoverto
whichtheteachingoftheBlessdOnesailedlikeatrusty
ship.Andhespokeofthatblessdplaceofpeacenotas
onespeakswhorelatestouswhathehasheardfrom
othersfrompriestsandBrahminsandalsonotasa
songmakerwholetshisfancyroam,butlikeonewho
communicateswhathehashimselfexperiencedandseen.
ItistruethattherewasmuchhesaidwhichI,an
untaughtwoman,didnotunderstand,butwhichalsoI
wouldventurewouldnothaveeasilybeenunderstood
byeventhemostlearnedofmen.
ManythingsIwasnotabletoreconcile:for,
althoughtheMastersaidthatneitherexistencenornon
existencecouldbesaidtodescribetherealityofLife,
lifelessnesswasnottheanswereitherinfactitwas
evenfurtherfromtheTruthButIfeltinheartlikeone
whohearsanewsongutterlyunlikeanyothershehas
everheard,asongofwhichsheisabletocatchnomore
thanafewwords,yetthemusicofwhichpenetratestoher
heart,tellinghereverything.Andwhatmusic!Notesof
suchcrystalpuritythatallothersoundswhencompared
withitmustseemtothelistenerlikeemptynoise
292
strainswhichbroughtgreetingsfromsofaraway,fromso
farabovethespheres,thatanewandundreamtoflonging
wasawakened,ofwhichIfeltthatitcouldneverbestilled
byanythingworldlyorworldlike,andwhich,ifunsatis
fied,wouldneverpassaway.

* * *

Meanwhilenighthadcomedown.Thepalelightof
themoon,asitrosebehindthetemple,threwshadows
fromitsoutlinesrightacrossthewholewidthoftheforest
glade.Theformofthespeakerwasallbutindistinguish
able.Thesemorethanhumanwordsappearedtocome
forthfromthesanctuaryitself,whichhadswallowedagain
intoitsmassofshadowsallthethousandwildand
tangled,lifesimulatingforms,andnowtoweredupward
insimplebutimposinglines,amonumentofallterrestrial
andcelestiallife.
Myhandsheldpalmtopalmatmyheart,Isatthere
listeningandlookinguptotheheavens,wheregreatstars
glitteredoverthedarktreetopsandtheHeavenlyGang
layextendedlikeariveroflight.ThenIrememberedthe
hourwhenweboth,atthatsamespot,solemnlyraisedour
handstoitandmutuallysworebyitssilverfloodswhich
feedtheselotuslakes,thatwewouldmeethereagainin
theParadiseoftheWestinaheavenofpleasurelikethat
ofKrishna,ofwhichtheMasterhadjustspokenasthe
placewhichthefaithfuldevoteesoftheDreamingGod
strovetoreach.
AndasIthoughtofit,myheartgrewsad;forI
couldtracenodesireinmyselfforsuchalifeinParadise,
forashimmerofsomethinginfinitelyhigherhadshonein
myeyes.
Andwithoutdisappointment,withoutanythingof
thepainfulemotiononefeelswhosedearesthopeshave
293
beenshattered,IcaughtthewordsoftheMaster:
Tobebornistodie;
Alldestroying,Oblivionsbreathholdssway;
AsinthegardensofEarth,
FlowersinParadisefade,andpassaway.

294

295

296

~37~
THEBLOSSOMSOFPARADISEWITHER
YES,MYFRIEND,addedVsitth,Iheardthose
words,whichappearsodestructiveofallhopetoyou,
withoutdisappointmentinthesamewaythatnow,
withoutpainandindeedevenwithjoy,Iperceivehow
roundaboutusherethetruthofthesewordsisestabli
shedinwhatweseetakingplace.

* * *

DuringVsitthsnarration,theprocessofdecay
hadgoneon,slowlybutrelentlessly,andtherecouldno
longerbetheleastdoubtbutthatallthesebeingsand
theirsurroundingssickenedandwerefadingawaytotheir
fullandcompletedissolution.
Thelotusflowershadalreadyshedmorethanhalf
theircrownpetalsandthewatersonlysparkledsparingly
forthfrombetweenthesegaycolouredlittlevessels,
whichweresettremblingeveryotherinstantasafresh
onefell.Ontheirflowerthrones,divestedofalladorn
mentnow,sattheoncehappyinhabitantsoftheParadise
oftheWestinpositionsmoreorlessindicativeofutter
breakdown.Theheadofonehungdownuponherbreast,
thatofanothersidewaysonhisshoulder,andashiveras
offeverranthroughthemeverytimeanicyblastshook
thealreadythinningtopsofthegroves,causingblossoms
297
andleavestoraintoearth.Themusicofthegandharvas
soundedwoefullysubduedandmoreandmorefrequently
wasinterwovenwithpainfuldiscords;withitwere
blendeddeepsighsandanxiousgroans.Allthathadbeen
soluminousthefacesandrobesofthedevasand
gandharvas,nolessthanthecloudsandflowersall
graduallylostbrightnessandabluetwilighthazeap
pearedtoweaveitsthreadsaboutthedistances.Thefresh
fragranceoftheflowerstoo,whichhadformerlybeen
suchavitalisingbreathtoeverything,hadgradually
becomeasoporificodour,atoncedistressingtothebody
andstupefyingtothesenses.
Kmantaindicatedthethingsabouthimwitha
tiredmovementofthehand:Howcouldyoupossibly
feelpleasureatsuchasight,Vsitth?
Forthisreason,myfriend,shereplied,itis
possibletofeelpleasureinsuchasight:thatifallthiswere
lastinganddidnotpassaway,therecouldbenothing
higher.Butthereissomethinghigher;forthisdoespass,
andbeyonditthereisthatwhichknowsneithergenesis
nordecay.JustthisqualityiswhattheMastercallsjoyin
thetransient;andforthatreasonhesays:Ifyouhave
discernedtheephemeralnatureofallcreatedthings,then
trulyyouknowthatwhichisUncreated.

* * *

Attheseconfidentwords,Kmantasfeaturesgrew
animated,asaflowerthatiswitheringforwantofwater
revivesbeneaththefallingrain.
Blessingsonyou,Vsitth!Foryouhavegivenme
myliberation.Yes,Ifeelit.Wehaveerredonlyinone
particularourlongingsdidnotaimhighenough.We
desiredforourselvesthislifeinaparadiseofflowersand
assuredlyflowersmustwither,inaccordancewiththeir
298
nature.Thestars,however,areeternal;accordingto
changelesslawstheykeeptheircourses.Andlookthere,
Vsitth;whileallelseshowsthepaletracesofdecay,that
littleriveratributaryoftheHeavenlyGangthat
flowsintoourlake,itswaterisjustasstarlikeinitspurity
andjustasplentifulasever,andallbecauseitcomesfrom
theworldofstars.Onewhoshouldsucceedinentering
intoexistenceagainamongthegodsofthestars,wouldbe
raisedabovethesphereofmortality.
Whyshouldwenotbeabletosucceedinthat?
askedVsitth.ForIhavecertainlyheardofsamanaswho
fixedheartandminduponreturningtoexistenceinthe
kingdomoftheHundredthousandfoldBrahm.Andeven
nowitcannotbetoolate,iftheancientwordsofthe
BhagavadGtbetrue:
Longingsforafuturebeing,fillingheartand
mindatdeath,
Tothelifethatfollowsthisone,willgive
characterandbreath.
Vsitth!Youhavegivenmesuperhumancourage!
Come,letusturnourwholeheartstoenteringagain
intoexistenceinthekingdomoftheHundredthousand
foldBrahm.

* * *

Scarcelyhadtheycometothisdecisionwhena
violenthurricanesweptthroughthegrovesandoverthe
lakes.Blossomsandleaveswerewhirledawayinheaps;
thebeingsthronedonthelotusflowerscoweredbefore
thestormand,moaningpitifully,drewtheirfilmyrobes
evercloserabouttheirtremblinglimbs.
Butlikeonewho,allbutsuffocatedintheclose
andperfumeladenatmosphereofaroom,breathesdeep
andfeelsthemselvesrenewedwhenthefreshseabreezes,
299
saltladenfromthefloodsoftheocean,blowinthrough
theopenwindow,soitwaswithKmantaandVsitth
whenabreathofthatabsolutepurity,whichtheyhad
onceinhaledontheshoresoftheHeavenlyGang,came
streamingnowtowardsthem.
Doyounoticeanything?askedVsitth.
AgreetingfromtheGang,saidKmanta.And
listen,Shecalls
Ashespoke,thewailingdeathsongofthegandharvas
wassilencedbythesolemn,thunderingsounds
thattheybothrememberedfromtheirjourneylongsince
past.
Goodthatwealreadyknowtheway!exulted
Vsitth.Areyoustillafraid,myfriend?
HowcouldIfear?Come!
Andlikeapairofbirdsthatdashfromthenestand
flyintotheteethofthewind,sotheyflewthencetowards
theHeavenlyGang.
Allstaredafterthem,amazedthattherewerestill
beingstherewhohadthestrengthandcouragenecessary
forflight.
Butastheythusbreastedthestormtherearosea
whirlwindbehindthemwhichlefteverythingbereftofleaf
andlifealike,andmadeanendoftheslowlyfading
domainofSukhavat.
Soontheyhadreachedtheforestofpalmsand
soonpassedoverit.Beforethemthesilveryexpanseof
theStreamoftheUniversestretchedfarawaytotheblue
blackborderoftheheavens.
Theysweptoutoveritsfloods,andwereinstantly
caughtinthecurrentofairprevailingthereandwere
borneawaywiththeswiftnessofthetempest.Overpow
eredbythespeedoftheirflightandbythefrightful
crashingthatseemedlikethundermingledwiththering
ingofamyriadbellstheirsensesfinallyforsookthem.
300
TheirmutuallifeofblissintheParadiseofthe
Westthusdrewtoitsfinalcloseduringthistimetensof
thousandsofyearshadpassedbyonearthbelow.
301

302

~38~
INTHEKINGDOMOFTHE
HUNDREDTHOUSANDFOLDBRAHM
ANDKMANTAANDVSITTHenteredagaininto
existenceinthekingdomoftheHundredthousandfold
Brahmasthegodsofadoublestar.

* * *

Theluminousastralsubstancewithwhich
Kmantassenseofbeingwasunited,envelopedsymmet
ricallytheheavenlybodywhichwasbothanimatedbyhis
strengthandguidedbyhiswill.Bytheexerciseofhiswill
powerthestarrevolvedonitsownaxis;andthismotion
washisownindividuallife,hisselflove.
Further,KmantawasreflectedinVsitthslustre;
andheinturnreflectedhers.Exchangingraystheycircled
aroundacommonaxiswheretheirraysaccumulated.This
pointwastheirmutuallove;thecirclingwasthereforetheir
lovelife,andinthecourseofthistheyconstantlyreflected
oneanotherandthatwasthejoyoftheirlove.
Giftedwithsightoneveryside,eachwasableto
look,atoneandthesamemoment,towardseverypointof
unendingspace.Andeverywheretheysawcountlessstar
godslikethemselves,theflashingofwhoseraysthey
instantlycaughtandreturned.Ofthesetherewasfirsta
numberwhoformedwiththemaseparategroup;next,
othergroupswhichwiththeirownformedawhole
303
galacticsystem;further,othersystemswhichformedthem
selvesintochainsofsystems;andbeyondtheseyetother
chains,andringsofchains,andspheresuponspheresof
chainrings.
AndKmantaandVsitthnowguidedtheirbinary
starinharmoniousflightamongtheotherstarsanddouble
starsoftheirgroupinagraceful,multidimensionaldance
neithercomingtooneartotheirneighboursnoryet
removingtotoogreatadistance.Allthetime,byacertain
unspokensympathy,eachcommunicatedtooneanother
theexactdirectionandcurvatureofmovement.Butatthe
sametimeacommonconsciousnesswasformedwhich
guidedtheirwholegroupintoharmonywiththemotionof
allthegroupsoftheirsystem,thenagaininturnjoinedin
themotionofallothergroups.
Andthisharmonicsympathywiththevastswaying
rhythmicmotionofthestellarbodiesthisuniversaland
unceasinginterchangeofmovementthiswastheir
relationshiptotheuniverse,theirouterlife,theirall
embracingandallpermeatinglovingactivity.
However,thatwhichwasharmonyofmovement
hereappearedtothegodsoftheair,whohadtheirpal
acesbeneaththestargods,tobeaharmonyofsound.By
participationinitsenjoyment,thegenerationsofgan
dharvasinthefieldsofParadiseimitatedtheseharmonies
intheirjoyousmelodies.
Andbecauseaweakandfaroffechoofthese
harmoniespiercestoourearthsoweakthatitcanonly
becaughtbythespiritualearsoftheilluminatithe
seerstalkmysteriouslyoftheharmonyofthespheres,and
thegreatmastersofmusicreproducewhatthey,intheir
ecstasy,haveoverheard;andthismusicisthegreatest
delightofthehumanfamily.Butjustastherealityoflifeis
toitseverdimmergrowingreflection,sotooisthejoyin
existenceofthegodsofthestarstotheraptureofhuman
304
beingsovernotesandchordsandmelodies.Forthejoyof
lifeforthebrahmgodsissimplytheirimmeasurablejoy
inexisting.

* * *

Allthesemovements,however,thesevastround
elaysofworldsystems,hadfortheircentreasingleobject
theHundredthousandfoldBrahmthronedinthe
midstoftheuniverse:TheOnewhoseimmeasurable
brightnesspermeatedallthegodsofthestars,andto
whomtheyinturnflashedbackthatradiance,likeso
manymirrorsofthatsplendour:TheOnewhoseinexhaus
tiblestrength,likeaneverfailingspring,impartedlifeand
motiontoallofthemandinwhom,inturn,alltheir
motionwascentred.Andthiswastheirbeing,filledwith
allthefullnessofthebrahm,theircommunionwiththe
HighestGod,theirblessdness,theirdevotion,theirbliss.

* * *

TheyhadinBrahmthecentralpointaboutwhich
everythingelsewascollected,yetthisbrahmworld,
thoughboundless,wasalso,inasenselimited.Asthe
prescienteyeofhumanitydiscoveredazodiacinthe
domeofheaven,eveninfardistantages,sotoothegods
ofthestarssawuntoldzodiacsdescribedinandaround
oneanotherweavingpicturesthroughoutthespheres,
picturesinwhichthemostdistantgroupsofstarsresolved
themselvesintoluminousfiguresnowintertwinedso
thatonestarshoneasaninherentpartofseveralpictures,
thenagainflashinginlonelyexclusiveness.Objectsap
pearedthere:astralformsofallthebeingsthatliveand
moveonthescatteredworlds;orbetweenthese,abiding
picturesoftheoriginalformsofallthat,wrappingitselfin
305
thefourgreatelementsearth,water,fireandwind
ceaselesslycomesintobeingandpassesawayinthe
changefulriveroflife.
Andthisbeholdingoftheoriginalformswastheir
knowledgeoftheworlds.
Butbecause,beingallseeing,theywereableto
seethatwithouthavingtolookawayfromthiswithout
eventheflutterofaneyelidtheywereabletobeholdat
oneglancetheunityofGodandthemultiplicityofworlds
andlivingbeingstheknowledgeofGodandthe
knowledgeoftheworldsthusbecameforthemoneand
thesamething.
If,however,humanbeingsturntheirgazeupon
thedivineunity,themanyformsofthechanginguniverse
escapethem;and,ontheotherhand,whentheylook
upontheseforms,theycannolongerholdinviewthe
unityofGod.Thedivineones,however,sawcentreand
circleatoneandthesamemoment.Forthatreasontheir
knowledgewasaunifiedknowledge,neverunstableand
apreytonodoubt.
Throughoutthiswholeluminousbrahmworld
timenowflowedonsilentlyandimperceptibly.Asthereis
nottheleastmovementtobeperceivedinaperfectlyclear
streamwhichglidesquietlyandsmoothlyalong,and
whosewatersareneitherobstructednorbrokenbyany
resistance,soherethepassageoftimewasjustasimper
ceptible,becauseitexperiencednoresistancefromthe
riseorfallofthoughtandfeeling.
Thisimperceptiblepassageoftimewastheir
eternity.Andthiseternitywasadelusion.Soalsowasall
thatitembracedtheirknowledge,theirgodliness,their
joyinexistence,theirworldlife,andtheirownindividual
lifeallwassteepedindelusionallwasoverlaidwith
thecolourofdelusion.
306

307
308

~39~
THEDUSKOFTHEWORLDS
THERECAMEADAYwhenafeelingofdiscomfort,
theconsciousnessofavoid,aroseinKmanta.

* * *

AndinvoluntarilyhisthoughtsturnedtotheHun
dredthousandfoldBrahmasthesourceofallfullness.
Butthefeelingoflackwasnotremovedbythat.Onthe
contrary,itincreasedalmostperceptiblywiththepassing
oftheyears,fromonedecadeofthousandstoanother.
Forfromthatnewlyarisenfeelingthetranquil
streamoftime,whichhadhithertoflowedimperceptibly
by,encounteredresistanceasfromanislandsuddenly
riseninitsmidst,onwhoserockycliffsitbegantobreak
infoamasitflowedpast.Andatoncetherearoseabe
foreandanaftertherapids.
AnditseemedtoKmantaasthoughtheHundred
thousandfoldBrahmdidnotnowshinequiteasbrightly
asformerly.
AfterhehadobservedtheBrahm,however,for
fivemillionsofyears,itseemedtoKmantaasthoughhe
hadnowobservedhimforalongtimewithoutreaching
anycertainty.
AndheturnedhisattentiontoVsitth.
Uponwhichhebecameawarethatshealsowas
309
observingtheBrahmattentively.
Whichfilledhimwithdismay;withdismaycame
feeling;withfeelingcamethought;withthought,the
speechforitsutterance.
Andhespoke:
Vsitth,doyoualsoseeit?Whatishappeningto
theHundredthousandfoldBrahm?
Afterahundredthousandyears,Vsitthanswered:
WhatishappeningtotheHundredthousandfold
Brahmisthathisbrightnessisdiminishing.
Itseemssotomealso,saidKmanta,afterthe
passageofasimilarperiodoftime.True,thatcanonlybe
apassingphenomenon.AndyetImustconfessthatIam
astonishedatthepossibilityofanychangewhatsoeverin
theHundredthousandfoldBrahm.
Afteraconsiderabletimeafterseveralmillions
ofyearsKmantaspokeagain:
IdonotknowifIamnotperhapsdazzledbythe
light.Doyou,Vsitth,noticethatthebrightnessofthe
HundredthousandfoldBrahmisincreasingagain?
Afterfivehundredthousandyears,Vsitthans
wered:ThebrightnessoftheHundredthousandfold
Brahmdoesnotincrease,butsteadilydecreases.
Asapieceofironthat,takenwhitehotfromthe
blacksmithsfire,verysoonafterbecomesredhot,sothe
brightnessoftheHundredthousandfoldBrahmhadnow
takenonaredshimmer.
Iwonderwhatthatmaysignify...
Thatsignifies,myfriend,thatthebrightnessofthe
HundredthousandfoldBrahmisintheprocessofbeing
extinguished.
Impossible,Vsitth,impossible!Whatwouldthen
becomeofallthebrightnessandthesplendourofthis
wholebrahmworld?
HehadthatinmindwhenHesaid:
310
Upwardtoheavenssublimestlight,lifepresses
thendecays.
Know,thatthefuturewillevenquenchtheglowof
Brahmsrays.
Aftertheshortspaceofbutafewthousandyears
cameKmantasanxiousandbreathlessquestion:
Whoeverutteredthatterribleworldcrushing
sentence?
WhootherthanHe,theMaster,theKnowerofthe
Worlds,theBlessdOnetheBuddha.
ThenKmantabecamethoughtful.Foraconsider
ablelengthoftimehepondereduponthesewords,and
recalledmanythings.Thenhespoke:
Oncealready,Vsitth,inSukhavat,inthePara
diseoftheWest,yourepeatedasayingoftheBuddha
whichwasfulfilledbeforeoureyes.AndIrememberthat
youthenfaithfullyreportedtomeawholediscourseof
theMastersinwhichthatsayingoccurred.Thisworld
crushingutterancewasnot,however,containedinit.So
haveyouthen,Vsitth,heardyetotherwordsofthe
Master?
Many,myfriend,forIsawhimdailyformorethan
halfayear;yes,Ievenheardthelastwordsheuttered.
Kmantagazeduponherwithwonderandrever
ence.Thenhesaid:
Then,becauseofthat,Ibelieveyoumustbethe
wisestbeinginthewholebrahmworld.Forallthese
stargodsroundaboutusareaghast;theyshinewitha
waveringlight;theyflickerandblinkandeventheHun
dredthousandfoldBrahmhimselfhasbecomerestless,
andfromhisdulledradiancefromtimetotimetheredart
forthwhatseemtometobeflashesofanger.Butyougive
asteadylightlikealampinashelteredspot.Anditisalso
asignofdisturbancethatthemovementoftheseheavenly
bodieshasnowbecomeaudiblewenowhearonall
311
sidesthethunderingcrashesandmightygroanswhichare
proceedingfromthisbrahmworld,likethedistantringing
ofgreatbellswhichoncereachedusontheshoresof
theHeavenlyGang,farfromhereinParadise.Thisall
indicatesthattheharmonyofmotionisdisturbed,thatdis
unionandseparationoftheworldforcesistakingplace.
ForithasbeenwellsaidthatWherewantis,there
noiseis;butabundanceistranquil.AndsoIdonotdoubt
thatyouareright.
Please,belovdVsitth,whileroundaboutusthis
brahmworldexpiresandbecomesapreytodestruction,
relatetomeyourmemoriesoftheBuddha,sothatImay
becomeascalmandbrightasyouare.Tellmeallofyour
lasthumanlife,foritmaywellbethatweareunitedfor
thelasttimeinaplacewhereitwillbepossibleforspirit
tocommunewithspiritandtellofthingsthathavehap
penedanditstillremainsamysteryhowAngulimla
appearedinUjjen,althoughhisbecomingamonkhas
beenfullyexplainedtome.Buthisappearanceatthattime
gavetheimpulseformygoingforthintothehomelesslife,
andwasthereasonwhyIdidnottaketodownwardpaths
butinsteadroseagainintheParadiseoftheWestthere
toclimbbyyourhelptothishighestofheavens,where
throughoutimmeasurableageswehaveenjoyedthelives
ofgods.Ihaveanidea,however,thattheimpulsewhich
ledtomybecomingaseekercamefromyou.Iwouldlike
tolearnthetruthaboutthis;butalso,andbeforeevery
thingelse,howdiditcomeaboutthatyou,formybenefit,
enteredagainintoexistenceintheParadiseoftheWest
andnotinsomefarhigherplaceofbliss?

* * *

Andwhilefromonehundredthousandyearsto
another,thegrowingdimnessofthebrahmlightbecame
312
evermoreapparentandthegodsofthestarsgrewever
paler;
Whiletheseflickeredandsplutteredwithmoreand
moreirregularity,andfromthedullergrowingcircleoffire
aroundtheGreatBrahmvastfingersofflameshotforth
andswepthitherandthitherthroughoutthewholeof
space,asiftheGodwithahundredgiantarmswereseek
ingtheinvisiblefoewhowasbesettinghim;
While,owingtothedisturbedmovementsofthe
heavenlybodies,stellarwhirlwindsarosewhichrent
wholesystemsofsunsoutofthekingdomoftheBrahm
andintotheirplacesrushedwavesofdarknessfromthe
mightyvoid,astheseadashesinwhereashiphassprung
aleak;
Andwhile,atotherpoints,systemscrashedinto
oneanotherandauniversalconflagrationbrokeout,with
explosionswhichhurledsheavesofshootingstarsdown
intothefierythroatoftheBrahm;
Whilethedeathrattleofthemusicofthespheres
washeardandfeltallaroundandthethunderofthe
harmoniesastheybrokedownandcrashedintoone
anotherrolledandreechoedwitheverincreasingfearful
nessfromonequarteroftheheavenstoanother
Vsitth,untroubled,andspeakinginmeasuredtones,
relatedtoKmantathelastofherearthlyexperiences.

313

314

~40~
INTHEGROVEOFKRISHNA
AFTERTHATFIRSTEVENINGIneglectedno
opportunitytovisittheKrishnagrove,andtobecome
moredeeplyimmersedintheTeachingsthroughthe
wordsoftheMasteroroneofhisgreatdisciples.

* * *

Duringtheabsenceofmyhusbandthefearofthe
citizensofKosambgrewfromdaytoday,becauseofthe
robberAngulimla.Fantasywasstirredfortheveryreason
thatnothingwasheardoffreshdeedsofhis.Arumour
wasspreadthatAngulimlaintendedtofalluponthe
Krishnagroveoneeveningandcarryoffthecitizens
assembledthere,andnotonlythesebuteventheBuddha
himself.Thatraisedthealreadyexcitedpopularfeeling
almosttothepointoftumult.Peopledeclaredthatifharm
shouldcometotheMasterfromsuchvillainousrobber
bandsatthegatesofKosamb,thentheangerofthegods
wouldsurelybevisiteduponthewholetown.
Enormouscrowdsofpeoplesweptthroughthe
streetsand,collectinginfrontoftheroyalpalace,de
mandedthreateninglythatKingUdenashouldavertthis
calamityandrenderAngulimlaincapableoffurther
mischief.
OnthefollowingdayStgirareturned.Heatonce
overwhelmedmewithpraiseformygoodadviceforhe

315
attributedhishavingcomesafelyhomesolelytothis.
Vajir,hissecondwife,whocameouttowelcomehim
withherlittlesononherarm,wasdealtwithverysum
marily:HehadMattersofImportancetotalkoverwith
LadyVsitth.
Whenwewerealoneagain,tomyunspeakable
discomfort,hestraightawaybegantotalkofhislove,of
howhehadmissedmeonthewayandwithwhatjoyhe
hadlookedforwardtothishourofreunion.
Iwasonthepointoftellinghimaboutthetroubles
inthetown,inordertochangethecurrentofhisthoughts,
whentheservantsannouncedtheChamberlain,whohad
cometosummonStgiratoKingUdena.
Afteraboutanhourhereturnedanotherbeing.
Paleandwithadeeplyperturbedexpressiononhisface,
hecameintome,flunghimselfdownonalowseatand
exclaimedthathewasthemostwretchedmaninthe
worldafallengreatone,soontobeabeggar,maybe
evenexposedtoimprisonmentorexileandthatthe
causeofallhismisfortunewashisboundlessloveforme,
whichIdidntevenreturn.AfterIhadrepeatedlyurged
himtotellmewhathadhappened,hecalmedhimself
sufficientlytogivemeanaccountofwhathadtakenplace
inthepalace,accompanyingtherecitalwithmanyout
burstsofsobbingdespairandceaselesslymoppinghis
foreheadfromwhichthesweatdropsrantricklingdown.
TheKinghadreceivedhimveryungraciouslyand,
withoutdesiringtohearanythingofthevillagequarrel
whichhehadsettled,hadorderedhimwiththreatsto
acknowledgethewholetruthaboutAngulimla,which
Stgirawasnowobligedtoconfesstomealso,without
havingthesmallestideathatIwasalreadysowellin
formedonthesubject.
Tomydisgusthesawinhisdeceitonlyaproofof
hisboundlessloveforme,andspokeofmyloveforyou
316
lightly,asofafoolishyouthfulsentimentalitywhich
would,inanycase,haveassuredlyledtonothing.
ThematterhadcometotheKingsearsinthe
followingway.
DuringStgirasabsence,thepolicehadsuc
ceededintrackingdownAngulimlasaccomplicewho
had,inthecourseofasevereinterrogation,giventhe
assurancethattherobberinquestionreallywasAnguli
mlahimself,thatthelatterhadnotdiedundertortureas
theMinisterhadalwaysasserted,buthadescaped;hehad
alsoconfessedAngulimlasintendedattackuponthe
Krishnagrove.HisMajestywasnaturallyincensedtothe
highestdegree:firstatStgirashavingallowedthe
demonicrobbertoescape,andthenathishavingcheated
thewholeofKosamb,togetherwithitsKing,withthe
falseheadhehadsetup.Hewouldntlistentoanywords
ofdefence,orevenofexcuse:IfStgiradidntrender
Angulimlaincapableoffurthermischiefwithinthreedays
asthepeoplesostormilydemandedthenallthe
consequencesoftheRoyalDispleasurewouldbevisited
uponhimwiththeutmostrigour.
AfterStgirahadrelatedthewholetale,hethrew
himselfweepingupontheseat,torehishairandbehaved
likeonedistraught.
Becomforted,myhusband,Isaid,followmy
counsel,andnotinthreedaysbutbeforethisverydayis
over,youshallagainbeinpossessionoftheRoyalFavour;
yes,andnotonlythat,butitshallshineuponyoueven
morebrightlythanbefore.
Stgirasatupandlookedatmeasonemightgaze
uponsomebizarrefreakofnature.Andwhat,then,isthis
counselofyours?
ReturntotheKingandpersuadehimtotake
himselftotheSimsapwoodbeyondthecitygates.There
lethimseektheLordBuddhaattheancienttempleand
317
askcounselfromhim.Therestwillfollowofitself.
Youareawisewoman,saidStgira.Inany
case,yourcounselisverygood,fortheBuddhaissaidto
bethewisestofallmen.Althoughitcanhardlyhavesuch
goodresultsformeasyouimagine,Ishallnevertheless
maketheattempt.
Fortheresults,Ireplied,Ishallanswerwithmy
honour.
Ibelieveyou,Vsitth!heexclaimed,springing
upandseizingmyhand.Howisitpossiblenottobelieve
you?ByIndra!Youareawonderfulwoman;andInow
seehowlittleIwasmistakenwhen,inmystillinexperi
encedyouthasthoughobeyingsomeprofoundinstinct,I
choseyoualonefromamidtherichgardenofKosambs
maidensanddidnotallowmyselftobedivertedfrommy
lovebyyourcoldness.
Theheatwithwhichhepouredforthhispraise
causedmealmosttovomitandtorepentthatIhadgiven
himsuchhelpfuladvice;buthisverynextwordsbrought
reliefwiththemforhenowspokeofhisgratitude,which
wouldbeinexhaustiblenomatterwhatproofIshouldput
itto.
Ihavebutasinglepetitiontomake,thegranting
ofwhichwilltestifysufficientlytoyourgratitude.
Nameittomeatonce,hecried,andifyou
shouldevendemandthatIsendVajirwithhersonback
toherparents,Ishalldosowithouthesitation.
Myrequestisajust,notanunjust,one.Ishall
onlyprofferit,however,whenmycounselhasproved
itselftobereliabletothefullestdegree.Buthurrynowto
thepalaceandwinHisMajestyovertopaythisvisit.
Hereturnedfairlysoon,delightedthathehad
succeededinprevailingupontheKingtoundertakethe
expedition.
NotuntilKingUdenaheardthattheadvicecame
318
fromyou,andthatyouhadvouchedforitssuccesswith
yourhonour,didheconsent;forhealsothinksgreat
thingsofyou.Oh,howproudIamofsuchawife!
Theseandsimilarspeechesofhis,ofwhichinhis
confidentmoodtherewasnolack,weredisgustingand
painfultome;andtheywouldhavebeenstillmorepain
fulifIhadnot,throughoutthewholematter,hadmyown
secretthoughtstobuoymeup.
Wetookourselvesatoncetothepalace,where
alreadypreparationswerebeingmadeforthestart.

* * *

Assoonasthesunsrayshadsoftenedtheirinten
sity,KingUdenamountedhisstateelephant,theceleb
ratedBhaddavatik,whowasonlyusedonthemost
importantofoccasionsbecauseshewasnowveryold.
We,theChamberlain,theLordoftheTreasuryandother
highdignitariescamebehindincarriages;twohundred
horsemenwereinthevanguardandthesamenumber
broughtuptherearoftheprocession.
AttheentrancetothewoodtheKingcaused
Bhaddavatiktokneeldownandhedismounted;the
othersofusleftthecarriagesandfollowedinhistrainon
foottotheKrishnatemple;theretheBuddhaawaitedus
surroundedbyhisdisciples,ashealreadyknewofthe
approachingroyalvisit.
TheKinggavetheMasterareverentialgreeting
and,steppingtooneside,seatedhimselfdown.Whenwe
othershadalsotakenourseats,theBlessdOneasked
him:Whattroublesyou,nobleking?HastheKingof
Benares,oroneofyourotherroyalneighbours,threat
enedyourlandwithwar?
TheKingofBenaresdoesnotthreatenmeVener
ableSir,nordoesanyoneofmyotherroyalneighbours.
319
ArobbernamedAngulimlalivesinmyland;heiscruel
andbloodthirsty,giventomurderandviolencewithout
mercyforanylivingthing.Hedecimatesvillages;the
townsherendersheapsofsmokingruins;thelandsheturns
todesertwastes.Heslayspeopleandthenhangstheirfin
gersaroundhisneck.Andinthewickednessofhisheart
hehasconceivedaplanoffallinguponthissacredgrove
andofcarryingyouoff,Master,youandyourdisciples.
Mypeoplemurmuropenlyatthethoughtofthisgreat
danger,theythrongingreatcrowdsaroundmypalaceand
demandthatIshouldmakeAngulimlaincapableoffur
thermischief.ItisthisgraveconcernalonethatIhavein
mindincomingtoseeyou,Lord.
Butifyou,greatking,shouldseeAngulimlawith
hairandbeardshaven,cladintherobesofthisSangha
andforswearingtheactofmurder;nolongerarobber,
contentwithonemealaday,modestinhisbehaviour,
virtuousandaltogethernoble,whatwouldyouthendo
withhim?
Wewouldgreethimrespectfully,VenerableSir,
riseinhispresenceandinvitehimtobeseated,wewould
beghimtoacceptrobes,food,lodgingandmedicinefor
possiblesickness,andwouldbestowuponhimprotec
tion,shelteranddefence.ButLord,howcouldsuchan
unrulyandmalignantwretchexperiencesuchachange
towardsvirtue?
NowthedreadAngulimlawassittingnotfarfrom
theMaster.AndtheMasterextendedhisrightarmand
pointedovertohim,sayingtoKingUdenaashedidso:
Greatking,thisisAngulimla.
Atthat,thefaceoftheKinggrewpalefromfear.
Butgreaterbyfarwasthehorroronthefaceof
Stgira.Hiseyeslookedasthoughtheywouldstartfrom
theirsockets,hishairstoodonendandcoldsweat
droppedfromhisforehead.
320
Ohno!hecalledout.ThatisAngulimlaand
I,idiotthatIam,havebetrayedmyKingintoputting
himselfintohispower.
AtthesametimeIcouldseeplainlythatheonly
quiveredwithfearbecauseheimaginedhehimselftobe
inthepowerofhisdeadlyenemy.
Thisdemonicvillain,hewenton,hasdeceived
usallhehascheatedtheMasterhimselfandalsomy
alltoocredulouswifewho,likeallwomen,laystoomuch
storebysuchtalesofconversion.Wehaveallwalkedinto
thetrap!
Andhisglancesjerkedhitherandthither,as
thoughhecoulddiscernhalfadozenrobbersbehind
everytree.Withstutteringvoiceandtremblinghandhe
beggedtheKingtoseeksafetyforhispreciouspersonby
fleeingimmediately.
ThenIsteppedforwardandspoke:Calmyourself,
husband,andrestrainyourcowardice!Iaminaposition
toconvinceyou,andalsomynoblesovereign,thatno
traphasbeenlaidhereandthatnodangerthreatens.
AndInowrelatedhow,persuadedbyAngulimla,
Ihadtogetherwithhimplannedanattackonthelifeof
myhusband,andhowourplanwasfrustratedbythe
transformationofmyallytothegood.
WhenStgiraheardhownearhehadbeento
death,hewasobligedtosupporthimselfonthearmofthe
Chamberlain,inordernottosinktotheground.
InowprostratedmyselfbeforetheKingand
beggedhimtopardonmyhusbandasIhadpardoned
him,sayingthat,ledawaybypassionhehadactedfool
ishlyandyetinthewholematterhadassuredly,although
quiteunconsciously,followedtheleadingofahigher
powerthatintendedtobringtopassbeforeoureyesthis
greatestofallwonders,sothatnow,insteadofarobber
havingtobeexecuted,therobberhadcommittedhimself
321
tothereligiouslife.AndwhentheKinghadgraciously
consentedtobestowhisundiminishedfavouragainupon
myhusband,IsaidtoStgira:
Ihavekeptmypromise.Nowyoumustkeep
yoursalsoandfulfilmyrequest,whichisthatImaybe
permittedtoenterthesacredOrderoftheBuddha.
WithamuteinclinationoftheheadStgiragave
hisconsent.Hehad,ofcoursebynow,nootheroption.
ButtheKing,whowasbynowquitereassured,
approachedAngulimla,spokekindlyanddeferentiallyto
himandgavehimtheassuranceofhisroyalprotection.
ThenhewentagaintotheBuddha,bowedlowbefore
him,andsaid:Wondrousitis,indeed,VenerableSir,how
you,theTathgata,tametheuntameable.ForthisAnguli
mlawhomwecouldnotovercomebyeitherpunishment
orsword,himyouhaveovercomewithouteitherpunish
mentorsword.Andthisthricesacredgrovewheresucha
wonderfulthinghastranspiredshalltotheendoftime
belongtotheSanghaoftheBlessdOne.Furthermore,I
trusttheMasterwillgraciouslyallowmetoerectwithinits
boundsbuildingsfortheshelterofthemonksandothers
forthatofthenuns.
Signifyinghisacceptancewithsilence,theMaster
receivedtheroyalgift.TheKingthentookhisleaveand
wentawaywithhisretinue.
I,however,remainedbehindundertheprotection
ofthesisterswhowerepresentand,theverynextday,I
shavedmyheadandbecameabhikkhunamemberof
theOrderofBuddhistNuns.
322

323

324

~41~
THESIMPLECONTEMPLATION
IHADNOWBECOMEasisteroftheOrder;andI
tookmyselfintoKosambintheearlymorningofeach
day,togetherwiththeothernuns,wrappedintheochre
robeandwithmyalmsbowl.Therewewentfrom
housetohouseuntilallthosewhowishedtogivehad
donesoalthoughStgirawouldonlytoowillingly
havesparedmethisdailyalmsround.

* * *

OnedayItookmystandatthedoorofhispalace
becausetheoldestnunshadadvisedmetosubjectmyself
tothistrialalso.AtthatmomentStgiraappearedinthe
gateway;heavoidedme,however,withastartledglance
andsorrowfullycoveredhisface.Immediatelythereafter
thehousestewardcameouttomeweepingandbegged
thathemightbeallowedtosendmeeverythingIneeded
daily.ButIansweredhimthatitwasofmuchgreater
valuetometoliveasasimplememberoftheSangha.
WhenIreturnedfromthealmsroundandhad
eatenwhathadbeengiventome,withwhichthequestion
offoodwasthensettledforthewholeday,Iwouldbe
instructedbyoneoftheelderbhikkhuns.IntheeveningI
listened,inthegreatassembly,tothewordsoftheMaster
orperhapstothoseofoneofthegreatdisciples,likeSri
putraornanda.Afterthiswasover,however,itoften
325
happenedthatonesistersoughtthecompanyofanother,
sayingSister,theSimsapwoodisdelightful;glorious
isthisclearmoonlitnight;thetreesareinfullbloomand
divinefragrancesseemtobewaftedthroughtheair.Come
awaythen,letusfindSisterSumedh.Sheisknowledgeable
andsincere,atreasurehouseoftheDharma.Her
eloquencewilllendadoubleglorytothisSimsapgrove.
Andthereafterwewouldspendthegreaterpartofsucha
nightineagerdiscussionofthespirituallife.
Thislifeintheopenair,theconstantspiritual
activity,thelivelyinterchangeofideas(asaresultofwhich
therewasnotimeleftforsadbroodingoverpersonal
sorrowsoridlereveries)andfinallytheelevatingand
purifyingofmywholenaturebythepoweroftheDharma
allthisstrengthenedbothbodyandmindmost
marvellously.Anewandnoblerlifeopenedoutbeforeme
andIenjoyedacalmandcheerfulhappinessofwhicha
fewweeksearlierIcouldnothaveevendreamt.
Whentherainyseasoncame,thebuildingsalready
stoodpreparedforthesisters,witharoomyhallformedi
tationandforcommonuse,andaseparatehutinthe
forestforeachnun.
Myformerhusbandandseveralotherrichcitizens
whohadrelativesamongstthenunsinsisteduponfitting
outtheseabodesofourswithmats,seatsandlowwooden
bedssothatwewererichlyprovidedwitheverythingwe
neededtomakelifereasonablycomfortable.
ThisperiodofseclusionofthethreemonthRains
Retreatpassedeasily,whatwiththeregularalternationof
conversationonspiritualquestions,independentstudy,
physicalworkaroundthemonasteryandmeditation.
Towardstheeveningofeachday,however,wetook
ourselvestothecommonhallofthemonkstolistentothe
Master;orelseheoroneofhisgreatdisciplescameover
toseeus.
326
* * *

Theforestitselfwasverydeartotheheartofthe
Masterso,whentherainshadceased,itsfreshnessof
renewedyouthanditshundredfoldrichnessofleafand
splendourofflowerinvitedustotransferthecalmofour
solitarymeditationandourcommonmeetingstoitsmore
openshelter.Atthistimeofnewbeginnings,however,we
weremetbythesorrowfulnewsthattheMasterwasnow
preparingtosetoutonajourneytotheeasternprovinces.
Ofcoursewehadnotdaredtohopethathewould
alwaysremaininKosamb.Wealsoknewhowfoolishit
wastocomplainoftheinevitableandhowlittlewewould
showourselvestobeworthyofthewayoftrainingifwe
weretobeovercomebygrief.Soweturnedourstepsto
thetempleofKrishnalateintheafternoononeday,to
listenperhapsforthelasttimeinyearstothewordsofthe
Buddha,andthentobidhimfarewell.
Seatedatthetopofthesteps,theMasterspokeof
thetransitorinessofallthatcomesintoexistence,ofthe
dissolutionofeverythingthathasbeencompounded,of
thefleetingnatureofallphenomena,oftheunrealityofall
formswhatsoever.Andafterhehadshownthatnowhere
inthisnorinanyotherworld,asfarasthedesireforexist
encepropagatesitself,nowhereintimeorspace,istherea
fixedspot,anabidingplaceofrefugetobefound,hegave
utterancetothatsentencewhichyouwithjusticecalled
worldcrushing,andwhichisnowverifyingitselfround
aboutus
Upwardtoheavenssublimestlight,lifepresses
thendecays.
Know,thatthefuturewillevenquenchtheglowof
Brahmsrays.
Wesistershadbeentoldbyoneofthebhikkhus
thataftertheDharmatalkweweretogototheMaster,
327
onebyone,inordertotakeleaveofhimandtoreceivea
themeofcontemplationwhichwouldbeaspiritualguide
tousinourfutureendeavours.
AsIwasoneoftheyoungestinthetraining,andthere
forepurposelykeptmyselfinthebackground,Isucceeded
inbeingthelast.ForIgrudgedtoanyotherthatsheshould
speaktotheMasterafterIdid,andIalsothoughtthatalonger
andlesshastyinterviewwouldbemorepossibleifnoothers
waitedtocomeafterme.
AfterIhadkneltreverentlybeforehim,theBuddha
lookedatmewithagazewhichfilledmybeingwithlight
toitsinnermostdepths,andhesaid:
Andtoyou,Vsitth,onthethresholdofthis
ruinedsanctuaryoftheSixteenthousandonehundredfold
BridegroomtoremembertheTathgatabyandto
contemplateundertheleafyshadeofthisSimsapwood,
ofwhichyoubothcarryaleafaswellasashadowinyour
heartIofferyouthistoinvestigate:Wherethereis
love,thereisalsosuffering.
Isthatall?Ifoolishlyasked.
All,andenough.
Andwillitbepermittedtome,whenIhavefully
understoodit,tomakeapilgrimagetotheTathgataand
toreceiveanewsentence?
Certainlyitwillbepermitted,ifyoustillfeelthe
needofasking.
HowshouldInotfeeltheneed?Areyounot,
Master,ourrefuge?
Seekrefugeinyourself,Vsitth;takerefugeinthe
Dharma.
Ishallcertainlydoso.But,Master,youarethe
veryselfofthedisciples;youarethelivingDharma.And
youhavesaid,Itwillbepermitted.
Ifthewaydoesnottireyou.
Nowaycantireme.
328
Thewayislong,Vsitth.Thewayislongerthan
youthinkfarlongerthanhumanimaginationisableto
realise.
Andifthewayleadsthroughathousandlivesand
overathousandworlds,nowayshalltireme.
Good,Vsitth.Farewellthenlookintoyour
contemplationdeeplyanditwillrewardyou.
AtthisinstanttheKing,followedbyalargeretinue,
approachedtotakeleaveoftheMaster.
Iwithdrewtotherearmostcircleofdiscipleswhere
Iwasasomewhatinattentivespectatoroftherestofthe
proceedingsofthatlastevening.ForIcannotdenythatI
feltsomewhatdisappointedattheverysimplephrasethat
theMasterhadgivenme.Hadnotseveralofthesisters
receivedotherquiteweightyreflectionsfortheirspiritual
benefit:one,asentencerelatingtoexistenceandits
causes;another,relatingtononexistence;athird,tothe
transitorinessofallphenomena?AndIthereforefeltIhad
receivedsomekindofslight,whichgrievedmedeeply.
WhenIhadreflectedfurtheruponthematter,
however,thethoughtoccurredtomethattheMasterhad
perhapsnoticedsomeselfconceitinmeandwishedto
illumineitinthisway.AndIresolvedtobeonmyguard,
inordernottoberetardedinmyspiritualgrowthbyvanity
orinflatedselfesteem.SoonIwouldbeabletoclaim
praiseforhavingmasteredmycontemplationandcould
thenobtainanotherdirectlyfromthelipsoftheMaster.
Fullofthisassurance,IsawtheBlessdOnedepart
earlynextmorningwithmanydisciplesamongthese
naturallywasnanda,whowaitedupontheMasterand
wasalwayswithhim.Hehad,inhisgentleway,invariably
treatedmewithsuchspecialfriendlinessthatIfeltIshould
misshimandhischeeringglancegreatly,evenmorethan
IshouldthewiseSriputra,whohelpedmeovermanya
knottypointoftheTeachingbyhiskeenanalysisofallmy
329
difficultiesandhisclearexplanations.NowIwouldbeleft
tomyownresources.
AssoonasIhadreturnedfrommyalmsroundand
hadeatenmymeal,Isoughtoutastatelytreewhichstood
inthemidstofalittleforestmeadowthetrueoriginalof
thatmightytreefarremovedfromthebustleoflife,of
whichitissaidthatpeoplemayprofitablysitbeneath,
absorbedinreflectivemeditation.
ThatInowdid,andbeganearnestlyuponmy
sentence.WhenIreturnedtothemeetinghalltowards
evening,Ibroughtwithme,astheresultofmydays
work,afeelingofdissatisfactionwithmyselfandadim
forebodingofwhatthesefewwordsmightreallycometo
mean.ButwhenIreturnedtomyhutonthefollowing
evening,atthecloseofmyperiodofmeditation,Ialready
knewexactlywhattheMasterhadinmindwhenhegave
methisphrasetoinvestigate.
IhadcertainlybelievedIwasonthestraightpath
toperfectpeace,andthatIhadleftmylovewithallits
passionateemotionsfarbehindme.Thatincomparable
Masterofthehumanheart,however,hadseenthatmy
lovewasnotbyanymeansovercomethatonthe
contrary,havingbeenoverawedbythemightyinfluence
ofthenewlifeIwasleading,ithadsimplywithdrawninto
theinnermostrecessesofmyheart,theretobideitstime.
Andhisdesire,indirectingmyattentiontoit,wasthatI
shouldinduceittocomeforthfromitslurkingplaceand
soovercomeit.Anditcertainlydidcomeforth,andwith
suchpowerthatIfoundmyselfatonceinthemidstof
severe,distractingconflictsofheartandbecameawarethat
minewouldbenoeasyvictory.
Itistruethattheastonishinginformationthatmy
lovedonehadnotbeenkilled,andinallprobabilitystill
breathedtheairofthisearthwithme,wasnowmorethan
halfayearold.Butwhenthatknowledgerosesosud
330
denlywithinme,owingtotheapparitionontheterrace,it
wasatonceinundatedbythestormywavesoffeelingit
hadstirredupandallbutwentdowninitsownvortex.
Passionatehate,longingsforrevengeandmalignant
broodingssucceededoneanotherinaveritabledevils
dance.ThencamethetransformationofAngulimla,the
overwhelmingimpressionmadeuponmebytheBuddha,
thenewlife,andthedawnofanotherandutterlyunsus
pectedworldwhoseelementswerebornoftheapparent
destructionofalltheelementsoftheold.Now,however,
thefirstimpetuousonrushofthenewfeelingwasover,
thegreatMasterofthissecretmagichaddisappearedfrom
myview,andIsattherealone,mygazedirectedonlove
onmylove.Againthatmarvellousrevelationrose
clearlybeforemeandaboundlesslongingforthedistant
lovedone,whostilldweltamongsttheliving,laidhold
uponmyheart:Butdidhereallyyetabideamongstthe
living?Anddidhelovemestill?
Thefearfulanxietyanduncertaintyofsuchques
tionsstimulatedmylongingyetfurtherand,being
subduedbymylove,Icouldmakenoprogresswithmy
contemplation.IthoughtonlyofLoveandneverreached
Suffering,theOriginofSufferingandtheCessationof
Suffering.
Theseevermorehopelesssoulstrugglesofmine
didnotremainhiddenfromtheothersistersandIheard,
ofcourse,howtheyspokeofme:SisterVsitth,formerly
thewifeoftheMinisterofState,whomeventhestern
Sriputraoftenpraisedforherquickandsureapprehen
sionofeventhemostdifficultpointsoftheTeaching,is
nowunabletomasterhersentence,anditissosimple.
Thatdiscouragedmeevenmore;shameand
despairlaidholduponmyheartandatlastIfeltIcould
bearthisstateofthingsnolonger.

331

332

~42~
THESICKNUN
ATTHISTIMEoneofthebhikkhuscameoverto
usonceaweekandexpoundedtheTeaching.

* * *

AftersometimeAngulimlasturncameIdid
notgointothemeetinghallonthisoccasionbutremained
lyinginmycell,andbeggedaneighbouringsistertosay
tohim:
VenerableSir,SisterVsitthliessickinherhut
andcannotappearintheassembly.Willyou,afterthe
meeting,gotoherandexpoundtheDharmaalso?AndI
shouldaddthatthispretextofsicknesswasnotentirely
untrue:theemotionaltormentswhichIhadbeenexperi
encinghadalsotakentheirtollonmybodyandIwas
regularlyfaintandfeverishduringtheseweeks.
So,afterhistalktothenuns,thegoodAngulimla
andacompanioncametomyhut,greetedmedeferen
tiallyandsatdownbymybed.
Youseehere,brother,Isaidthen,whatnoneof
uswoulddesiretoseealovesicknunandyou
yourselfarethecauseofmysickness,seeingthatitwas
youthatrobbedmeoftheobjectofmylove.True,you
havesincebroughtmetothisgreatphysicianwhoheals
alllifesills,butnowevenhismarvellouspowerscannot
helpme.Inhisgreatwisdomhehasrecognisedthisand
333

hasgivenmearemedytobringthefevertoacrisis,andso
togetridoftheinsidiousgermofdiseaseatpresentinmy
blood.
Asaresult,then,youseemeatthismomentwitha
feveroflongingragingwithin.SoIwishtoremindyouof
apromiseyouoncemadetomeonthatnight,Imean,
onwhichyousoughttoleadmeintocrime,theexecution
ofwhichwasonlyfrustratedbytheinterventionofthe
Master.
AtthattimeyoupromisedtogotoUjjenand
bringmecertainnewsofKmanta:whetherhestilllived,
andhowhewas.Whattherobberoncepromised,thatI
nowdemandfromthemonk.Formydesiretoknow
whetherKmantalives,andhowhelives,issuchan
overpoweringonethat,untilitisgratified,thereisno
roominmyheartforanyotherthought,anyotherfeeling,
anditisconsequentlyimpossibleformetotakeeventhe
smalleststepfurtherforwardonthis,ourwaytoenlighten
ment.Forthisreasonitbecomesyourdutytodothisfor
me,andtoquietmyfeelingsbybringingmesomedefinite
information.
AfterIhadspokenthus,Angulimlarose,andsaid:
Itwillbejustasyourequirefromme,SisterVsitth.
AshespokeIwasunsureifhissenseofdutywas
alsocolouredwithafeelingofcriticismformyself,andfor
myweaknessofspirit.However,hebowedlowand,
togetherwiththebhikkhuwhowashischaperone,heleft
myhutanddisappearedintothedarknessoftheforest.
Theyoungnunwhowasmynursecasthereyesto
thefloorandfannedmeslowlyIlaybackinsilence,
alonewithmythoughts,feelingthesweatofthenight
uponmyskin.

* * *
334
Angulimlawentstraighttohishuttogethisalms
bowlandinthatsamehourlefttheSimsapwood.People
generallybelievedthathehadsimplygoneonapilgrim
age,followingtheMaster.Ialoneknewthetruegoalof
hisjourney.
Thissteponcetaken,Ifeltmyselfgrowsomewhat
calmer,althoughhauntedbyadoubtastowhetherI
shouldnothavegivenhimsomegreetingormessagesfor
mybelovd.Butitseemedtomeunfittingandprofaneto
useamonkinsuchawayasagobetweenwhile,on
theotherhand,hecouldperfectlywellgotoadistantcity
andgiveanaccountofwhathehadseenthere.Itwould
alsobesomethingquiteotherIsaidtomyselfwith
secrethopeifhe,actingonhisownjudgementand
withoutbeingcommissionedtodoso,shoulddecideto
speakofmetomylovedone.
IwillmyselfgotoUjjenandbringhimheresafe
andsoundthesewordsresoundedeverinmyinner
mostheart.Wouldthemonkbelikely,thentoredeemthe
promiseoftherobber?Whynot,ifhehimselfwerecon
vincedthatitwasnecessaryforbothofustoseeandto
speakwithoneanother?
Andwiththatcameanewthoughtfromwhich
streamedanunexpectedrayofhopethatatfirstdazzled
andthenbewilderedme:Ifmybelovdshouldreturn,
whatwasthentohindermyleavingtheOrderandbecom
inghiswife?
Whenthisquestionaroseinmymindburning
blushescoveredmyface,whichIinvoluntarilyhidinmy
handsfromfearthatsomeonemightjustatthatmoment
beobservingmeandknowmythoughts.Whatahateful
misinterpretationsuchacourseofactionwouldbeex
posedto!WoulditnotlookasthoughIhadregardedthe
OrderoftheBuddhasimplyasabridgeoverwhichto
passfromalovelessmarriagetooneofromantic
335
fulfilment?Myactionwouldcertainlybeconstruedthus
bymany.But,whenallwassaidanddone,whatcould
thejudgementofothersmattertome?Andhowmuch
bettertobeadevotedlaysisterwhostoodloyallybythe
Sangha,thanasisteroftheOrderwhoseheartlingered
elsewhere.Yes,evenifAngulimlaonlybroughtmethe
informationthatmyKmantawasstillalive,andIcould
gatherfromtheaccountoftheirmeetingthatmyloved
onewasstilltruetomeinthefaithfulnessofhisheart,
thenIwouldbeabletomakethejourneytoUjjen
myself.AndIpicturedhowIwouldonemorning,with
myshavenheadandmyrobes,standatthedoorofyour
househowyouwouldfillmyalmsbowlwithyour
ownhandsandinsodoingwouldrecognisemeand
thenalltheindescribablejoyofhavingfoundone
anotheragain.
Tobesure,itwasalongjourneytoUjjen,andit
wasnotseemlyforanuntotravelalone.ButIdidnot
needtoseeklongforacompanion.Justatthistime
Somadattacametoasadend.
Hispassionforthefataldicehadgraduallyenslaved
himand,aftergamblingawayallhiswealth,hehad
drownedhimselfintheGang.Medin,deeplydistressed
byherloss,nowenteredtheSanghatoo.Itwasperhaps
notsomuchthereligiouslifeitselfthatdrewherirresist
iblytothissacredgrove,astheneedshefelttobealways
inmyneighbourhood;forherchildlikeheartclungwith
touchingfidelitytome.AndsoIdidnotdoubtthatwhenI
revealedmypurposetoher,shewouldgowithmeto
Ujjenyes,ifneedbe,totheendoftheworld.Already
hercompanywashelpinginmanywaystorousemy
spirits;andI,byofferingcomfortingwords,softenedher
genuinegriefforthelossofherhusband.
AsthetimeapproachedwhenAngulimlasreturn
mightbeexpected,Iwenteveryafternoontothesouth
336
westedgeofthewoodandsatdownunderabeautiful
treeonsomerisingground,fromwhichIcouldfollowtoa
greatdistancewithmyeyetheroadhewouldbeobliged
totake.Iimaginedhewouldreachthegoalofhisjourney
towardsevening.
Ikeptwatchthereforsomedaysinvain,butwas
quitepreparedtowaitforawholemonth.Ontheeighth
day,however,whenthesunwasalreadysolowthatIhad
toshademyeyeswithmyhand,Ibecameawareofaform
inthedistanceapproachingthewood.
Ipresentlysawthegleamofagoldenrobeand,as
thefigurepassedawoodcuttergoinghomeward,itwas
easytoseethatitbelongedtoamanofunusualstature.It
wasindeedAngulimlaalone.MyKmantahehadnot
broughtwithhimsafeandsound;butwhatdidthat
matter?Ifhecouldonlygivemetheassurancethatmy
lovedonewasstillalive,thenIwouldmyselffindtheway
tohim.
Wemetinthecourtyardnearthegatewaytothe
bhikkhunssection;othersisterswerepassingtoandfro
andIwasembarrassedthattheymightdivinethereason
forourmeeting.
MyheartbeatviolentlywhenAngulimlafinally
stoodbeforemeandgreetedmewithcourteousgrace.
Kmantalivesinhisnativetowningreatopu
lence,hesaid;Ihavemyselfseenandspokentohim.
Andherelatedhowhehadonemorningarrivedat
yourhouse,whichwasaveritablepalace;howyourwives
hadgrosslyabusedhimandhowyouyourselfthencame
outanddrovethembackinside,speakingtohimin
friendlyandapologeticwords.
Afterhehadrelatedeverythingexactlyjustas
youknowithebowedbeforeme,threwhisrobeagain
abouthisshouldersandturnedround,asthoughhe
intendedtoproceedinthedirectionhehadcomefrom
337
insteadofgoingintothemonkspartoftheforest.Much
astonished,Iaskedwhetherhewerenotgoingtogoto
thegreathall.
Ihavenowfaithfullycarriedoutyourrequest,
Sister,andthereisnolongeranythingtopreventmy
makingmywaytotheeast,inthetracksoftheMaster
towardsBenaresandRjagahawhereIhopetofindhim.
Evenashespoke,thispowerfulmanstartedoff
withhislongeasystridesalongtheedgeofthewood,
withoutgrantinghimselfeventhesmallestrest.
Igazedafterhimlong,andsawhowthesetting
sunthrewhisshadowfarinfronttothecrestofthehillon
thehorizonyes,toallappearancesevenfarther,as
thoughhislongingoutranhiminitsvehemence,whileI
remainedbehindlikeoneparalysed,withoutagoalformy
longingtowhichIcouldsendevenoneprecioushope.
Myheartwasdead,mydreamdispelled.
ThesoberingasceticutteranceAcrowded,
dustycornerisdomesticlifeechoedagainandagain
throughmydesolateheart.OnthatsplendidTerraceofthe
Sorrowless,undertheopen,starfilledandmoonlit
heaven,mylovehadhaditshome.
HowcouldI,fool,everhavethoughttosendit
beggingtothatsluttishdomesticityinUjjentobewife
andproblemnumberthreeinthatalreadytormented
houseandinorderthatquarrelsomewomenmight
attackitwiththeirinvective?
Icrawledbacktomyhutwithdifficulty,tostretch
myselfonasickbedagain.Thissuddenannihilationof
myfeverishlyexcitedhopeswastoomuchformypowers
ofresistance,alreadyweakenedbymonthsofinnerstrife.
Withmatchlessselfsacrifice,Medinnownursedmeday
andnight.Butassoonasmyspirit,buoyedupbyher
tendercare,wasabletoraiseitselfabovethepainand
inflammationofthefever,theplansIhadformedformy
338
journeydevelopedinanotherdirection.
Iwantedtomakemypilgrimage:nottotheplace
whereIhadsentAngulimla,however,buttotheplace
wherehenowjourneyed.Iwouldfollowinthefootsteps
oftheMasteruntilIovertookhim.WasInotdonewithmy
sentence?HadInotlearnedinthedeepestsensethat
whenlovecomes,sufferingalsocomes?
AndsoImight,Ithought,seektheBuddhaagain
andgainnewlifefromthepoweroftheHolyOnein
ordertobeabletopressfartherforwardtothehighest
goal.
IconfidedmyintentiontothegoodMedin,whoat
onceadoptedtheunexpectedsuggestionwithwildenthu
siasmandpainted,inherchildishfantasy,howsplendidit
wouldbetoroamthroughexquisiteregions,freeasthe
birdsoftheairwhenthemigratoryseasoncallsthemto
otherandfardistantskies.
Ofcourse,forthefirstthing,wewereobligedto
waitpatientlyuntilIhadregainedsufficientstrength.And,
justasthatwasaccomplishedtosomeextent,therainy
seasonbeganandimposedforourpatienceastilllonger
trial.
InhislastdiscoursetheMasterhadspokenthus:
Justaswheninthelastmonthoftherainyseason,at
harvest,thesun,afterdispersingandbanishingthewater
ladenclouds,goesupintotheskyandbyitsradiance
frightensallthemistsawayfromtheatmosphereand
blazesandshines,soalso,disciples,doesthismodeoflife
shineforth,itbringsgoodinthepresentaswellasinthe
future;itblazesandshines,andbyitsradianceitfrightens
awaythefussingofcommonsamanasandbrahmins.
AndwhenMotherNaturehadmadethispicturea
realityroundaboutus,welefttheKrishnagroveatthe
gatesofKosamband,turningourstepseastward,hurried
towardsthatsunofalltheliving.
339

340

~43~
THEPASSINGOFTHETATHGATA
MYLACKOFSTRENGTHdidnotallowusto
undertakelongdailyjourneysandmadeitnecessary
sometimestotakeadayforrest,soittookusawhole
monthtoreachVesli.WeknewthattheMasterhad
madealengthystaythere,buthehadbeengonenow
foraboutsixweeks.

* * *

Wehadlearnedashorttimebefore,inavillagein
whichlivedmanyfaithfulfollowersoftheBlessdOne,
thattheVenerablesSriputraandMoggallnahadpassed
away.Thethoughtmovedmedeeplythatthesetwogreat
disciplestheGeneralsoftheDharmaaswenamed
themnolongerdweltonearth.Ofcourseweallknew
wellthatthesegreatones,aseventheBuddhahimself,
weremerelyhumanbeingsjustaswe,buttheideathat
theycouldleaveushadneverbeenallowedtoariseinour
minds.Sriputra,whohadsoofteninhisdeliberateway
solveddifficultquestionsforme,hadpassedaway.He
wasthedisciplemostliketheMasterinwisdom,andhe
stood,asdidtheMaster,inhiseightiethyear.Wasit
possiblethateventheBuddhahimselfcouldbeapproach
ingtheendofhislifeonearth?
Perhapstheuneasinesswhichwascausedbythis
fearfannedsomesmoulderingremnantofmypastfever

341
againintoablaze.Bethatasitmay,IarrivedinVeslisick
andexhausted.Inthetowntherelivedarichwoman,a
followeroftheBuddha,whomadeitherspecialcareto
ministerineverypossiblewaytotheneedsofthemonks
andnunspassingthrough.Whenshelearnedthatasick
nunhadarrivedsheatoncesoughtmeout,brought
Medinandmyselftoherhouse,andtendedmetherewith
greatcare.
Movedbyherkindness,Isoongaveexpressionto
thefearthatwastroublingme,andaskedwhethershe
thoughtitpossiblethattheMaster,whowasofthesame
ageasSriputra,wouldalsosoonleaveus.
Atthatsheburstintoafloodoftearsand,ina
voicebrokenbysobs,exclaimed:
Thenyoudontknowyet?Here,inVesli
abouttwomonthsagotheMasterhimselfforetoldthat
hewouldenterFinalNirvnainthreemonthstime.And
justtothink!Ifonlynandahadpossessedunderstanding
enoughandhadspokenattherightmoment,itwould
neverhavetakenplaceandtheBuddhawouldhavelived
ontotheendoftheon!
Iaskedwhatthegoodnandahadhadtodowith
it,andinwhatwayhehaddeservedsuchblame.
Inthisway,answeredthewoman,onedaythe
Masterwentwithnandaoutsideofthetown,tomeditate
intheneighbourhoodoftheCplatemple.Inthecourse
oftheirconversationtheMastertoldnandathatwhoso
everhaddevelopedthespiritualpowerswithinhimselfto
perfectioncould,ifhesodesired,remainalivethrougha
wholeon.Oh,thatsimpletonnanda,thathedidntat
once,evenwiththisplainhint,sayPleaseLord,remain
alivethroughoutthisonfortheblessing,thewelfare
andthehappinessofthemanyfolk!Hisheartmusthave
beenpossessedbyMra,theEvilOne,seeingthatheonly
profferedhisrequestwhenitwastoolate.
342
Buthowcoulditbetoolate,Iasked,seeingthat
theMasterisstillalive?
Fortyfiveyearsago,whentheMasterhadawakened
toBuddhahoodinUruvel,andwasenjoyingthepossession
ofasacredcalmofspiritafterhissixyearsoffruitless
asceticpractices,hesatinmeditationundertheNigrodha
treeofthegoatherds,andthereMra,theEvilOne,drew
neartohim,verymuchdisturbedonaccountofthedanger
thatthreatenedhiskingdominthepersonofthe
Buddha.
Inthehopeofhinderingthespreadofthe
Dharma,hesaid:Lord!ThetimehascomefortheBlessd
OnetoenterintoFinalNirvna.ButtheBuddhaanswered
EvilOne,IwillnotenterFinalNirvnauntilIhave
monks,nunsandlaydiscipleswhoareaccomplished,
trained,skilled,learned,knowersoftheDharma,correctly
trainedandwalkinginthepathoftheDharma,whowill
passonwhattheyhavelearnedfromtheirTeacher,teach
it,declareit,establishit,expoundit,analyseitandmakeit
clear;untiltheyshallbeablebymeansoftheDharmato
refutefalseteachingsthathavearisen,andteachthe
Dharmaofwondrouseffect.IshallonlyenterintoFinal
Nirvna,EvilOne,whentheKingdomofTruthstandson
firmfoundations:whenthisholylifehasbeensuccessfully
establishedandflourishes,iswidespread,wellknownfar
andwide,andwellproclaimedamongsthumanityevery
where.
ButaftertheMasterhadspokenthustonanda
and,withouthiscomprehendingthehint,hehadgone
awaythenMra,theEvilOne,approachedtheMaster
andsaidtohimLord!Thetimehasatlastcomeforthe
MastertoenterintoFinalNirvna.AllthattheMaster
formerlyspokeofundertheNigrodhatreeofthegoat
herdsatUruvel,asnecessaryforhisenteringFinal
Nirvna,hasnowbeenfulfilled.TheKingdomofTruth
343
restsonsurefoundations.ItrustthattheMasterwillnow
enterintoFinalNirvna.ThentheBuddhaanswered
Mra,theEvilOne,thus:Fearnot,EvilOne.The
Tathgatasfinalpassingwillsoontakeplace.Three
monthsfromnowtheTathgatawillenterintoFinal
Nirvna.Atthesewordsthererolledgreatpealsofthun
der,andtheearthtrembledandshookviolently,asyou
willprobablyhavenoticed.
Asamatteroffact,wehadfeltaslightearthquake
inKosambaboutamonthbeforeIleftthesacredgrove,
andthisInowtoldher.
Yousee!exclaimedthewomanexcitedly,ithas
beenfelteverywhere.Thewholeearthshookandthe
drumsofthegodsemittedgroansastheBlessdOne
waivedhisclaimtolongerlife.Ah!ifthatsimpleminded
nandahadonlyunderstoodthehintsoplainlygivento
him!Forwhen,wakenedbytheearthquakefromhisself
absorption,hecamebacktotheMasterandbeggedthat
hewouldconsenttoremainalivefortherestofthison,
theMasterhadofcoursealreadygivenhiswordtoMra
andhadrenouncedhisclaimtolongerlife.
Icouldnolongerbeartoremainpatientlyunder
herhospitableroofasIrealisedIhadtoreachtheBuddha
beforeheshouldleaveus.Ithadalwaysbeenourone
greatcomfort:thatwewereabletoturntohim,theinex
haustibleSourceofTruth.Healonecouldsolveallthe
doubtsofmytroubledheart;onlyhe,ofalltheworld,was
abletorestoretomethepeacewhichIhadoncetasted.
So,whentendayshadpassedandmystrength
madetravellingpossibletosomeextent,westartedout.
Mygoodhostessconsciencetroubledherforallowingme
togofartherinmyweakcondition,soIcomfortedher
withthepromisethatIwouldlayagreetingfromherat
thefeetoftheMaster.
Wenowcontinuedourjourneyinanorthwesterly
344
direction,intheMastersfootsteps,whichwefoundthe
morerecentthefartherwewereabletoadvance,aidedby
theinformationgatheredfromplacetoplace.
InAmbagmaitwassaidthathebeentherejust
eightdaysearlier.
IntheSlagroveofBhoganagaraweheardthathe
hadlefttogotoPv,amerethreedaysbeforewearrived
there.
Intheheatoflatemorning,andverytired,we
reachedthelatterplace.
Thefirsthousethatattractedourattentionbelonged
toacoppersmith,ascouldbeseenfromthegreat
varietyofmetalwaresrangedalongthewall.Butnoblow
ofahammerresoundedfromit;theoccupantsseemedto
behavingaholidayandatthewellinthecourtyarddishes
andplatterswerebeingwashedbytheservantsasthough
amarriagehadjusttakenplace.
Suddenlyalittlemaninfestivegarbcameforward
andbeggedcourteouslytobeallowedtofillouralmsbowls.
Ifyouhadcomeafewhoursearlier,headded,
thenIshouldhavehadtwoadditionalwelcomeand
honouredguests,foryourMaster,theBuddha,withhis
monks,dinedwithmetoday.
SotheMasterisstillhereinPv,then?
Notanylonger,mosthonouredsister,answered
thecoppersmith.ImmediatelyafterthemealtheBlessd
Onewastakenwithaviolentillnessandseverepains,
whichbroughthimneartofainting,sothatwewereall
greatlyfrightened.Butheralliedfromtheattackand
startedforKusinraboutanhourago.
Iwouldhavepreferredtogoatonce,forwhatthe
smithsaidaboutthisattackcausedmetoanticipatethe
worst.Butitwasanecessitytostrengthenourselvesnot
onlywithfood,butbyashortintervalofrestaswell.

345
* * *

TheroadfromPvtoKusinrwasnotpossible
tomiss.Itsoonledusawayfromthecultivatedfields,
throughtigergrassandundergrowth,everdeeperintothe
jungle.Wewadedthroughalittleriverandrefreshed
ourselvessomewhatbybathing.Afterafewminutes
pausewestartedonagain.Eveningwasapproaching,
however,anditwaswithdifficultythatImanagedtodrag
myselffarther.
Medintriedtopersuademetospendthenighton
alittlebitofrisinggroundunderatree:Therewasno
suchgreathurry.
ThisKusinris,Iexpect,notmuchmorethana
village,andseemstobequiteburiedinthejungle.How
couldyouimaginethattheMasterwoulddiehere?Surely
hewillpassawaysometimehenceintheJetavanaat
Svatthi,orineitheroneofthegreatmonasteriesat
Rjagaha;butthelifeoftheMasterwillcertainlynotgo
outinthiswilderness.WhohaseverheardofKusinr?
ItmaybethatpeoplewillhearofKusinrfrom
thisdayforward,Isaid,andwenton.
Butmystrengthwassoonsoterriblyexhausted
thatIwasforcedtobringmyselftoclimbthenearesttree
lessheightinthehopeofbeingabletoseetheneighbour
hoodofKusinrfromit.Ifwecouldntfindthevillagewe
wouldbeobligedtospendthenightupthere,wherewe
wouldbelessexposedtotheattacksofbeastsofpreyand
snakes,andwouldalsobe,toacertainextent,immune
fromsuchfeverproducingvapoursasseemtolurkinthe
lowerreachesofthewildwood.
Arrivingatthesummitwelookedinvainforsome
signofhumandwellings.Inseeminglyendlesssuccession
theslopesofthejunglerosebeforeus,likeacarpetthatis
graduallybeingdrawnupward.Soon,however,talltrees
346
emergedfromthelowundergrowthastheswathesofmist
dissolvedthethickleafymassesofavirginforestrose
domelikeoneaboveanother,andinadarkgladefoamed
anunrulybrook,thesamestreaminwhosesilentlyflowing
waterswehadbathedashorttimebefore.
Thewholedaythrough,theairhadbeensultry
andtheskyovercast.Here,however,weweremetbya
freshbreezeandthelandscapegrewevercleareras
thoughoneveilafteranotherwerebeingliftedbeforeour
eyes.
Hugewallsofrocktoweredskywardabovethe
woods;andhigheryet,likearoofabovethemwerepiled
greenmountaintopsforestcladpeakstheymusthave
been,thoughtheylookedlikesomanymossycushions
andeverhigher,untiltheyseemedtodisappearintothe
heavensthemselves.
Onesolitaryfarstretchingcloudofsoftredhue
one,andoneonlyfloatedabove.
Evenaswegazedatitthiscloudbegantoglow
strangely.ItremindedmeofthepastwhenIhadseenmy
fathertakeapieceofpurifiedgoldoutofthefurnacewith
pincersand,aftercooling,layitonabackgroundoflight
bluesilk,forsodidthisluminousairpicturenowshine
forthinsharplydefinedsurfacesofburnishedgold.In
between,vaporousstripsofbrightgreendeepenedand
shotdownwardinfanshapedpatchesuntil,becoming
graduallypaler,theyplungedintothecolourlessstratum
ofairbeneath,asthoughdesirousofreachingtheverdure
cladmountaintopsthatlaybelow.Everreddergrewthe
goldensurfaces,evergreenertheshadows.
Thatwasnocloud.
TheHimalaya,whisperedMedin,overawedand
deeplymovedasherhandtremblinglysoughtmyarm.
Yes,thereitrosebeforeus:themountainofmoun
tains,theplaceofeternalsnows,theabodeofthegods,
347
therestingplaceoftheholyones!TheHimalayaeven
inchildhoodthisnamehadfilledmewithfeelingsofdeep
fearandreverence,withamysteriousprescienceofthe
SublimeOne.
HowoftenhadIheardinlegendsandtalesthe
sentenceAndhebetookhimselftotheHimalayaand
livedthelifeofanasceticthere.Thousandsuponthou
sandshadclimbedthoseheightsseekersafterliber
ationinordertoreacheternalhappinessamidthe
lonelinessofthemountainsbymeansofprofoundauster
itieseachwiththeirownspecialdelusion;andnowHe
wasapproachingtheOneBeingamongthemfreefrom
alldelusionsHewhosefootstepswewerefollowing
now.
AsIstoodthere,lostinthought,theluminous
picturewassuddenlyextinguished,asthoughheavenhad
finallyabsorbeditintoitself.Ifeltmyself,however,so
wonderfullyanimatedandstrengthenedbythesightthatI
nolongerthoughtofrest.

* * *

EveniftheMaster,IsaidtoMedin,weretogo
toyondersummitinordertopassfromthatpeakintothe
highestoftheregionsabove,Iwouldstillfollowand
reachhim.
And,fullofcourage,Iwalkedon.Wehadnot,
however,beenhalfanhouronthewaywhensuddenly
theundergrowthceasedandcultivatedlandlaybeforeus.
Itwasalreadyquitedarkandthefullmoonroselargeand
glowingabovethewoodwhichlayoppositewhenatlast
wereachedKusinr.
Itwasindeednotmuchmorethanasmallvillage
oftheMallpeoplewithwallsandhousesbuiltofwattle
anddaub.Myfirstimpressionwasthatadevastating
348
sicknessmusthavedepopulatedthelittletownship.Atthe
doorsofseveralhousestheresatanumberofoldandsick
people,whoalllookedverysadandsomeofwhom
wailedloudly.
Weaskedthemwhathadhappened.
Soon,alltoosoon,theMasterdies,theyex
claimed,wringingtheirhands.Thisveryhour,thelightof
theworldwillbeextinguished.TheMallshaveallgone
totheSlagrovetoseeandworshiptheSublimeOne.
For,shortlybeforesunset,theVenerablenandacame
intoourtownandwenttothemarketwheretheMalls
werehavingacouncilmeetingandsaidThisveryday,
peopleofMall,beforethehourofmidnighttheBlessd
OnewillenterFinalNirvna.Seethatyoudonotlater
havetoreproachyourselves,sayingInourtowna
Buddhapassedawayandwedidnottakeadvantageof
theopportunitytoseehiminhislasthours.Uponwhich
alloftheMalls,husbands,wivesandchildren,wentout
totheSlagrove.Manyoftheagdandweakwerecarried
byfriendsandfamilybuttherewerenotenoughpeopleto
helpusall,thereforeweareobligedtoremainbehind
hereandcannotpayrespectstotheMasterinhisfinal
hours.
Weimmediatelyhadthewayfromthetowntothe
Slagrovepointedouttousbut,findingitalreadyfilled
withcrowdsofreturningpeople,wepreferredtohurry
acrossthefields,towardsacornerofthelittlewood.
Aswereacheditwesawamonkleaningagainst
thedoorpostofasmalllodging,weepingandlamenting.
Deeplyaffected,Istoppedandatthatinstantheraisedhis
facetowardsthesky.Thelightofthefullmoonfellupon
hispainfilledlineaments,andIrecognisedthenoble
nanda.
ThenIhavearrivedtoolateohno!Isaidto
myself,andfeltmystrengthleavingme.
349
Justthen,however,Iheardrustlinginthebushes,
andsawatallmonkstepforwardandlayhishandupon
nandasshoulder.
Brothernanda,theMastercallsforyou.
SoIreallywastoseetheBuddhainhislastmoments
afterall!Atoncemystrengthreturnedandrendered
mecapableoffollowing.
ThatinstantAngulimlaobservedandrecognised
us.Readinghistroubledglance,Isaid:Havenofear,
brother,thatweshalldisturbthelastmomentsofthe
Tathgatabyloudweepingandemotionfilledcries.We
havetakennorestonthewayfromVeslitohereinorder
thatwemightseetheMasteronceagain.Donotrefuseus
admissiontohim;wewillbestrong.
Uponthishesignedtoustofollowthem.
Wedidnothavefartogo.Inalittlegladeofthe
foresttherewereperhapstwohundredmonkscollected,
sittingsilentlyinsemicircles.IntheirmidstrosetwoSla
treesonesplendidmassofwhiteblossoms,eventhough
itwasnottheirfloweringseasonandbeneaththem,
onabedofgoldenrobesspreadoutbetweenthetwotrunks,
theTathgatarestedonhisrightsideinthelionsposture,
hisheadsupportedonhisrightarm.Andtheblossoms
rainedsoftlydownuponhim.
BehindhimIsawinspiritthepinnaclesofthe
Himalayarise,cladintheireternalsnows,illuminatedby
thebrightmoonandyetveiledinthedarknessofnight,
andIseemedtocatchagainthedreamlikeglimpseIhad
justenjoyed,andtowhichIoweditthatInowstoodhere
inthepresenceoftheBlessdOne.Andtheunearthly
glowwhichhadcometomewithsuchagreetingacross
thedistancesflashedtowardsmeagain,inspiritualglorifi
cation,fromHisface.Justthesameasthosefloating
cloudlikepeaks,theMasteralsoappearednottobelong
tothisearthatall;andyethehad,likethem,climbedup
350
fromthissameearthleveltothoseimmeasurablespiritual
heightswhencehewasabouttodisappearfromthesight
ofgodsandhumans.
Hespokefirstofalltonanda,whonowstood
beforehim:
Iknowwell,nanda,thatyouwereweepingin
lonelygriefandthatyourthoughtwasIamnotyet
freefromdelusion;IhavenotyetreachedtheGoal,and
theMasterisabouttoenterintoFinalNirvnahewho
hashadsuchkindnessforme.Putsuchthoughtsfrom
yourself,nandaneithercomplain,norlament.HaveI
nottoldyoualready,nanda,thatallthingsthatare
pleasantanddelightfularechangeable,subjecttosepara
tionandbecomingother?Howisitpossible,nanda
sincewhateverisborn,become,andcompoundedis
subjecttodecayhowcoulditbethatitshouldnotpass
away?Foralongtime,nanda,youhavebeeninthe
Tathgataspresence,showinglovingkindnessinbody,
speechandmind,withyourwholeheart,gladly,blessdly
andwithoutguile.Youhavedonewell,nanda,makethe
effort,andinashorttimeyouwillbefreefromdesire,
fromselfishnessandfromdelusion.
Asiftoshowthathewasnolongerallowinggrief
toovercomehim,nanda,commandinghisvoicebysheer
forceofwill,nowaskedwhatthedisciplesweretodo
withtheMastersmortalremains.
Dontletthattroubleyou,nanda,answeredthe
Buddha.Therearewiseandfaithfuldisciplesamongthe
warriornobles,amongthebrahminsandamongtheheads
offamiliestheywillpaythelasthonourstothemortal
remainsoftheTathgata.Youhavemoreimportantthings
todo;thinkoftheImmortal,notofthemortal;speed
forwards,dontlookback.
Andashelethisglancewanderaroundthecircle
andhelookedateachoneindividually,headded:
351
Itmaybe,disciples,thatyourthoughtisThe
worldhaslostitsMaster;wenolongerhaveaMaster.But
youarenottothinkthis.TheDharmaandDiscipline
whichIhavetaughtyou,thatwillbeyourMasterwhenI
amgone.Thereforeclingtonoexternalsupport.Holdfast
totheDharmaasyourisland,yoursupport.Beyourown
light,beyourownisland.

* * *

HealsonoticedmethenandthelooktheAll
CompassionateOneresteduponmewastenderandfull
ofkindness,andIfeltmypilgrimagehadnotbeeninvain.
Afterashorttimehespokeagain:Itmightper
hapsbe,disciples,thatinsomeoneofyouadoubtarises
withregardstotheBuddha,theDharma,theSangha,or
aboutthepathorthepractice.Askfreely,disciples!Donot
afterwardsfeelremorse,thinkingTheTeacherwas
withus,facetoface,andwedidnotaskhim.
Thushespoke,andgavetoeveryonetheoppor
tunityofspeaking,butallremainedsilent.
How,indeed,couldadoubthaveremainedinthe
presenceofthedepartingMaster?Lyingthere,withthe
gentlelightofthefullmoonflowingoverhimas
thoughthedevasofheavenwerebestowingonhimafinal
benediction;raineduponbythefallingblossomsas
thoughtheywerethetearsofMotherEarthherself,be
wailingthelossofhermostpreciouschild;inthemidstof
therangeofdeepfeelingsofhisbandofdisciples,himself
unmoved,quiet,cheerful;whodidnotfeelthatthisHoly
Onehadforevercastoffalllimitations,hadovercomeall
delusion?
Weclearlysawbeforeustheserenityofwhatis
calledTheVisibleNirvna,intheradiantfeaturesofthe
departingBuddha.
352
nanda,stirredtotheverydepthsofhisbeing,
raisedhishandswithpalmstogether,andsaid:Howtruly
wonderfulitis,Master,thatinthisassembly,thereisnot
evenasingleoneinwhomadoubtexists.
AndtheSublimeOneansweredhim:Youhave
spokenoutofthefullnessofyourfaith,nanda.ButI
knowindeedthatthereisnotasingledoubtinanyone
here.Eventhemostbackwardinthisassemblyhasen
teredthestreamofenlightenmentandwillcertainlyreach
thefinalGoal.
Asheutteredthisaffirmation,itassuredlyseemed
toeachoneofusasthoughtheGatewaytotheTimeless
wereopeninginexorablybeforeus.
Onceagainthelipspartedthathadgiventothe
worldthehighestthefinalTruth.
Now,disciples,Ideclaretoyou:
Vayadhammsankhr,
Appamdenasampdetha
Allcreatedthingsareofthenaturetopassaway
mindfullyfareonwardstotheGoal.
ThesewerethelastwordsoftheMaster.
353

354

~44~
VSITTHSBEQUEST
ANDTHEYWEREthelastIheardonearth.

* * *

Mylifeforcewasexhausted;feverheldmysenses
inathrall.LikefleetingdreampicturesIstillsawthe
figuresroundaboutmeMedinsfaceoftennearto
mine.Theneverythingbecamedark.
Suddenly,itseemedasifacoolbathwereextin
guishingmyburningfever.Ifeltasatravellerstandingon
thebrinkofapondintheblazingsunmaywellimagine
thelotusfeelswhen,whollysubmergedinthecoolwater
ofthespring,itimbibesarefreshingdraughtthrough
everyfibre.Atthesametimeitbecamelightoverhead,and
Isawthereabovemeagreatfloatingredlotusflowerand
overitsedgebentyourbelovdface.ThenIascended
withouteffortandawokebesideyouintheParadiseofthe
West.
Andblessingsonyou,saidKmanta,that,ledby
yourlove,youfollowedthatpath.WherewouldIbenow
ifyouhadnotjoinedmethere?True,Idontknow
whetherweshallbeabletoescapefromtheterrible
wreckageoftheseruinedworldsnevertheless,you
inspiremewithconfidenceforyouseemtobeaslittle
disturbedbythesehorrorsasthesunbeambythestorm.
Onewhohasseenthegreater,myfriend,isnot
355
movedbytheless.Andthisthatthousandsuponthou
sandsofworldsshouldpassawayisoftriflingsignifi
cancecomparedwiththeenteringintoFinalNirvnaofa
PerfectBuddha.Forallthisthatweseearoundusisonlya
processofchange,andallthesebeingswillenteragain
intoexistence.YonderHundredthousandfoldBrahm
who,burningwithrage,resiststheinevitableandinall
probabilityregardsevenusenviouslybecausewequietly
continuetoshine,hewillreappearonsomelowerplane
whilesomeotheraspiringspiritwillariseastheGreat
Brahm.Allbeingswillappearwherethedeepestdesireof
theirheartsandthetidesoftheirkarmaguidesthem.Onthe
whole,however,everythingwillbeasitwasneither
betternorworsebecauseitwillbecreated,asitwere,
outofthesamematerial.ForthisreasonIcallthisavery
smallmatter.And,forthesamereason,Iconsideritnot
onlynotterrible,butactuallyamatterofrejoicingtolive
throughthiswreckingofworlds.ForifthisBrahmworld
wereeternal,therewouldbenothinghigher.
Thenyouknowofsomethinghigherthanthis
Brahmworld?
ThisBrahmworld,asyousee,passesaway.But
thereisthatwhichdoesnotpass,whichshallhavenoend
andwhichhashadnobeginning.Thereis,saidthe
Master,arealmwherethereisneitherearthnorwater,
neitherlightnorair,neitherinfinitudeofspacenorinfini
tudeofconsciousness,neitherperceptionnorthelackof
perception;wherethereisneitherthisworldnoranother
world,ormoonorsun;andthisIcallneitheracomingnor
agoing,norastaying,neitheradyingnorabirth;ithasno
basis,noevolutionandnosupport;itistheendofsuffer
ing,theplaceofrest,theislandofpeace,theinvisible
Nirvna.
Helpme,sweetandholyone,inorderthatwe
mayriseagaintogetherthere,inthelandofpeace!
356
Thatweshallriseagainthere,theMasterhas
said,cannottrulybesaidofthatrealm,andThatwe
shallnotriseagainthere,thatisalsonottrue.Anyappel
lationbywhichyoumakeanythingtangibleandcapable
ofbeinggrasped,isuntrueinthisrespect.
ButwhatisthevaluetomeofthatwhichIcannot
grasp?
Ratheraskisthatwhichcanbegrasped,worth
stretchingoutoneshandfor?
Oh,Vsitth,trulyIbelieveImusthavemurdered
abrahminatsometime,orcommittedsomehorriblecrime
thatpursuedmesocruellywithitsretributioninthatlittle
streetinRjagaha.ForifIhadnotbeensosuddenlythrust
outoflifethereIwouldhavesatattheMastersfeet,and
wouldalsoassuredlyhavebeenpresent,asyouwere,at
hisFinalNirvnaandnowIwouldbeasyouare.
Vsitthwhilethoughtandperceptionarestill
ours,pleasedojustonethingforloveofme:describethe
BlessdOnetomeexactly,sothatImayseehiminspirit
andtherebymaybeobtainwhatwasnotpossibleforme
onearth.Thatwillsurelybringmesomepeace.
Gladly,myfriend,sheanswered.Andshede
scribedtohimtheappearanceoftheBuddha,featureby
feature,notforgettingeventhesmallestdetail.
Butinatoneofdeepdiscontentment,Kmanta
said:Whatusearedescriptions!Allofwhatyousaynow
couldjustaswellhavebeensaidofthatoldascetic,the
oneItoldyouthatIspentthenightwithinthehallofthe
potterinRjagaha,andwhoInowrealisewasnotquiteso
foolishasIhadbelieved,forheindeedsaidmuchthat
wastrue.
Wellthen,Vsitth,donttellmeanythingmore,
butvisualisetheTathgatauntilyouseehimaswhenyou
sawhimfacetoface,anditmaybethatinconsequenceof
ourspiritualfellowshipIshallthenshareyourvision.
357
Gladly,myfriend.
AndVsitthrecalledtheimageoftheMasterashe
wasabouttoenterintoFinalNirvna.
Doyouseehim,dearfriend?
Notyet,Vsitth.
Imustmakethismindpicturemoretangible,
thoughtVsitth.
Andshelookedaroundherintheimmeasurable
spaceswheretheBrahmworldwasinprocessofbeing
extinguished.
Andjustaswhensomegreatmasterfounder,who
hascompletedthemouldofthegloriousimageofagod
andfindsthathehasntenoughmetaltofillit,looks
aroundinhisfoundryandthrowsallthatliesaroundhim
theretinyimagesofgods,figures,vases,andbowls,all
hispossessions,theworkofhislifegladlyandheartily
intothesmeltingfurnaceinorderthathemaybeableto
makeaperfectcastofthisonegloriousdivineimage,so
didVsitthlookaroundherselfinimmeasurablespace,
andallthattherewasleftoverofthepalinglightand
dissolvingformsofthisBrahmworldshedrewbyher
spiritualforcetoherself,therebyemptyingthewholeof
thecosmos.Shecastintothemouldofhermindpicture
thiswholemassofastralmatter,thuscreatingacolossal
andradiantimageoftheBuddha,justashewasaboutto
enterintoFinalNirvna.
Andwhenshesawthispictureoppositeherthere
aroseinhernolongingandnosadness.
EvenwhenthegreatandholyUpagupta,bythe
magicartofMra,theEvilOne,sawtheformofthe
BuddhalongaftertheBlessdOnehadpassedaway,
evenhewassofilledwithlongingthatheflunghimself
adoringatthefeetofthedeceptiveapparitionand,over
comebygrief,wailedDamnthispitilesstransiency
thatdissolvesevensuchgloriousforms.Forthatsplendid
358
bodyoftheGreatandHolyOnebowedtothelawof
changeandittoohasbecomeapreytodestruction.
ButnotsoVsitth.
Unmovedandselfpossessed,shelookeduponthe
likenessasanartistuponherwork,fullofbutonethought
torevealittoKmanta.
NowIbegintoseeafigure,saidthelatter.Hold
itfast,makeitshinemoreclearly.
WhereuponVsitthagainlookedaroundherselfin
space.Inthemidstofit,despitethefactthatthegreatentity
hadexpired,therestillremainedtheluridandangryglow
ofthegiantstaroftheHundredthousandfoldBrahm.
AndVsitthrentbyherspiritualforcethespent
astralbodyofthishighestdeityfromitsplaceandcastit
intothemouldoftheBuddhalikeness,whichwasimme
diatelyilluminatedandvivified,likeonewhohasenjoyed
aninvigoratingdraught.
NowIseeitmoredistinctly,saidKmanta.
Andallbecamestill.
ThenitseemedtoVsitthasthoughshehearda
clearandgoldenvoice,butshewasunsureastowhether
itemanatedfromtheimagebeforeherorfromthedepths
ofherinnermostheart.
Soyouarehere,Vsitth.Areyoufinishedwith
yoursentence?
Andasoneanswersinadream,sheresponded:I
amfinishedwithit.
Evenso,Vsitth.Andthelongwayhasnottired
you?DoyoustillneedthehelpoftheTathgata?
No,InolongerneedthehelpoftheTathgata.
Evenso,Vsitth.Youhavesoughtrefugein
yourself;anddoyourestinyourself,Vsitth?
Ihavelearnedtoknowmyself.Asoneunfurlsthe
sheafofleavesthatmakeupthetrunkofaplantainand
onefindsbeneathitnosoundwoodfromwhichanything
359
firmcanbemade,soIhavelearnedtoknowmyself:a
bodyandamindofchangingformsinwhichthereis
nothingeternal,nothingthatofferspermanence.Andso
thisselfofmineisgivenupThisisnotme,thisdoes
notbelongtome,thisisnotmyselfisthejudgementnow
passeduponthequestion.
Evenso,Vsitth.Sonowyouclingfirmlyonlyto
theDharma?
TheTeachinghasbroughtmetotheGoal.Asone
crossingastreambymeansofaraft,neitherclingstothe
raftwhenshehasreachedthefartherside,nordragsit
alongwithher,soInolongerclingtotheDharmabutlet
itgo.
Evenso,Vsitth.Thus,clingingtonothing,
attachedtonothing,youwillriseagaininthePlaceof
Peace.
Thatweshallriseagainthere,theTathgatahas
said,isnottrueofthatplace,andThatweshallnotrise
againthere,isalsonottrue.Andeventheteachingthat
Neitherisittruetosaythatweshallriseagainnoryetto
saythatweshallnotriseagaineventhisitselfisnot
perfectlytrue.Nothingistrueanylongerand,leastof
all,isnothingnesstrue.Thusthereisperfectunderstand
ingatlast.
Then,onthefaceoftheBuddhalikeness,there
appearedaglowing,scarceperceptiblesmile.
NowIamabletoseetheface,saidKmanta.
LikeareflectioninflowingwaterIrecogniseitvaguely.
Holditfaststeadyit,Vsitth.
Vsitthlookedaroundherinspace.
Spacewasempty.
ThenVsitthflungherowncorporealsubstance
intotheastralmassofthevision.
AsKmantaobservedthatVsitthhadsuddenly
disappeared,asearingwaveofgriefshookhimtothecore
360
ofhisbeing.Hisheartfrozehissensesbecamestupefied
andnumbbut,strangelyenough,soonthefeeling
passed.For,asonewhoisdyingleavesalegacy,sohad
VsitthlefttoKmantatheBuddhalikeness.Thisalone
remainedwithhiminallofspace,andnowheclearly
recognisedit...
ThatoldwandererwithwhomIspentthenightin
RjagahaandwhomIblamedforhisfoolishness,thatwas
theBlessdOne!OhfoolthatIwas!Wasthereevera
greateridiotthanI?!WhatIhavebeenlongingforasthe
highesthappiness,asfulfilmentitself,thatIhavealready
beeninpossessionofforbillionsandbillionsofyears.
ThenthevisionoftheBuddhadrewnearlikean
oncomingcloudandenvelopedhiminaradiantmist.
361

362

~45~
NIGHTANDMORNINGINTHESPHERES
ASINABANQUETHALL,whenallthetorchesand
lampsareextinguished,andonelittlelampisleft
burningbeforeasacredpictureinacorner,so
Kmantawasleftbehindalone,inuniversalnight.

* * *

Forjustashisbodywasenfoldedbytheastral
substanceofthatBuddhalikeness,sohisbeingwas
completelyabsorbedbytherecollectionoftheBuddhas
presence;andthatwastheoilwhichfedtheflameofthis
littlelamp.
Thewholeconversationhehadhadwiththe
MasterintheouterhallofthepottershouseinRjagaha
roseupbeforehimfrombeginningtoend,sentenceby
sentence,wordbyword.Butafterhehadgonequite
throughit,hebeganagainatthebeginning.Andevery
sentencewastohimlikeagatethatstoodattheheadof
thewaytonewavenuesofthoughtwhich,intheirturn,
ledtoothers.Andheexploredthemallwithmeasured
steps,andtherewasnothingwhichremaineddarktohim.
Andwhilehisspirit,insuchfashion,wovethe
recollectionoftheBuddhaintoitsownfabricuntilitslast
strandwasexhausted,hisbodyabsorbedevermoreofthe
astralmatterwhichsurroundedit,untilwhatremainedat
363
lastbecametransparent.Andthedarknessofuniversal
nightbegantoappearasadelicatebluethatbecameever
darker.

* * *

WhereuponKmantathought:Outtherereigns
thevastdarknessofuniversalnight.Butatimewillcome
whenmorningshalldawnandanewBrahmworldwill
comeintoexistence.Ifmythoughtsandactsweretobe
directedtowardsbecomingthenewHundredthousand
foldBrahm,whowouldcallthenewworldintoexist
ence,Idonotseewhocouldoutrivalme.Forwhileallthe
beingsofthisBrahmworldhavesunkintohelplessness
andnonexistence,Ialoneamhereatmypost,watchful,
andinfullpossessionofmyfaculties.Yes,ifIsowishedI
couldsummonallthosebeingsintolifeatthisinstantand
beginthenewuniversalday.ButonethingIcannotdo
IcanneveragaincallVsitthintobeing.
Vsitthhasgone.
Shehasgone,intothatpassingawaywhich
leavesnoseedofexistencebehind;neitherGodnorBrahm,
norMratheEvilOnecanfindher.Butwhatcanlifebetome
withoutVsitth,whowasitsfairestanditsbest?Andwhat
couldaBrahmexistencebetome,alifebeyondwhich
oneisabletopass?Andwhytroublewiththetemporal,
whenthereisanEternal?
ThereisanEternalandawaytotheEternal.
Anoldforestbrahminoncetaughtmethatround
abouttheheartarespunahundredfinearteries,bymeans
ofwhichtheconsciousnessisabletorangethroughoutthe
wholebody;butthereis,however,onlyonewhichleads
tothecrownoftheheadthatonebywhichthecon
sciousnessleavesthebody.Sotoothereareahundred,
yes,athousand,ahundredthousandwayswhichlead
364
365
hereandthereinthisworld,throughmanyscenesof
happinessandsuffering,bothwherethelifespanisoflong
andwhereitisofshortduration,whereallisbeautifuland
whereallismiserable,throughdivineandhumanworlds,
throughanimalkingdomsandunderworlds.Butthereis
onlyonewhichleadsabsolutelyoutofthisuniverse.That
isthewaytotheEternal,thewaytotheuntraversedland.
Iamnowonthatroad.Wellthen,Ishalltreadittoits
end.
Andhecontinuedtodwellonthethoughtofthe
Buddha,andofthewaywhichleadstotheEndofall
Suffering.
Andeverdarkerbecametheblueofthediapha
nousuniversalnight.

* * *

Butwhenitbegantogrowalmostblack,thenew
Brahmflashedintoexistence,theHundredthousandfold
Brahm,whoilluminesandpreservesahundredthousand
worlds.
AndtheBrahmsentforthajoyoussummonsto
awaken:
Sandhyas!Sandhyas!Sandhyas!
Wakeup,allyoubeings!Allyouwhohaverested
throughoutthewholeofcreationsnightinthelapof
nothingness!Here,tome!FormthenewBrahmuniverse;
enjoythenewworldday,eachoneinyourplace,each
oneaccordingtoyourstrength!
Andthebeingsandtheworldssprangforthfrom
thedarknessofthevoid,starbystar,andthejubilant
shoutsofahundredthousandvoicesandthesoundlike
ahundredthousanddrumsandconchhornsranginthe
answer:
Hail!TheHundredthousandfoldBrahmwho
366
callsustothenewuniverseandthenewday!Hailtous
whoarecalledtosharethenewdaywithHim,andto
reflectHisdivinegloryinbliss!
WhenKmantasawandheardallthishewas
filledwithdeepcompassion.
Thesebeingsandtheseworlds,thesestellargods,
andtheHundredthousandfoldBrahmhimselfshoutfor
joytowelcometheuniversaldayrejoicingintheirown
existence.Andwhy?Becausetheydonotunderstandit.
Andthiscompassionofhisfortheworld,forthe
gods,andfortheSupremeGod,vanquishedinKamanita
thelastremnantofhisconceitandselfconcern.
Buthenowconsidered:
Duringthisnewdayalso,perfectBuddhasare
certaintoappearwhowilldeclaretheUltimateTruth.And
whenthesedeitiesIseearoundmenow,hearaboutthe
possibilityoftheirliberationandrememberthatinthe
earliestdawnoftheuniversaldaytheysawabeingwho
wentaway,outoftheuniverse,thenthatmemorywillbe
totheiradvantage.TheywillsaytothemselvesAlready
onefromourmidstonewhowasapartofourselves
hasprecededusonthatroad,andthatwillaidtheir
enlightenment.SoIshallhelpallinhelpingmyself.Forin
truthnoonecanhelpthemselveswithouthelpingall.
Verysoon,someofthestellargodsbegantonotice
thattherewasoneamongstthemwhodidnotshineever
brighterliketheothers,butwho,onthecontrary,steadily
diminishedinbrilliance.

* * *

Andtheycalledtohim:
Ho,there,brother!TurnyourgazeupontheGreat
HundredthousandfoldBrahm,thatwayyouwillrecover
yourbrillianceandshinelikeus.Foryoualso,brother,are
367
calledtotheblissofreflectingthegloryoftheSupreme
God.
Whenthegodscalledtohimthus,Kmanta
neitherlookednorlistened.Andthegodswhosawhim
groweverpalerweregreatlytroubledabouthim.And
theyappealedtoMahBrahm.
GreatBrahm,OurLightandPreserver,look
uponthispoorbeingwhoistooweaktoshineaswedo,
whosebrilliancecontinuallydecreasesanddoesnot
increase!Oh,givehimyourblessdattention,illumine
him,revivehim!Forsurelyyouhavealso
calledhimtoreflectyourdivinegloryinbliss.
AndtheGreatBrahm,fulloftendernessforall
beings,turnedhisattentiontoKmantatorefreshand
strengthenhim.ButKmantaslight,nevertheless,de
creasedvisibly.
ThentheGreatBrahmwasmoregrievedthatthis
onebeingwouldnotallowhimselftobeilluminedbyhim
anddidnotreflecthisglory,thanhewasgladthata
hundredthousandsunnedthemselvesinhislightand
hailedhimwithshoutsofjoy.Andhewithdrewalarge
partofhisdivinelyilluminatingpowerfromtheuniverse
powersufficienttosetathousandworldsonfireand
hedirecteditonKmanta.
ButKmantaslightcontinuedtopale,asthough
drawingnearertocompletedisappearance.
MahBrahmnowbecameapreytogreatanxiety.
Thisonestarwithdrawsfrommyinfluenceso
thenIamnotomnipotent.Idonotknowthewayheis
going,soIamnotomniscient.Forheisnotexpiringasdo
thebeingswhoexpireindeath,tobereborneachaccor
dingtotheiractions;notastheworldsgooutinthebrahm
night,onlytoshineforthagain.Whatlightillumineshis
way,seeingthathedisdainsmine?Istherethenanother
lightmoreradiantthanmine?Andaroadwhichleadsin
368
theoppositedirectiontominearoadtountraversed
lands?ShallImyself,perhaps,evertakethatroadthat
pathtotheuntraversedland?
Andnowthemindsofthestellargodsalsobecame
filledwithgreatanxiety,greattrouble.
ThisonewithdrawsfromthepoweroftheGreat
Brahmsothen,istheGreatBrahmnotomnipotent?
Whatlightcanbelightinghisway,seeingthathedisdains
thatoftheGreatBrahm?Istherethenanotherlightmore
splendidthanthatwhichwesoblissfullyreflect?Anda
roadthatleadsintheoppositedirectiontooursaroad
toanuntraversedland?Shallwe,perhaps,evertakethat
roadtheroadtotheuntraversedland?
ThentheHundredthousandfoldBrahmpondered
Mymindismadeup.Ishallreabsorbmyilluminating
power,nowdiffusedthroughoutspace,andshallplunge
alltheseworldsagainintothedarknessofthebrahm
night.AndwhenIhavegatheredmylightintoasingleray
Ishallturnituponthatonebeinginordertorescuehim
forthismybrahmworld.
AndtheHundredthousandfoldBrahmnowre
absorbedalltheilluminatingpowerwhichhehaddiffused
throughoutspace,sothattheworldssankagainintothe
darknessoftheBrahmnight.Andgatheringhislightinto
asingleray,hedirecteditonKmanta.
Henceforwardtheremustshineatthispoint,he
willed,themostradiantstarinallmybrahmworld.
ThentheHundredthousandfoldBrahmdrew
backintohimselfthatraywhichhadilluminatingpower
greatenoughtosetahundredthousandworldsonfire,
andagainunleashedhisblazinglightthroughoutthe
wholeofspace.
Atthepoint,however,wherehehadhopedtosee
themostradiantofallthestars,onlyalittle,slowlyfading
sparkwastobeseen.
369
Andwhileinimmeasurablespace,worldsupon
worldsflashedandshoutedastheypressedforwardonce
againintothenewbrahmday,thepilgrimKmantawent
outoutofthesphereofknowledgeofgodsandhumans.
Out,quiteasthelightofalampgoesoutwhenithas
consumedthelastdropofoilinitswick.
Kmantaspilgrimagewascomplete.

~APPENDICES~

370
APPENDIX1

~NOTES&REFERENCES~

ABBREVIATIONS:

D: DghaNikya,TheLongDiscoursesoftheBuddha.
M: MajjhimaNikya,TheMiddleLengthDiscoursesofthe
Buddha.
A: AnguttaraNikya,TheDiscoursesRelatedbyNumbers.
S: SamyuttaNikya,TheDiscoursesRelatedbySubject.
SN: SuttaNipta,AcollectionoftheBuddhasteachings,in
verseform.
Dhp: Dhammapada,AcollectionoftheBuddhasteachings,
inverseform.
Iti: Itivuttaka,SayingsoftheBuddha.
Ud: Udna,InspiredUtterances.
MV: Mahvagga,TheGreatChapter,fromthebooksof
monasticdiscipline.
CV: Clavagga,TheLesserChapter,fromthebooksof
monasticdiscipline.
Vib: Vibhangha,TheExposition,themainrulesofthe
monasticdiscipline.
Thig: Thergth,TheVersesoftheElderNuns.
Thag:Theragth,TheVersesoftheElderMonks.
Jat: Jtaka,TheStoriesoftheBuddhasPreviousBirths.
Vsm: Visuddhimagga,ThePathofPurification,acommentarial
compendium.

371

PLI&SANSKRITPHONETICSANDPRONUNCIATION

SanskritisthewrittenlanguageoftheHinduscriptures
andmanyofthetextsoftheNorthern(Mahyna)Buddhist
tradition.PliistheoriginalscripturallanguageofSouthern
(Theravdan)Buddhism;itwasaspokenlanguage,closely
relatedtoSanskrit,withnowrittenscriptofitsown.Aswritten
formshaveemergedforPli,theyhavealwaysbeeninthe
letteringofanotherlanguage(e.g.Sanskrit,Sinhalese,Burmese,
Thai,Roman).ThustheRomanletteringusedhereispronounced
justasonewouldexpect,forbothlanguages,withthefollowing
clarifications
Vowelsareoftwotypes:
Short Long
aasinabout asinfather
iasinchip asinmachine
uasinput asintrue
easinwhey
oasinmore

Consonantsaremostlyasonewouldexpect,withafew
additionalrules:
casinancient
asincanyon
vhalfwaybetweenanEnglishvandaw
bh,ch,dh,gh,jh,kh,ph,th:thesetwoletteredcombinations
withanhdenoteaconsonantwithanaspirated,airy
sound,asdistinctfromthehard,crispsoundoftheconsonant
onitsowne.g.thasinhothouse,phasinupholstery.

372
CHAPTER1:THEBUDDHAREVISITSTHECITYOFTHEFIVEHILLS

1.Page1, ThushaveIheardManyofthemajordiscourses
oftheBuddhabeginwiththewordsEvammesutamThushaveI
heard.ThisderivesfromthetraditionthatalloftheBuddhas
teachingswererecitedbytheVenerablenandaatagrand
councilofEldersthreemonthsaftertheBuddhaspassingaway;
nandahadbeenthepersonalattendantoftheBuddhaformany
yearsandwasblessedwiththeabilityoftotalrecall.Theentire
bodyoftheBuddhasteachingsisthuscastintheformofThis
iswhatnandarememberedratherthanbeingpresentedasan
absolutetruth.
ThequotegivenhereisprobablyafictionofK.G.it
doesnotexistassuchintheSouthern(Theravda)Buddhist
scriptures:thePliCanon.Thedefinitivediscourseonthe
Buddhaslastdays,theMahparinibbnaSutta,foundinthe
collectionofLongDiscourses(DghaNikya),beginswiththe
BuddhaalreadyinRjagaha.ItcouldbefromtheNorthern
Buddhist(Mahyna)traditionhowever.

2.Page1, AstheMasterdrewneartotheCityoftheFive
HillsRjagaha(TheRoyalCity)wasknownbytheabove
epithetbecauseitwassurroundedbyfivegreathills:Pandava,
Gijjhakta(VulturesPeak),Vebhra,IsigiliandVepullait
wasthusalsocalledGiribbaja,TheMountainStronghold.

3.Page1, Hereandtherebillowingcloudsshowingthat
farmworkersandoxenwereploddingwearilyhomeward
Thistimeofday,earlyeveninganddusk,hasbeenknownsince
ancienttimesinIndiaasgodhliklathehourofcowdust.

4.Page2, onthefinaljourneyfromSamsratoNirvna
ThesetwotermsareextremelycommoninBuddhistcircles.
Theformer(aswellasnowironicallybeingaperfumemarketed
byGuerlain)meansendlesswanderingthebeginningless
cyclesofbirthanddeath,rebirthandredeath.Itisthe
entanglementoftheunawakenedheartintheworldofthebody,
thought,emotionandthesenses,beingcontinuallybuffetedby
gain&loss,success&failure,praise&criticism,happiness&
unhappiness.
373
Thelatter(aswellasbeingthenameofagrungerock
bandfromSeattle)literallymeanscoolnessitreferstothe
stateofunshakablepeaceandhappinessthatisrealisedbyany
beingthatawakenstotheUltimateTruth,andwhohastranscended
thehabitsofidentifyingwiththebody,thought,emotions,
thesensesandtheworld.Morewillbesaidaboutthis
mysteriousqualityasourstoryunfolds.

5.Page2, whilestillyoung,ablackhairedyoungman
Thisdescriptionofleavingthehouseholdlifeisverycommon
intheTheravdascriptures.Hereitisbeingquotedfromoneof
severalplaceswheretheBuddhatalkedabouthisownspiritual
quest,forexampleintheAriyapariyesanSutta(TheNoble
Search)intheMiddleLengthDiscourses(MajjhimaNikya)at
M26.14.

6.Page2, Andthere,undertheshadowofloftyVebhra
Theincidentsreferredtointhesepassagesarerecountedinthe
versesofthePabbajjSutta(TheDiscourseontheGoingForth);
inthesuttaitself,however,heisdescribedasstayingonthehill
ofPandava.Thepassageoccursinthecollectionofversesknown
astheSuttaNiptaatSN405424.ElsewheretheBuddhadoes
mentionstayingintheSatapanniCave,ontheslopesofVebhra
(e.g.intheMahparinibbnaSutta,atD16.3.42,seeAppendix4)
althoughthiswasonanoccasionmuchlaterinhislife.

7.Page3, sixlongyearsofselfinflictedmortification
OneofthebestdescriptionsoftheBuddhasasceticpractices
comesintheMahSaccakaSutta(TheGreaterDiscourseto
Saccaka),atM36.1344.

8.Page3, ThedispensationoftheDharmahadbeen
establishedonsurefoundationsWhatisportrayedhere
arethecriteriathattheBuddhaestablished,shortlyafterhis
enlightenment,forwhatheintendedtoachievebeforehepassed
away.Thisstatementhadbeeninitiatedbythepropositionfrom
MrawhosenamemeansdeathandwhoistheLordof
Illusion,theLuciferofBuddhistmythologythatnowthatthe
Buddhawasfullyenlightenedhemightaswelldieanddisappear,
thattherewasnouseinhimstayingaroundintheworld,now
374
thathisworkwasdone.Theincidentisdescribedinthe
MahparinibbnaSutta,atD16.3.78(seeAppendix4).
ThewordDharmaisthefamiliarSanskritformofthe
PliwordDhamma;bothcanmeaneithertruth,theBuddhas
Teachingsorsimplyphenomena.K.G.usedbothPliand
Sanskritquitefreelythroughoutthebook,butnoparticular
significanceshouldbeattachedtowhichlanguageheschosen.
Anotherpointworthnotinghereisthat,traditionally,
theworddeathisneverusedinconnectionwiththeBuddha,
onlythetermParinibbnaFinalorCompleteNirvna.This
isbecause,asitissaidTheBuddhaisliberatedfrombeing
reckonedintermsofmaterialform(thebody),feeling,
perceptions,mentalformationsandconsciousness...Heis
profound,immeasurable,unfathomableliketheocean,(M72.20).
So,sincetheBuddhahasletgoofidentificationwitheverything
thatisconnectedwiththebodyandpersonality,andwithbirth
anddeath,thelattertermisseenasinaccurate.Thereisa
famouspassageintheDhammapadawhichalsoreflects
thisprinciple:
MindfulnessisthepathtotheDeathless,
heedlessnessisthepathtodeath.
Themindfuldonotdie
theheedlessareasifdeadalready.
Dhp.21

9.Page4, whentheTathgatagoesforthfromhere
Thisisacombinationofscriptureandfiction:theBuddhaindeed
turnsandgivesabelovdcityalastlingeringlookashemakes
hisfinaljourney,butitisVeslhegazesupon,notRjagaha.
TheincidentappearsintheMahparinibbnaSutta,atD16.4.1.
(SeeAppendix4).
ThewordTathgata,whichappearsforthefirsttime
here,isthetermtheBuddhausedtorefertohimself,andwhich
seemstohavebeencoinedbyhim.Itisadeliberatelyambiguous
termmeaningbothThusgoneandThuscomeorOnegone
toSuchnessandOnecometoSuchness.Itsprecisemeaning
hasbeenthesubjectofextensivedebateformillennia(thereare
thirtypagesonitintheancientcommentarytotheUdnaalone)
however,itseemsintendedtoimplyaspiritualqualitythatis
375
bothcompletelyimmanent,presentintheworld,andcompletely
transcendentoftheworldatthesametime.

10.Page5, theMangoGrovethegiftofhisdiscipleJvaka
JvakasMangoGrove,theAmbavana,wasasmall
monasteryonthesouthernedgesofRjagaha,onthe
waytotheVulturePeak.ItwasdonatedtotheBuddhas
monasticcommunitysometimeafterthemorewell
knownVeluvana(theBambooGrove)wasofferedby
KingBimbisra.

11.Page5, andheheardallthistakeplaceinaracketof
noiseandloudconversationThisimage,oftravelling
monksarrivingamidstgreatclamourandbustle,isfoundin
afewplacesinthescriptures;oneoccurrenceisinthe
CtumSutta,atM67.2andanotheratUd.3.3.

12.Page6, thebranchofablackSlatreeTheSlatree
isShorearobusta(alsoVaticarobusta),knownforitsbeautiful,
fragrantwhiteblossoms.

CHAPTER2:THEMEETING

1.Page9, hewalkedpast,repelledbythehouseofthe
birdcatcherTradinginanimalfleshisoneofthewrong
livelihoodsdescribedbytheBuddhaforlaypeople;theothers
are:tradinginweapons,inlivingbeings,inalcoholandin
poisons.ThislistcanbefoundinAnguttaraNikya(TheCollection
ofDiscoursesRelatedbyNumbers),at177intheBookof
theFives,A5.177.

2.Page10, Leaningagainstthedoorpostwasabeautiful
girlHousesofprostitutionareonthelistofplacesnottobe
visitedbymonastics,alongwithtaverns.Thesearementioned
inthemonasticrule,theVinya(Vib.2467),andalsoatVsm.I45
intheVisuddhimagga,acompilationofcommentarialmaterial
madeinthe5
th
centuryC.E.Buddhistmonasticsarealsoexpected
nottoengageinanykindofsexualactivityandtoavoidwatching
dancing,singing,musicandshows.
376
Thisrenunciantstyleoflifeisdescribedinmanyplaces
intheBuddhistscriptures,e.g.intheBrahmajlaSutta,at
D1.1.810.
Thesevenstringedvnisamusicalinstrumentknown
astheIndianluteormandolin;itisakintothesitaroftoday
althoughsomewhatsmaller.
ItshouldalsobenotedthatK.G.soriginalpassagehere
wasderivedfromtheAnguttaraNikya,103intheBookofthe
Threes,A3.103.

3.Page10, TheMasterapproachedthepotterHere
beginsthecoreincidentofourtale;itisderivedmostlyfromthe
storyofPukkusti,intheDhtuvibhangaSutta,M140,printed
initsentiretyasAppendix2.Accordingtotheancient
commentariesPukkustihadbeentherulerofGandhra,a
kingdomlocatednearKashmirinnorthernIndia(itnowliesin
Pakistan)andhehadordainedhimselfasamonkwhenheheard
oftheteachingsoftheBuddhafromhisfriendBimbisra,King
ofMagadha.Oncehehadadoptedthehomelesslife,he
immediatelysetoutonfoottofindtheMaster.

CHAPTER3:TOTHEBANKSOFTHEGANG

1.Page13, MynameisKmantaThenameKmanta
isnotcommoninthePliCanonthemainplacewhereit
occursisintheKmantaJtaka,Jat.228,oneofthestoriesof
theBuddhaspreviouslives.ItderivesfromthePliwordkma
sensepleasureandwouldthustranslateintoEnglishas
somethinglikeLovejoyorRandy.

2.Page13, IwasborninUjjenThiswasthecapitalcity
ofAvanti;itisthemoderndayUjjainintheprovinceofMadhya
Pradesh,northernIndia.Itisoneofthegreatholyplacesofthe
HindureligionandtheKumbhMelareligiousfestivalisheld
thereeverytwelveyears.
EventhoughK.G.explicitlydescribesUjjenasbeing
amongthemountains,itsitsat1600onwhatisnowcalledthe
MalwaPlateauandavisitorwillbestruckbyhowveryflatthe
landisaroundthatarea.
377
Theauthorwasprobablymakingahopefulguessaboutthe
topographyastheRiverChambalrunsthroughtheancienttownand
thereareindeedtheVindhyaMountainstothesouthhoweverthey
arefaraway.
Furthermore,onaccountofthemoderndaydustinessoftheIndian
atmosphere,onecannotevenseethedistantmountainsfromthetown;at
leastonecouldntinDecemberof2004.
Theeditorsdiary,fromavisitmadeatthattime,reads:
UjjenamongtheMountains
asGjellerupputit
turnsouttobe
poeticmythindeed
flatasapancake,
Lincolnfens,Illinois
andKansas.

3.Page13, theSacrificialCordTheYajopavita,in
Sanskrit,iswornovertheleftshoulderandundertherightarm,
itscolourandcompositiondenotethecastethatanindividual
belongsto.Itissupposedtomakesacrificesprosperousandto
beaspiritualbondunitingtheuniverseandallbeings.

4.Page13, ImusthavebeeneducatedinTaxilThis
citywastheOxfordofancientIndia,itwaslocatedinGandhra
(seeChapter2,note3).

5.Page16, itsfloodshavereflectedtheruinsofHastinapura
Thisfollowingpassageisdescribingthescenarioofthe
MahbharatathegreatestofallclassicalIndianepicpoems
afullEnglisheditionrunstoaboutfourteenvolumes.Ahighly
regardedversionofitwastranslatedbyRoyandGanguli,1970.
Hastinapuraissituatedonthefloodplainbetweenthe
GangandtheYamunRivers,althoughitisconsiderablycloser
totheformer.

6.Page16, atabendofthebroadGang,laythecityof
KosambEitherK.G.waseitheremployingpoeticlicensehere
orhedidnotcheckhisfactsverycarefully:inactualityKosamb
liesontheRiverYamun(seemaponpagexix).Thissaid,there
isnoneedtobetoofussyaboutthesemattersfor,asK.G.astutely
378
commentedinhisNotetotheFirstEdition:therequirementsof
poetrypreempttherequirementsofgeography.

7.Page16, terraces,quaysandbathingghatsAghatis
alandingstagewithmagnificentflightsofstepsforbathers.
Ordinarilytheyarecrownedbyamonumentalarchorgateway.

8.Page17, IfeltasifIwaslookinguponacityofthe
TvatimsaheavenThereferenceheretotheTvatimsa
heavenisourfirstintroductiontothecolourfulsubjectof
Buddhistcosmology.Accordingtotraditionthereareatotalof
thirtytwodifferentrealmsofexistence,rangingfromthehells,
atthelowerendofthespectrum,totheformlessabodesofthe
highestBrahmgodsatthetopend.Theyaregroupedasfollows,
countingfromthetopdown:
A. THEFOURFORMLESSBRAHMREALMS(Arpaloka).
1) TheHeavenofDevasoftheSphereofNeither
PerceptionNorNonPerception.
2) TheHeavenofDevasoftheSphereofNoThingness.
3) TheHeavenofDevasoftheSphereofInfinite
Consciousness.
4) TheHeavenofDevasoftheSphereofInfiniteSpace.

B. THESIXTEENLOWERBRAHMREALMS(Rpaloka).
1) TheHeavenofPeerlessDevas.
2) TheHeavenofClearsightedDevas.
3) TheHeavenofBeautifulDevas.
4) TheHeavenofUntroubledDevas.
5) TheHeavenofDevasnotFallingAway(Avih).
6) TheHeavenofUnconsciousDevas.
7) TheHeavenofVeryFruitfulDevas.
8) TheHeavenofDevasofRefulgentGlory.
9) TheHeavenofDevasofUnboundedGlory.
10) TheHeavenofDevasofLimitedGlory.
11) TheHeavenofDevasofStreamingRadiance(bhassar).
12) TheHeavenofDevasofUnboundedRadiance.
13) TheHeavenofDevasofLimitedRadiance.
14) TheHeavenofGreatBrahms.
15) TheHeavenofMinistersofBrahm.
16) TheHeavenofRetinueofBrahm.
379

C. THETWELVEWORLDSOFSENSEDESIRE(Kmaloka).
1) TheHeavenofThosewhoDelightintheCreationsofOthers.
2) TheHeavenofThosewhoDelightinCreating.
3) TheHeavenoftheContented.
4) TheYmaHeaven.
5) TheHeavenoftheThirtythreeGods(Tvatimsa).
6) TheHeavenoftheFourGreatKings.
7) TheRealmoftheEarthSpirits.
8) TheHumanRealm.
9) TheAnimalRealm.
10) TheRealmoftheHungryGhosts.
11) TheRealmoftheJealousGods.
12) TheHellRealms.

Inthevariousdescriptionsthataregivenoftheserealms
intheancienttexts,theTvatimsaheavenbearsmostresem
blancetotheclassicalimagesofheavenasdepictedinthe
Christianworld.UnliketheheavenandhellofChristianthought,
however,fromtheBuddhistperspectiveourexistenceinanyof
theserealmsistemporary.Wearebornintothemaccordingto
theresultsofouractionsand,whendeathcomes,consciousness
isdrawntoyetanotherrealmeitherup,downoratthesame
leveldependingonhowthatlifehasbeenlivedandtheweight
ofpastactionsbeforeit.
ClassicaldescriptionsofBuddhistcosmologycanbe
foundinTheThreeWorldsAccordingtoKingRuang
translatedbyF.E.&M.B.Reynolds,BerkeleyBuddhistStudies
Seriesandonpp6396ofTheWordsofmyPerfectTeacher,
byPatrulRimpochepublishedbyHarperCollins.

9.Page17, alsofrommyunwholesomekarmaaswell
ThewordkarmaappearsmoreandmoreoftenintheEnglish
languagethesedays.Inessenceitmeansaction,althoughit
hasadoptedamuchbroaderanddifferentlycolouredsenseover
theyears.IntheOxfordEnglishDictionaryitisdefinedas:The
sumofapersonsactionsinpreviousstatesofexistence,viewed
asdecidinghisorherfateinfutureexistences.
Itsuseinourstoryherereflectsthestandardbeliefsof
theBuddhastime,whichstillpersiststronglyinIndiatoday,
380
thatbadkarmaislikesomekindofinfectionorstainthatcanbe
washedawaybythewatersoftheGang(theRiverGanges)or
perhapsthroughcontactwithagreatguru.(SeealsoChapter8,
note4).

CHAPTER4:THEMAIDENBALLPLAYER

1.Page21, thelovesicknotesoftheKokilabirdThe
KokilaistheIndiancuckoo,Cuculusmicropterus.

2.Page22, apoetlikeBharataThepoetheisreferringto
wasalsoknownasVysathelegendarycomposerofthe
divineIndianepic,theMahbharata.

3.Page23, theCurnapdaandtheGtamargaThese
translateliterallyasThePowderyFootandThePathofSong
inhisnotetotheFirstEditionK.G.acknowledgedthathe
tooktheaccountoftheballgamefromDandinscycleofstories,
theDasakumaracaritam.Bothofthesetypesofballplayare
indeedmentionedinthisworkofDandin,anovelistandpoet
ofthe15
th
Century.TheformerisatDas.11.41andisdefinedas
apeculiarmovement,walkingbackwardsandforwards;
thelatterisatDas.11.43andgoeswiththephrase,Dasapada
camkramnaliterallywalkingtoandfrowithtenfeet.

4.Page25, astheCakoralivesonlyupontheraysof
themoonTheCakora,thelunarbird,isalsotheGreek
partridge,Perdixrufa.Itismentionedinmanyplacesinthe
Hinduscriptures,alongwithitslegendarypowersoflivingon
moonlight,anditisoftenusedinthesamesymbolicwayasin
thispassage;forexampleinTheOceanofRiversstories,
Kathacaritasagara,bySamadeva,atKathas.76.11&77.50:His
eye,liketheCakora,drinkingthenectarofhermoonlikeface.
ItisalsomentionedintheworksofKabir,13981448,a
mysticpoetandsaintofIndia,whoseliteraturegreatlyinfluenced
thebhakti,devotionalmovementofIndia.
Astheleafofthelotusabidesonthewater:
sothouartmyLord,andIamThyservant.

381
AsthenightbirdChakorgazesallnightatthemoon:
soThouartmyLord andIamThyservant.
SongsofKabir,XXXIV
(RabindranathTagoretrans.)

5.Page26, hewasaspassionatelyaddictedtothedice
aswasNlaNlaistheeponymousherooftheNlopakhynam
orTheStoryofNlawhichisrecountedintheMahbharata
toconsoleYudishthira(oneoftheheroesofthatepictale)about
thesufferingcausedbygambling.
Thestorygoessomethinglikethis:Nla,aprince,and
Damayant,abeautifulyoungmaiden,fallinlovewitheachother
eventhoughtheyhavenevermetitisaloveoftheunseen.
Shethenmanagestopickhimoutofseveralsuitorsataselfchoice
marriageceremony,despitethefactthattherearefourgods
therewhoimpersonatehimtotryandtrickher.Shethenbecomes
aperfect,faithfulwife,whoseloyaltyisflawlesseventhough
sheisseverelytested.
TheGoddessKl,togetherwithDvapara,adicedemon,
resentDamayantschoiceofNlaandtheyconspiretoseparate
them.KlpossessesNla,DvaparaentersthediceandNla
gambleseverythingawaytohisbrother.Butherefusestostake
DamayantandthepairgototheforestwhereNla,still
possessed,leavesher.Aftervariousadventuresbothassume
disguises,Damayantasalowcastechambermaid.Damayants
fatherfinallyrecoversherandshecleverlytracksdownNla.
HavinglearnedthesecretofdicefromtherepentantMotherKl,
NlanowstakesDamayantandrecovershiskingdom.

CHAPTER5:THEMAGICPORTRAIT

1.Page30, ButthisisVsitthThenameVsitthisalso
notverycommoninthePliCanon.Themainplacewhereit
appearsisintheThergth(TheVersesoftheElderNuns)at
Thig.1338;awomanofthisnameleavesthehouseholdlifeafter
thedeathofherchildandsubsequentlymeetingtheBuddha.
Shebecameenlightened,anArahant,onlythreedaysafterher
ordination.Itsinterestingtonotethatthereisnoconnection
382
betweenthenamesKmantaandVsitthintheTheravda
Buddhistscriptures.(SeealsoChapter40,note4).

2.Page31, averseoffourlineswhichrelatedthe
incidentofthegoldenballTheartofsuchsecretwritingis
knownasmlecchitavikalpainSanskrit.Incidentallyitis#45on
thelistofThe64artstobeknownbyawomancollectedinthe
famousIndianhandbookoferotica,theKmaStra,writtenby
Vatsyaynainthe4
th
CenturyC.E.ItwastranslatedintoEnglish
bySirRichardBurtoninthe19
th
Centuryandwaswidely
circulatedinEuropeatthetimethatKmantawaswritten.
Alsoimportantly,thegentleblendofspirituality,artand
romancethatisdescribedasbeingwovenintoKmantasverse
isamixturewellknowntotheIndianmind.Forexample,hereis
thefamous5
th
CenturypoetKlidsaalsoonthesubjectofa
maidenballplayer:
Hitbythehand,softasalotus,ofmymistress
Youdrop,anddrop,andriseagain
Littleball,Iknowyourheart,
Itisasifyoufaileachtimetokissherlip.

3.Page33, thisfaironewiththebeautifulbrowsThis
epithetisaliteraryallusionmadeinreferencetoHelenofTroy,
thelegendarybeautywhopossessedthefacethatlauncheda
thousandships.
ThomasA.Hollweck,aGermanscholarattheUniversity
ofColorado,Boulder,helpfullycommentedonthis,theword
Schnbrauige[theepithetthatK.G.usedinhisoriginaledition]
isagoodfitforareadingpublicthatwasthetypicalGerman
educatedclass,theBildungsbrger.Tothemitwouldhave
immediatelyconjuredupHomer.
Furthermore,asclassicsprofessorNonaOlivia(alsoat
Colorado),observedonthispassage,literaryallusionsare
consideredmarkersfortheoriginal;asortoffingerpointingto
themoon,ifDogenwillforgiveme.Thusbyemployingaterm
thatevokesthislegendarybeautyofEurope,thereaderwillinfer
thepresenceofcomparablelovelinessinthefairVsitth,our
soontobeheroine.

383
CHAPTER6:ONTHETERRACEOFTHESORROWLESS

1.Page37, Asokatreesandmagnificentfloweringplants
TheAsoka,whichderivesitsnamefromA,without
andsoka,sorrow,isawellknowntypeoftreeinAsia.Itis
calledJonesiaasokabyWesternbotanists,alsoSaracaindica.See
http://www.indianetzone.com/4/saraca_indica.htm
ThetermHeartsease,whichJohnLogieuseslateronas
atranslationforAsoka,shouldnotbeconfusedwiththewild
pansy,Violatricolor,whichalsogoesbythesamename.

2.Page39, inaformerexistenceshehadbeenmyhearts
companionAdiscussionofthisphenomenon,andother
examplesofit,canbefoundinTheBiographyofVen.Ajahn
Mun,pp1325&2147,publishedbyWatPahBahnDaht.

3.Page43, wewereasyetonlyatthebeginningofthe
VasantaseasonVasantaisthefirstpartoftheAsianHotSeason,
fromtheMarchtoMayfullmoons,correspondingtoourSpringtime.
ThewordisnotrelatedtoVassa,thePliforRainySeason.

4.Page43, whichpeoplecalltheTripleUnionInthe
timeoftheBuddhatheplaceoftheTripleUnionwascalled
PaygatodayitisknownasAllahabad(orPrayag)anditis
alsoasiteofthehugereligiousfestivals,calledtheKumbhMela,
whichareheldthereeverytwelveyears.Noothersingleevent
ofIndianpilgrimageisasimpressiveorasimportanttothe
Hindufaith.
Legendandbeliefhaveitthattobatheinthewatersat
theTripleUnionbringsliberation;thewatersarebelievedto
cleanseallbadkarmaandguaranteefortunaterebirths,especially
attheprecisetimeofcertainastrologicalconfigurations.
Approximately70millionpeopleattendedthelastsuch
festivalin2007,atAllahabad;thiswastheworldslargestever
religiousfestivalandalsotheworldslargestgathering.Needless
tosay,peoplehaveoftendiedintherushtoimmersethemselves
inthewatersatthemostauspiciousmoment.

5.Page43, theHeavenlyGangjoinsthemthereasathird
riverInIndiatheMilkyWayisalsoknownasthecelestial
384
riverSarasvat,anditisstillregardedasjoiningtheGangesand
theRiverJumnaatAllahabad.

6.Page43, ThenHastinapurawouldriseagainfromits
ruinsOnceagain,allthesereferencesaretothecharacters
andeventsoftheMahbharata.Itshouldbenoted,asmentioned
above(atChapter3,note5),thatHastinapuraismuchclosertothe
GangthantheYamun.

7.Page44, theperfumeoftheCoralTreeTheCoral
TreeappearsinbothBuddhistandHindumythologies.Inthe
formeritissupposedtogrowintheTvatimsaheavenandis
calledthePricchatakakovilra.Legendhasitthatitonly
blossomsonceeveryhundreddevayears(3,600,000human
years),thatithasflowerslikeredlotusesandthat,whenin
bloom,thedevasgoandsitbeneathitforfourdevamonths
(12,000humanyears).Itseffulgencepervadesfiftyleagues
aroundthetreeanditsperfumeforonehundred.Itismentioned
ashavingsheditsflowersontheBuddhaashewaspassing
away(D16.5.2,seeAppendix4),andthereisawholesection
givenovertoitintheAnguttaraNikya,65intheBookofthe
Sevens,A7.65.
ReferencestoitintheHinduscriptures,whichK.G.
seemstobecitinghere,arefoundinBook10oftheBhagavata
PurnaandintheHarivamsa,atverse7169.Bothofthesetexts
containmanystoriesoftheexploitsofLordKrishna.
Thereisaninterestinglittleessayonthethemeofthe
characteristicsexhibitedbytheCoralTree,entitledMemory,
Karma,Smell,byEliotWeinberger,publishedintheliterary
journalSulfurNo.36,EasternMichiganUniversity.
BothBauhiniyavariegataandErythinaindicaareknownas
theCoralTree,initsearthlyincarnations.

8.Page45, wearebothsplendidinstrumentsforthe
godstoplayuponThouarttheDoer,Iamtheinstrument
ispartofawellknownHinduprayer.

9.Page46, OhSorrowlessOne,ofthisheartstricken
girl,heartheanguishedcry!Thispassageisfoundinthe
Mahbharata,intheNlopakhynam.(SeeChapter4,note5).
385

10.Page47, itiswrittenintheGoldenBookofLove
Thisisalmostcertainlyalsoareferencetoapassageinthe
KmaStra.(SeeChapter5,note2)

CHAPTER7:INTHERAVINE

1.Page49, asifIweretobeshownthateventhegreatest
ofearthlypleasureshasitsbitternessThisstatement
echoesapassagefromChapter3oftheMahbharata,The
FishermansDaughter:Thepeopleweredeliriouswith
happiness.Fate,allthewhile,wasplayingawaitinggame.The
sightofunsulliedhappinessistoomuchforher.Shealways
managestoaddabitterdroptothecupofjoy.(Kamala
Subraniam,abridgedtrans.).

2.Page52, StgirawashishatednameStgirawas
thenameofaneminentyakkha,orcelestialdemon.Heappears
intheHemavataSutta,inthecollectionofpoeticdiscourses
calledtheSuttaNipta,atSN153180.

CHAPTER8:THEPARADISEBUD

1.Page55, abeautifulSimsapwoodTheSimsaptree
isDalbergiaSisu.

2.Page57, Krishna,theSixteenthousandonehundredfold
BridegroomThereferencetoLordKrishnabythisname
comesfromthefamousstoryofhishavingsimultaneously
wooedallthemilkmaids,knownasgopis,ofthetownof
Vrindavn,bymakinghimselfappearinanequalnumber
ofidenticalKrishnabodies.Thenumberofgopismentioned
heresixteenthousandonehundredactuallyvaries
greatlyfromonerecensionofthestorytoanother:froma
fewdozenintheearliertextsto900,000inthelatest.Themost
commonnumbercitedisactuallysixteenthousandonehundred
andone.Eachofthewomenwasundertheimpressionthat
shealonehadbeenchosenbyhim.
386
ThestoryismentionedinmanyHinduscriptures,for
example:inthe2nd6
th
Centuryworks,theVishnuPurnaat
Bk.5,13andtheHarivamsa,verse75;intheBhagavataPurna,
aworkfromaroundthe10
th
Century,atBk.10,2933;andin
theGtGovinda,ahighlybaroqueandflowerytext,writtenby
Jayadevainthe12
th
Century.

3.Page58, weshallfindoneanotherinParadiseItis
averycommonbeliefaroundtheworldthat,givensufficient
resolution,onecanbeunitedforeternitywithonesbelovd.
Forexample,inAnthonyandCleopatrabyWilliam
Shakespeare,theheroineisdeterminedtodieinordertobe
togetherwithMarkAnthony.Astheserpentbiteshershecries:
Husband,Icome!(Act5,Sc.2,l.290).Tothemodern,sceptical
minditmightseemlikewishfulthinking,andbedifficultto
imagine,thatacouplecouldbothbereborninthesameplace
justfromanactofwill.However,theBuddhapointedout,toa
devotedcouple,NakulamtandNakulapit,at55,inthe
BookoftheFours:If,householders,bothwifeandhusband
hopetobeinoneanotherssightsolongasthislifelastsand
infuturelivesaswell,theyshouldhavethesamefaith,thesame
virtue,thesamegenerosityandthesamewisdom;thentheywill
beinoneanotherssightsolongasthislifelastsandinfuture
livesaswell.
PerhapsShakespearealsohadaworthyinsightintosuch
matterswhenhesaid(inJuliusCsar,Act5,Sc.1,ll.1159):
AndwhetherweshallmeetagainIknownot.
Thereforeoureverlastingfarewelltake:
Forever,andforever,farewellCassius!
Ifwedomeetagain,whyweshallsmile;
Ifnot,whythen,thispartingwaswellmade.
(SeealsoChapter37,note4).

4.Page58, theinevitablestreamofkarmaalreadysurging
towardsusAtthispointinthestorythecharactersallthinkin
termsofthecustomarybeliefsystemsofIndiaatthattime.In
themthereisthusthestronglydeterministicunderstandingof
theconceptofkarmaitcloselyresemblesourEuropeanidea
offate:Apowerregardedaspredeterminingeventsunalterably
(O.E.D.).
387
InBuddhistthoughtkarma(Skt.),(orkammainthePli
language),isidentifiedsimplywiththeactionsanindividual
makesandtheresultsthatfollowfromthem,accordingtothe
lawsofcausality.ABuddhistthusseestheiractionsand
experiencesaspreconditioning,ratherthanpredetermining
thepresentmoment.Itshouldalsobeadded,however,thatall
actionsareunderstoodnecessarilytohavesomeappropriate
consequence,insomewayshapeorform.Forexample,inthe
DhammapadatheBuddhasays:
Thereisnoplaceintheworld
neitherinthesky,theseanorinmountaincrevices
whereanevildoercanhide,
safefromtheconsequencesofhisaction.
Dhp.127

5.Page59, WherethesunsetsliestheParadiseof
InfiniteLightK.G.ishavingagrandoldtimeminglingmythical
formshereand,inthislight,tobeginitisworthemphasising
hisowncommentshere:Shouldanyonefamiliarwithancient
Indianowbeinclinedtocastigatemebecauseofsomeinaccuracies,
Iwouldnowliketoaskthemtoconsiderwhetherornothewho
wroteThePilgrimKmantamightnotknowbestwhatliberties
hehastakenandwhy.InsteadofthelaterSukhavati[whichappears
onlyintheNorthern,MahynaBuddhistscriptures]Icouldeasily
havechosentheHeavenoftheThirtyThreeGods,andwould
haveremainedaccurateandcorrect.Butwhat,forheavenssake,
shouldIhavedonewiththoseThirtyThreeGodswhenIdidnt
evenhaveauseforAmitabhaBuddhainSukhavati?
Insummary,therearetwoimportantthemesbeingintroduced
inthisparagraph.
Firstly,K.G.ispickingupthreadsofatraditioncoming
fromtheMahyna,orNorthernSchoolofBuddhism.Inthe
AmitbhaStraitisdescribedhow,ifonerecitesthenameof
AmitbhaBuddhawithasincereheart,onewillcertainlybe
reborninTheWesternParadiseofthePureLandaplaceof
perfectbeauty,purityandbliss.Afterhavingspentmanyons
inthisrealmtheindividualisassuredofrealisingenlightenment,
nevertoreturntothehumanorlowerrealms.Thismethodof
practiceiscalledPureLandBuddhism.
Incidentally,Amitbhaisoneoffivecosmic,meditation
388
orDhyniBuddhasfoundintheNortherntraditionsofTibet
andChina;hisparadiseisintheWest;thatofAmoghasiddhiis
intheNorth;AkshobyasisintheEast;Ratanasambhvasisin
theSouth;andVairocanasisatthecentre.
IntheSouthernSchool,thereisasomewhatdifferent
understandingofthenatureofthePureAbodes(Suddhvs).
Theyareconsideredtobethefivehighestofthebrahmheavens
inwhatistermedtheRpaloka(seeChapter3,note8)butthey
havenoresidentBuddhapresidingoverthem.Rathertheyare
theplacesinwhichoneisbornifthethirdstageofenlightenment
(AngmiliterallyNonreturner)hasbeenreachedbythetime
ofdeath.IntheTheravdatraditiononethushastohaveattaineda
veryhighdegreeofspiritualmaturitytoberebornintheserealms
i.e.itwouldtakemorethanjustthefirmintentionsofourheroine
andheroinordertobereborntherealthoughbeingborninsome
ofthelowerheavenswouldbeeasilypossibleinthisway.
Asamatterofinterestthefirststageofenlightenment,
Streamentry,resultsinareturntothehumanrealmnomore
thanseventimes,andoneisguaranteednottobebornasan
animal,asaghostorinhell;thesecondstageiscalledOnce
returnerandleadstonomorethanonemorebirthasa
human;thethirdstageiscalledNonreturner,asmentioned
above;andthefourthstageisthatofenlightenment,Arahantship,
whichresultsinnomorebirthinanystateofbeing.Inthe
originalstoryofPukkusti(seeAppendix2),atthetimeofhis
deathheisreborninthePureAbodecalledAvih;therehe
becomesoneofahandfulofbeingswhorealiseenlightenment
atthemomentofbirth.

6.Page59, ThefirstlongingforthatParadisecausesa
budtoappearThisisthesecondthemebeingintroduced
here,however,incontrasttothepreviousone,themythical
patterndepictedseemstobeK.G.sowninventionitsan
evocativepicturebutthereisnobasisforitintheTheravda
teachings,althoughitmightpossiblybederivedfromtheHindu
orNorthernBuddhisttraditions.
Havingsaidthat,however,thereareplacesinthe
TheravdatextswheretheBuddhausesasimilarimageofthe
lotusanditswayoffloweringasasymbolfordifferenttypesof
peopleandtheirfaculties.Forexample,intheAriyapariyesan
389
Sutta(TheDiscourseonTheNobleSearch)atM26.21,theBuddha
describeshowsomelotusesarebornandgrowinthewater
withoutrisingoutofit,somerestonitssurfaceandsomestand
clear,unwettedbyitthesehethencomparestopeoplewith
dullorkeenfacultiesrespectivelyThosewithmuch,orwith
onlyalittledustintheireyes.Elsewherethewaydifferentpeople
respondtohearingtheTeachingsaredescribedas:1)Thosewho
heartheTeachingandthenrealiseenlightenment=lotuses
bloomingabovethewater;2)ThosewhoheartheTeachingand
thenleadawholesomelife=livingonthesurface;3)Thosewho
heartheTeachingandthenonlypractiseitinpartorbriefly=
blossomingbelowthesurface;andlastly,4)Thosewhohearthe
Teachingandthenignoreitcompletely...theyendupasturtle
food.

CHAPTER9:UNDERTHECONSTELLATIONOFTHEROBBERS

1.Page64, ThisisAngulimla,thecruel,bloodthirsty
banditchiefManyreferencesfromhereoninthischapter
comefromtheAngulimlaSutta,inthecollectionofMiddle
LengthDiscoursesitisoneofthemostdramaticinterludesin
thePliscriptures.ThepassageherecomesfromM86.2.The
wholeSuttaisincludedasAppendix3.
AccordingtoTheravdatradition,Angulimla(which
washisnomdeguerreandliterallymeansGarlandedwith
Fingers)wasactuallybornintoanoblefamily.Hewastheson
ofabrahminchaplaintoKingPasenadiofKosala.Atbirthhe
wasgiventhenameAhimsaka,HarmlessOne.Hestudiedat
Taxil,whereheexcelledinmanysubjectsandbecamethe
teachersfavourite.Hisfellowstudentsbecamejealousofhim
andpersuadedtheteacherthatAhimsakahadseducedhiswife.
Inordertobringhimtoruin,theteacherthendemandedthat,
inordertocompletehisstudiesandshowhistotalfaithinthe
guru,heshouldbringhimathousandhumanfingers.Ahimsaka
dulywentofftoliveintheforestandtrainedhimselftoattack
whatevertravellerscameby.Hethencollectedafingerfromthe
righthandofeachoneandstrungthemonagarlandaroundhis
neck.Thegurusplanhadthedesiredeffect,since,inthisway,
Angulimlaabsorbedhimselfinabloodyvortexofbanditryand
390
murder,bothhuntingandbeinghunted,andseeminglysealed
hisfutureasoneofaviolentdeathindisgracefromsociety.In
thesameaccount,intheancientcommentaries,Angulimlais
alsomentionedashavingindeedbeenbornunderthe
ConstellationoftheRobbers.
Aninteresting,academicanalysisofAngulimlasstory,
andinparticularhisreligiousaffiliations(whichhappentomatch
K.G.sdepiction),isfoundinthebookHowBuddhismBegan:
TheConditionedGenesisoftheEarlyTeachings,byRichard
Gombrich(publishedbyLondon&AtlanticHighlands,N.J.:
Athlone).

2.Page66, Angulimlasbandbelongedtotheclanof
robbersknownasTheSendersThecustomsofTheSenders
aredescribedexactlyasK.G.depictsthemintheVedabbhaJtaka,
Jat.48.InthePaliTextSocietyeditionRobertChalmers,thetranslator,
namesthemtheDespatchers;theyarealsomentionedinthePnya
Jtaka,Jat.459.

3.Page68, theterribleGoddessKlKl,whosename
meansTheBlackOne,isnearlyalwaysdescribedashavinga
horrifyingappearance.Herhairisdishevelled,herfangssharp,
herbreastspendulous,herstomachshrunkenandherdemeanour
fierce.Sheisusuallysaidtobenakedexceptforagarlandof
severedheadsandagirdleofseveredarms.Herhabitsareequally
fearsome:sheispleasedbybloodandinhermythsistypically
describedasbecomingintoxicatedbydrinkingthebloodofher
victimsonthebattlefield.Herfavouritedwellingplaceisthe
cremationground,wheresheisoftendepictedseatedonacorpse.
Shehasbeenassociatedforcenturieswiththievesand
robbers,andisinfamousforhavingbeenthepatrongoddessof
theThugsasecrethereditarycultdevotedtohumansacrifice,
whofavouredrobbingandstrangulationofcarefullyselected
victimsasthemeanstobesthonourHer.
LikethegoddessDurgsheisoftendepictedasthe
spouseofShivabutsherarelyplaystheroleofthemodelwife(!)
InsteadshedominatesShivaandinciteshimtofrenzied,
destructiveacts.InthepasttheworshipofMotherKlwasnearly
alwaysaccompaniedbyanimalsacrifices.

391
Intermsoficonography,themostcommonimagesof
KlshowherstandingordancinguponShiva.Thisexpresses
thenatureofrealityasacombinationofstasis(theproneShiva)
andactivity,orthepersonifiedenergyofthedivine(Shakti).
IntheactiveroleKlthusexpressesthecreativeaspects
ofthedivineastheymanifestthemselvesinnature.Herdevotees
addressherasMotherand,despiteherterribleappearance
andherthirstforblood,sheisapproachedforprotection,fertility
andprosperity.Thelogicofherworshipatthepopularlevel
seemstobethat,ifsheisgivenblood,shewillbenourished
sufficientlytobeabletogiveunstintinglytoherdevotees.
HereisapassagefromDancingintheFlames,by
MarionWoodmanandElinorDickson,whichdescribessomeof
themoremysticalaspectsoftheGoddess:Atfirstglance,Kl
comesacrossasafierceembodimentofthedevouringmother
whogobblesupeverything,evenherownchildren.Acloser
look,however,revealsagreathaloaroundherhead,ahalonot
seeninearlydepictionsoftheGreatMother.Thehaloatteststo
KlsstatusasGoddess,toherneedtobeunderstoodnotonly
asdevourer,butalsoastransformer.Sheisblack,darkasthe
matrix,darkasthevortex,fromwhichallcreationcomesandto
whichitreturns.Toherdevoteessheislikeablacksapphire;
radianceshinesthroughherblackness.Shedancesandlaughs
withabandon,intoxicatedwiththemysterythatsheis.
TheessenceofGreatGoddessworshipisthatthere
mustbeadeathtotheegoself;theremustbeatransformation
inwhichthereisalettinggoofallfalsevalues,ofallthethings
thattheegotisticalnaturemistakenlyclingsto.Intheburial
groundoftheheart,Klsenlighteneddevoteesseebeyond
literaldeathtothedeathofvaluesrootedinfear.Whenthey
cometoacceptdeathasanecessarystepintheirtransformation,
thenKlcandanceherdanceofperpetualbecoming.Once
hercyclesareaccepted,thosewholoveherarefreeofthe
fearofdeath,freeoftheirownvulnerability,freetoliveher
mystery.
ThemysteryofKlisthatsheisperpetuallydestroying
and,atthesametime,creatingdestroyinginordertocreate,
creatinginordertodestroy,deathintheserviceoflife,lifeinthe
serviceofdeath.Klistime,impermanence,ceaselessbecoming,
natureasprocess.Asceaselessmotionthathasnopurposeother
392
thanitsownactivity,Klisasindifferenttothedemandsofthe
egoassheistotheinstincttosurvive.Theoppositesoflifeand
death,loveandhate,humilityandpride,povertyandriches,justice
andtyranny,meannothingtoher,becausewithherthereisno
polarity.ForKlallexperienceisonelifeaswellasdeath.
SriRmakrishnaoncesaidofher:AfterknowingMother
Realitydirectlyandintimatelyoneisnolongerlivinginan
impermanent,deceptiveworld.OneislivingintheDivineand
astheDivine.Whenyoufeedyourchild,youwillclearly
perceivethatitisGodfeedingGod.
Inshort,SheismuchmorethanjusttheGoddessof
theRobbers.

4.Page68, thesacreddancers,knownasbhajaderes
Bhajaderesareindeedperformersofsacreddancesinthetemples
ofIndia.MariusPetipabasedhis1877ballet,LaBayadre,ontheIndian
classicsbyKlidsa,SakuntalaandTheCartofClay.Thewordisa
FrenchcorruptionofthePortuguesebailadeira,afemaledancer.

5.Page69, thepraiseworthyVjashravasVjashravasa
wasthenameofthebrahminsacrificialpriestwhowasthefather
ofNashiketas,thecentralfigureoftheKathaUpanishadan
importantHinduscriptureincludedinDeussensworks,referred
tobyK.G.(seeChapter10,note1).
ThenameVjashravasisalsofoundinthelonglineage
ofgurusdescendingfromtheSelfexistingBrahman,inthe
BrihadranyakaUpanishad,Ch.6,5.3(p.544inProf.Paul
DeussensSixtyUpanishadsoftheVeda,intheMotilal
Banarsidassedition,translatedfromtheGermanbyV.M.Bedekar
andG.B.Palsule).

CHAPTER10:ESOTERICDOCTRINE

1.Page73, ESOTERICDOCTRINEHereK.G.provideshis
owncommentsforus,fromhisNote:Itneedscarcelybe
remarkedthatthefewpassagesfromtheUpanishadsare
quotedfromProfessorDeussensSechzigUpanishadsdesVeda.
Tothesecondgreattranslationofthisexcellentandindefatigable
inquirer,DieStrasdesVedanta,mytenthchapterowesitsorigin.
393
Ifthiscuriouspieceisinsubstanceapresentationof
Indianbermenschentum[thedoctrineoftheAriyanMasterrace
whichbecamethebasisofAdolphHitlersphilosophy,after
K.G.stime]astheextremeantithesistoBuddhismitisin
itsformapainfullyaccuratecopyoftheVedanticStrastyle,
withtheenigmaticbrevityofthetext,thetrueprincipleofwhich
asDeussenhasrightlyrecognisedconsistsingivingonly
catchwordsforthememory,butneverthewordsthatare
importanttothesense.
Inthiswaythetextcouldwithoutdangerbefixedin
writing,sinceitwasincomprehensiblewithouttheoral
commentaryoftheteacher,whichthususuallybecameallthe
morepedanticallyintricate.Indeed,theseKlStraslikethe
wholeVjashravasepisodeareajocularfictionofmine
butone,Ibelieve,whichwillbegrantedbyeverystudentof
ancientIndia,tobewithintheboundsofthepossiblenay,of
theprobable.Indiaisindeedthelandwhereeventherobber
mustphilosophise.

2.Page74, IfIcutofftheheadofahumanbeingoran
animalThereasoningthatisdescribedhereistaken,almost
verbatim,fromoneofacollectionofdubiousreligiousand
philosophicalviewpointsofspiritualteacherscontemporarywith
theBuddha.Forexample,arangeofthesewererecountedto
theBuddhabyKingAjtasattu,intheSmaaphalaSutta(The
DiscourseontheFruitsoftheHomelessLife),atD2.26;theone
quotedhereispartoftheteachingsofPakudhaKaccyana.

3.Page74, Who,whenslaying,believeshekillsThis
passageisfoundatKathaUpanishad2.19.AnaccessibleEnglish
versionofthisandotherUpanishadsisfoundinthePenguin
Classicsedition,translatedbyJuanMascarothisverseison
p.59.Itisalsoincludedatp.285intheMotilalBanarsidass
editionmentionedpreviously.

4.Page74, Nowwhenbotharmiesweredrawnupin
battlearrayThesepassagesaretobefoundintheBhagavad
Gt,Book1,verses2447;aversionofthisisalsoavailableina
PenguinClassicsedition,againtranslatedbyJuanMascaro
theseversesareonpp.457.
394

5.Page75, Whosoeverholdssomeonetobeakiller
Thisverse,asfarasitspossibletotell,hasbeenpiecedtogether
fromseveralversesinthesectionoftheBhagavadGtinBook
2,verses137(pp.4851intheaboveedition).

6.Page75, Whosoevercommitsacrimeorcausesitto
becommittedAgain,thispassageislifteddirectlyfromthe
collectionoferroneousanddangerousviewpointsrecountedto
theBuddhabyKingAjtasattu(seenote2ofthischapter).This
particularonedescribesthephilosophyofateachercalledPrana
Kassapa;itistobefoundatD2.17andalsoatM60.13,inthe
ApannakaSutta(TheIncontrovertibleTeaching).

7.Page76, Boththewarriorandthebrahmin,Heeats
forbreadThisisfromverse25ofthesamepassage
mentionedabove,atnote3ofthischapter.

8.Page77, Ieatthemall,butmetheydonoteatThis
andthefollowingpassagescomefromtheBshkalaUpanishad,
includedbyProf.PaulDeusseninthelastsectionofhisSixty
UpanishadsoftheVeda,pp.9037intheMotilalBanarsidass
edition.Theopeningparagraphcomesfromtheprose
introductiontoMedhtithisverses.

9.Page77, Whoisitthatkillsandalsoprisonertakes?
Thefirsttwoofthesethreequotesareverses18and19ofIndras
replytoMedhtithi;thelastoneisfromverse5ofthesame
passage.

10.Page77, itliesinusingotherstotheutmostandin
crushingthemThephilosophyoutlinedherebearsaclose
resemblancetothatoftheinfamousMarquisdeSade,whose
workswerecirculatedwidelyinEuropeancirclesinK.G.sera.
ThesepassagesalsoechosomeversesfromtheBookofWisdom
intheOldTestament:
Fortheysaidamongstthemselves,thinkingnotaright:
Briefandtroublousisourlifetime,neitheristhereanyremedy
formansdying,norisanyoneknowntohavecomebackfrom
thenetherworld.Forhaphazardwereweborn,andhereafter
395
weshallbeasthoughwehadnotbeen;becausethebreathinour
nostrilsisasmokeandreasonisasparkatthebeatingofour
hearts,andwhenthisisquenched,ourbodywillbeashesand
ourspiritwillbepouredabroadlikeunresistingair.
Wisdom2.114.
Come,therefore,letusenjoythegoodthingsthatare
real,andusethefreshnessofcreationavidlyLetusoppress
theneedyjustman;letusneithersparethewidownorrevere
theoldmanforhishairgrownwhitewithtime.Butletour
strengthbeournormofjustice;forweaknessprovesitself
worthless.
Wisdom6.1011.

11.Page78, althoughthewholeworldistheBrahman
TheRigVedadoesindeedstatethatthehumanbirthisthemost
sublime.

12.Page78, scripturefrequentlydeclarestheideaof
Thatbelongstome,tobeadelusionThemostprominent
placethisstatementismadeisintheBuddhasseconddiscourse
aftertheenlightenment,theAnattalakkhanaSutta(The
DiscourseonSelflessness).Itistobefoundinthebooksofthe
Vinya,atMahvagga1.6,andat59intheCollectionofSayings
ontheElements,S22.59.

Chapter11:THEELEPHANTSTRUNK

1.Page82, theprisonerinquestionhadtobesawn
throughthemiddlewithacrosscutsawAlthoughits
notdirectlyrelatedtothecontext,K.G.simageryinthispassage
wasprobablyinspiredbytheBuddhasfamousSimileofthe
Saw,inwhichhegaveanexampleofhowcentralthepractice
oflovingkindnessistothespirituallife.Hesays:Bhikkhus
(monks),evenifbanditsweretoseveryousavagelylimbfrom
limbwithatwohandledsaw,onewhogaverisetoamindof
hatredtowardsthemonthataccountwouldnotbecarryingout
myteaching.
Hethenaddsthat,instead,onesmindshouldremain
unaffected,filledwithcompassionforthewelfareofthosewho
396
aredoingthesawing:Weshallabidepervadingthemwitha
mindimbuedwithlovingkindness;and,startingwiththem,we
shallabidepervadingtheentireworldwithallencompassing
lovingkindness.ThispassageisfoundintheKakacpama
Sutta(TheDiscourseontheSimileoftheSaw)atM21.20.

Chapter12:ATTHEGRAVEOFTHEHOLYVJASHRAVAS

1.Page92, Solittlemayweavoidourkarmathefruit
ofallourdeedsProbablythemostwellknownplacein
theBuddhistscriptureswheretheBuddhaspeaksoftheprinciple
ofinevitabilityoftheresultsofkarma,isattheopeningverses
oftheDhammapada,themostpopularofallTheravdateachings
(seealsoChapter8,note4):
Mindistheforerunnerofallthings
therulerofallthings
thecreatorofallthings
ifonespeaksoractswithanimpuremind
sufferingwillfollow
assurelyasthewheelofthecart
followstheanimalthatdrawsit.

Mindistheforerunnerofallthings
therulerofallthings
thecreatorofallthings
ifonespeaksoractswithapuremind
happinesswillfollow
assurely
asonesneverdepartingshadow.
Dhp.verses12
Itshouldbenoted,however,thattheBuddhamadeit
clearthatthereisnofixedkarmicresultofanyparticularaction.
Ineverycasethereisaninconceivablycomplexwebofinfluences
atplay,sowecanonlyrightlyspeakofthefactthatsomekind
ofresultwilloccurthatmatchestheactexactlywhenandin
whatformisnotdefinable.Therearesomeusefulpassageson
thisprincipleintheMahkammavibhangaSutta,atM136.1721,
andintheAnguttaraNikya,BookoftheThrees,99.

397
2.Page95, whenonehasattainedenlightenment,all
onesworksdisappearEventhoughKmantaisnotyet
speakingfromaBuddhistperspective,thislastsentenceisa
fairlyaccuraterecensionoftheTheravdaunderstandingof
enlightenment,butonlyinsofarasreferringtoanenlightened
beingatthetimeofthedeathofthebody.
FromaBuddhistpointofviewitiscertainlynotthecase
that,atthemomentofenlightenment,suddenlytheresultsofall
pastactionsandeventsevaporatethebodystillhasitslife
and,whilsttheyareapartofthehumanrealm,anenlightened
beingwillstillexperiencetheresultsofvariouspastactionsand
dispositions(calledvsaninPli).
Forexample,thedignifiedVen.Sriputta,throughout
hislife,hadahabitofskippingoverpuddlesinthemonsoon
season;thistrait,theBuddhaassuredthosewhoenquired,
derivedfromtheVen.Sriputtasenjoymentofthispastimeina
previousexistenceasamonkey.Also,lateroninthestory,we
cometothissubjectagainwithreferencetoAngulimla.

Chapter13:THECOMPANIONOFSUCCESS

1.Page99, mynativetownisfamedthroughout
JambudvpaJambudvpa,TheLandofRoseapples,isthe
ancientnameforthelandsnowknownastheIndiansubcontinent.
ItissocalledaftertheubiquitousfruittreeEugeniajambos.

2.Page99, theneighingofhorsesandthetrumpeting
ofelephantsthemusicofloverslutesandthesongs
ofcarefreecarousersThoselistedherearesomeofThe
TenSoundswhicharementionedfrequentlyinthePliscriptures.
Theyaretakentobeindicativeofarich,prosperousand
wellpopulatedcity,suchasKusvatwhichismentionedinthe
MahparinibbnaSuttaatD16.5.18(seeAppendix4).
TheremainingsoundsoftheTenarethoseof:carriages,
kettledrums,sidedrums,cymbalsandgongs,andcriesofEat,
drinkandbemerry!asthetenth.

3.Page99, inwhosereceptionroomsonemeetspoets,artists
andactorsForexample:InthecourtofKingChandraguptaII,
398
(380413CE)whosecapitalwasUjjeni,weretheunsurpassedpoets
oftheSanksritlanguage,theNavaratna(TheNineJewels),agroup
whoexcelledintheliteraryarts.Amongstthesemenwasthe
immortalKalidasawhoseworksdwarfedtheeffortsofmany
otherliterarygeniuses,notonlyinhisownagebutintheages
tocome.(FromWikipedia,Dec.2008)
MuchofwhatisknownofthisGuptacourthasonlycome
downtousbecauseofithavingbeenrecordedbytheChinese
BuddhistscholarandmonasticpilgrimFahien.

4.Page100, Themanycolouredfloralcrownoftherock
enthronedUjjenThisepithetwasprobablycreatedbyK.G.
itisunknowninthePlitexts.Therewas,however,afamous
courtesancalledPadumavat(LotusLand)whousedtolive
inUjjen;shewasofsuchdazzlingbeautythatKingBimbisra
hadhiscourtmagicianweavesomespellsandhadhisroyal
personagecarriedtoUjjenthroughthehelpoftheyakkha
Kumbhra.Sheeventuallyborethekingasoncalled
Abhayarjakumra(PrinceFearless).Lateronhersonjoined
theorderofbhikkhusandeventuallybecameenlightened.On
hearinghimteachoneday,Padumavattoobecameinspiredto
leavethehouseholdlife;shebecameanun(abhikkhun)and
alsolaterachievedenlightenment.Becauseofthefameofher
son,shebecameknownasAbhayamt(AbhayasMother).
HerversesofenlightenmentaretobefoundinTheSongsof
theElderNunstheThergthatThig.334.

5.Page104, Whatdoyousuppose,Kmanta,willbe
playedtheretoday?Listsofsuchgamesaswerepopularin
thetimeoftheBuddhaappearinafewplacesinthescriptures;
forexampleinthebhikkhusrulesofconductatVin.Sang.8.1.2,
andintheBrahmajlaSutta,atD1.1.14.

6.Page105, theKadambashrub,withitsgreatgolden
blossomsTheKadambaflowerisNaucleacordifolia;itisalso
knownasNaucleacadamba,andNpainSanskrit.LordKrishnasat
inaNpatreetowatchthegopisbathing,accordingtothelegend.

7.Page106, teethlikepearls;andBimbalipsBimbadescribes
theredfruitofaspeciesofamaranth,Momordicamonadelpha.
399

BimbadevwasanamethatPrincessYashodhar,the
BuddhasformerwifeandthemotherofRahula,wasoftencalled.

8.Page106, thestemoftheyoungPisangThePisangis
theplantain,orbananatree.

CHAPTER14:THEFAMILYMAN

1.Page109, themandiesmiserablyforwhomthereis
nosontoofferthesacrificespropertothedeadThe
beliefthatonemusthaveasontoperformonesfuneral
ceremoniesproperlyisstillwidelyheldanddeeplyrespectedin
Indiatoday.

2.Page110, shehasanavelwhichsitsdeepandis
turnedtotherightItissuspectedthatthesecharacteristics,
andmanyoftheparticularsuperstitionsthatfollowinthe
story,areanotherjocularfictionconjuredupbyK.G.simply
forthenarrative;however,thedesirabilityofsons,andthe
commonnessofbeliefinthesignificanceofsuchsigns,arealso
stillwidespreadifnotubiquitousinIndia.

3.Page112, andfreshKusagrasscutKusagrass,Poa
cynosuroides,isalsoreputedtobethesourceofthePliword
kusala,meaningwholesome,sinceitwasonsomebundlesof
KusagrassthattheBuddhawassittingwhenherealised
enlightenment.Thiscouldjustbefolketymology,however.

4.Page114, therewasindeedthesoundofhissingin
myhomeItisaspuriousurbanlegendthattheChinesepictogram
forconflictisarenditionoftwowiveslivingunderthesameroof,
however,thereisa(somewhatsexist)medivalEnglishproverb
thatruns:
Two wymen in one howse,
Two cattes and one mowce,
Two dogges and one bone,
Maye never accorde in one.

400

CHAPTER15:THESHAVENHEADEDMONK

1.Page119, theambercolouroftheKanikraflower
TheKanikraisthetreePterospermumacerifolium.Itsfloweris
takenasthetypicalemblemofthecolouryellowandbrightness;
e.g.atD16.3.30.

2.Page120, Itrustthatyouwillnotstrikethishouse
withyourasceticangerTheconceptofbeingcursedbya
holymanmightseemstrangetous,buthereitcouldderive
fromtwodifferentsources.Firstly,itseemsquitecommonin
theancienttextsthatthegreatsagesandasceticsofIndiawere
abletowielddestructivepower,andfrequentlydid.
IntheMahbharataalonetherearemanyinstancesof
this,forexample:whenthegreatsageMaitreyacursesPrince
Duriyodhanaforbehavinginsolentlytowardshim;andwhenthe
brahminBhrgavacurseshisstudentRadheya,whenhefindsout
thatheisnotalsoabrahmin.EvenintheBuddhistscriptures
suchactionsarealsospokenof,e.g.intheUpaliSutta,M56.13.
Thereisalso,fromtheBuddhistcontext,whatiscalled
Beingburnedwiththebhikkhusfire.AverseintheSamyutta
Nikyagoesasfollows:
Thoughblacktrailedconflagrationsburnupwoods,
Yetshootsappearwhenafewdayshavepassed;
Buthewhomvirtuousbhikkhusfireshallburn
Willlackoffspring,noheirswillhavehiswealth:
Suchhave,likepalmstumps,neitherchildnorheir.
KosalaSamyutta1(S3.1)
(Bhikkhunamolitrans.)
Theexplanationisthis:whenabhikkhuisabusedand
doesnotreactwithabuseinreturn,theinnatenatural
consequenceisthattheabuserswilldrawpainfulkarmic
repercussionstothemselvesonthepartofthebhikkhuthere
isnointentionorwishtocauseharm.

3.Page120,asIpassedalongthestreetastoneflewat
myheadThislatterpartoftheparagraphcomesverbatim
fromtheAngulimlaSutta,M86.17(seeAppendix3);inthe
401
originalpassage,however,thecauseofhisbeingthusharmed
isnotsomuchthatthepeoplehavebeenstirredupbyMra
(althoughsuchtroublemakingbyhimdoesindeedoccuron
otheroccasions,e.g.intheDiscourseontheRebuketoMra,
atM50.13)theblowsandcutsandfallingtilesareseenmore
asthenaturalkarmicretributionthatAngulimlahasinvited
uponhimselfthroughhismanyyearsofviolentaction,priorto
becomingabhikkhu.
Theancientcommentariesassertthathedidnotlivefor
verylongafterhisordination.However,fromtheBuddhist
perspective,andfromthearrangementofthetextofthesutta,it
isquitepossiblethatthesepainfuleventscameafterhis
experienceofliberation.Thereisanequallyfamousaccountof
thepursuitandmurderbybanditsoftheVen.MahMoggallna,
theBuddhassecondmostseniordisciple.Eventhoughhehad
beenenlightenedseveraldecadesbefore,thisviolentendwas
apparentlyduetothestilllingeringkarmiceffectsofhimhaving
murderedhisparentsinapreviousexistence.(Seealsothe
comments,Chapter12,note2).

4.Page121, evenifrobbersandmurdererswereto
severyousavagelylimbbylimbwithatwohandledsaw
ThisfamousquotationisfromtheDiscourseontheSimileof
theSaw,atM21.20.(SeeChapter11,note1).

CHAPTER16:READYFORACTION

1.Page133, redspittleuptothattimeIhadntchewed
anybetelBetelnutisamildformofstimulant,similarto
caffeine.Thenutischewedslowlyand,overaperiodoftime,it
causesamildlypleasantnarcoticeffect.Alongwiththisitalso
stimulatestheproductionofalotofsaliva,ofacharacteristic
deepredcolour,whichthechewerneedstospitoutoccasionally.
ThegreatmajorityofIndianandSoutheastAsianpeoplestill
chewbetelnutdaily.

402
CHAPTER17:TOHOMELESSNESS

1.Page140, Asabirdfliesbearingonlyitswingsand
iscontentwiththeseThisfirstofthedescriptivephrases
ofthisparagraphcanbefoundintheClahatthipadopamaSutta
(TheShorterDiscourseontheSimileoftheElephantsFootprint)
atM27.14.

2.Page140, Thehouseholdlifeiscrowdedanddusty
ThissecondquoteisextremelycommonintheTheravda
scripturesandcanalsobefoundinthesamediscourseas
mentionedinthepreviousquotation,afewparagraphsearlier,
atM27.12.

3.Page142, Administerthehouseandfortuneuntilmy
sonattainstomanhoodThepassageherebearssomething
ofaresemblancetotheaccountoftheleavinghomeof
BhaddKapilnandherhusband,PipphaliKassapa.Afterthey
hadshavedtheirheadsandgoneforththeybothmettheBuddha
andbecameleadingdisciplesofhis:Bhaddasthenunwho
wasforemostinrecollectingherpastlives,andMahKassapaas
theforemostinundertakingtheausterepractices,andalsoasthe
convenorandpresidingElderattheFirstCouncil,afterthe
Buddhaspassingaway.Theaccountistobefoundinthe
commentaryto11oftheCollectiononKassapa,S16.11,also
inChapter3ofTheGreatDisciplesoftheBuddha,by
NyanaponikaTheraandHelmuthHecker,publishedbyWisdom,
pp10912.
Thereaderwillalsopossiblyguessfromthispassage
that,atthattimeinIndia(andstilltoalargeextenttheretoday),
itwasunthinkablethatwomenshouldownoradminister
property.UndertheVedicobservances,theManusmrti,The
LawsofManu,awomanhadtobeundertheguardianshipof
eitherherfather,herhusbandor,lackingthese,herson.
Theselawswerecomposedatsometimebetween200BCE
and200CE,probablyinNorthernIndia.Theyrepresenta
somewhattightersocialorderingthanseemstohavebeenin
playduringtheBuddhasownlifetime,however,manyofthe
customstheycodifiedwerepresent,atleastinagerminalstate,inthe
erathatthisstoryisset.
403

CHAPTER18:INTHEHALLOFTHEPOTTER

1.Page145, AndtheLordBuddhaalsosatsilently
HereK.G.isonceagaingentlyechoingthestyleofmuchofthe
Theravdascriptures:thereisanenormousamountofverbatim
repetitionintheancienttextssince,originally,theywerenot
writtendownbutwereallcommittedtomemoryand,forthe
purposesofmemorisation,havingstockphrasesmakeslifea
loteasierthanhavingcomplicatedeleganceandvariety.
Theywerefirstcommittedtowritingaboutfourhundred
yearsaftertheBuddhastime,in79BCE,whentherewasagreat
famineinSriLankaanditwasfearedthattheDhammateachings
woulddieoutcompletelyiftheywerenotthuspreserved.

2.Page146, Tobeseparatedfromwhatweloveis
sufferingThisisaquotationfromtheBuddhasfirstdiscourse,
theDhammacakkappavattanaSutta(TheDiscourseonthe
SettinginMotionoftheWheelofTruth).Itistobefoundin
oneofthebooksofmonasticdiscipline,theMahvagga,atMV
1.6,andalsointheSamyuttaNikya,whereitis2inthe
CollectionontheTruths,atS56.2.Thephrasequotedhereis
recitedeverydayinTheravdanBuddhistmonasteriesand
householdsaspartofthetraditionalmorningchanting.

3.Page146, WhatistheSelf?Whatistheuniverse?The
firstfourofthesequestionsareassembledfromsomeofthe
elementsofafrequentlyappearinglistoftenphilosophical
propositionsthattheBuddharefusedevertospeakon.They
appearinmanyplacesthroughoutthediscourses:e.g.inthe
BookoftheTens,95,andintheDiscoursetoVacchagottaon
FireatM72.312.Itseemsasthoughtheywereastocksetof
issuesthatallreligiousauthoritieswereexpectedtohavesome
firmbeliefabout.Theywere:
1)Theuniverseiseternal;
2)Theuniverseisnoteternal;
3)Theuniverseisfinite;
4)Theuniverseisinfinite;
5)Theself(attainPli,tmaninSanskrit)isthesameasthebody;
404

6)Theselfisonethingandthebodyanother;
7)AfterdeathaTathgataexists;
8)AfterdeathaTathgatadoesnotexist;
9)AfterdeathaTathgatabothexistsanddoesnotexist;
10)AfterdeathaTathgataneitherexistsnordoesnotexist.
TheBuddhasawthattryingtodiscoveranddefinethe
Truththroughholdingontoanysuchkindofspeculativeview,
wasnecessarilyboundupwithconfusionandattachmentand
didnotleadtowardsenlightenment;thusherefusedtoenter
intosuchquestions.Theyareknownastheundeclaredissues.
TheBuddhaalsoexpoundswithgreateloquenceand
humouronthiskindofunwiseattentionintheSabbsavaSutta
(TheDiscourseonAlltheOutflowsoftheMind)atM2.78;
andsomeofthetroublesomeresultsthatKmantaexperienced
werealsofoundbyVen.Meghiya,at3intheBookoftheNines
andatUd.4.1.

4.Page146, ifthehighestBrahmispureandperfect
happinessThequestionsinthelasttwosentencesofthis
paragraphareofamuchmoreEuropean,JudoChristian
flavourandnotsofamiliarintheBuddhisttexts.Theyperhaps
embodysomeofthemajorreligiousquestionsofK.G.sera
hislifeexactlyspannedthecrisisoffaithintheChristianchurch
attheendofthe19
th
Centuryandtheyreflecthispositionasa
somewhatdisaffectedChristiantheologianatthetimethathe
wroteKmanta.

5.Page147, itisasifoneweretopursuethehorizon
ThisstatementoftheBuddhasomewhatechoeshisexchange
withthedevaRohitassa,intheSamyuttaNikya,16inthe
CollectionontheSonsoftheDevas,andintheAnguttaraNikya,
BookoftheFours,45.
ItseemsthatinformertimesRohitassahadbeenan
accomplishedyogi,askywalkerwhocouldstepfromthe
easterntothewesternseaofIndia.HesaidtotheBuddha:In
me,Lord,therearosethewishIwillgettotheendofthe
worldbywalking.Iwalkedthusforahundredyearswithout
sleeping,andpausingonlytoeatanddrinkandanswerthecalls
ofnature.EventhoughIexertedmyselfthusforahundredyears,
405
IdidnotreachtheendoftheworldandeventuallyIdiedon
thejourney.
TothistheBuddhareplied:Itistruethatonecannot
reachtheendoftheworldbywalkingbut,unlessonereaches
theendoftheworldonewillnotreachtheendofsuffering
(dukkha).Itisinthisfathomlongbody,withitsperceptions
andideas,thatthisworld,itsorigin,itscessationandtheway
leadingtoitscessationaretobefound:
Onewhoknowstheworldgoestotheworldsend.
Onewholivestheholylife,
Withheartserene,theyunderstandtheworldsend
Anddonothankerforthisworldoranother.

6.Page147, wanderaloneliketherhinocerosThe
rhinoceroswasoftenusedasasymbolofthesolitarylifee.g.in
theKhaggavisnaSutta(TheDiscourseontheLoneRhinoceros)
inthefirstsectionoftheSuttaNipta,SN3575.

7.Page148, Justas,Obelovd,amanwhohasbeenled
blindfoldedThispassagecomesverbatimfromShvetaketu
intheChndogyaUpanishad,Ch.Up.6.14.Initscompleteformit
concludeswithoneofthemostoftquotedphrasesofallthe
Hinduscriptures:
Thatinvisibleandsubtleessence
istheSpiritofthewholeUniverse.
ThatisReality.
ThatisTruth.
THOUARTTHAT
TATTVAMASI.
ThiscanbefoundintheMascarotranslationonp.118
andinDeussensSixtyUpanishadsoftheVedasonp.171.

8.Page148, TheMasterdoesnotcravedisciplesEven
thoughthisstatementisknownasoneofthesayingsof
Confucius(itis,forexample,quotedinChapter2,74ofThe
RomanceoftheWesternChamber,byMasterTung,p.69inthe
Columbiaedn.)noonethattheeditorhasconsultedhas,asyet,
beenabletoverifythisasastatementabouttheBuddha.

406
9.Page149, HeistheBlessdOneThesearesomeof
TheNineQualitiesoftheBuddhaaformularepeatedvery
ofteninthePliscriptures,e.g.intheSmaaphalaSutta,at
D2.8,anddailyinthemorningandeveningchantingin
Theravdacountries.Theexchangedescribedinthesenextfew
paragraphsalsooccursbetweenPukkustiandtheBuddha,at
M140.5(seeAppendix2).

10.Page149,Justbeyondthetownistherichlywooded
JetavanaparkThisdescriptionoftheJetavana,andthe
storyofitsbeingofferedtotheBuddha,canbefoundinoneof
thebooksofmonasticdiscipline,theClavagga,atCV6.4.

CHAPTER19:THEMASTER

Thiswholechapterandtheonefollowingithavebeeningeniously
crafted,almostintheirentirety,byK.G.fromvariouscanonical
dialoguesoftheBuddha.Thereislittleherethathasnotcome
directlyfromthePli.

1.Page153, ThatTeachingistheUnveiling,the
RevelationoftheFourNobleTruthsThesearepassages
liftedalmostverbatimfromtheBuddhasfirstdiscourseafterthe
enlightenmenttheDhammacakkappavattanaSutta(The
SettinginMotionoftheWheelofTruth)alsomentioned
above(seeChapter18,note2).
Thesefirstfewparagraphscontaintheheartcoreofthe
BuddhasTeaching:withinthemareembodiedthethemesthat
runthrougheverysubsequentprinciplethattheBuddhaever
expounded.
Furthermore,ineverycountryandcultureintowhich
Buddhismhasspread,fromLatviatoJapanandfromMongolia
toSriLanka,whatisexpressedheretheexpositionofthe
FourNobleTruthsandtheMiddleWayisregardedasthe
uniqueandinviolablequintessenceoftheBuddhasinsightinto
Truth.EvensuchelementsoftheBuddhasTeachingasare
onlyfoundintheNorthernTraditione.g.theHeartStra
(whichexploresthenatureofemptiness),andtheFourVast
BodhisattvaVows(whichdescribetheattitudeoffollowingthe
407
BuddhasPathexplicitlyforthesakeofrelievingthesuffering
ofallbeingsandnotjustoneself)theseexpressionstooderive
directlyfromtheoriginalFourNobleTruths.
Itmightseemanunglamorouscoinage,anddevoidof
bothpoeticcharmandpromisesofglory,butitsimportantto
understandthatitwastheBuddhasexplicitintentiontounderstate
thecase.AsamatteroffacttheformatoftheFourNoble
Truthsexactlyfollowsthepatternofadiagnosisintraditional
Ayurvedicmedicine,i.e.:symptom(suffering);cause(selfcentred
desire);prognosis(sufferingcanendcompletely);treatment
(theNobleEightfoldPath)anexpressionnotdesignedto
plucktheheartstringsbyidealisingtheGoalofspirituallife,
buthighlyeffectiveindescribingtheworknecessarytohelp
usarrivethere.

2.Page154, BythesideofthepillarofthePrincipleof
SufferingThesepassagesrefertotheteachingsonwhatare
knownasTheThreeCharacteristicsofExistence:Anicca,
DukkhaandAnattImpermanence,Unsatisfactoriness/
SufferingandSelflessnessthesebeingqualitiespossessed
byallelementsofthephysicalandmentalworld.Themain
discourseonthissubjectistheAnattalakkhanaSutta(see
Chapter10,note12).

3.Page154, thefundamentallawofconditionality
DependentOriginationDependentOrigination,Paticca
samuppda,isthefineanalysisofhowignoranceandselfcentred
desiregiverisetotheexperienceofdissatisfaction,andhow
thisprocesscanbebroughttoanend.Theenlightenment
experienceoftheBuddhawascentredaroundaprofoundinsight
intothisprocesshedescribesitintheSamyuttaNikya,at
65intheCollectiononCausality,S12.65.Thesameandother
closelyrelatedformulappearinmanyplacesinthescriptures,
someoftheprincipalonesbeingintheMahnidnaSutta
(TheGreatDiscourseonOrigination)atD15.122,andinthe
MahpadnaSutta(TheGreatDiscourseontheLineage)atD
14.2.1821.ThebestbookintheEnglishlanguageonthis
somewhatabstrusesubjectisDependentOriginationbyVen.
P.A.Payutto,publishedbyBuddhadhammaFoundation,
Bangkok.
408
TheconceptofDependentOriginationisalsoclosely
relatedtoIdappaccayat,causality,(literally:theconditionality
ofrelationsbetweenthisandthat).Thisisasubject
thathasbeenextensivelywrittenaboutbyVen.Ajahn
Buddhadsa,aleadingBuddhistphilosopherandmeditation
masterofthe20
th
CenturyinThailand.

4.Page155, introducedananalogybysuchmethod
themeaningofmanyaprofoundutterancebecomes
clearThisisaphraseusedmanytimesbytheBuddhaand
hisdisciplesforexample,intheDiscourseontheRelayof
Chariots,atM24.14.

5.Page155, ByattachmenttoexistenceThisquotation
seemstohavebeendistilledbyK.G.fromacoupleofsources:
thefirstistobefoundinthecollectionofdiscoursesknownas
TheInspiredUtterances,theUdna,atUd.3.10;theotherisat
verses7425oftheSuttaNipta,intheDvayatnupassanSutta.

6.Page155, MydeliveranceisunassailableThis
phraseisfoundinnumerousplacesinthePliCanon,e.g.in
theDhammacakkappavattanaSutta,at11oftheCollection
ontheTruths,S56.11.

7.Page155, TheonewhohascomethusfarThis
paragraphiscondensedfromtheDhtuvibhangaSutta,M140.25
6(seeAppendix2).

8.Page155, Andone,whofromtheverybeginning
TheBuddhasownconsiderationsonthispointcanbefoundin
theAriyapariyesanSutta(TheDiscourseonTheNobleSearch)
atM26.13.

9.Page155, BirthisdestroyedYetanotherstock
phrase;again,itistobefoundinnumerousplacesinthe
scriptureswhenenlightenmenthasbeenrealised.Forexample,
intheAngulimlaSutta,atM86.16(seeAppendix3).

10.Page156,Suchones,myfriend,arecalledFinishers
Theseterms:Finishers,ObliteratorsandWeeders,seemtobe
409
theinventionofK.G.,althoughitisbynomeansunprecedented
thattheBuddhashouldusesuchwordsinsuchacontext.For
example,ononeoccasionhewasquitehappytobereferredto
asbhnahuno,literallyawreckerofbeing,adestroyerof
growthintheMgandiyaSutta,atM75.5;and,onanother
occasion,whenbeingcriticisedbyabrahminfromVeraj(Vin.
Par.1,andatBookoftheEights,11),hetookalongsuccession
ofsupposedinsultsincludingbeingaccusedofbeingtasteless,
ateacherofnihilism,promortification,andthathewasagainst
rebirthand,sayingthattheywerealltrue,proceededtoturn
eachonearoundandusetheterminologytopointtothehighest
spiritualprinciplesinstead.
AtM22.37,intheDiscourseontheSimileoftheSnake,
hequitecategoricallystates,however,thatheisNOTan
annihilationist:Ihavebeenbaselessly,vainly,falselyand
wronglymisrepresentedbysomesamanasandbrahminsthus:
TheSamanaGotamaisonewholeadsastray;heteachesthe
annihilation,thedestruction,theexterminationofanexisting
being.AsIamnot,andIdonotproclaimthis,Ihavebeen
baselessly,vainly,falselyandwronglymisrepresented
Bhikkhus,bothformerlyandnowwhatIteachissufferingand
thecessationofsuffering.(SeealsoChapter45,note12,on
TheQuestionsofUpasva).
ItseemsasthoughK.G.wantedtocomeupwithepithets
thathadaparticularlynegativeordestructivetonetothem,in
orderfortheBuddhatoputKmantatothetest.

11.Page156,Solongastheyareinthebody,suchones
areseenbygodsandhumansThereferencesusedinthis
paragraphcomefromavarietyofdifferentplaces,allareseena
fewtimesinthescriptures;allexceptfortheMotherNature
theAllseeingphrasewhichseemstobeafreshcreationof
K.G.Forexample,thefirstphrasecanbefoundinthe
BrahmajlaSutta,atD1.3.73;thesecondoneSuchones
haveindeedblindedtheeyeofMraisfoundintheNivpa
Sutta(TheBait)atM25.1220andatM26.3442intheAriyapariyesan
Sutta(TheDiscourseonTheNobleSearch);and
lastlyNirvnaisreferredtoasTheIslandat39intheCollection
ontheUnconditioned,S43.39.

410

CHAPTER20:THEUNREASONABLECHILD

1.Page159, Youhavetoldmemuchofhowthemonk
shouldmakeanendofsufferinginhislifetimeThe
openingparagraphsofthischaptercloselymirroranumberof
familiarexchangesbetweentheBuddhaandsomeofhisspiritual
interlocutors:firstlywithawanderercalledUttiya(whichappears
intheAnguttaraNikya,BookoftheTens,95)andsecondly
withabhikkhucalledMlunkyaputta(intheCla
MlunkyaputtaSutta,atM63.310).
IneachcasetheypresstheBuddhatogivethemastraight
answertothetenstandardphilosophicalquestionsmentioned
above(seeChapter18,note3).
Intheformerinstance,Uttiyaasks:ButwhydoesMaster
GotamadeclinetoanswerwhenIaskhimthesequestions?What
thenisansweredbyMasterGotama?Inaveinverysimilarto
theresponsegiventoKmanta,theBuddhareplies:Iteach
theDhammatodisciplesfromdirectknowledge,Uttiya,forthe
purificationofbeings,forthesurmountingofsorrowand
lamentation,forendingpainandgrief,forattainmentofthe
truegoal,forrealisingNibbna.
Inthelattercasethequestionereveninsists:IftheBlessd
Oneknows...lettheBlessdOnedeclarethattome.Ifthe
BlessdOnedoesnotknow...thenitisstraightforwardforone
whodoesnotknowanddoesnotseetosayIdonotknow,
Idonotsee.Tobothoftheseenquirers,however,hestoically
responds:ThisisunrevealedbytheTathgata.
Thereis,infactanentiresectionoftheDiscoursesRelatedby
Subject(SamyuttaNikya)onSayingsConcerningtheUnrevealed
(Avykata);itisfoundatS44.

2.Page159, Ashewalkedthroughthewoodhepicked
upabundleofSimsapleavesThisisoneofthemost
famousmetaphorsthattheBuddhaused.Theincidentisfound
at31intheCollectionofSayingsontheTruths,S56.31.Itis
alsoworthquotinghereanotheroftheBuddhaswellknown
metaphorsonthesamesubjectthesocalledParableofthe
Arrow,againfromM63(seenote1ofthischapter):
Suppose,Mlunkyaputta,amanwerewoundedbyan
411
arrowthicklysmearedwithpoison,andhisfriendsandcompanions,
hiskinsmenandrelatives,broughtasurgeontotreathim.
Themanwouldsay:Iwillnotletthesurgeonpulloutthis
arrowuntilIknowwhetherthemanwhowoundedmewasa
nobleorabrahminoramerchantoraworker.Andhewould
say:IwillnotletthesurgeonpulloutthisarrowuntilIknow
thenameandclanofthemanwhowoundedme;...untilIknow
whetherthemanwhowoundedmewastallorshortorofmiddle
height;...whetherhewasofdarkorbrownorofgoldenskin;...
fromwhichtownorvillagehecame;...untilIknowwhetherthe
bowwasalongboworacrossbow;...whetherthebowstring
wasfibreorreedorsineworhemporbark;...whethertheshaft
waswildorcultivated;...whatkindoffeathersitpossessed,
whetherthoseofvultureorcroworhawkorpeacockorstork;...
whatkindofsinewtheshaftwasboundwith,whetheroxor
buffaloorlionormonkey;...whatkindofarrowheaditwas,
whetheritwashooftippedorcurvedorbarbedorcalftoothed
oroleander...
Allthiswouldstillnotbeknowntothatmanand
meanwhilehewoulddie...Mlunkyaputta,whetherthereisthe
viewTheuniverseiseternalortheviewTheuniverseisnot
eternaletc.,therestillisbirth,thereisageing,thereisdeath,
therearesorrow,lamentation,pain,griefanddespair,the
destructionofwhichIprescribehereandnow.
Therefore,Mlunkyaputta,rememberwhatIhaveleft
unrevealedasunrevealed,andrememberwhatIhaverevealed
asrevealed...
AndwhathaveIrevealed?ThisisSuffering,itsOrigin,
itsCessationandthePathLeadingtoitsCessation,thisIhave
revealed.WhyhaveIrevealedthis?Becauseitisbeneficial,it
belongstothefundamentalsoftheholylife,itleadsto
disenchantment,todispassion,tocessation,topeace,todirect
knowledge,toenlightenment,toNibbna.ThatiswhyIhave
revealedit.

3.Page160, ifheshouldrevealtothemhisversionof
theFinalTruthnamely,annihilationThisdeduction
ofKmantasissomethingthattheBuddhawellunderstood.
HereisapassagefromtheAlagaddpamaSutta,(TheDiscourse
ontheSimileoftheSnake)atM22.20:Here,bhikkhu,someone
412
hastheview:ThisisSelf,thistheworld;afterdeathIshallbe
permanent,everlasting,eternal,notsubjecttochange;Ishall
endureaslongaseternity.HehearstheTathgataoradisciple
oftheTathgatateachingtheDhammafortheeliminationofall
standpoints,decisions,obsessions,adherencesandunderlying
tendencies,forthestillingofallformations,fortherelinquishing
ofallattachments,forthedestructionofcraving,fordispassion,
forcessation,forNibbna.Hethinksthus:SoIshallbe
annihilated!SoIshallperish!SoIshallbenomore!Thenhe
sorrows,grievesandlaments,heweepsbeatinghisbreastand
becomesdistraught.TheBuddhathenoutlinesthisasa
mistakenviewofthingsandthen,throughthecontemplations
onimpermanence,unsatisfactorinessandselflessness,leadshis
listenerstothepathofAwakening.(SeealsoChapter36,note8).

4.Page161, WhenyousitatthefeetoftheTathgata
ThisexchangehasbeenskilfullyliftedbyK.G.fromadialogue
betweentheBuddhaandoneofhisbhikkhus,calledAnurdha.
Itisoneoftheclearestexpressionsoftheprincipleknownas
theunapprehendibilityoftheenlightened.
IntheexchangewithAnurdha,theBuddhais
commendinghimuponthefactthatheassertedthatnothing
couldbesaidaboutthenatureofanenlightenedbeingafterthe
deathofthebody.Ashepointsout:IftheTathgataishere
andnowunapprehendiblebyyouastrueandestablished,how
muchlesscantherebeanythingsaidaboutsuchaoneafterthe
bodydies.ThewholeexchangeisfoundintheSamyuttaNikya,
at2intheCollectionontheUnrevealed,S44.2.Asimilar
dialogueisfound,betweenVen.SriputtaandVen.Yamaka,at
S22.85.
Thereisalsoaninterestingexpressionofthissame
principlefound,asinthepreviousnote,intheAlagaddpama
Sutta,(TheDiscourseontheSimileoftheSnake)atM22.36.
HeretheBuddhaisspeakingaboutonewhoiscompletely
liberated:Bhikkhus,whenthegodswithIndra,withBrahm
andwithPajpatiseekabhikkhuwhoisthusliberatedinmind,
theydonotfindanythingofwhichtheycouldsay:The
consciousnessofonethusgone(Tathgata)issupportedby
this.Whyisthat?Onethusgone,Isay,isuntraceablehere
andnow.
413
5.Page162, itstillseemstometobeimpliedplainly
enoughinthesilenceoftheTathgataTheperplexity
feltbyKmantahereechoesthatfeltbythewandererUttiya
(mentionedabove,innote1ofthischapter)andalsothatof
anotherwanderer,Vacchagotta(at10intheCollectiononthe
Unrevealed)who,whenaskingtheBuddhawhethertheSelf
existedornot,wasansweredsolelywithsilence.
Inbothcasesnanda,theBuddhasattendant,waseager
tocomprehendandexplaintheBuddhasnonverbalresponse
andwasworriedthatthequestionerswouldmisunderstandit.
Itwasprobablyacommonproblem.
WehavetouchedupontheprincipleofwhytheBuddha
revealedcertainthingsandnotothers(seenote2,thischapter)
butthereadermightstillbewonderingwhytheBuddhaseems
tobegivingKmantasuchahardtime,whenheknowsallalong
thathecouldmakehimhappysimplybytellinghimwhoheis
(wecameacrossasimilaractofwithholdingofinformationby
theBuddha,onpage146,para.2).
InthislightitmightbeusefultounderstandtheBuddhas
owncriteriaforchoosingwhattosayandwhen.Hedescribes
theseintheDiscoursetoPrinceAbhaya,atM58.8;theyare:
1)Speechwhichisuntrue,incorrect&unbeneficial,andwhich
isalsounwelcome&disagreeabletoothersthisisnotuttered
byaTathgata.
2)Speechwhichistrue&correctbutunbeneficial,andwhich
isalsounwelcome&disagreeabletoothersthisisnotuttered
byaTathgata.
3)Speechwhichistrue,correct&beneficial,butwhichisalso
unwelcome&disagreeabletootherstheTathgataknows
therighttimetousesuchspeech.
4)Speechwhichisuntrue,incorrect&unbeneficialbutwhich
iswelcome&agreeabletoothersthisisnotutteredbya
Tathgata.
5)Speechwhichistrue&correctbutunbeneficial,andwhich
iswelcome&agreeabletoothersthisisnotutteredbya
Tathgata.
6)Speechwhichistrue,correct&beneficial,andwhichis
welcome&agreeabletootherstheTathgataknowstheright
timetousesuchspeech.Whyisthat?BecausetheTathgatahas
compassionforalllivingbeings.
414
Fromthisitcanbeseenthat,fortheBuddha,thesole
criterionforsayingsomethingwaswhetheritwasjudgedtobe
bothtrueandbeneficial,ifitwasnt,hewouldkeepsilent.

6.Page163, Whateverkindsofexistencethereare
ThisisfromtheBuddhasthoughtsshortlyaftertheenlightenment
inthecollectionofInspiredUtterancesatUd.3.10(see
Chapter36,note8).

7.Page163, AndhowdoessuchaoneseethisReality?
ThispassageappearsinthecollectioncalledtheSayingsofthe
Buddha(Itivuttaka)atIti.49.

8.Page163, likeawatchdogthat,boundtoapostand
tryingtofreeitselfThissimileappearsinthePacattaya
Sutta(TheFiveandtheThree)atM102.12.

9.Page163, LetussaythatahouseisburningThis
seemsaveryfamiliaranalogybutithasnotbeenpossibleto
locateitineitherthePliCanonoritscommentaries.Itspossible
thatitisasomewhatamendedversionofthefamousSimileof
theBurningHouse,foundintheLotusStra,atextfromthe
NorthernBuddhisttradition.Inthis,alovingparenthastocoax
theirchildrenoutofaburninghousebyfalselypromisingthem
morebeautifulandsplendidtoysthanthosetheyareplaying
with,andwhichthechildreninitiallyrefusetoleavebehind.

10.Page164,youshouldactasifyourheadwere
encompassedbyflamesThefirstsimileofthisparagraph
appearsofteninthescriptures,e.g.at21intheCollectionon
Devas,S1.21,andat34intheCollectionontheTruths,S56.34.

11.Page164,Theworldsetonfirebytheflameof
desireofhateofdelusionThispassageprobably
derivesfromacoupleofdifferentplaces:firstlyfromverse146
oftheDhammapada:
Howcantherebejoyandlaughter
Whenthewholeworldisaflame?
Secondly,fromtheBuddhasthirddiscourseafterthe
enlightenment,TheFireSermonmadefamousintheWest
415
byT.S.EliotsquotationofitinTheWasteLand.Itbegins:All
isburning,bhikkhusThislatterpassageisintheMahvagga,
MV1.21,andat28intheCollectionontheSixSenses,S35.28.

12.Page164,Thewholeworldisbeingconsumedby
flamesthewholeworldrockstoitsfoundationsThis
finalphraseseemsparticularlytoechotheclosinglinesofthe
versesoftheElderNunSsupacl,atThig.2023:
Thewholeworldsonfire
Itellyou!Itsblazing,blazing!
Thewholeworldsaflame
flaring,shaking,
thewholeworldrocks.
Eventhesewordsareshaking
thewholeworldsablaze!

13.Page165,LetusimaginethecaseofayouthThis
passagecomesfromtheBrihadranyakaUpanishad,Br.r.Up.4.3.33.It
occursinaconversationbetweenYajavalkyaandJanaka,the
KingofVideha.Itistobefoundonpp.1378inthePenguin
Classicseditionandatpp.4912inDeussen.
ItisalsointerestingtonotethatintheMgandiyaSutta,
M75,theBuddhausesasimilaranalogy,sayinghowuninterested
inearthlysensepleasuresoneofthedevaswouldbe,sincetheir
experiencesofpleasurearesomuchmorerefinedandacute.
HethengoesontosaytoMgandiyathatthereason
whyhe,theBuddhahasrenouncedsensepleasuresissimply
because:...thereis,Mgandiya,adelightapartfromsensual
pleasures,apartfromunwholesomestates,whichsurpasses
divinebliss.SinceItakedelightinthat,Idonotenvywhatis
inferior,nordoIdelighttherein.(M75.12).
PerhapsiftheBuddhahadusedthisphraseologywith
ourhero,thestoryofKmantamighthavebeenverydifferent.

14.Page165,imaginetherewasaninexperiencedchild
Thelengthyanalogythatbeginshereseemstobeareworking
byK.G.oftheMgandiyaSutta,M75.138;heusessomedirect
quotesfromthatSuttahere(e.g.Healthisthegreatestofall
giftsisatM75.19)andthegeneralthemeisverysimilar.Its
possiblethathefeltthattheBuddhasuseofimagerysuchas
416
Suppose,Mgandiya,therewasaleperwithsoresandblisters
onhislimbs,beingdevouredbyworms,scratchingthescabsoff
theopeningsofhiswoundswithhisnailswasabittoo
muchforgenteelEuropeansociety,andchosetheless
challengingpictureofatoothacheinstead.

15.Page165,amiracleworkerfromthelandofGandhra
TheGandhravijjismentionedintheKevaddhaSutta,atD11.5,
asameansofeithermultiplyingonesbodyorbecoming
invisible.
TheBuddhamentionsitinthecontextofthekindsof
trickeryusedtoconvinceothersthatonepossessespsychic
powersi.e.Hesnotreallyabletoperformmiracles,hes
justusingtheGandhracharm!

16.Page166,Kmantasatreducedtosilenceandsorely
disturbedTherewereanumberofothersimilaroccasions
whenpeopledebatedwiththeBuddhaandendedupinthis
condition;forexampleahaughtybrahminpandit,Saccaka,once
challengedtheBuddhatoaphilosophicalduel,onlytocome
outfeelingsomewhattheworseforwear.
ThestoryisrecountedintheClaSaccakaSutta,atM35;
hereachesthisconditionbypara.22.Also,at24ofthe
CollectiononMra,S4.24,thedisconsolateAdversaryisleft
...seatedcrossleggedontheearthnotfarfromtheBlessdOne,
silent,dismayed,withshouldersdroopingandheadsunkdown
onhischest,glumandwithnothingtosay,scratchingtheground
withastick.

17.Page167,itoccasionallyhappensthatBuddhas
smileItindeedonlyoccursafewtimesinthescriptures
thattheBuddhasmiles;however,itisinterestingtofindthatthe
smileofanenlightenedonehasitsownspecialcategoryof
consciousnessitiscalledthehasituppdacitta.
AnexampleoftheBuddhasmiling,andwhy,maybe
foundintheGhatkraSutta,M81.2.Onthisoccasion,itseems,
theBuddhawaswalkingthroughaplacewherehehadlivedin
thetimeofthepreviousBuddha,Kassapa;atthattimehehad
beenayoungbrahminbythenameofJotipla,andwasfriends
withapottercalledGhatkra.Ghatkrawasadevoteddisciple
417
oftheBuddhaKassapabutJotiplawasnottheslightestbit
interestedinevenmeetingthisBuddhacharacter.
EventuallyGhatkrahadtodraghimbyhishairalong
towheretheBuddhaKassapawasstayinganoutrageousact
forahumbleartisantocarryoutonaloftybrahmin...Once
JotiplahadfinallymettheBuddhaKassapa,however,great
faitharoseinhimandhebecameabhikkhu.Itwasthememory
oftheironyofthisoccasionthatbroughtthesmiletothe
Tathgataslips.

18.Page167,No,brother,hereplied,Icannottruly
saythatIhaveThisresponseabsolutelycrucialto
KmantastaleisagainfirmlybasedintheTheravda
scriptures.Thereisanexchangebetweenawiselaydiscipleof
theBuddha,calledCitta(literallyHeart),andtheNigantha
Ntaputta,thefounderandheadofanasceticspiritualgroup
thatareknowntodayastheJains.CittaisaskedbyNtaputta:
DoyouhavefaithintheteachingoftheBuddhathat
thereismentalbalance(samdhi)withoutdirectedand
sustainedthought,thatdirectedandsustainedthoughtcan
cease?
Herein,sir,Idonothavefaithintheteachingofthe
Buddhathatthereismentalbalancewithoutdirectedand
sustainedthought,thatdirectedandsustainedthoughtcan
cease.
TheNiganthaNtaputtaisheartilypleasedwiththis
response,assumingthata)thiswellknowndiscipleofthe
Buddhaispubliclyexpressingdoubtinhisteacher,andb)that
heagreeswiththeNiganthaNtaputtasownbeliefs:How
straight,guilelessandingenuousisCitta...Onewhobelieves
thatthinkingcanceasemightaswellbelievethatthemindcan
becaughtinanet,orthattheRiverGangcouldbeheldback
withonesownfist.
Cittathen,however,goesontodescribehisown
experienceofthedeepstatesofmeditativeabsorption(jhna),
inseveralofwhichthereisbothaperfectionofmentalbalance
andacompletecessationofthinking;concludinghisdescription
withthewords:Knowingandseeingthusformyself,why
shouldIhavetobelievethewordsofanysamanaorbrahmin?
Naturallyhisquestionerisnothappywiththisand
418
accuseshim:Howcrooked,howcrafty,howcounterfeitingis
thishouseholderCitta!butCittahadbeenabsolutelytruthful
allalong,theproblemwasthattheNiganthaNtaputtawas
unmindfulofthewayinwhichheposedthequestion.The
exchangeisfoundat8intheCollectiononCitta,S41.8.
Ven.AjahnChahwasveryfondofreferringtothisprinciple.
Forexample:
VenerableSriputta,oneoftheBuddhasdisciples,was
veryastute.OncewhentheBuddhawasexpoundingtheDhamma
heturnedtothismonkandasked,Sriputta,doyoubelievethis?
Sriputtareplied,No,Idontyetbelieveit.TheBuddhapraised
hisanswer.
Thatsverygood,Sriputta.Youareonewhoisendowed
withwisdom.Onewhoiswisedoesntreadilybelieve;theylisten
withanopenmindandthenweighthetruthofthematterbefore
believingordisbelieving.(AjahnChah,FoodfortheHeart,p.54,
WisdomPubs.)
AjahnChahsstoryisafreeretellingoftheDhammapada
CommentarybackgroundstoryonDhammapadaverse97,(whichin
turnisrelatedtothediscourse,TheEasternGatehouse,atS48.44).
ThirtybhikkhusfromavillagehadarrivedattheJetavana
monasterytopayhomagetotheBuddha.TheBuddhaknewthatthe
timewasripeforthosebhikkhustoattainArahatship.So,hesentfor
Sriputta,andinthepresenceofthosebhikkhus,heasked,Myson
Sriputta,doyouacceptthefactthatbymeditatingonthesensesone
couldrealizeNibbna?
Sriputtaanswered,VenerableSir,inthematterofthe
realizationofNibbnabymeditatingonthesenses,itisnotthatI
acceptitbecauseIhavefaithinyou;itisonlythosewhohavenot
personallyrealizeditthatacceptthefactfromothers.Sriputtas
answerwasnotproperlyunderstoodbythebhikkhus;theythought,
Sriputtahasnotgivenupwrongviewsyet;evennow,hehasno
faithintheBuddha.
ThentheBuddhaexplainedtothemthetruemeaningof
Sriputtasanswer.Bhikkhus,Sriputtasanswerissimplythis;
heacceptsthefactthatNibbnaisrealizedbymeansofmeditation
onthesenses,buthisacceptanceisduetohisownpersonalrealization
andnotmerelybecauseIhavesaiditorsomebodyelsehassaidit.
Sariputtahasfaithinme;healsohasfaithintheconsequencesof
goodandbaddeeds.
419

Theversethisisacommentarytois:
Themanwhoiswithoutblindfaith,whoknowstheUncreated,
whohasseveredalllinks,destroyedallcauses(forkarma,goodandevil),
andthrownoutalldesires
he,truly,isthemostexcellentofmen.
Dhp.97,(Buddharakkhitatrans.)
Interestinglyandwithsomewryirony,asthestoryhere
hingesuponmisunderstoodordoublemeaningsthePaliofthis
versepresentsaseriesofpuns,andiftheundersideofeachpun
weretobetranslated,theversewouldreadthus:
Themanwhoisfaithless,ungrateful,
aburglar,whodestroysopportunities
andeatsvomit
he,truly,isthemostexcellentofmen.

19.Page167,thedoctrineoftheBuddhaisblissinthe
beginningthemiddleandtheendThesewordsare
anotherstockphrasefoundthroughoutthePliscripturesin
referencetothequalitiesoftheTeaching,(e.g.atM27.11);itis
alsopartofthetraditionaldailychanting.ThewordthatKmanta
generouslyrendersblisshereiskalyna,whichcanalsobe
translatedaslovely,beautifulorgood.

20.Page168,helaidhimselfdownonhismatinthepostureof
thelionThisisthepostureandmannerinwhichtheBuddha
alwayslaydown,andwhichherecommendedtoallthefollowers
ofhisTeachingasthebestwaytorestfullyandawakenatthe
desiredtimewithaclearmind.Examplescanbefoundat16in
theBookoftheThrees,andatM36.46,D16.4.40andatS4.13.
AninterestingoccasionisdescribedintheClavagga,
atCV7.4,wheretheBuddhasmaleficentcousinDevadatta
imitatesthismethodbutfallsasleepunmindfully,andlosesa
largeproportionofhisdiscipleswhilehesunconscious.

CHAPTER21:INMIDCAREER

1.Page172, howmanygenerationspassandhaveno
BuddhaThisobservationappearsafewtimesinthe
scripturesforexample,whenthelatterlyfamousBuddhist
420
philanthropistAnthapindikafirstheardthattherewasaBuddha
intheworld,atCV6.4;and,morepreciselyintheDevadta
Sutta(TheDiscourseontheHeavenlyMessengers)atM130.28.

2.Page173, thepolishedhornwhichdrovedeepinto
hissideThisisindeedhowPukkustimeetshisendinthe
DhtuvibhangaSutta(seeAppendix2).Hewasoneofagroup
offourmenmentionedintheBuddhistscriptureswhoalldied
inthiswayatdifferenttimes;theotherswereBhiyaDrucriya,
Tambadthika,andSuppabuddhatheLeper.
Thestorygoesthatinapreviouslifethefourofthem
hadmurderedandrobbedabeautifulcourtesanthattheyhad
takenoutfortheday;she,thuswrongedandenraged,returned
asayakkhinademonessintheformofacrazedcowand
pursuedthemeachtotheirdeathsthroughahundredlives.
Theymustalsohavemadeconsiderablegoodkarma
alongtheway,however,astheywereallabletomeettheBuddha
inthispresenttime.BothPukkustiandBhiyaweresamanas
(wanderingasceticmendicants),Suppabuddhawasaleperwho
beggedforhisliving(hemettheBuddhabecausehesawabig
crowdgatheredinthetownandthoughtthattheymightbe
distributingfreefood,onlytofinditwastheBuddhateaching,
sohestoppedtolisten),andTambadthikahadbeenthestate
executioner.
AfterhearingtheBuddhasteaching,Bhiyabecamean
Arahantinstantly(thefastestofalltheBuddhasdisciplestodo
so);PukkustibecameanAngmi,aNonreturner,andwas
rebornintheAvihBrahmrealm;Suppabuddhabecamea
Sotpanna,aStreamentererandwasrebornintheTvatimsa
heaven;andTambadthikawasrebornintheTusitaheaven.
Asfortheyakkhinunfortunatelywearenottoldwhat
becameofherafterallthegoringswereover.Herstoryisfound
atDhp.A.2.35,thecommentarytoverse66oftheDhammapada.
Asamatterofinterest,theteachingthattheBuddhagave
toBhiya,whichenabledhimtorealisetheTruthsoquickly,
wasasfollows:
Intheseenthereisonlytheseen,
intheheardthereisonlytheheard,
inthesensedthereisonlythesensed,
inthecognisedthereisonlythecognised.
421

Thusyoushouldseethat
indeedthereisnothinghere,
this,Bhiya,ishowyoushouldtrainyourself.

Since,Bhiya,thereisforyou
intheseen,onlytheseen,
intheheard,onlytheheard,
inthesensed,onlythesensed
andinthecognised,onlythecognised,
andyouseethatthereisnothinghere,
youwillthereforeseethat
indeedthereisnothingthere.

Asyouseethatthereisnothingthere
youwillseethat
youarethereforelocated
neitherintheworldofthis,
norintheworldofthat,
norinanyplace
betwixtthetwo.
Thisaloneistheendofsuffering.
Ud.1.10
(SimilarprinciplesarealsoexpoundedatUd.8.4andIti.94).

3.Page176, ThedisciplewhoresemblestheMaster
ThisepithetwasindeedgiventotheVen.Sriputta;thePli
wordforitissatthukappa(see,forexample,M24.17).Inthe
incidenthere,however,adifferentslantseemstohavebeen
grantedbyK.G:thetitlegiventoVen.Sriputtawasmeantto
implyaspiritualexcellence,notaphysicalresemblance.Itwas
Nanda,ahalfbrotheroftheBuddha,whowasknownforthis
lattercharacteristic.
Astoryrelatingtothisresemblanceisfoundinthe
accountoftheorigintoPcittiyaRule92,intheVinya,the
bookofthemonksdiscipline:Ven.Nandawasbeautiful,good
tolookupon,charming,fourfingerbreadthslessinheightthan
theLord.HeworearobethesamemeasureastheTathgatas
robe.MonkswhowereelderssawtheVen.Nandacomingfrom
afar;seeinghim,theysaid:TheLordiscoming...
422

4.Page178, Well,Sriputradidthecompanyofyoung
monksunderyourleadershipThistypeofexchangeis
foundinmanyplacesthroughoutthescriptures(Nowitisthe
customforBuddhas,AwakenedOnes,toexchangefriendly
greetingswithincomingbhikkhus.MV7.2).Forexample,at
Ud.5.6:Areyouwell,bhikkhu?Areyouingoodhealth?Are
youfatiguedbythejourneycominghere?Didyouhaveany
difficultyobtainingalmsfood?

5.Page179, Foolishasanunreasonablechildwasthe
pilgrimKmantaItwasbynomeansunheardofforthe
kindofreactiondescribedinthispassagetooccurinthehearts
ofthosewhocametolistentotheBuddha.IntheMlapariyya
Sutta(theveryfirstinthatmostsignificantofcollections,the
MiddleLengthDiscourses)aftertheBuddhahasexplainedahost
ofsubtleandcomplexaspectsofhisteachingtoagroupofhis
monks,itconcludeswiththewords:Butthosebhikkhusdidnot
delightintheBlessdOneswords,M1.194.
TheancientcommentaryexplainsthattheBuddha
deliveredthisdiscoursetodispeltheconceitthathadarisenin
themindsofthosemonksonaccountoftheireruditionand
intellectualmasteryofhisteachings.Itseemsthattheyhad
formerlybeenbrahminslearnedinVedicliteratureandthe
Buddhaswordsmaywellhavebeenintendedtochallengethe
brahmanicviewstowhichtheystilladhered.Thustheydidnot
delightinhiswordsbecausethediscourse,liketheBuddhas
wordstoKmantainourtale,probedtoodeeplyintothetender
regionsoftheirownconceit.Happilythecommentarytellsusthat,
atalatertime,theBuddhaexpoundedtothemtheGotamakaSutta
(A3.123)inthecourseofwhichtheyallattainedenlightenment.
IronicallyatthispointintheDhtuvibhangaSutta,M
140.36,(seeAppendix2),theBuddhaactuallypraisesPukkusti:
Bhikkhus,theclansmanPukkustiwaswise.Hepractised
inaccordancewiththeDhammaanddidnottroublemein
theinterpretationoftheDhamma.
K.G.doesbringusbackagaintosomethingofacorres
pondencebetweenthetwostories,however,inthatPukkusti
issaid(at50intheCollectionontheDevasthatonGhatkra
423
atS1.50)tohavereappearedintheAvihBrahmrealm
andthathewasenlightenedassoonashewasbornthere.This
isoneofthePureAbodes,correspondingtothePureLandsof
theNorthernBuddhisttradition(seeChapter3,note8and
Chapter8,note5).

CHAPTER22:INTHEPARADISEOFTHEWEST

1.Page181, Wrappedinaredmantle,whoserich
drapingsfloweddownabouthimItshouldbementioned
that,inhisdepictionofthisparadise,K.G.haswoventogether
strandsofscriptureandmythfromHinduaswellasSouthern
andNorthernBuddhisttraditions,togetherwithliberalhanks
ofhisownimagination.
Therealmasdepictedinthisstoryis,inmanyways,very
liketheWesternParadisedescribedintheAmitbhaStra(see
Chapter8,note5,above);however,thereisanoticeableabsence
hereofa)AmitbhaBuddhahimself,b)thegreatmultitudesof
enlighteneddisciples,andc)thepresenceoftheDharma
Teachings.IntheAmitbhaStra,eventhearraysofrareand
wonderfulvaricolouredbirdsaresaidtoconstantlybringforth
thesoundoftheDharma.
InhisNotetotheFirstEdition,K.G.commentsonthese
apparentinconsistenciesbetweenthepatternofcelestiallifehere
andthattobefoundinscripturaltexts;further,heclearlynames
theversionofTheParadiseoftheWestcontainedinthisstory
ashisowninvention:what,forheavenssake,shouldIhavedone
withthoseThirtyThreeGodswhenIdidntevenhaveausefor
AmitabhaBuddhainSukhavati?
Itsperhapsalsoworthmentioningherethat,inthecosmo
logicaltexts,thedescriptionoflifeintheTheravdanversionofthe
PureLands,whicharehighBrahmworlds,isthatofanexistence
infinitelymorerefinedthanK.G.paintsforKmantaintheParadise
oftheWest.Whatisportrayedhereindeedbearsmoreresemblanceto
theTvatimsaheaventheHeavenoftheThirtythreeGodswhich
isinthemidstrataofwhatareknownastheSevenHeavensofSense
Desire(seeChapter3,note8).

424
2.Page182, massycloudletsonwhichreclinedlovely
gandharvas,celestialmusiciansGandharvasareoneof
theseveraltypesofcelestialbeingdescribedintheBuddhist
scriptures;asismentionedheretheyaretheheavenlymusicians.
Someofthetypesofotherworldlybeingshavebeenmentioned
already:theBrahmsthegreatgodswhoaretheoccupants
ofallthehighestheavenlyrealms;devaswhowould
correspondtoangelsandarchangelsinWesterncosmology;
asurstheyareknownastheJealousGodsorthetitansof
theBuddhistworldtheyareverypowerfulcharactersand
relentlesslyjealousandresentfulofthedevasbeautyand
happiness,thustheyregularlygotowarwiththelatter;ngas
whoaredragonlikebeingswhocanbeeitherbenevolentor
malevolent;yakkhasthesearemostlyfierce,demonicbeings
butcanbekindandprotectivealso(theyareoftendepictedin
grandstatuesatthegatestoBuddhisttemples,representing
guardiandeitiestofrightenoffother,moremalevolentintruders)
similartothegargoylesofthecathedralsofEurope.
Alongwiththismaingrouparelesserknownbeingssuchas
garudswhoaregiantauspiciousbirds(althoughoftenatwar
withthengas...);kinnariswhoaresometimesrepresentedas
beingfairylike,flowerlovingbeings,andsometimesashalfbird
andhalfhuman;andfinallykumbhandaswhoaregenerally
malevolent,potbelliedgnomelikebeings.
DowninthelowerstrataoftheBuddhistcosmologicalscheme
ofthings,therearetobefoundtherealmofpetas,HungryGhosts,
whohavetinymouthsandhugebellies,combinedwithinsatiable
appetites(symbolisingtheworldofaddictionandcraving);andbelow
them,atthebottomofthecosmicheap,arethegreatvarietyofhell
realmsandtheirdenizens.Thesewewillhearmoreoflater(see
Chapter34,note5).
Inallthis,thereadershouldberemindedthattheone
crucialfactorinallBuddhistcosmologyisthatnostateis
permanent.Abirthinaparticularrealm,beitwiththehigh
brahms,thekinnaris,theanimalsorinhell,willonlylastsolong,
thentherewillbeabirthinanewdomain,movinguptheladders
ordownthesnakesaccordingtothequalitiesofonesactions.
(SeealsoChapter3,note8).

425
3.Page183, themysteriousperfumeoftheCoralTreeThis
isthesameCoralTreespokenofabove(seeChapter6,note7).

Chapter23:THEROUNDELAYOFTHEBLESSD

1.Page187, Hewanderedonthroughcharminggroves
Togivethereaderasenseofcomparisonbetweenacanonical
versionofsuchaparadiseandthatportrayedbyK.G.,hereisa
descriptionoftheTvatimsaheavenfromtheTalesofthe
HeavenlyMansionstheVimnavatthuitisfoundatVim.
3.10,TheCoralTreeMansion:
Yourejoice,withtheflowersoftheCoralandEbonytrees,
charminganddelightful,threadingheavenlygarlands
andsinging.
Whileyouaredancing,heavenlysoundsstreamforth
delightfultotheear.
Whileyouaredancing,heavenlyscentsarewaftedaround
fragrancessweet,bewitching.
Whileyouareswayingyourbody,thesoundoftrinketsinyour
braidedhairislikethemanykindsofmusic.
Thesoundofyourjewelledearringstremblinginthebreeze
islikeafivefoldmelody.
Andtheperfumeofthosesweetlyscentedgarlandsonyourcrown
blowshereandthereinalldirections.
Youbreathethatsweetscent,youseeunearthlybeauty.
ThereisalsoaninterestingaccountofVen.Anuruddha,
themostaccomplishedvisionaryoftheBuddhasdisciples,
meetingwithasimilargroupofDevatsofLovelyForm.They
tellhimthattheycanassumeinatriceanycolourwelike,produce
anysoundwedesireandobtainanyhappinessalso.Ashethen
wishes:Maytheyallbecomeblue,dressedinblue,deckedin
finerywhichisblue,theybecomeso,thensotoowithyellow
andthenwhite.Theythenstarttoplaytheirmusicalinstruments
allatoncesweetandcharming,alluring,loveableand
delightful.Ven.Anuruddha,beinganArahant,remained
composedanddidnotshowexcitementatallthis.Thedevats
thenassumed:MasterAnuruddhaisnotenjoyingthis,and
immediatelyvanished.Thepassageisat46intheBookof
theEights.
426

CHAPTER24:THECORALTREE

1.Page195, Hispastlifelayopenbeforehim
Recollectionofpastlivesisalsoregularlycitedamongstthelist
ofabilitiesthataccruetothosewhocultivatethepathof
meditation;forexampleintheSmaaphalaSutta(Discourse
ontheFruitsoftheHomelessLife)atD2.934,andinDiscourse
onFearandDread,atM4.27:
Whenmyconcentratedmindwasthuspurified...I
directedittoknowledgeoftherecollectionofpastlives...One
birth,twobirths,three...five...ten...twenty...fifty,ahundred
births,athousandbirths,ahundredthousandbirths,manyons
ofuniversalexpansion,manyonsofuniversalcontraction...
Iunderstood:ThereIwassonamed,ofsuchaclan...suchwas
myexperienceofpleasureandpain;andpassingawayfrom
thereIreappearedelsewhere.Thuswiththeirdetailsand
particularsIrecollectedmymanifoldpastlives.
Incidentally,thereisnomentionintheTheravda
scripturesoftheCoralTreehavingthismiraculousabilityof
evokingmemoriesofpastlives.Itspossiblethatsuchpowers
areascribedtoitintheHindulegends(seeChapter6,note7).

CHAPTER26:THECHAINWITHTHETIGEREYE

1.Page207, Iwouldkillmyselfbypersistentlyrefusing
allnourishmentThethreattostarveyourselftodeathunless
yougotyourwaywasevidentlyafairlycommonpracticeinthe
timeoftheBuddha.IntheverylastoftheVersesoftheElder
NunstheThergth,(Thig.456516)SisterSumedh
recountshowshewasdriventothisextremeintheefforttoget
herparentstoallowhertoleavethehouseholdlifeandtobecome
anun.
Anotherofthemostfamousinstancesofthesame
circumstanceismentionedintheRatthaplaSutta,atM82.7
11,whereayounganddearlybelovdonlyson,Ratthapla,
427
liesdownonthebarefloorandrefusestoeatuntilhisparents
givehimpermissiontoentertheBuddhasmonasticorder.

CHAPTER27:THERITEOFTRUTH

1.Page214, therehungawreathoftheredKanavera
blossomsTheKanavera,oroleander(Neriumodorum),
wasindeedthetraditionalgarlandwornbycriminalsinNorth
Indiaontheirwaytotheplaceofexecution.

2.Page215, bewitnessnowtotheRiteofTruthA
RiteofTruth,saccakiriya,isasolemndeclarationordeclaration
onoath.Suchasseverationsappearinafewplacesinthe
Buddhistscriptures,forexampleinthecollectionofBirthStories,
theJtaka,at1.214&1.294,andat4.31&1.142.Theprinciple
invokedisthattruthfulnesshasapowerthatreachesbeyondthe
ordinarylimitsofthematerialworld.InoneoftheBirthStories
theBuddhadescribeshow,inapreviouslifeasahumblelittle
quail,hemanagedtoturnbackaforestfire:
DependingonthepowerofTruth
Imadethisasseveration
Herearewingswhichdonotfly,
herearefeetwhichdonotwalk,
andmotherandfatherhavedeparted
JatavedatheFire:Goback!
ThisactofmineImadewithTruth;
thegreatblazingcrestedflames
avoidedsixteenmeasuresofland,
likefirethathasreachedthewatersedge.
Perhapsevenmorepoignantly,thereisanotherexample
intheAngulimlaSuttaitself(atM86.145,seeAppendix3)
wherethereisaversetoblessexpectantmothersandtheirbabies.
Bothoftheseversesarestillusedtodayasprotectiveblessings.

CHAPTER28:ONTHESHORESOFTHEHEAVENLYGANG

1.Page222, hereinthestreamoftheHeavenlyGang,worlds
arerolledandpropelledalongThispassagewasperhapsinspired
bythefamouslines:
428
Worldsonworldsarerollingever
Fromcreationtodecay,
Likethebubblesonariver
Sparkling,bursting,borneaway.
Worldsonworldsarerollingever
PercyByssheShelley

2.Page223, Isitpossible,thenforeternalhappiness
toexistwherethereislimitation?TheBuddhaanswered
thisquestioninoneofhismostfrequentlyrecountedphrases,
reciteddailyinmanyTheravadancountries:
Sabbesankhranicc
sabbesankhrdukkh
sabbeDhammanattti

Allconditioned,limitedthingsareimpermanent,
allconditionedthingsareunsatisfying,
thereisnoselftobefound
ineithertheconditioned
ortheUnconditioned,UltimateReality.

AsimilaranalysisisalsofoundintheAnattalakkhana
Sutta(mentionedabove,e.g.atChapter10,note12):
Ismaterialformpermanentorimpermanent,bhikkhus?
Impermanent,VenerableSir.
Isthatwhichisimpermanentultimatelysatisfyingor
unsatisfying?
Unsatisfying,VenerableSir

CHAPTER29:AMIDTHESWEETNESSOFTHECORALBLOSSOMS

1.Page225, rodehiswarelephanttoHastinapuratoaid
hisfriends,thePndavaprincesHere,onceagainare
scenesfromtheMahbharata.

2.Page225, shehadascendedthefuneralpyreinfront
ofthepalaceThispassagedescribesthepracticeofsati
whereafaithfulwidowwasexpectedtoimmolateherselfon
herhusbandsfuneralpyre.Thecustomhasallbutdiedout
429
inIndia,havingbeenbannedinthe19
th
Centurybythe
BritishRaj.

3.Page226, AgniandIndra,toVarunaandMitra
ThesearesomeofthegodsoftheVedas,themostancientIndian
scriptures.Indrawasthegodofwar,thunderandoftheEast,
VarunawasthegodoftheseaandoftheWest,Agniwasthe
godoffireandMitrathegodofthesun.

4.Page228, theyevengrewastwopalmsonanisland
IntraditionalBuddhistcosmologythereisnomentionofany
possibilityofrebirthasatreeoraplant;thereare,however,
manyreferencestotheexistenceoftreespirits,rukkhadeva,
thesearedirectlyanalogoustothedryadswhoregularlyappear
inGreekmyths.Forexample,thereisthementionofarukkha
devaofagreatbanyantreecalledSteadfast(Suppatitthita)to
befoundat54oftheBookoftheSixes.

5.Page229, WeareasoldastheworldTheBuddha
madeitveryclearthatthecyclesofbirthanddeatharenotjust
protracted,theyarebeginninglessBhikkhus,Samsra,the
roundofbirthsanddeaths,isbeginningless.Ofthebeingsthat
travelandtrudgethroughthisround,shutinastheyareby
ignoranceandfetteredbycraving,nofirstbeginningis
describable.Itisnoteasytofindabeingwhohasnotformerly
beenonesmother,father,brother,sister,daughterorsonduring
thislong,longtime.ThispassageisfoundintheCollectionof
SayingsontheBeginning,atS15.1419.(SeealsoChapter8,note3).

CHAPTER30:TOBEBORNISTODIE

1.Page231, wehavereachedaplacewherethereisnomore
passingaway,whereeternaljoyisoursweetpossessionThe
suppositionthattheheavenlyrealmthatonehasarrivedatiseternal
seemstobeaverycommonone.AsTennysonexpressedit,inhis
poembasedonanincidentintheOdyssey,(atIX,82ff.):
O,restye,brothermariners,wewillnotwandermore.
TheLotoseaters
Alfred,LordTennyson
430
AnotherVictorianpoet,ChristinaRossetti,putitlikethis:
Thousleepestwheretheliliesfade
Thoudwellestwheretheliliesfadenot;
Sweet,whenthyearthlypartdecayed
Thyheavenlypartdecayednot.
Seasons
ChristinaRossetti
Wewillcomeacrossthismistakenimpressionagainafew
moretimesinourtale.

2.Page231, itsredcolourseemedtohavelostsomething
ofitsfreshnessandglossWhatfollowsinthischapterisa
depictionofthetraditionalfivesignsdenotingtheageingand
deathofdevas:1)theflowersoftheirgarlandswiltandlose
theirfragrance;2)theirclothesbecomedirty,dullanddrab;3)
theirarmpitsstarttosweat;4)theirbodieslosetheirradiance,
becomewitheredandtired;and5)theirheavenlythronesbecome
hot,hardandrigid,theyfeeldiscomfortintheirhandsandfeet
andtheycannotsitstill.
Thesefactorsarereferredtoin83oftheItivuttaka,and
alsointheancientThaicommentary,TheThreeWorlds
AccordingtoKingRuang,(mentionedatChapter3,note8),
onpp2423oftheBerkeleyedition.Theyarealsofoundinthe
ShurangamaStra,atthebeginningofthefinalsectionThe
FiftySkandhaDemonStates,(Vol.8,pp.123intheBuddhistText
TranslationSocietyedition).

3.Page232, TobebornistodieThisversecouldeasilyhave
comefromthePli,butitisprobablyK.G.sowninvention,ashinted
atinhisNotetotheFirstEditionitmatchestheflowofhisplot
suspiciouslywell.
Thereseemstobenopassagethatmatchesitexactlyin
theTheravdascriptures,eventhoughithastherighttoneand
itbearssomepassingresemblancetoapassageintheSallaSutta,
atSN5757:
Abeing,onceborn,isgoingtodie,andthereisnowayoutofthis.
Whenoldagearrives,orsomeothercause,thenthereisdeath.
Thisisthewayitiswithlivingbeings.
Whenfruitsbecomeripe,theymayfallintheearlymorning.
Inthesamewayabeing,onceborn,maydieatanymoment.
431
Justastheclaypotsmadebyapotterendupbeingshattered,
Soitiswiththelifeofmortals.

CHAPTER33:ANGULIMLA

1.Page258, LiketheEarth,youshouldexerciseevenness
oftemperThisstatementoftheBuddhawasactuallymade
tohisson,thenoviceRhula.HewasbornjustbeforetheBuddha
leftthelifeoftheroyalpalaceandtookupthewayofthe
homelessspiritualseeker.AftertheenlightenmenttheBuddha
returnedtohishometown,Kapilavatthuand,alongwithmany
othersoftheSkyaclan,hegaveRhulaordinationintothe
Sangha.Traditionhasitthathewaseighteenyearsoldwhen
thisdiscoursewasgiven.ItiscalledTheGreaterDiscourseon
AdvicetoRhula,theMahRhulovdaSuttaitisatM62.13.

2.Page258, youspeaknotwiththerobber,butwith
theupsaka...AngulimlaThetermupsakameansliterally
Onewhositscloseby;itisthewordusedformalelayfollowers
oftheBuddha.Upsikisthefemaleequivalent.

3.Page259, WhoisthisBuddha?Asimilartonetothatof
thisretortisfoundintheexchangebetweenJotiplaandGhatkra
(mentionedaboveatChapter20,note17).Wheninvitedtocome
andmeettheBuddhaKassapa,Jotipla(theBuddhatobe)snorts:
EnoughGhatkra!Whatstheuseofseeingthatbaldpatedrecluse?

4.Page259, Eventohearthenameofhimwhomtheycall
TheWelcomeOneThereisapassageneartheendoftheLotus
Stra,oneofthemostimportanttextsoftheNorthernSchoolof
Buddhism,whereitstatesthatevenjusttooverhearthenameofthe
Buddha,orpassbyaBuddhistshrineinthedistance,issufficientto
guaranteeonewilleventuallyrealisecompleteandperfect
enlightenment.Furthermore:
Ifmen,withmindsdisturbed
Enterastupaoratemple
AndcallNamoBuddhya,
Buddhahoodtheywillattain.
ThewordthatK.G.translateshereasTheWelcomeOne
isSugataitisanothermemberofthestandardlistofnine
432
qualitiesoftheBuddha,someofwhichwerequotedonpage
232,para.12.Thewholelistwasalsoenumeratedonpage149,
para.1(seeChapter18,note9).

CHAPTER34:THEHELLOFSPEARS

1.Page261, Ithenbecameawareofasolitarytraveller
Allthewaythroughthischapterwehavereferencestothe
AngulimlaSutta,M86(seeAppendix3);thispassage,together
withthosefollowingit,appearsalmostverbatimatM86.37.
Incidentally,thismeetingbetweenAngulimlaandthe
Buddhaistraditionallyplacedonlytwentyyearsafterthe
enlightenment,i.e.twentyfiveyearsbeforetheBuddhasold
ageandtheeventsdepictedinthisstory.

2.Page262, thiswandererherecomesonalonelikea
conquerorJinaorTheConquerorwasindeedoneofthe
epithetsgiventotheBuddha.

3.Page263, Icouldntgainanotherstep,althoughIranwith
allmymightandheseemedtobewalkingquiteleisurely
forwardK.G.wouldalmostcertainlyhavebeenstruckbythe
similaritybetweenAngulimalasexperiencehereandthatdescribed
byParsifal,theeponymousheroofWagnersopera,onthewayto
theGrailCastlewithGurnemanz.Hesays:
Iscarcelymove,
Yetswiftlyseemtorun.
Towhichhiscompanionreplies:
Myson,thouseest
HereSpaceandTimeareone.
Parsifal,
RichardWagner
(QuotedinTheGrailLegendbyEmmaJung&MarieLouise
vonFranz,PrincetonUniversityPress,1998)
ThiscommentdoesnotappearinquitethisforminWolframvon
Eschenbachs13
th
CenturyCEoriginal.However,attheopeningofBookV
itsays:Thehorsepulledthedraggingreinsthroughmarshyland,forno
oneshandguidedit.Thestorytellsusthatonthatdayherodesofarthat
abirdcouldonlywithdifficultyhaveflownallthatway.Thedragging
reinsimagesuggestsadoloroustrudgeratherthanaheadlonggallop,
433
thusitisamysteriouscounterpointtothehugedistancecovered.Perhaps
WagnersfamiliaritywithBuddhistscriptures,viahisassociationwith
Schopenhauer,inspiredhimtoequatethisstrangetemporalillogicality
withAngulimlasexperience,andexpandittospecifythefusing/
dissolutionofordinarytimeandspacearoundtheGrailCastle.

4.Page266, asthoughitwereamatterofgoingfrom
onehousetoanother...ThissimileisusedintheMah
SakuludyiSutta,atM77.345.

5.Page266, Givemeyourhand,hesaidThemanuvre
thatisdescribedinthisparagraphissimilartoonethatthe
Buddhausedafewtimesalwaystohelpbringsomeoneto
greaterunderstandingortohelpthemmakestrongereffortsin
thepracticeofmeditation.Forexample,averysimilartripto
hellisundertakenintheNimiJtaka,541intheCollectionof
StoriesofPreviousBirths;heretheLordMtali,adevaprince,
takestheBuddhatobe(KingNimiinthatparticularlife)tovisit
thelowerrealmsonachariotdrawnbyathousandthoroughbred
horses.TheincidentisalsomentionedatM83.13,inthe
MakhdevaSutta.
Onaslightlydifferenttack,atUdna3.2,theBuddhatakes
hiscousin,thenewlyordainedbhikkhuNanda,offtotheTvatimsa
heaventointroducehimtothecelestialnymphstheresothathe
wouldstopthinkingabouthisformergirlfriendJanapadakalyn.
Asaskilfullure,theBuddhapromisedhimfivehundred
oftheTvatimsanymphs,whoallhadbeautifuldovelikefeet,
ifhewouldcommithimselfwithvigourtohismeditation.Nanda
settowithawill,butwhenhisfellowbhikkhusfoundoutthat
hisnewfoundzealwasonaccountofthepromiseofthecelestial
maidens,theyroundlycriticisedhimandhebecameembarrassed
byhisownfoolishworldliness.Hecontinuedwithhismeditation
practiceregardless,however,andnotlongafterarrivedat
completeenlightenment.HethenwenttotheBuddhaand
releasedhimfromhispromise.
ThereisalsomentionofthepathtothegodsintheKevaddha
Sutta,atD11.67,andanincident,intheCollectiononBrahms,atS6.5,
wheretheBuddha,MahMoggallnaetal.gotovisitabrahmgodto
humbletheconceitedopinionhehadofhimself.
Incidentally,thereadershouldnotethatthisinterlude
434
inthestoryisK.G.sowninventiontheBuddhadoesnot
actuallydothisintheAngulimlaSutta;intheoriginalstory
faitharisesandAngulimlaaskstogoforthasabhikkhuwithout
thebenefitofasoberingtriptotheunderworldtherelevant
passageoccursatM86.6(seeAppendix3).

6.page267, This,HonouredSir,istheHellofSpears
FromtheviewpointofBuddhistcosmology,lifeinthevarious
hellrealmsbearsaverycloseresemblancetothatdescribedin
manyotherreligioustraditionsand,asinmostothertraditions,
itsatopicofgreatpopularinterest.Oneofthemostvivid
descriptionsoflifeinthehellscomesintheDevadtaSutta
(TheDiscourseontheHeavenlyMessengers)M130;a
comparablepassageisfoundat35oftheBookoftheThrees.
TheHellofSpearsitselfiscalledtheSattisla,Sattihati
orLagtihasalaNirayaitistheeighthauxiliaryhellofMah
Avci,thelowestandworstoftheEightGreatHells.Itis
mentionedin522oftheStoriesofPreviousBirths,the
SarabhangaJtaka,andisparticularlyreservedforthieves,
robbers,defraudersandfalseaccusers.
Thepassageinourstorybearsastrikingresemblance
totheexperiencesofMahMoggallna,theBuddhassecond
discipleafterSriputta,ashedescribesthemintheMratajjanya
Sutta(TheRebuketoMra)atM50.22.Heisrecounting
totheMraofthecurrentagethekarmicresultofhisownabuse
ofthechiefdiscipleoftheBuddhaKakusandha,whenhe(Mah
Moggallna)hadbeentheMraofthatage(actuallytheuncle
oftheMratowhomhewasspeaking!)Ashesays:Then,Evil
One,thewardensofhellcameuptomeandsaid:Goodsir,
whenstakemeetsstakeinyourheart,thenyouwillknow:I
havebeenroastinginhellforathousandyears.Thissituation
initselfisaninterestingcommentaryonBuddhistcosmology,
where,withinthespaceofafewlifetimes,onecangofrombeing
theembodimentofeviltobeingaparagonofvirtueandwisdom.
Theevolutionofthespiritualpathisalsobynomeansalinear
flowalongwithhismanylivesofcultivationofgoodness,
MahMoggallnahadbeenMranolessthanthirtyseventimes.
Forthereadersinterest,someoftheotherhellscharacteristics
areasfollows:
1.SajvaNirayaTheHellofThoseWhoAreKilledbut
435
ReviveContinuously.(Lifespan=500hellyears.Onedayand
night=9,000,000humanyears)
2.KlasuttaNirayaTheHellWiththeFloorMarkedby
BlackRope.(Lifespan=1000hellyears.Onedayandnight=
36,000,000humanyears)
3.SanghtaNirayaTheHellofCrushingandSmashing.
(Lifespan=2000hellyears.Onedayandnight=144,000,000
humanyears)
4.RoruvaTheHellofScreaming.(Lifespan=4000hell
years.Onedayandnight=576,000,000humanyears)
5.MahroruvaTheHellofGreatScreaming.(Lifespan=
8000hellyears.Onedayandnight=2,304,000,000humanyears)
6.TapanaTheHellofFiercelyBurningFire.(Lifespan=
16,000hellyears.Onedayandnight=9,216,000,000humanyears)
7.MahtapanaTheHellofGreatFiercelyBurningFire.
(Lifespan=manykalpas.Onedayandnight=severalkalpas)
8.MahAvciTheHellofSufferingWithoutRespite.
(Incalculableperiodsoftime)

SomegruesomenessesoftheSajvahellanditsauxiliaries
are:redhotironfloors;saltyriversfullofknivesandrazorsharp
lotusleaves;beingtornapartbydogs,crowsandvultures;
hotcoalspouredoveryourhead;beingdunkedinpotsof
molteniron;headtwistedoffbyredhotironropesand
thenfried;clearriversturningouttobeboilinghotandother
riversofbloodandpusbeingtheonlyfoodavailable.
Themostfamousofalloftheseretributionsisthe
LohasimbliNiraya(TheKapokTreeofLovers)heremen
andwomenwhohavedeceivedtheirspousesareplacedwith
theirbelovd,oneatthebottomandoneatthetopofakapok
tree,coveredwithknifelikespines.Seeingtheobjectoftheir
desiresattopofthetree,theyareirresistiblycompelledtoclimb,
despitethetremendousagony.
Oncetheyreachthetop,howeverBOOF!the
positionschange,andtheotherissuddenlyatthebaseofthe
tree,feelingcompelledtoclimb
Thisisaveryterriblekindoftribulation,saysthetext,
asifwehadntguesseditalready.Italsostates,afterhaving
describedallthesemiseriesofjusttheSajvahell,(i.e.level1),
thatthesevenlevelsbelowthiswillnotandcannotbedescribed.
436
Theyaremuchmoreterriblethananyofthosethathavealready
beenconsidered.
Oneofthebestsourcesforthiscosmologyis,onceagain,
TheThreeWorldsAccordingtoKingRuang,translatedbyF.E.
&M.B.Reynolds,BerkeleyBuddhistStudiesSeries.

7.Page268, theJudgeoftheDeadofthattimepondered
deeplyThisparagraphhasbeenliftedverbatimbyK.G.from
theDevadtaSutta,M130.28.Itisalsosimilartoapassage
spokenbyKingBimbisra,intheMahvagga,atMV1.22,onhis
meetingtheBuddhaforthefirsttimeaftertheenlightenment.

8.Page268, evenasinthislandofJambudvpathere
aretobefoundonlyafewsmilinggrovesThisparagraph
andthosefollowingitareabridgedfrom19oftheBook
oftheOnes,A1.19;thispassagealsobearsaresemblanceto
96oftheBookoftheSixes,A6.96.

9.Page269, Come,disciple!AtthispointintheAngulimla
Sutta,atM86.6,theBuddhaactuallygiveshimthefull
ordinationasabhikkhu,ratherthanjustinvitinghimtobean
upsaka.TheBuddhafrequentlygaveordinationbythesimple
utteranceoftheformula,Ehi,bhikkhuCome,bhikkhu
e.g.atMV1.7,inthedescriptionofayoungmancalledYasas
goingforth;or,moreparticularlyintheAngulimlaSutta,atM
86.6(seeAppendix3).
Inourtaletheexchangehasbeenrenderedas,Come,
disciple(whichincidentallyisnotaformfoundanywherein
thePliCanon)sinceAngulimladoesnotyettakeonthe
bhikkhuprecepts.

10.Page269,ThePerfectOnehadenteredthewoodlike
anelephanthunterThissimileoccursinanexpandedform
intheDantabhmiSutta(TheGradeoftheTamed)atM125.12.

CHAPTER35:APUREOFFERING

1.Page274, onsuchbeautifulmoonlitnightsthemonks
staytogetherinspiritualdiscussionTheBuddha
437
encouragedgatheringsofthelayandmonasticcommunitieson
thelunarquarters,whenpeoplewouldmeditateandlistento
talksontheDharma.ThispracticeisstillfollowedintheSouthern
BuddhistcountriesofThailand,BurmaandSriLanka,andeven
intheWest,insomecountriestowhichtheTheravdatradition
hasspread.Theoriginofthecustomisdescribedinthebooks
ofmonasticdiscipline,atMV2.2.1.
Spiritualdiscussionswere,andalsoare,commonamong
membersofthemonasticcommunity.Thereisaparticularly
lovelyaccountofsuchoccasions,whichtheauthorhasborrowed
fromhere,tobefoundintheMahgosingaSutta,atM32.4.

2.Page276, Istoodthereinfearfuluncertainty
undecidedwhethertogoonortoturnbackAsimilar
incidentisdescribed(atCV6.4)inreferencetothegreat
benefactoroftheSangha,Anthapindika,whenhefirstwentto
meettheBuddha.Hewassoeagertoseehimthathewokeup
threetimesinthenight,thinkingitwasalreadydawn.
Finally,illuminedbyaneeriebrightness,hegottothe
SvakaGateofthecityandsomecelestialbeingsopeneditfor
him.Assoonashewasoutofthegatethestrangelightlefthim
andhewasindarknessagain.Hewasawestruckandbecame
filledwithfear.Hewantedtoturnback,butthespiritSvaka
spoketohim:
Ahundredelephants,ahundredhorses,
Ahundredchariotsdrawnbymules,
Ahundredthousandmaidensdeckedwithgems
Andearringsallthesearenotwortheven
Asixteenthpartofonestepforwardnow.
Goforward,householder,goforward.
Bettertogoforwardthanturnback.
CV6.4

3.Page278, Whatdoyouthink,bhikkhus,whichare
morenumerousAsmentionedabove(seeChapter20,note2)
thispassageisfoundatS56.31.

4.Page279, Andwhat,friends,haveIdeclaredtoyou?
ThereferencehereistotheClaMlunkiyaputtaSutta,M63.710.
TheBuddhamakesthisstatementafterthebhikkhu
438
MlunkiyaputtathreatenedtodisrobeandleavetheSanghaif
theBuddhawouldnotanswerhislistoftenphilosophical
questions(seeabove,Chapter18,note3).TheBuddharefuses
toanswerthese,seeingthatthesequestionsareallmissingthe
essentialpointofspirituallife.(SeealsoChapter20,note1).
Apassageofasimilarspiritoccursinthediscourse
knownasTheSevenCausesofWelfare,at21inTheBookof
theSevens:Solong,bhikkhus,asyouappointnonewrules
anddonotabolishtheexistingones,butproceedaccordingto
thecodeoftraininglaiddown,solongmaytheSanghabe
expectedtoprosper,nottodecline(A7.21).

5.Page280, TheyareheirsofTruth,notheirsofmaterial
thingsThissentencecomesfromtheDhammadydaSutta
(TheDiscourseonHeirsofTruth)atM3.2andisthemain
themeofthatdiscourse.Thereisanotherwellknownpassage
relatedtothisprinciple,atIti.100,wheretheBuddhastates
Therearethesetwokindsofofferings:theofferingofmaterial
thingsandtheofferingoftheDhamma.Ofthesetwokindsof
offering,thisistheforemost,namely,theofferingofthe
Dhamma.

6.Page280, For,ifpeopleknewthefruitsofgivingasI
knowthemThissentencecomesfrom26intheItivuttaka.

7.Page280, Icallapureofferingthatwithwhichthe
giverispurifiedandthereceiveralsoThissentence,and
thosethatmakeuptherestofthisparagraph,comesdirectly
fromtheDakkhinvibhangaSutta(TheDiscourseonthe
ExpositionofOfferings)atM142.13.

8.Page281, yetanallbutabsolutesilencereignedinthe
circleAsimilarquietudeisdescribedintheSmaaphala
Sutta,whenKingAjtasattuisbroughttomeettheBuddhain
theAmbavana,JvakasMangoGrove.Alarmedandintimidated
bytheprofoundsilenceofthemeditatingassembly,theKing
askshiscompanion:Howisitthatfromthisgreatnumberof
onethousandtwohundredandfiftymonksnotasneeze,acough
orashoutistobeheard?ThepassageistobefoundatD2.10.

439

CHAPTER36:THEBUDDHAANDKRISHNA

1.Page284, He,thetrulylivingamidthisrestlessand
delusorylifeofthelifelessThislastsentenceofthe
paragraphechoesthefamouspassagefromtheDhammapada,
Dhp.21,quotedatChapter1,note8.

2.Page284, Hespokeofthetempleonthestepsof
whichhesatThisDharmatalkbytheBuddha,onthe
themeofKrishnaandhislife,isentirelythecreationofK.G.Its
debatablewhetherthelegendsofKrishnaslifeexistedinthe
timeoftheBuddha,atleastintheforminwhichtheyexist
now;thereis,however,aninterestingreferencetosomeone
calledKanha(whichisthePliequivalentoftheSanskritword
Krishna,bothwordshavingthemeaningblack)whomthe
Buddhapraisesasamightysageofagespast,whowentto
thesouthcountry,learntthemantrasofthebrahminsand
acquiredgreatpsychicpowers.Thisreferencetohimisfound
intheAmbatthaSutta,atD3.1.23.

3.Page285, SomewhowishedharmtotheTathgata
oncesetlooseasavageelephantThisstorycomesdirectly
fromtheVinya,thebooksofmonasticdiscipline,andrecounts
oneoftheattemptsbytheBuddhasambitiouscousin,Devadatta,
tokillhimandthentakeoverleadershipoftheSangha.Devadatta
wasinleaguewithKingAjtasattuandpersuadedhimtoallow
hisgreatbullwarelephant,Nlgiri,tobemadedrunkandenraged,
andthentohavehimreleasedontothestreetwheretheBuddha
waswalkingonhisalmsround.ThestoryoccursatCV7.3.
Perhapsitshouldalsobementionedthatanotherreason
whytheBuddhamightnotbeafraid,isthatitissaidtobe
impossibleforaBuddhatobekilledbyaviolentactthey
onlydiewhentheyvoluntarilyrenouncethelifeprinciple
althoughhecouldhavesustainedsevereinjuryandpain.

4.Page288, FormealonehastheSamanaGotama
declaredthisteachingThisphraseistakenverbatimfrom
TheGreaterDiscoursetoSaccaka,M36.45;intheoriginaltext,
440
however,theBuddhaqualifiesitinasomewhatlessexplicit
waythanisdonehereinourstory.Hesays:Butitshouldnot
beregardedso;theTathgatateachestheDhammatoothers
onlytogivethemknowledge.

5.Page289, LordKrishnaalthoughhehimselfwas
theSupremeGodItisdoubtfulthattheHinduscriptures
actuallypresentthecareerofKrishnainquitesuchanobviously
Christianway.K.G.hadhimselfbeenaChristiantheologian
and,duringtheyearsthathewroteKmanta,hehadbecome
somewhatdisaffectedfromthattradition.Itseemsclearthathere
heistryingtomakeadistinctcontrastbetweenJesusChrist
andtheBuddhawiththelatterbeingaccordedspiritual
superioritywithoutsayingitinsomanywords.
Havingsaidthat,however,itshouldbenotedthat
similarstatementsarefoundintheBhagavadGt(e.g.atBook4,
verses67)whereKrishnagoessofarastoproclaim:
AlthoughIamunborn,everlasting,andIamtheLord
ofall,Icometomyrealmofnatureandthroughmy
wondrouspowerIamborn.
Whenrighteousnessisweakandfaints,and
unrighteousnessexultsinpride,thenmyspiritarises
onearth.

6.Page289, IreasonedthusThisTruththatIhave
realisedisprofoundandhardtoseeIntheseparagraphs
wehavetheBuddhasownaccountofthebeginningofhis
teachingcareer.ItisverbatimfromtheVinyatexts,atMV1.5.

7.Page290, theMastertoldusofthoseheroicdeedsof
KrishnaThestoriesmentionedinthisparagraph,together
withmanyothersthathavealreadybeenquoted,aretobefound
intheHinduscriptures;ParticularlyinBook10oftheBhagavata
Purna,andintheHarivamsa.

8.Page292, neitherexistencenornonexistencecould
besaidtodescribetherealityofLifeThissentenceisa
usefulandprofoundteaching,ifsomewhatabstruse;K.G.
probablyderiveditfromtheInspiredUtterances,Ud.3.10:
Thisworldisanguished,beingexposedtocontact,
441
Evenwhattheworldcallsselfisinfactunsatisfactory;
Fornomatteruponwhatitconceives(itsconceitsofidentity),
Thefactiseverotherthanthat(whichitconceives).
Theworld,whosebeingistobecomeother,
Iscommittedtobeing,isexposedtobeing,relishesonlybeing,
Yetwhatitrelishesbringsfear,andwhatitfearsispain.
Nowthisholylifeislivedtoabandonsuffering.
Whatevermonksorbrahminshavedescribedliberation
frombeingtocomeaboutthrough(loveof)being,none,Isay,
areliberatedfrombeing.Andwhatevermonksorbrahminshave
describedescapefrombeingtocomeaboutthrough(loveof)
nonbeing,none,Isay,haveescapedfrombeing.Throughthe
essentialsofexistence,sufferingis;withallclingingexhausted,
sufferingisnomore.
Whateverstatesofbeingthereare,
ofanykind,anywhere,
allareimpermanent,painhaunted
andsubjecttochange.
Onewhoseesthisasitis
thusabandonscravingforexistence,
withoutrelishingnonexistence.
Theremainderlessfading,cessation,Nirvna,
comeswiththeutterendingofallcraving.
Anotherpassage,fromTheSayingsoftheBuddha,Iti.
49,mightalsohelptoilluminatethissubtlesubject:Bhikkhus,
heldbytwokindsofviews,somedevasandhumanbeings
holdbackandsomeoverreach;onlythosewithvisionsee.
Andhow,bhikkhus,dosomeholdback?Devasand
humansenjoybeing,delightinbeing,aresatisfiedwithbeing.
WhenDhammaistaughttothemforthecessationofbeing,
theirmindsdonotenterintoitoracquireconfidenceinitor
settleuponitorbecomeresolveduponit.Thus,bhikkhus,do
someholdback.
How,bhikkhus,dosomeoverreach?Nowsomeare
troubled,ashamedanddisgustedbythisverysamebeingand
theyrejoicein(theideaof)nonbeing,asserting:Inasmuchas
thisself,goodsirs,whenthebodyperishesatdeath,is
annihilatedanddestroyedanddoesnotexistafterdeaththis
ispeaceful,thisisexcellent,thisisreality!Thus,bhlkkhus,do
someoverreach.
442
How,bhikkhus,dothosewithvisionsee?Hereina
bhikkhuseeswhathascometobeashavingcometobe.
Havingseenitthus,hepractisesthecourseforturningaway,
fordispassion,forthecessationofwhathascometobe.Thus,
bhikkhus,dothosewithvisionsee.(SeealsoChapter20,note
6.)

9.Page292, likeonewhohearsanewsongutterly
unlikeanyotherVsitthsreferencehere,returningtothe
counterpointwiththeChristiantradition,soundsvery
reminiscentofthewordsofPsalm149,verse1:Praiseyethe
Lord.SinguntotheLordanewsong

10.Page293,ashimmerofsomethinginfinitelyhigher
hadshoneinmyeyesVsitthsexperiencehereisakinto
thatexpressedbytheBuddhatoMgandiya,atM75.12,(quoted
atChapter20,note13).

CHAPTER37:THEBLOSSOMSOFPARADISEWITHER

1.Page298, ifallthiswerelastinganddidnotpass
away,therecouldbenothinghigherThisphrase
resonatesoneofthemostimportantpassagesinthecollection
ofInspiredUtterances,Ud.8.1:ThereisanUltimateReality:
Unborn,Uncreated,UnconditionedandUnformed.Iftherewere
not,therewouldbenoescapepossiblehereforonewhois
born,created,conditionedandformed.But,sincethereisthis
UltimateReality:Unborn,Uncreated,Unconditionedand
Unformed,escapeispossibleforonewhoisborn,created,
conditionedandformed.
ItalsoiscloseinspirittotheteachingthattheBuddha
gavetothedeludedBrahmgodBaka,whowasunderthe
impressionthathewastheCreatorandinthehigheststateof
beingwewillcomeacrossreferencestothisincidentafew
moretimesbeforeourtaleisdone.ThestoryisfoundatM49.26
andatS6.4

2.Page298, beyonditthereisthatwhichknowsneither
genesisnordecayThispassagealsocomesfromtheInspired
443
Utterances,atUd.8.3:Thereisthatsphereofbeingwhere
thereisnoearth,nowater,nofirenorwind;noexperienceof
infinityofspace,ofinfinityofconsciousness,ofnothingness
orevenofthestateofneitherperceptionnornonperception;
thereisthereneitherthisworldnoranotherworld,neithermoon
norsun;thissphereofbeingIcallneitheracomingnoragoing
norastayingstill,neitheradyingnorareappearance;ithasno
basis,noevolutionandnosupport:itistheendofsuffering.

3.Page298, whattheMastercallsjoyinthetransient
ThisisaquotefromtheSalyatanavibhangaSutta,M137.11:
When,byknowingtheimpermanence,change,fadingaway
andcessationofforms,sounds,odours,flavours,tangiblesand
mindobjects,oneseesasitactuallyiswithproperwisdomthat
formsetc.bothformerlyandnowareallimpermanent,unsatis
factoryandsubjecttochange,thenjoyarises.Suchjoyasthis
iscalledjoybasedonrenunciation.
Thereisalsoapassagethatbearssomeresemblanceto
itintheDhammapada,atDhp.277:
Allistransient
onewhoseesthis
hastranscendedsorrow.
Thisawareness
istheclearandopenPath.

4.Page299, samanaswhofixedheartandmindupon
returningtoexistenceinthekingdomoftheHundred
thousandfoldBrahmThereisapassageintheSankhrupapatti
Sutta(TheDiscourseonReappearancebyAspiration)atM120.18,
whichisparticularlypertinenttoourtaleK.G.definitelyhad
thisashissourceforthemiseenscneofthelatterpartofhisbook;
becauseofthisitisworthquotingatlengthhere.
TheBuddhadescribesthewayleadingtoreappearance
intheworldoftheHundredthousandfoldBrahmthus:
Bhikkhus,Ishallteachyoureappearanceinaccordancewith
onesaspirationAgain,abhikkhupossessesfaith,virtue,
learning,generosityandwisdom.HehearsthattheHundred
thousandfoldBrahmislonglived,beautifulandenjoysgreat
happiness.NowtheHundredthousandfoldBrahmabides
intentonpervadingaworldsystemofahundredthousand
444
worlds,andheabidesintentonpervadingthebeingsthathave
reappearedthere.Justasanornamentoffinestgold,very
skilfullywroughtinthefurnaceofaclevergoldsmith,lyingon
redbrocade,glows,radiatesandshines,sotheHundred
thousandfoldBrahmabidesintentonpervadingaworldsystem
ofahundredthousandworlds,andheabidesintenton
pervadingthebeingsthathavereappearedthere.Thebhikkhu
thinks:Oh,thatonthedissolutionofthebody,afterdeath,I
mightreappearinthecompanyoftheHundredthousandfold
Brahm!Hefixeshismindonthat,establishesit,developsit.
Theseaspirationsandthisabidingofhis,thusdevelopedand
cultivated,leadtohisreappearancethere.
Averysimilarteachingisrecountedat35oftheBook
oftheEights;theBuddhaalsostressingthere,however,that
thisisforthevirtuous,notfortheunvirtuousforthemental
aspirationofthevirtuousprospersbecauseofitsfreedomfrom
passion.(A8.35).
Incidentally,althoughourheroandheroineare
obviouslynotawareofit,accordingtotraditionalBuddhist
cosmologythereareanotherseventeenbrahmrealmshigher
thantheonetheyareaimingfor(seeChapter3,note8).

5.Page299, Longingsforafuturebeing,fillingheart
andmindatdeathEventhoughK.G.goestothetrouble
ofexplicitlyascribingthisquotation,aSanskritscholarconsulted
bytheeditorwasoftheopinionthat:Thisdoesnotsoundlike
theBhagavadGt!Itbearsacloseresemblancetosome
passagesintheTibetanBookoftheDeadbut,asW.Y.Evans
Wentzhadnotyetmadehistranslationin1906,thiscannothave
beenK.G.ssource.Itmay,therefore,likeanumberofother
poeticalpassages,simplybeacreationofK.G.sinthespiritof
someofthescripturesthathehadread.

6.Page299, aviolenthurricanesweptthroughthegroves
andoverthelakesThiswholechapter,andparticularlythe
passagesfromheretotheend,notonlyreflectstheendingofthe
lifeofadeva(theywoulddiesinglyratherthanallatonceinthe
normalrunofthings)butitalsodepictsthesymptomsoftheending
ofanon,whentheforcesofnaturerendallthingsfromexistence
inalltherealmsbelowthoseofthebhassarbrahmgods.
445
Hereisadescriptionofthepatternofdestructionbythe
FourGreatElements,fromtheVisuddhimagga,XI102:
Theconflagrationsflameburstsup
outofthegroundandraceshigher
andhigher,righttotheBrahmheaven,
whentheworldisburntupbyfire.

Awholeworldsystem,measuring
onehundredthousandmillionswide,
subsides,aswithitsfuriouswaters
theflooddissolvestheworldbeside.

Onehundredthousandmillionleagues,
awholeworldsystemsbroadextent,
isrentandscattered,whentheworld
succumbstotheairelement.
(Bhikkhunamolitrans.)
AdescriptionoftheendingofanonfromtheTibetan
traditioncanbefoundonpp.3940ofTheWordsofmyPerfect
Teacher,byPatrulRimpoche(publishedbyHarperCollins).

7.Page299, Butlikeonewho,allbutsuffocatedintheclose
andperfumeladenatmosphereofaroomTennysoncaptured
thissuffocatingqualitywellinhispoem,Aspirithauntstheyears
lasthours:
Theairisdamp,andhushd,andclose,
Asasickmansroomwhenhetakethrepose
Anhourbeforedeath;
Myveryheartfaintsandmywholesoulgrieves
Atthemoistrichsmelloftherottingleaves,
Andthebreath
Ofthefadingedgesofboxbeneath,
Andtheyearslastrose.
Heavilyhangsthebroadsunflower
Overitsgraveitheearthsochilly;
Heavilyhangsthehollyhock,
Heavilyhangsthetigerlily.

446
CHAPTER38:INTHEKINGDOMOFTHEHUNDRED
THOUSANDFOLDBRAHM

1.Page303, KmantaandVsitthenteredagain
intoexistenceasthegodsofadoublestarAs
you,gentlereader,mighthavesuspectedwhentheconceptwas
firstmentionedonpage299,thenotionofbrahmgodsbeing
embodiedasstarsisafictionofK.G.sthereisnobasisforit
intheBuddhisttradition.Heprobablyacquiredtheidea,
however,fromtheGreekandRomanmyths.
Inthesetraditions,toascendafterdeathandtobefigured
foreverinthestarsasAndromeda,CastorandPollux,Pegasus
orwhoeverwasoftenhowmeremortalsattainedto
immortality.
InrespecttothisDante,inhisDivinaComedia,referstoa
passagefromPlato:
Hesaysthesoulreturnstoitsownstar
believingittohavebeenseveredhence
whennaturehasbestoweditasaform.
Paradiso,CantoIV52ss
ThereferenceistoPlatosTimus,v.ix.p.326:
TheCreator,whenhehadframedtheuniverse,distributed
tothestarsanequalnumberofsouls,appointingtoeachsoulits
severalstar.
DantementionsthisagaininhisConvito,TheBanquet:
Unlikewhatherethouseest,
ThejudgmentofTimus,whoaffirms
Eachsoulrestoredtoitsparticularstar;
Believingittohavebeentakenthence,
Whennaturegaveittoinformhermold.
ConvitoIV.xxi,
DanteAlighieri
AndagaininTheDivineComedy,whentheFourCardinal
VirtuesspeakinPurgatory:
Herewearenymphs,andinheavenstars
Purgatorio,XXXI106
Lastly,JohnBarthsnovelChimeracontainssome
interestingexplorationsofthistheme(plusquiteagalaxyof
others).QuotedbelowwehavethenewlyestellatedPerseus,
talkingtoMedusaattheendofBarthsPerseid:whatIhold
447
aboveBetaPersei,Medusa:notserpents,butlovelywomans
hair.Imcontent.Sowiththisissue,ournetestate:tohave
become,likethenotedmusicofourtongue,thesesilent,visible
signs;tobethetaleItelltothosewitheyestoseeand
understandingtointerpret;toraiseyouupforeverandknow
thatourstorywillneverbecutoff,butnightlyrehearsedas
longasmenandwomenreadthestarsImcontent.Till
tomorroweveninglove.
Goodnight.
Goodnight.Goodnight.

2.Page303, theflashingofwhoseraystheyinstantly
caughtandreturnedTheimagethatiswoveninthisand
thenextparagraphisderivedfromamixtureofinfluences,the
principalonesbeingthoseofIndrasNetandtheDanceofShiva.
TheformerreferstotheNorthernBuddhisttradition,basedonthe
TheEntranceintotheRealmofRealitychapteroftheAvatamsaka
Stra,ofallthebeingsoftheuniverseexistinglikejewelsstrung
togetherinavastnet:multidimensionalandasimmeasurableas
thecosmos.Eachjewelisnotonlyconnectedtoallothers,butit
alsoreflectsinitssurfacethecharacteristicsofalltheotherjewels
intheinfinitenetitistheprincipleofintrinsicinterrelatedness
ofallbeingsandallthings.
InthewordsofSirCharlesEliot:
IntheHeavenofIndra,thereissaidtobeanetworkof
pearls,soarrangedthatifyoulookatoneyouseealltheothers
reflectedinit.Inthesamewayeachobjectintheworldisnot
merelyitselfbutinvolveseveryotherobjectandinfactIS
everythingelse.Ineveryparticleofdust,therearepresentBuddhas
withoutnumber.Interestingly,thisimagebearsastrikingresemblance
tosomemodelsoftheuniverseespousedbymodernphysicists,notably
theHadronBootstraptheory.
ThelatterinfluenceonthispassageisaHindutradition,
representingtheuniverseastheembodimentofShivaNatarja
heisthecosmicdancerwhosemusicandmovementisallcreatures
andallworlds.Fromthetirelessstreamofdivineenergythecosmos
isseentoflowinendless,gracefulreenactment.

3.Page304 othersystemswhichformedthemselvesinto
chainsofsystems;andbeyondtheseyetotherchains,and
448
ringsofchains,andspheresuponspheresofchainrings
OnceagainK.G.seemstohavebeensomewhatpropheticinhis
imaginativeflourishes:
Galaxiesareboundbygravitytoformclustersof20
toseveralthousand330millionlightyearsacross
Chainsofadozenorsogalaxyclustersarelinkedlooselyby
Gravityandmakeupsuperclusters,whichcanbeupto200million
lightyearsinextent.Superclustersinturnarearrangedinbroad
sheetsandfilaments,separatedbyvoidsofabout100millionlight
yearsacross.Thesheetsandvoidsformanetworkthatpermeates
theentireobservableuniverse.(Universe,p.27,MartinReesed.,
DKLtd.)
TheAndromedagalaxy,wasthefirstcelestialobjecttobe
recognizedasbeingseparatefromtheMilkyWay,ourowngalaxy.
Thiswasestablishedin1929,byEdwinHubble,23yearsafterKG
wrotethispassage.TheAndromedagalaxyis2.5millionlightyears
awayandisthefurthestdistancethatcanbeseenbythenakedeye.

Page304, thatwhichwasharmonyofmovementhere
appearedtobeaharmonyofsoundThemysterious
soundmentionedinthispassagesometimesreferredtoas
Brahmnda,TheNdaSoundorTheSoundofSilence
hasbeenthesubjectofmanytheoriesandbeliefsoverthe
centuries.Thelisteningtoitcanbecultivatedasaprofound
formofmeditationpractice.Somecurrentbookswhichdeal
withitare:ThePathtotheDeathless,byAjahnSumedho
(Amaravat),TheWayofInnerVigilance,bySalimMichael
(Signet),andTheWorldisSound:NadaBrahmamusicand
thelandscapeofconsciousness,byJoachimErnstBerendt
(Destiny).
ThereisalsoaninterestingsayingbyPlotinus,theancient
Greekphilosopher:Allmusic,baseduponmelodyandrhythm,
istheearthlyrepresentativeofheavenlymusic.

4.Page305, TheOnewhoseimmeasurablebrightness
permeatedallthegodsofthestarsThisimagecomes
bothfromtheHinduaswellastheBuddhisttradition;for
example,inBk.5oftheKathaUpanishaditsays:FromHis
lightallthesegivelight,andHisradianceilluminesallcreation.
(SeealsoChapter37,note4).
449

5.Page305, theoriginalformsofallthatceaselessly
comesintobeingandpassesawayWerebackinEurope
againnow;thereferencetooriginalformsissuggestiveofthe
philosophyofPlato:
AccordingtoPlato,eachtypeofsensibleentity(ajust
act,arockingchair,oneofanything)reflectsorparticipates
inanindependentlyexistingFormwhichisanimmutable,
eternalandapprehensibleentitythatistheessenceoftheentity
orqualityinquestion(justice,chairness,thenumberone).The
changelessFormsareobjectsofknowledge,whereassensible
entitiesareobjectsofopinion.PlatofirstmentionstheTheory
ofFormsinTheSymposium,hearguesforandusestheTheory
inthePhdo,andalsoutilisesitinTheRepublic.

6.Page306,AndthiseternitywasadelusionInthe
Buddhistscripturesthebrahmgodsareoftenrepresentedas
beingpureandradiantbutalsosubjecttoconsiderabledelusion
andconceit.
MahBrahm(representedinthesechapterswiththe
titleTheHundredthousandfoldBrahm)hisministersandhis
retinueactuallyonlyoccupythethreelowestofthetwenty
brahmheavensafactthatTheGreatOneisunawareof,his
beliefbeingthatheisbotheternalandTheSupreme.
Thereisagoodexampleofthistendencyofthebrahm
godstogetlostinthesenseoftheirownperfectioninthediscourse
calledtheBrahmanimantanikaSutta(DiscourseontheInvitation
ofaBrahm)M49.Therootdelusionabouttheirstateofbeing,
echoedbyKmantainhisassumptionaboutthestarsonpage
299,isexpressedas:Thisispermanent,thisiseverlasting,this
iseternal,thisistotal,thisisnotsubjecttopassingaway;for
thisneitherisbornnoragesnordies,norpassesawaynor
reappears,andbeyondthisthereisnoescape.(M49.2).
Thesameincidentisalsodescribedat4ofthe
CollectiononBrahms,atS6.4.Indealingwiththissituation
theBuddhaemploysthesameinsightasvoicedbyVsitthon
page298(seeChapter37,note1,alsoChapter36,note10).
Thesedelusionsofeternalityandomnisciencearise
because,althoughthebrahmshavebeenbornlikeallother
beings,theirlifespanissolongthattheymistaketheirstateof
450
beingfortheUltimateReality,theUnconditioned.
Itsalsoworthnotinghowcloselythischapterdoes
representthetraditionalHinduexpressionofthings;forexample,
againfromBk.5oftheKathaUpanishad:ThereisoneRuler,
theSpiritthatisinallthings,whotransformsHisownforminto
many...HeistheEternalamongthingsthatpassaway,pure
Consciousnessofconsciousbeings,theONEwhofulfilsthe
prayersofmany.

CHAPTER39:THEDUSKOFTHEWORLDS

1.Page309, THEDUSKOFTHEWORLDSThetitleof
thischapterWeltendmmerungintheoriginalGerman
obliquelyreflectsK.G.sinterestinthephilosopherSchopenhauer
andthethoughtthatwasinfluencedbyhim.
ThefinaleofthegreatoperaticcycleTheRing,byRichard
Wagner(who,alongwithFriedrichNietzsche,wasknowntoreferto
SchopenhauerasTheMaster)iscalledGtterdmmerung,The
TwilightoftheGodsthetermreferstoRagnarok,thedayofdoom
intheNorsemyths,whentheoldworldandallitsinhabitantsare
annihilated.Outofthedestructionanewworldisborn,aworld
atpeace.
Incidentally,itseemsthatDeussen(sobelovdofK.G.)was
alsoadiscipleofSchopenhauer:hisSixtyUpanishadsoftheVedais
dedicated:TothespiritualancestorsofArthurSchopenhauer,the
epigraphisaquotefromhimandheisgivenacentralplaceinthe
Forewordtothatvolume.

2.Page309,AfterhehadobservedtheBrahmforfive
millionsofyearsInBuddhistcosmology,thelifespanofbeings
getslongerandlongerasoneascendsintoworldshigherthanthe
humanstate,justasitgetslongerthedeeperintothehellsone
descends(seeChapter34,note6).Forexample:
AdayintheTvatimsaheaven=100humanyears;alifespan,
36,000,000humanyears.
AdayintheYmaheaven=200humanyears;alifespan,
144,000,000humanyears.
AdayintheHeavenoftheContented=400humanyears;
alifespan,576,000,000humanyears.
451
AdayintheHeavenofThoseWhoDelightinCreating=800
humanyears;alifespan,2,304,000,000humanyears.
AdayintheHeavenofThoseWhoDelightintheCreations
ofOthers=1600humanyears;alifespan,9,216,000,000humanyears.
Thelifespansofthoseinthebrahmrealmsrangefroma
paltry83Greatons(Mahkalpa)forthelowestlevelsofthe
WorldsofForm(Rpaloka),to16,000Greatonsatitstop;the
livesofthoseintheFormlessRealms(Arpaloka)meanwhile,go
fromadecent20,000Greatonsatitslowestlevel,toafull84,000
forthoseinthemostrefinedrealmsofall.
OurHundredthousandfoldBrahmwouldthusexpectto
havealifeofabout250Greatons,oroneIncalculablePeriod
(Asankheyyakalpa).Apassagethatmentionsthesefiguresforsome
oftheupperrealmsisfoundat114oftheBookoftheThrees,
A3.114.

3.Page311, Upwardtoheavenssublimestlight,life
pressesthendecaysOnceagain,liketheverseonthe
FlowersofParadise(seeChapter30,note3)thishasthelookof
anutteranceoftheBuddhabutisnotknowninthisforminthe
Pliscriptures,itisthuslikelytobeanotherofK.G.screations.In
theTibetantraditionthereisaparallel,however,inatextcalledThe
TreasuryofQualities:
EvenBrahm,Indra,Shambhuandtheuniversalmonarchs
HavenowaytoevadetheDemonofDeath.

4.Page312, Wherewantis,therenoiseis;butabundanceis
tranquilThisphrasecomesfromtheSuttaNipta:

Listentothesoundofwater.
Listentothewaterrunningthroughthechasmsandtherocks.
Itistheminorstreamsthatmakealoudnoise;
thegreatwatersflowsilently.

Thehollowresoundsandthefullisstill.
Foolishnessislikeahalffilledpot;
thewisemanisalakefullofwater.
SN72021,VenH.Saddhatissatrans.

452
Itisalsoreminiscentof:
OnhearingtheTeachings,
thewisebecomeperfectlypurified
likealake;deep,clearandstill
Dhp.82

5.Page313 asiftheGodwithahundredgiantarmswereseek
ingtheinvisiblefoewhowasbesettinghimInthisreaction,the
deityishandlingthesituationverydifferentlythanKingPasenadi,as
describedintheSimileofMountains,atS3.25.
TheBuddhaasksthekingwhathewoulddoifheheardthat
fromeachofthefourquarters,agreatmountain,highastheclouds
wasapproachingcrushingalllivingbeings?
Thewisekingresponded:Ifsuchagreatperilshould
arisewhatelseshouldbedonebuttolivebytheDhamma,tolive
righteously,andtodowholesomeandmeritoriousdeeds.
Iinformyou,greatkingageinganddeatharerollingin
onyou.Whenageinganddeatharerollinginonyou,greatking,
whatshouldbedone?
KingPasenadithenrespondsbysayingexactlythesameashe
didbefore:whatelseshouldbedonebuttolivebytheDhammato
liverighteously,andtodowholesomeandmeritoriousdeeds.
(BhikkhuBodhitrans.)

CHAPTER40:INTHEGROVEOFKRISHNA

1.Page315, Enormouscrowdsofpeopledemanded
threateninglythatKingUdenaIntheoriginalsuttaitis
KingPasenadiwhoisappealedtothusbythemobsincethis
incidentisplacedinthekingdomofKosala;thecapitalcitythere
wasSvatthi(seeM86.8,Appendix3).KingUdenawastheruler
ofVams,thecapitalofwhichwasindeedKosamb.

2.Page319, KingUdenamountedhisstateelephant,the
celebratedBhaddavatikThiswasindeedthenameofa
famouselephantbelongingtoKingUdena.Heusedhertoelope
withhisbelovedPrincessVasuladatt,whenwinningherfrom
theprotectionofherfather,KingCandapajjota.
Bhaddavatiksstoryismentionedintheprologuetoone
oftheBirthStories,theDalhadhammaJtaka(Jat.409).
453

3.Page319, AttheentrancetothewoodThiswholesection,
fromthisparagraphuntiltheendofthechapterminusthe
interpolatedcharactersofVsitthandStgira,andwith
KingPasenadiinsteadofKingUdenaappearsatM86.913;
(seeAppendix3).

4.Page322, and,theverynextday,Ishavedmyhead
andbecameabhikkhunAccordingtotheVinya,the
monasticrule,awomangenerallyneededbothtohavebeena
probationer(sikkhamn)foratleasttwoyears,andanovice
(smaner)forawhile,beforethefullordinationwasgranted.
However,justaswithmenbeinggiventheEhi,bhikkhu
ordinationbytheBuddha,withoutanyotherkindofceremony
(seealsoabove,Chapter34,note8),itappearsthattheBuddha
alsoallowedcertainwomentogoforthwithouttheusual
preliminaries.
Interestinglyenough,theElderNunVsitthwhose
SongofEnlightenmentappearsatverse51intheThergth,
(Thig.1338)seemstohavebeengivenordinationinthis
way.OthernotableElderNunswhoweresimilarlyhonoured
wereBhaddTher,(whowasordainedbytheBuddhasaying
Ehi,Bhadd,Thig.108)SujtTherandAnopamTher.
VersesoftheTherVsitth:
Outofmymind
derangedwithloveformylostson.
Outofmysenses.
Nakedstreaminghairdishevelled
Iwanderedhereandthere
livedonrubbishheaps
inacemetery,ontheroadway
Iwanderedthreewholeyears
desolation
hungerandthirst.

TheninblessdMithil
IsawtheBuddha
banisheroffear.
Withcompassionhecalmedme
teachingmetheDharma.
454
Iheededallhesaid,
thenlefttheworld
withallitscaresbehind.
Followingwherehetaught:
thePathtogreatgoodfortune.
Nowallmygriefshavebeencutout
uprooted
theyhavereachedtheirend
fornowatlast
Iknowthegrounds
fromwhichsprangallmymiseries.

CHAPTER41:THESIMPLECONTEMPLATION

1.Page325, OnedayItookmystandThetypeof
incidentdescribedinthisparagraphoccursafewtimesinthe
PliCanon.Oneofthemostnotableisthatofthevisitbythe
bhikkhuRatthaplatothehouseofhisparents.Theyhadbeen
loathtolethimgoforthand,whenhecametotheirhousefor
alms,theyfailedtorecognisehimandthought:Ouronlyson,
dearandbelovd,wasmadetogoforthbythesebaldpated
wanderers,andtheyhurledabuseathim.Nearbyaslavewoman
wasthrowingawaysomestaleporridgesoRatthaplasaid:
Sisterifthatstuffistobethrownaway,thenpouritintomy
bowlhere.Shethenrecognisedwhoitwasandalertedthe
household.Whenhisfathertrackedhimdown,andbeggedhim
tocomeandeatattheirhouseinstead,hereplied:Iwentto
yourhousebutreceivedtheirneitheralmsnorapoliterefusal;
insteadIreceivedonlyabuse.Hethendeclinestheofferofa
meal,sayingthathehasnowhadhisfoodfortheday.
Heisinvitedforthemealnextday,butwhenhegoesto
hisparentshouseheisconfrontedwithavastpileofgoldcoins
andbullion,togetherwithallofhisformerwivesarrayedin
sumptuousfinery.Allofthesehedeclineswithasteadfastheart,
eventuallyretorting:Householder,ifthereisamealtobegiven,
thengiveit.Donotharassme.Beforehetakesleavefrom
themheutterssomespontaneousverses,endingwiththewords:
Thedeerhuntersetoutthesnare
Butthedeerdidnotspringthetrap;
455
Weatethebaitandnowdepart
Leavingthehunterstolament.
M82.1725
Fromthisaccountonecanseewhataworkoutsuch
visitscanbe!

2.Page326,Sister,theSimsapwoodisdelightful
Theselattersentencesaretaken,almostverbatim,fromthe
MahgosingaSutta,atM32.4(seeChapter35,note1).Inthe
original,however,thestatementismadebytheElderSriputta
tonandaandthetreesarethefragrantSla,ratherthanSimsap.

3.Page328, toreceiveathemeofcontemplationwhich
wouldbeaspiritualguideThisisaninterestingpicture
wovenherebyK.G.:theresnoevidenceofsuchatradition
ofeachdisciplereceivingaspecialthemeofcontemplation
eitherintheTheravdatextsorincommonusageinthe
TheravdanBuddhistcountries.Itstruethatwhentheteacher
isabouttogooffonhis/hertravels,manyofamonasterys
residentsandsupporterswillcometopaytheirrespects,and
perhapsatthattimereceivesomeparticularlycogentorpersonal
pieceofadvice(knowingthatanypartingcanmeanGoodbye
forever)butsuchasystematic,onetoonecontactisunknown.
Thepatterndescribedherehasalmostcertainlybeen
derivedfromtheZenBuddhisttradition;originallyfromChina
andlaterestablishedinKoreaandJapan.Inthistraditionthere
isaparticularmethodofmeditativeinquiryknownasInvestigating
thekonwherethelatterwordreferstoastory,aquestion
orconundrumthatthemeditatorusestohelpopenupthemind
andhearttorealitiesgreaterthanourconditionedthinkingand
emotionsnormallyallow.ThepracticebeganinChinaandwas
particularlydevelopedintheChanmonasteriesofthegreat
masterLinChi.InJapanthewordChanbecameZen,and
LinChibecameRinzai.Thewordkon(orkunganin
Chinese)literallymeanspublicrecordandreferstothistype
ofmeditation;thesubstanceoftheenquiryiscalled,inChinese,
thehuatou.
HereisthegreatChinesemasterHsYn(18391959)
describingthepractice:Therearemanyhuatous,suchas:All
thingsarereturnabletoOne,towhatisthatOnereturnable?;
456
Beforeyouwereborn,whatwasyourrealface?;butthehua
tou:WhoisrepeatingtheBuddhasname?iswidelyinuse
today[1953].Whatishuatou?(Literallywordhead).Wordis
thespokenwordandheadisthatwhichprecedestheword.
Forinstance,whenonesaysAmitbhaBuddha,thisisaword.
Beforeitissaiditisahuatou(oranteword).Thatwhichis
calledahuatouisthemomentbeforeathoughtarises.Assoon
asathoughtarises,itbecomesahuawei(lit.wordtail).The
momentbeforeathoughtarisesiscalledtheUnborn.Thatvoid
whichisneitherdisturbednordull,andneitherstillnoronesided
iscalledtheUnending.Theunremittingturningofthe
lightinwardsononeself,instantafterinstant,andexclusiveof
allotherthings,iscalledlookingintothehuatou,ortaking
careofthehuatou.(FromMasterHsYnsDiscoursesand
DharmaWords,translatedbyCharlesLuk).
So,whenthemastergivesakontothediscipleforthem
toworkon,thewordsofthekonarethetailandthehead
alwaysthebusinessendofthingsistherealisationof
Truththatthestudentawakensto.Thegivingofsuchkonsto
eachindividualdiscipleisaveryimportantpartofspiritual
traininginRinzaiZenmonasteries.
Otherfamousexamplesofkonsare:Whatisthesound
ofonehand?Whatisit?andWhoamI?

4.Page328,Wherethereislove,thereisalsosuffering
ThereareseveralplacesintheTheravdascriptureswherethis
insightoftheBuddhaappears.Firstly,inanincidentwhere
Viskh,adevoteddisciple(andgrandmothertofourhundred
children!),comestotheBuddhaingrieffromlosingoneofher
belovedgranddaughters.Afterheasksher:Wouldyouliketo
haveasmanygrandchildrenastherearepeopleinSvatthi?
shereplies:Ohyes,indeed.Hethenpointsoutthat,hadshe
somany,notadaywouldpasswithoutherhavingtoattenda
funeralforoneoranotherofthem.Theincidentisrecountedin
theInspiredUtterances:Viskh,thosewhohaveahundred
dearones,theyhaveahundredsorrows;thosewhohave
ninetyeightyfiftytwentytenthreetwoonedear
one,butonethingbelovd,theyhavebutonesorrow;thosewho
havenothingbelovd,theyhavenosorrowsorrowlessare
theyandpassionless,serenearethey,Ideclare.
457
Whatevergriefsandlamentationsthereare
Andallkindsofsorrowintheworld
Itisbecauseofsomethingdearthattheseexist;
Ifthingsarentdear,thesedontcomeintobeing.
Ud.8.8
SomeversesincludedintheDhammapadaalsocamefromthe
sameincident:
Clingingtowhatisdearbringssorrow.
Clingingtowhatisdearbringsfear.
Toonewhoisentirelyfreefromendearment
Thereisnosorroworfear.
Sorrowspringsfromaffection.
Fearspringsfromaffection.
Toloosenthosebonds
Istobefreefromsorrowandfear.
Dhp.2123(Ven.nandaMaitreya,trans.)
Hefollowsasimilarchainofreasoning,analysingthe
effectsofdesire,affectionandlonging,inaconversationwith
Bhadragaka,avillageheadmanat11intheCollectionon
Headmen(S42.11).TheBuddhaleadshiminexorablytothe
conclusion:Whatsoeversufferingariseswithinmeallthatis
rootedindesire(chanda),joinedtodesire.Desireisindeedthe
rootofsuffering.
Lastly,inthePiyajtikaSutta(TheDiscourseonBorn
FromThoseWhoAreDear)M87,onmeetingadistraughtman
whohadjustlosthisonlyson,theBuddhastates:Sorrow,
lamentation,pain,griefanddespairarebornfromthosewho
aredear,arisefromthosewhoaredear.
Themantakesoffenceatthisandretorts:Venerable
Sir,happinessandjoyarebornfromthosewhoaredear,arise
fromthosewhoaredear.Thedebatebetweenthesetwopoints
ofvieweventuallygetspickedupbyQueenMallikandKing
Pasenadi,theformersidingwiththeBuddha.
Aftermuchwrangling(Mallik,nomatterwhatthe
SamanaGotamasays,youapplauditBeoff,Mallik,away
withyou!)theKingisfinallybroughtroundtotheoutlookof
theBuddhawhenheseesthatanydegeneration,sicknessor
deathamongstallthethingsthathelovesofhischildren,
wives,generals,hiscity,hiskingdomwouldbringsorrow,
lamentation,pain,griefanddespair:theseedsofpainbeingin
458

hisattachmenttoandpossessivenessofallthatheloves.
K.G.alsoseemstohavebeeninfluencedbytheGreek
philosophersinapproachingthethemeoflove;hereisabrief
outlineoftheareafromasomewhatdifferentangle:
AccordingtoSocrates,thedivinemadnessofloveistobe
honouredandpraised,foritislovethatcanmostpowerfully
awakenthesoulfromitsslumberinthebodilyworld.Thelovers
soulisstirredbythesensuousbeautyofthebelovedinto
remembering,howeverfaintly,themorepure,genuine,beauty
oftheeternal,bodilessIdeaswhichitonceknew.Thusreminded
ofitsowntranscendentnature,thepreviouslydormantsoul
beginstosproutwings,andsoonaspirestorisebeyondthis
worldofceaselessbecomingtowardthatchangelesseternal
realmbeyondthestars:
Itistherethatthetruebeingdwells,withoutcolouror
shape,thatcannotbetouched;reasonalone,soulspilot,canbehold
it,analltrueknowledgeisknowledgethereof.
Phaedrus,247c(R.Hackforthtrans.),
quotedbyDavidAbram,inTheSpelloftheSensuous,
pp1212,Vintage

5.Page328, Seekrefugeinyourself,Vsitth;takerefuge
intheDharmaThislineisparaphrasedfromoneofthe
mostfamousquotationsoftheBuddha.ItoccursintheDiscourse
ontheBuddhasLastDays,theMahparinibbnaSutta,atD
16.2.26(seeAppendix4):Therefore,nanda,youshouldlive
asislands,aslightsuntoyourselves,beingyourownrefuge,
withnooneelseasyourrefuge;withtheDhammaasanisland,
alight,withtheDhammaasyourrefuge,withnootherrefuge.

6.Page328, youaretheveryselfofthedisciples;youarethe
livingDharmaTheseepithets,ifnotpreciselyrenderedhere,
areatleastreminiscentoftheexclamationmadeabouttheBuddha
bytheenlightenedElderKaccna,intheMadhupindikaSutta
(TheSweetMorsel)atM18.12:heisvision,heisknowledge,
heistheDhamma,heistheholyone.

7.Page330,AssoonasIhadreturnedfrommyalmsround
andhadeatenmymealThisscenarioisrecounted
459
innumerabletimesinthediscourses;forexample,inthe
ClahatthipadopamaSutta,atM27.1726.

8.Page330, ThatInowdidAcertainbhikkhucalled
MeghiyaendsupinasimilarpickletothatdescribedbyVsitth
intheseparagraphsalsobecausehismindisillpreparedfor
solitarymeditation.Thestoryisfoundat3oftheBookofthe
Nines(seealsoChapter18,note3):
Meanthoughts,trivialthoughts
cometemptingthemindtoflyaway;
notunderstandingwhatthesethoughtsare,
theheartstrayschasingthembackandforth.
(Ud.4.1;A9.3)

CHAPTER42:THESICKNUN

1.Page333, AftersometimeAngulimlasturncame
Itistruethatthemonksusedtotakeitinturnstoinstructthe
nuns(e.g.intheNandakovdaSutta,M146.3)butK.G.seems
tobeemployingsomepoeticlicensehere;itisveryunlikely,
consideringtherealitiesofmonasticlife,thatAngulimlawould
havebeenallottedthedutyofcomingtoteachthenuns.
AccordingtotheVinyadisciplineabhikkhumusthave
beenordainedforatleastfiveyearsbeforehewouldtakeon
regularteachingdutiesatall,andforonetobeabletoqualify
asabhikkhusuitabletobeanofficialinstructorforthe
bhikkhuns,averystrictsetofcriteriaisemployed.
Itistruethatthesestandardstechnicallyonlyapplyto
themonkwhocomesandgivesthenunstheirobligatory
Exhortationonthefullandnewmoondays,however,inthe
spiritofthis,Angulimlawoulddefinitelyhavebeenconsidered
anunsuitableteacher.
ToqualifyassuchanExhorter,thebhikkhumust:1)
havebeenordainedforatleasttwentyyears;2)beconversant
inalltherulesofboththemonksandthenuns;3)bescrupulously
virtuousandneverhavecommittedaserioustransgressionagainst
thediscipline;4)beeloquentandwellversedintheTeachings;
5)bewelllikedbythebhikkhuns;and6)havenever,beforehis
ordination,rapedormolestedabhikkhun,orafemalenovice.
460
AngulimlawouldthusnotbeallowableasanExhorter
ofNunsfallingshortonpoint1)andalmostdefinitelyon
point5)heregularlysufferedassaultandinjuryonaccount
ofpeoplesmemoriesofhimasamurdereroftheirfriendsand
families(seeChapter15,note3).Therewouldthusbemany
nunswho,ifnotaggressivetowardshim,wouldhavebeen
fearfulandsuspiciousnonetheless.
Havingsaidthis,itshouldbeaddedthatisallowablefor
abhikkhutovisitthedwellingplaceofabhikkhun,ifsheis
sickandcannotjointheothernunsforthefortnightlyinstruction
bytheElder.Thisistheonlyreasonwhyabhikkhucanvisit
thedwellingplaceofanun;insuchsituationsbothheandthe
nunwouldneedtohaveachaperonepresentasitisalso
unallowableforabhikkhuntobealonewithamanandfora
bhikkhutobealonewithawomaninaprivateplace.The
allowanceismadeinthebhikkhustrainingrule,Pcittiya23,
althoughsuchvisits,andalsotheExhortation,shouldnottake
placeafternightfallthisisproscribedinPcittiya22.

2.Page335, unfittingandprofanetouseamonkinsuch
awayasagobetweenThisisinreferencetooneofthe
moreseriousofthebhikkhustrainingrules,Sanghdisesa5,
whichprohibitsamonkfromactingasagobetweenoran
arrangerofmarriages.

3.Page336, itwasnotseemlyforanuntotravelalone
Oneoftheweightierrulesinthedisciplineforthebhikkhunsis
thatanunshouldnevertravelalonesheshouldalwayshave
anotherbhikkhunwithher.TheruleisNunsSanghdisesa3.

4.Page338, Acrowded,dustycornerisdomesticlife
ThisphraseisanotherofthoseoftrepeatedintheTheravda
scriptures(K.G.alsouseditbeforeonpage140,para.5).Itis
thestockexpressionofdissatisfactioninthehouseholderslife
andprefacesthestatementofthedesiretogoforth.Forexample,
seetheClahatthipadopamaSutta,atM27.12.
5.Page339, howsplendiditwouldbetoroamthrough
exquisiteregionsThispassageisveryreminiscentofthe
SongofKludyinvitingtheBuddhatovisithishometown,
Kapilavatthu,forthefirsttimesincehisleavingthepalacelife.
461

Theoccasionwasattheendofthefirstwinterseasonafterthe
enlightenment.
ItisfoundintheTheragth(TheVersesoftheElderMonks):
Lord,therearetreesthatnowlikeembersburn;
Hopingforfruit,theyhavelettheirgreenveilsdrop
Andblazeoutboldlywithascarletflame:
Itisthehour,GreatHero,TasterofTruth.
Treesinhighbloomthatareamindsdelight,
Waftingscentstothefourwindsofspace,
Theirleavestheyhaveletfall,expectingfruit;
Itistime,OHero,tosetoutfromhere.
Nowisapleasantseason,Lord,fortravel,
Foritisnottoocold,noroverwarm.
LettheSkyansandtheKoliyansseeyou
Facingthewest,crossingtheRohinRiver.
Thag.5279(Bhikkhunamolitrans.)

6.Page339, therainyseasonimposedastilllonger
trialforourpatienceItisagainstthedisciplineofboththe
monksandnunstotravelformorethansixdaysduringthe
RainsRetreat.Afterthattimeonemustreturntothemonastery
ofresidence.TheruleismentionedatMahvagga3.1.

7.Page339,Justaswheninthelastmonthoftherainyseason
ThispassageistakenalmostverbatimfromtheMahdhamma
samdnaSutta(TheGreaterDiscourseonWaysofUndertaking
Things)atM46.22;acomparablepassageisatIti.27.

8.Page339, thatsunofallthelivingTheconnectionof
theBuddhatotheimageofthesunisnotjustanApollonian
flightoffancybyK.G.orapoeticnicetyhere.TheSkyaclan,
intowhichtheBuddhawasborn,claimeditsancestryfromthe
SunGoddiccaviaanancientking,Okkka.
TheBuddhawasalsoknowninhislifetimebytheepithet
diccabandhuKinsmanoftheSunandalsoAngirasa,
meaningemittingraysofvarioushues.

462

CHAPTER43:THEPASSINGOFTHETATHGATA

1.Page341, theGeneralsoftheDharmaaswenamed
themThistitleDhammasenpatiwasactuallyonly
ascribedtotheVen.Sriputta.Asanexample,anincidentwhere
itwasemployedcanbefoundintheInspiredUtterances,atUd.2.8,
whereadelightedmother,SuppavsdeclaresMyson
isconversingwiththeGeneraloftheDhamma!(Shemightwell
havebeentreblyinspiredsince,accordingtothestory,thechild
hadonlybeenbornafewdaysbeforeand,furthermore,she
hadhadatroublesomesevenyearpregnancywithhim.
Obviouslyaprodigiouschild,heeventuallywasordainedas
BhikkhuSvalandbecameoneoftheBuddhasmosteminent
disciples).
InapassageintheMiddleLengthDiscourses,thereisa
dialoguebetweenabrahmincalledSelaandtheBuddha.Selaasks:
Whoisyourgeneral,thatdisciple,
WhofollowsintheMastersownway?
Whoisitthathelpsyoutoturn
Thewheelsetinmotionbyyou?

Thewheelsetinmotionbyme,
TheBlessedOnereplied,
ThatsamesupremeWheelofDhamma,
SriputtatheTathgatasson
Helpsmeinturningthiswheel.
M92.189,
(Bhikkhunamoli&BhikkhuBodhitrans.)

2.Page342, arichwomanwhomadeitherspecial
caretoministerineverypossiblewaytotheneedsof
themonksandnunsThispassagebringstomindwhat
areknownasTheEightBoonsthatthegreatlaydiscipleViskh
requestedoftheBuddha.Shewasagoodexampleofthe
motheringprinciple(shehadtendaughtersandtensons,each
ofwhomhadthesame,andsoondowntothefourthgeneration
shewasmentionedabove,atChapter41,note4).Shelived
inSvatthi(notVesli)andwaschiefamongthefemalelay
disciplesoftheBuddha.
463
Onetimesherequestedtheopportunitytoalwaysoffer:
foodforarrivingbhikkhusandbhikkhuns;foodforbhikkhus
andbhikkhunssettingouttravelling;foodforthesick;foodfor
thosewhotendthesick;medicineforthesick;adailysupplyof
riceporridgefortheSangha;andbathingclothsforboththe
ordersofbhikkhusandbhikkhuns.Thepassagementioning
thisisfoundatMV8.15.

3.Page342, theMasterhimselfforetoldthathewould
enterFinalNirvnainthreemonthstimeFromthis
pointonwereferoverandoveragaintotheMahparinibbna
Sutta(TheDiscourseontheBuddhasLastDays,D16)the
midportionofthesuttaisincludedasAppendix4.Theexchange
describedhereisanotheroftheverywellknownincidentsof
theBuddhaslife.Thespeakerrecountsitasacondensed
versionofwhatisfoundatD16.3.248.

4.Page345, IntheSlagroveofBhoganagaraThisis
mentionedatD16.4.13.

5.Page345, ImmediatelyafterthemealtheBlessdOne
wastakenwithaviolentillnessThiswastheBuddhaslast
meal,itwasindeedofferedtohimbyasmith,calledCunda.
ThepassagerecountingtheeventisatD16.4.1420.

6.Page346,ThisKusinris,Iexpect,notmuchmore
thanavillageIntheoriginalthiscommentisactuallymadeby
nanda,atD16.5.17:Lord,maytheBlessdOnenotpassawayin
thismiserablelittlewattleanddaubtown,outinthejungleinthe
backofbeyond!ThereareothergreatcitiessuchasCamp,Rjagaha,
Svatthi,Sketa,KosamborVrnas.Inthoseplacesthereare
wealthywarriornobles,brahminsandhouseholderswhoare
devotedtotheTathgata,andtheywillprovidefortheTathgatas
funeralinproperstyle.(SeealsoAppendix4).

7.Page349, Thisveryday,peopleofMallThiscomes
almostverbatimfromD16.5.19.

8.Page349, amonkleaningagainstthedoorpostofa
smalllodging,weepingThispassageappearsatD16.5.13.
464

9.Page351, abouttodisappearfromthesightofgods
andhumansThisexpressionwasalsousedbytheBuddha
attheendofChapter19;itisthemostthatiseversaidabout
whatbecomesofanenlightenedbeingafterthedeathofthe
body.AnexampleofitsuseisfoundintheBrahmajlaSuttaat
D1.3.73(seealsoChapter19,note11,andChapter45,note11).

10.Page351,Iknowwell,nanda,thatyouwere
weepingThispassageisacombinationofD16.5.13&14.

11.Page351,Dontletthattroubleyou,nandaThisis
basedonD16.5.10.

12.Page352,Itmaybe,disciples,thatyourthoughtis
Thisisacombinationoftwowellknownsayings:thefirstcomes
atD16.6.1;thesecondone,(asaboveinChapter41,note5)is
atD16.2.26.Thelattersentencereflects,asbefore,theambiguity
ofthePli:thewordsforlightandislandareidentical:dpa.

13.Page352,Thushespoke,andgavetoeveryonethe
opportunityofspeakingThisisbasedonD16.6.5.

14.Page353,Youhavespokenoutofthefullnessof
yourfaith,nandaThiscomesverbatimfromD16.6.6.The
standardthreecharacteristicsofonewhohasreachedthefirst
stageofenlightenmentare:1)theyhaveletgoofidentification
withthebodyandthepersonality(sakkyaditthi);2)theyare
notattachedtoreligiousorotherconventions(slabbataparmsa);
3)theyhavenodoubtsabouttheTeachingorthewaytopractise
it(vicikicch).
SuchaonehasenteredthestreamtoNibbna,theyare
nomoresubjecttorebirthinthelowerworlds,theyarefirmly
established,destinedtofullenlightenment.Afterhavingpassed
throughtheroundofrebirthsamongheavenlyandhumanbeings
amaximumofsevenmoretimes,theywillcertainlyputanend
tosuffering.

15.Page353,Allcreatedthingsareofthenaturetopass
awaymindfullyfareonwardstotheGoalThiscomes
465
verbatimfromD16.6.7.Prof.RhysDavids,thefounderofthe
PliTextSociety,probablyproducedthemostwellknown
renderingofthelasttwoPliwords,withhisphrase:Workout
yoursalvationwithdiligence.

CHAPTER44:VSITTHSBEQUEST

1.Page355, Ifeltasatravellerstandingonthebrinkof
apondThisimageisreminiscentofonecommonlyusedin
thesuttasbytheBuddhatodescribethe3
rd
jhna,oneofthe
levelsofmeditativeabsorption(e.g.atD2.80andM39.17):Just
asinapondofblue,redorwhitelotuses,somelotusesthatare
bornandgrowinthewaterthriveinthewaterwithoutrising
outofit,andcoolwaterdrenches,steepsfillsandpervadesthem
totheirtipsandtheirroots,sothatthereisnopartofallthose
lotusesunpervadedbycoolwater;sotooabhikkhumakes
happinessdrench,steep,fillandpervadethisbody,sothat
thereisnopartofhiswholebodyunpervadedbythathappiness.
Itisalsoverysimilartoanimageusedinthe
Visuddhimagga(ThePathofPurification),todescribethe
differencebetweenhappinessandbliss:Ifamanexhaustedina
desertsaworheardaboutapondontheedgeofawood,he
wouldhavehappiness;ifhewentintothewoodsshadeand
usedthewater,hewouldhavebliss.(ThepassageisatVsm.IV
100).Lastly,theimageisusedin194oftheBookoftheFives
inaconversationbetweentwobrahmins,Kranapliand
Pingiyni:Justasaman,torturedbyheat,exhaustedbyheat
wearied,cravingandthirstymightcometoapoolclear,
sweet,cool,limpid,alovelyrestingplaceandmightplunge
therein,batheanddrinkandallayallwoeandfatigueandfret;
evenso,whenonehearstheDhammaofMasterGotama,all
woe,fatigueandfretarewhollyallayed(A5.194).

2.Page355, Onewhohasseenthegreater,myfriend,is
notmovedbythelessCuriouslyenoughthissayingalso
seemstohavecomefrom194oftheBookoftheFives.The
exactwordsthereare:Justasaman,wellsatisfiedwithsome
delicioustaste,doesnotlongforworsetastes;evenso,when
onehearsMasterGotamasDhamma,onedoesnotlongforthe
talksofothers.
466
Itisalsoechoedat22oftheCollectionofSayingson
Cause(S12.22):Itisnotbythelowthatthehighestisattained.
Itisbythehighestthatthehighestisattained.(SeealsoChapter
20,note13,Chapter36,note10andChapter37,note1).

3.Page356, Thenyouknowofsomethinghigherthan
thisbrahmworld?Wereturnagaintothetheme
mentionedinChapter38,note6.Muchofwhatfollows,and
threadsofasimilarhue,canbefoundintheBrahmanimantanika
Sutta,(TheDiscourseonTheInvitationofaBrahm)
atM49.727;andinasimilarincidentat5oftheCollection
ontheBrahms,S6.5.

4.Page356, ButthereisthatwhichdoesnotpassThis
paragraphiscomposedfromseveraldifferentsources;in
particular(asinChapter37,note1)fromthecollectionof
InspiredUtterances,Ud.8.1;alsofromtheCollectionofSayings
ontheUnconditioned(Asankhata),S43.

5.Page357, Thatweshallriseagaintherecannot
trulybesaidofthatrealmThefirstsentencehereisa
condensedversionofaverysignificantexchangebetweenthe
BuddhaandawanderercalledVacchagotta;itoccursintheAggi
VacchagottaSutta(ToVacchagottaonFire)atM72.1622.
Afterbeingaskedaboutwhereanenlightenedbeing
reappearsafterdeath,theBuddhamakesitclearthattheterms
reappearsanddoesnotreappeardonotapply,therebyleaving
poorVacchagottasomewhatbewildered.TheBuddhagoeson
toexplain:Whatdoyouthink,Vaccha?Supposeafirewere
burningbeforeyou.WouldyouknowThisfireisburning
beforeme?
Iwould,MasterGotama.
Ifthatfireweretobeextinguished,wouldyouknow
Thisfirebeforemehasbeenextinguished?
Iwould,MasterGotama.
Ifsomeoneweretoaskyou,VacchaWhenthatfire
wasextinguished,towhichdirectiondiditgo:totheeast,the
west,thenorthorthesouth?beingquestionedthuswhat
wouldyouanswer?
Thatdoesnotapply,MasterGotama.Thefireburned
467
dependentonitsfuelofgrassandsticks.Whenthatisusedup,
itisreckonedasextinguished.
Thatistosay:thewayheaskedthequestionpresumed
arealitywhichdidnotexist,thereforethedesignationsdidnotapply.
Furthermore:Anenlightenedoneisprofound,
immeasurable,unfathomableliketheocean...andsuchaoneis
liberatedfrombeingreckonedintermsofmaterialform(the
body),feelings,perceptions,ideasandemotions,andbystates
ofconsciousness.(SeeChapter20,note4).Alsoworthyofnote
onthisissueistheconversationbetweentheElderNunKhem
andKingPasenadi,foundat1intheCollectiononthe
Unrevealed(S44.1),andtheBuddhascommentsatM120.37
(TheDiscourseonReappearancebyAspiration).

6.Page357, Imusthavemurderedabrahminatsome
timeThefullstoryofPukkustiandhiskarmichistoryis
foundintheMajjhimaNikyaCommentaryforSutta140.(See
alsoatChapter21,note2).

7.Page358, EvenwhenthegreatandholyUpagupta
UpaguptadoesnotappearinthePlitexts;intheNorthern
Buddhisttradition,however,heisnamedastheFourthPatriarch
aftertheBuddha.ThefirstwasMahKassapa,thesecondwas
nanda,thethirdwasSanakavsa.
TheincidentK.G.describeshere,withUpaguptawailingand
griefstricken,crying:Damnthispitilesstransiencyisonlyone
partofthissignificantencounter.
UpaguptawasaverypopularDharmateacher.Whenever
hegaveatalkhundredsofpeoplewouldcometolisten.Mra,the
LordofDelusion,wasjealousofUpaguptasfameandpopularity,
particularlyasheknewthatUpaguptawashelpingtospreadthe
teachingoftheBuddha.ToseethewordsoftheBuddhafillingthe
heartsandmindsofthepeopleannoyedhimdeeplyashesawthat
thiswouldenablemoreandmorebeingstoescapehisinfluence.
MrathusconceivedaplantostophisUpaguptasstudentsfrom
listeningtohim.
Ononeoccasion,whenUpaguptawasteaching,Mrafirst
showeredtheassemblywithpearls,thengold,thenheconjured
upamusicalshowrightnexttotheDharmaHall,completewith
colourfullycostumedcelestialdancersandspiritedmusic.Itwasso
468
compellingeveryonesoonforgotabouttheteachingandwent
overtoenjoythemuchmoreinterestingperformance.
Upaguptasawthepeopledriftingaway,thenhealsodecided
tojointhecrowdtoseewhatwasgoingon.Contemplatingallofthis,
themonkdecidedtoteachMraalesson.
Oncetheperformancehadended,UpaguptaofferedMra
anexquisitegarlandofflowers.
Thatwasagreatshow,saidUpagupta.Mra,ofcourse,was
flatteredbythisandgladlyacceptedthegarland,placingitproudly
aroundhisownneck.Suddenlythegarlandchangedintoacoilof
rottingcarcasses;itwasrevealedtobemadeofthedecayingbodies
ofasnakeandadog,andevenahumancorpse.Itreallystank.
Eventhoughitwassorepulsive,Mrafoundthat,nomatter
howhardhetried,hecouldnottakethefesteringgarlandoffhis
neck.
Pleaseremovethisftidgarland,hebegged.
Iwilldothatonlyundertwoconditions,saidUpagupta.
ThefirstisthatyoumustpromisenottodisruptBuddhistteachings
inthefuture.Thesecondisthatyoushowmetherealimageofthe
Buddha.Iknowthatyouhaveseenhimonmanyoccasions,but
Ihaveneverdoneso.IwouldliketoseeanimageoftheBuddha
thatisexactlylikehim.
MrawasverypleasedwiththisideaandagreedwithUpagupta
readily.But,ifIchangemyselfintotheimageoftheBuddha,said
Mra,youmustpromisethatyouwillnotworshipme,forIamnot
worthyofsuchreverence.
UpaguptapromisedthisandMratransformedhimselfintoan
imagethatlookedexactlyliketheBuddha.WhenUpaguptasawit,
deepdevotionaroseinhisheartandhefelltohiskneesLikeatree
cutoffattheroot,andbowedreverentiallytotheBuddhaimage.
MrafeltthatthemonkhadbrokenhispromisebutUpaguptatried
toreassurehim:
.IbowdownbeforethatSage
ButIdonotrevereyou!
Howisit,repliedMra,thatIamnotreveredwhenyouthus
bowdownbeforeme?
Ishalltellyou,saidtheelder
Justasmenbowdown
toclayimagesofthegods
knowingthatwhattheyworship
469
isthegodandnottheclay,
soI,seeingyouhere,
wearingtheformoftheLordoftheWorld,
bowdowntoyou,
consciousoftheSugata,
butnotconsciousofMra.
Divyvadna,p363
JohnS.Strong,TheLegendandCultofUpagupta,
pp11011,MotilalBanarsidass
K.G.suseofthismotifalsohasechoesofthelegendof
PygmalionandGalata:theformerwasasculptorwhomade
astatuesobeautifulthathefellinlovewithit.Suchwasthepain
ofhisunrequitedlonging,thatthegodstookpityonhimandbrought
thestatuetolifeshebecameknownasGalata.GeorgeBernard
Shawbasedhisfamousplayonthistheme.
Thereisalsoapoignantpassage,intheCollectionof
SayingsontheFaculties(S48.41),wherewehear:TheBlessd
Onehadarisenfromretreatintheeveningandwasseated
warminghisbackintheraysofthesettingsun.TheVen.nanda
wentuptohimandpaidhisrespects.Whilehewasmassaging
theBlessdOneslimbshesaid:Itisamazing,Lord,itis
incrediblethecolouroftheBlessdOnesskinisnolonger
clearandbright;allhislimbsareflaccidandwrinkled,hisbody
isbentforwardandthefacultiesofeyes,ears,nose,tongueand
bodilysensationarealldegenerating.
Soitis,nanda,soitis.Youthhastoage,healthhas
tosicken.
Shameonyou,sordidAge!
Makerofugliness.
Agehasnowtrampleddown
Theformthatoncehadgrace.
(Bhikkhunamolitrans.)

8.Page359, Asoneunfurlsthesheafofleavesthatmakeup
thetrunkofaplantainandonefindsbeneathitnosoundwood
Thissimile,fortheinsubstantialnatureofthings,isoftenfoundin
thePliCanon.Forexampleitisusedtorepresentthecorelessness
ofthesixsensesatS35.234,andtheemptinessofmentalformations
(thoughts,emotions,memoriesetc.)inthefamousLumpofFoam
discourseatS22.95:
470
Formislikealumpoffoam,
feelingawaterbubble;
perceptionisjustamirage,
metalformationslikeaplantain,
consciousness,amagictrick
sosaystheKinsmanoftheSun.

Howeveronemayponderit
orcarefullyinquire,
allappearsbothvoidandvacant
whenitsseenintruth.

Ateachinginasimilarspirit,butusingachariotspartsrather
thanthesheathedleavesofaplantain,isgivenbythenunVajir
atS5.10:
Justas,withanassemblageofparts,
Thewordchariotisused,
So,whentheaggregatesexist,
Thereistheconventionofabeing.

9.Page360, Thisisnotme,thisdoesnotbelongtome,
thisisnotmyselfThisphraseisderivedfromthediscourse
thatbroughtabouttheenlightenmentoftheBuddhasfirstfive
disciples,intheDeerParkatSaranath,nearBenares:theAnatta
lakkhanaSutta(TheDiscourseonSelflessness).Itisfoundin
theMahvagga,atMV1.6,andat59intheCollectionofSayings
ontheElements,S22.59(seealsoChapter10,note12).Itis
alsofound,mostappropriately,intheDhtuvibhangaSutta,at
M140.148,(seeAppendix2).

10.Page360,Asonecrossingastreambymeansofa
raftThissimileistakendirectlyfromafamousoneusedby
theBuddhaintheAlagaddpamaSutta(TheDiscourseonthe
SimileoftheSnake)atM22.13.Hedescribeshowapersonputs
togetheraraftinordertogetfromthisshore,whichisfullof
danger,tothefurthershore,wherethereisperfectsafety.Then,
havingarrivedsafely,thatpersonconsiders:Thisrafthasbeen
veryhelpfultome,supposeIweretohoistitontomyheador
shoulderandthengowhereverIwant.
TheBuddhathenasks:Whatdoyouthink;bydoingthis,is
471
thatpersondoingwhatshouldbedonewiththatraft?Hethenpoints
outthatitwouldbethewiserthingtodotohaultheraftontodryland,
ortosetitadrift,andthengoaboutonesbusiness;adding,most
importantly:SoIhaveshownyouhowtheDhammaissimilartoaraft,
beingforthepurposeofcrossingover,notforthepurposeofgrasping.

11.Page360,Thusthereisperfectunderstandingatlast
Thereisanotherinstanceofthisabstrusewayofreferringtothe
realisationoftheTruth,whichoccurswhenabhikkhucalled
SonaKolivisagoestoinformtheBuddhaofhisattainmentof
enlightenment;itisfoundinthebooksofmonasticdisciplineat
MV5.28.TheBuddhacongratulateshimonthewayhespeaks
ofhisexperience,explainingthathepraiseshimbecause
TheGoalisspokenof,yetnosenseofselfisimplied.

12.Page360,ThenVsitthflungherowncorporeal
substanceintotheastralmassofthevisionAccording
totheBuddhistunderstandingofthings,theonlyinstancewhere
suicidewouldbeanentirelywholesomeactiswhentheperson
isanArahantacompletelyenlightenedbeing.Therearea
fewinstancesmentionedintheTheravdatextswhereArahants
tooktheirownlives;almostinvariablytheywereterminallyill
andactedtolessentheburdenofpainanddifficultyonthose
aroundthem.Onesuchincident,describingthelastdaysofthe
bhikkhuVakkali,isfoundat87intheCollectionofSayings
onElements,S22.87.

CHAPTER45:NIGHTANDMORNINGINTHESPHERES

1.Page363, Kmantawasleftbehindalone,in
universalnightIntheMaitriUpanishad,atverse6.17,it
saysAttheendoftheworlds,allthingssleep;Healoneis
awakeinEternity.HerethetextisreferringtoBrahman,the
SpiritSupremeoftheHinduscriptures.

2.Page364,ButwhatcanlifebetomewithoutVsitth
Onasimilartheme,hereisRichardWagner,aEuropeanvoice
oftheauthorsvintageandalsoagreatdevoteeofSchopenhauer.
ThisishisoriginaldraftfortheendingofTheTwilightofthe
472

Gods,(apparentlyitwasneverusedbecausehiswife,Cosima,
didnotapproveofitsoanewversionwaswritten):
WereInolongertofaretoValhallasfortress,
doyouknowwhitherIwouldfare?
Idepartfromthehomeofdesire,
Ifleeforeverfromthehomeofdelusion;
theopengatesofeternalbecoming
Iclosebehindme.

Totheholiestchosenland,
freefromdesireanddelusion,
thegoalofworldwandering,
redeemedfromrebirth,
theenlightenedonenowgoes.

Theblessdendofallthingseternal:
doyouknowhowIattainedit?

Grievinglovesdeepestsuffering
openedmyeyes:
Isawtheworldend.

3.Page364, ThereisanEternalandawaytothe
EternalTheentireCollectionofSayingsonthe
Unconditioned(S43)beginswithstatementsphrasedinthis
way;e.g.IwillteachyoutheUnconditioned/Unfading/
Deathless/Releaseetc.andthepaththatleadstoit.Inthis
CollectiontherearenumeroussynonymsusedbytheBuddha
forthegoalofthespirituallife.

4.Page364, roundabouttheheartarespunahundred
finearteriesThisprinciplewhichwasmentionedbeforeonp.95,
para.1comesfromtheHinduscriptures.Itismentioned,forexample,
intheChndogyaUpanishad8.6,intheKathaUpanishadat1.6.16and
intheBrihadranyakaUpanishadat4.4.8theseareonpp.1956,299
and497ofDeussensSixtyUpanishadsoftheVeda.

5.Page365, Sandhyas!Sandhyas!Sandhyas!Thisis
aSanskritwordmeaningtwilight,theperiodbetweenons,
473
aperiodofjunction.Thedailyprayersrecitedatdawn,noon,
sunsetandmidnightarecalledSandhyas.

6.Page365, Wakeup,allyoubeings!Therearesome
interestingparallelsandinterrelationshipsdepictedhere:both
HinduandBuddhistcosmologiesarestructuredaroundtheidea
ofanendlesscycleofuniversescomingintobeing,expanding
toalimitandthencollapsingintoaspaceless,timelesscosmic
night;onlytoburstforthagainintobeing.Theimagethatthe
authorpresentshere,fromthebrahmspointofview,isvery
closetothetraditionalHinduscriptures.Thepatternofthesame
events,fromKmantasperspective,representstheBuddhist
takeonthings.
Thereareacoupleofverynotablepassagesthatoutline
theBuddhasunderstandingofthis:intheBrahmajlaSutta
(TheAllembracingNetofViews)atD1.2.26,andinthe
AggaaSutta(OntheKnowledgeofBeginnings)atD27.10.
Thisquotationisfromtheformer:Therecomesatime,
bhikkhus,soonerorlaterafteralongperiod,whenthisuniverse
contracts.Atatimeofcontraction,beingsaremostlyborninthe
bhassarbrahmworld.Andtheretheydwell,mindmade,
feedingondelight,selfluminous,movingthroughtheair,
gloriousandtheystaylikethatforaverylongtime.
Butthetimecomes,soonerorlaterafteralongperiod,
whenthisuniversebeginstoexpand.Inthisexpandingworld
anemptypalaceofBrahmappears.Andthenonebeing,from
theexhaustionofhislifespanorhismerits,fallsfromthe
bhassarworldandarisesintheemptybrahmpalace.And
therehedwells,mindmade,feedingondelight,selfluminous,
movingthroughtheair,gloriousandhestayslikethatfora
verylongtime.
Theninthisbeingwhohasbeenaloneforsolongthere
arisesunrest,discontentandworry,andhethinksOh,if
onlysomeotherbeingswouldcomehere!Andotherbeings,
fromtheexhaustionoftheirlifespanortheirmerits,fallfrom
thebhassarworldandariseinthebrahmpalaceas
companionsforthisbeing.Andtheretheydwell,mindmade,
feedingondelight,selfluminous,movingthroughtheair,
gloriousandtheystaylikethatforaverylongtime.
Andthen,bhikkhus,thatbeingwhofirstarosethere
474
thinks:IamBrahm,theGreatBrahm,theConqueror,the
Unconquered,theAllseeing,theAllpowerful,theLord,the
MakerandCreator,Ruler,AppointerandOrderer,FatherofAll
ThatHaveBeenandShallBe.Thesebeingswerecreatedbyme.
Howso?BecauseIfirsthadthisthought:Oh,ifonlysomeother
beingswouldcomehere!Thatwasmywishandthenthese
beingscameintothisexistence!Butthosebeingswho
subsequentlyarosethink:This,friends,isBrahm,theGreat
Brahm,theConqueror,theUnconquered,theAllseeing,the
Allpowerful,theLord,theMakerandCreator,Ruler,Appointer
andOrderer,FatherofAllThatHaveBeenandShallBe.How
so?Wehaveseenthathewasherefirst,andthatwearoseafter
him.
Andthisbeingthatarosefirstislongerlived,more
beautifulandmorepowerfulthantheyare...(MauriceWalshe,
trans.)

7.Page365,Andthebeingsandtheworldsprangforth...
Interestinglyenough,thisparagraphisechoedbyapassagein
theBookofJob,Chapter38,verses47,whereTheVoicefromthe
Whirlwindsays:
WhereyouwhenIlaidthefoundationsoftheearth?Who
wasitwhomeasuredit?Whostretchedthelineuponit?Onwhat
arethefoundationsfastened?Wholaiddownitscornerstone,whilethe
morningstarsburstoutsingingandtheangelsshoutedforjoy?!

8.Page366, Thesebeingsrejoicingintheirownexistence.
Andwhy?BecausetheydonotunderstanditThisphraseology
echoesthatusedinthefirstsuttaoftheMiddleLengthDiscourses,
theMlapariyyaSutta(seeChapter21,note5).Inthissubtleand
penetratingteachingtheBuddhaexpendsconsiderableefforttopoint
outthatallsucheternalistattitudesaresubtlyrootedinwrongview,
forexample:TheyperceiveAllasAll.HavingperceivedAllasAll,
theyconceive[themselvesas]All,theyconceive[themselves]in
All,theyconceive[themselves]apart(orcoming)fromAll,they
conceiveAlltobetheirs,theydelightinAll.Whyisthat?
Becausetheyhavenotfullyunderstoodit,Isay.(M1.25)
Hefollowsthisbyaddressingthehabitofgraspingeventhe
mostperfectofspiritualrealizations:
TheyperceiveNibbnaasNibbna.Havingperceived
475
NibbnaasNibbna,theyconceive[themselvesas]Nibbna,
theyconceive[themselves]inNibbna,theyconceive[themselves
apart]fromNibbna,theyconceiveNibbnatobemine,they
delightinNibbna.Whyisthat?Becausetheyhavenotfully
understoodit,Isay...(M1.26)Hisadviceistochangethewayof
seeingthings:
HedirectlyknowsNibbnaasNibbna.Havingdirectly
knownNibbnaasNibbna,heshouldnotconceive[himselfas]
Nibbna,heshouldnotconceive[himself]inNibbna,heshould
notconceive[himselfapart]fromNibbna,heshouldnotconceive
Nibbnatobemine,heshouldnotdelightinNibbna.Whyisthat?
Sothathemayfullyunderstandit,Isay.(M1.50,Bhikkhunamoli
&BhikkhuBodhitrans.)
TheBuddhadescribeshisownexperienceas:Havingdirectly
knownthatwhichisnotcommensuratewiththeAllnessofAll,I
didnotclaimtobeAll,IdidnotclaimtobeinAll,Ididnotclaim
tobeapartfromAll,IdidnotclaimAlltobemine,Ididnot
affirmAll.(M49.23)

9.Page366, SoIshallhelpallinhelpingmyselfThis
isaverywellknownprinciplewithintheBuddhisttradition.
ThepassagemostoftenquotedonthisiscalledTheSimileof
theAcrobats,itisfoundat19oftheCollectionontheFoundations
ofMindfulness,S47.19:Saidthemastertothepupil:Nowmy
lad,Illwatchyouandyouwatchme,thuswatchedandwarded
byeachotherwellshowourtricksandgetagoodfee,and
comedownsafefromthepole.No,no!Thatwontdo,Master!
Youlookafteryourself,andIlllookaftermyself.Thuswatched
andwardedeachbyhimselfwellshowourtricks,getagood
feeandcomedownsafefromthepole.Thatsthewaytodoit!
Inthisanalogyitisthepupilwhoistheonewhogetsthepraise
oftheBuddha.

10.Page367,calledtotheblissofreflectingthegloryof
theSupremeGodOnceagain(seeChapter36,note5)
K.G.seemstobehavingadigatJudoChristiantheological
formstheideaofhumanperfection,inthatwayofthought,
sometimesbeingpresentedastheopportunitysimplytopraise
andreflectthegloryoftheAlmightyforeternity.

476
11.Page367,sothenIamnotomnipotentsoIamnot
omniscientAsbefore(inChapter38,note6andChapter
44,note3),K.G.isdrawingupontheBuddhasmeetingwith
thebrahmgodBaka,andhisabilitytovanishfromthebrahms
sightwhilethebrahmcouldnotdisappearfromhis.Thestory
istoldatM49.26andatS6.4.Incidentally,Bakameansheron
apparently,inIndianfolklore,thebirdsymbolisesadeceitful
andarrogantcharacter;perhapsequivalentsinEnglishwould
besuchnamesasSharkeyorBighead.

12.Page369,asthelightofalampgoesoutwhenithas
consumedthelastdropofoilinitswickThisclosing
image,ofthegoingoutofaflame,isaverycommonmetaphor
fortheultimaterealisationintheBuddhasteachings.Alongwith
aprimeexampleatM140.24(seeAppendix2)hereareacouple
ofquotationsthatillustrateandilluminatethis.
Firstly,fromtheenlightenmentversesoftheElderNun
Patcr,atThig.1126:
Takingmylamp
Ienteredmyhut
satonmybed
andwatchedtheflame.
Iextinguishedthewick
withaneedle.
Theliberationofmymind,
wasjustliketheflames
disappearance.
Also,shortlyaftertheArahantDabbatheMallianhadpassed
away,havingrisenintotheairunderhisownpowerandthenabsorbed
hisbodyintothefireelement,theBuddhaproclaimed:
Justasthebournisnotknown
Ofthegradualfadingglow
Givenoffbythefurnaceheatediron
Asitisstruckwiththesmithshammer,
Sothereisnopointingtothebourn
Ofthoseperfectlyreleased,
Whohavecrossedtheflood
Ofbondagetosensedesires
Andattainedunshakeablebliss
Ud.8.10(JohnD.Irelandtrans.)
477

Lastly,TheQuestionsofUpasva,intheSuttaNipta,at
SN10746:
Itislikeaflamestruckbyasuddengustofwind,
saidtheBuddha,
inaflashithasgoneout
andnothingmorecanbeknownaboutit.
Itisthesame
withawiseperson
freedfrommindandbody
inflashtheyhavegone,
designationappliestothemnomore.

Pleaseexplainthisclearlytome,Sir,
saidUpasva,
foritsastatethatyouhaveunderstood:
onewhohasreachedtheend
dotheynotexist,
oraretheymadeimmortal,perfectlyfree?

Onewhohasreachedtheend
hasnocriterion
bywhichtheycanbemeasured;
Thatbywhichtheycouldbetalkedof
isnomore.

YoucannotsayHedoesnotexist.
Butwhenallmodesofbeing,
allphenomenaareremoved,
thenallmeansofdescription
havegonetoo.

478
APPENDIX2
DHATUVIBHANGASUTTA,M140

~TheExpositionoftheElements~

1.THUSHAVEIHEARD.OnoneoccasiontheBlessdOne
waswanderingintheMagadhancountryandeventuallyarrived
atRjagaha.TherehewenttothepotterBhaggavaandsaidto
him:
2.Ifitisnotinconvenientforyou,Bhaggava,Iwillstay
onenightinyourworkshop.
Itisnotinconvenientforme,venerablesir,butthereis
ahomelessonealreadystayingthere.Ifheagrees,thenstayas
longasyoulike,venerablesir.
3.NowtherewasaclansmannamedPukkustiwhohad
goneforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessnessoutoffaithin
theBlessdOne,andonthatoccasionhewasalreadystayingin
thepottersworkshop.ThentheBlessdOnewenttothe
venerablePukkustiandsaidtohim:Ifitisnotinconvenient
foryou,bhikkhu,Iwillstayonenightintheworkshop.
Thepottersworkshopislargeenough,friend.Letthe
venerableonestayaslongashelikes.
4.ThentheBlessdOneenteredthepottersworkshop,
preparedaspreadofgrassatoneend,andsatdown,foldinghis
legscrosswise,settinghisbodyerect,andestablishing
mindfulnessinfrontofhim.ThentheBlessdOnespentmost
ofthenightseated[inmeditation],andthevenerablePukkusti
alsospentmostofthenightseated[inmeditation].Thenthe
BlessdOnethought:Thisclansmanconductshimselfinaway
thatinspiresconfidence.SupposeIweretoquestionhim.So
heaskedthevenerablePukkusti:
5.Underwhomhaveyougoneforth,bhikkhu?Whois
yourteacher?WhoseDhammadoyouprofess?
Friend,thereistherecluseGotama,thesonofthe
SkyanswhowentforthfromaSkyanclan.Nowagoodreport
ofthatBlessdGotamahasbeenspreadtothiseffect:That
BlessdOneisaccomplished,fullyenlightened,perfectintrue
knowledgeandconduct,sublime,knowerofworlds,
incomparableleaderofpersonstobetamed,teacherofgods
479
andhumans,enlightened,blessd.Ihavegoneforthunderthat
BlessdOne;thatBlessdOneismyteacher;Iprofessthe
DhammaofthatBlessdOne.
But,bhikkhu,whereisthatBlessdOne,accomplished
andfullyenlightened,nowliving?
Thereis,friend,acityinthenortherncountrynamed
Svatthi.TheBlessdOne,accomplishedandfullyenlightened,
isnowlivingthere.
But,bhikkhu,haveyoueverseenthatBlessdOne
before?Wouldyourecognisehimifyousawhim?
No,friend,IhaveneverseenthatBlessdOnebefore,
norwouldIrecognisehimifIsawhim.
6.ThentheBlessdOnethought:Thisclansmanhas
goneforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessnessunderme.
SupposeIweretoteachhimtheDhamma.SotheBlessdOne
addressedthevenerablePukkustithus:Bhikkhu,Iwillteach
youtheDhamma.ListenandattendcloselytowhatIshallsay.
Yes,friend,thevenerablePukkustireplied.TheBlessd
Onesaidthis:
7.Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofsixelements,six
basesofcontact,andeighteenkindsofmentalexploration,and
hehasfourfoundations.Thetidesofconceivingdonotsweep
overonewhostandsuponthese[foundations],andwhenthe
tidesofconceivingnolongersweepoverhimheiscalledasage
atpeace.Oneshouldnotneglectwisdom,shouldpreservetruth,
shouldcultivaterelinquishment,andshouldtrainforpeace.This
isthesummaryoftheexpositionofthesixelements.
8.Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofsixelements.Soit
wassaid.Andwithreferencetowhatwasthissaid?Thereare
theearthelement,thewaterelement,thefireelement,theair
element,thespaceelement,andtheconsciousnesselement.So
itwaswithreferencetothisthatitwassaid:Bhikkhu,thisperson
consistsofsixelements.
9.Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofsixbasesofcontact.
Soitwassaid.Andwithreferencetowhatwasthissaid?There
arethebaseofeyecontact,thebaseofearcontact,thebaseof
nosecontact,thebaseoftonguecontact,thebaseofbodycontact,
andthebaseofmindcontact.Soitwaswithreference
tothisthatitwassaid:Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofsixbases
ofcontact.
10.Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofeighteenkindsof
mentalexploration.Soitwassaid.Andwithreferencetowhat
wasthissaid?Onseeingaformwiththeeye,oneexploresa
480
formproductiveofjoy,oneexploresaformproductiveofgrief,
oneexploresaformproductiveofequanimity.Onhearinga
soundwiththeear...Onsmellinganodourwiththenose...On
tastingaflavourwiththetongue...Ontouchingatangiblewith
thebody...Oncognisingamindobjectwiththemind,one
exploresamindobjectproductiveofjoy,oneexploresamindobject
productiveofgrief,oneexploresamindobjectproductive
ofequanimity.Soitwaswithreferencetothisthatitwas
said:Bhikkhu,thispersonconsistsofeighteenkindsofmental
exploration.
11.Bhikkhu,thispersonhasfourfoundations.Soit
wassaid.Andwithreferencetowhatwasthissaid?Thereare
thefoundationofwisdom,thefoundationoftruth,thefoundation
ofrelinquishment,andthefoundationofpeace.Soitwas
withreferencetothisthatitwassaid:Bhikkhu,thispersonhas
fourfoundations.
12.Oneshouldnotneglectwisdom,shouldpreserve
truth,shouldcultivaterelinquishment,andshouldtrainfor
peace.Soitwassaid.Andwithreferencetowhatwasthissaid?
13.How,bhikkhu,doesonenotneglectwisdom?There
arethesesixelements:theearthelement,thewaterelement,the
fireelement,theairelement,thespaceelement,andthe
consciousnesselement.
14.What,bhikkhu,istheearthelement?Theearth
elementmaybeeitherinternalorexternal.Whatistheinternal
earthelement?Whateverinternally,belongingtooneself,issolid,
solidified,andclungto,thatis,headhairs,bodyhairs,nails,
teeth,skin,flesh,sinews,bones,bonemarrow,kidneys,heart,
liver,diaphragm,spleen,lungs,largeintestines,smallintestines,
contentsofthestomach,fces,orwhateverelseinternally,
belongingtooneself,issolid,solidified,andclungto:thisis
calledtheinternalearthelement.Nowboththeinternalearth
elementandtheexternalearthelementaresimplyearthelement.
Andthatshouldbeseenasitactuallyiswithproperwisdom
thus:Thisisnotmine,thisIamnot,thisisnotmyself.When
oneseesitthusasitactuallyiswithproperwisdom,onebecomes
disenchantedwiththeearthelementandmakesthemind
dispassionatetowardstheearthelement.
15.What,bhikkhu,isthewaterelement?Thewater
elementmaybeeitherinternalorexternal.Whatistheinternal
waterelement?Whateverinternally,belongingtooneself,is
water,watery,andclungto,thatisbile,phlegm,pus,blood,
sweat,fat,tears,grease,spittle,snot,oilofthejoints,urine,or
481
whateverelseinternally,belongingtooneself,iswater,watery,
andclungto:thisiscalledtheinternalwaterelement.Nowboth
theinternalwaterelementandtheexternalwaterelementare
simplywaterelement.Andthatshouldbeseenasitactuallyis
withproperwisdomthus:Thisisnotmine,thisIamnot,thisis
notmyself.Whenoneseesitthusasitactuallyiswithproper
wisdom,onebecomesdisenchantedwiththewaterelementand
makestheminddispassionatetowardsthewaterelement.
16.What,bhikkhu,isthefireelement?Thefireelement
maybeeitherinternalorexternal.Whatistheinternalfire
element?Whateverinternally,belongingtooneself,isfire,fiery,
andclungto,thatisthatbywhichoneiswarmed,ages,andis
consumed,andthatbywhichwhatiseaten,drunk,consumed,
andtastedgetscompletelydigested,orwhateverelseinternally,
belongingtooneself,isfire,fiery,andclungto:thisiscalledthe
internalfireelement.Nowboththeinternalfireelementandthe
externalfireelementaresimplyfireelement.Andthatshould
beseenasitactuallyiswithproperwisdomthus:Thisisnot
mine,thisIamnot,thisisnotmyself.Whenoneseesitthusas
itactuallyiswithproperwisdom,onebecomesdisenchanted
withthefireelementandmakestheminddispassionatetowards
thefireelement.
17.What,bhikkhu,istheairelement?Theairelement
maybeeitherinternalorexternal.Whatistheinternalair
element?Whateverinternally,belongingtooneself,isair,airy,
andclungto,thatis,upgoingwinds,downgoingwinds,winds
inthebelly,windsinthebowels,windsthatcoursethroughthe
limbs,inbreathandoutbreath,orwhateverelseinternally,
belongingtooneself,isair,airy,andclungto:thisiscalledthe
internalairelement.Nowboththeinternalairelementandthe
externalairelementaresimplyairelement.Andthatshouldbe
seenasitactuallyiswithproperwisdomthus:Thisisnotmine,
thisIamnot,thisisnotmyself.Whenoneseesitthusasit
actuallyiswithproperwisdom,onebecomesdisenchantedwith
theairelementandmakestheminddispassionatetowardsthe
airelement.
18.What,bhikkhu,isthespaceelement?Thespace
elementmaybeeitherinternalorexternal.Whatistheinternal
spaceelement?Whateverinternally,belongingtooneself,is
space,spatial,andclungto,thatistheholesoftheears,the
nostrils,thedoorofthemouth,andthat[aperture]wherebywhat
iseaten,drunk,consumed,andtastedgetsswallowed,andwhere
itcollects,andwherebyitisexcretedfrombelow,orwhatever
482
elseinternally,belongingtooneself,isspace,spatial,andclungto:
thisiscalledtheinternalspaceelement.Nowboththeinternal
spaceelementandtheexternalspaceelementaresimplyspace
element.Andthatshouldbeseenasitactuallyiswithproper
wisdomthus:Thisisnotmine,thisIamnot,thisisnotmyself.
Whenoneseesitthusasitactuallyiswithproperwisdom,one
becomesdisenchantedwiththespaceelementandmakesthe
minddispassionatetowardsthespaceelement.
19.Thenthereremainsonlyconsciousness,purifiedand
bright.Whatdoesonecognisewiththatconsciousness?One
cognises:[Thisis]pleasant;onecognises:[Thisis]painful;one
cognises:[Thisis]neitherpainfulnorpleasant.Independence
onacontacttobefeltaspleasanttherearisesapleasantfeeling.
Whenonefeelsapleasantfeeling,oneunderstands:Ifeela
pleasantfeeling.Oneunderstands:Withthecessationofthat
samecontacttobefeltaspleasant,itscorrespondingfeeling
thepleasantfeelingthataroseindependenceonthatcontactto
befeltaspleasantceasesandsubsides.Independenceona
contacttobefeltaspainfultherearisesapainfulfeeling.When
onefeelsapainfulfeeling,oneunderstands:Ifeelapainful
feeling.Oneunderstands:Withthecessationofthatsame
contacttobefeltaspainful,itscorrespondingfeelingthe
painfulfeelingthataroseindependenceonthatcontacttobe
feltaspainfulceasesandsubsides.Independenceona
contacttobefeltasneitherpainfulforpleasanttherearisesa
neitherpainfulnorpleasantfeeling.Whenonefeelsaneitherpainful
norpleasantfeeling,oneunderstands:Ifeelaneitherpainful
norpleasantfeeling.Oneunderstands:Withthe
cessationofthatsamecontacttofeltasneitherpainfulnorpleasant,
itscorrespondingfeelingtheneitherpainfulnorpleasant
feelingthataroseindependenceonthatcontacttobe
feltasneitherpainfulnorpleasantceasesandsubsides.
Bhikkhu,justasfromthecontactandfrictionoftwofiresticks
heatisgeneratedandfireisproduced,andwiththeseparation
anddisjunctionofthesetwofiresticksthecorrespondingheat
ceasesandsubsides;sotoo,independenceonacontacttobe
feltaspleasant...tobefeltaspainful...tobefeltasneitherpainfulnor
pleasanttherearisesaneitherpainfulnorpleasant
feeling...Oneunderstands:Withthecessationofthatsame
contacttobefeltasneitherpainfulnorpleasant,its
correspondingfeeling...ceasesandsubsides.
20.Thenthereremainsonlyequanimity,purifiedand
bright,malleable,wieldy,andradiant.Suppose,bhikkhu,a
483
skilledgoldsmithorhisapprenticeweretoprepareafurnace,
heatupthecrucible,takesomegoldwithtongs,andputitinto
thecrucible.Fromtimetotimehewouldblowonit,fromtime
totimehewouldsprinklewateroverit,andfromtimetotime
hewouldjustlookon.Thatgoldwouldbecomerefined,well
refined,completelyrefined,faultless,ridofdross,malleable,
wieldy,andradiant.Thenwhateverkindofornamenthewished
tomakefromit,whetheragoldenchainorearringsoranecklace
oragoldengarland,itwouldservehispurpose.Sotoo,bhikkhu,
thenthereremainsonlyequanimity,purifiedandbright,
malleable,wieldy,andradiant.
21.Heunderstandsthus:IfIweretodirectthis
equanimity,sopurifiedandbright,tothebaseofinfinitespace
andtodevelopmymindaccordingly,thenthisequanimityof
mine,supportedbythatbase,clingingtoit,wouldremainfora
verylongtime.IfIweretodirectthisequanimity,sopurified
andbright,tothebaseofinfiniteconsciousness...tothebaseof
nothingness...tothebaseofneitherperceptionnornonperception
anddevelopmymindaccordingly,thenthisequanimity
ofmine,supportedbythatbase,clingingtoit,would
remainforaverylongtime.
22.Heunderstandsthus:IfIweretodirectthis
equanimity,sopurifiedandbright,tothebaseofinfinitespace
andtodevelopmymindaccordingly,thiswouldbeconditioned.
IfIweretodirectthisequanimity,sopurifiedandbright,tothe
baseofinfiniteconsciousness...tothebaseofnothingness...to
thebaseofneitherperceptionnornonperceptionandto
developmymindaccordingly,thiswouldbeconditioned.He
doesnotformanyconditionorgenerateanyvolitiontending
towardseitherbeingornonbeing.Sincehedoesnotformany
conditionorgenerateanyvolitiontendingtowardseitherbeing
ornonbeing,hedoesnotclingtoanythinginthisworld.When
hedoesnotcling,heisnotagitated.Whenheisnotagitated,he
personallyattainsNibbna.Heunderstandsthus:Birthis
destroyed,theholylifehasbeenlived,whathadtobedonehas
beendone,thereisnomorecomingtoanystateofbeing.
23.Ifhefeelsapleasantfeeling,heunderstands:Itis
impermanent;thereisnoholdingtoit;thereisnodelightinit.
Ifhefeelsapainfulfeeling,heunderstands:Itisimpermanent;
thereisnoholdingtoit;thereisnodelightinit.Ifhefeelsa
neitherpainfulnorpleasantfeeling,heunderstands:Itis
impermanent;thereisnoholdingtoit;thereisnodelightinit.
24.Ifhefeelsapleasantfeeling,hefeelsitdetached;if
484
hefeelsapainfulfeeling,hefeelsitdetached;ifhefeelsaneither
painfulnorpleasantfeeling,hefeelsitdetached.Whenhefeels
afeelingterminatingwiththebody,heunderstands:Ifeela
feelingterminatingwiththebody.Whenhefeelsafeeling
terminatingwithlife,heunderstands:Ifeelafeelingterminating
withlife.Heunderstands:Onthedissolutionofthebody,with
theendingoflife,allthatisfelt,notbeingdelightedin,will
becomecoolrighthere.Bhikkhu,justasanoillampburnsin
dependenceonoilandawick,andwhentheoilandwickare
usedup,ifitdoesnotgetanymorefuel,itisextinguishedfrom
lackoffuel;sotoowhenhefeelsafeelingterminatingwiththe
body...afeelingterminatingwithlife,heunderstands:Ifeela
feelingterminatingwithlife.Heunderstands:Onthedissolution
ofthebody,withtheendingoflife,allthatisfelt,notbeing
delightedin,willbecomecoolrighthere.
25.Thereforeabhikkhupossessing[thiswisdom]
possessesthesupremefoundationofwisdom.Forthis,bhikkhu,
isthesupremenoblewisdom,namely,theknowledgeofthe
destructionofallsuffering.
26.Hisdeliverance,beingfoundedupontruth,is
unshakeable.Forthatisfalse,bhikkhu,whichhasadeceptive
nature,andthatistruewhichhasanundeceptivenature
Nibbna.Thereforeabhikkhupossessing[thistruth]possesses
thesupremefoundationoftruth.Forthis,bhikkhu,isthe
supremenobletruth,namely,Nibbna,whichhasan
undeceptivenature.
27.Formerly,whenhewasignorant,heacquiredand
developedattachments;nowhehasabandonedthem,cutthem
offattheroot,madethemlikeapalmstump,doneawaywith
themsothattheyarenolongersubjecttofuturearising.Therefore
abhikkhupossessing[thisrelinquishment]possessesthe
supremefoundationofrelinquishment.Forthis,bhikkhu,isthe
supremenoblerelinquishment,namely,therelinquishingofall
attachments.
28.Formerly,whenhewasignorant,heexperienced
covetousness,desire,andlust;nowhehasabandonedthem,
cutthemoffattheroot,madethemlikeapalmstump,done
awaywiththemsothattheyarenolongersubjecttofuture
arising.Formerly,whenhewasignorant,heexperiencedanger,
illwill,andhate;nowhehasabandonedthem,cutthemoffat
theroot,madethemlikeapalmstump,doneawaywiththem
sothattheyarenolongersubjecttofuturearising.Formerly,
whenhewasignorant,heexperiencedignoranceanddelusion;
485
nowhehasabandonedthem,cutthemoffattheroot,made
themlikeapalmstump,doneawaywiththemsothattheyare
nolongersubjecttofuturearising.Thereforeabhikkhu
possessing[thispeace]possessesthesupremefoundationof
peace.Forthis,bhikkhu,isthesupremenoblepeace,namely,
thepacificationoflust,hate,anddelusion.
29.Soitwaswithreferencetothisthatitwassaid:One
shouldnotneglectwisdom,shouldpreservetruth,should
cultivaterelinquishment,andshouldtrainforpeace.
30.Thetidesofconceivingdonotsweepoveronewho
standsuponthese[foundations],andwhenthetidesof
conceivingnolongersweepoverhimheiscalledasageatpeace.
Soitwassaid.Andwithreferencetowhatwasthissaid?
31.Bhikkhu,Iamisaconceiving;Iamthisisa
conceiving;Ishallbeisaconceiving;Ishallnotbeisa
conceiving;Ishallbepossessedofformisaconceiving;Ishall
beformlessisaconceiving;Ishallbepercipientisaconceiving;
Ishallbenonpercipientisaconceiving;Ishallbeneitherpercipient
nornonpercipientisaconceiving.Conceivingisa
disease,conceivingisatumour,conceivingisadart.By
overcomingallconceivings,bhikkhu,oneiscalledasageat
peace.Andthesageatpeaceisnotborn,doesnotage,doesnot
die;heisnotshakenandisnotagitated.Forthereisnothing
presentinhimbywhichhemightbeborn.Notbeingborn,how
couldheage?Notageing,howcouldhedie?Notdying,how
couldhebeshaken?Notbeingshaken,whyshouldhebe
agitated?
32.Soitwaswithreferencetothisthatitwassaid:The
tidesofconceivingdonotsweepoveronewhostandsupon
these[foundations],andwhenthetidesofconceivingnolonger
sweepoverhimheiscalledasageatpeace.Bhikkhu,bearin
mindthisbriefexpositionofthesixelements.
33.ThereuponthevenerablePukkustithought:
Indeed,theTeacherhascometome!TheSublimeOnehas
cometome!TheFullyEnlightenedOnehascometome!Then
herosefromhisseat,arrangedhisupperrobeoveroneshoulder,
andprostratinghimselfwithhisheadattheBlessdOnesfeet,
hesaid:Venerablesir,atransgressionovercameme,inthat
likeafool,confusedandblundering,Ipresumedtoaddressthe
BlessdOneasfriend.Venerablesir,maytheBlessdOne
forgivemytransgressionseenassuchforthesakeofrestraintin
thefuture.
Surely,bhikkhu,atransgressionovercameyou,inthat
486
likeafool,confusedandblundering,youpresumedtoaddress
measfriend.Butsinceyouseeyourtransgressionassuchand
makeamendsinaccordancewiththeDhamma,weforgiveyou.
ForitisgrowthintheNobleOnesDisciplinewhenonesees
onestransgressionassuch,makesamendsinaccordancewith
theDhamma,andundertakesrestraintinthefuture.
34.Venerablesir,Iwouldreceivethefulladmission
undertheBlessdOne.
Butareyourbowlandrobescomplete,bhikkhu?
Venerablesir,mybowlandrobesarenotcomplete.
Bhikkhu,Tathgatasdonotgivethefulladmissionto
anyonewhosebowlandrobesarenotcomplete.
35.ThenthevenerablePukkusti,havingdelightedand
rejoicedintheBlessdOneswords,rosefromhisseat,andafter
payinghomagetotheBlessdOne,keepinghimonhisright,
hedepartedinordertosearchforabowlandrobes.Then,while
thevenerablePukkustiwassearchingforabowlandrobes,a
straycowkilledhim.
36.ThenanumberofbhikkhuswenttotheBlessdOne,
andafterpayinghomagetohim,theysatdownatonesideand
toldhim:Venerablesir,theclansmanPukkusti,whowasgiven
briefinstructionbytheBlessdOne,hasdied.Whatishis
destination?Whatishisfuturecourse?
Bhikkhus,theclansmanPukkustiwaswise.He
practisedinaccordancewiththeDhammaanddidnottrouble
meintheinterpretationoftheDhamma.Withthedestructionof
thefivelowerfetters,theclansmanPukkustihasreappeared
spontaneously[inthePureAbodes]andwillattainfinalNibbna
therewithouteverreturningfromthatworld.
ThatiswhattheBlessdOnesaid.Thebhikkhuswere
satisfiedanddelightedintheBlessdOneswords.

(Bhikkhunamoli&BhikkhuBodhitrans.,
WisdomPublications)
487
APPENDIX3

ANGULIMLASUTTA,M86

~OnAngulimla~

1.THUSHAVEIHEARD.OnoneoccasiontheBlessdOne
waslivingatSvatthiinJetasGrove,AnthapindikasPark.
2.Nowonthatoccasiontherewasabanditintherealm
ofKingPasenadiofKosalanamedAngulimla,whowasmurderous,
bloodyhanded,giventoblowsandviolence,merciless
tolivingbeings.Villages,towns,anddistrictswerelaidwaste
byhim.Hewasconstantlymurderingpeopleandheworetheir
fingersasagarland.
3.Then,whenitwasmorning,theBlessdOnedressed,
andtakinghisbowlandouterrobe,wentintoSvatthiforalms.
WhenhehadwanderedforalmsinSvatthiandhadreturned
fromhisalmsround,afterhismealhesethisrestingplacein
order,andtakinghisbowlandouterrobe,setoutontheroad
leadingtowardsAngulimla.Cowherds,shepherds,and
ploughmenpassingbysawtheBlessdOnewalkingalongthe
roadleadingtowardsAngulimlaandtoldhim:Donottake
thisroad,recluse.OnthisroadisthebanditAngulimla,whois
murderous,bloodyhanded,giventoblowsandviolence,merciless
tolivingbeings.Villages,towns,anddistrictshavebeen
laidwastebyhim.Heisconstantlymurderingpeopleandhe
wearstheirfingersasagarland.Menhavecomealongthisroad
ingroupsoften,twenty,thirty,andevenforty,butstillthey
havefallenintoAngulimlashands.Whenthiswassaidthe
BlessdOnewentoninsilence.
Forthesecondtime...Forthethirdtimethecowherds,
shepherds,andploughmentoldthistotheBlessdOne,but
stilltheBlessdOnewentoninsilence.
4.ThebanditAngulimlasawtheBlessdOnecoming
inthedistance.Whenhesawhim,hethought:Itiswonderful,
itismarvellous!Menhavecomealongthisroadingroupsof
ten,twenty,thirty,andevenforty,butstilltheyhavefalleninto
myhands.Andnowthisreclusecomesalone,unaccompanied,
asifdrivenbyfate.WhyshouldntItakethisrecluseslife?
488
Angulimlathentookuphisswordandshield,buckledonhis
bowandquiver,andfollowedclosebehindtheBlessdOne.
5.ThentheBlessdOneperformedsuchafeatofsuper
normalpowerthatthebanditAngulimla,thoughwalking
asfastashecould,couldnotcatchupwiththeBlessdOne,
whowaswalkingathisnormalpace.
ThenthebanditAngulimlathought:Itiswonderful,it
ismarvellous!FormerlyIcouldcatchupevenwithaswiftelephant
andseizeit;Icouldcatchupevenwithaswifthorseand
seizeit;Icouldcatchupevenwithaswiftchariotandseizeit;I
couldcatchupevenwithaswiftdeerandseizeit;butnow,
thoughIamwalkingasfastasIcan,Icannotcatchupwiththis
reclusewhoiswalkingathisnormalpace!Hestoppedand
calledouttotheBlessdOne:Stop,recluse!Stop,recluse!
Ihavestopped,Angulimla,youstoptoo.
ThebanditAngulimlathought:Theserecluses,sons
oftheSkyans,speaktruth,asserttruth;butthoughthisrecluse
isstillwalking,hesays:Ihavestopped,Angulimla,youstop
too.SupposeIquestionthisrecluse.
6.ThenthebanditAngulimlaaddressedtheBlessd
Oneinstanzasthus:
Whileyouarewalking,recluse,youtellmeyouhave
stopped;
Butnow,whenIhavestopped,yousayIhavenot
stopped.
Iaskyounow,Orecluse,aboutthemeaning:
HowisitthatyouhavestoppedandIhavenot?

Angulimla,Ihavestoppedforever,
Iabstainfromviolencetowardslivingbeings;
Butyouhavenorestrainttowardsthingsthatlive:
ThatiswhyIhavestoppedandyouhavenot.

Oh,atlonglastthisrecluse,aveneratedsage,
Hascometothisgreatforestformysake.
HavingheardyourstanzateachingmetheDhamma,
Iwillindeedrenounceevilforever.

Sosayingthebandittookhisswordandweapons
Andflungtheminagapingchasmspit;
ThebanditworshippedtheSublimeOnesfeet,
Andthenandthereaskedforthegoingforth.

489
TheEnlightenedOne,theSageofGreatCompassion,
TheTeacheroftheworldwith[all]itsgods,
Addressedhimwiththesewords,Come,bhikkhu.
Andthatwashowhecametobeabhikkhu.
7.ThentheBlessdOnesetouttowanderbackto
SvatthiwithAngulimlaashisattendant.Wanderingbystages,
heeventuallyarrivedatSvatthi,andtherehelivedatSvatthi
inJetasGrove,AnthapindikasPark.
8.Nowonthatoccasiongreatcrowdsofpeoplewere
gatheringatthegatesofKingPasenadisinnerpalace,veryloud
andnoisy,crying:Sire,thebanditAngulimlaisinyourrealm;
heismurderous,bloodyhanded,giventoblowsandviolence,
mercilesstolivingbeings!Villages,towns,anddistrictshavebeen
laidwastebyhim!Heisconstantlymurderingpeopleandhe
wearstheirfingersasagarland!Thekingmustputhimdown!
9.TheninthemiddleofthedayKingPasenadiofKosala
droveoutofSvatthiwithacavalryoffivehundredmenandset
outforthepark.Hedrovethusasfarastheroadwaspassable
forcarriages,andthenhedismountedfromhiscarriageandwent
forwardonfoottotheBlessdOne.Afterpayinghomagetothe
BlessdOne,hesatdownatoneside,andtheBlessdOnesaid
tohim:Whatisit,greatking?IsKingSeniyaBimbisraof
Magadhaattackingyou,ortheLicchavisofVesl,orother
hostilekings?
10.Venerablesir,KingSeniyaBimbisraofMagadhais
notattackingme,noraretheLicchavisofVesl,norareother
hostilekings.Butthereisabanditinmyrealmnamed
Angulimla,whoismurderous,bloodyhanded,giventoblows
andviolence,mercilesstolivingbeings.Villages,towns,and
districtshavebeenlaidwastebyhim.Heisconstantlymurdering
peopleandhewearstheirfingersasagarland.Ishallnever
beabletoputhimdown,venerablesir.
11.Greatking,supposeyouweretoseethatAngulimla
hadshavedoffhishairandbeard,putontheyellowrobe,and
goneforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessness;thathewas
abstainingfromkillinglivingbeings,fromtakingwhatisnot
givenandfromfalsespeech;thathewasrefrainingfromeating
atnight,ateonlyinonepartoftheday,andwascelibate,virtuous,
ofgoodcharacter.Ifyouweretoseehimthus,howwould
youtreathim?
Venerablesir,wewouldpayhomagetohim,orriseup
forhim,orinvitehimtobeseated;orwewouldinvitehimto
acceptrobes,almsfood,arestingplace,ormedicinalrequisites;
490
orwewouldarrangeforhimlawfulguarding,defense,andprotection.
But,venerablesir,heisanimmoralman,oneofevil
character.Howcouldheeverhavesuchvirtueandrestraint?
12.NowonthatoccasionthevenerableAngulimlawas
sittingnotfarfromtheBlessdOne.ThentheBlessdOneextended
hisrightarmandsaidtoKindPasenadiofKosala:Great
king,thisisAngulimla.
ThenKingPasenadiwasfrightened,alarmed,andterrified.
Knowingthis,theBlessdOnetoldhim:Donotbeafraid,
greatking,donotbeafraid.Thereisnothingforyoutofear
fromhim.
Thenthekingsfear,alarm,andterrorsubsided.Hewent
overtothevenerableAngulimlaandsaid:Venerablesir,isthe
noblelordreallyAngulimla?
Yes,greatking.
Venerablesir,ofwhatfamilyisthenoblelordsfather?
Ofwhatfamilyishismother?
MyfatherisaGagga,greatking;mymotherisa
Mantni.
LetthenoblelordGaggaMantniputtarestcontent.I
shallproviderobes,almsfood,restingplace,andmedicinalrequisites
forthenoblelordGaggaMantniputta.
13.NowatthattimethevenerableAngulimlawasa
forestdweller,analmsfoodeater,arefuseragwearer,andrestricted
himselftothreerobes.Hereplied:Enough,greatking,
mytriplerobeiscomplete.
KingPasenadithenreturnedtotheBlessdOne,and
afterpayinghomagetohim,hesatdownatonesideandsaid:
Itiswonderful,venerablesir,itismarvelloushowtheBlessd
Onetamestheuntamed,bringspeacetotheunpeaceful,and
leadstoNibbnathosewhohavenotattainedNibbna.Venerable
sir,weourselvescouldnottamehimwithforceandweapons,
yettheBlessdOnehastamedhimwithoutforceorweapons.
Andnow,venerablesir,wedepart.Wearebusyandhave
muchtodo.
Nowisthetime,greatking,todoasyouthinkfit.
ThenKingPasenadiofKosalarosefromhisseat,and
afterpayinghomagetotheBlessdOne,keepinghimonhis
right,hedeparted.
14.Then,whenitwasmorning,thevenerable
Angulimladressed,andtakinghisbowlandouterrobe,went
intoSvatthiforalms.Ashewaswanderingforalmsfromhouse
tohouseinSvatthi,hesawacertainwomangivingbirthtoa
491
deformedchild.Whenhesawthis,hethought:Howbeings
areafflicted!Indeed,howbeingsareafflicted!
WhenhehadwanderedforalmsinSvatthiandhad
returnedfromhisalmsround,afterhismealhewenttothe
BlessdOne,andafterpayinghomagetohim,hesatdownat
onesideandsaid:Venerablesir,inthemorningIdressed,and
takingmybowlandouterrobe,wentintoSvatthiforalms.As
IwaswanderingforalmsfromhousetohouseinSvatthi,Isaw
acertainwomangivingbirthtoadeformedchild.WhenIsaw
that,Ithought:Howbeingsareafflicted!Indeed,howbeings
areafflicted!
15.Inthatcase,Angulimla,gointoSvatthiandsayto
thewoman:Sister,sinceIwasborn,IdonotrecallthatIhave
everintentionallydeprivedalivingbeingoflife.Bythistruth,
mayyoubewellandmayyourinfantbewell!
Venerablesir,wouldntIbetellingadeliberatelie,for
Ihaveintentionallydeprivedmanylivingbeingsoflife?
Then,Angulimla,gointoSvatthiandsaytothat
woman:Sister,sinceIwasbornwiththenoblebirth,Idonot
recallthatIhaveeverintentionallydeprivedalivingbeingof
life.Bythistruth,mayyoubewellandmayyourinfantbewell!
Yes,venerablesir,thevenerableAngulimlareplied,
andhavinggoneintoSvatthi,hetoldthatwoman:Sister,since
Iwasbornwiththenoblebirth,IdonotrecallthatIhaveever
intentionallydeprivedalivingbeingoflife.Bythistruth,may
youbewellandmayyourinfantbewell!Thenthewomanand
theinfantbecamewell.
16.Beforelong,dwellingalone,withdrawn,diligent,
ardent,andresolute,thevenerableAngulimla,byrealizingfor
himselfwithdirectknowledge,hereandnowentereduponand
abidedinthatsupremegoaloftheholylifeforthesakeofwhich
clansmenrightlygoforthfromthehomelifeintohomelessness.
Hedirectlyknew:Birthisdestroyed,theholylifehasbeenlived,
whathadtobedonehasbeendone,thereisnomorecomingto
anystateofbeing.AndthevenerableAngulimlabecameone
ofthearahants.
17.Then,whenitwasmorning,thevenerable
Angulimladressed,andtakinghisbowlandouterrobe,went
intoSvatthiforalms.
Nowonthatoccasionsomeonethrewaclodandhitthe
venerableAngulimlasbody,someoneelsethrewastickand
hithisbody,andsomeoneelsethrewapotsherdandhithis
body.
492
Then,withbloodrunningfromhiscuthead,withhis
bowlbroken,andwithhisouterrobetorn,thevenerable
AngulimlawenttotheBlessdOne.
TheBlessdOnesawhimcominginthedistanceand
toldhim:Bearit,brahmin!Bearit,brahmin!Youareexperiencing
hereandnowtheresultofdeedsbecauseofwhichyou
mighthavebeentorturedinhellformanyyears,formanyhundreds
ofyears,formanythousandsofyears.
18.Then,whilethevenerableAngulimlawasalonein
retreatexperiencingtheblissofdeliverance,heutteredthis
exclamation:
Whooncedidliveinnegligence
Andthenisnegligentnomore,
Heilluminatestheworld
Likethemoonfreedfromacloud.

Whocheckstheevildeedshedid
Bydoingwholesomedeedsinstead,
Heilluminatestheworld
Likethemoonfreedfromacloud.

Theyouthfulbhikkhuwhodevotes
HiseffortstotheBuddhasteaching,
Heilluminatestheworld
Likethemoonfreedfromacloud.

LetmyenemiesheardiscourseontheDhamma,
LetthembedevotedtotheBuddhasteaching,
Letmyenemieswaitonthosegoodpeople
WholeadotherstoaccepttheDhamma.

Letmyenemiesgiveearfromtimetotime
AndheartheDhammaofthosewhopreachforbearance,
Ofthosewhospeakaswellinpraiseofkindness,
AndletthemfollowupthatDhammawithkinddeeds.

Forsurelythentheywouldnotwishtoharmme,
Norwouldtheythinkofharmingotherbeings,
Sothosewhowouldprotectall,frailorstrong,
Letthemattaintheallsurpassingpeace.

Conduitmakersguidethewater,
Fletchersstraightenoutthearrowshaft,
493
Carpentersstraightenoutthetimber,
Butwisemenseektotamethemselves.

Therearesomethattamewithbeatings,
Somewithgoadsandsomewithwhips;
ButIwastamedbysuchaone
Whohasnorodnoranyweapon.

HarmlessisthenameIbear,
ThoughIwasdangerousinthepast.
ThenameIbeartodayistrue:
Ihurtnolivingbeingatall.

AndthoughIoncelivedasabandit
WiththenameofFingergarland,
Onewhomthegreatfloodsweptalong,
IwentforrefugetotheBuddha.

AndthoughIoncewasbloodyhanded
WiththenameofFingergarland,
SeetherefugeIhavefound:
Thebondofbeingasbeencut.

WhileIdidmanydeedsthatlead
Torebirthintheevilrealms,
Yettheirresulthasreachedmenow,
AndsoIeatfreefromdebt.

Theyarefoolsandhavenosense
Whogivethemselvestonegligence,
Butthoseofwisdomguarddiligence
Andtreatitastheirgreatestgood.

Donotgivewaytonegligence
Norseekdelightinsensualpleasures,
Butmeditatewithdiligence
Soastoreachtheperfectbliss.

Sowelcometothatchoiceofmine
Andletitstand,itwasnotillmade;
OfalltheDhammasknowntomen
Ihavecometotheverybest.

494
Sowelcometothatchoiceofmine
Andletitstand,itwasnotillmade;
Ihaveattainedthetripleknowledge
AnddoneallthattheBuddhateaches.

(Bhikkhunamoli&BhikkhuBodhitrans.,
WisdomPublications)
495

APPENDIX4

EXCERPTSFROMTHE
MAHAPARINIBBNASUTTA,D16
~TheBuddhasLastDays~

2.22.THELORDSAIDTOTHEMONKS:You,monks,
shouldgotoanywhereinVeslwhereyouhavefriendsor
acquaintancesorsupporters,andspendtheRainsthere.Ishall
spendtheRainshereinBeluva.Verygood,Lord,repliedthe
monks,andtheydidso,buttheLordspenttheRainsinBeluva.
2.23.AndduringtheRainstheLordwasattackedbya
severesickness,withsharppainsasifhewereabouttodie.But
heenduredallthismindfully,clearlyawareandwithout
complaining.Hethought:ItisnotfittingthatIshouldattain
finalNibbnawithoutaddressingmyfollowersandtakingleave
oftheorderofmonks.Imustholdthisdiseaseincheckbyenergy
andapplymyselftotheforceoflife.Hedidso,andthedisease
abated.
2.24.ThentheLordhavingrecoveredfromhissickness,
assoonashefeltbetter,wentoutsideandsatonaprepared
seatinfrontofhisdwelling.ThentheVenerablenandacame
tohim,salutedhim,satdowntoonesideandsaid:Lord,Ihave
seentheLordincomfort,andIhaveseentheLordspatient
enduring.And,Lord,mybodywaslikeadrunkards.Ilostmy
bearingsandthingswereuncleartomebecauseoftheLords
sickness.Theonlythingthatwassomecomforttomewasthe
thought:TheLordwillnotattainfinalNibbnauntilhehas
madesomestatementabouttheorderofmonks.
2.25.But,nanda,whatdoestheorderofmonksexpect
ofme?IhavetaughttheDhamma,nanda,makingnoinner
andouter:theTathgatahasnoteachersfistinrespectof
doctrines.Ifthereisanyonewhothinks:Ishalltakechargeof
theorder,orTheordershouldrefertome,lethimmakesome
statementabouttheorder,buttheTathgatadoesnotthinkin
suchterms.SowhyshouldtheTathgatamakeastatementabout
theorder?
nanda,Iamnowold,wornout,venerable,onewho
496
hastraversedlifespath,Ihavereachedthetermoflife,whichis
eighty.Justasanoldcartismadetogobybeingheldtogether
withstraps,sotheTathgatasbodyiskeptgoingbybeing
strappedup.ItisonlywhentheTathgatawithdrawshis
attentionfromoutwardsigns,andbythecessationofcertain
feelings,entersintothesignlessconcentrationofmind,thathis
bodyknowscomfort.
2.26.Therefore,nanda,youshouldliveasislandsunto
yourselves,beingyourownrefuge,withnooneelseasyour
refuge,withtheDhammaasanisland,withtheDhammaas
yourrefuge,withnootherrefuge.Andhowdoesamonkliveas
anislanduntohimself,...withnootherrefuge?Here,nanda,a
monkabidescontemplatingthebodyasbody,earnestly,clearly
aware,mindfulandhavingputawayallhankeringandfretting
fortheworld,andlikewisewithregardtofeelings,mindand
mindobjects.That,nanda,ishowamonklivesasanisland
untohimself,...withnootherrefuge.Andthosewhonowinmy
timeorafterwardslivethus,theywillbecomethehighest,if
theyaredesirousoflearning.
[Endofthesecondrecitationsection]

3.1.ThentheLord,risingearly,dressed,tookhisrobe
andbowl,andenteredVeslforalms.Havingeatenonhisreturn
fromthealmsround,hesaidtotheVenerablenanda:Bringa
mat,nanda.WewillgototheCplaShrineforthesiesta.
Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,and,gettingamat,hefollowed
behind.
3.2.ThentheLordcametotheCplaShrine,andsat
downonthepreparedseat.nandasalutedtheLordandsat
downtooneside,andtheLordsaid:nanda,Veslisdelightful,
theUdenaShrineisdelightful,theGotamakaShrineis
delightful,theSattambakaShrineisdelightful,theBahuputta
Shrineisdelightful,theCplaShrineisdelightful.
3.3.nanda,whoeverhasdevelopedthefourroadsto
power,practisedthemfrequently,madethemhisvehicle,made
themhisbase,establishedthem,becomefamiliarwiththemand
properlyundertakenthem,couldundoubtedlyliveforacentury,
ortheremainderofone.TheTathgatahasdevelopedthese
powers,...properlyundertakenthem.Andhecould,nanda,
undoubtedlyliveforacentury,ortheremainderofone.
3.4.ButtheVenerablenanda,failingtograspthisbroad
hint,thisclearsign,didnotbegtheLord:Lord,maytheBlessd
Lordstayforacentury,maytheWellFarerstayforacenturyfor
497
thebenefitandhappinessofthemultitude,outofcompassion
fortheworld,forthebenefitandhappinessofdevasand
humans,somuchwashismindpossessedbyMra.
3.5.Andasecondtime...andathird...(asverses34).
3.6.ThentheLordsaid:nanda,gonowanddowhat
seemsfittingtoyou.Verygood,Lord,saidnandaand,rising
fromhisseat,hesalutedtheLord,passedbyontherightandsat
downunderatreesomedistanceaway.
3.7.Soonafternandahadleft,MratheEvilOnecame
totheLord,stoodtooneside,andsaid:Lord,maytheBlessd
LordnowattainfinalNibbna,maytheWellFarernowattain
finalNibbna.NowisthetimefortheBlessdLordsfinal
Nibbna.BecausetheBlessdLordhassaidthis:EvilOne,I
willnottakefinalNibbnatillIhavemonksanddiscipleswho
areaccomplished,trained,skilled,learned,knowersofthe
Dhamma,trainedinconformitywiththeDhamma,correctly
trainedandwalkinginthepathoftheDhamma,whowillpass
onwhattheyhavegainedfromtheirTeacher,teachit,declare
it,establishit,expoundit,analyseit,makeitclear;tilltheyshall
beablebymeansoftheDhammatorefutefalseteachingsthat
havearisen,andteachtheDhammaofwondrouseffect.
3.8.Andnow,Lord,theBlessdLordhassuchmonks
anddisciples.MaytheBlessdLordnowattainfinalNibbna,
maytheWellFarernowattainfinalNibbna.Nowisthetime
fortheBlessdLordsfinalNibbna.AndtheBlessdLordhas
said:IwillnottakefinalNibbnatillIhavenunsandfemale
discipleswhoareaccomplished,...tillIhavelaymenfollowers,...
tillIhavelaywomenfollowers...(asverse7).MaytheBlessd
LordnowtakefinalNibbna...AndtheBlessdLordhassaid:
EvilOne,IwillnottakefinalNibbnatillthisholylifehasbeen
successfullyestablishedandflourishes,iswidespread,well
knownfarandwide,wellproclaimedamongmankind
everywhere.Andallthishascomeabout.MaytheBlessdLord
nowattainfinalNibbna,maytheWellFarernowattainfinal
Nibbna.NowisthetimefortheBlessdLordsfinalNibbna.
3.9.AtthistheLordsaidtoMra:Youneednotworry,
EvilOne.TheTathgatasfinalpassingwillnotbelongdelayed.
Threemonthsfromnow,theTathgatawilltakefinalNibbna.
3.10.SotheLord,attheCplaShrine,mindfullyandin
fullawareness,renouncedthelifeprinciple,andwhenthis
occurredtherewasagreatearthquake,terrible,hairraisingand
accompaniedbythunder.AndwhentheLordsawthisheuttered
thisverse:
498
Grossorfine,thingsbecomethesageabjured.
Calm,composed,heburstbecomingsshell.
3.11.AndtheVenerablenandathought:Itis
marvellous,itiswonderfulhowthisgreatearthquakearises,
thisterribleearthquake,sodreadfulandhairraising,
accompaniedbythunder!Whatevercanhavecausedit?
3.12.HewenttotheLord,salutedhim,satdowntoone
side,andaskedhimthatquestion.
3.13.nanda,thereareeightreasons,eightcausesfor
theappearanceofagreatearthquake.Thisgreatearthis
establishedonwater,thewateronthewind,thewindonspace.
Andwhenamightywindblows,thisstirsupthewater,and
throughthestirringupofthewatertheearthquakes.Thatis
thefirstreason.
3.14.InthesecondplacethereisanasceticorBrahmin
whohasdevelopedpsychicpowers,oramightyandpowerful
devawhoseearthconsciousnessisweaklydevelopedandhis
waterconsciousnessisimmeasurable,andhemakestheearth
shudderandshakeandviolentlyquake.Thatisthesecond
reason.
3.15.Again,whenaBodhisattadescendsfromtheTusita
Heaven,mindfulandclearlyaware,intohismotherswomb,
thentheearthshuddersandshakesandviolentlyquakes.That
isthethirdreason.
3.16.Again,whentheBodhisattaemergesfromhis
motherswomb,mindfulandclearlyaware,thentheearth
shuddersandshakesandviolentlyquakes.Thatisthefourth
reason.
3.17.Again,whentheTathgatagainsunsurpassed
enlightenment,thentheearthshuddersandshakesandviolently
quakes.Thatisthefifthreason.
3.18.Again,whentheTathgatasetsinmotionthe
WheeloftheDhamma,thentheearthshuddersandshakesand
violentlyquakes.Thatisthesixthreason.
3.19.Again,whentheTathgata,mindfulandclearly
aware,renouncesthelifeprinciple,thentheearthshuddersand
shakesandviolentlyquakes.
3.20.Again,whentheTathgatagainstheNibbnaelement
withoutremainder,thentheearthshuddersandshakes
andviolentlyquakes.Thatistheeighthreason.These,nanda,
aretheeightreasons,theeightcausesfortheappearanceofa
greatearthquake.
[3.2133omitted]
499
3.34.nanda,onceIwasstayingatUruvelonthe
bankoftheRiverNerajar,undertheGoatherdsBanyantree,
whenIhadjustattainedsupremeenlightenment.AndMrathe
EvilOnecametome,stoodtoonesideandsaid:Maythe
BlessdLordnowattainfinalNibbna,maytheWellFarernow
attainfinalNibbna.NowisthetimefortheBlessdLordsfinal
Nibbna.
3.35.AtthisIsaidtoMra:EvilOne,Iwillnottake
finalNibbnatillIhavemonksanddiscipleswhoare
accomplished,trained,skilled,learned,knowersofthe
Dhamma,...(asverse7),tillIhavenuns...laymenfollowers,
laywomenfollowerswhowill...teachtheDhammaofwondrous
effect.IwillnottakefinalNibbnatillthisholylifehasbeen
successfullyestablishedandflourishes,iswidespread,wellknown
farandwide,wellproclaimedamongmankind
everywhere.
3.36.Andjustnow,today,nanda,attheCplaShrine,
Mracametome,stoodtooneside,andsaid:Lord,maythe
BlessdLordnowattainfinalNibbna...Nowisthetimeforthe
BlessdLordsfinalNibbna.
3.37.AndIsaid:Youneednotworry,EvilOne.Three
monthsfromnowtheTathgatawilltakefinalNibbna.So
now,today,nanda,attheCplaShrine,theTathgatahas
mindfullyandinfullawarenessrenouncedthelifeprinciple.
3.38.AtthistheVenerablenandasaid:Lord,maythe
BlessdLordstayforacentury,maytheWellFarerstayfora
centuryforthebenefitandhappinessofthemultitude,outof
compassionfortheworld,forthebenefitandhappinessofdevas
andhumans!Enough,nanda!DonotbegtheTathgata,itis
nottherighttimeforthat!
3.39.AndasecondandathirdtimetheVenerable
nandamadethesamerequest.
nanda,haveyoufaithintheTathgatasenlightenment?
Yes,Lord.
ThenwhydoyoubothertheTathgatawithyour
requestuptothreetimes?
3.40.ButLord,IhaveheardfromtheLordsownlips,I
haveunderstoodfromtheLordsownlips:Whoeverhas
developedthefourroadstopower...couldundoubtedlylivefor
acentury,orfortheremainderofone.
Haveyoufaith,nanda?Yes,Lord.
Then,nanda,yoursisthefault,yoursisthefailure
that,havingbeengivensuchabroadhint,suchaclearsignby
500
theTathgata,youdidnotunderstandanddidnotbegthe
Tathgatatostayforacentury...If,nanda,youhadbegged
him,theTathgatawouldtwicehaverefusedyou,butthethird
timehewouldhaveconsented.Therefore,nanda,yoursisthe
fault,yoursisthefailure.
3.41.Once,nanda,IwasstayingatRjagaha,atthe
VulturesPeak.AndthereIsaid:nanda,Rjagahaisdelightful,
theVulturesPeakisdelightful.Whoeverhasdevelopedthefour
roadstopower...couldundoubtedlyliveforacentury...(as
verse3).Butyou,nanda,inspiteofsuchabroadhintdidnot
understandanddidnotbegtheTathgatatostayforacentury...
3.42.OnceIwasstayingatRjagahaintheBanyan
Park...atRobbersCliff...attheSatapanniCaveonthesideof
MountVebhra...attheBlackRockontheslopeofMountIsigili...
attheslopebytheSnakesPoolinCoolWood...attheTapod
Park...attheSquirrelsFeedingGroundinVeluvana...inJvakas
Mangogrove...andalsoatRjagahaintheMaddakucchideerpark.
3.43.AtalltheseplacesIsaidtoyou:nanda,this
placeisdelightful...
3.44.Whoeverhasdevelopedthefourroadsto
power...couldundoubtedlyliveforacentury...(asverse3).
3.45.OnceIwasatVeslattheUdenaShrine...
3.46.OnceIwasatVeslattheGotamakaShrine...at
theSattambakaShrine...attheBahuputtaShrine...atthe
SrandadaShrine...
3.47.AndnowtodayattheCplaShrineIsaid:These
placesaredelightful.nanda,whoeverhasdevelopedthefour
roadstopower...couldundoubtedlyliveforacentury,orthe
remainderofone.TheTathgatahasdevelopedthesepowers...
andhecould,nanda,undoubtedlyliveforacentury,orthe
remainderofone.
Butyou,nanda,failingtograspthisbroadhint,this
clearsign,didnotbegtheTathgatatostayforacentury.If,
nanda,youhadbeggedhim,theTathgatawouldtwicehave
refusedyou,butthethirdtimehewouldhaveconsented.
3.48.nanda,haveInottoldyoubefore:Allthosethings
thataredearandpleasanttousmustsufferchange,separation
andalteration?Sohowcouldthisbepossible?Whateverisborn,
become,compounded,isliabletodecaythatitshouldnot
decayisimpossible.Andthathasbeenrenounced,givenup,
rejected,abandoned,forsaken:theTathgatahasrenouncedthe
lifeprinciple.TheTathgatahassaidonceandforall:The
Tathgatasfinalpassingwillnotbelongdelayed.Threemonths
501
fromnowtheTathgatawilltakefinalNibbna.Thatthe
Tathgatashouldwithdrawsuchadeclarationinordertolive
on,isnotpossible.Nowcome,nanda,wewillgototheGabled
HallintheGreatForest.Verygood,Lord.
3.49.AndtheLordwentwiththeVenerablenandato
theGabledHallintheGreatForest.Whenhegotthere,hesaid:
nanda,goandgathertogetherallthemonkslivinginthe
vicinityofVesl,andgetthemtocometotheassemblyhall.
Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,anddidso.Hethenreturnedto
theLord,salutedhim,stoodtoonesideandsaid:Lord,the
orderofmonksisgatheredtogether.Nowisthetimeforthe
Lordtodoashewishes.
3.50.ThentheLordenteredtheassemblyhallandsat
downonthepreparedseat.Thenhesaidtothemonks:Monks,
forthisreasonthosematterswhichIhavediscoveredand
proclaimedshouldbethoroughlylearntbyyou,practised,
developedandcultivated,sothatthisholylifemayendurefora
longtime,thatitmaybeforthebenefitandhappinessofthe
multitude,outofcompassionfortheworld,forthebenefitand
happinessofdevasandhumans.Andwhatarethosematters...?
Theyare:Thefourfoundationsofmindfulness,thefourright
efforts,thefourroadstopower,thefivespiritualfaculties,the
fivementalpowers,thesevenfactorsofenlightenment,theNoble
EightfoldPath.
3.51.ThentheLordsaidtothemonks:Andnow,monks,
Ideclaretoyouallconditionedthingsareofanaturetodecay
striveonuntiringly.TheTathgatasfinalpassingwillnotbe
longdelayed.ThreemonthsfromnowtheTathgatawilltake
hisfinalNibbna.
ThustheLordspoke.TheWellFarerhavingthus
spoken,theTeachersaidthis:
RipeIaminyears.Mylifespansdetermined.
NowIgofromyou,havingmademyselfmyrefuge.
Monks,beuntiring,mindful,disciplined,
Guardingyourmindswithwellcollectedthought.
Hewho,tireless,keepstolawanddiscipline,
Leavingbirthbehindwillputanendtowoe.
[Endofthethirdrecitationsection]

4.1.ThentheLord,havingarisenearlyanddressed,took
hisrobeandbowlandwentintoVeslforalms.Havingreturned
fromthealmsroundandeaten,helookedbackatVeslwith
hiselephantlookandsaid:nanda,thisisthelasttimethe
502
TathgatawilllookuponVesl.Nowwewillgoto
Bhandagma.Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,andtheLord
proceededwithalargecompanyofmonkstoBhandagma,and
stayedthere.
4.2.AndtheretheLordaddressedthemonks:Itis,
monks,throughnotunderstanding,notpenetratingfourthings
thatIaswellasyouhaveforalongtimefaredonroundthe
cycleofrebirths.Whatarethefour?Throughnotunderstanding
theAriyanmorality,throughnotunderstandingtheAriyan
concentration,throughnotunderstandingtheAriyanwisdom,
throughnotunderstandingtheAriyanliberation,Iaswellas
youhaveforalongtimefaredonroundthecycleofrebirths.
AnditisbyunderstandingandpenetratingtheAriyanmorality,
theAriyanconcentration,theAriyanwisdomandtheAriyan
liberationthatthecravingforbecominghasbeencutoff,the
tendencytowardsbecominghasbeenexhausted,andtherewill
benomorerebirth.
4.3.ThustheLordspoke.TheWellFarerhavingthus
spoken,theTeachersaidthis:
Morality,samdhi,wisdomandfinalrelease,
ThesegloriousthingsGotamacametoknow.
TheDhammaheddiscernedhetaughthismonks:
HewhosevisionendedwoetoNibbnasgone.
4.4.ThentheLord,whilestayingatBhandagma,
deliveredacomprehensivediscourse:Thisismorality,thisis
concentration,thisiswisdom.Concentration,whenimbuedwith
morality,bringsgreatfruitandprofit.Wisdom,whenimbued
withconcentration,bringsgreatfruitandprofit.Themind
imbuedwithwisdombecomescompletelyfreefromthe
corruptions,thatis,fromthecorruptionofsensuality,of
becoming,offalseviewsandofignorance.
4.5.AndwhentheLordhadstayedatBhandagmafor
aslongashewished,hesaid:nanda,letusgotoHatthigma...
toAmbagma...toJambugma...givingthesamediscourseat
eachplace.Thenhesaid:nanda,letusgotoBhoganagara.
4.6.Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,andtheLordwent
withalargecompanyofmonkstoBhoganagara.
4.7.AtBhoganagaratheLordstayedatthenanda
Shrine.Andhesaidtothemonks:Monks,Iwillteachyoufour
criteria.Listen,paycloseattention,andIwillspeak.Yes,Lord,
repliedthemonks.
4.8.Supposeamonkweretosay:Friends,Iheard
andreceivedthisfromtheLordsownlips:thisistheDhamma,
503
thisisthediscipline,thisistheMastersteaching,then,monks,
youshouldneitherapprovenordisapprovehiswords.Then,
withoutapprovingordisapproving,hiswordsandexpressions
shouldbecarefullynotedandcomparedwiththeSuttasand
reviewedinthelightofthediscipline.Ifthey,onsuchcomparison
andreview,arefoundnottoconformtotheSuttasor
thediscipline,theconclusionmustbe:Assuredlythisisnotthe
wordoftheBuddha,ithasbeenwronglyunderstoodbythis
monk,andthematteristoberejected.Butwhereonsuch
comparisonandreviewtheyarefoundtoconformtotheSuttas
orthediscipline,theconclusionmustbe:Assuredlythisisthe
wordoftheBuddha,ithasbeenrightlyunderstoodbythis
monk.Thisisthefirstcriterion.
4.9.Supposeamonkweretosay:Insuchandsucha
placethereisacommunitywitheldersanddistinguished
teachers.Ihaveheardandreceivedthisfromthatcommunity,
then,monks,youshouldneitherapprovenordisapprovehis
words...(asverse4.8).Thatisthesecondcriterion.
4.10.Supposeamonkweretosay:Insuchandsucha
placetherearemanyelderswhoarelearned,bearersofthe
tradition,whoknowtheDhamma,thediscipline,thecodeof
rules...(asverse4.8).Thisisthethirdcriterion.
4.11.Supposeamonkweretosay:Insuchandsucha
placethereisoneelderwhoislearned...Ihaveheardand
receivedthisfromthatelder...(asverse4.8).Butwhereonsuch
comparisonandreviewtheyarefoundtoconformtotheSuttas
andthediscipline,thentheconclusionmustbe:Assuredlythis
isthewordoftheBuddha,ithasbeenrightlyunderstoodby
thismonk.
4.12.ThentheLord,whilestayingatBhoganagara,
deliveredacomprehensivediscourse:Thisismorality,thisis
concentration,thisiswisdom...
4.13.AndwhentheLordhadstayedatBhoganagarafor
aslongashewished,hesaid:nanda,letusgotoPv.Very
good,Lord,saidnanda,andtheLordwentwithalarge
companyofmonkstoPv,wherehestayedatthemangogrove
ofCundathesmith.
4.14.AndCundaheardthattheLordhadarrivedatPv
andwasstayingathismangogrove.SohewenttotheLord,
salutedhimandsatdowntooneside,andtheLordinstructed,
inspired,firedanddelightedhimwithatalkonDhamma.
4.15.ThenCundasaid:MaytheLordacceptameal
frommetomorrowwithhisorderofmonks!AndtheLord
504
consentedbysilence.
4.16.AndCunda,understandinghisconsent,rosefrom
hisseat,salutedtheLordand,passingbytotheright,departed.
4.17.AndasthenightwasendingCundahadafine
mealofhardandsoftfoodpreparedwithanabundanceofpigs
delight,andwhenitwasreadyhereportedtotheLord:Lord,
themealisready.
4.18.ThentheLord,havingdressedinthemorning,
tookhisrobeandbowlandwentwithhisorderofmonksto
Cundasdwelling,wherehesatdownonthepreparedseatand
said:Servethepigsdelightthathasbeenpreparedtome,
andservetheremaininghardandsoftfoodtotheorderof
monks.Verygood,Lord,saidCunda,anddidso.
4.19.ThentheLordsaidtoCunda:Whateverisleft
overofthepigsdelightyoushouldburyinapit,because,
Cunda,Icanseenoneinthisworldwithitsdevas,Mrasand
brahms,inthisgenerationwithitsasceticsandBrahmins,its
princesandpeoplewho,iftheyweretoeatit,couldthoroughly
digestitexcepttheTathgata.Verygood,Lord,saidCunda
and,havingburiedtheremainsofthepigsdelightinapit,he
cametotheLord,salutedhimandsatdowntooneside.Then
theLord,havinginstructed,inspired,firedanddelightedhim
withatalkonDhamma,rosefromhisseatanddeparted.
4.20.Andafterhavingeatenthemealprovidedby
Cunda,theLordwasattackedbyaseveresicknesswithbloody
diarrha,andwithsharppainsasifhewereabouttodie.But
heenduredallthismindfullyandclearlyaware,andwithout
complaint.ThentheLordsaid:nanda,letusgotoKusinr.
Verygood,Lord,saidnanda.
HavingeatenCundasmeal(thisIveheard),
Hesufferedagraveillness,painful,deathly;
Fromeatingamealofpigsdelight
GravesicknessassailedtheTeacher.
Havingpurged,theLordthensaid:
NowIllgotoKusinrtown.
4.21.Thenturningasidefromtheroad,theLordwent
tothefootofatreeandsaid:Come,nanda,foldarobeinfour
forme:Iamtiredandwanttositdown.Verygood,Lord,said
nanda,anddidso.
4.22.TheLordsatdownonthepreparedseatandsaid:
nanda,bringmesomewater:Iamthirstyandwanttodrink.
nandareplied:Lord,fivehundredcartshavepassedthisway.
Thewaterischurnedupbytheirwheelsandisnotgood,itis
505
dirtyanddisturbed.But,Lord,theRiverKakutthnearbyhas
cleanwater,pleasant,cool,pure,withbeautifulbanks,delightful.
TheretheLordshalldrinkthewaterandcoolhislimbs.
4.23.AsecondtimetheLordsaid:nanda,bringme
somewater...andnandarepliedasbefore.
4.24.AthirdtimetheLordsaid:nanda,bringmesome
water:Iamthirstyandwanttodrink.Verygood,Lord,said
nandaand,takinghisbowl,hewenttothestream.Andthat
streamwhosewaterhadbeenchurnedupbythewheelsand
wasnotgood,dirtyanddisturbed,asnandaapproachedit
begantoflowpure,brightandunsullied.
4.25.AndtheVenerablenandathought:Wonderful,
marvellousaretheTathgatasgreatandmightypowers!This
waterwaschurnedupbywheels...andatmyapproachitflows
pure,brightandunsullied!Hetookwaterinhisbowl,brought
ittotheLordandtoldhimofhisthought,saying:MaytheLord
drinkthewater,maytheWellFarerdrink!AndtheLorddrank
thewater.
4.26.AtthatmomentPukkusatheMalla,apupiloflra
Klma,wasgoingalongthemainroadfromKusinrtoPv.
SeeingtheLordsittingunderatree,hewentover,salutedhim
andsatdowntooneside.Thenhesaid:Itiswonderful,Lord,it
ismarvelloushowcalmthesewanderersare!
4.27.Once,Lord,lraKlmawasgoingalongthe
mainroadand,turningaside,hewentandsatdownundera
nearbytreetotakehissiesta.Andfivehundredcartswent
rumblingbyveryclosetohim.Amanwhowaswalkingalong
behindthemcametolraKlmaandsaid:Lord,didyounot
seefivehundredcartsgoby?No,friend,Ididnot.Butdidnt
youhearthem,Lord?No,friend,Ididnot.Well,wereyou
asleep,Lord?No,friend,Iwasnotasleep.Then,Lord,were
youconscious?Yes,friend.So,Lord,beingconsciousand
awakeyouneithersawnorheardfivehundredcartspassing
closebyyou,eventhoughyourouterrobewasbespatteredwith
dust?Thatisso,friend.
Andthatmanthought:Itiswonderful,itismarvellous!
Thesewanderersaresocalmthatthoughconsciousand
awake,amanneithersawnorheardfivehundredcartspassing
closebyhim!AndhewentawaypraisinglraKlmaslofty
powers.
4.28.Well,Pukkusa,whatdoyouthink?Whatdoyou
considerismoredifficulttodoorattaintowhileconscious
andawakenottoseeorhearfivehundredcartspassingnearby
506
or,whileconsciousandawake,nottoseeorhearanythingwhen
theraingodstreamsandsplashes,whenlightningflashesand
thundercrashes?
4.29.Lord,howcanonecomparenotseeingorhearing
fivehundredcartswiththatorevensix,seven,eight,
nineortenhundred,orhundredsofthousandsofcartstothat?
Toseeorhearnothingwhensuchastormragesismore
difficult...
4.30.Once,Pukkusa,whenIwasstayingattum,at
thethreshingfloor,theraingodstreamedandsplashed,lightning
flashedandthundercrashed,andtwofarmers,brothers,
andfouroxenwerekilled.Andalotofpeoplewentoutoftum
towherethetwobrothersandthefouroxenwerekilled.
4.31.And,Pukkusa,Ihadatthattimegoneoutofthe
doorofthethreshingfloorandwaswalkingupanddown
outside.Andamanfromthecrowdcametome,salutedmeand
stoodtooneside.AndIsaidtohim:
4.32.Friend,whyareallthesepeoplegatheredhere?
Lord,therehasbeenagreatstormandtwofarmers,brothers,
andfouroxenhavebeenkilled.Butyou,Lord,wherehaveyou
been?Ihavebeenrighthere,friend.Butwhatdidyousee,
Lord?Isawnothing,friend.Orwhatdidyouhear,Lord?I
heardnothing,friend.Wereyousleeping,Lord?Iwasnot
sleeping,friend.Then,Lord,wereyouconscious?Yes,
friend.So,Lord,beingconsciousandawakeyouneithersaw
norheardthegreatrainfallandfloodsandthethunderand
lightning?Thatisso,friend.
4.33.And,Pukkusa,thatmanthought:Itiswonderful,
itismarvellous!Thesewanderersaresocalmthattheyneither
seenorhearwhentheraingodstreamsandsplashes,lightning
flashesandthundercrashes!Proclaimingmyloftypowers,he
salutedme,passedbytotherightanddeparted.
4.34.Atthis,PukkusatheMallasaid:Lord,Irejectthe
loftypowersoflraKlmaasiftheywereblownawaybya
mightywindorcarriedoffbyaswiftstreamorriver!Excellent,
Lord,excellent!Itisasifsomeoneweretosetupwhathadbeen
knockeddown,ortopointoutthewaytoonewhohadgot
lost,ortobringanoillampintoadarkplace,sothatthosewith
eyescouldseewhatwasthere.JustsotheBlessdLordhas
expoundedtheDhammainvariousways.AndI,Lord,gofor
refugetotheBlessdLord,theDhammaandtheSangha.May
theBlessdLordacceptmefromthisdayforthasalayfollower
aslongaslifeshalllast!
507
4.35.ThenPukkusasaidtooneman:Goandfetchme
twofinesetsofrobesofclothofgold,burnishedandreadyto
wear.Yes,Lord,themanreplied,anddidso.AndPukkusa
offeredtherobestotheLord,saying:Here,Lord,aretwofine
setsofrobesofclothofgold.MaytheBlessdLordbegraciously
pleasedtoacceptthem!Wellthen,Pukkusa,clothemeinone
setandnandaintheother.Verygood,Lord,saidPukkusa,
anddidso.
4.36.ThentheLordinstructed,inspired,firedand
delightedPukkusatheMallawithatalkonDhamma.Then
Pukkusarosefromhisseat,salutedtheLord,passedbytothe
right,anddeparted.
4.37.SoonafterPukkusahadgone,nanda,having
arrangedonesetofthegoldenrobesonthebodyoftheLord,
observedthatagainsttheLordsbodyitappeareddulled.And
hesaid:Itiswonderful,Lord,itismarvelloushowclearand
brighttheLordsskinappears!Itlooksevenbrighterthanthe
goldenrobesinwhichitisclothed.Justso,nanda.Thereare
twooccasionsonwhichtheTathgatasskinappearsespecially
clearandbright.Whicharethey?Oneisthenightinwhichthe
Tathgatagainssupremeenlightenment,theotheristhenight
whenheattainstheNibbnaelementwithoutremainderathis
finalpassing.OnthesetwooccasionstheTathgatasskin
appearsespeciallyclearandbright.
4.38.Tonight,nanda,inthelastwatch,intheSla
groveoftheMallasnearKusinr,betweentwoSlatrees,the
Tathgatasfinalpassingwilltakeplace.Andnow,nanda,let
usgototheRiverKakutth.Verygood,Lord,saidnanda.
TwogoldenrobeswerePukkusasoffering:
BrightershonetheTeachersbodythanitsdress.
4.39.ThentheLordwentwithalargenumberofmonks
totheRiverKakutth.Heenteredthewater,bathedanddrank
and,emerging,wenttothemangogrove,wherehesaidtothe
VenerableCundaka:Come,Cundaka,foldarobeinfourfor
me.Iamtiredandwanttoliedown.Verygood,Lord,said
Cundaka,anddidso.
4.40.ThentheLordadoptedthelionposture,lyingon
hisrightside,placingonefootontheother,mindfullyandwith
clearawarenessbearinginmindthetimeofawakening.And
theVenerableCundakasatdowninfrontoftheLord.
4.41.TheBuddhahavinggonetoKakutththeriver,
Withitsclear,brightandpleasantwaters,
ThereintheTeacherplungedhiswearybody.
508
Tathgatawithoutanequalintheworld.
Surroundedbythemonkswhoseheadhewas.
TheTeacherandLord,PreserverofDhamma,
TotheMangoGrovethegreatSagewent,
AndtoCundakathemonkhesaid:
OnafourfoldrobeIllliedown.
AndthusadjuredbythegreatAdept,
Cundakaplacedthefourfoldrobe.
TheTeacherlaidhiswearylimbstorest
WhileCundakakeptwatchbesidehim.
4.42.ThentheLordsaidtotheVenerablenanda:It
mighthappen,nanda,thatCundathesmithshouldfeel
remorse,thinking:itisyourfault,friendCunda,itisbyyour
misdeedthattheTathgatagainedfinalNibbnaaftertaking
hislastmealfromyou!ButCundasremorseshouldbeexpelled
inthisway:Thatisyourmerit,Cunda,thatisyourgooddeed,
thattheTathgatagainedfinalNibbnaaftertakinghislastmeal
fromyou!For,friendCunda,Ihaveheardandunderstoodfrom
theLordsownlipsthatthesetwoalmsgivingsareofverygreat
fruit,ofverygreatresult,morefruitfulandadvantageousthan
anyother.Whichtwo?Theoneisthealmsgivingaftereating
whichtheTathgataattainssupremeenlightenment,theother
thatafterwhichheattainstheNibbnaelementwithout
remainderathisfinalpassing.Thesetwoalmsgivingsaremore
fruitfulandprofitablethanallothers.Cundasdeedisconducive
tolonglife,togoodlooks,tohappiness,tofame,toheaven
andtolordship.Inthisway,nanda,Cundasremorseistobe
expelled.
4.43.ThentheLord,havingsettledthismatter,atthat
timeutteredthisverse:
Bygiving,meritgrows,byrestraint,hatredschecked.
Hewhosskilledabandonsevilthings.
Asgreed,hateandfollywane,Nibbnasgained.
[Endofthefourthrecitationsection]

5.1.TheLordsaid:nanda,letuscrosstheHiraavat
RiverandgototheMallasSlagroveinthevicinityofKusinr.
Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,andtheLord,withalarge
companyofmonks,crossedtheriverandwenttotheSlagrove.
TheretheLordsaid:nanda,preparemeabedbetweenthese
twoSlatreeswithmyheadtothenorth.Iamtiredandwantto
liedown.Verygood,Lord,saidnanda,anddidso.Thenthe
509
Lordlaydownonhisrightsideinthelionposture,placingone
footontheother,mindfulandclearlyaware.
5.2.AndthosetwinSlatreesburstforthintoan
abundanceofuntimelyblossoms,whichfellupontheTathgatas
body,sprinklingitandcoveringitinhomage.DivineCoraltree
flowersfellfromthesky,divinesandalwoodpowderfell
fromthesky,sprinklingandcoveringtheTathgatasbodyin
homage.Divinemusicandsongsoundedfromtheskyinhomage
totheTathgata.
5.3.AndtheLordsaid:nanda,theseSlatreeshave
burstforthintoanabundanceofuntimelyblossoms...Divine
musicandsongsoundfromtheskyinhomagetotheTathgata.
NeverbeforehastheTathgatabeensohonoured,revered,
esteemed,worshippedandadored.Andyet,nanda,whatever
monk,nun,maleorfemalelayfollowerdwellspractisingthe
Dhammaproperly,andperfectlyfulfilstheDhammaway,heor
shehonourstheTathgata,reveresandesteemshimandpays
himthesupremehomage.Therefore,nanda,Wewilldwell
practisingtheDhammaproperlyandperfectlyfulfilthe
Dhammawaythismustbeyourwatchword.
5.4.JustthentheVenerableUpavnawasstandingin
frontoftheLord,fanninghim.AndtheLordtoldhimtomove:
Moveaside,monk,donotstandinfrontofme.Andthe
Venerablenandathought:ThisVenerableUpavnahasfor
longbeentheLordsattendant,keepingcloseathand,athis
beckandcall.AndnowinhislasthourtheLordtellshimto
standasideandnotstandinfrontofhim.Whyeverdoeshedo
that?
5.5.AndheaskedtheLordaboutthis.nanda,the
devasfromtenworldsphereshavegatheredtoseetheTathgata.
ForadistanceoftwelveyojanasaroundtheMallasSlagrove
nearKusinrthereisnotaspaceyoucouldtouchwiththe
pointofahairthatisnotfilledwithmightydevas,andtheyare
grumbling:WehavecomealongwaytoseetheTathgata.It
israreforaTathgata,afullyenlightenedBuddha,toarisein
theworld,andtonightinthelastwatchtheTathgatawillattain
finalNibbna,andthismightymonkisstandinginfrontofthe
Lord,preventingusfromgettingalastglimpseoftheTathgata!
5.6.But,Lord,whatkindofdevascantheLord
perceive?nanda,thereareskydevaswhosemindsareearthbound,
theyareweepingandtearingtheirhair,raisingtheirarms,
throwingthemselvesdownandtwistingandturning,crying:All
toosoontheBlessdLordispassingaway,alltoosoontheWell
510
Farerispassingaway,alltoosoontheEyeoftheWorldis
disappearing!Andthereareearthdevaswhosemindsareearthbound,
whodolikewise.Butthosedevaswhoarefreefrom
cravingendurepatiently,saying:Allcompoundedthingsare
impermanentwhatistheuseofthis?
5.7.Lord,formerlymonkswhohadspenttheRainsin
variousplacesusedtocometoseetheTathgata,andweused
towelcomethemsothatsuchwelltrainedmonksmightsee
youandpaytheirrespects.ButwiththeLordspassing,weshall
nolongerhaveachancetodothis.
5.8.nanda,therearefourplacesthesightofwhich
shouldarouseemotioninthefaithful.Whicharethey?Here
theTathgatawasbornisthefirst.HeretheTathgataattained
supremeenlightenmentisthesecond.HeretheTathgataset
inmotiontheWheelofDhammaisthethird.Herethe
TathgataattainedtheNibbnaelementwithoutremainderis
thefourth.And,nanda,thefaithfulmonksandnuns,maleand
femalelayfollowerswillvisitthoseplaces.Andanywhodie
whilemakingthepilgrimagetotheseshrineswithadevoutheart
will,atthebreakingupofthebodyafterdeath,berebornina
heavenlyworld.
5.9.Lord,howshouldweacttowardswomen?Do
notseethem,nanda.Butifweseethem,howshouldwe
behave,Lord?Donotspeaktothem,nanda.Butiftheyspeak
tous,Lord,howshouldwebehave?Practisemindfulness,
nanda.
5.10.Lord,whatshallwedowiththeTathgatas
remains?Donotworryyourselvesaboutthefuneral
arrangements,nanda.Youshouldstriveforthehighestgoal,
devoteyourselvestothehighestgoal,anddwellwithyourminds
tirelessly,zealouslydevotedtothehighestgoal.Therearewise
Khattiyas,Brahminsandhouseholderswhoaredevotedtothe
Tathgata:theywilltakecareofthefuneral.
5.11.But,Lord,whatarewetodowiththeTathgatas
remains?nanda,theyshouldbedealtwithliketheremainsof
awheelturningmonarch.Andhowisthat,Lord?nanda,
theremainsofawheelturningmonarcharewrappedinanew
linencloth.Thistheywrapinteasedcottonwool,andthisina
newcloth.Havingdonethisfivehundredtimeseach,they
enclosethekingsbodyinanoilvatofiron,whichiscovered
withanotherironpot.Thenhavingmadeafuneralpyreofall
mannerofperfumestheycrematethekingsbody,andtheyraise
astupaatacrossroads.That,nanda,iswhattheydowiththe
511
remainsofawheelturningmonarch,andtheyshoulddealwith
theTathgatasbodyinthesameway.Astupashouldbeerected
atthecrossroadsfortheTathgata.Andwhoeverlayswreaths
orputssweetperfumesandcolourstherewithadevoutheart
willreapbenefitandhappinessforalongtime.
5.12.nanda,therearefourpersonsworthyofastupa.
Whoarethey?ATathgata,Arahant,fullyenlightenedBuddha
isone,aPaccekaBuddhaisone,adiscipleoftheTathgatais
one,andwheelturningmonarchisone.Andwhyiseachof
theseworthyofastupa?Because,nanda,atthethought:This
isthestupaofaTathgata,ofaPaccekaBuddha,ofadiscipleof
theTathgata,ofawheelturningmonarch,peoplesheartsare
madepeaceful,andthen,atthebreakingupofthebodyafter
deaththeygotoagooddestinyandreariseinaheavenlyworld.
Thatisthereason,andthosearethefourwhoareworthyof
astupa.
5.13.AndtheVenerablenandawentintohislodging
andstoodlamenting,leaningonthedoorpost:Alas,Iamstill
alearnerwithmuchtodo!AndtheTeacherispassingaway,
whowassocompassionatetome!
ThentheLordenquiredofthemonkswherenanda
was,andtheytoldhim.Sohesaidtoacertainmonk:Go,monk,
andsaytonandafromme:Friendnanda,theTeacher
summonsyou.Verygood,Lord,saidthemonk,anddidso.
Verygood,friend,nandarepliedtothatmonk,andhewent
totheLord,salutedhimandsatdowntooneside.
5.14.AndtheLordsaid:Enough,nanda,donotweep
andwail!HaveInotalreadytoldyouthatallthingsthatare
pleasantanddelightfularechangeable,subjecttoseparation
andbecomingother?Sohowcoulditbe,nandasince
whateverisborn,become,compoundedissubjecttodecay
howcoulditbethatitshouldnotpassaway?Foralongtime,
nanda,youhavebeenintheTathgataspresence,showing
lovingkindnessinactsofbody,speechandmind,beneficially,
blessdly,wholeheartedlyandunstintingly.Youhaveachieved
muchmerit,nanda.Maketheeffort,andinashorttimeyou
willbefreeofthecorruptions.
5.15.ThentheLordaddressedthemonks:Monks,all
thosewhowereArahant,fullyenlightenedBuddhasinthepast
havehadjustsuchachiefattendantasnanda,andsotoowill
thoseBlessdLordswhocomeinthefuture.Monks,nandais
wise.Heknowswhenitistherighttimeformonkstocometo
seetheTathgata,whenitistherighttimefornuns,formale
512
layfollowers,forfemalelayfollowers,forkings,forroyalministers,
forleadersofotherschools,andfortheirpupils.
5.16.nandahasfourremarkableandwonderful
qualities.Whatarethey?Ifacompanyofmonkscomestosee
nanda,theyarepleasedatthesightofhim,andwhennanda
talksDhammatothemtheyarepleased,andwhenheissilent
theyaredisappointed.Andsoitis,too,withnuns,withmale
andfemalelayfollowers.Andthesefourqualitiesapplytoa
wheelturningmonarch:ifheisvisitedbyacompanyof
Khattiyas,ofBrahmins,ofhouseholders,orofascetics,theyare
pleasedatthesightofhimandwhenhetalkstothem,andwhen
heissilenttheyaredisappointed.Andsotooitiswithnanda.
5.17.AfterthistheVenerablenandasaid:Lord,may
theBlessdLordnotpassawayinthismiserablelittletownof
wattleanddaub,rightinthejungleinthebackofbeyond!Lord,
thereareothergreatcitiessuchasCamp,Rjagaha,Svatthi,
Sketa,KosamborVrnas.Inthoseplacestherearewealthy
Khattiyas,Brahminsandhouseholderswhoaredevotedtothe
Tathgata,andtheywillprovidefortheTathgatasfuneralin
properstyle.
nanda,dontcallitamiserablelittletownofwattle
anddaub,rightinthejungleinthebackofbeyond!
5.18.Onceuponatime,nanda,KingMahsudassana
wasawheelturningmonarch,arightfulandrighteousking,who
hadconqueredthelandinfourdirectionsandensuredthe
securityofhisrealm,andwhopossessedtheseventreasures.
And,nanda,thisKingMahsudassanahadthisveryKusinr,
underthenameofKusvat,forhiscapital.Anditwastwelve
yojanaslongfromeasttowest,andsevenyojanaswidefrom
northtosouth.Kusvatwasrich,prosperousandwellpopulated,
crowdedwithpeopleandwellstockedwithfood.
Justasthedevacityoflakamandisrich,prosperousandwell
populated,crowdedwithyakkhasandwellstockedwithfood,
sowastheroyalcityofKusvat.AndthecityofKusvatwas
neverfreeoftensoundsbydayornight:thesoundofelephants,
horses,carriages,kettledrums,sidedrums,lutes,singing,
cymbalsandgongs,withcriesofEat,drinkandbemerry!
astenth.
5.19.Andnow,nanda,gotoKusinrandannounce
totheMallasofKusinr:Tonight,Vsetthas,inthelastwatch,
theTathgatawillattainfinalNibbna.Approachhim,Vsetthas,
approachhim,lestlateryoushouldregretit,saying:The
Tathgatapassedawayinourparish,andwedidnottakethe
513
opportunitytoseehimforthelasttime!Verygood,Lord,
saidnandaand,takingrobeandbowl,hewentwitha
companiontoKusinr.
5.20.JustthentheMallasofKusinrwereassembled
intheirmeetinghallonsomebusiness.Andnandacameto
themanddeliveredtheLordswords.
5.21.Andwhentheyheardnandaswords,theMallas,
withtheirsons,daughtersinlawandwiveswerestruckwith
anguishandsorrow,theirmindswereovercomewithgriefso
thattheywereallweepingandtearingtheirhair...Thentheyall
wenttotheSlagrovewheretheVenerablenandawas.
5.22.Andnandathought:IfIallowtheMallasof
KusinrtosalutetheLordindividually,thenightwillhave
passedbeforetheyhaveallpaidhomage.Ihadbetterletthem
payhomagefamilybyfamily,saying:Lord,theMallasoandso
withhischildren,hiswife,hisservantsandhisfriendspays
homageattheLordsfeet.Andsohepresentedtheminthat
way,andthusallowedalltheMallasofKusinrtopayhomage
totheLordinthefirstwatch.
5.23.AndatthattimeawanderercalledSubhaddawas
inKusinr,andheheardthattheasceticGotamawastoattain
finalNibbnainthefinalwatchofthatnight.Hethought:I
haveheardfromvenerablewanderers,advancedinyears,
teachersofteachers,thataTathgata,afullyenlightened
Buddha,onlyrarelyarisesintheworld.Andtonightinthelast
watchtheasceticGotamawillattainfinalNibbna.Nowadoubt
hasariseninmymind,andIfeelsurethattheasceticGotama
canteachmeadoctrinetodispelthatdoubt.
5.24.SoSubhaddawenttotheMallasSlagrove,to
wheretheVenerablenandawas,andtoldhimwhathehad
thought:Reverendnanda,mayIbepermittedtoseetheascetic
Gotama?Butnandareplied:Enough,friendSubhadda,do
notdisturbtheTathgata,theLordisweary.AndSubhadda
madehisrequestasecondandathirdtime,butstillnanda
refusedit.
5.25.ButtheLordoverheardthisconversationbetween
nandaandSubhadda,andhecalledtonanda:Enough,
nanda,donothinderSubhadda,lethimseetheTathgata.For
whateverSubhaddaasksmehewillaskinquestof
enlightenmentandnottoannoyme,andwhatIsayinreplyto
hisquestionshewillquicklyunderstand.Thennandasaid:
Goin,friendSubhadda,theLordgivesyouleave.
5.26.ThenSubhaddaapproachedtheLord,exchanged
514
courtesieswithhim,andsatdowntooneside,saying:Venerable
Gotama,allthoseasceticsandBrahminswhohaveordersand
followings,whoareteachers,wellknownandfamousas
foundersofschools,andpopularlyregardedassaints,likePrana
Kassapa,MakkhaliGosla,AjitaKesakambal,Pakudha
Kaccyana,SajayaBelatthaputtaandtheNiganthaNtaputta
havetheyallrealisedthetruthastheyallmakeout,orhave
noneofthemrealisedit,orhavesomerealiseditandsomenot?
Enough,Subhadda,nevermindwhetherall,ornone,orsome
ofthemhaverealisedthetruth.IwillteachyouDhamma,
Subhadda.Listen,paycloseattention,andIwillspeak.Yes,
Lord,saidSubhadda,andtheLordsaid:
5.27.InwhateverDhammaanddisciplinetheNoble
EightfoldPathisnotfound,noasceticisfoundofthefirst,the
second,thethirdorthefourthgrade.Butsuchasceticscanbe
found,ofthefirst,second,thirdandfourthgradeinaDhamma
anddisciplinewheretheNobleEightfoldPathisfound.Now,
Subhadda,inthisDhammaanddisciplinetheNobleEightfold
Pathisfound,andinitaretobefoundasceticsofthefirst,second,
thirdandfourthgrade.Thoseotherschoolsaredevoidof[true]
ascetics;butifinthisonethemonksweretolivethelifeto
perfection,theworldwouldnotlackforArahants.
TwentynineyearsofageIwas
WhenIwentforthtoseektheGood.
Nowoverfiftyyearshavepassed
SincethedaythatIwentforth
Toroamtherealmofwisdomslaw
Outsideofwhichnoasceticis
[First,second,thirdorfourthdegree].
Otherschoolsofsucharebare,
Butifheremonksliveperfectly,
TheworldwontlackforArahants.
5.28.AtthisthewandererSubhaddasaid:Excellent,
Lord,excellent!Itisasifsomeoneweretosetupwhathadbeen
knockeddown,ortopointoutthewaytoonewhohadgot
lost,ortobringanoillampintoadarkplace,sothatthosewith
eyescouldseewhatwasthere.JustsotheBlessdLordhas
expoundedtheDhammainvariousways.AndI,Lord,gofor
refugetotheBlessdLord,theDhammaandtheSangha.MayI
receivethegoingforthintheLordspresence!MayIreceive
ordination!
5.29.Subhadda,whoever,comingfromanotherschool,
seeksthegoingforthandordinationinthisDhammaand
515
discipline,mustwaitfourmonthsonprobation.Andattheend
offourmonths,thosemonkswhoareestablishedinmindmay
lethimgoforthandgivehimordinationtothestatusofamonk.
However,therecanbeadistinctionofpersons.
Lord,ifthosecomingfromotherschoolsmustwaitfour
monthsonprobation,...Iwillwaitfouryears,andthenletthem
givemethegoingforthandtheordination!ButtheLordsaidto
nanda:LetSubhaddagoforth!Verygood,Lord,saidnanda.
5.30.AndSubhaddasaidtotheVenerablenanda:
Friendnanda,itisagreatgainforyouall,itisveryprofitable
foryou,thatyouhaveobtainedtheconsecrationofdiscipleship
intheTeacherspresence.
ThenSubhaddareceivedthegoingforthintheLords
presence,andtheordination.Andfromthemomentofhis
ordinationtheVenerableSubhadda,alone,secluded,unwearying,
zealousandresolute,inashorttimeattainedtothatfor
whichyoungmenofgoodfamilygoforthfromthehousehold
lifeintohomelessness,thatunexcelledculminationoftheholy
life,havingrealisedithereandnowbyhisowninsight,and
dwelttherein:Birthisdestroyed,theholylifehasbeenlived,
whathadtobedonehasbeendone,thereisnothingfurther
here.AndtheVenerableSubhaddabecameanotherofthe
Arahants.HewasthelastpersonaldiscipleoftheLord.
[Endofthefifthrecitationsection]

6.1.AndtheLordsaidtonanda:nanda,itmaybe
thatyouwillthink:TheTeachersinstructionhasceased,now
wehavenoteacher!Itshouldnotbeseenlikethis,nanda,for
whatIhavetaughtandexplainedtoyouasDhammaand
disciplinewill,atmypassing,beyourteacher.
6.2.Andwhereasthemonksareinthehabitof
addressingoneanotherasfriend,thiscustomistobeabrogated
aftermypassing.Seniormonksshalladdressmorejunior
monksbytheirname,theirclanorasfriend,whereasmore
juniormonksaretoaddresstheirseniorseitherasLordoras
VenerableSir.
6.3.Iftheywish,theordermayabolishtheminorrules
aftermypassing.
6.4.Aftermypassing,themonkChannaistoreceive
theBrahmpenalty.But,Lord,whatistheBrahmpenalty?
WhateverthemonkChannawantsorsays,heisnottobe
spokento,admonishedorinstructedbythemonks.
516
6.5.ThentheLordaddressedthemonks,saying:Itmay
be,monks,thatsomemonkhasdoubtsoruncertaintyabout
theBuddha,theDhamma,theSangha,oraboutthepathorthe
practice.Ask,monks!Donotafterwardsfeelremorse,thinking:
TheTeacherwastherebeforeus,andwefailedtoasktheLord
facetoface!Atthesewordsthemonksweresilent.TheLord
repeatedhiswordsasecondandathirdtime,andstillthemonks
weresilent.ThentheLordsaid:Perhaps,monks,youdonot
askoutofrespectfortheTeacher.Then,monks,letonefriend
tellittoanother.Butstilltheyweresilent.
6.6.AndtheVenerablenandasaid:Itiswonderful,
Lord,itismarvellous!Iclearlyperceivethatinthisassembly
thereisnotonemonkwhohasdoubtsoruncertainty...You,
nanda,speakfromfaith.ButtheTathgataknowsthatinthis
assemblythereisnotonemonkwhohasdoubtsoruncertainty
abouttheBuddha,theDhammaortheSanghaoraboutthepath
orthepractice.nanda,theleastoneofthesefivehundred
monksisaStreamWinner,incapableoffallingintostatesof
woe,certainofNibbna.
6.7.ThentheLordsaidtothemonks:Now,monks,I
declaretoyou:allconditionedthingsareofanaturetodecay
striveonuntiringly.TheseweretheTathgataslastwords.
6.8.ThentheLordenteredthefirstjhna.Andleaving
thatheenteredthesecond,thethird,thefourthjhna.Then
leavingthefourthjhnaheenteredtheSphereofInfiniteSpace,
thentheSphereofInfiniteConsciousness,thentheSphereof
NoThingness,thentheSphereofNeitherPerceptionNorNon
Perception,andleavingthatheattainedtheCessationofFeeling
andPerception.
ThentheVenerablenandasaidtotheVenerable
Anuruddha:VenerableAnuruddha,theLordhaspassedaway.
No,friendnanda,theLordhasnotpassedaway,hehas
attainedtheCessationofFeelingandPerception.
6.9.ThentheLord,leavingtheattainmentofthe
CessationofFeelingandPerception,enteredtheSphereof
NeitherPerceptionNorNonPerception,fromthatheentered
theSphereofNoThingness,theSphereofInfiniteConsciousness,
theSphereofInfiniteSpace.FromtheSphereofInfinite
Spaceheenteredthefourthjhna,fromtherethethird,the
second,andthefirstjhna.Leavingthefirstjhna,heentered
thesecond,thethird,thefourthjhna.And,leavingthefourth
jhna,theLordfinallypassedaway.
6.10.AndattheBlessdLordsfinalpassingtherewasa
517
greatearthquake,terribleandhairraising,accompaniedby
thunder.AndBrahmSahampatiutteredthisverse:
Allbeingsintheworld,allbodiesmustbreakup:
EventheTeacher,peerlessinthehumanworld,
ThemightyLordandperfectBuddhaspassedaway.

AndSakka,rulerofdevas,utteredthisverse:
Impermanentarecompoundedthings,pronetoriseandfall,
Havingrisen,theyredestroyed,theirpassingtruestbliss.

AndtheVenerableAnuruddhautteredthisverse:
Nobreathinginandoutjustwithsteadfastheart
TheSagewhosfreefromlusthaspassedawaytopeace.
Withmindunshakenheenduredallpains:
ByNibbnatheIlluminedsmindisfreed.

AndtheVenerablenandautteredthisverse:
Terriblewasthequaking,menshairstoodonend,
WhentheallaccomplishedBuddhapassedaway.
Andthosemonkswhohadnotyetovercometheir
passionsweptandtoretheirhair,raisingtheirarms,throwing
themselvesdownandtwistingandturning,crying:Alltoosoon
theBlessdLordhaspassedaway,alltoosoontheWellFarer
haspassedaway,alltoosoontheEyeoftheWorldhas
disappeared!Butthosemonkswhowerefreefromcraving
enduredmindfullyandclearlyaware,saying:Allcompounded
thingsareimpermanentwhatistheuseofthis?
6.11.ThentheVenerableAnuruddhasaid:Friends,
enoughofyourweepingandwailing!HasnottheLordalready
toldyouthatallthingsthatarepleasantanddelightfulare
changeable,subjecttoseparationandtobecomingother?So
whyallthis,friends?Whateverisborn,become,compoundedis
subjecttodecay,itcannotbethatitdoesnotdecay.Thedevas,
friends,aregrumbling.
VenerableAnuruddha,whatkindofdevasareyouaware
of?Friendnanda,thereareskydevaswhosemindsareearth
boundtheyareweepingandtearingtheirhair...Andthereare
earthdevaswhosemindsareearthbound,theydolikewise.But
thosedevaswhoarefreefromcravingendurepatiently,saying:
Allcompoundedthingsareimpermanent.Whatistheuse
ofthis?
6.12ThentheVenerableAnuruddhaandtheVenerable
nandaspenttherestofthenightinconversationonDhamma.
518
AndtheVenerableAnuruddhasaid:Nowgo,friendnanda,to
KusinrandannouncetotheMallas:Vsetthas,theLordhas
passedaway.Nowisthetimeforyoutodoasyouthinkfit.
Yes,Lord,saidnanda,andhavingdressedinthemorning
andtakenhisbowlandrobe,hewentwithacompanionto
Kusinr...
(MauriceWalshetrans.,WisdomPublications)

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