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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/156

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reason that the Lord just now tells us that we are to him as sons[1] and that he reminds us of being heirs to the Tathâgata. For the case stands thus: we are as sons[2] to the Tathâgata, but low (or humble) of disposition[3]; the Lord perceives the strength of our disposition and applies to us the denomination of Bodhisattvas; we are, however, charged with a double office in so far as in presence of Bodhisattvas we are called persons of low disposition and at the same time have to rouse them to Buddha-enlightenment. Knowing the strength of our disposition the Lord has thus spoken, and in this way, O Lord, do we say that we have obtained unexpectedly and without longing the jewel of omniscience, which we did not desire, nor seek, nor search after, nor expect, nor require; and that inasmuch as we are the sons of the Tathâgata.

On that occasion the venerable Mahi-Kâsyapa uttered the following stanzas:

1. We are stricken with wonder, amazement, and rapture at hearing a voice[4]; it is the lovely voice, the leaders voice, that so unexpectedly we hear to-day.

2. In a short moment we have acquired a great heap of precious jewels such as we were not thinking of, nor requiring. All of us are astonished to hear it.

3. It is like (the history of) a young[5] person who, seduced by foolish people, went away from his father and wandered to another country far distant.

  1. And, the Lord's real sons.
  2. And, the Tathâgata's real sons.
  3. Rather, position.
  4. Or call.
  5. Bâla, the word used in the text, may mean young as well as ignorant and foolish. Burnouf translates bâlaganena by 'par une troupe d'enfants.