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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/202

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154
vii.
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

direction. Now, monks, what do you think of it, is it possible by calculation to find the end or limit of these worlds? They answered: Certainly not, Lord; certainly not, Sugata. The Lord said: On the contrary, monks, some arithmetician or master of arithmetic might, indeed, be able by calculation to find the end or limit of the worlds, both those where the atoms have been deposited and where they have not, but it is impossible by applying the rules of arithmetic to find the limit of those hundred thousands of myriads of Æons; so long, so inconceivable, so immense is the number of Æons which have elapsed since the expiration of that Lord, the Tathâgata Mahâbhiâânâbhibhû. Yet, monks, I perfectly remember that Tathâgata who has been extinct for so long a time[1], as if he had reached extinction to-day or yesterday[2], because of my possessing the mighty knowledge and sight of the Tathâgata. And on that occasion the Lord pronounced the following stanzas:

1. I remember[3] the great Seer Abhiâânâbhibhû, the most high of men, who existed many kotis of Æons ago as the superior Gina of the period.

2. If, for example, some men after reducing this


  1. Hence follows that the Buddha has existed since time immemorial; in other words, that he is Âdibuddha.
  2. I have taken the liberty to render svas by 'yesterday,' though I have no other warrant for the word ever being taken in this sense except the context and the fact that in sundry languages the notions of to-morrow and yesterday are occasionally expressed by the same term, e.g. Hindî kal (properly morning, tomorrow, Sansk. kalyam, kâlyam); the English 'yesterday' is the very same word with Gothic gistradagis, to-morrow.
  3. Anusmarâmi, omitted by Burnouf.