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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/229

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vii.
181
ANCIENT DEVOTION.

is, O monks, in this world no second vehicle at all, no second Nirvâna, far less a third. It is an able device of the Tathagata, monks, that on seeing creatures[1] far advanced on the path of perdition, delighting in the low and plunged in the mud of sensual desires, the Tathâgata teaches them that Nirvâna to which they are attached.

By way of example, monks, suppose there is some dense forest five hundred yoganas in extent which has been reached by a great company of men. They have a guide to lead them on their journey to the Isle of Jewels, which guide, being able, clever, sagacious, well acquainted with the difficult passages of the forest, is to bring the whole company[2] out of the forest. Meanwhile that great troop of men, tired, weary, afraid, and anxious, say: 'Verily, Master, guide, and leader, know that we are tired, weary, afraid, and anxious; let us return; this dense forest stretches so far.' The guide, who is a man of able devices, on seeing those people desirous of returning, thinks within himself: It ought not to be that these poor creatures should not reach that great Isle of Jewels. Therefore out of pity for them he makes use of an artifice. In the middle of that forest he produces a magic city more than a hundred or two hundred yoganas in extent. Thereafter he says to those men: 'Be not afraid, sirs, do not return; there you see a populous place where you may take repose and perform all you have to do; there stay in the enjoyment of happy rest[3]. Let him who after


  1. Satvân, var. lect. sp; Burnouf has 'la réunion des êtres.'
  2. Sârtha, usually a company of merchants, a caravan.
  3. And, of Nirvâna, nirvânaprâptâ viharadhvam.