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viii.
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

exchange the gem for money, and with that money do all that can be done with money.

In the same manner, O Lord, has the Tathâgata formerly, when he still followed the course of duty of a Bodhisattva, raised in us also ideas of omniscience, but we, O Lord, did not perceive, nor know it. We fancied, O Lord, that on the stage of Arhat we had reached Nirvâna. We live in difficulty, O Lord, because we content ourselves with such a trifling degree of knowledge. But as our strong aspiration after the knowledge of the all-knowing has never ceased, the Tathâgata teaches us the right: 'Have no such idea of Nirvâna, monks; there are in your intelligence[1] roots of goodness which of yore I have fully developed. In this you have to see an able device of mine that from the expressions used by me, in preaching the law, you fancy Nirvâna to take place at this moment[2].' And after having taught us the right in such a way, the Lord now predicts our future destiny to supreme and perfect knowledge.

And on that occasion the five hundred self-controlled (Arhats), Aâta-Kaundinya and the rest, uttered the following stanzas:

34. We are rejoicing and delighted to hear this unsurpassed word of comfort that we are destined to the highest, supreme enlightenment. Homage be to thee, O Lord of unlimited sight!

35. We confess our fault before thee; we were so childish, nescient, ignorant that we were fully contented with a small part of Nirvâna, under the mastership of the Sugata.


  1. Santâne.
  2. Or, at present, etarhi.