Open main menu

Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/304

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
256
xii
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

not, who had received from the Lord the prediction as to their (future) supreme enlightenment, all the eight thousand monks raised their joined hands towards the Lord and said: Let the Lord be at ease. We also will divulge this Dharmaparyâya, after the complete extinction of the Lord, in the last days, the last period, though in other worlds. For in this Saha-world, O Lord, the creatures are conceited, possessed of few roots of goodness, always vicious in their thoughts, wicked, and naturally perverse.

Then the noble matron Gautamî, the sister of the Lord's mother, along with six hundred[1] nuns, some of them being under training, some being not, rose from her seat, raised the joined hands towards the Lord and remained gazing up to him. Then the Lord addressed the noble matron Gautamî: Why dost thou stand so dejected, gazing up to the Tathâgata? (She replied): I have not been mentioned by the Tathâgata, nor have I received from him a prediction of my destiny to supreme, perfect enlightenment. (He said): But, Gautamî, thou hast received a prediction with the prediction regarding the whole assembly. Indeed, Gautami, thou shalt from henceforward, before the face of thirty-eight


  1. Ciphers do not count, so that only six must be reckoned. These six with Gautamî form the number of seven. The seven Matres or Mother-goddesses are known from Indian mythology. Kumâra, the prince royal (Skanda), is sometimes said to have six mothers, sometimes seven, sometimes one. The six are said to be the six clearly visible Krittikâs (Pleiads); the seventh is the less distinct star of the Pleiads. His one mother is Durgâ. It is by mistake that the dictionaries fix the number of Krittikâs at six; there are seven, as appears e.g. from Mahâbhârata III, 230, ii.