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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/344

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296
xiv.
SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

men of good family or young ladies, may not fall into doubt.

On that occasion the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya addressed the Lord with the following stanzas:

44. When thou wert born in Kapilavastu, the home of the Sâkyas, thou didst leave it and reach enlightenment at the town of Gayâ[1]. That is a short time ago, O Lord of the world.

45. And now thou hast so great a crowd of followers, these sages who for many kotis of Æons have fulfilled their duties, stood firm in magic power, unshaken, well disciplined, accomplished in the might of wisdom;

46. These, who are untainted as the lotus is by water; who to-day have flocked hither after rending the earth, and are standing all with joined hands, respectful and strong in memory, the sons of the Master of the world[2].

47. How will these Bodhisattvas believe this great wonder? Expel (all) doubt, tell the cause, and show how the matter really is.


  1. The succint form in which the events of the legendary life of the Sâkya prince are told is remarkable, especially if we bear in mind that the first going out (nishkramana) of a young boy (kumâra) usually takes place four months after his birth; the rite of 'giving rice food,' annaprâsana, takes place in the sixth month; this rite has its counterpart in Sugâtâ's providing Gautama with milk porridge and honey. Another rite, that of shaving the hair with the exception of a tuft on the crown, the dâkarman, commonly follows the annaprasana; in the case of Gautama, however, it is represented to be subsequent on the kumâra having left his home. In so far as he cut off his hair at the time of his entering a spiritual life, the act agrees with the kûdâkarman at the upanayana or initiation of boys.
  2. Lokâdhipatisya putrâh.