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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/347

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xv.
299
DURATION OF LIFE OF THE TATHÂGATA.

enlightenment at the town of Gayd. But, young men of good family, the truth is that many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Æons ago I have arrived at supreme, perfect enlightenment. By way of example, young men of good family, let there be the atoms of earth of fifty hundred thousand myriads of kotis of worlds; let there exist some man who takes one of those atoms of dust and then goes in an eastern direction fifty hundred thousand myriads of kotis of worlds further on, there to deposit that atom of dust; let in this manner the man carry away from all those worlds the whole mass of earth, and in the same maiyier, and by the same act as supposed, deposit all those atoms in an eastern direction. Now, would you think, young men of good family, that any one should be able to imagine, weigh, count, or determine (the number of) those worlds? The Lord having thus spoken, the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Maitreya and the entire host of Bodhisattvas replied: They are incalculable, O Lord, those worlds, countless, beyond the range of thought. Not even all the disciples and Pratyekabuddhas, O Lord, with their Arya-knowledge, will be able to imagine, weigh, count, or determine them. For us also, O Lord, who are Bodhisattvas standing on the place from whence there is no turning back, this point lies beyond the sphere of our comprehension; so innumerable, O Lord, are those worlds.

This said, the Lord spoke to those Bodhisattvas MahAsattvas as follows: I announce to you, young men of good family, I declare to you: However numerous

This passage is a repetition, in shorter form, of what is found in chapter VII; see p. 153.