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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/36

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SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

8. Prophecy regarding five hundred Arhats.

9. Prophecy concerning Ananda, Rdhula, and the two thousand monks.

10. The Lord teaches how pious preachers of the law, who will come in after-times, ought to be duly honoured, and promises that he will always protect the ministers of religion.

11. Display of the miraculous power of S&kyamuni shown in the appearance of a Sttipa, which, being opened by him, discloses to sight the frame of the expired Tath&gata Prabhfitaratna, who is desirous of hearing the exposition of the Lotus of the True Law. How 5&kyamuni in a former birth strove to acquire the Lotus. His great obligations to Devadatta. Episode of the wise daughter of the Ocean and her change of sex.

12. Prediction to Gautaml, Ya^odhar4, and the nuns in their train. Promise of the host of disciples and Bodhisattvas to take up the difficult task of preaching the holy word in days to come, after the Lord's Nirvi^a.

13. Vocation of the ministers of religion, and practical rules for their conduct in and out of society. Parable of the king who rewards his valiant warriors; in the same manner the Buddha will reward those who struggle for his sake, by bestowing upon them all kinds of favours, at last the most valuable of his boons — eternal rest.

14. Splendid phantasmagory of innumerable Bodhisattvas evoked by the creative power of the Lord. Long pause, during which the Tathigata and the four classes of hearers are silent. Perplexity of Maitreya on hearing that the innumerable Bodhisattvas have all been the pupils of the Lord.

15. The Buddha explains the fact by revealing the immense duration of his lifetime, in the past and the future.

16. Meritoriousness of the belief in the immense duration of the Tathclgatas and all those who have once become Buddhas.

17. The Lord details the great merit attending a ready acceptance of the preaching of the law.