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SADDHARMA-PUNDARÎKA.

towers. In this way, Agita, that master of munificence, that great master of munificence continues spending his gifts for fully eighty years. Then, Agita, that master of munificence, that great master of munificence reflects thus: All these beings have I allowed to sport and enjoy themselves, but now they are covered with wrinkles and grey-haired, old, decrepit, eighty years of age, and near the term of their life. Let me therefore initiate them in the discipline of the law revealed by the Tathâgata, and instruct them. Thereupon, Agita, the man exhorts all those beings, thereafter initiates them in the discipline of the law revealed by the Tathâgata, and makes them adopt it. Those beings learn the law from him, and in one moment, one instant, one bit of time, all become Srotaâpannas, obtain the fruit of the rank of Sakridâgâmin and of Anâgâmin, until they become Arhats, free from all imperfections, adepts in meditation, adepts in great meditation and in the meditation with eight emancipations. Now, what is thine opinion, Agita, will that master of munificence, that great master of munificence, on account of his doings, produce great merit, immense, incalculable merit? Whereupon the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya said in reply to the Lord: Certainly, Lord; certainly, Sugata; that person, Lord, will already produce much merit on that account, because he gives to the beings all that is necessary for happiness; how much more then if he establishes them in Arhatship!

This said, the Lord spoke to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya as follows: I announce to thee, Agita, I declare to thee; (take) on one side the master of munificence, the great master of munificence,