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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/53

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i.
5
INTRODUCTORY.

Brahma Sahâmpati[1] and his twelve thousand followers, the Brahmakâyika gods, amongst whom Brahma Sikhin[2] and Brahma Gyotishprabha, with the other twelve thousand Brahmakâyika gods[3]; together with the eight Nâga kings and many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Nâgas in their train, viz. the Nâga king Nanda, the Nâga king Upananda, Sâgara, Vâsuki, Takshaka, Manasvin, Anavatapta, and Utpalaka; further, the four Kinnara kings with many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of followers, viz. the Kinnara king Druma, the Kinnara king Mahâdharma, the Kinnara king Sudharma, and the Kinnara king Dharmadhara; besides, the four divine beings (called) Gandharvakâyikas with many hundred thousand Gandharvas in their suite, viz. the Gandharva Manoa, the Gandharva Manoasvara, the Gandharva Madhura, and the Gandharva Madhurasvara; further, the four chiefs of the demons


    epithets of Siva, has its counterpart in the equally fanciful difference between Tishya and Pushya, Meru and Sumeru, which occurs in Buddhist writings. In Mahâvastu, p. 355 (ed. Senart), we even find Mâyâ distinguished from Mahâmâyâ.

  1. On comparing Lalita-vistara, p. 515, 1. 3, with the parallel passage Mahâvagga I, 5, 4, it appears that Sahâmpati and Sikhin are synonymous terms. As Sikhin is a common term for Agni and as to the latter in Rig-veda I, 97, 5 ; 127, 10; III, 14, 2, is applied the epithet of sahasvat, it may be inferred that Sahâmpati and the collateral form Sahapati answer to a Sanskrit sahasâmpati or sahaspati.
  2. Another instance of a fanciful distinction.
  3. It may be remarked that in the enumeration of gods, between Siva and Brahma, Vishnu is wanting. Those who adopt the view that Sâkyamuni is an Avatâra of Vishnu, consequently a mythical being, will readily account for that omission by saying that Vishnu and the Lord Buddha are identical, so that Vishnu is present in the gathering, under the disguise of Buddha.