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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/56

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Buddha-fields who plied the Bodhisattva-course with ability, due to their earnest belief in numerous and various lessons and the fundamental ideas, they, too, became all visible. Likewise the Lords Buddhas in those Buddha-fields who had reached final Nirvâna became visible, all of them. And the Stûpas made of jewels and containing the relics of the extinct Buddhas became all visible in those Buddha-fields[1].

Then rose in the mind of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya this thought: 'O how great a wonder does the Tathâgata display! What may be the cause, what the reason of the Lord producing so great a wonder as this? And such astonishing, prodigious, inconceivable, powerful miracles now appear, although the Lord is absorbed in meditation! Why, let me inquire about this matter; who would be able here to explain it to me^i He then thought: Here is Mañgusrî, the prince royal, who has plied his office under former Ginas and planted the roots of goodness, while worshipping many Buddhas. This Mañgusrî, the prince royal, must have witnessed before such signs of the former Tathâgatas, those Arhats, those perfectly enlightened Buddhas; of yore he must have enjoyed the grand conversations on the law. Therefore will I inquire about this matter with Mañgusrî, the prince royal.

And the four classes of the audience, monks, nuns, male and female lay devotees, numerous gods, Nâgas,

  1. It is sufficiently clear, I think, that the Buddha-fields are the heavens, and that we have in the text a description of the aspect of heaven when the stars are twinkling at dawn, shortly after or before. A Stûpa denotes the spot where a luminary, for the time being extinct, once stood; in more general acceptation it must have been synonymous with dhishnya, a fire-place, or with βωμός.