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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/83

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35
SKILFULNESS.

buddhas, all of them made this reflection: What may be the cause, what the reason of the Lord so extremely extolling the skilfulness of the Tath&gatas? of his extolling it by saying, 'Profound is the law by me discovered;' of his extolling it by saying, 'It is difficult for all disciples and Pratyekabuddhas to understand it/ But as yet the Lord has declared no more than one kind of emancipation, and therefore we also should acquire the Buddha-laws on reaching Nirv£»a. We do not catch the meaning of this utterance of the Lord.

And the venerable .SSriputra, who apprehended the doubt and uncertainty of the four classes of the audience and guessed their thoughts from what was passing in his own mind, himself being in doubt about the law, then said to the Lord: What, O Lord, is the cause, what the reason of the Lord so repeatedly and extremely extolling the skilfulness, knowledge, and preaching of the Tath&gata? Why does he repeatedly extol it by saying, 'Profound is the law by me discovered; it is difficult to understand the mystery of the Tathdgatas/ Never before have I heard from the Lord such a discourse on the law. These four classes of the audience, O Lord, are overcome with doubt and perplexity. Therefore may the Lord be pleased to explain what the Tathfgata is alluding to, when repeatedly extolling the profound law of the Tathdgatas.

On that occasion the venerable .SSriputra uttered the following stanzas:

22. Now first does the Sun of men utter such a speech: 'I have acquired the powers, emancipations, and numberless meditations/

23. And thou mentionest the terrace of enlighten-


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