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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/85

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ii.
37
SKILFULNESS.

The venerable .5$riputra having spoken, the Lord said to him: Enough, 6^riputra ; it is of no use explaining this matter. Why ? Because, .S&riputra, the world, including the gods, would be frightened if this matter were expounded.

But the venerable .5$riputra entreated the Lord a second time, saying : Let the Lord expound, let the Sugata expound this matter, for in this assembly, O Lord, there are many hundreds, many thousands, many hundred thousands, many hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of living beings who have seen former Buddhas, who are intelligent, and will believe, value, and accept the words of the Lord.

The venerable .Siriputra addressed the Lord with this stanza :

32. Speak clearly, O most eminent of £inas! in this assembly there are thousands of living beings trustful, affectionate, and respectful towards the Sugata ; they will understand the law by thee expounded.

And the Lord said a second time to the venerable iSSriputra: Enough, 6^riputra; it is of no use explaining this matter, for the world, including the gods, would be frightened, ^SSriputra, if this matter were expounded, and some monks might be proud and come to a heavy fall[1].

And on that occasion uttered the Lord the following stanza :

33. Speak no more of it that I should declare this law ! This knowledge is too subtle, inscrutable, and there are so many unwise men who in their conceit and foolishness would scoff at the law revealed.


  1. Or, commit a great offence.