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37. No less than five thousand monks, nuns, and lay devotees of both sexes, full of unbelief and conceit,

38. Remarking this slight, went, defective in training and foolish as they were, away in order to beware of damage.

39. The Lord, who knew them to be the dregs of the congregation, exclaimed[1]: They have no sufficient merit to hear this law.

40. My congregation is now pure[2], freed from chaff; the trash is removed and the pith only remains.

41. Hear from me, Sâriputra, how this law has been discovered by the highest man[3], and how the mighty Buddhas are preaching it with many hundred proofs of skilfulness.

42. I know the disposition and conduct, the various inclinations of kotis of living beings in this world; I know their various actions and the good they have done before.

43. Those living beings I initiate in this (law) by the aid of manifold interpretations and reasons; and by hundreds of arguments and illustrations have I, in one way or another, gladdened all creatures.

44. I utter both Sûtras and stanzas; legends,

  1. The two preceding stanzas and the half of this stanza make no part of the Lord's speech. It appears that the maker of the prose text has worked upon the older text in poetry, and on this occasion has been at a loss how to connect the latter with the former. The matter is easily explained on the assumption that the verses contained the ancient text, and therefore were treated with the greatest scruples.
  2. Suddhâ ; Burnouf rendering 'ayant de la foi' has followed another reading,  sraddhâ.
  3. The term used is Purushottama, a well-known epithet of Vishnu.