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The sanctified disciple Majjhima, with four other théras (Kassapa, Múlakádéva, Dhandhabinnassa, and Sahasadéva), repairing to the land of Himavanta, preached there the "dhammacakka" discourse (of Buddha). Eighty kóți of living beings attained the 'sanctification of the " magga." These five théras separately converted the five divisions (of Himavanta).
In the fraternity of each of these théras, one hundred thousand persons, impelled by the fervour of their devotion to the religion of the omniscient supreme Buddha, entered into the order of the priesthood. Accompanied by the théra Uttara the disciple Sóna repaired to Suvannabhúmi.
In those days, as soon as an infant was born,2 a marine monster emerging from the ocean devoured it and disappeared. At the particular period (of this mission), a prince was born in a certain palace. The inhabitants seeing the priests, and taking them to be the emissaries of this rakkhasí, arming themselves, surrounded them for the purpose of destroying them. The théras having ascertained what their object was, thus addressed them: "We are pious ministers of religion, and not the emissaries of the rakkhasí." The monster with her train at this instant emerged from the ocean. Hearing of this (visitation), "this concourse of people gave a great shout of horror. The théra causing (by his power of working miracles) another band of terrifying monsters to spring up, of double that numerical power, surrounded the rakkhasí and her train on all sides. She, concluding "This land has been appropriated by these," terrified, fled. Establishing the protection of the true faith over that land in all quarters, in that assembly the théra preached the "brahmajála" discourse (of Buddha). Α great multitude of people attained the salvation and the state of piety of that faith.
Sixty lakhs became eminently endowed with the knowledge of its doctrines. Two thousand five hundred 10men became priests, and one thousand five hundred women, of various castes, were admitted into the priesthood.
From that period, the princes born in that palace obtained (from Sóna and Uttara) the name of Sónuttara.
These (disciples, following the example) of the all-compassionating vanquisher's resignation (of his supreme beatitude), laying aside the exalted state of happiness attained by them, for the benefit of mankind undertook these missions to various countries. Who is there who would demur (when) the salvation of the world (is at stake)?
The twelfth chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The Conversion of 12the several Foreign Countries," composed both to delight and to afflict righteous men.
Ar that period the profoundly sapient great Mahinda was a théra of twelve years' standing. Having been enjoined by his preceptor (the son of Moggali) and by the priesthood to convert the land Lanká, while meditating as to its being a propitious period (to undertake the mission), he came to this conclusion: "The monarch Muṭasíva is far advanced in years. Let his son succeed to the kingdom."
Having formed an earnest desire to visit his relations during this interval; reverentially taking his leave of his preceptor and of the priesthood, and having also obtained the consent of the king (his father Dhammásóka), taking with him four théras and the sámanéra Sumana, the son of Sanghamittá, who was preternaturally gifted, and the master of the six branches of religious knowledge, departed for Dakkhiņágiri for the purpose of administering the comforts (of religion) to his (maternal) relations.
There this pilgrim passed six months in this avocation.
Having reached Cétiyagiri, the capital of his royal mother, he appeared before her. The queen was overjoyed at seeing her beloved After serving refreshments to him and his retinue, she established the théra in the superb Cétiya vihára which had been erected by herself.
3While prince Asóka was ruling over the Avanti country by the appointment of his own father, in a journey to Ujjéni he arrived at Cétiya; and while tarrying there, having gained the affections of the lovely princess Déví, the daughter of a Seṭṭhi, he lived with her. Becoming pregnant by that connection, she gave birth to the noble (twin) princes Ujjénió and Mahinda, and at the termination of two years to a daughter Sanghamittá.
At this period (of Mahinda's visit) she (the queen) was residing there, in Cétiyanagara. While the théra was sojourning there, he thus meditated: "The period has arrived for undertaking the mission enjoined by my father. May the said Dévánampiya Tissa, having already solemnised his inauguration with the utmost pomp, be enjoying his regal state. May he, after having ascertained from my father's ambassador the merits of the three blessed treasures (sent by my father), acquire a right understanding of them (the doctrines of Buddha). May he on the full moon day of the month of Jeṭṭha' visit the Missa mountain (Mihintalé), for on that very day shall I myself repair to renowned Lanká."
Mahinda (Sakka, the déva of dévas) appearing unto the illustrious théra Mahinda, thus addressed him : Depart on thy mission for the conversion of Lanká it is the fulfilment of the prediction of the supreme Buddha (pronounced at the foot of the sála tree). We also will there render our assistance."
Bhandu, the son of the queen's younger sister's daughter, from merely listening to the sermon preached by the théra to the queen, attaining the sanctification of anágámi," became a disciple in the fraternity of the théra.
1 The revised text reads "Vedisagiri." Vedisagiri vihára."
3" Now it so happened that."
866 knowing that the time for his departure was nigh, made the following aspiration, namely."
8.44 great king Dévánampiya Tissa enjoy the great feast of his inauguration as directed by my father."
remained with the théra as his (lay) disciple.”
5“ at Ujjéni to the noble prince."
Tarrying there a month longer, on the full moon day of "jeṭṭha," the supernaturally gifted théra, together with four other théras, as well as Sumana (a sámanéra), attended also by the aforesaid Bhandu, who, 1though still a layman, had laid aside domestic affections, rose aloft into the air at that very vihára; and instantaneously alighting on this land, at the superb Missa mountain, stationed himself on the rocky peak of the delightful and celebrated Ambatthala.
According to the injunction of the divine sage, pronounced at the moment of his composing himself to attain final emancipation, in his desire to benefit Lanká by the advantages attendant on its conversion (to his creed); and in order that in the accomplishment of his benevolent design there might be employed an agent comparable to the divine sage himself, the predicted (Mahinda), to whom Lanká was offered up as an offering by the dévas, took up his station there (at Ambatthala).
The thirteenth chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The Advent of Mahinda," composed equally for the delight and affliction of righteous
THE king Dévánampiya Tissa 3celebrating a "salila " festival for the amusement of the inhabitants of the capital, he himself departed for an elk hunt, taking with him a retinue of forty thousand men ; and in the course of the pursuit of his game on foot he came to the Missa mountain.
A certain déva of that mountain being desirous of exhibiting the théras, having assumed the form of an elk, stationed himself there (in that neighbourhood) grazing. The sovereign descrying him, and saying, "It is not fair to shoot him standing," sounded his bowstring: the elk fled to the mountain. The king gave chase to the fleeing animal. On reaching the spot where the priests were, the théra came in sight of the monarch, but he (the metamorphosed déva) vanished.
The théra conceiving that he (the king) might be alarmed if many persons (of the mission) presented themselves?, rendered himself alone. visible. The sovereign on seeing him was surprised. The théra said to him, "Come hither, Tissa." From his calling him simply "Tissa," the monarch thought he must be a yakkha. We are the ministers and disciples of the lord of the true faith in compassion towards thee, Mahárájá, we have repaired hither from Jambudípa." The théra having thus addressed him, and the king hearing the declaration, was relieved of his terrors; and recollecting the communication he had received from his ally (Dhammásóka), was convinced that they were the ministers of the faith. Laying aside his bow and arrow, and approaching this "sisi," and conversing graciously with the said théra, he (the king) seated himself near him. At that moment, his retinue arriving stood around them at the same time the théra produced the other members
lingering not on account of."
366 having provided aquatic sports." ▲ Dele.
5" at unawares."
866 was perceived by the monarch, and then he (the déva) himself vanished." 7 Add " at once."
A saint or sage, Ṛishi.
of the mission. Seeing them, "When came these? demanded the king. Being answered by the théra," With me," he made this inquiry: "In Jambudípa are there other priests like unto these?" The théra replied, "Jambudípa itself glitters with yellow robes: there the disciples of Buddha, who have fully acquired the three sacerdotal sanctifications, who are perfect masters of the knowledge which procures the 'arhat bliss, the saints who have the gift of prophecy and divination, 1are numerous." (The king) inquired by what means he had come. (Mahinda) replied, 2" I came not either by land or water." The inquirer learnt (thereby) that (the théra) had come through the air. This gifted personage, for the purpose of ascertaining the capacity of the gifted (sovereign), interrogated him. As he asked query after query, the monarch replied to him question after question.
O king! what is this tree called?
It is called the amba tree.
Besides this one, is there any other amba tree?
There are many amba trees.
Besides this amba and those other ambas, are there any other trees on earth?
Lord! there are many trees, but they are not amba trees.
Besides the other amba trees and the trees that are not amba, is there any other?
Gracious Lord! this amba tree.
Ruler of men! thou art wise.
King! have you relations?
Lord! I have many.
King! are there any persons not thy relations?
There are many who are not my relations.
Besides thy relations and those who not are thy relations, is there, or is there not, any other (human being in existence)?
Lord! there is myself.
Ruler of men,
"sádhu!" thou art wise.
The eminently wise théra, thus satisfied that he was capable of comprehending the same, propounded to the ruler of the land the "cúlahatthipadópama" discourse (of Buddha). At the conclusion of that discourse, together with his forty thousand followers, he obtained the salvation of that faith.
"At that instant, it being in the afternoon, they brought the king his repast. The monarch knowing that these personages did not take refreshment at that hour, considered that it was proper to inquire (before refreshments were offered): he (accordingly) inquired of these sanctified personages regarding their taking refection. On being answered, "We do not partake of refreshments at this hour," the king inquired when that hour was. On being informed of it, he thus replied: 66 Let us, then, repair to the capital." "Do thou go, mahárájá; we
1 These renderings of the terms used in Buddhist terminology do not exactly convey their meaning and application. For an explanation of these terms the Buddhist student had better refer to Childers' Dictionary, under the words Tevijjá, Iddhi, Cetopariya-ñána, Abhiññá.
"We came not by land, nor yet by water."
4.66 propounded question after question." 5" solved them one by one."
In the afternoon of that day."
(said the théra) will tarry here." "In that case, allow this young prince (Bhandu) to accompany us.' "Rájá, this (prince) having attained the sanctification, and acquired a knowledge of the religion (of Buddha), is living in my fraternity, devoutly looking forward to the appointed time for his ordination: we are now about to ordain him. Lord of the land, do thou return (to the capital)." "In the morning (rejoined the king) I will send my carriage: repair ye (then) to the capital, seated in it." Having, thereupon, reverentially taken his leave of the théras, and called aside Bhandu, he made inquiries regarding the théras principally (as well as other matters). He explained all things to the monarch. Having ascertained that the théra (was the son of his ally Dhammásóka), he became exceedingly rejoiced, and thus thought: "This is indeed a benefit (conferred) on me."
The monarch (when) he ascertained the lay condition of Bhandu, entertaining apprehensions that as long as he continued a layman he might be seduced from his purpose, said, “ Let us initiate him into the priesthood (at once)."
At that very instant in that "gámasímá " 2 (ground duly consecrated with land limits) the théra performed the ceremony of 3ordination, and of elevation to the order of upasampadá, of prince Bhandu; and instantaneously he (Bhandu) attained the sanctification of "arhat."
Thereupon the théra addressed himself to the sámanéra Sumana: "It is the hour of prayer: sound the call." He inquired, "Lord, in sounding the call, over what portion of the world should 5 my voice "be heard?"" On being told by the théra "over the whole of Tambapanni (only)"; calling out, by his supernatural power, his shout (resounded) all over Lanká.
The king 'hearing the call of these pious persons while mounted on his state elephant near Sondipassé (in the eastern quarter of the town), despatched a (person) to the residence of the théra, inquiring whether some calamity had or had not befallen them. He brought back word, “It is not any calamity, but the call announcing that it is the hour to attend to the words of the supreme Buddha." Hearing the call of the sámanéra, the terrestrial dévas shouted in response, and the said (united) shouts ascended to the Brahma world. In consequence of that call, a great congregation of dévas assembled. In that assembly the théra propounded the "samacitta sutta (or the discourse of Buddha "on concord in faith "). 10To an asankhya of dévas, superior grades of blessing of the religion were obtained. Innumerable nágas and supannas "attained the salvation of the faith. As on the occasion of the preaching of the théra Sáriputta, so on that of the théra Mahinda, there was a great congregation of dévas.
"The monarch knew the lay condition of Bhandu, his doubts having been removed by reason of the householders' garb that Bhandu wore. The théra, therefore, proposed to robe him at once (lest he be dissuaded from his purpose by the king).'
4" Sound the call for hearing the
5 Insert "I make."
preaching of the Law."
7" who was taking his repast seated in the Nága-catukka (Hall) hard by the stone spout (Sondi), hearing the call, sent an officer to inquire whether any evil had befallen them."
8 Insert "in succession."
10" An asankhya of dévas obtained a perfect knowledge of the Law."
11 66 were grounded in the faith." So should the term saranesu patitthahi be rendered everywhere, although I have not thought it necessary to notice this before.