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   Buddhist Writings.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
I. The Buddha
 
First Events After the Attainment
 
Translated from the Mah-Vagga, and constituting the opening sections. Hail to that Blessed One, that Saint, and Supreme Buddha!
 
 
  AT that time The Buddha, The Blessed One, was dwelling at Uruvel at the foot of the Bo-tree on the banks of the river Neran˜jar, having just attained the Buddhaship. Then The Blessed One sat cross-legged for seven days together at the foot of the Bo-tree experiencing the bliss of emancipation.  1
  Then The Blessed One, during the first watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back:—
        On ignorance depends karma;
On karma depends consciousness;
On consciousness depend name and form;
On name and form depend the six organs of sense;
On the six organs of sense depends contact;
On contact depends sensation;
On sensation depends desire;
On desire depends attachment;
On attachment depends existence;
On existence depends birth;
On birth depend old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair.
Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma; on the cessation of karma ceases consciousness; on the cessation of consciousness cease name and form; on the cessation of name and form cease the six organs of sense; on the cessation of the six organs of sense ceases contact; on the cessation of contact ceases sensation; on the cessation of sensation ceases desire; on the cessation of desire ceases attachment; on the cessation of attachment ceases existence; on the cessation of existence ceases birth; on the cessation of birth cease old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair. Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.
  2
  Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,—
        “When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman
There come to light the elements of being,
Then vanish all his doubts and eager questions,
What time he knows THE ELEMENTS HAVE CAUSES.”
  3
  Then The Blessed One, during the middle watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back:—On ignorance depends karma. … Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma. … Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.  4
  Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,—
        “When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman
There come to light the elements of being,
Then vanish all his doubts and eager questions,
What time he knows HOW CAUSES HAVE AN ENDING.”
  5
  Then The Blessed One, during the last watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back:—On ignorance depends karma. … Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma. … Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.  6
  Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,—
        “When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman
There come to light the elements of being,
Then scattereth he the hordes of Mra’s army;
Like to the sun that lightens all the heavens.”
 
End of the account of what took place under the Bo-tree.
  7
  Then The Blessed One, after the lapse of seven days, arose from that state of exalted calm, and leaving the foot of the Bo-tree, drew near to where the Ajapla (that is, the Goat-herd’s) banyan-tree was; and having drawn near, he sat cross-legged at the foot of the Ajapla banyan-tree for seven days together, experiencing the bliss of emancipation.  8
  Then a certain Brahman, who was of a proud and contemptuous disposition, drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near, he exchanged greetings with The Blessed One. And having passed with him the greetings of friendship and civility, he stood respectfully at one side. And standing respectfully at one side, the Brahman spoke to The Blessed One as follows:—  9
  “Gotama, what is it constitutes a Brahman? and what are the Brahman-making qualities?”  10
  Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,—
        “The Brahman who his evil traits hath banished,
Is free from pride, is self-restrained and spotless,
Is learned, and the holy life hath followed,
’Tis he alone may claim the name of Brahman;
With things of earth he hath no point of contact.”
 
End of the account of what took place under the Ajapla-tree.
  11
  Then The Blessed One, after the lapse of seven days, arose from that state of exalted calm, and leaving the foot of the Ajapla banyan-tree, drew near to where the Mucalinda tree was; and having drawn near, he sat cross-legged at the foot of the Mucalinda tree for seven days together, experiencing the bliss of emancipation.  12
  Now at that time a great cloud appeared out of season, and for seven days it was rainy, cloudy weather, with a cold wind. Then issued Mucalinda, the serpent-king, from his abode, and enveloping the body of The Blessed One seven times with his folds, spread his great hood above his head, saying,—  13
  “Let neither cold nor heat, nor gnats, flies, wind, sunshine, nor creeping creatures come near The Blessed One!”  14
  Then, when seven days had elapsed, and Mucalinda, the serpent-king, knew that the storm had broken up, and that the clouds had gone, he unwound his coils from the body of The Blessed One. And changing his natural appearance into that of a young man, he stood before The Blessed One, and with his joined hands to his forehead did reverence to The Blessed One.  15
  Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,—
        “How blest the happy solitude
Of him who hears and knows the truth!
How blest is harmlessness towards all,
And self-restraint towards living things!
How blest from passion to be free,
All sensuous joys to leave behind!
Yet far the highest bliss of all
To quit th’ illusion false—‘I am.”’
 
End of the account of what took place under the Mucalinda-tree.
  16
 

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