Book Six, Part IV—Friends and Admirers

1. *Devotion of Dhananjanani, a Brahmani* -- 2. *The Abiding Faith of Visakha* -- 3. *The Devotion of Mallika* -- 4. *The Ardent Wish of a Pregnant Mother* -- 5. *Keniya's Welcome* -- 6. *Pasendi in Praise of the Master*

§ 1. Devotion of Dhananjanani, a Brahmani

    1. The Blessed Lord had many friends and admirers. Among them was Dhananjanani.
    2. She was the wife of a Bharadvaja Brahmin. Her husband hated the Lord. But Dhananjanani was a devotee of the Lord. Her devotion is worthy of mention.
    3. The Exalted One was once staying near Rajagraha, in the bamboo grove at the Vihara known as the squirrels' feeding ground.
    4. Now at that time Dhananjanani, a Brahmani, the wife of a certain Brahmin of the Bharadvaja family, was living with her husband in Rajagraha.
    5. While her husband was a great opponent of the Buddha, Dhananjanani was a fervent believer in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Order. She was in the habit of praising the triple gem. Whenever she broke out in this way in praise, her husband used to close his ears.
    6. On the eve of his giving a great banquet to many fellow-Brahmins, he begged her to do what she liked, provided she did not offend his guests by her praises of the Buddha.
    7. Dhananjanani would give no such undertaking, and he threatened to slice her like a plantain with his dagger. She declared herself ready to suffer, so she retained her freedom of speech and proceeded to pour forth five hundred verses on her theme, so that he surrendered unconditionally.
    8. Bowl and golden spoon were laid down, and the guests sat down for food. While serving the guests, the dominant impulse arose. In the midst she turned towards the bamboo grove and uttered the praises of the triple gem.
    9. The scandalized guests hurried away, spitting out the food defiled by the presence of a heretic, and the husband scolded her amid the ruins of his feast.
    10.  And she, while serving the Bharadvaja with his dinner, came before him and praised the gem: "Glory to that Exalted One, the Arahant, the Buddha Supreme! Glory to the Norm! Glory to the Order!"
    11. And when she had so said, the Bharadvaja Brahmin grew angry and exclaimed: "There now! You wretch! Must you be singing the praises of that shaveling friar at any and every opportunity? Now, wretch, will I give that teacher of thine a piece of my mind!"
    12. "O Brahmin," replied Dhananjanani, "I know of no one throughout the world of gods, Maras, or Brahmas, recluses or brahmins, no one human or divine, who could so admonish that Exalted One, Arahant, Buddha Supreme. Nevertheless, go thou, Brahmin, and then thou wilt know."
    13. Then the Bharadvaja, vexed and displeased, went to find the Exalted One; and coming into his presence, exchanged with him greetings and compliments, friendly and courteous, and sat down at one side.
    14. So seated, he asked the Exalted One the following questions: "What must we slay if we would happy live? What must we slay if we could weep no more? What is above all other things, whereof the slaughter thou approvest, Gautama?"
    15. The Exalted One replied as follows: "Wrath must ye slay if ye would happy live; Wrath must ye slay if ye would weep no more. Of anger. Brahmin, with its poisoned source, and fevered climax, murderously sweet--that is the slaughter by the Ariyans praised. That must ye slay in sooth, to weep no more."
    16. Realising the excellence of the reply given by the Exalted One, the Bharadvaja Brahmin said to him, "Most excellent. Lord, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which had been thrown down, or were to reveal that which was hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who had gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness, so that those who had eyes could see external objects--even so. Lord, has the Lord Gautama shown me his doctrine in various ways. I, even I, Lord, betake myself to the Exalted One as my refuge, to the Norm, and to the Order. I would leave the world under the rule of Gautama; I would take orders."
    17. So Dhananjanani was not only a devotee of the Buddha, she made her husband also a devotee of the Buddha.

§ 2. The Abiding Faith of Visakha

    1. Visakha was born in the city of Bhadiya in the Anga country.
    2. Her father was Dhananjaya, and her mother's name was Sumana.
    3. Once the Buddha visited Bhadiya with a large company of monks, at the invitation of the Brahmin Sela. Visakha, his granddaughter, was then seven years old.
    4. Visakha, though only seven, expressed to her grandfather Mendaka her desire to see the Buddha. Mendaka allowed her to do so, and gave her five hundred companions, five hundred slaves, and five hundred chariots, that she might visit the Buddha.
    5. She stopped the chariot some distance away, and approached the Buddha on foot.
    6. He preached to her the Dhamma, and she became his lay disciple.
    7. For the next fortnight, Mendaka invited the Buddha and his followers daily to his house, where he fed them,.
    8. Later, when at Pasendi's request, Bimbisara sent Dhananjaya to live in Kosala, Visakha accompanied her parents and lived in Saketa.
    9. Migara, a wealthy citizen of Shravasti, wanted to get his son Punnavadhana married. He had sent a few people to find a suitable bride.
    10. The party in search of a bride happened to come to Shravasti. They saw Visakha on her way to the lake to bathe on a feast day.
    11. At that moment there was a great shower. Visakha's companions ran for shelter. But Visakha did not. She walked at her usual pace and reached the spot where the messengers were.
    12. They asked her why she did not run for shelter, and so preserve her clothes. She answered that she had plenty of clothes, but that if she ran she might damage a limb, which she could not replace. "Unmarried girls," she said, "are like goods awaiting sale, they must not be disfigured."
    13. The party, which was already struck by her beauty, was greatly impressed by her intelligence. The party offered her a bouquet of flowers, which she accepted, as a proposal of marriage.
    14. After Visakha returned home, the marriage party followed he,r and laid Punnavadhana's suit before Dhananjaya. The proposal was accepted, and confirmed by an exchange of letters.
    15. When Pasendi heard of it, he offered to accompany Punnavadhana to Saketa, as a mark of signal honour. Dhananjaya welcomed the king and his retinue, Migara, Punnavadhana, and their followers, with all regard, attending personally to all the details of hospitality.
    16. Five hundred goldsmiths were engaged to make ornaments for the bride. Dhananjaya gave his daughter as dowry, five hundred carts full of money, five hundred with vessels of gold and cattle, etc.
    17. When the time came for Visakha to leave, Dhananjaya gave her ten admonitions, which Migara overheard from the next room. These admonitions were: Not to give fire from the house outside; not to take into the house fire from without; to give only to those who gave in return; not to give to those who did not give in return; to give him that gives and to him that gives not; to seat, eat, and eat happily; and to tend the fire and to honour the household deities.
    18. On the following day Dhananjaya appointed eight householders to be sponsors to his daughter, and inquire into any charges that might be brought against her.
    19. Migara wanted that his daughter-in-law should be seen by the public of Shravasti. Visakha entered Shravasti standing in her chariot, with the public lining the road on both sides. The public showered gifts on her, but these she distributed among the people.
a20. Migara was a follower of the Niganthas, and soon after Visakha's arrival in his house, he sent for them and told her to minister to them. But Visakha, repulsed by their nudity, refused to pay them homage.
    21. The. Niganthas urged that she should be sent away, but Migara bided his time.
    22. One day as Migara was eating, while Visakha stood fanning him, a monk was seen standing outside the house. Visakha stood aside, that Migara might see him. But Migara continued to eat, without noticing the monk.
    23. Seeing this Visakha said to the monk, "Pass on, sir, my father-in-law eats stale fare." Migara was angry and threatened to send her away, but at her request the matter was referred to her sponsors.
    24. They inquired into the several charges brought against her, and adjudged her not guilty.
    25. Visakha then gave orders that preparations be made for her return to her parents. Both Migara and his wife begged for forgiveness--which she granted, on condition that he would invite to the house the Buddha and his monks.
    26. This he did, but, owing to the influence of the Niganthas, he left Visakha to entertain them, and only consented to hear the Buddha's sermon at the end of the meal, from behind a curtain.
    27. He was, however, so convinced by the sermon that he became a convert.
    28. His gratitude towards Visakha was boundless. Henceforth he considered her to be his mother, deserving all the honours due to a mother. From this time onward she was called Migarmata.
    29. Such was the abiding faith of Visakha.

§ 3. The Devotion of Mallika

    1. Once while the Lord was staying at Shravasti in Jeta's grove, the darling son of a certain house-holder died, and the loss made the father neglect his business and his meals.
    2. He was always going to the charnel ground and wailing aloud, saying, "Where are you, my son, where are you?"
    3. The bereaved father came to the Blessed Lord, and after due salutations sat on one side.
    4. Seeing that his mind was absolutely vacant, [that he was] showing no interest in anything, not telling the purpose for which he had come, the Blessed Lord, noticing his condition, said, "You are not yourself; your mind is all awry."
    5. "How could my mind not be awry, sir, when I have lost my darling and only son?"
    6. "Yes, householder; our dear ones bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, suffering, and tribulation?"
    7. "Who, sir, can entertain such a view?" said the angry householder, "Nay, our dear ones are a joy and happiness to us."
    8. And with these words the householder, rejecting the Lord's pronouncement, indignantly got up and departed.
    9. Hard by, there were a number of gamblers having a game with dice; and to them came the householder with his story of how he had related his sorrows to the recluse Gautama, how he had been received, and how he had indignantly departed.
    10. You were quite right, said the gamblers, for our dear ones are a source of joy and happiness to us. So the householder felt he had got the gamblers on his side.
    11. Now all this, in due course, penetrated to the private apartments of the palace, where the king told Queen Mallika that her recluse Gautama had stated that dear ones bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, suffering ,and tribulation.
    12. "Well, sir, if the Lord said so, so it is,"
    13. "Just as a pupil accepts all his master tells him, saying, 'So it is, sir; so it is'--just in the same way Mallika, you accept all the recluse Gautama says, with your 'If the Lord said so, so it is'; away with you and begone!"
    14. Then the queen told the Brahmin Nali Dhyan to go to the Lord and in her name, to bow his head at the Lord's feet and, after asking after his health, to enquire whether he had really said what was attributed to him.
    15. "And be careful," she added, "to tell me exactly what the Lord answers."
    16. In obedience to the queen's commands, the Brahmin went off and duly asked the Lord whether he had really said so.
    17. "Yes, Brahmin; our dear ones do bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, suffering, and tribulation. Here is the proof.
    18. "Once, here in Shravasti, a woman's mother died, and the daughter, crazed and beside herself, went about from street to street, from cross-road to crossroad, saying: 'Have you seen my mother? Have you seen my mother?'
    19. " Another proof is a woman of Shravasti who lost her father--a brother--a sister--a son--a daughter--a husband. Crazed and beside herself, the woman went about from street to street and from cross-road to cross-road, asking if anyone had seen the dear ones she had lost.
    20. "Another proof is a man of Shravasti who lost his mother--his father--a brother--a sister--a son--a daughter--a wife; crazed and beside himself, the man went about from street to street and from crossroad to cross-road, asking if anyone had seen the dear ones he had lost.
    21. "Another proof is the woman of Shravasti who visited her people's home; and they wanted to take her from her husband and marry her to someone else whom she did not like.
    22. "She told her husband about it, whereupon he cut her into two and then killed himself, so that they might both die together.:
    23. All this the Brahmin Nali Dhyan duly reported to the queen.
    24. The queen then went to the king and asked, "Are you fond, sir, of your only daughter, the princess Vajira?" "Yes, I am," replied the king.
    25. "If anything happened to your Vajira, would you feel sorry or not?" "If anything happened to her, it would make a great difference to my life."
    26. "Are you fond, sir, of me?" asked Mallika. "Yes, I am."
    27. "If anything happened to me, would you feel sorry or would you not?" "If anything happened to you, it would make a great difference to my life."
    28. "Are you fond, sir, of the people of Kasi and Kosala?" "Yes," replied the king. "If anything happened to them would you be sorry or not?"
    29. "If anything happened to them, it would make great difference--how could it be otherwise?"
    30. "Did the Blessed Lord say anything different?" "No, Mallika," said the king in repentance.

§ 4. The Ardent Wish of a Pregnant Mother

    1. Once when the Lord was staying in the Bhagga country at Sumsumara-gira in the Bhesakala grove, in the deer-park there. Prince Bodhi's palace, called the Lotus, had just been finished but had not as yet been inhabited by recluse, Brahmin or any other person.
    2. Said the prince to a young Brahmin named Sankika-putta, "Go to the Lord and in my name bow your head at his feet, ask after his health, and invite him to be so good as to take his meal with me tomorrow and to bring his confraternity with him."
    3. The message was delivered to the Lord who, by silence, signified acceptance--as was duly reported to the prince.
    4. When night had passed, the prince, having ordered an excellent meal to be got ready in his palace and a carpeting of white cloth to be laid to the foot of the stairs of the Lotus palace, told the young Brahmin to announce to the Lord that all was ready.
    5. This was done, and early that day the Lord, duly robed and bowl in hand, came to the palace where the prince was awaiting him, outside the portals.
    6. Seeing the Lord approaching, the prince advanced and saluted him, and moved in his train towards the palace.
    7. At the foot of the stairs the Lord stood still. Said the prince, "I beg the Lord to step up on the carpeting; I beg the Blessed One to do this,to my abiding weal and welfare." But the Lord kept silent.
    8. A second time did the prince appeal, and still the Lord kept silent. A third time he appealed, and now the Lord looked towards Ananda.
    9. Ananda understood what the trouble was, and asked that the carpeting should be rolled up and removed, for the Lord would not tread upon it, as he is [=was] looking to those that shall follow hereafter.
    10. So the prince ordered the carpeting to be rolled up and removed, after which he ordered seats to be set out upstairs in the palace.
    11. The Lord then, proceeding upstairs, sat down on the seat set for him, with the confraternity.
    12. The prince with his own hand served that excellent meal, without stint, to the Lord and the confratemity.
    13. The Lord's meal over and done. Prince Bodhi, seating himself on a low seat to one side, said to the Lord, "My view, sir, is that true weal must be sought not through things pleasant, but through things unpleasant."
    14. "In days gone by, Prince," said the Blessed One, "I too held the same view, in the days before my enlightenment. Time was when being quite young, with a wealth of coal-black hair and in all the beauty of my early prime, despite the wishes of my parents who wept and lamented, I cut off hair and beard, donned the yellow robes, and went forth from home to homelessness as a pilgrim. A pilgrim now, in quest of the Good and in search for the road to that utter peace which is beyond all compare.
    15. "Now I hold a different view. If a man knows the Doctrine, he will find the destruction of all ills."
    16. Said the prince to the Lord, "What a doctrine! What an exposition of doctrine! It is so easy to   understand."
    17. Here the young Brahmin Sankika-putta observed to the prince that, though he had testified thus, yet he had not gone on to say that he sought as a refuge the Lord and his doctrine and his con-fraternity, as he should have.
    18. "Say not so, my friend; say not so," said the Prince: "for I have heard from the lips of my lady mother, how, when once the Lord was staying at Kosambi in the Ghosita pleasance, she, being then pregnant, came to the Lord, saluted him, and took a seat to one side, saying: 'Be it a boy or be it a girl that I carry in my womb, my child unborn seeks refuge with the Lord and his doctrine and his confraternity; and I ask the Lord to accept the child as a follower who has found an abiding refuge from this time forth while life lasts.'
    19. "Another time, when the Lord was staying here in this Bhagga country at Sumsumara-gira, in the Bhesakala grove, in the deer park there, my nurse carried me to the Lord, and standing before him, said, 'Here is Prince Bodhi who seeks refuge with the Lord and his doctrine and his confraternity.'
    20. Now, in person, for the third time I seek such refuge, and ask the Lord to accept me as a follower who has found an abiding refuge while life lasts."

§ 5. Keniya's Welcome

    1. There was living at Apanath a Brahmin, Sela, who was versed in all three Vedas, was accomplished in ritual with the glosses thereon, in phonology, and in etymology, with chronicles as a fifth branch; he knew exegesis, and was learned in casuistry the signs that mark a superman; he had three hundred young brahmins to whom he taught the runes.
    2. Keniya the fire-worshipper was an adherent of this Brahmin, Sela. Accompanied by his three hundred pupils, Sela went and saw all the fire-worshippers there busy with their several tasks, with Keniya himself marking off the reserved circles.
    3. At the sight of this the Brahmin said to Keniya: "What is all this? Is it a wedding feast? Or is there a great sacrifice afoot? Or have you invited to a repast tomorrow Seniya Bimbisara, king of Magadha, with all his host?"
    4. "It is no wedding feast, Sela, nor is the king coming with all his host. But I have got a great sacrifice afoot. For the recluse Gautama has arrived at Apana, in the course of an alms-pilgrimage, with twelve hundred and fifty alms-men in his train.
    5. "Now such, according to report, is the high repute of this Gautama, that he is deemed to be the Lord of Enlightenment.
    6. "It is he whom I have invited to tomorrow's meal here, together with his confraternity. The feast that is being prepared is for him."
    7. "Did you attribute to him Enlightenment, Keniya?" asked Sela. "Yes, I did," replied Keniya. "Did you?" "Yes I did."

§ 6. Pasendi In Praise of the Master

    1. Once the Exalted One was staying near Shravasti, at Jeta's grove, in Anathapindika's park.
    2. Now at that time the rajah of Kosala, Pasendi, had just returned from a sham-fight, in which he was victorious, having carried out his object. And on reaching the park he turned in that way. So far as the cart-road went he rode in his chariot, and then got down and went on foot through the park.
    3. On that occasion a number of the brethren were walking up and down in the open air. Then Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala, went up to those brethren and thus accosted them: "Reverend sirs, where now is the Exalted One staying, that Arahant, Buddha Supreme: for I long to behold Him."
    4. "Yonder, Maharajah, is his lodging, and the door is shut. Do you go up quietly, without nervousness, enter the verandah, cough, and rattle the door-bar. The Exalted One will open the door to you."
    5. So Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala, went up to the lodging as he was told, coughed, and rattled the door-bar. And the Exalted One opened the door.
    6. Then Pasendi entered the lodging, fell with his head at the feet of the Exalted One, kissed His feet and stroked them with his hands, and announced his name, saying, "Lord, I am Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala."
    8. "But, Maharajah, seeing what significance therein, do you show me this profound humanity and pay such affectionate obeisance to this body?" said the Lord!


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