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Pages (PDF): 39
Publication Date: 1905
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The Jinacarita is a Pāli poem of four hundred and seventy-two stanzas dealing with the life of the Buddha, written by Vanaratana Medhankara of the Vijayabāhu-parivena.
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NAMO TASSA BHAGAVATO ARAHATO SAMMĀ-SAMBUDDHASSA.
GLORY TO THE BLESSED, THE HOLY, THE ALL-WISE BUDDHA.
1 Worshipping with obeisance of the head, the supreme lotus on the foot of the Great Being, which provides Nirvāna for the good as honey for bees,
2 the Sun of the Law, dispelling the great darkness of ignorance in the world, the great light shown forth on the mountain of the King of the Law,
3 the lotus of brightness ever growing in the lake of the heart of man, and the moon of the Order, emitting the great shining ray of Precept,
4 I will recite in brief the Life of the Conqueror, a blessing distributed far and wide, desiring ever to keep it in memory.
5 Sweet to those who remember, but hard is the path of bliss; yet what saying is hard in the gaining of wealth?
6 Therefore is this my discourse set out in fair verse, good, honey-sweet, pure, delightful to the listening ear.
7 Listen well, as one drawing water in a pitcher, and for ever enjoy, O ye righteous, who desire never to wax old or die.
8 A hundred thousand æons and four ago, there was a city the abode of innumerable beings, who always did good deeds,
9 provided with all manner of treasures, full of all manner of people, crowded with gay shops, adorned with arches and festoons,
10 echoing to the ten sounds, like the city of the King of the gods, called Amara, the Immortal, fair and grand.
11 There once was born of a Brahmin stock, respected through all the world, most merciful, most wise, handsome, beloved,
12 a prince called by name Sumedha, who had traversed the ocean of the Veda. This nascent Buddha, on the death of his parents,
13 Having beheld the great wealth piled up in hundreds of chambers by the treasurer,
14 piled up the treasures, and cried: 'See, my father and the rest of my kin have gone to the world of gods without taking one small coin with them!'
15 The Mine of Mercy grew sad at this, and thought: 'Although I have received all this store of wealth, I too must go.'
16 He sat down in solitude, in his own beautiful house, examining the blemishes in his body, and thus admonishing himself:
17 'Painful is the breaking-up of the body, painful also is its beginning; I am subject to birth, to old age, to disease.'
18 With these and like reflections, having seen in many ways the blemishes in his body, he sent the drum beating about the city and sent word to the King.
19 At the sound of the drums the beggars flocked together, as bees to a sweet scent, and for seven days he gratified them with the flood of the filaments of alms.
20 When he saw that although the precious gifts fell like a shower of snowflakes, the lotus-plantation of treasures was not exhausted,
21 amidst the tears of his kinsfolk, as a royal elephant flees from a forest blazing with fire, the great hero departed from his delightful house,
22 and came to the mighty Himalaya, perfumed with scents of yellow sandal, camphor, and aloes,
23 adorned with blossoming champak and asoka, trumpet-flower and tilak, areca-nut and punnāga, ironwood, and other trees,
24 filled with lions, tigers, hyænas, with elephants, cheetahs, and apes, with horses and other beasts,
25 full of the notes of maynahs and sunswans, of swans, herons, and parrots, of pigeons and cuckoos and vultures,
26 haunted by goblins, demons, heavenly musicians, gods and fairies, beings full of accomplishment and knowledge,
27 shining with great ranges of beautiful mountains all vermilion and sapphire, mountains of silver and gold,
28 brilliant with many a tank, provided with steps and stages of jewels and gold, with many a nymph divine dallying there,
29 irradiated with the spray from hundreds of secret cool cascades, delightful nooks full of fays and Nāgas,
30 with flocks of dancing peacocks and festoons of creepers, and garlands of white sand,
31 a treasure-mine of gold, jewels, and pearls, an abode of merit for those who desire it, as bees desire pollen.
32 Entered there, the brave one beheld in it the requisites for the ascetic, produced by Him of the Thousand Eyes, fine leaf-huts;
33 he adopted the ascetic garb, and he abode there for the space of seven days, stedfast in the Five Transcendent Faculties and the Eight Precepts.
34 In the joy of Attainment thus produced, the holy ascetic one day, passing through the air, saw some people
35 sweeping the road. Descending then from the air, he asked the people: 'Why do ye sweep the road?'
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