Buddhacarita AsR - T he L ife o f t he B uddha (The...

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The Life of the Buddha (The Buddhacarita of A˜vagho˘a) Patrick Olivelle, translator CANTO ONE The Birth of the Lord In Ik˘v‡ku's lineage, equal to Ik˘v‡ku in might, among the invincible ¯‡kyas, was born a king, loved by his people like the autumn moon, pure in conduct and ¯uddh ô dana by name. 1 The equal of Indra had a wife like Sac„ herself; her splendor paralleled his might; she was as pretty as Padm‡, as steadfast as the Earth, M‡y‡ by name, like the matchless M‡y‡ herself. 2 That ruler of men, sporting with his queen, seemed to enjoy the sovereign power of Vai˜ravaıa; free from defilement, then, she produced the fruit, as knowledge, when united with trance. 3 Before she conceived she saw in a dream, a white king of elephants entering her body, yet it did not cause her any pain. 4 M‡y‡, the queen of that god-like king, bearing the glory of his line in her womb, freed by her purity from delusion, sorrow, and fatigue, thought to visit a faultless forest grove. 5 Longing for a secluded grove suited for trance, she asked the king that they go to Lumbin„, and stay in that grove with trees of every kind, as delightful as Caitraratha's grove. 6 Perceiving that her intention was noble, because she was endowed with piety, the king, filled with wonder and delight, departed from that auspicious city, to gratify her and not as a pleasure trip. 7 In that lovely grove, knowing that the time for delivery was at hand, the queen betook herself to a bed covered with a canopy, to the welcome words of thousands of maids. 8 Then, as Pu˘ya turned propitious, a son was born from the side of the queen, without pain and without illness, for the welfare of the world. 9
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Canto One 2 As Aurva from the thigh, PÁthu from the hand, as Mandh‡tÁ, Indra's peer, from the head, as Kak˘„vat from the armpit, so was this birth. 10 When in due course he emerged from the womb, but not born through the birth canal, he gleamed as if he had fallen from heaven; he had perfected his self over untold eons, so he was born fully aware and not oblivious. 11 With his luster and fortitude he gleamed, like the young sun come down to earth; though dazzlingly bright, he captured the eyes, of those who gazed on him, just like the moon. 12 With the dazzling splendor of his body, he robbed the light of lamps, just like the sun; with the charming color of the costliest gold, he lit up all the quarters of the sky. 13 Resembling the stars of the Seven Seers, he took seven steps that were firm, lifted up evenly and straight, extended wide and forcefully set down. 14 "I am born for Awakening, for the welfare of the world; this is the last coming into existence for me!¤ Looking at the four quarters with the mien of a lion, he uttered these words, foretelling what was to come. 15 From the sky two streams of water came down, as limpid as the rays of the sun and moon, they fell, one warm and one cold, on his lovely head, to give pleasure to his body by their touch. 16
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2010 for the course ANS 301 taught by Professor Brereton during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Buddhacarita AsR - T he L ife o f t he B uddha (The...

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