The Account of the Two Topes of the Diadem and the Garments

The Account of the Two Topes of the Diadem and the Garments

  1. Since Kassapa, the Blessed One, there has been no other Enlightened One excepting this present Supreme Enlightened One. Thus the Bodhisatta having obtained prediction under the twenty-four Enlightened Ones, beginning with Dipankara, fulfilled the perfectionary virtues and was reborn as Vessantara.

‘This earth, though unconscious, not experiencing happiness and sorrow, even by the force of my gift, quaked seven times.’

  1. ‘Thus doing meritorious deeds which made the earth quake, (the Bodhisatta), at the end of his lifetime, departed thence and was reborn in the Tusita abode. “There, when he was excelling other gods in ten (heavenly) attributes and enjoying heavenly bliss for his lifetime, the gods marked these five signs, as they appeared, namely, clothes became dirty, garlands withered away, sweat dropped from one’s armpits, ugliness appeared in the body, and the god found no delight in the seat of a god. Having realized that some (among them) would come to an end of their life-span after seven days according to human measure, they were profoundly moved by the thought: ‘Will the heavens, indeed, be empty?’ When they realized that the Great Being had fulfilled the Perfections, they thought: ‘As he will not go to any other deva-world, but will be reborn in the human world and attain the stage of enlightenment, the beings who are subject to rising and falling will do meritorious deeds and fill the deva-world.’

‘When I was reborn in the Tusita heaven ! and was named Santusita, the beings of the ten thousand world-systems approached and besought me with folded hands, saying:

“Tis time now, great hero! Be born of a mother! While saving the world of men and gods, let the path to immortality be apprehended.” ’

  1. Thus when he, being prayed for the attainment of Buddhahood, had reflected on these five important objects of reflection: time, country, district, family, mother, and the length of the time (of her delivery), he came to a conclusion.? And when he had deceased thence he was reborn in the royal family of the Sākyas. There he was reared in great luxury, and when he had gradually attained auspicious youth, he enjoyed royal majesty, like the glory of the deva-world, in the three palaces suitable to the three seasons. When he was going out for sport in the pleasure-ground, he saw the three messengers of the gods appearing as an old man, a diseased man and a dead man in succession. Agitated in heart he came back, and on the fourth occasion when he saw one who had left the world, he thought: ‘The life of one who has left the world is good.’ And for the life of one who has left the world he felt a liking, and going to the pleasure-ground, he passed the day-time there, seated on the bank of the royal tank. Clad in splendour by the god Vissakamma who dréw near in the disguise of a barber, when he heard the news of the birth of Prince Rahula, he realized that his affection for his son was strong and thought: ‘I will cut off this bond before it grows (strong). As he was entering the city in the evening, he heard:

‘Blessed indeed is that mother, blessed indeed is that father, blessed indeed is that wife, of whom such a one is the husband.’

  1. Hearing this verse uttered by his aunt’s daughter, Kisāgotamī by name, the Bodhisatta thought: ‘She tells me of the path to bliss’, and then taking from his neck a string of pearls worth a hundred thousand, he sent it to her. Entering his own palace he reclined on a royal couch, and seeing the change in the appearance of the dancers who had fallen asleep, he wearied in mind, made Channa get up and had Kanthaka brought. Mounted on him with Channa and being attended by the gods of the ten thousand world-systems he carried out the Great Renunciation,’ and in that one night, when he had passed beyond three kingdoms, he arrived at the opposite bank of the river Anomā. Alighting from the horse’s back, he stood on the sandy beach which appeared like heaps of gems, and addressing Channa thus: ‘Good Channa, do thou go back with my ornaments as well as with Kanthaka’, he delivered over to him both his ornaments and Kanthaka. Taking the royal sword in his right hand, with his left hand on his crest he cut it off 1 together with his diadem and saying unto himself: ‘If I ant to become an Enlightened One, let these stand in the air; if not, let them fall to the ground’, he threw them up into the sky. The crest and the jewelled diadem went a yojana and remained in the sky. Then Sakka, the king of gods, received them into a jewelled casket measuring & yojana.

Hence it is said: ‘Cutting off his crest, perfumed with superb perfumes, the chief of the Sakyas threw it up into the sky. The thousand-eyed one, Vasava,? received it with reverence in a superb golden casket.’

  1. And when (Sakka) had received them and carried them up to the deva-world, he on the summit of Sineru, erected the tope of the diadem measuring three yojanas in extent and made of sapphire gems.

Now the great Brahma Ghatikāra who had formerly been his friend in the time of Kassapa, the Enlightened One, was led by this friendship, which had not been lost in one Buddha-interval, to think: ‘Today my friend is setting out for the Great Renunciation, I will go taking the requisites of a recluse (for him).”

‘The three robes and almsbowl, razor, needle, and girdle together with a water strainer—these eight (are the requirements) of a monk devoted to meditation.’

  1. When (Brahma) had brought these requisites of a recluse he gave them (to the Bodhisatta). When the Great Being had put on the banner of arahants and assumed the garb of utter renunciation of the world, he cast his pair of garments towards the sky. The Brahma received them, and in the Brahma-world erected the tope of the garments, twelve yojanas in extent and made of all kinds of jewels.

‘Even though at that moment the Great Being had not destroyed worldly lusts, yet his garments and a lock of his hair were honoured thus owing to his great personality.

‘So one should evince great interest in the career of the great Bodhisattas (to know) what sort of a man an Enlightened One is.’

Here ends the account of the two topes of the diadem and the garments.