Chapter 22: Verses 40-55, on Buddha’s message to Amrapali
40. Then when she had seated herself in accordance with the Omniscient’s directions, the Sage addressed her with words suited to her understanding:-
41. “This your intention is virtuous and your mind is steadfast by purification; yet desire for the Law is hard to find in a woman who is young and in the bloom of her beauty.’
42. What cause is there for wonder that the Law should attract men of intelligence or women who are afflicted by misfortune or are self-controlled or ill?
43. But it is extraordinary that in the world solely devoted to the objects of sense a young woman, by nature weak in comprehension and unsteady in mind, should entertain the idea of the Law.
44. Your mind is turned to the Law, that is your real wealth, for since the world of the living is transitory, there are no riches outside the Law.
45. Health is borne down by illness, youth cut short by age, and life snatched away by death, but for the Law there is no such calamity.
46. Since in seeking (for pleasure) one obtains only separation from the pleasant and association with the unpleasant, therefore the Law is the best path.
47. Dependence on others is great suffering, self-dependence the highest bliss; yet, when born in the race of Manu, all females are dependent on others.
48. Therefore you should come to a proper conclusion, since the suffering of women is excessive by reason equally of their dependence on others and of child-birth.”
49. Young in years, but not like the young in disposition, intelligence and gravity, she listened joyfully to these words of the Great Sage.
50. Through the Tathagata’s preaching of the Law, she cast aside the condition of mind that was given up to the lusts, and, despising the state of being a woman and turning aside from the objects of sense, she felt loathing for her means of livelihood.
51. Then entirely prostrating her slender body, like a mango-branch laden with blossom, she fixed her eye with devotion on the Great Sage and again stood with purified sight for the Law.
52. The woman, though modest by nature, yet ever spurred on by longing for the Law, joined her hands like a clump of lotuses and spoke with gently uttered voice:—
53. “O Holy One, You have attained the goal and soothe suffering in the world. Deign in company with Your disciples to make the time of alms-seeking fruitful for me who am ripe for the fruit, in order that I may receive a sermon.”
54. Then the Blessed One, seeing her to be so devoted, and knowing animate beings to be dependent on food, gave His consent by silence and announced His intention to her with a gesture.
55. He, Who possessed the supreme Law and an eye that discerned occasions, rejoiced exceedingly in the vessel of the Law, … knowing that the best gain is by faith. He praised her.
p0042a18║ 世尊命令坐， 隨心為說法：
p0042a20║ 壯年豐財寶， 備德兼姿顏，
p0042a21║ 能信樂正法， 是則世之難。
p0042a22║ 丈夫宿智慧， 樂法非為奇，
p0042a23║ 女人情志弱， 智淺愛欲深，
p0042a24║ 而能樂正法， 此亦為甚難。
p0042a25║ 人生於世間， 唯應法自娛，
p0042a26║ 財色非常寶， 唯正法為珍。
p0042a27║ 強良病所壞， 少壯老所遷，
p0042a28║ 命為死所困， 行法無能侵，
p0042a29║ 所愛莫不離， 不愛而強隣，
p0042b01║ 所求不隨意， 唯法為從心，
p0042b02║ 他力為大苦， 自在力為歡。
p0042b03║ 女人悉由他， 兼懷他子苦，
p0042b04║ 是故當思惟， 厭離於女身。」
p0042b05║ 彼菴摩羅女， 聞法心歡喜，
p0042b06║ 堅固智增明， 能斷於愛欲，
p0042b07║ 即自厭女身， 不染於境界。
p0042b08║ 雖耻於陋形， 法力勸其心，
p0042b09║ 稽首而白佛： 「已蒙尊攝受，
p0042b10║ 哀受明供養， 令滿其志願。」
p0042b11║ 佛知彼誠心， 兼利諸群生，
p0042b12║ 默然受其請。 令即隨歡喜，
p0042b13║ 視聽轉增明， 作禮而還家。