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.
26. By seeing woman as impermanent, suffering, without self and impure, the minds of the adepts are not overcome on looking at her.
27. With minds well accustomed to these temptations, like cattle to their pastures, how can men be deluded when attacked by the pleasures of the gods?
28. Therefore taking the arrows of mystic wisdom, grasping the bow of energy in your hands and girding on the armour of awareness, think well on the idea of the objects of sense.
29. It is better to sear the eyes with red-hot iron pins than to look on woman’s rolling eyes with misdirected awareness.
30. If at the moment of death your mind be subject to passion, it binds you helplessly and takes you to a rebirth among animals or in Hell.
31. Therefore recognize this danger and do not dwell on the external characteristics, for he sees truly, who sees in the body only Matter.
32. In the world it is not the sense-organs which bind the objects, nor is it the objects which bind the senses. Whoever feels passion for them (the objects of sense), to them is he bound. 33. The objects and the sense organs are mutually attached, like two oxen harnessed to the same yoke.
34. The eye grasps the form and the mind considers it, and from that consideration arise passion with regard to the object and also freedom from passion.
35. If then great calamity ensues by not properly examining the objects of sense, activity in the domain of the senses is conjoined with all disasters.
36. Therefore not abandoning awareness, faring with the highest heedfulness, and having regard to your own good, you should meditate energetically with your minds.”
37. While He thus instructed the disciples who had not proceeded to the end of the matter, Amrapali, seeing Him, drew near with folded hands.
38. Seeing the Seer seated with tranquil mind under a tree, she deemed herself highly favoured by His occupation of the grove.
39. Then with great reverence, setting her eyes, restless as they were, in order, she did obeisance to the Sage with her head, which was like a campaka flower fully opened.
92. Thereon, as the Sage entered Nirvana, the earth quivered like a ship struck by a squall,’ and firebrands also fell from the sky, as if cast by the elephants of the quarters.
93. A fire, without fuel or smoke and unfanned by the wind, arose burning the quarters, like a forest fire arising in the sky to burn the heavenly garden of Citraratha.
94. Fearsome thunderbolts fell, vomiting fire with hundreds of sparks, as if Indra was hurling them in his wrath, in order to overcome the Asuras in battle.
95. The winds blew violently, splintering the creepers and laden with dust, as if the peaks of the earth-bearing mountains had fallen when struck by raging tempests.
96. The moon’s light waned, and it shone with feeble colourless beams, like a royal goose, when it is covered with muddy water and its body is surrounded by young reeds.
97. Though the sky was cloudless and the moon was up, unholy darkness spread over the quarters, and at that moment the rivers ran with boiling water as if overcome by grief.
98. Then the sala trees that grew near by bent down and showered beautiful flowers, growing out of due season, on to the Buddha’s body to rest on the golden column of His form.
99. In the sky the five-headed Nagas stood motionless, gazing on the Sage with devotion, their eyes reddened with grief, their hoods closed and their bodies kept in restraint.
*100. In the affliction of their minds they gave vent to hot sighs, but, reflecting that the world is impermanent by nature, they refrained from grief and despised it.
101. In the divine abode the virtuous assembly of king Vaisravaria, which was engaged in the practice of the Law of final beatitude, did not grieve or shed tears by reason of their attachment to the Law.
102. The holy Suddhadhivasa deities, though they held the Great Seer in the utmost reverence, were composed and felt no agitation of mind; for they despised the nature of the world.
103. The gods, who rejoice in the good Law, the Gandharva kings, the Naga kings and the Yaksas, stood in the sky, mourning and absorbed in uttermost grief as if confounded.
104. But the hosts of Mara, who had obtained his heart’s desire, uttered loud laughs in their exultation, and showed their joy by gambols, hissing like snakes, dancing and the beating of tattoos on great drums, mrdahgas and patahas.
105. Then on the Bull of seers passing to the Beyond, the world became like a mountain whose peak has been shattered by a thunderbolt, or a despondent elephant when his must has ceased, or a bull whose form is deprived of its hump.
106. From the loss of Him Who destroyed existence, the world became like the sky without the moon, or a pond whose lotuses have been withered by frost, or learning rendered futile by the absence of wealth.
82. At these words of the noble Aniruddha, the Buddha, though He knew the matter, again took cognizance of it and addressed them affectionately, in order to strengthen the minds of the faithful:—
83. “Since a being may last for an aeon and yet must come to destruction, there is certainly no such thing as mutual union. Having completed the task both for Myself and for others, there is no gain in My further existence.
84. All those in the heavens and on earth, who were to be converted by Me have been saved and set in the stream. Hereafter this My Law shall abide among men through the successive generations of mendicants.’
85. Therefore recognize the true being of the world and be not anxious: for separation must be. Knowing the world to be of this nature, so strive that it may be thus no more.
86. When the darkness has been illuminated with the lamp of knowledge and the spheres of existence have been seen to be without substance, contentment ensues at the suppression of the life-force, as at the cure of an illness.’
87. Who is not pleased at the cessation of life, as at the destruction of calamity-causing enemies, when the stream of the ocean of existence called the body, which is to be abandoned with the opposites, is cut off?
88. Everything, whether moving or stationary, passes away; therefore take ye good heed. The time for My entering Nirvana has arrived. Do not lament; these are My last words.”
89. ‘Then the Best of those who know the trances entered the first trance at that moment, and emerging therefrom went on to the second, and so in due order He entered all of them without omitting any.
90. Thereon having passed through all the trances, the group of nine attainments, in the upward order, the Great Seer following the reverse order returned to the first trance again.
91. Emerging therefrom also, He rose in due order again to the fourth trance, and emerging from the practice of the fourth trance, He passed to realization of the eternal peace.
71. I have done all that should be done by a compassionate sympathetic Master, Who aims at others good; do you apply your-selves and bring your minds to tranquillity.
72. Then, wherever you may be, on the mountains or in empty dwellings or in the forest, ever be strenuous in religions practice and do not give way to remorse.
73. It is for the physician, after full consideration of their constitutions, to explain the proper medicines to his patients, but it is the sick man, not the physician, who is responsible for attending to their administration at the proper time.
174. When the guide has pointed out the magnificent straight level road which is free from danger, and those who hear him do not proceed along it but go to destruction, there is no debt in the way of instruction still due from the guide.
75. Whoever of you has any desire about My teaching of the Four Truths, suffering and the rest, let him confidently speak out to Me at once and cut off doubt.”
76. When the Great Seer thus spoke aloud, they were free from doubt and said nothing. The saintly Aniruddha, penetrating their minds with his mind, then uttered these words:—
77. “Though the wind cease from movement, the sun become cold and the moon hot, yet it is not possible to prove the four steps (of the Truths) to be false in the world.
78. What is declared to be suffering is not pleasure; there is no other producer of suffering than that which is its cause; liberation inevitably comes from suppression of the cause, and the path thereto is certainly the means.
79. Therefore, 0 Great-souled One, the disciples have no doubt about the Four Truths; but those who have not accomplished their object suffer, thinking that the Teacher is about to pass away.
80. Even he in this assembly, who from the newness of his vows had not yet seen the goal, sees it to-day in its entirety, as by a flash of lightning, through this Your sermon.
81. But even those, for whom there is nothing remaining to be done and who have crossed to the further shore of the ocean of existence, are anxious in heart on hearing that the perfect Lord is about to pass away.”