Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": ACTS AND REWARDS OF DEVOTION TO THE BUDDHA


('Shikshasamuccaya,' 299-301 ['Avalokana-sutra'])

Verily, for countless aeons he is not reborn blind or lame,

If, after he has decided to win enlightenment, he venerates a stupa of the Teacher.

-Firm in strength and vigour, a hero, firm in courage,

Speedily he wins fortune after he has circumambulated a Stupa.

One who in this last age, this dreadful age, reveres a stupa, greater is his merit,

Than if for hundreds of thousands of Nayutas of Kotis of aeons he has honoured a similar number of Buddhas.

For the Buddha is pre-eminent, unequalled, -most worthy of offerings,

he who has travelled along the noblest pre-eminent way.

One who does worship to this Chief of Men, he has the best and unequalled reward.

Deceased here among men, he goes to the Heavens of the Thirty-Three,

And there he obtains a brilliant palace made of jewels.

If he here gives a pointed tower, he will there be waited upon by Apsaras.

If he places a garland on a Stupa, he will be reborn among the Thirty-three.

And there he gets a celestial lotus-pond, full of excellent water,

With a floor of golden sand, bestrewn with vaidurya and crystal.

And when he has enjoyed that celestial delight, and completed his lifespan there,

The wise man, deceased front the Deva-world, becomes a man of wealth.

In hundreds of thousands of Nayutas of Kotis of births he will everywhere

Be honored after he has placed a garland on a shrine.

When he has given but a strip of cloth to the Saviour of the world, to the Protector,

All his aims will prosper, both among Gods and among men.

He keeps out of the inferior and unlucky modes of life, and is -not reborn in them.

When he has made a bower of garlands over the relics of the Saviour of the world,

He becomes a powerful king with a loyal retinue.

He is dear and cherished, honourcd and praised,

By Gods and Nagas, and the wise -men in this world.

Wherever that hero is born, glorious with his merit's glory,

There his family is honoured, his country and his town.

Listen to me telling you of his advantages if he takes a speck of incense finer than a mustard seed '

And burns it at the shrines of the Lord: Serene in heart he forsakes all obstructions and all taints;

In whichever region he is, there he is full of merit, altogether full of health, firm in his intelligence, and alert,

He averts sorrow, and he goes his way dear and pleasant to many people.

if he should gain a kingdom, he honours the supreme Jina, a wise universal monarch of great might,

Golden his colour, adorned with marks, his body emits a pleasant odour in all worlds.

At birth already he receives the best of clothes, silken garments,

heavenly, superb, well made.

He is blessed with a beautiful body when he has clothed the Saviour's shrines with robes.

it is because he has done worship with robes at the shrines of the unequalled Saviours,

That here in this world his body becomes unequalled, and armoured with the thirty-two marks.


Translation by Edward Conze, in Conze, et al.,Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer (Publishers) Ltd.,1954)

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