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The Fast-breaking of the Lord

The Fast breaking of the Lord
When he saw the Master coming, the Heir-apparent instantly ran on foot, outstripping even the footmen. Because the Prince ran without his umbrella and shoes, the assembly, also without umbrella and shoes, ran after him like his shadow. Bounding along in haste, his ear-rings dangling, the Heir-apparent looked as if he were again indulging in childish play before the Master. Sreyansa threw himself at the feet of the Lord, who was in the court of the house, and wiped his lotus-feet with his hair resembling a chauri. After he had risen and circumambulated the Lord of the World three times, he bowed, washing his feet with tears of joy, as it were. Rising and standing before the Master, he looked at the lotus-face with joy, like the Cakora seeing the full-moon. Thinking, “Where have I seen such a costume?” he achieved recollection of his former births the seed of the tree of discernment. He remunberd post as follows:

“In East Videha the Blessed One was a cakravartin, Vajranabha, and I was his charioteer. In that same birth, I saw the Lord’s father, named Vajrasena, wearing such a Tirthankara-costume. Vajranabha adopted mendicancy at the feet of the Master Vajrasena, and I also, following him. I myself heard the Arhat Vajrasena say, ‘Vajranabha will be the first Tirthankara.’ I wandered with him through births as Svayamprabha, etc. Now the Master, my paternal great-grandfather, is present. By good fortune, I have seen the Lord of all the worlds, as if emancipation had come in person to favor me.”Just then, someone joyfully brought jars filled with fresh sugarcane juice to the Prince as a present. Then, knowing the rules for giving alms free from faults, he said to the Lord, “Take this juice which is suitable. “The Lord put together his hands and held out like a dish made from his hands; Sreyansa, lifting up the pitchers of suger cane-juice in succession, emptied them. The juice, though much, was contained in the Blessed One’s hand-dish; but his joy at that time was not contained in Sreyansa’s heart. Then the juice in the Master’s hand congealed into a lofty pillar. Rising up word and not falling down, Certainly the Lords have powers unthought of.

The Fast breaking of the Lord
Then the Blessed One broke his fast with that juice; but the eyes of gods, asuras, and men (were fed) by the nectar of the sight of him. In the sky sounded drums, intoxicating by their echoes, like Bards proclaiming Sreyansa’s happiness. In Sreyansa’s house there was a rain of jewels from the gods together with a rain of tears of joy from the people’s eyes. The gods sent a shower of five-colored flowers from the sky, as if to make a pooja to the earth purified by the Master’s feet. Then the gods made a rain of perfumed water like the combined juice of the flowers of all the trees of the gods. Gods and men waved garments like chauris, making the sky appear to have divine, two-colored clouds. This inexhaustible gift was made on the bright third of Radha and that was the beginning of the present-day festival of Aksayatrtiya. Beginning with Sreyansa the duty of giving originated on earth, just as the course of all practices and laws with the Master.

Amazed by the presence of the gods and by the Master’s fastbreaking, the kings, townsmen, and others went to Sreyansa’s house. Then Kaccha, Mahakaccha and the other ksatriya-ascetics experienced great joy at the news of the Master’s breaking fast. The kings, townsmen, and the other people living in the country, their bodies blossoming with hair erect from joy, said to Sreyansa: “O Prince, you are fortunate, a crest-jewel of men, since you persuaded the Master to accept even a little cane-juice. He did not accept even wealth which we offered him, and considered it less than straw. The Lord was not gracious to us. Wandering for a year through villages, mines, cities, and forests, the Master did not accept hospitality from anyone. Alas for us who thought ourselves devoted! The Master did not even speak to us today, to say nothing of accepting garments or resting in our houses. Formerly, for several lacs of Purvas he cared for us like sons; now the Lord comes to us like a stranger.” Sreyansa said to them: “Why do you talk in this way? For the Master is not a king devoted to possessions as before. The Lord acts now to avoid the whirlpool of existence. He is a Sadhu who has acquired freedom from all censurable activity. A man who desires pleasure makes baths, ointments, ornaments, and clothes his own. What use are these to the Master, disgusted with them? A person who is subject to love accepts maidens. Women are no more than stones to the Master, who has conquered love. He who desires great sovereignty accepts elephants, horses, etc. They are like burned cloth to the Lord, who has sovereignty over self-control. He who commits injury takes fruit, etc., which contains life. The Master gives all creatures fearlessness in regard to life. The Lord of the World takes food, etc., that is free from faults, according to rule, and pure. You, ignorant, do not know that.”

The Fast breaking of the Lord
They said to the Prince: “The people know only the arts, etc., whatever the Master taught formerly. The Lord did not teach thus; and so we do not know this. Tell us, please, how you knew it.” The Prince explained: “At the sight of the Blessed One, the memory of former births awoke in me, like knowledge at the sight of a book. I wandered with the Master through eight different births in, heaven and on earth, like a servant through different villages. In the third preceding birth from this one, the Lord’s father, Vajrasena, was a Tirthankaras in the Videha-zone. The Master became an ascetic in his presence, and later I also. From the memory of that birth I knew all this. So now the fruit of the three dreams, mine, my father’s, and the merchant Subuddhi’s, is plain. I saw a dark Meru and washed it with water; that means that the Master Emaciated by penance shone from the fast-breaking with the cane-juice. The King saw the Lord fighting with his enemies; that means that he conquered the ‘trials’ because of the approach of fast-breaking at my hands. The merchant Subuddhi saw a thousand-rays which had fallen from the sun-disc replaced by me; and then the sun shone brilliantly. The sun was the Blessed One, the thousand-rays were omniscience. That had been injured and was restored today by my food* to breakfast, and he shone.” When they had heard that, they all said to Sreyansa, “Very well; very well;” and delighted went to their own houses. After the Master had broken his fast, he went from Sreyansa’s house else where. For a Tirthankaras, before he has become a kevalin, cannot remain in one place.

Saying, “No one is to cross over the place of the Blessed One’s fast-breaking, “Sreyansa put there a jeweled platform. Bowed with a load of devotion, Sreyansa worshipped the jeweled platform three times a day like the Lord’s feet actually present. Questioned by the people, “What is this?” the son of Somaprabha told them, “This is the Adikrtmandala. “Wherever the Lord took alms, there the people made a platform, and in course of time that became known as ‘AdityaPitha.’

In the evening the Master reached the city Taksasila which belonged to Bahubali in the Bahali country, like an elephant an arbor. In a garden outside of it the Lord stood in meditation, and his arrival was announced to Bahubali by his agents. At once the King instructed the city-guards, “Make various preparations in the city, adornment of the market-place, etc. “At every step there was a row of festoons on plantain-pillars, the heads of passers-by being kissed by hanging tassels. At every road platforms were shining with jeweled vessels, as if cars of the gods had come for a sight of the Blessed One. Then the city, made thousand-armed, danced with joy, as it were, under the pretext of rows of large banners shaken by the wind. The earth was at once anointed with auspicious ointment, as it were, with the quantities of new saffron water on all sides. Then the city was awake like a bed of lotuses (kumuda) at a meeting with the moon of eagerness for a sight of the Blessed One. The night seemed like a month to Bahubali wishing, “At dawn I shall purify myself and the people by a sight of the Master.” As soon as the first light dawned, the Lord of the World completed his meditations and went elsewhere, like the could with wind.

The Fast breaking of the Lord
At dawn, attended on all sides by powerful crowned kings like many suns; surrounded on all four sides by many most excellent ministers like house of the solution, like polities embodied, like Sukra, etc., his Splendor spread in all directions by a lac of horses, swift in crossing the world like Garudas whose wings are concealed; adorned by tall elephants that laid the dust of the earth by a falling stream of ichor, like mountains with cascades; surrounded by thousands of women from the harem, Vasantasri and others, who never saw the sun like maidens of Patala; attended at both sides by courtesans with chauris, like Prayaga by Gangas and Yamuna with king-geese; adorned with a very beautiful white umbrella over him, like a mountain by the moon on a night of full-moon; his doorkeeper, holding a golden-staff, clearing the road ahead for him, like Devanandin for Indra; followed by many rich men horseback adorned with jeweled ornaments like children of the goddess Sri; mounted like Indra on the shoulder of the best of bhadra elephants, like a young lion on a mountain-ridge; his head resplendent with a jeweled diadem with waves of Splendor, like Amaracala with its crest; wearing pearl earrings that resembled the moons of Jambudvipa come to serve him, whose beauty was surpassed by the beauty of his face; wearing on his heart a necklace made of large pearls that was like a rampart on the temple of Laksmi; having armlets of genuine gold on his upper arms, just as if tall trees in the form of arms had been surrounded by new creepers; wearing on his wrists pearl-bracelets like a mass of foam on the bank of the stream of loveliness; wearing rings that filled the sky with shoots of beauty like large jewels on his hands resembling serpent-hoods; adorned with a fine white jacket clinging to his body so it could not be distinguished from sandal-ointment; wearing a garment rivaling the beautiful heap of waves of the Mandakinis, just like the moonlight on a night of full-moon; shining with an under garment bright with various colors, like a mountain with the ground at its foot bright with various minerals; whirling in his hands a thunderbolt like a powerful kutika for the sport of drawing here the Sris; with the heavens filled with cries of “Hail! Hail!” from a throng of Bards, powerful Bahubali went to the grove purified by the Master’s feet.

Descending from the elephant’s shoulder, like Garuda from the sky, abandoning royal insignia, umbrella, etc., he entered the garden. The son of Vrsabha saw the garden without the Master, like the sky deprived of the moon, like a nectar-pitcher without the nectar. Where, pray, is the Venerable Blessed One who gives joy to the eyes?” he eagerly asked all the gardeners.

They said, “The Lord departed just a little while ago like the night. Just as we were going to tell you, Your Majesty arrived.” His chin supported on his hand, his eyes tearful, the Lord of Taksasila reflected with distress: “My wish, ‘Together with our retinue we will worship the Master,’ was as fruitless as the growth of a seed in saline soil. Alas! The foolishness of my procrastination for a long time from a desire to benefit the people has been made apparent by the loss of my own desire. Alas for this hostile night! Alas for this thought of mine creating obstacles to the sight of the Master. Daybreak is not daybreak; the sun is not the sun; eyes are not eyes even, since I do not see the Master. Here the Lord of the Three Worlds stood in meditation during the night, while I, Bahubali, shameless, slept in a palace.”

Then, seeing Bahubali distressed by his train of thought, the minister said to him with a speech that was a remedy for healing the wound of the arrow of sorrow: “Why do you grieve, Your Majesty, thinking “I cannot see the Master who came here? A constant dweller in the heart, he is seen. The Master himself is seen in reality by seeing the prints of the Master’s feet marked with the thunderbolt, goad, disc, lotus, banner, fish, etc.” When he had heard this, Sunanda’s son together with the women of his family and retinue honored devotedly the prints of the Master’s feet. With the idea, “No one is to walk on these footprints,” Bahubali put over them a jeweled dharmacakra. Eight yojanas broad, four high, and having a thousand spokes it shone like the complete disc of the sun. By the power of the Master of the Three Worlds who possessed supernatural powers, it (the wheel) appeared at once actually made, though difficult even for the gods to make. The King worshipped it so much with flowers taken from all sides that it looked to the townspeople like a mountain of flowers. There he made an eight-day festival, wonderful with excellent concerts, plays, etc., just like Sakra’s in Nandisvara. After giving instructions to the guards and priests there, the King, knowing what was proper, bowed, and went to his own city.

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