THE COMPOSITION OF THE GUAN WULIANGSHOUFO-JING: SOME BUDDHIST AND JAINA PARALLELS TO ITS NARRATIVE FRAME
JOHNATHAN A. SILK
Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol, 25 ( 1997), pp. 181 – 256.
Once again Ajātaśatru questioned the jailers, asking : “ Gentlemen, how does the old King sustain himself?” They reported to him in detail, and he said: “ Gentlemen, restrain Vaidehī so that she enters no more.” Then [ at the time] the Blessed One, in order to plant [in Bimbisāra] the roots of good, began to walk on the Vulture Peak on the side that faced the windows [ of the jail]. King bimbisāra seeing the Blessed One through the window produced a joy which preserved his life.
And Ajātaśatru once again asked the jailers: “ Gentlemen, food and water were withheld, now how does the old king sustain himself?”.
They answered: “The blessed One, in order to assist him, walks on the Vulture Peak, and [Bimbisāra] stands [ at the window] and gazes at him everyday.”
[ Ajātaśatru] : “ Close the windows, and lacerate his feet with a razor.”
[so] they shut the windows and lacerated his feet with a razor, and he was afflicted by painful suffering. His voice choked with tears and sobbing, with eyes full of tears, he thought: “ The Blessed One does not pay any attention to me, beset by troubles, danger and distress.”
DEEDS DO NOT DISAPPEAR EVEN IN ONE HUNDRED AEONS.
[BUT] REACHING COMPLETENESS AND THE PROPER TIME, THEY PRODUCE RESULTS FOR BEINGS.
[Once] a boil appeared on the finger of Ajātaśatru ‘s son Udayabhara. Crying he moved towards Ajātaśatru. Putting [the child] on his lap, [ Ajātaśatru] hugged him, kissed him, and embraced him. Still he continued to cry, and would not stay still. [so] Ajātaśatru put [ his son.] finger in his own mouth, and the boil burst in his mouth. Ajātaśatru disposed of the purulent blōd on the ground, and when prince Udāyibhadra saw the purulent blood, he began to cry once more. Sēing Vaidehī Smile, Ajātaśatru said: “ Mother, what is it?”
She said: “Son, this ailment comes from your father, and you had it too. But when your father placed [your] finger in his mouth and the boil burst, so that you you should not cry he swallowed the purulent blood. He did not dispose of it on the ground.”
[Ajātaśatru] said: “Mother, was I so dear to [my] father?”
She said: “yes.”
Then Ajātaśatru‘s hatred toward his father disappeared, and respect arose. He said to his ministers:” Gentlement, I will give half the kingdom to the man who tells me that the old king lives.” [Since] that king was beloved by his townsfolk and provincials, a great mass of people began to run towards the jail.
The king [ Bimbisāra] heard the noise and considered: “ Now what on earth are they going to do?” Trembling with fright, he drew in a long breath and died. He became a son of the Guardian King Vaiśravana, and daily, sitting on his lap, he partook of the nectar of the gods.