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Tipitaka >> Vinaya Pitaka >> Khandhaka >> Mahavagga >> First Khandaka >> 1.15

Adapted from the Translation by T. W. Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg


MAHAVAGGA

FIRST KHANDHAKA(THE FORMATION OF THE ORDER OF BHIKKHUS)

Chapter-15 : First Miracle-Buddha Subdues a Fierce Snake in Kassapa's Hermitage

1. And the Lord Buddha, wandering from place to place, came to Uruvela. At that time there lived in Uruvela three Jatilas(hermits with long hair), Uruvela Kassapa, Nadi Kassapa (Kassapa of the River, i.e. the Neranjara), and Gaya Kassapa (Kassapa of the village Gaya.). Of these the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa was chief, leader, foremost, first, and highest over five hundred Jatilas; Nadi Kassapa was chief . . . . (&c., down to highest over) three hundred Jatilas, Gaya Kassapa was chief (&c., down to highest over) two hundred Jatilas.

2. And the Lord Buddha went to the hermitage of the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa; having gone there, he said to the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa: 'If it is not disagreeable to you, Kassapa, let me spend one night in the room where your (sacred) fire is kept.'

'It is not disagreeable to me, great Samana(Buddha), but there is a savage Naga (or Serpent) king of great magical power, a dreadfully venomous serpent; let him do no harm to you.'

And a second time the Lord Buddha said to the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa: 'If it is not disagreeable,' &c. . . . .

'It is not disagreeable,' &c.

And a third time the Lord Buddha said: 'If it not disagreeable,' &c. . . . .

'It is not disagreeable,' &c. . . . .

'He is not likely to do any harm to me. Pray, Kassapa, allow me a place in the room where your fire is kept.'

'Stay there, great Samana(Buddha), as you wish it.'

3. Then the Lord Buddha entered the room where the fire was kept, made himself a couch of grass, and sat down cross-legged, keeping the body erect and surrounding himself with watchfulness of mind. And the Naga saw that the Lord Buddha had entered; when he saw that, he became annoyed, and irritated, and sent forth a cloud of smoke. Then the Lord Buddha thought: 'What if I were to leave intact the skin, and hide, and flesh, and ligaments, and bones, and marrow of this Naga; but were to conquer the fire, which he will send forth, by my fire.'

4. And the Lord Buddha effected the appropriate exercise of miraculous power and sent forth a cloud of smoke. Then the Naga, who could not master his rage, sent forth flames. And the Lord Buddha, converting his body into fire, sent forth flames. When they both shone forth with their flames, the fire room looked as if it were burning and blazing, as if it were all in flames. And the Jatilas, surrounding the fire room, said: 'Truly, the countenance of the great Samana(Buddha) is beautiful, but the Naga will do harm to him.'

5. That night having elapsed, the Lord Buddha, leaving intact the skin and hide and flesh and ligaments and bones and marrow of that Naga, and conquering the Naga's fire by his fire, threw him into his alms-bowl, and showed him to the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa (saying), 'Here you see the Naga, Kassapa; his fire has been conquered by my fire.' Then the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa thought: 'Truly the great Samana(Buddha) possesses high magical powers and great faculties, in that he is able to conquer by his fire the fire of that savage Naga king, who is possessed of magical power, that dreadfully venomous serpent. He is not, however, holy (araha) as I am.'

6. Near the Neranjara river the Lord Buddha said to the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa: 'If it is not disagreeable to you, Kassapa, let me dwell this moonlight night in your fire room.'

'It is not disagreeable to me, great Samana(Buddha), but in your own behalf I warn you off. There is a savage Snake king there possessed of magical power, a dreadfully venomous serpent; let him do no harm to you.'

'He is not likely to do any harm to me; pray, Kassapa, allow me a place in your fire room.'

When he saw that Kassapa had given his permission, fearlessly He, who had overcome all fear, entered. When the chief of Serpents saw that the Sage had entered, he became irritated, and sent forth a cloud of smoke. Then the chief of men, joyful and unperplexed, also sent forth a cloud of smoke. Unable to master his rage, the chief of Serpents sent forth flames like a burning fire. Then the chief of men, the perfect master of the element of fire, also sent forth flames. When they shone forth both with their flames, the Jatilas looked at the fire room (saying), 'Truly the countenance of the great Samana(Buddha) is beautiful, but the Naga will do harm to him.'

7. And when that night had elapsed, the flames of the Naga were extinguished, but the various-coloured flames of Him who is possessed of magical powers remained. Dark blue and red, light red, yellow, and crystal-coloured flames of various colours appeared on the Angirasa's(Buddha's) body. Having put the chief of Serpents into his alms-bowl, he showed him to the Brahmana (saying), 'Here you see the Naga, Kassapa; his fire has been conquered by my fire.'

And the Jatila Uruvela Kassapa, having conceived an affection for the Lord Buddha in consequence of this miracle, said to the Lord Buddha: 'Stay with me, great Samana(Buddha), I will daily provide you with food.'

End of the first Miracle.

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