From the beautiful city of the Kosalas (Sāvatthī) a Brāhma/n/a,
well versed in the hymns, went to the South (Dakkhi/n/āpatha) wishing
In Assaka's territory, in the neighbourhood of A/l/aka, he dwelt
on the banks of the Godhāvarī, (living) on gleanings and fruit.
And close by the bank there was a large village, with the income
of which he prepared a great sacrifice.
Having offered the great sacrifice, he again entered the
hermitage. Upon his re-entering, another Brāhma/n/a arrived,
With swollen feet, trembling, covered with mud, with dust on
his head. And he going up
to him (i.e. the first Brāhma/n/a) demanded five hundred (pieces of
Bāvarī, seeing him, bade him be seated, asked him whether he was
happy and well, and spoke as follows:
'What gifts I had are all given away by me; pardon me, O
Brāhma/n/a, I have no five hundred.'
'If thou wilt not give to me who asks, may thy head on the seventh
clay cleave into seven.'
So after the usual ceremonies this impostor made known his fearful
(curse). On hearing these his words Bāvarī became sorrowful.
He wasted away taking no food, transfixed by the arrow of grief,
but yet his mind delighted in meditation.
Seeing Bāvarī struck with horror and sorrowful, the benevolent
deity (of that place) approached him and said as follows:
'He does not know (anything about) the head; he is a hypocrite
coveting riches; knowledge of the head and head-splitting is not found
'If the venerable (deity) knows it, then tell me, when asked, all
about the head and head-splitting; let us hear thy words.'
'I do not know this; knowledge of it is not found in me; as to
the head and head-splitting, this is to be seen by Buddhas (only).'
'Who then, say, in the circumference of the
earth knows the head and head-splitting, tell me that, O deity?'
'Formerly went out from Kapilavatthu a ruler of the world, an
offspring of the Okkāka king, the Sakya son, the light-giving;
'He is, O Brāhma/n/a, the perfectly Enlightened (Sambuddha);
perfect in all things, he has attained the power of all knowledge, sees
clearly in everything; he has arrived at the destruction of all things,
and is liberated in the destruction of the upadhis.
'He is Buddha, he is Bhagavat in the world, he, the
clearly-seeing, teaches the Dhamma; go thou to him and ask, he will
explain it to thee.'
Having heard the word 'Sambuddha,' Bāvarī rejoiced, his grief
became little, and he was filled with great delight.
Bāvarī glad, rejoicing, and eager asked the deity: 'In what
village or in what town or in what province dwells the chief of the
world, that going there we may adore the perfectly Enlightened, the
first of men?'
'In Sāvatthī, the town of the Kosalas, dwells /G/ina (the
Victorious), of great understanding and excellent wide knowledge, he the
Sakya son, unyoked, free from passion, skilled in head-splitting, the
bull of men.'
Then (Bāvarī) addressed his disciples, Brāhma/n/as, perfect in
the hymns: 'Come, youths, I will tell (you something), listen to my
'He whose appearance in the world is difficult to be met with
often, he is at the present time
born in the world and widely renowned as Sambuddha (the perfectly
Enlightened); go quickly to Sāvatthī and behold the best of men.'
'How then can we know, on seeing him, that he is Buddha, O
Brāhma/n/a? Tell us who do not know him, by what may we recognise him?
'For in the hymns are to be found the marks of a great man, and
thirty-two are disclosed altogether, one by one.'
'For him on whose limbs these marks of a great man are to be
found, there are two ways left, a third does not exist.
'If he abides in a dwelling, he will subdue this earth without
rod (or) sword, he will rule with justice.
'And if he departs from his dwelling for the wilderness, he
becomes the saint, incomparable Sambuddha, who has removed the veil
(from the world).
'Ask in your mind about my birth and family, my marks, hymns, and
my other disciples, the head and head-splitting.
'If he is Buddha, the clear-sighted, then he will answer by word
of mouth the questions you have asked in your mind.'
Having heard Bāvarī's words his disciples, sixteen
Brāhma/n/as, A/g/ita, Tissametteyya, Pu/nn/aka, further Mettagū, Dhotaka
and Upasīva, and Nanda, further Hemaka, the two Todeyya and Kappa, and
the wise /G/atuka/nn/ī, Bhadrāvudha and Udaya, and also the Brāhma/n/a
Posāla, and the wise Mogharā/g/an, and the great Isi Pi_n_giya,
All of them, having each their host (of pupils),
and being themselves widely renowned throughout the world, thinkers
delighting in meditation, wise, scented with the perfume of former (good
Having saluted Bāvarī and gone round him towards the right, all
with matted hair and bearing hides, departed with their faces turned to
To Pati/tth/āna of A/l/aka first, then to Māhissatī, and also to
U/gg/enī, Gonaddha, Vedisā, Vanasavhaya,
And also to Kosambī, Sāketa, and Sāvatthī, the most excellent of
cities, to Setavya, Kapilavatthu, and the city of Kusināra,
And to Pāva, the city of wealth, to Vesālī, the city of Magadha,
to Pāsā/n/aka /K/etiya (the Rock Temple), the lovely, the charming.
As he who is athirst (longs for) the cold water, as the merchant
(longs for) gain, as he who is plagued by heat (longs for) shade, so in
haste they ascended the mountain.
And Bhagavat at that time attended by the assembly of the
Bhikkhus taught the Dhamma to the Bhikkhus, and roared like a lion in
A/g/ita beheld Sambuddha as the shining (sun) without (burning)
rays, as the moon on the fifteenth, having reached her plenitude.
Then observing his limbs and all the marks in their fulness,
standing apart, rejoiced, he asked the questions of his mind:--
'Tell me about (my master's) birth, tell me about his family
together with the marks, tell me about his perfection in the hymns, how
many (hymns) does the Brāhma/n/a recite?'
Bhagavat said: 'One hundred and twenty years (is his) age, and by
family he is a Bāvarī; three are his marks on the limbs, and in the
three Vedas he is perfect.
'In the marks and in the Itihāsa together with Nigha/nd/u and
Ke/t/ubha--he recites five hundred--and in his own Dhamma he has reached
A/g/ita thought: 'Explain fully the marks of Bāvarī, O thou best
of men, who cuts off desire; let there be no doubt left for us.'
Bhagavat said: 'He covers his face with his tongue, he has a
circle of hair between the eye-brows, (his) privy member (is) hidden in
a sheath, know this, O young man.'
Not hearing him ask anything, but hearing the questions answered,
the multitude reflected overjoyed and with joined hands:--
'Who, be he a god, or Brahman, or Inda, the husband of Su/g/ā,
asked in his mind those questions, and to whom did that (speech) reply?'
A/g/ita said: 'The head and head-splitting Bāvarī asked about;
explain that, O Bhagavat, remove our doubt, O Isi.'
Bhagavat said: 'Ignorance is the head, know this; knowledge
cleaves the head, together with belief, thoughtfulness, meditation,
determination, and strength.'
Then with great joy having composed himself the young man put his
hide on one shoulder,
fell at (Bhagavat's) feet (and saluted him) with his head, (saying):
'Bāvarī, the Brāhma/n/a, together with his disciples, O thou
venerable man, delighted and glad, does homage to thy feet, O thou
Bhagavat said: 'Let Bāvarī, the Brāhma/n/a, be glad together with
his disciples! Be thou also glad, live long, O young man!
'For Bāvarī and for thee, for all there are all (kinds of) doubt;
having got an opportunity, ask ye whatever you wish.'
After getting permission from Sambuddha, A/g/ita sitting there
with folded hands asked Tathāgata the first question.
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