The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The Ascetic Kāladevala [vv. 118-128]

The ascetic Kāladevala, who had supernatural power and great wisdom, was the family advisor of the devout King Suddhodana. At the end of his meal, he went to Heaven and sat down to spend the day there. He saw that the Gods had put on festive clothes and were sporting around, and he asked them the reason for their great joy, and they answered him: “In the city of Kapilavatthu there is born to King Suddhodana a son, who, near the Bodhi Tree, will become a Buddha.” After hearing about this, with his mind joyful and elated he instantly departed from there and entered King Suddhodana's dwelling. While sitting on the prepared seat, the seer said: “It seems, Great King, an unsurpassed and sagacious son has been born to you, I long to see him”.

The King, summoned the Prince, and approached to make him pay his respects to Kāladevala, but instantly, by the power of the Prince's virtues, his delightful lotus-like feet turned about and were placed on the ascetic's head - in that life there was no one in the three realms of existence the Supreme Man should pay respects to. If the head of the Protector of the Three Worlds had been placed at the ascetic's feet the ascetic's head would surely have split asunder. And so with his hands raised in reverential salutation to the Hero, Kāladevala thought: “It is not suitable to destroy myself.”

The Lord of Men Suddhodana, the God beyond all Gods, having seen that wonder, was satisfied, and paid great respect to his son's tender, beautiful, wheel-marked lotus feet.