The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The Rolling of the Dhamma Wheel [vv. 304-327]

Then the Buddha rose from the Goat-Herder's Tree, emitting the shining Buddha-rays, like the sun rising with great light into the sky over the mountain, like a shining and bright jewel-light. Then he rejoiced Upaka and so on, and gradually covered an 18-league road, which resounded with the sound of a host of bees active in the blossoming trees. So the Famous One went to the supreme Deer Park, which was continuously resounding with countless birds, and perfumed with the scent of blossoming lotuses.

Then, in that place, the Group of Five ascetics, having seen the God of Gods, the Sole Protector of the Three Realms of Existence, the One who Sees to the End of the World, the Hero with beautiful limbs, the Lion King of Sages, the Fortunate One, counselled an evil counsel:

“Friends! This ascetic, having enjoyed gross food and drink, now has a very beautiful complexion and a full body, we should not pay respects to him. However, he is born into a great lineage, is venerable, and has been a chief in the world, he is worthy of being offered a seat, therefore let us prepare a seat.”

Then the Gracious One, with keen intelligence, having understood their thoughts, destroyed their conceitedness with the fragrant breeze of his friendliness. And they, being unable to maintain their agreement, paid their respects to the Devout One, the Protector of the World.

The sages, not knowing that the King of Sages had become a Buddha, all spoke to him using the term ‘Friend’. Then, the Knower of the Worlds, the Protector of the World, addressed them saying: “Do not speak to the Teacher using the term ‘Friend’. Monks! I am the Realised One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha, the Supreme One”, and so he made known to them that he was a Buddha.

Then he sat down on the beautiful seat they had prepared, and addressed with his Divine voice those elders adorned with the ornament of virtue. At that time, while surrounded by countless tens of millions of Supreme Divinities, he destroyed the blind mass of delusion, and showed them the light of his delightful Dhamma with his lotus-like intelligence, and set rolling the Dhamma-Wheel with his radiant teaching.

Thus in the battle-ground known as the Deer Grove, like a mighty king, the King of the Dhamma, took up the delightful sword-like teaching with the hand of wisdom, and cut down the defilements, which, like an enemy, always work for the great harm of the people, and beat the victory drum of the Dhamma, raised its very difficult to attain flag of victory, and established its supreme victory pillar.

The Safety-Maker, a charming sight while going along, became the Sole King of the World, delighting in the World's welfare, and desirous of leading all people to the City of Nibbāna, he liberated them from the vast bondage of Saṁsāra. Reaching the road to Uruvela, which was like a road in Heaven, like the top of Meru, the Golden Mountain, and making thirty of the august group of young princes drink the supreme elixir of the three deathless paths, and giving them the supreme going-forth, the Sambuddha sent them off saying: “Monks, walk on pilgrimage for the welfare of the world.”

Then reaching Uruvela, he cut off the inner tangle and the outer tangle of the tangled-haired ones, and made them attain the high road. The Supreme One, surrounded by those Free from the Pollutants, like the moon surrounded by the stars, greatly beautified the clearings in all directions with the supreme ornament of his six-coloured rays, which satisfied even the eyes of the birds.