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“. Being poor and needy,' he replied, “I was working for wages, for the relief of my necessities. My master, seeing my sad condition, employed me with entire confidence, promising, at the end of five years, to reward me most liberally. On this, I laboured diligently, forgetting pain and fatigue. But, when the fifth year had almost expired, having one day committed an offence, I was shamefully beaten, and could obtain nothing. Thinking on this misfortune, I am consumed with chagrin, (and I ask myself) who will take pity on me?'
“The recluse directed him to accompany him. On their arriving at his hut, by the aid of a metamorphosis, wrought by his magical power, he obtained for him, in an instant, an excellent repast. Then he made him bathe in the reservoir, clothed him with new garments, and gave him five hundred pieces of gold, adding : When you shall have spent them, you must come and ask me for more. I beg it of you not to scorn me.'
“From that time, he often gave him valuable presents, secretly lavished great kindness upon him, and filled his heart with gratitude. The valiant champion asked that he might sacrifice his life to repay all these favours.
“'I was seeking for a brave champion,' said the recluse to him, and now, after a great number of years, I have had the good fortune to find him in you; and your remarkable aspect answers to the image of him which I had pictured to myself. I have only one thing to ask of you, which is, simply not to utter a word during an entire night.'
“Why do you speak,' answered the champion, of merely keeping silence ? I would not refuse even to die for you.
“On this, he constructed an altar; and, in order to acquire the divine art of the ķishis, he did everything according to the prescribed formula. He sat down, waiting for the setting of the sun. As night drew on, each acquitted himself of his respective duty. The recluse recited magical prayers; and the brave champion held his sharp sabre in his hand. But, a little before dawn, suddenly he uttered piercing cries. At this moment, a mass of fire descended from heaven, and volumes of flame and smoke rose like clouds. The recluse forthwith carried away the man, and
made him enter the reservoir, that he might escape death; and then he questioned him thus: 'I admonished you to maintain silence. Why did you utter cries of terror ?'
“The champion replied : “After I had received your orders, and the middle of the night had arrived, my spirit was troubled, as though in a dream; and wondrous portents appeared, one after another, to my eyes. I saw my old master, who came and accosted me with kind words. Although I cherished lively gratitude for his kindnesses, yet I controlled myself, without answering him a single word. The man became angry. I was immediately put to death, and remained, for some time, in that sad condition. On beholding my own corpse, I heaved deep sighs; and I also resolved not to speak for ages, in acknowledgement of your generosity. Shortly after, I was born again, in the house of a Bráhman, in Central India. When my new mother had conceived me, and brought me into the world, I endured all sorts of pains and hardships. Always impressed with a sense of your goodness, I never uttered a single word. When I had finished my studies, put on the cap of manhood, and contracted marriage, I lost my father and mother, and my wife presented me with a son. On thinking, day by day, of your bygone kindnesses, I still controlled myself, and refrained from speaking. All my relations and neighbours were astonished at my silence. When I had passed the age of sixty-five years, my wife said to me : “ You must speak; and, if you persist in your silence, I will kill your son.”
“I then said to myself: “I am well advanced in years, and I already see myself broken by old age ; this infant is my only child." If I uttered those cries, it was only to disarm my wife, and to prevent her from killing it.'
“It is my fault,' replied the recluse. "All this perturbation was only the work of Mára (the demon).'
“ The brave champion testified his gratitude to him. He groaned bitterly at the failure of his design, and died of indignation and anger. As he had escaped the disaster of the fire, the reservoir was called the Saviour-Reservoir (Jívakahrada ?); and, inasmuch as this man perished for wishing to display his gratitude, –also, the Reservoir of the Hero (Tyágihrada ?).”
To the west of the “Reservoir of the Hero” (Tyágihrada ?), is the Stupa of the three quadrupeds. In the age when Jou-laï (the Tathagata) was leading the life of a Pou-sa (Bodhisattwa), it was at this place that he burnt his body. In the beginning of the kalpas (ages) there were, in this forest, a fox, a hare, and a monkey, who, although of different species, were united by a close friendship. At that time, Chi (Sakra), the master of the gods, wished to make proof of those who were leading the life of a Bodhisattwa. He descended upon the earth, and, assuming the appearance of an old man, spoke thus to these three animals : “My children, do you take pleasure in this peaceful and retired spot? Do you feel no fear?”
“We tread upon the tufted herbage,” they replied ; "we roam in a thick forest; and, although we are of different species, we take pleasure together; we are tranquil and happy."
“Having leamed,” rejoined the old man, “ that you were bound in a close friendship, forgetting the burthen of age, I have come from a great distance expressly to find you out. To-day I am oppressed with hunger. What will you give me to eat ? ”
"Be so good,” said they, “as to remain here a little, while we run and make search.”
On this, forgetting their own interests, and animated with a common spirit, they went away, each apart from the rest, in quest of food. The fox, having skirted a river, brought between his teeth a fresh carp; the monkey gathered fruits and flowers, of great rarity, from the depth of the forest. Then they reassembled at the place where the old man had halted, and
began to gambol from right to left.
“From what I see,” remarked the old man to him, "you have not shared in the sentiments of the monkey and the fox. Each of them has given me proof of his devotion ; but the hare has returned empty, and he alone has not given me food. These words suffice for making him understood.”
The hare, on hearing these severe reproaches, spoke thus to the fox and the monkey: “Gather together a quantity of wood and grass ; and I will then do something."
At these words, the fox and monkey ran, emulously, and brought grass and branches. When they had made a high heap of them, and a strong fire was about to be kindled, the hare said: "Oman, full of humanity, I am small and feeble; and, as I was unable to find what I sought after, I venture to offer my humble body to furnish a repast for you.”
Scarcely had he ceased speaking, when he cast himself into the fire, and there died immediately.
At that instant, the old man resumed his form of king of the gods (Sakra), collected the bones of the hare, and, having for a long time heaved sorrowful sighs, said to the fox and the monkey: “How is it that he was the only one able to make such a sacrifice ? I am powerfully affected by his devotion; and, not to let the memory of it perish, I will place him in the disk of the moon, so that his name may go down to posterity.”
Hence, all the natives of India say, that it is since this event occurred that a hare has been seen in the moon.
In after times, a Stúpa was erected at this spot.
Respecting Divodás, Professor Wilson says :—“Some rather curious legends are connected with this prince, in the Váyu and Brahma Puráņas, and Hari Vamśa, and, especially, in the Káśí Khaņda of the Skanda Puráņa. According to these authorities, Siva and Párvatí, desirous of occupying Kási, which Divodása possessed, sent Nikumbha, one of the Gaņas of the former, to lead the prince to the adoption of Buddhist doctrines ; in consequence of which, he was expelled from the sacred city, and, according to the Váyu, founded another on the banks of the Gomatí.
“Some further illustration is derivable from the Mahabharata, Santi-Parvan, Dána-dharma. Haryaswa, the king of the Káśis, reigning between the Ganges and the Yamuná (or in the Doab), was invaded and slain by the Haihayas, a race descended, according to this authority, from Saryati, the son of Manu. Sudeva, the son of Haryaswa, was also attacked and defeated by the same enemies. Divodása, his son, built and fortified Benares, as a defence against the Haihayas ; but in vain ; for they took it, and compelled him to fly. He sought refuge with Bharadwája, by whose favour he had a son born to him, Pratardana, who destroyed the Haihayas, under their king Vítahavya, and re-established the kingdom of Káśi.”
Professor Wilson's Translation of the Vishnu Puráņa (Hall's edition), vol. iv., pp. 33, 40.