Translations

Tuṣita’s Outer Assembly’s Indulgent Attachment To Desires’ Joys 兜率外众耽著欲乐

《大唐西域记》卷第五(六国)节录
Excerpt from ‘The Great Táng Dynasty Record of the Western Regions: Fascicle V: Six Countries’, [from Kanyākubja to Viṣaka, as translated to English by Li Rongxi]

三藏法师玄奘奉  诏译
By Tripiṭaka Dharma Master Xuánzàng with decree received and translated  

自此东南行六百馀里,渡殑(qíng)伽河,南至阿踰(yú)陀国(中印度境)。阿踰陀国,周五千余里。国大都城周二十余里。…

I crossed the Ganges to the south and reached the country of Ayodhyā (in the domain of Central India). The country of Ayodhyā is more than five thousand li in circuit and its capital city is over twenty li in circuit…  

城西南五六里大菴(ān)没罗林中,有故伽蓝,是阿僧伽(唐言无著)菩萨请益导凡之处。无著菩萨夜昇天宫,于慈氏菩萨所受《瑜伽师地论》、《莊严大乘经论》、《中边分别论》等,昼为大众讲宣妙理。菴没罗林西北百余步,有如来发、爪窣堵波(sùdǔbō: stupa)。其侧故基,是世亲菩萨从睹史多天下见无著菩萨处。  

In a great mango grove five or six li to the southwest of the city there is an old monastery where Asaṅga Bodhisattva (known as Wuzhuo, “No Attachment,” in Chinese) received instructions and guided the common people. At night he ascended to the place of Maitreya Bodhisattva in [Tuṣita] Heaven to learn the Yogācārabhūmi-śāstra, the Mahāyānasūtrālaṃkāra-śāstra, the Madhyāntavibhāga-śāstra, [and other texts]; in the daytime he lectured on the marvelous principles to a large audience. More than one hundred paces to the northwest of the mango grove is a stupa containing hair and nail relics of the Tathāgata. The old foundations beside it mark the place where Vasubandhu Bodhisattva descended from Tuṣita Heaven to see Asaṅga Bodhisattva.  

无著菩萨,健驮逻国人也,佛去世后一千年中,诞灵利见,承风悟道,从弥沙塞部出家修学,顷之回信大乘。

Asaṅga Bodhisattva, a native of the country of Gandhāra, was a man of virtue born one thousand years after the demise of the Buddha and realized the Way after receiving edification. He became a monk of the Mahīśāsaka school to learn its teachings, but soon afterward he turned his mind toward the Mahayana doctrines. 

其弟世亲菩萨于说一切有部出家受业,博闻强识,达学研机。

His younger brother, Vasubandhu Bodhisattva, became a monk of the Sarvāstivāda school to receive an education. He was a man of wide learning with a retentive memory, and he possessed comprehensive knowledge and probed into its essence. 

无著弟子佛陀僧诃(唐言师子觉)者,密行莫测,高才有闻。

Asaṅga’s disciple Buddhasiṃha (known as Shizijue, “Buddha Lion”) was a monk who observed the disciplinary rules immaculately and was well known for his high talents.  

二三贤哲每相谓曰:「凡修行业,愿觐(jìn)慈氏,若先捨寿,得遂宿心,当相报语,以知所至。」

These two or three sagely persons often said among themselves that since the purpose of their spiritual cultivation was to see Maitreya in person [in their next rebirth], whoever among them died first and fulfilled his long-cherished wish should come back to inform the others where he had been reborn. 

其后师子觉先捨寿命,三年不报。

Buddhasiṃha died first but he did not come back to report his whereabouts for three years. 

*世亲菩萨寻亦捨寿,时经六月,亦无报命。

Later Vasubandhu Bodhisattva passed away but he too did not report back after six months. 

时诸异学咸皆讥诮(qiào),以为世亲菩萨及师子觉,流转恶趣,遂无灵鉴(jiàn)。

The heretics sneered at them, deeming that Vasubandhu Bodhisattva and Buddhasiṃha had been reborn in an evil state and so they could not show any spiritual response. 

其后无著菩萨于夜初分,方为门人教授定法,灯光忽翳(yì),空中大明,有一天仙乘虚下降,即进阶庭敬礼无著。

Asaṅga Bodhisattva was instructing his disciples in the methods of practicing meditation one night when the lamplight suddenly faded out and a great brightness appeared in the sky. A heavenly being descended from the air and entered the courtyard to worship Asaṅga,

无著曰:「尔来何暮?今名何谓?」

who asked him, “Why do you come so late? What is your name now?” 

对曰:「从此捨寿命,往睹史多天慈氏内众莲华中生,莲华才开,慈氏赞曰:『善来广慧,善来广慧。』

[The heavenly being] said in reply, “After my death here I repaired to Tuṣita Heaven, where I was born from a lotus flower in the inner department of the heaven. When the lotus flower opened Maitreya said to me with praise, ‘Welcome, Guanghui (“Vast Wisdom”)! Welcome, Guanghui!’

旋绕才周,即来报命。」

As soon as I had just finished circumambulating him once, I descended to report this to you.” 

无著菩萨曰:「师子觉者,今何所在?」

Asaṅga Bodhisattva asked, “Where is Buddhasiṃha now?” 

曰:旋绕时,见师子觉在外众中,耽著欲乐无暇相顾,讵(jù)能来报?」 

The reply was, “When I was circumambulating [Maitreya], I saw Buddhasiṃha in the outer department indulging himself in sensual pleasures, and he was so busy that he had scarcely any time to look at me, much less come down to report to you!” 

无著菩萨曰:「斯事已矣。慈氏何相?演说何法?」

Asaṅga Bodhisattva said, “Let it be so. Now what does Maitreya look like? What Dharma does he preach?” 

曰:「慈氏相好,言莫能宣。演说妙法,义不异此。然菩萨妙音,清畅和雅,闻者忘倦,受者无厌。」

The reply was, “His features are so beautiful that they are beyond description. He preached on the wonderful Dharma, of which the purports were the same as you have explained here. The bodhisattva has a melodious voice, so fluent and elegant that those who hear it forget about fatigue and his students never feel bored.”  


* 注:世亲菩萨[曰]无著菩萨:「我… 见师子觉在外众中,耽著欲乐」  

* Note (Retranslated): Vasubandhu Bodhisattva [said to] Asaṅga Bodhisattva, ‘[At Tuṣita heaven], I… saw Buddhasiṃhá at [the] outer assembly within, indulging [in] attachment [to the five] desires’ joys [of wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep].’ 

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