CHAPTER XII. EXERTION
Thereafter the Bodhisattva Bhaishagyarâga and the Bodhisattva Mahâpratibhâna, with a retinue of twenty hundred thousand Bodhisattvas, spoke before the face of the Lord the following words: Let the Lord be at ease in this respect; we will after the extinction of the Tathâgata expound this Paryâya to (all) creatures, though we are aware, O Lord, that at that period there shall be malign beings, having few roots of goodness, conceited, fond of gain and honour, rooted in unholiness, difficult to tame, deprived of good will, and full of unwillingness. Nevertheless, O Lord, we will at that period read, keep, preach, write, honour, respect, venerate, worship this Sûtra; with sacrifice of body and life, O Lord, we will divulge this Sûtra. Let the Lord be at ease.
Thereupon five hundred monks of the assembly, both such as were under training and such as were not, said to the Lord: We also, O Lord, will exert ourselves to divulge this Dharmaparyâya, though in other worlds. Then all the disciples of the Lord, both such as were under training and such as were not, who had received from the Lord the prediction as to their (future) supreme enlightenment, all the eight thousand monks raised their joined hands towards the Lord and said: Let the Lord be at case. We also will divulge this Dharmaparyâya, after the complete extinction of the Lord, in the last days, the last period, though in other worlds. For in this Saha-world, O Lord, the creatures are conceited, possessed of few roots of goodness, always vicious in their thoughts, wicked, and naturally perverse.
Then the noble matron Gautamî, the sister of the Lord's mother, along with six hundred nuns, some of them being under training, some being not, rose from her seat, raised the joined hands towards the Lord and remained gazing up to him. Then the Lord addressed the noble matron Gautamî: Why dost thou stand so dejected, gazing up to the Tathâgata? (She replied): I have not been mentioned by the Tathâgata, nor have I received from him a prediction of my destiny to supreme, perfect enlightenment. (He said): But, Gautamî, thou hast received a prediction with the prediction regarding the whole assembly. Indeed, Gautamî, thou shalt from henceforward, before the face of thirty-eight hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Buddhas, be a Bodhisattva and preacher of the law. These six thousand nuns also, partly perfected in discipline, partly not, shall along with others become Bodhisattvas and preachers of the law before the face of the Tathâgatas. Afterwards, when thou shalt have completed the course of a Bodhisattva, thou shalt become, under the name of Sarvasattvapriyadarsana (i. e. lovely to see for all beings), a Tathâgata, an Arhat, &c., endowed with science and conduct, &c. &c. And that Tathâgata Sarvasattvapriyadarsana, O Gautami, shall give a prediction by regular succession to those six thousand Bodhisattvas concerning their destiny to supreme, perfect enlightenment.
Then the nun Yasodharâ, the mother of Rahula, thought thus: The Lord has not mentioned my name. And the Lord comprehending in his own mind what was going on in the mind of the nun Yasodharâ said to her: I announce to thee, Yasodharâ, I declare to thee: Thou also shalt before the face of ten thousand kotis of Buddhas become a Bodhisattva and preacher of the law, and after regularly completing the course of a Bodhisattva thou shalt become a Tathâgata, named Rasmisatasahasraparipûrnadhvaga, an Arhat, &c., endowed with science and conduct, &c. &c., in the world Bhadra; and the lifetime of that Lord Rasmisatasahasrapariptirnadhvaga shall be unlimited.
When the noble matron Gautami, the nun, with her suite of six thousand nuns, and Yasodhara, the nun, with her suite of four thousand nuns, heard from the Lord their future destiny to supreme, perfect enlio,htenment, they uttered, in wonder and amazement, this stanza:
1. O Lord, thou art the trainer, thou art the leader; thou art the master of the world, including the gods; thou art the giver of comfort, thou who art worshipped by men and gods. Now, indeed, we feel satisfied.
Thereafter the Lord looked towards the eighty hundred thousand Bodhisattvas who were gifted with magical spells and capable of moving forward the wheel that never rolls back. No sooner were those Bodhisattvas regarded by the Lord than they rose from their seats, raised their joined hands towards the Lord and reflected thus: The Lord invites us to make known the Dharmaparyâya. Agitated by that thought they asked one another: What shall we do, young men of good family, in order that this Dharmaparyâya may in future be made known as the Lord invites us to do? Thereupon those young men of good family, in consequence of their reverence for the Lord and their own pious vow in their previous course, raised a lion's roar before the Lord: We, O Lord, will in future, after the complete extinction of the Lord, go in all directions in order that creatures shall write, keep, meditate, divulge this Dharmaparyâya, by no other's power but the Lord's. And the Lord, staying in another world, shall protect, defend, and guard us.
4. At that dreadful last epoch men will be malign, crooked, wicked, dull, conceited, fancying to have come to the limit when they have not.
12. And those fools who will not listen to us, shall (sooner or later) become enlightened, and therefore will we forbear to the last.
19. We will visit towns and villages everywhere, and transmit to those who care for it thine entrusted deposit, O Lord.