The king wept pitifully and then uttered a verse:
Those spurious words pronounced by Ajita,
A propitious omen with no validation.
An auspicious entitlement assuring achievements,
But nothing whatsoever was finally gained.
At this time the tree-spirit of the Bodhi tree was in a state of great joy and, taking heavenly mandara flowers, went to the place of the Pure Rice King and spoke forth a verse:
Your son has already gained the Way.
The hordes of demons have been broken and scattered.
His brilliant light is like the rising sun
Everywhere illumining the ten direction lands.
The King said, "Earlier, there was a deity who came and said, 'Your son is already finished.' Now you come and say that he has destroyed the demons and gained the Way. These two pronouncements are contradictory. Whose can be believed?"
The tree spirit continued, "These are true, not false words. That deity who came earlier and who attempted to deceive you by saying, 'He's finished.' was a demon who, because he was overcome with jealousy, came to afflict you. Today, the gods, dragons and spirits make offerings with flowers and incense and suspend celebratory banners in the sky. Your son's body is issuing light which illumines heaven and earth."
When the king heard these words, his mind gained liberation from all anguish and affliction. The King declared, "Although my son forsook the wheel-turning kingship, as he has now attained the Dharma-wheel-turning kingship, he has certainly gained great benefit and nothing has been lost." The King was greatly delighted.
At this time a messenger arrived from the abode of the Bushel-of-Rice King and addressed the Pure Rice King, saying, "Your Highness's younger brother has fathered a son."
The King was greatly delighted and said, "Today is greatly auspicious. It is a day of rejoicing." He said to the messenger who had come, "This boy should be named Ānanda ('Rejoicing')." This is how the name was given by the parents.
How was the giving of the name reliant upon causes and conditions?
Ānanda's physique was as elegant and pure as a fine bright mirror. One's age, one's beauty, and the appearance of one's countenance are all reflected in the body. His body was bright and pure. When women looked upon him they were moved to thoughts of desire. Because of this the Buddha permittedĀnanda to wear his robe with the shoulder covered. Because Ānanda was able to bring delight to the minds and eyes of those who gazed upon him he was named Ānanda ("Rejoicing"). And so here the commentator offers his own words of praise:
His face was like the pure full moon
His eyes like the blue lotus blossom
The waters of the great sea of the Buddhadharma
Flowed into the mind of Ānanda.
He was able to bring to the mind and the eyes
Of those who beheld him a feeling of great joy.
All who came seeking to see the Buddha,
He introduced with unfailing decorum.
(End of "Why Ānanda Was So Called")