Moreover, when the Bodhisattva was first born, he radiated a great brilliance which extended universally throughout the ten directions. He walked seven steps, surveyed the four quarters, roared the lion’s roar and then uttered a verse, proclaiming:
“Birth from the womb for me is now ended. This is the very last physical form. Already I have achieved liberation and shall moreover bring deliverance to beings.”
After pronouncing this pledge, in the course of time he grew to adulthood. He sought to relinquish his relatives and retinue, to leave behind the homelife, and to cultivate the unsurpassed Way. He arose in the night and, surveying the sleeping forms of his female entertainers and attendants, his wife and his consorts, beheld them as resembling decaying corpses.
He instructed ChaÜÉaka to saddle his white steed. At midnight they traversed the city wall, rode for twelve
yojanas, and arrived at the forest inhabited by BhÁrgava, the rishi. He then took up a knife, cut off his hair, and exchanged his wonderfully bejewelled raiments for a coarsely-woven
On the banks of the NairañjanÁ River he cultivated bitterly ascetic practices for six years, eating only a sesame seed or a grain of rice each day. He thought to himself, “This method contradicts the Way.”
At that tme, the Bodhisattva left behind the place where he had cultivated such ascetic practices and went and sat at the adamantine place beneath the
bodhi tree. The demon king brought a throng of his minions numbering eighteen myriads of
kotÍs in an attempt to devastate the Bodhisattva. Because of the power of his wisdom and merit, the Bodhisattva overcame the demon hordes and afterwards achieved
anuttarasamyaksambodhi (the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment).
At that time, the ruler of the trichiliocosm, the Brahma Heaven king named ãikhin, the gods of the form realm, ãakradevendra, and the gods of the desire realm as well as the four Heavenly Kings, all came to pay their respects to the Buddha and to encourage and request the World Honored One to commence the turning of the wheel of Dharma. Because of this, the Bodhisattva recalled his original vow, and also because of his great kindness and great compassion, he acceded to the request and proclaimed the Dharma.