Upaka





Now the Blessed One thought: "To whom shall I preach the doctrine

first? My old teachers are dead. They would have received the

good news with joy. But my five disciples are still alive. I

shall go to them, and to them shall I first proclaim the gospel

of deliverance."



At that time the five bhikkhus dwelt in the Deer Park at Benares,

and the Blessed One rose and journeyed to their abode, not

thinking of their unkindness in having left him at a time when he

was most in need of their sympathy and help, but mindful only of

the services which they had ministered unto him, and pitying them

for the austerities which they practised in vain.



Upaka, a young Brahman and a Jain, a former acquaintance of

Siddhattha, saw the Blessed One while he journeyed to Benares,

and, amazed at the majesty and sublime joyfulness of his

appearance, said: "Thy countenance, friend, is serene; thine eyes

are bright and indicate purity and blessedness."



The holy Buddha replied: "I have obtained deliverance by the

extinction of self. My body is chastened, my mind is free from

desire, and the deepest truth has taken abode in my heart. I have

obtained Nirvana, and this is the reason that my countenance is

serene and my eyes are bright. I now desire to found the kingdom

of truth upon earth, to give light to those who are enshrouded in

darkness and to open the gate of deathlessness."



Upaka replied: "Thou professest then, friend, to be Jina, the

conqueror of the world, the absolute one and the holy one."



The Blessed One said: "Jinas are all those who have conquered

self and the passions of self, those alone are victors who

control their minds and abstain from evil. Therefore, Upaka, I am

the Jina."



Upaka shook his head. "Venerable Gotama," he said, "thy way lies

yonder," and taking another road, he went away.





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