The Play in Full
The Visit of King Bimbisāra
Degé Kangyur, vol. 46 (mdo sde, kha), folios 1.b–216.b
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee
under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha
The Play in Full tells the story of how the Buddha manifested in this world and attained awakening, as perceived from the perspective of the Great Vehicle. The sūtra, which is structured in twenty-seven chapters, first presents the events surrounding the Buddha’s birth, childhood, and adolescence in the royal palace of his father, king of the Śākya nation. It then recounts his escape from the palace and the years of hardship he faced in his quest for spiritual awakening. Finally the sūtra reveals his complete victory over the demon Māra, his attainment of awakening under the Bodhi tree, his first turning of the wheel of Dharma, and the formation of the very early saṅgha.
This text was translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee under the supervision of Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche.
Cortland Dahl, Catherine Dalton, Hilary Herdman, Heidi Koppl, James Gentry, and Andreas Doctor translated the text from Tibetan into English. Andreas Doctor and Wiesiek Mical then compared the translations against the original Tibetan and Sanskrit, respectively. Finally, Andreas Doctor edited the translation and wrote the introduction.
The Dharmachakra Translation Committee would like to thank Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche for blessing this project, and Khenpo Sherap Sangpo for his generous assistance with the resolution of several difficult passages.
This translation has been completed under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.
The generous sponsorship of 簡源震及家人江秀敏，簡暐如，簡暐丞 Chien YuanChen (Dharma Das) and his wife, daughter, and son for work on this sūtra is gratefully acknowledged.
Monks, through the blessing of the Bodhisattva, Chanda told King Śuddhodana, the Śākya princess Gopā, the retinue of consorts, and everyone else among the Śākyas what had happened in order to alleviate their suffering. 
Monks, the Bodhisattva first gave his silken robes to a god in the form of a hunter, and then he donned the hunter’s saffron-colored robes. He adopted the lifestyle of a renunciant in order to act in agreement with the perception of worldly people, and also because he felt compassion for others and wished to mature them.
The Bodhisattva then went to the hermitage of a brahmin woman called Śākī. The woman invited the Bodhisattva to stay and have a meal. Next the Bodhisattva went to the hermitage of a brahmin woman called Padmā, who also invited the Bodhisattva to stay for a meal. Later he went to the hermitage of a sagely priest called Raivata, who offered the Bodhisattva hospitality in the same way. Likewise Rājaka, the son of Datṛmadaṇḍika, also invited him as a guest. Monks, in this way the Bodhisattva slowly made his way to the city of Vaiśālī.
At that time Ārāḍa Kālāma had arrived in Vaiśālī, where he resided together with a saṅgha of listeners and three hundred students, to whom he delivered teachings on the practices related to the sense field of utter absence. [F.117.b] When Ārāḍa Kālāma saw the Bodhisattva approaching in the distance, he was amazed and told his students, “Oh, look at his figure!”
The students replied, “Yes, we see him. He is amazing.”
Monks, I then thought to myself, “I have faith. I am also diligent. I am mindful and I can practice absorption. I also have knowledge. So therefore, in order to master and actualize that teaching, I will practice on my own in a solitary place, without getting distracted.”
“Yes, Gautama, indeed I have,” he replied.
I then told him, “I have also understood and actualized this teaching.”
After he made that offer, Ārāḍa Kālāma honored me with exquisite offerings and installed me as a teacher in residence, who would share his duties with him.
Monks, I then thought to myself, “Ārāḍa’s teaching does not bring freedom. It would not bring total freedom from suffering for either of us. So now I must depart and search for a better practice.” [F.118.a]
Monks, since I had now stayed in Vaiśālī for as long as I found enjoyable, I proceeded to the country of Magadha and found my way to Rājagṛha, the capital city of that country. Once there I took up residence at Pāṇḍava, the king of mountains, where I stayed on its slope alone in solitude without any company. At that time many trillions of gods protected me. 
One morning I dressed in the skirt and robes of a mendicant and, holding my offering bowl, I went into the city of Rājagṛha through the Gate of Warm Water and started my alms round. I looked ahead and to both sides and proceeded in a gracious manner, moving my limbs with elegance. I carried the skirt, the offering bowl, and the monk’s robes in a very beautiful manner. My senses were undistracted and my mind was not diverted by outer events. Like an image of someone who is carrying a vase filled with oil, I looked ahead at a distance of six feet.
On this topic, it is said:
’phags pa rgya cher rol pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo (Āryalalitavistaranāmamahāyānasūtra). Toh 95, Degé Kangyur vol. 46 (mdo sde, kha), folios 1b–216b.
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