The Play in Full
Going to the Temple
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, on the very evening of the Bodhisattva’s birth, there were twenty thousand girls born among the ruling class, the priestly class, the merchants, and the householders, such as the landowners. All of them were offered to the Bodhisattva by their parents to serve and honor him. King Śuddhodana also gave twenty thousand girls to the Bodhisattva to serve and honor him. His friends, his ministers, his  kinfolk, and his blood relatives also offered twenty thousand girls to serve and honor the Bodhisattva. [F.63.a] Finally the members of ministerial assemblies also offered twenty thousand girls to serve and honor the Bodhisattva.
King Śuddhodana replied, “Yes, it would be excellent for him to worship in this way. Therefore, let the city be decorated! Ornament the streets, crossroads, intersections, and marketplaces. Send away all the hunchbacks and all the blind, deaf, and mute people, as well as anyone who is deformed or crippled. Gather everything auspicious! Beat the drums of merit and ring the bells of auspiciousness. Ornament the gates of this excellent city. Play the most pleasant instruments, cymbals, and drums. Assemble all the local lords and gather the merchants, householders, ministers, gatekeepers, and all the local people. Prepare chariots for the girls. Procure brimming vases. Gather the priests who are experts in recitation. Ornately decorate the temples.”
Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī replied, “Of course,” and dressed the prince lavishly.
While the prince was being dressed, with a slight smile and no hint of annoyance, he spoke these pleasant words to his maternal aunt: “Mother, where are you taking me?”
She replied, “Son, I am taking you to the temple.” [F.63.b]
The prince then smiled, laughed, and spoke these verses to his maternal aunt:
Monks, once the main streets, crossroads, intersections, and markets had been richly ornamented, with praises and benedictions of all kinds posted around the city, a richly ornamented chariot was prepared for the prince in the inner courtyard. With all auspicious circumstances having been arranged in this manner, King Śuddhodana lifted the prince onto his lap. Surrounded by priests, townspeople, merchants, householders, ministers, local lords, gatekeepers, local people, friends, and kinfolk, they traveled through the richly ornamented roads, intersections, crossroads, and marketplaces, which were enveloped in the fragrant scent of incense and strewn with flower petals, filled with horses, elephants, chariots, and foot soldiers, with parasols, victory banners, and flags held aloft, and resounding with many instruments. At that time a hundred thousand gods led the Bodhisattva’s chariot. Many hundreds of millions of gods and maidens scattered flowers from the sky above and played cymbals.
Monks, King Śuddhodana, accompanied by the great royal procession, splendor, and ceremony, brought the prince to the temple. As soon as the Bodhisattva placed his right foot in the temple, [F.64.a] the insentient  statues of the gods, such as Śiva, Skanda, Nārāyaṇa, Kubera, Candra, Sūrya, Vaiśravaṇa, Śakra, Brahmā, and the guardians of the world, all stood up from their seats and prostrated at the Bodhisattva’s feet. Right then a hundred thousand gods and humans cried out in amazement and delight. The fine city of Kapilavastu trembled in six ways. A rain of divine flowers fell, and a hundred thousand divine instruments sounded without even being played. Then the various statues in the temple all returned to their seats and spoke these verses:
Monks, when the Bodhisattva entered the temple, three million two hundred thousand gods gave rise to the intention to attain unexcelled, perfect, and complete awakening. Monks, these are the circumstances and causes related to the Bodhisattva’s equanimity as he was brought to the temple.
This concludes the eighth chapter, on going to the temple. 
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