The Play in Full
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, at the time of the constellation of Citrā, after the constellation of Hastā had passed, the chief priest of the king, who was called Udayana, the father of Udāyin, [F.64.b] went before King Śuddhodana surrounded by some five hundred priests and said, “Your Majesty, please know that it is now proper for ornaments to be made for the prince.”
The king replied, “Very well, then do it.”
At that time King Śuddhodana had five hundred types of ornaments made by five hundred Śākyas. He commissioned bracelets, anklets, crowns, necklaces, rings, earrings, armbands, golden belts, golden threads, nets of bells, nets of gems, shoes bedecked with jewels, garlands adorned with various gems, jeweled bangles, chokers, and diadems. When the ornaments were completed the Śākyas went before King Śuddhodana at the time of the constellation of Puṣya and said, “King, please ornament the prince.”
The king replied, “It is better if you ornament the prince and make these offerings to him, since I have commissioned the ornaments for the prince.”
They replied, “The prince should wear these ornaments that we have made for seven days and nights. This will make our efforts meaningful.”
At dawn, as the sun rose, the Bodhisattva entered the park known as Stainless Array, where Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī took him onto her lap. Eighty thousand women welcomed the Bodhisattva and gazed at his countenance. Ten thousand girls welcomed the Bodhisattva and gazed at his countenance. Ten thousand Śākyas welcomed the Bodhisattva and gazed at his countenance. Five thousand priests also arrived and  gazed at the Bodhisattva’s countenance. [F.65.a] Then the ornaments that had been commissioned by the gracious king of the Śākyas were fastened onto the Bodhisattva’s body.
As soon as the ornaments were placed on the Bodhisattva’s body, the radiance of his body eclipsed their luster. They did not glitter or gleam, and they lost all their shine. They were just like a lump of coal that is placed next to gold from the Jambū River—it also does not glitter, gleam, or shine. In the same way, when the ornaments were struck by the light radiating from the Bodhisattva’s body, they lost all their glitter, gleam, and shine. And thus it was that any ornament that was placed on the Bodhisattva’s body lost its luster, like a lump of soot thrown before gold from the Jambū River.
This concludes the ninth chapter, on the ornaments.
’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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