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The Gospel of Buddha:Chapter 85: Following the Master Over the Stream

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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South of Savatthi is a great river,
on the banks of which lay a hamlet of five hundred houses.
Thinking of the salvation of the people,
the World-honoured One resolved to go to the village and preach the doctrine.
Having come to the riverside he sat down beneath a tree,
and the villagers seeing the glory of his appearance approached him with reverence;
but when he began to preach, they believed him not. [1]

When the world-honoured Buddha had left Savatthi
Sariputta felt a desire to see the Lord and to hear him preach.
Coming to the river where the water was deep and the current strong,
he said to himself:
"This stream shall not prevent me.
I shall go and see the Blessed One,"
and he stepped upon the water
which was as firm under his feet as a slab of granite. [2]

When he arrived at a place in the middle of the stream where the waves were high,
Sariputta's heart gave way, and he began to sink.
But rousing his faith and renewing his mental effort,
he preceded as before and reached the other bank. [3]

The people of the village were astonished to see Sariputta,
and they asked how he could cross the stream
where there was neither a bridge nor a ferry. [4]

And Sariputta replied:
"I lived in ignorance until I heard the voice of the Buddha.
As I was anxious to hear the doctrine of salvation,
I crossed the river and I walked over its troubled waters because I had faith.
Faith, nothing else, enabled me to do so,
and now I am here in the bliss of the Master's presence." [5]

The World-honoured One added:
"Sariputta, thou hast spoken well.
Faith like thine alone can save the world from the yawning gulf of migration
and enable men to walk dryshod to the other shore." [6]

And the Blessed One urged to the villagers the necessity
of ever advancing in the conquest of sorrow
and of casting off all shackles
so as to cross the river of worldliness
and attain deliverance from death. [7]

Hearing the words of the Tathagata,
the villagers were filled with joy
and believing in the doctrines of the Blessed One
embraced the five rules and took refuge in his name. [8]

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Source

mountainman.com.au