HUYEN SANG’S TRAVEL TO LUMBINI: A DESCRIPTION
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2013
To the north-east of the arrow well about 80-90 li, we came to Lumbini (Lavani) garden. Here is the bathing tank of the Sakyas, the water of which is bright and clear as a mirror, and the surface covered with a mixture of flowers.
To the north of this 24 or 25 paces there is an Asoka-flower tree, which is now decayed: this is the place where Bodhisattva was born on the eighth day of the second half of the same month, corresponding to the fifteenth day of the third month with us. East from this is a stupa built by Asoka-raja, on the spot where the two dragons bathed the body of the prince. When Bodhisattva was born, he walked without assistance in the direction of the four quarters, seven paces in each direction, and said, “I am the only lord in heaven and earth; from this time forth my births are finished.“ Where his feet had trod there sprang up great lotus flowers. Moreover, two dragons sprang forth, and, fixed in the air, poured down the one a cold and the other a warm water stream from his mouth, to wash the prince.
To the east of this stupa are two fountains of pure water, by the side of which have been built two stupas. This is the place where two dragons appeared from the earth. When Bodhisattva was born, the attendants and household relations hastened in every direction to find water for the use of the child. At this time two springs gurgled forth from the earth just before the queen, the one cold, the other warm, using which they bathed him.
To the south of this is a stupa. This is the spot where Sadra, the lord of Devas, received Bodhisattva in his arms. When Bodhisattva was born from the right side of his mother, the four kings wrapped him in a golden-colored cotton vestment, and placing him on a golden slab (bench) and bringing him to his mother. They said: “The queen may rejoice indeed at having given birth to such a fortunate child!” If the Devas rejoiced at the event, how much more should men!
By the side of these stupas and not far from them remains a great stone pillar on the top of which is the figure of a horse, which was built by Asoka-raja. Afterwards, by the contrivance of a wicked dragon, it was broken off in the middle and fell to the ground. By the side of it is a little river of oil. This is the stream, which the Devas caused to appear as a pure and glistening pool for the queen, when she had brought forth her child, to wash and purify herself in. Now it is changed and become a river, the stream of which still looks unctuous.
(From SI-YU-KI Buddhist Records of the Western World. Translated by Samuel Beal.)
Courtesy @ Amrit Ratna Tuladhar