The Grass Mat
Shakyamuni Buddha’s Diamond Throne
Now, very late that afternoon, just as the rays of the westering sun gilded the trees with a prodigal burst of glowing color, Gautama rose up like a lion bestirring himself and set out on the way back to his forest hermitage. And there, on the road which the wind had paved with fragrant flowers, the Bodhisattva met a grasscutter by the name of Svastika, And when Svastika saw the Great Being, he gave him eight handfuls of the sweet-scented grass he was carrying.
The Bodhisattva took the grass, intending to make with it a seat for sitting in deep meditation.
In Gautama’s forest grove hermitage near Gaya there was a spreading pipal tree; and on coming to it the Bodhisattva regarded it with an eye of supernormal intuition and perceived that the pipal was a “Bodhi tree”—a tree under which a Bodhisattva might sit to attain the transcendental Wisdom of Buddhahood.
He took his bundle of grass and shook it out under the tree to form a seat on the eastern side of the tree trunk. And he seated himself cross-legged upon the mat of grass which had assumed a shape so perfect that not even the most skillful painter or carver could have designed it. This was indeed the Diamond Throne of Enlightenment!
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