Shakyamuni while in the Causal Stages (of Bodhisattvahood) Cuts His Own Flesh

The Buddha spoke, “At that time there was a chakravartin  ‘wheel-turning’ king who in his quest of the Buddhist law, issued an order throughout the land ‘Who can explain the Buddha’s Law?’ All responses were ‘There is no one’. But there was a Brahmin who understood the Buddha’s law so the king went out to meet him, inviting him to enter the main hall of his palace, and spread out a seat on the imperial dais for him. All those former great worthies desired to sit in this seat. Then the great king saw the teacher, and upon seeing him, joined his hands together and said, ‘Great master, (you will) explain the Buddhist Law, yes?’ The master said, ’King, you are really foolish; I studied (the Buddhist) law and for a long time suffered severe hardships. Because of it, I have obtained salvation. Great king, state why you are truly desirous to hear the Law. If you can on your kingly body make 1000 cuts and burn lanterns in offering then I will tell you; if not, I will go.’

The great king then thought to himself and informed the great teacher saying, ‘Whatever offering (you) need, I will provide and shall do so at once without delay.’ The king then entered saying to all of his women, ‘I have prince[s] (to take my place) who with you will be separated (from me). Now I am going to part from you. Please come with me to this master and support one another and avoid fault. Those who want to be filial sons do not always understand their father’s views.’

When the king visited the master’s dwelling, he sat down bolt upright, and told all of his subjects, ‘Who is able to cut me causing wounds?’ At that time there was (a certain man named) Candala. In front of the king he said, ‘You desire a person (who can) cut your body, I am capable of this.’ The king heard this and was joyful, ‘You today are truly my peerless companion.’ Then Candala grasped a knife and cut (the king), thereafter hastily walking out. The great king then poured oil into his bodily wounds and fetching coarse fabric, he made wicks to burn. Upon seeing these things, the great master told the king, ‘Your energetic perseverance being such as this, (you) are able to do that which is difficult to do, performing such austerities. I will now proclaim a half-verse for the king, ‘Whatever is born is destined to die. Extinction (of this cycle) is happiness.’

Upon hearing the teachings, the king informed all of his people, ‘Remember to uphold the Buddhist law.’ Those who saw and heard this quickly aroused the aspiration for peerless bodhi. Thus the great king burnt (his) lamps in offering, his brilliance illuminating the far distance. Of the gathering of the multitudes, all aroused the aspiration for the Way, and left happily. For this reason, this chakravartin king was namely the Thus-Come One.”

释迦因地剜肉 大藏佛言:尔时转轮圣王为求佛法,故便处宣令‘谁解佛法’。皆云言:‘无’。有婆罗门解知佛法。时王出迎请入正殿,敷坐御座,前诸大德,愿坐此座。尔时大王见师,见已,合掌自言:大师解佛法耶?师言:王大愚也,吾学□法,久受勤苦,因乃得成,大王云何直欲得闻。若能就王身上,剜作千疮,燃灯供养,吾为汝说。不尔,吾去耳,大王即自思惟,报大师言:所需供养,当迅及时。王入言报诸夫人,吾有太子,今共汝别,请我诣师,相许供养,不得运错,夫为孝子,不达父意。王诣师所,端身正坐,告诸大臣,谁能剜吾令疮?时有旖陀罗,前语王言:欲剜身者,我能为之。王闻欢喜,汝今真是我无上道伴。时旖陀罗持刀剜已,驰走而去。尔时大王,于身疮灌油,取油毡为炷。尔时大师见事已,告大王言:精进如是,难为能为,修此苦行,今当为王,宣说半偈,云:夫生辄死,此灭为乐。王闻法已,告诸人民,忆持是法。其见闻者,速发无上菩提心。尔时大王燃灯供养,其明远照,一切众会,皆发道心,欢喜而去。是故转轮圣王,即是如来。