Sacred Books of the East

Part 8 out of 9

going, for their sakes he would light the lamp of wisdom; say then! why
would you extinguish it? All flesh engulfed and overwhelmed in the great
sea of birth and death, this one prepares the boat of wisdom; say then!
why destroy and sink it? Patience is the sprouting of religion, firmness
its root, good conduct is the flower, the enlightened heart the boughs
and branches. Wisdom supreme the entire tree, the 'transcendent law' the
fruit, its shade protects all living things; say then! why would you cut
it down? Lust, hate, and ignorance, are the rack and bolt, the yoke
placed on the shoulder of the world; through ages long he has practised
austerities to rescue men from these their fetters. He now shall
certainly attain his end, sitting on this right-established throne; as
all the previous Buddhas, firm and compact like a diamond. Though all
the earth were moved and shaken, yet would this place be fixed and
stable; him, thus fixed and well assured, think not that you can
overturn. Bring down and moderate your mind's desire, banish these high
and envious thoughts, prepare yourselves for right reflection, be
patient in your services."

Mara hearing these sounds in space, and seeing Bodhisattva still
unmoved, filled with fear and banishing his high and supercilious
thoughts, again took up his way to heaven above. Whilst all his host
were scattered, o'erwhelmed with grief and disappointment, fallen from
their high estate, bereft of their warrior pride, their warlike weapons
and accoutrements thrown heedlessly and cast away 'mid woods and
deserts. Like as when some cruel chieftain slain, the hateful band is
all dispersed and scattered, so the host of Mara disconcerted, fled
away. The mind of Bodhisattva now reposed peaceful and quiet. The
morning sunbeams brighten with the dawn, the dust-like mist dispersing,
disappears; the moon and stars pale their faint light, the barriers of
the night are all removed, whilst from above a fall of heavenly flowers
pay their sweet tribute to the Bodhisattva.

O-wei-san-pou-ti (Abhisambodhi)

Bodhisattva having subdued Mara, his firmly fixed mind at rest,
thoroughly exhausting the first principle of truth, he entered into deep
and subtle contemplation. Every kind of Samadhi in order passed before
his eyes. During the first watch he entered on "right perception" and in
recollection all former births passed before his eyes. Born in such a
place, of such a name, and downwards to his present birth, so through
hundreds, thousands, myriads, all his births and deaths he knew.
Countless in number were they, of every kind and sort; then knowing,
too, his family relationships, great pity rose within his heart.

This sense of deep compassion passed, he once again considered "all that
lives," and how they moved within the six portions of life's revolution,
no final term to birth and death; hollow all, and false and transient as
the plantain tree, or as a dream, or phantasy. Then in the middle watch
of night, he reached to knowledge of the pure Devas, and beheld before
him every creature, as one sees images upon a mirror; all creatures born
and born again to die, noble and mean, the poor and rich, reaping the
fruit of right or evil doing, and sharing happiness or misery in
consequence. First he considered and distinguished evil-doers' works,
that such must ever reap an evil birth. Then he considered those who
practise righteous deeds, that these must gain a place with men or gods;
but those again born in the nether hells, he saw participating in every
kind of misery; swallowing molten brass, the iron skewers piercing their
bodies, confined within the boiling caldron, driven and made to enter
the fiery oven dwelling, food for hungry, long-toothed dogs, or preyed
upon by brain-devouring birds; dismayed by fire, then they wander
through thick woods, with leaves like razors gashing their limbs, while
knives divide their writhing bodies, or hatchets lop their members, bit
by bit; drinking the bitterest poisons, their fate yet holds them back
from death. Thus those who found their joy in evil deeds, he saw
receiving now their direst sorrow; a momentary taste of pleasure here, a
dreary length of suffering there. A laugh or joke because of others'
pain, a crying out and weeping now at punishment received. Surely if
living creatures saw the consequence of all their evil deeds,
self-visited, with hatred would they turn and leave them, fearing the
ruin following--the blood and death. He saw, moreover, all the fruits of
birth as beasts, each deed entailing its own return; and when death
ensues born in some other form (beast shape), different in kind
according to the deeds. Some doomed to die for the sake of skin or
flesh, some for their horns or hair or bones or wings; others torn or
killed in mutual conflict, friend or relative before, contending thus;
some burdened with loads or dragging heavy weights, others pierced and
urged on by pricking goads. Blood flowing down their tortured forms,
parched and hungry--no relief afforded; then, turning round, he saw one
with the other struggling, possessed of no independent strength. Flying
through air or sunk in deep water, yet no place as a refuge left from
death. He saw, moreover, those, misers and covetous, born now as hungry
ghosts; vast bodies like the towering mountain, with mouths as small as
any needle-tube, hungry and thirsty, nought but fire and poisoned flame
to enwrap their burning forms within. Covetous, they would not give to
those who sought, or duped the man who gave in charity, now born among
the famished ghosts, they seek for food, but cannot find withal. The
refuse of the unclean man they fain would eat, but this is changed and
lost before it can be eaten. Oh! if a man believes that covetousness is
thus repaid, as in their case, would he not give his very flesh in
charity even as Sivi raga did! Then, once more he saw, those reborn as
men, with bodies like some foul sewer, ever moving 'midst the direst
sufferings, born from the womb to fear and trembling, with body tender,
touching anything its feelings painful, as if cut with knives. Whilst
born in this condition, no moment free from chance of death, labor, and
sorrow, yet seeking birth again, and being born again, enduring pain.
Then he saw those who by a higher merit were enjoying heaven; a thirst
for love ever consuming them, their merit ended with the end of life,
the five signs warning them of death. Just as the blossom that decays,
withering away, is robbed of all its shining tints; not all their
associates, living still, though grieving, can avail to save the rest.
The palaces and joyous precincts empty now, the Devis all alone and
desolate, sitting or asleep upon the dusty earth, weep bitterly in
recollection of their loves. Those who are born, sad in decay; those who
are dead, beloved, cause of grief; thus ever struggling on, preparing
future pain, covetous they seek the joys of heaven, obtaining which,
these sorrows come apace; despicable joys! oh, who would covet them!
using such mighty efforts to obtain, and yet unable thence to banish
pain. Alas, alas! these Devas, too, alike deceived--no difference is
there! through lapse of ages bearing suffering, striving to crush desire
and lust, now certainly expecting long reprieve, and yet once more
destined to fall! in hell enduring every kind of pain, as beasts tearing
and killing one the other, as Pretas parched with direst thirst, as men
worn out, seeking enjoyment; although, they say, when born in heaven,
"then we shall escape these greater ills." Deceived, alas! no single
place exempt, in every birth incessant pain! Alas! the sea of birth and
death revolving thus--an ever-whirling wheel--all flesh immersed within
its waves cast here and there without reliance! thus with his pure Deva
eyes he thoughtfully considered the five domains of life. He saw that
all was empty and vain alike! with no dependence! like the plantain or
the bubble. Then, on the third eventful watch, he entered on the deep,
true apprehension; he meditated on the entire world of creatures,
whirling in life's tangle, born to sorrow; the crowds who live, grow
old, and die, innumerable for multitude. Covetous, lustful, ignorant,
darkly-fettered, with no way known for final rescue. Rightly
considering, inwardly he reflected from what source birth and death
proceed. He was assured that age and death must come from birth as from
a source. For since a man has born with him a body, that body must
inherit pain. Then looking further whence comes birth, he saw it came
from life-deeds done elsewhere; then with his Deva-eyes scanning these
deeds, he saw they were not framed by Isvara. They were not self-caused,
they were not personal existences, nor were they either uncaused; then,
as one who breaks the first bamboo joint finds all the rest easy to
separate, having discerned the cause of birth and death, he gradually
came to see the truth; deeds come from upadana, like as fire which
catches hold of grass; upadana comes from trishna, just as a little fire
inflames the mountains; trishna comes from vedana, the perception of
pain and pleasure, the desire for rest; as the starving or the thirsty
man seeks food and drink, so "sensation" brings "desire" for life; then
contact is the cause of all sensation, producing the three kinds of pain
or pleasure, even as by art of man the rubbing wood produces fire for
any use or purpose; contact is born from the six entrances.[103] The six
entrances are caused by name and thing, just as the germ grows to the
stem and leaf; name and thing are born from knowledge, as the seed which
germinates and brings forth leaves. Knowledge, in turn, proceeds from
name and thing, the two are intervolved leaving no remnant; by some
concurrent cause knowledge engenders name and thing, whilst by some
other cause concurrent, name and thing engender knowledge. Just as a man
and ship advance together, the water and the land mutually involved;
thus knowledge brings forth name and thing; name and thing produce the
roots. The roots engender contact; contact again brings forth sensation;
sensation brings forth longing desire; longing desire produces upadana.
Upadana is the cause of deeds; and these again engender birth; birth
again produces age and death; so does this one incessant round cause the
existence of all living things. Rightly illumined, thoroughly perceiving
this, firmly established, thus was he enlightened; destroy birth, old
age and death will cease; destroy bhava then will birth cease; destroy
"cleaving" then will bhava end; destroy desire then will cleaving end;
destroy sensation then will trishna end. Destroy contact then will end
sensation; destroy the six entrances, then will contact cease; the six
entrances all destroyed, from this, moreover, names and things will
cease. Knowledge destroyed, names and things will cease; names and
things destroyed, then knowledge perishes; ignorance destroyed, then the
constituents of individual life will die; the great Rishi was thus
perfected in wisdom. Thus perfected, Buddha then devised for the world's
benefit the eightfold path, right sight, and so on, the only true path
for the world to tread. Thus did he complete the end of "self," as fire
goes out for want of grass; thus he had done what he would have men do;
he first had found the way of perfect knowledge. He finished thus the
first great lesson; entering the great Rishi's house (dreamless sleep),
the darkness disappeared; light coming on, perfectly silent, all at
rest, he reached at last the exhaustless source of truth; lustrous with
all wisdom the great Rishi sat, perfect in gifts, whilst one convulsive
throe shook the wide earth. And now the world was calm again and bright,
when Devas, Nagas, spirits, all assembled, amidst the void raise
heavenly music, and make their offerings as the law directs. A gentle
cooling breeze sprang up around, and from the sky a fragrant rain
distilled; exquisite flowers, not seasonable, bloomed; sweet fruits
before their time were ripened. Great Mandaras, and every sort of
heavenly precious flower, from space in rich confusion fell, as tribute
to the illustrious monk. Creatures of every different kind were moved
one towards the other lovingly; fear and terror altogether put away,
none entertained a hateful thought, and all things living in the world
with faultless men consorted freely; the Devas giving up their heavenly
joys, sought rather to alleviate the sinner's sufferings. Pain and
distress grew less and less, the moon of wisdom waxed apace; whilst all
the Rishis of the Ikshvaku clan who had received a heavenly birth,
beholding Buddha thus benefitting men, were filled with joy and
satisfaction; and whilst throughout the heavenly mansions religious
offerings fell as raining flowers, the Devas and the Naga spirits, with
one voice, praised the Buddha's virtues; men seeing the religious
offerings, hearing, too, the joyous hymn of praise, were all rejoiced in
turn; they leapt for unrestrained joy; Mara, the Devaraga, only, felt in
his heart great anguish. Buddha for those seven days, in contemplation
lost, his heart at peace, beheld and pondered on the Bodhi tree, with
gaze unmoved and never wearying:--"Now resting here, in this condition,
I have obtained," he said, "my ever-shifting heart's desire, and now at
rest I stand, escaped from self." The eyes of Buddha then considered
"all that lives," and forthwith rose there in him deep compassion; much
he desired to bring about their welfare, but how to gain for them that
most excellent deliverance, from covetous desire, hatred, ignorance, and
false teaching, this was the question; how to suppress this sinful heart
by right direction; not by anxious use of outward means, but by resting
quietly in thoughtful silence. Now looking back and thinking of his
mighty vow, there rose once more within his mind a wish to preach the
law; and looking carefully throughout the world, he saw how pain and
sorrow ripened and increased everywhere. Then Brahma-deva knowing his
thoughts, and considering it right to request him to advance religion
for the wider spread of the Brahma-glory, in the deliverance of all
flesh from sorrow, coming, beheld upon the person of the reverend monk
all the distinguishing marks of a great preacher, visible in an
excellent degree; fixed and unmoved he sat in the possession of truth
and wisdom, free from all evil impediments, with a heart cleansed from
all insincerity or falsehood. Then with reverent and a joyful heart,
great Brahma stood and with hands joined, thus made known his
request:--"What happiness in all the world so great as when a loving
master meets the unwise; the world with all its occupants, filled with
impurity and dire confusion, with heavy grief oppressed, or, in some
cases, lighter sorrows, waits deliverance; the lord of men, having
escaped by crossing the wide and mournful sea of birth and death, we now
entreat to rescue others--those struggling creatures all engulfed
therein; as the just worldly man, when he gets profit, gives some rebate
withal. So the lord of men enjoying such religious gain, should also
give somewhat to living things. The world indeed is bent on large
personal gain, and hard it is to share one's own with others. O! let
your loving heart be moved with pity towards the world burdened with
vexing cares." Thus having spoken by way of exhortation, with reverent
mien he turned back to the Brahma heaven. Buddha, regarding the
invitation of Brahma-deva, rejoiced at heart, and his design was
strengthened; greatly was his heart of pity nourished, and purposed was
his mind to preach. Thinking he ought to beg some food, each of the four
kings offered him a Patra; Tathagata, in fealty to religion, received
the four and joined them all in one. And now some merchant men were
passing by, to whom "a virtuous friend," a heavenly spirit, said: "The
great Rishi, the venerable monk, is dwelling in this mountain-grove,
affording in the world a noble field for merit; go then and offer him a
sacrifice!" Hearing the summons, joyfully they went, and offered the
first meal religiously. Having partaken of it, then he deeply pondered,
who first should hear the law; he thought at once of Arada Kalama and
Udraka Ramaputra, as being fit to accept the righteous law; but now they
both were dead. Then next he thought of the five men, that they were fit
to hear the first sermon. Bent then on this design to preach Nirvana, as
the sun's glory bursts through the darkness, so went he on towards
Benares, the place where dwelt the ancient Rishis. With eyes as gentle
as the ox king's, his pace as firm and even as the lion's, because he
would convert the world he went on towards the Kasi city. Step by step,
like the king of beasts, did he advance watchfully through the grove of

Turning the Law-wheel

Tathagata piously composed and silent, radiant with glory, shedding
light around, with unmatched dignity advanced alone, as if surrounded by
a crowd of followers. Beside the way he encountered a young Brahman
whose name was Upaka; struck with the deportment of the Bhikshu, he
stood with reverent mien on the roadside. Joyously he gazed at such an
unprecedented sight, and then, with closed hands, he spake as
follows:--"The crowds who live around are stained with sin, without a
pleasing feature, void of grace, and the great world's heart is
everywhere disturbed; but you alone, your senses all composed, with
visage shining as the moon when full, seem to have quaffed the water of
the immortals' stream. The marks of beauty yours, as the great man's,
the strength of wisdom, as an all-sufficient, independent king's; what
you have done must have been wisely done: what then your noble tribe and
who your master?" Answering he said, "I have no master; no honorable
tribe; no point of excellence; self-taught in this profoundest doctrine,
I have arrived at superhuman wisdom. That which behooves the world to
learn, but through the world no learner found, I now myself and by
myself have learned throughout; 'tis rightly called Sambodhi. That
hateful family of griefs the sword of wisdom has destroyed; this then is
what the world has named, and rightly named, the 'chiefest victory.'
Through all Benares soon will sound the drum of life, no stay is
possible--I have no name--nor do I seek profit or pleasure. But simply
to declare the truth; to save men from pain, and to fulfil my ancient
oath, to rescue all not yet delivered. The fruit of this my oath is
ripened now, and I will follow out my ancient vow. Wealth, riches, self
all given up, unnamed, I still am named 'Righteous Master.' And bringing
profit to the world, I also have the name 'Great Teacher'; facing
sorrows, not swallowed up by them, am I not rightly called 'Courageous
Warrior?' If not a healer of diseases, what means the name of 'Good
Physician?' Seeing the wanderer, not showing him the way, why then
should I be called 'Good Master-guide?' Like as the lamp shines in the
dark, without a purpose of its own, self-radiant, so burns the lamp of
the Tathagata, without the shadow of a personal feeling. Bore wood in
wood, there must be fire; the wind blows of its own free self in space;
dig deep and you will come to water; this is the rule of self-causation.
All the Munis who perfect wisdom, must do so at Gaya; and in the Kasi
country they must first turn the Wheel of Righteousness." The young
Brahman Upaka, astonished, breathed the praise of such strange doctrine,
and called to mind like thoughts he had before experienced; lost in
thought at the wonderful occurrence, at every turning of the road he
stopped to think; embarrassed in every step he took, Tathagata
proceeding slowly onwards, came to the city of Kasi. The land so
excellently adorned as the palace of Sakradevendra; the Ganges and
Barana, two twin rivers flowed amidst; the woods and flowers and fruits
so verdant, the peaceful cattle wandering together, the calm retreats
free from vulgar noise, such was the place where the old Rishis dwelt.
Tathagata, glorious and radiant, redoubled the brightness of the place;
the son of the Kaundinya tribe, and next Dasabalakasyapa, and the third
Vashpa, the fourth Asvagit, the fifth called Bhadra, practising
austerities as hermits, seeing from far Tathagata approaching, sitting
together all engaged in conversation, said: "This Gautama, defiled by
worldly indulgence, leaving the practice of austerities, now comes again
to find us here, let us be careful not to rise in salutation, nor let us
greet him when he comes, nor offer him the customary refreshments.
Because he has broken his first vow, he has no claim to
hospitality"--for men on seeing an approaching guest by rights prepare
things for his present and his after wants. They arrange a proper
resting-couch, and take on themselves care for his comfort. Having
spoken thus and so agreed, each kept his seat, resolved and fixed. And
now Tathagata slowly approached, when, lo! these men unconsciously,
against their vow, rose and invited him to take a seat; offering to take
his robe and Patra. They begged to wash and rub his feet, and asked him
what he required more; thus in everything attentive, they honored him
and offered all to him as teacher. They did not cease however to address
him still as Gautama, after his family. Then spake the Lord to them and
said: "Call me not after my private name, for it is a rude and careless
way of speaking to one who has obtained Arhat-ship; but whether men
respect or disrespect me, my mind is undisturbed and wholly quiet. But
you--your way is not so courteous: let go, I pray, and cast away your
fault. Buddha can save the world; they call him, therefore, Buddha.
Towards all living things, with equal heart he looks as children, to
call him then by his familiar name is to despise a father; this is sin."
Thus Buddha, by exercise of mighty love, in deep compassion spoke to
them; but they, from ignorance and pride, despised the only wise and
true one's words. They said that first he practised self-denial, but
having reached thereby no profit, now giving rein to body, word, and
thought, how by these means, they asked, has he become a Buddha? Thus
equally entangled by doubts, they would not credit that he had attained
the way. Thoroughly versed in highest truth, full of all-embracing
wisdom, Tagagata on their account briefly declared to them the one true
way; the foolish masters practising austerities, and those who love to
gratify their senses, he pointed out to them these two distinctive
classes, and how both greatly erred. "Neither of these," he said, "has
found the way of highest wisdom, nor are their ways of life productive
of true rescue. The emaciated devotee by suffering produces in himself
confused and sickly thoughts, not conducive even to worldly knowledge,
how much less to triumph over sense! For he who tries to light a lamp
with water, will not succeed in scattering the darkness, and so the man
who tries with worn-out body to trim the lamp of wisdom shall not
succeed, nor yet destroy his ignorance or folly. Who seeks with rotten
wood to evoke the fire will waste his labor and get nothing for it; but
boring hard wood into hard, the man of skill forthwith gets fire for his
use. In seeking wisdom then it is not by these austerities a man may
reach the law of life. But to indulge in pleasure is opposed to right:
this is the fool's barrier against wisdom's light. The sensualist cannot
comprehend the Sutras or the Sastras, how much less the way of
overcoming all desire! As some man grievously afflicted eats food not
fit to eat, and so in ignorance aggravates his sickness, so can he get
rid of lust who pampers lust? Scatter the fire amid the desert grass,
dried by the sun, fanned by the wind--the raging flames who shall
extinguish? Such is the fire of covetousness and lust. I, then, reject
both these extremes: my heart keeps in the middle way. All sorrow at an
end and finished, I rest at peace, all error put away; my true sight
greater than the glory of the sun, my equal and unvarying wisdom,
vehicle of insight--right words as it were a dwelling-place--wandering
through the pleasant groves of right conduct, making a right life my
recreation, walking along the right road of proper means, my city of
refuge in right recollection, and my sleeping couch right meditation;
these are the eight even and level roads by which to avoid the sorrows
of birth and death. Those who come forth by these means from the slough,
doing thus, have attained the end; such shall fall neither on this side
or the other, amidst the sorrow-crowd of the two periods. The tangled
sorrow-web of the three worlds by this road alone can be destroyed; this
is my own way, unheard of before; by the pure eyes of the true law,
impartially seeing the way of escape, I, only I, now first make known
this way; thus I destroy the hateful company of Trishna's host, the
sorrows of birth and death, old age, disease, and all the unfruitful
aims of men, and other springs of suffering. There are those who warring
against desire are still influenced by desire; who whilst possessed of
body, act as though they had none; who put away from themselves all
sources of true merit--briefly will I recount their sorrowful lot. Like
smothering a raging fire, though carefully put out, yet a spark left, so
in their abstraction, still the germ of 'I,' the source of great sorrow
still surviving, perpetuates the suffering caused by lust, and the evil
consequences of every kind of deed survive. These are the sources of
further pain, but let these go and sorrow dies, even as the seed of corn
taken from the earth and deprived of water dies; the concurrent causes
not uniting, then the bud and leaf cannot be born; the intricate bonds
of every kind of existence, from the Deva down to the evil ways of
birth, ever revolve and never cease; all this is produced from covetous
desire; falling from a high estate to lower ones, all is the fault of
previous deeds. But destroy the seed of covetousness and the rest, then
there will be no intricate binding, but all effect of deeds destroyed,
the various degrees of sorrow then will end for good. Having this, then,
we must inherit that; destroying this, then that is ended too; no birth,
old age, disease, or death; no earth, or water, fire, or wind. No
beginning, end, or middle; and no deceptive systems of philosophy; this
is the standpoint of wise men and sages; the certain and exhausted
termination, complete Nirvana. Such do the eight right ways declare;
this one expedient has no remains; that which the world sees not,
engrossed by error I declare, I know the way to sever all these
sorrow-sources; the way to end them is by right reason, meditating on
these four highest truths, following and perfecting this highest wisdom.
This is what means the 'knowing' sorrow; this is to cut off the cause of
all remains of being; these destroyed, then all striving, too, has
ended, the eight right ways have been assayed.

"Thus, too, the four great truths have been acquired, the eyes of the
pure law completed. In these four truths, the equal, true or right, eyes
not yet born, there is not mention made of gaining true deliverance; it
is not said what must be done is done, nor that all is finished, nor
that the perfect truth has been acquired. But now because the truth is
known, then by myself is known 'deliverance gained,' by myself is known
that 'all is done,' by myself is known 'the highest wisdom.'" And having
spoken thus respecting truth, the member of the Kaundinya family, and
eighty thousand of the Deva host, were thoroughly imbued with saving
knowledge. They put away defilement from themselves, they got the eyes
of the pure law; Devas and earthly masters thus were sure, that what was
to be done was done. And now with lion-voice he joyfully inquired, and
asked Kaundinya, "Knowest thou yet?" Kaundinya forthwith answered
Buddha, "I know the mighty master's law." And for this reason, knowing
it, his name was Agnata Kaundinya. Amongst all the disciples of Buddha,
he was the very first in understanding. Then as he understood the sounds
of the true law, hearing the words of the disciple--all the earth
spirits together raised a shout triumphant, "Well done! deeply seeing
the principles of the law, Tathagata, on this auspicious day, has set
revolving that which never yet revolved, and far and wide, for gods and
men, has opened the gates of immortality. Of this wheel the spokes are
the rules of pure conduct; equal contemplation, their uniformity of
length; firm wisdom is the tire; modesty and thoughtfulness, the rubbers
(sockets in the nave in which the axle is fixed); right reflection is
the nave; the wheel itself the law of perfect truth; the right truth now
has gone forth in the world, not to retire before another teacher."

Thus the earth spirits shouted, the spirits of the air took up the
strain, the Devas all joined in the hymn of praise, up to the highest
Brahma heaven. The Devas of the triple world, now hearing what the great
Rishi taught, in intercourse together spoke, "The widely honored Buddha
moves the world! Widespread, for the sake of all that lives, he turns
the wheel of the law of complete purity!" The stormy winds, the clouds,
the mists, all disappeared; down from space the heavenly flowers
descended. The Devas revelled in their joys celestial, filled with
unutterable gladness.

[Footnote 99: The distance from the place of the interview with the
ministers to the Vulture Peak would be, in a straight line, about 150

[Footnote 100: The sense of the text and context appears to be this,
that as there are those who drink the rain-clouds and yet are parched
with thirst, so there are those who constantly practise religious duties
and yet are still unblest.]

[Footnote 101: The dhyanas are the conditions of ecstasy, enjoyed by the
inhabitants of the Brahmaloka heavens.]

[Footnote 102: The "fortunate tree," the tree "of good omen," the Bodhi

[Footnote 103: The six organs of sense.]


Bimbisara Raga Becomes a Disciple

And now those five men, Asvagit Vashpa, and the others, having heard
that he (Kaundinya) "knew" the law, with humble mien and self-subdued,
their hands joined, offered their homage, and looked with reverence in
the teacher's face. Tathagata, by wise expedient, caused them one by one
to embrace the law. And so from first to last the five Bhikshus obtained
reason and subdued their senses, like the five stars which shine in
heaven, waiting upon the brightening moon. At this time in the town of
Ku-i there was a noble's son called Yasas; lost in night-sleep suddenly
he woke, and when he saw his attendants all, men and women, with
ill-clad bodies, sleeping, his heart was filled with loathing;
reflecting on the root of sorrow, he thought how madly foolish men were
immersed in it. Clothing himself, and putting on his jewels, he left his
home and wandered forth; then on the way he stood and cried aloud,
"Alas! alas! what endless chain of sorrows." Tathagata, by night, was
walking forth, and hearing sounds like these, "Alas! what sorrow,"
forthwith replied, "You are welcome! here, on the other hand, there is a
place of rest--the most excellent, refreshing, Nirvana, quiet and
unmoved, free from sorrow." Yasas hearing Buddha's exhortation, there
rose much joy within his heart. And in the place of the disgust he felt,
the cooling streams of holy wisdom found their way, as when one enters
first a cold pellucid lake. Advancing then, he came where Buddha
was--his person decked with common ornaments, his mind already freed
from all defects; by power of the good root obtained in other births, he
quickly reached the fruit of an Arhat. The secret light of pure wisdom's
virtue enabled him to understand, on listening to the law; just as a
pure silken fabric with ease is dyed a different color. Thus having
attained to self-illumination, and done that which was to be done, he
was converted; then looking at his person richly ornamented, his heart
was filled with shame. Tathagata knowing his inward thoughts, in gathas
spoke the following words: "Though ornamented with jewels, the heart may
yet have conquered sense; looking with equal mind on all that lives, in
such a case the outward form does not affect religion; the body, too,
may wear the ascetic's garb, the heart, meanwhile, be immersed in
worldly thoughts; dwelling in lonely woods, yet covetous of worldly
show, such men are after all mere worldlings; the body may have a
worldly guise, the heart mount high to things celestial. The layman and
the hermit are the same, when only both have banished thought of 'self,'
but if the heart be twined with carnal bonds, what use the marks of
bodily attention? He who wears martial decorations, does so because by
valor he has triumphed o'er an enemy--so he who wears the hermit's
colored robe, does so for having vanquished sorrow as his foe." Then he
bade him come, and be a member of his church; and at the bidding, lo!
his garments changed! and he stood wholly attired in hermit's dress,
complete; in heart and outward look, a Sramana. Now Yasas had in former
days some light companions, in number fifty and four; when these beheld
their friend a hermit, they, too, one by one, attained true wisdom. By
virtue of deeds done in former births, these deeds now bore their
perfect fruit. Just as when burning ashes are sprinkled by water, the
water being dried, the flame bursts forth. So now, with those above, the
disciples were altogether sixty, all Arhats; entirely obedient and
instructed in the law of perfect discipleship. So perfected he taught
them further:--"Now ye have passed the stream and reached 'the other
shore,' across the sea of birth and death; what should be done, ye now
have done! and ye may now receive the charity of others. Go then through
every country, convert those not yet converted; throughout the world
that lies burnt up with sorrow, teach everywhere; instruct those lacking
right instruction. Go, therefore! each one travelling by himself; filled
with compassion, go! rescue and receive. I too will go alone, back to
yonder Kia-ke mountain; where there are great Rishis, royal Rishis,
Brahman Rishis too, these all dwell there, influencing men according to
their schools. The Rishi Kasyapa, enduring pain, reverenced by all the
country, making converts too of many, him will I visit and convert."
Then the sixty Bhikshus respectfully receiving orders to preach, each
according to his fore-determined purpose, following his inclination,
went through every land. The honored of the world went on alone, till he
arrived at the Kia-ke mountain, then entering a retired religious dell,
he came to where the Rishi Kasyapa was. Now this one had a "fire grot"
where he offered sacrifice, where an evil Naga dwelt, who wandered here
and there in search of rest, through mountains and wild places of the
earth. The honored of the world, wishing to instruct this hermit and
convert him, asked him, on coming, for a place to lodge that night.
Kasyapa, replying, spake to Buddha thus:--"I have no resting-place to
offer for the night, only this fire grot where I sacrifice; this is a
cool and fit place for the purpose, but an evil dragon dwells there, who
is accustomed, as he can, to poison men." Buddha replied, "Permit me
only, and for the night I'll take my dwelling there." Kasyapa made many
difficulties, but the world-honored one still asked the favor. Then
Kasyapa addressed Buddha, "My mind desires no controversy, only I have
my fears and apprehensions, but follow you your own good pleasure."
Buddha forthwith stepped within the fiery grot, and took his seat with
dignity and deep reflection; and now the evil Naga seeing Buddha,
belched forth in rage his fiery poison, and filled the place with
burning vapor. But this could not affect the form of Buddha. Throughout
the abode the fire consumed itself, the honored of the world still sat
composed: Even as Brahma, in the midst of the kalpa-fire that burns and
reaches to the Brahma heavens, still sits unmoved, without a thought of
fear or apprehension, so Buddha sat; the evil Naga seeing him, his face
glowing with peace, and still unchanged, ceased his poisonous blast, his
heart appeased; he bent his head and worshipped. Kasyapa in the night
seeing the fire-glow, sighed:--"Ah! alas! what misery! this most
distinguished man is also burnt up by the fiery Naga." Then Kasyapa and
his followers at morning light came one and all to look. Now Buddha
having subdued the evil Naga, had straightway placed him in his patra,
beholding which, and seeing the power of Buddha, Kasyapa conceived
within him deep and secret thoughts:--"This Gotama," he thought, "is
deeply versed in religion, but still he said, 'I am a master of
religion.'" Then Buddha, as occasion offered, displayed all kinds of
spiritual changes, influencing Kasyapa's heart-thoughts, changing and
subduing them, making his mind pliant and yielding, until at length
prepared to be a vessel of the true law, he confessed that his poor
wisdom could not compare with the complete wisdom of the world-honored
one. And so, convinced at last, humbly submitting, he accepted right
instruction. Thus U-pi-lo Uravilva Kasyapa, and five hundred of his
followers following their master, virtuously submissive, in turn
received the teaching of the law. Kasyapa and all his followers were
thus entirely converted. The Rishi then, taking his goods and all his
sacrificial vessels, threw them together in the river, which floated
down upon the surface of the current. Nadi and Gada, brothers, who dwelt
down the stream, seeing these articles of clothing and the rest floating
along the stream disorderly, said, "Some great change has happened," and
deeply pained, were restlessly concerned. The two, each with five
hundred followers, going up the stream to seek their brother. Seeing him
now dressed as a hermit, and all his followers with him, having got
knowledge of the miraculous law--strange thoughts engaged their
minds--"our brother having submitted thus, we too should also follow
him." Thus the three brothers, with all their band of followers, were
brought to hear the lord's discourse on the comparison of a fire
sacrifice: and in the discourse he taught, "How the dark smoke of
ignorance arises, whilst confused thoughts, like wood drilled into wood,
create the fire. Lust, anger, delusion, these are as fire produced, and
these inflame and burn all living things. Thus the fire of grief and
sorrow, once enkindled, ceases not to burn, ever giving rise to birth
and death; but whilst this fire of sorrow ceases not, yet are there two
kinds of fire, one that burns but has no fuel left. So when the heart of
man has once conceived distaste for sin, this distaste removing covetous
desire, covetous desire extinguished, there is rescue; if once this
rescue has been found, then with it is born sight and knowledge, by
which distinguishing the streams of birth and death, and practising pure
conduct, all is done that should be done, and hereafter shall be no more
life." Thus the thousand Bhikshus hearing the world-honored preach, all
defects forever done away, their minds found perfect and complete
deliverance. Then Buddha for the Kasyapas' sakes, and for the benefit of
the thousand Bhikshus, having preached, and done all that should be
done, himself with purity and wisdom and all the concourse of high
qualities excellently adorned, he gave them, as in charity, rules for
cleansing sense. The great Rishi, listening to reason, lost all regard
for bodily austerities, and, as a man without a guide, was emptied of
himself, and learned discipleship. And now the honored one and all his
followers go forward to the royal city (Ragagriha), remembering, as he
did, the Magadha king, and what he heretofore had promised. The honored
one when he arrived, remained within the "staff grove"; Bimbisara Raga
hearing thereof, with all his company of courtiers, lords and ladies all
surrounding him, came to where the master was. Then at a distance seeing
Buddha seated, with humbled heart and subdued presence, putting off his
common ornaments, descending from his chariot, forward he stepped; even
as Sakra, king of gods, going to where Brahmadeva-raga dwells. Bowing
down at Buddha's feet, he asked him, with respect, about his health of
body; Buddha in his turn, having made inquiries, begged him to be seated
on one side. Then the king's mind reflected silently:--"This Sakya must
have great controlling power, to subject to his will these Kasyapas who
now are round him as disciples." Buddha, knowing all thoughts, spoke
thus to Kasyapa, questioning him:--"What profit have you found in giving
up your fire-adoring law?" Kasyapa hearing Buddha's words, rising with
dignity before the great assembly, bowed lowly down, and then with
clasped hands and a loud voice addressing Buddha, said:--"The profit I
received, adoring the fire spirit, was this--continuance in the wheel of
life, birth and death, with all their sorrows growing--this service I
have therefore cast away. Diligently I persevered in fire-worship,
seeking to put an end to the five desires, in return I found desires
endlessly increasing: therefore have I cast off this service.
Sacrificing thus to fire with many Mantras, I did but miss escape from
birth; receiving birth, with it came all its sorrows, therefore I cast
it off and sought for rest. I was versed, indeed, in self-affliction, my
mode of worship largely adopted, and counted of all most excellent, and
yet I was opposed to highest wisdom. Therefore have I discarded it, and
gone in quest of the supreme Nirvana. Removing from me birth, old age,
disease, and death, I sought a place of undying rest and calm. And as I
gained the knowledge of this truth, then I cast off the law of
worshipping the fire."

The honored-of-the-world, hearing Kasyapa declaring his experience of
truth, wishing to move the world throughout to conceive a heart of
purity and faith, addressing Kasyapa further, said: "Welcome! great
master, welcome! Rightly have you distinguished law from law, and well
obtained the highest wisdom; now before this great assembly, pray you!
exhibit your excellent endowments; as any rich and wealthy noble opens
for view his costly treasures, causing the poor and sorrow-laden
multitude to increase their forgetfulness awhile; and honor well your
lord's instruction." Forthwith in presence of the assembly, gathering up
his body and entering Samadhi, calmly he ascended into space, and there
displayed himself, walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, emitting fiery
vapor from his body, on his right and left side water and fire, not
burning and not moistening him. Then clouds and rain proceeded from him,
thunder with lightning shook the heaven and earth; thus he drew the
world to look in adoration, with eyes undazzled as they gazed; with
different mouths, but all in language one, they magnified and praised
this wondrous spectacle, then afterwards drawn by spiritual force, they
came and worshipped at the master's feet, exclaiming:--"Buddha is our
great teacher! we are the honored one's disciples." Thus having
magnified his work and finished all he purposed doing, drawing the world
as universal witness, the assembly was convinced that he, the
world-honored, was truly the "Omniscient!" Buddha, perceiving that the
whole assembly was ready as a vessel to receive the law, spoke thus to
Bimbisara Raga: "Listen now and understand: The mind, the thoughts, and
all the senses are subject to the law of life and death. This fault of
birth and death, once understood, then there is clear and plain
perception. Obtaining this clear perception, then there is born
knowledge of self; knowing oneself and with this knowledge laws of birth
and death, then there is no grasping and no sense-perception. Knowing
oneself, and understanding how the senses act, then there is no room for
'I' (soul) or ground for framing it; then all the accumulated mass of
sorrow, sorrows born from life and death, being recognized as attributes
of body, and as this body is not 'I,' nor offers ground for 'I,' then
comes the great superlative, the source of peace unending. This thought
of 'self' gives rise to all these sorrows, binding as with cords the
world, but having found there is no 'I' that can be bound, then all
these bonds are severed. There are no bonds indeed--they disappear--and
seeing this there is deliverance. The world holds to this thought of
'I,' and so, from this, comes false apprehension. Of those who maintain
the truth of it, some say the 'I' endures, some say it perishes; taking
the two extremes of birth and death, their error is most grievous! For
if they say the 'I' is perishable, the fruit they strive for, too, will
perish; and at some time there will be no hereafter: this is indeed a
meritless deliverance. But if they say the 'I' is not to perish, then in
the midst of all this life and death there is but one identity as space,
which is not born and does not die. If this is what they call the 'I,'
then are all things living, one--for all have this unchanging self--not
perfected by any deeds, but self-perfect. If so, if such a self it is
that acts, let there be no self-mortifying conduct, the self is lord and
master; what need to do that which is done? For if this 'I' is lasting
and imperishable, then reason would teach it never can be changed. But
now we see the marks of joy and sorrow, what room for constancy then is
here? Knowing that birth brings this deliverance then I put away all
thought of sin's defilement; the whole world, everything, endures! what
then becomes of this idea of rescue? We cannot even talk of putting self
away, truth is the same as falsehood; it is not 'I' that do a thing, and
who, forsooth, is he that talks of 'I'? But if it is not 'I' that do the
thing, then there is no 'I' that does it, and in the absence of these
both, there is no 'I' at all, in very truth. No doer and no knower, no
lord, yet notwithstanding this, there ever lasts this birth and death,
like morn and night ever recurring. But now attend to me and listen: The
senses six and their six objects united cause the six kinds of
knowledge, these three united bring forth contact, then the intervolved
effects of recollection follow. Then like the burning glass and tinder
through the sun's power cause fire to appear, so through the knowledge
born of sense and object, the lord of knowledge (self) is born. The
shoot springs from the seed, the seed is not the shoot, not one and yet
not different: such is the birth of all that lives." The honored of the
world preaching the truth, the equal and impartial paramartha, thus
addressed the king with all his followers. Then King Bimbisara filled
with joy, removing from himself defilement, gained religious sight, a
hundred thousand spirits also, hearing the words of the immortal law,
shook off and lost the stain of sin.

The Great Disciple Becomes a Hermit

At this time Bimbisara Raga, bowing his head, requested the honored of
the world to change his place of abode for the bamboo grove; graciously
accepting it, Buddha remained silent. Then the king, having perceived
the truth, offered his adoration and returned to his palace. The
world-honored, with the great congregation, proceeded on foot, to rest
for awhile in the bamboo garden. There he dwelt to convert all that
breathed, to kindle once for all the lamp of wisdom, to establish Brahma
and the Devas, and to confirm the lives of saints and sages. At this
time Asvagit and Vashpa, with heart composed and every sense subdued,
the time having come for begging food, entered into the town of
Ragagriha. Unrivalled in the world were they for grace of person, and in
dignity of carriage excelling all. The lords and ladies of the city
seeing them, were filled with joy; those who were walking stood still,
those before waited, those behind hastened on. Now the Rishi Kapila
amongst all his numerous disciples had one of wide-spread fame, whose
name was Sariputra; he, beholding the wonderful grace of the Bhikshus,
their composed mien and subdued senses, their dignified walk and
carriage, raising his hands, inquiring, said: "Young in years, but pure
and graceful in appearance, such as I before have never seen. What law
most excellent have you obeyed? and who your master that has taught you?
and what the doctrine you have learned? Tell me, I pray you, and relieve
my doubts." Then of the Bhikshus, one, rejoicing at his question, with
pleasing air and gracious words, replied: "The omniscient, born of the
Ikshvaku family, the very first 'midst gods and men, this one is my
great master. I am indeed but young, the sun of wisdom has but just
arisen, how can I then explain the master's doctrine? Its meaning is
deep and very hard to understand, but now, according to my poor wisdom,
I will recount in brief the master's doctrine:--'Whatever things exist
all spring from cause, the principles of birth and death may be
destroyed, the way is by the means he has declared.'" Then the
twice-born Upata, embracing heartily what he had heard, put from him all
sense-pollution, and obtained the pure eyes of the law. The former
explanations he had trusted, respecting cause and what was not the cause
that there was nothing that was made, but was made by Isvara; all this,
now that he had heard the rule of true causation, understanding the
wisdom of the no-self, adding thereto the knowledge of the minute dust
troubles, which can never be overcome in their completeness but by the
teaching of Tathagata, all this he now forever put away; leaving no room
for thought of self, the thought of self will disappear. Who, when the
brightness of the sun gives light, would call for the dimness of the
lamp? for, like the severing the lotus, the stem once cut, the pods will
also die. "So Buddha's teaching cutting off the stem of sorrow, no seeds
are left to grow or lead to further increase." Then bowing at the
Bhikshu's feet, with grateful mien, he wended homewards. The Bhikshus
after having begged their food, likewise went back to the bamboo grove.
Sariputra on his arrival home rested with joyful face and full of peace.
His friend, the honored Mugalin, equally renowned for learning, seeing
Sariputra in the distance, his pleasing air and lightsome step, spoke
thus:--"As I now see thee, there is an unusual look I notice; your
former nature seems quite changed, the signs of happiness I now observe,
all indicate the possession of eternal truth: these marks are not
uncaused." Answering he said: "The words of the Tathagata are such as
never yet were spoken," and then, requested, he declared what he had
heard. Hearing the words and understanding them, he too put off the
world's defilement, and gained the eyes of true religion, the reward of
a long-planted virtuous cause; and, as one sees by a lamp that comes to
hand, so he obtained an unmoved faith in Buddha; and now they both set
out for Buddha's presence, with a large crowd of followers. Buddha
seeing the two worthies coming, thus spoke to his disciples:--"These two
men who come shall be my two most eminent followers, one unsurpassed for
wisdom, the other for powers miraculous." And then with Brahma's voice,
profound and sweet, he forthwith bade them "Welcome!" Here is the pure
and peaceful law, he said; here the end of all discipleship! Their hands
grasping the triple-staff, their twisted hair holding the water-vessel,
hearing the words of Buddha's welcome, they forthwith changed into
complete Sramanas; the leaders two and all their followers, assuming the
complete appearance of Bhikshus, with prostrate forms fell down at
Buddha's feet, then rising, sat beside him, and with obedient heart
listening to the word, they all became Arhats. At this time there was a
twice-born sage, Kasyapa Shi-ming-teng, celebrated and perfect in
person, rich in possessions, and his wife most virtuous. But all this he
had left and become a hermit, seeking the way of salvation. And now in
the way by the To-tseu tower he suddenly encountered Sakya Muni,
remarkable for his dignified and illustrious appearance, as the
embroidered flag of a temple. Respectfully and reverently approaching,
with head bowed down, he worshipped his feet, whilst he said: "Truly,
honored one, you are my teacher, and I am your follower: much and long
time have I been harassed with doubts, oh! would that you would light
the lamp of knowledge." Buddha knowing that this twice-born sage was
heartily desirous of finding the best mode of escape, with soft and
pliant voice, he bade him come and welcome. Hearing his bidding and his
heart complying, losing all listlessness of body or spirit, his soul
embraced the terms of this most excellent salvation. Quiet and calm,
putting away defilement, the great merciful, as he alone knew how,
briefly explained the mode of this deliverance, exhibiting the secrets
of his law, ending with the four indestructible acquirements. The great
sage, everywhere celebrated, was called Maha Kasyapa. His original faith
was that "body and soul are different," but he had also held that they
are the same; that there was both "I" and a place for "I"; but now he
forever cast away his former faith, and considered only that "sorrow" is
ever accumulating; so by removing sorrow there will be "no remains";
obedience to the precepts and the practice of discipline, though not
themselves the cause, yet he considered these the necessary mode by
which to find deliverance. With equal and impartial mind, he considered
the nature of sorrow, for evermore freed from a cleaving heart. Whether
we think "this is" or "this is not" he thought, both tend to produce a
listless, idle mode of life. But when with equal mind we see the truth,
then certainty is produced and no more doubt. If we rely for support on
wealth or form, then wild confusion and concupiscence result: inconstant
and impure. But lust and covetous desire removed, the heart of love and
equal thoughts produced, there can be then no enemies or friends, but
the heart is pitiful and kindly disposed to all, and thus is destroyed
the power of anger and of hate. Trusting to outward things and their
relationships, then crowding thoughts of every kind are gendered.
Reflecting well, and crushing out confusing thought, then lust for
pleasure is destroyed. Though born in the Arupa world he saw that there
would be a remnant of life still left; unacquainted with the four right
truths, he had felt an eager longing for this deliverance, for the quiet
resulting from the absence of all thought. And now putting away forever
covetous desire for such a formless state of being, his restless heart
was agitated still, as the stream is excited by the rude wind. Then
entering on deep reflection in quiet he subdued his troubled mind, and
realized the truth of there being no "self," and that therefore birth
and death are no realities; but beyond this point he rose not: his
thought of "self" destroyed, all else was lost. But now the lamp of
wisdom lit, the gloom of every doubt dispersed, he saw an end to that
which seemed without an end; ignorance finally dispelled, he considered
the ten points of excellence; the ten seeds of sorrow destroyed, he came
once more to life, and what he ought to do, he did. And now regarding
with reverence the face of his lord, he put away the three and gained
the three; so were there three disciples in addition to the three; and
as the three stars range around the Trayastrimsas heaven, waiting upon
the three and five, so the three wait on Buddha.

Conversion of the "Supporter of the Orphans and Destitute"

At this time there was a great householder whose name was "Friend of the
Orphaned and Destitute"; he was very rich and widely charitable in
helping the poor and needy. Now this man, coming far away from the
north, even from the country of Kosala, stopped at the house of a friend
whose name was Sheu-lo. Hearing that Buddha was in the world and
dwelling in the bamboo grove near at hand, understanding moreover his
renown and illustrious qualities, he set out that very night for the
grove. Tathagata, well aware of his character, and that he was prepared
to bring forth purity and faith, according to the case, called him by
his true name, and for his sake addressed him in words of
religion:--"Having rejoiced in the true law, and being humbly desirous
for a pure and believing heart, thou hast overcome desire for sleep, and
art here to pay me reverence. Now then will I for your sake discharge
fully the duties of a first meeting. In your former births the root of
virtue planted firm in pure and rare expectancy, hearing now the name of
Buddha, you rejoiced because you are a vessel fit for righteousness,
humble in mind, but large in gracious deeds, abundant in your charity to
the poor and helpless. The name you possess widespread and famous, the
just reward of former merit, the deeds you now perform are done of
charity: done with the fullest purpose and of single heart. Now,
therefore, take from me the charity of perfect rest, and for this end
accept my rules of purity. My rules are full of grace, able to rescue
from destruction, and cause a man to ascend to heaven and share in all
its pleasures. But yet to seek for these is a great evil, for lustful
longing in its increase brings much sorrow. Practise then the art of
'giving up' all search, for 'giving up' desire is the joy of perfect
rest. Know then! that age, disease, and death, these are the great
sorrows of the world. Rightly considering the world, we put away birth
and old age, disease and death; but now because we see that men at large
inherit sorrow caused by age, disease, and death, we gather that when
born in heaven, the case is also thus; for there is no continuance there
for any, and where there is no continuance there is sorrow, and having
sorrow there is no 'true self.' And if the state of 'no continuance' and
of sorrow is opposed to 'self,' what room is there for such idea or
ground for self? Know then! that 'sorrow' is this very sorrow and its
repetition is 'accumulation'; destroy this sorrow and there is joy, the
way is in the calm and quiet place. The restless busy nature of the
world, this I declare is at the root of pain. Stop then the end by
choking up the source. Desire not either life or its opposite; the
raging fire of birth, old age, and death burns up the world on every
side. Seeing the constant toil of birth and death we ought to strive to
attain a passive state: the final goal of Sammata, the place of
immortality and rest. All is empty! neither 'self,' nor place for
'self,' but all the world is like a phantasy; this is the way to regard
ourselves, as but a heap of composite qualities."

The nobleman, hearing the spoken law, forthwith attained the first
degree of holiness: he emptied as it were, the sea of birth and death,
one drop alone remaining. By practising, apart from men, the banishment
of all desire, he soon attained the one impersonal condition, not as
common folk do now-a-day who speculate upon the mode of true
deliverance; for he who does not banish sorrow-causing samskaras does
but involve himself in every kind of question; and though he reaches to
the highest form of being, yet grasps not the one and only truth.
Erroneous thoughts as to the joy of heaven are still entwined by the
fast cords of lust. The nobleman attending to the spoken law the cloud
of darkness opened before the shining splendor. Thus he attained true
sight, erroneous views forever dissipated; even as the furious winds of
autumn sway to and fro and scatter all the heaped-up clouds. He argued
not that Isvara was cause, nor did he advocate some cause heretical, nor
yet again did he affirm there was no cause for the beginning of the
world. "If the world was made by Isvara deva, there should be neither
young nor old, first nor after, nor the five ways of birth; and when
once born there should be no destruction. Nor should there be such thing
as sorrow or calamity, nor doing wrong nor doing right; for all, both
pure and impure deeds, these must come from Isvara deva. Again, if
Isvara deva made the world there should be never doubt about the fact,
even as a son born of his father ever confesses him and pays him
reverence. Men when pressed by sore calamity ought not to rebel against
him, but rather reverence him completely, as the self-existent. Nor
ought they to adore more gods than one. Again, if Isvara be the maker he
should not be called the self-existent, because in that he is the maker
now he always should have been the maker; but if ever making, then ever
self-remembering, and therefore not the self-existent one--and if he
made without a purpose then is he like the sucking child; but if he made
having an ever prompting purpose, then is he not, with such a purpose,
self-existent? Sorrow and joy spring up in all that lives, these at
least are not the works of Isvara; for if he causes grief and joy, he
must himself have love and hate; but if he loves unduly, or has hatred,
he cannot properly be named the self-existent. Again, if Isvara be the
maker, all living things should silently submit, patient beneath the
maker's power, and then what use to practise virtue? Twere equal, then,
the doing right or wrong: there should be no reward of works; the works
themselves being his making, then all things are the same with him, the
maker, but if all things are one with him, then our deeds, and we who do
them, are also self-existent. But if Isvara be uncreated, then all
things, being one with him, are uncreated. But if you say there is
another cause beside him as creator, then Isvara is not the 'end of
all'; Isvara, who ought to be inexhaustible, is not so, and therefore
all that lives may after all be uncreated--without a maker. Thus, you
see, the thought of Isvara is overthrown in this discussion; and all
such contradictory assertions should be exposed; if not, the blame is
ours. Again, if it be said self-nature is the maker, this is as faulty
as the first assertion; nor has either of the Hetuvidya sastras asserted
such a thing as this, till now. That which depends on nothing cannot as
a cause make that which is; but all things round us come from a cause,
as the plant comes from the seed; we cannot therefore say that all
things are produced by self-nature. Again, all things which exist spring
not from one nature as a cause; and yet you say self-nature is but one:
it cannot then be cause of all. If you say that that self-nature
pervades and fills all places, if it pervades and fills all things, then
certainly it cannot make them too; for there would be nothing, then, to
make, and therefore this cannot be the cause. If, again, it fills all
places and yet makes all things that exist, then it should throughout
'all time' have made forever that which is. But if you say it made
things thus, then there is nothing to be made 'in time'; know then, for
certain, self-nature cannot be the cause of all. Again, they say that
that self-nature excludes all modifications, therefore all things made
by it ought likewise to be free from modifications. But we see, in fact,
that all things in the world are fettered throughout by modifications;
therefore, again, we say that self-nature cannot be the cause of all.
If, again, you say that that self-nature is different from such
qualities, we answer, since self-nature must have ever caused, it cannot
differ in its nature from itself; but if the world be different from
these qualities, then self-nature cannot be the cause. Again, if
self-nature be unchangeable, so things should also be without decay; if
we regard self-nature as the cause, then cause and consequence of reason
should be one; but because we see decay in all things, we know that they
at least are caused. Again, if self-nature be the cause, why should we
seek to find 'escape'? for we ourselves possess this nature; patient
then should we endure both birth and death. For let us take the case
that one may find 'escape,' self-nature still will reconstruct the evil
of birth. If self-nature in itself be blind, yet 'tis the maker of the
world that sees. On this account, again, it cannot be the maker,
because, in this case, cause and effect would differ in their character,
but in all the world around us, cause and effect go hand in hand. Again,
if self-nature have no aim, it cannot cause that which has such purpose.
We know on seeing smoke there must be fire, and cause and result are
ever classed together thus. We are forbidden, then, to say an unthinking
cause can make a thing that has intelligence. The gold of which the cup
is made is gold throughout from first to last, self-nature, then, that
makes these things, from first to last must permeate all it makes. Once
more, if 'time' is maker of the world, 'twere needless then to seek
'escape,' for 'time' is constant and unchangeable: let us in patience
bear the 'intervals' of time. The world in its successions has no
limits, the 'intervals' of time are boundless also. Those then who
practise a religious life need not rely on 'methods' or 'expedients.'
The To-lo-piu Kiu-na, the one strange Sastra in the world, although it
has so many theories, yet still, be it known, it is opposed to any
single cause. But if, again, you say that 'self' is maker, then surely
self should make things pleasingly; but now things are not pleasing for
oneself, how then is it said that self is maker? But if he did not wish
to make things so, then he who wishes for things pleasing, is opposed to
self, the maker. Sorrow and joy are not self-existing, how can these be
made by self? But if we allow that self was maker, there should not be,
at least, an evil karman; but yet our deeds produce results both good
and evil; know then that 'self' cannot be maker. But perhaps you say
'self' is the maker according to occasion, and then the occasion ought
to be for good alone. But as good and evil both result from 'cause,' it
cannot be that 'self' has made it so. But if you adopt the
argument--there is no maker--then it is useless practising expedients;
all things are fixed and certain of themselves: what good to try to make
them otherwise? Deeds of every kind, done in the world, do,
notwithstanding, bring forth every kind of fruit; therefore we argue all
things that exist are not without some cause or other. There is both
'mind' and 'want of mind'--all things come from fixed causation; the
world and all therein is not the result of 'nothing' as a cause." The
nobleman, his heart receiving light, perceived throughout the most
excellent system of truth. Simple, and of wisdom born; thus firmly
settled in the true doctrine he lowly bent in worship at the feet of
Buddha and with closed hands made his request:--

"I dwell indeed at Sravasti, a land rich in produce, and enjoying peace;
Prasenagit is the great king thereof, the offspring of the 'lion'
family; his high renown and fame spread everywhere, reverenced by all
both far and near. Now am I wishful there to found a Vihara, I pray you
of your tenderness accept it from me. I know the heart of Buddha has no
preferences, nor does he seek a resting-place from labor, but on behalf
of all that lives refuse not my request."

Buddha, knowing the householder's heart, that his great charity was now
the moving cause--untainted and unselfish charity, nobly considerate of
the heart of all that lives--he said:

"Now you have seen the true doctrine, your guileless heart loves to
exercise its charity: for wealth and money are inconstant treasures,
'twere better quickly to bestow such things on others. For when a
treasury has been burnt, whatever precious things may have escaped the
fire, the wise man, knowing their inconstancy, gives freely, doing acts
of kindness with his saved possessions. But the niggard guards them
carefully, fearing to lose them, worn by anxiety, but never fearing
'inconstancy,' and that accumulated sorrow, when he loses all! There is
a proper time and a proper mode in charity; just as the vigorous warrior
goes to battle, so is the man 'able to give'--he also is an able
warrior; a champion strong and wise in action. The charitable man is
loved by all, well-known and far-renowned! his friendship prized by the
gentle and the good, in death his heart at rest and full of joy! He
suffers no repentance, no tormenting fear, nor is he born a wretched
ghost or demon! this is the opening flower of his reward, the fruit that
follows--hard to conjecture! In all the six conditions born there is no
sweet companion like pure charity; if born a Deva or a man, then charity
brings worship and renown on every hand; if born among the lower
creatures, the result of charity will follow in contentment got; wisdom
leads the way to fixed composure without dependence and without number,
and if we even reach the immortal path, still by continuous acts of
charity we fulfil ourselves in consequence of kindly charity done
elsewhere. Training ourselves in the eightfold path of recollection, in
every thought the heart is filled with joy; firm fixed in holy
contemplation, by meditation still we add to wisdom, able to see aright
the cause of birth and death; having beheld aright the cause of these,
then follows in due order perfect deliverance. The charitable man
discarding earthly wealth, nobly excludes the power of covetous desire;
loving and compassionate now, he gives with reverence and banishes all
hatred, envy, anger. So plainly may we see the fruit of charity, putting
away all covetous and unbelieving ways, the bands of sorrow all
destroyed: this is the fruit of kindly charity. Know then! the
charitable man has found the cause of final rescue; even as the man who
plants the sapling thereby secures the shade, the flowers, the fruit of
the tree full grown; the result of charity is even so, its reward is joy
and the great Nirvana. The charity which un-stores wealth leads to
returns of well-stored fruit. Giving away our food we get more strength,
giving away our clothes we get more beauty, founding religious
rest-places we reap the perfect fruit of the best charity. There is a
way of giving, seeking pleasure by it; there is a way of giving,
coveting to get more; some also give away to get a name for charity,
others to get the happiness of heaven, others to avoid the pain of being
poor hereafter, but yours, O friend! is a charity without such thoughts:
the highest and the best degree of charity, without self-interest or
thought of getting more. What your heart inclines you now to do, let it
be quickly done and well completed! The uncertain and the lustful heart
goes wandering here and there, but the pure eyes of virtue opening, the
heart comes back and rests!" The nobleman accepting Buddha's teaching,
his kindly heart receiving yet more light.

He invited Upatishya, his excellent friend, to accompany him on his
return to Kosala; and then going round to select a pleasant site, he saw
the garden of the heir-apparent, Geta, the groves and limpid streams
most pure. Proceeding where the prince was dwelling, he asked for leave
to buy the ground; the prince, because he valued it so much, at first
was not inclined to sell, but said at last:--"If you can cover it with
gold then, but not else, you may possess it."

The nobleman, his heart rejoicing, forthwith began to spread his gold.
Then Geta said: "I will not give, why then spread you your gold?" The
nobleman replied, "Not give; why then said you, 'Fill it with yellow
gold'?" And thus they differed and contended both, till they resorted to
the magistrate.

Meanwhile the people whispered much about his unwonted charity, and Geta
too, knowing the man's sincerity, asked more about the matter: what his
reasons were. On his reply, "I wish to found a Vihara, and offer it to
the Tathagata and all his Bhikshu followers," the prince, hearing the
name of Buddha, received at once illumination, and only took one-half
the gold, desiring to share in the foundation: "Yours is the land," he
said, "but mine the trees; these will I give to Buddha as my share in
the offering." Then the noble took the land, Geta the trees, and settled
both in trust on Sariputra. Then they began to build the hall, laboring
night and day to finish it. Lofty it rose and choicely decorated, as one
of the four kings' palaces, in just proportions, following the
directions which Buddha had declared the right ones. Never yet so great
a miracle as this! the priests shone in the streets of Sravasti!
Tathagata, seeing the divine shelter, with all his holy ones resorted to
the place to rest. No followers there to bow in prostrate service, his
followers rich in wisdom only. The nobleman reaping his reward, at the
end of life ascended up to heaven, leaving to sons and grandsons a good
foundation, through successive generations, to plough the field of

Interview between Father and Son

Buddha in the Magadha country employing himself in converting all kinds
of unbelievers, entirely changed them by the one and self-same law he
preached, even as the sun drowns with its brightness all the stars. Then
leaving the city of the five mountains with the company of his thousand
disciples, and with a great multitude who went before and came after
him, he advanced towards the Ni-kin mountain, near Kapilavastu; and
there he conceived in himself a generous purpose to prepare an offering
according to his religious doctrine to present to his father, the king.
And now, in anticipation of his coming, the royal teacher and the chief
minister had sent forth certain officers and their attendants to observe
on the right hand and the left what was taking place; and they soon
espied him (Buddha) as he advanced or halted on the way. Knowing that
Buddha was now returning to his country they hastened back and quickly
announced the tidings, "The prince who wandered forth afar to obtain
enlightenment, having fulfilled his aim, is now coming back." The king
hearing the news was greatly rejoiced, and forthwith went out with his
gaudy equipage to meet his son; and the whole body of gentry belonging
to the country, went forth with him in his company. Gradually advancing
he beheld Buddha from afar, his marks of beauty sparkling with splendor
twofold greater than of yore; placed in the middle of the great
congregation he seemed to be even as Brahma raga. Descending from his
chariot and advancing with dignity, the king was anxious lest there
should be any religious difficulty in the way of instant recognition;
and now beholding his beauty he inwardly rejoiced, but his mouth found
no words to utter. He reflected, too, how that he was still dwelling
among the unconverted throng, whilst his son had advanced and become a
saint; and although he was his son, yet as he now occupied the position
of a religious lord, he knew not by what name to address him.
Furthermore he thought with himself how he had long ago desired
earnestly this interview, which now had happened unawares. Meantime his
son in silence took a seat, perfectly composed and with unchanged
countenance. Thus for some time sitting opposite each other, with no
expression of feeling the king reflected thus, "How desolate and sad
does he now make my heart, as that of a man, who, fainting, longs for
water, upon the road espies a fountain pure and cold; with haste he
speeds towards it and longs to drink, when suddenly the spring dries up
and disappears. Thus, now I see my son, his well-known features as of
old; but how estranged his heart! and how his manner high and lifted up!
There are no grateful outflowings of soul, his feelings seem unwilling
to express themselves; cold and vacant there he sits; and like a thirsty
man before a dried-up fountain so am I."

Still distant thus they sat, with crowding thoughts rushing through the
mind, their eyes full met, but no responding joy; each looking at the
other, seemed as one thinking of a distant friend who gazes by accident
upon his pictured form. "That you," the king reflected, "who of right
might rule the world, even as that Mandhatri raga, should now go begging
here and there your food! what joy or charm has such a life as this?
Composed and firm as Sumeru, with marks of beauty bright as the
sunlight, with dignity of step like the ox king, fearless as any lion,
and yet receiving not the tribute of the world, but begging food
sufficient for your body's nourishment!"

Buddha, knowing his father's mind, still kept to his own filial purpose.
And then to open out his mind, and moved with pity for the multitude of
people, by his miraculous power he rose in mid-air and with his hands
appeared to grasp the sun and moon. Then he walked to and fro in space,
and underwent all kinds of transformation, dividing his body into many
parts, then joining all in one again. Treading firm on water as on dry
land, entering the earth as in the water, passing through walls of stone
without impediment, from the right side and the left water and fire
produced! The king, his father, filled with joy, now dismissed all
thought of son and father; then upon a lotus throne, seated in space, he
(Buddha) for his father's sake declared the law:--

"I know that the king's heart is full of love and recollection, and that
for his son's sake he adds grief to grief; but now let the bands of love
that bind him, thinking of his son, be instantly unloosed and utterly
destroyed. Ceasing from thoughts of love, let your calmed mind receive
from me, your son, religious nourishment such as no son has offered yet
to father: such do I present to you the king, my father. And what no
father yet has from a son received, now from your son you may accept, a
gift miraculous for any mortal king to enjoy, and seldom had by any
heavenly king! The way superlative of life immortal I offer now the
Maharaga; from accumulated deeds comes birth, and as the result of deeds
comes recompense. Knowing then that deeds bring fruit, how diligent
should you be to rid yourself of worldly deeds! how careful that in the
world your deeds should be only good and gentle! Fondly affected by
relationship or firmly bound by mutual ties of love, at end of life the
soul goes forth alone--then, only our good deeds befriend us. Whirled in
the five ways of the wheel of life, three kinds of deeds produce three
kinds of birth, and these are caused by lustful hankering, each kind
different in its character. Deprive these of their power by the practice
now of proper deeds of body and of word; by such right preparation, day
and night strive to get rid of all confusion of the mind and practise
silent contemplation; only this brings profit in the end, besides this
there is no reality; for be sure! the three worlds are but as the froth
and bubble of the sea. Would you have pleasure, or would you practise
that which brings it near? then prepare yourself by deeds that bring the
fourth birth: but still the five ways in the wheel of birth and death
are like the uncertain wandering of the stars; for heavenly beings too
must suffer change: how shall we find with men a hope of constancy;
Nirvana! that is the chief rest; composure! that the best of all
enjoyments! The five indulgences enjoyed by mortal kings are fraught
with danger and distress, like dwelling with a poisonous snake; what
pleasure, for a moment, can there be in such a case? The wise man sees
the world as compassed round with burning flames; he fears always, nor
can he rest till he has banished, once for all, birth, age, and death.
Infinitely quiet is the place where the wise man finds his abode; no
need of arms or weapons there! no elephants or horses, chariots or
soldiers there! Subdued the power of covetous desire and angry thoughts
and ignorance, there's nothing left in the wide world to conquer!
Knowing what sorrow is, he cuts away the cause of sorrow. This
destroyed, by practising right means, rightly enlightened in the four
true principles, he casts off fear and escapes the evil ways of birth."

The king when first he saw his wondrous spiritual power of miracle
rejoiced in heart; but now his feelings deeply affected by the joy of
hearing truth, he became a perfect vessel for receiving true religion,
and with clasped hands he breathed forth his praise: "Wonderful indeed!
the fruit of your resolve completed thus! Wonderful indeed! the
overwhelming sorrow passed away! Wonderful indeed, this gain to me! At
first my sorrowing heart was heavy, but now my sorrow has brought forth
only profit! Wonderful indeed! for now, to-day, I reap the full fruit of
a begotten son. It was right he should reject the choice pleasures of a
monarch, it was right he should so earnestly and with diligence practise
penance; it was right he should cast off his family and kin; it was
right he should cut off every feeling of love and affection. The old
Rishi kings boasting of their penance gained no merit; but you, living
in a peaceful, quiet place, have done all and completed all; yourself at
rest now you give rest to others, moved by your mighty sympathy for all
that lives! If you had kept your first estate with men, and as a
Kakravartin monarch ruled the world, possessing then no self-depending
power of miracle, how could my soul have then received deliverance? Then
there would have been no excellent law declared, causing me such joy
to-day; no! had you been a universal sovereign, the bonds of birth and
death would still have been unsevered, but now you have escaped from
birth and death; the great pain of transmigration overcome, you are
able, for the sake of every creature, widely to preach the law of life
immortal, and to exhibit thus your power miraculous, and show the deep
and wide power of wisdom; the grief of birth and death eternally
destroyed, you now have risen far above both gods and men. You might
have kept the holy state of a Kakravartin monarch; but no such good as
this would have resulted." Thus his words of praise concluded, filled
with increased reverence and religious love, he who occupied the honored
place of a royal father, bowed down respectfully and did obeisance. Then
all the people of the kingdom, beholding Buddha's miraculous power, and
having heard the deep and excellent law, seeing, moreover, the king's
grave reverence, with clasped hands bowed down and worshipped. Possessed
with deep portentous thoughts, satiated with sorrows attached to
lay-life, they all conceived a wish to leave their homes. The princes,
too, of the Sakya tribe, their minds enlightened to perceive the perfect
fruit of righteousness, entirely satiated with the glittering joys of
the world, forsaking home, rejoiced to join his company. Ananda, Nanda,
Kin-pi, Anuruddha, Nandupananda, with Kundadana, all these principal
nobles and others of the Sakya family, from the teaching of Buddha
became disciples and accepted the law. The sons of the great minister of
state, Udayin being the chief, with all the royal princes following in
order became recluses. Moreover, the son of Atali, whose name was Upali,
seeing all these princes and the sons of the chief minister becoming
hermits, his mind opening for conversion, he, too, received the law of
renunciation. The royal father seeing his son possessing the great
qualities of Riddhi, himself entered on the calm flowings of thought,
the gate of the true law of eternal life. Leaving his kingly estate and
country, lost in meditation, he drank sweet dew. Practising his
religious duties in solitude, silent and contemplative he dwelt in his
palace, a royal Rishi. Tathagata following a peaceable life, recognized
fully by his tribe, repeating the joyful news of religion, gladdened the
hearts of all his kinsmen hearing him. And now, it being the right time
for begging food, he entered the Kapila country; in the city all the
lords and ladies, in admiration, raised this chant of praise:
"Siddhartha! fully enlightened! has come back again!" The news flying
quickly in and out of doors, the great and small came forth to see him;
every door and every window crowded, climbing on shoulders, bending down
the eyes, they gazed upon the marks of beauty on his person, shining and
glorious! Wearing his Kashaya garment outside, the glory of his person
from within shone forth, like the sun's perfect wheel; within, without,
he seemed one mass of splendor. Those who beheld were filled with
sympathizing joy; their hands conjoined, they wept for gladness; and so
they watched him as he paced with dignity the road, his form collected,
all his organs well-controlled! His lovely body exhibiting the
perfection of religious beauty, his dignified compassion adding to their
regretful joy; his shaven head, his personal beauty sacrificed! his body
clad in dark and sombre vestment, his manner natural and plain, his
unadorned appearance; his circumspection as he looked upon the earth in
walking! "He who ought to have had held over him the feather-shade,"
they said, "whose hands should grasp 'the reins of the flying dragon,'
see how he walks in daylight on the dusty road! holding his alms-dish,
going to beg! Gifted enough to tread down every enemy, lovely enough to
gladden woman's heart, with glittering vesture and with godlike crown
reverenced he might have been by servile crowds! But now, his manly
beauty hidden, with heart restrained, and outward form subdued,
rejecting the much-coveted and glorious apparel, his shining body clad
with garments gray, what aim, what object, now! Hating the five delights
that move the world, forsaking virtuous wife and tender child, loving
the solitude, he wanders friendless; hard, indeed, for virtuous wife
through the long night, cherishing her grief; and now to hear he is a
hermit! She inquires not now of the royal Suddhodana if he has seen his
son or not! But as she views his beauteous person, to think his altered
form is now a hermit's! hating his home, still full of love; his father,
too, what rest for him! And then his loving child Rahula, weeping with
constant sorrowful desire! And now to see no change, or heart-relenting;
and this the end of such enlightenment! All these attractive marks, the
proofs of a religious calling, whereas, when born, all said, these are
marks of a 'great man,' who ought to receive tribute from the four seas!
And now to see what he has come to! all these predictive words vain and

Thus they talked together, the gossiping multitude, with confused
accents. Tathagata, his heart unaffected, felt no joy and no regret. But
he was moved by equal love to all the world, his one desire that men
should escape the grief of lust; to cause the root of virtue to
increase, and for the sake of coming ages, to leave the marks of
self-denial behind him, to dissipate the clouds and mists of sensual

He entered, thus intentioned, on the town to beg. He accepted food both
good or bad, whatever came, from rich or poor, without distinction;
having filled his alms-dish, he then returned back to the solitude.

Receiving the Getavana Vihara

The lord of the world, having converted the people of Kapilavastu
according to their several circumstances, his work being done, he went
with the great body of his followers, and directed his way to the
country of Kosala, where dwelt King Prasenagit. The Getavana was now
fully adorned, and its halls and courts carefully prepared. The
fountains and streams flowed through the garden which glittered with
flowers and fruit; rare birds sat by the pools, and on the land they
sang in sweet concord, according to their kind.

Beautiful in every way as the palace of Mount Kilas, such was the
Getavana. Then the noble friend of the orphans, surrounded by his
attendants, who met him on the way, scattering flowers and burning
incense, invited the lord to enter the Getavana. In his hand he carried
a golden dragon-pitcher, and bending low upon his knees he poured the
flowing water as a sign of the gift of the Getavana Vihara for the use
of the priesthood throughout the world. The lord then received it, with
the prayer that "overruling all evil influences it might give the
kingdom permanent rest, and that the happiness of Anathapindada might
flow out in countless streams." Then the king Prasenagit, hearing that
the lord had come, with his royal equipage went to the Getavana to
worship at the lord's feet. Having arrived and taken a seat on one side,
with clasped hands he spake to Buddha thus:--

"O that my unworthy and obscure kingdom should thus suddenly have met
such fortune! For how can misfortunes or frequent calamities possibly
affect it, in the presence of so great a man? And now that I have seen
your sacred features, I may perhaps partake of the converting streams of
your teaching. A town although it is composed of many sections, yet both
ignoble and holy persons may enter the surpassing stream; and so the
wind which fans the perfumed grove causes the scents to unite and form
one pleasant breeze; and as the birds which collect on Mount Sumeru are
many, and the various shades that blend in shining gold, so an assembly
may consist of persons of different capacities: individually
insignificant, but a glorious body. The desert master by nourishing the
Rishi, procured a birth as the three leg, or foot star; worldly profit
is fleeting and perishable, religious profit is eternal and
inexhaustible; a man though a king is full of trouble, a common man, who
is holy, has everlasting rest."

Buddha knowing the state of the king's heart--that he rejoiced in
religion as Sakraraga--considered the two obstacles that weighted
him--viz., too great love of money and of external pleasures, then
seizing the opportunity, and knowing the tendencies of his heart, he
began, for the king's sake, to preach: "Even those who, by evil karma,
have been born in low degree, when they see a person of virtuous
character, feel reverence for him; how much rather ought an independent
king, who by his previous conditions of life has acquired much merit,
when he encounters Buddha, to conceive even more reverence. Nor is it
difficult to understand, that a country should enjoy more rest and
peace, by the presence of Buddha, than if he were not to dwell therein.
And now, as I briefly declare my law, let the Maharaga listen and weigh
my words, and hold fast that which I deliver! See now the end of my
perfected merit, my life is done, there is for me no further body or
spirit, but freedom from all ties of kith or kin! The good or evil deeds
we do from first to last follow us as shadows; most exalted then the
deeds of the king of the law. The prince who cherishes his people, in
the present life gains renown, and hereafter ascends to heaven; but by
disobedience and neglect of duty, present distress is felt and future
misery! As in old times Lui-'ma raga, by obeying the precepts, was born
in heaven, whilst Kin-pu raga, doing wickedly, at the end of life was
born in misery. Now then, for the sake of the great king, I will briefly
relate the good and evil law. The great requirement is a loving heart!
to regard the people as we do an only son, not to oppress, not to
destroy; to keep in due check every member of the body, to forsake
unrighteous doctrine and walk in the straight path; not to exalt one's
self by treading down others, but to comfort and befriend those in
suffering; not to exercise one's self in false theories, nor to ponder
much on kingly dignity, nor to listen to the smooth words of false
teachers. Not to vex one's self by austerities, not to exceed or
transgress the right rules of kingly conduct, but to meditate on Buddha
and weigh his righteous law, and to put down and adjust all that is
contrary to religion; to exhibit true superiority by virtuous conduct
and the highest exercise of reason, to meditate deeply on the vanity of
earthly things, to realize the fickleness of life by constant
recollection; to exalt the mind to the highest point of reflection, to
seek sincere faith (truth) with firm purpose; to retain an inward sense
of happiness resulting from one's self, and to look forward to increased
happiness hereafter; to lay up a good name for distant ages, this will
secure the favor of Tathagata, as men now loving sweet fruit will
hereafter be praised by their descendants. There is a way of darkness
out of light, there is a way of light out of darkness; there is darkness
which follows after the gloom, there is a light which causes the
brightening of light. The wise man, leaving first principles, should go
on to get more light; evil words will be repeated far and wide by the
multitude, but there are few to follow good direction: It is impossible,
however, to avoid result of works, the doer cannot escape; if there had
been no first works, there had been in the end no result of doing--no
reward for good, no hereafter joy; but because works are done, there is
no escape. Let us then practise good works; let us inspect our thoughts
that we do no evil, because as we sow so we reap. As when enclosed in a
four-stone mountain, there is no escape or place of refuge for anyone,
so within this mountain-wall of old age, birth, disease, and death,
there is no escape for the world. Only by considering and practising the
true law can we escape from this sorrow-piled mountain. There is,
indeed, no constancy in the world, the end of the pleasures of sense is
as the lightning flash, whilst old age and death are as the piercing
bolts; what profit, then, in doing iniquity! All the ancient conquering
kings, who were as gods on earth, thought by their strength to overcome
decay; but after a brief life they too disappeared. The Kalpa-fire will
melt Mount Sumeru, the water of the ocean will be dried up, how much
less can our human frame, which is as a bubble, expect to endure for
long upon the earth! The fierce wind scatters the thick mists, the sun's
rays encircle Mount Sumeru, the fierce fire licks up the place of
moisture, so things are ever born once more to be destroyed! The body is
a thing of unreality, kept through the suffering of the long night
pampered by wealth, living idly and in carelessness, death suddenly
comes and it is carried away as rotten wood in the stream! The wise man,
expecting these changes, with diligence strives against sloth; the dread
of birth and death acts as a spur to keep him from lagging on the road;
he frees himself from engagements, he is not occupied with
self-pleasing, he is not entangled by any of the cares of life, he holds
to no business, seeks no friendships, engages in no learned career, nor
yet wholly separates himself from it; for his learning is the wisdom of
not-perceiving wisdom, but yet perceiving that which tells him of his
own impermanence; having a body, yet keeping aloof from defilement, he
learns to regard defilement as the greatest evil. He knows that, though
born in the Arupa world, there is yet no escape from the changes of
time; his learning, then, is to acquire the changeless body; for where
no change is, there is peace. Thus the possession of this changeful body
is the foundation of all sorrow. Therefore, again, all who are wise make
this their aim--to seek a bodiless condition; all the various orders of
sentient creatures, from the indulgence of lust, derive pain; therefore
all those in this condition ought to conceive a heart, loathing lust;
putting away and loathing this condition, then they shall receive no
more pain; though born in a state with or without an external form, the
certainty of future change is the root of sorrow; for so long as there
is no perfect cessation of personal being, there can be, certainly, no
absence of personal desire; beholding, in this way, the character of the
three worlds, their inconstancy and unreality, the presence of
ever-consuming pain, how can the wise man seek enjoyment therein? When a
tree is burning with fierce flames how can the birds congregate therein?
The wise man, who is regarded as an enlightened sage, without this
knowledge is ignorant; having this knowledge, then true wisdom dawns;
without it, there is no enlightenment. To get this wisdom is the one
aim, to neglect it is the mistake of life. All the teaching of the
schools should be centred here; without it is no true reason. To recount
this excellent system is not for those who dwell in family connection;
nor is it, on that account, not to be said, for religion concerns a man
individually. Burned up with sorrow, by entering the cool stream, all
may obtain relief and ease; the light of a lamp in a dark coom lights up
equally objects of all colors, so is it with those who devote themselves
to religion--there is no distinction between the professed disciple and
the unlearned. Sometimes the mountain-dweller falls into ruin, sometimes
the humble householder mounts up to be a Rishi; the want of faith is the
engulfing sea, the presence of disorderly belief is the rolling flood.
The tide of lust carries away the world; involved in its eddies there is
no escape; wisdom is the handy boat, reflection is the hold-fast. The
drum-call of religion, the barrier of thought, these alone can rescue
from the sea of ignorance."

At this time the king, sincerely attentive to the words of the All-wise,
conceived a distaste for the world's glitter and was dissatisfied with
the pleasures of royalty, even as one avoids a drunken elephant, or
returns to right reason after a debauch. Then all the heretical
teachers, seeing that the king was well affected to Buddha, besought the
king, with one voice, to call on Buddha to exhibit his miraculous gifts.
Then the king addressed the lord of the world: "I pray you, grant their
request!" Then Buddha silently acquiesced. And now all the different
professors of religion, the doctors who boasted of their spiritual
power, came together in a body to where Buddha was; then he manifested
before them his power of miracle: ascending up into the air, he remained
seated, diffusing his glory as the light of the sun he shed abroad the
brightness of his presence. The heretical teachers were all abashed, the
people all were filled with faith. Then for the sake of preaching to his
mother, he forthwith ascended to the heaven of the thirty-three gods,
and for three months dwelt in heavenly mansions. There he converted the
occupants of that abode, and having concluded his pious mission to his
mother, the time of his sojourn in heaven finished, he forthwith
returned, the angels accompanying him on wing; he travelled down a
seven-gemmed ladder, and again arrived at Gambudvipa. Stepping down he
alighted on the spot where all the Buddhas return, countless hosts of
angels accompanied him, conveying with them their palace abodes as a

The people of Gambudvipa, with closed hands, looking up with reverence,
beheld him.

Escaping the Drunken Elephant and Devadatta

Having instructed his mother in heaven with all the angel host, and once
more returned to men, he went about converting those capable of it.
Gutika, Givaka, Sula, and Kurna, the noble's son Anga and the son of the
fearless king Abhaya Nyagrodha and the rest; Srikutaka, Upali the
Nirgrantha; all these were thoroughly converted. So also the king of
Gandhara, whose name was Fo-kia-lo; he, having heard the profound and
excellent law, left his country and became a recluse. So also the demons
Himapati and Vatagiri, on the mountain Vibhara, were subdued and
converted. The Brahmakarin Prayantika, on the mountain Vagana, by the
subtle meaning of half a gatha, he convinced and caused to rejoice in
faith; the village of Danamati had one Kutadanta, the head of the
twice-born Brahmans; at this time he was sacrificing countless victims;
Tathagata by means converted him, and caused him to enter the true path.
On Mount Bhatika a heavenly being of eminent distinction, whose name was
Pankasikha, receiving the law, attained Dhyana; in the village of
Vainushta, he converted the mother of the celebrated Nanda. In the town
of Ankavari, he subdued the powerful mahabala spirit; Bhanabhadra,
Sronadanta, the malevolent and powerful Nagas, the king of the country
and his harem, received together the true law, as he opened to them the
gate of immortality. In the celebrated Viggi village, Kina and Sila,
earnestly seeking to be born in heaven, he converted and made to enter
the right path. The Angulimala, in that village of Sumu, through the
exhibition of his divine power, he converted and subdued; there was that
noble's son, Purigivana, rich in wealth and stores as Punavati, directly
he was brought to Buddha, accepting the doctrine, he became vastly
liberal. So in that village of Padatti he converted the celebrated
Patali, and also Patala, brothers, and both demons. In Bhidhavali there
were two Brahmans, one called Great-age, the other Brahma-age. These by
the power of a discourse he subdued, and caused them to attain knowledge
of the true law; when he came to Vaisali, he converted all the Raksha
demons, and the lion of the Likkhavis, and all the Likkhavis, Saka the
Nirgrantha, all these he caused to attain the true law. Hama kinkhava
had a demon Potala, and another Potalaka, these he converted. Again he
came to Mount Ala, to convert the demon Alava, and a second called
Kumara, and a third Asidaka; then going back to Mount Gaga he converted
the demon Kangana, and Kamo the Yaksha, with the sister and son. Then
coming to Benares, he converted the celebrated Katyayana; then
afterwards going, by his miraculous power, to Sruvala, he converted the
merchants Davakin and Nikin, and received their sandalwood hall,
exhaling its fragrant odors till now. Going then to Mahivati, he
converted the Rishi Kapila, and the Muni remained with him; his foot
stepping on the stone, the thousand-spoked twin-wheels appeared, which
never could be erased.

Then he came to the place Po-lo-na, where he converted the demon
Po-lo-na; coming to the country of Mathura, he converted the demon
Godama. In the Thurakusati he also converted Pindapala; coming to the
village of Vairanga, he converted the Brahman; in the village of
Kalamasa, he converted Savasasin, and also that celebrated Agirivasa.
Once more returning to the Sravasti country, he converted the Gautamas
Gatisruna and Dakatili; returning to the Kosala country, he converted
the leaders of the heretics Vakrapali and all the Brahmakarins. Coming
to Satavaka, in the forest retreat, he converted the heretical Rishis,
and constrained them to enter the path of the Buddha Rishi. Coming to
the country of Ayodhya, he converted the demon Nagas; coming to the
country of Kimbila, he converted the two Nagaragas; one called Kimbila,
the other called Kalaka. Again coming to the Vaggi country, he converted
the Yaksha demon, whose name was Pisha, the father and mother of Nagara,
and the great noble also, he caused to believe gladly in the true law.
Coming to the Kausarubi country, he converted Goshira, and the two
Upasikas, Vaguttara and her companion Uvari; and besides these, many
others, one after the other. Coming to the country of Gandhara he
converted the Naga Apalala; thus in due order all these air-going,
water-loving natures he completely converted and saved, as the sun when
he shines upon some dark and sombre cave. At this time Devadatta, seeing
the remarkable excellences of Buddha, conceived in his heart a jealous
hatred; losing all power of thoughtful abstraction he ever plotted
wicked schemes, to put a stop to the spread of the true law; ascending
the Gridhrakuta mount he rolled down a stone to hit Buddha; the stone
divided into two parts, each part passing on either side of him. Again,
on the royal highway he loosed a drunken, vicious elephant. With his
raised trunk trumpeting as thunder he ran, his maddened breath raising a
cloud around him, his wild pace like the rushing wind, to be avoided
more than the fierce tempest; his trunk and tusks and tail and feet,
when touched only, brought instant death. Thus he ran through the
streets and ways of Ragagriha, madly wounding and killing men; their
corpses lay across the road, their brains and blood scattered afar. Then
all the men and women filled with fear, remained indoors; throughout the
city there was universal terror, only piteous shrieks and cries were
heard; beyond the city men were running fast, hiding themselves in holes
and dens. Tathagata, with five hundred followers, at this time came
towards the city; from tops of gates and every window, men, fearing for
Buddha, begged him not to advance; Tathagata, his heart composed and
quiet, with perfect self-possession, thinking only on the sorrow caused
by hate, his loving heart desiring to appease it, followed by guardian
angel-nagas, slowly approached the maddened elephant. The Bhikshus all
deserted him, Ananda only remained by his side; joined by every tie of
duty, his steadfast nature did not shake or quail. The drunken elephant,
savage and spiteful, beholding Buddha, came to himself at once, and
bending, worshipped at his feet just as a mighty mountain falls to
earth. With lotus hand the master pats his head, even as the moon lights
up a flying cloud. And now, as he lay crouched before the master's feet,
on his account he speaks some sacred words: "The elephant cannot hurt
the mighty dragon, hard it is to fight with such a one; the elephant
desiring so to do will in the end obtain no happy state of birth;
deceived by lust, anger, and delusion, which are hard to conquer, but
which Buddha has conquered. Now, then, this very day, give up this lust,
this anger and delusion! You! swallowed up in sorrow's mud! if not now
given up, they will increase yet more and grow."

The elephant, hearing Buddha's words, escaped from drunkenness, rejoiced
in heart; his mind and body both found rest, as one athirst finds joy
who drinks of heavenly dew. The elephant being thus converted, the
people around were filled with joy; they all raised a cry of wonder at
the miracle, and brought their offerings of every kind. The
scarcely-good arrived at middle-virtue, the middling-good passed to a
higher grade, the unbelieving now became believers, those who believed
were strengthened in their faith. Agatasatru, mighty king, seeing how
Buddha conquered the drunken elephant, was moved at heart by thoughts
profound; then, filled with joy, he found a twofold growth of piety.
Tathagata, by exercise of virtue, exhibited all kinds of spiritual
powers; thus he subdued and harmonized the minds of all, and caused them
in due order to attain religious truth, and through the kingdom virtuous
seeds were sown, as at the first when men began to live. But Devadatta,
mad with rage, because he was ensnared by his own wickedness, at first
by power miraculous able to fly, now fallen, dwells in lowest hell.

The Lady Amra Sees Buddha

The lord of the world having finished his wide work of conversion
conceived in himself a desire for Nirvana. Accordingly proceeding from
the city of Ragagriha, he went on towards the town of Pataliputra.

Having arrived there, he dwelt in the famous Patali ketiya. Now this
town of Pataliputra is the frontier town of Magadha, defending the
outskirts of the country. Ruling the country was a Brahman of wide
renown and great learning in the scriptures; and there was also an
overseer of the country, to take the omens of the land with respect to
rest or calamity. At this time the king of Magadha sent to that officer
of inspection a messenger, to warn and command him to raise
fortifications in the neighborhood of the town for its security and
protection. And now the lord of the world, as they were raising the
fortifications, predicted that in consequence of the Devas and spirits
who protected and kept the land, the place should continue strong and
free from calamity or destruction. On this the heart of the overseer
greatly rejoiced, and he made religious offerings to Buddha, the law,
and the church. Buddha now leaving the city gate went on towards the
river Ganges. The overseer, from his deep reverence for Buddha, named
the gate through which the lord had passed the "Gautama gate." Meanwhile
the people all by the side of the river Ganges went forth to pay
reverence to the lord of the world. They prepared for him every kind of
religious offering, and each one with his gaudy boat invited him to
cross over. The lord of the world, considering the number of the boats,
feared lest by an appearance of partiality in accepting one, he might
hurt the minds of all the rest. Therefore in a moment, by his spiritual
power, he transported himself and the great congregation across the
river, leaving this shore he passed at once to that, signifying thereby
the passage in the boat of wisdom from this world to Nirvana: a boat
large enough to transport all that lives to save the world, even as
without a boat he crossed without hindrance the river Ganges. Then all
the people on the bank of the river, with one voice, raised a rapturous
shout, and all declared this ford should be called the Gautama ford. As
the city gate is called the Gautama gate, so this Gautama ford is so
known through ages; and shall be so called through generations to come.
Then Tathagata, going forward still, came to that celebrated Kuli
village, where he preached and converted many; again he went on to the
Nadi village, where many deaths had occurred among the people. The
friends of the dead then came to the lord and asked, "Where have our
friends and relatives deceased, now gone to be born, after this life
ended?" Buddha, knowing well the sequence of deeds, answered each
according to his several needs. Then going forward to Vaisali, he
located himself in the Amra grove. The celebrated Lady Amra, well
affected to Buddha, went to that garden followed by her waiting women,
whilst the children from the schools paid her respect. Thus with
circumspection and self-restraint, her person lightly and plainly
clothed, putting away all her ornamented robes and all adornments of
scent and flowers, as a prudent and virtuous woman goes forth to perform
her religious duties, so she went on, beautiful to look upon, like any
Devi in appearance. Buddha seeing the lady in the distance approaching,
spake thus to all the Bhikshus:--

"This woman is indeed exceedingly beautiful, able to fascinate the minds
of the religious; now then, keep your recollection straight! let wisdom
keep your mind in subjection! Better fall into the fierce tiger's mouth,
or under the sharp knife of the executioner, than to dwell with a woman
and excite in yourselves lustful thoughts. A woman is anxious to exhibit
her form and shape, whether walking, standing, sitting, or sleeping.
Even when represented as a picture, she desires most of all to set off
the blandishments of her beauty, and thus to rob men of their steadfast
heart! How then ought you to guard yourselves? By regarding her tears
and her smiles as enemies, her stooping form, her hanging arms, and all
her disentangled hair as toils designed to entrap man's heart. Then how
much more should you suspect her studied, amorous beauty; when she
displays her dainty outline, her richly ornamented form, and chatters
gayly with the foolish man! Ah, then! what perturbation and what evil
thoughts, not seeing underneath the horrid, tainted shape, the sorrows
of impermanence, the impurity, the unreality! Considering these as the
reality, all lustful thoughts die out; rightly considering these, within
their several limits, not even an Apsaras would give you joy. But yet
the power of lust is great with men, and is to be feared withal; take
then the bow of earnest perseverance, and the sharp arrow points of
wisdom, cover your head with the helmet of right-thought, and fight with
fixed resolve against the five desires. Better far with red-hot iron
pins bore out both your eyes, than encourage in yourselves lustful
thoughts, or look upon a woman's form with such desires. Lust beclouding
a man's heart, confused with woman's beauty, the mind is dazed, and at
the end of life that man must fall into an 'evil way.' Fear then the
sorrow of that 'evil way!' and harbor not the deceits of women. The
senses not confined within due limits, and the objects of sense not
limited as they ought to be, lustful and covetous thoughts grow up
between the two, because the senses and their objects are unequally
yoked. Just as when two ploughing oxen are yoked together to one halter
and cross-bar, but not together pulling as they go, so is it when the
senses and their objects are unequally matched. Therefore, I say,
restrain the heart, give it no unbridled license."

Thus Buddha, for the Bhikshus' sake, explained the law in various ways.
And now that Amra lady gradually approached the presence of the lord;
seeing Buddha seated beneath a tree, lost in thought and wholly absorbed
by it, she recollected that he had a great compassionate heart, and
therefore she believed he would in pity receive her garden grove. With
steadfast heart and joyful mien and rightly governed feelings, her
outward form restrained, her heart composed, bowing her head at Buddha's
feet, she took her place as the lord bade her, whilst he in sequence
right declared the law:--

"Your heart, O lady! seems composed and quieted, your form without
external ornaments; young in years and rich, you seem well-talented as
you are beautiful. That one, so gifted, should by faith be able to
receive the law of righteousness is, indeed, a rare thing in the world!
The wisdom of a master derived from former births, enables him to accept
the law with joy: this is not rare; but that a woman, weak of will,
scant in wisdom, deeply immersed in love, should yet be able to delight
in piety, this, indeed, is very rare. A man born in the world, by proper
thought comes to delight in goodness, he recognizes the impermanence of
wealth and beauty, and looks upon religion as his best ornament. He
feels that this alone can remedy the ills of life and change the fate of
young and old; the evil destiny that cramps another's life cannot affect
him, living righteously; always removing that which excites desire, he
is strong in the absence of desire; seeking to find, not what vain
thoughts suggest, but that to which religion points him. Relying on
external help, he has sorrow; self-reliant, there is strength and joy.
But in the case of woman, from another comes the labor, and the nurture
of another's child. Thus then should everyone consider well, and loathe
and put away the form of woman."

Amra, the lady, hearing the law, rejoiced. Her wisdom strengthened, and
still more enlightened, she was enabled to cast off desire, and of
herself dissatisfied with woman's form, was freed from all polluting
thoughts. Though still constrained to woman's form, filled with
religious joy, she bowed at Buddha's feet and spoke: "Oh! may the lord,
in deep compassion, receive from me, though ignorant, this offering, and
so fulfil my earnest vow." Then Buddha knowing her sincerity, and for
the good of all that lives, silently accepted her request, and caused in
her full joy, in consequence; whilst all her friends attentive, grew in
knowledge, and, after adoration, went back home.


By Spiritual Power Fixing His Term of Years

At this time the great men among the Likkhavis, hearing that the lord of
the world had entered their country and was located in the Amra garden,
went thither riding in their gaudy chariots with silken canopies, and
clothed in gorgeous robes, both blue and red and yellow and white, each
one with his own cognizance. Accompanied by their body guard surrounding
them, they went; others prepared the road in front; and with their
heavenly crowns and flower-bespangled robes they rode, richly dight with
every kind of costly ornament. Their noble forms resplendent increased
the glory of that garden grove; now taking off the five distinctive
ornaments, alighting from their chariots, they advanced afoot. Slowly
thus, with bated breath, their bodies reverent they advanced. Then they
bowed down and worshipped Buddha's foot, and, a great multitude, they
gathered round the lord, shining as the sun's disc, full of radiance.

There was the lion Likkhavi, among the Likkhavis the senior, his noble
form bold as the lion's, standing there with lion eyes, but without the
lion's pride, taught by the Sakya lion, who thus began: "Great and
illustrious personages, famed as a tribe for grace and comeliness! put
aside, I pray, the world's high thoughts, and now accept the abounding
lustre of religious teaching. Wealth and beauty, scented flowers and
ornaments like these, are not to be compared for grace with moral
rectitude! Your land productive and in peaceful quiet--this is your
great renown; but true gracefulness of body and a happy people depend
upon the heart well-governed. Add but to this a reverent feeling for
religion, then a people's fame is at its height! a fertile land and all
the dwellers in it, as a united body, virtuous! To-day then learn this
virtue, cherish with carefulness the people, lead them as a body in the
right way of rectitude, even as the ox-king leads the way across the
river-ford. If a man with earnest recollection ponder on things of this
world and the next, he will consider how by right behavior right morals
he prepares, as the result of merit, rest in either world. For all in
this world will exceedingly revere him, his fame will spread abroad
through every part, the virtuous will rejoice to call him friend, and
the outflowings of his goodness will know no bounds forever. The
precious gems found in the desert wilds are all from earth engendered;
moral conduct, likewise, as the earth, is the great source of all that
is good. By this, without the use of wings, we fly through space, we
cross the river needing not a handy boat; but without this a man will
find it hard indeed to cross the stream of sorrow or stay the rush of
sorrow. As when a tree with lovely flowers and fruit, pierced by some
sharp instrument, is hard to climb, so is it with the much-renowned for
strength and beauty, who break through the laws of moral rectitude!
Sitting upright in the royal palace, the heart of the king was grave and
majestic; with a view to gain the merit of a pure and moral life, he
became a convert of a great Rishi. With garments dyed and clad with
hair, shaved, save one spiral knot, he led a hermit's life, but, as he
did not rule himself with strict morality, he was immersed in suffering
and sorrow. Each morn and eve he used the three ablutions, sacrificed to
fire and practised strict austerity, let his body be in filth as the
brute beast, passed through fire and water, dwelt amidst the craggy
rocks, inhaled the wind, drank from the Ganges' stream, controlled
himself with bitter fasts--but all! far short of moral rectitude. For
though a man inure himself to live as any brute, he is not on that
account a vessel of the righteous law; whilst he who breaks the laws of
right behavior invites detraction, and is one no virtuous man can love;
his heart is ever filled with boding fear, his evil name pursues him as
a shadow. Having neither profit nor advantage in this world, how can he
in the next world reap content? Therefore the wise man ought to practise
pure behavior; passing through the wilderness of birth and death, pure
conduct is to him a virtuous guide. From pure behavior comes self-power,
which frees a man from many dangers; pure conduct, like a ladder,
enables us to climb to heaven. Those who found themselves on right
behavior, cut off the source of pain and grief; but they who by
transgression destroy this mind, may mourn the loss of every virtuous
principle. To gain this end first banish every ground of 'self'; this
thought of 'self' shades every lofty aim, even as the ashes that conceal
the fire, treading on which the foot is burned. Pride and indifference
shroud this heart, too, as the sun is obscured by the piled-up clouds;
supercilious thoughts root out all modesty of mind, and sorrow saps the
strongest will. As age and disease waste youthful beauty, so pride of
self destroys all virtue; the Devas and Asuras, thus from jealousy and
envy, raised mutual strife. The loss of virtue and of merit which we
mourn, proceeds from 'pride of self' throughout; and as I am a conqueror
amid conquerors, so he who conquers self is one with me. He who little
cares to conquer self, is but a foolish master; beauty, or earthly
things, family renown and such things, all are utterly inconstant, and
what is changeable can give no rest of interval. If in the end the law
of entire destruction is exacted, what use is there in indolence and
pride? Covetous desire is the greatest source of sorrow, appearing as a
friend in secret 'tis our enemy. As a fierce fire excited from within a
house, so is the fire of covetous desire: the burning flame of covetous
desire is fiercer far than fire which burns the world. For fire may be
put out by water in excess, but what can overpower the fire of lust? The
fire which fiercely burns the desert grass dies out, and then the grass
will grow again; but when the fire of lust burns up the heart, then how
hard for true religion there to dwell! for lust seeks worldly pleasures,
these pleasures add to an impure karman; by this evil karman a man falls
into perdition, and so there is no greater enemy to man than lust.
Lusting, man gives way to amorous indulgence, by this he is led to
practise every kind of lustful longing; indulging thus, he gathers
frequent sorrow. No greater evil is there than lust. Lust is a dire
disease, and the foolish master stops the medicine of wisdom. The study
of heretical books not leading to right thought, causes the lustful
heart to increase and grow, for these books are not correct on the
points of impermanency, the non-existence of self, and any object ground
for 'self.' But a true and right apprehension through the power of
wisdom, is effectual to destroy that false desire, and therefore our
object should be to practise this true apprehension. Right apprehension
once produced then there is deliverance from covetous desire, for a
false estimate of excellency produces a covetous desire to excel, whilst
a false view of demerit produces anger and regret; but the idea of
excelling and also of inferiority (in the sense of demerit) both
destroyed, the desire to excel and also anger (on account of
inferiority) are destroyed. Anger! how it changes the comely face, how
it destroys the loveliness of beauty! Anger dulls the brightness of the
eye, chokes all desire to hear the principles of truth, cuts and divides
the principle of family affection, impoverishes and weakens every
worldly aim. Therefore let anger be subdued, yield not to the angry
impulse; he who can hold his wild and angry heart is well entitled
'illustrious charioteer.' For men call such a one 'illustrious
team-breaker' who can with bands restrain the unbroken steed; so anger
not subdued, its fire unquenched, the sorrow of repentance burns like
fire. A man who allows wild passion to arise within, himself first burns
his heart, then after burning adds the wind thereto which ignites the
fire again, or not, as the case may be. The pain of birth, old age,
disease, and death, press heavily upon the world, but adding 'passion'
to the score, what is this but to increase our foes when pressed by
foes? But rather, seeing how the world is pressed by throngs of grief,
we ought to encourage in us love, and as the world produces grief on
grief, so should we add as antidotes unnumbered remedies." Tathagata,
illustrious in expedients, according to the disease, thus briefly spoke;
even as a good physician in the world, according to the disease,
prescribes his medicine. And now the Likkhavis, hearing the sermon
preached by Buddha, arose forthwith and bowed at Buddha's feet, and
joyfully they placed them on their heads. Then they asked both Buddha
and the congregation on the morrow to accept their poor religious
offerings. But Buddha told them that already Amra had invited him. On
this the Likkhavis, harboring thoughts of pride and disappointment,
said: "Why should that one take away our profit?" But, knowing Buddha's
heart to be impartial and fair, they once again regained their
cheerfulness. Tathagata, moreover, nobly seizing the occasion, appeasing
them, produced within a joyful heart; and so subdued, their grandeur of
appearance came again, as when a snake subdued by charms glistens with
shining skin. And now, the night being passed, the signs of dawn
appearing, Buddha and the great assembly go to the abode of Amra, and
having received her entertainment, they went on to the village of
Pi-nau, and there he rested during the rainy season; the three months'
rest being ended, again he returned to Vaisali, and dwelt beside the
Monkey Tank; sitting there in a shady grove, he shed a flood of glory
from his person; aroused thereby, Mara Pisuna came to the place where
Buddha was, and with closed palms exhorted him thus: "Formerly, beside
the Nairangana river, when you had accomplished your true and steadfast
aim, you said, 'When I have done all I have to do, then will I pass at
once to Nirvana'; and now you have done all you have to do, you should,
as then you said, pass to Nirvana."

Then Buddha spake to Pisuna: "The time of my complete deliverance is at
hand, but let three months elapse, and I shall reach Nirvana." Then
Mara, knowing that Tathagata had fixed the time for his emancipation,
his earnest wish being thus fulfilled, joyous returned to his abode in
heaven. Tathagata, seated beneath a tree, straightway was lost in
ecstasy, and willingly rejected his allotted years, and by his spiritual
power fixed the remnant of his life. On this, Tathagata thus giving up
his years, the great earth shook and quaked through all the limits of
the universe; great flames of fire were seen around, the tops of Sumeru
were shaken, from heaven there rained showers of flying stones, a
whirling tempest rose on every side, the trees were rooted up and fell,
heavenly music rose with plaintive notes, whilst angels for a time were
joyless. Buddha rising from out his ecstasy, announced to all the world:
"Now have I given up my term of years; I live henceforth by power of
faith; my body like a broken chariot stands, no further cause of
'coming' or of 'going'; completely freed from the three worlds, I go
enfranchised, as a chicken from its egg."

The Differences of the Likkhavis

The venerable Ananda, seeing the earth shaking on every side, his heart
was tearful and his hair erect; he asked the cause thereof of Buddha.

Buddha replied: "Ananda! I have fixed three months to end my life, the
rest of life I utterly give up; this is the reason why the earth is
greatly shaken."

Ananda, hearing the instruction of Buddha, was moved with pity and the
tears flowed down his face, even as when an elephant of mighty strength
shakes the sandal-wood tree. Thus was Ananda shaken and his mind
perturbed, whilst down his cheeks the tears, like drops of perfume,
flowed; so much he loved the lord his master, so full of kindness was
he, and, as yet, not freed from earthly thoughts. Thinking then on these
four things alone, he gave his grief full liberty, nor could he master
it, but said, "Now I hear the lord declare that he has fixed for good
his time to die, my body fails, my strength is gone, my mind is dazed,
my soul is all discordant, and all the words of truth forgotten; a wild
deserted waste seems heaven and earth. Have pity! save me, master!
perish not so soon! Perished with bitter cold, I chanced upon a
fire--forthwith it disappeared. Wandering amid the wilds of grief and
pain, deceived, confused, I lost my way--suddenly a wise and prudent
guide encountered me, but hardly saved from my bewilderment, he once
more vanished. Like some poor man treading through endless mud, weary
and parched with thirst, longs for the water, suddenly he lights upon a
cool refreshing lake, he hastens to it--lo! it dries before him. The
deep blue, bright, refulgent eye, piercing through all the worlds, with
wisdom brightens the dark gloom, the darkness for a moment is dispelled.
As when the blade shoots through the yielding earth, the clouds collect
and we await the welcome shower, then a fierce wind drives the big
clouds away, and so with disappointed hope we watch the dried-up field!
Deep darkness reigned for want of wisdom, the world of sentient
creatures groped for light, Tathagata lit up the lamp of wisdom, then
suddenly extinguished it--ere he had brought it out."

Buddha, hearing Ananda speaking thus, grieved at his words, and pitying
his distress, with soothing accents and with gentle presence spake with
purpose to declare the one true law:--

"If men but knew their own nature, they would not dwell in sorrow;
everything that lives, whate'er it be, all this is subject to
destruction's law; I have already told you plainly, the law of things
'joined' is to 'separate'; the principle of kindness and of love is not
abiding, 'tis better then to reject this pitiful and doting heart. All
things around us bear the stamp of instant change; born, they perish; no
self-sufficiency; those who would wish to keep them long, find in the
end no room for doing so. If things around us could be kept for aye, and
were not liable to change or separation, then this would be salvation!
where then can this be sought? You, and all that lives, can seek in me
this great deliverance! That which you may all attain I have already
told you, and tell you, to the end. Why then should I preserve this
body? The body of the excellent law shall long endure! I am resolved; I
look for rest! This is the one thing needful. So do I now instruct all
creatures, and as a guide, not seen before, I lead them; prepare
yourselves to cast off consciousness, fix yourselves well in your own
island. Those who are thus fixed mid-stream, with single aim and
earnestness striving in the use of means, preparing quietly a quiet
place, not moved by others' way of thinking, know well, such men are
safe on the law's island. Fixed in contemplation, lighted by the lamp of
wisdom, they have thus finally destroyed ignorance and gloom. Consider
well the world's four bounds, and dare to seek for true religion only;
forget 'yourself,' and every 'ground of self,' the bones, the nerves,
the skin, the flesh, the mucus, the blood that flows through every vein;
behold these things as constantly impure, what joy then can there be in
such a body? every sensation born from cause, like the bubble floating
on the water. The sorrow coming from the consciousness of birth and
death and inconstancy, removes all thought of joy--the mind acquainted
with the law of production, stability, and destruction, recognizes how
again and once again things follow or succeed one another with no
endurance. But thinking well about Nirvana, the thought of endurance is
forever dismissed; we see how the samskaras from causes have arisen, and
how these aggregates will again dissolve, all of them impermanent. The
foolish man conceives the idea of 'self,' the wise man sees there is no
ground on which to build the idea of 'self,' thus through the world he
rightly looks and well concludes, all, therefore, is but evil; the
aggregate amassed by sorrow must perish in the end! if once confirmed in
this conviction, that man perceives the truth. This body, too, of Buddha
now existing soon will perish: the law is one and constant, and without
exception." Buddha having delivered this excellent sermon, appeased the
heart of Ananda.

Then all the Likkhavis, hearing the report, with fear and apprehension
assembled in a body; devoid of their usual ornaments, they hastened to
the place where Buddha was. Having saluted him according to custom, they
stood on one side, wishing to ask him a question, but not being able to
find words. Buddha, knowing well their heart, by way of remedy, in the
right use of means, spake thus:--

"Now I perfectly understand that you have in your minds unusual
thoughts, not referring to worldly matters, but wholly connected with
subjects of religion; and now you wish to hear from me, what may be
known respecting the report about my resolve to terminate my life, and
my purpose to put an end to the repetition of birth. Impermanence is the
nature of all that exists, constant change and restlessness its
conditions; unfixed, unprofitable, without the marks of long endurance.
In ancient days the Rishi kings, Vasishtha Rishi, Mandhatri, the
Kakravartin monarchs, and the rest, these and all others like them, the
former conquerors, who lived with strength like Isvara, these all have
long ago perished, not one remains till now; the sun and moon, Sakra
himself, and the great multitude of his attendants, will all, without


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