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Bimbisara Raga Becomes A Disciple








Source: Sacred Books Of The East


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
merit.

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
illusive."

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
desire.

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 wh





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