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 wh

Beware of the anger of the tongue, and control thy Bimbisara Raga Invites The Prince facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail