Bimbisara Raga Invites The Prince

The royal prince, departing from the court-master (i.e. the Purohita)

and the great minister, Saddharma, keeping along the stream, then

crossing the Ganges, he took the road towards the Vulture Peak,[99]

hidden among the five mountains, standing alone a lovely peak as a roof

amid the others. The trees and shrubs and flowers in bloom, the flowing

fountains, and the cooling rills; all these he gazed upon--then passing

on, he entered the city of the five peaks, calm and peaceful, as one

come down from heaven. The country folk, seeing the royal prince, his

comeliness and his excessive grace, though young in years, yet glorious

in his person, incomparable as the appearance of a great master, seeing

him thus, strange thoughts affected them, as if they gazed upon the

banner of Isvara. They stayed the foot, who passed athwart the path;

those hastened on, who were behind; those going before, turned back

their heads and gazed with earnest, wistful look. The marks and

distinguishing points of his person, on these they fixed their eyes

without fatigue, and then approached with reverent homage, joining both

their hands in salutation. With all there was a sense of wondrous joy,

as in their several ways they offered what they had, looking at his

noble and illustrious features; bending down their bodies modestly,

correcting every careless or unseemly gesture, thus they showed their

reverence to him silently; those who with anxious heart, seeking

release, were moved by love, with feelings composed, bowed down the

more. Great men and women, in their several engagements, at the same

time arrested on their way, paid to his person and his presence homage:

and following him as they gazed, they went not back. For the white

circle between his eyebrows adorning his wide and violet-colored eyes,

his noble body bright as gold, his pure and web-joined fingers, all

these, though he were but a hermit, were marks of one who was a holy

king; and now the men and women of Ragagriha, the old and young alike,

were moved, and cried, "This man so noble as a recluse, what common joy

is this for us!" At this time Bimbisara Raga, placed upon a high tower

of observation, seeing all those men and women, in different ways

exhibiting one mark of surprise, calling before him some man outside,

inquired at once the cause of it; this one bending his knee below the

tower, told fully what he had seen and heard, "That one of the Sakya

race, renowned of old, a prince most excellent and wonderful, divinely

wise, beyond the way of this world, a fitting king to rule the eight

regions, now without home, is here, and all men are paying homage to


The king on hearing this was deeply moved at heart, and though his body

was restrained, his soul had gone. Calling his ministers speedily before

him, and all his nobles and attendants, he bade them follow secretly the

prince's steps, to observe what charity was given. So, in obedience to

the command, they followed and watched him steadfastly, as with even

gait and unmoved presence he entered on the town and begged his food,

according to the rule of all great hermits, with joyful mien and

undisturbed mind, not anxious whether much or little alms were given;

whatever he received, costly or poor, he placed within his bowl, then

turned back to the wood, and having eaten it and drunk of the flowing

stream, he joyous sat upon the immaculate mountain. There he beheld the

green trees fringing with their shade the crags, the scented flowers

growing between the intervals, whilst the peacocks and the other birds,

joyously flying, mingled their notes; his sacred garments bright and

lustrous, shone as the sun-lit mulberry leaves; the messengers beholding

his fixed composure, one by one returning, reported what they had seen;

the king hearing it, was moved at heart, and forthwith ordered his royal

equipment to be brought, his god-like crown and his flower-bespangled

robes; then, as the lion-king, he strode forth, and choosing certain

aged persons of consideration, learned men, able calmly and wisely to

discriminate, he, with them, led the way, followed by a hundred thousand

people, who like a cloud ascended with the king the royal mountain.

And now beholding the dignity of Bodhisattva, every outward gesture

under government, sitting with ease upon the mountain crag, as the moon

shining limpid in the pure heavens, so was his matchless beauty and

purity of grace; then as the converting presence of religion dwelling

within the heart makes it reverential, so, beholding him, he reverently

approached, even as divine Sakara comes to the presence of Mo-hi-su-ma,

so with every outward form of courtesy and reverence the king approached

and asked him respectfully of his welfare.

Bodhisattva, answering as he was moved, in his turn made similar

inquiries. Then the king, the questioning over, sat down with dignity

upon a clean-faced rock. And so he steadfastly beheld the divine

appearance of the prince, the sweetness and complacency of his features

revealing what his station was and high estate, his family renown,

received by inheritance; the king, who for a time restrained his

feelings, now wishful to get rid of doubts, inquired why one descended

from the royal family of the sun-brightness having attended to religious

sacrifices through ten thousand generations, whereof the virtue had

descended as his full inheritance, increasing and accumulating until

now, why he so excellent in wisdom, so young in years, had now become a

recluse, rejecting the position of a Kakravartin's son, begging his

food, despising family fame, his beauteous form, fit for perfumes and

anointings, why clothed with coarse Kasaya garments; the hand which

ought to grasp the reins of empire, instead thereof, taking its little

stint of food; if indeed (the king continued) you were not of royal

descent, and would receive as an offering the transfer of this land,

then would I divide with you my empire; saying this, he scarcely hoped

to excite his feelings, who had left his home and family, to be a

hermit. Then forthwith the king proceeded thus: "Give just weight I pray

you to my truthful words: desire for power is kin to nobleness, and so

is just pride of fame or family or wealth or personal appearance; no

longer having any wish to subdue the proud, or to bend others down and

so get thanks from men, it were better, then, to give to the strong and

warlike martial arms to wear, for them to follow war and by their power

to get supremacy; but when by one's own power a kingdom falls to hand,

who would not then accept the reins of empire? The wise man knows the

time to take religion, wealth, and worldly pleasure. But if he obtains

not the threefold profit, then in the end he abates his earnest efforts,

and reverencing religion, he lets go material wealth. Wealth is the one

desire of worldly men; to be rich and lose all desire for religion, this

is to gain but outside wealth. But to be poor and even thus despise

religion, what pleasure can indulgence give in such a case! But when

possessed of all the three, and when enjoyed with reason and propriety,

then religion, wealth, and pleasure make what is rightly called a great

master; permit not, then, your perfectly endowed body to lay aside its

glory, without reward; the Kakravartin, as a monarch, ruled the four

empires of the world, and shared with Sakra his royal throne, but was

unequal to the task of ruling heaven. But you, with your redoubtable

strength, may well grasp both heavenly and human power; I do not rely

upon my kingly power, in my desire to keep you here by force, but seeing

you change your comeliness of person, and wearing the hermit's garb,

whilst it makes me reverence you for your virtue, moves me with pity and

regret for you as a man; you now go begging your food, and I offer you

the whole land as yours; whilst you are young and lusty enjoy yourself.

During middle life acquire wealth, and when old and all your abilities

ripened, then is the time for following the rules of religion; when

young to encourage religious fervor, is to destroy the sources of

desire; but when old and the breath is less eager, then is the time to

seek religious solitude; when old we should avoid, as a shame, desire of

wealth, but get honor in the world by a religious life; but when young,

and the heart light and elastic, then is the time to partake of

pleasure, in boon companionship to indulge in gayety, and partake to the

full of mutual intercourse; but as years creep on, giving up indulgence,

to observe the ordinances of religion, to mortify the five desires, and

go on increasing a joyful and religious heart, is not this the law of

the eminent kings of old, who as a great company paid worship to heaven,

and borne on the dragon's back received the joys of celestial abodes?

All these divine and victorious monarchs, glorious in person, richly

adorned, thus having as a company performed their religious offering, in

the end received the reward of their conduct in heaven." Thus Bimbasara

Raga used every kind of winning expedient in argument The royal prince,

unmoved and fixed, remained firm as Mount Sumeru.

The Reply to Bimbasara Raga

Bimbasara Raga, having, in a decorous manner, and with soothing speech,

made his request, the prince on his part respectfully replied, in the

following words, deep and heart-stirring: "Illustrious and

world-renowned! Your words are not opposed to reason, descendant of a

distinguished family--an Aryan--amongst men a true friend indeed,

righteous and sincere to the bottom of your heart, it is proper for

religion's sake to speak thus. In all the world, in its different

sections, there is no chartered place for solid virtue, for if virtue

flags and folly rules, what reverence can there be, or honor paid, to a

high name or boast of prowess, inherited from former generations! And so

there may be in the midst of great distress, large goodness, these are

not mutually opposed. This then is so with the world in the connection

of true worth and friendship. A true friend who makes good use of

wealth--is rightly called a fast and firm treasure, but he who guards

and stints the profit he has made, his wealth will soon be spent and

lost; the wealth of a country is no constant treasure, but that which is

given in charity is rich in returns, therefore charity is a true friend:

although it scatters, yet it brings no repentance; you indeed are known

as liberal and kind, I make no reply in opposition to you, but simply as

we meet, so with agreeable purpose we talk. I fear birth, old age,

disease, and death, and so I seek to find a sure mode of deliverance; I

have put away thought of relatives and family affection, how is it

possible then for me to return to the world and not to fear to revive

the poisonous snake, and after the hail to be burned in the fierce fire;

indeed, I fear the objects of these several desires, this whirling in

the stream of life troubles my heart, these five desires, the inconstant

thieves--stealing from men their choicest treasures, making them unreal,

false, and fickle--are like the man called up as an apparition; for a

time the beholders are affected by it, but it has no lasting hold upon

the mind; so these five desires are the great obstacles, forever

disarranging the way of peace; if the joys of heaven are not worth

having, how much less the desires common to men, begetting the thirst of

wild love, and then lost in the enjoyment, as the fierce wind fans the

fire, till the fuel be spent and the fire expires; of all unrighteous

things in the world, there is nothing worse than the domain of the five

desires; for all men maddened by the power of lust, giving themselves to

pleasure, are dead to reason. The wise man fears these desires, he fears

to fall into the way of unrighteousness; for like a king who rules all

within the four seas, yet still seeks beyond for something more, so is

lust; like the unbounded ocean, it knows not when and where to stop.

Mandha, the Kakravartin, when the heavens rained yellow gold, and he

ruled all within the seas, yet sighed after the domain of the

thirty-three heavens; dividing with Sakra his seat, and so through the

power of this lust he died; Nung-Sha, whilst practising austerities, got

power to rule the thirty-three heavenly abodes, but from lust he became

proud and supercilious; the Rishi whilst stepping into his chariot,

through carelessness in his gait, fell down into the midst of the

serpent pit. Yen-lo, the universal monarch (Kakravartin), wandering

abroad through the Trayastrimsas heaven, took a heavenly woman (Apsara)

for a queen, and unjustly extorted the gold of a Rishi; the Rishi, in

anger, added a charm, by which the country was ruined, and his life

ended. Po-lo, and Sakra king of Devas, and Nung-Sha returning to Sakra;

what certainty is there, even for the lord of heaven? Neither is any

country safe, though kept by the mighty strength of those dwelling in

it. But when one's clothing consists of grass, the berries one's food,

the rivulets one's drink, with long hair flowing to the ground, silent

as a Muni, seeking nothing, in this way practising austerities, in the

end lust shall be destroyed. Know then, that the province of the five

desires is avowedly an enemy of the religious man. Even the

one-thousand-armed invincible king, strong in his might, finds it hard

to conquer this. The Rishi Rama perished because of lust; how much more

ought I, the son of a Kshatriya, to restrain lustful desire; but indulge

in lust a little, and like the child it grows apace, the wise man hates

it therefore; who would take poison for food? every sorrow is increased

and cherished by the offices of lust. If there is no lustful desire, the

risings of sorrow are not produced, the wise man seeing the bitterness

of sorrow, stamps out and destroys the risings of desire; that which the

world calls virtue, is but another form of this baneful law; worldly men

enjoying the pleasure of covetous desire then every form of careless

conduct results; these careless ways producing hurt, at death, the

subject of them reaps perdition. But by the diligent use of means, and

careful continuance therein, the consequences of negligence are avoided,

we should therefore dread the non-use of means; recollecting that all

things are illusory, the wise man covets them not; he who desires such

things, desires sorrow, and then goes on again ensnared in love, with no

certainty of ultimate freedom; he advances still and ever adds grief to

grief, like one holding a lighted torch burns his hand, and therefore

the wise man enters on no such things. The foolish man and the one who

doubts, still encouraging the covetous and burning heart, in the end

receives accumulated sorrow, not to be remedied by any prospect of rest;

covetousness and anger are as the serpent's poison; the wise man casts

away the approach of sorrow as a rotten bone; he tastes it not nor

touches it, lest it should corrupt his teeth, that which the wise man

will not take, the king will go through fire and water to obtain, the

wicked sons labor for wealth as for a piece of putrid flesh, o'er which

the hungry flocks of birds contend. So should we regard riches; the wise

man is ill pleased at having wealth stored up, the mind wild with

anxious thoughts, guarding himself by night and day, as a man who fears

some powerful enemy, like as a man's feelings revolt with disgust at the

sights seen beneath the slaughter post of the East Market; so the high

post which marks the presence of lust, and anger, and ignorance, the

wise man always avoids; as those who enter the mountains or the seas

have much to contend with and little rest, as the fruit which grows on a

high tree, and is grasped at by the covetous at the risk of life, so is

the region of covetous desire, though they see the difficulty of getting

it, yet how painfully do men scheme after wealth, difficult to acquire,

easy to dissipate, as that which is got in a dream: how can the wise man

hoard up such trash! Like covering over with a false surface a hole full

of fire, slipping through which the body is burnt, so is the fire of

covetous desire. The wise man meddles not with it. Like that Kaurava, or

Pih-se-ni Nanda, or Ni-k'he-lai Danta, as some butcher's appearance,

such also is the appearance of lustful desire; the wise man will have

nothing to do with it; he would rather throw his body into the water or

fire, or cast himself down over a steep precipice. Seeking to obtain

heavenly pleasures, what is this but to remove the place of sorrow,

without profit. Suen-tau, Po-sun-tau, brothers of Asura, lived together

in great affection, but on account of lustful desire slew one another,

and their name perished; all this then comes from lust; it is this which

makes a man vile, and lashes and goads him with piercing sorrow; lust

debases a man, robs him of all hope, whilst through the long night his

body and soul are worn out; like the stag that covets the power of

speech and dies, or the winged bird that covets sensual pleasure, or the

fish that covets the baited hook, such are the calamities that lust

brings; considering what are the requirements of life, none of these

possess permanency; we eat to appease the pain of hunger, to do away

with thirst we drink, we clothe ourselves to keep out the cold and wind,

we lie down to rest to get sleep, to procure locomotion we seek a

carriage, when we would halt we seek a seat, we wash to cleanse

ourselves from dirt; all these things are done to avoid inconvenience;

we may gather therefore that these five desires have no permanent

character; for as a man suffering from fever seeks and asks for some

cooling medicine, so covetousness seeks for something to satisfy its

longings; foolish men regard these things as permanent, and as the

necessary requirements of life, but, in sooth, there is no permanent

cessation of sorrow; for by coveting to appease these desires we really

increase them; there is no character of permanency therefore about them.

To be filled and clothed are no lasting pleasures, time passes, and the

sorrow recurs; summer is cool during the moon-tide shining; winter comes

and cold increases; and so through all the eightfold laws of the world

they possess no marks of permanence, sorrow and joy cannot agree

together, as a person slave-governed loses his renown. But religion

causes all things to be of service, as a king reigning in his

sovereignty; so religion controls sorrow, as one fits on a burden

according to power of endurance. Whatever our condition in the world,

still sorrows accumulate around us. Even in the condition of a king, how

does pain multiply, though bound to others by love, yet this is a cause

of grief; without friends and living alone, what joy can there be in

this? Though a man rules over the four kingdoms, yet only one part can

be enjoyed; to be concerned in ten thousand matters, what profit is

there in this, for we only accumulate anxieties. Put an end to sorrow,

then, by appeasing desire, refrain from busy work, this is rest. A king

enjoys his sensual pleasures; deprived of kingship there is the joy of

rest; in both cases there are pleasures but of different kinds; why then

be a king! Make then no plan or crafty expedient, to lead me back to the

five desires; what my heart prays for, is some quiet place and freedom;

but you desire to entangle me in relationships and duties, and destroy

the completion of what I seek; I am in no fear of family hatred, nor do

I seek the joys of heaven; my heart hankers after no vulgar profit, so I

have put away my royal diadem; and contrary to your way of thinking, I

prefer, henceforth, no more to rule. A hare rescued from the serpent's

mouth, would it go back again to be devoured? holding a torch and

burning himself, would not a man let it go? A man blind and recovering

his sight, would he again seek to be in darkness? the rich, does he sigh

for poverty? the wise, does he long to be ignorant? Has the world such

men as these? then will I again enjoy my country. But I desire to get

rid of birth, old age, and death, with body restrained, to beg my food;

with appetites moderated, to keep in my retreat; and then to avoid the

evil modes of a future life, this is to find peace in two worlds: now

then I pray you pity me not. Pity, rather, those who rule as kings!

their souls ever vacant and athirst, in the present world no repose,

hereafter receiving pain as their meed. You, who possess a distinguished

family name, and the reverence due to a great master, would generously

share your dignity with me, your worldly pleasures and amusements; I,

too, in return, for your sake, beseech you to share my reward with me;

he who indulges in the threefold kinds of pleasure, this man the world

calls 'Lord,' but this is not according to reason either, because these

things cannot be retained, but where there is no birth, or life, or

death, he who exercises himself in this way, is Lord indeed! You say

that while young a man should be gay, and when old then religious, but I

regard the feebleness of age as bringing with it loss of power to be

religious, unlike the firmness and power of youth, the will determined

and the heart established; but death as a robber with a drawn sword

follows us all, desiring to catch his prey; how then should we wait for

old age, ere we bring our mind to a religious life? Inconstancy is the

great hunter, age his bow, disease his arrows, in the fields of life and

death he hunts for living things as for the deer; when he can get his

opportunity, he takes our life; who then would wait for age? And what

the teachers say and do, with reference to matters connected with life

and death, exhorting the young, mature, or middle-aged, all to contrive

by any means, to prepare vast meetings for sacrifices, this they do

indeed of their own ignorance; better far to reverence the true law, and

put an end to sacrifice to appease the gods! Destroying life to gain

religious merit, what love can such a man possess? even if the reward of

such sacrifices were lasting, even for this, slaughter would be

unseemly; how much more, when the reward is transient! Shall we, in

search of this, slay that which lives, in worship? this is like those

who practise wisdom, and the way of religious abstraction, but neglect

the rules of moral conduct. It ill behooves us then to follow with the

world, and attend these sacrificial assemblies, and seek some present

good in killing that which lives; the wise avoid destroying life! Much

less do they engage in general sacrifices, for the purpose of gaining

future reward! the fruit promised in the three worlds is none of mine to

choose for happiness! All these are governed by transient, fickle laws,

like the wind, or the drop that is blown from the grass; such things

therefore I put away from me, and I seek for true escape. I hear there

is one O-lo-lam who eloquently discourses on the way of escape; I must

go to the place where he dwells, that great Rishi and hermit. But in

truth, sorrow must be banished; I regret indeed leaving you; may your

country have repose and quiet! safely defended by you as by the divine

Sakra raga! May wisdom be shed abroad as light upon your empire, like

the brightness of the meridian sun! may you be exceedingly victorious as

lord of the great earth, with a perfect heart ruling over its destiny!

May you direct and defend its sons! ruling your empire in righteousness!

Water and snow and fire are opposed to one another, but the fire by its

influence causes vapor, the vapor causes the floating clouds, the

floating clouds drop down rain; there are birds in space, who drink the

rain, with rainless bodies.[100] Slaughter and peaceful homes are

enemies! those who would have peace hate slaughter, and if those who

slaughter are so hateful, then put an end, O king, to those who practise

it! And bid these find release, as those who drink and yet are parched

with thirst."

Then the king, clasping together his hands, with greatest reverence and

joyful heart, said, "That which you now seek, may you obtain quickly the

fruit thereof; having obtained the perfect fruit, return I pray and

graciously receive me!"

Bodhisattva, his heart inwardly acquiescing, purposing to accomplish his

prayer, departing, pursued his road, going to the place where Arada

Kalama dwelt; whilst the king with all his retinue, their hands clasped,

themselves followed a little space, then with thoughtful and mindful

heart, returned once more to Ragagriha!

Visit to Arada Udrarama

The child of the glorious sun of the Ikshvaku race, going to that quiet

peaceful grove, reverently stood before the Muni, the great Rishi Arada

Rama; the dark-clad followers of the Kalam (Sangharama) seeing afar-off

Bodhisattva approaching, with loud voice raised a joyful chant, and with

suppressed breath muttered "Welcome," as with clasped hands they

reverenced him. Approaching one another, they made mutual inquiries; and

this being done, with the usual apologies, according to their precedence

in age they sat down; the Brahmakarins observing the prince, beheld his

personal beauty and carefully considered his appearance; respectfully

they satisfied themselves of his high qualities, like those who,

thirsty, drink the "pure dew." Then with raised hands they addressed the

prince: "Have you been long an ascetic, divided from your family and

broken from the bonds of love, like the elephant who has cast off

restraint? Full of wisdom, completely enlightened, you seem well able to

escape the poisonous fruit of this world. In old time the monarch Ming

Shing gave up his kingly estate to his son, as a man who has carried a

flowery wreath, when withered casts it away: but such is not your case,

full of youthful vigor, and yet not enamoured with the condition of a

holy king; we see that your will is strong and fixed, capable of

becoming a vessel of the true law, able to embark in the boat of wisdom,

and to cross over the sea of life and death. The common class, enticed

to come to learn, their talents first are tested, then they are taught;

but as I understand your case, your mind is already fixed and your will

firm; and now you have undertaken the purpose of learning, I am

persuaded you will not in the end shrink from it."

The prince hearing this exhortation, with gladness made reply: "You have

with equal intention, illustrious! cautioned me with impartial mind;

with humble heart I accept the advice, and pray that it may be so with

me as you anticipate; that I may in my night-journey obtain a torch, to

guide me safely through treacherous places; a handy boat to cross over

the sea;--may it be so even now with me! But as I am somewhat in doubt

and anxious to learn, I will venture to make known my doubts, and ask,

with respect to old age, disease, and death, how are these things to be


At this time O-lo-lam hearing the question asked by the prince, briefly

from the various Sutras and Sastras quoted passages in explanation of a

way of deliverance. "But thou," he said, "illustrious youth! so highly

gifted, and eminent among the wise! hear what I have to say, as I

discourse upon the mode of ending birth and death; nature, and change,

birth, old age, and death, these five attributes belong to all; nature

is (in itself) pure and without fault; the involution of this with the

five elements, causes an awakening and power of perception, which,

according to its exercise, is the cause of change; form, sound, order,

taste, touch, these are called the five objects of sense; as the hand

and foot are called the two ways, so these are called the roots of

action (the five skandhas); the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the

body, these are named the roots (instruments) of understanding. The root

of mind (manas) is twofold, being both material, and also intelligent;

nature by its involutions is the cause, the knower of the cause is I

(the soul); Kapila the Rishi and his numerous followers, on this deep

principle of soul, practising wisdom (Buddhi), found deliverance. Kapila

and now Vakaspati, by the power of Buddhi perceiving the character of

birth, old age, and death, declare that on this is founded true

philosophy; whilst all opposed to this, they say, is false. Ignorance

and passion, causing constant transmigration, abiding in the midst of

these (they say) is the lot of all that lives. Doubting the truth of

soul is called excessive doubt, and without distinguishing aright, there

can be no method of escape. Deep speculation as to the limits of

perception is but to involve the soul; thus unbelief leads to confusion,

and ends in differences of thought and conduct. Again, the various

speculations on soul, such as 'I say,' 'I know and perceive,' 'I come'

and 'I go,' or 'I remain fixed,' these are called the intricacies of

soul. And then the fancies raised in different natures, some saying

'this is so,' others denying it, and this condition of uncertainty is

called the state of darkness. Then there are those who say that outward

things are one with soul, who say that the objective is the same as

mind, who confuse intelligence with instruments, who say that number is

the soul. Thus not distinguishing aright, these are called excessive

quibbles, marks of folly, nature changes, and so on. To worship and

recite religious books, to slaughter living things in sacrifice, to

render pure by fire and water, and thus awake the thought of final

rescue, all these ways of thinking are called without right expedient,

the result of ignorance and doubt, by means of word or thought or deed;

involving outward relationships, this is called depending on means;

making the material world the ground of soul, this is called depending

on the senses. By these eight sorts of speculation are we involved in

birth and death. The foolish masters of the world make their

classifications in these five ways: Darkness, folly, and great folly,

angry passion, with timid fear. Indolent coldness is called darkness;

birth and death are called folly; lustful desire is great folly; because

of great men subjected to error, cherishing angry feelings, passion

results; trepidation of the heart is called fear. Thus these foolish men

dilate upon the five desires; but the root of the great sorrow of birth

and death, the life destined to be spent in the five ways, the cause of

the whirl of life, I clearly perceive, is to be placed in the existence

of 'I'; because of the influence of this cause, result the consequences

of repeated birth and death; this cause is without any nature of its

own, and its fruits have no nature; rightly considering what has been

said, there are four matters which have to do with escape, kindling

wisdom--opposed to dark ignorance--making manifest--opposed to

concealment and obscurity--if these four matters be understood, then we

may escape birth, old age, and death. Birth, old age, and death being

over, then we attain a final place; the Brahmans all depending on this

principle, practising themselves in a pure life, have also largely

dilated on it, for the good of the world."

The prince hearing these words again inquired of Arada: "Tell me what

are the expedients you name, and what is the final place to which they

lead, and what is the character of that pure Brahman life; and again

what are the stated periods during which such life must be practised,

and during which such life is lawful; all these are principles to be

inquired into; and on them I pray you discourse for my sake."

Then that Arada, according to the Sutras and Sastras, spoke: "Yourself

using wisdom is the expedient; but I will further dilate on this a

little; first by removing from the crowd and leading a hermit's life,

depending entirely on alms for food, extensively practising rules of

decorum, religiously adhering to right rules of conduct; desiring little

and knowing when to abstain, receiving whatever is given in food,

whether pleasant or otherwise, delighting to practise a quiet life,

diligently studying all the Sutras and Sastras; observing the character

of covetous longing and fear, without remnant of desire to live in

purity, to govern well the organs of life, the mind quieted and silently

at rest; removing desire, and hating vice, all the sorrows of life put

away, then there is happiness; and we obtain the enjoyment of the first

dhyana.[101] Having obtained this first dhyana, then with the

illumination thus obtained, by inward meditation is born reliance on

thought alone, and the entanglements of folly are put away; the mind

depending on this, then after death, born in the Brahma heavens, the

enlightened are able to know themselves; by the use of means is produced

further inward illumination; diligently persevering, seeking higher

advance, accomplishing the second dhyana, tasting of that great joy, we

are born in the Kwong-yin heaven; then by the use of means putting away

this delight, practising the third dhyana, resting in such delight and

wishing no further excellence, there is a birth in the Subhakritsna

heaven; leaving the thought of such delight, straightway we reach the

fourth dhyana, all joys and sorrows done away, the thought of escape

produced; we dwell in this fourth dhyana, and are born in the

Vrihat-phala heaven; because of its long enduring years, it is thus

called Vrihat-phala (extensive-fruit); whilst in that state of

abstraction rising higher, perceiving there is a place beyond any bodily

condition, adding still and persevering further in practising wisdom,

rejecting this fourth dhyana, firmly resolved to persevere in the

search, still contriving to put away every desire after form, gradually

from every pore of the body there is perceived a feeling of empty

release, and in the end this extends to every solid part, so that the

whole is perfected in an apprehension of emptiness. In brief, perceiving

no limits to this emptiness, there is opened to the view boundless

knowledge. Endowed with inward rest and peace, the idea of 'I' departs,

and the object of 'I'--clearly discriminating the non-existence of

matter, this is the condition of immaterial life. As the Munga (grass)

when freed from its horny case, or as the wild bird which escapes from

its prison trap, so, getting away from all material limitations, we thus

find perfect release. Thus ascending above the Brahmans, deprived of

every vestige of bodily existence, we still endure. Endued with wisdom!

let it be known this is real and true deliverance. You ask what are the

expedients for obtaining this escape; even as I have before detailed,

those who have deep faith will learn. The Rishis Gaigishavya, Ganaka,

Vriddha Parasara, and other searchers after truth, all by the way I have

explained, have reached true deliverance."

The prince hearing these words, deeply pondering on the outline of these

principles, and reaching back to the influences produced by our former

lives, again asked with further words: "I have heard your very excellent

system of wisdom, the principles very subtle and deep-reaching, from

which I learn that because of not 'letting go' (by knowledge as a

cause), we do not reach the end of the religious life; but by

understanding nature in its involutions, then, you say, we obtain

deliverance; I perceive this law of birth has also concealed in it

another law as a germ; you say that the 'I' (i.e. the soul of Kapila)

being rendered pure, forthwith there is true deliverance; but if we

encounter a union of cause and effect, then there is a return to the

trammels of birth; just as the germ in the seed, when earth, fire,

water, and wind seem to have destroyed in it the principle of life,

meeting with favorable concomitant circumstances will yet revive,

without any evident cause, but because of desire; so those who have

gained this supposed release, likewise keeping the idea of 'I' and

living things, have in fact gained no final deliverance; in every

condition, letting go the three classes and again reaching the three

excellent qualities, because of the eternal existence of soul, by the

subtle influences of that (influences resulting from the past), the

heart lets go the idea of expedients, and obtains an almost endless

duration of years. This, you say, is true release; you say 'letting go

the ground on which the idea of soul rests,' that this frees us from

'limited existence,' and that the mass of people have not yet removed

the idea of soul, and are therefore still in bondage. But what is this

letting go gunas (cords fettering the soul); if one is fettered by these

gunas, how can there be release? For guni (the object) and guna (the

quality) in idea are different, but in substance one; if you say that

you can remove the properties of a thing and leave the thing by arguing

it to the end, this is not so. If you remove heat from fire, then there

is no such thing as fire, or if you remove surface from body, what body

can remain? Thus guna is as it were surface, remove this and there can

be no guni. So that this deliverance, spoken of before, must leave a

body yet in bonds. Again, you say that by clear knowledge you get rid of

body; there is then such a thing as knowledge or the contrary; if you

affirm the existence of clear knowledge, then there should be someone

who possesses it (i.e. possesses this knowledge); if there be a

possesor, how can there be deliverance from this personal 'I'? If you

say there is no 'knower,' then who is it that is spoken of as 'knowing'?

If there is knowledge and no person, then the subject of knowledge may

be a stone or a log; moreover, to have clear knowledge of these minute

causes of contamination and reject them thoroughly, these being so

rejected, there must be an end, then, of the 'doer.' What Arada has

declared cannot satisfy my heart. This clear knowledge is not universal

wisdom, I must go on and seek a better explanation."

Going on then to the place of Udra Rishi, he also expatiated on this

question of "I." But although he refined the matter to the utmost,

laying down a term of "thought" and "no thought" taking the position of

removing "thought" and "no thought," yet even so he came not out of the

mire; for supposing creatures attained that state, still (he said) there

is a possibility of returning to the coil, whilst Bodhisattva sought a

method of getting out of it. So once more leaving Udra Rishi, he went on

in search of a better system, and came at last to Mount Kia-ke (the

forest of mortification), where was a town called Pain-suffering forest.

Here the five Bhikshus had gone before. When then he beheld these five,

virtuously keeping in check their senses, holding to the rules of moral

conduct, practising mortification, dwelling in that grove of

mortification; occupying a spot beside the Nairangana river, perfectly

composed and filled with contentment, Bodhisattva forthwith by them

selecting one spot, quietly gave himself to thought. The five Bhikshus

knowing him with earnest heart to be seeking escape, offered him their

services with devotion, as if reverencing Isvara Deva.

Having finished their attentions and dutiful services, then going on he

took his seat not far off, as one about to enter on a course of

religious practice, composing all his members as he desired. Bodhisattva

diligently applied himself to "means," as one about to cross over old

age, disease, and death. With full purpose of heart he set himself to

endure mortification, to restrain every bodily passion, and give up

thought about sustenance, with purity of heart to observe the

fast-rules, which no worldly man can bear; silent and still, lost in

thoughtful meditation; and so for six years he continued, each day

eating one hemp grain, his bodily form shrunken and attenuated, seeking

how to cross the sea of birth and death, exercising himself still deeper

and advancing further; making his way perfect by the disentanglements of

true wisdom, not eating, and yet not looking to that as a cause of

emancipation, his four members although exceedingly weak, his heart of

wisdom increasing yet more and more in light; his spirit free, his body

light and refined, his name spreading far and wide, as "highly gifted,"

even as the moon when first produced, or as the Kumuda flower spreading

out its sweetness. Everywhere through the country his excellent fame

extended; the daughters of the lord of the place both coming to see him,

his mortified body like a withered branch, just completing the period of

six years, fearing the sorrow of birth and death, seeking earnestly the

method of true wisdom, he came to the conviction that these were not the

means to extinguish desire and produce ecstatic contemplation; nor yet

the means by which in former time, seated underneath the Gambu tree, he

arrived at that miraculous condition, that surely was the proper way, he

thought, the way opposed to this of "withered body."

"I should therefore rather seek strength of body, by drink and food

refresh my members, and with contentment cause my mind to rest. My mind

at rest, I shall enjoy silent composure; composure is the trap for

getting ecstasy (dhyana); while in ecstasy perceiving the true law, then

the force of truth obtained, disentanglement will follow. And thus

composed, enjoying perfect quiet, old age and death are put away; and

then defilement is escaped by this first means; thus then by equal steps

the excellent law results from life restored by food and drink."

Having carefully considered this principle, bathing in the Nairangana

river, he desired afterwards to leave the water, but owing to extreme

exhaustion was unable to rise; then a heavenly spirit holding out a

branch, taking this in his hand he raised himself and came forth. At

this time on the opposite side of the grove there was a certain chief

herdsman, whose eldest daughter was called Nanda. One of the Suddhavasa

Devas addressing her said, "Bodhisattva dwells in the grove, go you

then, and present to him a religious offering."

Nanda Balada (or Balaga or Baladhya) with joy came to the spot, above

her hands (i.e. on her wrists) white chalcedony bracelets, her clothing

of a gray color; the gray and the white together contrasted in the

light, as the colors of the rounded river bubble; with simple heart and

quickened step she came, and, bowing down at Bodhisattva's feet, she

reverently offered him perfumed rice milk, begging him of his

condescension to accept it. Bodhisattva taking it, partook of it at

once, whilst she received, even then, the fruits of her religious act.

Having eaten it, all his members refreshed, he became capable of

receiving Bodhi; his body and limbs glistening with renewed strength,

and his energies swelling higher still, as the hundred streams swell the

sea, or the first quartered moon daily increases in brightness. The five

Bhikshus having witnessed this, perturbed, were filled with suspicious

reflection; they supposed that his religious zeal was flagging, and that

he was leaving and looking for a better abode, as though he had obtained

deliverance, the five elements entirely removed.

Bodhisattva wandered on alone, directing his course to that "fortunate"

tree,[102] beneath whose shade he might accomplish his search after

complete enlightenment. Over the ground wide and level, producing soft

and pliant grass, easily he advanced with lion step, pace by pace,

whilst the earth shook withal; and as it shook, Kala naga aroused, was

filled with joy, as his eyes were opened to the light. Forthwith he

exclaimed: "When formerly I saw the Buddhas of old, there was the sign

of an earthquake as now; the virtues of a Muni are so great in majesty,

that the great earth cannot endure them; as step by step his foot treads

upon the ground, so is there heard the sound of the rumbling

earth-shaking; a brilliant light now illumes the world, as the shining

of the rising sun; five hundred bluish-tinted birds I see, wheeling

round to the right, flying through space; a gentle, soft, and cooling

breeze blows around in an agreeable way; all these auspicious signs are

the same as those of former Buddhas; wherefore I know that this

Bodhisattva will certainly arrive at perfect wisdom. And now, behold!

from yonder man, a grass cutter, he obtains some pure and pliant grass,

which spreading out beneath the tree, with upright body, there he takes

his seat; his feet placed under him, not carelessly arranged, moving to

and fro, but like the firmly fixed and compact body of a Naga; nor shall

he rise again from off his seat till he has completed his undertaking."

And so he (the Naga) uttered these words by way of confirmation. The

heavenly Nagas, filled with joy, caused a cool refreshing breeze to

rise; the trees and grass were yet unmoved by it, and all the beasts,

quiet and silent, looked on in wonderment.

These are the signs that Bodhisattva will certainly attain


Defeats Mara

The great Rishi, of the royal tribe of Rishis, beneath the Bodhi tree

firmly established, resolved by oath to perfect the way of complete


The spirits, Nagas, and the heavenly multitude, all were filled with

joy; but Mara Devaraga, enemy of religion, alone was grieved, and

rejoiced not; lord of the five desires, skilled in all the arts of

warfare, the foe of those who seek deliverance, therefore his name is

rightly given Pisuna. Now this Mara raga had three daughters, mincingly

beautiful and of a pleasant countenance, in every way fit by artful ways

to inflame a man with love, highest in this respect among the Devis. The

first was named Yuh-yen, the second Neng-yueh-gin, the third Ngai-loh.

These three, at this time, advanced together, and addressed their father

Pisuna and said: "May we not know the trouble that afflicts you?"

The father, calming his feelings, addressed his daughters thus: "The

world has now a great Muni, he has taken a strong oath as a helmet, he

holds a mighty bow in his hand, wisdom is the diamond shaft he uses. His

object is to get the mastery in the world, to ruin and destroy my

territory; I am myself unequal to him, for all men will believe in him,

and all find refuge in the way of his salvation; then will my land be

desert and unoccupied. But as when a man transgresses the laws of

morality, his body is then empty. So now, the eye of wisdom, not yet

opened in this man, whilst my empire still has peace, I will go and

overturn his purpose, and break down and divide the ridge-pole of his


Seizing then his bow and his five arrows, with all his retinue of male

and female attendants, he went to that grove of "fortunate rest" with

the vow that the world should not find peace. Then seeing the Muni,

quiet and still, preparing to cross the sea of the three worlds, in his

left hand grasping his bow, with his right hand pointing his arrow, he

addressed Bodhisattva and said: "Kshatriya! rise up quickly! for you may

well fear! your death is at hand; you may practise your own religious

system, but let go this effort after the law of deliverance for others;

wage warfare in the field of charity as a cause of merit, appease the

tumultuous world, and so in the end reach your reward in heaven. This is

a way renowned and well established, in which former saints have walked,

Rishis and kings and men of eminence; but this system of penury and

alms-begging is unworthy of you. Now then if you rise not, you had best

consider with yourself, that if you give not up your vow, and tempt me

to let fly an arrow, how that Aila, grandchild of Soma, by one of these

arrows just touched, as by a fanning of the wind, lost his reason and

became a madman. And how the Rishi Vimala, practising austerities,

hearing the sound of one of these darts, his heart possessed by great

fear, bewildered and darkened he lost his true nature; how much less can

you--a late-born one--hope to escape this dart of mine. Quickly arise

then! if hardly you may get away! This arrow full of rankling poison,

fearfully insidious where it strikes a foe! See now! with all my force,

I point it! and are you resting in the face of such calamity? How is it

that you fear not this dread arrow? say! why do you not tremble?" Mara

uttered such fear-inspiring threats, bent on overawing Bodhisattva. But

Bodhisattva's heart remained unmoved; no doubt, no fear was present.

Then Mara instantly discharged his arrow, whilst the three women came in

front. Bodhisattva regarded not the arrow, nor considered aught the

women three. Mara raga now was troubled much with doubt, and muttered

thus 'twixt heart and mouth: "Long since the maiden of the snowy

mountains, shooting at Mahesvara, constrained him to change his mind;

and yet Bodhisattva is unmoved, and heeds not even this dart of mine,

nor the three heavenly women! nought prevails to move his heart or raise

one spark of love within him. Now must I assemble my army-host, and

press him sore by force;" having thought thus awhile, Mara's army

suddenly assembled round. Each assumed his own peculiar form; some were

holding spears, others grasping swords, others snatching up trees,

others wielding diamond maces; armed with every sort of weapon. Some had

heads like hogs, others like fishes, others like asses, others like

horses; some with forms like snakes or like the ox or savage tiger;

lion-headed, dragon-headed, and like every other kind of beast. Some had

many heads on one body-trunk, with faces having but a single eye, and

then again with many eyes; some with great-bellied mighty bodies. And

others thin and skinny, belly-less; others long-legged, mighty-kneed;

others big-shanked and fat-calved; some with long and claw-like nails.

Some were headless, breastless, faceless; some with two feet and many

bodies; some with big faces looking every way; some pale and

ashy-colored; others colored like the bright star rising, others

steaming fiery vapor, some with ears like elephants, with humps like

mountains, some with naked forms covered with hair. Some with leather

skins for clothing, their faces parti-colored, crimson, and white; some

with tiger skins as robes, some with snake skins over them, some with

tinkling bells around their waists, others with twisted screw-like hair,

others with hair dishevelled covering the body, some breath-suckers,

others body-snatchers, some dancing and shrieking awhile, some jumping

onwards with their feet together, some striking one another as they

went. Others waving in the air, others flying and leaping between the

trees, others howling, or hooting, or screaming, or whining, with their

evil noises shaking the great earth; thus this wicked goblin troop

encircled on its four sides the Bodhi tree; some bent on tearing his

body to pieces, others on devouring it whole; from the four sides flames

belched forth, and fiery steam ascended up to heaven; tempestuous winds

arose on every side; the mountain forests shook and quaked. Wind, fire,

and steam, with dust combined, produced a pitchy darkness, rendering all

invisible. And now the Devas well affected to the law, and all the Nagas

and the spirits, all incensed at this host of Mara, with anger fired,

wept tears of blood; the great company of Suddhavasa gods, beholding

Mara tempting Bodhisattva, free from low-feeling, with hearts

undisturbed by passion, moved by pity towards him and commiseration,

came in a body to behold the Bodhisattva, so calmly seated and so

undisturbed, surrounded with an uncounted host of devils, shaking the

heaven and earth with sounds ill-omened. Bodhisattva silent and quiet in

the midst remained, his countenance as bright as heretofore, unchanged;

like the great lion-king placed amongst all the beasts howling and

growling round him so he sat, a sight unseen before, so strange and

wonderful! The host of Mara hastening, as arranged, each one exerting

his utmost force, taking each other's place in turns, threatening every

moment to destroy him. Fiercely staring, grinning with their teeth,

flying tumultuously, bounding here and there; but Bodhisattva, silently

beholding them, watched them as one would watch the games of children.

And now the demon host waxed fiercer and more angry, and added force to

force, in further conflict; grasping at stones they could not lift, or

lifting them, they could not let them go. Their flying spears, lances,

and javelins, stuck fast in space, refusing to descend; the angry

thunderdrops and mighty hail, with these, were changed into five-colored

lotus flowers, whilst the foul poison of the dragon snakes was turned to

spicy-breathing air. Thus all these countless sorts of creatures,

wishing to destroy the Bodhisattva, unable to remove him from the spot,

were with their own weapons wounded. Now Mara had an aunt-attendant

whose name was Ma-kia-ka-li, who held a skull-dish in her hands, and

stood in front of Bodhisattva, and with every kind of winsome gesture,

tempted to lust the Bodhisattva. So all these followers of Mara,

possessed of every demon-body form, united in discordant uproar, hoping

to terrify Bodhisattva; but not a hair of his was moved, and Mara's host

was filled with sorrow. Then in the air the crowd of angels, their forms

invisible, raised their voices, saying: "Behold the great Muni; his mind

unmoved by any feeling of resentment, whilst all that wicked Mara race,

besotted, are vainly bent on his destruction; let go your foul and

murderous thoughts against that silent Muni, calmly seated! You cannot

with a breath move the Sumeru mountain. Fire may freeze, water may burn,

the roughened earth may grow soft and pliant, but ye cannot hurt the

Bodhisattva! Through ages past disciplined by suffering. Bodhisattva

rightly trained in thought, ever advancing in the use of 'means,' pure

and illustrious for wisdom, loving and merciful to all. These four

conspicuous virtues cannot with him be rent asunder, so as to make it

hard or doubtful whether he gain the highest wisdom. For as the thousand

rays of yonder sun must drown the darkness of the world, or as the

boring wood must kindle fire, or as the earth deep-dug gives water, so

he who perseveres in the 'right means,' by seeking thus, will find. The

world without instruction, poisoned by lust and hate and ignorance;

because he pitied 'flesh,' so circumstanced, he sought on their account

the joy of wisdom. Why then would you molest and hinder one who seeks to

banish sorrow from the world? The ignorance that everywhere prevails is

due to false pernicious books, and therefore Bodhisattva, walking

uprightly, would lead and draw men after him. To obscure and blind the

great world-leader, this undertaking is impossible, for 'tis as though

in the Great Desert a man would purposely mislead the merchant-guide. So

'all flesh' having fallen into darkness, ignorant of where they are

going, for their sakes he would light the lamp of wisdom; say then! why

would you extinguish it? All flesh engulfed and overwhelmed in the great

sea of birth and death, this one prepares the boat of wisdom; say then!

why destroy and sink it? Patience is the sprouting of religion, firmness

its root, good conduct is the flower, the enlightened heart the boughs

and branches. Wisdom supreme the entire tree, the 'transcendent law' the

fruit, its shade protects all living things; say then! why would you cut

it down? Lust, hate, and ignorance, are the rack and bolt, the yoke

placed on the shoulder of the world; through ages long he has practised

austerities to rescue men from these their fetters. He now shall

certainly attain his end, sitting on this right-established throne; as

all the previous Buddhas, firm and compact like a diamond. Though all

the earth were moved and shaken, yet would this place be fixed and

stable; him, thus fixed and well assured, think not that you can

overturn. Bring down and moderate your mind's desire, banish these high

and envious thoughts, prepare yourselves for right reflection, be

patient in your services."

Mara hearing these sounds in space, and seeing Bodhisattva still

unmoved, filled with fear and banishing his high and supercilious

thoughts, again took up his way to heaven above. Whilst all his host

were scattered, o'erwhelmed with grief and disappointment, fallen from

their high estate, bereft of their warrior pride, their warlike weapons

and accoutrements thrown heedlessly and cast away 'mid woods and

deserts. Like as when some cruel chieftain slain, the hateful band is

all dispersed and scattered, so the host of Mara disconcerted, fled

away. The mind of Bodhisattva now reposed peaceful and quiet. The

morning sunbeams brighten with the dawn, the dust-like mist dispersing,

disappears; the moon and stars pale their faint light, the barriers of

the night are all removed, whilst from above a fall of heavenly flowers

pay their sweet tribute to the Bodhisattva.

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

Bodhisattva having subdued Mara, his firmly fixed mind at rest,

thoroughly exhausting the first principle of truth, he entered into deep

and subtle contemplation. Every kind of Samadhi in order passed before

his eyes. During the first watch he entered on "right perception" and in

recollection all former births passed before his eyes. Born in such a

place, of such a name, and downwards to his present birth, so through

hundreds, thousands, myriads, all his births and deaths he knew.

Countless in number were they, of every kind and sort; then knowing,

too, his family relationships, great pity rose within his heart.

This sense of deep compassion passed, he once again considered "all that

lives," and how they moved within the six portions of life's revolution,

no final term to birth and death; hollow all, and false and transient as

the plantain tree, or as a dream, or phantasy. Then in the middle watch

of night, he reached to knowledge of the pure Devas, and beheld before

him every creature, as one sees images upon a mirror; all creatures born

and born again to die, noble and mean, the poor and rich, reaping the

fruit of right or evil doing, and sharing happiness or misery in

consequence. First he considered and distinguished evil-doers' works,

that such must ever reap an evil birth. Then he considered those who

practise righteous deeds, that these must gain a place with men or gods;

but those again born in the nether hells, he saw participating in every

kind of misery; swallowing molten brass, the iron skewers piercing their

bodies, confined within the boiling caldron, driven and made to enter

the fiery oven dwelling, food for hungry, long-toothed dogs, or preyed

upon by brain-devouring birds; dismayed by fire, then they wander

through thick woods, with leaves like razors gashing their limbs, while

knives divide their writhing bodies, or hatchets lop their members, bit

by bit; drinking the bitterest poisons, their fate yet holds them back

from death. Thus those who found their joy in evil deeds, he saw

receiving now their direst sorrow; a momentary taste of pleasure here, a

dreary length of suffering there. A laugh or joke because of others'

pain, a crying out and weeping now at punishment received. Surely if

living creatures saw the consequence of all their evil deeds,

self-visited, with hatred would they turn and leave them, fearing the

ruin following--the blood and death. He saw, moreover, all the fruits of

birth as beasts, each deed entailing its own return; and when death

ensues born in some other form (beast shape), different in kind

according to the deeds. Some doomed to die for the sake of skin or

flesh, some for their horns or hair or bones or wings; others torn or

killed in mutual conflict, friend or relative before, contending thus;

some burdened with loads or dragging heavy weights, others pierced and

urged on by pricking goads. Blood flowing down their tortured forms,

parched and hungry--no relief afforded; then, turning round, he saw one

with the other struggling, possessed of no independent strength. Flying

through air or sunk in deep water, yet no place as a refuge left from

death. He saw, moreover, those, misers and covetous, born now as hungry

ghosts; vast bodies like the towering mountain, with mouths as small as

any needle-tube, hungry and thirsty, nought but fire and poisoned flame

to enwrap their burning forms within. Covetous, they would not give to

those who sought, or duped the man who gave in charity, now born among

the famished ghosts, they seek for food, but cannot find withal. The

refuse of the unclean man they fain would eat, but this is changed and

lost before it can be eaten. Oh! if a man believes that covetousness is

thus repaid, as in their case, would he not give his very flesh in

charity even as Sivi raga did! Then, once more he saw, those reborn as

men, with bodies like some foul sewer, ever moving 'midst the direst

sufferings, born from the womb to fear and trembling, with body tender,

touching anything its feelings painful, as if cut with knives. Whilst

born in this condition, no moment free from chance of death, labor, and

sorrow, yet seeking birth again, and being born again, enduring pain.

Then he saw those who by a higher merit were enjoying heaven; a thirst

for love ever consuming them, their merit ended with the end of life,

the five signs warning them of death. Just as the blossom that decays,

withering away, is robbed of all its shining tints; not all their

associates, living still, though grieving, can avail to save the rest.

The palaces and joyous precincts empty now, the Devis all alone and

desolate, sitting or asleep upon the dusty earth, weep bitterly in

recollection of their loves. Those who are born, sad in decay; those who

are dead, beloved, cause of grief; thus ever struggling on, preparing

future pain, covetous they seek the joys of heaven, obtaining which,

these sorrows come apace; despicable joys! oh, who would covet them!

using such mighty efforts to obtain, and yet unable thence to banish

pain. Alas, alas! these Devas, too, alike deceived--no difference is

there! through lapse of ages bearing suffering, striving to crush desire

and lust, now certainly expecting long reprieve, and yet once more

destined to fall! in hell enduring every kind of pain, as beasts tearing

and killing one the other, as Pretas parched with direst thirst, as men

worn out, seeking enjoyment; although, they say, when born in heaven,

"then we shall escape these greater ills." Deceived, alas! no single

place exempt, in every birth incessant pain! Alas! the sea of birth and

death revolving thus--an ever-whirling wheel--all flesh immersed within

its waves cast here and there without reliance! thus with his pure Deva

eyes he thoughtfully considered the five domains of life. He saw that

all was empty and vain alike! with no dependence! like the plantain or

the bubble. Then, on the third eventful watch, he entered on the deep,

true apprehension; he meditated on the entire world of creatures,

whirling in life's tangle, born to sorrow; the crowds who live, grow

old, and die, innumerable for multitude. Covetous, lustful, ignorant,

darkly-fettered, with no way known for final rescue. Rightly

considering, inwardly he reflected from what source birth and death

proceed. He was assured that age and death must come from birth as from

a source. For since a man has born with him a body, that body must

inherit pain. Then looking further whence comes birth, he saw it came

from life-deeds done elsewhere; then with his Deva-eyes scanning these

deeds, he saw they were not framed by Isvara. They were not self-caused,

they were not personal existences, nor were they either uncaused; then,

as one who breaks the first bamboo joint finds all the rest easy to

separate, having discerned the cause of birth and death, he gradually

came to see the truth; deeds come from upadana, like as fire which

catches hold of grass; upadana comes from trishna, just as a little fire

inflames the mountains; trishna comes from vedana, the perception of

pain and pleasure, the desire for rest; as the starving or the thirsty

man seeks food and drink, so "sensation" brings "desire" for life; then

contact is the cause of all sensation, producing the three kinds of pain

or pleasure, even as by art of man the rubbing wood produces fire for

any use or purpose; contact is born from the six entrances.[103] The six

entrances are caused by name and thing, just as the germ grows to the

stem and leaf; name and thing are born from knowledge, as the seed which

germinates and brings forth leaves. Knowledge, in turn, proceeds from

name and thing, the two are intervolved leaving no remnant; by some

concurrent cause knowledge engenders name and thing, whilst by some

other cause concurrent, name and thing engender

Bimbisara Raga Becomes A Disciple But he who has cleansed himself from sin, is well facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail