[Param] Text from Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism by Coomaraswamy

PART I: THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA . . His Birth T HE name Buddha,’ the Knower,’ ‘the Enlightened,’ ‘the Wake,’ is the appellation by which the wandering preaching friar Ga\ltama became best known to his disciples. Of this man we are able to say with some certainty that he was born in the year 563 B.c. and died in 483 B. C. He was the heir of a ruling house of the Sakyas, whose little kingdom, a rich irrigated plain between the Nepalese foot-hills and the river Rapti, lay to the north-east of the present province of Oudh. To the south-west lay the larger and more powerful kingdom of the Kosalas, to whom the Sakyas owed a nominal allegiance. The Buddha’s personal !lame_ was Siddhattha, his family name Gautama, his father’s name Suddhodana, his mother’s Maya. It is only in later legend that Suddhodana is representee! as a great king; most likely he was in fact a wealthy knight and land.owner. Siddhattha’s mother died seven days after hi!! birth, and her sister Mahapajapati, another wife of Suddhodana, filled the place of mother to the young prince. He was brought up in Kapilavatthu, a busy provincial capital; he was trained in -martial exercises, riding, and Qutdoor life generally, and in aJI knightly accomplishments, but it is not indicated in the early books that he was accomplished in Brahmanica!lore. In accordance with the custom of well. to-do youths, he occupied three different houses in winter, summer, and the rainy season, these houses being provided with beautiful pleasure gardens and a good deal of simple luxury. It is recorded that he was ·married, and had a son, by name Rahula, who afterwards became his disciple. Siddhattha experienced the intellectual and spiritual unrest of his age; and felt a growing dissatisfaction with the world of pleasure in which he moved, a dissatisfaction rooted in the fact of its transience and uncertainty, and of man’s subjection to all the ills of mortality. Suddhodami. feared that these thoughts would lead to the loss of his son, who would become a hermit, as was the tendency of the thinkers of the time; and these fears were well founded, for in spite of every pleasure and luxury that could be devised to withhold him, Siddhattha ultimately left his home to adopt the ‘ homeless life ‘ of the ‘Wanderer,’ a seeker after truth that should avail to liberate all men from the bondage of mortality. Such enlightenment he found after years of search. Thereafter, during a long minlst~y as a wandering preacher, he taught the Four Ariyan Truths and the Eightfold Path; attract.ing many disciples, he founded a monastic order as a refuge for higher men, the seekers for everlasting freedom and, unshakable peace. He died at the age of eighty. After his death -his disciples gathered together the “Wo_rds of the Enlightened One,” and from this nucleus there grew up in the course of a few centuries the whole body of the Pali canon, and ultimately, under slightly different interpretat_ion, the whole mass of the Mahayana Siitras. That so much of the story represents literal fact is not only very possible, but extremely probable; for there is nothing here which is not i_n perfect accordance with the life of that age and the natural development of Indian thought. We know, for exainple, that many groups of wandering ascetics were engaged in the same quest, and that they were largely recruited from an intel.lectual and social aristocracy to whom the pretensions of Brahmanical pri~stcraft were no longer acceptable, and who were no less out of sympathy with the multitudinous cults 10 !
The Legendary Buddha
of popular animism. We know the name of at least one other princely ascetic, Vardhamana, a contemporary of the Buddha, and the founder of the monastic system of the Jainas. The Legendary Buddha But while it is easy to extract from the Buddhist books such a nucleus of fact as is outlined above, the materials for a more circumstantial biography of the Buddha, extensive as they are, cannot be regarded as historical in the scientific usage of the word. What is, however. far more important than the record of fact, is the expressiqn of all that the facts, as understood, implied to those to whom they were a living inspiration; and it is just this expression of what the life of Buddha meant to Buddhists, or Bauddhas, as the followers of Gautama are more properly called, that we find in the legendary lives, such as the Lalitavistam, which is familiar to Western readers in Sir Edwin Arnold’s Light ofAsia. Here, then, we shall relate the life of Buddha in some detail, from the various sources indicated,’ regardless of the fact that these presuppose a doctrinal development which can only have taken place after the Buddha’s death; for the miraculous and mythological elements are always very transparent and artistic. The history of the Buddha begins with the resolve of the individual Brahm:::.n Sumedha, long ago, to become a Buddha in some future birth, that he might spread abroad saving truth for the help of suffering humanity. Countless ages ago this same Sumedha, retiring one day to the upper chamber of his house, seated himself and fell into thought : ” Behold, I am subject to birth, to 1 Chiefly the Nidi’inakat/za (introduction to the PiUi Jatakas), the Maha PariniMana Sutta, and the Lalitavistara. 1I decay, to disease, and· to death; it is right, then, that I should strive to win the great deathless Nibbana, which is t~;imquil, and free’ from ·birth and decay, sickness, and woe and weal. Surely there must be a road that leads to Nibbiina and releases man from existence.” Accordingly, he. gave away all his wealth· and adopted the·.lile of a herm’it in the forest. At that time Dipankara Buddha appeared in the world, and attained enlightenment. It happened one ·day ‘that Dipankara Buddha was to pass that way, a_nd men·. were preparing the road for him. Sumedha asked and received permission to join in the work, and not ·only did he do so, ·bu’t ‘when Dipankara came Sumedha•hiid himself dowri in the mud, so that the Buddha .might walk upon his body without soiling his feet. Then Dipankara’s attention was ·aroused· and he became–aware ef Sumedha’s intention to become a Buddha, and, looking countWss ages into’ the future, he saw that he would become a Buddha of the na;ne of Gautama, afid he prophesied accordingly. Thereupon Sumedha rejoited, and, rejecting ‘the immediate prospect of becoming an Arahat, as the disciple of Dipankara, “Let ·ine rather,” he said, “lik:e Dipankara, liaving risen to the supreme knowledge· of-the truth, enable ‘all men to eftter the ship of truth, :lnd-thus I may bear them over the Sea of Existence, and then ‘only let nie realize Nibbana myself.” Incarnatt’on ifthe Buddha When• Dipa11kara with all his followers had ‘Passed by SUthe<fha examined the Ten-·Perfections. indispensable ro Buddahood, and· determined to practise them in his future births. ·So it came to pass, until in the last of-these births the Bodhisatta was reqorn as Prince Vessantara, who exhibited the Perfection o( .Supernatural Generosity, and .. I2 ‘Incarnation of the Buddha
in due time passed away and .dwelt in the Heaven of Delight. When the time had come for the Bodhisatta to return to earth for the last time, the deities ‘Of the ten thousand world-systems assembled together, and, approach.ing the Bodhisatta in the Heaven of Delight, said: “Now has the moment come, 0 ‘Blessed Orie, for thy Buddhahood ; now has the time, 0 Blessed One, arrived!” Then the Bodhisatta considered the time, the continent, the district, the tribe, and the mother, and, having deter.mined these; he assented, saying: “The time has come, 0 Blessed Ones, for me to become a Buddha.” And even as he was walking there in the Grove of Gladness he departed thence and was conceived· in the womb of the lady Maha Maya. The manner of the eonception is ex.plained as follows. At the time of the midsummer festival in Kapilavatthu, Maha Maya, the lady of Suddhodp.na, lay on her couch and dreamed a dream. She dreamt that the Four Guardians of··tlie Quarters lifted her up and bore her away to the Himalayas, and there she was bathed in the Anotatta lake and lay down to rest on a heavenly couch within a golden mansion on Silver Hill. Then the Bodhisatta, who had become a beautiful white elephant, bearing in his trunk a white lotus flower, approached from the North, and seemed to touch her right side and to enter her womb. The next day when she awoke she related the dream to her lord, and it was interpreted by the Brahmans as follows: that the lady had conceived a man.child who, should he adopt the life of a householder, would become a Universal Monarch; but if he adopted the religious life he would become a Buddha, removing from the world the veils of ignorance and sin. It should be told also that at the moment of the incarnation the heavens and the earth showed signs, the dumb spoke, the lame walked, all men began to speak kindly, musical instruments played of themselves, the earth was covered with lotus flowers, and lotuses descended from the sky, and every tree put forth its flowers. From the moment of the incarnation, moreover, four devas guarded the Bodhisatta and his mother, to shield them from all harm. The mother was not weary, and she · could perceive the child in her womb as plainly as one may see the thread in a transparent-gem. The Lady Maha Maya carried the Bodhisatta ~thus for ten lunar months ; at the end of that time she expressed a wish to vi~it her family in Elevadaha; and she set out on the journey. On the way from Kapilavatthu to Devadaha there is a pleasure-grove of Sal-trees belonging to the people. of both cities, and at the time of the queen’s jo’url}ey it was filled with fruits and flowers. Here the queen desired to rest, and she was carried to the greatest of the Sal-trees and stood beneath it. As she raised her hand to take hold of one of its branches she knew her time had come, and so standing and holding the branch of the Sal-tree she was delivered. Four Brahma devas received the child in a golden net, and showed it to the m6ther, saying: “Rejoice, 0 Lady 1 a great son is born to thee.” The child stood upright, and took seven strides and cried : “I am supreme in the world. This is my last birth: henceforth there shall be no more birth for met” At one and the same time there came into being the Seven Connatal Ones, viz., the mother of Rahula-, Ananda the favourite disciple, Channa, the attendant, Kanthaka, the horse, Kaludayi, the minister, the great Bodhi tree, and the vases of Treasure. ‘ Kala Devala Kala Devala When the Bodhisatta was born there was great rejoicing in the heaven of the Thirty-three Gods. At that time also a certain hermit by name Kala Devala, an adept, sat in samlidhi, visiting the h~ven of the Thirty-three, and .seeing the rejoicing he learnt its cause. Immediately ·he returned to earth, and repaired to tbe palace, asking to see the new-born child. The prince was brought in to salute the great adept, but he rose from his seat and bowed to the child, saying: “I may not work my own destruction”· for assuredly if the child bad been made to bow to his feet, the hermit’s head would have split atwain, so much had it been against the order of nature. Now the adept cast backward and forward his vision ~e~ forty reons, and perceived that the child would become a Buddha in his present birth: but he saw that he-himself would die before the Great Enlightenment came to pass, and being reborn in ·the heaven of No-form, a hundred or even a thousand Buddhas might appear before he found the opportunity to become the disciple of any; and seeing this, he wept. He sent, however, for his nephew, then a householder, and advised him to become a hermit, for at the end of thirty-five years he would receive the teach.ing of the Buddha; and that sa,me nephew, by name Nalaka, afterwards entered the order and became an Arahat. On the fifth day the name ceremonies were performed, and the child was called Siddhattha (Siddhllrtha). On .this occasion eight soothsayers were present amongst the Brahmans, and of these seven foresaw that the child would become either a Universal Monarch or a Buddha, but the eighth, by .name Kondafiiia, predicted that he would of a surety become a Buddha. This same IS Kondai’ifia afterwards belonged to the five who became the Buddha’s first disciples. Then the prince’s father inquired: “What will my son see, that will be the occasion of his forsaking the house.hold life ? ” “The Four Signs,” was the answer, “a man worn out by age,-a sick man, a dead body, and a hermit.” Then·the king•resolved that no such sights should ever be seen by his son, for he did not wish him to become a Buddha, but desired that he should rule the whole world ; and he appointed an innumerable and magnificent guard ahd retinue to protect his son from any such illumi.nating omens, and to occupy his mind with worldly pleasures. Seven days after the child’s birth the Lady Maha Maya died, and was reborn in the heaven of the Thirty-three Gods; and Siddhattha was placed in the charge of his aunt and stepmothertheMatron Gautami. And now came to pass another miracle, on the occasion of the Ploughing Festival.. For while the king was inaugurating the ploughing with his own hands, and the nurses were preparing food, the Bodhisatta took his seat beneath a. Jambu-tree, and, crossing his legs like a yogi, he exe~cised the first degree of contemplation ; and though time passed, the shadow of the tree did not move. When the king beheld that miracle he bowed to the child, and cried: “This, dear one, is the second homage paid to thee!” As the Bodhisatta grew up his father built for him three palaces, respectively of nine, five, and seven stories, and. here he dwelt.·according to the seasons. Here the Bodhi.satta was ~urrounded by every luxury, and thousands of dancing-girls were appointed for his service and enter.tainment. Taken to the teachers of writing and the·other The Princ·e. Marries
arts, he soon surpassed them all, and he excelled in all martial exercises. The Prince Marries At the age of sixteen, the king sought for a wife for his son; for. by domestic ties he hoped to attach-him still more to the worldly life. The prince had already experienced the desire to become a hermit. But in order, as the books say, to conform with the custom of .former Bodhisattas, he consented to marry, if it were possible to find a girl·of perfect manners, wholly truthful, mod!!st, congenial to his temperament, and of pure and Honour.able birth, young and fair, but not proud of her beauty, charitable, conterited in self-denial, tende.: as a sister or a mother, not desiring music, scents, festivities or wine, pure in thought and word and deed, the last to sleep and the first to rise in the house where she should dwell. Brahmans were sent far and wide to seek for such a maiden amongst the Sakya families. At last the choice fell upon Siddhattha’s cousin Yasodhara, the daughter of Suprabuddha of Kapilavatthu. And the king devised a plan to engage the young man’s heart. He made ready a display of beautiful jewels which Siddhattha was to distribute amongst the Sakya .maidens. So it came to pass: but when all the jewels had been bestowed, Y asodhara came late, and there was nothing left for her. Thinking that she was despised, she asked if there was no gift meant for her. Siddhattha said there was no such thought in his mind, and he sent for other rings and bracelets and gave them to her. She said: “Is it becoming for me to receive such gifts?” and he answered: “They are mine to give.” And so she went her way. ·Then Suddhodana’s spies reported that Siddhattha had casf his .eyes only upon Y asodharii., and had entered into conversation with her. A message :was sent to Suprabuddha asking ·for his. daughter. The answer came that ·daughters of the family were only given. to those who excelled in the various arts and martial exercises, and “could this be ‘the case with one whose whole life. had been spent in the luxury of a palace?” . SuddhQdana was grieved because his .son was considered to be indolent and weak. The Bodhisatta pt!rs:eived his .mood, and asked its-caus”e, and being informed, he reassured .his. father, and ‘advised that a contest’in martial exe~;cises should be proclaimed, and all the .Sakya youths invited. So it was done. Then the Bodhisatta proved himself the superior. -of all, first in the arts of literature and numbers, then in .wrestling and archery, and each and all of the sixty-four arts ahd sciences. When Siddhattha had thus shown his prowess, Suprabuddha bro.ught his daughter to be <~ffian.ced to the pl’ince, and the marriage was celebrated with all magnificence. Amongst the defeat”ed Sakyas were two cousins of the Buddha,. the one Ananda, who· afterwards became the favourite disciple, the o.ther Devadatta, ·whose growing envy and jealousy made him.the life-long enemy of the victor. Tke Four Signs The Bodhisatta is never entirely forgetful’ of his· high calling. Yet it is needful that he should be reminded of the. approaching hour; and to this end the cosmic Buddhas made audibkto Siddhattha, .ev.en as he sat and listened to the.§inging-pf the.dancirlg,girls, the message-‘! Recollect thy vow, to save all 1iving things: the time is at hand·= this alohe ·is the purpose of ‘thy biith.” And, thus as the 1,8 The Four Signs
Bodhisatta sat in his beautiful palaces day after day surrounded by all the physical and intellectual pleasures that could be devised by love or art, he felt an ever more insistent call to the fulfilment of his spiritual destiny. And now were to be revealed .to him the Four Signs which were to be the immediate cause of the Great Renunciation. The Bodhisatta desired one day to visit the royal pleasure.gardens. His father· appointed a day, and gave command that the city should be swept and garnished, and that every inauspicious sight should be removed, and none allowed to appear save those who were young and fair. The day came, and the prince drove forth with the charioteer Channa. But the Devas 1 are not to be diverted from their ends: and a certain one assumed the form of an old and <!ecrepit man, and stood in the midst of the street. “What kind of a man is this ? ” said the Prince, and Channa replied, “Sire, it is an aged man, bowed down by years.” “Are all men then,” said the prince, “or this man only, subject to age?” The charioteer could but answer that youth must yield to age in every living being. “Shame,. then, on life l ” said the prince, “since the decay of every living thing is notorious l” and he turned to his palace in sadness. When all that had taken place was reported to the king, he exclaimed : “This is my ruin l ” and he devised more and more amusements, music and plays calculated to divert Siddhattha’s mind from the thought of leaving the world. . Again the prince drove out to visit the pleasure-gardens of Kapilavatthu: and on the way they met a sick man, thin and weak and scorched by fever. When the meaning of this spectacle was made clear by the charioteer, the 1 Devas, the Olympian deities, headed by Sakka, who dwell in the Heaven of the Tbirty·three : spiritual powers generally, ‘gods.’ I9 Bodhisatta exclaimed· again: ” If health be frail as the substance of a dream, who then can take delight in joy and pleasure P ” . And the car was turned, and he returned to the palace. A third time the prince went forth, and now they met a corpse followed by mourners weeping and tearing their hair. “Why does this man lie on a bier,” said the prince, ” and why do they weep and beat their breasts P ” ” Sire,” said the charioteer, “he is dead, and may never more see his father or mother, children or home: he has departed to another world.” ” Woe then to such youth as is destroyed by age,” exclaimed. the prince, “and woe to the health that is destroyed by innumerable maladieS I Woe to the life so soon ended I Would that sickness, age, and death might be for ever bound I Turn back again, that I may seek a way of deliverance.” When the Bodhisatta drove forth for the last time, he met a hermit, a mendicant friar. This· Bhikkhu was self.possessed, serene, dignified, self-controlled, with downcast eyes, dressed in the garb .of a religious and carrying a beggar’s bowl. “Who is this man of so calm a temper?” said the prince, “clothed in russet garments, and of such dignified demeanour P ” “Sire,” said the charioteer, ‘fHe is a Bhikkhu, a religious, who has abandoned alllongings and leads a life of austerity, he lives without passion or envy, and begs his daily food.” The Bodhisatta answered “That is well done, and makes’ me eager for the same course of life : to become religious has ever been praised ·]Jy the wise, and this shall be my refuge and the refuge of others and shall yield the fruit of life, and immortality.” Again the· Bodhisatta returned to his palace. When all these things had been reported to Suddhodana, he surrounded the prince’s pleasure-palace by triple walls r The Great Renunciation .
and redoubled the guards, and he commanded the women of the palace to exercise all their charms, to divert the prince’s thoughts by music and pleasure: and it was done accordingly. And now Yasodhara was troubled by portentous dreams : she dreamed that the land was devastated by storms, she saw herself naked and mutilated, her beautiful jewels broken, the sun the moon and the stars fell from the sky and Mount Meru sank into the great deep. When she related these dreams to the Bodhisatta, he replied in gentle tones: “You need not fear. It is to the good and the worthy alone that such dreams come, never to the base. Rejoice l for the purport of all these dreams is that the bond of mortality shall be loosed, the veils of ignorance shall be rent asunder, for I ·have completely fulfilled the way of wisdom, and every one that has faith in me shall be saved from the three evils, without exception.” Tlte Great Renundation The Bodhisatta reflected that he ought not to go forth as a Wanderer without giving notice to his father; and there.fore he sought the king by night, and said : “Sire, the time is at hand for my going forth, do not hinder me, but permit me to depart.” The king’s eyes were charged with tears, and he answered : ” What is there needful to change thy purpose? Tell me whatever thou desirest and it shall be thine, be it myself, the palace, or the kingdom.” The Bodhisatta replied, “Sire, I desire four things, pray thee grant them : the first, to remain for ever in possession of the fresh colour of youth; the second, that sickness may never attack me; the third, that my life may have no term; the last, that I may not be subject to decay.” When the king heard these words, he was overcome by grief, for Buddha & the Gospel of Buddhism the prince desired what it was not possible for a man to bestow. Then the Bodhisatta continued: “Ifthen I cannot avoid old age, sickness, death and decay, grant at least this one thing, that when I leave this world I may nevermore be subject to rebirth.” And when the king could give no better answer, he granted his son’s desire. But the next day he established an additional guard of five hundred young men of the Sakyas at each of the four gates of the palace, while the Matron Gautami established an amazon guard within; for the king would not allow his son to depart with a free will. At the same time the captains of the Yakkhas’ assembled together, and they said “To-day, my friends, the Bodhisatta is to go forth; hasten to do him service.” The Four Great Kings’ commanded the Y akkhas to bear up the feet of the prince’s horse. The Thirty-three Devas likewise assembled, and Sakka ordered their services, so that one should cast a heavy sleep on all the men and women and young men and maidens of Kapilavatthu, and another should silence the noise of the elephants, horses, camels, bulls and other beasts; and others constituted themselves an escort, to cast down a rain of flowers and perfume the air. Sakka himself announced that he would open the gates and show the way. On the morning of the day of the going forth, ·when the . Bodhisatta was being attirea, a message was brought to him that Yasoahara had borne him a son. He did not rejoice, but he said : “A bond has come into being, a hindrance for me.” And the child received the name of Rahula or ‘Hindrance’ accordingly. The same day the Bodhisatta drove again in the city, and a certain noble 1 Yakkhas, nature spirits. 2 The Four Kings, Guardians of the Four Quarters. The Great Renunciation
v1rgm, by name Kisa Gotami, stood on the roof of her palace and beheld the beauty and majesty of the future Buddha as he passed by, and she made a song: B !essed indeed is the mother, blessed indeed the father, Blessed indeed is the wife, wkose is a lord so glorious! On hearing this the Bodhisatta thought: “She does but say that the heart of a mother, or a father, or a wife is gladdened by such a sight. But by what can every heart attain to lasting happiness and peace?” The answer arose in his mind : ” When the fire of lust is extinguished, then there is peace; and when the fires of resentment and glamour are dead, then there is peace. Sweet is the lesson this singer has taught me, for it is the Nibbana of ~ace that I have sought. This day I shall relinquish the household life, nothing will I seek but Nibbana itself.” And taking from his neck the string of pearls he sent it as a teacher’s fee to Kisa Gotami. But she thought that the prince loved her, and sent her a gift because of his love. That night the singers and the dancing-girls exerted them.selves to please the prince: fair as the nymphs of heaven, they danced and sang and played. But the Bodhisatta, his heart being estranged from distraction, took no pleasure in the entertainment, and fell asleep. And the women seeing that he slept, laid aside their instruments and fell asleep likewise. And when .the lamps that were fed with scented oil were on the point of dying, the Bodhisatta awoke, and he saw the girls that had seemed so fair, in all the disarray of slumber. And the king’s son, seeing them thus dishevelled and disarrayed, breathing heavily, yawning and sprawling in unseemly attitudes, was moved to scorn. “Such is the true nature of women,” he thought, “but a man is deceived by dress and jewels and is deluded by a woman’s beauties. Ifa man would but con.sider the natural state of women and the change that comes upon them in sleep, assuredly he would not cherish his folly; but he is smitten from a right will, and so succumbs to passion.” And therewith he resolved to accomplish the Great Renunciation that very night, and at that very time, for it seemed to him that every mode of existence on earth or in heaven most resembled a. delay in a house already become the prey of devouring flames; and his mind was irresistibly directed towards the state of those who have renounced the world. The Bodhisatta therefore rose from his couch and called for Channa; and the charioteer, who was sleeping ;with his head on the threshold, rose and said: “Sire, I am here.” Then the Bodhisatta said: “I am resolved to accomplish the Great Renunciation to-day; saddle my horse.” An<). Channa went out to the stable and saddled Kanthaka: and the horse knew what was the reason of his being saddled, and neighed for joy, so that the whole city would have been aroused, had it not been that the Devas subdued the sound,. so that no one heard it. Now while Channa was away in the stable yard, the Bodhisatta thought: “I will take one look at my son,” and he went to the door of Yasodhara’s chamber. The Mother of Rahula was asleep on a bed strewn thick with jasmine flowers, and her hand was resting on her son’s head. The Bodhisatta stoppeo with his foot upon the threshold,-for ·· he thought: “If I lift her hand to take up my son, she will awake, and my departure will be hindered. I will return mi.d see him after I have attained enlightenment.” Then he went forth, and seeing the horse ready saddled, –
2 0 •· … The Great Renunciation he said, “Good Kanthaka, do thou save me this night, to the end that I may become a Buddha by thy help and may save the worlds of men and gods.” Kanthaka neighed again, but the sound of his voice was heard by none. So the Bodhisatta rode forth, preceded by Channa: the Y akkhas bore up the feet of Kanthaka so that they made no sound, and when they came to the guarded gates the angel standing thereby caused them to open silently. At that moment Mara the Fiend appeared in the air, and tempted the Bodhisatta, exclaiming: “Go not forth, my lord I for within seven days from this the Wheel of Sovereignty will appear, and will make you ruler of the four continents and the myriad islands. Go not forth! ” The Bodhisatta replied : “Mara l well I know that this is sooth. But I do not seek the sovereignty of the world. I would become a Buddha, to make tens of thousands of worlds rejoice.” And so the tempter left him, but resolved to follow him ever like a shadow, to lay hold of the occasion, if ever a thought of anger or desire should arise in the Bodhisatta’s heart. It was on the full-moon day of Asadha when the prince departed from the city. His progress was accompanied by pomp and glory, for the gods and angels bore myriads of torches:pefq.r~ and behind him, and a rain of beautiful flo»’jt~-was·~as~i\wn from the heaven of Indra, so that$1ie” very flanl<:s~$. Kanthaka were covered. In this~al; the Bodhisattit advanced a great distance, until tho/ ~eac’beilfal.!c\’.f.~~–::: over the river Anoma. When they were come· to-‘rli.,;; other side, the Bodhisatta alighted ~E.<fn the sandy siJ<fJic and said to Channa: “Good Channa'(:i:he·ti_m.~.~~-~e-·· when thou must return, and take with thee lll!”‘my jewels _,
together with Kanthaka, for I am about to-become a
25 hermit and a wanderer in these forests. Grieve not for me, but mourn for those who stay behind, bound by longings of which the fruit is sorrow. It is my resolve to seek the highest good this very day, for what con.fidence have we in life when death is ever at hand? And do you comfort the king, and so speak with him that he may not even remember me, for where affection is lost, there is no sorrow.” But Channa protested, and prayed the Bodhisatta to take pity upon the king, and upon Yasodharaand on the city of Kapilavatthu. But again the Bodhisatta answered : ” Even were I to return to my kin.dred by reason of affection, yet we should be divided in the end by death. The meeting and parting of living things is as )Vhen the clouds having come together drift apart again, or as when the leaves are parted from the trees. There is nothing we may call our own in a union that is nothing but a dream. Therefore, since it is so, go, and grieve not, and say to the people of Kapilavatthu: ‘Either he will soon return, the conqueror of age and death, or he himself will fail and perish.'” Then Channa too would have become a hermit: but the Bodhisatta answered again: “If your love is so great, yet go, deliver the message, and return.” The~.the• Bodhisatta took the sharp sword that Channa b@~nd·seve.r~~ith it his long locks and jewelled crest :4,q:d:;-~ast them iir~e waters: and at the moment when
~€ felt the need ~fyt hermit’s dress, there appeared a
‘:’,~ex~.~ ti-1.<:.”iih’ise ?§t h~n;er clad in. the rus~et robes of
~itforest-~age and ~~recei~mg the white muslm ?”arments
i ~-<the pnnce, rend”ei_ed to him the dark red robes m return, ..
\..1’~d'”s<‘>_.;!eP.arted. -~’iif Iw;’~·I{;;b.t’il”aka attended to all that had been said, and he lickeil-the’:Bo’dhisatta’s feet; and the prince spoke to 26 The Search for the Way of Escape
him as to a friend, and said: “Grieve not, 0 Kanthaka, for thy perfect. equine nature has been proved-bear with it, and soon thy pain shall bear its fruit.” But Kanthaka, thinking: “From this day forth I shall never see my master more,” went out of their sight, and there died of a broken heart and was reborn in the Heaven of the Thirty.three. Then Channa’s grief was doubled; and torn by the second sorrow of the death of Kanthaka, he returned to the city weeping and wailing, and the Bodhisatta was left alone. The Search .for The Way o.f Escape The Bodhisatta remained for a week in the Mango-grove of Anupiya, and thereafter he proceeded to Rajagaha, the chief town of Magadha. He begged his food from door to door, and the beauty of his person cast the whole city irito commotion. When this was made known to the king Bimbisara, he went to. the place where the Bodhi.satta was sitting, and offered to bestow upon him the whole kingdom : but again the Bodhisatta refused the royal throne, for he had already abandoned all in· the hope of attaining enlightenment, and did not desire a worldly empire. But he granted the king’s request that when he had found the way, he would preach it first in that same kingdom. It is said that when the Bodhisatta entered a hermitage for the first time (and this was before he proceeded to Rajagaha) he found the sages practising many and strange penances, and he inquired their meaning, and what was the purpose that each endeavoured to achieve and received the answer-” By such penances endured for a time, by the higher they attain heaven, and by the lower, favourable fruit in the world of men: by pain they come at last to happiness, for pain, they say, is the root of merit.” But to him it seemed that here there was no way of escape-here too, men endured misery for the sake of happiness, and that happiness itself, rightly understood, consisted in pain, for it must ever be subject to mortality and to rebirth. “It is not the effort itself whicll.! blame,” he said, “which casts aside the base and follows a higher path of its own: but the wise in sooth, by all this heavy toil, ought to attain to the state where nothing ever needs to be done again. And since it is the mind that controls the body, it is thought alone that should be restrained. Neither purity of food nor the waters of a sacred river can cleanse the heart: water is but water, but the true place of pilgrimage is the virtue of the virtuous man.” And now, rejecting with courtesy the king’s offers, the Bodhisatta made his way to the hermitage of the renowned sage Alara Kalama and became his disciple, learning the successive degrees of ecstatic meditation. Alara taught, it is clear, the doctrine of the Atman, saying that the sage who is versed in the Supreme Self, “having abolished himself by himself, sees that nought exists and is called a Nihilist: then, like a bird from its cage, the soul escaping from the body, is declared to be set free: this is that supreme Brahman, constant, eternal, and without distinctive signs, which the wise who know reality declare to be liberation.” But Gautama (and it is by this name that the books now begin to speak of the Bodhisatta) ignores the phrase “without distinctive signs,” and with verbal justification quarrels with the animistic and dualistic terminology of soul and body: a liberated soul, he argued, is still a soul, and whatever the condition it attains, must be subject to rebirth, “and since each successive re.nunciation is held to be still accompanied by qualities, I 1 • j -‘ ….. The. Search for the Way ·of Escape maintain that the absolute attainment of our end is only to be found in the abandonment of everything.” 1 A:nd now leaving the hermitages of Rajagaha the Bodhi.satta, seeking something beyond, repaired to a forest near to the village of U ruvela and there abode on the pure bank of the Nairanjana. There five wanderers, begging hermits, came to him, for they were persuaded that ere long he would attain enlightenment: and the leader of thesewasKondafifia, the erstwhile Brahman soothsayer who had prophesied at the festival of the Bodhisatta’s name day. And now ‘ thinking: “This may be tlte means to conquer birth and death,” Gautama for six years practised there an austere rule of fasting and of mortification, so that his glorious body wasted away to skin and bone. He brought himself to feed on a single sesamum seed or a grain of r~ce, until one day, as he paced to and fro, he was overcome by weakness, and fainted and fell. Then certain of the Devas exclaimed ” Gautama is dead I ” and some reported it to Suddhodana the king at Kapilavatthu. But he replied: “~ may not believe it. Never would my son die without attaining enlightenment.” For he did not forget the miracle at the foot of the Jambu-tree, nor the day when the great sage Kala Devala had felt compelled to offer homage to the child. And the Bodhisatta recovered, and stood up; and again the gods reported it to the king. Now the fame of the Bodhisatta’s exceeding penances became spread abroad, as the sound of a great bell is 1 We recognize here the critical m.ofnent where Buddhist and Brfihman thought part company on th,e question of the Atman. Whether•Alara failed to emphasize the negative aspect .of the doctrine of the Brahman, or G;mtama (who is represented as so far entirely innocent of Brahmanical philosophy) failed to distinguish !he neuter .Brahman from the god Brahma, we cannot tell. The queStion is discussed at greater length in Part Ill, Chapter IV. (p. rg8 f.) heard in the sky. But he perceived that mortification was not tlfe road to enligbtenment and to liberation-. ” that was the. true way that I found beneath 1;he Jambu.tree, and it cannot be attained by one who has lost his strength.” And so again the Great Being resolved to beg his food in towns anp villages, that his health and strength might be restored. This was in the thirtieth year <;>f the life of Gautama. But the Five ·Disciples reflected tl;lat Gautama had not been able to attain en.lightenment even by six years of the most severe austerities, “a.nd how can he do so now, when he goes and begs in the villages and eats of ordinary food? “-and they departed from him and went to the suburb of Benares called Isipatana. The Supreme EnHghtenment Now during the time that Gautama had been dwelling in the forest near by Uruvela, the daughter of the village headman, by name Sujata, had been accustomed to make a daily offering of food to eight hundred Brahmans, making the prayer-” May the Bodhisatta at length receive an offering of food from me, attain enlightenment, and become a Buddha ! ” And now that the time had come when he desired to receiv:e nourishing food, a Dev:a appeared in the night to Sujata and announced that the Bodhisatta had put aside his austerities and desired to partake of good and nourishing food, “and now shall your prayer be accomplished.” Then Sujata with all speed arose early and went to her father’s herd. Now for a long time she haq been accustomed to take the milk of a thousand cows and to feed therewith five hundred, and again with their milk to feed two hundred and fifty, and so on until eight only were fed with the milk of the rest, and this she ca.Jl~d ·30 The .Supreme Enlightenment
“working, the milk in and in.” It was the full-moon day of the month of May when she received the message of the gods, and rose early, and milked the eight cows, and took the milk a1,1d boiled it in new pans, and prepared milk-rice. At the same time she sent her maid Punna to the foot of the great tree where she had been wont to lay her daily offerings.· Now the Bodhisatta, knowing that he would that day attain Supreme Enlightenment, was sitting at the foot of the tree, awaiting the hour for going forth to beg his food; and such was his glory that all the region of the East was lit up. The girl thought that it was the spirit of the tree who would deign to receive the offering with his own hands. When she returned to Sujata and reported this, Sujata embraced her and bestowed on her the jewels of a daughter, and exclaimed, “Henceforth thou shalt be to .me in the place of an elder daughter I” And sending for a golden vessel she put the well-cooked food therein, and covered it with a pure white’ cloth, and bore it with dignity to the foot of the great Nigrodha-tree; and there she too saw the Bodhisatta, and believed him to be the spirit of the tree. Sujata .approached him, and placed the vessel in his hand, and she met his gaze and said : ” My .lord, accept what I have offered thee,” and she added “May there arise to thee as much of joy as has come to me I ” and so she departed. The Bodhisatta took the golden bowl, and went down to the bank of the river and bathed, and then dressing himself in the garb of an Arahat, he again Jook his seat, with his face towards the East.1 He divided the rice into forty.nine portions, and this food sufficed for his nourishment during-the forty-nine days following the Enlightenment. When he had finished e:1ting the milk rice, he took the golden vessel and cast it into the stream, saying ” If·I am 1 In ancient India the East was considered the most auspicious quarter. r ! Buddha & the Gospel of Buddhism able to· attain Enlightenment to-Clay, let this pot go up stream, but if not, may it go down stream.” And he threw it into the water, and it ‘went swiftly up the rivef’until it reached the whirlpool of the· Black Snake King, and there it sank. The Bodhisatta spent the heat of the day in a grove of Sill-trees -beside the stream. But in the evening he made his way to the foot of the Tree of Wisdom, and there, making the resolution: “Though my skin, my nerves and my bones should waste away and my life-blood dry, I will not leave this seat until I have attained Supreme Enlighten. ment,” he took his seat with his face towards the East. At this moment Mara the Fiend became aware that the Bodhisatta .had taken his seat with a view to attaining Perfect Enlightenment; and thereupon, summoning the hosts of the demons, and mounting his elephant of war, he advanced towards. the ‘rree of Wisdom. And there stood Maha Brahma holding above the Bodhisatta a white canopy of’ state, and Sakka, blowing the great trumpet, and with them were alt the companies of gods and angels. But so terrible was the array of Mara that there was not one of all this host of the Devas that dared fo remain to face him. The Great Being was left alone. First of all, however, Mara assumed the form of a messenger, with disordered garments, and panting in haste, bearing’ a letter from the Sakya -princes. Ah~in the letter it was written that Devadatta had usurped the kingdom of Kapilavatthu and entered the Bodhisatta’s palace, taken his’ goods and his wife, and cast Suddhodana into prison and they prayed him to return to restore peace and order. But the Bodhisatta reflected lust it was that had caused Devadatta ihus to misuse the women, malice had made !rim imprison Suddhodana, while the S~kyas neutralized 32 \ \ The Supreme Enlightenment
by cowardice failed to defend their King: and so reflecting on the folly and weakness of the natural heart, his own resolve to attain a higher and better state was strengthened -and confirmed.• Failing in this device, Mara now advanced to the assault with all his hosts, striving to overcome the Bo.dhisatta first by a terrible whirlwind, then by a storm of rain, causing a mighty flood: but the hem of the Bodhisatta’s robe was not stirred, nor did a single drop of water reach him. Then Mara cast down upon him showers of rocks, and a storm of deadly and poisoned weapons, burning ashes and coals, and a storm of scorching sand and flaming mud; but all these missiles only fell at the Bodhisatta’ s feet as a rain of heavenly flowers, or hung in the air like a canopy above his head. Nor could he be moved by an onset of thick and fourfold darkness. Then finding all these means to fail, he addressed the Bodhisatta and said : “Arise, Siddhattha, from that seat, for it is not thine, but mine I” The Bodhisatta replied, “Mara ! thou hast not accom.plished the Ten Perfections, nor even the minor virtues. Thou hast not sought for knowledge, nor for the salvation of the world. The seat is mine.” Then Mara was enraged, and cast at the Bodhisatta his Sceptre-javelin, which cleaves asunder a pillar of solid rock like a tender shoot of cane: and all the demon hosts hurled masses of rock. But the javelin hung in the air like a canopy, and the masses of rock fell down as garlands of flowers. Then the Great Being said to Mara: ” Mara, who is the witness that thou hast given alms ?” Mara stretched forth his hand, and a shout arose from the demon hosts, of a 1 Cj, “The sages of old first got Tao for themselves, and then got it for others. Before you possess this yourself, what leisure have you to attend to the doings of wicked men ?u-Chuang Tzu. See also p. 126. thousand voices crying: “I am his· witness l” Then the Fiend addressed the Bodhisatta, and enquired: “Sidd.hattha! who is. the witness that thou hast given alms? ” and the Great Being answered : “Mara thou hast many and living witnesses that thou hast given alms, and no such witnesses have I. But apart from the alms I have given in other births, I call upon this solid earth to witness to my supernatural generosity when I was born as Vessantara.” And drawing his right hand from his robe, he stretched it forth to touch the earth, and said: “Do you or do you not witness to my supernatural generosity when I was born as Vessantara?” And the great Earth replied with a voice of thunder: “I am witness of that.” And thereat the great elephant of Mara bowed down in adoration, and the demon hosts fled far away in dread. Then Mara was abashed. But he did not withdraw, for he hoped to accomplish by another means what he could not effect by force: he summoned his three daughters, Tanha, Rati, and Raga, and they danced before the Bodhisatta like the swaying branches of a young leafy tree, using all the arts of seduction known to beautiful women. Again they offered him the lordship of the earth, and the companionship of beautiful girls: they appealed to him with songs of the season of spring, and exhibited their superna’tural beauty and grace. But the Bodhi.satta’s heart was not in the least mbved, and he answered: Pleasure t”s orie.fas a flash of/,.ghtnt’ng
Or like an Autumn shower, only for a moment . .•
Why should I then covet the pleasures you speak qf?
I see your bodies are full ofall impurity:
Birth. an,d death, sickness and age are yours.
I seek tlie highest prize, hard to attain by men.
The true and constant wisdom ofthe wise.
The Supreme Enlightenment
And when they could not shake the Bodhisatta’s calm, they were filled with shame, and abashed : and they made a prayer to the Bodhisatta, wishing him the fruition of his labour: That which your heart desires, may you attain, Andfinding for yourself deliverance, deliver all! 1 And now the hosts of heaven, seeing the army of Mara defeated, and the wiles of the daughters of Mara vain, assembled to honour the Conqueror, they came to the foot of the Tree of Wisdom and cried for joy: The Blessed Buddha-ke hath prevailed! And the Tempter is overthrown! The victory was achieved while the sun was yet above the horizon. The Bodhisatta sank into ever deeper and deeper thought. In the first watch <if the night he reached the Knowledge of Former States of being, in the middle watch he obtained the heavenly eye of Omniscient Vision, and in the third watch he grasped the perfect under.standing of the Chain of Causation 2 which is the Origin of Evil, and thus at break of day he attained to Perfect Enlightenment. Therewith there broke from his lips the song of triumph: Through many divers births I passed Seeking in vaz’n the builder of the house.3 1 According to other books the temptation by the daughters of Mara is subsequent to the Supreme Enlightenment. In Plate D the Temp.tation by the Daughters of Mara takes place in the fifth week of the Forty-nine Days. · 2 Chain of Causation: the origin of which is ignorance (avijj’if), some.
times referred to as evil.
8 The house is, of course, the house-or rather the prison-of indi.
vidual existence: the builder of the house is desire (tanha)-the will to
enjoy and possess. See p. 97.
But 0 framer ofhouses, thou art found. Never aga£n shalt thou fasht”on a house for me ! Broken are all thy beams, The king-post shattered! My m£nd has passed into the st£llness ofNibbiina The endinr; ofdes£re has been attazned at last! Innumerable wonders were manifest at this supreme hour. The earth quaked six times, and the whole universe was illuminated by the supernatural splendour of the sixfold rays that proceeded from the body of the seated Buddha. Resentment faded from the hearts of all men, all lack was supplied, the sick were healed, the chains of hell were loosed, and every creature of whatsoever sort found peace and test. The Forty-nine Days Gautama, who was now Buddha, the Enlightened, remained seated and motionless for seven days, realizing the bliss of Nibbana; and thereafter rising, he remained standing for seven days more, steadfastly regarding the spot where had been won the fruit of countless deeds of heroic virtue performed in past births : then for seven days more he paced to and fro along a cloistered path from West to East, extending from the throne beneath the Wisdom Tree to the place of the Steadfast Gazing; and again for seven days he remained seated in a god-wrought pavilion near to the same place, and there reviewed in detail, book by book, all that is taught in the Abht”dhamma P£taka, as well as the whole doctrine of causality; then for seve11 days more he sat beneath the Nigrodha tree of Sujata’s offering, meditating on the doctrine and the sweetness of Nibbana-and according to some books it was at this time the temptation by the daughters of Mara took place; f I
I I The Forty-nine Days and then for seven days more while a terrible storm was raging, the snake king Mucalinda sheltered him with his sevenfold hood; and for seven days more he sat beneath a Rajayatana tree, still enjoying the sweetness of liberation. And so passed away seven weeks, during which the Buddha experienced no bodily wants, but fed on the joy of contemplation, the joy of the Eightfold Path, and the joy of its fruit, Nibbiina. Only upon the last day of the seven •Weeks he desired to bathe and eat, and receiving water and a tooth-stick from the goll Sakka, the Buddha bathed. his face and seated himself at the foot of a tree. Now at that time two Brahman merchants were. travelling with a caravan from Orissa to the middle country, and a Deva, who had been a blood rj!lation of the merchants in a former life, stopped the carts, and moved their hearts to make an offering of rice and honey cakes to the Lord. They went up to him accordingly, saying: “0 Blessed One, have mercy upon us, and accept this food.” Now the Buddha no longer possessed a bowl, and as the Buddhas never receivf’! an offering in their hands, he reflected how he should take it. Immediately the Four Great Kings, the Regents of the Quarters appeared before him, each of them with a bowl; and in orqer that none of them should be disappointed, the Buddha received the four bowls, and placing them one above the other made them to be one, showing only the four lines round the mouth, and in this bowl the Blessed One received the food, and ate it, and gave thanks. The two merchants took refuge in the Buddha, the Norm, and the Order, and became professed disciples. Then the Buddha rose up and returned again to the tree of Sujata’s offering and there took his seat. And there, reflecting upon the ‘depth of tru~h which he had found, a douqt arose in his mipd whether it would be possible to make it known to others : and this doubt is experienced by every Buddha wqen he becomes aware of the Truth. But Maha Brahma exclaiming: “Alas I the world will be altogether lost I ” came thither in haste, w.ith all the Deva hosts, and besought the Master to proclaim the Tru_th; and he granted their prayer.’ ~hheFirst Turning ofthe. Wheel ofthe Law l;vv9′ T,hen he considered t<:whom he should first reveal the Truth, and he remembered Alara, his former teacher, and Uddaka, thinking that these ~eatsagl!s would quickly comprehend it; but ·upon close reflection he discovered that each of them had recently died. Then he thought of the Five Wanderers who hac[ been his companions, and upon reflection he saw that they were then residing in die Deer Park at Isipatana in Benares, and he resolved to go there. When the Five Wanderers, whose chief was Kondafiffa, perceived the Buddha afar off, they said together: ” My friends, here comes Gautama the Bhikkhu. We owe him no reverence, since he has returned to ·a free use of the ·necessaries of life, and has recovered his strength, and beauty. However, as he is well-born, let us prepare him a seat.” But the Blessed One perceived their thought, 1 “Great truths do not take hold of the hearts of the masses. . .. And now, as all the world is in error, I, though I know the true path..!…-how … shall I, how shall I guide? If I know that I cannot succeed and yet try> to force success, this would be but another source of error. Better, then, tu desist and strive no more. But if I strive not, who will?”—. Chuang Tzu. It is highly characteristic of the psychology of genius that when this doubt assails the Buddha he nevertheless immediately responds to a defirlite request for guidance’; the moment the pupil puts the right questions, ·!he teacher’s doubts·are resolved. 38 The First Turning of the Wheel of the Law and concentrating that love wherewith he was able to pervade the whole world, he directed it specially towards them. And this love being diffused in their hearts, as he approached, they could not adhere to their resolve, but rose from their seats and bowed before ·him in all reverence. But not knowing that he had attained enlightenment, they addressed him as ‘~rother.’ He, however, announced the Enlightenment, saying: “0 Bhikkhus, do not address me as ‘Brother,’ for I have become a Buddha of clear vision even as those who came before.” Now the Buddha took his seat that had been prepared for him by the Five Wanderers, and he taught them the first sermon, which is called Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Law, or the Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness. “There are two extremes which he who has gone forth ought not to follow-habitual devotion on the one hand to the passions, to the pleasures of sensual things, a low and pagan way (of seeking satisfaction), ignoble, un.profitable, fit only for the worldly-minded; and habitual devotion, on the other hand, to self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, unprofitable. There is a Middle Path discovered by the Tathagata 1-a path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding, which leads to peace, to insight, to the higher wisdom, to Nirvana. Verily 1. it is this Ariyan Eightfold Path; that is to say Right Views, Right Aspirations, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right mode of livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Rapture. “Now this is the Noble Truth as to suffering. Birth is 1 That is by the Arahat; the title the Buddha always uses of him.self. He does not call himself thE> Buddha ; and his followers never address him as such. Buddha &’ the Gospel-of Buddhism attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful, death is painful. Union with the unpleasant is painful, painful is separation from the pleasant; and any craving unsatisfied, that, too, is painful. In brief, the five aggregates of clinging (that is, the conditions of indi.viduality) are painful. “Now this is theNob le Truth as to the origin of suffering. Verily I it is the craving thirst that causes the renewal of becomings, that is accompanied by sensual delights, and seeks satisfaction, now here now there-that is to say; -the craving for becoming (or life), and the craving for prosperity. “ijow this is the Noble Truth as to the passing away of suffering. Verily! it is the passing away so that no passion remains, the giving up, the getting rid of, the emancipation from, the harbouring no longer of this eraving thirst. “Now this is the Noble Truth as to the·way that leads to the passing away of suffering. Verily! it is this Ariyan Eightfold Path,”that is to say, Right Views, Right Aspirations, Right Speech, conduct, and mode of live.lihood, Right Effort,. Right Mindfulness, and Right Rapture.” 1 Now of the band of Bhikkhus to whom the first sermon was thus preached, Kondafifia immediately attained to the fruit of ‘the First Path, and the four others attained to the same station in the course of the next four days. On the· fifth day the Buddha summoned all five to his side, and delivered to them the second discourse called .”On the Non-existence of Soul,” of which the substance . is related as follows : ” The body, 0 Bhikkhus, cannot be the created soul, for it tends toward destruction. Nor do sensation, perception, 1 Rhys Davids, Early Buddhism, pp. 51, 52. The F!rst Turning of the Wheel of the Law the predispositions, or consciousness ·together or separ.ately constitute the created soul, for were it so, it would not be the case that the consciousness likewise tends towards destruction. Or how-think you, whethel’ is form perma.nent or transitory? arid whether are sensation, perception, and predispositions and consciousness permanent Ol’ transitory? ‘ They are transitory,’ replied the Five. ‘And that which is transitory, is··it evil or good?’ ‘It is evil,’ replied the Five. ‘ And that which is transitory, evil, and liable to change, can it be said that ‘ This is mine, this am I, this is my created soul?’ ‘Nay, verily, it cannot be so said,’ replied the Five. ‘ Then, 0 Bhik.khus, it must be said of all physical form whatsoever,·past or present or to be, subjective or objective, far or. near, high or low, that ” This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my created soul.” ‘ And in like manner of a.Jl sensations, perceptions, predispositions and conscious.ness, it must be said, ‘T:hese are riot mine, these am I not, these are not my created soul.’ And perceiving this, 0 Bhikkhus, the true disciple will conceive a disgust for physical form, and for sensation, perception, predis.positions and consciousness, and so will be div:es~ed of desire; and thereby. he is freed, and becomes awa<e that he is freed; and he knows that becoming is ex.hausted, that he has lived the .pure life, that he has done what it behoved him do, and that he has .put off mortality for ever.” And through this discourse the minds of the Five were perfectly enlightened, and each of them attained to Nibbana, so that at this time there existed five Arahats in the world, with the Buddha· himself the sixth. The next day a young man of the nanie of Vasa, together with fifty-four companions likewise att~jned illuminatioQ, and thus there were sixty persons beside the Master himself, ,
Buddha .& the Gospel of Buddhism who had attained to Arahatta. These sixty the Master ~ent forth in diverse directions, with the command: “Go forth,. 0 Bhikkhus, preaching and teaching.” But he himself proceeded to Uruvela, and upon the way he received into the Order thirty young noblemen, and these also he sent forth far and wide. At Uruvela the Master prevailed against three Brahmanical ascetics, fire-worship.pers, and received them into the Order with all their disciples, and ,established them in Arahatta. The chief of these was known as Uruvela Kassapa. And when they were seated on the Gaya Scarp, he preached the Third Sermon called the Discourse on Fire: “All things, 0 Bhikkhus are on fire. And what, 0 Bhikkhus, are all these things that are on fire? The eye is on fire, forms are on fire, eye-consciousness is on fire, impressions received by the eye are on fire; and whatever sensation-pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral-originates in the impressions received by the eye, is likewise on fire. “And with what are all these on fire? I say with the fire of lust, of resentment, and the fire of glamour (raga, dosa, and moha); with birth, old age, death, lamentation, misery, grief and despair they are afire. “And so with the ear, with the nose, and with the tongue, and in the case of touch. The mind too, is on fire, thoughts are on fire; and mind-consciousness, and the impressions received by the mind, and the sensations that arise from the impressions that the mind receives, these too are on fire. ” And with what are they on fire? I say with the fire of lust, with the fire of resentment, and the fire of glamour; with birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, and grief and despair, they are afire. · “And seeing this, 0 Bhikkhus, the true disciple conceives 42 Conversion of Sariputta &’ Mogallana disgust for the eye, for forms, for eye-<;onsciousness, for impressions received by the eye, and for the sensations arising therein; and for the ear, the nose, the tongue, and for the sense of touch, and for the mind, and for thoughts and mind-consciou~ness;impressions, and sensations. And so he is divested of desire, and. thereby he is freed, and is aware that he is freed, and he knows that becoming is exhausted, that he has lived the pure life, that he has done what it behaved him to do, and that he has put off mortality for ever.” 1 And in the course of the Sermon upon Fire, the minds of the thousand Bhikkhus assembled there were freed from attachment and delivered from the stains, and so attained to Arahatta and Nibbana. Conversion o.fSariputta and Mogga!!llna And now the Buddha, attended by the thousand Arahats of whom the chief was U ruvela Kassapa, repaired to the Palm Grove near by Rajagaha, to redeem the promise that was made to Bimbisara the king. When it was reported to the king: “The Master is come,” he hastened to the grove;’ and fell at the Buddha’s feet, and when .he had thus offered homage he and. all his retinue sat down. Now the king was not able to know whether the Buddha had become the disciple of Uruvela Kassapa, or Uruvela Kassapa of the Buddha, and to resolve the doubt Uruvela Kassapa bowed down to the Master’s feet, saying: “The Blessed Lord is my master, and I am the disciple.” All the people cried out at the great power of the Buddha, exclaiming: ‘·’Even Uruvela Kassapa has broken through the net of delusion and has yielded to the follower of the 1 Mahiivagga, I. 21 (a summary of the version by Warren, Butldht”sm in Translations, p. 35 I). ‘