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The ideas which I think, came to me partly from others who thought them, and partly they rise from combinations of the ideas in my own mind. Those who have used the same sense-organs, and have thought the same ideas before I was composed into this individuality of mine are my previous existences; they are my ancestors as much as the I of yesterday is the father of the I of to-day, and the karma of my past deeds conditions the fate of my present existence. It would be able to hear sounds better if the ears were torn Edition: There is rebirth without the transmigration of a self.
If this self were a reality, how could there be an escape from selfhood? The terror of hell would be infinite, and no release could be granted. The evils of existence would not be due to our ignorance and wrong-doing, but would constitute the very nature of our being. And the Bodhisatta went to the priests officiating in the temples. But the gentle mind of the Sakyamuni was offended at the unnecessary cruelty performed on the altars of the gods. Far better to revere the truth than try to appease the gods by shedding blood.
Can a new wrong expiate old wrongs? And can the slaughter of an innocent victim blot out the evil deeds of mankind? This is practising religion by the neglect of moral conduct. But to abandon covetousness and lust, to become free from evil passions, and to give up all hatred and ill-will, that is the right sacrifice and the true worship. With holy zeal and a strong heart, the Sakyamuni gave himself up to meditative thought and rigorous mortification of the body. Whereas the five bhikkhus were severe, the Sakyamuni was severer still, and they revered him, their junior, as their master.
So the Bodhisatta continued for six years patiently torturing himself and suppressing the wants of nature. He trained his body and exercised his mind in the modes of the most rigorous ascetic life. At last, he ate each day one hemp-grain only, seeking to cross the ocean of birth and death and to arrive at the shore of deliverance. And when the Bodhisatta was ahungered, lo! What good is thy exertion? Deign to live, and thou wilt be able to do good works. Let the flesh waste away, if but the mind becomes more tranquil and attention more steadfast. What is life in this world?
Death in battle is better to me than that I should live defeated. The Bodhisatta was shrunken and attenuated, and his body was like a withered branch; but the fame of his Edition: However, the Holy One was not satisfied. Seeking true wisdom he did not find it, and he came to the conclusion that mortification would not extinguish desire nor afford enlightenment in ecstatic contemplation. Seated beneath a jambu-tree, he considered the state of his mind and the fruits of his mortification.
His body had become weaker, nor had his fasts advanced him in his search for salvation, and therefore when he saw that it was not the right path, he proposed to abandon it. Then espying the branch of a tree and taking hold of it, he raised himself and left the stream. But while returning to his abode, he staggered and fell to the ground, and the five bhikkhus thought he was dead. When he had partaken of the rice-milk all his limbs were refreshed, his mind became clear again, and he was strong to receive the highest enlightenment.
After this occurrence, the Bodhisatta again took some food. When the Bodhisatta saw the bhikkhus turning away from him, he felt sorry for their lack of confidence, and was aware of the loneliness in which he lived. The Holy One directed his steps to that blessed Bodhitree beneath whose shade he was to accomplish his search. As he walked, the earth shook and a brilliant light transfigured the world. When he sat down the heavens resounded with joy and all living beings were filled with good cheer.
But Sakyamuni heeded him not. But the Blessed One under the Bodhitree remained calm and feared not. The Enlightened One knew that no harm could befall him. But the Blessed One watched them as one would watch the harmless games of children. All the fierce hatred of the evil spirits was of no avail. The flames of hell became Edition: Pure is he and wise, loving and full of mercy. All the miseries of the world, the evils produced by evil deeds and the sufferings arising therefrom, passed before his mental eye, and he thought: But selfhood blinds them, and they cling to their obnoxious desires.
And how empty are their pleasures, how vain are their endeavors! Hollow like the plantain-tree and without contents like the bubble. Men go astray because they think that delusion is better than truth. Rather than truth they follow error, which is pleasant to look at in the beginning but in the end causes anxiety, tribulation, and misery. And the Bodhisatta began to expound the Dharma. The Dharma is the truth.
The Dharma is the sacred law.
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The Dharma is religion. The Dharma alone can deliver us from error, from wrong and from sorrow. In the beginning there is existence blind and without knowledge; and in this sea of ignorance there are stirrings formative and organizing. From stirrings, formative and organizing, rises awareness or feelings. Feelings beget organisms that live as individual beings. These organisms develop the six fields, that is, the five senses and the mind.
The six fields come in contact with things. Sensation creates the thirst of individualized being. The thirst of being creates a cleaving to things. The cleaving produces the growth and continuation of selfhood. Selfhood continues in renewed births. The renewed births of selfhood are the cause of suffering, old age, sickness, and death. They produce lamentation, anxiety, and despair. The cause of all sorrow lies at the very beginning; it is hidden in the ignorance from which life grows. Remove ignorance and you will destroy the wrong appetences that rise from ignorance; destroy these appetences and you will wipe out the wrong perception that rises from them.
Destroy wrong perception and there is an end of errors in individualized beings. Destroy the errors in individualized beings and the illusions of the six fields will disappear. Destroy misconception and you do away with thirst. Destroy thirst and you will be free of all morbid cleaving. Remove the cleaving and you destroy the selfishness of selfhood. If the selfishness of selfhood is destroyed you will be above birth, old age, disease, and death, and you will escape all suffering.
The first noble truth is the existence of sorrow. The second noble truth is the cause of suffering. The third noble truth is the cessation of sorrow. The fourth noble truth is the eightfold path that leads to the cessation of sorrow. This is the Dharma. This is the truth. And the Enlightened One uttered this stanza: There is self and there is truth. Where self is, truth is not. Where truth is, self is not.
Self is the yearning for pleasure and the lust after vanity. Truth is the correct comprehension of things; it is the permanent and everlasting, the real in all existence, the bliss of righteousness. The existence of self is an illusion, and there is no wrong in this world, no vice, no evil, except what flows from the assertion of self. The attainment of truth is possible only when self is recognized as an illusion. Righteousness can be practised only when we have freed our mind from passions of egotism.
Perfect peace can dwell only where all vanity has disappeared. Blessed is he who has understood the Dharma. Blessed is he who does no harm to his fellow-beings. Blessed is he who overcomes wrong and is free from passion. To the highest bliss has he attained who has conquered all selfishness and vanity. The Blessed One tarried in solitude seven times seven days, enjoying the bliss of emancipation. At that time Tapussa and Bhallika, two merchants, came traveling on the road near by, and when they saw the great samana, majestic and full of peace, they approached him respectfully and offered him rice cakes and honey.
This was the first food that the Enlightened One ate after he attained Buddhahood. And the Buddha addressed them and pointed out to them the way of salvation. Tapussa and Bhallika were the first that became followers of the Buddha and they were lay disciples. He will see annihilation where the perfected one finds immortality. He will regard as death what the conqueror of self knows to be life everlasting.
Should I preach the doctrine and mankind not comprehend it, it would bring me only fatigue and trouble. If they hear not the doctrine preached, they will be lost. But if they hear it, they will believe and be saved. The Blessed One, full of compassion, looked with the eye of a Buddha upon all sentient creatures, and he saw among them beings whose minds were but scarcely covered by the dust of worldliness, who were of good disposition and easy to instruct.
He saw some who were conscious of the dangers of lust and wrong doing. May they receive the Dharma with faith. I shall not die until the pure religion Edition: NOW the Blessed One thought: My old teachers are dead. They would have received the good news with joy. But my five disciples are still alive. I shall go to them, and to them shall I first proclaim the gospel of deliverance.
Upaka, a young Brahman and a Jain, a former acquaintance of Siddhattha, saw the Blessed One while he journeyed to Benares, and, amazed at the majesty and sublime joyfulness of his appearance, said: The holy Buddha replied: My body is chastened, my mind is free from desire, and the deepest truth has taken abode in my heart.
I now desire to found the kingdom of truth upon earth, to give light to those who are enshrouded in darkness and to open the gate of deathlessness. The Blessed One said: Therefore, Upaka, I am the Jina. Upaka shook his head. On seeing their old teacher approach, the five bhikkhus agreed among themselves not to salute him, nor to address him as a master, but by his name only.
He is no bhikkhu but Gotama, and Gotama has become a man who lives in abundance and indulges in the pleasures of worldliness. But when the Blessed One approached in a dignified manner, they involuntarily rose from their seats and greeted him in spite of their resolution. When they had thus received the Blessed One, he said: By suffering, the emaciated devotee produces confusion and sickly thoughts in his mind. Mortification is not conducive even to worldly knowledge; how much less to a triumph over the senses! And how can any one be free from self by leading a wretched life, if he does not succeed in quenching the fires of lust, if he still hankers after either worldly or heavenly pleasures.
But he in whom self has become extinct is free from lust; he will desire neither worldly nor heavenly pleasures, and the satisfaction of his natural wants will not defile him. However, let him be moderate, let him eat and drink according to the needs of the body. To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear.
Water surrounds the lotusflower, but does not wet its petals. He will walk in the right path. Right aspirations will be his guide. Right speech will be his dwelling-place on the road. His gait will be straight, for it is right behavior. His refreshments will be the right way of earning his livelihood.
Right efforts will be his steps: Union with the unpleasant is painful, painful is separation from the pleasant; and any craving that is unsatisfied, that too is painful. In brief, bodily conditions which spring from attachment are painful. And when the Blessed One had thus set the royal chariot-wheel of truth rolling onward, a rapture thrilled through all the universes.
The Gospel of Buddha
The Blessed One has moved the earth; he has set the wheel of Truth rolling, which by no one in the universe, be he god or man, can ever be turned back. The kingdom of Truth will be preached upon earth; it will spread; and righteousness, good-will, and peace will reign among mankind. Having pointed out to the five bhikkhus the truth, the Buddha said: And the Buddha said: Well taught is the doctrine. Lead a holy life for the extinction of suffering. He, the Perfect One, is holy and supreme. The Buddha conveys to us instruction, wisdom, and salvation; he is the Blessed One, Edition: Therefore, to the Buddha will I look in faith.
The doctrine has been revealed so as to become visible; the doctrine is above time and space. Therefore to the doctrine will I look in faith. They form a brotherhood in kindness and charity, and their saints are worthy of reverence. Therefore, to the community will I look in faith. And the gospel of the Blessed One increased from day to day, and many people came to hear him and to accept the ordination to lead thenceforth a holy life for the sake of the extinction of suffering.
And the Blessed One seeing that it was impossible to attend to all who wanted to hear the truth and receive the ordination, sent out from the number of his disciples such as were to preach the Dharma and said unto them: But let not this doctrine, so full of truth and so excellent, fall into the hands of those unworthy Edition: Confer henceforth in the different countries the ordination upon those who are eager to receive it, when you find them worthy.
Preach the doctrine which is glorious in the beginning, glorious in the middle, and glorious in the end, in the spirit as well as in the letter.
Credit and Acknowledgements
There are beings whose eyes are scarcely covered with dust, but if the doctrine is not preached to them they cannot attain salvation. Proclaim to them a life of holiness. They will understand the doctrine and accept it. At that time there was in Benares a noble youth, Yasa by name, the son of a wealthy merchant. Troubled in his mind about the sorrows of the world, he secretly rose up in the night and stole away to the Blessed One. The Blessed One saw Yasa, the noble youth, coming from afar.
And Yasa approached and exclaimed: The Blessed One said to Yasa: Come to me and I will teach you the truth, and the truth will dispel your sorrows. And when Yasa, the noble youth, heard that there were neither distress, nor tribulations, nor sorrows, his heart was comforted. He went into the place where the Blessed One was, and sat down near him. Then the Blessed One preached about charity and morality. Instead of disgust with the world, Yasa felt the cooling stream of holy wisdom, and, having obtained the pure and spotless eye of truth, he looked at his person, richly adorned with pearls and precious stones, and his heart was filled with shame.
The outward form does not constitute religion or affect the mind. Seeing that Yasa was ready to enter upon the path, the Blessed One said to him: He sat down near his son, but his eyes were holden and he knew him not; and the Lord began to preach. The Buddha, the Holy One, our Master, sets up what has been overturned; he reveals what has been hidden; he points out the way to the wanderer who has gone astray; he lights a lamp in the darkness so that all who have eyes to see can discern the things that surround them.
I take refuge in the Buddha, our Lord: I take refuge in the doctrine revealed by him: I take refuge in the brotherhood which he has founded. May the Blessed One receive me from this day forth while my life lasts as a lay disciple who has taken refuge in him. Return home and restore thy mother to life. He has become delivered from the bondage of worldliness. The Blessed One, having donned his robes, took his alms-bowl and went with Yasa to the house of the rich Edition: When they had arrived there, the mother and also the former wife of Yasa saluted the Blessed One and sat down near him.
Then the Blessed One preached, and the women having understood his doctrine, exclaimed: We take refuge in the Buddha, our Lord. We take refuge in the doctrine revealed by him. We take refuge in the brotherhood which has been founded by him. May the Blessed One receive us from this day forth while our life lasts as lay disciples who have taken refuge in him.
The mother and the wife of Yasa, the noble youth of Benares, were the first women who became lay disciples and took their refuge in the Buddha. Now there were four friends of Yasa belonging to the wealthy families of Benares. And they went to Yasa, and Yasa addressed the Blessed One, saying: Kassapa was renowned throughout all India, and his name was honored as one of the wisest men on earth and an authority on religion. Kassapa, seeing the Blessed One in his majesty and beauty, thought to himself: Should he stay over night in the room where the sacred fire is kept, the serpent will bite him and he will die.
But the Buddha insisted and Kassapa admitted him to the room where the sacred fire was kept. And the Blessed One sat down with his body erect, surrounding himself with watchfulness. In the night the dragon came to the Buddha, belching forth in rage his fiery poison, and filling the air with burning vapor, but could do him no harm, and the fire consumed itself while the World-honored One remained composed.
And the venomous fiend became very wroth so that he died in his anger. When Kassapa saw the light shining forth from the room he said: Truly, the countenance of Gotama the great Sakyamuni is beautiful, but the serpent will destroy him. In the morning the Blessed One showed the dead body Edition: And Kassapa thought to himself. There was in those days a festival, and Kassapa thought: When he speaks to them, they will believe in him and abandon me.
When the day of the festival arrived, the Blessed One retired and did not come to Kassapa. And Kassapa went to the Buddha on the next morning and said: And Kassapa was astonished and thought: And the Blessed One addressed Kassapa and said: Envy is the last remnant of self that has remained in thy mind. Thou art not holy, Kassapa; thou hast not yet entered the path. And Kassapa gave up his resistance. His envy disappeared, and, bowing down before the Blessed One, he said: And the Blessed One said: Go, then, first and inform them of thine intention, and let them do as thou thinkest fit.
Then Kassapa went to the Jatilas and said: Do as ye think best. And the Jatilas replied: Hearing what had happened, they, too, went to the Buddha. The eye is burning, all the senses are burning, thoughts are burning. They are burning with the fire of lust. There is anger, there is ignorance, there is hatred, and as long as the fire finds inflammable things upon which it can feed, so long will it burn, and there will be birth and death, decay, grief, lamentation, suffering, despair, and sorrow.
Considering this, a disciple of the Dharma will see the four noble truths and walk in the eightfold path of holiness.
He will become wary of his eye, wary of all his senses, wary of his thoughts. He will divest himself of passion and become free. And the Jatilas rejoiced and took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. There they saw the Blessed One in the company of Kassapa, the great religious teacher of the Jatilas, and they were astonished and thought: Since I have seen the light of truth, I have abandoned worshipping the fire.
The world holds the thought of self, and from this arises false apprehension. Both are wrong and their error is most grievous. Good and evil would be indifferent. This salvation from selfishness is without merit. If such is their self, then it is perfect and cannot be perfected by deeds. The lasting, imperishable self could never be changed. The self would be lord and master, and there would be no use in perfecting the perfect; moral aims and salvation would be unnecessary.
Where is any constancy? If there is no permanent self that does our deeds, then there is no self; there is no actor behind our actions, no perceiver behind our perception, no lord behind our deeds. The senses meet the object and from their contact sensation is born. The shoot springs from the seed; the seed is not the shoot; both are not one and the same, but successive phases in a continuous growth.
Such is the birth of animated life. Open your eyes and awaken. See things as they are and ye will be comforted. He who has recognized the nature of the rope that seemed to be a serpent will cease to tremble. And the Buddha breathed forth this solemn utterance: As the light of the moon is sixteen times stronger than the light of all the stars, so lovingkindness is sixteen times more efficacious in liberating the heart than all other religious accomplishments taken together.
Let a man remain steadfast in it while he is awake, whether he is standing, walking, sitting, or lying down. O, that I might be inaugurated as a king. This was my first wish, and it has been fulfilled. Might the Holy Buddha, the Perfect One, appear on earth while I rule and might he come to my kingdom. This was my second wish and it is fulfilled now. Might I pay my respects to him. This was my third wish and it is fulfilled now. The fourth wish was: Might the Blessed One preach the doctrine to me, and this is fulfilled now.
The greatest wish, however, was the fifth wish: Might I understand the doctrine of the Blessed One. And this wish is fulfilled too. Our Lord, the Buddha, sets up what has been overturned; he reveals what has been hidden; he points out the way to the wanderer who has gone astray; he lights a lamp in the darkness so that those who have eyes to see may see. I take my refuge in the Dharma.
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I take my refuge in the Sangha. He subdued and harmonized all minds. He made them see and accept the truth, and throughout the kingdom the seeds of virtue were sown. Sakka, the king of the Devas, assuming the appearance of a young Brahman, walked in front, and said: Hail to the Buddha, our Lord! Honor to his name and blessings to all who take refuge in him. When the Blessed One had finished his meal, and had cleansed his bowl and his hands, the king sat down near him and thought: There is my pleasure-garden, the bamboo grove Veluvana, fulfilling all these conditions.
I shall offer it to the brotherhood whose head is the Buddha. The king dedicated his garden to the brotherhood, saying: Then the Blessed One, having silently shown his consent and having gladdened and edified the Magadha king by religious discourse, rose from his seat and went away. They had promised each other: When the two friends had taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, the Holy One said to his other disciples: And the people were annoyed. Seeing that many distinguished young men of the kingdom of Magadha led a religious life under the direction of the Blessed One, they became angry and murmured: When they saw the bhikkhus, they reviled them, saying: Who will be the next to be led astray by him?
The bhikkhus told it to the Blessed One, and the Blessed One said: It will last seven days. If they revile you, O bhikkhus, answer them with these words: Who will murmur at the wise? Who will blame the virtuous? Who will condemn self-control, righteousness, and kindness? Hearing that the Buddha had come into the world and was stopping in the bamboo grove near the city, he set out in the very night to meet the Blessed One.
Attain that composure of mind which is resting in the peace of immortality. Self is but a heap of composite qualities, and its world is empty like a fantasy. If not, there would be another cause beside him, and he would not be self-existent. But that which is absolute cannot be a cause. All things around us come from a cause as the plant comes from the seed; but how can the Absolute be the cause of all things alike?
If it pervades them, then, certainly, it does not make them. But if self is the maker, why did it not make things pleasing? The causes of sorrow and joy are real and objective. How can they have been made by self? Having listened to my words advise me what I shall do. Yet I enjoy my work, and Edition: Many people are in my employ and depend upon the success of my enterprises. Let me then ask thee, Must I give up my wealth, my home, and my business enterprises, and, like thyself, go into homelessness in order to attain the bliss of a religious life?
And the Buddha replied: He that cleaves to wealth had better cast it away than allow his heart to be poisoned by it; but he who does not cleave to wealth, and possessing riches, uses them rightly, will be a blessing unto his fellows. Pasenadi is the king of the country, and his name is renowned among our own people and our neighbors. The Buddha saw into the heart of the supporter of orphans; and knowing that unselfish charity was the moving cause of his offer, in acceptance of the gift, the Blessed One said: By giving away our food, we get more strength, by bestowing clothing on others, we gain more beauty; by donating abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures.
He is like an able warrior, a champion strong and wise in action. He is like the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the flowers, and the fruit in future years. The prince was not inclined to sell the garden, for he valued it highly. Thus they contended until they resorted to the magistrate. On hearing the name of the Buddha, the prince became anxious to share in the foundation and he accepted only one-half of the gold, saying: I will give the trees as my share of this offering to the Buddha.
After the foundations were laid, they began to build the hall which rose loftily in due proportions according to the directions which the Buddha had suggested; and it was beautifully decorated with appropriate carvings. The Blessed One received the gift and replied: For how can calamities Edition: A worldly man, though a king, is full of trouble, but even a common man who is holy has peace of mind.
How much more must an independent king, on account of merits acquired in previous existences, when meeting a Buddha, conceive reverence for him. Do not oppress them, do not destroy them; keep in due check every member of thy body, forsake unrighteous doctrine and walk in the straight path. Exalt not thyself by trampling down others, but comfort and befriend the suffering.
They loathe lust and seek to promote their spiritual existence. Truth cannot dwell where passion lives. He who does not know this, though he be a learned man and be praised by others as a sage, is beclouded with ignorance. To acquire this state of mind, wisdom is the one thing needful. To neglect wisdom will lead to failure in life. There is no distinction between the monk who has taken the vows, and the man of the world living with his family. There are hermits who fall into perdition, and there are humble householders who mount to the rank of rishis.
He who is involved in its eddies finds no escape. But wisdom is the handy boat, reflection is the rudder. There are ways, also, from the gloom into deeper darkness, and from the dawn into brighter light. The wise man will use the light he has to receive more light. He will constantly advance in the knowledge of truth.
BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL
The king listened with reverence and remembered all the words of the Buddha in his heart. This fact a Buddha discovers and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he announces, teaches, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains and makes it clear that all conformations are transitory. This fact a Buddha discovers and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he announces, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains and makes it clear that all conformations are suffering.
This fact a Buddha discovers and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he announces, teaches, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains and makes it clear that all conformations are lacking a self. And these monks grasping the meaning, thinking it out, and accepting with their hearts the whole doctrine, listened attentively. But there was one brother who had some doubt left in his heart. He arose and clasping his hands made the request: And the Blessed One, in this connection, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance: It is the uncreate.
It is without stability, without change; it is the eternal which never originates and never passes away. There is the end of sorrow. Were there not, O monks, this unborn, unoriginated, Edition: Others have had the benefit of his doctrine, but not his father nor his relatives. And the messenger said: The Blessed One consented to the request of his father and set out on his journey to Kapilavatthu. Soon the tidings spread in the native country of the Buddha: Suddhodana went out with his relatives and ministers to meet the prince. When the king saw Siddhattha, his son, from afar, he was struck with his beauty and dignity, and he rejoiced in his heart, but his mouth found no words to utter.
This, indeed, was his son; these were the features of Siddhattha. How near was the great samana to his heart, and yet what a distance lay between them! That noble muni was no longer Siddhattha, his son; he was the Buddha, Edition: Suddhodana the king, considering the religious dignity of his son, descended from his chariot and after saluting his son said: How I have longed for this moment! Then the Sakyamuni took a seat opposite his father, and the king gazed eagerly at his son.
He longed to call him by his name, but he dared not. Thus the king sat face to face with his son, rejoicing in his sadness and sad in his rejoicing. Well might he be proud of his son, but his pride broke down at the idea that his great son would never be his heir. Suddhodana trembled with joy when he heard the melodious words of his son, the Buddha, and clasping his hands, exclaimed with tears in his eyes: The overwhelming sorrow has passed away.
At first my sorrowing heart was heavy, but now I reap the fruit of thy great renunciation. It was right that, moved by thy mighty sympathy, thou shouldst reject the pleasures of royal power and achieve thy noble purpose in religious devotion. The king returned to the palace, while the Buddha remained in the grove before the city. On the next morning the Buddha took his bowl and set out to beg his food.
And the news spread abroad: His robe is like a red clod, and he holds in his hand an earthen bowl. On hearing the strange rumor, the king went forth in great haste and when he met his son he exclaimed: Knowest thou not that I can easily supply thee and thy bhikkhus with food? But the king said: Thou art descended from kings, and not one of them ever begged for food. They, begging their food, lived on alms. The king made no reply, and the Blessed One continued: Suffer me, therefore, to open this treasure of mine which is the Dharma, and accept from me this gem: The Blessed One, having greeted all his relatives and friends, asked: Not having seen me for a long time, she is exceedingly sorrowful.
Unless her grief be allowed its course her heart will cleave. When Prince Siddhattha entered, she was, from the abundance of her affection, like an overflowing vessel, unable to contain her love. Forgetting that the man whom she loved was the Buddha, the Lord of the world, the preacher of truth, she held him by his feet and wept bitterly. Remembering, however, that Suddhodana was present, she felt ashamed, and rising, seated herself reverently at a little distance. The king apologized for the princess, saying: During the seven years that she has lost her husband, when she heard that Siddhattha had shaved his head, she did likewise; when she heard that he had left off the use of perfumes and ornaments, she also refused their use.
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Like her husband she had eaten at appointed times from an earthen bowl only. Like him she had renounced high beds with splendid coverings, and when other princes asked her in marriage, she replied that she was still his. Therefore, grant her forgiveness. She had indeed been again and again of great assistance to him. Her purity, her gentleness, her devotion had been invaluable to the Bodhisatta when he aspired to attain enlightenment, the highest aim of mankind. And so holy had she been that she desired to become the wife of a Buddha.
This, then, is her karma, and it is the result of great merits. Her grief has been unspeakable, but the consciousness of the glory that surrounds her spiritual inheritance increased by her noble attitude during her life, will be a balm that will miraculously transform all sorrows into heavenly joy. He possesses four great mines of wealth which I have not yet seen. Go to him and entreat him to put thee in possession of them, for the son ought to inherit the property of his father. Who is my father? The princess took the boy in her arms and from the window she pointed out to him the Buddha, who happened to be near the palace, partaking of food.
And standing near by him, he added: No one prevented the boy, nor did the Blessed One himself. I cannot give him perishable treasures that will bring cares and sorrows, but I can give him the inheritance of a holy life, which is a treasure that will not perish. But if thou art willing to receive spiritual treasures, and art strong enough to carry them and to keep them, I shall give thee the four truths which will teach thee the eightfold Edition: Dost thou desire to be admitted to the brotherhood of those who devote their life to the culture of the heart seeking for the highest bliss attainable?
I want to join the brotherhood of the Buddha. He had lost Siddhattha and Nanda, his sons, and Devadatta, his nephew. But now that his grandson had been taken from him, he went to the Blessed One and spoke to him. And the Blessed One promised that from that time forward he would not ordain any minor without the consent of his parents or guardians. LONG before the Blessed One had attained enlightenment, self-mortification had been the custom among those who earnestly sought for salvation.
Deliverance of the soul from all the necessities of life and finally from the body itself, they regarded as the aim of religion. Thus, they avoided everything that might be a luxury in food, shelter, and clothing, and lived like the beasts in the woods. Some went naked, while others wore the rags cast away upon cemeteries or dungheaps. When the Blessed One retired from the world, Edition: Having attained enlightenment and rejected all unnecessary self-mortifications, the Blessed One and his bhikkhus continued for a long time to wear the cast-off rags of cemeteries and dung-heaps.
Then it happened that the bhikkhus were visited with diseases of all kinds, and the Blessed One permitted and explicitly ordered the use of medicines, and among them he even enjoined, whenever needed, the use of unguents. One of the brethren suffered from a sore on his foot, and the Blessed One enjoined the bhikkhus to wear foot-coverings. Now, Lord, this suit has been sent to me by King Pajjota, which is the best and most excellent, and the finest and the most precious, and the noblest that can be found.
Lord of the world, may the Blessed One accept from me this suit, and may he allow the brotherhood of bhikkhus to wear lay robes. The Blessed One accepted the suit, and after having delivered a religious discourse, he addressed the bhikkhus thus: Whether ye are pleased with the one or with the other, I will approve of it. When Suddhodana had grown old, he fell sick and sent for his son to come and see him once more before he died; and the Blessed One came and stayed at the sick-bed, and Suddhodana, having attained perfect enlightenment, died in the arms of the Blessed One.
Having concluded his pious mission, he returned to the earth and went about again, converting those who listened to his teachings. And the Blessed One declared: She is the sister of the mother of the Blessed One, and as foster-mother and nurse, reared the Blessed One after the death of his mother. The bhikkhus came to the Blessed One and asked him: Even when represented as a picture, she desires to captivate with the charms of her beauty, and thus to rob men of their steadfast heart.
And a heavy rain fell during the night and the next morning; and the bhikkhus doffed their robes to keep them dry and let the rain fall upon their bodies. When on the next day the Blessed One had finished his meal, she took her seat at his side and spoke thus: Said the Blessed One: Impure, Lord, is nakedness, and revolting. It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view in desiring to provide the Sangha my life long with special garments for use in the rainy season.
It was this circumstance, Edition: Therefore I desire to provide the Sangha my life long with a constant supply of rice-milk. When you are old, maintain chastity then; thus will you obtain both worldly pleasure and religious consolation. And on coming to the Blessed One they will ask, saying: What, now, is his destiny? Being thus at peace I shall experience a blissful feeling of content; and in that bliss my heart will be at rest. That will be to me an exercise of my moral sense, an exercise of my moral powers, an exercise of the seven kinds of wisdom!
This, Lord, was the advantage I had in view for myself in asking those eight boons of the Blessed One. Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it is like good seed sown on a good soil that yields an abundance of fruits. But alms given to those who are yet under the tyrannical yoke of the passions are like seed deposited in a bad soil. The passions of the receiver of the alms choke, as it were, the growth of merits. Concerning the need of keeping regular days for retirement from worldly labors and religious instruction, the king went to the Blessed One and said: Would it not be advisable for the reverend brethren of the Sangha also to assemble on days duly appointed for that purpose?
And the Blessed One commanded the bhikkhus to assemble on the eighth day and also on the fourteenth or fifteenth day of each half-month, and to devote these days to religious exercises. A bhikkhu duly appointed should address the congregation and expound the Dharma. He should exhort the people to walk in the eightfold path of righteousness; he should Edition: Thus the brethren should keep the Uposatha. A fault, if there be one, should be confessed by the bhikkhu who remembers it and desires to be cleansed.
For a fault, when confessed, shall be light on him. To-day is Uposatha, the eighth, or the fourteenth or fifteenth day of the half-month. Therefore, if an offence has been committed by a bhikkhu who remembers it and desires to become pure, the offence should be confessed by the bhikkhu; and when it has been confessed, it is treated duly. Now, that bhikkhu was erudite. He knew the Dharma, had studied the rules of the order, and was wise, learned, intelligent, modest, conscientious, and ready to submit himself to discipline. And he went to his companions and friends among the bhikkhus, saying: I am not guilty.
The verdict is unconstitutional and invalid. Therefore I consider myself still as a member of the order. May the venerable brethren assist me in maintaining my right. Those who sided with the expelled brother went to the bhikkhus who had pronounced the sentence, saying: Thus altercations and quarrels arose, and the Sangha was divided into two parties, reviling and slandering each other.
And all these happenings were reported to the Blessed One. Then the Blessed One went to the place where the bhikkhus were who had pronounced the sentence of expulsion, and said to them: They must not pronounce a sentence of expulsion against a brother merely because he refuses to see his offence. Then the Blessed One rose and went to the brethren who sided with the expelled brother and said to them: Both parties continued to keep Uposatha and perform official acts independently of one another; and when their doings were related to the Blessed One, he ruled that the keeping of Uposatha and the performance of official acts were lawful, unobjectionable, and valid for both parties.
There are venerable brethren in both parties. As they do not agree, let them keep Uposatha and perform official acts separately. And the Blessed One reprimanded the quarrelsome bhikkhus saying to them: Hatred is not appeased in those who think: Hatred is appeased by not-hatred. This is an eternal law. But those who know better, should learn to live in concord.
Rather than to live with men who are selfish, vain, quarrelsome, and obstinate let a man walk alone. And the Blessed One thought to himself: Worried by their altercations the Blessed One is gone, and has selected another abode for his residence. Let us, therefore, neither salute the bhikkhus nor support them. They are not worthy of wearing yellow robes, and must either propitiate the Blessed One, or return to the world.
How am I to behave, O Lord, toward those bhikkhus.
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Assign separate dwelling-places to each party and treat them with impartial justice. Listen with patience to both parties. He alone who weighs both sides is called a muni. When both parties have presented their case, let the Sangha come to an agreement and declare the re-establishment of concord. But if the Sangha, having inquired into the matter and having gone to the bottom of it, decides to declare the re-establishment of concord, the peace is concluded in the spirit and also in the letter. Should he find us he will slay all three of us.
Be not far-sighted, be not near-sighted, for not by hatred is hatred appeased; hatred is appeased by not-hatred only. When the night arrived he laid the bodies of his parents upon a funeral pyre and burned them with all honors and religious rites. If he espies a favorable opportunity, he will assassinate me.
Then he wiped his tears and returned to Benares. And having inquired among his attendants who the singer might be, was told that the master of the elephants had in his service a young man of great accomplishments, and beloved by all his comrades. Observing how wisely the youth acted, how modest he was and yet punctilious in the performance of his work, the king very soon gave him a position of trust.
They will persecute their victims to the bitter end. This king Brahmadatta has done us great injury; he robbed us of our kingdom and slew my father and my mother. He is now in my power. For not by hatred is hatred appeased. Hatred is appeased by not-hatred alone. While I lay here with my head in thy lap I dreamed the dreadful dream again; and I awoke full of terror and alarm. I know that men overcome the hatred entertained for wrongs which they have suffered much more easily than for the wrongs which they have done, and so I cannot expect that thou wilt take pity on me; but now a chance for revenge has come to me.
I shall be forever grateful to thee. I do not mean to take thy life. It is thou, O king, who must grant me my life. Thou hast killed my father and mother, O king, and if I should deprive thee of thy life, then thy partisans in turn would take away my life; my partisans again would deprive thine of their lives. Thus by hatred, hatred would not be appeased. But now, O king, thou hast granted me my life, and I have granted thee thine; thus by not-hatred hatred has been appeased.
Having finished the story, the Blessed One said: Children ought not to trample under foot the counsel given them by their father; do ye henceforth follow my admonitions. Then the bhikkhus met in conference; they discussed their differences in mutual good will, and the concord of the Sangha was re-established.
And it happened that the Blessed One walked up and down in the open air unshod. When the elders saw that the Blessed One walked unshod, they put away their shoes and did likewise. But the novices did not heed the example of their elders and kept their feet covered. Some of the brethren noticed the irreverent behavior of the novices and told the Blessed One; and the Blessed One rebuked the novices and said:
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