Графични страници
PDF файл

verses, even in the Chinese, are frequently so confused (like the Greek chorus) as to defy exact analysis. They were evidently composed in another dialect. Just as "the Komance language was first employed to signify the Roman language, as spoken in European provinces," so these Gathas were evidently composed in different Prakrit forms (during a period of disintegration) be- fore the more modern type of Sanscrit was fixed by the rules of Panini, and the popular epics of the Mali ahharata and the Ramayana.

The interest of the book will be found to result, not from any critical studies (which I would fain have attempted), found herein, but from the stories which throw light on contemporaneous architectural works in India.1 One or two of these stories occur in the Panchatantra. With respect to others, they are at least amusing, and lend an interest to the subject (from their very naiveU), if not of any scientific value.

I am responsible for most of the restorations of proper names from the Chinese. I cannot doubt that many of these are defective and some incorrect. But no one who has attempted such a task as the conversion of obscure phonetic symbols, like the Chinese

1 An interesting identification is derived from p. 302 in the present work, from which we see that fig. 2, pl. xxxi, Tree and Serpent Worship, relates to Buddha, when a fierce storm inundated the region of Uravilva. It is plain, from the trees being half immersed, that the occasion is a sudden inundation; the square or oblong dry spot in front, is where Buddha had been sitting; the boat in front is that in which he suddenly appears; and the figtree and throne on the right, fix the locality as in the neighbourhood of Uravilva. It is satisfactory to be able to explain this scene, which has hitherto baffled the curiosity of those interested in the subject.

sounds found in this book, into intelligible language, will be severe in criticising these mistakes.

I hope, however, that the errors are not of so grave a character as to mislead the student. I have carefully compared all the available authorities with my own restorations, and where I could find guidance or information, I have willingly and thankfully adopted it.

It only remains for me to express my great acknowledgments to Dr. Eost, the Librarian of the India Office, for his invariable kindness in encouraging these studies, but particularly for securing for me temporary employment in his department, through which I was able to find and use the Chinese work here translated.



The Legend opens with an account of MaudgalyayanaV visit to the city of Bajagriha, to beg his daily alms. Being early, he transports himself by his spiritual power from earth to heaven.3 In heaven he hears strange tidings respecting the difficulty of meeting with a Buddha. On his part, he instructs the occupants of the heaven he visited in the mysteries of the law, and again descends to earth.


The first part of the first section, termed "Fah-sin-kung-yangpin," i. e., " exciting a disposition to nourish and cherish (religious principles)."

Djnanakuta,4 a Shaman (of the) Brahman (caste and) a native of

1 The original title is " Fu-pen-hing-tsi-king," which Wassiljew (p. 114, "Buddhismus") translates "Biography of Sakyamuni and his Companions."

8 In the original the name of this disciple of Buddha is always rendered Muh-kin-lin, which should be restored to Mugalan, showing (as it would seem) that the Chinese version was made from Prakrit.

3 In the original, "the pure abodes," i. e., the Heaven known as that of the Suddhavasa kayikas, who occupy the third tier of the Rupaloka.

4 I have restored the original "Tche-na-kiu-to," to Djnanakuta the country of Gandhara,1 of North India, reverently adores (the name of) Vair6chana2 Buddha, the infinitely wise.3

Thus have I heard; on a certain occasion s (the blessed one, i. e., Buddha) was residing in the city of Rajagriha, within the Kalanda venuvana,4 with a congregation of the great Bhikshus, five hundred in all. At this time Tathagata was established in the condition of a Buddha, free for ever from the possibility of sorrow and pain, and was therefore named Djina5—possessed of all wisdom—versed in the practice of it—perfectly acquainted with it; firmly grounded in the ways of Heaven (heavenly conduct) and in the ways of purity and holiness—possessed of independent being,6—like all the lords of the world (Buddhas)—ready to accommodate himself to all possible circumstances. Thus gifted, he was dwelling amongst the four orders of his disciples, Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas, by whom he was religiously venerated and honoured exceedingly: and besides these

(mass or heap of wisdom) from Julien's " Methode," No. 119, where there is a similar restoration of Djnanabhadra. The tika in the Chinese original explains the name by the rendering " virtuous mind or thought" (tih-chi).

1 For an account of Gandhara, as a most flourishing seat of Buddhism, vide Jul. iii, 307. It corresponds with Cabul and neighbouring district.

e Vair6chana, rendered into Chinese as pien-chao, i. e., universal brilliancy. This agrees very well with its derivation from ruch, to shine, with the preposition vi, denoting dispersion (and so agreeing with Ch. pien). In vindication of a translation I have already given of this title (" Catena of Bnddh. Sep.," p. 373), as equivalent to "the Omnipresent," I will add here, that the Chinese explanation in the " Fa-kai-lih-tu " (Kieuen-hia-che-hia, p. 12), is "present in every place" (pien-yih-tsai-chu).

3 Literally "ocean of wisdom,"—compare "Dalai Lama."

4 A garden of bamboos, near Rajagriha. s The Vanquisher.

6 In the Chinese " tseu-tsai," which is the general rendering of the Sanscrit Isvara , but Jul. "Methode," p. 79, explains the term by the Sanscrit Prabhu, i. e., master or ford. On the other hand, the term is of very frequent occurrence in later Buddhist books, as equal to Swayambhu, or the PaU Sayan bhu (not communicated by others). Mr. Hodgson seems to favour the idea that the Nepalese expression Nirlipt, is only another rendering of the same phrase. (" Collected Essays," p. 105.)

there were various kings, ministers, and nobles; with Brahmans, Shamans, and heretical teachers — all desirous to provide him with food and drink, clothing and bedding and necessary medicines, the four requirements (allowed to every Bodhisatwa).

At this time, the honourable Mogalan at early dawn, having arranged his robes, and holding his begging dish in his hands, entered the city of Rajagriha, desiring to go his round to ask for food (go a-begging). Then Mogalan standing alone, thought thus: "I am somewhat early this morning for begging, let me then first visit the Suddhavasa Devas." Having thought thus with himself, just as a champion (Malla or Litchavi) stretches out or draws in his arm or his neck, so from Rajagriha did he transport his body invisibly to the heaven of the Suddhavasa Devas, and there stand awhile in a fixed position.

At this time an innumerable number of the Devas of this Heaven having observed Mogalan thus present in their midst, were filled with joy, and each one addressing his neighbour, said, "we ought all of us now to go to worship the venerable Mogalan." Having spoken thus together, they repaired to the place where Mogalan was, and paid reverence to his feet, and then stood apart.1 They then addressed him thus: "Venerable Mogalan! seldom does this occur! seldom indeed!

"Oh! venerable Mogalan, how hard is it to see or to encounter in the world one who is known as Buddha, the world honoured,2 Tathagata, Arahato samma sambhuddassa!3 one who through countless Kalpas has been diligently practising all the necessary conduct for attaining this condition, even as the Gatha4 says:

"' through myriads of Kalpas

Diligently seeking the way of Buddha,

1 Yih-mien, corresponding to " ekamantam"—on one side, i. (e., either in front, or the right or left hand.

2 This title of Buddha, so far as I know, is not found in the southern school. It is restored by Julien to L6kadjy$chtha. It corresponds in a remarkable manner with the Greek phrase "Anaxandron" t " Juventus Mundi," chap. vi).

3 For an explanation of these words, vide Spence Hardy, M.B., p. 359.

4 These Gathas occur throughout the work we are translating, and probably represent the old memorial verses, by which a know

« ПредишнаНапред »