Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

been slain, and these are the proofs of it, alas! alas! [Then Gaya Kasyapa, with 200 followers, proceeds to the place where Buddha was, and they also are converted]. [In each case when the Kundik:is and other utensils were cast into the river, strange noises proceeded from them as they floated down the stream and sank].

Thus Buddha and these l.t>C0 disciples dwelt for some short time longer in the village of Fravilva, and then gradually going onwards to the city of Gaya, they took up their abode at the top of the Klephant-head Mount, where he taught them the mysteries of spiritual manifestations (miraculous powers) exercised by the body, the mouth, and the mind (word, thought, deed). [Here follows the list of the magical exhibitions: 1 st. Of the body, making it ascend and descend at pleasure, making fire and water proceed from it, etc. 2nd. Of the mouth, showing them how to discriminate, argue, and determine. 3rd Of the mind, showing them how they ought to regard and conclude respecting all mundane existence, with a view to reject all these things as unreal, and so to rise to that which alone is real". And thus those thousand men became perfect Kaiiats.

The Story of Upasana.

§ 3. At thus tiaie. these three Kisyapas had a sister whose sen was called Vpasaaa. a Brahinachari adorned with, a spiral head-dress. This youth was dwelling in, a mountain called Asurag-inga, in eotttpaay with 350 other disciples, all of them preparing themselves to become tbshis. These* having heard was: had happened to the three brothers, were filled with astonishment and alarm, and then Vyasana addressing them said, "Most wonderful: to think, my frtettds, that those who have for so many thousand years been worsappers of the Fire Spirit, should at this time suddenly become shamans. ! It is my duty on their account to 'go direct to the spot where they dwell and remonstrate with them, on this indecorous piveeediag of theirs.-*

'Chen gyutg; Do the spot^ behold! he saw the three brothers with shaven heads, and wearing the Sashays garments of a Sh On s witch, he addressed them in the iiiluwmg Gatiuts:

"Uttering such lamentable cries, they relieved their burthened hearts.

"Then going on gradually with the Rakshasis, they advanced towards their city, and as they went they observed that the ground was beautifully soft and level. There were no wild shrubs or thorns, no broken pots or stones, no dust flying about, no unsightly flowers, but all they saw was charming to the eye and grateful to the senses. The flowers, the trees, the fruits, the grass, all were beautiful!—soft to the touch, sweetly scented, and brightly painted. [Here follows a list of the trees, flowers, and birds.]

"At last they approach the city, surrounded by a four square wall of the whitest marble, bright as the Snowy Mountains or like the fleecy white clouds. Inside rose tower upon tower, as the cliffs rise one above the other on the beetling shore; from the numerous turrets, that surrounded the central towers, floated every sort of garland and flag, whilst lovely canopies (umbrellas) crowned the highest. In every direction throughout the city were placed metal censers, in which the choicest aromatic woods were kept constantly burning.

"Then the Rakshasis, taking their guests through the city, bid them cast off their dripping clothes, and having washed their bodies in warm and scented water, they bring for them luxurious seats on which to recline.

"And now they give way to unhindered pleasure. The music ravishes their ears, and they are lulled to forgetfulness by every device that art can provide or love suggest.

"So time passed. At length, the Rakshasis having warned the merchants against approaching a certain part towards the southern side of the city, the curiosity of the merchant chief was excited, and, being a man of very superior parts and of penetrating mind, he began to have some doubts about the matter. 'Why,' thought he, 'should these women exhort us never to go towards a certain part at the south of the city? I ought to look into the matter, and when the women are asleep endeavour to see what danger there is, so that we may avoid it, if there be any, before it is too late.'

"Having thought thus, the chief merchant waited that night till the women were all asleep, and then arising softly from his bed, without any sound, he got away, and, seizing his sword, left the house. Going onwards in the forbidden direction, he came at length to a narrow path, which had neither tree or plant growing beside it, and was altogether of a dreary and fear-inspiring character. Then, listening, he heard the sounds of groans and lamentstions, like those proceeding from the wretched beings confined in hell. Hearing these sounds, the merchant chief was seized with wonderful fear; the hairs of his body stood upright, and he remained silently transfixed as it were to the ground. Thus he continued for some time, till at length recovering his self-possession, he entered on the desolate path he had seen, and cautiously advanced along it. After proceeding a short distance, he saw before him the dim outline of an iron city, and he soon perceived that the cries and groans he heard proceeded from within the walls of that place. Going round the city, he could see no gate, only on the north side of it he observed a tree, whose name was hoh-hwen, (united joy), which grew beside the wall and seemed to overtop it. Having observed this tree, the merchant forthwith resolved to mount it and look within the city. Having climbed to the top, he gazed over the wall, and lo! he beheld before him a piteous sight. He saw many dead men lying about—more than a hundred—and of these some were half-eaten, and others, scarcely dead, were dismembered and mutilated. Others, again, were sitting about, famished to death; others, again, sightless, their eye sockets like deep well- pits; others with their flesh half torn from their limbs, as if gnawed off by some wild beast; others with their hair matted and torn, covered with filth and dirty and in the midst or all there arose the constant wail, as from the culprits who suffer torments in the place where Yama rules. Seeing this be spectacle, the merchant chief was once more overpowered by fear; his hair stood erect through terror. At length, regaining his courage, he seized a branch of the tree on which he was seated, and, waving it violently about, he raised a great shout, so as to attract attention. The sound of his voice having reached the prisoners inside the city, looking up they saw the merchant chief seated on a branch of the hoh-hwen tree outside the wall. Beholding him thus, they raised a piteous cry, and spake to him these words : "Who, then, are you? Are you Deva, Naga, Yaksha, Gandharva, Asura, Kinnara, Garuda, Mahoraga, or what? or are you Maha Sakra Kausika, or the adorable Brahma Raja, come to visit us in our misery, and bring us deliverance?" Then those miserable ones, falling down to earth, and placing their hands above their heads, worshipped the merchant chief, and said, 'Pity us! oh, pity us! and help us to escape! We are ruthlessly torn from those we love! Oh, help us, then! help us to escape from this wretched city, and once more see the faces of our dear ones!' Then the merchant chief, having heard these sad words proceeding from the miserable men within the city, his heart filled with unutterable sorrow, he addressed them thus: 'Be it known to you all, I am no god or other unearthly creature, but a man of Jambudwipa, who set out on a voyage seeking precious stones. Whilst crossing the sea, a storm came on and destroyed our ship, whereupon I and my comrades were near perishing, but were rescued by some women who suddenly appeared, and now we are living with these women hard by this, and enjoying their society to the full! But tell me, what can I do to assuage your sufferings?' Then they answered,' Ah! dear sir! we likewise were once like you, merchants of Jambudwipa. Seeking precious pearls, we entered on a voyage, and were lost as you were. Then those Rakshasis, having come to our rescue, conveyed us to the shore, and afforded us every pleasure for a time; but as soon as they heard of your shipwreck they carried us forthwith to this place, and here within this iron city we are doomed to lie till those Rakshasis have devoured us alive! We were the other day five hundred men, and now we are but half that number; all the rest devoured by those infuriate demons. For a time they seem to love their companions, but all the while they live on human flesh. Their hearts are quite incapable of love. Beware, then, of their wiles; your time will soon come on!'

"Then the merchant chief replied, 'Oh! most unhappy men, know you of any stratagem by which we may escape from those Eakshasis?'

"They answered, ' There is but one method of escaping from them.' On which the chief inquired respecting it.

"They then explained, 'Upon the fifteenth day of the fourth moon, when the Moon, Sun, and Pleiades (Man) are in conjunction,1 a certain Horse King, called Kesi (the hairy one), of most beautiful form, white as the driven snow, his head a rosy tint, his feet swift as the wind, his voice mellow as the softest drum;—this

1 Probably the conjunction of the Sun (?) with Ashadha (June, July). J. B. A. S. Vol. V, pl. ii, p. 263.

« ПредишнаНапред »