Графични страници
PDF файл

and your body so cared for, your eyes anointed with unguents, and your feet shod with delicate slippers, that umbrella in your hand, and the patra in the other as if you were going to beg? If, Nanda, you were living in a desert place (Aranyaka), and your garments were soiled and unpretentious, you might then be permitted to go a begging to get food enough to keep you alive; but not as the case is now." And then the world-honoured one added this Gatha and said—

"When shall we see this Nanda,
Dwelling in a desert spot, go a-begging?
Contented with little; careless about the rest;
And rejoicing to have got rid of all anxious thought I"

Then the lord, moved by this circumstance, assembled the Bhikshus and said, "Brethren! from henceforth let none of my disciples wear a decorated robe, or use any unguents, or lightly hold his patrol, and so go a-begging; whoever commits himself thus, let him be dealt with according to the law."

Nevertheless, Nanda, though obliged to give up his beautiful robe and the other personal adornments we have named, could not forget the joys of his royal home, and the delight afforded him by the company of Sundari, and so all day long in his retreat he did nothing but draw the figure of his sweetheart on a fragment of a tile, with a burnt piece of stick as a pencil, and delight himself with gazing at her from morning till night. Then Buddha, having been acquainted with the circumstance, assembled the Bhikshus, and solemnly warned them against any such misconduct as this, and forbad it under penalty of expulsion from the community. Then again, at a certain time Nanda was commissioned, according to his turn, to take charge of the Vihara and guard it. On which he began to think thus—" Tathagata is going to the town to beg his food, I will take the opportunity of escaping and returning to my home!" The lord, knowing his thoughts, said to him before he departed, " Nanda! if you should have occasion to leave the Vihara, be sure before you go to close all the doors of the different apartments." The world-honoured one having said this, departed at once for the town, to beg his daily meal. Then Nanda thought thus—"Now is my opportunity for escape and to return home;" so going out of the Vihara, he saw that the door of the lord's chamber was open, he went therefore and closed it; and as he did so, he thought, "I will just shut this one door and then hasten to my home." No sooner had he shut this door, than he saw the door of Sariputra's chamber wide open, then he ran to shut that door and thought, "Now then I will go back to my home," but just then he saw Mogalan's door standing open, and so he ran and shut it; no sooner had he done that, than he saw the door of Mahakasyapa's chamber open [and so on with 1 Mahakatyayana's, Uravilva Kasyapa's, Nadikasyapa's, Gayakasyapa's, Upasena's, Kuvira's2 (?), Mahachunda's, Revata's, Upalivata's door]. Having thus gone from cell to cell shutting the doors, and seeing that he had no sooner shut one than another opened, and when he shut that, another—Nanda began to think thus with himself, " It is no use taking any more trouble, these Bhikshus will be sure to find fault with me, whether the doors are open or shut. I will hasten away and return home, for the master will be back soon." Having thought thus, he hurried through the Nyagrodha garden wishing to escape; but just then the world-honoured one, by his spiritual power perceiving what was taking place, immediately transported himself to the spot, and entered the Nyagrodha garden just as Nanda was hastening away from the Vihara towards Rajagriha. Suddenly catching sight of Buddha, Nanda sat down behind a tree to conceal himself. But the lord by his power caused the tree to rise straight up into the air, and so Nanda was discovered sitting in his place of concealment.

Buddha then addressed him—" Where are you going, Nanda?" to which he replied, "I was going back to my home, for I cannot reconcile myself to give up the pleasures of my palace and the society of Sundari, and I can find no comfort in the practice of the Brahma-chariya (continence), I therefore desire to give up the attempt and to return home." Then Buddha, on account of this confession, spake thus—

"Does the man who wishes to escape from the wood,
When escaped, return and enter it again?

[ocr errors]

You, oh Vagara! seeing these things,

From the net escaped, return you to the net."1

Then the lord, having recited this fragment of the law for the good of Nanda, further exhorted him in these words, "You should, oh Venerable Nanda, compose your mind to obey the directions of my law, and so entirely rid yourself of all disappointment and sorrow in the diligent practice of self denial and abstention." Thus the world-honoured one instructed Nanda; but notwithstanding all this, he could not forget the pleasures of his former life, and he still longed to give up his religious profession, and to return home to his palace and his mistress.

Now about this time, a certain nobleman asked Buddha to partake of hospitality at his house, on which occasion it happened to be Amanda's turn to take charge of the temple and guard it; at this time Nanda thought, "I will take this opportunity while the lord is away to return to my home." But Buddha, knowing his thoughts and his purpose, spoke to him before he went, "Remember, Nanda! that you must sweep and water the temple, and fill all the pitchers (kundikas) with water." On this the master went to the town. Meantime Nanda reflected thus—" What should prevent me returning home at once." Whilst thus planning his escape, he looked towards the cell of Buddha and saw it was full of dirt, on which he thought, "I will just sweep out the dirt from the cell of Buddha, then I will go." Resolving on this, he went in and fetched a broom and proceeded to carry out his purpose. But as soon as he had brushed the dirt away, a breeze seemed to spring up and blew it all back again, leaves and dust and dirt. Then Nanda thought, "I will just run and fill up the different pitchers (kundikas) of the priests, and then I will hurry home." Thinking thus, Nanda went to each cell, and taking the water-vessels filled them up in succession, but no sooner had he filled up one than it upset and all the water was wasted again. Then Nanda thought, "what is the use of trying to sweep up the dirt, or fill the water vessels—it is all in vain. Tathagata will soon be here; I will hurry home as fast as I can."

1 Fu-ka-lo. There seems to be a play on the word " vagina," a net. Vide also Kai-yuen-shi-kian-mu-lu, vol. i, fol. 20.

2 Chang-lo, it may be " oh honourable."

Thinking thus, he hastened through the Nyagrodha wood, intending to return to his palace. Then the world-honoured, as he sat in the nobleman's house, by the exercise of the power of divine sight (samanta chakku), perceived how the case was with Nanda, and so, by his power of transformation, he passed unseen from the nobleman's house straight to the Nyagrodha wood, and there appeared right in front of Nanda, as he was hurrying onwards towards Rajagriha. Then Nanda, seeing Buddha, and wishing to hide himself from him, ran down a high bank into a hollow, and there crouching down, sat still. Then Buddha, by his spiritual power, caused that hollow place to become level as one's hand. Seeing Nanda there, he asked him whither he was going, and on what business? Then Nanda again told his master that he had no heart for the life of an ascetic, and he longed to go back to his palace and the arms of Sundari his mistress.

Then Buddha began to discourse on the deceptive character of female beauty; he bade Nanda think that the body which he was so enamoured of was but a collection of bones and flesh—within it, what vileness and filth, what impurity and disgusting secretions, etc.; and then he added as an argument, the following verses again:

"Does the man," etc. [as before].

And then Buddha dwelt on the power of religion and self-control to secure peace and expel sorrow. But the teaching was all in vain, for Nanda still longed for a life of pleasure, and could not endure the restraint of discipleship.

And so it came to pass that he got six of the common (lewd) sort of priests to come to him, and from morning till night they did nothing but talk about worldly matters and forbidden pleasures. Then Buddha, perceiving the evil consequences of this conduct, determined to break off the intimacy between Nanda and these worthless priests, sent a message to him, and said, " Nanda! the Tath&gata wishes you to accompany him to Kapilavastu." Nanda readily assented to this intimation, and so they went together. On entering the city, they gradually passed along till they came to the shop of a fishmonger. Then Tathagata, seeing within the shop a mat of straw, on which a hundred and more dead and stinking fish were placed, he bade Nanda go inside and bring him a handful of the straw; having done this and held it in his hand a little while, Buddha told him to fling it am. After this, the master bade him smell his hand, and asked him if he perceived anything disagreeable? On this, Xanda explained that the smell of the fish was most offensive and impure.

[Kiouen LVI contain 57SH words, and cost 2.S92 taels].


§ 1. Whereupon Buddha replied,"very true! very true, Xanda! and so it is if a man keep evil company; the influence of this society will always affect the life of such a person, and produce its evil consequences;" and then he recited this Gatha:

"Just as a man living in a fisherman's hut,
Takes in his hand a single straw on which fish had been placed,
And so scents himself with the stink of the fish,
So is he who keeps bad company."

(And then Buddha enters a perfumer's shop, and taking a small quantity of scent, and placing it on Nanda's hand, he addresses him thus): "Am when upon the hand is poured a little scented water,

Or aromatic powder of any kind.

The power of the perfume destroys all other scent,

Such is the influence of a virtuous friend upon the life."

Then Buddha, having left Kapilavastu and returned to his own place, being surrounded by his disciples, he addressed Xanda thus: "Nanda! if you desire the company of friends, choose not the bad or the six Bhikshus with whom you have now made alliance, but consort with Hogalan, or Sariputra, or Mahakasyapa, or Katyflyana, or Uravilvakasyapa, etc., and then credit shall be given you. And then he recited these verses:—

"If a man makes friends of bad men,

He will lose his character, even in this world.

By the influence of such companions

A man hereafter goes to hell,

« ПредишнаНапред »