Графични страници
PDF файл

Religion (Dharma), he says, is the only thing worth

seeking, the only true source of profit;

"Where there is neither birth, old age, disease, or death,
This is the true and only sound philosophy;
To seek wealth, or pleasures of the world,
The thoughts of these things I dismiss—I seek religion."

Neither can final deliverance be found in the worship

of gods, or in sacrifice;

"For if a man born in the world,
Destroy life to secure present happiness,
The wise man considers this unbecoming,

)How much more (to destroy life in sacrifice),
For the purpose of being born hereafter in heaven."

Bimbasara then inquires in astonishment who and what he is—of what race and caste, etc. On which Bodhisatwa tells him plainly his history and family. On this Bimhasara with tears beseeches him not to expose his body thus to the hardships and dangers of a hermit's life; but Bodhisatwa declares he has no fear either of wild beast or other danger—his only fear is of the demon Death, old age, disease, and renewed birth. Bimbasara further asks what is the end for which Bodhisatwa gives up all his possessions, and what it is he seeks? On this, B6dhisatwa explains that his end is to attain the condition Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, and to establish the Kingdom of Religion (turn the wheel of the Law).

Then Bimbasara, seeing his firm resolution, doubts not of his ultimate success; but begs him to come daily to his palace to receive in charity the four necessary provisions (food, drink, medicine, clothing). Bodhisatwa excuses himself on the ground that he must shortly remove from his present abode elsewhere. Then Bimbasara, with closed hands, entreats that when Bodhisatwa has arrived at complete enlightenment he may become one of his disciples; moreover, he begs him to receive his confession of sins and his resolution of amendment. Bodhisatwa, with a slight smile, listens to the Raja's words, and then gives him consolation and wishes him all success. Finally, having performed three circumambulations, and prostrated himself at the feet of B6dhisatwa,the king, rising up, departed, and returned home. So the Gatha says— "B6dhisatwa assured Bimbasara in these words,— 'When I have attained enlightenment, I will instruct and convert the king.' Considering with great joy the conduct of the Sage, He left the mount and returned home."

Then Bodhisatwa, proceeding from Mount Pandava, went onwards to the city of Gaya, and having arrived there he ascended the hill Gayasirsha, wishing to enjoy rest of mind and body. Having arranged a seat of leaves he sat down beneath a tree.

Seated thus, he began to reflect, and these three ideas presented themselves; that as it is impossible to obtain fire from boring wood that is wet, or by using dung that is sodden; so, though a Shaman or a Brahman may not practise lust, yet so long as there is the least love of it in the heart, he cannot obtain Supreme Wisdom (the dampness of the wood and the dung must be got rid of). Again, he thought, that though a Shaman or a Brahman may use every measure to overcome evil desire, and practise all the fasts and keep the rules of penance, yet so long as there is the least remnant of covetous desire in the heart, he cannot attain perfection Again, he thought, that when a Shaman or Brahman, in addition to abstention from evil, has experienced in his heart a feeling of universal love, and desires to arrive at perfection that he may profit others, then like dry wood and dry dung, the fire may be easily kindled.

B6dhisatwa then descended from the Mount, and passing through various villages, he came at last to one on the southern side of Gaya called Uravilva, and it being now time for seeking food, he entered that village to beg. Having obtained at a potter's house an earthern dish, holding this in his hand, he went round from house to house to beg some food.

He came at length to the house of one of the village lords, whose name was Nandika, and standing in front of it,1 he remained silent. Now, this Nandika had an only daughter whose name was Sujata, a girl of great beauty and grace; it happened then that Sujata had seen Bodhisatwa, holding his alms-dish in his hand, approach the house, and as he did so, take his stand before the door, and remain in silence. Having seen this, lo! the milk exuded from both her paps (from very joy and reverence), and she proceeded to address Bodhisatwa thus—" Most excellent and illustrious Sir! what is your name, and of what family and tribe are you? who are your father and mother? and whither go you now? For in truth your Divine appearance has so affected me that the very milk from my breasts exudes of itself!"

Bodhisatwa replied, " illustrious sister! my name is Siddhartha, my father and mother are so-and-so, and I am now in search of the highest condition of Wisdom, known as Anuttara Samyak Sambhodi, having obtained which I desire to turn the wheel of the Law which is above every Law. Then Sujata, having heard these words, took the alms-dish from the hands of Bodhisatwa, and entering the house filled it with every kind of choice delicacy and most luscious fruit; and bringing it out she respectfully offered her gift to Bodhisatwa, and spake thus—" Most excellent Sir! I vow to minister always to your wants; and I pray that when you have attained the end of your present search that I may become one of your followers." To whom Bodhisatwa replied, "Illustrious sister! be it as you desire!" Having said this, he departed, and having selected a clean place, according to the religious rules he had adopted, he sat down and ate his food.

Having finished his meal, he proceeded onwards, and selected a most delightful spot, smooth and free from inconveniences, in sight of the river which ran by in peaceful flow, at a moderate distance from the village, so that he might easily resort thither for the purpose of begging, he there sat down and composed himself to severe contemplation. [Now O&ya is so called because this was the spot where an old Rishi king called K&ya (the Chinese interprets it by "Form," and therefore it must be Kaya) founded a town and dwelt.]

1 Ekamantam.

Bodhisatwa, having, therefore, prepared himself a seat of leaves, sat down and began to consider thus with himself—" What countless methods there are by which men hope to obtain final deliverance, by rules as to eating, clothing, sleeping, undergoing every kind of penance and self-mortification; alas! that such false views should be entertained." Thinking thus, Bodhisatwa was overpowered with grief; and so the Gatha says—

"Bodhisatwa seated beside the Nairanjana River, His heart composed as he remained on the shore; When he thought over the various systems of false religions, His heart was grieved and filled with sorrow." Thus thinking, Bodhisatwa composed himself to contemplation— his mouth closed, his teeth joined, and his tongue pressed upwards against the palate.

Now there was living near the place where Bodhisatwa was a certain Brahman of a high caste, called Senayana, who had obtained from Bimbasara authority to govern a certain town close to Uravilva, and had adopted this name as his title after taking possession of his dominion; and there was another Brahman called Deva, born near to Kapilavastu, who had for a time come to lodge in the house of Senayana, to transact some business. Whilst there he had occasion to go to the wood where Bodhisatwa was practising austerities. Whereupon, this Deva, seeing Bodhisatwa, immediately recognised him and said, "This is Siddartha, our Prince Royal, who is now living the life of a hermit;" and his heart was filled with joy at seeing him. Then Bodhisatwa, having seen the joy of Deva, addressed him and said, " Great Brahman, will you undertake to provide me with millet, sufficient for me to take a daily meal and so to support me in life." On which that Brahman, with a narrow and illiberal disposition, hoping to obtain merit by this act of charity, promised to do so; and thus, day by day for six years, Bodhisatwa received this modicum of millet sufficient to keep him alive. Thus it was his skin became wrinkled, and his body attenuated and his eyes hollow as an old man's; whilst his limbs were unable to support him as he moved, and all who beheld him were filled with a strange feeling of awe and reverence at the sight of the penance he was thus enduring.

[Kiouen XXIV contains 6786 words and cost 3.393 taels.]


The Exhortation to return.

§ 1. Now at this time, when the spring was just in its prime, it came to pass that Suddh6dana Raja went forth from his palace to enjoy the beauties of the gardens that were near his Royal city— the opening flowers, the budding trees and the chattering birds. Whilst thus enjoying the delights of the gardens, a melancholy recollection of his son overwhelmed him, and he exclaimed, "Alas! my son, it is now six years since you left your home; where art thou now? Alone, in the wild mountains, surrounded by the roving beasts, and the tenants of the forest!"

Meanwhile, the Devas, observing that Bodhisatwa was practising such severe penance, so that he could not long survive, deputed one of their number to go quickly to Suddhodana; who, coming to Kapilavastu, declared to the king that the prince was dead. But another Devaputra immediately came and contradicted this, but told the Raja that his son could not endure such affliction beyond seven days more. Whereupon the king was overpowered with grief, and gave way to his sorrow with lamentable cries.

On this, Suddhodana, assembling the Sakya princes, who had heard the expression of his grief, related the news to them, and besought them to seek some mode of finding out if the prince were still alive, and if so to induce him to return to his home. [The number of the S&kya jninces was ninety-nine thousand.]

At last, when all of them had failed to suggest any method for effecting this, Udayi undertook to search after the prince and bring him back.

Then Udayi, leaving Kapilavastu, proceeded to Uravilva, to the banks of the Nairafljana River, and there first of all encountering Kaundinya1 and the other hermits, he asked of them saying, "Illustrious Kaundinya! Can you tell me where Siddartha abides?" To whom Kaundinya replied, " Siddartha is practising austerities in yonder grove." Then again Udayi inquired and said, "And what

1 Kaundinya and four other Rishis had associated themselves with B6dhisatwa during his penance.

« ПредишнаНапред »