This is the Dhammapada, the path of religion pursued by those who are

followers of the Buddha:                                                         1

Creatures from mind their character derive; mind-marshalled are they,

mind made.  Mind is the source either of bliss or of corruption.       2

By oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is

left undone; by oneself one is purified.  Purity and impurity belong to

oneself, no one can purify another.                                    3

You yourself must make an effort.  The Tathagatas are only preachers.

The thoughtful who enter the way are freed from the bondage of Mara.   4

He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise; who, though

young and strong, is full of sloth; whose will and thoughts are weak;

that lazy and idle man will never find the way to enlightenment.       5

If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; the

truth guards him who guards himself.                                   6

If a man makes himself as he teaches others to be, then, being

himself subdued, he may subdue others; one’s own self is indeed

difficult to subdue.                                                   7

If some men conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if

another conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors.             8

It is the habit of fools, be they laymen or members of the clergy, to

think, “this is done by me.  May others be subject to me.  In this or

that transaction a prominent part should be played by me.”  Fools do not

care for the duty to be performed or the aim to be reached, but think of

their self alone.  Everything is but a pedestal of their vanity.       9

Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is

beneficial and good, that is very difficult.                          10

If anything is to be done, let a man do it, let him attack it

vigorously!                                                           11

Before long, alas! this body will lie on the earth, despised, without

understanding, like a useless log; yet our thoughts will endure.  They

will be thought again, and will produce action.  Good thoughts will

produce good actions, and bad thoughts will produce bad actions.      12

Earnestness is the path of immortality, thoughtlessness the path of

death.  Those who are in earnest do not die; those who are thoughtless

are as if dead already.                                               13

Those who imagine they find truth in untruth, and see untruth in

truth, will never arrive at truth, but follow vain desires.  They who

know truth in truth, and untruth in truth, arrive at truth, and follow

true desires.                                                         14

As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break

through an unreflecting mind.  As rain does not break through a

well-thatched house, passion will not break through a well-reflecting

mind.                                                                 15

Well-makers lead the water wherever they like; fletchets bend the

arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people fashion themselves;

wise people falter not amidst blame and praise.  Having listened to the

law, they become serene, like a deep, smooth , and still lake.        16

If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him as the

wheel follows the foot of an ox that draws the carriage.              17

An evil deed is better left undone, for a man will repent of it

afterwards; a good deed is better done, for having done it one will not

repent.                                                               18

If a man commits a wrong let him not do it again; let him not delight

in wrongdoing; pain is the outcome of evil.  If a man does what is good,

let him do it again; let him delight in it; happiness is the outcome of

good.                                                                 19

Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart, “It will not

come nigh unto me.”  As by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is

filled, so the fool becomes full of evil, though he gather it little by

little.                                                               20

Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, “It will not

come nigh unto me.”  As by the falling of water-drops a water-pot if

filled, so the wise man becomes full of good, though he gather it little

by little.                                                            21

He who lives for pleasure only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate

in his food, idle, and seak, him Mara, the tempter, will certainly

overthrough, as the wind throws down a weak tree.  He who lives without

looking for pleasures, his senses well-controlled, moderate in his food,

faithful and strong, him Mara will certainly not overthrow, any more

than the wind throws down a rocky mountain.                           22

The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far.  But a

fool who thinks himself wise, he is a fool indeed.                    23

To the evil-doer wrong appears sweet as honey; he looks upon it as

pleasant so long as it bears no fruit; but when its fruit ripens, then

he looks upon it as wrong.  And so the good man looks upon the goodness

of the Dharma as a burden and an evil so long as it bears no fruit; but

when its fruit ripens, then he sees its goodness.                     24

A hater may d great harm to a hater, or an enemy to an enemy; but a

wrongly-directed mind will do greater mischief unto itself.  A mother, a

father, or any other relative will do much good; but a well-directed

mind will do greater service unto itself.                             25

He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that state where his enemy wishes him to be.  He himself is his greatest enemy.

Thus a creeper destroys the life of a tree on which it finds support. 26

Do not direct thy thought to what gives pleasure, that thou mayest

not cry out when burning, “This is pain.”  The wicked man burns by his

own deeds, as if burnt by fire.                                       27

Pleasures destroy the foolish; the foolish man by his thirst for

pleasures destroys himself as if he were his own enemy.  The fields are

damaged by hurricanes and weeds; mankind is damaged by passion, by

hatred, by vanity, and by lust.                                       28

Let no man ever take into consideration whether a thing is pleasant

or unpleasant.  The love of pleasure begets grief and the dread of pain

causes fear; he who is free from the love of pleasure and the dread of

pain knows neither grief nor fear.                                    29

He who gives himself to vanity, and does not give himself to

meditation, forgetting the real aim of life and grasping at pleasure,

will in time envy him who has exerted himself in meditation.          30

The fault of others is easily noticed, but that of oneself is

difficult to perceive.  A man winnows his neighbor’s faults like chaff,

but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the false die from the

gambler.                                                              31

If a man looks after the faults of others, and is always inclined to

take offence, his own passions will grow, and he is far from the

destruction of passions.                                              32

Not about the perversities of others, not about their sins of

commision or omission, but about his own misdeeds and neglicences alone

should a sage be worried.                                             33

Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; bad people are

concealed, like arrows shot by night.                                 34

If a man by causing pain to others, wishes to obtain pleasure for

himself, he, entangled in the bonds of selfishness, will never be free

from hatred.                                                          35

Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let

him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth!             36

For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by

not-hatred, this is an old rule.                                      37

Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked; by

these three steps thou will become divine.                            38

Let a wise man blow off impurities of his self, as a smith blows off

the impurities of silver, one by one, little by little, and from time to

time.                                                                 39

   Lead others, not by violence, but by righteousness and equity.     40

He who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks the

truth, and does what is his own business, him the world will hold

dear.                                                                 41

As the bee collects nectar and departs without injuring the flower or

its color or scent, so let a sage dwell in the community.             42

If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his

equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no

companionship with fools.                                             43

Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is

tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the truth religion.44

Better than living a hundred years, not seeing the highest truth, is

one day in the life of a man who sees the highest truth.              45

Some form their Dharma arbitrarily and fabricate it artificially;

they advance complex speculations and imagine that good results are

attainable only by the acceptance of their theories; yet the truth is

but one; there are not different truths in the world.  Having reflected

on the various theories, we have gone into the yoke with him who has

shaken off all sin.  But shall we be able to proceed together with

him?                                                                  46

The best of ways is the eightfold path.  This is the path.  There is no other that leads to the purifying of intelligence.  Go on this path!

Everything else is the deceit of Mara, the tempter.  If you go on this

path, you will make an end of pain!  Says the Tathagata.  The path was

preached by me, when I had understood the removal of the thorn in the

flesh.                                                                47

Not only by discipline and vows, not only by much learning, do I

learn the happiness of release which no worldling can know.  Bhikkhu, be

not confident as long as thou hast not attained the extinction of

thirst.  The extinction of evil desire is the hi ghest religion.      48

The gift of religion exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of religion

exceeds all sweetness; the delight in religion exceeds all delights; the

extinction of thirst overcomes all pain.                              49

Few are there among men who cross the river and reach the goal.  The

great multitudes are running up and down the shore; but there is no

suffering for him who has finished his journey.                       50

As the lily will grow full of seet perfume and delight upon a heap of

rubbish, thus the disciple of the truly enlightened Buddha shines forth

by his wisdom among those who are like rubbish, among the people that

walk in darkness.                                                     51

Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us!  Among men

who hate us let us dwell free from hatred!                            52

Let us live happily then, free from all ailments among the ailing!

Among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments!             53

Let us live happily then, free from greed among the greedy!  Among

men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed!                      54

The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior is

bright in his armor, thinkers are bright in their meditation; but among

all the brightest with splendor day and night is the Buddha, the

Awakened, the Holy Blessed.                                           55


At one time when the Blessed One was journeying through Kosala  he

came  to  the Brahman village which is called  Manasakata.   There  he

stayed in a mango grove.                                             1

And two young Brahmans came to him who were of different  schools.

One was named Vasettha and the other Bharadvaja.  And Vasettha said to

the Blessed One:                                                     2

“We have a dispute as to the true path.   I say the straight  path

which leads into a union with Brahma is that which has been  announced

by  the Brahman Pokkharasati,  while my friend says the straight  path

which leads unto a union with Brahma is that which has been  announced

by the Brahman Tarukkha.                                             3

“Now,  regarding thy high reputation,  O samana,  and knowing  that

thou art called the Enlightened One,  the teacher of men and gods, the

Blessed Buddha, we have come to ask thee, are all these paths paths of

salvation?  There are many roads all around our village,  and all lead

to Manasakata.   Is it just so with the paths of the sages?   Are  all

paths  paths  to  salvation,  and do they all lead  to  a  union  with

Brahma?”                                                             4

And the Blessed One proposed these questions to the two  Brahmans:

“Do you think that all paths are right?”                             5

   Both answered and said: “Yes, Gotama, we think so.”               6

“But tell me,” continued the Buddha,  “has any one of the Brahmans,

versed in the Vedas, seen Brahma face to face?”                      7

   “No, sir!” was the reply.                                         8

“But,  then,”  said  the Blessed One,  “has  any  teacher  of  the

Brahmans, versed in the Vedas, seen Brahma face to face?”            9

   The two Brahmans said: “No, sir.”                                10

“But,  then,” said the Blessed One,  “has any one of the authors of

the Vedas seen Brahma face to face?”                                11

Again the two Brahmans answered in the negative and exclaimed: “How

can  any  one  see Brahma or understand him,  for  the  mortal  cannot

understand   the   immortal.”   And  the  Blessed  One   proposed   an

illustration, saying:                                               12

“It is as if a man should make a staircase in the place where  four

roads cross,  to mount up into a mansion.   And people should ask him,

‘Where,  good friend,  is this mansion, to mount up into which you are

making this staircase?   Knowest thou whether it is in the east, or in

the south,  or in the west,  or in the north?   Whether it is high, or

low,  or of medium size?’  And when so asked he should answer, ‘I know not.’  And people should say to him, ‘But, then, good friend, thou art making  a  staircase  to mount up into something -  taking  it  for  a mansion - which all the while thou knowest not, neither hast thou seen it.’  And when so asked he should answer,  ‘That is exactly what I do; yea  I  know  that I cannot know it.’  What would you  think  of  him?

Would you not say that the talk of that man was foolish talk?”      13

“In sooth,  Gotama,” said the two Brahmans,  “it would be  foolish

talk!”                                                              14

The Blessed One continued:  “Then the Brahmans should say, ‘We show

you  the  way unto a union of what we know not and what  we  have  not

seen’.   This being the subtance of Brahman lore,  does it not  follow

that their task is vain?”                                           15

   “It does follow,” replied Bharadvaja.                            16

Said the Blessed One:  “Thus it is impossible that Brahmans  versed

in the three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of  union

with  that  which they neither know nor have seen.   Just  as  when  a

string  of blind men are clinging one to the other.   Neither can  the

foremost see,  nor can those in the middle see,  nor can the  hindmost

see.   Even so, methinks, the talk of the Bhramans versed in the three

Vedas is but blind talk; it is ridiculous, consists or mere words, and

is a vain and empty thing.”                                         17

“Now  suppose,” added the Blessed One,  “that a  man  should  come

hither  to the bank of the river,  and,  having some business  on  the

other side,  should want to cross.   Do you suppose that if he were to

invoke  the other bank of the river to come over to him on this  side,

the bank would come on account of his praying?”                     18

   “Certainly not, Gotama.”                                         19

“Yet this is the way of the Brahmans.   They omit the practice  of those qualities which really make a man a Brahman, and say, ‘Indra, we call upon thee;  Soma,  we call upon thee;  Varuna, we call upon thee;

Brahma,  we  call upon thee.’  Verily,  it is not possible that  these

Brahmans, on account of their invocation, prayers, and praises, should

after death be united with Brahma.”                                 20

“Now tell me,” continued the Buddha,  “what do the Brahmans say  of

Brahma?  Is his mind full of lust?”                                 21

And when the Brahmans denied this,  the Buddha asked:  “Is Brahma’s

mind full of malice, sloth, or pride?”                              22

   “No sir!” was the reply.  “He is the opposite of all this.”      23

And  the Buddha went on:  “But are the Brahmans  free  from  these

vices?”                                                             24

   “No sir!” said Vasettha.                                         25

The Holy One said:  “The Brahmans cling to the five things  leading

to  worldliness and yield to the temptations of the senses;  they  are

entangled in the five hinderances,  lust,  malice,  sloth,  pride, and

doubt.  How  can  they be united to that which is  most  unlike  their

nature?  Therefore the threefold wisdom of the Brahmans is a waterless

desert, a pathless jungle, and a hopeless desolation.”              26

When the Buddha had thus spoken,  one of the Brahmans said: “We are

told,  Gotama,  that  the  Sakyamuni knows the path to  a  union  with

Brahma.”                                                            27

And the Blessed One said:  “What do you think, O Brahmans, of a man

born  and brought up in Manasakata?   Would he be in doubt  about  the

most direct way from this spot to Manasakata?”                      28

   “Certainly not, Gotama.”                                         29

“Thus,” replied the Buddha,  “the Tathagata knows the straight path

that leads to a union with Brahma.  He knows it as one who has entered

the world of Brahma and has been born in it.  There can be no doubt in

the Tathagata.”                                                     30

And the two young Brahmans said:  “If thou knowest the way show  it

to us.”                                                             31

   And the Buddha said:                                             32

“The Tathagata sees the universe face to face and understands  its

nature.  He proclaims the truth both in its letter and in its  spirit,

and his doctrine is glorious in its origin,  glorious in its progress,

glorious in its consummation.   The Tathagata reveals the higher  life

in its purity and perfection.   He can show you the way to that  which

is contrary to the five great hindrances.                           33

“The Tathagata lets his mind pervade the four quarters of the world

with thoughts of love.   And thus the whole wide world,  above, below,

around,  and  everywhere will continue to be filled  with  love,  far-

reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.                          34

“Just as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard - and that  without

difficulty  - in all the four quarters of the earth;  even so  is  the

coming  of the Tathagata:  there is not one living creature  that  the

Tathagata  passes by or leaves aside,  but regards them all with  mind

set free, and deep-felt love.                                       35

“And this is the sign that a man follows the right path:Uprightness

is his delight,  and he sees danger in the least of those things which

he should avoid.   He trains himself in the commands of  morality,  he

encompasseth himself with holiness in word and deed;  he sustains  his

life by means that are quite pure; good is his conduct, guarded is the

door  of  his senses;  mindful and self-possessed,  he  is  altogether

happy.                                                              36

“He  who  walks  in  the  eightfold  noble  path  with  unswerving

determination  is  sure to reach  Nirvana.   The  Tathagata  anxiously

watches  over his children and with loving care helps them to see  the

light.                                                              37

“When a hen has eight or ten or twelve eggs,  over which  she  has

properly  brooded,  the  wish arises in her heart,  ‘O would  that  my

little  chickens would break open the egg-shell with their  claws,  or

with their beaks,  and come forth into the light in safety!’  yet  all

the  whilw those little chickens are sure to break the  egg-shell  and

will come forth into the light in safety.  Even so, a brother who with

firm determination walks in the noble path is sure to come forth  into

the light,  sure to reach up to the higher wisdom,  sure to attain  to

the highest bliss of enlightenment.”                                38


While  the  Blessed  One was staying  at  the  bamboo  grove  near

Rajagaha,  he once met on his was Sigala, a householder, who, clasping

his  hands,  turned to the four quarters of the world,  to the  zentih

above, and to the nadir below.  And the Blessed One, knowing that this

was done according to the traditional religious superstition to  avert

evil, asked Sigala: “Why performest thou these strange ceremonies?”  1

And  Sigala  in reply said:  “Dost thou think it  strange  that  I

protect my home against the influences of demons?  I know thou wouldst

fain tell me,  O Gotama Sakyamuni,  whom people call the Tathagata and

the blessed Buddha,  that incantations are of no avail and possess  no

saving power.  But listen to me and know, that in performing this rite

I honour, reverence, and keep sacred the words of my father.”        2

   Then the Tathagata said:                                          3

“Thou dost well,  O Sigala,  to honour,  reverence, and keep sacred

the words of thy father;  and it is thy duty to protect thy home,  thy

wife,  thy children,  and thy children’s children against the  hurtful

influences of evil spirits.   I find no fault with the performance  of

thy  father’s  rite.   But I find that thou dost  not  understand  the

ceremony.   Let the Tathagata,  who now speaks to thee as a  spiritual

father  and loves thee no less than did thy parents,  explain to  thee

the meaning of the six directions.                                   4

“To guard thy home by mysterious ceremonies is not sufficient; thou

must guard it with good deeds.   Turn to thy parents in the  East,  to

thy teachers in the South,  to thy wife and children in the  West,  to

thy  friends in the North,  and regualte the zenith of  thy  religious

relations above thee, and the nadir of thy servants below thee.      5

“Such  is  the religion thy father wants thee  to  have,  and  the

performance of the ceremony shall remind thee of thy duties.”        6

And Sigala looked up to the Blessed One with reverence as  to  his father and said: “Truly, Gotama, thou art the Buddha, the Blessed One, the  holy teacher.   I never knew what I was doing,  but now  I  know.

Thou hast revealed to me the truth that was hidden as one who bringeth

a  lamp  into  the darkness.   I take my  refuge  in  the  Enlightened

Teacher,  in  the  truth  that enlightens,  and in  the  community  of

brethren who have been taught the truth.”                            7


At  that time many distinguished citizens  were  sitting  together

assembled  in  the town-hall and spoke in many ways in praise  of  the

Buddha,  of the Dharma,  and of the Sangha.   Simha,  the  general-in-

chief,  a disciple of the Niggantha sect, was sitting among them.  And

Simha thought:  “Truly,  the Blessed One must be the Buddha,  the Holy

One.  I will go and visit him.”                                      1

Then Simha,  the general,  went to the place where  the  Niggantha

chief,  Nataputta,  was;  and having approached him, he said: “I wish,

Lord, to visit the samana Gotama.”                                   2

Nataputta said:  “Why should you,  Simha, who believe in the result

of  actions  according to their moral merit,  go to visit  the  samana

Gotama,  who denies the result of actions;  he teaches the doctrine of

non-action; and in this doctrine he trains his disciples.”           3

Then the desire to go and visit the Blessed One,  which had  arisen

in Simha, the general, abated.                                       4

Hearing again the praise of the Buddha,  of the Dharma,  and of the

Sangha,  Simha  asked  the Niggantha chief a second  time;  and  again

Nataputta persuaded him not to go.                                   5

When a third time the general heard some men of distinction  extol

the  merits of the Buddha,  the Dharma,  and the Sangha,  the  general

thought:  “Truly the samana Gotama must be the Holy Buddha.   What are

the Nigganthas to me, whether they give their consent or not?  I shall

go without asking their permission to visit him,  the Blessed One, the

Holy Buddha.”                                                        6

And Simha,  the general,  said to the Blessed One:  “I have  heard,

Lord,  that the samana Gotama denies the result of actions; he teaches

the doctrine of non-action,  saying that the action of sentient beings

do  not  receive their reward,  for he teaches  annihilation  and  the

contemptibleness  of all things;  and in this doctrine he  trains  his

disciples.   Teachest  thou the dong away of the soul and the  burning

away of man’s being?   Pray tell me, Lord, do those who speak thus say

the  truth,  or  do they bear false witness against the  Blessed  One,

passing off a spurious Dharma as thy Dharma?”                        7

   The Blessed One said:                                             8

“There is a way, Simha, in which one who says so, is speaking truly

of me,  on the other hand, Simha, there is a way in which one who says

the opposite is speaking truly of me,  too.   Listen,  and I will tell

thee:                                                                9

“I teach,  simha, the not-doing of such actions as are unrighteous, either by deed,  or by word,  or by thought;  I teach the not-bringing about  of all those conditions of heart which are evil and  not  good.

However,  I teach,  Simha, the doing of such actions as are righteous,

by deed,  by word,  and by thought;  I teach the bringing about of all

those conditions of heart which are good and not evil.              10

“I teach,  Simha,  that all the conditions of heart which are  evil

and not good,  unrighteous actions by deed,  by word,  and by thought,

must be burnt away.   He who has freed himself,  Simha, from all those

conditions of heart which are evil and not good,  he who has destroyed

them as a palm-tree which is rooted out,  so that they cannot grow  up

again, such a man has accomplished the eradication of self.         11

“I proclaim,  Simha,  the annihilation of egotism, of lust, of ill-

will,  of delusion.   However,  I do not proclaim the annihilation  of

forbearance, of love, of charity, and of truth.                     12

“I deem,  Simha,  unrighteous actions contemptible, whether they be

performed by deed,  or by word,  or by thought;  but I deem virtue and

righteousness praiseworthy.”                                        13

And Simha said:  “One doubt still lurks in my mind concerning  the

doctrine  of the Blessed One.   Will the Blessed One consent to  clear

the cloud away so that I may understand the Dharma as the Blessed  One

teaches it?”                                                        14

The Tathagata having given his consent,  Simha continued:  “I am  a

soldier,  O Blessed One,  and am appointed by the king to enforce  his

laws  and to wage his wars.   Does the Tathagata who teaches  kindness

without end and compassion with all sufferers,  permit the  punishment

of the criminal?  and further,  does the Tathagata declare that is  is

wrong to go to war for the protection for our homes,  our  wives,  our

children,  and our property?  Does the Tathagata teach the doctrine of

a complete self-surrender, so that I should suffer the evil-doer to do

what he pleases and yield submissively to him who threatens to take by

violence what is my own?  Does the Tathagata maintain that all strife,

including  such warfare as is waged for a righteous cause,  should  be

forbidden?”                                                         15

The Buddha replied:  “He who deserves punishment must be  punished,

and he who is worthy of favour must be favoured.  Yet at the same time

he teaches to do no injury to any living being but to be full of  love

and kindness.   These injuncions are not contradictory,  for whosoever

must  be punished for the crimes which he has committed,  suffers  his

injury  not  through the ill-will of the judge but on account  of  his

evil-doing.   His  own acts have brought upon him the injury that  the

executer of the law inflicts.  When a magistrate punishes, let him not

harbour  hatred  in his breast,  yet a murderer,  when put  to  death,

should consider that this is the fruit of his own act.   As soon as he

will understand that the punishment will purify his soul,  he will  no

longer lament his fate but rejoice at it.”                          16

And  the Blessed One continued:  “The Tathagata teaches  that  all

warfare in which man tries to slay his brother is lamentable,  but  he

does  not  teach that those who go to war in a righteous  cause  after

having exhausted all means to preserve the peace are blame-worthy.  He

must be blamed who is the cause of war.                             17

“The Tathagata teaches a complete surrender of self,  but he  does

not  teach a surrender of anything to those powers that are  evil,  be

they men or gods or the elements of nature.  Struggle must be, for all

life is a struggle of some kind.  But he that struggles should look to

it  lest  he  struggle  in the interest  of  self  against  truth  and

righteousness.                                                      18

“He who struggles in the interest of self,  so that he himself  may

be great or powerful or rich or famous,  will have no reward,  but  he

who struggles for righteousness and truth, will have great reward, for

even his defeat will be a victory.                                  19

“Self is not a fit vessel to receive any great  success;  self  is

small and brittle and its contents will soon be split for the benefit,

and perhaps also for the curse, of others.                          20

“Truth,  however,  is  large enough to receive the  yearnings  and

aspirations of all selves and when the selves break like soap-bubbles,

their  contents  will be preserved and in the truth they will  lead  a

life everlasting.                                                   21

“He who goeth to battle,  O Simha, even though it be in a righteous

cause,  must be prepared to be slain by his enemies,  for that is  the

destiny of warriors; and should his fate overtake him he has no reason

for complaint.                                                      22

“But  he  who is victorious should  remember  the  instability  of

earthly things.  His success may be great, but be it ever so great the

wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down into the dust.   23

“However,  if he moderates himself and, extinguishing all hatred in

his heart lifts his down-trodden adversary up and says to  him,  ‘Come

now  and  make peace and let us be brothers,’ he will gain  a  victory

that is not a transient success, for its fruits will remain forever.24

“Great is a successful general,  O Simha,  but he who had conquered

self is the greater victor.                                         25

“The doctrine of the conquest of self,  O Simha,  is not taught  to

destroy the souls of men,  but to preserve them.  He who has conquered

self is more fit to live, to be successful, and to gain victories than

he who is the slave of self.                                        26

“He whose mind is free from the illusion of self,  will stand  and

not fall in the battle of life.                                     27

“He whose intentions are righteousness and justice,  will meet with

no failure,  but be successful in his enterprises and his success will

endure.                                                             28

“He who harbours in his heart love of truth will live and not  die,

for he has drunk the  water of immortality.                         29

“STruggle then,  O general,  courageously;  and fight thy  battles

vigorously,  but  be a soldier of truth and the Tathagata  will  bless

thee.”                                                              30

When the Blessed One had spoken thus,  Simha,  the  general,  said:

“Glorious Lord,  glorious Lord!   Thou hast revealed the truth.  Great is the doctrine of the Blessed One.  Thou, indeed, art the Buddha, the Tathagata,  the  Holy One.   Thou art the teacher  of  mankind.   Thou showest us the road of salvation, for this indeed is true deliverance.

He who follows thee will not miss the light to enlighten his path.  He

will  find blessedness and peace.   I take my  refuge,  Lord,  in  the

Blessed One,  and in his doctrine,  and in his brotherhood.   May  the

Blessed  One receive me from this day forth while my life lasts  as  a

disciple who has taken refuge in him.”                              31

And the Blessed One said:  “Consider first, Simha, what thou doest.

It  is  becoming that persons of rank like thyself should  do  nothing

without due consideration.”                                         32

Simha’s faith in the Blessed One increased.  He replied: “Had other teachers,  Lord,  succeeded  in making me their disciple,  they  would carry around their banners through the whole city of Vesali, shouting:

‘Simha,  the  general has become our disciple!   For the second  time,

Lord,  I take my refuge in the Blessed One,  and in the Dharma, and in

the Sangha;  may the Blessed One receive me from this day forth  while

my life lasts as a disciple who has taken his refuge in him.”       33

Said the Blessed One:  “For a long time, Simha, offerings have been

given to the Nigganthas in thy house.  Thou shouldst therefore deem it

right  also in the future to give them food when they come to thee  on

their alms-pilgrimage.”                                             34

And Simha’s heart was filled with joy.  He said: “I have been told,

Lord:  ‘The samana Gotama says:  To me alone and to nobody else should

gifts be given.   My pupils alone and the pupils of no one else should

receive  offerings.’  But the Blessed One exhorts me to give  also  to

the Nigganthas.  Well, Lord, we shall see what is seasonable.  For the

third time, Lord, I take refuge in the Blessed One, and in his Dharma,

and in his fraternity.”                                             35


And there was an officer among the retinue of Simha who had  heard

of the discourses of the Blessed One, and there was some doubt left in

his heart.                                                           1

This man came to the Blessed One and said:  “It is said,  O  Lord,

that the samana Gotama denies the existence of the soul.   Do they who

say  so  speak the truth,  or do they bear false witness  against  the

Blessed One?”                                                        2

And the Blessed One said: “There is a way in which those who say so

are speaking truly of me;  on the other hand,  there is a way in which

those who say so do not speak truly of me.                           3

“The Tathagata teaches that there is no self.  He who says that the

soul is his self and that the self is the thinker of our thoughts  and

the actor of our deeds,  teaches a wrong doctrine doctrine which leads

to confusion and  darkness.                                          4

“On the other hand, the Tathagata teaches that there is a mind.  He

who understands by soul mind,  and says that mind exists,  teaches the

truth which leads to clearness and enlightenment.”                   5

The officer said:  “Does,  then,  the Tathagata maintain that  two

things exist? that which we perceive with our senses and that which is

mental?”                                                             6

Said  the Blessed One:  “Verily,  I say unto  thee,  thy  mind  is spiritual,  but  neither is the sense-perceived void of  spirituality.

The  bodhi is eternal and it dominates all existence as the  good  law

guiding all beings in their search for truth.  It changes brute nature

into  mind,  and there is no being that cannot be transformed  into  a

vessel of truth.”                                                    7


Kutadanta,  the  head of the Brahmans in the village  of  Danamati having approached the Blessed One respectfully,  greeted him and said:

“I am told, O samana, that thou art the Buddha, the Holy One, the All-

knowing,  the Lord of the World.  But if thou wert the Buddha, wouldst

thou not come like a king in all thy glory and power?”               1

Said the Blessed One:  “Thine eyes are holden.   If the eye of  thy

mind  were  undimmed  thou  couldst see the glory  and  the  power  of

truth.”                                                              2

Said Kutadanta:  “Show me the truth and I shall see it.   But  thy

doctrine  is without consistency.   If it were  consistent,  it  would

stand; but as it is not, it will pass away.”                         3

   The Blessed One replied: “The truth will never pass away.”        4

Kutadanta said:  “I am told that thou teachest the law,  yet  thou

tearest  down  religion.   Thy  disciples despise  rites  and  abandon

immolation,   but  reverence  for  the  gods  can  be  shown  only  by

sacrifices.   The  very  nature of religion consists  in  worship  and

sacrifice.”                                                          5

Said the Buddha:  “Greater than the immolation of bullocks is  the

sacrifice  of self.   He who offers to the gods his evil desires  will

see the uselessness of slaughtering animals at the altar.   Blood  has

no  cleansing power,  but the eradication of lust will make the  heart

pure.   Better  than  worshipping  gods is obedience to  the  laws  of

righteousness.”                                                      6

Kutadanta,  being of religious disposition and anxious  about  his fate after death,  had sacrificed countless victims.   Now he saw  the folly of atonement by blood.   Not yet satisfied,  however,  with  the teachings of the Tathagata,  Kutadanta continued:  “Thou believest,  O Master,  that beings are reborn; that they migrate in the evolution of life;  and that subject to the law of karma we must reap what we  sow.

Yet thou teachest the      non-existence of the soul!   Thy  disciples

praise utter self-extinction as the highest bliss of Nirvana.  If I am

merely a combination of the sankharas,  my existence will cease when I

die.   If I am merely a compound of sensations and ideas and  desires,

wither can I go at the dissolution of the body?”                     7

Said the Blessed One:  “O Brahman,  thou art religious and earnest.

Thou art seriously concerned about thy soul.   Yet is thy work in vain

because thou art lacking in the one thing that is needful.           8

“There is rebirth of character,  but no transmigration of a  self.

Thy  thought-forms reappear,  but there is no  egoentity  transferred.

The  stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who  repeats

the words.                                                           9

“Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in  the  dream

that their souls are separate and self-existent entities.           10

“Thy heart,  O Brahman, is cleaving still to self; thou art anxious

about  heaven but thou seekest the pleasures of self  in  heaven,  and

thus  thou  canst not see the bliss of truth and  the  immortality  of

truth.                                                              11

“Verily  I say unto thee:  The Blessed One has not come  to  teach

death, but to teach life, and thou discernest not the nature of living

and dying.                                                          12

“This body will be dissolved and no amount of sacrifice will  save it.   Therefore,  seek thou the life that is of the mind.   Where self is,  truth  cannot  be;  yet when truth comes,  self  will  disappear.

Therefore,  let thy mind rest in the truth;  propagate the truth,  put

thy whole will in it, and let it spread.  In the truth thou shalt live

for ever.                                                           13

“Self  is  death and truth is life.   The cleaving to  self  is  a

perpetual  dying,  while moving in the truth is partaking  of  Nirvana

which is life everlasting.”                                         14

   Kutadanta said: “Where, O venerable Master, is Nirvana?”         15

“Nirvana is wherever the precepts are obeyed,” replied the  Blessed

One.                                                                16

“Do I understand thee aright,” rejoined the Brahman,  “that Nirvana

is not a place, and being nowhere it is without reality?”           17

“Thou dost not understand me aright,” said the Blessed  One,  “Now

listen and answer these questions: Where does the wind dwell?”      18

   “Nowhere,” was the reply.                                        19

   Buddha retorted: “Then, sir, there is no such thing as wind.”    20

Kutadanta made no reply;  and the Blessed One asked again:  “Answer

me, O Brahman, where does wisdom dwell?  Is wisdom a locality?”     21

   “Wisdom has no alloted dwelling-place,” replied Kutadanta.       22

Said the Blessed One:  “Meanest thou that there is no  wisdom,  no

enlightenment,  no righteousness, and no salvation, because Nirvana is

not  a locality?   As a great and mighty wind which passeth  over  the

world in the heat of the day,  so the Tathagata comes to blow over the

minds of mankind with the breath of his love,  so cool,  so sweet,  so

calm,  so  delicate;  and  those  tormented  by  fever  assuage  their

suffering and rejoice at the refreshing breeze.”                    23

Said Kutadanta:  “I feel,  O Lord,  that thou proclaimeat a  great doctrine,  but I cannot grasp it.   Forbear with me that I ask  again:

Tell me,  O Lord,  if there be no atman, how can there be immortality?

The  activity of the mind passeth,  and our thoughts are gone when  we

have done thinking.”                                                24

Buddha replied?:  “Our thinking is gone, but our thoughts continue.

Reasoning ceases, but knowledge remains.”                           25

   Said Kutadanta:  “How is that?   Is not reasoning and knowledge the

same?”                                                              26

The Blessed One explained the distinction by an  illustration:  “It is as when a man wants, during the night, to send a letter, and, after having his clerk called,  has a lamp lit, and gets the letter written.

Then,  when that has been done,  he extinguishes the lamp.  But though

the  writting  has been finished and the light has been  put  out  the

letter  is  still  there.   Thus does reasoning  cease  and  knowledge

remain;  and in the same way mental activity ceases,  but  experience,

wisdom, and all the fruits of our acts endure.”                     27

Kutadanta continued:  “Tell me, O Lord, pray tell me, where, if the

sankharas are dissolved,  is the identity of my self.   If my thoughts

are propagated,  and if my soul migrates,  my thoughts cease to be  my

thoughts and my soul ceases to be my soul.   Give me an  illustration,

but pray, O Lord, tell me, where is the identity of my self?”       28

Said the Blessed One: “Suppose a man were to light a lamp; would it

burn the night through?”                                            29

   “Yes, it might do so,” was the reply.                            30

“Now,  is it the same flame that burns in the first watch  of  the

night as in the second?”                                            31

Kutadanta hesitated.   He thought “Yes,  it is the same flame,” but

fearing the complications of a hidden meaning, and trying to be exact,

he said: “No, it is not.”                                           32

“Then,” continued the Blessed One,  “there are flames,  one in  the

first watch and the other in the second watch.”                     33

“No, sir,” said Kutadanta.  “In one sense it is not the same flame,

but in another sense it is the same flame.   It burns the same kind of

oil,  it  emits  the  same  kind of light,  and  it  serves  the  same

purpose.”                                                           34

“Very well,” said the Buddha,  “and would you call those flames the

same that have burned yesterday and are burning now in the same  lamp,

filled with the same kind of oil, illuminating the same room?”      35

“They  may  have  been extinguished  during  the  day,”  suggested

Kutadanta.                                                          36

Said the Blessed One:  “Suppose the flame of the first  watch  had

been extinguished during the second watch,  would you call it the same

if it burns again in the third watch?”                              37

Replied  Kutadanta:  “In one sense it is  a  different  flame,  in

another it is not.”                                                 38

The Tathagata asked again:  “Has the time that elapsed during  the

extinction  of  the  flame anything to do with its  identity  or  non-

identity?”                                                          39

“No,  sir,” said the Brahman,  “it has not.   There is a difference

and an identity,  whether many years elapsed or only one  second,  and

also whether the lamp has been extinguished in the meantime or not.”40

“Well,  then,  we agree that the flame of to-day is in  a  certain

sense the same as the flame of yersterday,  and in another sense it is

different  at every moment.   Moreover,  the flames of the same  kind,

illuminating with equal power the same kind of rooms are in a  certain

sense the same.”                                                    41

   “Yes, sir,” replied Kutadanta.                                   42

The Blessed One continued:  “Now,  suppose there is a man who feels

like thyself,  thinks like thyself,  and acts like thyself,  is he not

the same man as thou?”                                              43

   “No, sir,” interrupted Kutadanta.                                44

Said the Buddha: “Dost thou deny that the same logic holds good for

thyself that holds good for the things of the world?”               45

Kutadanta bethought himself and rejoined slowly:  “No,  I do  not.

The  same  logic holds good universally;  but there is  a  peculiarity

about  my self which renders it altogether different  from  everything

else and also from other selves.   There may be another man who  feels

exactly like me, thinks like me, and acts like me; suppose even he had

the  same  name  and  the same kind of possessions  he  would  not  be

myself.”                                                            46

“True, Kutadanta,” answered Buddha, “he would not be thyself.  Now,

tell me,  is the person who goes to school one,  and that same  person

when he has finished his schooling another?   Is it one who commits  a

crime,  another  who  is  punished by having his hands  and  feet  cut

off?”                                                               47

   “They are the same,” was the reply.                              48

“Then  sameness  is constituted by  continuity  only?”  asked  the

Tathagata.                                                          49

“Not only by continuity,” said Kutadanta,  “but also and mainly  by

identity of character.”                                             50

“Very well,” concluded the Buddha,  “then thou agreest that persons

can be the same,  in the same sense as two flames of the same kind are

called  the same;  and thou must recognize that in this sense  another

man of the same character and product of the same karma is the same as

thou.”                                                              51

   “Well, I do.” said the Brahman.                                  52

The Buddha continued:  “And in this same sense alone art thou  the

same to-day as yesterday.  Thy nature is not constituted by the matter

of  which  thy body consists but by thy sankharas,  the forms  of  the

body,  of sensations,  of thoughts.   Thy person is the combination of

the sankharas.  Wherever they are,  thou art.   Whithersoever they go,

thou goest.   Thus thou wilt recognize in a certain sense an  identity

of thy self,  and in another sense a difference.   But he who does not

recognize the identity should deny all identity,  and should say  that

the  questioner is no longer the same person as he who a minute  after

receives   the  answer.    Now  condiser  the  continuation   of   thy

personality, which is preserved in thy karma.  Dost thou call it death

and annihilation, or life and continued life?”                      53

“I call it life and continued life,” rejoined Kutadanta, “for it is

the continuation of my existence,  but I do not care for that kind  of

continuation.  All I care for is the continuation of self in the other

sense which makes of every man,  whether identical with me or not,  an

altogether different person.”                                       54

“Very well,” said Buddha.   “This is what thou desirest and this is

the  cleaving to self.   This is thy error.   All compound things  are

transitory: they grow and they decay.  All compound things are subject

to pain:  they will be separated from what they love and be joined  to

what  they  abhor.   All compound things lack a  self,  an  atman,  an

ego.”                                                               55

   “How is that?” asked Kutadanta.                                  56

“Where is thy self?” asked the Buddha.   And when Kutadanta made no

reply,  he continued:  “Thy self to which thou cleavest is a  constant

change.  Years ago thou wast a small babe; then, thou wast a boy; then

a youth,  and now,  thou art a man.  Is there any identity of the babe

and the man?   There is an identity in a certain sense  only.   Indeed

there  is more identity between the flames of the first watch and  the

third watch,  even though the lamp might have been extinguished during

the second watch.  Now which is thy true self, that of yesterday, that

of to-day,  or that of to-morrow,  for the preservation of which  thou

clamourest?”                                                        57

Kutadanta was bewildered.   “Lord of the world,” he said, “I see my

error, but I am still confused.”                                    58

The  Tathagata continued:  “It is by a process of  evolution  that sankharas  come  to be.   There is no sankhara which has  sprung  into being  without a gradual becoming.   Thy sankharas are the product  of thy deeds in former existences.   The combination of thy sankharas  is thy self.   Wheresoever they are impressed thither thy self  migrates.

In  thy  sankharas thou wilt continue to live and thou  wilt  reap  in

future existences the harvest sown now and in the past.”            59

“Verily,  O  Lord,”  rejoined  Kutadanta,  “this  is  not  a  fair

retribution.  I cannot recognize the justice that others after me will

reap what I am sowing now.”                                         60

The Blessed One waited a moment and then replied:  “Is all teaching in vain?  Dost thou not understand that those others are thou thyself?

Thou thyself wilt reap what thou sowest, not others.                61

“Think of a man who is ill-bred and destitute,  suffering from  the wretchedness of his condition.  As a boy he was slothful and indolent, and  when  he  grew up he had not learned a craft to  earn  a  living.

Wouldst  thou  say his misery is not the product of  his  own  action,

because the adult is no longer the same person as was the boy?      62

“Verily,  I say unto thee:  Not in the heavens, not in the midst of

the  sea,  not  if  thou  hidest thyself away in  the  clefts  of  the

mountains, wilt thou find a place where thou canst escape the fruit of

thine evil actions.                                                 63

“At  the same time thou art sure to receive the blessings  of  thy

good actions.                                                       64

“The  man  who has long been travelling and who  returns  home  in safety,  the welcome of kinsfold,  friends,  and acquaintances awaits.

So, the fruits of his good works bid him welcome who has walked in the

path of righteousness,  when he passes over from the present life into

the hereafter.”                                                     65

Kutadanta said:  “I have faith in the glory and excellency of  thy doctrines.   My  eye  cannot  as  yet endure  the  light;  but  I  now understand  that  there  is  no self,  and the  turh  dawns  upon  me.

Sacrifices cannot save,  and invocations are idle talk.  But how shall

I  find the path to life everlasting?   I know all the Vedas by  heart

and have not found the truth.”                                      66

Said the Buddha:  “Learning is a good thing;  but it availeth  not.

True wisdom can be acquired by practice only.  Practise the truth that

thy  brother  is  the  same  as thou.   Walk  in  the  noble  path  of

righteousness  and thou wilt understand that while there is  death  in

self, there is immortality in truth.”                               67

Said Kutadanta:  “Let me take my refuge in the Blessed One,  in the

Dharma,  and in the brotherhood.  Accept me as thy disciple and let me

partake of the bliss of immortality.”                               68


And the Blessed One thus addressed the brethren:                  1

“Those only who do not believe, call me Gotama, but you call me the

Buddha,  the Blessed One,  the Teacher.  And this is right, for I have

in  this  life entered Nirvana,  while the life of  Gortama  has  been

extinguished.                                                        2

“Self  has disappeared and the truth has taken its  abode  in  me.

This  body  of mine is Gotama’s body and it will be dissolved  in  due

time,  and after its dissolution no one, neither God nor man, will see

Gotama again.  But the truth remains.   The Buddha will not  die;  the

Buddha will continue to live in the holy body of the law.            3

“The extinction of the Blessed One will be by that passing away  in

which  nothing  remains that could tend to the  formation  of  another

self.   Nor will it be possible to point out the Blessed One as  being

here or there.  But it will be like a flame in a great body of blazing

fire.   That flame has ceased;  it has vanished and it cannot be  said

that it is here or there.   In the body of the  Dharma,  however,  the

Blessed  One can be pointed out;  for the Dharma has been preached  by

the Blessed One.                                                     4

“Ye are my children,  I am your father;  through me have  ye  been

released from your sufferings.                                       5

“I myself having reached the other shore,  help others to cross the

stream;  I myself having attained salvation,  am a saviour of  others;

being  comforted,  I  comfort  others and lead them to  the  place  of

refuge.                                                              6

“I shall fill with joy all the beings whose limbs languish; I shall

give happiness to those who are dying from distress; I shall extend to

them succour and deliverance.                                        7

“I was born into the world as the king of truth for the  salvation

of the world.                                                        8

“The subject on which I meditate is truth.  The practice to which I

devote myself is truth.   The topic of my conversation is  truth.   My

thoughts  are always in the truth.   For lo!  my self has  become  the

truth.                                                               9

“Whosoever comprehendeth the truth will see the Blessed  One,  for

the truth has been preached by the Blessed One.”                    10


And the Tathagata addressed the venerable Kassapa,  to dispel  the

uncertainty and doubt of his mind, and he said:                      1

“All  things are made of one essence,  yet  things  are  different according to the forms which they assume under different  impressions.

As they form themselves so they act, and as they act so they are.    2

“It is,  Kassapa,  as if a potter made different vessels out of the

same  clay.   Some of these pots are to contain  sugar,  others  rice,

others curds and milk; others still are vessels of impurity.  There is

no diversity in the clay used;  the diversity of the pots is only  due

to  the moulding hands of the potter who shapes them for  the  various

uses that circumstances may require.                                 3

“And  as  all  things originate from  one  essence,  so  they  are

developing according to one law and they are destined to one aim which

is Nirvana.                                                          4

   “Nirvana  comes  to  thee,   Kassapa,   when  thou   understandest

thoroughly,  and when thou livest according to thy understanding, that

all things are of one essence and that there is but one  law.   Hence,

there is but one Nirvana as there is but one truth, not two or three.5

“And the Tathagata is the same unto all beings,  differing in  his

attitude only in so far as all beings are different.                 6

“The Tathagata recreates the whole world like a cloud shedding  its

waters without distinction.   He has the same sentiments for the  high

as for the low, for the wise as for the ignorant, for the noble-minded

as for the immoral.                                                  7

“The  great  cloud full of rain comes up  in  this  wide  universe

covering  all countries and oceans to pour down its  rain  everywhere,

over all grasses, shrubs, trees of various species, families of plants

of  different  names  growing on the  earth,  on  the  hills,  on  the

mountains, or in the valleys.                                        8

“Then,  Kassapa, the grasses, shrubs, herbs and wild trees suck the

water  emitted from that great cloud which is all of one  essence  and

has  been abundantly poured down;  and they will,  according to  their

nature, acquire a proportionate development, shooting up and producing

blossoms and their fruits in season.                                 9

“Rooted in one and the same soil,  all those families of plants and

germs are quickened by water of the same essence.                   10

“The Tathagata,  however, O Kassapa, knows the law whose essence is

salvation,  and whose end is the peace of Nirvana.   He is the same to

all,  and yet knowing the requirements of every single being,  he does

not reveal himself to all alike.   He does not impart to them at  once

the fulness of omniscience,  but pays attention to the disposition  of

various beings.”                                                    11


Before Rahula, the son of Gotama Siddhattha and Yasodhara, attained

to the enlightenment of true wisdom, his conduct was not always marked

by a love of truth,  and the Blessed One sent him to a distant  vihara

to govern his mind and to guard his tongue.                          1

After some time the Blessed One repaired to the place,  and  Rahula

was filled with joy.                                                 2

And the Blessed One ordered the boy to bring him a basin of  water

and to wash his feet, and Rahula obeyed.                             3

When Rahula had washed the Tathagata’s feet, the Blessed One asked:

“Is the water now fit for drinking?”                                 4

   “No, my Lord,” replied the boy, “the water is defiled.”           5

Then the Blessed One said:  “Now consider thine own case.  Although

thou  art my son,  and the grandchild of a king,  although thou art  a

samana  who has voluntarily given up everything,  thou art  unable  to

guard thy tongue from untruth, and thus defilest thou thy mind.”     6

And  when the water had been poured away,  the Blessed  One  asked

again: “Is this vessel now fit for holding water to drink?”          7

“No,  my  Lord,” replied Rahula,  “the  vessel,  too,  has  become

unclean.”                                                            8

And the Blessed One said:  “Now consider thine own case.   Although

thou wearest the yellow robe,  art thou fit for any high purpose  when

thou hast become unclean like this vessel?”                          9

Then the Blessed One,  lifting up the empty basin and whirling  it

round, asked: “Art thou not afraid lest it should fall and break?”  10

“No,  my Lord,” replied Rahula,  “the vessel is but cheap,  and its

loss will not amount too much.”                                     11

“Now consider thine own case,” said the Blessed  One.   “Thou  art

whirled about in endless eddies of transmigration,  and as thy body is

made of the same substance as other material things that will  crumble

to  dust,  there  is  no loss if it be broken.   He who  is  given  to

speaking untruths is an object of contempt to the wise.”            12

Rahula was filled with shame,  and the Blessed One  addressed  him

once more: “Listen, and I will tell thee a parable:                 13

“There was a king who had a very powerful elephant,  able to  cope with five hundred ordinary elephants.  When going to war, the elephant was  armed  with  sharp  swords on his  tusks,  with  scythes  on  his shoulders,  spears  on his feet,  and an iron ball at his  tail.   The elephant-master  rejoiced to see the noble creature so well  equipped, and,  knowing  that a slight wound by an arrow in the trunk  would  be fatal,  he  had taught the elephant to keep his trunk well coiled  up.

But during the battle the elephant stretched forth his trunk to  seize

a sword.   His master was frightened and consulted with the king,  and

they  decided  that  the  elephant was no longer fit  to  be  used  in

battle.                                                             14

“O Rahula! if men would only guard their tongues all would be well!

Be  like  the  fighting who guards his trunk against  the  arrow  that

strikes in the center.                                              15

“By love of truth the sincere escape iniquity.   Like the  elephant

well  subdued and quiet,  who permits the king to mount on his  trunk,

thus  the  man  that  reveres  righteousness  will  endure  faithfully

throughout his life.”                                               16

Rahula hearing these words was filled with deep sorrow;  he  never

again gave any occasion for complaint, and forthwith he sanctified his

life by earnest exertions.                                          17


And the Blessed One observed the ways of society and  noticed  how

much  misery  came from malignity and foolish offences  done  only  to

gratify vanity and self-seeking pride.                               1

And the Buddha said:  “If a man foolishly does me  wrong,  I  will

return  to  him the protection of my ungrudging love;  the  more  evil

comes  from  him,  the more good shall go from me;  the  fragrance  of

goodness  always  comes to me,  and the harmful air of  evil  goes  to

him.”                                                                2

A foolish man learning that the Buddha observed the  principle  of

great love which commends the return of good for evil, came and abused

him.  The Buddha was silent, pitying his folly.                      3

When the man had finished his abuse,  the Buddha asked him, saying:

“Son, if a man declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would

it belong?”  And he answered: “In that case it would belong to the man

who offered it.”                                                     4

“My son,” said the Buddha,  “thou hast railed at me,  but I decline

to accept thy abuse, and request thee to keep it thyself.  Will it not

be a source of misery to thee?   As the echo belongs to the sound, and

the  shadow to the substance,  so misery will overtake  the  evil-doer

without fail.”                                                       5

   The abuser made no reply, and Buddha continued:                   6

“A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous one is like one who  loods

up and spits at heaven;  the spittle soils not the heaven,  but  comes

back and defiles his own person.                                     7

“The slanderer is like one who flings dust at another when the wind

is contrary;  the dust does not but return on him who threw  it.   The

virtuous  man  cannot  be hurt and the misery  that  the  other  would

inflict comes back on himself.”                                      8

The abuser went away ashamed,  but he came again and took refuge in

the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.                              9


On a certain day when the Blessed One dwelt at Jetavana, the garden

of  Anathapindika,  a  celestial deva came to him in the  shape  of  a

Brahman  whose countenance was bright and whose garmetnts  were  white

like snow.  The deva asked questions which the Blessed One answered. 1

The deva said:  “What is the sharpest sword?  What is the deadliest

poison?  What is the fiercest fire?  What is the darkest night?”     2

The Blessed One replied:  “A word spoken in wrath is the  sharpest

sword;  covetousness is the deadliest poison;  passion is the fiercest

fire; ignorance is the darkest night.”                               3

   The deva said:  “Who gains the greatest benefit?   Who loses  most?

Which armour is invulnerable?  What is the best weapon?”             4

The Blessed One replied:  “He is the greatest gainer who gives  to others,  and  he loses most who greedily receives  without  gratitude.

Patience is an invulnerable armour; wisdom is the best weapon.”      5

The deva said:  “Who is the most dangerous thief?  What is the most

precious treasure?   Who is most successful in taking away by violence

not only on earth, but also in heaven?  What is the securest treasure-

trove?”                                                              6

The Blessed One replied: “Evil thought is the most dangerous thief;

virtue  is the most precious treasure.   The mind takes possession  of

everything not only on earth,  but also in heaven,  and immortality is

its securest treasure-trove.”                                        7

   The deva said:  “What is attractive?   What is disgusting?  What is

the most horrible pain?  What is the greatest enjoyment?”            8

The Blessed One replied:  “Good is attractive;  evil is disgusting.

A  bad  conscience is the most tormenting  pain;  deliverance  is  the

height of bliss.”                                                    9

   The deva asked:  “What causes ruin in the world?   What breaks  off

friendships?   What  is  the  most violent fever?   Who  is  the  best

physician?”                                                         10

The Blessed One replied:  “Ignorance causes the ruin of the  world.

Envy  and  selfishness  break off friendships.   Hatred  is  the  most

violent fever, and the Buddha is the best physician.”               11

The  deva then asked and said:  “Now I only have one doubt  to  be

solved;  pray,  clear it away:  What is it fire can neither burn,  nor

moisture corrode, nor wind crush down, but is able to reform the whole

world?”                                                             12

   The Blessed One replied:  “Blessing!   Neither fire,  nor moisture,

nor wind can destroy the blessing of a good deed, and blessings reform

the whole world.”                                                   13

The deva,  having heard the words of the Blessed One,  was full  of

exeeding  joy.   Clasping  his  hands,  he bowed down  before  him  in

reverence, and disappeared suddenly from the presence of the Buddha.14


The Bhikkhus came to the Blessed One,  and having suluted him  with

clasped hands they said:                                             1

“O Master,  thou all-seeing one, we all wish to learn; our ears are

ready to hear,  thou art our teacher,  thou art imcomparable.  Cut off

our  doubt,  inform  us  of  the  blessed  Dharma,  O  thou  of  great

understanding; speak in the midst of us, O thou who art all-seeing, as

is the thousand-eyed Lord of the gods.                               2

“We will ask the muni of great understanding,  who has crossed  the

stream,  gone to the other shore,  is blessed and of a firm mind:  How

does a bhikkhu wander rightly in the world, after having gone out from

his house and driven away desire?”                                   3

   The Buddha said:                                                  4

“Let  the  bhikkhus subdue his passion  for  human  and  celectial

pleasures,  then,  having  conquered existence,  he will  command  the

Dharma.  Such a one will wander rightly in the world.                5

“He whose lusts have been destroyed,  who is free from  pride,  who

has overcome all the ways of passion, is subdued, perfectly happy, and

of a firm mind.  Such a one will wander rightly in the world.        6

“Faithful is he who is possessed of knowledge,  seeing the way that

leads to Nirvana; he who is not partisan; he who is pure and virtuous,

and  has  removed  the veil from his eyes.   Such a  one  will  wander

rightly in the world.”                                               7

Said the Bhikkhus:  “Certainly,  O Bhagavat,  it is  so:  whichever

bhikkhu lives in this way, subdued and having overcome all bonds, such

a one will wander rightly in the world.”                             8

   The Blessed One said:                                             9

“Whatever  is  to  be  done by  him  who  aspires  to  attain  the

tranquillity of Nirvana let him be able and upright, conscientious and

gentle, and not proud.                                              10

“Let a man’s pleasure be the Dharma, let him delight in the Dharma,

let him stand fast in the Dharma, let him know how to inquire into the

Dharma,  let him not raise any dispute that pollutes the  Dharma,  and

let  him spend his time in pondering on the well-spoken truths of  the

Dharma.                                                             11

“A treasure that is laid up in a deep pit profits nothing and  may

easily be lost.  The real treasure that is laid up through charity and

piety,  temperance, self-control, or deeds of merit, is hid secure and

cannot  pass  away.   It  is never gained by  despoiling  or  wronging

others,  and no thief can steal it.   A man,  when he dies, must leave

the fleeting wealth of the world,  but this treasure of virtuous  acts

he take with him. Let the wise do good deeds; they are a treasure that

can never be lost.”                                                 12

   And the bhikkhus praised the wisdom of the Tathagata:            13

“Thou hast passed beyond pain; thou art holy, O Enlightened One, we

consider thee one who has destroyed his passions.   Thou art glorious,

thoughtful,  and of great understanding.  O thou who puttest an end to

pain, thou hast carried us across our doubt.                        14

“Because thou sawst our longing and carriedst us across our  doubt,

adoration be to thee, O muni, who has attained the highest good in the

ways of wisdom.                                                     15

“The doubt we had before,  thou hast cleared away,  O thou clearly-

seeing one;  surely thou art a great thinker,  perfectly  enlightened,

there is no obstacle for thee.                                      16

“And all thy troubles are scattered and cut off;  thou  art  calm,

subdued, firm, truthful.                                            17

“Adoration be to thee,  O noble sage,  adoration be to thee, O thou

best  of beings;  in the world of men and gods there is none equal  to

thee.                                                               18

“Thou art the Buddha,  thou art the Master,  thou art the muni that

conquers Mara;  after having cut off desire thou hast crossed over and

carriest this generation to the other shore.”                       19


One of the disciples came to the Blessed One with a trembling heart and his mind full of doubt.   And he asked the Blessed One: “O Buddha, our Lord and Master,  why do we give up the pleasures of the world, if thou  forbiddest us to work miracles and to attain  the  supernatural?

Is  not  Amitabha,  the infinite light of revelation,  the  source  of

innumerable miracles?”                                               1

And the Blessed One,  seeing the anxiety of a truth-seeking  mind, said:  “O savaka,  thou art a novice among the novices,  and thou  art swimming  on the surface of samsara.   How long will it take  thee  to grasp the truth?  Thou hast not understood the words of the Tathagata.

The  law of karma is irrefragable,  and supplications have no  effect,

for they are empty words.”                                           2

Said  the  disciple:  “So sayest thou there are  no  miracles  and

wonderful things?”                                                   3

   And the Blessed One replied:                                      4

“Is  it not a wonderful thing,  mysterious and miraculous  to  the

worldling,  that a man who commits wrong can become a saint,  that  he

who  attains  to true enlightenment will find the path  of  truth  and

abandon the evil ways of selfishness?                                5

“The bhikkhu who renounces the transient pleasure of the world  for

the  eternal  bliss of holiness,  performs the only miracle  that  can

truly be called a miracle.                                           6

“A holy man changes the curses of karma into blessings.  The desire

to perform miracles arises either from covetousness or from vanity.  7

“That  mendicant does right who does  not  think:  ‘People  should

salute me’;  who,  though despised by the world, yet cherishes no ill-

will towards it.                                                     8

“That mendicant does right to whom  omens,  meteors,  dreams,  and

signs are things abolished; he is free from all their evils.         9

“Amitabha, the unbounded light, is the source of wisdom, of virtue,

of Buddhahood.  The deeds of sorcerers and miracle-mongers are frauds,

but  what is more wonderous,  more mysterious,  more  miraculous  than

Amitabha?”                                                          10

“But,  Master,” continued the savaka,  “is the promise of the happy

region vain talk and a myth?”                                       11

“What  is  this  promise?” asked  the  Buddha;  and  the  disciple

replied:                                                            12

“There is in the west a paradise called the Pure Land,  exquisitely

adorned with gold and silver and precious gems.  There are pure waters

with golden sands, surrounded by pleasant walks and covered with large

lotus  flowers.   Joyous music is heard,  and flowers rain down  three

times a day.   There are singing birds whose harmonious notes proclaim

the praises of religion, and in the minds of those who listen to their

sweet  sounds,  remembrance arises of the Buddha,  the  law,  and  the

brotherhood.   No evil birth is possible there,  and even the name  of

hell is unknown.   He who fervently and with a pious mind repeats  the

words  ‘Amitabha  Buddha’ will be transported to the happy  region  of

this pure land,  and when death draws nigh, the Buddha, with a company

of saintly followers, will stand before him, and there will be perfect

tranquillity.”                                                      13

“In truth,” said the Buddha,  “there is such a happy paradise.  But

the  country is spiritual and it is accessible only to those that  are

spiritual.   Thou sayest it lies in the west.  This means, look for it

where  he who enlightens the world resides.   The sun sinks  down  and

leaves us in utter darkness,  the shades of night steal over  us,  and

Mara,  the  evil  one,  buries our bodies in  the  grave.   Sunset  is

nevertheless no extinction, there is boundless light and inexhaustible

life.”                                                              14

“I understand,” said the savaka,  “that the story of  the  Western

Paradise is not literally true.”                                    15

“Thy description of paradise,” the Buddha continues, “is beautiful;

yet  it  is insufficient and does little justice to the glory  of  the

pure land.   The worldly can speak of it in a worldly way  only;  they

use worldly similes and worldly words.  But the pure land in which the

pure live is more beautiful than thou canst say or imagine.         16

“However, the repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious only  if  thou speak it with such a devout attitude of  mind  as  will cleanse  thy heart and attune thy will to do works  of  righteousness.

He  can  only  reach  the happy land whose soul  is  filled  with  the

infinite  light  of  truth.   He  only can live  and  breathe  in  the

spiritual  atmosphere  of  the  Western  Paradise  who  has   attained

enlightenment.                                                      17

“Verily I say unto thee,  the Tathagata lives in the pure land  of

eternal  bliss  even  now  while he is still  in  the  body;  and  the

Tathagata  preaches the law of religion unto thee and unto  the  whole

world, so that thou and thy brehtren may attain the same peace and the

same happiness.”                                                    18

Said the disciple:  “Teach me,  O Lord,  the meditations to which I

must devote myself in order to let my mind enter into the paradise  of

the pure land.”                                                     19

   Buddha said: “There are five meditations.                        20

“The first meditation is the meditation of love in which thou  must

so adjust thy heart that thou longest for the weal and welfare of  all

beings including the happiness of thine enemies.                    21

“The second meditation is the meditation of pity,  in  which  thou

thinkest  of  all beings in distress,  vividly representing  in  thine

imagination  their  sorrows  and  anxieties so as  to  arouse  a  deep

compassion for them in thy soul.                                    22

“The the third meditation is the meditation of joy in  which  thou

thinkest  of  the  prosperity  of  others  and  rejoicest  with  their

rejoicings.                                                         23

“The fourth meditation is the meditation on purity,  in which  thou

considerest the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of wrongs

and  evils.   How trivial is often the pleasure of the momemt and  how

fatal are its consequences!                                         24

“The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity,  in which thou

risest above love and hate, tyranny and thraldom, wealth and want, and

regardest   thine  own  fate  with  impartial  calmness  and   perfect

tranquillity.                                                       25

“A  true  follower  of the Tathagata founds  not  his  trust  upon

austerities or rituals but giving up the idea of self relies with  his

whole heart upon Amitabha, which is the unbounded light of truth.”  26

The Blessed One after having explained his doctrine  of  Amitabha,

the  immeasurable  light  which makes him who receives  it  a  Buddha,

looked  into the heart of his disciple and saw still some  doubts  and

anxieties.   And the Blessed One said: “Ask me, thy son, the questions

which weigh upon thy soul.”                                         27

And the disciple said:  “Can a humble monk, by sanctifying himself,

acquire  the talents and supernatural wisdom called Abhinnyas and  the

supernatural powers called Iddhi?  Show me the Iddhi-pada, the path to

the  highest  wisdom?   Open to me the Jhanas which are the  means  of

acquiring samadhi, the fixity of mind which enraptures the soul.”   28

   And the Blessed One said: “Which are the Abhinnyas?”             29

The disciple replied:  “There are six Abhinnyas:  (1) The celestial

eye;  (2)  the  celestial ear;  (3) the body at will or the  power  of

transformation;  (4) the knowledge of the destiny of former dwellings,

so as to know former states of existence;  (5) the faculty of  reading

the  thoughts of others;  and (6) the knowledge of  comprehending  the

finality of the stream of life.”                                    30

And  the Blessed One replied:  “These  are  wondrous  things;  but

verily,  every man can attain them.   Consider the abilities of  thine

own mind; thou wert born about two hundred leagues from here and canst

thou not in thy thought,  in an instant travel to thy native place and

remember  the details of thy father’s home?   Seest thou not with  thy

mind’s  eye the roots of the tree which is shaken by the wind  without

being overthrown?   Does not the collector of herbs see in his  mental

vision,  whenever he pleases, any plant with its roots, its stems, its

fruits,  leaves, and even the uses to which it can be applied?  Cannot

the man who understands languages recall to his mind any word whenever

he pleases,  knowing its exact meaning and import?  How much more does

the  Tathagata  understand the nature of things;  he  looks  into  the

hearts  of men and reads their thoughts.   He knows the  evolution  of

beings and forsees their ends.”                                     31

Said the disciple:  “Then the Tathagata teaches that man can attain

through the Jhanas the bliss of Abhinnya.”                          32

And the Blessed One asked in reply:  “Which are the Jhanas  through

which man reaches Abhinnya?”                                        33

The disciple replied:  “There are four Jhanas.   The first Jhana is

seclusion in which one must free his mind from sensuality;  the second

Jhana  is a tranquillity of mind full of joy and gladness;  the  third

Jhana is a taking delight in things spiritual;  the fourth Jhana is  a

state  of  perfect  purity and peace in which the mind  is  above  all

gladness and grief.”                                                34

“Good,  my son,” enjoined the Blessed One:  “Be sober and  abandon

wrong practices which serve only to stultify the mind.”             35

Said the disciple:  “Forbear with me,  O Blessed One,  for I  have

faith  without understanding and I am seeking the  truth.   O  Blessed

One, O Tathagata, my Lord and Master, teach me the Iddhipada.”      36

The  Blessed One said:  “There are four means by  which  Iddhi  is

acquired:  (1) Prevent bad qualities from arising.   (2) Put away  bad

qualities which have arisen.   (3) Produce goodness that does not  yet

exist.   (4)  Increase goodness which already exists.  -  Search  with

sincerity, and persevere in the search.  In the end thou wilt find the

truth.”                                                             37


And the Blessed One said to Ananda:                               1

“There are various kinds of assemblies,  O Ananda;  assemblies  of

nobles, of Brahmans, of householders, of bhikkhus and of other beings.

When  I used to enter an assembly,  I always became,  before I  seated

myself,  in  colour like unto the colour of my audience and  in  voice

like unto their voice.   I spoke unto them in their language and  then

with  religious discourse,  I  instructed,  quickened,  and  gladdened

them.                                                                2

My  doctrine is like the ocean,  having the same  eight  wonderful

qualities.                                                           3

“Both  the ocean and my doctrine become  gradually  deeper.   Both

preserve their identity under all changes.   Both cast out dead bodies

upon the dry land.   As the great rivers,  when falling into the main,

lose their names and are thenceforth reckoned as the great  ocean,  so

all the castes, having renounced their lineage and entered the Sangha,

become brethren and are reckoned the sons of Sakyamuni.   The ocean is

the  goal of all streams and of the rain from the clouds,  yet  it  is

never  overflowing  and never emptied:  so the Dharma is  embraced  by

millions of people,  yet it neither increases nor decreases.   As  the

great ocean has only one taste,  the taste of salt, so my doctrine has

only one flavour, the flavour of emancipation.  Both the ocean and the

Dharma  are  full of gems and pearls and jewels,  and  both  afford  a

dwelling-place for mighty beings.                                    4

“These  are  the eight wonderful qualities in  which  my  doctrine

resembles the ocean.                                                 5

“My doctrine is pure and it makes no discrimination between  noble

and ignoble, rich and poor.                                          6

“My  doctrine  is  like unto  water  which  cleanses  all  without

distinction.                                                         7

“My doctrine is like unto fire which consumes all things that exist

between heaven and earth, great and small.                           8

“My  doctrine is like unto the heavens,  for there is room  in  it

ample  room  for the reception of all,  for men and  women,  boys  and

girls, the powerful and the lowly.                                   9

“But when I spoke, they knew me not and would say, ‘Who may this be

who thus speaks,  a man or a god?’  Then having instructed, quickened,

and gladdened them with religious discourse, I would vanish away.  But

they knew me not, even when I vanished away.”                       10