Long  before the Blessed One  had  attained  enlightenment,  self-mortification had been the custom among those who earnestly sought for salvation.   Deliverance of the soul from all the necessities of  life and  finally  from  the  body itself,  they regarded  as  the  aim  of religion.   Thus,  they  avoided everything that might be a luxury  in food,  shelter,  and clothing,  and lived like the beasts in the wood.

Some went naked,  while others wore the rags cast away upon cemeteries

or dung-heaps.                                                       1

When the Blessed One retired from the world,  he recognized at once

the error of the naked ascets, and, considering the indecency of their

habit, clad himself in cast-off rags.                                2

Having attained enlightenment and rejected all  unnecessary  self-

mortifications,  the Blessed One and his bhikkhus continued for a long

time to wear the cast-off rags of cemeteries and dung-heaps.         3

Then it happened that the bhikkhus were visited with  diseases  of

all  kinds,  and the Blessed One permitted and explicitly ordered  the

use of medicines,  and among them he even enjoined,  whenever  needed,

the use of unguents.                                                 4

One  of the brethren suffered from a sore on  his  foot,  and  the

Blessed One enjoined the bhikkhus to wear foot-coverings.            5

Now it happened that a disease befell the body of the Blessed  One

himself,  and  Ananda  went to Jivaka,  physician  to  Bimbisara,  the

king.                                                                6

And Jivaka,  a faithful believer in the Holy One,  ministered  unto

the Blessed One with medicines and baths until the body of the Blessed

One was completely restored.                                         7

At that time, Pajjota, king of Ujjeni, was suffering from jaundice,

and Jivaka, the physician to king Bimbisara, was consulted.  When king

Pajjota had been restored to health,  he sent to Jivaka a suit of  the

most excellent cloth.   And Jivaka said to himself: “This suit is made

of the best cloth,  and nobody is worthy to receive it but the Blessed

One,  the  perfect  and  holy Buddha,  or  the  Magadha  king,  Senija

Bimbisara.”                                                          8

Then Jivaka took that suit and went to the place where the  Blessed

One was;  having approached him,  and having respectfully saluted  the

Blessed One,  he sat down near him and said:  “Lord,  I have a boon to

ask of the Blessed One.”                                             9

The Buddha replied:  “The Tathagatas,  Jivaka,  do not grant  boons

before they know what they are.”                                    10

Jivaka said: “Lord, it is a proper and unobjectionable request.” 11

“Speak, Jivaka,” said the Blessed One.                           12

“Lord of the world,  the Blessed One wears only robes made of  rags

taken from a dung-heap or a cemetery, and so also does the brotherhood

of bhikkhus.   Now,  Lord, this suit has been sent to me King Pajjota,

wich  is  the best and most excellent,  and the finest  and  the  most

precious,  and the noblest that can be found.   Lord of the world, may

the  Blessed  One  accept from me this suit,  and  may  he  allow  the

brotherhood of bhikkhus to wear lay robes.”                         13

The Blessed One accepted the suit,  and after having  delivered  a

religious discourse, he addressed the bhikkhus thus:                14

“Henceforth ye shall be at liberty to wear either cast-off rags  or

lay robes.   Whether ye are pleased with the one or with the other,  I

will approve of it.”                                                15

When the people at Rajagaha heard, “The Blessed One has allowed the

bhikkhus  to wear lay robes,” those who were willing to  bestow  gifts

became glad.  And in one day many thousands of robes were presented at

Rajagaha to the bhikkhus.                                           16


When Suddhodana had grown old, he fell sick and sent for his son to

come  and see him once more before he died;  and the Blessed One  came

and stayed at the sick-bed,  and Suddhodana,  having attained  perfect

enlightenment, died in the arms of the Blessed One.                  1

And it is said that the Blessed One,  for the sake of preaching  to his  mother Maya-devi,  ascended to heaven and dwelt with  the  devas.

Having concluded his pious mission,  he returned to the earth and went

about again, converting those who listened to his teachings.         2


Yasodhara had three times requested of the Buddha that she might be

admitted  to  the Sangha,  but her wish had  not  been  granted.   Now

Pajapati,  the  foster-mother of the Blessed One,  in the  company  of

Yasodhara,  and many other women, went to the Tathagata entreating him

earnestly to let them take the vows and be ordained as disciples.    1

And the Blessed One, foreseeing the danger that lurked in admitting

women  to  the Sangha,  protested that while the good  religion  ought

surely to last a thousand years it would, when women joined it, likely

decay after five hundred years; but observing the zeal of Pajapati and

Yasodhara  for leading a religious life he could no longer resist  and

assented to have them admitted as his disciples.                     2

   Then the venerable Ananda addressed the Blessed One thus:         3

“Are women conpetent, Venerable Lord, if they retire from household

life  to  the  homeless  state,  under  the  doctrine  and  discipline

announced by the Tathagata,  to attain to the fruit of conversion,  to

attain to a release from a wearisome repetition of rebirths, to attain

to saintship?”                                                       4

And the Blessed One declared: “Women are competent, Ananda, if they

retire from household life to the homeless state,  under the  doctrine

and discipline announced by the Tathagata,  to attain to the fruit  of

conversion,  to  attain  to a release from a wearisome  repetition  of

rebirths, to attain to saintship.                                    5

“Condider, Ananda, how great a benefactress Pajapati has been.  She

is the sister of the mother of the Blessed One,  and as  foster-mother

and nurse,  reared the Blessed One after the death of his mother.  So,

Ananda,  women  may retire from household life to the homeless  state,

under the doctrine and discipline announced by the Tathagata.”       6

Pajapati was the first woman to become a disciple of the Buddha and

to receive the ordination as a bhikkhuni.                            7


The bhikkhus came to the Blessed One and asked him:               1

“O Tathagata,  our Lord and Master,  what conduct toward women dost

thou prescribe to the samanas who have left the world?”              2

   And the Blessed One said:                                         3

   “Guard against looking on a woman.                                4

“If ye see a woman, let it be as though ye saw her not, and have no

conversation with her.                                               5

“If,  after all,  ye must speak with her,  let it be with  a  pure

heart,  and think to yourself, ‘I as a samana will live in this sinful

world as the spotless leaf of the lotus,  unsoiled by the mud in which

it grows.’                                                           6

“If the woman be old,  regard her as your mother, if young, as your

sister, if very young, as your child.                                7

“The samana who looks on a woman as a woman,  or touches her as  a

woman,  has  broken  his  vow  and is no  longer  a  disciple  of  the

Tathagata.                                                           8

“The power of lust is great with men,  and is to be feared  withal;

take then the bow of earnest perseverance,  and the sharp arrow-points

of wisdom.                                                           9

“Cover your heads with the helmet of right thought,  and fight wih

fixed resolve against the five desires.                             10

“Lust  beclouds a man’s heart,  when it is confused  with  woman’s

beauty, and the mind is dazed.                                      11

“Better  far  with red-hot irons bore out  both  your  eyes,  than

encourage  in yourself sensual thoughts,  or look upon a woman’s  form

with lustful desires.                                               12

“Better  fall into the fierce tiger’s mouth,  or under  the  sharp

knife  of  the  executioner,  than dwell with a woman  and  excite  in

yourself lustful thoughts.                                          13

“A  woman of the world is anxious to exhibit her form  and  shape,

whether  walking,   standing,   sitting,   or  sleeping.    Even  when

represented as a picture,  she desires to captivate with the charms of

her beauty, and thus to rob men of their steadfast heart.           14

   “How then ought ye to guard yourselves?                          15

“By reguarding her tears and her smiles as enemies,  her  stooping

form,  her hanging arms,  and her disentangled hair as toils desighned

to entrap man’s heart.                                              16

“Therefore,  I  say,  restrain the heart,  give  it  no  unbridled

license.”                                                           17


Visakha,  a  wealthy woman in Savatthi who had many  children  and

grandchildren, had given to the order the Pubbarama or Eastern Garden,

and  was  the first in Northern Kosala to become a matron of  the  lay

sisters.                                                             1

When the Blessed One stayed at Savatthi,  Visakha went up  to  the

place  where the blessed One was,  and tendered him an  invitation  to

take his meal at her house, which the Blessed One accepted.          2

And a heavy rain fell during the night and the next  morning;  and

the bhikkhus doffed their robes to keep them dry and let the rain fall

upon their bodies.                                                   3

When on the next day the Blessed One had finished  his  meal,  she

took her seat at his side and spoke thus:  “Eight are the boons,  Lord

which I beg of the Blessed One.”                                     4

Said the blessed One:  “The Tathagatas,  O Visakha,  grant no boons

until they know what they are.”                                      5

Visakha replied:  “Befitting,  Lord,  and unobjectionable are  the

boons I ask.”                                                        6

Having  received permission to make known  her  requests,  Visakha

said:  “I desire,  Lord,  through all my life long to bestow robes for

the  rainy season on the Sangha,  and food for incoming  bikkhus,  and

food for outgoing bhikkhus,  and food for the sick, and food for those

who  wait upon the sick,  and medicine for the sick,  and  a  constant

supply  of  rice-milk  for  the Sangha,  and  bathing  robes  for  the

bhikkhunis, the sisters.”                                            7

Said the Buddha: “But what circumstance is it, O Visakha, that thou

hast in view in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata?”          8

   And Visakha replied:                                              9

“I gave command,  Lord,  to  my  maid-servant,  saying,  ‘Go,  and announce  to  the brotherhood that the meal is ready.’  And  the  maid went,  but when she came to the vihara, she observed that the bhikkhus had doffed their robes while it was raining,  and she thought:  ‘These are not bhikkhus,  but naked ascetics letting the rain fall on  them.’

So she returned to me and reported accordingly,  and I had to send her

a second time.   Impure,  Lord,  is nakedness,  and revolting.  It was

this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view in desiring to provide the

Sangha  my  life  long  with special garments for  use  in  the  rainy

season.                                                             10

“As to my second wish, Lord, an incoming bhikkhu, not being able to

take  the direct roads,  and not knowing the places where food can  be

procured, comes on his way tired out by seeking for alms.  It was this

circumstance,  Lord,  that  I had in view in desiring to  provide  the

Sangha my life long with food for incoming bhikkhus.                11

“Thirdly,  Lord, an outgoing bhikkhu, while seeking about for alms,

may  be left behind,  or may arrive too late at the place  whither  he

desires to go, and will set out on the road in weariness.           12

Fourthly,  Lord,  if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable  food,

his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die.                 13

Fifthly, Lord, a bhikkhu who is waiting upon the sick will lose his

opportunity of going out to seek food for himself.                  14

“Sixthly,  Lord,  if  a  sick bhikkhu  does  not  obtain  suitable

medicines, his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die.      15

“Seventhly,  Lord,  I have heard that the Blessed One has  praised

rice-milk,  because  it gives readiness of mind,  dispels  hunger  and

thirst;  it is wholesome for the healthy as nourishment,  and for  the

sick as a medicine.  Therefore I desire to provide the Sangha my  life

long with a constant supply of rice-milk.                           16

“Finally,  Lord,  the bhikkhunis are in the habit of bathing in the

river Achiravati with the courtesans,  at the same landing place,  and

naked.   And the courtesans,  Lord,  ridicule the bhikkhunis,  saying,

‘What is the good,  ladies,  of your maintaining chastity when you are

young?  When you are old, maintain chastity then; thus will you obtain

both worldly pleasure and religious consolation.’   Impure,  Lord,  is

nakedness for a woman, disgusting, and revolting.                   17

   “These are the circumstances, Lord, that I had in view.”         18

The Blessed One said:  “But what was the advantage you had in  view

for  yourself,   O  Visakha,   in  asking  the  eight  boons  of   the

Tathagata?”                                                         19

   Visakha replied:                                                 20

“Bhikkhus who have spent the rainy seasons in various places  will

come,  Lord,  to Savatthi to visit the Blessed One.   And on coming to

the Blessed One they will ask, saying: ‘Such and such a bhikkhu, Lord,

has  died.   What,  now,  is his destiny?’  Then will the Blessed  One

explain  that he has attained the fruits of conversion;  that  he  has

attained arahatship or has entered Nirvana, as the case may be.     21

“And I, going up to them, will ask, ‘Was that brother, Sirs, one of

those  who had formerly been at Savatthi?’  If they reply to  me,  ‘He

has formerly been at Savatthi,’ then shall I arrive at the conclusion,

‘For a certainty did that brother enjoy either the robes for the rainy

season,  or  the food for the incoming bhikkhus,  or the food for  the

outgoing  bhikkhus,  or the food for the sick,  or the food for  those

that wait upon the sick, or the medicine for the sick, or the constant

supply of rice-milk.’                                               22

“Then will gladness spring up within me;  thus gladdened,  joy  wil

come to me; and so rejoicing all my mind will be at peace.  Being thus

at peace I shall experience a blissful feeling of content; and in that

bliss my heart will be at rest.   That will be to me an exercise of my

moral sense,  an exercise of my moral powers, an exercise of the seven

kinds  of wisdom!   This,  Lord,  was the advantage I had in view  for

myself in asking those eight boons of the Blessed One.”             23

The Blessed One said:  “It is well, it is well, Visakha.  Thou hast

done  will  in  asking these eight boons of the  Tathagata  with  such

advantages in view.   Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it

is  like  food seed sown on a good soil that yields  an  abundance  of

fruits.  But alms given to those who are yet under the tyrannical yoke

of the passions are like seed deposited in a bad soil.   The  passions

of  the  receiver  of  the alms choke,  as  it  were,  the  growth  of

merits.”                                                            24

   And the Blessed One gave thanks to Visakha in these verses:      25

“O noble woman of an upright life,

Disciple of the Blessed One, thou givest

Unstintedly in purity of heart.                               26

“Thou spreadest joy, assuagest pain,

And verily thy gift will be a blessing

As well to many others as to thee.”                           27



When Seniya Bimbisara,  the king of Magadha, was advanced in years,

he retired from the world and led a religious life.   He observed that

there were Brahmanical sects in Rajagaha keeping sacred certain  days,

and  the  people went to their meeting houses and  listened  to  their

sermons.                                                             1

Concerning  the need of keeping regular days for  retirement  form

worldly  labours  and  religious instruction,  the king  went  to  the

Blessed  One and said:  “The Parivrajaka,  who belong to the  Titthiya

school,  prosper  and gain adherents because they keep the eighth  day

and also the fourteenth or fifteenth day of each half-month.  Would it

not  be  advisable  for the reverend brethren of the  Sangha  also  to

assemble on days duly appointed for that purpose?”                   2

And the Blessed One commanded the bhikkhu to assemble on the eighth

day  and also on the fourteenth or fifteenth day of  each  half-month,

and to devote these days to religious exercises.                     3

A  bhikkhu  duly appointed should  address  the  congregation  and

espound  the  Dharma.   He  should exhort the people to  walk  in  the

eightfold  path  of  righteousness;  he should  comfort  them  in  the

vicissitudes  of life and gladden them with the bliss of the fruit  of

good deeds.  Thus the brethren should keep the Uposatha.             4

Now the bhikkhus, in obedience to the rule laid down by the Blessed

One, assembled in the vihara on the day appointed, and the people went

to  hear  the Dharma,  but they were  greatly  disappointed,  for  the

bhikkhus remained silent and delivered no discourse.                 5

When the Blessed One heard of it, he ordered the bhikkhus to recite

the  Patimokkha,  which is a ceremony of disburdening the  conscience;

and he commanded them to make confession of their trespasses so as  to

receive the absolution of the order.                                 6

A fault,  if there be one,  should be confessed by the bhikkhu  who

remembers it and desires to be cleansed.  For a fault, when confessed,

shall be light on him.                                               7

And the Blessed One said: “The Patimokkha must be recited in  this

way:                                                                 8

   “Let  a  competent  and  venerable  bhikkhu  make  the   following

proclamation  to  the Sangha:  ‘May the Sangha  hear  me!   To-day  is

Uposatha,  the eighth, or the fourteenth or fifteenth day of the half-

month.   If  the  Sangha is ready,  let the Sangha hold  the  Uposatha

service and recite the Patimokkha.  I will recite the Patimokkha.’   9

“And the bhikkhus shall reply:  ‘We hear it well and we concentrate

well our minds on it, all of us.’                                   10

“Then  the officiating bhikkhu shall continue:  ‘Let him  who  has

committed  an offence,  confess it;  if there be no offence,  let  all

remain  silent;  from  your being silent I shall understand  that  the

reverend brethren are free from offences.                           11

“’As a single person who has been asked a question answers  it,  so

also,  if  before  an  assenbly  like  this  a  question  is  solemnly

proclaimed three times,  an answer is expected:  if a bhikkhu, after a

threefold proclamation,  does not confess an existing offence which he

remembers, he commits an intentional falsehood.                     12

“’Now,  reverend  brethren,  an  intentional  falsehood  has  been

declared an impeditment by the Blessed One.   Therefore, if an offence

has been committed by a bhikkhu who remembers it and desires to become

pure,  the offence should be confessed by the bhikkhu; and when it has

been confessed, it is treated duly.’”                               13


While  the Blessed One dwelt at Kosambi,  a  certain  bhikkhu  was

accused  of  having  committed an  offence,  and,  as  he  refused  to

acknowledge it, the brotherhood pronounced against him the sentence of

expulsion.                                                           1

Now, that bhikkhu was erudite.  He knew the Dharma, had studied the

rules  of the order,  and  was  wise,  learned,  intelligent,  modest,

conscientious, and ready to submit himself to discipline.  And he went

to his companions and friends among the bhikkhus,  saying: “This is no

offence, friends; this is no reason for a sentence of expulsion.  I am

not guilty.  The verdict is unconstitutional and invalid.  Therefore I

consider  myself still as a member of the order.   May  the  venerable

brethren assist me in maintaining my right.”                         2

Those who sided with the expelled brother went to the bhikkhus  who

had pronounced the sentence,  saying:  “This is no offence”; while the

bhikkhus  who  had  pronounced  the  sentence  replied:  “This  is  an

offence.”                                                            3

Thus altercations and quarrels arose,  and the Sangha  was  divided

into two parties, reviling and slandering each other.                4

   And all these happenings were reported to the Blessed One.        5

Then the Blessed One went to the place where the bhikkhus were  who

had pronounced the sentence of expulsion,  and said to them:  “Do  not

think,  O  bhikkhus,  that  you are to pronounce expulsion  against  a

bhikkhu,  whatever  be the facts of the case,  simply by  saying:  ‘It

occurs  to us that it is so,  and therefore we are pleased to  proceed

thus  against  our  brother.’   Let  those  bhikkhus  who  frivolously

pronounce  a sentence against a brother who knows the Dharma  and  the

rules  of  the order,  who  is  learned,  wise,  intelligent,  modest,

conscientious, and ready to submit himself to discipline, stand in awe

of causing divisions.  They must not pronounce a sentence of expulsion

against   a   brother   merely  because  he   refuses   to   see   his

offence.”                                                            6

Then the Blessed One rose and went to the brethren who sided  with

the expelled brother and said to them: “Do not think, O bhikkhus, that

if you have given offence you need not atone for it, thinking: ‘We are

without offence.’  When a bhikkhu has committed an offence,  which  he

considers  no offence while the brotherhood consider  him  guilty,  he

should  think:  ‘These brethren know the Dharma and the rules  of  the

order; they are learned, wise, intelligent, modest, conscientious, and

ready to submit themselves to discipline;  it is impossible that  they

should on my account act with selfishness or in malice or in  delusion

or  in fear.’  Let him stand in awe of causing divisions,  and  rather

acknowledge his offence on the authority of his brethren.”           7

Both parties continued to keep Uposatha and perform official  acts

independently  of one another;  and when their doings were related  to

the  blessed  One,  he  ruled that the keeping  of  Uposatha  and  the

performance of official acts were lawful,  unobjectionable,  and valid

for  both  parties.   For he said:  “The bhikkhus who  side  with  the

expelled brother form a different communion from those who  pronounced

the sentence.   There are venerable brethren in both parties.  As they

do  not  agree,  let  them keep Uposatha  and  perform  official  acts

separately.”                                                         8

And the Blessed One reprimanded the quarrelsome bhikkhus saying  to

them:                                                                9

“Loud  is the voice which worldlings make;  but how  can  they  be

blamed  when  divisions  arise also in  the  Sangha?   Hatred  is  not

appeased in those who think: ‘He has reviled me, he has wronged me, he

has injured me.’                                                    10

“For not by hatred is hatred appeased.   Hatred is appeased by not-

hatred.  This is an eternal law.                                    11

“There are some who do not know the need of self-restraint; if they

are  quarrelsome we may excuse their behaviour.   But those  who  know

better, should learn to live in conccord.                           12

“If a man finds a wise friend who lives righteously and is constant

in his character,  he may live with him, overcoming all dangers, happy

and mindful.                                                        13

“But if he finds not a friend who lives righteously and is constant

in his character,  let him rather walk alone,  like a king who  leaves

his  empire and the cares of government behind him to lead a  life  of

retirement like a lonely elephant in the forest.                    14

“With fools there is no companionship.   Rather than to live  with

men who are selfish,  vain,  quarrelsome, and obstinate let a man walk

alone.”                                                             15

And  the Blessed One thought to himself:  “It is no easy  task  to

instruct these headstrong and infatuate fools.”  And he rose from  his

seat and went away.                                                 16


Whilst the dispute between the parties was not  yet  settled,  the

Blessed One left Kosambi, and wandering from place to place he came at

last to Savatthi.                                                    1

And in the absence of the Blessed One the quarrels grew  worse,  so

that the lay devotees of Kosambi became annoyed and they said:  “These

quarrelsome  monks  are  a  great nuisance  and  will  bring  upon  us

misfortunes.   Worried by their altercations the Blessed One is  gone,

and has selected another abode for his residence.   Let us, therefore,

neither salute the bhikkhus nor support them.   They are not worthy of

wearing yellow robes,  and must either propitiate the Blessed One,  or

return to the world.”                                                2

And the bhikkhus of Kosambi,  when no longer honoured and no longer

supported by the lay devotees, began to repent and said: “Let us go to

the   Blessed   One   and  let  him  settle  the   question   of   our

disagreement.”                                                       3

And  both parties went to Savatthi to the Blessed  One.   And  the

venerable  Sariputta,  having heard of their  arrival,  addressed  the

Blessed  One  and  said:   “These   contentious,   disputatious,   and

quarrelsome bhikkhus of Kosambi, the authors of dissensions, have come

to   Savatthi.  How am I to behave, O Lord, toward those bhikkhus.”  4

   “Do not reprove them,  Sariputta,” said the Blessed One, “for harsh

words  do not serve as a remedy and are pleasant to  no  one.   Assign

separate  dwelling-places to each party and treat them with  impartial

justice.   Listen with patience to both parties.   He alone who weighs

both  sides is called muni.   When both parties have  presented  their

case,  let  the  Sangha  come  to an agreement  and  declare  the  re-

establishment of concord.”                                           5

And Pajapati, the matron, asked the Blessed One for advice, and the

Blessed One said: “Let both parties enjoy the gifts of lay members, be

they  robes  or food,  as they may need,  and let no one  receive  any

noticeable preference over any other.”                               6

And the venerable Upali,  having approached the Blessed One,  asked

concerning the re-establishment of peace in the Sangha:  “Would it  be

right,   O  Lord,”  said  he,  “that  the  Sangha,  to  avoid  further

disputations,  should  declare  the  restoration  of  concord  without

inquiring into the matter of the quarrel?”                           7

   And the Blessed One said:                                         8

“If  the Sangha declares the re-establishment of  concord  without

having inquired into the matter,  the declaration is neither right nor

lawful.                                                              9

“There  is  two ways of re-establishing concord:  one  is  in  the

letter, and the other is in the spirit and in the letter.           10

“If  the Sangha declares the re-establishment of  concord  without

having inquired into the matter,  the peace is concluded in the letter

only.   But if the Sangha,  having inquired into the matter and having

gone to the bottom of it,  decides to declare the re-establilshment of

concord, the peace is concluded in the spirit and in the letter.    11

“The concord re-establishment in the spirit and in the  letter  is

alone right and lawful.”                                            12

And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus and told them the  story

of Prince Dighavu, the long-lived.  He said:                        13

“In former times, there lived at Benares a powerful king whose name

was Brahmadatta of Kasi; and he went to war against Dighiti, the Long-

suffering, a king of Kosala, for he thought, ‘The kingdom of Kosali is

small and Dighiti will not be able to resist my armies.’            14

“And Dighiti,  seeing that resistance was impossible  against  the

great host of the king of Kasi,  fled,  leaving his little kingdom  in

the hands of Brahmadatta;  and having wandered from place to place, he

came  at  last  to Benares,  and lived there with  his  consort  in  a

potter’s dwelling outside the town.                                 15

   “And the queen bore him a son and they called him Dighavu.       16

“When Dighavu had grown up,  the king thought  to  himself:  ‘King

Brahmadatta has done us great harm,  and he is fearing our revenge; he

will  seek to kill us.   Should he find us he will slay all  three  of

us.’   And he sent his son away,  and Dighavu having received  a  good

education  from his father,  applied himself diligently to  learn  all

arts, becoming very skilful and wise.                               17

“At that time the barber of king Dighiti dwelt at Benares,  and  he

saw the king,  his former master,  and, being of an avaricious nature,

betrayed him to King Brahmadatta.                                   18

“When Brahmadatta,  the king of Kasi,  heard that the fugitive king

of Kosala and his queen,  unknown and in disguise, were living a quiet

life in a potter’s dwelling, he ordered them to be bound and executed;

and  the sheriff to whom the order was given seized king  Dighiti  and

led him to the place of execution.                                  19

“While  the  captive king was being led  through  the  streets  of

Benares  he saw his son who had returned to visit  his  parents,  and,

careful  not  to  betray  the presence of  his  son,  yet  anxious  to

communicate to him his last advice,  he cried: ‘O Dighavu, my son!  Be

not  far-sighted,  be not near-sighted,  for not by hatred  is  hatred

appeased; hatred is appeased by not-hatred only.’                   20

“The king and queen of Kosala were executed,  but Dighavu their son

bought strong wine and made the guards drunk.   When the night arrived

he laid the bodies of his parents upon a funeral pyre and burned  them

with all honours and religious rites.                               21

“When  king Brahmadatta heard of it,  he  became  afraid,  for  he

thought,  ‘Dighavu,  the son of king Dighiti,  is a wise youth and  he

will  take  revenge  for the death of his parents.   If  he  espies  a

favourable opportunity, he will assassinate me.’                    22

“Young Dighavu went to the forest and wept to his heart’s  content.

Then  he  wiped  his tears and  returned  to  Benares.   Hearing  that

assistants were wanted in the royal elephants’ stable,  he offered his

services and was engaged by the master of the elephants.            23

“And it happened that the king heard a sweet voice ringing  through and night and singing to the lute a beautiful song that gladdened  his heart.   And having inquired among his attendants who the singer might be,  was  told that the master of the elephants had in his  service  a young man of great accomplishments,  and beloved by all his  comrades.

They said,  ‘He is wont to sing to the lute, and he must have been the

singer that gladdened the heart of the king.’                       24

“And the king summoned the young man before him  and,  being  much pleased  with  Dighavu,  gave  him employment  in  the  royal  castle.

Observing  how  wisely  the youth acted,  how modest he  was  and  yet

punctilious  in the performance of his work,  the king very soon  gave

him a position of trust.                                            25

“Now  it  came  to pass that the  king  went  hunting  and  became separated  from his retinue,  young Dighavu alone remaining with  him.

And the king worn out from the hunt laid his head in the lap of  young

Dighavu and slept.                                                  26

“And Dighavu thought:  ‘People will forgive great wrongs which they

have  sufferd,  but they will never be at ease about the wrongs  which

they themselves have done.   They will persecute their victims to  the

bitter end.  This king Brahmadatta has done us great injury; he robbed

us of our kingdom and slew my father and my mother.   He is now in  my

power.’  Thinking thus he unsheathed his sword.                     27

“Then Dighavu thought of the last words of his father, ‘Be not far-sighted,  be not near-sighted.   For not by hatred is hatred appeased.

Hatred  is appeased by not-hatred alone.’  Thinking thus,  he put  his

sword back into the sheath.                                         28

“The king became restless in his sleep and he awoke,  and when  the

youth asked, ‘Why art thou frightened, O king?’  He replied: ‘My sleep

is always restless because I often dream that young Dighavu is  coming

upon  me with his sword.   While I lay here with my head in thy lap  I

dreamed  the  dreadful dream again;  and I awoke full  of  terror  and

alarm.’                                                             29

“Then the youth,  laying his left hand upon the defenceless  king’s

head and with his right hand drawing his sword,  said:  ‘I am Dighavu,

the  son  of king Dighiti,  whom thou hast robbed of his  kingdom  and

slain together with his queen,  my mother.   I know that men  overcome

the  hatred entertained for wrongs which they have suffered much  more

easily  than  for the wrongs which they have done,  and  so  I  cannot

expect  that thou wilt take pity on me;  but now a chance for  revenge

has come to me.’                                                    30

“The king seeing that he was at the mercy of young Dighavu  raised

his hands and said:  ‘Grant me my life,  my dear Dighavu,  grant me my

life.  I shall be forever grateful to thee.’                        31

“And Dighavu said without bitterness or ill-will:  ‘How can I grant

thee thy life,  O king, since my life is endangered by thee.  I do not

mean  to take they life.   It is thou,  O king,  who must grant me  my

life.’                                                              32

“And the king said:  ‘Well, my dear Dighavu, then grant me my life,

and I will grant thee thine.’                                       33

“Thus,  king  Brahmadatta of Kasi and young Dighavu  granted  each

other’s  life and took each other’s hand and swore an oath not  to  do

any harm to each other.                                             34

“And king Brahmadatta of Kasi said to young Dighavu:  ‘Why did  thy

father say to thee in the hour of his death:  “Be not far-sighted,  be

not  near-sighted,  for hatred is not appeased by hatred.   Hatred  is

appeased  by  not-hatred  alone,”  -  what  did  thy  father  mean  by

that?’                                                              35

“The youth replied:  ‘When my father,  O king,  in the hour of  his death said: “Be not far-sighted,” he meant, Let not thy hatred go far.  And when my father said, “Be not near-sighted,” he meant, Be not hasty to fall out with thy friends.  And when he said, “For not by hatred is hatred  appeased;  hatred is appeased by not-hatred,” he  meant  this:

Thou hast killed my father and mother, O king, and if I should deprive

thee of thy life,  then thy partisans in turn would take away my life;

my  partisans  again  would deprive thine of  their  lives.   Thus  by

hatred,  hatred would not be appeased.   But now,  O king,  thou  hast

granted me my life,  and I have granted thee thine; thus by not-hatred

hatred has been appeased.’                                          36

“Then king Brahmadatta of Kasi thought:  ‘How wise is young Dighavu

that he understands in its full extent the meaning of what his  father

spoke concisely.’  And the king gave him back his father’s kingdom and

gave him his daughter in marriage.”                                 37

Having finished the story,  the Blessed One said: “Brethren, ye are my  lawful  sons int the faith,  begotten by the words  of  my  mouth.

Children  ought  not to trample under foot the counsel given  them  by

their father; do ye henceforth follow my admonitions.”              38

   Then  the  bhikkhus  met  in  conference;   they  discussed  their

differences in mutual good will, and the concord of the Sangha was re-

established.                                                        39


And it happened that the Blessed One walked up and down in the open

air unshod.                                                          1

When the elders saw that the Blessed One walked unshod,  they  put

away their shoes and did likewise.   But the novices did not heed  the

example of their elders and kept their feet covered.                 2

Some  of  the brethren noticed the  irreverent  behaviour  of  the

novices  and  told the Blessed One;  and the Blessed One  rebuked  the

novices and said:  “If the brethren,  even now, while I am yet living,

show so little repect and courtesy to one another,  what will they  do

when I have passed away?”                                            3

And the Blessed One was filled with anxiety for the welfare of  the

truth; and he continued:                                             4

“Even the laymen,  O bhikkhus, who move in the world, pursuing some

handicraft  that they may procure them a living,  will be  respectful,

affectionate,  and hospitable to their teachers.   Do ye, therefore, O

bhikkhus,  so  let your light shine forth,  that ye,  having left  the

world  and  devoted  your entire life to  religion  and  to  religious

discipline,   may  observe  the  rules  of  decency,   be  respectful,

affectionate,  and hospitable to your teachers amd superiors, or those

who rank as your teachers and superiors.   Your demeanour, O bhikkhus,

does  not  conduce  to the conversion of the unconverted  and  to  the

increase of the number of the faithful.   It serves,  O  bhikkhus,  to

repel the unconverted and to estrange them.   I exhort you to be  more

considerate in the future, more thoughtful and more respectful.”     5


When Devadatta,  the son of Suprabuddha and a brother of Yasodhara,

became  a  disciple,  he  cherished the hope  of  attaining  the  same

distinctions and honours as Gotama Siddhattha.   Being disappointed in

his  ambitions,  he  conceived in his heart  a  jealous  hatred,  and,

attempting to excel the Perfect One in virtue, he found fault with his

regulations and reproved them as too lenient.                        1

Devadatta went to Rajagaha and gained the ear of  Ajatasattu,  the

son  of  King  Bimbisara.   And  Ajatasattu built  a  new  vihara  for

Devadatta,  and founded a sect whose disciples were pledged to  severe

rules and self-mortification.                                        2

Soon afterwards the Blessed One himself came to Rajagaha and stayed

at the Veluvana vihara.                                              3

Devadatta called on the Blessed One, requesting him to sanction his

rules  of  greater stringency,  by which a greater holiness  might  be

procured.   “The body,” he said, “consists of its thirty-two parts and

has  no  divine  attributes.   It  is conceived in  sin  and  born  in

corruption.  Its attributes are liability to pain and dissolution, for

it is impermanent.   It is the receptacle of karma which is the  curse

of our former existences; it is the dwelling-place of sin and deseases

and its organs constantly discharge disgusting secretions.  Its end is

death and its goal the charnel house.  Such being the condition of the

body  it behooves us to treat it as a carcass full of abomination  and

to  clothe it in such rags only as have been gatherd in cemeteries  or

upon dung-hills.”                                                    4

The Blessed One said:  “Truly, the body is full of impurity and its end  is the charnel house,  for it is impermanent and destined  to  be dissolved into its elements.   But being the receptacle of  karma,  it lies in our power to make it a vessel of truth and not of evil.  It is not  good to indulge in the pleasures of the body,  but neither is  it good  to neglect our bodily needs and to heap filth  upon  impurities.

The  lamp  that  is  not cleansed and not  filled  with  oil  will  be

extinguished,  and a body that is unkept,  unwashed,  and weakened  by

penance will not be a fit receptacle for the light of  truth.   Attend

to  your body and its needs as you would treat a wound which you  care

for  without loving it.   Severe rules will not lead the disciples  on

the  middle  path  which I have taught.   Certainly,  no  one  can  be

prevented from keeping more stringent rules,  if he sees fit to do so,

but  they  should  not  be  imposed  upon  any  one,   for  they   are

unnecessary.”                                                        5

Thus the Tathagata refused Devadatta’s proposal; and Devadatta left

the  Buddha and went into the vihara speaking evil of the Lord’s  path

of salvation as too lenient and altogether insufficient.             6

When  the Blessed One heard of  Devadatta’s  intrigues,  he  said:

“Among  men there is no one who is not blamed.   People blame him  who

sits silent and him who speaks,  they also blame the man who  preaches

the middle path.”                                                    7

   Devadatta  instigated  Ajatasattu  to  plot  against  his   father

Bimbisara,  the king, so that the prince would no longer be subject to

him;  Bimbisara  was imprisoned by his son in a  tower where  he  died

leaving the kingdom of Magadha to his son Ajatasattu.                8

The new king listened to the evil advice of Devadatta,  and he gave

orders to take the life of the Tathagata.  However, the murderers sent

out to kill the Lord could not perform their wicked deed,  and  became

converted as soon as they saw him and listened to his preaching.   The

rock  hurled  down  from a precipice upon the great  Master  split  in

twain,  and the two pieces passed by on either side without doing  any

harm.   Nalagiri,  the  wild elephant let loose to destroy  the  Lord,

became gentle in his presence;  and Ajatasattu, suffering greatly from

the pangs of his conscience,  went to the Blessed One and sought peace

in his distress.                                                     9

The Blessed One received Ajatasattu kindly and taught him the  way

of  salvation;  but Devadatta still tried to become the founder  of  a

religious school of his own.                                        10

Devadatta did not succeed in his plans and having been abandoned by

many of his disciples,  he fell sick, and then repented.  He entreated

those  who  had remained with him to carry his litter to  the  Buddha,

saying:  “Take me,  children,  take me to him; though I have done evil

to him, I am his brother-in-law.  For the sake of our relationship the

Buddha will save me.”   And they obeyed, although reluctantly.      11

And Devadatta in his impatience to see the Blessed One  rose  from

his litter while his carriers were washing their hands.   But his feet

burned uner him;  he sank to the ground; and, having chanted a hymn on

the Buddha, died.                                                   12


On one occasion the Blessed One entered the assembly hall and  the

brethren hushed their conversation.                                  1

When they had greeted him with clasped hands,  they sat  down  and

became composed.   Then the Blessed One said: “Your minds are inflamed

with intense interest; what was the topic of your discussion?”       2

And  Sariputta rose and spake:  “World-honoured  master,  we  were

discussing the nature of man’s own existence.  We were trying to grasp

the  mixture of our own being which is called Name  and  Form.   Every

human  being  consists of conformations,  and there are  three  groups

which  are not corporeal.   They are sensation,  perception,  and  the

dispositions,  all  three  constitute consciousness  and  mind,  being

comprised  under  the term Name.   And there are  four  elements,  the

earthly  element,  the  watery element,  the fiery  element,  and  the

gaseous elememt, and these four elements constitute man’s bodily form,

being  held together so that this machine moves like  a  puppet.   How

does this name and form endure and how can it live?”                 3

Said the Blessed One:  “Life is instantaneous and living is  dying.  Just  as  a chariot-wheel in rolling rolls only at one  point  of  the tire, and in resting rests only at one point; in exactly the same way, the  life of a living being lasts only for the period of one  thought.

As  soon  as  that  thought  has ceased the  being  is  said  to  have

ceased.                                                              4

“As it has been said:  ‘The being of a past momemt of thought  has

lived,  but does not live,  nor will it live.   The being of a  future

moment of thought will live, but has not lived, nor does it live.  The

being of the present moment of thought does live,  but has not  lived,

nor will it live.’”                                                  5

“As to Name and Form we must understand how they  interact.   Name has no power of its own,  nor can it go on of its own impulse,  either to eat,  or to drink, or to utter sounds, or to make a movement.  Form also is without power and cannot go on of its own impulse.   It has no desire to eat, or to dirnk, or to utter sounds, or to make a movement.

But  Form goes on when supported by Name,  and Name when supported  by

Form.  When Name has a desire to eat, or to drink, or to utter sounds,

or to make a movement,  then Form eats, drinks, utters sounds, makes a

movement.                                                            6

“It  is as if two men,  the one blind from birth nad the  other  a

cripple,  were  desirous of going travelling,  and the man blind  from

birth were to say to the cripple as follows:  ‘See here!  I am able to

use  my legs,  but I have no eyes with which to see the rough and  the

smooth places in the road.’                                          7

“And  the  cripple  were to say to the man  blind  from  birth  as

follows:  ‘See here! I am able to use my eyes, but I have no legs with

which to go forward and back.’                                       8

“And the man blind from birth, pleased and delighted, were to mount the  cripple  on  his  shoulders.   And the  cripple  sitting  on  the shoulders  of  the man blind from birth were to  direct  him,  saying:

‘Leave  the  left  and go to the right;  leave the right  and  go  the

left.’                                                               9

“Here the man blind from birth is without power of  his  own,  and

weak,  and cannot go of his own impulse or might.  The cripple also is

without power of his own,  and weak,  and cannot go of his own impulse

or  might.   Yet  when  they mutually support one another  it  is  not

impossible for them to go.                                          10

“In  exactly the same way Name is without power of  its  own,  and cannot  spring up of its own might,  nor perform this or that  action.

Form also is without power of its own, and cannot spring up of its own

might,  nor  perform  this or that action.   Yet  when  they  mutually

support one another it is not impossible for them to spring up and  go

on.                                                                 11

“There is no material that exists for the production of  Name  and Form; and when Name and Form cease, they do no go anywhither in space.

After  Name and Form have ceased,  they do not exist anywhere  in  the

shape of heaped-up music material.   Thus when a lute is played  upon,

there is no previous store of sound; and when the music ceases it does

not go anywhither in space.   When it has ceased, it exists nowhere in

a stored-up state.   Having previously been non-existent, it came into

existence  on  account of the structure and stem of the lute  and  the

exertions of the performer; and as it came into existence so it passes

away.   In  exactly  the same way,  all the elements  of  being,  both

corporeal   and  non-corporeal  come  into  existence   after   having

previously  been  non-existent;  and having come into  existence  pass

away.                                                               12

“There  is  not a self residing in Name  and  Form,  but  the  co-

operation of the conformations produce what people call a man.      13

“Just as the word ‘chariot’ is but a mode of expression for  axle,

wheels,  the  chariot-body  and  other constituents  in  their  proper

combinations,  so a living being is the appearance of the groups  with

the four elements as they are joined in a unit.   There is no self  in

the carriage and there is no self in man.                           14

“O bhikkhus, this doctrine is sure and an eternal truth, that there

is no self outside of its parts.   This self of ours which constitutes

Name  and Form is a combination of the groups with the four  elements,

but there is no ego entity, no self in itself.                      15

“Paradoxical though it may sound: There is a path to walk on, there

is  walking being done,  but there is no traveller.   There are  deeds

being done,  but there is no doer.  There is a blowing of the air, but

there  is no wind that does the blowing.   The thought of self  is  an

error and all existences are hollow as the plantain tree and as  empty

as twirling water bubbles.                                          16

“Therefore,  O  bhikkhus,  as  there  is  no  self,  there  is  no

transmigration of a self; but there are deeds and the continued effect

of deeds.   There is rebirth of karma;  there is reincarnation.   This

rebirth, this reincarnation, this reappearance of the conformations is

continuous and depends ont he law of cause and effect.  Just as a seal

is  impressed  upon  the wax reproducing  the  configurations  of  its

device,  so the thoughts of men,  their characters,  their aspirations

are  impressed  upon others in continuous  transference  and  continue

their karma, and good deeds will continue in blessings while bad deeds

will continue in curses.                                            17

“There is no entity here that migrates,  no self is transfered from one place to another; but here is a voice uttered here and the echo of it comes back.   The teacher pronounces a stanza and the disciple  who attentively listens to his teacher’s instruction,  repeats the stanza.

Thus the stanza is reborn in the mind of the disciple.              18

“The body is a compound of perishable organs.   It is  subject  to

decay;  and  we  should take care of it as of a wound or  a  sore;  we

should  attend to its needs without being attached to  it,  or  loving

it.                                                                 19

“The body is like a machine,  and there is no self in it that makes

it walk or act,  but the thoughts of it,  as the windy elements, cause

the machine to work.                                                20

   “The body moves about like a cart.  Therefore ‘tis said:         21

“As ships are by the wind impelled,

As arrows from their bowstrings speed,

So likewise when the body moves

The windy element must lead.                               22

“Machines are geared to work by ropes;

so too this body is, in fact,

Directed by a mental pull

Whene’er it stand or sit or act.                           23


“No independent self is here

That could intrinsic forces prove

To make man act without a cause,

To make him stand or walk or move.                         24

“He only who utterly abandons all thought of the ego  escapes  the

snares of the Evil One; he is out of the reach of Mara.             25

   “Thus says the pleasure-promising tempter:                       26

“So long as to the things

Called ‘mine’ and ‘I’ and ‘me’

Thine anxious heart still clings,

         My snares thou canst not flee.”                            27

   “The faithful disciple replies:                                  28

“Naught’s mine and naught of me,

The self I do not mind!

Thus Mara, I tell thee

My path thou canst not find.”                              29

“Dismiss  the error of the self and do not  cling  to  possessions

which  are transient but perform deeds that are good,  for  deeds  are

enduring and in deeds your karma continues.                         30

“Since then,  O bhikkhus,  there is no self,  there cannot be  any

after  life of a self.   Therefore abandon all thought of  self.   But

since there are deeds and since deeds continue,  be careful with  your

deeds.                                                              31

“All beings have karma as their portion:  they are heirs of  their

karma; they are sprung from their karma; their karma is their kinsman;

their  karma is their refuge;  karma allots beings to meanness  or  to

greatness.                                                          32

“Assailed by death in life’s last throes

On quitting all thy joys and woes

What is thine own, thy recompense?

What stays with thee when passing hence?
What like a shadow follows thee

And will Beyond thine heirloom be?                         33

“T’is deeds, thy deeds, both good and bad;

Naught else can after death be had.

Thy deeds are thine, thy recompense;

They are thine own when going hence;
They like a shadow follow thee

And will Beyond thine heirloom be.                         34

“Let all then here perform good deeds, For future weal a treasure store;

There to reap crops from noble seeds,

A bliss increasing evermore.”                              35


And the Blessed One thus addressed the bhikkhus:                  1

“It is through not understanding the four noble truths, O bhikkhus,

that we had to wander so long in the weary path of samsara,  both  you

and I.                                                               2

“Through contact thought is born from sensation, and is reborn by a

reproduction fo its form.   Starting from the simplest forms, the mind

rises  and  falls  according  to  deeds,  but  the  aspirations  of  a

Bodhisatta pursue the straight path of wisdom and righteousness, until

they reach perfect enlightenment in the Buddha.                      3

“All creatures are what they are through the karma of their  deeds

done in former and in present existences.                            4

“The rational nature of man is a spark of the true light; it is the

first step on the upward road.   But new births are required to insure

an  ascent to the summit of existence,  the enlightenment of mind  and

heart,  where the immeasurable light of moral comprehension is  gained

which is the source of all righteousness.                            5

“Having attained this higher birth, I have found the truth and have

taught you the noble path that leads to the city of peace.           6

“I have shown you the way to the lake of  Ambrosia,  which  washes

away all evil desire.                                                7

“I  have given you the refreshing drink called the  perception  of

truth,  and he who drinks of it becomes free from excitement, passion,

and wrong-doing.                                                     8

“The  very  gods envy the bliss of him who has  escaped  from  the

floods of passion and has climbed the shores of Nirvana.  His heart is

cleansed from all defilement and free from all illusion.             9

“He is like unto the lotus which grows in the water, yet not a drop

of water adheres to its petals.                                     10

“The man who walks in the noble path lives in the world,  and  yet

his heart is not defiled by worldly desires.                        11

“He  who  does not see the four noble  truths,  he  who  does  not

understand  the three characteristecs and has not grounded himself  in

the  uncreate,  has still a long path to traverse by  repeated  births

through  the  desert  of ignorance with its mirages  of  illusion  and

through the morass of wrong.                                        12

“But now that you have gained comprehension,  the cause of  further

migrations  and aberrations is removed.   The goal  is  reached.   The

craving of selfishness is destroyed, and the truth is attained.     13

“This is true deliverance;  this is salvation;  this is heaven  and

the bliss of a life immortal.”                                      14


Jotikkha,  the  son  of Subhadda,  was  a  householder  living  in

Rajagaha.   Having  received a precious bowl of  sandalwood  decorated

with jewels,  he erected a long pole before his house and put the bowl

on  its  top with this legend:  “Should a samana take this  bowl  down

without using a ladder or a stick with a hook, or without climbing the

pole,  but  by  magic power,  he shall receive as reward  whatever  he

desires.”                                                            1

And the people came to the Blessed One,  full of wonder and  their

mouths overflowing with praise,  saying: “Great is the Tathagata.  His

disciples perform miracles.   Kassapa, the disciple of the Buddha, saw

the bowl on Jotikkha’s pole,  and, stretching out his hand, he took it

down, carrying it away in triumph to the vihara.”                    2

When the Blessed One heard what had happened,  he went to  Kassapa,

and,  breaking  the bowl to pieces,  forbade his disciples to  perform

miracles of any kind.                                                3

Soon after this it happened that in one of the rainy seasons  many bhikkhus were staying in the Vajji territory during a famine.  And one of  the bhikkhus proposed to his brethren that they should praise  one another to the householders of the village, saying: “This bhikkhu is a saint;  he  has  seen celestial visions;  and that  bhikkhu  possesses supernatural  gifts;  he can work miracles.”  And the villagers  said:

“It  is lucky,  very lucky for us,  that such saints are spending  the

rainy  season with us.”  And they gave willingly and  abundantly,  and

the bhikkhus prospered and did not suffer from the famine.           4

When the Blessed One heard it,  he told Ananda to call the bhikkhus

together, and he asked them: “Tell me, O bhikkhus, when does a bhikkhu

cease to be a bhikkhu?”                                              5

   And Sariputta replied:                                            6

“An  ordained  disciple must not commit  any  unchaste  act.   The

disciple  who commits an unchaste act is no longer a disciple  of  the

Sakyamuni.                                                           7

“Again,  an ordained disciple must not take except what  has  been

given  him.   The  disciple who takes,  be it so little as  a  penny’s

worth, is no longer a disciple of the Sakyamuni.                     8

   “And  lastly,   an  ordained  disciple  must  not  knowingly   and

malignantly  deprive  any  harmless creature  of  life,  not  even  an

earthworm  or  an ant.   The disciple who  knowingly  and  malignantly

deprives any harmless creature of its life is no longer a disciple  of

the Sakyamuni.                                                       9

   “These are the three great prohibitions.”                        10

   And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus and said:             11

   “There is another great prohibition which I declare to you:      12

“An ordained disciple must not boast of any superhuman  perfection.

The  disciple who with evil intent and from covetousness boasts  of  a

superhuman  perfection,  be it celestial visions or  miracles,  is  no

longer a disciple of the Sakyamuni.                                 13

“I forbid you,  O bhikkhus,  to employ any spells or supplications,

for they are useless,  since the law of karma governs all things.   He

who  attempts to perform miracles has not understood the  doctrine  of

the Tathagata.”                                                     14


There was a poet who had acquired the spotless eye of truth, and he

believed  in  the Buddha,  whose doctrine gave him peace of  mind  and

comfort in the hour of affliction.                                   1

And it happened that an epidemic swept over the country in which he

lived, so that many died, and the people were terrified.  Some of them

trembled with fright,  and in anticipation of their fate were  smitten

with all the horrors of death before they died,  while others began to

be merry, shouting loudly, “Let us enjoy ourselves to-day, for we know

not  whether  to-morrow  we shall live”;  yet was  their  laughter  no

genuine gladness, but a mere pretence and affectation.               2

Among all these worldly men and women trembling with  anxiety,  the

Buddhist poet lived in the time of the pestilence,  as usual, calm and

undisturbed,  helping wherever he could and ministering unto the sick,

soothing their pains by medicine and religious consolation.          3

And a man came to him and said:  “My heart is nervous and  excited,

for I see people die.   I am not anxious about others,  but I  tremble

because of myself.  Help me; cure me of my fear.”                    4

The  poet replied:  “There is help for him who has  compassion  on

others,  but  there  is no help for thee so long as thou  clingest  to

thine own self alone.   Hard times try the souls of men and teach them

righteousness and charity.  Canst thou witness these sad sights around

thee  and  still  be filled with  selfishness?   Canst  thou  see  thy

brothers,  sisters,  and  friends  suffer,  yet not forget  the  petty

cravings and lust of thine own heart?”                               5

Noticing the desolation in the mind of the  pleasure-seeking  man, the Buddhist poet composed this song and taught it to the brethren  in the vihara:                                                          6 “Unless refuge you take in the Buddha and find in Nirvana rest Your life is but vanity - empty and desolate vanity.  To see the world is idle, and to enjoy life is empty.

The  world,  including man,  is but like a phantom,  and the  hope  of

heaven is as a mirage.                                               7

“The worldling seeks pleasures fattening himself like a caged fowl.

But the Buddhist saint flies up to the sun like the wild crane.

The fowl in the coop has food but will soon be boiled in the pot.

No  provisions are given to the wild crane,  but the heavens  and  the

earth are his.”                                                      8

The poet said:  “The times are hard and teach the people a  lesson; yet do they not heed it.”  And he composed another poem on the  vanity of worldliness:                                                      9 “It is good to reform, and it is good to exhort people to reform.  The things of the world will all be swept away.

Let others be busy and buried with care.

My mind all unvexed shall be pure.                                  10

“After pleasures they hanker and find no satisfaction;

Riches they covet and can never have enough.

They are like unto puppets held up by a string.

When the string breaks they come dowm with a shock.                 11

“In the domain of death there are neither great nor small;

Neither gold nor silver is used, nor precious jewels.

No distinction is made between the high and the low.

And daily the dead are buried beneath the fragrant sod.             12

“Look at the sun setting behind the western hills.

You lie down to rest, but soon the cock will announce morn.

Reform to-day and do not wait until it be too late.

Do not say it is early, for the time quickly passes by.             13

“It is good to reform and it is good to exhort people to reform.

It  is good to lead a righteous life and take refuge in  the  Buddha’s


Your talents may reach to the skies, your wealth may be untold-But all

is in vain unless you attain the peace of Nirvana.”                 14


The Buddha said:  “Three things,  O disciples, are characterized by

secrecy:  love affairs,  priestly wisdom, and all aberrations from the

path of truth.                                                       1

“Women  who  are in love,  O  disciples,  seek  secrecy  and  shun

publicity;   priests  who  claim  to  be  in  possession  of   special

revelations,  O disciples,  seek secrecy and shun publicity; all those

who stray from the path of truth,  O disciples,  seek secrecy and shun

publicity.                                                           2

“Three things,  O disciples,  shine before the world and cannot  be

hidden.  What are the three?                                         3

“The moon,  O disciples,  illumines the world and cannot be hidden;

the sun,  O disciples,  illumines the world and cannot be hidden;  and

the  truth proclaimed by the Tathagata illumines the world and  cannot

be hidden.   These three things,  O disciples, illunines the world and

cannot be hidden.  There is no secrecy about them.”                  4


And the Buddha said: “What my friends, is evil?                   1

“Killing is evil;  stealing is evil;  yielding to sexual passion is

evil;  lying is evil;  slandering is evil;  abuse is evil;  gossip  is

evil;  envy  is evil;  hatred is evil;  to cling to false doctrine  is

evil; all these things, my friends are evil.                         2

   “And what, my friends, is the root of evil?                       3

“Desire is the root of evil;  hatred is the root of evil;  illusion

is the root of evil; these things are the root of evil.              4

   “What, however, is good?                                          5

“Abstaining from killing is good;  abstaining from theft is  good;

abstaining from sensuality is good; abstaining from falsehood is good;

abstaining  from slander is good;  suppression of unkindness is  good;

abandoning  gossip is good;  letting go all envy is  good;  dismissing

hatred is good;  obedience to the truth is good;  all these things are

good.                                                                6

   “And what, my friends, is the root of the good?                   7

“Freedom from desire is the root of the good;  freedom from  hatred

and freedom from illusion;  these things,  my friends, are the root of

the good.                                                            8

“What,  however,  O brethren,  is suffering?  What is the origin of

suffering?  What is the annihilation of suffering?                   9

“Birth is suffering;  old age is suffering;  disease is  suffering;

death is suffering;  sorrow and misery are suffering;  affliction  and

despair  are  suffering;   to  be  united  with  loathsome  things  is

suffering; the loss of that which we love and the failure in attaining

that which is longed for are suffering;  all these things, O brethren,

are suffering.                                                      10

   “And what, O brethren, is the origin of suffering?               11

“It is lust,  passion, and the thirst for existence that yearns for

pleasure  everywhere,   leading  to  a  continual  rebirth!    It   is

sensuality, desire, selfishness; all these things, O brethren, are the

origin of suffering.                                                12

   “And what is the annihilation of suffering?                      13

“The  radical  and  total annihilation  of  this  thirst  and  the

abandonment,  the liberation,  the deliverance from passion,  that,  O

brethren, is the annihilation of suffering.                         14

“And what,  O brethren,  is the path that leads to the annihilation

of suffering?                                                       15

“It is the holy eightfold path that leads to the  annihilation  of

suffering,  which  consists of,  right views,  right  decision,  right

speech,  right action, right living, right struggling, right thoughts,

and right meditation.                                               16

“In so far,  O friends,  as a noble youth thus recognizes suffering

and  the  origin of suffering,  as he recognizes the  annihilation  of

suffering,  and  walks on the path that leads to the  annihilation  of

suffering,  radically forsaking passion,  subduing wrath, annihilating

the  vain conceit of the “I-am,” leaving ignorance,  and attaining  to

enlightenment,  he  will  make an end of all suffering  even  in  this

life.”                                                              17


The Buddha said:  “All acts of living creatures become bad by  ten

things,  and by avoiding the ten things they become good.   There  are

three evils of the body,  four evils of the tongue, and three evils of

the mind.                                                            1

“The evils of the body are,  murder,  theft,  and adultery;  of the

tongue,   lying,   slander,   abuse,  and  idle  talk;  of  the  mind,

covetousness, hatred, and error.                                     2

   “I exhort you to avoid the ten evils:                             3

   “I. Kill not, but have regard for life.                           4

“II. Steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be master

of the fruits of his labour.                                         5

   “III. Abstain from impurity, and lead a life of chastity.         6

“IV.  Lie not,  but be truthful.   Speak the truth with discretion,

fearlessly and in a loving heart.                                    7

“V.  Invent not evil reports, neither do ye repeat them.  Carp not,

but look for the good sides of your fellowbeings,  so that ye may with

sincerity defend them against their enemies.                         8

   “VI. Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity.              9

“VII.  Waste not the time with gossip,  but speak to the purpose or

keep silence.                                                       10

“VIII.  Covet not,  nor envy,  but rejoice at the fortunes of other

people.                                                             11

“IX.  Clease your heart of malice and cherish no hatred,  not  even

against your enemies; but embrace all living beings with kindness.  12

“X.  Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the truth,

especially  in  the one thing that is needful,  lest you fall  a  prey

either  to  scepticism  or  to  errors.    Scepticism  will  make  you

indifferent  and errors will lead you astray,  so that you  shall  not

find the noble path that leads to life eternal.”                    13


And the Blessed One said to his disciples:                        1

“When I have passed away and can no longer address you  and  edify

your minds with religious discourse, select from among you men of good

family and education to preach the truth in my stead.   And let  those

men be invested with the robes of the Tathagata,  let them enter  into

the   abode  of  the  Tathagata,   and  occupy  the  pulpit   of   the

Tathagata.                                                           2

“The  robe of the Tathagata is sublime forbearance  and  patience.

The  abode of the Tathagata is charity and love of  all  beings.   The

pulpit  of the Tathagata is the comprehension of the good law  in  its

abstract meaning as well as in its particular application.           3

“The preacher must propound the truth with unshrinking  mind.   He

must  have  the  power of persuasion rooted in virtue  and  in  strict

fidelity to his vows.                                                4

“The preacher must keep in his proper sphere and be steady in  his

course.   He must not flatter his vanity by seeking the company of the

great,  nor  must he keep company with persons who are  frivolous  and

immoral.  When in temptation, he should constantly think of the Buddha

and he will conquer.                                                 5

“All who come to hear the doctrine,  the preacher must receive with

benevolence, and his sermon must be without invidiousness.           6

“The  preacher must not be prone to carp at others,  or  to  blame

other preachers;  nor speak scandal,  nor propagate bitter words.   He

must  not  mention  by name other disciples  to  vituperate  them  and

reproach their demeanour.                                            7

“Clad in a clean robe,  dyed with good  colour.  with  appropriate

undergarments,  he must ascend the pulpit with a mind free from  blame

and at peace with the whole world.                                   8

“He must not take delight in querulous desputations or  engage  in

controversies  so as to show the superiority of his  talents,  but  be

calm and composed.                                                   9

“No hostile feelings shall reside in his heart,  and he must  never

abandon  the disposition of charity toward all beings.   His sole  aim

must be that all beings become Buddhas.                             10

“Let  the preacher apply himself with zeal to his  work,  and  the

Tathagata  will  show  to  him  the  body  of  the  holy  law  in  its

transcendent glory. He shall be honoured as one whom the Tathagata has

blessed.   The  Tathagata  blesses  the preacher and  also  those  who

reverently listen to him and joyfully accept the doctrine.          11

“All those who receive the truth will find perfect  enlightenment.

And,  verily,  such  is  the power of the doctrine that  even  by  the

reading of a single stanza,  or by reciting,  copying,  and keeping in

mind  a single sentence of the good law,  persons may be converted  to

the  truth  and  enter  the  path  of  righteousness  which  leads  to

deliverance from evil.                                              12

“Creatures that are swayed by impure passions,  when they listen to

the voice, will be purified.  The ignorant who are infatuated with the

follies  of the world will,  when pondering on the profundity  of  the

doctrine,  acquire wisdom.   Those who act under the impulse of hatred

will,  when taking refuge in the Buddha,  be filled with good-will and

love.                                                               13

“A preacher must be full of energy and cheerful hope,  never tiring

and never despairing of final success.                              14

“A preacher must be like a man in quest of water who digs a well in an arid tract of land.   So  long as he sees that the sand is dry  and white,  he knows that the water is still far off.   But let him not be troubled  or give up the task as hopeless.   The work of removing  the dry sand must be done so that he can dig down deeper into the  ground.

And  often  the deeper he has to dig,  the cooler and purer  and  more

refreshing will the water be.                                       15

“When  after some time of digging he sees that  the  sand  becomes

moist, he accepts it as a token that the water is near.             16

“So  long as the people do not listen to the words  of  truth,  the

preacher knows that he has to dig deeper into their hearts;  but  when

they begin to heed his words he apprehends that they will soon  attain

enlightenment.                                                      17

“Into your hands,  O ye men of good family and education who  take

the  vow  of preaching the words of the  Tathagata,  the  Blessed  One

transfers, intrusts, and commends the good law of truth.            18

“Receive  the good law of truth,  keep it,  read and  re-read  it,

fathom  it,  promulgate  it,  and preach it to all beings in  all  the

quarters of the universe.                                           19

“The Tathagata is not avaricious,  nor narrow-minded,  and  he  is

willing to impart the perfect Buddha-knowledge unto all who are  ready

and  willing to receive it.   Be ye like unto him.   Imitate  him  and

follow his example in bounteously giving,  showing,  and bestowing the

truth.                                                              20

“Gather  round you hearers who love to listen to  the  benign  and

comforting words of the law; rouse the unbelievers to accept the truth

and fill them with delight and joy.   Quicken them,  edify  them,  and

lift  them higher and higher until they see the truth face to face  in

all its splendour and infinite glory.”                              21

   When the Blessed One had thus spoken, the disciples said:        22

“O thou who rejoicest in kindness having its source in  compassion,

thou  great  cloud  of good qualities and  of  benevolent  mind,  thou

quenchest the fire that vexeth living beings, thou pourest out nectar,

the rain of the law!                                                23

“We  shall do,  O Lord,  what the Tathagata  commands.   We  shall

fulfill his behest; the Lord shall find us obedient to his words.”  24

And this vow of the disciples resounded through the  universe,  and

like  an echo it came back from all the Bodhisattas who are to be  and

will come to preach the good law of Truth to future generations.    25

And the Blessed One said:  “The Tathagata is like unto a  powerful

king who rules his kingdom with righteousness,  but being attacked  by

envious enemies goes out to wage war against his foes.   When the king

sees his soldiers fight he is delighted with their gallantry and  will

bestow upon them donations of all kinds.   Ye are the soldiers of  the

Tathagata,  while  Mara,  the  Evil  One,  is the enemy  who  must  be

conquered.   And  the Tathagata will give to his soldiers the city  of

Nirvana,  the  great capital of the good law.   And when the enemy  is

overcome,  the Dharma-raja,  the great king of truth, will bestow upon

all  his disciples the most precious crown which jewel brings  perfect

enlightenment, supreme wisdom, and undisturbed peace.”              26