When the Blessed One had passed away into Nirvana,  the  disciples

came  together  and consulted what to do in order to keep  the  Dharma

pure and uncorrupted by heresies.                                    1

   And Upali rose, saying:                                           2

“Our great Master used to say to the brethren:  ‘O bhikkhus!  after my  final entrance into Nirvana you must reverence and obey  the  law.

Regard  the  law as your master.   The law is like unto a  light  that

shines in the darkness,  pointing out the way;  it is also like unto a

precious jewel to gain which you must shun no trouble, and be ready to

bring any sacrifice,  even, should it be needed, your own lives.  Obey

the  Dharma  which I have revealed to you;  follow  it  carefully  and

regard it in no way different from myself.’                          3

   “Such were the words of the Blessed One.                          4

“The law,  accordingly,  which the Buddha has left us as a precious

inheritance has now become the visible body of the Tathagata.  Let us,

therefore,  revere  it  and keep it sacred.   For what is the  use  of

erecting dagobas for relics,  if we neglect the spirit of the Master’s

teachings?”                                                          5

   And Anuruddha arose and said:                                     6

“Let  us bear in mind,  O brethren,  that  Gotama  Siddhattha  has

revealed the truth to us.  He was the Holy One and the Perfect One and

the  Blessed  One,  because  the  eteranl truth  had  taken  abode  in

him.                                                                 7

“The Tathagata taught us that the truth existed before he was  born

into this world, and will exist after he has entered into the bliss of

Nirvana.                                                             8

   “The Tathagata said:                                              9

“’The truth is omnipresent and eternal,  endowed with  excellencies

innumerable,   above   all  human  nature,   and  ineffable   in   its

holiness.’                                                          10

“Now,  let  us  bear in mind that not this or that  law  which  is

revealed to us in the Dharma is the Buddha,  but the entire truth, the

truth   which   is   eternal,   omnipresent,   immutable,   and   most

excellent.                                                          11

“Many regulations of the Sangha are temporary; they were prescribed

because  they suited the occasion and were needed for  some  transient

emergency.  The truth, however, is not temporary.                   12

“The truth is not arbitrary nor a matter of opinion,  but  can  be

investigated,  and  he who earnestly searches for the truth will  find

it.                                                                 13

“The truth is hidden to the blind,  but he who has the mental  eye

sees  the truth.   The truth is Buddha’s essence,  and the  turh  will

remain  the ultimate standard by which we can discern false  and  true

doctrines.                                                          14

“Let us,  then, revere the truth; let us inquire into the truth and

state  it,  and let us obey the truth.   For the truth is  Buddha  our

Master, our Teacher, our Lord.”                                     15

   And Kassapa rose and said:                                       16

“Truly thou hast spoken well,  O brother  Anuruddha.   Neither  is

there any conflict of opinion on the meaning of our religion.  For the

Blessed One possesses three personalities, and every one of them is of

equal importance to us.                                             17

“There is the Dharma Kaya.   There is the Nirmana Kaya.   There  is

the Sambhoga Kaya.                                                  18

“Buddha is the  all-excellent  truth,  eternal,  omnipresent,  and

immutable.  This  is the Sambhoda Kaya which is in a state of  perfect

bliss.                                                              19

“Buddha is the all-loving teacher assuming the shape of the  beings

whom  he  teaches.    This  is  the  Nirmana  Kaya,  his  apparitional

body.                                                               20

“Buddha is the all-blessed dispensation of religion.   He  is  the

spirit of the Sangha and the meaning of the commands which he has left

us in his sacred world, the Dharma.  This is the Dharma Kaya, the body

of the most excellent law.                                          21

“If buddha had not appeared to us as Gotama Sakyamuni, how could we

have the sacred traditions of his doctrine?  And if the generations to

come did not have the sacred traditions preserved in the  Sangha,  how

could they know anything of the great Sakyamuni?   And neither we  nor

others  would  know anything about the most excellent truth  which  is

eternal, omnipresent, and immutable.                                22

“Let us then keep sacred and revere the traditions;  let  us  keep

sacred  the memory of Gotama Sakyamuni,  so that people may  find  the

truth;  for he whose spiritual eye is open will discover it, and it is

the  same to every one who possesses the comprehension of a Buddha  to

recognize it and to expound it.”                                    23

Then the brethren decided to convene a synod in Rajagaha in  order

to  lay  down the pure doctrines of the Blessed One,  to  collect  and

collate  the sacred writings,  and to establish a canon  which  should

serve as a source of instruction for future generations.            24


Eternal verities dominate the formation of worlds  and  constitute

the  cosmic order of natural laws.   But when, through the conflicting

motion  of  masses,  the universe was illuminated with  blazing  fire,

there  was  no  eye to see the light,  no ear to  listen  to  reason’s

teachings,  no mind to perceive the significance of being;  and in the

immearsurable  spaces of existence no place was found where the  truth

could abide in all its glory.                                        1

In  the  due course of evolution  sentiency  appeared  and  sense-

perception arose.   There was a new realm of being, the realm of soul-

life,  full of yearning,  with powerful passions and of  unconquerable

energy.  And the world split in twain: there were pleasures and pains,

self  and  notself,  friends and foes,  hatred and  love.   The  truth

vibrated  through  the world of sentiency,  but in  all  its  infinite

potentialities no place could be found where the truth could abide  in

all its glory.                                                       2

And reason came forth in the struggle for life.   Reason began  to

guide  the  instinct  of self,  and reason took  the  sceptre  of  the

creation and overcame the strength of the brutes and the power of  the

elements.   Yet reason seemed to add new fuel to the flame, increasing

the turmoil of conflicting passions;  and brothers slew their brothers

for  the sake of satisfying the lust of a fleeting  moment.   And  the

truth  repaired to the domains of reason,  but in all its recesses  no

place   was   found   where  the  truth  could  abide   in   all   its

glory.                                                               3

Now reason,  as the helpmate of self,  implicated all living beings

more and more in the meshes of lust,  hatred, and envy, and from lust,

hatred,  and envy the evils of wrong-doing originated.  Men broke down

under  the  burdens of life,  until the saviour  appeared,  the  great

Buddha, the Holy Teacher of men and gods.                            4

And the Buddha taught men the right use of sentiency, and the right

application  of reason;  and he taught men to see things as they  are,

without illusions, and they learned to act according to the truth.  He

taught  righteousness and thus changed rational creatures into  humane

beings, just, kind-hearted, and faithful.  And now at last a place was

found where the truth might abide in all its glory,  and this place is

the heart of mankind.                                                5

Buddha,  O  Blessed One,  O Holy One,  O Perfect  One,  thou  hast

revealed  the  truth,  and the truth has appeared upon earth  and  the

kingdom of truth has been founded.                                   6

   There is not room for truth in space, infinite though it be.     7

There is not room for truth in sentiency, neither in its pleasures

nor in its pains;  sentiency is the first footstep of truth, but there

is  not  room  in it for truth,  though sentiency may  beam  with  the

blazing glow of beauty and life.                                     8

Neither is there any room for truth in rationality.  Rationality is

a  two-edged sword and serves the purpose of love equally as  well  as

the purpose of hatred.  Rationality is the platform on which the truth

standeth.   No truth is attainable without reason.   Nevertheless,  in

mere  rationality  there  is  no room for  truth,  though  it  be  the

instrument that masters the things of the world.                     9

The  throne of truth is righteousness;  and love and  justice  and

good-will are its ornaments.                                        10

Righteousness is the place in which truth dwells,  and here in  the

hearts  of  mankind aspiring after the realization  of  righteousness,

there  is  ample space for a rich and ever richer  revelation  of  the

truth.                                                              11

This is the Gospel of the Blessed One.   This is the revelation  of

the Enlightened One.  This is the bequest of the Holy One.          12

Those who accept the truth and have faith in the truth, take refuge

in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.                          13

Receive us, O Buddha, as thy disciples from this day hence, so long

as our life lasts.                                                  14

   Comfort,   O  holy  Teacher,  compassionate  and  all-loving,  the

afflicted and the sorrow-laden,  illumine those who go astray, and let

us all gain more and more in comprehension and in holiness.         15

The  truth is the end and aim of all  existence,  and  the  worlds

originate so that the truth may come and dwell therein.             16

Those who fail to aspire for the truth have missed the purpose  of

life.                                                               17

Blessed  is he who rests in the truth,  for all things  will  pass

away, but the truth abideth forever.                                18

The world is built for the truth, but false combinations of thought

misrepresent the true state of things and bring forth errors.       19

Errors  can  be fashioned as it pleases those  who  cherish  them;

therefore  they are pleasant to look upon,  but they are unstable  and

contain the seeds of dissolution.                                   20

Truth  cannot be fashioned.   Truth is one and  the  same;  it  is

immutable.                                                          21

Truth is above the power of death,  it is omnipresent, eternal, and

most glorious.                                                      22

Illusions,  errors,  and lies are the daughters of Mara,  and great

power  is  given unto them to seduce the minds of men  and  lead  them

astray upon the path of evil.                                       23

The nature of delusions, errors, and lies is death, and wrong-doing

is the way to perdition.                                            24

Delusions,  errors,  and lies are like huge,  gaudy  vessels,  the

rafters  of which are rotten and wormeaten,  and those who  embark  in

them are fated to be shipwrecked.                                   25

There are many who say:  “Come error,  be thou my guide,” and  when

they are caught in the meshes of selfishness,  lust, and evil desires,

misery is begot.                                                    26

Yet does all life yearn for the truth and the truth only can  cure

our diseases and peace to our unrest.                               27

Truth is the essence of life,  for truth endureth beyond the  death

of  the  body.   Truth is eternal and will still  remain  even  though

heaven and earth shall pass away.                                   28

There are not different truths in the world,  for truth is one  and

the same at all times and in every place.                           29

Truth teaches us the noble eightfold path of righteousness,  and it

is a straight path easily found by the truth-loving.   Happy are those

who walk in it.                                                     30


All the Buddhas are wonderful and glorious.

There is not their equal upon earth.

They reveal to us the path of life.

And we hail their appearance with pious reverence.                    1

All the Buddhas teach the same truth.

They point out the path to those who go astray.

The truth is our hope and comfort.

We gratefully accept its illumitable light.                           2

All the Buddhas are one in essence,

Which is omnipresent in all modes of being,

Sanctifying the bonds that tie all souls together,

And we rest in its bliss as our final refuge.                         3