Buddha the Gospel  

           (HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS)                                                  
           THE DISCIPLE SPEAKS                                             
                Samsara and Nirvana                                        
                Truth, the Savior                                          
           THE ENLIGHTENMENT                                               
                The Ties of Life                                           
                The Three Woes                                             
                The Bodhisattva's Renunciation                             
                King Bimbisara                                             
                The Bodhisattva's Search                                   
                Uruvela, Place of Mortification                            
                Mara, the Evil One                                         
                The First Converts                                         
                The Brahma's Request                                       
           FOUNDING THE KINGDOM                                            
                Upaka Sees the Buddha                                      
                The Sermon at Benares                                      
                The Sangha or Community                                    
                Yasa, the Youth of Benares                                 
                Kassapa, the Fire-Worshiper                                
                The Sermon at Rajagaha                                     
                The King's Gift                                            
                Sariputta and Moggallana                                   
                Anathapindika, the Man of Wealth                           
                The Sermon on Charity                                      
                Jetavana, the Vihara                                       
                The Three Characteristics and the Uncreate                 
                The Buddha's Father                                        
                Yasodhara, the Former Wife                                 
                Rahula, the Son                                            
           THE REGULATIONS                                                 
                Suddhodana Attains Nirvana                                 
                Women in the Sangha                                        
                On Conduct Toward Women                                    
                Visakha and Her Gifts                                      
                The Uposatha and Patimokkha                                
                The Schism                                                 
                The Re-establishment of Concord                            
                The Bhikkhus Rebuked                                       
                The Jealousy of Devadatta                                  
                Name and Form                                              
                The Goal                                                   
                Miracles Forbidden                                         
                The Vanity of Worldliness                                  
                Secrecy and Publicity                                      
                The Annihiliation of Suffering                             
                Avoiding the Ten Evils                                     
                The Preacher's Mission                                     
           THE TEACHER                                                     
                The Two Brahmans                                           
                Guard the Six Quarters                                     
                Simha's Question Concerning Annihilation                   
                All Existence is Spiritual                                 
                Identity and Non-Identity                                  
                The Buddha Omnipresent                                     
                One Essence, One Law, One Aim                              
                The Lesson Given to Rahula                                 
                The Sermon on Abuse                                        
                The Buddha Replies to the Deva                             
                Words of Instruction                                       
                Amitabha, the Unbounded Light                              
                The Teacher Unknown                                        
           PARABLES AND STORIES                                            
                The Widow's Mite, and the Three Merchants                  
                The Man Born Blind                                         
                The Lost Son                                               
                The Giddy Fish                                             
                The Cruel Crane Outwitted                                  
                Four Kinds of Merit                                        
                The Light of the World                                     
                Luxurious Living                                           
                The Communication of Bliss                                 
                The Listless Fool                                          
                Rescue in the Desert                                       
                The Sower                                                  
                The Outcast                                                
                The Woman at the Well                                      
                The Peacemaker                                             
                The Hungry Dog                                             
                The Despot Cured                                           
                Vasavadatta, the Courtesan                                 
                The Marriage-Feast in Jambunada                            
                In Search of a Thief                                       
                In the Realm of Yamaraja                                   
                The Mustard Seed                                           
                Walking on Water                                           
                The Sick Bhikkhu                                           
                The Patient Elephant                                       
           THE LAST DAYS                                                   
                Sariputta's Faith                                          
                The Visit to Pataliputta                                   
                The Mirror of Truth                                        
                The Courtesan Ambapali                                     
                The Buddha's Farewell                                      
                The Buddha Announces His Death                             
                Chunda, the Smith                                          
                Entering into Nirvana                                      

                         THE DISCIPLE SPEAKS                               
  REJOICE at the glad tidings! The Buddha our Lord has found the           
root of all evil; he has shown us the way of salvation. The Buddha         
dispels the illusions of our mind and redeems us from the terror of        
  The Buddha, our Lord, brings comfort to the weary and                    
sorrow-laden; he restores peace to those who are broken down under         
the burden of life. He gives courage to the weak when they would fain      
give up self-reliance and hope. You who suffer from the tribulations       
of life, you who have to struggle and endure, you who yearn for a          
life of truth, rejoice at the glad tidings!                                
  There is balm for the wounded, and there is bread for the hungry.        
There is water for the thirsty, and there is hope for the despairing.      
There is light for those in darkness, and there is inexhaustible           
blessing for the upright.                                                  
  Heal your wounds, you wounded, and eat your fill, you hungry.            
Rest, you weary, and you who are thirsty quench your thirst. Look up       
to the light, you who sit in darkness; be full of good cheer, you          
who are forlorn.                                                           
  Trust in truth, you who love the truth, for the kingdom of               
righteousness is founded upon earth. The darkness of error is              
dispelled by the light of truth. We can see our way and take firm          
and certain steps. The Buddha, our Lord, has revealed the truth. The       
truth cures our diseases and redeems us from perdition; the truth          
strengthens us in life and in death; the truth alone can conquer the       
evils of error. Rejoice at the glad tidings!                               

                         SAMSARA AND NIRVANA                               
  LOOK about and contemplate life! Everything is transient and             
nothing endures. There is birth and death, growth and decay; there is      
combination and separation. The glory of the world is like a flower:       
it stands in full bloom in the morning and fades in the heat of the        
  Wherever you look, there is a rushing and a struggling, and an           
eager pursuit of pleasure. There is a panic flight from pain and           
death, and hot are the flames of burning desires. The world is Vanity      
Fair, full of changes and transformations. All is Samsara, the             
turning Wheel of Existence.                                                
  Is there nothing permanent in the world? Is there in the universal       
turmoil no resting-place where our troubled heart can find peace? Is       
there nothing everlasting? Oh, that we could have cessation of             
anxiety, that our burning desires would be extinguished! When shall        
the mind become tranquil and composed?                                     
  The Buddha, our Lord, was grieved at the ills of life. He saw the        
vanity of worldly happiness and sought salvation in the one thing          
that will not fade or perish, but will abide for ever and ever.            
  You who long for life, learn that immortality is hidden in               
transiency. You who wish for happiness without the sting of regret,        
lead a life of righteousness. You who yearn for riches, receive            
treasures that are eternal. Truth is wealth, and a life of truth is        
  All compounds will be dissolved again, but the verities which            
determine all combinations and separations as laws of nature endure        
for ever and aye. Bodies fall to dust, but the truths of the mind          
will not be destroyed.                                                     
  Truth knows neither birth nor death; it has no beginning and no          
end. Welcome the truth. The truth is the immortal part of mind.            
Establish the truth in your mind, for the truth is the image of the        
eternal; it portrays the immutable; it reveals the everlasting; the        
truth gives unto mortals the boon of immortality.                          
  The Buddha has proclaimed the truth; let the truth of the Buddha         
dwell in your hearts. Extinguish in yourselves every desire that           
antagonizes the Buddha, and in the perfection of your spiritual            
growth you will become like unto him. That of your heart which cannot      
or will not develop into Buddha must perish, for it is mere illusion       
and unreal; it is the source of your error; it is the cause of your        
  You attain to immortality by filling your minds with truth.              
Therefore, become like unto vessels fit to receive the Master's            
words. Cleanse yourselves of evil and sanctify your lives. There is        
no other way of reaching truth.                                            
  Learn to distinguish between Self and Truth. Self is the cause of        
selfishness and the source of evil; truth cleaves to no self; it is        
universal and leads to justice and righteousness. Self, that which         
seems to those who love their self as their being, is not the              
eternal, the everlasting, the imperishable. Seek not self, but seek        
the truth.                                                                 
  If we liberate our souls from our petty selves, wish no ill to           
others, and become clear as a crystal diamond reflecting the light         
of truth, what a radiant picture will appear in us mirroring things        
as they are, without the admixture of burning desires, without the         
distortion of erroneous illusion, without the agitation of clinging        
and unrest.                                                                
  Yet you love self and will not abandon self-love. So be it, but          
then, verily, you should learn to distinguish between the false self       
and the true self. The ego with all its egotism is the false self.         
It is an unreal illusion and a perishable combination. He only who         
identifies his self with the truth will attain Nirvana; and he who         
has entered Nirvana has attained Buddhahood; he has acquired the           
highest good; he has become eternal and immortal.                          
  All compound things shall be dissolved again, worlds will break to       
pieces and our individualities will be scattered; but the words of         
Buddha will remain for ever.                                               
  The extinction of self is salvation; the annihilation of self is         
the condition of enlightenment; the blotting out of self is Nirvana.       
  Happy is he who has ceased to live for pleasure and rests in the         
truth. Verily his composure and tranquility of mind are the highest        
  Let us take our refuge in the Buddha, for he has found the               
everlasting in the transient. Let us take our refuge in that which         
is the immutable in the changes of existence. Let us take our refuge       
in the truth that is established through the enlightenment of the          
Buddha. Let us take our refuge in the community of those who seek          
the truth and endeavor to live in the truth.                               

                          TRUTH, THE SAVIOR                                
  THE things of the world and its inhabitants are subject to change.       
They are combinations of elements that existed before, and all             
living creatures are what their past actions made them; for the law        
of cause and effect is uniform and without exception.                      
  But in the changing things there is a constancy of law, and when         
the law is seen there is truth. The truth lies hidden in Samsara as        
the permanent in its changes.                                              
  Truth desires to appear; truth longs to become conscious; truth          
strives to know itself.                                                    
  There is truth in the stone, for the stone is here; and no power         
in the world, no god, no man, no demon, can destroy its existence.         
But the stone has no consciousness. There is truth in the plant and        
its life can expand; the plant grows and blossoms and bears fruit.         
Its beauty is marvelous, but it has no consciousness. There is truth       
in the animal; it moves about and perceives its surroundings; it           
distinguishes and learns to choose. There is consciousness, but it         
is not yet the consciousness of Truth. It is a consciousness of self       
  The consciousness of self dims the eyes of the mind and hides the        
truth. It is the origin of error, it is the source of illusion, it         
is the germ of evil. Self begets selfishness. There is no evil but         
what flows from self. There is no wrong but what is done by the            
assertion of self. Self is the beginning of all hatred, of iniquity        
and slander, of impudence and indecency, of theft and robbery, of          
oppression and bloodshed. Self is Mara, the tempter, the evil-doer,        
the creator of mischief. Self entices with pleasures. Self promises        
a fairy's paradise. Self is the veil of Maya, the enchanter. But the       
pleasures of self are unreal, its paradisian labyrinth is the road         
to misery, and its fading beauty kindles the flames of desires that        
never can be satisfied.                                                    
  Who shall deliver us from the power of self? Who shall save us           
from misery? Who shall restore us to a life of blessedness?                
  There is misery in the world of Samsara; there is much misery and        
pain. But greater than all the misery is the bliss of truth. Truth         
gives peace to the yearning mind; it conquers error; it quenches the       
flames of desires; it leads to Nirvana. Blessed is he who has found        
the peace of Nirvana. He is at rest in the struggles and                   
tribulations of life; he is above all changes; he is above birth and       
death; he remains unaffected by the evils of life.                         
  Blessed is he who has found enlightenment. He conquers, although         
he may be wounded; he is glorious and happy, although he may suffer;       
he is strong, although he may break down under the burden of his           
work; he is immortal, although he will die. The essence of his being       
is purity and goodness.                                                    
  Blessed is he who has attained the sacred state of Buddhahood, for       
he is fit to work out the salvation of his fellow-beings. The truth        
has taken its abode in him. Perfect wisdom illumines his                   
understanding, and righteousness ensouls the purpose of all his            
actions. The truth is a living power for good, indestructible and          
invincible! Work the truth out in your mind, and spread it among           
mankind, for truth alone is the savior from evil and misery. The           
Buddha has found the truth and the truth has been proclaimed by the        
Buddha! Blessed be the Buddha!                                             

                          THE ENLIGHTENMENT                                
  THERE was in Kapilavatthu a Sakya king, strong of purpose and            
reverenced by all men, a descendant of the Okkakas, who call               
themselves Gotama, and his name was Suddhodana or Pure-Rice. His           
wife Maya-devi was beautiful as the water-lily and pure in mind as         
the lotus. As the Queen of Heaven, she lived on earth, untainted by        
desire, and immaculate.                                                    
  The king, her husband, honored her in her holiness, and the spirit       
of truth, glorious and strong in his wisdom like unto a white              
elephant, descended upon her. When she knew that the hour of               
motherhood was near, she asked the king to send her home to her            
parents; and Suddhodana, anxious about his wife and the child she          
would bear him, willingly granted her request.                             
  At Lumbini there is a beautiful grove, and when Maya-devi passed         
through it the trees were one mass of fragrant flowers and many            
birds were warbling in their branches. The Queen, wishing to stroll        
through the shady walks, left her golden palanquin, and, when she          
reached the giant sala tree in the midst of the grove, felt that her       
hour had come. She took hold of a branch. Her attendants hung a            
curtain about her and retired. When the pain of travail came upon          
her, four pure-minded angels of the great Brahma held out a golden         
net to receive the babe, who came forth from her right side like the       
rising sun bright and perfect.                                             
  The Brahma-angels took the child and placing him before the mother       
said: "Rejoice, O queen, a mighty son has been born unto thee."            
  At her couch stood an aged woman imploring the heavens to bless          
the child. All the worlds were flooded with light. The blind               
received their sight by longing to see the coming glory of the Lord;       
the deaf and dumb spoke with one another of the good omens                 
indicating the birth of the Buddha to be. The crooked became               
straight; the lame walked. All prisoners were freed from their chains      
and the fires of all the hells were extinguished.                          
  No clouds gathered in the skies and the polluted streams became          
clear, whilst celestial music rang through the air and the angels          
rejoiced with gladness. With no selfish or partial joy but for the         
sake of the law they rejoiced, for creation engulfed in the ocean of       
pain was now to obtain release. The cries of beasts were hushed; all       
malevolent beings received a loving heart, and peace reigned on            
earth. Mara, the evil one, alone was grieved and rejoiced not.             
  The Naga kings, earnestly desiring to show their reverence for           
most excellent law, as they had paid honor to former Buddhas, now          
went to greet the Bodhisattva. They scattered before him mandara           
flowers, rejoicing with heartfelt joy to pay their religious homage.       
  The royal father, pondering the meaning of these signs, was now          
full of joy and now sore distressed. The queen mother, beholding her       
child and the commotion which his birth created, felt in her               
timorous heart the pangs of doubt.                                         
  Now there was at that time in a grove near Lumbini Asita, a rishi,       
leading the life of a hermit. He was a Brahman of dignified mien,          
famed not only for wisdom and scholarship, but also for his skill in       
the interpretation of signs. And the king invited him to see the           
royal babe.                                                                
  The seer, beholding the prince, wept and sighed deeply. And when         
the king saw the tears of Asita he became alarmed and asked: "Why has      
the sight of my son caused thee grief and pain?"                           
  But Asita's heart rejoiced, and, knowing the king's mind to be           
perplexed, he addressed him, saying: "The king, like the moon when         
full, should feel great joy, for he has begotten a wondrously noble        
son. I do not worship Brahma, but I worship this child; and the gods       
in the temples will descend from their places of honor to adore him.       
Banish all anxiety and doubt. The spiritual omens manifested               
indicate that the child now born will bring deliverance to the whole       
  "Recollecting that I myself am old, on that account I could not          
hold my tears; for now my end is coming on and I shall not see the         
glory of this babe. For this son of thine will rule the world. The         
wheel of empire will come to him. He will either be a king of kings        
to govern all the lands of the earth, or verily will become a Buddha.      
He is born for the sake of everything that lives. His pure teaching        
will be like the shore that receives the shipwrecked. His power of         
meditation will be like a cool lake; and all creatures parched with        
the drought of lust may freely drink thereof. On the fire of               
covetousness he will cause the cloud of his mercy to rise, so that         
the rain of the law may extinguish it. The heavy gates of despondency      
will he open, and give deliverance to all creatures ensnared in the        
self-entwined meshes of folly and ignorance. The king of the law has       
come forth to rescue from bondage all the poor, the miserable, the         
  When the royal parents heard Asita's words they rejoiced in their        
hearts and named their new-born infant Siddhattha, that is, "he who        
has accomplished his purpose."                                             
  And the queen said to her sister, Pajapati: "A mother who has            
borne a future Buddha will never give birth to another child. I            
shall soon leave this world, my husband, the king, and Siddhattha,         
my child. When I am gone, be thou a mother to him." And Pajapati           
wept and promised.                                                         
  When the queen had departed from the living, Pajapati took the boy       
Siddhattha and reared him. And as the light of the moon increases          
little by little, so the royal child grew from day to day in mind          
and in body; and truthfulness and love resided in his heart. When a        
year had passed Suddhodana the king made Pajapati his queen and            
there was never a better stepmother than she.                              

                           THE TIES OF LIFE                                
  WHEN Siddhattha had grown to youth, his father desired to see him        
married, and he sent to all his kinsfolk, commanding them to bring         
their princesses that the prince might select one of them as his           
  But the kinsfolk replied and said: "The prince is young and              
delicate; nor has he learned any of the sciences. He would not be          
able to maintain our daughter, and should there be war he would be         
unable to cope with the enemy."                                            
  The prince was not boisterous, but pensive in his nature. He loved       
to stay under the great jambu-tree in the garden of his father, and,       
observing the ways of the world, gave himself up to meditation. And        
the prince said to his father: "Invite our kinsfolk that they may          
see me and put my strength to the test." And his father did as his         
son bade him.                                                              
  When the kinsfolk came, and the people of the city Kapilavatthu          
had assembled to test the prowess and scholarship of the prince, he        
proved himself manly in all the exercises both of the body and of          
the mind, and there was no rival among the youths and men of India         
who could surpass him in any test, bodily or mental. He replied to         
all the questions of the sages; but when he questioned them, even the      
wisest among them were silenced.                                           
  Then Siddhattha chose himself a wife. He selected his cousin             
Yasodhara, the gentle daughter of the king of Koli. In their wedlock       
was born a son whom they named Rahula which means "fetter" or "tie,"       
and King Suddhodana, glad that an heir was born to his son, said:          
"The prince having begotten a son, will love him as I love the             
prince. This will be a strong tie to bind Siddhattha's heart to the        
interests of the world, and the kingdom of the Sakyas will remain          
under the scepter of my descendants."                                      
  With no selfish aim, but regarding his child and the people at           
large, Siddhattha, the prince, attended to his religious duties,           
bathing his body in the holy Ganges and cleansing his heart in the         
waters of the law. Even as men desire to give happiness to their           
children, so did he long to give peace to the world.                       

                            THE THREE WOES                                 
  THE palace which the king had given to the prince was resplendent        
with all the luxuries of India; for the king was anxious to see his        
son happy. All sorrowful sights, all misery, and all knowledge of          
misery were kept away from Siddhattha, for the king desired that no        
troubles should come nigh him; he should not know that there was           
evil in the world.                                                         
  But as the chained elephant longs for the wilds of the jungles, so       
the prince was eager to see the world, and he asked his father, the        
king, for permission to do so. And Suddhodana ordered a                    
jewel-fronted chariot with four stately horses to be held ready, and       
commanded the roads to be adorned where his son would pass.                
  The houses of the city were decorated with curtains and banners,         
and spectators arranged themselves on either side, eagerly gazing at       
the heir to the throne. Thus Siddhattha rode with Channa, his              
charioteer, through the streets of the city, and into a country            
watered by rivulets and covered with pleasant trees.                       
  There by the wayside they met an old man with bent frame, wrinkled       
face and sorrowful brow, and the prince asked the charioteer: "Who         
is this? His head is white, his eyes are bleared, and his body is          
withered. He can barely support himself on his staff."                     
  The charioteer, much embarrassed, hardly dared speak the truth. He       
said: "These are the symptoms of old age. This same man was once a         
suckling child, and as a youth full of sportive life; but now, as          
years have passed away, his beauty is gone and the strength of his         
life is wasted."                                                           
  Siddhattha was greatly affected by the words of the charioteer,          
and he sighed because of the pain of old age. "What joy or pleasure        
can men take," he thought to himself, "when they know they must soon       
wither and pine away!"                                                     
  And lo! while they were passing on, a sick man appeared on the           
way-side, gasping for breath, his body disfigured, convulsed and           
groaning with pain. The prince asked his charioteer: "What kind of         
man is this?" And the charioteer replied and said: "This man is sick.      
The four elements of his body are confused and out of order. We are        
all subject to such conditions: the poor and the rich, the ignorant        
and the wise, all creatures that have bodies are liable to the same        
  And Siddhattha was still more moved. All pleasures appeared stale        
to him, and he loathed the joys of life.                                   
  The charioteer sped the horses on to escape the dreary sight, when       
suddenly they were stopped in their fiery course. Four persons             
passed by, carrying a corpse; and the prince, shuddering at the            
sight of a lifeless body, asked the charioteer: "What is this they         
carry? There are streamers and flower garlands; but the men that           
follow are overwhelmed with grief!"                                        
  The charioteer replied: "This is a dead man: his body is stark;          
his life is gone; his thoughts are still; his family and the friends       
who loved him now carry the corpse to the grave." And the prince was       
full of awe and terror: "Is this the only dead man," he asked, "or         
does the world contain other instances?"                                   
  With a heavy heart the charioteer replied: "All over the world it        
is the same. He who begins life must end it. There is no escape from       
  With bated breath and stammering accents the prince exclaimed: "O        
worldly men! How fatal is your delusion! Inevitably your body will         
crumble to dust, yet carelessly, unheedingly, ye live on." The             
charioteer observing the deep impression these sad sights had made         
on the prince, turned his horses and drove back to the city.               
  When they passed by the palace of the nobility, Kisa Gotami, a           
young princess and niece of the king, saw Siddhattha in his manliness      
and beauty, and, observing the thoughtfulness of his countenance,          
said: "Happy the father that begot thee, happy the mother that nursed      
thee, happy the wife that calls husband this lord so glorious."            
  The prince hearing this greeting, said: "Happy are they that have        
found deliverance. Longing for peace of mind, I shall seek the bliss       
of Nirvana."                                                               
  Then asked Kisa Gotami: "How is Nirvana attained?" The prince            
paused, and to him whose mind was estranged from wrong the answer          
came: "When the fire of lust is gone out, then Nirvana is gained;          
when the fires of hatred and delusion are gone out, then Nirvana is        
gained; when the troubles of mind, arising from blind credulity, and       
all other evils have ceased, then Nirvana is gained!"                      
  Siddhattha handed her his precious pearl necklace as a reward for        
the wisdom she had inspired in him, and having returned home looked        
with disdain upon the treasures of his palace.                             
  His wife welcomed him and entreated him to tell her the cause of         
his grief. He said: "I see everywhere the impression of change;            
therefore, my heart is heavy. Men grow old, sicken, and die. That is       
enough to take away the zest of life."                                     
  The king, his father, hearing that the prince had become estranged       
from pleasure, was greatly overcome with sorrow and like a sword it        
pierced his heart.                                                         

                    THE BODHISATTVA'S RENUNCIATION                         
  IT was night. The prince found no rest on his soft pillow; he            
arose and went out into the garden. "Alas!" he cried "all the world        
is full of darkness and ignorance; there is no one who knows how to        
cure the ills of existence." And he groaned with pain.                     
  Siddhattha sat down beneath the great jambu-tree and gave himself        
to thought, pondering on life and death and the evils of decay.            
Concentrating his mind he became free from confusion. All low              
desires vanished from his heart and perfect tranquility came over          
  In this state of ecstasy he saw with his mental eye all the misery       
and sorrow of the world; he saw the pains of pleasure and the              
inevitable certainty of death that hovers over every being; yet men        
are not awakened to the truth. And a deep compassion seized his            
  While the prince was pondering on the problem of evil, he beheld         
with his mind's eye under the jambu tree a lofty figure endowed with       
majesty, calm and dignified. "Whence comest thou, and who mayst thou       
be?" asked the prince.                                                     
  In reply the vision said: "I am a samana. Troubled at the thought        
of old age, disease, and death I have left my home to seek the path        
of salvation. All things hasten to decay; only the truth abideth           
forever. Everything changes, and there is no permanency; yet the           
words of the Buddhas are immutable. I long for the happiness that          
does not decay; the treasure that will never perish; the life that         
knows of no beginning and no end. Therefore, I have destroyed all          
worldly thought. I have retired into an unfrequented dell to live in       
solitude; and, begging for food, I devote myself to the one thing          
  Siddhattha asked: "Can peace be gained in this world of unrest? I        
am struck with the emptiness of pleasure and have become disgusted         
with lust. All oppresses me, and existence itself seems intolerable."      
  The samana replied: "Where heat is, there is also a possibility of       
cold; creatures subject to pain possess the faculty of pleasure; the       
origin of evil indicates that good can be developed. For these             
things are correlatives. Thus where there is much suffering, there         
will be much bliss, if thou but open thine eyes to behold it. Just         
as a man who has fallen into a heap of filth ought to seek the great       
pond of water covered with lotuses, which is near by: even so seek         
thou for the great deathless lake of Nirvana to wash off the               
defilement of wrong. If the lake is not sought, it is not the fault        
of the lake. Even so when there is a blessed road leading the man          
held fast by wrong to the salvation of Nirvana, if the road is not         
walked upon, it is not the fault of the road, but of the person. And       
when a man who is oppressed with sickness, there being a physician         
who can heal him, does not avail himself of the physician's help,          
that is not the fault of the physician. Even so when a man oppressed       
by the malady of wrong-doing does not seek the spiritual guide of          
enlightenment, that is no fault of the evil-destroying guide."             
  The prince listened to the noble words of his visitor and said:          
"Thou bringest good tidings, for now I know that my purpose will be        
accomplished. My father advises me to enjoy life and to undertake          
worldly duties, such as will bring honor to me and to our house. He        
tells me that I am too young still, that my pulse beats too full to        
lead a religious life."                                                    
  The venerable figure shook his head and replied: "Thou shouldst          
know that for seeking a religious life no time can be inopportune."        
  A thrill of joy passed through Siddhattha's heart. "Now is the           
time to seek religion," he said; "now is the time to sever all ties        
that would prevent me from attaining perfect enlightenment; now is         
the time to wander into homelessness and, leading a mendicant's life,      
to find the path of deliverance."                                          
  The celestial messenger heard the resolution of Siddhattha with          
approval. "Now, indeed," he added, "is the time to seek religion. Go,      
Siddhattha, and accomplish thy purpose. For thou art Bodhisatta, the       
Buddha-elect; thou art destined to enlighten the world. Thou art the       
Tathagata, the great master, for thou wilt fulfill all righteousness       
and be Dharmaraja, the king of truth. Thou art Bhagavat, the Blessed       
One, for thou art called upon to become the savior and redeemer of         
the world. Fulfill thou the perfection of truth. Though the                
thunderbolt descend upon thy head, yield thou never to the                 
allurements that beguile men from the path of truth. As the sun at         
all seasons pursues his own course, nor ever goes on another, even so      
if thou forsake not the straight path of righteousness, thou shalt         
become a Buddha. Persevere in thy quest and thou shalt find what thou      
seekest. Pursue thy aim unswervingly and thou shalt gain the prize.        
Struggle earnestly and thou shalt conquer. The benediction of all          
deities, of all saints of all that seek light is upon thee, and            
heavenly wisdom guides thy steps. Thou shalt be the Buddha, our            
Master, and our Lord; thou shalt enlighten the world and save              
mankind from perdition."                                                   
  Having thus spoken, the vision vanished, and Siddhattha's heart          
was filled with peace. He said to himself: "I have awakened to the         
truth and I am resolved to accomplish my purpose. I will sever all         
the ties that bind me to the world, and I will go out from my home to      
seek the way of salvation. The Buddhas are beings whose words cannot       
fail: there is no departure from truth in their speech. For as the         
fall of a stone thrown into the air, as the death of a mortal, as          
the sunrise at dawn, as the lion's roar when he leaves his lair, as        
the delivery of a woman with child, as all these things are sure and       
certain- even so the word of the Buddhas is sure and cannot fail.          
Verily I shall become a Buddha."                                           
  The prince returned to the bedroom of his wife to take a last            
farewell glance at those whom he dearly loved above all the                
treasures of the earth. He longed to take the infant once more into        
his arms and kiss him with a parting kiss. But the child lay in the        
arms of his mother, and the prince could not lift him without              
awakening both. There Siddhattha stood gazing at his beautiful wife        
and his beloved son, and his heart grieved. The pain of parting            
overcame him powerfully. Although his mind was determined, so that         
nothing, be it good or evil, could shake his resolution, the tears         
flowed freely from his eyes, and it was beyond his power to check          
their stream. But the prince tore himself away with a manly heart,         
suppressing his feelings but not extinguishing his memory.                 
  The Bodhisattva mounted his noble steed Kanthaka, and when he left       
the palace, Mara stood in the gate and stopped him: "Depart not, O         
my Lord," exclaimed Mara. "In seven days from now the wheel of             
empire will appear, and will make thee sovereign over the four             
continents and the two thousand adjacent islands. Therefore, stay,         
my Lord."                                                                  
  The Bodhisattva replied: "Well do I know that the wheel of empire        
will appear to me; but it is not sovereignty that I desire. I will         
become a Buddha and make all the world shout for joy."                     
  Thus Siddhattha, the prince, renounced power and worldly                 
pleasures, gave up his kingdom, severed all ties, and went into            
homelessness. He rode out into the silent night, accompanied only by       
his faithful charioteer Channa. Darkness lay upon the earth, but the       
stars shone brightly in the heavens.                                       

                            KING BIMBISARA                                 
  SIDDHATTHA had cut his waving hair and had exchanged his royal           
robe for a mean dress of the color of the ground. Having sent home         
Channa, the charioteer, together with the noble steed Kanthaka, to         
King Suddhodana to bear him the message that the prince had left the       
world, the Bodhisattva walked along on the highroad with a beggar's        
bowl in his hand.                                                          
  Yet the majesty of his mind was ill-concealed under the poverty of       
his appearance. His erect gait betrayed his royal birth and his eyes       
beamed with a fervid zeal for truth. The beauty of his youth was           
transfigured by holiness and surrounded his head like a halo. All          
the people who saw this unusual sight gazed at him in wonder. Those        
who were in haste arrested their steps and looked back; and there          
was no one who did not pay him homage.                                     
  Having entered the city of Rajagaha, the prince went from house to       
house silently waiting till the people offered him food. Wherever          
the Blessed One came, the people gave him what they had; they bowed        
before him in humility and were filled with gratitude because he           
condescended to approach their homes. Old and young people were            
moved and said: "This is a noble muni! His approach is bliss. What a       
great joy for us!"                                                         
  And King Bimbisara, noticing the commotion in the city, inquired         
the cause of it, and when he learned the news sent one of his              
attendants to observe the stranger. Having heard that the muni must        
be a Sakya and of noble family, and that he had retired to the bank        
of a flowing river in the woods to eat the food in his bowl, the king      
was moved in his heart; he donned his royal robe, placed his golden        
crown upon his head and went out in the company of aged and wise           
counselors to meet his mysterious guest.                                   
  The king found the muni of the Sakya race seated under a tree.           
Contemplating the composure of his face and the gentleness of his          
deportment, Bimbisara greeted him reverently and said: "O samana,          
thy hands are fit to grasp the reins of an empire and should not           
hold a beggar's bowl. I am sorry to see thee wasting thy youth.            
Believing that thou art of royal descent, I invite thee to join me         
in the government of my country and share my royal power. Desire for       
power is becoming to the noble-minded, and wealth should not be            
despised. To grow rich and lose religion is not true gain. But he          
who possesses all three, power, wealth, and religion, enjoying them        
in discretion and with wisdom, him I call a great master."                 
  The great Sakyamuni lifted his eyes and replied: "Thou art known,        
O king, to be liberal and religious, and thy words are prudent. A          
kind man who makes good use of wealth is rightly said to possess a         
great treasure; but the miser who hoards up his riches will have no        
profit. Charity is rich in returns; charity is the greatest wealth,        
for though it scatters, it brings no repentance.                           
  "I have severed all ties because I seek deliverance. How is it           
possible for me to return to the world? He who seeks religious             
truth, which is the highest treasure of all, must leave behind all         
that can concern him or draw away his attention, and must be bent          
upon that one goal alone. He must free his soul from covetousness and      
lust, and also from the desire for power.                                  
  "Indulge in lust but a little, and lust like a child will grow.          
Wield worldly power and you will be burdened with cares. Better than       
sovereignty over the earth, better than living in heaven, better           
than lordship over all the worlds, is the fruit of holiness. The           
Bodhisattva has recognized the illusory nature of wealth and will          
not take poison as food. Will a fish that has been baited still            
covet the hook, or an escaped bird love the net? Would a rabbit            
rescued from the serpent's mouth go back to be devoured? Would a man       
who has burnt his hand with a torch take up the torch after he had         
dropped it to the earth? Would a blind man who has recovered his           
sight desire to spoil his eyes again?                                      
  "The sick man suffering from fever seeks for a cooling medicine.         
Shall we advise him to drink that which will increase the fever?           
Shall we quench a fire by heaping fuel upon it?                            
  "I pray thee, pity me not. Rather pity those who are burdened with       
the cares of royalty and the worry of great riches. They enjoy them        
in fear and trembling, for they are constantly threatened with a loss      
of those boons on whose possession their hearts are set, and when          
they die they cannot take along either their gold or the kingly            
  "My heart hankers after no vulgar profit, so I have put away my          
royal inheritance and prefer to be free from the burdens of life.          
Therefore, try not to entangle me in new relationships and duties,         
nor hinder me from completing the work I have begun. I regret to           
leave thee. But I will go to the sages who can teach me religion and       
so find the path on which we can escape evil.                              
  "May thy country enjoy peace and prosperity, and may wisdom be           
shed upon thy rule like the brightness of the noon-day sun. May thy        
royal power be strong and may righteousness be the scepter in thine        
  The king, clasping his hands with reverence, bowed down before           
Sakyamuni and said: "Mayest thou obtain that which thou seekest, and       
when thou hast obtained it, come back, I pray thee, and receive me         
as thy disciple." The Bodhisattva parted from the king in friendship       
and good-will, and purposed in his heart to grant his request.             

                       THE BODHISATTVA'S SEARCH                            
  ALARA and Uddaka were renowned as teachers among the Brahmans, and       
there was no one in those days who surpassed them in learning and          
philosophical knowledge. The Bodhisattva went to them and sat at           
their feet. He listened to their doctrines of the atman or self,           
which is the ego of the mind and the doer of all doings. He learned        
their views of the transmigration of souls and of the law of karma;        
how the souls of bad men had to suffer by being reborn in men of low       
caste, in animals, or in hell, while those who purified themselves by      
libation, by sacrifices, and by self-mortification would become            
kings, or Brahmans, or devas, so as to rise higher and higher in the       
grades of existence. He studied their incantations and offerings and       
the methods by which they attained deliverance of the ego from             
material existence in states of ecstasy.                                   
  Alara said: "What is that self which perceives the actions of the        
five roots of mind, touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing? What is       
that which is active in the two ways of motion, in the hands and in        
the feet? The problem of the soul appears in the expressions 'I            
say,' 'I know and perceive,' 'I come,' and 'I go' or 'I will stay          
here.' Thy soul is not thy body; it is not thy eye, not thy ear, not       
thy nose, not thy tongue, nor is it thy mind. The I is the one who         
feels the touch in thy body. The I is the smeller in the nose, the         
taster in the tongue, the seer in the eye, the hearer in the ear,          
and the thinker in the mind. The I moves thy hands and thy feet. The       
I is thy soul. Doubt in the existence of the soul is irreligious, and      
without discerning this truth there is no way of salvation. Deep           
speculation will easily involve the mind; it leads to confusion and        
unbelief; but a purification of the soul leads to the way of escape.       
True deliverance is reached by removing from the crowd and leading a       
hermit's life, depending entirely on alms for food. Putting away all       
desire and clearly recognizing the non-existence of matter, we reach       
a state of perfect emptiness. Here we find the condition of                
immaterial life. As the munja grass when freed from its horny case,        
as a sword when drawn from its scabbard, or as the wild bird escaped       
from its prison, so the ego, liberating itself from all limitations,       
finds perfect release. This is true deliverance, but those only who        
will have deep faith will learn."                                          
  The Bodhisattva found no satisfaction in these teachings. He             
replied: "People are in bondage, because they have not yet removed         
the idea of the ego. The thing and its quality are different in our        
thought, but not in reality. Heat is different from fire in our            
thought, but you cannot remove heat from fire in reality. You say          
that you can remove the qualities and leave the thing, but if you          
think your theory to the end, you will find that this is not so.           
  "Is not man an organism of many aggregates? Are we not composed of       
various attributes? Man consists of the material form, of sensation,       
of thought, of dispositions, and, lastly, of understanding. That           
which men call the ego when they say 'I am' is not an entity behind        
the attributes; it originates by their co-operation. There is mind;        
there is sensation and thought, and there is truth; and truth is           
mind when it walks in the path of righteousness. But there is no           
separate ego-soul outside or behind the thought of man. He who             
believes the ego is a distinct being has no correct conception. The        
very search for the atman is wrong; it is a wrong start and it will        
lead you in a false direction.                                             
  "How much confusion of thought comes from our interest in self,          
and from our vanity when thinking 'I am so great,' or 'I have done         
this wonderful deed?' The thought of thine ego stands between thy          
rational nature and truth; banish it, and then wilt thou see things        
as they are. He who thinks correctly will rid himself of ignorance         
and acquire wisdom. The ideas 'I am' and 'I shall be' or 'I shall not      
be' do not occur to a clear thinker.                                       
  "Moreover, if our ego remains, how can we attain true deliverance?       
If the ego is to be reborn in any of the three worlds, be it in            
hell, upon earth, or be it even in heaven, we shall meet again and         
again the same inevitable doom of sorrow. We shall remain chained to       
the wheel of individuality and shall be implicated in egotism and          
wrong. All combination is subject to separation, and we cannot             
escape birth, disease, old age, and death. Is this a final escape?"        
  Said Uddaka: "Consider the unity of things. Things are not their         
parts, yet they exist. The members and organs of thy body are not          
thine ego, but thine ego possesses all these parts. What, for              
instance, is the Ganges? Is the sand the Ganges? Is the water the          
Ganges? Is the hither bank the Ganges? Is the hither bank the              
Ganges? Is the farther bank the Ganges? The Ganges is a mighty river       
and it possesses all these several qualities. Exactly so is our ego."      
  But the Bodhisattva replied: "Not so, sir! If we remove the water,       
the sand, the hither bank and the farther bank where can we find any       
Ganges? In the same way I observe the activities of man in their           
harmonious union, but there is no ground for an ego outside its            
  The Brahman sage, however, insisted on the existence of the ego,         
saying: "The ego is the doer of our deeds. How can there be karma          
without a self as its performer? Do we not see around us the effects       
of karma? What makes men different in character, station,                  
possessions, and fate? It is their karma, and karma includes merit         
and demerit. The transmigration of the soul is subject to its karma.       
We inherit from former existences the evil effects of our evil deeds       
and the good effects of our good deeds. If that were not so, how           
could we be different?'                                                    
  The Tathagata meditated deeply on the problems of transmigration         
and karma, and found the truth that lies in them. "The doctrine of         
karma," he said, "is undeniable, but the theory of the ego has no          
foundation. Like everything else in nature, the life of man is             
subject to the law of cause and effect. The present reaps what the         
past has sown, and the future is the product of the present. But           
there is no evidence of the existence of an immutable ego-being, of        
a self which remains the same and migrates from body to body. There        
is rebirth but no transmigration.                                          
  "Is not this individuality of mine a combination, material as well       
as mental? Is it not made up of qualities that sprang into being by        
a gradual evolution? The five roots of sense-perception in this            
organism have come from ancestors who performed these functions. The       
ideas which I think, came to me partly from others who thought them,       
and partly they rise from combinations of the ideas in my own mind.        
Those who have used the same sense-organs, and have thought the same       
ideas before I was composed into this individuality of mine, are my        
previous existences; they are my ancestors as much as the I of             
yesterday is the father of the I of today, and the karma of my past        
deeds affects the fate of my present existence.                            
  "Supposing there were an atman that performs the actions of the          
senses, then if the door of sight were torn down and the eye plucked       
out, that atman would be able to peep through the larger aperture          
and see the forms of its surroundings better and more clearly than         
before. It would be able to hear sounds better if the ears were torn       
away; smell better if the nose were cut off; taste better if the           
tongue were pulled out; and feel better if the body were destroyed.        
  "I observe the preservation and transmission of character; I             
perceive the truth of karma, but see no atman whom your doctrine           
makes the doer of your deeds. There is rebirth without the                 
transmigration of a self. For this atman, this self, this ego in the       
'I say' and in the 'I will' is an illusion. If this self were a            
reality, how could there be an escape from selfhood? The terror of         
hell would be infinite, and no release could be granted. The evils of      
existence would not be due to our ignorance and wrong-doing, but           
would constitute the very nature of our being."                            
  Then the Bodhisattva went to the priests officiating in the              
temples. But the gentle mind of the Sakyamuni was offended at the          
unnecessary cruelty performed on the altars of the gods. He said:          
"Ignorance only can make these men prepare festivals and hold vast         
meetings for sacrifices. Far better to revere the truth than try to        
appease the gods by shedding blood. What love can a man possess who        
believes that the destruction of life will atone for evil deeds? Can       
a new wrong expiate old wrongs? And can the slaughter of an innocent       
victim blot out the evil deeds of mankind? This is practicing              
religion by the neglect of moral conduct. Purify your hearts and           
cease to kill; that is true religion. Rituals have no efficacy;            
prayers are vain repetitions; and incantations have no saving power.       
But to abandon covetousness and lust, to become free from evil             
passions, and to give up all hatred and ill-will, that is the right        
sacrifice and the true worship."                                           
                   URUVELA, PLACE OF MORTIFICATION                         
  THE Bodhisattva went in search of a better system and came to a          
settlement of five bhikkhus in the jungle of Uruvela; and when the         
Blessed One saw the life of those five men, virtuously keeping in          
check their senses, subduing their passions, and practicing austere        
self-discipline, he admired their earnestness and joined their             
company. With holy zeal and a strong heart, the Sakyamuni gave             
himself up to meditative thought and a rigorous mortification of the       
body. Whereas the five bhikkhus were severe, the Sakyamuni was             
severer still, and so they revered him, their junior, as their             
  So the Bodhisattva continued for six years patiently torturing           
himself and suppressing the wants of nature. He trained his body and       
exercised his mind in the modes of the most rigorous ascetic life.         
At last, he ate each day one hemp grain only, seeking to cross the         
ocean of birth and death and to arrive at the shore of deliverance.        
  And when the Bodhisattva was ahungered, lo! Mara, the Evil One,          
approached him and said: "Thou art emaciated from fasts, and death         
is near. What good is thy exertion? Deign to live, and thou wilt be        
able to do good work." But the Sakyamuni made reply: "O thou friend        
of the indolent, thou wicked one; for what purpose hast thou come?         
Let the flesh waste away, if but the mind becomes more tranquil and        
attention more steadfast. What is life in this world? Death in             
battle is better to me than that I should live defeated."                  
  And Mara withdrew, saying: "For seven years I have followed the          
Blessed One step by step, but I have found no fault in the                 
  The Bodhisattva was shrunken and attenuated, and his body was like       
a withered branch; but the fame of his holiness spread in the              
surrounding countries, and people came from great distances to see         
him and receive his blessing. However, the Holy One was not                
satisfied. Seeking true wisdom he did not find it, and he came to the      
conclusion that mortification would not extinguish desire nor afford       
enlightenment in ecstatic contemplation.                                   
  Seated beneath a jambu-tree, he considered the state of his mind         
and the fruits of his mortification. His body had become weaker, nor       
had his fasts advanced him in his search for salvation, and therefore      
when he saw that it was not the right path, he proposed to abandon         
it. He went to bathe in the Neranjara River, but when he strove to         
leave the water he could not rise on account of his weakness. Then         
espying the branch of a tree and taking hold of it, he raised himself      
and left the stream. But while returning to his abode, he staggered        
and lay as though dead.                                                    
  There was a chief herdsman living near the grove whose eldest            
daughter was called Nanda; and Nanda happened to pass by the spot          
where the Blessed One had swooned, and bowing down before him she          
offered him rice-milk and he accepted the gift. When he had partaken       
of the rice-milk all his limbs were refreshed, his mind became clear       
again, and he was strong to receive the highest enlightenment.             
  After this occurrence, the Bodhisattva again took some food. His         
disciples, having witnessed the scene of Nanda and observing the           
change in his mode of living, were filled with suspicion. They             
feared that Siddhattha's religious zeal was flagging and that he           
whom they had hitherto revered as their Master had become oblivious        
of his high purpose.                                                       
  When the Bodhisattva saw the bhikkhus turning away from him, he          
felt sorry for their lack of confidence, and was aware of the              
loneliness of his life. Suppressing his grief he wandered on alone,        
and his disciples said, "Siddhattha leaves us to seek a more pleasant      
                          MARA, THE EVIL ONE                               
  THE Holy One directed his steps to that blessed Bodhi-tree beneath       
whose shade he was to accomplish his search. As he walked, the earth       
shook and a brilliant light transfigured the world. When he sat down       
the heavens resounded with joy and all living beings were filled           
with good cheer. Mara alone, lord of the five desires, bringer of          
death and enemy of truth, was grieved and rejoiced not. With his           
three daughters, Tanha, Raga and Arati, the tempters, and with his         
host of evil demons, he went to the place where the great samana sat.      
But Sakyamuni heeded him not. Mara uttered fear-inspiring threats and      
raised a whirlwind so that the skies were darkened and the ocean           
roared and trembled.                                                       
  But the Blessed One under the Bodhi-tree remained calm and feared        
not. The Enlightened One knew that no harm could befall him.               
  The three daughters of Mara tempted the Bodhisattva, but he paid         
no attention to them, and when Mara saw that he could kindle no            
desire in the heart of the victorious samana, he ordered all the evil      
spirits at his command to attack him and overawe the great muni. But       
the Blessed One watched them as one would watch the harmless games of      
children. All the fierce hatred of the evil spirits was of no avail.       
The flames of hell became wholesome breezes of perfume, and the            
angry thunderbolts were changed into lotus-blossoms.                       
  When Mara saw this, he fled away with his army from the                  
Bodhi-tree, whilst from above a rain of heavenly flowers fell, and         
voices of good spirits were heard: "Behold the great muni! his heart       
unmoved by hatred. The wicked Mara's host 'gainst him did not              
prevail. Pure is he and wise, loving and full of mercy. As the rays        
of the sun drown the darkness of the world, so he who perseveres in        
his search will find the truth and the truth will enlighten him."          
  THE Bodhisattva, having put Mara to flight, gave himself up to           
meditation. All the miseries of the world, the evils produced by           
evil deeds and the sufferings arising therefrom, passed before his         
mental eye, and he thought:                                                
  "Surely if living creatures saw the results of all their evil            
deeds, they would turn away from them in disgust. But selfhood blinds      
them, and they cling to their obnoxious desires. They crave pleasure       
for themselves and they cause pain to others; when death destroys          
their individuality, they find no peace; their thirst for existence        
abides and their selfhood reappears in new births. Thus they continue      
to move in the coil and can find no escape from the hell of their own      
making. And how empty are their pleasures, how vain are their              
endeavors! Hollow like the plantain-tree and without contents like         
the bubble. The world is full of evil and sorrow, because it is full       
of lust. Men go astray because they think that delusion is better          
than truth. Rather than truth they follow error, which is pleasant to      
look at in the beginning but in the end causes anxiety, tribulation,       
and misery."                                                               
  And the Bodhisattva began to expound the Dharma. The Dharma is the       
truth. The Dharma is the sacred law. The Dharma is religion. The           
Dharma alone can deliver us from error, from wrong and from sorrow.        
  Pondering on the origin of birth and death, the Enlightened One          
recognized that ignorance was the root of all evil; and these are          
the links in the development of life, called the twelve nidanas: In        
the beginning there is existence blind and without knowledge; and in       
this sea of ignorance there are stirrings formative and organizing.        
From stirrings, formative and organizing, rises awareness or               
feelings. Feelings beget organisms that live as individual beings.         
These organisms develop the six fields, that is, the five senses and       
the mind. The six fields come in contact with things. Contact begets       
sensation. Sensation creates the thirst of individualized being. The       
thirst of being creates a cleaving to things. The cleaving produces        
the growth and continuation of selfhood. Selfhood continues in             
renewed birth. The renewed births of selfhood are the causes of            
sufferings, old age, sickness, and death. They produce lamentation,        
anxiety, and despair.                                                      
  The cause of all sorrow lies at the very beginning; it is hidden         
in the ignorance from which life grows. Remove ignorance and you           
will destroy the wrong desires that rise from ignorance; destroy           
these desires and you will wipe out the wrong perception that rises        
from them. Destroy wrong perception and there is an end of errors in       
individualized beings. Destroy the errors in individualized beings         
and the illusions of the six fields will disappear. Destroy illusions      
and the contact with things will cease to beget misconception.             
Destroy misconception and you do away with thirst. Destroy thirst and      
you will be free of all morbid cleaving. Remove the cleaving and you       
destroy the selfishness of selfhood. If the selfishness of selfhood        
is destroyed you will be above birth, old age, disease, and death,         
and you will escape all suffering.                                         
  The Enlightened One saw the four noble truths which point out the        
path that leads to Nirvana or the extinction of self: The first            
noble truth is the existence of sorrow. The second noble truth is          
the cause of suffering. The third noble truth is the cessation of          
sorrow. The fourth noble truth is the eightfold path that leads to         
the cessation of sorrow.                                                   
  This is the Dharma. This is the truth. This is religion. And the         
Enlightened One uttered this stanza:                                       
               "Through many births I sought in vain                       
               The Builder of this House of Pain.                          
               Now, Builder, You are plain to see,                         
               And from this House at last I'm free;                       
               I burst the rafters, roof and wall,                         
               And dwell in the Peace beyond them all."                    
  There is self and there is truth. Where self is, truth is not.           
Where truth is, self is not. Self is the fleeting error of samsara;        
it is individual separateness and that egotism which begets envy and       
hatred. Self is the yearning for pleasure and the lust after vanity.       
Truth is the correct comprehension of things; it is the permanent and      
everlasting, the real in all existence, the bliss of righteousness.        
  The existence of self is an illusion, and there is no wrong in this      
world, no vice, no evil, except what flows from the assertion of           
self. The attainment of truth is possible only when self is                
recognized as an illusion. Righteousness can be practiced only when        
we have freed our mind from passions of egotism. Perfect peace can         
dwell only where all vanity has disappeared.                               
  Blessed is he who has understood the Dharma. Blessed is he who           
does no harm to his fellow-beings. Blessed is he who overcomes wrong       
and is free from passion. To the highest bliss has he attained who         
has conquered all selfishness and vanity. He has become the Buddha,        
the Perfect One.                                                           

                          THE FIRST CONVERTS                               
  THE Blessed One tarried in solitude seven times seven days,              
enjoying the bliss of emancipation. At that time Tapussa and               
Bhallika, two merchants, came traveling on the road near by, and           
when they saw the great samana, majestic and full of peace, they           
approached him respectfully and offered him rice-cakes and honey.          
  This was the first food that the Enlightened One ate after he            
attained Buddhahood.                                                       
  And the Buddha addressed them and pointed out to them the way of         
salvation. The two merchants, seeing the holiness of the conqueror         
of Mara, bowed down in reverence and said: "We take our refuge,            
Lord, in the Blessed One and in the Dharma." Tapussa and Bhallika          
were the first that became followers of the Buddha and they were lay       

                         THE BRAHMA'S REQUEST                              
  THE Blessed One having attained Buddhahood while resting under the       
shepherd's Nigrodha tree on the banks of the river Neranjara,              
pronounced this solemn utterance:                                          
                "How sure his pathway in this wood,                        
                Who follows truth's unchanging call!                       
                How blessed, to be kind and good,                          
                And practice self-restraint in all!                        
                How light, from passion to be free,                        
                And sensual joys to let go by!                             
                And yet his greatest bliss will be                         
                When he has quelled the pride of 'I'.                      
  "I have recognized the deepest truth, which is sublime and               
peace-giving, but difficult to understand; for most men move in a          
sphere of worldly interests and find their delight in worldly              
desires. The worldling will not understand the doctrine, for to him        
there is happiness in selfhood only, and the bliss that lies in a          
complete surrender to truth is unintelligible to him. He will call         
resignation what to the enlightened mind is the purest joy. He will        
see annihilation where the perfected one finds immortality. He will        
regard as death what the conqueror of self knows to be life                
everlasting. The truth remains hidden from him who is in the bondage       
of hate and desire. Nirvana remains incomprehensible and mysterious        
to the vulgar whose minds are beclouded with worldly interests.            
Should I preach the doctrine and mankind not comprehend it, it would       
bring me only fatigue and trouble."                                        
  Mara, the Evil One, on hearing the words of the Blessed Buddha,          
approached and said: "Be greeted, thou Holy One. Thou hast attained        
the highest bliss and it is time for thee to enter into the final          
  Then Brahma Sahampati descended from the heavens and, having             
worshiped the Blessed One, said: "Alas! the world must perish,             
should the Holy One, the Tathagata, decide not to teach the Dharma.        
Be merciful to those that struggle; have compassion upon the               
sufferers; pity the creatures who are hopelessly entangled in the          
snares of sorrow. There are some beings that are almost free from the      
dust of worldliness. If they hear not the doctrine preached, they          
will be lost. But if they hear it, they will believe and be saved."        
  The Blessed One, full of compassion, looked with the eye of a            
Buddha upon all sentient creatures, and he saw among them beings           
whose minds were but scarcely covered by the dust of worldliness, who      
were of good disposition and easy to instruct. He saw some who were        
conscious of the dangers of lust and wrong doing. And the Blessed          
One said to Brahma Sahampati: "Wide open be the door of immortality        
to all who have ears to hear. May they receive the Dharma with             
  Then the Blessed One turned to Mara, saying: "I shall not pass           
into the final Nirvana, O Evil One, until there be not only brethren       
and sisters of an Order, but also lay disciples of both sexes, who         
shall have become true hearers, wise, well trained, ready and              
learned, versed in the scriptures, fulfilling all the greater and          
lesser duties, correct in life, walking according to the precepts-         
until they, having thus themselves learned the doctrine, shall be          
able to give information to others concerning it, preach it, make it       
known, establish it, open it, minutely explain it, and make it clear-      
until they, when others start vain doctrines, shall be able to             
vanquish and refute them, and so to spread the wonder-working truth        
abroad. I shall not die until the pure religion of truth shall have        
become successful, prosperous, widespread, and popular in all its          
full extent- until, in a word, it shall have been well proclaimed          
among men!"                                                                
  Then Brahma Sahampati understood that the Blessed One had granted        
his request and would preach the doctrine.                                 

                         FOUNDING THE KINGDOM                              
                         UPAKA SEES THE BUDDHA                             
  NOW the Blessed One thought: "To whom shall I preach the doctrine        
first? My old teachers are dead. They would have received the good         
news with joy. But my five disciples are still alive. I shall go to        
them, and to them shall I first proclaim the gospel of deliverance."       
  At that time the five bhikkhus dwelt in the Deer Park at Benares,        
and the Blessed One rose and journeyed to their abode, not thinking        
of their unkindness in having left him at a time when he was most in       
need of their sympathy and help, but mindful only of the services          
which they had ministered unto him, and pitying them for the               
austerities which they practiced in vain.                                  
  Upaka, a young Brahman and a Jain, a former acquaintance of              
Siddhattha, saw the Blessed One while he journeyed to Benares, and,        
amazed at the majesty and sublime joyfulness of his appearance, said       
to him: "Thy countenance, my friend, is serene; thine eyes are             
bright and indicate purity and blessedness."                               
  The holy Buddha replied: "I have obtained deliverance by the             
extinction of self. My body is chastened, my mind is free from             
desire, and the deepest truth has taken abode in my heart. I have          
obtained Nirvana, and this is the reason that my countenance is            
serene and my eyes are bright. I now desire to found the kingdom of        
truth upon earth, to give light to those who are enshrouded in             
darkness and to open the gate of deathlessness."                           
  Upaka replied: "Thou professest then, friend, to be Jina, the            
conqueror of the world, the absolute one and the holy one."                
  The Blessed One said: "Jinas are all those who have conquered self       
and the passions of self; those alone are victorious who control           
their minds and abstain from evil. Therefore, Upaka, I am the Jina."       
  Upaka shook his head. "Venerable Gotama," he said, "thy way lies         
yonder," and taking another road he went away.                             

                        THE SERMON AT BENARES                              
  ON seeing their old teacher approach, the five bhikkus agreed            
among themselves not to salute him, nor to address him as a master,        
but by his name only. "For," so they said, "he has broken his vow          
and has abandoned holiness. He is no bhikkhu, but Gotama, and Gotama       
has become a man who lives in abundance and indulges in the                
pleasures of worldliness." But when the Blessed One approached in a        
dignified manner, they involuntarily rose from their seats and             
greeted him in spite of their resolution. Still they called him by         
his name and addressed him as "friend Gotama."                             
  When they had thus received the Blessed One, he said: "Do not call       
the Tathagata by his name nor address him as 'friend,' for he is the       
Buddha, the Holy One. The Buddha looks with a kind heart equally on        
all living beings, and they therefore call him 'Father.' To                
disrespect a father is wrong; to despise him, is wicked. The               
Tathagata," the Buddha continued, "does not seek salvation in              
austerities, but neither does he for that reason indulge in worldly        
pleasures, nor live in abundance. The Tathagata has found the middle       
  "There are two extremes, O bhikkhus, which the man who has given         
up the world ought not to follow- the habitual practice, on the one        
hand, of self-indulgence which is unworthy, vain and fit only for          
the worldly-minded- and the habitual practice, on the other hand, of       
self-mortification, which is painful, useless and unprofitable.            
  "Neither abstinence from fish and flesh, nor going naked, nor            
shaving the head, nor wearing matted hair, nor dressing in a rough         
garment, nor covering oneself with dirt, nor sacrificing to Agni,          
will cleanse a man who is not free from delusions. Reading the Vedas,      
making offerings to priests, or sacrifices to the gods,                    
self-mortification by heat or cold, and many such penances performed       
for the sake of immortality, these do not cleanse the man who is not       
free from delusions. Anger, drunkenness, obstinacy, bigotry,               
deception, envy, self-praise, disparaging others, superciliousness         
and evil intentions constitute uncleanness; not verily the eating of       
  "A middle path, O bhikkhus, avoiding the two extremes, has been          
discovered by the Tathagata- a path which opens the eyes, and bestows      
understanding, which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom,         
to full enlightenment, to Nirvana! What is that middle path, O             
bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the                   
Tathagata- that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding,      
which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full                
enlightenment, to Nirvana? Let me teach you, O bhikkhus, the middle        
path, which keeps aloof from both extremes. By suffering, the              
emaciated devotee produces confusion and sickly thoughts in his            
mind. Mortification is not conducive even to worldly knowledge; how        
much less to a triumph over the senses!                                    
  "He who fills his lamp with water will not dispel the darkness,          
and he who tries to light a fire with rotten wood will fail. And how       
can any one be free from self by leading a wretched life, if he does       
not succeed in quenching the fires of lust, if he still hankers            
after either worldly or heavenly pleasures? But he in whom self has        
become extinct is free from lust; he will desire neither worldly nor       
heavenly pleasures, and the satisfaction of his natural wants will         
not defile him. However, let him be moderate, let him eat and drink        
according to the need of the body.                                         
  "Sensuality is enervating; the self-indulgent man is a slave to          
his passions, and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar. But to         
satisfy the necessities of life is not evil. To keep the body in           
good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim          
the lamp of wisdom, and keep our minds strong and clear. Water             
surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals. This is the       
middle path, O bhikkhus, that keeps aloof from both extremes."             
  And the Blessed One spoke kindly to his disciples, pitying them for      
their errors, and pointing out the uselessness of their endeavors,         
and the ice of ill-will that chilled their hearts melted away under        
the gentle warmth of the Master's persuasion.                              
  Now the Blessed One set the wheel of the most excellent law              
rolling, and he began to preach to the five bhikkhus, opening to them      
the gate of immortality, and showing them the bliss of Nirvana.            
  The Buddha said: "The spokes of the wheel are the rules of pure          
conduct: justice is the uniformity of their length; wisdom is the          
tire; modesty and thoughtfulness are the hub in which the immovable        
axle of truth is fixed. He who recognizes the existence of                 
suffering, its cause, its remedy, and its cessation has fathomed the       
four noble truths. He will walk in the right path.                         
  "Right views will be the torch to light his way. Right aspirations       
will be his guide. Right speech will be his dwelling-place on the          
road. His gait will be straight, for it is right behavior. His             
refreshments will be the right way of earning his livelihood. Right        
efforts will be his steps: right thoughts his breath; and right            
contemplation will give him the peace that follows in his footprints.      
  "Now, this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering:         
Birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful,         
death is painful. Union with the unpleasant is painful, painful is         
separation from the pleasant; and any craving that is unsatisfied,         
that too is painful. In brief, bodily conditions which spring from         
attachment are painful. This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth         
concerning suffering.                                                      
  "Now this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the origin of       
suffering: Verily, it is that craving which causes the renewal of          
existence, accompanied by sensual delight, seeking satisfaction now        
here, now there, the craving for the gratification of the passions,        
the craving for a future life, and the craving for happiness in this       
life. This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the            
origin of suffering.                                                       
  "Now this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the                 
destruction of suffering: Verily, it is the destruction, in which no       
passion remains, of this very thirst; it is the laying aside of, the       
being free from, the dwelling no longer upon this thirst. This, then,      
O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the destruction of               
  "Now, this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the way            
which leads to the destruction of sorrow. Verily, it is this noble         
eightfold path; that is to say: Right views; right aspirations;            
right speech; right behavior; right livelihood; right effort; right        
thoughts; and right contemplation. This, then, O bhikkhus, is the          
noble truth concerning the destruction of sorrow.                          
  "By the practice of loving-kindness I have attained liberation of        
heart, and thus I am assured that I shall never return in renewed          
births. I have even now attained Nirvana."                                 
  When the Blessed One had thus set the royal chariot-wheel of truth       
rolling onward, a rapture thrilled through all the universes. The          
devas left their heavenly abodes to listen to the sweetness of the         
truth; the saints that had parted from life crowded around the great       
teacher to receive the glad tidings; even the animals of the earth         
felt the bliss that rested upon the words of the Tathagata: and all        
the creatures of the host of sentient beings, gods, men, and beasts,       
hearing the message of deliverance, received and understood it in          
their own language.                                                        
  And when the doctrine was propounded, the venerable Kondanna, the        
oldest one among the five bhikkhus, discerned the truth with his           
mental eye, and he said: "Truly, O Buddha, our Lord, thou hast found       
the truth!" Then the other bhikkhus too, joined him and exclaimed:         
"Truly, thou art the Buddha, thou hast found the truth."                   
  And the devas and saints and all the good spirits of the departed        
generations that had listened to the sermon of the Tathagata,              
joyfully received the doctrine and shouted: "Truly, the Blessed One        
has founded the kingdom of righteousness. The Blessed One has moved        
the earth; he has set the wheel of Truth rolling, which by no one in       
the universe, be he god or man, can ever be turned back. The kingdom       
of Truth will be preached upon earth; it will spread; and                  
righteousness, good-will, and peace will reign among mankind."             

                       THE SANGHA OR COMMUNITY                             
  HAVING pointed out to the five bhikkhus the truth, the Buddha            
said: "A man that stands alone, having decided to obey the truth,          
may be weak and slip back into his old ways. Therefore, stand ye           
together, assist one another, and strengthen one another's efforts.        
Be like unto brothers; one in love, one in holiness, and one in your       
zeal for the truth. Spread the truth and preach the doctrine in all        
quarters of the world, so that in the end all living creatures will        
be citizens of the kingdom of righteousness. This is the holy              
brotherhood; this is the church, the congregation of the saints of         
the Buddha; this is the Sangha that establishes a communion among all      
those who have taken their refuge in the Buddha."                          
  Kondanna was the first disciple of the Buddha who had thoroughly         
grasped the doctrine of the Holy One, and the Tathagata looking into       
his heart said: "Truly, Kondanna has understood the truth."                
Therefore the venerable Kondanna received the name "Annata-Kondanna"-      
that is, "Kondanna who has understood the doctrine."                       
  Then the venerable Kondanna spoke to the Buddha and said: "Lord,         
let us receive the ordination from the Blessed One." And the Buddha        
said: "Come, O bhikkhus! Well taught is the doctrine. Lead a holy          
life for the extinction of suffering."                                     
  Then Kondanna and the other bhikkhus uttered three times these           
solemn vows: "To the Buddha will I look in faith: He, the Perfect          
One, is holy and supreme. The Buddha conveys to us instruction,            
wisdom, and salvation; he is the Blessed One, who knows the law of         
being; he is the Lord of the world, who yoketh men like oxen, the          
Teacher of gods and men, the Exalted Buddha. Therefore, to the Buddha      
will I look in faith.                                                      
  "To the doctrine will I look in faith: well-preached is the              
doctrine by the Exalted One. The doctrine has been revealed so as to       
become visible; the doctrine is above time and space. The doctrine is      
not based upon hearsay, it means 'Come and see'; the doctrine to           
welfare; the doctrine is recognized by the wise in their own hearts.       
Therefore to the doctrine will I look in faith.                            
  "To the community will I look in faith; the community of the             
Buddha's disciples instructs us how to lead a life of righteousness;       
the community of the Buddha's disciples teaches us how to exercise         
honesty and justice; the community of the Buddha's disciples shows         
us how to practice the truth. They form a brotherhood in kindness          
and charity, and their saints are worthy of reverence. The community       
of the Buddha's disciples is founded as a holy brotherhood in which        
men bind themselves together to teach the behests of rectitude and         
to do good. Therefore, to the community will I look in faith."             
  The gospel of the Blessed One increased from day to day, and many        
people came to hear him and to accept the ordination to lead               
thenceforth a holy life for the sake of the extinction of suffering.       
And the Blessed One seeing that it was impossible to attend to all         
who wanted to hear the truth and receive the ordination, sent out          
from the number of his disciples such as were to preach the Dharma,        
and said unto them:                                                        
  "The Dharma and the Vinaya proclaimed by the Tathagata shine forth       
when they are displayed, and not when they are concealed. But let          
not this doctrine, so full of truth and so excellent, fall into the        
hands of those unworthy of it, where it would be despised and              
contemned, treated shamefully, ridiculed and censured. I now grant         
you, O bhikkhus, this permission. Confer henceforth in the different       
countries the ordination upon those who are eager to receive it,           
when you find them worthy.                                                 
  "Go ye now, O bhikkhus, for the benefit of the many, for the             
welfare of mankind, out of compassion for the world. Preach the            
doctrine which is glorious in the beginning, glorious in the middle,       
and glorious in the end, in the spirit as well as in the letter.           
There are beings whose eyes are scarcely covered with dust, but if         
the doctrine is not preached to them they cannot attain salvation.         
Proclaim to them a life of holiness. They will understand the              
doctrine and accept it."                                                   
  And it became an established custom that the bhikkhus went out           
preaching while the weather was good, but in the rainy season they         
came together again and joined their master, to listen to the              
exhortations of the Tathagata.                                             
                      YASA, THE YOUTH OF BENARES                           
  AT that time there was in Benares a noble youth, Yasa by name, the       
son of a wealthy merchant. Troubled in his mind about the sorrows of       
the world, he secretly rose up in the night and stole away to the          
Blessed One. The Blessed One saw Yasa coming from afar. Yasa               
approached and exclaimed: "Alas, what distress! What tribulations!"        
  The Blessed One said to Yasa: "Here is no distress; here are no          
tribulations. Come to me and I will teach you the truth, and the           
truth will dispel your sorrows."                                           
  When Yasa, the noble youth, heard that there were neither                
distress, nor tribulations, nor sorrows, his heart was comforted. He       
went into the place where the Blessed One was, and sat down near           
him. Then the Blessed One preached about charity and morality. He          
explained the vanity of the thought "I am"; the dangers of desire,         
and the necessity of avoiding the evils of life in order to walk on        
the path of deliverance.                                                   
  Instead of disgust with the world, Yasa felt the cooling stream of       
holy wisdom, and, having obtained the pure and spotless eye of             
truth, he looked at his person, richly adorned with pearls and             
precious stones, and his heart was shamed.                                 
  The Tathagata, knowing his inward thoughts, said: "Though a person       
be ornamented with jewels, the heart may have conquered the senses.        
The outward form does not constitute religion or affect the mind.          
Thus the body of a samana may wear an ascetic's garb while his mind        
is immersed in worldliness. A man that dwells in lonely woods and yet      
covets worldly vanities, is a worldling, while the man in worldly          
garments may let his heart soar high to heavenly thoughts. There is        
no distinction between the layman and the hermit, if but both have         
banished the thought of self."                                             
  Seeing that Yasa was ready to enter upon the path, the Blessed One       
said to him: "Follow me!" And Yasa joined the brotherhood, and             
having put on a bhikkhu's robe, received the ordination.                   
  While the Blessed One and Yasa were discussing the doctrine,             
Yasa's father passed by in search of his son; and in passing he            
asked the Blessed One: "Pray, Lord, hast thou seen Yasa, my son?"          
  The Buddha said to Yasa's father: "Come in, sir, thou wilt find          
thy son"; and Yasa's father became full of joy and he entered. He          
sat down near his son, but his eyes were holden and he knew him not;       
and the Lord began to preach. And Yasa's father, understanding the         
doctrine of the Blessed One, said:                                         
  "Glorious is the truth, O Lord! The Buddha, the Holy One, our            
Master, sets up what has been overturned; he reveals what has been         
hidden; he points out the way to the wanderer who has gone astray;         
he lights a lamp in the darkness so that all who have eyes to see          
can discern the things that surround them. I take refuge in the            
Buddha, our Lord: I take refuge in the doctrine revealed by him: I         
take refuge in the brotherhood which he has founded. May the Blessed       
One receive me from this day forth while my life lasts as a lay            
disciple who has taken refuge in him." Yasa's father was the first         
lay member who became the first lay disciple of the Buddha by              
pronouncing the threefold formula of refuge.                               
  When the wealthy merchant had taken refuge in the Buddha, his eyes       
were opened and he saw his son sitting at his side in a bhikkhu's          
robe. "My son, Yasa," he said, "thy mother is absorbed in lamentation      
and grief. Return home and restore thy mother to life."                    
  Then Yasa looked at the Blessed One, who said: "Should Yasa return       
to the world and enjoy the pleasures of a worldly life as he did           
before?" Yasa's father replied: "If Yasa, my son, finds it a gain to       
stay with thee, let him stay. He has become delivered from the             
bondage of worldliness."                                                   
  When the Blessed One had cheered their hearts with words of truth        
and righteousness, Yasa's father said: "May the Blessed One, O Lord,       
consent to take his meal with me together with Yasa as his                 
attendant?" The Blessed One, having donned his robes, took his             
alms-bowl and went with Yasa to the house of the rich merchant. When       
they had arrived there, the mother and also the former wife of Yasa        
saluted the Blessed One and sat down near him.                             
  Then the Blessed One preached, and the women having understood his       
doctrine, exclaimed: "Glorious is the truth, O Lord! We take refuge        
in the Buddha, our Lord. We take refuge in the doctrine revealed by        
him. We take refuge in the brotherhood which has been founded by           
him. May the Blessed One receive us from this day forth while our          
life lasts as lay disciples who have taken refuge in him." The mother      
and the wife of Yasa, the noble youth of Benares, were the first           
women who became lay disciples and took their refuge in the Buddha.        
  Now there were four friends of Yasa belonging to the wealthy             
families of Benares. Their names were Vimala, Subahu, Punnaji, and         
  When Yasa's friends heard that Yasa had cut off his hair and put         
on bhikkhu robes to give up the world and go forth into                    
homelessness, they thought: "Surely that cannot be a common                
doctrine, that must be a noble renunciation of the world."                 
  And they went to Yasa, and Yasa addressed the Blessed One saying:        
"May the Blessed One administer exhortation and instruction to these       
four friends of mine." And the Blessed One preached to them, and           
Yasa's friends accepted the doctrine and took refuge in the Buddha,        
the Dharma, and the Sangha.                                                
                     KASSAPA, THE FIRE-WORSHIPER                           
  AT that time there lived in Uruvela the Jatilas, Brahman hermits         
with matted hair, worshiping the fire and keeping a fire-dragon; and       
Kassapa was their chief. Kassapa was renowned throughout all India,        
and his name was honored as one of the wisest men on earth and an          
authority on religion. And the Blessed One went to Kassapa of              
Uruvela, the Jatila, and said: "Let me stay a night in the room where      
you keep your sacred fire."                                                
  Kassapa, seeing the Blessed One in his majesty and beauty, thought       
to himself: "This is a great muni and a noble teacher. Should he           
stay overnight in the room where the sacred fire is kept, the              
serpent will bite him and he will die." And he said: "I do not             
object to your staying overnight in the room where the sacred fire         
is kept, but the serpent lives there; he will kill you and I should        
be sorry to see you perish."                                               
  But the Buddha insisted and Kassapa admitted him to the room where       
the sacred fire was kept. And the Blessed One sat down with body           
erect, surrounding himself with watchfulness. In the night the             
dragon came, belching forth in rage his fiery poison, and filling          
the air with burning vapor, but could do him no harm, and the fire         
consumed itself while the World-honored One remained composed. And         
the venomous fiend became very wroth so that he died in his anger.         
When Kassapa saw the light shining forth from the room he said:            
"Alas, what misery! Truly, the countenance of Gotama the great             
Sakyamuni is beautiful, but the serpent will destroy him."                 
  In the morning the Blessed One showed the dead body of the fiend         
to Kassapa, saying: "His fire has been conquered by my fire." And          
Kassapa thought to himself. "Sakyamuni is a great samana and               
possesses high powers, but he is not holy like me."                        
  There was in those days a festival, and Kassapa thought: "The            
people will come hither from all parts of the country and will see         
the great Sakyamuni. When he speaks to them, they will believe in him      
and abandon me." And he grew envious. When the day of the festival         
arrived, the Blessed One retired and did not come to Kassapa. And          
Kassapa went to the Buddha on the next morning and said: "Why did          
the great Sakyamuni not come?"                                             
  The Tathagata replied: "Didst thou not think, O Kassapa, that it         
would be better if I stayed away from the festival?" And Kassapa was       
astonished and thought: "Great is Sakyamuni; he can read my most           
secret thoughts, but he is not holy like me."                              
  The Blessed One addressed Kassapa and said: "Thou seest the truth,       
but acceptest it not because of the envy that dwells in thy heart.         
Is envy holiness? Envy is the last remnant of self that has remained       
in thy mind. Thou art not holy, Kassapa; thou hast not yet entered         
the path." And Kassapa gave up his resistance. His envy disappeared,       
and, bowing down before the Blessed One, he said: "Lord, our Master,       
let me receive the ordination from the Blessed One."                       
  And the Blessed One said: "Thou, Kassapa, art chief of the               
Jatilas. Go, then, first and inform them of thine intention, and let       
them do as thou thinkest fit." Then Kassapa went to the Jatilas and        
said: "I am anxious to lead a religious life under the direction of        
the great Sakyamuni, who is the Enlightened One, the Buddha. Do as         
ye think best."                                                            
  The Jatilas replied: "We have conceived a profound affection for         
the great Sakyamuni, and if thou wilt join his brotherhood, we will        
do likewise." The Jatilas of Uruvela now flung their paraphernalia of      
fire-worship into the river and went to the Blessed One.                   
  Nadi Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa, brothers of the great Uruvela             
Kassapa, powerful men and chieftains among the people, were dwelling       
below on the stream, and when they saw the instruments used in             
fire-worship floating in the river, they said: "Something has              
happened to our brother." And they came with their folk to Uruvela.        
Hearing what had happened, they, too, went to the Buddha.                  
  The Blessed One, seeing that the Jatilas of Nadi and Gaya, who had       
practiced severe austerities and worshiped fire, were now come to          
him, preached a sermon on fire, and said: "Everything, O Jatilas, is       
burning. The eye is burning, all the senses are burning, thoughts          
are burning. They are burning with the fire of lust. There is anger,       
there is ignorance, there is hatred, and as long as the fire finds         
inflammable things upon which it can feed, so long will it burn, and       
there will be birth and death, decay, grief, lamentation, suffering,       
despair, and sorrow. Considering this, a disciple of the Dharma will       
see the four noble truths and walk in the eightfold path of                
holiness. He will become wary of his eye, wary of all his senses,          
wary of his thoughts. He will divest himself of passion and become         
free. He will be delivered from selfishness and attain the blessed         
state of Nirvana."                                                         
  And the Jatilas rejoiced and took refuge in the Buddha, the              
Dharma, and the Sangha.                                                    

                   THE SERMON AT RAJAGAHA                                  
  THE Blessed One having dwelt some time in Uruvela went to                
Rajagaha, accompanied by a number of bhikkhus, many of whom had been       
Jatilas before. The great Kassapa, chief of the Jatilas and formerly       
a fire-worshiper, went with him.                                           
  When the Magadha king, Seniya Bimbisara, heard of the arrival of         
Gotama Sakyamuni, of whom the people said, "He is the Holy One, the        
blessed Buddha, guiding men as a driver curbs bullocks, the teacher        
of high and low," he went out surrounded with his counselors and           
generals and came to the grove where the Blessed One was. There they       
saw the Blessed One in the company of Kassapa, the great religious         
teacher of the Jatilas, and they were astonished and thought: "Has         
the great Sakyamuni placed himself under the spiritual direction of        
Kassapa, or has Kassapa become a disciple of Gotama?"                      
  The Tathagata, reading the thoughts of the people, said to               
Kassapa: "What knowledge hast thou gained, O Kassapa, and what has         
induced thee to renounce the sacred fire and give up thine austere         
  Kassapa said: "The profit I derived from adoring the fire was            
continuance in the wheel of individuality with all its sorrows and         
vanities. This service I have cast away, and instead of continuing         
penances and sacrifices I have gone in quest of the highest Nirvana.       
Since I have seen the light of truth, I have abandoned worshiping          
the fire."                                                                 
  The Buddha, perceiving that the whole assembly was ready as a            
vessel to receive the doctrine, spoke thus to Bimbisara the king: "He      
who knows the nature of self and understands how the senses act,           
finds no room for selfishness, and thus he will attain peace               
unending. The world holds the thought of self, and from this arises        
false apprehension. Some say that the self endures after death, some       
say it perishes. Both are wrong and their error is most grievous. For      
if they say the self is perishable, the fruit they strive for will         
perish too, and at some time there will be no hereafter. Good and          
evil would be indifferent. This salvation from selfishness is without      
  "When some, on the other hand, say the self will not perish, then        
in the midst of all life and death there is but one identity unborn        
and undying. If such is their self, then it is perfect and cannot be       
perfected by deeds. The lasting, imperishable self could never be          
changed. The self would be lord and master, and there would be no use      
in perfecting the perfect; moral aims and salvation would be               
  "But now we see the marks of joy and sorrow. Where is any                
constancy? If there is no permanent self that does our deeds, then         
there is no self; there is no actor behind our actions, no perceiver       
behind our perception, no lord behind our deeds.                           
  "Now attend and listen: The senses meet the object and from their        
contact sensation is born. Thence results recollection. Thus, as the       
sun's power through a burning-glass causes fire to appear, so              
through the cognizance born of sense and object, the mind originates       
and with it the ego, the thought of self, whom some Brahman teachers       
call the lord. The shoot springs from the seed; the seed is not the        
shoot; both are not one and the same, but successive phases in a           
continuous growth. Such is the birth of animated life.                     
  "Ye that are slaves of the self and toil in its service from morn        
until night, ye that live in constant fear of birth, old age,              
sickness, and death, receive the good tidings that your cruel master       
exists not. Self is an error, an illusion, a dream. Open your eyes         
and awaken. See things as they are and ye will be comforted. He who        
is awake will no longer be afraid of nightmares. He who has                
recognized the nature of the rope that seemed to be a serpent will         
cease to tremble.                                                          
  "He who has found there is no self will let go all the lusts and         
desires of egotism. The cleaving to things, covetousness, and              
sensuality inherited from former existences, are the causes of the         
misery and vanity in the world. Surrender the grasping disposition         
of selfishness, and you will attain to that calm state of mind which       
conveys perfect peace, goodness, and wisdom."                              
  And the Buddha breathed forth this solemn utterance:                     
               "Do not deceive, do not despise                             
               Each other, anywhere.                                       
               Do not be angry, and do not                                 
               Secret resentment bear;                                     
               For as a mother risks her life                              
               And watches over her child,                                 
               So boundless be your love to all,                           
               So tender, kind and mild.                                   
               "Yea, cherish good-will right and left,                     
               For all, both soon and late,                                
               And with no hindrance, with no stint,                       
               From envy free and hate;                                    
               While standing, walking, sitting down,                      
               Forever keep in mind:                                       
               The rule of life that's always best                         
               Is to be loving-kind.                                       
  "Gifts are great, the founding of viharas is meritorious,                
meditations and religious exercises pacify the heart, comprehension        
of the truth leads to Nirvana, but greater than all is                     
loving-kindness. As the light of the moon is sixteen times stronger        
than the light of all the stars, so loving-kindness is sixteen times       
more efficacious in liberating the heart than all other religious          
accomplishments taken together. This state of heart is the best in         
the world. Let a man remain steadfast in it while he is awake,             
whether he is standing, walking, sitting, or lying down."                  
  When the Enlightened One had finished his sermon, the Magadha king       
said to the Blessed One: "In former days, Lord, when I was a prince,       
I cherished five wishes. I wished: O, that I might be inaugurated as       
a king. This was my first wish, and it has been fulfilled. Further,        
I wished: Might the Holy Buddha, the Perfect One, appear on earth          
while I rule and might he come to my kingdom. This was my second           
wish and it is fulfilled now. Further I wished: Might I pay my             
respects to him. This was my third wish and it is fulfilled now. The       
fourth wish was: Might the Blessed One preach the doctrine to me,          
and this is fulfilled now.                                                 
  "The greatest wish, however, was the fifth wish: Might I understand      
the doctrine of the Blessed One. And this wish is fulfilled too.           
  "Glorious Lord! Most glorious is the truth preached by the               
Tathagata! Our Lord, the Buddha, sets up what has been overturned;         
he reveals what has been hidden; he points out the way to the              
wanderer who has gone astray; he lights a lamp in the darkness so          
that those who have eyes to see may see. I take my refuge in the           
Buddha. I take my refuge in the Dharma. I take my refuge in the            
  The Tathagata, by the exercise of his virtue and by wisdom, showed       
his unlimited spiritual power. He subdued and harmonized all minds.        
He made them see and accept the truth, and throughout the kingdom the      
seeds of virtue were sown.                                                 

                       THE KING'S GIFT                                     
  SENIYA BIMBISARA, the king, having taken his refuge in the Buddha,       
invited the Tathagata to his palace, saying: "Will the Blessed One         
consent to take his meal with me tomorrow together with the                
fraternity of bhikkhus?" The next morning the king announced to the        
Blessed One that it was time for taking food: "Thou art my most            
welcome guest, O Lord of the world, come; the meal is prepared."           
  The Blessed One having donned his robes, took his alms-bowl and,         
together with a great number of bhikkhus, entered the city of              
Rajagaha. Sakka, the king of the Devas, assuming the appearance of a       
young Brahman, walked in front, and said: "He who teaches                  
self-control with those who have learned self-control; the redeemer        
with those whom he has redeemed; the Blessed One with those to whom        
he has given peace, is entering Rajagaha! Hail to the Buddha, our          
Lord! Honor to his name and blessings to all who take refuge in him."      
And Sakka intoned this stanza:                                             
           "Blessed is the place in which the Buddha walks,                
           And blessed the ears which hear his talks;                      
           Blessed his disciples, for they are                             
           The tellers of his truth both near and far.                     
           "If all could hear this truth so good                           
           Then all men's minds would eat rich food,                       
           And strong would grow men's brotherhood."                       
  When the Blessed One had finished his meal, and had cleansed his         
bowl and his hands, the king sat down near him and thought:                
  "Where may I find a place for the Blessed One to live in, not too        
far from the town and not too near, suitable for going and coming,         
easily accessible to all people who want to see him, a place that is       
by day not too crowded and by night not exposed to noise, wholesome        
and well fitted for a retired life? There is my pleasure-garden, the       
bamboo grove Veluvana, fulfilling all these conditions. I shall            
offer it to the brotherhood whose head is the Buddha."                     
  The king dedicated his garden to the brotherhood, saying: "May the       
Blessed One accept my gift." Then the Blessed One, having silently         
shown his consent and having gladdened and edified the Magadha king        
by religious discourse, rose from his seat and went away.                  

                       SARIPUTTA AND MOGGALLANA                            
  AT that time Sariputta and Moggallana, two Brahmans and chiefs of        
the followers of Sanjaya, led a religious life. They had promised          
each other: "He who first attains Nirvana shall tell the other one."       
  Sariputta seeing the venerable Assaji begging for alms, modestly         
keeping his eyes to the ground and dignified in deportment,                
exclaimed: "Truly this samana has entered the right path; I will ask       
him in whose name he has retired from the world and what doctrine he       
professes." Being addressed by Sariputta, Assaji replied: "I am a          
follower of the Buddha, the Blessed One, but being a novice I can          
tell you the substance only of the doctrine."                              
  Said Sariputta: "Tell me, venerable monk; it is the substance I          
want." And Assaji recited the stanza:                                      
                 "Nothing we seek to touch or see                          
                 Can represent Eternity.                                   
                 They spoil and die: then let us find                      
                 Eternal Truth within the mind."                           
  Having heard this stanza, Sariputta obtained the pure and spotless       
eye of truth and said: "Now I see clearly, whatsoever is subject to        
origination is also subject to cessation. If this be the doctrine I        
have reached the state to enter Nirvana which heretofore has               
remained hidden from me." Sariputta went to Moggallana and told him,       
and both said: "We will go to the Blessed One, that he, the Blessed        
One, may be our teacher."                                                  
  When the Buddha saw Sariputta and Moggallana coming from afar, he        
said to his disciples, "These two monks are highly auspicious." When       
the two friends had taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the         
Sangha, the Holy One said to his other disciples: "Sariputta, like         
the first-born son of a world-ruling monarch, is well able to assist       
the king as his chief follower to set the wheel of the law rolling."       
  Now the people were annoyed. Seeing that many distinguished young        
men of the kingdom of Magadha led a religious life under the               
direction of the Blessed One, they became angry and murmured: "Gotama      
Sakyamuni induces fathers to leave their wives and causes families         
to become extinct." When they saw the bhikkhus, they reviled them,         
saying: "The great Sakyamuni has come to Rajagaha subduing the minds       
of men. Who will be the next to be led astray by him?"                     
  The bhikkhus told it to the Blessed One, and the Blessed One said:       
"This murmuring, O bhikkhus, will not last long. It will last seven        
days. If they revile you, answer them with these words: 'It is by          
preaching the truth that Tathagatas lead men. Who will murmur at the       
wise? Who will blame the virtuous? Who will condemn self-control,          
righteousness, and kindness?" And the Blessed One proclaimed:              
                 "Commit no wrong, do only good,                           
                 And let your heart be pure.                               
                 This is the doctrine Buddhas teach,                       
                 And this doctrine will endure."                           
                   ANATHAPINDIKA, THE MAN OF WEALTH                        
  AT this time there was Anathapindika, a man of unmeasured wealth,        
visiting Rajagaha. Being of a charitable disposition, he was called        
"the supporter of orphans and the friend of the poor." Hearing that        
the Buddha had come into the world and was stopping in the bamboo          
grove near the city, he set out on that very night to meet the             
Blessed One.                                                               
  And the Blessed One saw at once the sterling quality of                  
Anathapindika's heart and greeted him with words of religious              
comfort. And they sat down together, and Anathapindika listened to         
the sweetness of the truth preached by the Blessed One. And the            
Buddha said: "The restless, busy nature of the world, this, I              
declare, is at the root of pain. Attain that composure of mind which       
is resting in the peace of immortality. Self is but a heap of              
composite qualities, and its world is empty like a fantasy.                
  "Who is it that shapes our lives? Is it Isvara, a personal creator?      
If Isvara be the maker, all living things should have silently to          
submit to their maker's power. They would be like vessels formed by        
the potter's hand; and if it were so, how would it be possible to          
practice virtue? If the world had been made by Isvara there should be      
no such thing as sorrow, or calamity, or evil; for both pure and           
impure deeds must come from him. If not, there would be another cause      
beside him, and he would not be self-existent. Thus, thou seest, the       
thought of Isvara is overthrown.                                           
  "Again, it is said that the Absolute has created us. But that            
which is absolute cannot be a cause. All things around us come from        
a cause as the plant comes from the seed; but how can the Absolute         
be the cause of all things alike? If it pervades them, then,               
certainly, it does not make them.                                          
  "Again, it is said that Self is the maker. But if self is the            
maker, why did it not make things pleasing? The causes of sorrow and       
joy are real and touchable. How can they have been made by self?           
  "Again, if we adopt the argument that there is no maker, our fate        
is such as it is, and there is no causation, what use would there be       
in shaping our lives and adjusting means to an end? Therefore, we          
argue that all things that exist are not without cause. However,           
neither Isvara, nor the absolute, nor the self nor causeless chance,       
is the maker, but our deeds produce results both good and evil             
according to the law of causation.                                         
  "Let us, then, abandon the heresy of worshiping Isvara and of            
praying to him; let us no longer lose ourselves in vain speculations       
or profitless subtleties; let us surrender self and all selfishness,       
and as all things are fixed by causation, let us practice good so          
that good may result from our actions."                                    
  And Anathapindika said: "I see that thou art the Buddha, the             
Blessed One, the Tathagata, and I wish to open to thee my whole mind.      
Having listened to my words advise me what I shall do. My life is          
full of work, and having acquired great wealth, I am surrounded with       
cares. Yet I enjoy my work, and apply myself to it with all                
diligence. Many people are in my employ and depend upon the success        
of my enterprises.                                                         
  "Now, I have heard thy disciples praise the bliss of the hermit          
and denounce the unrest of the world. 'The Holy One,' they say, 'has       
given up his kingdom and his inheritance, and has found the path of        
righteousness, thus setting an example to all the world how to             
attain Nirvana.' My heart yearns to do what is right and to be a           
blessing unto my fellows. Let me then ask thee, Must I give up my          
wealth, my home, and my business enterprises, and, like thyself, go        
into homelessness in order to attain the bliss of a religious life?"       
  And the Buddha replied: "The bliss of a religious life is                
attainable by every one who walks in the noble eightfold path. He          
that cleaves to wealth had better cast it away than allow his heart        
to be poisoned by it; but he who does not cleave to wealth, and            
possessing riches, uses them rightly, will be a blessing unto his          
fellows. It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men, but         
the cleaving to life and wealth and power. The bhikkhu who retires         
from the world in order to lead a life of leisure will have no gain,       
for a life of indolence is an abomination, and lack of energy is to        
be despised. The Dharma of the Tathagata does not require a man to go      
into homelessness or to resign the world, unless he feels called upon      
to do so; but the Dharma of the Tathagata requires every man to free       
himself from the illusion of self, to cleanse his heart, to give up        
his thirst for pleasure, and lead a life of righteousness. And             
whatever men do, whether they remain in the world as artisans,             
merchants, and officers of the king, or retire from the world and          
devote themselves to a life of religious meditation, let them put          
their whole heart into their task; let them be diligent and                
energetic, and, if they are like the lotus, which, although it grows       
in the water, yet remains untouched by the water, if they struggle in      
life without cherishing envy or hatred, if they live in the world not      
a life of self but a life of truth, then surely joy, peace, and bliss      
will dwell in their minds."                                                

                        THE SERMON ON CHARITY                              
  ANATHAPINDIKA rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One and said: "I      
dwell at Savatthi, the capital of Kosala, a land rich in produce and       
enjoying peace. Pasenadi is the king of the country, and his name is       
renowned among our own people and our neighbors. Now I wish to found       
there a vihara which shall be a place of religious devotion for your       
brotherhood, and I pray you kindly to accept it."                          
  The Buddha saw into the heart of the supporter of orphans; and           
knowing that unselfish charity was the moving cause of his offer, in       
acceptance of the gift, the Blessed One said: "The charitable man is       
loved by all; his friendship is prized highly; in death his heart is       
at rest and full of joy, for he suffers not from repentance; he            
receives the opening flower of his reward and the fruit that ripens        
from it. Hard it is to understand: By giving away our food, we get         
more strength, by bestowing clothing on others, we gain more beauty;       
by donating abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures.        
  "There is a proper time and a proper mode in charity; just as the        
vigorous warrior goes to battle, so is the man who is able to give.        
He is like an able warrior a champion strong and wise in action.           
Loving and compassionate he gives with reverence and banishes all          
hatred, envy, and anger.                                                   
  "The charitable man has found the path of salvation. He is like          
the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the              
flowers, and the fruit in future years. Even so is the result of           
charity, even so is the joy of him who helps those that are in need        
of assistance; even so is the great Nirvana. We reach the immortal         
path only by continuous acts of kindliness and we perfect our souls        
by compassion and charity."                                                
  Anathapindika invited Sariputta to accompany him on his return to        
Kosala and help him in selecting a pleasant site for the vihara.           
                         JETAVANA, THE VIHARA                              
  ANATHAPINDIKA, the friend of the destitute and the supporter of          
orphans, having returned home, saw the garden of the heir-apparent,        
Jeta, with its green groves and limpid rivulets, and thought: "This        
is the place which will be most suitable as a vihara for the               
brotherhood of the Blessed One." And he went to the prince and asked       
leave to buy the ground. The prince was not inclined to sell the           
garden, for he valued it highly. He at first refused but said at           
last, "If thou canst cover it with gold, then, and for no other            
price, shalt thou have it." Anathapindika rejoiced and began to            
spread his gold; but Jeta said: "Spare thyself the trouble, for I          
will not sell." But Anathapindika insisted. Thus they contended until      
they resorted to the magistrate.                                           
  Meanwhile the people began to talk of the unwonted proceeding, and       
the prince, hearing more of the details and knowing that                   
Anathapindika was not only very wealthy but also straightforward and       
sincere, inquired into his plans. On hearing the name of the Buddha,       
the prince became anxious to share in the foundation and he accepted       
only one-half of the gold, saying: "Yours is the land, but mine are        
the trees. I will give the trees as my share of this offering to the       
  Then Anathapindika took the land and Jeta the trees, and they            
placed them in trust of Sariputta for the Buddha. After the                
foundations were laid, they began to build the hall which rose             
loftily in due proportions according to the directions which the           
Buddha had suggested; and it was beautifully decorated with                
appropriate carvings. This vihara was called Jetavana, and the friend      
of the orphans invited the Lord to come to Savatthi and receive the        
donation. And the Blessed One left Kapilavatthu and came to Savatthi.      
  While the Blessed One was entering Jetavana, Anathapindika               
scattered flowers and burned incense, and as a sign of the gift he         
poured water from a golden dragon decanter, saying, "This Jetavana         
vihara I give for the use of the brotherhood throughout the world."        
The Blessed One received the gift and replied: "May all evil               
influences be overcome; may the offering promote the kingdom of            
righteousness and be a permanent blessing to mankind in general, to        
the land of Kosala, and especially also to the giver."                     
  Then the king Pasenadi, hearing that the Lord had come, went in          
his royal equipage to the Jetavana vihara and saluted the Blessed          
One with clasped hands, saying: "'Blessed is my unworthy and obscure       
kingdom that it has met with so great a fortune. For how can               
calamities and dangers befall it in the presence of the Lord of the        
world, the Dharmaraja, the King of Truth. Now that I have seen thy         
sacred countenance, let me partake of the refreshing waters of thy         
teachings. Worldly profit is fleeting and perishable, but religious        
profit is eternal and inexhaustible. A worldly man, though a king,         
is full of trouble, but even a common man who is holy has peace of         
  Knowing the tendency of the king's heart, weighed down by avarice        
and love of pleasure, the Buddha seized the opportunity and said:          
"Even those who, by their evil karma, have been born in low degree,        
when they see a virtuous man, feel reverence for him. How much more        
must an independent king, on account of merits acquired in previous        
existences, when meeting a Buddha, conceive reverence for him. And         
now as I briefly expound the law, let the Maharaja listen and weigh        
my words, and hold fast that which I deliver!                              
  "Our good or evil deeds follow us continually like shadows. That         
which is most needed is a loving heart! Regard thy people as men do        
an only son. Do not oppress them, do not destroy them; keep in due         
check every member of thy body, forsake unrighteous doctrine and           
walk in the straight path. Exalt not thyself by trampling down             
others, but comfort and befriend the suffering. Neither ponder on          
kingly dignity, nor listen to the smooth words of flatterers.              
  There is no profit in vexing oneself by austerities, but meditate        
on the Buddha and weigh his righteous law. We are encompassed on all       
sides by the rocks of birth, old age, disease, and death, and only         
by considering and practicing the true law can we escape from this         
sorrow-piled mountain. What profit, then, in practicing iniquity?          
  "All who are wise spurn the pleasures of the body. They loathe           
lust and seek to promote their spiritual existence. When a tree is         
burning with fierce flames, how can the birds congregate therein?          
Truth cannot dwell where passion lives. He who does not know this,         
though he be a learned man and be praised by others as a sage, is          
beclouded with ignorance. To him who has this knowledge true wisdom        
dawns, and he will beware of hankering after pleasure. To acquire          
this state of mind, wisdom is the one thing needful. To neglect            
wisdom will lead to failure in life. The teachings of all religions        
should center here, for without wisdom there is no reason.                 
  "This truth is not for the hermit alone; it concerns every human         
being, priest and layman alike. There is no distinction between the        
monk who has taken the vows, and the man of the world living with          
his family. There are hermits who fall into perdition, and there are       
humble householders who mount to the rank of rishis. Hankering after       
pleasure is a danger common to all; it carries away the world. He          
who is involved in its eddies finds no escape. But wisdom is the           
handy boat, reflection is the rudder. The slogan of religion calls         
you to overcome the assaults of Mara, the enemy.                           
  "Since it is impossible to escape the result of our deeds, let us        
practice good works. Let us guard our thoughts that we do no evil,         
for as we sow so shall we reap. There are ways from light into             
darkness and from darkness into light. There are ways, also, from the      
gloom into deeper darkness, and from the dawn into brighter light.         
The wise man will use the light he has to receive more light. He will      
constantly advance in the knowledge of truth.                              
  "Exhibit true superiority by virtuous conduct and the exercise of        
reason; meditate deeply on the vanity of earthly things, and               
understand the fickleness of life. Elevate the mind, and seek              
sincere faith with firm purpose; transgress not the rules of kingly        
conduct, and let your happiness depend, not upon external things,          
but upon your own mind. Thus you will lay up a good name for distant       
ages and will secure the favor of the Tathagata."                          
  The king listened with reverence and remembered all the words of         
the Buddha in his heart.                                                   

              THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS AND THE UNCREATE                   
  WHEN the Buddha was staying at the Veluvana, the bamboo grove at         
Rajagaha, he addressed the brethren thus: "Whether Buddhas arise, O        
priests, or whether Buddhas do not arise, it remains a fact and the        
fixed and necessary constitution of being that all conformations are       
transitory. This fact a Buddha discovers and masters, and when he          
has discovered and mastered it, he announces, publishes, proclaims,        
discloses, minutely explains and makes it clear that all                   
conformations are transitory.                                              
  "Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not arise,      
it remains a fact and a fixed`and necessary constitution of being,         
that all conformations are suffering. This fact a Buddha discovers         
and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he                
announces, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains and          
makes it clear that all conformations are suffering.                       
  "Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not             
arise, it remains a fact and a fixed and necessary constitution of         
being, that all conformations are lacking a self. This fact a Buddha       
discovers and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it,         
he announces, teaches, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely           
explains and makes it clear that all conformations are lacking a           
  And on another occasion the Blessed One dwelt at Savatthi in the         
Jetavana, the garden of Anathapindika. At that time the Blessed One        
edified, aroused, quickened and gladdened the monks with a religious       
discourse on the subject of Nirvana. And these monks grasping the          
meaning, thinking it out, and accepting with their hearts the whole        
doctrine, listened attentively. But there was one brother who had          
some doubt left in his heart. He arose and clasping his hands made         
the request: "May I be permitted to ask a question?" When permission       
was granted he spoke as follows:                                           
  "The Buddha teaches that all conformations are transient, that all       
conformations are subject to sorrow, that all conformations are            
lacking a self. How then can there be Nirvana, a state of eternal          
  And the Blessed One, in this connection, on that occasion, breathed      
forth this solemn utterance: "There is, O monks, a state where there       
is neither earth, nor water, nor heat, nor air; neither infinity of        
space nor infinity of consciousness, nor nothingness, nor perception       
nor non-perception; neither this world nor that world, neither sun         
nor moon. It is the uncreate. That, O monks, I term neither coming         
nor going nor standing; neither death nor birth. It is without             
stability, without change; it is the eternal which never originates        
and never passes away. There is the end of sorrow.                         
  "It is hard to realize the essential, the truth is not easily            
perceived; desire is mastered by him who knows, and to him who sees        
aright all things are naught. There is, O monks, an unborn,                
unoriginated, uncreated, unformed. Were there not, O monks, this           
unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed, there would be no escape        
from the world of the born, originated, created, formed. Since, O          
monks, there is an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated and unformed,           
therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created,           

                         THE BUDDHA'S FATHER                               
  THE Buddha's name became famous over all India and Suddhodana, his       
father, sent word to him saying: "I am growing old and wish to see         
my son before I die. Others have had the benefit of his doctrine,          
but not his father nor his relatives." And the messenger said: "O          
world-honored Tathagata, thy father looks for thy coming as the lily       
longs for the rising of the sun."                                          
  The Blessed One consented to the request of his father and set out       
on his journey to Kapilavatthu. Soon the tidings spread in the             
native country of the Buddha: "Prince Siddhattha, who wandered forth       
from home into homelessness to obtain enlightenment, having attained       
his purpose, is coming back."                                              
  Suddhodana went out with his relatives and ministers to meet the         
prince. When the king saw Siddhattha, his son, from afar, he was           
struck with his beauty and dignity, and he rejoiced in his heart,          
but his mouth found no words to utter. This, indeed, was his son;          
these were the features of Siddhattha. How near was the great samana       
to his heart, and yet what a distance lay between them! That noble         
muni was no longer Siddhattha, his son; he was the Buddha, the             
Blessed One, the Holy One, Lord of truth, and teacher of mankind.          
Suddhodana the king, considering the religious dignity of his son,         
descended from his chariot and after saluting his son said: "It is         
now seven years since I have seen thee. How I have longed for this         
  Then the Sakyamuni took a seat opposite his father, and the king         
gazed eagerly at his son. He longed to call him by his name, but he        
dared not. "Siddhattha," he exclaimed silently in his heart,               
"Siddhattha, come back to thine aged father and be his son again!"         
But seeing the determination of his son, he suppressed his                 
sentiments, and desolation overcame him. Thus the king sat face to         
face with his son, rejoicing in his sadness and sad in his rejoicing.      
Well might he be proud of his son, but his pride broke down at the         
idea that his great son would never be his heir.                           
  "I would offer thee my kingdom," said the king, "but if I did, thou      
wouldst account it but as ashes."                                          
  And the Buddha said: "I know that the king's heart is full of love       
and that for his son's sake he feels deep grief. But let the ties of       
love that bind him to the son whom he lost embrace with equal              
kindness all his fellow-beings, and he will receive in his place a         
greater one than Siddhattha; he will receive the Buddha, the teacher       
of truth, the preacher of righteousness, and the peace of Nirvana          
will enter into his heart."                                                
  Suddhodana trembled with joy when he heard the melodious words of        
his son, the Buddha, and clasping his hands, exclaimed with tears in       
his eyes: "Wonderful in this change! The overwhelming sorrow has           
passed away. At first my sorrowing heart was heavy, but now I reap         
the fruit of thy great renunciation. It was right that, moved by thy       
mighty sympathy, thou shouldst reject the pleasures of royal power         
and achieve thy noble purpose in religious devotion. Now that thou         
hast found the path, thou canst preach the law of immortality to all       
the world that yearns for deliverance." The king returned to the           
palace, while the Buddha remained in the grove before the city.            
                      YASODHARA, THE FORMER WIFE                           
  ON the next morning the Buddha took his bowl and set out to beg his      
food. And the news spread abroad: "Prince Siddhattha is going from         
house to house to receive alms in the city where he used to ride in        
a chariot attended by his retinue. His robe is like a red clod, and        
he holds in his hand an earthen bowl."                                     
  On hearing the strange rumor, the king went forth in great haste         
and when he met his son he exclaimed: "Why dost thou thus disgrace         
me? Knowest thou not that I can easily supply thee and thy bhikkhus        
with food?" And the Buddha replied: "It is the custom of my race."         
  But the king said: "How can this be? Thou art descended from             
kings, and not one of them ever begged for food."                          
  "O great king," rejoined the Buddha, "thou and thy race may claim        
descent from kings; my descent is from the Buddhas of old. They,           
begging their food, lived on alms." The king made no reply, and the        
Blessed One continued: "It is customary, O king, when one has found        
a hidden treasure, for him to make an offering of the most precious        
jewel to his father. Suffer me, therefore, to open this treasure of        
mine which is the Dharma, and accept from me this gem": And the            
Blessed One recited the following stanza:                                  
                 "Arise from dreams and delusions,                         
                 Awaken with open mind.                                    
                 Seek only Truth. Where you find it,                       
                 Peace also you will find."                                
  Then the king conducted the prince into the palace, and the              
ministers and all the members of the royal family greeted him with         
great reverence, but Yasodhara, the mother of Rahula, did not make         
her appearance. The king sent for Yasodhara, but she replied:              
"Surely, if I am deserving of any regard, Siddhattha will come and         
see me."                                                                   
  The Blessed One, having greeted all his relatives and friends,           
asked: "Where is Yasodhara?" And on being informed that she had            
refused to come, he rose straightway and went to her apartments.           
  "I am free," the Blessed One said to his disciples, Sariputta and        
Moggallana, whom he had bidden to accompany him to the princess's          
chamber; "the princess, however, is not as yet free. Not having seen       
me for a long time, she is exceedingly sorrowful. Unless her grief         
be allowed its course her heart will cleave. Should she touch the          
Tathagata, the Holy One, ye must not prevent her."                         
  Yasodhara sat in her room, dressed in mean garments, and her hair        
cut. When Prince Siddhattha entered, she was, from the abundance of        
her affection, like an overflowing vessel, unable to contain her           
love. Forgetting that the man whom she loved was the Buddha, the Lord      
of the world, the preacher of truth, she held him by his feet and          
wept bitterly.                                                             
  Remembering, however, that Suddhodana was present, she felt              
ashamed, and rising, seated herself reverently at a little distance.       
  The king apologized for the princess, saying: "This arises from          
her deep affection, and is more than a temporary emotion. During the       
seven years that she has lost her husband, when she heard that             
Siddhattha had shaved his head, she did likewise; when she heard           
that he had left off the use of perfumes and ornaments, she also           
refused their use. Like her husband she had eaten at appointed times       
from an earthen bowl only. Like him she had renounced high beds with       
splendid coverings, and when other princes asked her in marriage,          
she replied that she was still his. Therefore, grant her                   
  And the Blessed One spoke kindly to Yasodhara, telling of her            
great merits inherited from former lives. She had indeed been again        
and again of great assistance to him. Her purity, her gentleness,          
her devotion had been invaluable to the Bodhisattva when he aspired        
to attain enlightenment, the highest aim of mankind. And so holy had       
she been that she desired to become the wife of a Buddha. This,            
then, is her karma, and it is the result of great merits. Her grief        
has been unspeakable, but the consciousness of the glory that              
surrounds her spiritual inheritance increased by her noble attitude        
during her life, will be a balm that will miraculously transform all       
sorrows into heavenly joy.                                                 
                           RAHULA, THE SON                                 
  MANY people in Kapilavatthu believed in the Tathagata and took           
refuge in his doctrine, among them Nanda Sidhattha's half-brother,         
the son of Pajapati; Devadatta, his cousin and brother-in-law; Upali       
the barber; and Anuruddha the philosopher. Some years later Ananda,        
another cousin of the Blessed One, also joined the Sangha.                 
  Ananda was a man after the heart of the Blessed One; he was his          
most beloved disciple, profound in comprehension and gentle in             
spirit. And Ananda remained always near the Blessed Master of truth,       
until death parted them.                                                   
  On the seventh day after the Buddha's arrival in Kapilavatthu,           
Yasodhara dressed Rahula, now seven years old, in all the splendor         
of a prince and said to him: "This holy man, whose appearance is so        
glorious that he looks like the great Brahma, is thy father. He            
possesses four great mines of wealth which I have not yet seen. Go         
to him and entreat him to put thee in possession of them, for the          
son ought to inherit the property of his father."                          
  Rahula replied: "I know of no father but the king. Who is my             
father?" The princess took the boy in her arms and from the window         
she pointed out to him the Buddha, who happened to be near the             
palace, partaking of food.                                                 
  Rahula then went to the Buddha, and looking up into his face said        
without fear and with much affection: "My father!" And standing near       
him, he added: "O samana, even thy shadow is a place of bliss!"            
  When the Tathagata had finished his repast, he gave blessings and        
went away from the palace, but Rahula followed and asked his father        
for his inheritance. No one prevented the boy, nor did the Blessed         
One himself.                                                               
  Then the Blessed One turned to Sariputta, saying: "My son asks for       
his inheritance. I cannot give him perishable treasures that will          
bring cares and sorrows, but I can give him the inheritance of a           
holy life, which is a treasure that will not perish."                      
  Addressing Rahula with earnestness, the Blessed One said: "Gold          
and silver and jewels are not in my possession. But if thou art            
willing to receive spiritual treasures, and art strong enough to           
carry them and to keep them, I shall give thee the four truths which       
will teach thee the eightfold path of righteousness. Dost thou desire      
to be admitted to the brotherhood of those who devote their life to        
the culture of the heart seeking for the highest bliss attainable?"        
  Rahula replied with firmness: "I do. I want to join the                  
brotherhood of the Buddha."                                                
  When the king heard that Rahula had joined the brotherhood of            
bhikkhus he was grieved. He had lost Siddhattha and Nanda, his sons,       
and Devadatta, his nephew. But now that his grandson had been taken        
from him, he went to the Blessed One and spoke to him. And the             
Blessed One promised that from that time forward he would not ordain       
any minor without the consent of his parents or guardians.                 
                           THE REGULATIONS                                 
  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 woods. Some went naked, while others wore the rags cast away upon      
cemeteries or dung-heaps.                                                  
  When the Blessed One retired from the world, he recognized at once       
the error of the naked ascetics, and, considering the indecency of         
their habit, clad himself in cast-off rags.                                
  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.        
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. One of the brethren suffered from a sore on his           
foot, and the Blessed One enjoined the bhikkhus to wear                    
  Now it happened that a disease befell the body of the Blessed One        
himself, and Ananda went to Jivaka, physician to Bimbisara, the            
king. 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.                                       
  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."                                       
  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." The Buddha replied: "The Tathagatas,              
Jivaka, do not grant boons before they know what they are."                
  Jivaka said: "Lord, it is a proper and unobjectionable request."         
  "Speak, Jivaka," said the Blessed One.                                   
  "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 by       
King Pajjota, which 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."                            
  The Blessed One accepted the suit, and after having delivered a          
religious discourse, he addressed the bhikkhus thus: "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."                                                                    
  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.                                               

                      SUDDHODANA ATTAINS NIRVANA                           
  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.                        
  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.          

                         WOMEN IN THE SANGHA                               
  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.      
  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.         
  Then the venerable Ananda addressed the Blessed One thus: "Are           
women competent, 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              
  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 thefruit of        
conversion, to attain to a release from a wearisome repetition of          
rebirths, to attain to saintship.                                          
  "Consider, 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."             
  Pajapati was the first woman to become a disciple of the Buddha          
and to receive the ordination as a bhikkhuni.                              

                       ON CONDUCT TOWARD WOMEN                             
  THE bhikkhus came to the Blessed One and asked him: "O Tathagata,        
our Lord and Master, what conduct toward women dost thou prescribe         
to the samanas who have left the world?"                                   
  The Blessed One said: "Guard against looking on a woman. If ye see       
a woman, let it be as though ye saw her not, and have no conversation      
with her. 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.'                                                        
  "If the woman be old, regard her as your mother, if young, as your       
sister, if very young, as your child. 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. 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. Cover your heads       
with the helmet of right thought, and fight with fixed resolve             
against the five desires. Lust beclouds a man's heart, when it is          
confused with woman's beauty, and the mind is dazed.                       
  "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. 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.                                   
  "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. How then         
ought ye to guard yourselves? By regarding her tears and her smiles        
as enemies, her stooping form, her hanging arms, and her disentangled      
hair as toils designed to entrap man's heart. Therefore, I say,            
restrain the heart, give it no unbridled license."                         

                        VISAKHA AND HER GIFTS                              
  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.                                                           
  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. 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.                                                         
  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."                                           
  Said the Blessed One: "The Tathagatas, O Visakha, grant no boons         
until they know what they are." Visakha replied: "Befitting, Lord,         
and unobjectionable are the boons I ask."                                  
  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 bhikkhus, 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."                                                  
  Said the Buddha: "But what circumstance is it, O Visakha, that thou      
hast in view in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata?"                
  Visakha replied: "I gave command, Lord, to my maidservant, 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.                                               
  "As to my second wish, Lord, an incoming bhikkhu, not being able         
to take the direct roads, and not knowing the place 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. 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.                                 
  "Fourthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable food,        
his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die. Fifthly, Lord, a       
bhikkhu who is waiting upon the sick will lose his opportunity of          
going out to seek food for himself. Sixthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu       
does not obtain suitable medicines, his sickness may increase upon         
him, and he may die.                                                       
  "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.                                  
  "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. These are       
the circumstances, Lord, that I had in view."                              
  The Blessed One said: "But what was the advantage you had in view        
for yourself, O Visakha, in asking the eight boons of the                  
  Visakha replied: "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.                                                        
  "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.'                                         
  "Then will gladness spring up within me; thus gladdened, joy will        
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        
  The Blessed One said: "It is well, it is well, Visakha. Thou hast        
done well in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata with such           
advantages in view. Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it       
is like good 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."                                                                
  And the Blessed One gave this thanks to Visakha:                         
               "O noble woman of an upright life,                          
               Disciple of the Blessed One, thou givest                    
               Unstintedly in purity of heart.                             
               "Thou spreadest joy, assuagest pain,                        
               And verily thy gift will be a blessing                      
               As well to many others as to thee."                         

                     THE UPOSATHA AND PATIMOKKHA                           
  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. Concerning the need of keeping regular days for             
retirement from worldly labors 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?"      
  The Blessed One commanded the bhikkhus 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.                           
  A bhikkhu duly appointed should address the congregation and             
expound 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. 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.                                
  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. 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.                                                              
  And the Blessed One said: "The Patimokkha must be recited in this        
way: Let a competent and venerable bhikkhu make the following              
proclamation to the Sangha: 'May the Sangha hear me! Today 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.' And      
the bhikkhus shall reply: 'We hear it well and we concentrate well         
our minds on it, all of us.' Then the officiating bhikkhu shall            
continue: 'Let him who has committed an offense confess it; if there       
be no offense, let all remain silent; from your being silent I shall       
understand that the reverend brethren are free from offenses. As a         
single person who has been asked a question answers it, so also, if        
before an assembly 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 offense which he                
remembers, he commits an intentional falsehood. Now, reverend              
brethren, an intentional falsehood has been declared an impediment by      
the Blessed One. Therefore, if an offense has been committed by a          
bhikkhu who remembers it and desires to become pure, the offense           
should be confessed by the bhikkhu; and when it has been confessed,        
it is treated duly.'"                                                      
                              THE SCHISM                                   
  WHILE the Blessed One dwelt at Kosambi, a certain bhikkhu was            
accused of having committed an offense, and, as he refused to              
acknowledge it, the brotherhood pronounced against him the sentence        
of expulsion.                                                              
  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 offense, friends; this is no reason for a sentence of                
expulsion. I am not guilty. The verdict improper and invalid.              
Therefore I consider myself still as a member of the order. May the        
venerable brethren assist me in maintaining my right."                     
  Those who sided with the expelled brother went to the bhikkhus who       
had pronounced the sentence, saying: "This is no offense"; while the       
bhikkhus who had pronounced the sentence replied: "This is an              
offense." Thus altercations and quarrels arose, and the Sangha was         
divided into two parties, reviling and slandering each other.              
  All these happenings were reported to the Blessed One. 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           
  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 offense you need not atone for it, thinking:        
'We are without offense.' When a bhikkhu has committed an offense,         
which he considers no offense 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 offense on the authority of his      
  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             
  And the Blessed One reprimanded the quarrelsome bhikkhus, saying         
to them: "Loud is the voice which worldings 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.' For not by hatred is hatred appeased. Hatred is        
appeased by not-hatred. This is an eternal law.                            
  "There are some who do not know the need of self-restraint; if           
they are quarrelsome we may excuse their behavior. But those who           
know better, should learn to live in concord. 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.              
  "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. With fools      
there is no companionship. Rather than to live with men who are            
selfish, vain, quarrelsome, and obstinate let a man walk alone."           
  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.                                                        

                   THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF CONCORD                         
  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. 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 misfortune. 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."                                      
  And the bhikkhus of Kosambi, when no longer honored 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." 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."      
  "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 a muni. When both parties have presented their        
case, let the Sangha come to an agreement and declare the                  
re-establishment of concord."                                              
  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            
preference over any other."                                                
  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?"                                 
  The Blessed One said: "If the Sangha declares the re-establishment       
of concord without having inquired into the matter, the declaration        
is neither right nor lawful. There are two ways of re-establishing         
concord; one is in the letter, and the other one is in the spirit          
and in the letter.                                                         
  "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-establishment of concord, the peace is concluded in the spirit          
and also in the letter. The concord re-established in the spirit and       
in the letter is alone right and lawful."                                  
  And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus and told them the story       
of Prince Dighavu, the Long-lived. He said: "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 Kosala is small and Dighiti        
will not be able to resist my armies.' 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.      
  "The queen bore him a son and they called him Dighavu. 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 skillful and wise.                                                    
  "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. 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            
  "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.'                          
  "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 honors and religious rites. 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 favorable opportunity, he will              
assassinate me.'                                                           
  "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. And it        
happened that the king heard a sweet voice ringing through the 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.'                                     
  "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. 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.                                
  "Dighavu thought: 'People will forgive great wrongs which they           
have suffered, but they will never be at ease about the wrong 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. 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.                                                           
  "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.' Then the youth, laying his left hand upon the defenseless      
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.'                                                   
  "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.' 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 thy life.       
It is thou, O king, who must grant me my life.'                            
  "And the king said: 'Well, my dear Dighavu, then grant me my life,       
and I will grant thee thine.' 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.                        
  "Then 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?'         
  "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.'                                      
  "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."                            
  Having finished the story, the Blessed One said: "Brethren, ye are       
my lawful sons in 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." Then the            
bhikkhus met in conference; they discussed their differences in            
mutual good will, and the concord of the Sangha was re-established.        

                         THE BHIKKHUS REBUKED                              
  IT happened that the Blessed One walked up and down in the open          
air unshod. 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.              
  Some of the brethren noticed the irreverent behavior 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 respect and courtesy to one another, what will they         
do when I have passed away?"                                               
  The Blessed One was filled with anxiety for the welfare of the           
truth; and he continued: "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      
and superiors, or those who rank as your teachers and superiors. Your      
demeanor, 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."                                                          

                      THE JEALOUSY OF DEVADATTA                            
  WHEN Devadatta, the son of Suprabuddha and a brother of Yasodhara,       
became a disciple, he cherished the hope of attaining the same             
distinctions and honors 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.                          
  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.                                              
  Soon afterwards the Blessed One himself came to Rajagaha and             
stayed at the Veluvana vihara. 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 diseases 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 gathered in cemeteries or upon dung-hills."         
  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 unkempt, 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                  
  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. 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        
  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.                
  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.                              
  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. 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.                                              
  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 under him; he sank to the ground; and, having chanted a hymn        
on the Buddha, died.                                                       

                            NAME AND FORM                                  
  ON one occasion the Blessed One entered the assembly hall and the        
brethren hushed their conversation. 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?"                                             
  And Sariputta rose and spake: "World-honored 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            
earthy element, the watery element, the fiery element, and the             
gaseous element, 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?"                   
  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. As it has been said:- 'The being of a past moment 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.'                                                         
  "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 drink, 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.                                                  
  "It is as if two men, the one blind from birth and the other a           
cripple, were desirous of going traveling, 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.' 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.' And the man         
blind ffom 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 to the left.'                      
  "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. 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.                                               
  "There is no material that exists for the production of Name and         
Form; and when Name and Form cease, they do not go anywhither in           
space. After Name and Form have ceased, they do not exist anywhere,        
any more than there is heaped-up music material. 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.                                                  
  "There is not a self residing in Name and Form, but the cooperation      
of the conformations produces what people call a man. Just as the          
word 'chariot' is but a mode of expression for axle, wheels, the           
chariot-body and other constituents in their proper combination, 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. 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      
  "Paradoxical though it may sound: There is a path to walk on, there      
is walking being done, but there is no traveler. 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 as hollow as the plantain tree and as         
empty as twirling water bubbles.                                           
  "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 a rebirth of karma; there is reincarnation.      
This rebirth, this reincarnation, this reappearance of the                 
conformations is continuous and depends on the 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.                      
  "There is no entity here that migrates, no self is transferred           
from one place to another; but there 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. 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. 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. The body moves about like a cart. Therefore 'tis      
                "As ships are blown by wind on sails,                      
                As arrows fly from twanging bow,                           
                So, when the force of thought directs,                     
                The body, following, must go.                              
                "Just as machines are worked by ropes,                     
                So are the body's gear and groove;                         
                Obedient to the pull of mind,                              
                Our muscles and our members move.                          
                "No independent 'I' is here,                               
                But many gathered mobile forces;                           
                Our chariot is manned by mind,                             
                And our karma is our horses.                               
  "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. Thus says          
the pleasure-promising tempter:                                            
                   "So long as to those things                             
                   Called 'mine' and 'I' and 'me'                          
                   Your hungry heart still clings-                         
                   My snares you cannot flee.                              
  "The faithful disciple replies:                                          
                   "Naught's mine and naught of me,                        
                   The self I do not mind!                                 
                   Thus Mara, I tell thee,                                 
                   My path thou canst not find.                            
  "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.                                
  "Since, then, O bhikkhus, there is no self, there can not 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. 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.                                                           
              "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?                           
              "'Tis 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.                           
              "Let all then here perform good deeds,                       
              For future weal a treasure store;                            
              There to reap crops from noble seeds,                        
              A bliss increasing evermore."                                
                               THE GOAL                                    
  THE Blessed One thus addressed the bhikkhus: "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.               
  "Through contact thought is born from sensation, and is reborn by        
a reproduction of its form. Starting from the simplest forms, the          
mind rises and falls according to deeds, but the aspirations of a          
Bodhisattva pursue the straight path of wisdom and righteousness,          
until they reach perfect enlightenment in the Buddha.                      
  "All creatures are what they are through the karma of their deeds        
done in former and in present existences.                                  
  "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. Having attained        
this higher birth, I have found the truth and have taught you the          
noble path that leads to the city of peace. I have shown you the way       
to the lake of ambrosia, which washes away all evil desire. I have         
given you the refreshing drink called the perception of truth, and         
he who drinks of it becomes free from excitement, passion, and             
  "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. He is like        
unto the lotus which grows in the water, yet not a drop of water           
adheres to its petals. The man who walks in the noble path lives in        
the world, and yet his heart is not defiled by worldly desires.            
  "He who does not see the four noble truths, he who does not              
understand the three characteristics 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. 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. This is true deliverance; this       
is salvation; this is heaven and the bliss of a life immortal."            

                          MIRACLES FORBIDDEN                               
  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       
  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."                       
  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.                                                      
  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         
  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?"                                            
  And Sariputta replied: "An ordained disciple must not commit any         
unchaste act. The disciple who commits an unchaste act is no longer        
a disciple of the Sakyamuni. 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.       
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. These       
are the three great prohibitions."                                         
  And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus and said: "There is           
another great prohibition which I declare to you: 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. 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."                                 

                      THE VANITY OF WORLDLINESS                            
  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. 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 today, for we know not whether             
tomorrow we shall live"; yet was their laughter no genuine gladness,       
but a mere pretense and affectation.                                       
  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.          
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."                                                            
  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?" 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:                          
  "Unless you take refuge in the Buddha and find rest in Nirvana,          
  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.                                                 
  "The worldling seeks pleasures, fattening himself like a caged           
  But the Buddhist saint flies up to the sun like the wild                 
  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.                                                         
  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:                                                            
  "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.                                       
  "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 down with a shock.                      
  "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.                  
  "Look at the sun setting behind the western hills.                       
  You lie down to rest, but soon the cock will announce morn.              
  Reform today and do not wait until it be too late                        
  Do not say it is early, for the time quickly passes by.                  
  "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."              

                        SECRECY AND PUBLICITY                              
  THE Buddha said: "Three things, O disciples, are characterized by        
secrecy: love affairs, priestly wisdom, and all aberrations from the       
path of truth. Women who are in love, O disciples seek secrecy and         
shun publicity; priests who claim to be in possession of special           
revelation, O disciples, seek secrecy and shun publicity; all those        
who stray from the path of truth, O disciples, seek secrecy and shun       
  "Three things, O disciples, shine before the world and cannot be         
hidden. What are the three? 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, illumine the world and cannot be hidden. There is no            
secrecy about them."                                                       

                    THE ANNIHILATION OF SUFFERING                          
  THE Buddha said: "What, my friends, is evil? 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.                                              
  "And what, my friends, is the root of evil? 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.                                         
  "What, however, is good? 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.                                  
  "And what, my friend, is the root of the good? 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.              
  "What, however, O brethren, is suffering? What is the origin of          
suffering? What is the annihilation of suffering? 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                
  "And what, O brethren, is the origin of suffering? 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               
  "And what is the annihilation of suffering? The radical and total        
annihilation of this thirst and the abandonment, the liberation, the       
deliverance from passion, that, O brethren, is the annihilation of         
  "And what, O brethren, is the path that leads to the annihilation        
of suffering? 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.                                      
  "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           

                        AVOIDING THE TEN EVILS                             
  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.                                                               
  "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.                                           
  "I exhort you to avoid the ten evils: 1. Kill not, but have regard       
for life. 2. Steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be        
master of the fruits of his labor. 3. Abstain from impurity, and           
lead a life of chastity. 4. Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the            
truth with discretion, fearlessly and in a loving heart. 5. Invent         
not evil reports, neither do ye repeat them. Carp not, but look for        
the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that ye may with sincerity        
defend them against their enemies. 6. Swear not, but speak decently        
and with dignity. 7. Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the      
purpose or keep silence. 8. Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the        
fortunes of other people. 9. Cleanse your heart of malice and              
cherish no hatred, not even against your enemies; but embrace all          
living beings with kindness. 10. 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       

                        THE PREACHER'S MISSION                             
  THE Blessed One said to his disciples: "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.                         
  "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.                 
  "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. 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. All who come to hear the          
doctrine, the preacher must receive with benevolence, and his sermon       
must be without invidiousness. 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 demeanor.                            
  "Clad in a clean robe, dyed with good color, with appropriate            
undergarments, he must ascend the pulpit with a mind free from blame       
and at peace with the whole world. He must not take delight in             
quarrelous disputations or engage in controversies so as to show the       
superiority of his talents, but be calm and composed. 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. 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 honored 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.       
  "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. 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.                                            
  "A preacher must be full of energy, and cheerful hope, never             
tiring and never despairing of final success. 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. When after some time of digging he sees that the sand        
becomes moist, he accepts it as a token that the water is near. 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           
  "Into your hands, O you 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. 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.       
  "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. Do you be like him. Imitate him and       
follow his example in bounteously giving, showing, and bestowing the       
truth. 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 splendor and infinite glory."                                          
  When the Blessed One had thus spoken, the disciples said: "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! We shall do, O Lord, what the Tathagata commands.         
We shall fulfill his behest; the Lord shall find us obedient to his        
  And this vow of the disciples resounded through the universe, and        
like an echo it came back from all the Bodhisattvas who are to be          
and will come to preach the good law of Truth to future generations.       
  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."             
                             THE TEACHER                                   
  THIS is the Dharmapada, the path of religion pursued by those who        
are followers of the Buddha:                                               
  Creatures from mind their character derive; mind-marshaled are they,     
mind-made. Mind is the source either of bliss or of corruption. By         
oneself evil is done; by oneself one suffers; by oneself evil is left      
undone; by oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity belong to          
oneself, no one can purify another. You yourself must make an effort.      
The Tathagatas are only preachers. The thoughtful who enter the way        
are freed from the bondage of Mara. He who does not rouse himself when     
it is time to rise; who, though young and strong, is full of sloth;        
whose will and thoughts are weak; that lazy and idle man will never        
find the way to enlightenment.                                             
  If a man hold himself dear, let him watch himself carefully; the         
truth guards him who guards himself. If a man makes himself as he          
teaches others to be, then, being himself subdued, he may subdue           
others; one's own self is indeed difficult to subdue. If some men          
conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if another          
conquer himself, he is the greatest of conquerors. It is the habit         
of fools, be they laymen or members of the clergy, to think, "this is      
done by me. May others be subject to me. In this or that transaction a     
prominent part should be played by me." Fools do not care for the duty     
to be performed or the aim to be reached, but think of themselves          
alone. Everything is but a pedestal of their vanity.                       
  Bad deeds, and deeds hurtful to ourselves, are easy to do; what is       
beneficial and good, that is very difficult. If anything is to be          
done, let a man do it, let him attack it vigorously!                       
  Before long, alas! this body will lie on the earth, despised,            
without understanding, like a useless log; yet our thoughts will           
endure. They will be thought again, and will produce action. Good          
thoughts will produce good actions, and bad thoughts will produce          
bad actions.                                                               
  Earnestness is the path of immortality, thoughtlessness the path         
of death. Those who are in earnest do not die; those who are               
thoughtless are as if dead already. Those who imagine they find            
truth in untruth, and see untruth in truth, will never arrive at           
truth, but follow vain desires. They who know truth in truth, and          
untruth in untruth, arrive at truth, and follow true desires. As           
rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break              
through an unreflecting mind. As rain does not break through a             
well-thatched house, passion will not break through a                      
well-reflecting mind. Well-makers lead the water wherever they like;       
fletchers bend the arrow; carpenters bend a log of wood; wise people       
fashion themselves; wise people falter not amidst blame and praise.        
Having listened to the law, they become serene, like a deep, smooth,       
and still lake.                                                            
  If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him as        
the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon. An evil         
deed is better left undone, for a man will repent of it afterwards;        
a good deed is better done, for having done it one will not repent. If     
a man commits a wrong let him not do it again; let him not delight         
in wrongdoing; pain is the outcome of evil. If a man does what is          
good, let him do it again; let him delight in it; happiness is the         
outcome of good.                                                           
  Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart, "It will not      
come nigh unto me." As by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is        
filled, so the fool becomes full of evil, though he gather it little       
by little. Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, "It      
will not come nigh unto me." As by the falling of water-drops a            
water-pot is filled, so the wise man becomes full of good, though he       
gather it little by little.                                                
  He who lives for pleasure only, his senses uncontrolled,                 
immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, him Mara, the tempter, will        
certainly overthrow, as the wind throws down a weak tree. He who lives     
without looking for pleasures, his senses well-controlled, moderate in     
his food, faithful and strong, him Mara will certainly not                 
overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a rocky mountain.            
  The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far. But a       
fool who thinks himself wise, he is a fool indeed. To the evil-doer        
wrong appears sweet as honey; he looks upon it as pleasant so long         
as it bears no fruit; but when its fruit ripens, then he looks upon it     
as wrong. And so the good man looks upon the goodness of the Dharma as     
a burden and an evil so long as it bears no fruit; but when its            
fruit ripens, then he sees its goodness.                                   
  A hater may do great harm to a hater, or an enemy to an enemy; but a     
wrongly-directed mind will do greater mischief unto itself. A              
mother, a father, or any other relative will do much good; but a           
well-directed mind will do greater service unto itself.                    
  He whose wickedness is very great brings himself down to that            
state where his enemy wishes him to be. He himself is his greatest         
enemy. Thus a creeper destroys the life of a tree on which it finds        
  Do not direct thy thought to what gives pleasure, that thou mayest       
not cry out when burning, "This is pain." The wicked man burns by          
his own deeds, as if burnt by fire. Pleasures destroy the foolish; the     
foolish man by his thirst for pleasures destroys himself as if he were     
his own enemy. The fields are damaged by hurricanes and weeds; mankind     
is damaged by passion, by hatred, by vanity, and by lust. Let no man       
ever take into consideration whether a thing is pleasant or                
unpleasant. The love of pleasure begets grief and the dread of pain        
causes fear; he who is free from the love of pleasure and the dread of     
pain knows neither grief nor fear.                                         
  He who gives himself to vanity, and does not give himself to             
meditation, forgetting the real aim of life and grasping at                
pleasure, will in time envy him who has exerted himself in meditation.     
The fault of others is easily noticed, but that of oneself is              
difficult to perceive. A man winnows his neighbor's faults like chaff,     
but his own fault he hides, as a cheat hides the false die from the        
gambler. If a man looks after the faults of others, and is always          
inclined to take offense, his own passions will grow, and he is far        
from the destruction of passions. Not about the perversities of            
others, not about their sins of commission or omission, but about          
his own misdeeds and negligences alone should a sage be worried.           
Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; bad people          
are concealed, like arrows shot by night.                                  
  If a man by causing pain to others, wishes to obtain pleasure for        
himself, he, entangled in the bonds of selfishness, will never be free     
from hatred. Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil       
by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth!     
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time; hatred ceases by          
not-hatred, this is an old rule.                                           
  Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked;         
by these three steps thou wilt become divine. Let a wise man blow          
off the impurities of his self, as a smith blows off the impurities of     
silver, one by one, little by little, and from time to time.               
  Lead others, not by violence, but by righteousness and equity. He        
who possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks the             
truth, and does what is his own business, him the world will hold          
dear. As the bee collects nectar and departs without injuring the          
flower, or its color or scent, so let a sage dwell in the community.       
  If a traveler does not meet with one who is his better, or his           
equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no            
companionship with fools. Long is the night to him who is awake;           
long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do     
not know the true religion. Better than living a hundred years not         
seeing the highest truth, is one day in the life of a man who sees the     
highest truth.                                                             
  Some form their Dharma arbitrarily and fabricate it artificially;        
they advance complex speculations and imagine that good results are        
attainable only by the acceptance of their theories; yet the truth         
is but one; there are not different truths in the world. Having            
reflected on the various theories, we have gone into the yoke with him     
who has shaken off all sin. But shall we be able to proceed together       
with him?                                                                  
  The best of ways is the eightfold path. This is the path. There is       
no other that leads to the purifying of intelligence. Go on this path!     
Everything else is the deceit of Mara, the tempter. If you go on           
this path, you will make an end of pain! Says the Tathagata, The           
path was preached by me, when I had understood the removal of the          
thorn in the flesh.                                                        
  Not only by discipline and vows, not only by much learning, do I         
earn the happiness of release which no worldling can know. Bhikkhu, be     
not confident as long as thou hast not attained the extinction of          
thirst. The extinction of evil desire is the highest religion.             
  The gift of religion exceeds all gifts; the sweetness of religion        
exceeds all sweetness; the delight in religion exceeds all delights;       
the extinction of thirst overcomes all pain. Few are there among men       
who cross the river and reach the goal. The great multitudes are           
running up and down the shore; but there is no suffering for him who       
has finished his journey.                                                  
  As the lily will grow full of sweet perfume and delight upon a           
heap of rubbish, thus the disciple of the truly enlightened Buddha         
shines forth by his wisdom among those who are like rubbish, among the     
people that walk in darkness. Let us live happily then, not hating         
those who hate us! Among men who hate us let us dwell free from            
  Let us live happily then, free from all ailments among the ailing!       
Among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments! Let us           
live happily, then, free from greed among the greedy! Among men who        
are greedy let us dwell free from greed!                                   
  The sun is bright by day, the moon shines by night, the warrior is       
bright in his armor, thinkers are bright in their meditation; but          
among all, the brightest, with splendor day and night, is the Buddha,      
the Awakened, the Holy, Blessed.                                           

                           THE TWO BRAHMANS                                
  AT one time when the Blessed One was journeying through Kosala he        
came to the Brahman village which is called Manasakata. There he           
stayed in a mango grove. And two young Brahmans came to him who were       
of different schools. One was named Vasettha and the other Bharadvaja.     
And Vasettha said to the Blessed One:                                      
  "We have a dispute as to the true path. I say the straight path          
which leads unto a union with Brahma is that which has been                
announced by the Brahman Pokkharasati, while my friend says the            
straight path which leads unto a union with Brahma is that which has       
been announced by the Brahman Tarukkha. Now, regarding thy high            
reputation, O samana, and knowing that thou art called the Enlightened     
One, the teacher of men and gods, the Blessed Buddha, we have come         
to ask thee, are all these paths paths of salvation? There are many        
roads all around our village, and all lead to Manasakata. Is it just       
so with the paths of the sages? Are all paths paths to salvation, and      
do they all lead to a union with Brahma?                                   
  Then the Blessed One proposed these questions to the two Brahmans:       
"Do you think that all paths are right?" Both answered and said: "Yes,     
Gotama, we think so."                                                      
  "But tell me," continued the Buddha, "has any one of the Brahmans,       
versed in the Vedas, seen Brahma face to face?" "No sir!" was the          
  "But, then," said the Blessed One, "has any teacher of the               
Brahmans, versed in the Vedas, seen Brahma face to face?" The two          
Brahmans said: "No, sir."                                                  
  "But, then," said the Blessed One, "has any one of the authors of        
the Vedas seen Brahma face to face?" Again the two Brahmans answered       
in the negative and exclaimed: "How can any one see Brahma or              
understand him, for the mortal cannot understand the immortal." And        
the Blessed One proposed an illustration, saying:                          
  "It is as if a man should make a staircase in the place where four       
roads cross, to mount up into a mansion. And people should ask him,        
'Where, good friends, is this mansion, to mount up into which you are      
making this staircase? Knowest thou whether it is in the east, or in       
the south, or in the west, or in the north? Whether it is high, or         
low, or of medium size?' And when so asked he should answer, 'I know       
it not.' And people should say to him, 'But, then, good friend, thou       
art making a staircase to mount up into something- taking it for a         
mansion- which all the while thou knowest not, neither hast thou seen      
it.' And when so asked he should answer, 'That is exactly what I do;       
yea I know that I cannot know it.' What would you think of him?            
Would you not say that the talk of that man was foolish talk?"             
  "In sooth, Gotama," said the two Brahmans, "it would be foolish          
talk!" The Blessed One continued: "Then the Brahmans should say, 'We       
show you the way unto a union with what we know not and what we have       
not seen.' This being the substance of Brahman lore, does it not           
follow that their task is vain?"                                           
  "It does follow," replied Bharadvaja.                                    
  Said the Blessed One: "Thus it is impossible that Brahmans versed in     
the three Vedas should be able to show the way to a state of union         
with that which they neither know nor have seen. Just as when a string     
of blind men are clinging one to the other. Neither can the foremost       
see, nor can those in the middle see, nor can the hindmost see. Even       
so, methinks the talk of the Brahmans versed in the three Vedas is but     
blind talk; it is ridiculous, consists of mere words, and is a vain        
and empty thing. Now suppose," added the Blessed One, "that a man          
should come hither to the bank of the river, and, having some business     
on the other side, should want to cross. Do you suppose that if he         
were to invoke the other bank of the river to come over to him on this     
side, the bank would come on account of his praying?"                      
  "Certainly not, Gotama."                                                 
  "Yet this is the way of the Brahmans. They omit the practice of          
those qualities which really make a man a Brahman, and say, 'Indra, we     
call upon thee; Soma, we call upon thee; Varuna, we call upon thee;        
Brahma, we call upon thee.' Verily, it is not possible that these          
Brahmans, on account of their invocations, prayers, and praises,           
should after death be united with Brahma.                                  
  "Now tell me," continued the Buddha, "what do the Brahmans say of        
Brahma? Is his mind full of lust?" And when the Brahmans denied            
this, the Buddha asked: "Is Brahma's mind full of malice, sloth, or        
  "No sir!" was the reply. "He is the opposite of all this."               
  And the Buddha went on: "But are the Brahmans free from these            
vices?" "No, sir!" said Vasettha.                                          
  The Holy One said: "The Brahmans cling to the five things leading to     
worldliness and yield to the temptations of the senses; they are           
entangled in the five hindrances, lust, malice, sloth, pride, and          
doubt. How can they be united to that which is most unlike their           
nature? Therefore the threefold wisdom of the Brahmans is a                
waterless desert, a pathless jungle, and a hopeless desolation."           
  When the Buddha had thus spoken, one of the Brahmans said: "We are       
told, Gotama, that the Sakyamuni knows the path to a union with            
  And the Blessed One said: "What do you think, O Brahmans, of a man       
born and brought up in Manasakata? Would he be in doubt about the most     
direct way from this spot to Manasakata?"                                  
  "Certainly not, Gotama."                                                 
  "Thus," replied the Buddha, "the Tathagata knows the straight path       
that leads to a union with Brahma. He knows it as one who has              
entered the world of Brahma and has been born in it. There can be no       
doubt in the Tathagata."                                                   
  The two young Brahmans said: "If thou knowest the way show it to         
  And the Buddha said: "The Tathagata sees the universe face to face       
and understands its nature. He proclaims the truth both in its             
letter and in its spirit, and his doctrine is glorious in its              
origin, glorious in its progress, glorious in its consummation. The        
Tathagata reveals the higher life in its purity and perfection. He can     
show you the way to that which is contrary to the five great               
hindrances. The Tathagata lets his mind pervade the four quarters of       
the world with thoughts of love. And thus the whole wide world, above,     
below, around, and everywhere will continue to be filled with love,        
far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure. Just as a mighty            
trumpeter makes himself heard- and that without difficulty- in all the     
four quarters of the earth; even so is the coming of the Tathagata:        
there is not one living creature that the Tathagata passes by or           
leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt       
  "This is the sign that a man follows the right path: Uprightness         
is his delight, and he sees danger in the least of those things            
which he should avoid. He trains himself in the commands of                
morality, he encompasseth himself with holiness in word and deed; he       
sustains his life by means that are quite pure; good is his conduct,       
guarded is the door of his senses; mindful and self-possessed, he is       
altogether happy. He who walks in the eightfold noble path with            
unswerving determination is sure to reach Nirvana. The Tathagata           
anxiously watches over his children and with loving care helps them to     
see the light.                                                             
  "When a hen has eight or ten or twelve eggs, over which she has          
properly brooded, the wish arises in her heart, 'O would that my           
little chickens would break open the egg-shell with their claws, or        
with their beaks, and come forth into the light in safety!' yet all        
the while those little chickens are sure to break the egg-shell and        
will come forth into the light in safety. Even so, a brother who           
with firm determination walks in the noble path is sure to come            
forth into the light, sure to reach up to the higher wisdom, sure to       
attain to the highest bliss of enlightenment."                             

                        GUARD THE SIX QUARTERS                             
  WHILE the Blessed One was staying at the bamboo grove near Rajagaha,     
he once met on his way Sigala, a householder, who, clasping his hands,     
turned to the four quarters of the world, to the zenith above, and         
to the nadir below. The Blessed One, knowing that this was done            
according to the traditional religious superstition to avert evil,         
asked Sigala: "Why performest thou these strange ceremonies?"              
  And Sigala in reply said: "Dost thou think it strange that I protect     
my home against the influences of demons? I know thou wouldst fain         
tell me, O Gotama Sakyamuni, whom people call the Tathagata and the        
Blessed Buddha, that incantations are of no avail and possess no           
saving power. But listen to me and know, that in performing this           
rite I honor, reverence, and keep sacred the words of my father."          
  Then the Tathagata said: Thou dost well, O Sigala, to honor,             
reverence, and keep sacred the words of thy father; and it is thy duty     
to protect thy home, thy wife, thy children, and thy children's            
children against the hurtful influences of evil spirits. I find no         
fault with the performance of thy father's rite. But I find that           
thou dost not understand the ceremony. Let the Tathagata, who now          
speaks to thee as a spiritual father and loves thee no less than did       
thy parents, explain to thee the meaning of the six directions.            
  "To guard thy home by mysterious ceremonies is not sufficient;           
thou must guard it by good deeds. Turn to thy parents in the East,         
to thy teachers in the South, to thy wife and children in the West, to     
thy friends in the North, and regulate the zenith of thy religious         
relations above thee, and the nadir of thy servants below thee. Such       
is the religion thy father wants thee to have, and the performance         
of the ceremony shall remind thee of thy duties."                          
  And Sigala looked up to the Blessed One with reverence as to his         
father and said: "Truly, Gotama, thou art the Buddha, the Blessed One,     
the holy teacher. I never knew what I was doing, but now I know.           
Thou hast revealed to me the truth that was hidden as one who bringeth     
a lamp into the darkness. I take my refuge in the Enlightened Teacher,     
in the truth that enlightens, and in the community of brethren who         
have been taught the truth."                                               

               SIMHA'S QUESTION CONCERNING ANNIHILATION                    
  AT that time many distinguished citizens were sitting together           
assembled in the town-hall and spoke in many ways in praise of the         
Buddha, of the Dharma, and of the Sangha. Simha, the general-in-chief,     
a disciple of the Niggantha sect, was sitting among them. And Simha        
thought: "Truly, the Blessed One must be the Buddha, the Holy One. I       
will go and visit him."                                                    
  Then Simha, the general, went to the place where the Niggantha           
chief, Nataputta, was; and having approached him, he said: "I wish,        
Lord, to visit the samana Gotama." Nataputta said: "Why should you,        
Simha, who believe in the result of actions according to their moral       
merit, go to visit the samana Gotama, who denies the result of             
actions? The samana Gotama, O Simha, denies the result of actions;         
he teaches the doctrine of non-action; and in this doctrine he             
trains his disciples."                                                     
  Then the desire to go and visit the Blessed One, which had risen         
in Simha, the general, abated. Hearing again the praise of the Buddha,     
of the Dharma, and of the Sangha, Simha asked the Niggantha chief a        
second time; and again Nataputta persuaded him not to go.                  
  When a third time the general heard some men of distinction extol        
the merits of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, the general          
thought: "Truly the samana Gotama must be the Holy Buddha. What are        
the Nigganthas to me, whether they give their consent or not? I            
shall go without asking their permission to visit him, the Blessed         
One, the Holy Buddha." And Simha, the general, said to the Blessed         
One: "I have heard, Lord, that the samana Gotama denies the result         
of actions; he teaches the doctrine of non-action, saying that the         
actions of sentient beings do not receive their reward, for he teaches     
annihilation and the contemptibleness of all things; and in this           
doctrine he trains his disciples. Teachest thou the doing away of          
the soul and the burning away of man's being? Pray tell me, Lord, do       
those who speak thus say the truth, or do they bear false witness          
against the Blessed One, passing off a spurious Dharma as thy Dharma?"     
  The Blessed One said: "There is a way, Simha, in which one who says      
so, is speaking truly of me; on the other hand, Simha, there is a          
way in which one who says the opposite is speaking truly of me, too.       
Listen, and I will tell thee: I teach, Simha, the not-doing of such        
actions as are unrighteous, either by deed, or by word, or by thought;     
I teach the not-bringing about of all those conditions of heart            
which are evil and not good. However, I teach, Simha, the doing of         
such actions as are righteous, by deed, by word, and by thought; I         
teach the bringing about of all those conditions of heart which are        
good and not evil.                                                         
  "I teach, Simha, that all the conditions of heart which are evil and     
not good, unrighteous action by deed, by word, and by thought, must be     
burnt away. He who has freed himself, Simha, from all those conditions     
of heart which are evil and not good, he who has destroyed them as a       
palm-tree which is rooted out, so that they cannot grow up again, such     
a man has accomplished the eradication of self.                            
  "I proclaim, Simha, the annihilation of egotism, of lust, of             
ill-will, of delusion. However, I do not proclaim the annihilation         
of forbearance, of love, of charity, and of truth. I deem, Simha,          
unrighteous actions contemptible, whether they be performed by deed,       
or by word, or by thought; but I deem virtue and righteousness             
  Simha said: "One doubt still lurks in my mind concerning the             
doctrine of the Blessed One. Will the Blessed One consent to clear the     
cloud away so that I may understand the Dharma as the Blessed One          
teaches it?"                                                               
  The Tathagata having given his consent, Simha continued: "I am a         
soldier, O Blessed One, and am appointed by the king to enforce his        
laws and to wage his wars. Does the Tathagata who teaches kindness         
without end and compassion with all sufferers, permit the punishment       
of the criminal? and further, does the Tathagata declare that it is        
wrong to go to war for the protection of our homes, our wives, our         
children, and our property? Does the Tathagata teach the doctrine of a     
complete self-surrender, so that I should suffer the evil-doer to do       
what he pleases and yield submissively to him who threatens to take by     
violence what is my own? Does the Tathagata maintain that all              
strife, including such warfare as is waged for a righteous cause,          
should be forbidden?"                                                      
  The Buddha replied: "He who deserves punishment must be punished,        
and he who is worthy of favor must be favored. Yet at the same time he     
teaches to do no injury to any living being but to be full of love and     
kindness. These injunctions are not contradictory, for whosoever           
must be punished for the crimes which he has committed, suffers his        
injury not through the ill-will of the judge but on account of his         
evil-doing. His own acts have brought upon him the injury that the         
executer of the law inflicts. When a magistrate punishes, let him          
not harbor hatred in his breast, yet a murderer, when put to death,        
should consider that this is the fruit of his own act. As soon as he       
will understand that the punishment will purify his soul, he will no       
longer lament his fate but rejoice at it."                                 
  The Blessed One continued: "The Tathagata teaches that all warfare       
in which man tries to slay his brother is lamentable, but he does          
not teach that those who go to war in a righteous cause after having       
exhausted all means to preserve the peace are blameworthy. He must         
be blamed who is the cause of war. The Tathagata teaches a complete        
surrender of self, but he does not teach a surrender of anything to        
those powers that are evil, be they men or gods or the elements of         
nature. Struggle must be, for all life is a struggle of some kind. But     
he that struggles should look to it lest he struggle in the interest       
of self against truth and righteousness.                                   
  "He who struggles in the interest of self, so that he himself may be     
great or powerful or rich or famous, will have no reward, but he who       
struggles for righteousness and truth, will have great reward, for         
even his defeat will be a victory. Self is not a fit vessel to receive     
any great success; self is small and brittle and its contents will         
soon be spilt for the benefit, and perhaps also for the curse, of          
others. Truth, however, is large enough to receive the yearnings and       
aspirations of all selves and when the selves break like soap-bubbles,     
their contents will be preserved and in the truth they will lead a         
life everlasting.                                                          
  "He who goeth to battle, O Simha, even though it be in a righteous       
cause, must be prepared to be slain by his enemies, for that is the        
destiny of warriors; and should his fate overtake him he has no reason     
for complaint. But he who is victorious should remember the                
instability of earthly things. His success may be great, but be it         
ever so great the wheel of fortune may turn again and bring him down       
into the dust. However, if he moderates himself and, extinguishing all     
hatred in his heart lifts his down-trodden adversary up and says to        
him, 'Come now and make peace and let us be brothers,' he will gain a      
victory that is not a transient success, for its fruits will remain        
forever. Great is a successful general, O Simha, but he who has            
conquered self is the greater victor.                                      
  "The doctrine of the conquest of self, O Simha, is not taught to         
destroy the souls of men, but to preserve them. He who has conquered       
self is more fit to live, to be successful, and to gain victories than     
he who is the slave of self. He whose mind is free from the illusion       
of self, will stand and not fall in that battle of life. He whose          
intentions are righteousness and justice, will meet with no failure,       
but be successful in his enterprises and his success will endure. He       
who harbors in his heart love of truth will live and not die, for he       
has drunk the water of immortality. Struggle then, O general,              
courageously; and fight thy battles vigorously, but be a soldier of        
truth and the Tathagata will bless thee."                                  
  When the Blessed One had spoken thus, Simha, the general, said:          
"Glorious Lord, glorious Lord! Thou hast revealed the truth. Great         
is the doctrine of the Blessed One. Thou, indeed, art the Buddha,          
the Tathagata, the Holy One. Thou art the teacher of mankind. Thou         
showest us the road of salvation, for this indeed is true deliverance.     
He who follows thee will not miss the light to enlighten his path.         
He will find blessedness and peace. I take my refuge, Lord, in the         
Blessed One, and in his doctrine, and in his brotherhood. May the          
Blessed One receive me from this day forth while my life lasts as a        
disciple who has taken refuge in him."                                     
  The Blessed One said: "Consider first, Simha, what thou doest. It is     
becoming that persons of rank like thyself should do nothing without       
due consideration."                                                        
  Simha's faith in the Blessed One increased. He replied: "Had other       
teachers, Lord, succeeded in making me their disciple, they would          
carry around their banners through the whole city of Vesali, shouting:     
"Simha the general has become our disciple! For the second time, Lord,     
I take my refuge in the Blessed One, and in the Dharma, and in the         
Sangha; may the Blessed One receive me from this day forth while my        
life lasts as a disciple who has taken his refuge in him."                 
  Said the Blessed One: "For a long time, Simha, offerings have been       
given to the Nigganthas in thy house. Thou shouldst therefore deem         
it right also in the future to give them food when they come to thee       
on their alms-pilgrimage." And Simha's heart was filled with joy. He       
said: "I have been told, Lord: 'The samana Gotama says: To me alone        
and to nobody else should gifts be given. My pupils alone and the          
pupils of no one else should receive offerings.' But the Blessed One       
exhorts me to give also to the Nigganthas. Well, Lord, we shall see        
what is seasonable. For the third time, Lord, I take my refuge in          
the Blessed One, and in his Dharma, and in his fraternity."                

                      ALL EXISTENCE IS SPIRITUAL                           
  THERE was an officer among the retinue of Simha who had heard of the     
discourses of the Blessed One, and there was some doubt left in his        
heart. This man came to the Blessed One and said: "It is said, O Lord,     
that the samana Gotama denies the existence of the soul. Do they who       
say so speak the truth, or do they bear false witness against the          
Blessed One?"                                                              
  And the Blessed One said: "There is a way in which those who say         
so are speaking truly of me; on the other hand, there is a way in          
which those who say so do not speak truly of me. The Tathagata teaches     
that there is no self. He who says that the soul is his self and           
that the self is the thinker of our thoughts and the actor of our          
deeds, teaches a wrong doctrine which leads to confusion and darkness.     
On the other hand, the Tathagata teaches that there is mind. He who        
understands by soul mind, and says that mind exists, teaches the truth     
which leads to clearness and enlightenment."                               
  The officer said: "Does, then, the Tathagata maintain that two           
things exist? that which we perceive with our senses and that which is     
  Said the Blessed One: "I say to thee, thy mind is spiritual, but         
neither is the sense-perceived void of spirituality. The bodhi is          
eternal and it dominates all existence as the good law guiding all         
beings in their search for truth. It changes brute nature into mind,       
and there is no being that cannot be transformed into a vessel of          

                      IDENTITY AND NON-IDENTITY                            
  KUTADANTA, the head of the Brahmans in the village of Danamati,          
having approached the Blessed One respectfully, greeted him and            
said: "I am told, O samana, that thou art the Buddha, the Holy One,        
the All-knowing, the Lord of the world. But if thou wert the Buddha,       
wouldst thou not come like a king in all thy glory and power?" Said        
the Blessed One: "Thine eyes are holden. If the eye of thy mind were       
undimmed thou couldst see the glory and the power of truth."               
  Said Kutadanta: "Show me the truth and I shall see it. But thy           
doctrine is without consistency. If it were consistent, it would           
stand; but as it is not, it will pass away." The Blessed One               
replied: "The truth will never pass away."                                 
  Kutadanta said: "I am told that thou teachest the law, yet thou          
tearest down religion. Thy disciples despise rites and abandon             
immolation, but reverence for the gods can be shown only by                
sacrifices. The very nature of religion consists in worship and            
sacrifice." Said the Buddha: "Greater than the immolation of               
bullocks is the sacrifice of self. He who offers to the gods his           
evil desires will see the uselessness of slaughtering animals at the       
altar. Blood has no cleansing power, but the eradication of lust           
will make the heart pure. Better than worshiping gods is obedience         
to the laws of righteousness."                                             
  Kutadanta, being of a religious disposition and anxious about his        
fate after death, had sacrificed countless victims. Now he saw the         
folly of atonement by blood. Not yet satisfied, however, with the          
teachings of the Tathagata, Kutadanta continued: "Thou believest, O        
Master, that beings are reborn; that they migrate in the evolution         
of life; and that subject to the law of karma we must reap what we         
sow. Yet thou teachest the non-existence of the soul! Thy disciples        
praise utter self-extinction as the highest bliss of Nirvana. If I         
am merely a combination of the sankharas, my existence will cease when     
I die. If I am merely a compound of sensations and ideas and               
desires, whither can I go at the dissolution of the body?"                 
  Said the Blessed One: "O Brahman, thou art religious and earnest.        
Thou art seriously concerned about thy soul. Yet is thy work in vain       
because thou art lacking in the one thing that is needful. There is        
rebirth of character, but no transmigration of a self. Thy                 
thought-forms reappear, but there is no ego-entity transferred. The        
stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the       
  "Only through ignorance and delusion do men indulge in the dream         
that their souls are separate and self-existent entities. Thy heart, O     
Brahman, is cleaving still to self; thou art anxious about heaven          
but thou seekest the pleasures of self in heaven, and thus thou            
canst not see the bliss of truth and the immortality of truth.             
  "I say to thee: The Blessed One has not come to teach death, but         
to teach life, and thou discernest not the nature of living and dying.     
This body will be dissolved and no amount of sacrifice will save it.       
Therefore, seek thou the life that is of the mind. Where self is,          
truth cannot be; yet when truth comes, self will disappear. Therefore,     
let thy mind rest in the truth; propagate the truth, put thy whole         
will in it, and let it spread. In the truth thou shalt live forever.       
Self is death and truth is life. The cleaving to self is a perpetual       
dying, while moving in the truth is partaking of Nirvana which is life     
  Then Kutadanta said: "Where, O venerable Master, is Nirvana?"            
"Nirvana is wherever the precepts are obeyed," replied the Blessed         
  "Do I understand thee aright," rejoined the Brahman, "that Nirvana       
is not a place, and being nowhere it is without reality?" "Thou dost       
not understand me aright," said the Blessed One, "Now listen and           
answer these questions: Where does the wind dwell?"                        
  "Nowhere," was the reply.                                                
  Buddha retorted: "Then, sir, there is no such thing as wind."            
Kutadanta made no reply; and the Blessed One asked again: "Answer          
me, O Brahman, where does wisdom dwell? Is wisdom a locality?"             
  "Wisdom has no allotted dwelling-place," replied Kutadanta. Said the     
Blessed One: "Meanest thou that there is no wisdom, no                     
enlightenment, no righteousness, and no salvation, because Nirvana         
is not a locality? As a great and mighty wind which passeth over the       
world in the heat of the day, so the Tathagata comes to blow over          
the minds of mankind with the breath of his love, so cool, so sweet,       
so calm, so delicate; and those tormented by fever assuage their           
suffering and rejoice at the refreshing breeze."                           
  Said Kutadanta: "I feel, O Lord, that thou proclaimest a great           
doctrine, but I cannot grasp it. Forbear with me that I ask again:         
Tell me, O Lord, if there be no atman [soul], how can there be             
immortality? The activity of the mind passeth, and our thoughts are        
gone when we have done thinking."                                          
  Buddha replied: "Our thinking is gone, but our thoughts continue.        
Reasoning ceases, but knowledge remains." Said Kutadanta: "How is          
that? Are not reasoning and knowledge the same?"                           
  The Blessed One explained the distinction by an illustration: "It is     
as when a man wants, during the night, to send a letter, and, after        
having his clerk called, has a lamp lit, and gets the letter               
written. Then, when that has been done, he extinguishes the lamp.          
But though the writing has been finished and the light has been put        
out the letter is still there. Thus does reasoning cease and knowledge     
remain; and in the same way mental activity ceases, but experience,        
wisdom, and all the fruits of our acts endure."                            
  Kutadanta continued: "Tell me, O Lord, pray tell me, where, if the       
sankharas are dissolved, is the identity of my self. If my thoughts        
are propagated, and if my soul migrates, my thoughts cease to be my        
thoughts and my soul ceases to be my soul. Give me an illustration,        
but pray, O Lord, tell me, where is the identity of my self?"              
  Said the Blessed One: "Suppose a man were to light a lamp; would         
it burn the night through?" "Yes, it might do so," was the reply.          
  "Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first watch of the          
night as in the second?" Kutadanta hesitated. He thought "Yes, it is       
the same flame," but fearing the complications of a hidden meaning,        
and trying to be exact, he said: "No, it is not."                          
  "Then," continued the Blessed One, "there are two flames, one in the     
first watch and the other in the second watch." "No, sir," said            
Kutadanta. "In one sense it is not the same flame, but in another          
sense it is the same flame. It burns the same kind of oil, it emits        
the same kind of light, and it serves the same purpose."                   
  "Very well," said the Buddha, "and would you call those flames the       
same that have burned yesterday and are burning now in the same            
lamp, filled with the same kind of oil, illuminating the same room?"       
"They may have been extinguished during the day," suggested Kutadanta.     
  Said the Blessed One: "Suppose the flame of the first watch had been     
extinguished during the second watch, would you call it the same if it     
burns again in the third watch?" Replied Kutadanta: "In one sense it       
is a different flame, in another it is not."                               
  The Tathagata asked again: "Has the time that elapsed during the         
extinction of the flame anything to do with its identity or                
non-identity?" "No, sir," said the Brahman, "it has not. There is a        
difference and an identity, whether many years elapsed or only one         
second, and also whether the lamp has been extinguished in the             
meantime or not."                                                          
  "Well, then, we agree that the flame of today is in a certain            
sense the same as the flame of yesterday, and in another sense it is       
different at every moment. Moreover, the flames of the same kind,          
illuminating with equal power the same kind of rooms, are in a certain     
sense the same." "Yes, sir," replied Kutadanta.                            
  The Blessed One continued: "Now, suppose there is a man who feels        
like thyself, thinks like thyself, and acts like thyself, is he not        
the same man as thou?" "No, sir," interrupted Kutadanta.                   
  Said the Buddha: "Dost thou deny that the same logic holds good          
for thyself that holds good for the things of the world?" Kutadanta        
bethought himself and rejoined slowly: "No, I do not. The same logic       
holds good universally; but there is a peculiarity about my self which     
renders it altogether different from everything else and also from         
other selves. There may be another man who feels exactly like me,          
thinks like me, and acts like me; suppose even he had the same name        
and the same kind of possessions, he would not be myself."                 
  "True, Kutadanta," answered Buddha, "he would not be thyself. Now,       
tell me, is the person who goes to school one, and that same person        
when he has finished his schooling another? Is it one who commits a        
crime, another who is punished by having his hands and feet cut            
off?" "They are the same," was the reply.                                  
  "Then sameness is constituted by continuity only?" asked the             
Tathagata. "Not only by continuity," said Kutadanta, "but also and         
mainly by identity of character."                                          
  "Very well," concluded the Buddha, "then thou agreest that persons       
can be the same, in the same sense as two flames of the same kind are      
called the same; and thou must recognize that in this sense another        
man of the same character and product of the same karma is the same as     
thou." "Well, I do," said the Brahman.                                     
  The Buddha continued: "And in this same sense alone art thou the         
same today as yesterday. Thy nature is not constituted by the matter       
of which thy body consists, but by thy sankharas, the forms of the         
body, of sensations, of thoughts. The person is the combination of the     
sankharas. Wherever they are, thou art. Whithersoever they go, thou        
goest. Thus thou wilt recognize in a certain sense an identity of          
thy self, and in another sense a difference. But he who does not           
recognize the identity should deny all identity, and should say that       
the questioner is no longer the same person as he who a minute after       
receives the answer. Now consider the continuation of thy personality,     
which is preserved in thy karma. Dost thou call it death and               
annihilation, or life and continued life?"                                 
  "I call it life and continued life," rejoined Kutadanta, "for it         
is the continuation of my existence, but I do not care for that kind       
of continuation. All I care for is the continuation of self in the         
other sense, which makes of every man, whether identical with me or        
not, an altogether different person."                                      
  "Very well," said Buddha. "This is what thou desirest and this is        
the cleaving to self. This is thy error. All compound things are           
transitory: they grow and they decay. All compound things are              
subject to pain: they will be separated from what they love and be         
joined to what they abhor. All compound things lack a self, an             
atman, an ego."                                                            
  "How is that?" asked Kutadanta. "Where is thy self?" asked the           
Buddha. And when Kutadanta made no reply, he continued: "Thy self to       
which thou cleavest is a constant change. Years ago thou wast a            
small babe; then, thou wast a boy; then a youth, and now, thou art a       
man. Is there any identity of the babe and the man? There is an            
identity in a certain sense only. Indeed there is more identity            
between the flames of the first and the third watch, even though the       
lamp might have been extinguished during the second watch. Now which       
is thy true self, that of yesterday, that of today, or that of             
tomorrow, for the preservation of which thou clamorest?" Kutadanta was     
bewildered. "Lord of the world," he said, "I see my error, but I am        
still confused."                                                           
  The Tathagata continued: "It is by a process of evolution that           
sankharas come to be. There is no sankhara which has sprung into being     
without a gradual becoming. Thy sankharas are the product of thy deeds     
in former existences. The combination of thy sankharas is thy self.        
Wheresoever they are impressed thither thy self migrates. In thy           
sankharas thou wilt continue to live and thou wilt reap in future          
existences the harvest sown now and in the past."                          
  "Verily, O Lord," rejoined Kutadanta, "this is not a fair                
retribution. I cannot recognize the justice that others after me           
will reap what I am sowing now."                                           
  The Blessed One waited a moment and then replied: "Is all teaching       
in vain? Dost thou not understand that those others are thou thyself?      
Thou thyself wilt reap what thou sowest, not others. Think of a man        
who is ill-bred and destitute, suffering from the wretchedness of          
his condition. As a boy he was slothful and indolent, and when he grew     
up he had not learned a craft to earn a living. Wouldst thou say his       
misery is not the product of his own action, because the adult is no       
longer the same person as was the boy?                                     
  "I say to thee: Not in the heavens, not in the midst of the sea, not     
if thou hidest thyself away in the clefts of the mountains, wilt           
thou find a place where thou canst escape the fruit of thine evil          
actions. At the same time thou art sure to receive the blessings of        
thy good actions. To the man who has long been traveling and who           
returns home in safety, the welcome of kinfolk, friends, and               
acquaintances awaits. So, the fruits of his good works bid him welcome     
who has walked in the path of righteousness, when he passes over           
from the present life into the hereafter."                                 
  Kutadanta said: "I have faith in the glory and excellency of thy         
doctrines. My eye cannot as yet endure the light; but I now understand     
that there is no self, and the truth dawns upon me. Sacrifices             
cannot save, and invocations are idle talk. But how shall I find the       
path to life everlasting? I know all the Vedas by heart and have not       
found the truth."                                                          
  Said the Buddha: "Learning is a good thing; but it availeth not.         
True wisdom can be acquired by practice only. Practice the truth           
that thy brother is the same as thou. Walk in the noble path of            
righteousness and thou wilt understand that while there is death in        
self, there is immortality in truth."                                      
  Said Kutadanta: "Let me take my refuge in the Blessed One, in the        
Dharma, and in the brotherhood. Accept me as thy disciple and let me       
partake of the bliss of immortality."                                      

                        THE BUDDHA OMNIPRESENT                             
  AND the Blessed One thus addressed the brethren: "Those only who         
do not believe, call me Gotama, but you call me the Buddha, the            
Blessed One, the Teacher. And this is right, for I have in this life       
entered Nirvana, while the life of Gotama has been extinguished.           
Self has disappeared and the truth has taken its abode in me. This         
body of mine is Gotama's body and it will be dissolved in due time,        
and after its dissolution no one, neither God nor man, will see Gotama     
again. But the truth remains. The Buddha will not die; the Buddha will     
continue to live in the holy body of the law.                              
  "The extinction of the Blessed One will be by that passing away in       
which nothing remains that could tend to the formation of another          
self. Nor will it be possible to point out the Blessed One as being        
here or there. But it will be like a flame in a great body of              
blazing fire. That flame has ceased; it has vanished and it cannot         
be said that it is here or there. In the body of the Dharma,               
however, the Blessed One can be pointed out; for the Dharma has been       
preached by the Blessed One.                                               
  "You are my children, I am your father; through me you have been         
released from your sufferings. I myself having reached the other           
shore, help others to cross the stream; I myself having attained           
salvation, am a savior of others; being comforted, I comfort others        
and lead them to the place of refuge. I shall fill with joy all the        
beings whose limbs languish; I shall give happiness to those who are       
dying from distress; I shall extend to them succor and deliverance.        
  "I was born into the world as the king of truth for the salvation of     
the world. The subject on which I meditate is truth. The practice to       
which I devote myself is truth. The topic of my conversation is truth.     
My thoughts are always in the truth. For lo! my self has become the        
truth. Whosoever comprehendeth the truth will see the Blessed One, for     
the truth has been preached by the Blessed One."                           

                    ONE ESSENCE, ONE LAW, ONE AIM                          
  THE Tathagata addressed the venerable Kassapa, to dispel the             
uncertainty and doubt of his mind, and he said: "All things are made       
of one essence, yet things are different according to the forms            
which they assume under different impressions. As they form themselves     
so they act, and as they act so they are. It is, Kassapa, as if a          
potter made different vessels out of the same clay. Some of these pots     
are to contain sugar, others rice, others curds and milk; others still     
are vessels of impurity. There is no diversity in the clay used; the       
diversity of the pots is only due to the moulding hands of the             
potter who shapes them for the various uses that circumstances may         
  "And as all things originate from one essence, so they are               
developing according to one law and they are destined to one aim which     
is Nirvana. Nirvana comes to thee, Kassapa, when thou understandest        
thoroughly, and when thou livest according to thy understanding,           
that all things are of one essence and that there is but one law.          
Hence, there is but one Nirvana as there is but one truth, not two         
or three.                                                                  
  "And the Tathagata is the same unto all beings, differing in his         
attitude only in so far as all beings are different. The Tathagata         
recreates the whole world like a cloud shedding its waters without         
distinction. He has the same sentiments for the high as for the low,       
for the wise as for the ignorant, for the noble-minded as for the          
  "The great cloud full of rain comes up in this wide universe             
covering all countries and oceans to pour down its rain everywhere,        
over all grasses, shrubs, herbs, trees of various species, families of     
plants of different names growing on the earth, on the hills, on the       
mountains, or in the valleys. Then, Kassapa, the grasses, shrubs,          
herbs, and wild trees suck the water emitted from that great cloud         
which is all of one essence and has been abundantly poured down; and       
they will, according to their nature, acquire a proportionate              
development, shooting up and producing blossoms and their fruits in        
season. Rooted in one and the same soil, all those families of             
plants and germs are quickened by water of the same essence.               
  "The Tathagata, however, O Kassapa, knows the law whose essence is       
salvation, and whose end is the peace of Nirvana. He is the same to        
all, and yet knowing the requirements of every single being, he does       
not reveal himself to all alike. He does not impart to them at once        
the fullness of omniscience, but pays attention to the disposition         
of various beings."                                                        

                      THE LESSON GIVEN TO RAHULA                           
  BEFORE Rahula, the son of Gotama Siddhattha and Yasodhara,               
attained to the enlightenment of true wisdom, his conduct was not          
always marked by a love of truth, and the Blessed One sent him to a        
distant vihara to govern his mind and to guard his tongue. After           
some time the Blessed One repaired to the place, and Rahula was filled     
with joy.                                                                  
  The Blessed One ordered the boy to bring him a basin of water and to     
wash his feet, and Rahula obeyed. When Rahula had washed the               
Tathagata's feet, the Blessed One asked: "Is the water now fit for         
  "No, my Lord," replied the boy, "the water is defiled." Then the         
Blessed One said: "Now consider thine own case. Although thou art my       
son, and the grandchild of a king, although thou art a samana who          
has voluntarily given up everything, thou art unable to guard thy          
tongue from untruth, and thus defilest thou thy mind." And when the        
water had been poured away, the Blessed One asked again: "Is this          
vessel now fit for holding water to drink?"                                
  "No, my Lord," replied Rahula, "the vessel, too, has become              
unclean." And the Blessed One said: "Now consider thine own case.          
Although thou wearest the yellow robe, art thou fit for any high           
purpose when thou hast become unclean like this vessel?" Then the          
Blessed One, lifting up the empty basin and whirling it round,             
asked: "Art thou not afraid lest it shall fall and break?" "No, my         
Lord," replied Rahula, "it is cheap, its loss will not amount to           
  "Now consider thine own case," said the Blessed One. "Thou art           
whirled about in endless eddies of transmigration, and as thy body is      
made of the same substance as other material things that will crumble      
to dust, there is no loss if it be broken. He who is given to              
speaking untruths is an object of contempt to the wise."                   
  Rahula was filled with shame, and the Blessed One addressed him once     
more: "Listen, and I will tell thee a parable: There was a king who        
had a very powerful elephant, able to cope with five hundred               
ordinary elephants. When going to war, the elephant was armed with         
sharp swords on his tusks, with scythes on his shoulders, spears on        
his feet, and an iron ball at his tail. The elephant-master rejoiced       
to see the noble creature so well equipped, and, knowing that a slight     
wound by an arrow in the trunk would be fatal, he had taught the           
elephant to keep his trunk well coiled up. But during the battle the       
elephant stretched forth his trunk to seize a sword. His master was        
frightened and consulted with the king, and they decided that the          
elephant was no longer fit to be used in battle.                           
  "O Rahula! if men would only guard their tongues all would be            
well! Be like the fighting elephant who guards his trunk against the       
arrow that strikes in the center. By love of truth the sincere             
escape iniquity. Like the elephant well subdued and quiet, who permits     
the king to mount on his trunk, thus the man that reveres                  
righteousness will endure faithfully throughout his life." Rahula          
hearing these words was filled with deep sorrow; he never again gave       
any occasion for complaint, and forthwith he sanctified his life by        
earnest exertions.                                                         

                         THE SERMON ON ABUSE                               
  THE Blessed One observed the ways of society and noticed how much        
misery came from malignity and foolish offenses done only to gratify       
vanity and self-seeking pride. And the Buddha said: "If a man              
foolishly does me wrong, I will return to him the protection of my         
ungrudging love; the more evil comes from him, the more good shall         
go from me; the fragrance of goodness always comes to me, and the          
harmful air of evil goes to him."                                          
  A foolish man learning that the Buddha observed the principle of         
great love which commends the return of good for evil, came and abused     
him. The Buddha was silent, pitying his folly. When the man had            
finished his abuse, the Buddha asked him, saying: "Son, if a man           
declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would it belong?"        
And he answered: "In that case it would belong to the man who              
offered it."                                                               
  "My son," said the Buddha, "thou hast railed at me, but I decline to     
accept thy abuse, and request thee to keep it thyself. Will it not         
be a source of misery to thee? As the echo belongs to the sound, and       
the shadow to the substance, so misery will overtake the evil-doer         
without fail."                                                             
  The abuser made no reply, and Buddha continued: "A wicked man who        
reproaches a virtuous one is like one who looks up and spits at            
heaven; the spittle soils not the heaven, but comes back and defiles       
his own person. The slanderer is like one who flings dust at another       
when the wind is contrary; the dust does but return on him who threw       
it. The virtuous man cannot be hurt and the misery that the other          
would inflict comes back on himself." The abuser went away ashamed,        
but he came again and took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the       

                    THE BUDDHA REPLIES TO THE DEVA                         
  ON a certain day when the Blessed One dwelt at Jetavana, the             
garden of Anathapindika, a celestial deva came to him in the shape         
of a Brahman whose countenance was bright and whose garments were          
white like snow. The deva asked questions which the Blessed One            
  The deva said: "What is the sharpest sword? What is the deadliest        
poison? What is the fiercest fire? What is the darkest night?" The         
Blessed One replied: "A word spoken in wrath is the sharpest sword;        
covetousness is the deadliest poison; passion is the fiercest fire;        
ignorance is the darkest night."                                           
  The deva said: "Who gains the greatest benefit? Who loses most?          
Which armor is invulnerable? What is the best weapon?" The Blessed One     
replied: "He is the greatest gainer who gives to others, and he loses      
most who greedily receives without gratitude. Patience is an               
invulnerable armor; wisdom is the best weapon."                            
  The deva said: "Who is the most dangerous thief? What is the most        
precious treasure? Who is most successful in taking away by violence       
not only on earth, but also in heaven? What is the securest                
treasure-trove?" The Blessed One replied: "Evil thought is the most        
dangerous thief; virtue is the most precious treasure. The mind            
takes possession of everything not only on earth, but also in              
heaven, and immortality is its securest treasure-trove."                   
  The deva said: "What is attractive? What is disgusting? What is          
the most horrible pain? What is the greatest enjoyment?" The Blessed       
One replied: "Good is attractive; evil is disgusting. A bad conscience     
is the most tormenting pain; deliverance is the height of bliss."          
  The deva asked: "What causes ruin in the world? What breaks off          
friendships? What is the most violent fever? Who is the best               
physician?" The Blessed One replied: "Ignorance causes the ruin of the     
world. Envy and selfishness break off friendships. Hatred is the           
most violent fever, and the Buddha is the best physician."                 
  The deva then asked and said: "Now I have only one doubt to be           
solved; pray, clear it away: What is it fire can neither burn, nor         
moisture corrode, nor wind crush down, but is able to reform the whole     
world?" The Blessed One replied: "Blessing! Neither fire, nor              
moisture, nor wind can destroy the blessing of a good deed, and            
blessings reform the whole world."                                         
  The deva, having heard the words of the Blessed One, was full of         
exceeding joy. Clasping his hands, he bowed down before him in             
reverence, and disappeared suddenly from the presence of the Buddha.       

                         WORDS OF INSTRUCTION                              
  THE bhikkhus came to the Blessed One, and having saluted him with        
clasped hands they said: "O Master, thou all-seeing one, we all wish       
to learn; our ears are ready to hear, thou art our teacher, thou art       
incomparable. Cut off our doubt, inform us of the blessed Dharma, O        
thou of great understanding; speak in the midst of us, O thou who          
art all-seeing, as is the thousand-eyed Lord of the gods. We will          
ask the muni of great understanding, who has crossed the stream,           
gone to the other shore, is blessed and of a firm mind: How does a         
bhikkhu wander rightly in the world, after having gone out from his        
house and driven away desire?"                                             
  The Buddha said: "Let the bhikkhu subdue his passion for human and       
celestial pleasures, then, having conquered existence, he will command     
the Dharma. Such a one will wander rightly in the world. He whose          
lusts have been destroyed, who is free from pride, who has overcome        
all the ways of passion, is subdued, perfectly happy, and of a firm        
mind. Such a one will wander rightly in the world. Faithful is he          
who is possessed of knowledge, seeing the way that leads to Nirvana;       
he who is not a partisan; he who is pure and virtuous, and has removed     
the veil from his eyes. Such a one will wander rightly in the world."      
  Said the bhikkhus: "Certainly, O Bhagavat, it is so: whichever           
bhikkhu lives in this way, subdued and having overcome all bonds, such     
a one will wander rightly in the world."                                   
  The Blessed One said: "Whatever is to be done by him who aspires         
to attain the tranquility of Nirvana let him be able and upright,          
conscientious and gentle, and not proud. Let a man's pleasure be the       
Dharma, let him delight in the Dharma, let him stand fast in the           
Dharma, let him know how to inquire into the Dharma, let him not raise     
any dispute that pollutes the Dharma, and let him spend his time in        
pondering on the well-spoken truths of the Dharma.                         
  "A treasure that is laid up in a deep pit profits nothing and may        
easily be lost. The real treasure that is laid up through charity          
and piety, temperance, self-control, or deeds of merit, is hid             
secure and cannot pass away. It is never gained by despoiling or           
wronging others, and no thief can steal it. A man, when he dies,           
must leave the fleeting wealth of the world, but this treasure of          
virtuous acts he takes with him. Let the wise do good deeds; they          
are a treasure that can never be lost."                                    
  Then the bhikkhus praised the wisdom of the Tathagata: "Thou hast        
passed beyond pain; thou art holy, O Enlightened One, we consider thee     
one that has destroyed his passions. Thou art glorious, thoughtful,        
and of great understanding. O thou who puttest an end to pain, thou        
hast carried us across our doubt. Because thou sawest our longing          
and carriedst us across our doubt, adoration be to thee, O muni, who       
hast attained the highest good in the ways of wisdom. The doubt we had     
before, thou hast cleared away, O thou clearly-seeing one; surely thou     
art a great thinker, perfectly enlightened, there is no obstacle for       
thee. All thy troubles are scattered and cut off; thou art calm,           
subdued, firm, truthful.                                                   
  Adoration be to thee, O noble sage, adoration be to thee, O thou         
best of beings; in the world of men and gods there is none equal to        
thee. Thou art the Buddha, thou art the Master, thou art the muni that     
conquers Mara; after having cut off desire thou hast crossed over          
and carriest this generation to the other shore."                          
                    AMITABHA, THE UNBOUNDED LIGHT                          
  ONE of the disciples came to the Blessed One with a trembling            
heart and his mind full of doubt. And he asked the Blessed One: "O         
Buddha, our Lord and Master, in what way do we give up the pleasures       
of the world, if thou forbiddest us to work miracles and to attain the     
supernatural? Is not Amitabha, the infinite light of revelation, the       
source of innumerable miracles?"                                           
  And the Blessed One, seeing the anxiety of a truth-seeking mind,         
said: "O savaka, thou art a novice among the novices, and thou art         
swimming on the surface of samsara. How long will it take thee to          
grasp the truth? Thou hast not understood the words of the                 
Tathagata. The law of karma is unbreakable, and supplications have         
no effect, for they are empty words."                                      
  Said the disciple: "Sayest thou there are no miraculous and              
wonderful things?"                                                         
  The Blessed One replied: "Is it not a wonderful thing, mysterious        
and miraculous to the worldling, that a man who commits wrong can          
become a saint, that by attaining true enlightenment he will find          
the path of truth and abandon the evil ways of selfishness? The            
bhikkhu who renounces the transient pleasures of the world for the         
eternal bliss of holiness, performs the only miracle that can truly be     
called a miracle. A holy man changes the curses of karma into              
blessings. But the desire to perform miracles arises either from           
covetousness or from vanity. The mendicant does right who does not         
think: 'People should salute me'; who, though despised by the world,       
yet cherishes no ill-will towards it. That mendicant does right to         
whom omens, meteors, dreams, and signs are things abolished; he is         
free from all their evils. Amitabha, the unbounded light, is the           
source of wisdom, of virtue, of Buddhahood. The deeds of sorcerers and     
miracle-mongers are frauds, but what is more wondrous, more                
mysterious, more miraculous than Amitabha?"                                
  "But, Master," continued the savaka, "is the promise of the happy        
region vain talk and a myth?"                                              
  "What is this promise?" asked the Buddha; and the disciple               
replied: "There is in the west a paradise called the Pure Land,            
exquisitely adorned with gold and silver and precious gems. There          
are pure waters with golden sands, surrounded by pleasant walks and        
covered with large lotus flowers. Joyous music is heard, and flowers       
rain down three times a day. There are singing birds whose                 
harmonious notes proclaim the praises of religion, and in the minds of     
those who listen to their sweet sounds, remembrance arises of the          
Buddha, the law, and the brotherhood. No evil birth is possible there,     
and even the name of hell is unknown. He who fervently and with a          
pious mind repeats the words 'Amitabha Buddha' will be transported         
to the happy region of this pure land, and when death draws nigh,          
the Buddha, with a company of saintly followers, will stand before         
him, and there will be perfect tranquility."                               
  "In truth," said the Buddha, "there is such a happy paradise. But        
the country is spiritual and it is accessible only to those that are       
spiritual. Thou sayest it lies in the west. This means, look for it        
where he who enlightens the world resides. The sun sinks down and          
leaves us in utter darkness, the shades of night steal over us, and        
Mara, the evil one, buries our bodies in the grave. Sunset is              
nevertheless no extinction, and where we imagine we see extinction,        
there is boundless light and inexhaustible life."                          
  "I understand," said the savaka, "that the story of the Western          
Paradise is not literally true."                                           
  "Thy description of paradise," the Buddha continued, "is                 
beautiful; yet it is insufficient and does little justice to the glory     
of the pure land. The worldly can speak of it in a worldly way only;       
they use worldly similes and worldly words. But the pure land in which     
the pure live is more beautiful than thou canst say or imagine.            
However, the repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious         
only if thou speak it with such a devout attitude of mind as will          
cleanse thy heart and attune thy will to do works of righteousness. He     
only can reach the happy land whose soul is filled with the infinite       
light of truth. He only can live and breathe in the spiritual              
atmosphere of the Western Paradise who has attained enlightenment. I       
say to thee, the Tathagata lives in the pure land of eternal bliss         
even now while he is still in the body. The Tathagata preaches the law     
of religion unto thee and unto the whole world, so that thou and thy       
brethren may attain the same peace, the same happiness."                   
  Said the disciple: "Teach me, O Lord, the meditations to which I         
must devote myself in order to let my mind enter into the paradise         
of the pure land."                                                         
  Buddha said: "There are five meditations. The first meditation is        
the meditation of love in which thou must so adjust thy heart that         
thou longest for the weal and welfare of all beings, including the         
happiness of thine enemies.                                                
  "The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which thou          
thinkest of all beings in distress, vividly representing in thine          
imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep             
compassion for them in thy soul.                                           
  "The third meditation is the meditation of joy in which thou             
thinkest of the prosperity of others and rejoicest with their              
  "The fourth meditation is the meditation on impurity, in which           
thou considerest the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of       
wrongs and evils. How trivial is often the pleasure of the moment          
and how fatal are its consequences!                                        
  "The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which thou       
risest above love and hate, tyranny and thraldom, wealth and want, and     
regardest thine own fate with impartial calmness and perfect               
  "A true follower of the Tathagata founds not his trust upon              
austerities or rituals, but giving up the idea of self relies with his     
whole heart upon Amitabha, which is the unbounded light of truth."         
  The Blessed One after having explained his doctrine of Amitabha, the     
immeasurable light which makes him who receives it a Buddha, looked        
into the heart of his disciple and saw still some doubts and               
anxieties. And the Blessed One said: "Ask me, my son, the questions        
which weigh upon thy soul."                                                
  The disciple said: "Can a humble monk, by sanctifying himself,           
acquire the talents of supernatural wisdom called Abhinnas and the         
supernatural powers called Iddhi? Show me the Iddhi-pada, the path         
to the highest wisdom. Open to me the Jhanas which are the means of        
acquiring samadhi, the fixity of mind which enraptures the soul." And      
the Blessed One said: "Which are the Abhinnas?"                            
  The disciple replied: "There are six Abhinnas: The celestial eye;        
the celestial ear; the body at will or the power of transformation;        
the knowledge of the destiny of former dwellings, so as to know former     
states of existence; the faculty of reading the thoughts of others;        
and the knowledge of comprehending the finality of the stream of           
  And the Blessed One replied: "These are wondrous things; but verily,     
every man can attain them. Consider the abilities of thine own mind;       
thou wert born about two hundred leagues from here and canst thou          
not in thy thought, in an instant travel to thy native place and           
remember the details of thy father's home? Seest thou not with thy         
mind eye the roots of the tree which is shaken by the wind without         
being overthrown? Does not the collector of herbs see in his mental        
vision, whenever he pleases, any plant with its roots, its stem,           
its fruits, leaves, and even the uses to which it can be applied?          
Cannot the man who understands languages recall to his mind any word       
whenever he pleases, knowing its exact meaning and import? How much        
more does the Tathagata understand the nature of things; he looks into     
the hearts of men and reads their thoughts. He knows the evolution         
of beings and foresees their ends."                                        
  Said the disciple: "Then the Tathagata teaches that man can attain       
through the Jhanas the bliss of Abhinna." And the Blessed One asked in     
reply: "Which are the Jhanas through which man reaches Abhinna?"           
  The disciple replied: "There are four Jhanas. The first Jhana is         
seclusion in which one must free his mind from sensuality; the             
second Jhana is a tranquility of mind full of joy and gladness; the        
third Jhana is a taking delight in things spiritual; the fourth            
Jhana is a state of perfect purity and peace in which the mind is          
above all gladness and grief."                                             
  "Good, my son," enjoined the Blessed One. "Be sober and abandon          
wrong practices which serve only to stultify the mind." Said the           
disciple: "Forbear with me, O Blessed One, for I have faith without        
understanding and I am seeking the truth. O Blessed One, O                 
Tathagata, my Lord and Master, teach me the Iddhipada."                    
  The Blessed One said: "There are four means by which Iddhi is            
acquired: Prevent bad qualities from arising. Put away bad qualities       
which have arisen. Produce goodness that does not yet exist.               
Increase goodness which already exists.- Search with sincerity, and        
persevere in the search. In the end thou wilt find the truth."             

                         THE TEACHER UNKNOWN                               
  THE Blessed One said to Ananda: "There are various kinds of              
assemblies, O Ananda; assemblies of nobles, of Brahmans, of                
householders, of bhikkhus, and of other beings. When I used to enter       
an assembly, I always became, before I seated myself, in color like        
unto the color of my audience, and in voice like unto their voice. I       
spoke to them in their language and then with religious discourse I        
instructed, quickened, and gladdened them.                                 
  "My doctrine is like the ocean, having the same eight wonderful          
qualities. Both the ocean and my doctrine become gradually deeper.         
Both preserve their identity under all changes. Both cast out dead         
bodies upon the dry land. As the great rivers, when falling into the       
main, lose their names and are thenceforth reckoned as the great           
ocean, so all the castes, having renounced their lineage and entered       
the Sangha, become brethren and are reckoned the sons of Sakyamuni.        
The ocean is the goal of all streams and of the rain from the              
clouds, yet is it never overflowing and never emptied: so the Dharma       
is embraced by many millions of people, yet it neither increases nor       
decreases. As the great ocean has only one taste, the taste of salt,       
so my doctrine has only one flavor, the flavor of emancipation. Both       
the ocean and the Dharma are full of gems and pearls and jewels, and       
both afford a dwelling-place for mighty beings. These are the eight        
wonderful qualities in which my doctrine resembles the ocean.              
  "My doctrine is pure and it makes no discrimination between noble        
and ignoble, rich and poor. My doctrine is like unto water which           
cleanses all without distinction. My doctrine is like unto fire            
which consumes all things that exist between heaven and earth, great       
and small. My doctrine is like unto the heavens, for there is room         
in it, ample room for the reception of all, for men and women, boys        
and girls, the powerful and the lowly.                                     
  "But when I spoke, they knew me not and would say, 'Who may this         
be who thus speaks, a man or a god?' Then having instructed,               
quickened, and gladdened them with religious discourse, I would vanish     
away. But they knew me not, even when I vanished away."                    

                          PARABLES & STORIES                               
  THE Blessed One thought: "I have taught the truth which is excellent     
in the beginning, excellent in the middle, and excellent in the end;       
it is glorious in its spirit and glorious in its letter. But simple as     
it is, the people cannot understand it. I must speak to them in            
their own language. I must adapt my thoughts to their thoughts. They       
are like unto children, and love to hear tales. Therefore, I will tell     
them stories to explain the glory of the Dharma. If they cannot            
grasp the truth in the abstract arguments by which I have reached          
it, they may nevertheless come to understand it, if it is                  
illustrated in parables.                                                   

              THE WIDOW'S MITE, AND THE THREE MERCHANTS                    
  THERE was once a lone widow who was very destitute, and having           
gone to the mountain she beheld hermits holding a religious                
assembly. Then the woman was filled with joy, and uttering praises,        
said, "It is well, holy priests! but while others give precious            
things such as the ocean caves produce, I have nothing to offer."          
Having spoken thus and having searched herself in vain for something       
to give, she recollected that some time before she had found in a          
dung-heap two coppers, so taking these she offered them forthwith as a     
gift to the priesthood in charity.                                         
  The superior of the priests, a saint who could read the hearts of        
men, disregarding the rich gifts of others and beholding the deep          
faith dwelling in the heart of this poor widow, and wishing the            
priesthood to esteem rightly her religious merit, burst forth with         
full voice in a canto. He raised his right hand and said, "Reverend        
priests attend!" and then he proceeded:                                    
                 "The poor coppers of this widow                           
                 To all purpose are more worth                             
                 Than all the treasures of the oceans                      
                 And the wealth of the broad earth.                        
                 "As an act of pure devotion                               
                 She has done a pious deed;                                
                 She has attained salvation,                               
                 Being free from selfish greed."                           
  The woman was mightily strengthened in her mind by this thought, and     
said, "It is even as the Teacher says: what I have done is as much as      
if a rich man were to give up all his wealth."                             
  And the Teacher said: "Doing good deeds is like hoarding up              
treasures," and he expounded this truth in a parable: "Three               
merchants set out on their travels each with his wealth; one of them       
gained much, the second returned with his wealth, and the third one        
came home after having lost his wealth. What is true in common life        
applies also to religion.                                                  
  "The wealth is the state a man has reached, the gain is heaven;          
the loss of his wealth means that a man will be reborn in a lower          
state, as a denizen of hell or as an animal. These are the courses         
that are open to the sinner.                                               
  "He who brings back his wealth, like unto one who is born again as a     
man. Those who through the exercise of various virtues become pious        
householders will be born again as men, for all beings will reap the       
fruit of their actions. But he who increases his wealth is like unto       
one who practices eminent virtues. The virtuous, excellent man attains     
in heaven to the glorious state of the gods."                              

                          THE MAN BORN BLIND                               
  THERE was a man born blind, and he said: "I do not believe in the        
world of light and appearance. There are no colors, bright or              
somber. There is no sun, no moon, no stars. No one has witnessed these     
things." His friends remonstrated with him, but he clung to his            
opinion: "What you say that you see," he objected, "are illusions.         
If colors existed I should be able to touch them. They have no             
substance and are not real. Everything real has weight, but I feel         
no weight where you see colors."                                           
  A physician was called to see the blind man. He mixed four               
simples, and when he applied them to the cataract of the blind man the     
gray film melted, and his eyes acquired the faculty of sight. The          
Tathagata is the physician, the cataract is the illusion of the            
thought "I am," and the four simples are the four noble truths.            

                             THE LOST SON                                  
  THERE was a householder's son who went away into a distant               
country, and while the father accumulated immeasurable riches, the son     
became miserably poor. And the son while searching for food and            
clothing happened to come to the country in which his father lived.        
The father saw him in his wretchedness, for he was ragged and              
brutalized by poverty, and ordered some of his servants to call him.       
When the son saw the place to which he was conducted, he thought, "I       
must have evoked the suspicion of a powerful man, and he will throw me     
into prison." Full of apprehension he made his escape before he had        
seen his father.                                                           
  Then the father sent messengers out after his son, who was caught        
and brought back in spite of his cries and lamentations. Thereupon the     
father ordered his servants to deal tenderly with his son, and he          
appointed a laborer of his son's rank and education to employ the          
lad as a helpmate on the estate. And the son was pleased with his          
new situation. From the window of his palace the father watched the        
boy, and when he saw that he was honest and industrious, he promoted       
him higher and higher.                                                     
  After some time, he summoned his son and called together all his         
servants, and made the secret known to them. Then the poor man was         
exceedingly glad and he was full of joy at meeting his father. Just        
so, little by little, must the minds of men be trained for higher          

                            THE GIDDY FISH                                 
  THERE was a bhikkhu who had great difficulty in keeping his senses       
and passions under control; so, resolving to leave the Order, he           
came to the Blessed One to ask him for a release from the vows. And        
the Blessed One said to the bhikkhu: "Take heed, my son, lest thou         
fall a prey to the passions of thy misguided heart. For I see that         
in former existences, thou hast suffered much from the evil                
consequences of lust, and unless thou learnest to conquer thy              
sensual desire, thou wilt in this life be ruined through thy folly.        
  "Listen to a story of another existence of thine, as a fish. The         
fish could be seen swimming lustily in the river, playing with his         
mate. She, moving in front, suddenly perceived the meshes of a net,        
and slipping around escaped the danger; but he, blinded by love,           
shot eagerly after her and fell straight into the mouth of the net.        
The fisherman pulled the net up, and the fish, who complained bitterly     
of his sad fate, saying, 'this indeed is the bitter fruit of my            
folly,' would surely have died if the Bodhisattva had not chanced to       
come by, and, understanding the language of the fish, took pity on         
him. He bought the poor creature and said to him: 'My good fish, had I     
not caught sight of thee this day, thou wouldst have lost thy life.        
I shall save thee, but henceforth avoid the evil of lust.' With            
these words he threw the fish into the water.                              
  "Make the best of the time of grace that is offered to thee in thy       
present existence, and fear the dart of passion which, if thou guard       
not thy senses, will lead thee to destruction."                            

                      THE CRUEL CRANE OUTWITTED                            
  A TAILOR who used to make robes for the brotherhood was wont to          
cheat his customers, and thus prided himself on being smarter than         
other men. But once, on entering upon an important business                
transaction with a stranger, he met his master in the way of cheating,     
and suffered a heavy loss.                                                 
  The Blessed One said: "This is not an isolated incident in the           
greedy tailor's fate; in other incarnations he suffered similar            
losses, and by trying to dupe others ultimately ruined himself. This       
same greedy character lived many generations ago as a crane near a         
pond, and when the dry season set in he said to the fishes with a          
bland voice: 'Are you not anxious for your future welfare? There is        
at present very little water and still less food in this pond. What        
will you do should the whole pond become dry, in this drought?'            
'Yes, indeed' said the fishes, 'what should we do?' Replied the crane:     
'I know a fine, large lake, which never becomes dry. Would you not         
like me to carry you there in my beak?' When the fishes began to           
distrust the honesty of the crane, he proposed to have one of them         
sent over to the lake to see it; and a big carp at last decided to         
take the risk for the sake of the others, and the crane carried him to     
a beautiful lake and brought him back in safety. Then all doubt            
vanished, and the fishes gained confidence in the crane, and now the       
crane took them one by one out of the pond and devoured them on a          
big varana-tree.                                                           
  "There was also a lobster in the pond, and when the crane wanted         
to eat him too, he said: 'I have taken all the fishes away and put         
them in a fine, large lake. Come along. I shall take thee, too!'           
'But how wilt thou hold me to carry me along?' asked the lobster. 'I       
shall take hold of thee with my beak,' said the crane. 'Thou wilt let      
me fall if thou carry me like that. I will not go with thee!'              
replied the lobster. 'Thou needst not fear,' rejoined the crane; 'I        
shall hold thee quite tight all the way.'                                  
  "Then said the lobster to himself: 'If this crane once gets hold         
of a fish, he will certainly never let him go in a lake! Now if he         
should really put me into the lake it would be splendid; but if he         
does not, then I will cut his throat and kill him!' So he said to          
the crane: 'Look here, friend, thou wilt not be able to hold me            
tight enough; but we lobsters have a famous grip. If thou wilt let         
me catch hold of thee round the neck with my claws, I shall be glad to     
go with thee.'                                                             
  "The crane did not see that the lobster was trying to outwit him,        
and agreed. So the lobster caught hold of his neck with his claws as       
securely as with a pair of blacksmith's pincers, and called out:           
'Ready, ready, go!' The crane took him and showed him the lake, and        
then turned off toward the varana-tree. 'My dear uncle!' cried the         
lobster, 'The lake lies that way, but thou art taking me this other        
way.' Answered the crane: 'Thinkest so? Am I thy dear uncle? Thou          
meanest me to understand, I suppose, that I am thy slave, who has to       
lift thee up and carry thee about with him, where thou pleasest! Now       
cast thine eye upon that heap of fish-bones at the root of yonder          
varana-tree. Just as I have eaten those fish, every one of them, just      
so will I devour thee also!'                                               
  "'Ah! those fishes got eaten through their own stupidity,' answered      
the lobster, 'but I am not going to let thee kill me. On the contrary,     
it is thou that I am going to destroy. For thou, in thy folly, hast        
not seen that I have outwitted thee. If we die, we both die                
together; for I will cut off this head of thine and cast it to the         
ground!' So saying, he gave the crane's neck a pinch with his claws as     
with a vise.                                                               
  "Then gasping, and with tears trickling from his eyes, and trembling     
with the fear of death, the crane besought the lobster, saying: 'O, my     
Lord! Indeed I did not intend to eat thee. Grant me my life!' 'Very        
well! fly down and put me into the lake,' replied the lobster. And the     
crane turned round and stepped down into the lake, to place the            
lobster on the mud at its edge. Then the lobster cut the crane's           
neck through as clean as one would cut a lotus-stalk with a                
hunting-knife, and then entered the water!"                                
  When the Teacher had finished this discourse, he added: "Not now         
only was this man outwitted in this way, but in other existences, too,     
by his own intrigues."                                                     

                         FOUR KINDS OF MERIT                               
  THERE was a rich man who used to invite all the Brahmans of the          
neighborhood to his house, and, giving them rich gifts, offered            
great sacrifices to the gods.                                              
  But the Blessed One said: "If a man each month repeat a thousand         
sacrifices and give offerings without ceasing, he is not equal to          
him who but for one moment fixes his mind upon righteousness." The         
Buddha continued: "There are four kinds of offering: first, when the       
gifts are large and the merit small; secondly, when the gifts are          
small and the merit small; thirdly, when the gifts are small and the       
merit large; and fourthly, when the gifts are large and the merit is       
also large.                                                                
  "The first is the case of the deluded man who takes away life for        
the purpose of sacrificing to the gods, accompanied by carousing and       
feasting. Here the gifts are great, but the merit is small indeed.         
Next, the gifts are small and the merit is also small, when from           
covetousness and an evil heart a man keeps to himself a part of that       
which he intends to offer.                                                 
  "The merit is great, however, while the gift is small, when a man        
makes his offering from love and with a desire to grow in wisdom and       
in kindness. And lastly, the gift is large and the merit is large,         
when a wealthy man, in an unselfish spirit and with the wisdom of a        
Buddha, gives donations and founds institutions for the best of            
mankind to enlighten the minds of his fellow-men and to administer         
unto their needs."                                                         

                        THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD                             
  THERE was a certain Brahman in Kosambi, a wrangler and well versed       
in the Vedas. As he found no one whom he regarded his equal in             
debate he used to carry a lighted torch in his hand, and when asked        
for the reason of his strange conduct, he replied: "The world is so        
dark that I carry this torch to light it up, as far as I can." A           
samana sitting in the market-place heard these words and said: "My         
friend, if thine eyes are blind to the sight of the omnipresent            
light of the day, do not call the world dark. Thy torch adds nothing       
to the glory of the sun and thy intention to illumine the minds of         
others is as futile as it is arrogant." Whereupon the Brahman asked:       
"Where is the sun of which thou speakest?" And the samana replied:         
"The wisdom of the Tathagata is the sun of the mind. His radiancy is       
glorious by day and night, and he whose faith is strong will not           
lack light on the path to Nirvana where he will inherit bliss              

                           LUXURIOUS LIVING                                
  WHILE the Buddha was preaching his doctrine for the conversion of        
the world in the neighborhood of Savatthi, a man of great wealth who       
suffered from many ailments came to him with clasped hands and said:       
"World-honored Buddha, pardon me for my want of respect in not             
saluting thee as I ought but I suffer greatly from obesity,                
excessive drowsiness, and other complaints, so that I cannot move          
without pain."                                                             
  The Tathagata, seeing the luxuries with which the man was surrounded     
asked him: "Hast thou a desire to know the cause of thy ailments?" And     
when the wealthy man expressed his willingness to learn, the Blessed       
One said: "There are five things which produce the condition of            
which thou complainest: opulent dinners, love of sleep, hankering          
after pleasure, thoughtlessness, and lack of occupation. Exercise          
self-control at thy meals, and take upon thyself some duties that will     
exercise thy abilities and make thee useful to thy fellow-men. In          
following this advice thou wilt prolong thy life."                         
  The rich man remembered the words of the Buddha and after some           
time having recovered his lightness of body and youthful buoyancy          
returned to the World-honored One and, coming afoot without horses and     
attendants, said to him: "Master, thou hast cured my bodily                
ailments; I come now to seek enlightenment of my mind."                    
  And the Blessed One said: "The worldling nourishes his body, but the     
wise man nourishes his mind. He who indulges in the satisfaction of        
his appetites works his own destruction; but he who walks in the           
path will have both the salvation from evil and a prolongation of          

                      THE COMMUNICATION OF BLISS                           
  ANNABHARA, the slave of Sumana, having just cut the grass on the         
meadow, saw a samana with his bowl begging for food. Throwing down his     
bundle of hay he ran into the house and returned with the rice that        
had been provided for his own food. The samana ate the rice and            
gladdened him with words of religious comfort.                             
  The daughter of Sumana having observed the scene from a window           
called out: "Good! Annabhara, good! Very good!" Sumana hearing these       
words inquired what she meant, and on being informed about Annabhara's     
devotion and the words of comfort he had received from the samana,         
went to his slave and offered him money to divide the bliss of his         
offering. "My lord," said Annabhara, "let me first ask the venerable       
man." And approaching the samana, he said: "My master has asked me         
to share with him the bliss of the offering I made thee of my              
allowance of rice. Is it right that I should divide it with him?"          
  The samana replied in a parable. He said: "In a village of one           
hundred houses a single light was burning. Then a neighbor came with       
his lamp and lit it; and in this same way the light was communicated       
from house to house and the brightness in the village was increased.       
Thus the light of religion may be diffused without stinting him who        
communicates it. Let the bliss of thy offering also be diffused.           
Divide it."                                                                
  Annabhara returned to his master's house and said to him: "I present     
thee, my lord, with a share of the bliss of my offering. Deign to          
accept it." Sumana accepted it and offered his slave a sum of money,       
but Annabhara replied: "Not so, my lord; if I accept thy money it          
would appear as if I sold thee my share. Bliss cannot be sold; I beg       
thou wilt accept it as a gift." The master replied: "Brother               
Annabhara, from this day forth thou shalt be free. Live with me as         
my friend and accept this present as a token of my respect."               

                          THE LISTLESS FOOL                                
  THERE was a rich Brahman, well advanced in years, who, unmindful         
of the impermanence of earthly things and anticipating a long life,        
had built himself a large house. The Buddha wondered why a man so near     
to death had built a mansion with so many apartments, and he sent          
Ananda to the rich Brahman to preach to him the four noble truths          
and the eightfold path of salvation. The Brahman showed Ananda his         
house and explained to him the purpose of its numerous chambers, but       
to the instruction of the Buddha's teachings he gave no heed. Ananda       
said: "It is the habit of I fools to say, 'I have children and             
wealth.' He who says so is not even master of himself; how can he          
claim possession of children, riches, and servants? Many are the           
anxieties of the worldly, but they know nothing of the changes of          
the future."                                                               
  Scarcely had Ananda left, when the old man was stricken with             
apoplexy and fell dead. The Buddha said, for the instruction of            
those who were ready to learn: "A fool, though he live in the company      
of the wise, understands nothing of the true doctrine, as a spoon          
tastes not the flavor of the soup. He thinks of himself only, and          
unmindful of the advice of good counselors is unable to deliver            

                         RESCUE IN THE DESERT                              
  THERE was a disciple of the Blessed One, full of energy and zeal for     
the truth, who, living under a vow to complete a meditation in             
solitude, flagged in a moment of weakness. He said to himself: "The        
Teacher said there are several kinds of men; I must belong to the          
lowest class and fear that in this birth there will be neither path        
nor fruit for me. What is the use of a hermit's life if I cannot by        
constant endeavor attain the insight of meditation to which I have         
devoted myself?" And he left the solitude and returned to the              
  When the brethren saw him they said to him: "Thou hast done wrong, O     
brother, after taking a vow, to give up the attempt of carrying it         
out"; and they took him to the Master. When the Blessed One saw them       
he said: "I see, O mendicants, that you have brought this brother here     
against his will. What has he done?"                                       
  "Lord, this brother, having taken the vows of sanctifying a faith,       
has abandoned the endeavor to accomplish the aim of a member of the        
order, and has come back to us." Then the Teacher said to him: "Is it      
true that thou hast given up trying?"                                      
  "It is true, O Blessed One!" was the reply.                              
  The Master said: "This present life of thine is a time of grace.         
If thou fail now to reach the happy state thou wilt have to suffer         
remorse in future existences. How is it, brother, that thou hast           
proved so irresolute? Why, in former states of existence thou wert         
full of determination. By thy energy alone the men and bullocks of         
five hundred wagons obtained water in the sandy desert, and were           
saved. How is it that thou now givest up?" By these few words that         
brother was re-established in his resolution. But the others               
besought the Blessed One, saying: "Lord! Tell us how this was."            
  "Listen, then, O mendicants!" said the Blessed One; and having           
thus excited their attention, he made manifest a thing concealed by        
change of birth. Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in        
Kasi, the Bodhisattva was born in a merchant's family; and when he         
grew up, he went about trafficking with five hundred carts. One day he     
arrived at a sandy desert many leagues across. The sand in that desert     
was so fine that when taken in the closed fist it could not be kept in     
the hand. After the sun had risen it became as hot as a mass of            
burning embers, so that no man could walk on it. Those, therefore, who     
had to travel over it took wood, and water, and oil, and rice in their     
carts, and traveled during the night. And at daybreak they formed an       
encampment and spread an awning over it, and, taking their meals           
early, they passed the day lying in the shade. At sunset they              
supped, and when the ground had become cool they yoked their oxen          
and went on. The traveling was like a voyage over the sea: a               
desert-pilot had to be chosen, and he brought the caravan safe to          
the other side by his knowledge of the stars.                              
  "Thus the merchant of our story crossed the desert. And when he          
had passed over fifty-nine leagues he thought, "Now, in one more night     
we shall get out of the sand," and after supper he directed the            
wagons to be yoked, and so set out. The pilot had cushions arranged on     
the foremost cart and lay down, looking at the stars and directing the     
men where to drive. But worn out by want of rest during the long           
march, he fell asleep, and did not perceive that the oxen had turned       
round and taken the same road by which they had come. The oxen went on     
the whole night through. Towards dawn the pilot woke up, and,              
observing the stars, called out: "Stop the wagons, stop the wagons!"       
The day broke just as they stopped and were drawing up the carts in        
a line. Then the men cried out: "Why, this is the very encampment we       
left yesterday! We have but little wood left and our water is all          
gone! We are lost!" And unyoking the oxen and spreading the canopy         
over their heads, they lay down in despondency, each one under his         
  But the Bodhisattva said to himself, "If I lose heart, all these         
will perish," and walked about while the morning was yet cool. On          
seeing a tuft of kusa-grass, he thought: "This could have grown only       
by soaking up some water which must be beneath it." And he made them       
bring a spade and dig in that spot. And they dug sixty cubits deep.        
And when they had got thus far, the spade of the diggers struck on a       
rock; and as soon as it struck, they all gave up in despair. But the       
Bodhisattva thought, "There must be water under that rock," and            
descending into the well he got upon the stone, and stooping down          
applied his ear to it and tested the sound of it. He heard the sound       
of water gurgling beneath, and when he got out he called his page. "My     
lad, if thou givest up now, we shall all be lost. Do not lose heart.       
Take this iron hammer, and go down into the pit, and give the rock a       
good blow."                                                                
  The lad obeyed, and though they all stood by in despair, he went         
down full of determination and struck at the stone. The rock split         
in two and fell below, so that it no longer blocked the stream, and        
water rose till its depth from the bottom to the brim of the well          
was equal to the height of a palm-tree. And they all drank of the          
water, and bathed in it. Then they cooked rice and ate it, and fed         
their oxen with it. And when the sun set, they put a flag in the well,     
and went to the place appointed. There they sold their merchandise         
at a good profit and returned to their home, and when they died they       
passed away according to their deeds. And the Bodhisattva gave gifts       
and did other virtuous acts, and he also passed away according to          
his deeds.                                                                 
  After the Teacher had told the story he formed the connection by         
saying in conclusion, "The caravan-leader was the Bodhisattva, the         
future Buddha; the page who at that time despaired not, but broke the      
stone, and gave water to the multitude, was this brother without           
perseverance; and the other men were attendants on the Buddha."            
                              THE SOWER                                    
  BHARADVAJA, a wealthy Brahman farmer, was celebrating his                
harvest-thanksgiving when the Blessed One came with his alms-bowl,         
begging for food. Some of the people paid him reverence, but the           
Brahman was angry and said: "O samana, it would be more fitting for        
thee to go to work than to beg. I plough and sow, and having               
ploughed and sown, I eat. If thou didst likewise, thou, too, wouldst       
have something to eat."                                                    
  The Tathagata answered him and said: "O Brahman, I, too, plough and      
sow, and having ploughed and sown, I eat." "Dost thou profess to be a      
husbandman?" replied the Brahman. "Where, then, are thy bullocks?          
Where is the seed and the plough?"                                         
  The Blessed One said: "Faith is the seed I sow: good works are the       
rain that fertilizes it; wisdom and modesty are the plough; my mind is     
the guiding-rein; I lay hold of the handle of the law; earnestness         
is the goad I use, and exertion is my draught-ox. This ploughing is        
ploughed to destroy the weeds of illusion. The harvest it yields is        
the immortal fruits of Nirvana, and thus all sorrow ends." Then the        
Brahman poured rice-milk into a golden bowl and offered it to the          
Blessed One, saying: "Let the Teacher of mankind partake of the            
rice-milk, for the venerable Gotama ploughs a ploughing that bears the     
fruit of immortality."                                                     
                             THE OUTCAST                                   
  WHEN Bhagavat dwelt at Savatthi in the Jetavana, he went out with        
his alms-bowl to beg for food and approached the house of a Brahman        
priest while the fire of an offering was blazing upon the altar. And       
the priest said: "Stay there, O shaveling; stay there, O wretched          
samana; thou art an outcast."                                              
  The Blessed One replied: "Who is an outcast? An outcast is the man       
who is angry and bears hatred; the man who is wicked and hypocritical,     
he who embraces error and is full of deceit. Whosoever is a provoker       
and is avaricious, has evil desires, is envious, wicked, shameless,        
and without fear to commit wrong, let him be known as an outcast.          
Not by birth does one become an outcast, not by birth does one             
become a Brahman; by deeds one becomes an outcast, by deeds one            
becomes a Brahman."                                                        

                        THE WOMAN AT THE WELL                              
  ANANDA, the favorite disciple of the Buddha, having been sent by the     
Lord on a mission, passed by a well near a village, and seeing Pakati,     
a girl of the Matanga caste, he asked her for water to drink. Pakati       
said: "O Brahman, I am too humble and mean to give thee water to           
drink, do not ask any service of me lest thy holiness be contaminated,     
for I am of low caste." And Ananda replied: "I ask not for caste but       
for water"; and the Matanga girl's heart leaped joyfully and she           
gave Ananda to drink.                                                      
  Ananda thanked her and went away; but she followed him at a              
distance. Having heard that Ananda was a disciple of Gotama Sakyamuni,     
the girl repaired to the Blessed One and cried: "O Lord help me, and       
let me live in the place where Ananda thy disciple dwells, so that I       
may see him and minister unto him, for I love Ananda." The Blessed One     
understood the emotions of her heart and he said: "Pakati, thy heart       
is full of love, but thou understandest not thine own sentiments. It       
is not Ananda that thou lovest, but his kindness. Accept, then, the        
kindness thou hast seen him practice unto thee, and in the humility of     
thy station practice it unto others. Verily there is great merit in        
the generosity of a king when he is kind to a slave; but there is a        
greater merit in the slave when he ignores the wrongs which he suffers     
and cherishes kindness and good-will to all mankind. He will cease         
to hate his oppressors, and even when powerless to resist their            
usurpation will with compassion pity their arrogance and                   
supercilious demeanor.                                                     
  "Blessed art thou, Pakati, for though thou art a Matanga thou wilt       
be a model for noblemen and noblewomen. Thou art of low caste, but         
Brahmans may learn a lesson from thee. Swerve not from the path of         
justice and righteousness and thou wilt outshine the royal glory of        
queens on the throne."                                                     
                             THE PEACEMAKER                                
  IT is reported that two kingdoms were on the verge of war for the        
possession of a certain embankment which was disputed by them. And the     
Buddha seeing the kings and their armies ready to fight, requested         
them to tell him the cause of their quarrels. Having heard the             
complaints on both sides, he said:                                         
  "I understand that the embankment has value for some of your people;     
has it any intrinsic value aside from its service to your men?"            
  "It has no intrinsic value whatever," was the reply.                     
  The Tathagata continued: "Now when you go to battle is it not sure       
that many of your men will be slain and that you yourselves, O             
kings, are liable to lose your lives?" And they said: "It is sure that     
many will be slain and our own lives be jeopardized."                      
  "The blood of men, however," said Buddha, "has it less intrinsic         
value than a mound of earth?" "No," the kings said, "the lives of          
men and above all the lives of kings, are priceless." Then the             
Tathagata concluded: "Are you going to stake that which is priceless       
against that which has no intrinsic value whatever? The wrath of the       
two monarchs abated, and they came to a peaceable agreement.               

                            THE HUNGRY DOG                                 
  THERE was a great king who oppressed his people and was hated by his     
subjects; yet when the Tathagata came into his kingdom, the king           
desired much to see him. So he went to the place where the Blessed One     
stayed and asked: "O Sakyamuni, canst thou teach a lesson to the           
king that will divert his mind and benefit him at the same time?"          
  And the Blessed One said: "I shall tell thee the parable of the          
hungry dog: There was a wicked tyrant; and the god Indra, assuming the     
shape of a hunter, came down upon earth with the demon Matali, the         
latter appearing as a dog of enormous size. Hunter and dog entered the     
palace, and the dog howled so woefully that the royal buildings            
shook by the sound to their very foundations. The tyrant had the           
awe-inspiring hunter brought before his throne and inquired after the      
cause of the terrible bark. The hunter said, "The dog is hungry,"          
whereupon the frightened king ordered food for him. All the food           
prepared at the royal banquet disappeared rapidly in the dog's jaws,       
and still he howled with portentous significance. More food was sent       
for, and all the royal store-houses were emptied, but in vain. Then        
the tyrant grew desperate and asked: 'Will nothing satisfy the             
cravings of that woeful beast?' 'Nothing,' replied the hunter,             
'nothing except perhaps the flesh of all his enemies.' 'And who are        
his enemies?' anxiously asked the tyrant. The hunter replied: 'The dog     
will howl as long as there are people hungry in the kingdom, and his       
enemies are those who practice injustice and oppress the poor.' The        
oppressor of the people, remembering his evil deeds, was seized with       
remorse, and for the first time in his life he began to listen to          
the teachings of righteousness."                                           
  Having ended his story, the Blessed One addressed the king, who          
had turned pale, and said to him: "The Tathagata can quicken the           
spiritual ears of the powerful, and when thou, great king, hearest the     
dog bark, think of the teachings of the Buddha, and thou mayest            
still learn to pacify the monster."                                        

                           THE DESPOT CURED                                
  KING BRAHMADATTA happened to see a beautiful woman, the wife of a        
Brahman merchant, and, conceiving a passion for her ordered a              
precious jewel secretly to be dropped into the merchant's carriage.        
The jewel was missed, searched for, and found. The merchant was            
arrested on the charge of stealing, and the king pretended to listen       
with great attention to the defense, and with seeming regret ordered       
the merchant to be executed, while his wife was consigned to the royal     
  Brahmadatta attended the execution in person, for such sights were       
wont to give him pleasure, but when the doomed man looked with deep        
compassion at his infamous judge, a flash of the Buddha's wisdom lit       
up the king's passion-beclouded mind; and while the executioner raised     
the sword for the fatal stroke, Brahmadatta felt the effect in his own     
mind, and he imagined he saw himself on the block. "Hold,                  
executioner!" shouted Brahmadatta, "it is the king whom thou               
slayest!" But it was too late! The executioner had done the bloody         
deed. The king fell back in a swoon, and when he awoke a change had        
come over him. He had ceased to be the cruel despot and henceforth led     
a life of holiness and rectitude. The people said that the character       
of the Brahman had been impressed into his mind.                           
  O you who commit murders and robberies! The evil of self-delusion        
covers your eyes. If you could see things as they are, not as they         
appear, you would no longer inflict injuries and pain on your own          
selves. You see not that you will have to atone for your evil deeds,       
for what you sow you will reap.                                            
                      VASAVADATTA, THE COURTESAN                           
  THERE was a courtesan in Mathura named Vasavadatta. She happened         
to see Upagutta, one of Buddha's disciples, a tall and beautiful           
youth, and fell desperately in love with him. Vasavadatta sent an          
invitation to the young man, but he replied: "The time has not yet         
arrived when Upagutta will visit Vasavadatta." The courtesan was           
astonished at the reply, and she sent again for him, saying:               
"Vasavadatta desires love, not gold, from Upagutta." But Upagutta made     
the same enigmatic reply and did not come.                                 
  A few months later Vasavadatta was having a love-intrigue with the       
chief of the artisans. But at that time a wealthy merchant came to         
Mathura, and fell in love with Vasavadatta. Seeing his wealth, and         
fearing the jealousy of her other lover, she contrived the death of        
the chief of the artisans, and concealed his body under a dung-hill.       
When the chief of the artisans had disappeared, his relatives and          
friends searched for him and found his body. Vasavadatta was tried         
by a judge, and condemned to have her ears and nose, her hands and         
feet cut off, and flung into a graveyard. Vasavadatta had been a           
passionate girl, but kind to her servants, and one of her maids            
followed her, and out of love for her former mistress ministered to        
her in her agonies, and chased away the crows.                             
  Now the time had arrived when Upagutta decided to visit Vasavadatta.     
When he came, the poor woman ordered her maid to collect and hide          
under a cloth her severed limbs; and he greeted her kindly, but she        
said with petulance: "Once this body was fragrant like the lotus,          
and I offered thee my love. In those days I was covered with pearls        
and fine muslin. Now I am mangled by the executioner and covered           
with filth and blood."                                                     
  "Sister," said the young man, "it is not for my pleasure that I          
approach thee. It is to restore to thee a nobler beauty than the           
charms which thou hast lost. I have seen with mine eyes the                
Tathagata walking upon earth and teaching men his wonderful                
doctrine. But thou wouldst not have listened to the words of               
righteousness while surrounded with temptations, while under the           
spell of passion and yearning for worldly pleasures. Thou wouldst          
not have listened to the teachings of the Tathagata, for thy heart was     
wayward, and thou didst set thy trust on the sham of thy transient         
charms. The charms of a lovely form are treacherous, and quickly           
lead into temptations, which have proved too strong for thee. But          
there is a beauty which will not fade, and if thou wilt but listen         
to the doctrine of our Lord, the Buddha, thou wilt find that peace         
which thou wouldst have found in the restless world of sinful              
  Vasavadatta became calm and a spiritual happiness soothed the            
tortures of her bodily pain; for where there is much suffering there       
is also great bliss. Having taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma,        
and the Sangha, she died in pious submission to the punishment of          
her crime.                                                                 

                   THE MARRIAGE-FEAST IN JAMBUNADA                         
  THERE was a man in Jambunada who was to be married the next day, and     
he thought, "Would that the Buddha, the Blessed One, might be              
present at the wedding." And the Blessed One passed by his house and       
met him, and when he read the silent wish in the heart of the              
bridegroom, he consented to enter. When the Holy One appeared with the     
retinue of his many bhikkhus, the host, whose means were limited,          
received them as best he could, saying: "Eat, my Lord, and all thy         
congregation, according to your desire."                                   
  While the holy men ate, the meats and drinks remained                    
undiminished, and the host thought to himself: "How wondrous is            
this! I should have had plenty for all my relatives and friends. Would     
that I had invited them all." When this thought was in the host's          
mind, all his relatives and friends entered the house; and although        
the hall in the house was small there was room in it for all of            
them. They sat down at the table and ate, and there was more than          
enough for all of them. The Blessed One was pleased to see so many         
guests full of good cheer and he quickened them and gladdened them         
with words of truth, proclaiming the bliss of righteousness:               
  "The greatest happiness which a mortal man can imagine is the bond       
of marriage that ties together two loving hearts. But there is a           
greater happiness still: it is the embrace of truth. Death will            
separate husband and wife, but death will never affect him who has         
espoused the truth. Therefore be married unto the truth and live           
with the truth in holy wedlock. The husband who loves his wife and         
desires for a union that shall be everlasting must be faithful to          
her so as to be like truth itself, and she will rely upon him and          
revere him and minister unto him. And the wife who loves her husband       
and desires a union that shall be everlasting must be faithful to          
him so as to be like truth itself; and he will place his trust in her,     
he will provide for her. Verily, I say unto you, their children will       
become like their parents and will bear witness to their happiness.        
Let no man be single, let every one be wedded in holy love to the          
truth. And when Mara, the destroyer, comes to separate the visible         
forms of your being, you will continue to live in the truth, and           
will partake of the life everlasting, for the truth is immortal."          
  There was no one among the guests but was strengthened in his            
spiritual life, and recognized the sweetness of a life of                  
righteousness; and they took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the     

                         IN SEARCH OF A THIEF                              
  HAVING sent out his disciples, the Blessed One himself wandered from     
place to place until he reached Uruvela. On his way he sat down in a       
grove to rest, and it happened that in that same grove was a party         
of thirty friends who were enjoying themselves with their wives; and       
while they were sporting, some of their goods were stolen. Then the        
whole party went in search of the thief and, meeting the Blessed One       
sitting under a tree, saluted him and said: "Pray, Lord, didst thou        
see the thief pass by with our goods?"                                     
  And the Blessed One said: "Which is better for you, that you go in       
search for the thief or for yourselves?" And the youths cried: "In         
search for ourselves!"                                                     
  "Well then," said the Blessed One, "sit down and I will preach the       
truth to you." And the whole party sat down and they listened              
eagerly to the words of the Blessed One. Having grasped the truth,         
they praised the doctrine and took refuge in the Buddha.                   

                       IN THE REALM OF YAMARAJA                            
  THERE was a Brahman, a religious man and fond in his affections          
but without deep wisdom. He had a son of great promise, who, when          
seven years old, was struck with a fatal disease and died. The             
unfortunate father was unable to control himself; he threw himself         
upon the corpse and lay there as one dead. The relatives came and          
buried the dead child and when the father came to himself, he was so       
immoderate in his grief that he behaved like an insane person. He no       
longer gave way to tears but wandered about asking for the residence       
of Yamaraja, the king of death, humbly to beg of him that his child        
might be allowed to return to life.                                        
  Having arrived at a great Brahman temple the sad father went through     
certain religious rites and fell asleep. While wandering on in his         
dream he came to a deep mountain pass where he met a number of samanas     
who had acquired supreme wisdom. "Kind sirs," he said, "can you not        
tell me where the residence of Yamaraja is?" And they asked him, "Good     
friend, why wouldst thou know?" Whereupon he told them his sad story       
and explained his intentions. Pitying his self-delusion, the samanas       
said: "No mortal man can reach the place where Yama reigns, but some       
four hundred miles westward lies a great city in which many good           
spirits live; every eighth day of the month Yama visits the place, and     
there mayst thou see him who is the King of Death and ask him for a        
  The Brahman rejoicing at the news went to the city and found it as       
the samanas had told him. He was admitted to the dread presence of         
Yama, the King of Death, who, on hearing his request, said: "Thy son       
now lives in the eastern garden where he is disporting himself; go         
there and ask him to follow thee." Said the happy father: "How does it     
happen that my son, without having performed one good work, is now         
living in paradise?" Yamaraja replied: "He has obtained celestial          
happiness not for performing good deeds, but because he died in            
faith and in love to the Lord and Master, the most glorious Buddha.        
The Buddha says: 'The heart of love and faith spreads as it were a         
beneficent shade from the world of men to the world of gods.' This         
glorious utterance is like the stamp of a king's seal upon a royal         
  The happy father hastened to the place and saw his beloved child         
playing with other children, all transfigured by the peace of the          
blissful existence of a heavenly life. He ran up to his boy and cried      
with tears running down his cheeks: "My son, my son, dost thou not         
remember me, thy father who watched over thee with loving care and         
tended thee in thy sickness? Return home with me to the land of the        
living." But the boy, while struggling to go back to his playmates,        
upbraided him for using such strange expressions as father and son.        
"In my present state," he said, "I know no such words, for I am free       
from delusion."                                                            
  On this, the Brahman departed, and when he woke from his dream he        
bethought himself of the Blessed Master of mankind, the great              
Buddha, and resolved to go to him, lay bare his grief, and seek            
consolation. Having arrived at the Jetavana, the Brahman told his          
story and how his boy had refused to recognize him and to go home with     
  And the World-honored One said: "Truly thou art deluded. When man        
dies the body is dissolved into its elements, but the spirit is not        
entombed. It leads a higher mode of life in which all the relative         
terms of father, son, wife, mother, are at an end, just as a guest who     
leaves his lodging has done with it, as though it were a thing of          
the past. Men concern themselves most about that which passes away;        
but the end of life quickly comes as a burning torrent sweeping away       
the transient in a moment. They are like a blind man set to look after     
a burning lamp. A wise man, understanding the transiency of worldly        
relations, destroys the cause of grief, and escapes from the               
seething whirlpool of sorrow. Religious wisdom lifts a man above the       
pleasures and pains of the world and gives him peace everlasting." The     
Brahman asked the permission of the Blessed One to enter the community     
of his bhikkhus, so as to acquire that heavenly wisdom which alone can     
give comfort to an afflicted heart.                                        

                           THE MUSTARD SEED                                
  THERE was a rich man who found his gold suddenly transformed into        
ashes; and he took to his bed and refused all food. A friend,              
hearing of his sickness, visited the rich man and learned the cause of     
his grief. And the friend said: "Thou didst not make good use of thy       
wealth. When thou didst hoard it up it was not better than ashes.          
Now heed my advice. Spread mats in the bazaar; pile up these ashes,        
and pretend to trade with them." The rich man did as his friend had        
told him, and when his neighbors asked him, "Why sellest thou              
ashes?" he said: "I offer my goods for sale."                              
  After some time a young girl, named Kisa Gotami, an orphan and           
very poor, passed by, and seeing the rich man in the bazaar, said: "My     
lord, why pilest thou thus up gold and silver for sale?" And the           
rich man said: "Wilt thou please hand me that gold and silver?" And        
Kisa Gotami took up a handful of ashes, and lo! they changed back into     
gold. Considering that Kisa Gotami had the mental eye of spiritual         
knowledge and saw the real worth of things, the rich man gave her in       
marriage to his son, and he said: "With many, gold is no better than       
ashes, but with Kisa Gotami ashes become pure gold."                       
  And Kisa Gotami had an only son, and he died. In her grief she           
carried the dead child to all her neighbors, asking them for medicine,     
and the people said: "She has lost her senses. The boy is dead." At        
length Kisa Gotami met a man who replied to her request: "I cannot         
give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can." The     
girl said: "Pray tell me, sir; who is it?" And the man replied: "Go to     
Sakyamuni, the Buddha."                                                    
  Kisa Gotami repaired to the Buddha and cried: "Lord and Master, give     
me the medicine that will cure my boy." The Buddha answered: "I want a     
handful of mustard-seed." And when the girl in her joy promised to         
procure it, the Buddha added: "The mustard-seed must be taken from a       
house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent, or friend." Poor     
Kisa Gotami now went from house to house, and the people pitied her        
and said: "Here is mustard-seed; take it!" But when she asked, "Did a      
son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?" They             
answered her: "Alas! the living are few, but the dead are many. Do         
not remind us of our deepest grief." And there was no house but some       
beloved one had died in it.                                                
  Kisa Gotami became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the               
wayside, watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and         
were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned         
everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives           
flicker up and are extinguished. And she thought to herself: "How          
selfish am I in my grief! Death is common to all; yet in this valley       
of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has        
surrendered all selfishness."                                              
  Putting away the selfishness of her affection for her child, Kisa        
Gotami had the dead body buried in the forest. Returning to the            
Buddha, she took refuge in him and found comfort in the Dharma,            
which is a balm that will soothe all the pains of our troubled hearts.     
  The Buddha said: "The life of mortals in this world is troubled          
and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by            
which those that have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old        
age there is death; of such a nature are living beings. As ripe fruits     
are early in danger of falling, so mortals when born are always in         
danger of death. As all earthen vessels made by the potter end in          
being broken, so is the life of mortals. Both young and adult, both        
those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of     
death; all are subject to death.                                           
  "Of those who, overcome by death, depart from life, a father             
cannot save his son, nor kinsmen their relations. Mark! while              
relatives are looking on and lamenting deeply, one by one mortals          
are carried off, like an ox that is led to the slaughter. So the world     
is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve,       
knowing the terms of the world. In whatever manner people think a          
thing will come to pass, it is often different when it happens, and        
great is the disappointment; see, such are the terms of the world.         
  "Not from weeping nor from grieving will any one obtain peace of         
mind; on the contrary, his pain will be the greater and his body           
will suffer. He will make himself sick and pale, yet the dead are          
not saved by his lamentation. People pass away, and their fate after       
death will be according to their deeds. If a man live a hundred years,     
or even more, he will at last be separated from the company of his         
relatives, and leave the life of this world. He who seeks peace should     
draw out the arrow of lamentation, and complaint, and grief. He who        
has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain peace of       
mind; he who has overcome all sorrow will become free from sorrow, and     
be blessed."                                                               

                           WALKING ON WATER                                
  SOUTH of Savatthi is a great river, on the banks of which lay a          
hamlet of five hundred houses. Thinking of the salvation of the            
people, the World-honored One resolved to go to the village and preach     
the doctrine. Having come to the riverside he sat down beneath a tree,     
and the villagers seeing the glory of his appearance approached him        
with reverence; but when he began to preach, they believed him not.        
  When the world-honored Buddha had left Savatthi Sariputta felt a         
desire to see the Lord and to hear him preach. Coming to the river         
where the water was deep and the current strong, he said to himself:       
"This stream shall not prevent me. I shall go and see the Blessed          
One," and he stepped upon the water which was as firm under his feet       
as a slab of granite. When he arrived at a place in the middle of the      
stream where the waves were high, Sariputta's heart gave way, and he       
began to sink. But rousing his faith and renewing his mental effort,       
he proceeded as before and reached the other bank.                         
  The people of the village were astonished to see Sariputta, and they     
asked how he could cross the stream where there was neither a bridge       
nor a ferry. Sariputta replied: "I lived in ignorance until I heard        
the voice of the Buddha. As I was anxious to hear the doctrine of          
salvation, I crossed the river and I walked over its troubled waters       
because I had faith. Faith, nothing else, enabled me to do so, and now     
I am here in the bliss of the Master's presence."                          
  The World-honored One added: "Sariputta, thou hast spoken well.          
Faith like thine alone can save the world from the yawning gulf of         
migration and enable men to walk dry-shod to the other shore." And         
the Blessed One urged to the villagers the necessity of ever advancing     
in the conquest of sorrow and of casting off all shackles so as to         
cross the river of worldliness and attain deliverance from death.          
Hearing the words of the Tathagata, the villagers were filled with joy     
and believing in the doctrines of the Blessed One embraced the five        
rules and took refuge in his name.                                         

                           THE SICK BHIKKHU                                
  AN old bhikkhu of a surly disposition was afflicted with a loathsome     
disease the sight and smell of which was so nauseating that no one         
would come near him or help him in his distress. And it happened           
that the World-honored One came to the vihara in which the unfortunate     
man lay; hearing of the case he ordered warm water to be prepared          
and went to the sick-room to administer unto the sores of the              
patient with his own hand, saying to his disciples:                        
  "The Tathagata has come into the world to befriend the poor, to          
succor the unprotected, to nourish those in bodily affliction, both        
the followers of the Dharma and unbelievers, to give sight to the          
blind and enlighten the minds of the deluded, to stand up for the          
rights of orphans as well as the aged, and in so doing to set an           
example to others. This is the consummation of his work, and thus he       
attains the great goal of life as the rivers that lose themselves in       
the ocean."                                                                
  The World-honored One administered unto the sick bhikkhu daily so        
long as he stayed in that place. And the governor of the city came         
to the Buddha to do him reverence, and having heard of the service         
which the Lord did in the vihara asked the Blessed One about the           
previous existence of the sick monk, and the Buddha said:                  
  "In days gone by there was a wicked king who used to extort from his     
subjects all he could get; and he ordered one of his officers to lay       
the lash on a man of eminence. The officer little thinking of the pain     
he inflicted upon others, obeyed; but when the victim of the king's        
wrath begged for mercy, he felt compassion and laid the whip lightly       
upon him. Now the king was reborn as Devadatta, who was abandoned by       
all his followers, because they were no longer willing to stand his        
severity, and he died miserable and full of penitence. The officer         
is the sick bhikkhu, who having often given offense to his brethren in     
the vihara was left without assistance in his distress. The eminent        
man, however, who was unjustly beaten and begged for mercy was the         
Bodhisattva; he has been reborn as the Tathagata. It is now the lot of     
the Tathagata to help the wretched officer as he had mercy on him."        
  And the World-honored One repeated these lines: "He who inflicts         
pain on the gentle, or falsely accuses the innocent, will inherit          
one of the ten great calamities. But he who has learned to suffer with     
patience will be purified and will be the chosen instrument for the        
alleviation of suffering."                                                 
  The diseased bhikkhu on hearing these words turned to the Buddha,        
confessed his ill-natured temper and repented, and with a heart            
cleansed from error did reverence unto the Lord.                           

                        THE PATIENT ELEPHANT                               
  WHILE the Blessed One was residing in the Jetavana, there was a          
householder living in Savatthi known to all his neighbors as patient       
and kind, but his relatives were wicked and contrived a plot to rob        
him. One day they came to the householder and by worrying him with all     
kinds of threats took away a goodly portion of his property. He did        
not go to court, nor did he complain, but tolerated with great             
forbearance the wrongs he suffered. The neighbors wondered and began       
to talk about it, and rumors of the affair reached the ears of the         
brethren in Jetavana. While the brethren discussed the occurrence in       
the assembly hall, the Blessed One entered and asked "What was the         
topic of your conversation?" And they told him.                            
  Said the Blessed One: "The time will come when the wicked                
relatives will find their punishment. O brethren, this is not the          
first time that this occurrence took place; it has happened before,"       
and he told them a world-old tale: Once upon a time, when                  
Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisattva was born in the           
Himalaya region as an elephant. He grew up strong and big, and             
ranged the hills and mountains, the peaks and caves of the torturous       
woods in the valleys. Once as he went he saw a pleasant tree, and took     
his food, standing under it. Then some impertinent monkeys came down       
out of the tree, and jumping on the elephant's back, insulted and          
tormented him greatly; they took hold of his tusks, pulled his tail        
and disported themselves, thereby causing him much annoyance. The          
Bodhisattva, being full of patience, kindliness and mercy, took no         
notice at all of their misconduct which the monkeys repeated again and     
  "One day the spirit that lived in the tree, standing upon the            
tree-trunk, addressed the elephant saying, 'My lord elephant, why dost     
thou put up with the impudence of these bad monkeys?' And he asked the     
question in a couplet as follows:                                          
            "'Why do you patiently endure each freak                       
            These mischievous and selfish monkeys wreak?'                  
  "The Bodhisattva, on hearing this, replied, 'If, Tree-sprite, I          
cannot endure these monkeys' ill treatment without abusing their           
birth, lineage and persons, how can I walk in the eightfold noble          
path? But these monkeys will do the same to others thinking them to be     
like me. If they do it to any rogue elephant, he will punish them          
indeed, and I shall be delivered both from their annoyance and the         
guilt of having done harm to others.' Saying this he repeated              
another stanza:                                                            
             "'If they will treat another one like me,                     
             He will destroy them; and I shall be free.'                   
  "A few days after, the Bodhisattva went elsewhere, and another           
elephant, a savage beast, came and stood in his place. The wicked          
monkeys thinking him to be like the old one, climbed upon his back and     
did as before. The rogue elephant seized the monkeys with his trunk,       
threw them upon the ground, gored them with his tusk and trampled them     
to mincemeat under his feet."                                              
  When the Master had ended this teaching, he declared the truths, and     
identified the births, saying: "At that time the mischievous monkeys       
were the wicked relatives of the good man, the rogue elephant was          
the one who will punish them, but the virtuous noble elephant was          
the Tathagata himself in a former incarnation."                            
  After this discourse one of the brethren rose and asked leave to         
propose a question and when the permission was granted he said: "I         
have heard the doctrine that wrong should be met with wrong and the        
evil-doer should be checked by being made to suffer, for if this           
were not done evil would increase and good would disappear. What shall     
we do?" Said the Blessed One: "Nay, I will tell you: You who have          
left the world and have adopted this glorious faith of putting aside       
selfishness, you shall not do evil for evil nor return hate for            
hate. Neither think that you can destroy wrong by retaliating evil for     
evil and thus increasing wrong. Leave the wicked to their fate and         
their evil deeds will sooner or later in one way or another bring on       
their own punishment." And the Tathagata repeated these stanzas:           
                "Who harms the man who does no harm,                       
                Or strikes at him who strikes him not,                     
                Shall soon some punishment incur                           
                Which his own wickedness begot,-                           
                "One of the gravest ills in life,                          
                Either a loathsome dread disease,                          
                Or sad old age, or loss of mind,                           
                Or wretched pain without surcease,                         
                "Or conflagration, loss of wealth;                         
                Or of his nearest kin he shall                             
                See some one die that's dear to him,                       
                And then he'll be reborn in hell."                         

                            THE LAST DAYS                                  
  WHEN the Blessed One was residing on the mount called Vulture's          
Peak, near Rajagaha, Ajatasattu the king of Magadha, who reigned in        
the place of Bimbisara, planned an attack on the Vajjis, and he said       
to Vassakara, his prime mister: "I will root out the Vajjis, mighty        
though they be. I will destroy the Vajjis; I will bring them to            
utter ruin! Come now, O Brahman, and go to the Blessed One; inquire in     
my name for his health, and tell him my purpose. Bear carefully in         
mind what the Blessed One may say, and repeat it to me, for the            
Buddhas speak nothing untrue."                                             
  When Vassakara, the prime minister, had greeted the Blessed One          
and delivered his message, the venerable Ananda stood behind the           
Blessed One and fanned him, and the Blessed One said to him: "Hast         
thou heard, Ananda, that the Vajjis hold full and frequent public          
assemblies?" He replied, "Lord, so I have heard."                          
  "So long, Ananda," said the Blessed One, "as the Vajjis hold these       
full and frequent public assemblies, they may be expected not to           
decline, but to prosper. So long as they meet together in concord,         
so long as they honor their elders, so long as they respect womanhood,     
so long as they remain religious, performing all proper rites, so long     
as they extend the rightful protection, defense and support to the         
holy ones, the Vajjis may be expected not to decline, but to prosper."     
  Then the Blessed One addressed Vassakara and said: "When I stayed, O     
Brahman, at Vesali, I taught the Vajjis these conditions of welfare,       
that so long as they should remain well instructed, so long as they        
will continue in the right path, so long as they live up to the            
precepts of righteousness, we could expect them not to decline, but to     
  As soon as the king's messenger had gone, the Blessed One had the        
brethren, that were in the neighborhood of Rajagaha, assembled in          
the service-hall and addressed them, saying: "I will teach you, O          
bhikkhus, the conditions of the welfare of a community. Listen well,       
and I will speak.                                                          
  "So long, O bhikkhus, as the brethren hold full and frequent             
assemblies, meeting in concord, rising in concord, and attending in        
concord to the affairs of the Sangha; so long as they, O bhikkhus,         
do not abrogate that which experience has proved to be good, and           
introduce nothing except such things as have been carefully tested; so     
long as their elders practice justice; so long as the brethren esteem,     
revere, and support their elders, and hearken unto their words; so         
long as the brethren are not under the influence of craving, but           
delight in the blessings of religion, so that good and holy men            
shall come to them and dwell among them in quiet; so long as the           
brethren shall not be addicted to sloth and idleness; so long as the       
brethren shall exercise themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom of       
mental activity, search after truth, energy, joy, modesty,                 
self-control, earnest contemplation, and equanimity of mind,- so long      
the Sangha may be expected to prosper. Therefore, O bhikkhus, be           
full of faith, modest in heart, afraid of sin, anxious to learn,           
strong in energy, active in mind, and full of wisdom.                      

                          SARIPUTTA'S FAITH                                
  THE Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to        
Nalanda; and there he stayed in a mango grove. Now the venerable           
Sariputta came to the place where the Blessed One was, and having          
saluted him, took his seat respectfully at his side, and said:             
"Lord! such faith have I in the Blessed One, that methinks there never     
has been, nor will there be, nor is there now any other, who is            
greater or wiser than the Blessed One, that is to say, as regards          
the higher wisdom."                                                        
  Replied the Blessed One: "Grand and bold are the words of thy mouth,     
Sariputta: verily, thou hast burst forth into a song of ecstasy!           
Surely then thou hast known all the Blessed Ones who in the long           
ages of the past have been holy Buddhas?" "Not so, O Lord!" said           
  And the Lord continued: "Then thou hast perceived all the Blessed        
Ones who in the long ages of the future shall be holy Buddhas?" "Not       
so, O Lord!"                                                               
  "But at least then, O Sariputta, thou knowest me as the holy             
Buddha now alive, and hast penetrated my mind." "Not even that, O          
  "Thou seest then, Sariputta, that thou knowest not the hearts of the     
holy Buddhas of the past nor the hearts of those of the future. Why,       
therefore, are thy words so grand and bold? Why burstest thou forth        
into such a song of ecstasy?"                                              
  "O Lord! I have not the knowledge of the hearts of all the Buddhas       
that have been and are to come, and now are. I only know the lineage       
of the faith. Just as a king, Lord, might have a border city, strong       
in its foundations, strong in its ramparts and with one gate only; and     
the king might have a watchman there, clever, expert, and wise, to         
stop all strangers and admit only friends. And on going over the           
approaches all about the city, he might not be able so to observe          
all the joints and crevices in the ramparts of that city as to know        
where such a small creature as a cat could get out. That might well        
be. Yet all living beings of larger size that entered or left the          
city, would have to pass through that gate. Thus only is it, Lord,         
that I know the lineage of the faith. I know that the holy Buddhas         
of the past, putting away all lust, ill-will, sloth, pride, and doubt,     
knowing all those mental faults which make men weak, training their        
minds in the four kinds of mental activity, thoroughly exercising          
themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom, received the full               
fruition of Enlightenment. And I know that the holy Buddhas of the         
times to come will do the same. And I know that the Blessed One, the       
holy Buddha of today, has done so now."                                    
  "Great is thy faith, O Sariputta," replied the Blessed One, "but         
take heed that it be well grounded."                                       

                       THE VISIT TO PATALIPUTTA                            
  WHEN the Blessed One had stayed as long as convenient at Nalanda, he     
went to Pataliputta, the frontier town of Magadha; and when the            
disciples at Pataliputta heard of his arrival, they invited him to         
their village rest-house. And the Blessed One robed himself, took          
his bowl and went with the brethren to the rest-house. There he washed     
his feet, entered the hall, and seated himself against the center          
pillar, with his face towards the east. The brethren, also, having         
washed their feet, entered the hall, and took their seats round the        
Blessed One, against the western wall, facing the east. And the lay        
devotees of Pataliputta, having also washed their feet, entered the        
hall, and took their seats opposite the Blessed One against the            
eastern wall, facing towards the west.                                     
  Then the Blessed One addressed the lay disciples of Pataliputta, and     
he said: "Fivefold, O householders, is the loss of the wrong-doer          
through his want of rectitude. In the first place, the wrong-doer,         
devoid of rectitude, falls into great poverty through sloth; in the        
next place, his evil repute gets noised abroad; thirdly, whatever          
society he enters, whether of Brahmans, nobles, heads of houses, or        
samanas, he enters shyly and confusedly; fourthly, he is full of           
anxiety when he dies; and lastly, on the dissolution of the body after     
death, his mind remains in an unhappy state. Wherever his karma            
continues, there will be suffering and woe. This, O householders, is       
the fivefold loss of the evil-doer!                                        
  "Fivefold, O householders, is the gain of the well-doer through          
his practice of rectitude. In the first place the well-doer, strong in     
rectitude, acquires property through his industry; in the next             
place, good reports of him are spread abroad; thirdly, whatever            
society he enters, whether of nobles, Brahmans, heads of houses, or        
members of the order, he enters with confidence and self-possession;       
fourthly, he dies without anxiety; and, lastly, on the dissolution         
of the body after death, his mind remains in a happy state. Wherever       
his karma continues, there will be heavenly bliss and peace. This, O       
householders, is the fivefold gain of the well-doer." When the Blessed     
One had taught the disciples, and incited them, and roused them, and       
gladdened them far into the night with religious edification, he           
dismissed them, saying, "The night is far spent, O householders. It is     
time for you to do what ye deem most fit."                                 
  "Be it so, Lord!" answered the disciples of Pataliputta, and             
rising from their seats, they bowed to the Blessed One, and keeping        
him on their right hand as they passed him, they departed thence.          
  While the Blessed One stayed at Pataliputta, the king of Magadha         
sent a messenger to the governor of Pataliputta to raise                   
fortifications for the security of the town. The Blessed One seeing        
the laborers at work predicted the future greatness of the place,          
saying: "The men who build the fortress act as if they had consulted       
higher powers. For this city of Pataliputta will be a dwelling-place       
of busy men and a center for the exchange of all kinds of goods. But       
three dangers hang over Pataliputta, that of fire, that of water, that     
of dissension."                                                            
  When the governor heard of the prophecy of Pataliputta's future,         
he greatly rejoiced and named the city-gate through which the Buddha       
had gone towards the river Ganges, "The Gotama Gate." Meanwhile the        
people living on the banks of the Ganges arrived in great numbers to       
pay reverence to the Lord of the world; and many persons asked him         
to do them the honor to cross over in their boats. But the Blessed One     
considering the number of the boats and their beauty did not want to       
show any partiality, and by accepting the invitation of one to             
offend all the others. He therefore crossed the river without any          
boat, signifying thereby that the rafts of asceticism and the gaudy        
gondolas of religious ceremonies were not staunch enough to weather        
the storms of samsara, while the Tathagata can walk dry-shod over          
the ocean of worldliness. And as the city gate was called after the        
name of the Tathagata so the people called this passage of the river       
"Gotama Ford."                                                             

                         THE MIRROR OF TRUTH                               
  THE Blessed One proceeded to the village Nadika with a great company     
of brethren and there he stayed at the Brick Hall. And the venerable       
Ananda went to the Blessed One and mentioning to him the names of          
the brethren and sisters that had died, anxiously inquired about their     
fate after death, whether they had been reborn in animals or in            
hell, or as ghosts, or in any place of woe.                                
  The Blessed One replied to Ananda and said: "Those who have died         
after the complete destruction of the three bonds of lust, of              
covetousness and of the egotistical cleaving to existence, need not        
fear the state after death. They will not be reborn in a state of          
suffering; their minds will not continue as a karma of evil deeds or       
sin, but are assured of final salvation.                                   
  "When they die, nothing will remain of them but their good thoughts,     
their righteous acts, and the bliss that proceeds from truth and           
righteousness. As rivers must at last reach the distant main, so their     
minds will be reborn in higher states of existence and continue to         
be pressing on to their ultimate goal which is the ocean of truth, the     
eternal peace of Nirvana. Men are anxious about death and their fate       
after death; but consider, it is not at all strange, Ananda, that a        
human being should die. However, that thou shouldst inquire about          
them, and having heard the truth still be anxious about the dead, this     
is wearisome to the Blessed One. I will, therefore, teach thee the         
mirror of truth and let the faithful disciple repeat it:                   
  "'Hell is destroyed for me, and rebirth as an animal, or a ghost, or     
in any place of woe. I am converted; I am no longer liable to be           
reborn in a state of suffering, and am assured of final salvation.'        
  "What, then, Ananda, is this mirror of truth? It is the                  
consciousness that the elect disciple is in this world possessed of        
faith in the Buddha, believing the Blessed One to be the Holy One, the     
Fully-enlightened One, wise, upright, happy, world-knowing, supreme,       
the Bridler of men's wayward hearts, the Teacher of gods and men,          
the blessed Buddha. It is further the consciousness that the               
disciple is possessed of faith in the truth believing the truth to         
have been proclaimed by the Blessed One, for the benefit of the world,     
passing not away, welcoming all, leading to salvation, to which            
through truth the wise will attain, each one by his own efforts.           
  "And, finally, it is the consciousness that the disciple is              
possessed of faith in the order, believing in the efficacy of a            
union among those men and women who are anxious to walk in the noble       
eightfold path; believing this church of the Buddha, of the righteous,     
the upright, the just, the law-abiding, to be worthy of honor, of          
hospitality, of gifts, and of reverence; to be the supreme                 
sowing-ground of merit for the world; to be possessed of the virtues       
beloved by the good, virtues unbroken, intact, unspotted, unblemished,     
virtues which make men truly free, virtues which are praised by the        
wise, are untarnished by the desire of selfish aims, either now or         
in a future life, or by the belief in the efficacy of outward acts,        
and are conducive to high and holy thought. This is the mirror of          
truth which teaches the straightest way to enlightenment which is          
the common goal of all living creatures. He who possesses the mirror       
of truth is free from fear; he will find comfort in the tribulations       
of life, and his life will be a blessing to all his fellow-creatures."     

                        THE COURTESAN AMBAPALI                             
  THEN the Blessed One proceeded with a great number of brethren to        
Vesali, and he stayed at the grove of the courtesan Ambapali. And he       
said to the brethren: "Let a brother, O bhikkhus, be mindful and           
thoughtful. Let a brother, whilst in the world, overcome the grief         
which arises from bodily craving, from the lust of sensations, and         
from the errors of wrong reasoning. Whatever you do, act always in         
full presence of mind. Be thoughtful in eating and drinking, in            
walking or standing, in sleeping or waking, while talking or being         
  When the courtesan Ambapali heard that the Blessed One was staying       
in her mango grove, she was exceedingly glad and went in a carriage as     
far as the ground was passable for carriages. There she alighted and       
thence proceeding to the place where the Blessed One was, she took her     
seat respectfully at his feet on one side. As a prudent woman goes         
forth to perform her religious duties, so she appeared in a simple         
dress without any ornaments, yet beautiful to look upon. The Blessed       
One thought to himself: "This woman moves in worldly circles and is        
a favorite of kings and princes; yet is her heart calm and composed.       
Young in years, rich, surrounded by pleasures, she is thoughtful and       
steadfast. This, indeed, is rare in the world. Women, as a rule, are       
scant in wisdom and deeply immersed in vanity; but she, although           
living in luxury, has acquired the wisdom of a master, taking              
delight in piety, and able to receive the truth in its completeness."      
  When she was seated, the Blessed One instructed, aroused, and            
gladdened her with religious discourse. As she listened to the law,        
her face brightened with delight. Then she rose and said to the            
Blessed One: "Will the Blessed One do me the honor of taking his meal,     
together with the brethren, at my house tomorrow?" And the Blessed One     
gave, by silence, his consent.                                             
  Now, the Licchavi, a wealthy family of princely rank, hearing that       
the Blessed One had arrived at Vesali and was staying at Ambapali's        
grove, mounted their magnificent carriages, and proceeded with their       
retinue to the place where the Blessed One was. The Licchavi were          
gorgeously dressed in bright colors and decorated with costly              
jewels. And Ambapali drove up against the young Licchavi, axle to          
axle, wheel to wheel, and yoke to yoke, and the Licchavi said to           
Ambapali, the courtesan: "How is it, Ambapali, that you drive up           
against us thus?"                                                          
  "My lords," said she, "I have just invited the Blessed One and his       
brethren for their tomorrow's meal." And the princes replied:              
"Ambapali! give up this meal to us for a hundred thousand."                
  "My lords, were you to offer all Vesali with its subject                 
territory, I would not give up so great an honor!"                         
  Then the Licchavi went on to Ambapali's grove. When the Blessed          
One saw the Licchavi approaching in the distance, he addressed the         
brethren, and said: "O brethren, let those of the brethren who have        
never seen the gods gaze upon this company of the Licchavi, for they       
are dressed gorgeously, like immortals."                                   
  And when they had driven as far the ground was passable for              
carriages, the Licchavi alighted and went on foot to the place where       
the Blessed One was, taking their seats respectfully by his side.          
And when they were thus seated, the Blessed One instructed, aroused,       
and gladdened them with religious discourse. Then they addressed the       
Blessed One and said: "Will the Blessed One do us the honor of             
taking his meal, together with the brethren, at our palace tomorrow?"      
  "O Licchavi," said the Blessed One, "I have promised to dine             
tomorrow with Ambapali, the courtesan." Then the Licchavi, expressing      
their approval of the words of the Blessed One, arose from their seats     
and bowed down before the Blessed One, and, keeping him on their right     
hand as they passed him, they departed thence; but when they came          
home, they cast up their hands, saying: "A worldly woman has outdone       
us; we have been left behind by a frivolous girl!"                         
  At the end of the night Ambapali, the courtesan, made ready in her       
mansion sweet rice and cakes, and on the next day announced through        
a messenger the time to the Blessed One, saying, "The hour, Lord,          
has come, and the meal is ready!" And the Blessed One robed himself        
early in the morning, took his bowl, and went with the brethren to the     
place where Ambapali's dwelling-house was; and when they had come          
there they seated themselves on the seats prepared for them. Ambapali,     
the courtesan, set the sweet rice and cakes before the order, with the     
Buddha at their head, and waited upon them till they refused to take       
  When the Blessed One had finished his meal, the courtesan had a          
low stool brought, and sat down at his side, and addressed the Blessed     
One, and said: "Lord, I present this mansion to the order of bhikkhus,     
of which the Buddha is the chief." And the Blesse