by Samuel Beal | 1884 | 224,928 words | ISBN-10: 8120811070
This is the English translation of the travel records of Xuanzang (or, Hiuen Tsiang): a Chinese Buddhist monk who traveled to India during the seventh century. This book recounts his documents his visit to India and neighboring countries, and reflects the condition of those countries during his time, including temples, culture, traditions and fest...
The country of Magadha (Mo-kie-t'o) is about 5000 li in circuit. The walled cities have but few inhabitants, but the towns are thickly populated. The soil is rich and fertile and the grain cultivation abundant. There is an unusual sort of rice grown here, the grains of which are large and scented and of an exquisite taste. It is specially remarkable for its shining colour. It is commonly called "the rice for the use of the great." As the ground is low and damp, the inhabited towns are built on the high uplands. After the first month of summer and before the second month of autumn, the level country is flooded, and communication can be kept up by boats. The manners of the people are simple and honest. The temperature is pleasantly hot; they esteem very much the pursuit of learning and profoundly respect the religion of Buddha. There are some fifty saṅghārāmas, with about 10,000 priests, of whom the greater number study the teaching of the Great Vehicle. There are ten Deva temples, occupied by sectaries of different persuasions, who are very numerous.
To the south of the river Ganges there is an old city about 70 li round. Although it has been long deserted, its foundation walls still survive. Formerly, when men's lives were incalculably long, it was called Kusumapura (K'u-su-mo-pu-lo), so called because the palace of the king had many flowers. Afterwards, when men's age reached several thousands of years, then its name was changed to Pāṭaliputra (Po-ch'a-li-tsu-ch'ing).
At the beginning there was a Brāhmaṇ of high talent and singular learning. Many thousands flocked to him to receive instruction. One day all the students went out on a tour of observation; one of them betrayed a feeling of unquiet and distress. His fellow-students addressed him and said, "What troubles you, friend?" He said, "I am in my full maturity (beauty) with perfect strength, and yet I go on wandering about here like a lonely shadow till years and months have passed, and my duties (manly duties) not performed. Thinking of this, my words are sad and my heart is afflicted."
On this his companions in sport replied, "We must seek then for your good a bride and her friends." Then they supposed two persons to represent the father and mother of the bridegroom, and two persons the father and mother of the bride, and as they were sitting under a Pāṭali (Po-ch'a-li) tree, they called it the tree of the son-in-law. Then they gathered seasonable fruits and pure water, and followed all the nuptial customs, and requested a time to be fixed. Then the father of the supposed bride, gathering a twig with flowers on it, gave it to the student and said, "This is your excellent partner; be graciously pleased to accept her." The student's heart was rejoiced as he took her to himself. And now, as the sun was setting, they proposed to return home; but the young student, affected by love, preferred to remain.
Then the other said, "All this was fun; pray come back with us; there are wild beasts in this forest; we are afraid they will kill you." But the student preferred to remain walking up and down by the side of the tree.
After sunset a strange light lit up the plain, the sound of pipes and lutes with their soft music (was heard), and the ground was covered with a sumptuous carpet. Suddenly an old man of gentle mien was seen coming, supporting himself by his staff, and there was also an old mother leading a young maiden. They were accompanied by a procession along the way, dressed in holiday attire and attended with music. The old man then pointed to the maiden and said, "This is your worship's wife (lady)." Seven days then passed in carousing and music, when the companions of the student, in doubt whether he had been destroyed by wild beasts, went forth and came to the place. They found him alone in the shade of the tree, sitting as if facing a superior guest. They asked him to return with them, but he respectfully declined.
After this he entered of his own accord the city, to pay respect to his relatives, and told them of this adventure from beginning to end. Having heard it with wonder, he returned with all his relatives and friends to the middle of the forest, and there they saw the flowering tree become a great mansion; servants of all kinds were hurrying to and fro on every side, and the old man came forward and received them with politeness, and entertained them with all kinds of dainties served up amidst the sound of music. After the usual compliments, the guests returned to the city and told to all, far and near, what had happened.
After the year was accomplished the wife gave birth to a son, when the husband said to his spouse, "I wish now to return, but yet I cannot bear to be separated from you (your bridal residence); but if I rest here I fear the exposure to wind and weather."
The wife having heard this, told her father. The old man then addressed the student and said, "Whilst living contented and happy why must you go back? I will build you a house; let there be no thought of desertion." On this his servants applied themselves to the work, and in less than a day it was finished.
When the old capital of Kusumapura was changed, this town was chosen, and from the circumstance of the genii building the mansion of the youth the name henceforth of the country was Pāṭaliputra pura (the city of the son of the Pāṭali tree).
To the north of the old palace of the king is a stone pillar several tens of feet high; this is the place where A_oka (Wu-yau) rāja made "a hell." In the hundredth year after the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, there was a king called Aśoka ('O-shu-kia), who was the great-grandson of Bimbisāra-rāja. He changed his capital from Rāja-gṛha to Pāṭali (pura), and built an outside rampart to surround the old city. Since then many generations have passed, and now there only remain the old foundation walls (of the city). The saṅghārāmas, Deva temples, and stūpas which lie in ruins may be counted by hundreds. There are only two or three remaining (entire). To the north of the old palace, and bordering on the Ganges river, there is a little town which contains about 1000 houses.
At first when Aśoka (Wu-yau) rāja ascended the throne, he exercised a most cruel tyranny; he constituted a hell for the purpose of torturing living creatures. He surrounded it with high walls with lofty towers. He placed there specially vast furnaces of molten metal, sharp scythes, and every kind of instrument of torture like those in the infernal regions. He selected an impious man whom he appointed lord of the hell. At first every criminal in the empire, whatever his fault, was consigned to this place of calamity and outrage; afterwards all those who passed by the place were seized and destroyed. All who came to the place were killed without any chance of self-defence.
At this time a śrama_a, just entered the religious order, was passing through the suburbs begging food, when he came to hell-gate. The impious keeper of the place laid hold upon him to destroy him. The śramaṇa, filled with fear, asked for a respite to perform an act of worship and confession. Just then he saw a man bound with cords enter the prison. In a moment they cut off his hands and feet, and pounded his body in a mortar, till all the members of his body were mashed up together in confusion.
The śramaṇa having witnessed this, deeply moved with pity, arrived at the conviction of the impermanence (anitya) of all earthly things, and reached the fruit of "exemption from learning" (Arhatship). Then the infernal lictor said, "Now you must die." The śramaṇa having become an Arhat, was freed in heart from the power of birth and death, and so, though cast into a boiling caldron, it was to him as a cool lake, and on its surface there appeared a lotus flower, whereon he took his seat. The infernal lictor, terrified thereat, hastened to send a messenger to the king to tell him of the circumstance. The king having himself come and beheld the sight, raised his voice in loud praise of the miracle.
The keeper, addressing the king, said, "Mahārāja, you too must die." "And why so?" said the king. "Because of your former decree with respect to the infliction of death, that all who came to the walls of the hell should be killed; it was not said that the king might enter and escape death."
The king said, "The decree was indeed established, and cannot be altered. But when the law was made, were you excepted? You have long destroyed life. I will put an end to it," Then ordering the attendants, they seized the lictor and cast him into a boiling caldron. After his death the king departed, and levelled the walls, filled up the ditches, and put an end to the infliction of such horrible punishments.
To the south of the earth-prison (the hell), and not far off, is a stūpa. Its foundation walls are sunk, and it is in a leaning, ruinous condition. There remains, however, the crowning jewel of the cupola. This is made of carved stone, and has a surrounding balustrade. This was the first (or, one) of the 84,000 (stūpas). Aśoka-rāja erected it by the power (merit) of man in the middle of his royal precinct (or palace). It contains a ching (measure) of relics of Tathāgata. Spiritual indications constantly manifest themselves, and a divine light is shed round it from time to time.
After King Aśoka had destroyed the hell, he met Upagupta, a great Arhat, who, by the use of (proper) means, allured him in a right way according as the opportunity (or, springs of action, i.e., his power or capacity to believe) led, and converted him. The king addressed the Arhat and said, "Thanks to my acquired merit in former births, I have got (by promise) my kingly authority, but in consequence of my faults I did not, by meeting Buddha, obtain conversion. Now, then, I desire in all the greater degree to honour the bequeathed remains of his body by building stūpas."
The Arhat said, "My earnest desire is that the great king by his merits may be able to employ the invisible powers (the spirits) as agents in fulfilling his vow to protect the three precious ones." And then, because of the opportune occasion, he entered largely on the narrative of his offering the ball of earth, and on that account of Buddha's prediction, as the origin of his desire to build.
The king having heard this, was overpowered, and he summoned the spirits to assemble, and commanded them, saying, "By the gracious disposal and spiritual efficacy of the guiding power of the King of the Law I have become, as the result of my good actions in former states of life, the highest amongst them. (I wish now) with especial care to prepare a means of paying religious worship to the bequeathed body of Tathāgata. Do you, then, spirits aud genii, by your combined strength and agreement of purpose, raise stūpas for the relics of Buddha throughout the whole of Jambudvīpa, to the very last house of all (i.e., to the extremity of the land). The mind (or purpose) is mine, the merit of completing it shall be yours. The advantage to be derived from this excellent act of religion I wish not to be confined to one person only; let each of you, then, raise a building in readiness (for completion), and then come and receive my further commands."
Having received these instructions, the genii commenced their meritorious work in the several quarters where they were; and having finished the task (so far), they came together to ask for further directions. Aśoka- rāja (Wu-yau-wang) having opened the stūpas of the eight countries where they were built, divided the relics, and having delivered them to the genii, he addressed the Arhat and said, "My desire is that the relics should be deposited in every place at the same moment exactly: although ardently desirous of this, my mind has not yet been able to perfect a plan for accomplishing it."
The Arhat addressed the king and said, "Command the genii to go each to his appointed place and regard the sun. When the sun becomes obscured and its shape as if a hand covered it, then is the time: drop the relics into the stūpas." The king having received these instructions, gave orders accordingly to the genii to expect the appointed day.
Meantime the king; Aśoka, watching the sun's disc, waited for the sign; then at noon (or the day) the Arhat, by his spiritual power, stretched forth his hand and concealed the sun. At the places where the stūpas had been built for completion, all (the genii) observing this event, at the same moment concluded the meritorious undertaking.
By the side of the stūpa, and not far from it, in a vihāra, is a great stone on which Tathāgata walked. There is still the impression of both his feet on it, about eighteen inches long and six inches broad; both the right and left impress have the circle-sign, and the ten toes are all fringed with figures of flowers (or flower scrolls) and forms of fishes, which glisten brightly in the light (morning light). In old time Tathāgata, being about to attain Nirvāṇa, was going northward to Kuśinagara, when turning round to the south and looking back at Magadha, he stood upon this stone and said to ānanda, "Now for the very last time I leave this foot-impression, being about to attain Nirvāṇa, and looking at Magadha. A hundred years hence there shall be a King Aśoka; he shall build here his capital and establish his court; he shall protect the three religious treasures and command the genii."
When Aśoka (Wu-yau) had ascended the throne, he changed his capital and built this town; he enclosed the stone with the impression; and as it was near the royal precinct, he paid it constant personal worship. Afterwards the kings of the neighbourhood wished to carry it off to their own country; but although the stone is not large, they could not move it at all.
Lately Saśāṅka-rāja, when he was overthrowing and destroying the law of Buddha, forthwith came to the place where that stone is, for the purpose of destroying the sacred marks. Having broken it into pieces, it came whole again, and the ornamental figures as before; then he flung it into the river Ganges, but it came back to its old place.
By the side of the stone is a stūpa, which marks the place where the four past Buddhas walked and sat down, the traces of which still remain.
By the side of the vihāra which contains the traces of Buddha, and not far from it, is a great stone pillar about thirty feet high, with a mutilated inscription on it. This, however, is the principal part of it, viz., "Aśoka-rāja with a firm principle of faith has thrice bestowed Jambudvīpa as a religious offering on Buddha, the Dharma, and the assembly, and thrice he has redeemed it with his jewels and treasure; and this is the record thereof." Such is the purport of the record.
To the north of the old palace is a large stone house. It looks outside like a great mountain, and within it is many tens of feet wide. This is the house which Aśoka-rāja commanded the genii to build for his brother who had become a recluse. Early in his life Aśoka had a half-brother (mother's brother) called Mahendra (Mo-hi-in-to-lo), who was born of a noble tribe. In dress he arrogated the style of the king; he was extravagant, wasteful, and cruel. The people were indignant, and the ministers and aged officers of the king came to him (the king), and remonstrated thus, "Your proud brother assumes a dignity as though he were some great one in comparison with others. If the government is impartial, then the country is contented; if men are agreed, then the ruler is in peace: these are the principles which have been handed down to us from our fathers. We desire that you will preserve the rules of our country, and deliver to justice those who would change them." Then Aśoka-rāja addressed his brother as he wept, and said, "I have inherited (as my rule of) government the duty of protecting and cherishing the people; how then have you, my brother, forgotten my affection and my kindness? It is impossible at the very beginning of my reign to neglect the laws. If I punish you, I fear the anger of my ancestors; on the other hand, if I excuse you, I fear the opinion of the people."
Mahendra, bowing his head, replied, "I have not guarded my conduct, and have transgressed the laws of the country; I ask only an extension of my life for seven days."
On this the king placed him in a dark dungeon, and placed over him a strict guard. He provided him with every kind of exquisite meat and every necessary article. At the end of the first day the guard cried out to him, "One day has gone; there are six days left." The sixth day having expired, as he had greatly sorrowed for his faults and had afflicted (disciplined) his body and his heart, he obtained the fruit of sanctity (became an Arhat); he mounted into the air and exhibited his miraculous powers (spiritual traces). Then separating himself from the pollution of the world, he went afar, and occupied the mountains and valleys (as a recluse).
Aśoka-rāja, going in his own person, addressed him as follows, "At first, in order to put in force the laws of the country, I desired to have you punished, but little did I think you would have attained to this highest rank of holiness. Having, however, reached this condition of detachment from the world, you can now return to your country."
The brother replied, "Formerly I was ensnared in the net of (worldly) affections, and my mind was occupied with love of sounds (music) and beauty; but now I have escaped all this (the dangerous city), and my mind delights in (the seclusion of) mountains and valleys. I would fain give up the world for ever (men's society) and dwell here in solitude."
The king said, "If you wish to subdue your heart in quiet, you have no need to live in the mountain fastnesses. To meet your wishes I shall construct you a dwelling."
Accordingly he summoned the genii to his presence and said to them, "On the morrow I am about to give a magnificent feast. I invite you to come together to the assembly, but you must each bring for your own seat a great stone." The genii having received the summons, came at the appointed time to the assembly. The king then addressed them and said, "The stones which are now arranged in order on the ground you may pile up, and, without any labour to yourselves, construct of them for me an empty house." The genii having received the order, before the day was over finished the task. Aśoka- rāja then himself went to invite his brother to fix his abode in this mountain cell.
To the north of the old palace, and to the south of "the hell," is a great stone with a hollow trough in it. Aśoka-rāja commissioned the genii as workmen to make this hollow (vase) to use for the food which he gave to the priests when he invited them to eat.
To the south-west of the old palace there is a little mountain. In the crags and surrounding valleys there are several tens of stone dwellings which Aśoka-rāja made for Upagupta and other Arhats, by the intervention of the genii.
By the side of it is an old tower, the ruins of which are a mass of heaped-up stones. There is also a pond, the gentle ripples of which play over its surface as pure as a mirror. The people far and near call it the sacred water. If anyone drinks thereof or washes in it, the defilement of their sins is washed away and destroyed.
To the south-west of the mountain is a collection of five stūpas. The foundations are lofty but ruinous; what remains, however, is a good height. At a distance they look like little hills. Each of them is several tens of paces in front. Men in after-days tried to build on the top of these little stūpas. The records of India state, "In old time, when Aśoka-rāja built the 84,000 stūpas, there was still remaining five measures of relics. Therefore he erected with exceptional grandeur five other stūpas, remarkable for their spiritual portents (miraculous exhibitions), with a view to indicate the fivefold spiritual body of Tathāgata. Some disciples of little faith talking together argued thus, 'In old time Nanda-rāja built these five (stūpas) as treasure-places for his wealth (seven precious substances).' In consequence of this gossip, in after-time a king of insincere faith, and excited by his covetousness, put his troops in movement, and came with his followers to dig (the stūpas). The earth shook, the mountains bent (fell), and the clouds darkened the sun, whilst from the stūpas there came a great sound like thunder. The soldiers with their leaders fell backward, and the elephants and horses took to flight. The king thus defeated, dared no longer to covet (the treasures). It is said, moreover (i.e., in the Indian records), 'With respect to the gossip of the priests there has been some doubt expressed, but we believe it to be true according to the old tradition.'"
To the south-east of the old city there is the saṅghārāma called K'iu-cha-'o-lan-mo (Kukkuṭārāma), which was built by Aśoka-rāja when he first became a believer in the religion of Buddha. It was a sort of first-fruit (preparation in planting the root of virtue), and a pattern of majestic construction (lofty building). He gathered there a thousand priests; a double congregation of lay people and saints made their offerings of the four necessary things, and provided gratuitously all the articles for use. This building has long been in ruins, but the foundation walls are still preserved.
By the side of the saṅghārāma is a great stūpa called 'O-mo-lo-kia (āmalaka), which is the name of a fruit used as a medicine in India. King Aśoka having fallen sick and lingering for a long time, felt that he would not recover, and so desired to offer all his possessions (gems and valuables) so as to crown his religious merit (to plant high the field of merit). The minister who was carrying on the government was unwilling to comply with his wish. Some time after this, as he was eating part of an āmalaka fruit, he playfully put the half of it (in the hand of the king) for an offering. Holding the fruit in his hand he said with a sigh to his minister, "Who now is lord of Jambudvīpa?"
The minister replied, "Only your majesty."
The king answered, "Not so! I am no longer lord; for I have only this half fruit to call my own! Alas! the wealth and honour of the world are as difficult to keep as it is to preserve the light of a lamp in the wind! My wide-spread possessions, my name and high renown, at close of life are snatched from me, and I am in the hands of a minister violent and powerful. The empire is no longer mine; this half fruit alone is left!"
Then he commanded an attendant officer to come, and he addressed him thus: "Take this half fruit and offer it in the garden (ārāma) of the cock (monastery) to the priests, and speak thus to the venerable ones, 'He who was formerly lord of Jambudvīpa, but now is master of only this half āmala fruit, bows down before the priests (chief priest). I pray you (on behalf of the king) receive this very last offering. All that I have is gone and lost, only this half fruit remains as my little possession. Pity the poverty of the offering, and grant that it may increase the seeds of his religious merit.'"
The Sthavira, in the midst of the priests, spake thus in reply: "Aśoka-rāja by his former deeds may hope to recover. Whilst the fever has held his person, his avaricious ministers have usurped his power and amassed wealth not their own. But this offering of half a fruit will secure the king an extension of life." The king having recovered from his sickness, gave large offerings to the priests. Moreover he ordered the manager of the affairs of the convent (Tin-see-Karmmadāna) to preserve the seeds of the fruit in a vessel of liquid fit for the purpose, and he erected this stūpa as a mark of gratitude for his prolonged life.
To the north-west of āmalaka stūpa, in the middle of an old saṅghārāma, is a stūpa; it is called "establishing the sound of the ghaṇṭā (Kin-t'i)." At first there were about 100 saṅghārāmas in this city; the priests were grave and learned, and of high moral character. The scholars among the heretics were silent and dumb. But afterwards, when that generation of priest had died out, their successors were not equal to those gone before. Then the teachers of the heretics, during the interval, gave themselves to earnest study with a view to the mastery. Whereupon they summoned their partisans, numbering 1000 to 10,000, to assemble together within the priest's precincts, and then they addressed them saying, with a loud voice, "Strike loudly the ghaṇṭā and summon all the learned men; let the foolish ones also stop and dispute; if we are wrong, let them overthrow us" (or, to overthrow their errors).
They then addressed the king and asked him to decide between the weak and the strong. And now the heretical masters were men of high talent and marked learning; the priests, although numerous, were weak in their points of verbal discussion.
The heretics said, "We have got the victory; from this time forth let no saṅghārāma dare to sound the ghaṇṭā to call together a congregation." The king confirmed this result of the discussion, and, in agreement with it, bound the priests to the penalty. They on their part retired with shame and chagrin. For twelve-years the ghaṇṭā was not sounded.
At this time lived (Na-kia-'o-la-chu-na) Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva in Southern India, as a youth of high renown for scholarṣip. When grown up he assumed a lofty title. Giving up his home and its pleasures, he practised himself in the acquisition of the deepest and most excellent principle of learning, and arrived at the first earth (the first degree). He had a great disciple called (Ti-po) Deva, a man illustrious for wisdom and spiritual energy. This man, arousing himself to action, said, "At Vaiśālī the followers of learning (Buddhist learners) have been defeated in argument by the heretics, and now for twelve years, days, and months together, they have not sounded the ghaṇṭā. I am bold enough to wish to overturn the mountain of heresy and to light the torch of true religion."
Nāgārjuna replied, "The heretics of Vaiśālī are singularly learned; you are no match for them. I will go myself."
Deva said, "In order to trample down some rotten stems why should we overthrow a mountain? I am bold enough to think that by the instructions I have received I can silence all the heretics. But let my master assume the side of the heretics, and I will refute you according to the points of the thesis; and according as the question is decided, let my purpose to go or not be settled."
Then Nāgārjuna took the side of the heretics, and Deva set himself to overthrow his arguments. After seven days Nāgārjuna lost his superiority (was defeated), and said with a sigh, "False positions are easily lost; erroneous doctrines are defended with difficulty. You yourself can go; you will overthrow those men."
Deva Bodhisattva's early reputation being known to the heretics of Vaiśāalī, they forthwith called an assembly, and went at once to the king, saying, "Mahārāja! you formerly condescended to attend to us and bind the śramaṇas, not to sound the ghaṇṭā. We pray you issue an order that no foreign śramaṇa be allowed to enter the city, lest they should combine together to bring about an alteration in the former law." The king consented to their request, and gave strict orders to his officers to carry it out (to spy narrowly).
Deva having come to the city, was not able to enter it; having understood the order, he made arrangements to change his garments, and wrapped up his kaṣāya robe in a bundle of grass (shrubs); then tucking up his garments, he went straight on with his bundle on his back, and entered the city. Having come to the middle of the city, he threw away his grass bundle, put on his robes, and came to this saṅghārāma, intending to stop there. Knowing few people there, he had no place to lodge, and so he took up his night's rest in the Ghaṇṭā Tower, and at early dawn he struck it (the ghaṇṭā) with all his might.
The people hearing it, on investigating the matter, found that the stranger of yesternight was a travelling Bhikṣu. Forthwith all the saṅghārāmas repeated the sounds (of the ghaṇṭā).
The king hearing the noise, and inquiring about it closely, could not ascertain the origin of it all; coming to this saṅghārāma, they at length charged Deva with the deed. Deva answering said, "The ghaṇṭā is struck to assemble the congregation; if it is not used for that purpose, what use is it?"
The king's people answered, "In former days the congregation of priests having been defeated in argument, it was decided the ghaṇṭā should not be sounded any more, and this is twelve years since."
Deva said, "Is it so? Nevertheless, I venture to sound afresh the drum of the law."
The messenger told the king saying, "There is a strange śramaṇa who wishes to wipe out the former disgrace (of the priests)."
Then the king assembled the men of learning (the Buddhists), and said, by way of decree, "Whoever is defeated shall die, as a proof of his inferiority."
Then the heretics came together with their flags and drums, and began to discuss together with respect to their opinions; each displayed the point of his argument to his best ability. Then Deva Bodhisattva, having mounted the preaching-throne, attending to their former arguments, and following each point, refuted them one by one. In less than one hour he refuted the sectaries, and the king and his ministers being satisfied, raised this venerable monument in honour of his extreme virtue (reverence).
To the north of the stūpa built where the ghaṇṭā was sounded is an old foundation. This was the dwelling-place of a Brāhmaṇ that was inspired by demons. At the beginning there was in this city a Brāhmaṇ who had constructed for himself a hut in a wild and desert spot far from the haunts of men; he sacrificed to demons, seeking religious merit. By the assistance of such spiritual connection he discoursed in a high tone and disputed with eagerness. The report (echo) of his eloquent discourses resounded through the world. If any one came to propose a difficult question, he answered him after letting down a curtain. Old men of learning and of high talent could not wrest from him his precedence. Officers and people were silenced in his presence, and looked on him as a saint. At this time lived Aśvaghoṣa Bodhisattva ('O-shi-po-kiu-sha-pu-sa). His wisdom embraced all subjects, and in his career he had traversed the arguments of the three Vehicles (Little, Great, and Middle Vehicle?). He constantly spoke (about the Brāhmaṇ) thus: "This Brāhmaṇ is learned without a master; he is skillful without examining the ancients; he lives apart in the gloomy desert, and arrogates a great name. It is all done by the connivance of the evil spirits and the assistance of occult powers; this is the way he does it! Men, therefore, on account of his eloquence derived from the devil, are unable to reply, and exalt his renown and say he is invincible. I will go to his place, and see what all this means, and expose it."
Forthwith he went to his cabin and addressed him thus: "I have long felt respect for your illustrious qualities; pray keep up your curtain whilst I venture to express my mind to you." But the Brāhmaṇ, maintaining an air of proud indifference, let down his curtain in order to reply, and to the end would not face his adversary.
Aśvaghoṣa feeling in his heart the presence of the evil spirits, his feelings revolted, and he finished the discussion; but as he retired he said, "I have found him out, and he shall be overthrown." Going straight-way to the king, he said, "Pray condescend to permit me to propose a subject and discuss it with that lay-doctor!"
The king, hearing the request, said with feeling, "Do you know your man? Unless well learned in the three vidyās and in the six supernatural faculties, who can discuss with him?" Giving permission, he himself ordered his chariot in order to be present during the discussion, and to decide as to the victory.
Then Aśvaghoṣa discoursed on the minute words of the three Piṭakas, and alluded to the great principles of the five Vidyās, and nicely divided the length and breadth of his argument with a high and various discourse. Then the Brāhmaṇ following in the argument, Aśvaghoṣa said, "You have lost the thread of the subject. You must follow my points consecutively."
The Brāhmaṇ then was silent and closed his mouth.
Aśvaghoṣa finding fault, said, "Why do you not solve the difficulty? Call the spirits to your help to give you words as quickly as you can;" and then he lifted up his curtain to see how he looked.
The Brāhmaṇ, terrified, cried out, "Stop! stop!"
Aśvaghoṣa, retiring, said, "This doctor has forfeited his high renown. 'A hollow fame lasts not long,' as the saying is."
The king answered and said, "Without the eminent ability of a master, who can detect the errors of the ignorant! The acumen of the person who knows men casts honour on his ancestors, and shuts out possibility of superiority among his successors. The country has a standing rule that such a person should ever be honoured and remembered."
Leaving the south-west angle of the city and going about 200 li, there is an old ruined saṇghārāma, by the side of which is a stūpa which from time to time reflects a divine light and displays many miracles. This place is frequented by crowds from a distance and near by, who offer up their prayers in worship. There are traces where the four past Buddhas sat and walked to and fro.
To the south-west of the old saṅghārāma about 100 li is the saṅghārāma of Tiladaka (Ti-lo-shi-kia). This building has four halls, belvideres of three stages, high towers, connected at intervals with double gates that open inwards (deeply). It was built by the last descendant of Bimbisāra-rāja (Pin-pi-sha-lo). He made much of high talent, and exalted the virtuous. Learned men from different cities and scholars from distant countries flock together in crowds, and reaching so far, abide in this saṅghārāma. There are 1000 priests in it who study the Great Vehicle. In the road facing the middle gate there are three vihāras, above which are placed the connected succession of metal rings (circles) with bells suspended in the air; below they are constructed storey above storey, from the bottom to the top. They are surrounded by railings, and the doors, windows, the pillars, beams, and staircases are all carved with gilt copper in relief, and in the intervals highly decorated. The middle vihāra contains an erect image of Buddha about thirty feet high. On the left is an image of Tāra (To-lo) Bodhisattva; on the right, one of Avalokitesvara (Kwan-tsz'-tsai) Bodhisattva. Each of these images is made of metallic stone; their spiritually composed appearance inspires a mysterious awe, and their influence is felt from far (or, spreads far). In each vihāra there is a measure of relics which emit a supernatural brilliancy, and from time to time shed forth miraculous indications.
To the south-west of the Tilaḍaka saṅghārāma about 90 li we come to a great mountain of blue-clouded (variegated) marble, dark and tangled with wood. Here the divine ṛṣis dwell; poisonous snakes and savage dragons inhabit their dens, whilst numerous beasts and birds of prey dwell in the forests. On the top is a large and remarkable rock, on which is built a stūpa about ten feet or so high. This is the place where Buddha entered on ecstatic meditation. Of old, when Tathāgata descended as a spirit (to be born), he rested on this rock, and entered here the samādhi called "perfectly destroyed," and passed the night so. Then the Devas and spiritual saints offered their offerings to Tathāgata, and sounded the drums and heavenly music, and rained down great flowers. Tathāgata leaving his ecstasy, the Devas all reverenced him, and raised a stūpa composed of gold, silver, and precious stones. Now so long time has elapsed since then, that the precious substances are changed into stone. No one has visited the spot for ages; but looking at the mountain from a distance, one can see different kinds of beasts and snakes turning round it to the right. The Devas and ṛṣis and spiritual saints accompany them in a body, praising and worshipping.
On the eastern summit of the mountain there is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata formerly stood for a time beholding the country of Magadha.
To the north-west of the mountain 30 li or so, on a declivity of the mountain, is a saṅghārāma; it is flanked by a high precipice, and the lofty walls and towers stand up in intervals of the rocks. The priests are about fifty in number, who all study the great Vehicle. This is the place where Guṇamati (Kiu-na-mo-ti) Bodhisattva overcame the heretic. In the early time there was in this mountain a heretic called Mādhava (Mo-ta-po), who at first followed the law of the Saṅkhyā (Seng-kie) system, and practised the acquirement of wisdom. He had studied to the bottom the doctrine of "the extreme void," as found in the orthodox and erroneous (books). His fame was great, and surpassed that of former teachers, and outweighed all then living. The king honoured him exceedingly, and named him "the treasure of the country." The ministers and people regarded him with admiration, and spoke of him as "the teacher of the household." The learned men of the neighbouring countries acknowledged his merits and honoured his virtue, and compared him to the most eminent of his predecessors; a man, verily! highly accomplished. He had as his means of subsistence two towns of the district, and the surrounding houses paid him for the privilege of building (tenant dues?).
At this time in Southern India there lived Gunamati Bodhisattva, who in his youth had displayed great talents and acquired in early life a brilliant reputation. By close study he had penetrated the meaning of the three Piṭakas, and investigated the four truths. Hearing that Mādhava discussed on the most mysterious and subtle questions, he desired to humble him by overcoming him (in argument). He ordered one of his followers to carry a letter thus written (to his adversary): "I have heard with all respect of Mādhava's virtuous ease. You must now, without thought of fatigue, take up again your ancient studies, for in three years' time I intend to overthrow your brilliant reputation."
And so in the second and third years he sent a messenger with the same tidings; and now when he was about to go to meet him, he again wrote a letter, saying: "The appointed period has expired; your studies, such as they are, I am now coming (to investigate); you ought to know the fact."
Mādhava now was alarmed, and gave orders to his disciples and to the inhabitants of the towns: "From this time forth give no hospitality to the śramaṇa heretics; let this order be generally known and obeyed."
At this time Guṇamati Bodhisattva, with his staff in hand, arrived at the town of Mādhava. The people who guarded the town, in agreement to the order, would give him no hospitality. The Brāhmaṇs, moreover, deriding him, said, "What moan you by your shaven head and your singluar dress? Begone from this! there is no place here for you to stop."
Guṇamati Bodhisattva desiring to overthrow the heretic, sought to remain the night in the town, and so he said with gentle words, "You, in pursuing your worldly studies, observe a pure conduct. I also, in studying higher truth, observe a pure line of conduct. Our life being alike, why do you exclude me?"
But the Brāhmaṇs would have no words with him, and only drove him from the place. Leaving the town, he went into a great forest in which savage beasts prowled about to destroy all passers-by. At this time there was a faithful brother who, fearing (the risk he ran from) the beast and the prickly thorns, hastened to him, staff in hand. Having met him, he said to the Bodhisattva, "In Southern India there is a Bodhisattva called Guṇamati, of far-spread renown; because this man wants to come here to discuss principles of belief, the master of the town, being afraid of him and his fame, has strictly enjoined to give no shelter to the śramaṇas, and because I am afraid lest some accident should happen to him, I have come to accompany him in his journey, and to assure him of safety (that he may rest free from fear of the other)."
Guṇamati replied, "Most kind believer, I am Guṇamati." The disciple having heard this, with the greatest reverence replied to Guṇamati thus: if what you say be true, you must go quickly (onwards)." Leaving the deep forest, they stopped awhile on the open plain; the faithful believer, following with his torch (?) and holding his bow, kept guard on the right and left. The (first) division of the night being past, he addressed Guṇamati and said, "It is better for us to go, lest men, knowing that you have come, should plot together to kill you."
Guṇamati, expressing his gratitude, said, "I dare not disobey you!" On this, following him, they came to the king's palace and said to the door-keeper, there is a śramaṇa here who has come from a distance; he prays the king to agree in condescension to permit him to discuss with Mādhava.
The king hearing the news, moved by his feelings, said, "This man is bereft of reason," and then he ordered an officer to go to the place where Mādhava was, with this royal order: "There is a foreign śramaṇa come here who seeks to discuss with you. I have now ordered the hall for the discussion to be prepared and watered; I have told those in the neighbourhood and far off to await the usual arrangements after your coming. Pray condescend to come forthwith."
Mādhava asked the messenger of the king, "This surely is the doctor Guṇamati of South India." "Yes," he said, "it is he."
Mādhava hearing this, his heart was very sad, but as he could not well avoid the difficulty, he set out for the hall of discussion, where the king, the ministers, and the people were all assembled desiring to hear this great controversy. Guṇamati first laid down the principles of his school, and continued his speech till the setting of the sun. Then Mādhava excusing himself on account of his age and infirmities, to defer his answer, asked permission to retire and meditate. He would then return and answer every objection (difficulty) in order. At the early morn he returned and ascended the throne, and so they went on to the sixth day, but on that day he vomited blood and died. When on the point of death he gave this command to his wife, "You have high talent; do not forget the affront paid to me." When Mādhava was dead, she concealed the fact and had no funeral ceremonies; and clothing herself in shining apparel, she entered forthwith the assembly where the discussion was held, and a general clamour was raised as the people said one to another, "Mādhava, who boasted of his talents, is unable to reply to Guṇamati, and so he sends his wife to make up for his deficiency."
Guṇamati, addressing the wife, said, "He who could bind you, has been bound by me."
Mādhava's wife, seeing the difficulty, retired. The king then said, "What secret words are these at which she remains silent? "
Guṇamati said, "Alas! Mādhava is dead! and his wife desires to come and discuss with me!"
The king said, "How know you this? Pray explain it to me."
Then Guṇamati said, "When the wife came her face was pale as death, and her words were toned in bitter enmity. I knew therefore that Mādhava is dead! 'Able to bind you,' is a phrase applicable to her husband."
The king having sent a messenger to verify the statement, he found it even so; then the king in gratitude said, "The law of Buddha is a mysterious one! Eminent sages succeed one another without interruption; with no personal object they guard themselves in wisdom and use their secret knowledge for the purpose of converting (transforming the world). According to the old rules of the country the praises of such a sage (or, of your virtue) should be ever celebrated."
Guṇamati replied, "Whatever poor talent I have, I reserve them for the benefit of all that lives; and when I would draw them to the truth first of all I subdue their pride, then use the influences of converting power. Now then, in this case, O king, let the descendants of Mādhava's territory for a thousand generations employ themselves in the service of a saṅghārāma. Your instructions will extend, then, from age to age, and your reputation will be immortal. Persons of a pure faith, conscious of protection, their religious merit will benefit the country for ages. They will be nourished as the priests are, and so the faithful will be encouraged to honour their virtue."
On this he founded the saṅghārāma to celebrate the victory.
At first, after the defeat of Mādhava, six Brāhmaṇs (pure-lived men), fleeing to the frontiers, told the heretics of the reverse they had suffered, and they selected men of eminent talent with a view hereafter to wipe out their disgrace.
The king having a sincere respect for Guṇamati, went in person, and addressed the following invitation to him: "Now the heretics, not measuring their strength aright, have plotted together, and dare to sound the drum of discussion. Pray, sir, condescend to crush these heretics."
Guṇamati replied, "Let those who wish to discuss come together!"
Then the learned men among the heretics were rejoiced, and said, "We shall be sure of the victory today! "The heretics then laid down their principles with energy for the purpose of opening the discussion.
Guṇamati Bodhisattva replied, "Now those heretics who fled from the difficulty they were in of obeying the king's command, these are mean men. What have I to do to discuss with and answer such persons?" Then he added, "There is a young servant here by the pulpit who has been accustomed to listen to these discussions. He is well acquainted with abstract questions from attending by my side and listening to the high language of the disputants."
Then Guṇamati, leaving the pulpit, said to the servant, "Take my place, and carry on the discussion." Then all the assembly was moved with astonishment at this extraordinary proceeding. But the servant, sitting by the pulpit, immediately proceeded to examine the difficulties proposed. His arguments were clear like the water that wells from the fountain, and his points were true as the sound of the echo. After three replies the heretics were defeated, and once more they were obliged to hide their disgrace and clip their wings. From this time forth the saṅghārāma enjoyed the endowment of the town and dwellings.
South-west of the convent of Guṇamati about 20 li we come to a solitary hill on which is a convent called (the saṅghārāma of) śīlabhadra (Shi-lo-po-t'o-lo). This is the convent which the master of śāstras after his victory caused to be built out of the funds of a village which were given up. It stands by the side of a single sharp crag like a stūpa. It contains some sacred relics of Buddha. This master of śāstras belonged to the family of the king of Samataṭa (San-mo-ta-ch'a), and was of the Brāhmaṇ caste. He loved learning and had gained a wide reputation. Travelling through the Indies to examine into and seek after religious truth, he came to this kingdom, and in the saṅghārāma of Nālanda (Na-lan-t'o) he encountered Dharmapāla Bodhisattva (Hu-fa-pu-sa). Hearing him explain the law, his understanding was opened, and he requested to become a disciple. He inquired into the most subtle questions, and investigated the way of deliverance to its conclusion; and thus having reached the highest point of intelligence, he established his fame over men of his time, even to distant countries.
There was a heretic of South India who delighted in examining profound questions and searching out hidden matters, in penetrating obscure and abstruse points of doctrine. Hearing of Dharmapāla's fame, the pride of self rose up within him, and, moved by profound envy, he passed over mountains and rivers in order to sound the drum and seek discussion. He said, "I am a man of Southern India. It is reported that in the king's country there is a great master of śāstras; I am but ignorant, yet I would wish to discuss with him."
"It is true, as you affirm," the king said; and forthwith he sent a messenger to ask Dharmapāla thus: "There is a heretic of Southern India who has come from a long distance here, and desires to discuss with you. Will you condescend to come to the hall of assembly and discuss with him?"
Dharmapāla having heard the tidings, gathered up his garments and went, whilst śīlabhadra and the inferior disciples surrounded him as he advanced. Then śīlabhadra (the chief disciple) addressed him thus: "Whither goest thou so quickly?" Dharmapāla answered, "Since the sun of wisdom went down, and only the lamp of the inherited doctrine burns quietly, the heretics like clouds of ants and bees have risen; therefore I am now going to crush that one in discussion."
śīlabhadra said, "As I have myself attended at various discussions, let me destroy this heretic." Dharmapāla, knowing his history, allowed him to have his way.
At this time śīlabhadra was just thirty years old. The assembly, despising his youth, feared that it would be difficult for him alone to undertake the discussion. Dharmapāla knowing that the mind of his followers was disturbed, hastened to relieve them and said, "In honouring the conspicuous talent of a person we do not say, 'He has cut his teeth' (count his years according to his teeth). As I see the case before us now, I feel sure that he will defeat the heretic; he is strong enough."
On the day of discussion (assembly for discussion) the people came together from far and near; both old and young in numbers assembled. Then the heretical teacher on his part laid open his case with great emphasis, and penetrated to the utmost the abstruse points (of his argument). śīlabhadra followed his arguments (principles), and refuted them by profound and subtle allegations. The heretic, his words being exhausted, was covered with shame and retired.
The king, in order to reward the virtue (of śīlabhadra), gave him the revenues of this town as a bequest. The master of śāstras, declining the offer, said, "A master who wears the garments of religion (dyed garments) knows how to be contented with little and to keep himself pure. What would he do with a town?"
The king in reply said, "The King of the Law has passed into the obscure (abode), and the vessel of wisdom has been engulfed in the stream. If there are no distinctions now made (between the learned and ignorant), then no encouragement is given to the scholar to press forward in the attainment of religion. Pray, of your pity, accept my offering."
The doctor, not persisting in his refusal, accepted the town and built this saṅghārāma, vast and magnificent, and endowed it with the revenues of the town, as a means of providing it with the offerings necessary for religious service.
Going to the south-west of the saṅghārāma of śīlabhadra about 40 or 50 li, and crossing the Nairañjanā river we come to the town of Gayā. This town is naturally strong (situated amid crags or precipices). It has but few inhabitants; there are about 1000 families of Brāhmaṇs only; they are the offspring (successors) of a Rishi. The king does not regard them as vassals and the people everywhere highly respect them.
To the north of the town 30 li or so there is a pure fountain of water. The tradition handed down in India is that it is called "holy water;" all who bathe or drink thereof are cleansed from whatever defilement of sin they have.
To the south-west of the town 5 or 6 li we come to Mount Gayā (Kia-ye), with its sombre valley, streams, and steep and dangerous crags. In India the name commonly given to this is the divine (spiritual) mountain. From old days it has been the custom for the ruling sovereign when he comes to the throne, with a view to conciliate his subjects at a distance and to cause his renown to exceed previous generations, to ascend (this mountain) and declare his succession with accompanying ceremonies (religious ceremonies). On the top of the mountain is a stūpa about 100 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Divine prodigies are exhibited by it, and a sacred effulgency often shines from it. In old days Tathāgata here delivered the P'ao-yun and other śūtras.
To the south-east of Mount Gayā is a stūpa. This is the spot where Kāśyapa (Kia-she-po) was born. To the south of this stūpa are two others. These are the spots where Gayākāśyapa (Kia-ye-kia-she-po) and Nadīkāśyapa (Nai-ti-kia-she-po) sacrificed as fire-worshippers.
To the east of the place where Gayākāśyapa sacrificed to fire, crossing a great river, we come to a mountain called Prāgbodhi (Po-lo-ki-po-ti). Tathāgata, after diligently seeking for six years and not yet obtaining supreme wisdom, after this gave up his penance and accepted the rice-milk (of Sujatā). As he went to the north-east he saw this mountain that it was secluded and dark, whereupon he desired to seek enlightenment thereon. Ascending the north-east slope and coming to the top, the earth shook and the mountain quaked, whilst the mountain Deva in terror spake thus to Bodhisattva: "This mountain is not the fortunate spot for attaining supreme wisdom. If here you stop and engage in the 'Samadhi of diamond,' the earth will quake and gape and the mountain be overthrown upon you."
Then Bodhisattva descended, and half-way down the south-west slope he halted. There, backed by the crag and facing a torrent, is a great stone chamber. Here he sat down cross-legged. Again the earth quaked and the mountain shook. Then a Deva of the pure abode (śuddhavāsas) cried out in space, "This is not the place for a Tathāgata to perfect supreme wisdom. From this south-west 14 or 15 li, not far from the place of penance, there is a Pippala (Pi-po-lo) tree under which is 'a diamond throne.' All the past Buddhas seated on this throne have obtained true enlightenment, and so will those yet to come. Pray, then, proceed to that spot."
Then Bodhisattva, rising up, the dragon dwelling in the cave said, "This cave is pure and excellent. Here you may accomplish the holy (aim). Would that of your exceeding love you would not leave me."
Then Bodhisattva having discovered that this was not the place for accomplishing his aim, to appease the dragon, he left him his shadow and departed. The Devas going before, led the way, and accompanied him to the Bodhi tree. When Aśoka-rāja came into power, he signalised each spot up and down this mountain which Bodhisattva had passed, by erecting distinguishing posts and stūpas. These, though of different sizes, yet are alike in spiritual manifestations. Sometimes flowers fall on them from heaven; sometimes a bright light illumines the dark valleys. Every year, on the day of breaking up the season of Wass (Varskās), religious laymen from different countries ascend this mountain for the purpose of making religious offerings to the faithful. They stop one night and return.
Going south-west from Mount Prāgbodhi about 14 or 15 li, we come to the Bodhi tree. It is surrounded by a brick wall (a wall of piled bricks) of considerable height, steep and strong. It is long from east to west, and short from north to south. It is about 500 paces round. Rare trees with their renowned flowers connect their shade and cast their shadows; the delicate sha-herb and different shrubs carpet the soil. The principal gate opens to the east, opposite the Nairañjanā river. The southern gate adjoins a great flowery bank. The western side is blocked up and difficult of access (steep and strong). The northern gate opens into the great saṅghārāma. Within the surrounding wall the sacred traces touch one another in all directions. Here there are stūpas, in another place vihāras. The kings, princes, and great personages throughout all Jambudvīpa, who have accepted the bequeathed teaching as handed down to them, have erected these monuments as memorials.
In the middle of the enclosure surrounding the Bodhi-tree is the diamond throne (Vajrāsana). In former days, when the Bhadra-kalpa was arriving at the period of perfection (vivarṭṭa), when the great earth arose, this (throne) also appeared. It is in the middle of the great chiliocosm; it goes down to the limits of the golden wheel (the gold circle), and upwards it is flush with the ground. It is composed of diamond. In circuit it is 100 paces or so. On this the thousand Buddhas of the Bhadra-kalpa have sat and entered the diamond Samādhi; hence the name of the diamond throne. It is the place where the Budddas attain the holy path (the sacred way of Buddhahood). It is also called the Bodhimaṇḍa. When the great earth is shaken, this place alone is unmoved. Therefore, when Tathāgata was about to reach the condition of enlightenment, and he went successively to the four angles of this enclosure, the earth shook and quaked; but afterwards coming to this spot, all was still and at rest. From the time of entering on the concluding portion of the kalpa, when the true law dies out and disappears, the earth and dust begin to cover over this spot, and it will be no longer visible.
After the Nirvāṇa of Buddha, the rulers of the different countries having learned by tradition the measurement of the diamond throne, decided the limits from north to south by two figures of Kwan-tsz'-tsai (Avalokiteśvara) Bodhisattva, there seated and looking eastward.
The old people say that "as soon as the figures of this Bodhisattva sink in the ground and disappear, the law of Buddha will come to an end." The figure at the south angle is now buried up to its breast. The Bodhi tree above the diamond throne is the same as the Pippala tree. In old days, when Buddha was alive, it was several hundred feet high. Although it has often been injured by cutting, it still is 40 or 50 feet in height. Buddha sitting under this tree reached perfect wisdom, and therefore it is called the (Samyak sambodhi) tree of knowledge (Pu-ti-Bodhi). The bark is of a yellowish-white colour, the leaves and twigs of a dark green. The leaves wither not either in winter or summer, but they remain shining and glistening all the year round without change. But at every successive Nirvāṇa-day (of the Buddhas) the leaves wither and fall, and then in a moment revive as before. On this day (of the Nirvāṇa?) the princes of different countries and the religious multitude from different quarters assemble by thousands and ten thousands unbidden, and bathe (the roots) with scented water and perfumed milk; whilst they raise the sounds of music and scatter flowers and perfumes, and whilst the light of day is continued by the burning torches, they offer their religious gifts.
After the Nirvāṇa of Tathāgata, when Aśoka-rāja began to reign, he was an unbeliever (a believer in heresy), and he desired to destroy the bequeathed traces of Buddha; so he raised an army, and himself taking the lead, he came here for the purpose of destroying (the tree). He cut through the roots; the trunk, branches, and leaves were all divided into small bits and heaped up in a pile a few tens of paces to the west of the place. Then he ordered a Brāhmaṇ who sacrificed to fire to burn them in the discharge of his religious worship. Scarcely had the smoke cleared away, when lo! a double tree burst forth from the flaming fire, and because the leaves and branches were shining like feathers, it was called the "ashes bodhi tree." Aśoka-rāja, seeing the miracle, repented of his crime. He bathed the roots (of the old tree) with perfumed milk to fertilise them, when lo! on the morning of the next day, the tree sprang up as before. The king, seeing the miraculous portent, was overpowered with deep emotion, and himself offered religious gifts, and was so overjoyed that he forgot to return (to the palace). The queen, who was an adherent of the heretics, sent secretly a messenger, who, after the first division of night, once more cut it down. Aśoka-rāja in the morning coming again to worship at the tree, seeing only the mutilated trunk, was filled with exceeding grief. With the utmost sincerity he prayed as he worshipped; he bathed the roots with perfumed milk, and in less than a day again the tree was restored. The king, moved by deep reverence at the prodigy, surrounded the tree with a stone (brick) wall above 10 feet, which still remains visible. In late times śaśāṅka-rāja (She-shang-kia), being a believer in heresy, slandered the religion of Buddha, and through envy destroyed the convents and cut down the Bodhi tree, digging it up to the very springs of the earth; but yet he did not get to the bottom of the roots. Then he burnt it with fire and sprinkled it with the juice of the sugar-cane, desiring to destroy it entirely, and not leave a trace of it behind.
Some months afterwards, the king of Magadha, called Pūrṇavarmā (Pu-la-na-fa-mo), the last of the race of Aśoka-rāja, hearing of it, sighed and said, "The sun of wisdom having set, nothing is left but the tree of Buddha, and this they now have destroyed, what source of spiritual life is there now?" He then cast his body on the ground overcome with pity; then with the milk of a thousand cows he again bathed the roots of the tree, and in a night it once more revived and grew to the height of some 10 feet. Fearing lest it should be again cut down, he surrounded it with a wall of stone 24 feet high. So the tree is now encircled with a wall about 20 feet high.
To the east of the Bodhi tree there is a vihāra about 160 or 170 feet high. Its lower foundation-wall is 20 or more paces in its face. The building (pile) is of blue tiles (bricks) covered with chunam (burnt stone, lime); all the riches in the different storeys hold golden figures. The four sides of the building are covered with wonderful ornamental work; in one place figures of stringed pearls (garlands), in another figures of heavenly Rishis. The whole is surrounded by a gilded copper āmalaka fruit. The eastern face adjoins a storeyed pavilion, the projecting eaves of which rise one over the other to the height of three distinct chambers; its projecting eaves, its pillars, beams, doors, and windows are decorated with gold and silver ornamental work, with pearls and gems let in to fill up interstices. Its sombre chambers and mysterious halls have doors in each of the three storeys. To the right and left of the outside gate are niches like chambers; in the left is a figure of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, and in the right a figure of Maitreya (T'se-shi) Bodhisattva. They are made of white silver, and are about 10 feet high. On the site of the present vihāra Aśoka-rāja at first built a small vihāra. Afterwards there was a Brāhmaṇ who reconstructed it on a larger scale. At first this Brāhmaṇ was not a believer in the law of Buddha, and sacrificed to Maheśvara. Having heard that this heavenly spirit (god) dwelt in the Snowy Mountains, he forthwith went there with his younger brother to seek by prayer (his wishes). The Deva said, "Those who pray should aim to acquire some extensive religious merit. If you who pray have not this ground (of merit), then neither can I grant what you pray for."
The Brāhmaṇ said, "What meritorious work can I set about, to enable me to obtain my desire?"
The god said, "If you wish to plant a superior root (growth) of merit, then seek a superior field (in which to acquire it). The Bodhi tree is the place for attaining the fruit of a Buddha. You should straightway return there, and by the Bodhi tree erect a large vihāra, and excavate a large tank, and devote all kinds of religious offerings (to the service). You will then surely obtain your wishes."
The Brāhmaṇs having received the divine communication, conceived a believing heart, and they both returned to the place. The elder brother built the vihāra, the younger excavated the tank, and then they prepared large religious offerings, and sought with diligence their heart's desire (vow). The result followed at once. The Brāhmaṇ became the great minister of the king. He devoted all his emoluments to the work of charity. Having finished the vihāra, he invited the most skilful artists to make a figure (likeness) of Tathāgata when he first reached the condition of Buddha. Years and months passed without result; no one answered the appeal. At length there was a Brāhmaṇ who came and addressed the congregation thus: "I will thoroughly execute (paint and mark) the excellent figure (or distinguishing points) of Tathāgata."
They replied, "For the purpose of doing this, what do you require?"
"Place in the vihāra a pile of scented earth and a lighted lamp; then when I have gone in, fasten the doors. After six months you may open them again."
Then the priests did as he directed. After four months, the six not being passed, the priests being astonished at the strange circumstance, opened the door to see what had happened. In the vihāra they found a beautiful figure of Buddha in a sitting position, the right foot uppermost, the left hand resting, the right hand hanging down. He was sitting facing the east, and as dignified in appearance as when alive. The throne was 4 feet 2 inches high, and 12 feet 5 inches broad. The figure was 11 feet 5 inches high; the two knees were 8 feet 8 inches apart, and the two shoulders 6 feet 2 inches. The signs and marks (of a Buddha) were perfectly drawn. The loving expression of his face was like life, only above his right breast the material was not yet completely rounded off. Having seen no man, they were satisfied that this was a miracle, and all of them were filled with strong emotion (piteously sighed) as they diligently sought to find out the secret (earnestly inquired in order to know). Now there was a śramaṇa who was passing the night there. He was of all honest and truthful heart, and being affected by the circumstance (just related), he had a dream, in which he saw the forementioned Brāhmaṇ, who addressed him thus: "I am Maitreya Bodhisattva. Fearing that the mind of no artist could conceive the beauty of the sacred features, therefore I myself have come to paint and delineate the figure of Buddha. His right hand hangs down in token that when he was about to reach the fruit of a Buddha, and the enticing Māra came to fascinate him, then the earth-spirits came to tell him thereof. The first who came forth advanced to help Buddha to resist Māra, to whom Tathāgata said, 'Fear not! By the power of patience he must be subdued!' Māra-rāja said, 'Who will bear witness for you?' Tathāgata dropped his hand and pointed to the ground, saying, 'Here is my witness.' On this a second earth-spirit leapt forth to bear witness (to testify). Therefore the present figure is so drawn, in imitation of the old posture of Buddha."
The brethren having understood this sacred miracle (spiritual reflection), were all moved with a tender emotion, and they placed above the breast, where the work was as yet unfinished, a necklace of precious stones and jewels, whilst on the head they placed a diadem of encircling gems, exceedingly rich.
śaśāṅka-rāja having cut down the Bodhi tree, wished to destroy this image; but having seen its loving features, his mind had no rest or determination, and he returned with his retinue homewards. On his way he said to one of his officers, "We must remove that statue of Buddha and place there a figure of Maheśvara."
The officer having received the order, was moved with fear, and, sighing, said, "If I destroy the figure of Buddha, then during successive kalpas I shall reap misfortune; if I disobey the king, he will put me to a cruel death and destroy my family; in either case, whether I obey or disobey, such will be the consequences; what, then, shall I do?"
On this he called to his presence a man with a believing heart (i.e., a believer in Buddha) to help him, and sent him to build up across the chamber and before the figure of Buddha a wall of brick. The man, from a feeling of shame at the darkness, placed a burning lamp (with the concealed figure); then on the interposing wall he drew a figure of (or, he made a figure of) Maheśvara-deva.
The work being finished, he reported the matter. The king hearing it, was seized with terror; his body produced sores and his flesh rotted off, and after a short while he died. Then the officer quickly ordered the intervening wall to be pulled down again, when, although several days had elapsed, the lamp was still found to be burning (unextinguished).
The figure still exists in its perfect state as it was made by the sacred art of the god. It stands in a dark chamber; lamps and torches are kept burning therein; but those who wish to see the sacred features cannot do so by coming into the chamber; they should in the morning reflect the sunlight by means of a great mirror on the interior of the room; the sacred marks may then be seen. Those who behold them find their religious emotions much increased. Tathāgata obtained complete enlightenment (Samyak sambodhi) on the eighth day of the latter half of the Indian month Vaiśākha (Fei-she-kie), which is with us the eighth day of the third month. But the Sthavira school (Shang-tso-pu) say on the fifteenth day of the second half of Vaiśākha, which corresponds with us to the fifteenth day of the third month. Tathāgata was then thirty years old, or, according to others, thirty-five years.
To the north of the Bodhi tree is a spot where Buddha walked up and down. When Tathāgata had obtained enlightenment, he did not rise from the throne, but remained perfectly quiet for seven days, lost in contemplation. Then rising, he walked up and down during seven days to the north of the tree; he walked there east and west for a distance of ten paces or so. Miraculous flowers sprang up under his foot-traces to the number of eighteen. Afterwards this space was covered in by a brick wall about three feet high. According to the old belief, these holy traces thus covered in, indicate the length or shortness of a man's life. First of all, having offered up a sincere prayer, then count the measurement (or, pace the distance and measure); according as the person's life is to be long or short, so will the measurement be greater or less.
On the left side of the road, to the north of the place where Buddha walked, is a large stone, on the top of which, as it stands in a great vihāra, is a figure of Buddha with his eyes raised and looking up. Here in former times Buddha sat for seven days contemplating the Bodhi tree; he did not remove his gaze from it during this period, desiring thereby to indicate his grateful feelings towards the tree by so looking at it with fixed eyes.
Not far to the west of the Bodhi tree is a large vihāra in which is a figure of Buddha made of teou-shih (brass), ornamented with rare jewels; he stands with his face to the east. Before it is a blue stone with wonderful marks upon it and strangely figured. This is (the place where) Buddha sat on a seven-gemmed throne made by śakra Deva-rāja when Brahma-rāja built a hall for him of seven precious substances, after he had arrived at complete enlightenment. Whilst he thus sat for seven days in reflection, the mysterious glory which shone from his person lit up the Bodhi tree. From the time of the holy one till the present is so long that the gems have changed into stone.
Not far to the south of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa about 100 feet high, which was built by Aśoka-rāja. Bodhisattva having bathed in the Nairañjana river, proceeded towards the Bodhi tree. Then he thought, "What shall I do for a seat? I will seek for some pure rushes when the day breaks." Then śakra-rāja (Shi) transformed himself into a grass-cutter, who, with his burden on his back, went along the road. Bodhisattva addressing him said, "Can you give me the bundle of grass you are carrying on your back?"
The assumed grass-cutter, hearing the request, offered the grass with respect. Bodhisattva having received it, went onwards to the tree.
Not far to the north of this spot is a stūpa. Bodhisattva, when about to obtain enlightenment (the fruit of Buddha), saw a flock of blue birds rising up ("rohin"?) according to the lucky way. Of all the good omens recognised in India this is the most so. Therefore the Devas of the pure abodes (śuddhavāsas) accommodated their proceedings to the customary modes of the world, and caused the birds thus to encircle him as spiritually (miraculously) indicating his holiness.
To the east of the Bodhi tree, on the left and right of the great road, there are two stūpas (one on each side). This is the place where Māra-rāja tempted Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva, when on the point of enlightenment, was tempted by Māra to become a Chakravarttin (Lun-wang) monarch. On his refusing, he went away heavy and sorrowful. On this his daughters, asking him, went to try to entice the Bodhisattva, but by his spiritual power he changed their youthful appearance into that of decrepit old women. Then leaning together on their sticks they went away.
To the north-west of the Bodhi tree in a vihāra is the image of Kāśyapa Buddha. It is noted for its miraculous and sacred qualities. From time to time it emits a glorious light. The old records say, that if a man actuated by sincere faith walks round it seven times, he obtains the power of knowing the place and condition of his (former?) births.
To the north-west of the vihāra of Kāśyapa Buddha there are two brick chambers, each containing a figure of an earth-spirit. Formerly, when Buddha was on the point of obtaining enlightenment, Māra came to him, and each one (or one) became witness for Buddha. Men afterwards, on account of his merit, painted or carved this figure of him with all its points of excellence.
To the north-west of the wall of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa called Yuh-kin-hiang (the saffron scent, Kuṅkuma); it is about 40 feet high; it was built by a merchant chief (śreṣṭhī) of the country of Tsao-kiu-ch'u (Tsaukuṭa). In old days there was a merchant-prince of this country who worshipped the heavenly spirits and sacrificed to them with a view to seek religious merit. He despised the religion of Buddha, and did not believe in the doctrine of "deeds and fruits." After a while, he took with him some merchants to engage in commercial transactions (to take goods for having or not having, i.e., for exchange). Embarking in a ship on the southern sea, a tempest arising, they lost their way, whilst the tumultuous waves encircled them. Then after three years, their provisions being gone and their mouths parched with thirst, when there was not enough to last the voyagers from morning till evening, they employed all their energies with one mind in calling on the gods to whom they sacrificed. After all their efforts no result followed (their secret desire not accomplished), when unexpectedly they saw a great mountain with steep crags and precipices and a double sun gleaming from far. Then the merchants, congratulating themselves, said, "We are fortunate indeed in encountering this great mountain; we shall here get some rest and refreshment." The merchant-master said, "It is no mountain; it is the Makara fish; the high crags and scarped precipices are but its fins and mane; the double suns are its eyes as they shine." Scarce had he finished when the sails of the ship began to draw; on which the merchant-master said to his companions, "I have heard say that Kwan-tsz-tsai Bodhisattva is able to come to the help of those in difficulties and give them rest; we ought then with all faith to call upon that name." So with one accord and voice they paid their adorations and called on the name. The high mountains disappeared, the two suns were swallowed up, and suddenly they saw a śramaṇa with dignified mien and calm demeanour holding his staff, walking through the sky, and coming towards them to rescue them from shipwreck, and in consequence they were at their own country immediately. Then because their faith was confirmed, and with a view not to lose the merit of their condition, they built a Stūpa and prepared their religious offerings, and they covered the Stūpa from top to bottom with saffron paste. After thus, conceiving a heart of faith, those who were like-minded resolved to pay their adoration to the sacred traces; beholding the Body tree, they had no leisure for words about returning; but now, a month having elapsed, as they were walking together, they said in conversation, "Mountains and rivers separate us from our native country, and now as to the Stūpa which we built formerly, whilst we have been here, who has watered and swept it?" On finishing these words and coming to the spot (where this Stūpa stands), they turned round in token of respect; when suddenly they saw a Stūpa rise before them, and on advancing to look at it, they saw it was exactly like the one they had built in their own country. Therefore now in India they call it the Kuṅkuma Stūpa.
At the south-east angle of the wall of the Body tree is a Stūpa by the side of a Nyagrodha (ni-ken-liu) tree. Beside it there is a vihāra in which is a sitting figure of Buddha. This is the spot where the great Brahma exhorted Buddha, when he had first acquired enlightenment, to turn the wheel of the excellent law.
Within the walls of the Bodhi tree at each of the four angles is a great stūpa. Formerly, when Tathāgata received the grass of good omen (Santi), he walked on the four sides of the Bodhi tree from point to point; then the great earth trembled. When he came to the diamond throne, then all was quiet and peaceable again. Within the walls of the tree the sacred traces are so thick together that it would be difficult to recite each one particularly.
At the south-west of the Bodhi tree, outside the walls, there is a stūpa; this is where the old house of the two shepherd-girls stood who offered the rice-milk to Buddha. By the side of it is another stūpa where the girls boiled the rice; by the side of this stūpa Tathāgata received the rice. Outside the south gate of the Bodhi tree is a great tank about 700 paces round, the water of which is clear and pure as a mirror. Nāgas and fishes dwell there. This was the pond which was dug by the Brāhmaṇs, who were uterine brothers, at the command of Maheśvara (Ta-thseu-thsaï).
Still to the south there is a tank; formerly, when Tathāgata had just acquired perfect enlightenment, he wished to bathe; then śakra (Shi), king of Devas, for Buddha's sake, caused a pond to appear as a phantom.
On the west is a great stone where Buddha washed his robes, and then wished to dry them; on this, śakra, king of Devas, brought this rock from the great Snowy Mountains. By the side of this is a stūpa; this is where Tathāgata put on (?) the old garments offered him. Still to the south in a wood is a stūpa; this is where the poor old woman gave the old garments which Tathāgata accepted.
To the east of the pond which śakra caused to appear, in the midst of a wood, is the lake of the Nāga king Muchilinda (Mu-chi-lin-t'o). The water of this lake is of a dark blue colour, its taste is sweet and pleasant; or the west bank is a small vihāra in which is a figure of Buddha. Formerly, when Tathāgata first acquired complete enlightenment, he sat on this spot in perfect composure, and for seven days dwelt in ecstatic contemplation. Then this Muchilinda Nāga-rāja kept guard over Tathāgata; with his folds seven times round the body of Buddha, he caused many heads to appear, which overshadowed him as a parasol; therefore to the east of this lake is the dwelling of the Nāga.
To the east of the tank of Muchilinda in a vihāra standing in a wood is a figure of Buddha, which represents him as thin and withered away.
At the side of this is the place where Buddha walked up and down, about 70 paces or so long, and on each side of it is a Pippala tree.
Both in old times and now, among the better classes and the poor, those who suffer from disease are accustomed to anoint the figure with scented earth, on which they get cured in many cases. This is the place where Bodhisattva endured his penance. Here it was Tathāgata subdued the heretics and received the request of Māra, and then entered on his six years' fast, eating a grain of millet and of wheat each day; his body then became thin and withered and his face marred. The place where he walked up and down is where he took the branch of the tree (as he left the river) after his fast.
By the side of the Pippala tree which denoted the place of Buddha's fast is a stūpa; this is where Ajñāta-Kauṇḍinya and the rest, to the number of five, resided. When first the prince left his home, he wandered through the mountains and plains; he rested in forests and by wells of water. Then Suddhodana-rāja ordered five men to follow him and wait on his person. The prince having entered on his penance, then Ajñāta Kauṇḍinya and the rest gave themselves also to a diligent practice of the same.
To the south-west of this spot there is a stūpa. This is where Bodhisattva entered the Nairañjanā river to bathe. By the side of the river, not far off, is the place where Bodhisattva received the rice-milk.
By the side of this is a stūpa where the merchant-prince (householder) offered him the wheat and honey. Buddha was seated with his legs crossed beneath a tree, lost in contemplation, experiencing in silence the joys of emancipation. After seven days he aroused himself from his ecstasy. Then two merchant-princes travelling by the side of the wood were addressed by the Deva of the place thus: "The prince-royal of the śākya family dwells in this wood, having just reached the fruit of a Buddha. His mind fixed in contemplation, he has for forty-nine days eaten nothing. By offering him whatsoever you have (as food) you will reap great and excellent profit."
Then the two merchants offered some wheat-flour and honey from their travelling store. The World-honoured accepted and received it.
By the side of the merchant-offering place is a stūpa. This is the spot where the four Deva-rājas presented (Buddha) with a pātra. The merchant-princes having made their offering of wheat-flour and honey, the Lord thought with himself in what vessel he should receive it. Then the four Deva-rājas coming from the four quarters, each brought a golden dish and offered it. The Lord sat silently and accepted not the offerings, on the ground that such a costly dish became not the character of a hermit. The four kings casting away the golden dishes, offered silver ones; afterwards they offered vessels of crystal (po-ch'i), lapis-lazuli (liu-li), cornelian (ma-nao), amber (ku-ch'i), ruby (chin chu), and so on. The Lord of the World would accept neither of them. The four kings then returned to their palaces and brought as an offering stone pātras, of a deep blue colour and translucent. Again presenting these, the Lord, to avoid accepting one and rejecting the others, forthwith joined them all in one and accepted them thus. Putting them one within the other, he made one vessel of the four. Therefore may be seen the four borders on the outside of the rim (of the dish).
Not far from this spot is a stūpa. This is the place where Tathāgata preached the law for the sake of his mother. When Tathāgata had acquired complete enlightenment, he was termed "the teacher of gods and of men." His mother, Māyā, then came down from heaven to this place. The Lord of the World preached to her according to the occasion, for her profit and pleasure.
Beside this spot is a dry pool, on the border of which is a stūpa. This is where in former days Tathāgata displayed various spiritual changes to convert those who were capable of it.
By the side of this spot is a stūpa. Here Tathāgata converted Uravilvā-Kāśyapa (Yeu-leu-pin-lo-kia-she-po) with his two brothers and a thousand of their followers. Tathāgata, for the purpose of following out his office as "illustrious guide," according to his opportunity (or in a suitable way), caused him (i.e., Kāśyapa) to submit to his teaching. On this occasion, when 500 followers of Uravilvā-Kāśyapa had requested to receive the instruction of Buddha, then Kāśyapa said, "I too with you will give up the way of error." On this, going together, they came to the place where Buddha was. Tathāgata, addressing them, said, "Lay aside your leather garments and give up your fire-sacrificing vessels." Then the disciples, in obedience to the command, cast into the Nairañjanā river their articles of worship (service or use). When Nadī-Kāśyapa (Nai-ti-kia-she-po) saw these vessels following the current of the river, he came with his followers to visit his brother. Having seen his conduct and changed behaviour, he also took the yellow robes. Gayā-Kāśyapa also, with two hundred followers, hearing of his brother's change of religion, came to the place where Buddha was, and prayed to be allowed to practise a life of purity.
To the north-west of the spot where the Kāśyapa brothers were converted is a stūpa. This is the place where Tathāgata overcame the fiery Nāga to which Kāśyapa sacrificed. Tathāgata, when about to convert these men, first subdued the object of their worship, and rested in the house of the fiery Nāga of the Brahmachārins. After the middle of the night the Nāga vomited forth fire and smoke. Buddha having entered Samadhi, likewise raised the brilliancy of fire, and the house-cell seemed to be filled with fiery flames. The Brahmachārins, fearing that the fire was destroying Buddha, all ran together to the spot with piteous cries, commiserating his fate. On this Uravilvā-Kāśyapa addressed his followers and said, "As I now gather (see), this is not a fire, but the śramaṇa subduing the fiery Nāga." Tathāgata having got the fiery dragon firmly fixed in his alms-bowl, on the morrow came forth holding it in his hand, and showed it to the disciples of the unbelievers. By the side of this monument is a stūpa, where 500 Pratyeka Buddhas at the same time entered Nirvāṇa.
To the south of the tank of Muchilinda Nāga is a stūpa. This indicates the spot where Kāśyapa went to save Buddha during an inundation. The Kāśyapa brothers still opposing the divine method, all who lived far off or near reverenced their virtue, and submitted themselves to their teaching. The Lord of the World, in his character as guide of those in error, being very intent on their conversion, raised and spread abroad the thick clouds and caused the torrents to fall. The fierce waves surrounded the place where Buddha dwelt; but he alone was free from the flood. At this time Kāśyapa, seeing the clouds and rain, calling his disciples, said, "The place where the Shaman dwells must be engulfed in the tide!"
Embarking in a boat to go to his deliverance, he saw the Lord of the World walking on the water as on land; and as he advanced down the stream, the waters divided and left the ground visible. Kāśyapa having seen (the miracle), his heart was subdued, and he returned.
Outside the eastern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree, 2 or 3 li distant, there is the house of the blind Nāga. This Nāga, by the accumulated effect of his deeds during former existences, was born blind, as a punishment, in his present birth. Tathāgata going on from Mount Prāgbodhi, desired to reach the Bodhi tree. As he passed this abode, the eyes of the Nāga were suddenly opened, and he saw Bodhisattva going on to the tree of intelligence (Bodhi). Then addressing Bodhisattva, he said, "O virtuous master! erelong you will become perfectly enlightened! My eyes indeed have long remained in darkness; but when a Buddha appears in the world, then I have my sight restored. During the Bhadra-kalpa, when the three past Buddhas appeared in the world, then I obtained light and saw (for a while); and now when thou, O virtuous one! didst approach this spot, my eyes suddenly opened; therefore I know that you shall become a Buddha."
By the side of the eastern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree is a stūpa. This is where Māra-rāja tried to frighten Bodhisattva. When first Māra-rāja knew that Bodhisattva was about to obtain perfect enlightenment, having failed to confuse him by his enticements or to terrify him by his arts, he summoned his host of spirits and arranged his demon army, and arrayed his soldiers, armed with their weapons, as if to destroy the Bodhisattva. On this the winds arose and the rains descended, the thunders rolled in space and the lightning gleamed, as it lit up the darkness; flames of fire and clouds of smoke burst forth; sand and hailstones fell like lances, and were as arrows flying from the bow. Whereupon the Bodhisattva entered the samādhi of "great love," and changed the weapons of the host to lotus flowers. Māra's army, smitten by fear, retreated fast and disappeared.
Not far from this are two stūpas built by śakra, king of Devas, and by Brahma-rāja.
Outside the northern gate of the wall of the Bodhi tree is the Mahābodhi saṅghārāma. It was built by a former king of Siṃhala (Ceylon). This edifice has six halls, with towers of observation (temple towers) of three storeys; it is surrounded by a wall of defence thirty or forty feet high. The utmost skill of the artist has been employed; the ornamentation is in the richest colours (red and blue). The statue of Buddha is cast of gold and silver, decorated with gems and precious stones. The stūpas are high and large in proportion, and beautifully ornamented; they contain relics of Buddha. The bone relics are as great as the fingers of the hand, shining and smooth, of a pure white colour and translucent. The flesh relics are like the great true pearl, of a bluish-red tint. Every year on the day of the full moon of (the month when) Tathāgata displayed great spiritual changes, they take these relics out for public exhibition. On these occasions sometimes a bright light is diffused, sometimes it rains flowers. The priests of this convent are more than 1000 men; they study the Great Vehicle and belong to the Sthavira (Shang-tso-pu) school. They carefully observe the Dharma Vinaya, and their conduct is pure and correct.
In old days there was a king of Ceylon, which is a country of the southern sea, who was truthful and a believer in the law of Buddha. It happened that his brother, who had become a disciple of Buddha (a houseless one), thinking on the holy traces of Buddha, went forth to wander through India. At all the convents he visited, he was treated with disdain as a foreigner (a frontier countryman). On this he returned to his own country. The king in person went out to a distance to meet him, but the śramaṇa was so affected that he could not speak. The king said, "What has so afflicted you as to cause this excessive grief?" The śramaṇa replied, "I, relying on the dignity of your Majesty's kingdom, went forth to visit the world, and to find my way through distant regions and strange cities. For many years all my travels, during heat and cold, have been attended with outrage, and my words have been met with insults and sarcasm. Having endured these afflictions, how can I be light-hearted?"
The king said, "If these things are so, what is to be done?"
He replied, "In truth, I wish your Majesty in the field of merit would undertake to build convents throughout all India. You would thus signalise the holy traces, and gain for yourself a great name; you would show your gratitude for the advantage derived from your predecessors, and hand down the merit thereof to your successors."
He replied, "This is an excellent plan; how have I but just heard of it?"
Then he gave in tribute to the king of India all the jewels of his country. The king having received them as tribute, from a principle of duty and affection to his distant ally, he sent messengers to say, "What can I now do in return for the decree?"
The minister said, "The king of Siṃhala salutes the king of India (Mahā śrī rāja). The reputation of the Mahā-rāja has spread far and wide, and your benefits have reached to distant regions. The śramaṇas of this inferior country desire to obey your instructions and to accept your transforming influences. Having wandered through your superior country in visiting the sacred traces, I called at various convents and found great difficulty in getting entertainment, and so, fatigued and very much worn by affronts, I returned home. I have therefore formed a plan for the benefit of future travellers; I desire to build in all the Indies a convent for the entertainment of such strangers, who may have a place of rest between their journey there and back. Thus the two countries will be bound together and travellers be refreshed."
The king said, "I permit your royal master to take (for this purpose) one of the places in which Tathāgata has left the traces of his holy teaching."
On this the messenger returned home, having taken leave of the king, and gave an account of his interview. The ministers received him with distinction and assembled the śramaṇas and deliberated as to the foundation of a convent. The śramaṇas said, "The (Bodhi) tree is the place where all the past Buddhas have obtained the holy fruit and where the future ones will obtain it. There is no better place than this for carrying out the project."
Then, sending all the jewels of the country; they built this convent to entertain priests of this country (Ceylon), and he caused to be engraved this proclamation on copper, "To help all without distinction is the highest teaching of all the Buddhas; to exercise mercy as occasion offers is the illustrious doctrine of former saints. And now I, unworthy descendant in the royal line, have undertaken to found this saṅghārāma, to enclose the sacred traces, and to hand down their renown to future ages, and to spread their benefits among the people. The priests of my country will thus obtain independence, and be treated as members of the fraternity of this country. Let this privilege be handed down from generation to generation without interruption."
For this cause this convent entertains many priests of Ceylon. To the south of the Bodhi tree 10 li or so, the sacred traces are so numerous that they cannot be each named. Every year when the Bhikṣus break up their yearly rest of the rains, religious persons come here from every quarter in thousands and myriads, and during seven days and nights they scatter flowers, burn incense, and sound music as they wander through the district and pay their worship and present their offerings. The priests of India, according to the holy instruction of Buddha, on the first day of the first half of the month śrāvaṇa enters on Wass. With us this is the sixteenth day of the fifth month; they give up their retreat on the fifteenth day of the second half of the month āśvayuja, which is with us the fifteenth day of the eighth month.
In India the names of the months depend on the stars, and from ancient days till now there has been no change in this. But as the different schools have translated the accounts according to the dialects of the countries without distinguishing one from the other, mistakes have arisen, and as a consequence contradictions are apparent in the division of the seasons. Hence it is in some places they enter on Wass on the sixteenth day of the fourth month, and break up on the fifteenth day of the seventh month.
Footnotes and references:
Or, it may mean the chief city or capital.
Yih, the towns; Julien gives villages.
This appears to be the rice called Mahāśālī and Sugandhikā (Julien).
Explained in a note to mean Hiang-hu-kong-sh'ing,—the city, or royal precinct, of the scented flower (kusuma).
The text seems to refer the foundation of this city to a remote period, and in this respect is in agreement with Diodoros, who says (lib. ii. cap. 39) that this city epiphanestatê kai megistêwas founded by Herakles. The Buddhist accounts speak of it as a village, Pāṭaligāma, which was being strengthened and enlarged by Ajātaśatru, contemporary of Buddha, for the purpose of repelling the advance of the Vṛjjis. See Sac. Books of the East, vol. xi. pp. 16, 17; Bigandet, Life of Gaudama, p. 257; Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king, p. 249, n. 3; Cunningham, Anc. Geog. of India, p. 453.
So it seems, from the story following, the passage must be understood. Julien confines the meaning to his "studies" not yet completed. But there would be no point in the pretended marriage, if that were his regret.
This is the natural translation of the passage, and makes good sense without the alteration proposed by Julien.
That is, they made the tree the father-in-law of the student; in other words, he was to marry the daughter of the tree, a Pāṭali flower (Bignonia suaveolens). I can find no authority for Julien's statement that the word son-in-law corresponds to Pāṭali; this statement is also repeated by Eitel, Handbook, sub voc. Pāṭala.
We must suppose him to represent the tree, the real father.
From this it would appear that Kusumapura was not on the same site as Pāṭaliputra. Rājagṛha was the capital in the time of Ajātaśatru, and it was he who strengthened Pāṭaliputra. In the next clause it is said that Aśoka changed his capital from Rājagṛha to Pāṭaliputra. He is described as the great-grandson of BimbasāRa, and therefore the grandson of Aātaśatru. The Vāyu Purāṇa states that Kusumapura or Pāṭaliputra was founded by Rāja Udayāśva, the grandson of Ajātaśatru; but the Mahāwanso makes Udaya the son of the king. See Cunningham, Anc. Geog., p. 453.
Hiuen Tsiang uses in this passage the phonetic equivalents for Aśoka, 'O-shu-kia; on this Dr. Oldenberg founds an argument that the king referred to is not Dharmāśoka, but Kālāśoka (Vinaya Piṭakam, vol. i., Introd., p. xxxiii. n.) But a note in the text states that 'O-shu-kia is the Sanskrit form of Wu-yau; the latter in the Chinese form, signifying "sorrowless." For Bimbisāra, see p.102, n. 41.
This may refer to Kusumapura, the "flowery palace" city, or to the palace in the old town of Pāṭaliputra.
There seems to be only one man; Julien has "un troupe de scélérats." The story of this place of torment is found also in Fa-hian, cap. xxxii.
Shai pao, the distinctive or strong ornament. It seems to refer to "the tee (htī)," as it is called; the ornamental enclosure above the cupola would represent the region of the heaven of the thirty-three Devas.
So the dome of Sañchi is surmounted as restored by Mr. Fergusson, Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. ii. (see also the remarks of the same writer, op. cit. p. 100, 1st ed.) The enclosed space or box on the summit of the stūpa is not, however, a simulated relic-box, but represents the first heaven, or the Trayastriṃśas heaven of śakra and the thirty-two Devas. The Devas, therefore, are constantly represented in the sculptures as surrounding this enclosure and offering their gifts, in token of the relics of Buddha (his hair, golden bowl, etc.), taken thcre for worship. The Tee or Htī is the cone of metal circles, raised above this enclosed space, representing the lands (khettas, or kshetras) above the Trayastriṃśas heaven.
Or it may probably be "by his religious merit as a man."
For some remarks on Upagupta (Kin-hu), see vol. i. p. 182, n. 48.
Upāya, expedients or skilful use of means.
The offering of the ball of earth refers to the circumstance related by Fa-hian at the opening of chap. xxxii. Julien has overlooked this, and refers the offering to the charity of Aśoka in giving Jambudvīpa to the priests. But it is plain that no prediction of Buddha hinged on this. Kanishka is said also to have been converted by the relation of a prediction referring to him made by Buddha, and explained by a shepherd boy.
The text is difficult. Julien translates it "dans chaque ville possédant un keou-tchi (un koti de souvarṇas)." This may be correct, but the phrase mwan keou chi seems to me to refer to the full tale of inhabited places—everywhere.
That is, Upagupta.
Such appears to be the meaning of the passage. Julien translates it, "my desire is not yet accomplished." His desire was to find out a plan or method for depositing the relics at the same instant.
Or it may be, "await an appointed day."
So it must signify, not the inhabitants of the several places, but the genii who were awaiting the signal.
The circle-sign is the chakra; this is the principal mark on the sole of Buddha's feet; see Alabaster's Wheel of the Law, p. 286 and plate. Julien translates the passage as if the chakra were visible on the right and left of the feet, instead of on the right and left imprint of the feet.
It is plain that this prediction concerning Wu-yau-wang, supposed by Oldenberg always to refer to Dharmāśoka (see above, note II), relates to O-chu-kia or Kālāśoka, for it was he, the grandson of Ajātaśatru, who established his capital at Pāṭaliputra; so also in the next sentence. Hiuen Tsiang probably translated all the records relating to Aśoka as though referring to the same person, using either 'O-shu-kia or 'O-yu, or Wu-yau, indifferently.
Mahendra (translated Ta-ti, great ruler) is generally spoken of to as the son of Aśoka The Siṃhalese historical works speak of of him as the first Buddhist missionary sent to Ceylon. See Mahawanso, Turnour's transl., p. 76. Dr. Oldenberg doubts the truth of this tradition. Vinayapitaka, i. Introduction, iii.
That you would have mounted up in pure conduct to attain to and possess this holy fruit.
Compare Fa-Hian, chap. xxvii.
Literally, the body of the law of Tathāgata (Ju-lai) divided into five parts. It may refer to the five skandhas; these are rūpa (sih), vedanā (sheu), saṃjñāna (siang), sāñskāra (hing), vijñāna (chi).
This refers to Nanda, the son of Mahānanda, called Mahāpadma, who was exceedingly avaricious. He was the son of a woman of the śūdra class. He brought the whole earth under one umbrella (Vishṇu-Purāna, p. 466, Wilson's translation).In the Mahāvanso he is called Dhana-nando, because he personally devoted himself to the hoarding of treasure (Max Müller, Hist. Anc. Sansc. Lit., p. 281). The statement in the text, derived from "the old records of India," appears to identify Nanda with Aśoka, i.e., Kālāśoka.
This convent or saṅgārāma must not be confounded with the Kukkuṭapādagiri, near Gayā. See Fa-hian, cap. xxxiii. p. 132 n., also Arch. Survey of India, vol. xv. P.4; Ind. Ant., vol. xii. p. 327; compare also Julien's remark (p. 428, n. I).
It may be "ministers;" the story of the text is found among Aśvaghosha's sermons. It is No. 26 as given in the Abstract of Four Lectures, p. 103.
In a trifling Way. This translation is difficult. Julien translates it as though the king were amused as he played with the fruit, until he had reduced it to a half. This translation is more agreeable to the text. But, on the other hand, in Aśvaghosha's rendering of the story, he says that the minister offered the king a half āmala fruit, to bestow in charity. The translation I have given requires the substitution of "tan" (to give in charity) for "lan" (cooked or thoroughly dressed).
Or, the stone or kernel. The Karmmadāna is the steward of the convent.
This passage is obscure, and the translation I give is not in agreement with M. Julien's. He makes the words of the Sthavira to be addressed to the other priests, and not to the messenger from the king. It appears to me that they were made in reply to the king's message, and include in them a promised anticipation of the king's recovery.
Translated into Chinese by Ma-ming, "the voice of the horse." For some remarks respecting him, see Abstract of Four Lectures, p. 95 ss. He is spoken of as the twelfth Buddhist patriarch. According to Tibetan accounts, he is the same as Mātṛjeta (mother-child), who composed hymns for Buddhist worship (op. cit., p. 141). Nāgārjuna also was a poet, and composed a work called Suhṛd lekha (or likh), which he dedicated to his patron, Sadvaha, king of Southern Kosala (I-tsing, k. iv. fol. 5 b.)
In the French translation the distance given is 200 paces. The text does not require the distance of 200 li to be reckoned in a south-westerly direction from the city; the construction, indeed, is unusual, and it is possible that the symbol "yu" (corner) is an error for "hing" (going); but as it stands, the text reads, "about two hundred li (from) the south-west angle of the city there is," etc. If the text be correct, some of the difficulties noticed by Cunningham (Anc. Geog. of Ind., p. 456) will be explained.
Make their requests in worship. Whatever the theory is as to the possibility of prayer in the Buddhist religion, the fact remains that prayer was offered up.
So Cunningham restores it. And the symbol "shi" may represent "ḍa" as in Chaṇḍaka. It might also be made to represent Darśika, and as the last descendant of Bimbisāra- rāja was Nāga-dāsaka, I thought at one time that this might be the right restoration. But I-tsing gives Ti-lo-ch'a as an alternative reading (Nan hae, k. iv. fol. 12 b.), which can only represent Tilaḍa (as in Man ch'a for Maṇḍaka, etc.) This monastery of Tilaḍaka was three yojanas west of Nālanda, or about twenty-one miles (Vie de H. T., p. 211). In this last passage Hiuen Tsiang notices that there was an eminent priest called Prajñabhadra residing in this monastery when he visited it. When I-tsing was there a few years later, there was a priest called Prajñachandra there. Prof. Max Müller by some mistake has placed this temple of Tilaḍaka in Surat (India, p. 312), and he speaks of it as Si-ra-chu, but it is not so in I-tsing. The pilgrim's route from Pātna to Gayā is difficult to settle. I think we must omit the passage on p. 102, 1. 5, "going about 200 li," and consider the "old saṅghārāma" as being perhaps 10 li beyond the south-west angle of the city. This 10 li, together with the two distances of 100 li + 90 li to the "cloud stone mountain," will thus make up 200 li (put down by mistake), and correspond with the 6 or 7 yojanas in Hwui-lih from Pātna to the Ti-lo-chi-kia convent. This last place I should identify with the Barabar Hills; but we must place the Tilaḍaka convent at Tilāra. Hiuen Tsiang did not actually visit the spots named between the Barabar Hills and Gayā (see Ferguson's remarks, J. R. A. S., vol. vi. part 2).
Or Vimbasāra, juice of the Bimba' (Bryonia grandis), (see ante, p. 85) his descendant Nāgadāśaka, who appears to have preceded the nine Nandas; he seems to be the same as Mahā-Nandin. Cf. R. David's Numis. Orient., pp. 50 and 45. Is he the same as Kālāsoka? Lassen, Ind. Alt., vol. i. p. 859, and Anh., p. xxxviii.
Tāra, said to be a female deity of Tibetan origin, worshipped by the followers of the Yogachara school (Eitel). Tārāvatī is also a form of Durgā. Ind. Ant., vol. x. P.273.
Yun shih is "variegated marble" (cloud-stone). Whether this be the meaning in the text it is difficult to say. Julien gives "enveloped with dark clouds." This may be so; the original is literally, "cloud-rock-dark-tangled."
The phrase Kiang shin, descend spiritually, is generally applied to the incarnation of Buddha; in this passage, however, it may simply mean "descended as a spirit."
Translated by the Chinese "virtue and wisdom" (Tih hwui).
The four truths, the foundation of the Buddhist dogma, are—(I) the truth of "suffering" (dukkha); (2) the increase or accumulation of misery from the passions (samudaya); (3) the extinction or destruction of suffering is possible (nirodha); (4) the way or means (mārga). See Childers, Pali Dict., sub voc. Ariyasaccam; Burnouf, Lotus, p. 517; Manual of Buddhism, p. 496; also Julien in loco, n. I.
That is, the two towns he held in feoffment.
Would have no intercourse with him.
They were both men of "pure conduct." The expression "pure brother" is applied to the Buddhist convert. The word Brāhmaṇ also is explained by "a pure-lived man."
As we both aim at pure conduct.
A pure believer.
This sentence appears to be parenthetical, and is introduced to explain the language used by Guṇamati.
In Chinese, Kiai hien, "the sage of moral conduct."
To assume the soiled or coloured robes of a mendicant.
He inquired as to "the extreme point of the end of all." This idea of "a terminal fixed point of all things" (yih-tsai-sse kau-keng kin-ku) corresponds to the Sanskṛt dhruva, and may be rendered "final truth." It is the name of a Samādhi; it is also used as a definition of Nirvāṇa; it is the formal definition of the title of a well-known Buddhist sūtra, the śūrāṇgama. In this connection it denotes the investigation of the highest (mystical) truth. This sūtra was written at Nālanda; it was probably the work of Dharmapāla (it must not be confused with another work of the same name translated by Kumārajīva, and recited by Fa-hian at the Vulture Peak near Rājagṛha); it was brought to China and translated A.D. 705. In the commentary (k. viii. fol. 30 b) it is said, "This sūtra was brought from India and belongs to the Mūrdhābhishikta school (Kun teng pu). According to Colebrooke (Essays, p. 272), the Mūrdhābhishiktas were a mixed class sprung from a Brāhmaṇa and a Kshatriya girl. The school named, therefore, was probably founded on a mixture of Brāhmaṇ and Buddhist doctrine. Now Nālanda was especially a place of study both for the Brahmanical and Buddhist books (Edkins, Chinese Buddhism, p. 289). This school, therefore, probably originated there.
"To sound the drum" is an expression for a challenge to discuss the law.
Ta lun sse, explained by Julien (note I, p. 453) to be equivalent to Mahāvādī.
That is, since the death of Buddha.
Of the houses of the town. I understand it to mean the revenues of the saṅghārāma were derived from the rentals of the place; not that the people or the inhabitants were bound to the service of the priests.
This river is now called Phalgu; the name Lilājan or Nilāñjana is confined to the western branch, which joins the Mohāni five miles above Gayā (Cunningham, Anc. Geog., P.457).
Now called Brāhma-Gayā to distinguish it from Bauddha-Gayā, the place where Buddha reached enlightenment. The distance from Pātna to Gayā is 60 miles by the highroad, about 70 by the route of Hiuen Tsiang. We do not know the direction of the "old convent," 200 li from Pātna, and therefore cannot test the correctness of Hiuen Tsiang's figures.
Restored to Ratnamegha Sūtra by Julien.
For an account of the three Kāśyapas and their conversion see Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king, varga 16, vv. 1304 ss. For the scene of the "fire grot" see Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. xxiv. fig. I.
In Chinese Tsin-ching-kio-shan, i.e., "the mountain leading to (before) perfect intelligence." When Tathāgata was about to attain to enlightenment he first ascended this mountain; hence the name.
Vajra samādhi, because it penetrates all conditions of being (fa).
Vajrāsana, an imperishable throne. It was supposed to be the centre of the earth, and the spot where all the Buddhas arrived at complete wisdom.
The whole of this passage is spoken by the Deva. Julien translates it differently.
The "sha t'so" is the "Cyperus iria" of Linnæus (Doolittle's Handbook, ii. 432).
There is no mention of "figures of Buddha."
Myrobolan emblic; it is also called "a precious pitcher" or "a precious gourd." Where the Chinese symbols 'O-mo-lo-kia-ko have been rendered the "āmalaka fruit," as though this were the surmounting ornament of the great vihāra at Buddha Gayā, it is to be noticed that in the Chinese text these symbols are explained as being equivalent to "precious pitcher or vase" (pao p'ing). This phrase is frequently explained as "the sweet-dew dish or vase," or, "the immortal dish." M. Julien, in his note on the passage in question, restores the phonetic symbols, in deference to the Chinese explanation, to Amalakarka, that is, "pure dish or vase." But the right restoration is doubtless Amara Karka, "the immortal dish or vase," for, as before stated, "sweet-dew" is always rendered by "immortal" or "immortality." This "sweet-dew dish or vessel" is represented in Chinese drawings as an oval bottle with a long narrow neck (see the illustration in the Liturgy of Avalokiteśvara, "possessed of a thousand hands and a thousand eyes"). This explains the statement of Dr. Burgess (Ajanṭa Caves, xvii. § iv.): "Avalokiteśvara holds the palm of his right hand forward and has a bottle with oval body and narrow neck in his left." This is the Amara Karka. In the illustration of the pavement slab of the great temple of Gayā (i.e., the vihāra under present notice) given in the first volume of the Archæological Survey of India, pl. vi. (following p. 8), there is the figure of a devotee praying in front of a stūpa, which is crowned with flags and a bottle or vase, doubtless the same as the Amara Karka. This illustrates the inscription found at Buddha Gayā and translated by Sir Charles Wilkins, in which the building of the temple is attributed to Amara Kosha; one of the nine gems of the court of King Vikramāditya. General Cunningham, then, is probably correct in saying that this great temple of Buddha Gayā was built between the time of Fa-hian and Hiuen Tsiang. The crowning member or stone of a temple spire is called Amalaśilā, or "pure stone."
This is the Bhūmisparśa mudrā.
Julien thinks a translation should be adopted that would apply equally to a statue or a picture.
The expression in the text seems to be phonetic. Julien translates "luh" literally by "deer." But the reference is to the blue birds rising up and circling round Bodhisattva in a fortunate way, vid. Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. lviii. fig. 2, fine section. The account of these signs is to be found in Wong Pūh, and in other legendary lives of Buddha.
To accept the letter inviting him to be a Chakravartin, or the lot cast by the soothsayers with respect to his being a Chakravartin (Ch'uen-lun-wang).
The temptation scene is represented in all the sculptures. See, e.g., Cave Temples, by Dr. Burgess, pl. xx. For an account of the different events named in the text and a description of the great temple of Gayā built by a king of Ceylon, see Buddha Gayā, by Dr. Raj Mitra.
Kwai-ming, Pay their adorations; the same as kwai-i. Julien translates it "placed their lot in his hands."
Can this be the scene represented in the Ajaṇṭā frescoes? See Burgess, Cave Temples, pl. xvi.
Buddha was in doubt whether any were fit to hear him preach. On this, Brahmā (Fan), the lord of the "Saha world" (Mahābrahṃā Sahāmpati), came and exhorted him to "turn the wheel," for, he said, "as on the surface of a pond there are white and blue lotus flowers, some only in bud, some opening, others fully opened; thus it is with men: some are not yet fit to be taught, others are being made fit, whilst some are ready to receive the saving doctrine." See the account in the (hung-hu-mo-ho-ti Sūtra. See also Fo-sho, varga 14, v. 1183.
I.e., the methods Buddha had used for their conversion.
See Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. xxxi. fig. 2.
In India, the thirtieth day of the twelfth month; in China, the fifteenth day of the first month.
The district of the penance of Buddha.