Buddha Statue Project is a Wholesome Desire of all the Buddhists in the World.
May all the Buddhists visit Kushinagar along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya & Saranath as told by the Buddha. And also Rajgir, Jetavana, Kapilavattu and Nalanda.
May all the Buddhists Organise, Educate and Meditate for the successful completion of the project by sacrificing all their Time, Tallent and Treasure.
-Triple Gem Study Circle
Mayawati’s dream Buddha statue project
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s dream project of building the tallest Buddha statue in the world at 152 metres - taller than the Bamian Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Kushinagar town is where the project is to come up on a sprawling 750-acre plot. It is located around 330 km from Lucknow, on the border with Nepal, where the Buddha died, or attained Nirvana, 2,500 years ago.
Project began in 2002 when Mayawati first conceived the plan during her third stint as chief minister, but the government had later succeeded in bringing around the farmers.
We hope to convince the villagers that Kushinagar would become an international tourist destination and create jobs for them,’ P.K. Mohanty, commissioner of Gorakhpur division, told IANS.
The proposed 152.4 m bronze statue would sit atop a 17-storey building. It would be higher than the world’s tallest Buddha statue of 67 metres in China’s Sichuan province. The ones destroyed by the Taliban were 52 m and 34 m tall.
The building on which the Buddha would sit will have another 12 m statue, besides prayer halls and terraced gardens. The campus would also have a museum, an art gallery, a university for the study of philosophy, a women’s college, a hospital and a hotel.
The $222-million project is being implemented by a global private organisation called Maitreyi, which has set up a trust in Gorakhpur, about 50 km from here.
The state government is acquiring the land from the farmers and would lease it out to the Maitreyi Trust free of cost.
Officials told IANS that 660 acres of land belonging to about 3,000 farmers of seven villages was being acquired for the project, while the rest 90 acres belongs to the government.
The range of the compensation the government has offered is up to Rs.5 million per acre. It would vary depending on the quality and location of the land.
‘We have announced a very fair compensation and villagers should not have any problem with it,’ said Mohanty. He believes the government will succeed in completing the acquisition process by October.
The Maitreya Project, Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India …The World’s tallest statue and a brilliant religious masterpiece dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha!
Now, another great religious project has officially been given the go-ahead in one of the poorest parts of India. The Maitreya Project is a tribute to Buddhism for and from the land of the Buddha and is as a multi-faith cooperative designed by Tibetans who call India their home as as a lasting gift to India and Buddhism.
In this era of veritable skyscraper-hedonism (*cough*Dubai*coughh* j/k), this project is unique in that it is designed to fulfill a completely selfless goal, namely “to benefit as many people as possible.” A monumental sustainable work of art that will serve as a constant source of inspiration and a symbol of loving-kindness, work will soon begin on the 152 meter-tall Maitreya Buddha Statue that is the centerpiece of a large temple complex.
An engineering marvel that at will not only be — at three times the size of the Statue of Liberty — the world’s tallest statue and world’s tallest temple but will also be the world’s largest (first?) statue-skyscraper, designed to have a lifespan surpassing a 1,000 years.
For more information and a large collection of pictures of this beautiful project originally posted by me on Skyscrapercity.com, read on!…
The focal point of Indian architecture, like its culture, has always been religious in nature. Just as the Indian economic boom is bringing incredible economic and architectural growth in the secular area, so has Indian religious architecture once again become manifest in the construction of some of the largest, massive, and most intricate religious architecture the world has seen, from the recently completed Akshardham Temple, New Delhi — the largest volume Hindu Temple in India, to the under construction Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai — the largest stupa, largest dome, and largest rock cave in the world, to the planned Sri Mayapur Vedic Temple and Planetarium, Mayapur, the world’s tallest Hindu temple.
And now the Maitreya Buddha Statue is to be another gem added to this crow. The statue is a veritable temple-skyscraper that will contain 17 individual shrine rooms. The highest room at 140 meters high — the equviliant height of the 40th storey of a standard building. This statue and complex will be a fusion of Indian and Tibetan architectural styles that will adhere to ancient Vaastu Shastra design code and will also hold the world’s largest collection of Lord Buddha’s relics.
^ A cutaway view of the 152 meter Maitreya statue and throne building showing the spaces and levels within. Note that the throne itself will be a 17 storey fully functional temple, with 15 additional shrine rooms in the the body of the Maitreya statue.
Apart from the statue/skyscraper, the Maitreya Project organizers will also build free hospitals and schools servicing tens of thousands of poor, and also be a huge catalyst for infrastructure and tourism development efforts in one of the most economically backwards parts of India.
The project is a joint religious collaboration by organizations representing the various sects and faiths that revere the Buddha: from Hinduism to Mahayana to Vajrayana to Hinayana to Jaina to Christian and Muslim. Under guidance of the overall project conceptualizer, Nepalese-Tibetan spiritual leader Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the Project was funded by Buddhist and Hindu temples, social organizations, religious groups and by individuals in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, the UK and America.
Through this project, India once again shows that the ancient arts of massive devotional architecture continues to undergo a veritable renaissance.
The Maitreya Complex: Project Detail
^ A prerendering of the Maitreya Buddha statue and temple, showing its massive size.
The Maitreya Project “is based on the belief that inner peace and outer peace share a cause and effect relationship and that loving-kindness leads to peace at every level of society — peace for individuals, families, communities and the world.”
The entire temple complex is designed to be completely sustainable, meaning that it will quite literally have the same environmental impact (i.e. emit the same amount of carbon dioxide and methane) as the paddy field it will be constructed.
The Project will include schools and universities that focus on ethical and spiritual development as well as academic achievement, and a healthcare network based around a teaching hospital of international standard with the intention of supplementing the medical services currently provided by the government to provide healthcare services, particularly for the poor and underprivileged.
As such, the Maitreya Project organizers are working in tandem with the local, regional and state governments in Uttar Pradesh, India, who have fully supported the project. To this effect, the Kushinagar Special Development Area Authority will support the planned development of the area surrounding the Project.
The total project cost is estimated at $250 million, but the project will develop this impoverished region and will earn a hundredfold more that will be funneled into the Maitreya Project’s historical preservation plans and charities.
^ Maitreya Project engineers on-site
The Location of the Maitreya Complex
The Maitreya Buddha project was originally concieved to be built in Bodh Gaya, Bihar state, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, but due to threat of delays due to red tape, was moved to what was seen to be a more appropriate location, the village of Kushinagar, in Uttar Pradesh state.
Kushinagar is a place of great historical and spiritual significance. It is the place where Shakyamuni (Historical) Buddha passed away and it is predicted to be the birthplace of the next Buddha, Maitreya – the Buddha of Loving-kindness - of whom this temple is dedicated to.
^ The original conception of the Maitreya Buddha statue, then to be located at Bodh Gaya
Recognising the long-term benefits Maitreya Project is bringing to the region, the State Government of Uttar Pradesh is providing, free of charge, 750 acres of mainly agricultural land in Kushinagar.
^ A view of the Maitreya Project land site, currently rice paddy
Indeed, the Project itslef will be located adjacent to the ancient Mahaparinirvana Temple, commemorating the Buddha’s passing, the ancient Ramabhar Stupa, commemorating the Buddha’s cremation site, as well as several equally old and older Hindu temples. It is predicted that the pilgrimage, tourism and development capital that will flow into this region because of this project will created sustainable income for the restoration, refurbishment and maintinance of these ancient sacred sites.
Surrounding the complex is the Kushinagar Special Development Area, designed as a sustainable development entity that will coordinate the various organizations involved in the project and surrounding tourist and general development that will come with the project.
The Kushinagar Special Development Area
The Maitreya Project and the Uttar Pradesh have worked together to create the Kushinagar Special Development Area (KSDA), an additional area of 7.5 kilometres surrounding the Maitreya Project site.
Municipal bylaws and planning regulations have now been adopted to protect the KSDA from the kind of opportunism that is often seen in communities of emerging economic development. Maitreya Project has representation on the legal bodies governing the KSDA as well as the work of monitoring the development of the region will be ongoing.
It is within the KSDA that Maitreya Project will implement its extensive healthcare and education programmes.
Maitreya Project Preliminary Site Plan
Maitreya Project’s lead architects, Aros Ltd., have drawn up a preliminary proposed plan for the beautiful 750 acre Kushinagar site.
Main features being:
The Ceremonial Gateway & Maitreya Statue Sanctuary will lead visitors to the 500ft/152m Maitreya Buddha statue.
The Maitreya Buddha Statue will sit on the Throne Building containing temples, prayer halls, exhibition halls, a museum, library and audio-visual theatre.
The Hospital and Healthcare Centre will be the hub of Maitreya Project’s public healthcare programmes. The development of these programmes will begin with primary care clinics in the communities of the Kushinagar Special Development Area. Over the years, the medical services will be developed and expanded to meet the needs of many communities. A complete healthcare network will be developed to provide medical services that are centred around a teaching hospital of international standard. The healthcare system will primarily serve the poor and under-privileged, even in remote parts of the area.
The Centre of Learning, will eventually serve students from primary to university levels of education.
The Meditation Park will be a secluded area next to the ancient Mahaparinirvana Temple, which commemorates Buddha Shakyamuni’s passing away from our world, the ancient Ramabhar Stupa, commemorating the Buddha’s holy cremation site, and monasteries and temples belonging to many different traditions of Buddhism that include both modern facilities and ancient ruins.
^ A View from the Maitreya Project Park
All of these features will be set in beautifully landscaped parks with meditation pavilions, beautiful water fountains and tranquil pools. All of the buildings and outdoor features will contain an extensive collection of inspiring sacred art.
^ A view of the temple from the gardens surrounding the site
The Statue of the Maitreya Buddha
The center of the Maitreya Project, of course, is the bronze plate statue of the Maitreya Buddha itself. Rising 500ft/152m in height, the statue will sit on a stone throne temple building located in an enclosed sanctuary park.
The Living Wall:
Surrounding the Maitreya Buddha statue is a four-storey halo of buildings called the “Living Wall.” This ring of buildings contains accomadation for the complex’s monks and workers as well as rooms for functions ancillary to the statue and throne building.
The wall also serves two additional important functions. In light of cross-border Islamist terrorist attacks against Indian holy sites in Ayodhya, Akshardham and Jama Masjid, the Living Wall also is designed to be a security cordon eqivalent to a modern castle wall, staffed with security personnel and designed to withstand an attack from 200 heavily armed raiders.
^ Prerendering of the Statue showing the location of the living wall, main gate, paths and garden areas.
The final major function it performs is that of the boundary for the enclosed sanctuary area of landscaped gardens, pools and fountains for meditation directly surrounding the Maitreya statue. The entry to the enclosed sanctuary and the Maitreya statue will be serviced by a main gate.
^ The tree and stupa lined paths to the ceremonial gate, which is the entrance to the sanctuary.
Passing the ceremonial gate, landscaped paths allow devotes to do Pradakshina (circumambulation) of the Maitreya Statue.
^ The terraced circumambulation paths, with the gate in the background.
Within the sanctuary, the gardens provide a place for relaxing, resting, and meditating, with educational artwork depicting the Buddha’s life.
^ A view towards the statue from one of these stupa lined terraces.
Walking further inward, the is Maitreya Statue and Throne Temple, surrounded by tranquil ponds and fountains that will cool the area in the intense Indian summer.
^ The Maitreya statue and throne surrounded by the tranquil ponds containing Buddha statues of the meditation sanctuary.
The Throne Temple:
The “seat” of the statue is itelf a fully functioning 17-storey temple roughly 80m x 50m in size. The building will contain two very large prayer halls, as well as meditation and meeting rooms, a library and facilities to deal with the anticipated annual influx of 2 million visitors.
^ The entrance to the throne building with the Maitreya Buddha statue resting upon the lotus on top
Pilgrims will enter the throne temple through the giant lotus that supports the Maitreya Buddha statue’s feet. The throne temple contains several entrance rooms that contain works of art on the Buddha’s life and teachings.
^ The first major prayer hall of throne building, containing works of art on the Buddha.
Continuing inward is the cavernous main auditorium of the Maitreya Temple containing the Sanctum Sanctorum which in Indian architectural tradition is the innermost most sacred room where the actual shrine is held. This Sanctum Sanctorum is unique in that within it contains two large auditorium temples.
The first temple in the Sanctum Sanctorum is the Temple of the Maitreya Buddha, containing a huge, 12 meter tall statue of the Buddha.
^ Upon entering the Sanctum Sanctorum, the 12 meter tall statue of the Buddha can be glimpsed.
A wall containing 200,000 images of the Buddhas rises up to the throne ceiling over 50 metres above, behind both auditorium temples.
^ A glimpse from the ambulatory of the side walls within the Maitreya Temple and the 1,000 paintings of the Buddhas.
The centerpiece shrine of the Maitreya Temple is the 12 meter tall Maitreya Buddha. Stairs and elevators lead to viewing platforms around the Maitreya Temple, allowing views of the entire room
^ A view of the Maitreya Buddha statue and the wall of the 200,000 images of the Buddha, seen from viewing platforms.
The next biggest shrine in the Sanctum Sanctorum is the Temple of the Shakyamuni Buddha which contains a 10 meter statue of the Shakyamuni (Historical) Buddha. Behind the shrine is the continuation of the wall of 200,000 Buddhas.
^ On a higher level yet again, the Shakyamuni Temple will house a 10 metre (33 ft.) statue of the historical Buddha. The glass rear wall will reveal the wall of 200,000 Buddhas within the Maitreya Temple.
^ Another view of the Shakyamuni Temple.
In Indian architecture, the Sanctum Sanctorum is encircled by a pathway that allows devotees to do Pradakshina (circumambulation) of the shrine. The Maitreya Temple, following this tradition, also has this feature.
^ The main throne building and Pradakshina path where visitors may circumambulate Sanctum Sanctorum of the Maitreya Temple, which can be seen through the doorways on the right
From this area, elevators and staircases will carry visitors to the various other rooms in the 17 storey base, including prayer halls, meditation halls and libraries. Eventually conveying devotees to a large rooftop garden terrace upon which the Maitreya Buddha statue actually rests.
Here, rising into the upper legs of the main statue, is the Merit Field Hall with a 10 meter, 3-dimensional depiction of over 390 Buddhas and Buddhist masters at it’s center. Surrounding this will be 12 individual shrine rooms devoted to particular deities in the Hindu-Buddhist pantheon.
^ The Merit Field Hall with its 10m, 3-D depiction.
From the garden terrace, another bank of elevators will whisk pilgrims to the higher shrine rooms contained in the statue’s torso and head.
The statue will contain 15 individual shrine rooms and have a total height of 152 meters, with the highest shrine room in the statue’s head, at over 140 meters up. This is roughly equivalent in height to a 40-storey skyscraper.
^ A cutaway diagram of the statue-tower.
The statue is itself an engineering marvel. Rather than simply be designed in its massive size, the statue of the Maitreya Buddha was actually reversed-designed from a carved statue only a meter and half in height and the structure’s engineering extrapolated into its current form.
^ The original statue from which the Maitreya Buddha statue tower is extrapolated from was hand carved, and is in the Indian Gupta style.
Moreover, the statue is designed to stand for at least 1,000 years, supporting the Project’s spiritual and social work for at least a millennium. Due to the statue’s millenia-passing lifespan, the huge structure is designed to withstand high winds, extreme temperature changes, seasonal rains, possible earthquakes and floods and environmental pollution.
Extensive research has gone into developing “Nikalium”, the special nickel-aluminum bronze alloy to be used for the outer ’skin’ of the statue designed to withstand the most challenging conditions that could conceivably arise.
As the bronze ’skin’ will expand and contract dramatically due to daily temperature changes, the statue will require special expansion joints that were designed to be not only invisible to the observer, but also in such a way as to protect the internal supports of the statue from water leakage, erosion and corrosion. The material and structural components of the statue are meant to be able to withstand potential unforseen disasters like earthquakes and monsoon flooding.
^ The engineering process of the Buddha statue.
Construction Status — June, 2007
The Maitreya Project recently passed its first major milestone this month, when, in compliance with the Indian Land Acquistion Act, the State Government of Uttar Pradesh has completed the necessary legal requirements for the acquisition of the 750 acre land site to be made available to the Project.
While there are still permissions and clearances to be obtained, it has now officially given the green light and the full support of the government.
It is expected that the Project will formally break ground either later this year or early 2008, with an expected construction time of five years. The project will employ more than a thousand skilled and semi-skilled workers in the construction phase.
For more information on this fantastic project, check out
Sorry for the length of the post, but I wanted this veritable essay to be a comprehensive introduction to what Maitreya Project organizers aim to literally be the 8th Wonder of the World, and an everlasting symbol of Religious Syncretism, Tolerance, Compassion and most of all, Love.
A cause truely fitting of the Buddha, Shakya Muni Sri Siddharth Gautamaji.
Lucknow: Decks are being cleared for the installation of the world’s tallest Buddha statue in Kushinagar town of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was understood to have directed officials to speed up the acquisition and transfer of 600 acres of land required for the Rs 10 billion project to be funded and undertaken by the global Maitryi Group. Provision of land is UP government’s share in the project.
For more news, analysis click here>> | For more Science and Medicine news click here >>
The project involves installation of a 152-metre-tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha along with a giant meditation centre, an international university, a state-of-art world-class hospital and a museum. The project also envisages an entertainment complex in the neighbourhood that would include an amusement park and a five-star hotel.
Nowra to get its own Kung Fu temple: Australia
Sat, 2006-06-10 08:25 — ABN
The more I read about this temple, the less I like it. See also this. ABN _______________
There will be a three-tier temple complex, with two pagodas, 500-room hotel, a 500-place kung fu academy. There’ll be some residential subdivision, a 27-hole golf course, herbal medicine, herbal gardens, acupuncture, special massage, and that’s about it.
AM - Saturday, 10 June , 2006 08:24:30 Reporter: John Taylor ELIZABETH JACKSON: It’s probably the most famous temple in the world.
China’s Shaolin Temple has been made famous through books, films, and TV, because of its legendary kung fu fighting monks.
Now, the Zen Buddhist temple is looking to build another home for its monks, outside Nowra in New South Wales.
A deal to purchase 1,200 hectares will be signed in China today, as our Correspondent, John Taylor, reports.
JOHN TAYLOR: In the history of kung fu, there is no other place like the Shaolin Temple.
The 1,500-year-old Zen Buddhist monastery in central China is home to fighting monks, made famous in modern times on the big and small screen.
If things go to plan, the monks may be about to set up a lavish home away from home, just south of Nowra.
Greg Watson is Mayor of the Shoalhaven City Council.
GREG WATSON: There will be a three-tier temple complex, with two pagodas, 500-room hotel, a 500-place kung fu academy.
There’ll be some residential subdivision, a 27-hole golf course, herbal medicine, herbal gardens, acupuncture, special massage, and that’s about it.
JOHN TAYLOR: Today in central China’s Henan province Mayor Watson and the Temple’s Abbott are to sign off on the monks’ purchase of a 1,200 hectare property south of Nowra.
Patrick Peng is the Abbott’s representative in Australia.
PATRICK PENG: The Shaolin of course is very well known in China itself, so he like to take this opportunity to try to introduce the Shaolin legacy, the heritage to the rest of the world, through another outlet.
JOHN TAYLOR: The NSW Government is still to give final approval to the project. But speaking in Beijing yesterday, Mayor Greg Watson wasn’t expecting a fight.
GREG WATSON: What happened was, I heard via a Member of Parliament, that the Abbott was looking for a potential location to establish the second Shaolin temple in the world, somewhere in Australia, and I said have I got a deal for the Abbott?
JOHN TAYLOR: Who says religion and big business can’t mix?
The Shaolin Temple already has a performance touring the world, featuring the impressive skills of its fighting monks.
The Abbott’s man in Australia, Patrick Peng, says Shaolin is not just about kung fu.
PATRICK PENG: You know, it’s culture.
JOHN TAYLOR: Well can you have the two together, a tourist attraction and a functioning temple?
PATRICK PENG: Oh yes, in fact, on the contrary. Nowadays many religions, not only just Buddhism, Daoism, they’re all trying to make themselves more relevant to the modern world, and really they’re not exclusive, they’re not just men in the caves, you know.
So what they’re trying to do is to share the philosophies and the lifestyle, the healthy lifestyle, to the world.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Patrick Peng, who represents the Abbott of the Shaolin Temple in Australia, ending that report from John Taylor.
Uttar Pradesh to have world’s tallest Buddha statue
March 25th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by admin
Lucknow, March 25 (IANS) Decks are being cleared for the installation of the world’s tallest Buddha statue in Kushinagar town of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was understood to have directed officials to speed up the acquisition and transfer of 600 acres of land required for the Rs.10 billion project to be funded and undertaken by the global Maitryi group.
Proviuion of land is UP government’s share in the project.
The project involves installation of a 152-metre-tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha along with a giant meditation centre, an international university, a state-of-art world-class hospital and a museum. The project also envisages an entertainment complex in the neighbourhood that would include an amusement park and a five-star hotel.
UP Chief Secretary Prashant Kumar Misra presided over a high level meeting of state officials, in which representatives from Maitryi were present here Monday. A presentation on the project was made.
Significantly, the project was initiated during the previous tenure of Chief Minister Mayawati in 2003, after which it was put on the backburner during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime.
“Since then, it had been hanging fire, so we decided to revive it after Maitryi officials approached us,” Misra told IANS.
He said: “Of the 600 acres required for the project, we need to acquire only about 300 acres while the rest is government land.
“The government had already started the acquisition process. The whole project would not involve any major displacement of people and not more than 70-80 farmers would be involved,” he said.
“We have worked out a handsome rehabilitation package for the farmers who would get displaced on account of the project.”
UP to have world’s tallest Buddha statue
Published: Wednesday, 26 March, 2008, 08:05 AM Doha Time
LUCKNOW: World’s tallest Buddha statue will be installed in Kushinagar town of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Mayawati has asked officials to speed up acquisition and transfer of 600 acres of land required for the Rs10bn project to be funded and undertaken by the global Maitryi group. The state government will give the land for the project which involves installation of a 152m tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha along with a giant meditation centre, an international university, a state-of-art hospital and a museum. The project also envisages an entertainment complex in the neighbourhood that would include an amusement park and a five-star hotel. Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Prashant Kumar Misra presided over a high level meeting of state officials, in which representatives from Maitryi were present here on Monday. A presentation on the project was made. The project was initiated during the previous tenure of Mayawati in 2003, after which it was put on the backburner. “Since then, it had been hanging fire, so we decided to revive it after Maitryi officials approached us,” Misra said. “Of the 600 acres required for the project, we need to acquire only about 300 acres while the rest is government land,” he said.- IANS
From correspondents in Uttar Pradesh, India, 03:33 PM IST
Decks are being cleared for the installation of the world’s tallest Buddha statue in Kushinagar town of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was understood to have directed officials to speed up the acquisition and transfer of 600 acres of land required for the Rs.10 billion project to be funded and undertaken by the global Maitryi group.
Proviuion of land is UP government’s share in the project.
The project involves installation of a 152-metre-tall bronze statue of Lord Buddha along with a giant meditation centre, an international university, a state-of-art world-class hospital and a museum. The project also envisages an entertainment complex in the neighbourhood that would include an amusement park and a five-star hotel.
UP Chief Secretary Prashant Kumar Misra presided over a high level meeting of state officials, in which representatives from Maitryi were present here Monday. A presentation on the project was made.
Significantly, the project was initiated during the previous tenure of Chief Minister Mayawati in 2003, after which it was put on the backburner during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime.
‘Since then, it had been hanging fire, so we decided to revive it after Maitryi officials approached us,’ Misra told IANS.
He said: ‘Of the 600 acres required for the project, we need to acquire only about 300 acres while the rest is government land.
‘The government had already started the acquisition process. The whole project would not involve any major displacement of people and not more than 70-80 farmers would be involved,’ he said.
‘We have worked out a handsome rehabilitation package for the farmers who would get displaced on account of the project.’
Population : 14,000 Distance : 55km from Gorakhpur
¤ Kushinagar - A Site of Buddhist Parinirvana
Situated in Deoria district of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Kushinagara was a small town in the days of the Buddha. But it became famous when the Buddha died here, on his way from Rajgir to Sravasti. His last memorable words were, “All composite things decay. Strive diligently!” This event is known as the ‘Final Blowing-Out’ (Parinirvana) in Buddhist parlance. Since then the place has become a celebrated pilgrim centre. It was the capital of the kingdom of the Mallas, one of the 16 Janapadas (see Sravasti).
¤ Places of Interest
Muktabandhana Stupa The Muktabandhana Stupa was built by the Mallas just after the Buddha’s death. It is built over the sacred relics of the Buddha himself. The Stupa is also known as Ramabhar Stupa and is 50 ft tall. It is believed that the Stupa was built on the spot where the Buddha was cremated.
Nirvana Stupa 1km west of the Muktabandhana Stupa is the Nirvana Stupa that was built in the days of Ashoka. It was renovated in 1927 by the Burmese Buddhists. In front of the Stupa is the Mahaparinirvana Temple in which is installed a colossal sandstone statue of the Buddha in the reclining position. It was built by the Mathura school of art and was brought to Kushinagar by a Buddhist monk named Haribala during the reign of Kumaragupta (c. a.d.415-454).
Once in Kushinagar, it appears that time has come to a complete halt. This sleepy town, with its serenity and unassuming beauty, absorbs visitors into a contemplative mood. It is this place that the Buddha had chosen to free himself from the cycles of death and life and, therefore, it occupies a very special space in the heart of every Buddhist. Location Kushinagar is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 51 km off Gorakhpur. The place, which is famous for the Mahaparinirvana (death) of Lord Buddha, has been included in the famous Buddhist trail encompassing Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Nepal. Kushinagar is also known as Kasia or Kusinara. The founder of Buddhism, Lord Buddha passed away at this place near the Hiranyavati River and was cremated at the Ramabhar stupa. It was once a celebrated center of the Malla kingdom. Many of its stupas and viharas date back to 230 BC-AD 413. when its prosperity was at the peak. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka added grandeur to this place by getting the magnificent statue of Buddha carved on a single piece of red sandstone. Fa Hien, Huen Tsang, and I-tsing, the three famous Chinese scholar travelers to India, all visited Kushinagar.
With the decline of Buddhism, however, Kushinagar lost its importance and suffered much neglect. It was only in the last century that Lord Alexander Cunningham excavated many important remnants of the main site such as the Matha Kua and Ramabhar stupa. Today, people from all over the world visit Kushinagar. Many national and international societies and groups have established their centers here.
Climate Like other places in the Gangetic plain, the climate of Kushinagar is hot and humid in the summers (mid-April-mid-September) with Maximum Temperature touching 40-45°C. Winters are mild and Minimum Temperature in December can go down to around 5°C. Monsoon reaches this region in June and remains here till September
Population Around 22,35,505 people live here
Language Hindi and Bhojpuri
Places of Interest
Mahaparinirvana Temple The Mahaparinirvana temple (also known as the Nirvana temple) is the main attraction of Kushinagar. It is a single room structure, which is raised on a platform and is topped by a superstructure, which conforms to the traditional Buddhist style of architecture. The Mahaparinirvana temple houses the world famous 6m (19.68 ft) long statue of the reclining Buddha.
This statue was discovered during the excavation of 1876 by British archaeologists. The statue has been carved out from sandstone and represents the dying Buddha. The figures carved on the four sides of the small stone railing surrounding the statue, show them mourning the death of Lord Buddha. According to an inscription found in Kushinagar, the statue dates back to the 5th century AD. It is generally believed that Haribala, a Buddhist monk brought the statue of the reclining Buddha to Kushinagar, from Mathura during 5th century, during the period of the Gupta Empire.
Nirvana Stupa The Nirvana stupa is located behind the Mahaparinirvana temple. British archaeologists discovered this brick structure during the excavation carried out in 1876. Subsequent excavations carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed a copper vessel, which contained the remains of Lord Buddha apart from precious stones, cowries and a gold coin belonging to the Gupta Empire. The copper vessel bore the inscription that the ashes of Lord Buddha had been interred here.
Mathakuar Shrine The Mathakuar Shrine is an interesting place to visit in Kushinagar. It is located near the Nirvana stupa. A statue of Buddha made out of black stone was found here. The statue shows Buddha in the Bhumi Sparsha mudra (pose in which Buddha is touching the earth with his fingers). It is believed that Lord Buddha preached his last sermon here before his death.
Ramabhar Stupa The Ramabhar Stupa (also known as the Mukutabandhana stupa) is a 14.9 m (49 ft) tall brick stupa, which is located at a distance of 1 km from the Mahaparinirvana temple. This stupa is built on the spot where Lord Buddha was cremated in 483 BC. Ancient Buddhist scriptures refer this stupa as the Mukutabandhana stupa. It is said that the Malla rulers, who ruled Kushinagar during the death of Buddha built the Ramabhar stupa.
Modern Stupas Kushinagar has a number of modern stupas and monasteries, which have been built, by different Buddhist countries. The important shrines worth visiting are the Chinese stupa and the IndoJapan-Sri Lankan Buddhist Centre.
Kushinagar Museum The Kushinagar Museum (Archaeological Museum) is located near the IndoJapan-Sri Lankan Buddhist Centre. The museum has a collection of artefacts like statues, carved panels etc excavated from various stupas and monasteries in Kushinagar and places around it.
Gorakhpur Fifty-one kilometers off Kushinagar is Gorakhpur, an important city of eastern Uttar Pradesh. At Gorakhpur is the Rahul Sanskrityayan Museum, which has an excellent collection of Thanka paintings and relics of the Buddha. The water sports complex at Ramgarh Tal Planetarium and the Gorakhnath Temple in the city are also worth a visit.
Kapilavastu (Piprahwa) Situated 148 km from Kushinagar and is an important Buddhist pilgrimage. Kapilavastu was the ancient capital of the Sakya clan ruled by Gautama Buddha’s father.
Lumbini Situated in Nepal at a distance of 122 km from Gorakhpur, Lumbini is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. There are regular buses to the Nepalese border, from where the remaining 26 km has to be covered by private vehicles
How to get there
Airport The nearest airhead is located at Varanasi from where one can take flights to Delhi, Calcutta, Lucknow, and Patna.
Rail Kushinagar does not have a railway station. The nearest railway station is at Gorakhpur (51 km), which is the headquarters of Northeastern Railways and linked to important destinations. Some important trains to Gorakhpur are Bombay-Gorakhpur-Bandra Express, New Delhi-Barauni-Vaishali Express, Cochin-Gorakhpur Express, Shaheed Express, Amarnath Express, and Kathgodam Express.
Road Kushinagar is well connected to other parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh by bus. The distances from places around are : Gorakhpur (51 km), Lumbini (173 km), Kapilavastu (148 km), Sravasti (254 km), and Sarnath (266 km), and Agra (680 km).
It was a prediction that set it off. Terrified that his son might one day renounce the world to become a great seer, King Suddhodhana of the Shakyas, a small kingdom in the Terai region of Nepal, shielded the young Prince Siddhartha from the evil of the world by keeping him within the confines of his palace, in the embrace of material comforts and loving care. From his very birth in 623 BC, in a garden at Lumbini close to the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu, portent’s revealed that the young man’s fate was sealed for higher things than dealing with the earthly concerns and the business of a king.
It was chance too that rolled the dice in favour of the spiritual world, and Prince Siddhartha was a willing pawn when he rejected his regal life. It was an amazing journey that would transform the deeply troubled prince into the great Buddha, the Enlightened One, culminating in his release from the endless cycle of rebirths, at Bodhgaya in Bihar. His great quest would become the core of an important religious movement.
Buddhism - Charismatic Formula
For kings and commoners, criminals and courtesans, Buddhism had the power and strength to transform their lives forever. This is beautifully illustrated in the legendary commitment to Buddhism of King Ashoka, after the bloody battle of Kalinga in Orissa. The great king was enthusiastic in spreading the Buddha’s message of peace and enlightenment across the length and breadth of his vast empire, reaching from present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Buddhism was to travel from its home in India’s eastern Gangetic region of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa to encompass Sri Lanka and the countries of South East Asia, then onto the Himalayan countries of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet, even far-flung Central Asia, China and Japan, under the umbrella of royal patronage and the dedication of its vast community of monks, teachers and artists.
The essence of Buddhism is embodied in the concept of the 4 noble truths and the 3 jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) via the 8-fold path to salvation and peace Anticipating his death in his 80th year Buddha urged his followers, especially his chosen disciples, to continue his work after his imminent Mahaparnirvana the attaining of nirvana (enlightenment). As a reminder of his difficult journey and its ultimate goal, he prevailed upon them to visit the four important places that were the cornerstones of his great journey - Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar.
The spread of Buddhism down the centuries was to leave in its wake a wealth of symbolic structures, including sculpted caves, stupas (relic shrines), chaityas (prayer halls) viharas (monasteries), mahaviharas (universities) and numerous art forms and religious literature. The arrival of Guru Padamasambhava, in the 8th century, was a major impetus in the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayan region.
Today, both pilgrims and tourists can enjoy the special appeal of these myriad experiences, in the Buddhist Heartland of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. From the moment of his birth, his teachings, spiritual struggle, attainment of enlightenment, great meditations, and message of peace and non-violence, are as relevant to our life and times as it was in his day.
Buddhism - Jewels of the Lotus
Almost a hundred years later there emerged various schools of Buddhist thought evolving somewhat from the Buddha’s original precepts. The most prominent amongst these were the Mahayana School, the Theravada School (based on the old Hinayana School) which flourished in Sri Lanka and established itself quite quickly in many South East Asian countries, and the Vajrayana School with its Tantric features, which spread to the Himalayan regions of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.
Lumbini, Sarnath, Bodhgaya and Kushinagar are the primary pilgrimage places associated with the life and teachings of the Lord Buddha. There are numerous other sites where the Buddha and the saints that followed travelled during his life after his transformation, which are held in deep veneration. Visitors can travel through this Buddhist Heartland today, to savour the splendid beauty and great appeal of Buddhism.
FOOTSTEPS OF LORD BUDDHA
The greatest impetus to Buddha’s teachings came from the Indian King Ashoka who went on a great pilgrimage visiting the important sites that are directly associated with his life, in the Footsteps of Lord Buddha. Primary amongst these holy places are Lumbini in Nepal, and Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar in India. The international Buddhist community has been active in supporting these important religious centres. There are other places of lesser significance on the Footsteps of Lord Buddha visitor circuit associated closely with Buddha’s life. Amongst these are Buddha’s monsoon retreats of Vaishali, Rajgir and Sravastii in India, and his early home at Tilaurakot in Kapilavastu Nepal.
Lumbini. Lumbini in southern Nepal is where Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Prince Siddhartha. It is just a short distance from the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu. Pilgrimages focus on the sacred garden which contains the site of the birth, the Mayadevi temple, the Pashkarni pond and the Ashoka pillar. Designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, the sacred garden of Lumbini is a World Heritage Site with monasteries from many Buddhist nations. It is recognised as a supreme pilgrimage site and symbol of world peace.
Bodhgaya. It was in Bodhgaya in Bihar, India that Prince Siddhartha found Enlightenment (nirvana) under the bodhi tree after meditating for 49 days. No longer a bodhisattva (mentor), he became Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One.
Primary points of homage are the Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajrasan throne donated by King Ashoka, the holy Bodhi Tree, the Animeshlochana chaitya, the Ratnachankramana, the Ratnagaraha, the Ajapala Nigrodha Tree, the Muchhalinda Lake and the Rajyatna Tree. The spiritual home of all Buddhists, devotees from many Buddhist countries have built temples around the complex in their characteristic architectural styles. Bodhgaya today is a vibrant and inspiring tourist attraction.
Sarnath. Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after achieving enlightenment, about 10 km from the ancient holy city of Varanasi. The sermon, setting in motion the wheel of the teaching (dharamchakrapravartna) revealed to his followers the 4 noble truths, the concept of the 3 jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha via the 8 fold path, for inner peace and enlightenment. It was here that the Buddha established his first disciples (sangha) to promote his new doctrine. The splendid Dhamekha Stupa at Sarnath was originally erected by King Ashoka, as was the famous lion capital pillar, now the proud symbol of India.
Kushinagar. At Kushinagar close to Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India en route to Kapilavastu, Lord Buddha fell ill and left this world in 543 BC. His mortal remains were preserved in eight commemorative chortens, and then further distributed by King Ashoka into 84,000 stupas across his kingdom and beyond. Important places to see here are the Mukatanabandhana stupa and the Gupta period reclining Buddha statue in red sandstone.
Mobilising Mantras & Sutras
The Buddha preached his last sermon before his death at Vaishali in Bihar, 60 km away from its capital Patna. It was here that he told his disciple Ananda about his imminent demise. The Second Buddhist Council was held in Vaishala about 110 years later.
About 70 km from Bodhgaya, Rajgir was Buddha’s monsoon retreat for 12 years whilst he spread his doctrine. It was at the holy Griddhikuta Hill that he expounded the precepts of his Lotus Sutra and the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra. The Saptaparni Caves set on Vaibhar Hill were the venue of the First Buddhist Council, held to compile the teachings of the Buddha in its authentic form, after his death. The world-renowned university of Nalanda is another important landmark site.
About 150 km from the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Shravasti was Buddha’s favourite rainy season retreat where he Buddha performed his first miracle.
The Ties That Bind
Around Lumbini in Nepal are seven other pilgrimage sites. The first thirty years of Buddha’s life were spent at Tilaurakot in Kapilavastu in his father’s home, 27 km west of Lumbini in Nepal. The well-preserved city foundations are evocative of former times, and the casket recovered from the original stupa is preserved in the nearby museum. About 34 km northeast of Lumbini is Devdaha whose Koliya people are considered to be the maternal tribesmen of the Buddha. The forest of Sagarhawa lies northwest of Niglihawa. Another important site is the stupa at Kudan, 5 km from Tilaurakot, where Buddha’s father King Suddhodhana met him after his enlightenment.
The trans-Himalayan regions of Bhutan, India, and Nepal are strongly rooted in the Buddhist faith. In Dharamsala, in the Kangra Valley, lives his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of all Tibetan Buddhists. Visitors can enjoy Living Buddhism experiences throughout the region, whether as a student of Buddhism, meditation and yoga, or as a layperson attracted by the vibrant culture, people and festivals.
Eastern Himalayas-The Lotus Blooms Still
Kathmandu Valley is an important Buddhist pilgrimage circuit with 15 major sites. It is a living center of Buddhist learning with many new monasteries and schools that attract funding and visitors from all over the world. The most important Living Buddhism sites are Swayambhunath and Bodhnath stupas, both with strong links to Tibet. Protected as World Heritage Sites, they are the most revered spiritual sites in the country, attracting thousands of pilgrims. Many of the indigenous Newar people of Kathmandu practice a unique form of Buddhism, unrelated to Tibet.
In the northern regions of Nepal, Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism continues to flourish and there are many monasteries and sacred sites. Many of these are in Mustang and Dolpa districts. The important monasteries Thyangboche, Thame, Chiwong and Thupten Choeling are in the Everest region of Solu Khumbu.
In the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, HM the King is considered equal in status to the religious leader, the Jekhenpo. The depth and vibrancy of the Buddhist faith is reflected in everyday life. Devotees revere Guru Padmasambhava as the second Buddha. Bhutan’s monastery fortresses (dzongs) are an integral feature of governance, and the repository of precious treasures of ancient literature, scriptures and art. The great dzongs of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha and Wangdi Phodrang, amongst many others, offer a fabulous journey for both pilgrim and tourist to explore Bhutan’s colourful history and spiritual splendour. An added temptation for the visitor is the fabulous repertoire of cultural activities associated with the Kingdom’s renowned festivals (tsechus).
A short distance from Paro is the renovated Taktsang monastery, the venerated location of Guru Rimpoche’s (Padmasambhava) deep meditation before subduing evil demons. Kyichu Lakhang in Paro and Jambay Lakhang in Bhumtang are amongst Bhutan’s most important and oldest Buddhist sites. The famous tsechu festivities are marked by prayers and religious dances, colourful costumes, morality tales, and invocations of protection against evil forces. Dungtse Lakhang is reputed for its fabulous collection of religious paintings .The spectacular Punakha dzong is the winter seat of the monkhood, and houses numerous sacred artifacts and important temples.
Living Buddhism flourishes in northern India, home of the Dalai Lama. Set amongst the splendid heights of the Eastern Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh is the remote Tawang Monastery. Amongst the native inhabitants, the Monpas and the Sherdupkens people keep alive the Buddhist faith from ancient times. This 17th century monastery is the largest of its kind in India and the second largest in Asia. The hill town of Bomdila offers local handicrafts and religious artifacts, and ancient monasteries
Other North East states also have Buddhist attractions. In the shadow of Mt Khangchendzonga, Buddhism flourishes in the sacred landscape of Sikkim which is dotted with 107 monasteries and many sacred stupas. Amongst the most important are Rumtek, the home of the Kagyupa sect, Pemayangtse, Tashding and Enchey. The monastery at Chungtang marks the footprint of Guru Padamasambhava when he rested en route to Tibet. Recently, the world’s tallest statue of Guru Rinpoche has been erected at Namchi. The people celebrate their faith during the chaam (masked) dances at the great festivals.
Surviving Buddhist Enclaves
Bangladesh is now largely Muslim, but the country has important pockets of Buddhist communities that date back to the 7th century, especially in the region of Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Cox’s Bazaar, Noakhali and Barisal. There are at least 50 Buddhist settlements surviving from the 8-12th century in the Mainamati-Lalmai range at Tipera, Laksham and Comilla
ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY
The great journey of Buddhism throughout its 2,500-year history has manifested itself in a profusion of creative energy in its art, archaeology and architecture. These include beautifully painted holy caves, statues and sculpted heads, bas reliefs, mandalas, thangkas (religious paintings) and frescos, stupas and chortens, fine chaityas, viharas, mahaviharas and temples that offer the traveller cross-border cultural pickings that are as enriching as they are moving.
The earliest form of Buddhism had no iconoclastic roots. Buddha himself was regarded as a teacher not a God. When Buddha attained nirvana he was represented only in the form of symbols such as the lotus, the bo (peepul) tree, and the wheel.
Buddha as an icon emerged through the influence of the Mahayana School of Buddhism, and the mystical and highly symbolic Tantric form of the Vajrayana School. Vajrayana culture flourished at Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Vikramshila around the 8-9 BC. Buddhist Nalanda enjoyed the patronage of several dynasties of kings but was annihilated by the Turks in the 12th century. Tantric ritual and mysticism relied heavily on sutras and tantras - secret practices linked with the mandala (magical diagram). It saw the inclusion of occult concepts woven intricately into the rapidly expanding pantheon of Buddha images of gods and goddesses.
The Dharma and the Kings of old Bengal
Bangladesh enjoyed the fruits of early Buddhist thought and art. Buddhism received enormous support during the Pala, Chandra and Deva rulers, devout Buddhists, who were responsible for erecting a cavalcade of commemorative monuments. Amongst them was the important university of Paharpur, now archaeological remains about 300 km from Dhaka. Along with Nalanda University in Bihar, India it was an important centre of Buddhist teaching. Other important archeological sites in Bangladesh are at Mahastangar, Comila, Mainamati, and Ramu.
Pillars, Sculpted Caves and the Pledge of a King
The earliest form of Buddhist architecture is visible in the sculpted caves, monastic retreats that were in effect temples of great spirituality. The caves at Udaygiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitagiri in Orissa and the Barabar caves in Bihar are an excellent example of how the art form developed. At Dhauli, the site of the great battle of Kalinga fought by King Ashoka, 8 km from Bhubaneswar, stands Ashoka’s rock edict revealing his pledge to become a Buddhist.
Stupas, Chortens, Chaityas, Viharas and Dzongs
The splendour of the stupas at Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Bodhnath, Nalanda and other important Buddhist sites are an evocative message of Buddha’s teachings. The Dhamekha stupa at Sarnath is a cylindrical structure dating to the golden age of the Guptas (320 AD). It features the typical floral design on stone of Gupta workmanship. Nepal’s Swayambhunath features traditional Nepalese architectural design with its tall steeple mounting the dome, representing the 13 Buddhist heavens.
Chortens and viharas, stupas in miniature, were originally meant to preserve the relics of the Buddha or great Buddhist teachers. Excellent examples of the early viharas were those at Vaishali, Rajgir and Shravasti. Some of the most powerful mahaviharas were Nalanda and Vikramshila in Bihar, India and Paharpur in Bangladesh.
In Bhutan the great dzongs were ideal for keeping precious Buddhist treasures and also as monastic retreats thanks to their isolation and invincibility. These imposing structures with their tapering walls, courtyards and galleries have been created with traditional designs handed down verbally from generation to generation, No nails mar their creation.
Buddhist Centres of Learning
With the advent of the Mahayana school, the world-renowned university of Nalanda became an important centre for Buddhist learning, along with Pahapur, attracting scholars from around the known world. Nalanda enjoyed the patronage of several dynasties of kings but was annihilated by the Turks in the 12th century. It’s an amazing experience walking across the vast grounds of the ruins with its great stupa and other monastic structures.
Sculptures & Paintings - Messengers of the Buddha
The first images of Buddha were formed at Gandhara and show decidedly Hellinistic features (defined by drapery and hairstyle) due to the trade and cultural links with Mediterranean Europe at the time. With the emergence of the Mathura school, close to Agra, the features of the Buddha became more indigenous, inspired by the traditional yakshis and yakshas sculptural forms. In Bhutan, and Nepal the elements of the highly symbolic Vajrayana Buddhist style of iconography, so popular in the 10th-11th century, were however discontinued around the 14th century in exchange for a less complex range of artistic vision but which still retained its vibrancy and colourful splendour.
The massive Mahasthangarh archeological remains (240 km from Dhaka) throw light on the development of Buddhist art and architectural leanings in Bangladesh. This fortified city of the 3rd century BC, extending over an 8 km radius, is the earliest documented urban civilization of Bangladesh. Within easy reach are the Buddhist ruins of Govind Bhita, Gokul Medh Stupa and the Vasu Vihara monastery. The greatest collection of early Pala sculptures have been found in the Paharpur monastic complex at the central temple of the renowned Somapura Mahavihara.
At the tomb of Saint Shah Sultan Mahi Swar Balkhi, were discovered 40 bronze statues representing Buddhist deities, and terracotta plaques with scenes from the Ramayana. The Mainamati Museum houses an extensive range of finds from these Buddhist sites. The Salban Vihara in the Mainamati-Lalmai hills has a complex of 115 cells around a central courtyard with its cruciform temple facing the gateway complex, resembles the Paharpur monastery. Kotila Mura houses three stupas representing the holy Trinity of Buddhism - the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. From Rupban Mura was recovered an early standing Buddha in abhaya mudra.
The yellow-bronze statuary of Bhutan reflects influences in bronze-casting from the craftsman who settled here from the eastern Tibetan province of Kham, in the 16th century. Bhutanese painters are still sought after to decorate religious buildings all over the region.
The splendid innovation in the use of colour and expressive elements of Buddhist art down the ages is amply recorded in the fabulous thangkas or religious paintings of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and the trans-Himalayan regions of India. Objects of veneration and an aid to meditation, thangkas are traditional scroll paintings on cotton cloth with vegetable and precious mineral dyes. Buddhas, Boddhisatvas, Taras and numerous estoteric subjects reflect the artist’s vision of his Buddhist world. Embellishments with the lotus motif and themes from the Jataka Tales (lives of the Buddha) are a recurring form of imagery and inspiration for paintings.
The fantastic range of Buddhist art and archaeology in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, carries the visitor on a splendid journey that marks some of the most evocative and dynamic aspects of the Buddhist faith. Time and tide have worked upon the measures of the emerging artistic trends, but at the core of it remain the Buddha’s basic tenets - of self-discipline and balance as a means to the ultimate goal of the human being - the release from the endless cycle of rebirth-pain and suffering and finding the great peace.
Giant Face-lift of World’s Tallest Buddha Statue
CHENGDU, April 17 (Xinhuanet) – Looking through the cobweb-shaped platforms wrapped around the head and chest of a 71 meter-tall seated Buddha statue, the backs of repair experts’ are seen while they are busy painting dark-red clay, which will be the new lipstick on the Buddha’s huge mouth. Like a slow motion, another expert with a safety rope is sent down in mid-air from the base of the 8 meter-long middle finger of the statue’s left hand to the statue’s 8.5 meter-high flat instep of the left foot, where 100 people could sit. This is just one scene of an ongoing facelift project on the 1, 280 year-old Buddha statue in Leshan, a city in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Carving of the Buddha started in 713 A.D. and was completed in 803 A.D., in the prosperous period of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The statue was included in the World Cultural Heritage List under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1996. The Buddha statue, which sits on a cliff overlooking the merging of the three rivers: Minjiang, Qingyijiang and Daduhe. The statue is 71 meters from top to bottom and 28 meters from left to right. It is 18 meters higher than the standing Buddha statue at Bamian Valley, Afghanistan, once thought to be the highest of its kind in the world. Over the past 1,000 years, erosion has become a major threat to the statue. Owning to damage by natural environment changes and human activities, six major repairs on the giant Buddha statue have been carried out since ancient times. Before the largest repair project, which was initiated early this month, Xinhua reporters visited the famous sitting Maitreya, which looked in need of immediate repair and attention. ”Some coiled bobs on the head of the statue fell down, weed coated on its surface rocks, and the face was darkened,” the reporters recalled. But the reporters visited it again this week and it looks very shiny and new after two weeks of repair. The 1,000 color-faded bobs on the Buddha’s head have been painted black, the drainage system has been dredged and the big crack going from the right eye to the back of its head has been fixed. ”The crack use to cause the Buddha to burst into tears on rainy days,” said Zeng Zhiliang, an engineer of ancient architecture, who climbed up onto the 10-story-high statue everyday to conduct repair work. When the reporters followed Zeng to have a closer look and touch the Buddha’s cheek, they could feel the smoothness and brightness of the repaired surface of its’ face. The black spots on the face of the Buddha, caused by erosion have disappeared after a thorough cleaning,” Zeng said. At the Buddha’s neck, which 60 meters high from the base of the statue, an expert is using a small hammer to carefully knock mantlerocks, rocks which have become loose on the statue due to erosion, away from the statue surface. With a safety rope, the expert is crouching in the narrow space of the platform constructed around the statue. After knocking it free, he has to use a brush and water to wash the spot and piece it up with repair material. To achieve the perfect result, this procedure has to be repeated three or four times. According to Zeng, the experts also take photos on the mantlerocks in order to set up archives on the statue’s original form and the repair work done. The most difficult parts in the face-lift are the giant facial features, Zeng said, for example, the Buddha’s nose is the combined size of several persons. ”If there is no accurate technique and skills, harmonious proportionment can be hardly realized,” he told the reporters. Tourists to the statue are also interested in asking questions about the repair work. ”How do you mix the face color of the Buddha,” asked Ney Johnn, a German tourist. Zeng’s answer is that the statue was carved out of red gritstone and covered by skin-color clay. ”Why don’t you use chemical paint as my country did on some historical relics?” Johnn said. Natural repair material, in the same color of the statue, is being used, Zeng said, adding that it is a mixture of rocks, charcoal, hemp and lime. This is in accordance with China’s law on cultural relics that chemical materials or cement are banned for repairing relics. Chinese leaders have paid close attention to the repair work. The repair plan was made by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and seven universities and related cultural relics protection research institutes across China. The face-lift project has aroused great attention at home and overseas. The UNESCO has sent experts to the repair site, the World Bank has provided considerable loans and foreign media coverage with Time magazine and New York Times being contacted to cover the event. A massive petition signing has been staged here to call for efforts to be made to protect the statue. So far, more than 10,000 tourists signed their names on a scroll of silk 71 meters long. The Buddha statue management center said the drive has received a donation of over 300,000 yuan (about 36,000 US dollars) from people from all walks of life. The first phase of the repair work will be completed by the end of April. An additional investment of 250 million yuan (about 30 million US dollars) will be used for the further repair on the statue as well as a number of projects to build roads and highways and control pollution in the area. Experts suggested that the statue should be inspected and repaired every five years after this project is completed. Enditem
Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Ancient India
Reformers and Their Fate
This is a typed bound copy consisting of 87 pages. The AmbattaSutta starts at page 69 of the manuscript and after page 70, pages are numbered from A to Z. The beginning of page 71 starts with Lohikka Sutta.—Editors.
1. Aryan Society. II. Buddha and Reform. III. I
It was Sir T.Madhava Raw who speaking of Hindu Society of his time said :
“The longer one lives, observes, and thinks, the more deeply does he feel that there is no community on the face of the earth which suffers less from political evils and more from self-inflicted or self-accepted or self-created, and therefore avoidable evils, than the Hindu Community.“
This view expresses quite accurately and without exaggeration the necessity of social reform in Hindu Society.
The first Social Reformer and the greatest of them all is Gautama Buddha. Any history of Social Reform must begin with him and no history of Social Reform in India will be complete which omits to take account of his great achievements.
Siddhartha, surname Gautama, was born in the Sakya clan a.t Kapilvastu in Northern India, on the borders of Nepal in 563 B.C. Tradition says he was a prince. He received education fit for a prince, was married and had a son. Oppressed by the evils and misery then prevalent in the Aryan Society he renounced the world at the age of twenty-nine and left his home in search for truth and deliverance. He became a mendicant and studied with two distinguished teachers, but finding that their teachings did not satisfy him he left them and became an ascetic. He gave up that also as being futile. By hard thinking he got insight into things and as a result of this insight he formulated his own
Dhamma. This was at the age of thirty-five. The remainder of his eighty years he spent in spreading his Dhamma and founding and administering an order of monks. He died about the year 483 B.C. at Kusinara surrounded by his devoted followers.
To the carrying out of his mission, the Buddha devoted all his days after the achievement of enlightenment. His time was divided between feeding the lamp of his own spiritual life by solitary meditation—just as Jesus spent hours in lonely prayer—and active preaching to large audiences of his monks, instructing the more advanced in the subtle points of inner development, directing the affairs of the Order, rebuking breaches of discipline, confirming the faithful in their virtue, receiving deputation, carrying on discussions with learned opponents, comforting the sorrowful, visiting kings and peasants, Brahmins and outcasts, rich and poor. He was a friend of publicans and sinners, and many a public harlot, finding herself understood and pitied, gave up her evil ways to take refuge in the “Blessed One“. Such a life demanded a variety of moral qualities and social gifts, and among others a combination of democratic sentiments with an aristocratic SavoirFaire which is seldom met with. In reading the dialogues one can never forget that Gotama had the birth and upbringing of an aristocrat. He converses not only with Brahmins and pundits but with princes and ministers and kings on easy and equal terms. He is a good diner-out, with a fund of anecdotes and apparently a real sense of humour, and is a welcome quest at every house. A distinguished Brahmin is pictured as describing him thus :
‘The venerable Gotama is well born on both sides, of pure descent….. is handsome, pleasant to look upon, inspiring trust, gifted with great beauty of complexion, fair in colour, fine in presence, stately to behold, virtuous with the virtue of the Arhats, gifted with goodness and virtue and with a pleasant voice and polite address, with no passion of lust left in him nor any fickleness of mind. He bids all men welcome, is congenial, conciliatory, not supercillious, accessible to all, not backward in conversation. ‘ But what appealed most to the India of his time, and has appealed most to India through the ages, is expressed by the Brahmin in these words :
“The monk Gotama has gone forth into the religious life, giving up the great clan of his relatives, giving up much money and gold, treasure both buried and above ground. Truly while he was still a young man, without a grey hair on his head, in the beauty of his early manhood he went forth from the household life into the homeless state.“
“Such a life as his, demanded not only pleasant manners, sympathy and kindness, but firmness and courage. When the occasion required it, he could be calmly severe with those who worked evil for the Order. Physical pain, he bore not only with equanimity but with no diminution of his inner joy. Courage also was needed and was found ; as, for example, in the Buddha’s calm attitude during Devadatta’s various attempts to assassinate him, in facing threats of murder, and in the conversion of the famous bandit in the Kingdom of Kosala, whom all the countryside feared, and whom the Buddha visited, alone and unarmed, in his lair, changing him from a scourge of the kindorn to a peaceful member of the Order. Neither pain, danger, nor insults marred his spiritual peace. When he was reviled he reviled not again. Nor was he lacking in tender thoughtfulness for those who needed his comfort and support.“
He was beloved of all. Repeatedly he is described or describes himself, as one born into the world for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, for the advantage, the good, the happiness of gods and men, out of compassion for the world.
He left an indelible mark on the Aryan Society and although his name has gone out of India the impression of his teaching still remains.
His religion spread like wild fire. It soon became the religion of the whole of India. But it did not remain confined to India. It reached every corner of the then known world. All races accepted it. Even the Afghans were once Buddhists. It did not remain confined to Asia. There is evidence to show that Buddhism was the religion of Celtic Britain.[f15]What was the cause of this rapid spread of Buddhism? 0n this point what Prof. Hopkins has said is worth quoting. This is what he says:
“The cause, then, of the rapid spread of Buddhism at the beginning of its career lies only in the conditions of its teaching and the influential backing of its founder. It was the individual Buddha that captivated men ; it was the teaching that emanated from him that fired enthusiasm ; it was his position as an aristocrat that made him acceptable to the aristocracy, his magnetism that made him the idol of the people. From every page stands out the strong, attractive personality of this teacher and winner of hearts. No man ever lived so godless yet so godlike. Arrogating to himself no divinity, despairing of future bliss, but without fear as without hope, leader of thought but despising lovingly the folly of the world, exalted but adored, the universal brother, he wandered among men, simply, serenely, with gentle irony subduing them that opposed him, to congregation after congregation speaking with majestic sweetness, the master to each, the friend of all. His voice was singularly vibrant and eloquent; his very tones convinced the hearer, his looks inspired awe. From the tradition it appears that he must have been one of those whose personality alone suffices to make a man not only a leader but also a god to the hearts of his fellows. When such a one speaks he obtains hearers. It matters little what he says, for he influences the motions, and bends whoever listens to his will. But if added to this personality, if encompassing it. there be the feeling in the minds of others that what this man teaches is not only a variety, but the very hope of their salvation ; if for the first time they recognise in his words the truth that makes of slaves free men, of classes a brotherhood, then it is not difficult to see wherein lies the lightning like speed with which the electric current passes from heart to heart. Such a man was Buddha, such was the essential of his teaching: and such was the inevitable rapidity of Buddhistic expansion and the profound influence of the shock that was produced by the new faith upon the moral consciousness of Buddha’s people.“
To understand the great reform, which he brought about by his teaching, it is necessary to have some idea of the degraded condition of the Aryan civilisation at the time when Buddha started on the mission of his life.
The Aryan Community of his time was steeped in the worst kind of debauchery: social, religious and spiritual.
To mention only a few of the social evils, attention may be drawn to gambling. Gambling had become as widespread among the Aryans as drinking.
Every king had a hall of gambling attached to his palace. Every king had an expert gambler in his employment as a companion to play with. King Virat had in his employment Kank as an expert gambler. Gambling was not merely a pastime with kings. They played with heavy stakes. They staked kingdoms, dependents, relatives, sla.ves, servants.[f16] King Nala staked everything in gambling with Paskkar and lost everything. The only thing he did not stake was himself and his wife Damayanti. Nala had to go and live in the forest as a beggar. There were kings who went beyond Nala. The Mahabharat[f17] tells how Dharma the eldest of the Pandavas gambled and staked everything, his brothers and also his and their wife Draupadi. Gambling was a matter of honour with the Aryans and any invitation to gamble was regraded as an injury to one’s honour and dignity. Dharma gambled with such disastrous consequences although he was warned beforehand. His excuse was that he was invited to gamble and that as a man of honour he could not decline such an invitation.
This vice of gambling was not confined to kings. It had infected even the common folk. Rig-Veda contains lamentations of poor Aryan ruined by gambling. The habit of gambling had become so common in Kautilya’s time that there were gambling houses licensed by the king from which the king derived considerable revenue.
Drinking was another evil which was rampant among the Aryans. Liquors were of two sorts Soma and Sura. Soma was a sacrificial wine. The drinking of the Soma was in the beginning permitted only to Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Subsequently it was permitted only to Brahmins and Kshatriyas. The Vaishyas were excluded from it and the Shudras were never permitted to taste it. Its manufacture was a secret known only to the Brahmins. Sura was open to all and was drunk by all. The Brahmins also drank Sura.Shukracharya[f18] the priest to the Asuras drank so heavily that in his drunken state he gave the life-giving Mantras—known to him only and with which he used to revive the Asuras killed by the Devas— to Katch the son of Brahaspati who was the priest of the Devas. The Mahabharat mentions an occasion when both Krishna and Arjuna were dead drunk. That shows that the best among the Aryan Society were not only not free from the drink habit but that they drank heavily. The most shameful part of it was that even the Aryan women were addicted to drink. For instance Sudeshna[f19] the wife of king Virat tells her maid Sairandhri to go to Kichaka’s palace and bring Sura as she was dying to have a drink. It is not to be supposed that only queens indulged in drinking. The habit of drinking was common among women of all classes and even Brahmin women were not free from it.[f20]That liquor and dancing was indulged in by the Aryan women is clear from the KausitakiGrihya Sutra 1. 1 1-12, which says, “Four or eight women who are not widowed after having been regaled with wine and food are to dance for four times on the night previous to the wedding ceremony.”
Turning to the Aryan Society it was marked by class war and class degradation. The Aryan Society recognised four classes, the Brahmins, Kshatriyas,Vaishyas and Shudras. These divisions were not merely horizontal divisions, all on a par with each other in the matter of social relationship. These divisions, had become vertical, one above the other. Being placed above or below there was both jealousy and rivalry among the four classes. This jealousy and rivalry had given rise even to enmity. This enmity was particularly noticeable between the two highest classes, namely, the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas and there was a regular class war between the two, so intense that it would delight the heart of any Marxian to read the descriptions thereof. Unfortunately there is no detailed history of this class war between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. Only a few instances have been recorded. Vena, Pururavas,Nahusha, Sudas, Sumukh and Nimi were some of the Kshatriya kings who came into the conflict with the Brahmins. The issues in these conflicts were different.
The issue between Vena and the Brahmins was whether a King could command and require the Brahmins to worship him and offer sacrifice to him instead of the Gods. The issue between Pururavas and the Brahmins was whether a Kshatriya King could confiscate the property of the Brahmin. The issue between Nahusha and the Brahmins was whether a Kshatriya king could order a Brahmin to do a servile job. The issue between Nimi and the Brahmins was whether the king was bound to employ only his family priest at the sacrificial ceremony. The issue between Sudas and the Brahmins was whether the king was bound to employ only a Brahmin as a priest.
This shows how big were the issues between the two classes. No wonder that the struggle between them was also the bitterest. The wars between them were not merely occasional riots. They were wars of extermination. It is stated that Parashuram a Brahmin fought against the Kshatriyas twenty-one times and killed every Kshatriya.
While the two classes were fighting among themselves for supremacy, they both combined to keep down the Vaishyas and the Shudras. The Vaishya was a milch cow. He lived only to pay taxes. The Shudra was a general beast of burden. These two classes existed for the sole purpose of making the life of the Brahmins and Kshatriyas glorious and happy. They had no right to live for themselves. They lived to make the life of their betters possible.
Below these two classes there were others. They were the Chandalas and Shwappakas.They were not untouchables but they were degraded. They were outside the pale of society and outside the pale of law. They had no rights and no opportunities. They were the rejects of the Aryan Society.
The sexual immorality of the Aryan Society must shock their present day descendants. The Aryans of pre-Buddhist days had no such rule of prohibited degrees, as we have today to govern their sexual or matrimonial relationship.
According to the Aryan Mythology, Brahma is the creator. Brahma had three sons and a daughter. His one son Daksha married his sister. The daughters born of this marriage between brother and sister were married some to Kashyapa the son of Marichi the son of Brahma and some to Dharma the third son of Brahma.[f21]
In the Rig-Veda there is an episode related of Yama and Yami brother and sister. According to this episode Yami the sister invites her brother Yama to cohabit with her and becomes angry when he refuses to do so[f22].
Instances of grandfather marrying his grand-daughter are not wanting. Daksha gave his daughter in marriage to his father Brahma[f28] and from that marriage was born the famous Narada.Dauhitra. gave his 27 daughters to his father Soma for cohabitation and procreation[f29].
The Aryans did not mind cohabiting with women in the open and within sight of people. The Rishis used to perform certain religious rites which were called Vamdevyavrata. These rites used to be performed on the YadnyaBhumi. If any woman came there and expressed a desire for sexual intercourse and asked the sage to satisfy her, the sage used to cohabit with her then and there in the open on the Yadnya Bhumi. Instances of this may be mentioned; the case of the sage Parashara who had sexual intercourse with Satyavati and also of Dirghatapa. That such a custom was common is shown by the existence of the wordAyoni. The word Ayoni is understood to mean of immaculate conception. That is not however the original meaning of the word. The original meaning of the word Yoni is house. Ayoni means conceived out of the house i.e. in the open. That there was nothing deemed to be wrong in this is clear from the fact that both Sita and Draupadi were Ayonija. That this was very common is clear from the fact that religious injunctions had to be issued against such a practice.[f30]
There was prevalent among the Aryans the practice of renting out their women to others for a time. As an illustration may be mentioned the story of Madhavi[f31] The king Yayati gave his daughter Madhavi as an offering to his guruGalav.Galav rented out the girl Madhavi to three kings each a period. Thereafter he gave her in marriage to Vishwamitra. She remained with him until a son was born to her. Thereafter Galav took away the girl and gave her back to her father Yayati.
Besides the practice of letting out women to others temporarily at a rent, there was prevalent among the Aryans another practice namely, allowing procreation by the best amongst them. Raising a family was treated by them as though it was a breeding or stock raising. Among the Aryas there was a class of persons called Devas who were Aryans but of a superior status and prowess. The Aryans allowed their women to have sexual intercourse with any one of the class of Devas in the inerest of good breeding. This practice prevailed so extensively that the Devas came to regard prelibation in respect of the Aryan women as their prescriptive right. No Aryan woman could be married unless this right of prelibation had been redeemed and the woman released from the control of the Devas by offering what was technically called Avadan. The LajaHoame which is performed in every Hindu marriage and the details of which are given in the AshwalayanGrahya Sutra is a relic of this act of the redemption of the Aryan woman from the right of prelibation of the Devas. The Avadan in the Laja Hoame is nothing but the price for the extinguishment of the right of the Devas over the bride. The Saptapadi performed in all Hindu marriages and which is regarded as the most essential ceremony without which there is no lawful marriage has an integral connection with this right of prelibation of the Devas. Saptapadi means walking by the bridegroom seven steps with the bride. Why is this essential? The answer is that the Devas if they were dissatisfied with the compensation could claim the woman before the seventh step was taken. After the seventh step was taken, the right of the Devas was extinguished and the bridegroom could take away the bride and live as husband and wife without being obstructed or molested by the Devas.
There was no rule of chastity for maidens. A girl could have sexual intercourse with and also progeny from anybody without contracting marriage. This is evident from the root meaning of the word Kanya which means a girl. Kanya comes from the root Kam which means a girl free to offer herself to any man. That they did offer themselves to any man and had children without contracting regular marriage is illustrated by the case of Kunti and Matsyagandha.Kunti had children from different men before she was married to Pandu and Matsyagandha had sexual intercourse with the sage Parashara before she was married to Shantanu the father of Bhishma.
Bestiality was also prevalent among the Aryans. The story of the sage Dam having sexual intercourse with a female deer[f32] is well known. Another instance is that of Surya cohabiting with a mare[f33].. But the most hideous instance is that of the woman having sexual intercourse with the horse in the AshvamedhaYadna.
The religion of the Aryan consisted of the Yadna or sacrifice. The sacrifice was a means to enter into the godhead of the gods, and even to control the gods. The traditional sacrifices were twenty-one in number divided into three classes of seven each. The first were sacrifices of butter, milk, corn, etc. The second class covered Soma sacrifices and third animal sacrifices. The sacrifice may be of short duration or long duration lasting for a year or more. The latter was called a Sattra. The argument in favour of the sacrifice is that eternal holiness is won by him that offers the sacrifice. Not only a man’s self but also his Manes stood to benefit by means of sacrifice. He gives the Manes pleasure with his offering, but he also raises their estate, and sends them up to live in a higher world[f34].
The sacrifice was by no means meant as an aid to the acquirement of heavenly bliss alone. Many of the great sacrifices were for the gaining of good things on earth. That one should sacrifice without the ulterior motive of gain is unknown. Brahmanic India knew no thank offering. Ordinarily the gain is represented as a compensating gift from the divinity, whom they sacrifice. The sacrifice began with the recitation : “ He offers the sacrifice to the god with this text :‘Do thou give to me (and) I (will) give to thee ; do thou bestow on me (and) I (will) bestow on thee‘.“
The ceremony of the sacrifice was awe-inspiring. Every word was pregnant with consequences and even the pronunciation of the word or accent was fateful. There are indications, however, that the priest themselves understood that, much in the ceremonial was pure hocus-pocus, and not of much importance as it was made out to be.
Every sacrifice meant fee to the priest. As to fee, the rules were precise and their propounds were unblushing. The priest performed the sacrifice for the fee alone, and it must consist of valuable garments, kine, horses or gold—when each was to be given was carefully stated. The priests had built up a great complex of forms, where at every turn fees were demanded. The whole expense, falling on one individual for whose benefit the sacrifice was performed, must have been enormous. How costly the whole thing became can be seen from the fact that in one place the fee for the sacrifice is mentioned as one thousand cows. For this greed, which went so far that he proclaimed that he who gives a thousand cows obtains all things of heaven. The priest had a good precedent to cite, for, the gods of heaven, in all tales told of them, ever demand a reward from each other when they help their neighbour gods. If the Gods seek rewards, the priest has a right to do the same.
The principal sacrifice was the animal sacrifice. It was both costly and barbaric. In the Aryan religion there are five sacrificial animals mentioned. In this list of sacrificial animals man came first. The sacrifice of a man was the costliest. The rules of sacrifice required that the individual to be slaughtered must be neither a. priest nor a slave. He must be a Kshatriya or Vaishya. According to the ordinary valuation of those times the cost of buying a man to be sacrificed was one thousand cows. Besides being costly and barbaric, it must have been revolting because the sacrificers had not only to kill the man but to eat him. Next to man came the horse. That also was a costly sacrifice because the horse was a rare and a necessary animal for the Aryans in their conquest of India. The Aryans could hardly afford such a potent instrument of military domination to be offered as sacrifice. The sacrifice must have been revolting in as much as one of the rituals in the horse-sacrifice was the copulation of the horse before it was slaughtered with the wife of the sacrificer.
The animals most commonly offered for sacrifice were of course the cattle which were used by the people for their agricultural purposes. They were mostly cows and bullocks.
The Yadnas were costly and they would have died out of sheer considerations of expense involved. But they did not. The reason is that the stoppage of Yadna involved the question of the loss of the Brahmin’s fees. There could be no fees if the Yadna ceased to be performed and the Brahmin would starve. The Brahmin therefore found a substitute for the costly sacrificial animals. For a human sacrifice the Brahmin allowed as a substitute for a live man, a man of straw or metal or earth. But they did not altogether give up human sacrifice for fear that this Yadna might be stopped and they should lose their fees. When human sacrifice became rare, animal sacrifice came in as a substitute. Animal sacrifice was also a question of expense to the laity. Here again rather than allow the sacrifice to go out of vogue, the Brahmins came forward with smaller animals for cattle just as cattle had been allowed to take the place of the man and the horse. All this was for the purpose of maintaining the Yadna so that the Brahmin did not lose his fees which was his maintenance. So set were the Brahmins on the continuance of the Yadna that they were satisfied with merely rice as an offering.
It must not however be supposed that the institution of substitutes of the Yadnas of the Aryans had become less horrid. The introduction of substitutes did not work as a complete replacement of the more expensive and more ghastly sacrifice by the less expensive and the more innocent. All that it meant was that the offering may be according to the capacity of the sacrificer. If he was poor his offering may be rice. If he was well to do it might be a goat. If he was rich it might be a man, horse, cow or a bull. The effect of the subsitutes was that the Yadna was brought within the capacity of all so that the Brahmin reaped a larger harvest of feast on the total. It did not have the effect of stopping animal sacrifice. Indeed animals continued to be sacrificed by the thousands.
The Yadna often became a regular carnage of cattle at which the Brahmins did the work of butchers. One gets some idea of the extent of this carnage of innocent animals from references to the Yadnas which one comes across in Buddhist literature. In the Suttanipat a description is given of the Yadna that was arranged to be performed by Pasenadi, king of Kosala. It is stated that there were tied to the poles for slaughter at the Yadna five hundred oxen, five hundred bulls, five hundred cows, five hundred goats and five hundred lambs and that the servents of the king who were detailed to do the jobs according to the orders given to them by the officiating Brahmin priests were doing their duties with tears in their eyes.
The Yadna besides involving a terrible carnage was really a kind of carnival. Besides roast meet there was drink. The Brahmins had Soma as well as Sura. The others had Sura in abundance. Almost every Yadna was followed by gambling and what is most extraordinary is that, side by side there went on also sexual intercourse in the open. Yadna had become debauchery and there was no religion left in it. The Aryan religion was just a series of observances. Behind these observances there was no yearning for a good and a virtuous life. There was no hunger or thirst for rightousness. Their religion was without any spiritual content. The hymns of the Rig Veda furnish very good evidence of the absence of any spiritual basis for the Aryan religion. The hymns are prayers addressed by the Aryans to their gods. What do they ask for in these prayers? Do they ask to be kept away from temptation? Do they ask for deliverance from evil? Do they ask for forgiveness of sins? Most of the hymns are in praise of Indra.
They praise him for having brought destruction to the enemies of the Aryans. They praise him because he killed all the pregnant wives of Krishna, an Asura. They praise him because he destroyed hundreds of villages of the Asuras. They praise him because he killed lakhs of Dasyus. The Aryans pray to Indra to carry on greater destruction among the Anaryas in the hope that they may secure to themselves the food supplies of the Anaryas and the wealth of the Anaryas. Far from being spiritual and elevating, the hymns of the Rig-Veda are saturated with wicked thoughts and wicked purposes. The Aryan religion never concerned itself with what is called a righteous life.
Such was the state of the Aryan Society when Buddha was born. There are two pertinent questions regarding Buddha as a reformer who laboured to reform the Aryan Society. What were the chief planks in his reform? To what extent did he succeed in his reform movement? To take up the first question.
Buddha felt that for the inculcation of a good and a pure life, example was better than precept. The most important thing he did was to lead a good and a pure life so that it might serve as a model to all. How unblemished a life he led can be gathered from the Brahma-Jala Sutta. It is reproduced below because it not only gives an idea of the pure life that Buddha led but it also gives an idea of how impure a life the Brahmins, the best among the Aryans led.
1. Thus have I heard. The Blessed One was once going along the high road between Rajagaha and Nalanda with a great company of the brethren with about five hundred brethren. And Suppiya the mendicant too was going along the high road between Rajagaha and Nalanda with his disciple the young Brahmadatta. Now just then Suppiya the mendicant was speaking in many ways in dispraise of the Buddha, in dispraise of the Doctrine, in dispraise of the Order. But young Brahmadatta, his pupil, gave utterance, in many ways, to praise of the Buddha, to praise of the Doctrine, to praise of the Order. Thus they two, teacher and pupil, holding opinions in direct contradiction of one to the other, were following, step by step, after the Blessed one and the company of the brethren.
2. Now the Blessed one put up at the royal rest house in the Ambalatthikapleasance to pass the night, and with him the company of the brethren. And so also did Suppiya the mendicant, and with him his young disciple Brahmadatta. And there, at the rest houses, these two carried on the same discussion as belore.
3. And in the early dawn a number of the brethren assembled as they rose up. in the pavilion ; and this was the trend of the talk that sprang up among them as they were seated there. ‘How wonderful a thing is it, brethren, and how strange that the Blessed One, he who knows and sees, the Arahat the Buddha Supreme, should so clearly have perceived how various are the inclination of men! For see how while Suppiya the mendicant speaks in many ways in dispraise of the Buddha, the Doctrine, and the Order, his own disciple, young Brahmadatta, speaks, in as many ways, in praise of them. So do these two, teacher and pupil, follow step by step after the Blessed One and the company of the brethren, giving utterance to views in direct contradiction of one to the other.
4. Now the Blessed One. on realising what was the drift of their talk, went to the pavilion, and took his seat on the mat spread out for him. And when he had sat down he said : “What is the talk on which you are engaged sitting here and what is the subject of the conversation between you?” And they told him all. And he said:
5. Brethren, if outsiders should speak against me, or against the Doctrine, or against the Order, you should not on that account either bear malice, or suffer heart burning, or feel ill-will. If you, on that account, should be angry and hurt, that would stand in the way of your own self-conquest. If, when others speak against us, you feel angry at that, and displeased, would you then be able to judge how far that speech of theirs is well said or ill? `That would not he so, Sir.’
`But when outsiders speak in dispraise of me, or of the Doctrine, or of the Order, you should unravel what is false and point it out as wrong, saying, “For this or that reason this is not the fact, that is not so, such a thing is not found among us, is not in us.“
6. But also, brethren, if outsiders should speak in praise of me, in praise of the Doctrine, in praise of the Order, you should not, on that account, be filled with pleasure or gladness, or be lifted up in heart. Were you to be so that also would stand in the way of your self-conquest. When outsiders speak in praise of me, or of the Doctrine, or of the Order, you should acknowledge what is right to be the fact saying: “For this or that reason this is the fact, that is so, such a thing is found among us, is in us.“
7. lt is in respect only of trifling things, of matters of little value, of mere morality, that an unconverted man, when praising the Tathagata, would speak. And what are such trifling, minor details of mere morality that he would praise?
(4) (The Moralities. Part 1).
8. “Putting away the killings of living things, Gotama the recluse holds aloof from the destruction of life. He has laid the cudgel and the sword aside, and ashamed of roughness, and full of mercy, he dwells compassionate and kind to all creatures that have life. “It is thus that the unconverted man, when speaking in praise of the Tathagata, might speak.
Or he might say: “Putting, away the taking of what has not been given, Gotama the recluse lived aloof from grasping what is not his own. He takes only what is given, and expecting that gifts will come, he passes his life in honesty and purity of heart.“
Or he might say:“Putting away in-chastity, Gotama the recluse is chaste. He holds himself aloof, far off, from the vulgar practice, from the sexual act.“
9. Or he might say: “Putting away lying words, Gotama the recluse holds himself aloof from falsehood. He speaks truth from the truth he never swerves ; faithful and trustworthy, he breaks not his word to the world“.
Or he might say: “Putting away slander. Gotama the recluse holds himself aloof from calumny. What he hears here he repeats not elsewhere to raise a quarrel against the people here; what he hears elsewhere he repeats not here to raise a quarrel against the people there. Thus does he live as a binder together of those who are divided, an encourage of those who are friends, a peacemaker, a lover of peace, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace.”
Or he might say: “Putting away rudeness of speech, Gotama the recluse holds himself aloof from harsh language. Whatsoever word is blameless, pleasant to the ear, lovely, reaching to the heart, urbane, pleasing to the people, beloved of the people such are words he speaks.“
Or he might say :“Putting away frivolous talk, Gotama the recluse holds himself aloof from vain conversation. In season he speaks, in accordance with the facts, words full of meaning, on religion, on the discipline of the Order. He speaks, and at the right time, words worthy to be laid up in one’s heart, fitly illustrated, clearly divided, to the point.“
10. Or he might say: “Gotama the recluse holds himself aloof from causing injury to seeds or plants.
He takes but one meal a day, not eating at night, refraining from food after hours (after midday).
He refrains from being a spectator at shows at fairs with nautch dances, singing, and music.
He abstains from wearing, adorning, or ornamenting himself with garlands, scents, and unguents.
He abstains from the use of the large and lofty beds.
He abstains from accepting silver or gold.
He abstains from accepting uncooked grain.
He abstains from accepting raw meat.
He abstains from accepting women or girls.
He abstains from accepting bondmen or bond-women.
He abstains from accepting sheep or goats.
He abstains from accepting fowls or swine.
He abstains from accepting elephants, cattle, horses and mare.
He abstains from accepting cultivated fields or waste.
He abstains from the acting as a go-between or messenger.
He abstains from buying and selling.
He abstains from cheating with scales or bronzes or measures.
He abstains from the crooked ways of bribery, cheating, and fraud.
He abstains from maiming, murder, putting in bonds, highway robbery, dacoity, and violence.“
Such are the things, brethren, which an unconverted man, when speaking in praise of the Tathagata might say. ‘
Here ends the KulaSila (the Short Paragraphs on Conduct).
II. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the injury of seedlings and growing plants whether propagated from roots or cuttings or joints or buddings or seeds—Gotarna the recluse holds aloof from such injury to seedlings and growing plants. “
12. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of the things stored up; stores, to wit, of foods, drinks, clothing, equipages, bedding, perfumes, and curry-stuffs—Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such use of things stored up.“
13. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to visiting shows ; that is to say,
(13)-(16) Sham-fights, roll-calls, manoeuvres, reviews. Gotama the recluse holds aloof from visiting such shows.” 14. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to games and recreations, that is to say.
(1) Games on hoards with eight, or with ten rows of squares.
(2) The same games played by imagining such boards in the air.
(3) Keeping going over diagrams drawn on the ground so that one-steps only where one ought to go.
(4) Either removing the pieces or men from a heap with one’s nail or putting them into a heap in each case without shaking it. He, who shakes the heap, loses.
(5) Throwing dice.
(6) Hitting a short stick with a long one.
(7) Dipping the hand with the fingers stretched out in lac or red dye, or flour water, and striking the wet hand on the ground or on a wall calling out ‘What shall it be?’ and showing the form requires—elephants, horses etc.,
(20) Sofas with red pillows for the head and feet.”
16. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of means for adorning and beautifying themselves: that is to say:
Rubbing in scented powders on one’s body, shampooing it, and bathingit patting the limbs with clubs after the manner of wrestlers. The use of mirrors, eye-ointments, garlands, rouge, cosmetics, bracelets, necklaces, walking sticks, reed cases for drugs, rapiers, sunshades, embroidered slippers, turbans, diadems, whisks of the yak’s tail, and long-fringed white robes. Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such means of adorning and beautifying the person.“
17. Or he might say:“Whereas some recluses and Brahmans while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to such low conversation as these:
Tales of kings, of robbers, of ministers of state, tales of war, of terrors, of battles; talk about foods and drinks, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, talks about relationships,equipages, villages, towns, cities, and countries. Tales about women, and about heroes; gossip at street corners, or places whence water is fetched: ghost stories; desultory talk; speculations about the creation of the land or sea, or about existence and non-existence.
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such low conversation.”
18. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to the use of wrangling phrases: such as:
“You don’t understand this doctrine and discipline, I do.“
“How should you know about this doctrine and discipline?”
“You have fallen into wrong views. It is I who am in the right.”
“You are putting last what ought to come first, and first what ought to come last.”
“What you’ve excoriated so long, that’s all quite upset.”
“Your challenge has been taken up.”
“You are proved to be wrong.” “Set to work to clear your views.”
“Disentangle yourself if you can.”
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such wrangling phrases.”
19. Or he might say, “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to taking messages, going on errands, and acting as go-betweens; to wit, on kings, ministers of state, Kshatriyas, Brahmans, or young men, saying. Go there, come-hither, take this with you, bring that from thence.’
Gotama the recluse abstains from such servile duties.” 20. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, are tricksters, droners out (of holy words for pay), diviners, and exorcists, ever hungering to add gain to gain.
Gotam the recluse holds aloof from such deception and patter.” Here ends the MajjhimaSila (the Longer Paragraphs on Conduct).
21. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these:
(1) Palmistry—prophesying long life, prosperity, &c., (or the reverse), from marks on a child’s hands, feet, &c.
(2) Divining by means of omens and signs.
(3) Auguries had drawn from thunderbolts and other celestial portents.
(4) Prognostication by interpreting dreams.
(5) Fortune telling from marks on the body.
(6) Auguries from the marks on cloth gnawed by mice.
(8) Offering oblations from a spoon. (9-13) Making offerings to gods of husks, of the red powder between the grain and the husk, of husked grain ready for boiling, of ghee and of oil.
(14) Sacrificing by spewing mustard seeds, &c., into the fire out of one’s mouth.
(15) Drawing blood from one’s right knee as a sacrifice to the gods.
(16) Looking at the knuckles, &c., and, after muttering a charm, divining whether a man is well born of luck or not.
(17) Determining whether the site, for a proposed house or pleasance, is lucky or not.
(18) Advising on customary law.
(19) Laying demons in a cemetery.
(20) Laying ghosts.
(21) Knowledge of the charms to be used when lodging in an earth house.
(22) Snake charming.
(23) The poison craft.
(24) The scorpion craft.
(25) The mouse craft.
(26) The bird craft.
(27) The crow craft.
(28) Foretelling the number of years that a man has yet to live.
(29) Giving charms to ward off arrows.
(30) The animal wheel.
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such low arts.”
22. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as these:
Knowledge of the signs of good and bad qualities in the following things, and of the marks in them denoting the health or luck of their owners to wit, gems, staves, garments, swords, arrows, bows, other weapons, women, men, boys, girls, slaves, slave-girls, elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, oxen, goats, sheep, fowls, quails, iguanas, herrings, tortoises, and other animals.
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such low arts.”
23. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood by low arts, such as sooth saying to the effect that:
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such low arts.” 26. Or he might say: “Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, earn their living by wrong means of livelihood, by low arts, such as:
(1) Arranging a lucky day for marriages in which the bride or bridegroom is brought home.
(2) Arranging a lucky day for marriages in which the bride or bridegroom is sent forth.
(3) Fixing a lucky time for the conclusion of treaties of peace (or using charms to procure harmony)
(4) Fixing a lucky time for the outbreak of hostilities (or using charms to make discord).
(5) Fixing a lucky time for the calling in of debts (or charms for success in throwing dice).
(6) Fixing a lucky time for the expenditure of money (or charms to bring ill luck to an opponent throwing dice).
(7) Using charms to make people lucky.
(8) Using charms to make people unlucky.
(9) Using charms to procure abortion.
(10) Incantations to keep a man’s jaws fixed.
(11) Incantations to bring on dumbness.
(12) Incantations to make a man throw up his hands.
(13) Incantations to bring on deafness.
(14) Obtaining oracular answers by means of the magic mirror.
(15) Obtaining oracular answers through a girl possessed.
Gotama the recluse holds aloof from such low arts.
“These brethren are the trifling matters, the minor details of morality, of which the unconverted man, when praising the Tathagata, might speak.’
Here end the Long Paragraphs on Conduct.
This was indeed the highest standard for a moral life for an individual to follow. So high a standard of moral life was quite unknown to the Aryan Society of his day.
He did not stop merely with setting an example by leading a life of purity. He also wanted to mould the character of the ordinary men and women in society. For their guidance he devised a form of baptism which was quite unknown to the Aryan Society. The baptism consisted in the convert to Buddhism undertaking to observe certain moral precepts laid down by Buddha. These precepts are known as Panch Sila or the five precepts. They are;
(1)Not to kill, (2) Not to steal, (3) Not to lie, (4) Not to be unchaste and (5) Not to drink intoxicants.
These five precepts were of the laity.
For the Monks there were five additional precepts:
(6) Not to eat at forbidden times,
(7) Not to dance, sing, or attend theatrical or other spectacles,
(8) To abstain from the use of garlands, scents, and ornaments,
(9) To abstain from the use of high or broad beds, and
(10) Never to receive money.
These Silas or precepts formed the moral code which it was intended should regulate the thoughts and actions of men and women.
Of these the most important one was the precept not to kill. Buddha took care to make it clear that the precept did not merely mean abstention from taking life. He insisted that the precept must be understood to mean positive sympathy, good will, and love for every thing that breathes.
He gave the same positives and extended content to other precepts. One of the Buddha’s lay followers once reported to him the teaching of a non-Buddhist ascetic, to the effect that the highest ideal consisted in the absence of evil deeds, evil words, evil thoughts, and evil life. The Buddha’s comment upon this is significant. “If, said he, “this were true, then every suckling child would have attained the ideal of life. Life is knowledge of good and evil; and after that the exchange of evil deeds, words, thoughts, and life, for good ones. This is to be brought about only by a long and determined effort of the will”.
Buddha’s teachings were not merely negative. They are positive and constructive. Buddha was not satisfied with a man following his precepts. He insisted upon encouraging others to follow them. For example in the AuguttaraNikaya the Buddha is quoted as distinguishing between a good man and a very good man by saying that one who abstains from killing, stealing, in-chastity, lying and drunkenness may be called good ; but only he deserves to be called very good who abstains from these evil things himself and also instigates others to do the like……….
As has been well said the two cardinal virtues of Buddhism are love and wisdom.
How deeply he inculcated the practice of love as a virtue is clear from his own words. “As a mother at the risk of her life watches over her own child, her only child, so also let every one cultivate: a boundless loving mind towards all beings. And let him cultivate good will towards, the entire world, a boundless (loving) mind above and below and across, unobstructed, without hatred, without enmity. This way of living is the best in the world.” So taught Buddha[f35].
“Universal pity, sympathy for all suffering beings, good will to every form of sentient life, these things characterised the Tathagath (Buddha) as they have few others of the sons of men ; and he succeeded in a most surprising degree in handing on his point of view to his followers. “[f36]
Buddha held to the doctrine of wisdom as firmly as he did to the doctrine of love. He held that moral life began with knowledge and ended with wisdom. he “came to save the world, and his method for the accomplishment of this end was the destruction of ignorance and the dissemination of knowledge as to the true values of life and the wise way to live. “Buddha did not arrogate to himself the power to save people. People had to do that for themselves. And the way to save lay through knowledge. So much insistence did he place upon knowledge that he did not think that morality without knowledge was virtue.
There are three things against which Buddha carried on a great campaign.
He repudiated the authority of the Vedas………. Secondly he denounced the Yudna as a form of religion. The attitude of Buddha towards Yadna is well stated in the Jatakamala in the form of a story. The story runs thus :
THE STORY OF THE SACRIFICE
Those hearts are pure do not act up to the enticement of the wicked. Knowing this, pure-heartiness is to be striven after. This will be taught by the following:
Long ago the Bodhisattva. it is said, was a king who had obtained his kingdom in the order of hereditary succession. He had reached this state as the effect of his merit, and ruled his realm in peace, not disturbed by any rival, his sovereignty being universally acknowledged. His country was free from any kind of annoyance, vexation or disaster, both his home relations and those with foreign countries being quite in every respect; and all his vessels obeyed his commands.
1. This monarch having subdued the passions, his enemies, felt no inclination for such profits as are to be blamed when enjoyed, but was with his whole heart intent on promoting the happiness of his subjects. Holding virtuous practice (dharma) the only purpose of his actions, he behaved like a Muni.
2. For he knew the nature of mankind, that people set a high value on imitating the behaviour of the highest. For this reason, being desirous of bringing about salvation for his subjects, he was particularly attached to the due performance of his religious duties. 3. He practised almsgiving kept strictly the precepts of moral conduct (sila), cultivated forbearance, strove for the benefit of the creatures. His mild countenance being in accordance with his thoughts devoted to the happiness of his subjects, he appeared like the embodied Dharma.
Now it once happened that though protected by his arm, his realm, both in consequence of the faulty actions of its inhabitants and inadvertence on the part of the angels charged with the care of rain, was afflicted in several districts by drought and the troublesome effects of such a disaster. Upon this the king, fully convinced that his plague had been brought about by the violation of righteousness by himself or his subjects, and taking much to heart the distress of his people, whose welfare was the constant object of his thoughts and cares, took the advice of men of acknowledged competence, who were reputed for their knowledge in matters of religion. So keeping counsel with the elders among the Brahmans, headed by his family priest (purohita) and his ministers, he asked them for some means of putting an end to that calamity. Now they believing a solemn sacrifice as is enjoined by the Veda to be a cause of abundant rain, explained to him that he must perform such a sacrifice of a frightful character, inasmuch as it requires the massacre of many hundreds of living beings. But after being informed of everything concerning such a slaughter as is prescribed for the sacrifice, his innate compassion forbade him to approve of their advice in his heart; yet out of civility, unwilling to offend them by harsh words of refusal, he slipped over this point, turning the conversation upon other topics. They, on the other hand, no sooner caught the opportunity of conversing with the king on matters of religion, than they once more admonished him to accomplish the sacrifice, for they did not understand his deeply hidden mind.
4. “You constantly take care not to neglect the proper time of performing your different royal duties, established for the sake of obtaining the possession of land and ruling it. The due order of these actions of yours is in agreement with the precepts of Righteousness (dharma).
5. “How then is this that you who (in all other respects) are so clever in the observance of the triad (of dharma, artha, and kama), bearing your bow to defend the good of your people, are so careless and almost sluggish as to that bridge to the world of the Devas, the name of which is ‘sacrifice’?
6. “ Like servants, the kings (your vassel) revere your commands, thinking them to be the surest gage of success. Now the time is come, 0 destroyer of your foes, to gather by means of sacrifice superior blessings, which are to procure for you a shining glory.
7. `Certainly, that holiness which is the requisite for a dikshita is already yours, by reason of your habitual practice of charity and your strictness in observing the restraint (of good conduct). Nevertheless, it would be fit for you to discharge your debt to the Devas by such sacrifices as are the subject matter of the Veda. The deities being satisfied by duly and faultlessly performed sacrifice, honour the creatures in return by (sending) rain. Thus considering, take to mind the welfare of your subjects and your own, and consent to the performance of a regular sacrifice which will enhance your glory.‘
8. Thereupon he entered upon this thought: ‘ Very badly guarded is my poor person indeed, being given in trust to such leaders. While faithfully believing and loving the law, I should uproot my virtue of tender heartiness by reliance upon the words of others. For, truly.’
9. Those who are reputed among men to be the best refuge are the very persons who intend to do harm, borrowing their arguments from the Law. Alas! Such a man, who follows the wrong path shown by them, will soon find himself driven to straits, for he will be surrounded by evils.
10. What connections may there be, forsooth, between righteousness and injuring animals? How my residence in the world of the Devas or propitiation of the deities have anything to do with the murder of victims?
II. The animal slaughtered according to the rites with the prescribed prayers, as if those sacred formulas were so many darts to wound it, goes to heaven, they say, and with this object it is killed. In this way that action is interpreted to be done according to the Law. Yet it is a lie.
12.For how is it possible that in the next world one should reap the fruits of what has been done by others? And by what reason will the sacrificial animal mount to heaven, though he has not abstained from wicked actions, though he has not devoted himself to the practice of good ones, simply because he has been killed in sacrifice, and not on the ground of his own actions?
13. And should the victim killed in sacrifice really go to heaven, should we not expect the Brahmans to offer themselves to be immolated in sacrifice? A similar practice, however, is nowhere seen among them. Who, then, may take to heart the advice proffered by these counsellors?
14. As to the Celestials, should we believe that they who are wont to enjoy the fair ambrosia of incomparable scent, flavour, magnificence, and effective power, served to them by the beautiful Apsaras, would abandon it to delight in the slaughter of a pitiable victim, that they might feast on the omentum and such other parts of his body as are offered to them in sacrifice?
Therefore, it is the proper time to act so and so.’ Having thus made up his mind, the king feigned to be eager to undertake the sacrifice; and in approval of their words he spoke to them in this manner; ‘Verily, well protected am I, well gratified, having such counsellors as Your Lordships are, thus bent on securing my happiness! Therefore I will have a human sacrifice (purushamedha) of a thousand victims performed. Let my officials, each in his sphere of business, be ordered to bring together the requisites necessary for that purpose. Let also an inquiry be made of the most fitting ground whereon to raise the tents and other buildings for the sattra. Further, the proper time for the sacrifice must be fixed (by the astrologers) examining the auspicious lunar days, karanas,muhurtas, and constellations.’ The purohita answered; `In order to succeed in your enterprise, Your Majesty ought to take the Avabhritha (final bath) at the end of one sacrifice; after which you may successively undertake the others. For if the thousand human victims were to be seized at once, your subjects, to be sure, would blame you and be stirred up to great agitation on their account.’ These words of the purohita having been approved by the (other) Brahmans, the king replied: ‘ Do not apprehend the wrath of the people, Reverands. I shall take such measures as to prevent any agitation among my subjects.’
15. After this the king convoked an assembly of the townsmen and the lands men, and said: ‘I intend to perform a human sacrifice of a thousand victims. But nobody behaving honestly is fit to be designated for immolation on my part. With this in mind, I give you this advice. Whomsoever of you I shall henceforward perceive transgressing the boundaries of moral conduct, despising my royal will him I order to be caught to be a victim at my sacrifice, thinking such a one the stain of his family and a danger to my country. With the object of carrying this resolution into effect, I shall cause you to be observed by faultless and sharp-sighted emissaries, who have shaken off sleepy carelessness and will report to me concerning your conduct. ‘
16. Then the foremost of the assembly, folding their hands and bringing them to their foreheads, spoke:
‘Your Majesty, all your actions tend to the happiness of your subjects, what reason can there be to despise you on that account? Even (God) Brahma cannot but sanction your behaviour. Your Majesty, who is the authority of the virtuous, be our highest authority. For this reason anything which pleases Your Majesty must please us too. Indeed, you are pleased with nothing else but our enjoyment and our good.’
After then, notables both of the town and the country had accepted his command in this manner; the king dispersed about his towns and all over his country, officers notified as such by their outward appearance to the people with the charge of laying hold of the evil doers, and everywhere he ordered proclamations to be made by beat of drum day after day, of this kind.
17. The King, a granter of security as he is, warrants safety to every one who constantly cultivates honesty and good conduct, in short, to the virtuous, yet, intending to perform a human sacrifice for the benefit of his subjects, he wants human victims by thousands to be taken out of those who delight in misconduct.
18. ‘Therefore, whosoever henceforward, licentiously indulging in misbehaviour, shall disregard the command of our monarch, which is even observed by the kings, his vassals, shall be brought to the state as a sacrificial victim by the very force of his own actions, and people shall witness his miserable suffering, when he shall pine with pain, his body being fastened to the sacrificial post.’
When the inhabitants of that realms became aware of their king’s careful search after evil-doers with the aim of destining them to be victims at his sacrifice-for they heard the most frightful royal proclamation day after day and saw the king’s servants, who were appointed to look out for wicked people and to seize them. Appearing every now and then everywhere they abandoned their attachment to bad conduct, and grew intend on strictly observing the moral precepts and self-control. They avoided every occasion of hatred and enmity. and settling their quarrels and differences, cherished mutual love and mutual esteem. Obedience to the words of parents and teachers, a general spirit of liberality and sharing with others, hospitality, good manners, modesty, prevailed among them. In short, they lived as it was in the KritaYuga.
19. The fear of death had awakened in them thoughts of the next world; the risk of tarnishing the honour of their families had stirred their care of guarding their reputation; the great purity of their hearts had strengthened their sense of shame. These factors being at work, people were soon distinguished by their spotless behaviour.
20. Even though every one became more than ever intends on keeping a righteous conduct, still the king’s servants did not diminish their watchfulness in the pursuit of the evildoers. This also contributed to prevent people from falling short of righteousness.
21. The king learning from his emissaries this state of things in his realm, felt extremely rejoiced. He bestowed rich presents on those messengers as a reward for the good news they told him, and enjoined his ministers, speaking something like this :
22. The protection of my subjects is my highest desire, you know. Now they have become worthy to be recipients of sacrificial gifts, and it is for the purpose of my sacrifice that I have provided this wealth. Well, I intend to accomplish my sacrifice in the manner, which I have considered to be the proper once. Let every one who wishes for money, that it may be fuel for his happiness, come and accept it from my hand to his heart’s content. In this way the distress and poverty, which is vexing our country, may be soon driven out. Indeed, whenever I consider my own strong determination to protect my subjects and the great assistance I derive from you, my excellent companions in that task, it often seems to me as though those sufferings of my people, by exciting my anger, were burning in my mind like a blazing fire.’
24. The ministers accepted the royal command and anon went to execute it. They ordered alms-halls to be established in all villages, towns, and markets, likewise at all stations on the roads. This being done, they caused all who begged in order to satisfy their wants, to be provided day after day with a gift of those objects, just as had been ordered by the king.
25. So poverty disappeared, and the people, having received wealth from the part of the king, dressed and adorned with manifold and fine garments and ornaments, exhibited the splendour of festival days.
26. The glory of the king, magnified by the eulogies of the rejoiced recipients of his gifts, spread about in all directions in the same way, as the flower dust of the lotuses carried forth by the small waves of a lake, extends itself over a larger and larger surface.
27. And after the whole people, in consequence of the wise measures taken by their ruler, had become intent on virtuous behaviour, the plagues and calamities, overpowered by the growth of all such qualities as conduce to prosperity, faded away, having lost their hold.
28. The seasons succeeded each other in due course, rejoicing everybody by their regularity, and like kings newly established, complying with the lawful order of things. Consequently the earth produced the various kinds of corn in abundance, and there was fullness of pure and blue water and lotuses in all water basins.
29. No epidemics afflicted mankind; the medicinal herbs possessed their efficacious virtues more than ever; monsoons blew in due time and regularly; the planets moved along in auspicious paths.
30. Nowhere there existed any danger to be feared, either from abroad, or from within, or such as might be caused by dangerous derangement of the elements. Continuing in righteousness and self-control, cultivating good behaviour and modesty, the people of that country enjoyed as it were the prerogatives of the KritaYuga. By the power, then, of the king performing his sacrifice in this manner in accordance with (the precepts of) the Law, the sufferings of the indigent were put to an end together with the plagues and calamities, and the country abounded in a prosperous and thriving population offering the pleasing aspect of felicity. Accordingly people never wearied of repeating benedictions on their king and extending his renown in all directions.
One day, one of the highest royal officials, whose heart had been inclined to the (True) Belief, spoke thus to the king: “This is a true saying, in truth.
31. “Monarchs, because they always deal with all kinds of business, the highest, the lowest, and the intermediate, by far surpass in their wisdom any wise men.
“For, Your Majesty, you have obtained the happiness of your subjects both in this world and in the next, as the effect of your sacrifice being performed in righteousness, free from the blameable sin of animal-slaughter. The hard times are all over and the sufferings of poverty have ceased, since men have been established in the precepts of good conduct. Why use many words? Your subjects are happy.
32. “The black antelope’s skin which covers your limbs has the resemblance of the spot on the bright Moon’s surface, nor can the natural loveliness of your demeanour be hindered by the restraint imposed on you by your being a dikshita. Your head, adorned with such hair-dress as is in compliance with the rites of the diksha, possesses no less lustre than when it was embellished with the splendour of the royal umbrella. And, last not least, by your largesse’s you have surpassed the renown and abated the pride of the famous performer of a hundred sacrifices.
33. “As a rule, Oh, you wise ruler, the sacrifice of those who long for the attainment of some good, is a vile act, accompanied as it is by injury done to living beings. Your sacrifice, on the contrary, this monument of your glory, is in complete accordance with your lovely behaviour and your aversion to vices.
34. “Oh! Happy are the subjects who have their protector in you! It is certain that no father could be a better guardian to his children.” Another said:
35.”If the wealthy practise charity, they are commonly impelled to do so by the hopes they put in the cultivation of that virtue; good conduct too, may be accounted for by the wish to obtain high regard among men or the desire of reaching heaven after death. But such a practice of both, as is seen in your skill in securing the benefit of others, cannot be found but in those who are accomplished both in learning and in virtuous exertions. “In such a way, then, those whose hearts are pure do not act up to the enticement of the wicked. Knowing this, pure-heartiness is to be striven after.” (In the spiritual lessons for princes, also this is to be said: ‘ Who to his subjects wishing good, himself exerts, Thus brings about salvation, glory, happiness. No other should be of a king the businesses.
And it may be added as follows: ‘(The prince) who strives after material prosperity, ought to act in accordance with the precepts of religion, thinking, a religious conduct of his subjects to be the source of prosperity.’
Further this is here to be said: `Injuring animals never tends to bliss, but charity, self-restraint, continence and the like have this power; for this reason he who longs for bliss must devote himself to these virtues. `And also when discoursing on the Tathagata: `In this manner the Lord showed his inclination to care for the interests of the world, when he was still in his previous existences.‘)
Another powerful attack against Yadna is contained in his discourses known as KutadantaSutta. It is as follows :
Now at that time the Brahman Kutadanta was dwelling at Khanumata, a place teeming with life, with much grassland and woodland and water and corn, on a royal domain presented him by SeniyaBimbisara the king of Magadha, as a royal gift, with power over it as if he were the king.
And just then a great sacrifice was being got ready on behalf of Kutadanta the Brahman. And a hundred bulls, and a hundred steers, and a hundred heifers, and a hundred goats, and a hundred rams had been brought to the post for the sacrifice.
2. Now the Brahmans and householders of Khanumata heard the news of the arrival of the SamanaGotama. And they began to leave Khanumata in companies and in bonds to go to the Ambalatthika pleasance.
3. And just then Kutandanta the Brahman had gone apart to the upper terrace of his house for his siesta; and seeing the people thus to go by, he asked his door-keeper the reason. And the doorkeeper told him.
4. Then Kutandanta thought: ‘I have heard that the Samana Gotarna understands about the successful performance of a sacrifice with its threefold method and its sixteen accessory instruments. Now I don’t know all this, and yet I want to carry out a sacrifice. It would be well for me to go to the SamanaGotama, and ask him about it. ‘
So he sent his doorkeeper to the Brahmans and householders of Khanumata, to ask them to wait till he could go with them to call upon the Blessed One.
5. But there were at that time a number of Brahmans staying at Khanumata to take part in the great sacrifice. And when they heard this they went to Kutadanta, and persuaded him on the same grounds as the Brahmans had laid before Sonadanda, not to go. But he answered them in the same terms as Sonadanda had used to those Brahmans. Then they were satisfied, and went with him to call upon the Blessed One.
9. And when he was seated there Kutadanta the Brahman told the Blessed One what he had heard, and requested him to tell him about success in performing a sacrifice in its three modes and with its accessory articles of furniture of sixteen kinds.
‘Well then, O Brahman, give ear and listen attentively and I will speak.’
‘Very well, Sir, `said Kutadanta in reply; and the Blessed One spoke as follows:
10. `Long ago, O Brahman, there was a king by name Wide-realm (MahaVigita), mighty, with great wealth and large property; with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods and corn; with his treasure-houses and his garners full. Now when King Wide-realm was once sitting alone in meditation, he became anxious at the thought: “I have in abundance all the good things a mortal can enjoy. The whole wide circle of the earth is mine by conquest to possess. `Twere well if I were to offer a great sacrifice that should ensure me weal and welfare for many days. “
And he had the Brahman, his chaplain, called; and telling him all that he had thought, he said: “Be I would faun, O Brahman, offer a great sacrifice-let the venerable one instruct me how-for my weal and my welfare for many days.”
11. Thereupon the Brahman who was chaplain said to the king: “The king’s country, Sirs, is harassed and harried. There are decoits abroad who pillages the villages and townships, and who makes the roads unsafe. Were the king, so long as that is so, to levy a fresh tax, verily his majesty would be acting wrongly. But perchance his majesty might think. ‘I’ll soon put a stop to these scoundrels’ game by degradation and banishment, and fines and bonds and death! ‘ But their license cannot be satisfactorily put a stop to. The remnant left unpunished would still go on harassing the realm. Now there is one method to adopt to put a thorough end to this disorder. Whosoever there be in the king’s realm who devote themselves to keeping cattle and the farm, to them let his majesty the king give food and seed-corn. Whosoever there be in the king’s realm who devote themselves to trade, to them let his majesty the king give capital. Whosoever there be in the king’s realm who devote themselves to government service, to them let his majesty the king give wages and food. Then those men following each his own business, will no longer harass the realm; the king’s revenue will go up ; the country will be quiet and at peace ; and the populace, pleased one with another and happy; dancing their children in their arms, will dwell with open doors.“
‘Then King Wide-realm, O Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said. And those men, following each his business, harassed the realm no more. And the King’s revenue went up. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children in their arms, dwelt with open doors.’
12. `So King Wide-realm had his chaplain called, and said: “The disorder is at an end. The country is at peace. I want to offer that great sacrifice—let the venerable one instruct me how—for my weal and my welfare for many days.”
‘ Then let his majesty the king send invitations to whomsoever there may be in his realm who are Kshatriyas, vassals of his, either in the country or the towns ; or who are ministers and officials of his, either in the country or the towns ; or who are Brahmans of position, either in the country or the towns ; or who are householders of substance, either in the country or the towns, saying :“I intend to offer a great sacrifice. Let the venerable ones give their sanction to what will be to me for weal and welfare for many days.”
‘Then King Wide-realm, O Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain, and did as he had said. And they each—Kshatriyas and ministers and Brahmans and householders—made alike reply: “Let his majesty the king celebrate the sacrifice. The time is suitable O King! ” ‘ Thus did these four, as colleagues by consent, become wherewithal to furnish forth that sacrifice,
13. `King Wide-realm was gifted in the following eight ways:
`He was well born on both sides, on the mother’s side and on the father’s, of pure descent back through seven generations, and no slur was cast upon him, and no reproach, in respect of birth.’
‘ He was handsome, pleasant in appearance, inspiring trust, gifted with great beauty of complexion, fair in colour, fine in presence, stately to behold.’
‘ He was mighty, with great wealth, and large property, with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods and corn, with his treasure-houses and his garners full.’
‘ He was powerful, in command of an army, loyal and disciplined in four divisions (of elephants, cavalry, chariots, and bow men), burning up, methinks, his enemies by his very glory.’
‘ He was a believer, and generous, a noble giver, keeping open house, a well in spring whence Samanas and Brahmans, the poor and the wayfarers, beggars, and petitioners might draw, a doer of good deeds. ‘
`He was learned in all kinds of knowledge.’ ` He knew the meaning of what had been said, and could explain, “ This saying has such and such a meaning, and that such and such “.
‘ He was intelligent, expert and wise and able to think out things present or past or future.
‘ And these eight gifts of his, too, became where withal to furnish forth that sacrifice.’
14. `The Brahman, his chaplain was gifted in the following four ways :
‘ He was well born on both sides, on the mother’s and on the father’s, of pure descent back through seven generations, with no slur cast upon him, and no reproach in respect of birth.
‘ He was a student repeater who knew the mystic verses by heart, master of the three Vedas, with the indices, the ritual, the phonology, and the exegesis (as a fourth), and the legends as a fifth, learned in the idioms and the grammar, versed in Lokayata (Mature-lore) and in the thirty marks on the body of a great man.
‘ He was virtuous, established in virtue, gifted with virtue that had grown great.
‘ He was intelligent, expert, and wise; foremost, or at most the second, among those who hold out the ladle. ‘‘ Thus these four gifts of his, too became wherewithal to furnish forth that sacrifice.’
15. ‘And further, O Brahman, the chaplain, before the sacrifice had begun, explained to King Wide-realm the three modes:
Should his majesty the King, before starting on the great sacrifice, feel any such regret as :“Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein, “let not the king harbour such regret. Should his majesty the King, whilst he is offering the great sacrifice, feel any such regret as :“Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein “let not the king harbour such regret. Should his majesty the King, when the great sacrifice has been offered, feel any such regret as “Great, alas, will be the portion of my wealth used up herein, “let not the king harbour such regret.’
‘Thus did the chaplain, O Brahman, before the sacrifice, had begun, explained to King Wide-realm the three modes.’
16. `And further, 0 Brahman, the chaplain, before the sacrifice had begun, in order to prevent anycompunction that might afterwards in ten ways, arise as regards those who had taken part therein, said :“Now there will come to your sacrifice, Sire, men who destroy the life of living things, and men who refrain therefrom, men who take what has not been given, and men who refrain therefrom, men who speak lies, and men who do not—men who slander and men who do not—men who speak rudely and men who do not—men who chatter vain things and men who refrain therefrom—men who covet and men who covet not—men who harbour illwill and men who harbour it not—men whose views are wrong and men whose views are right. Of each of these let them, who do evil, alone with their evil. For them who do well let your majesty offer, for them, Sire, arrange the rites, for them let the king gratify, in them shall our heart within find peace.“
17. `And further, O Brahman, the chaplain, whilst the king was carrying out the sacrifice, instructed and aroused and incited and gladdened his heart in sixteen ways :“Should there be people who should say of the king, as he is offering the sacrifice :‘King Wide-realm is celebrating sacrifice without having invited the four classes of his subjects, without himself having the eight personal gifts, without the assistance of a Brahman who has the four personal gifts.’ Then would they speak not acording to the fact. For the consent of the four classes has been obtained, the king had the eight, and his Brahman has the four, personal gifts. With regard to each and every one of these sixteen conditions the king may rest assured that it has been fulfilled. He can sacrifice, and be glad, and possess his heart in peace.”
18. `And further, O Brahman, at that sacrifice neither were any oxen slain, neither goats, nor fowls, nor fatted pigs, nor were any kinds of living creatures put to death. No trees were cut down to be used as posts, no Dabha grasses mown to strew around the sacrificial spot. And the slaves and messengers and workmen there employed were driven neither by rods nor fear, nor carried on their work weeping with tears upon their faces. Who so chose to help, he worked ; who so chose not to help, worked not. What each chose to do he did; what they chose not to do, that was left undone, With ghee and oil, and butter and milk, and honey and sugar only was that sacrifice accomplished.
19. `And further, O Brahman, the Kshatriyavassels, and the ministers and officials, and the Brahmans of position, and the householders of substance, whether of the country or of the towns, went to King, Wide-realm, taking with them much wealth, and said, “This abundant wealth, Sire, have we brought hither for the king’s use. Let his majesty accept it at our hands!”
“Sufficient wealth have I, my friends, laid up, the produce of taxation that is just. Do you keep yours, and take away more with you!“
When they had thus been refused by the king, they went aside, and considered thus one with the other: “It would not be seem us now, were we to take this wealth away again to our own homes. King Wide-realm is offering a great sacrifice. Let us too make an after-sacrifice!”
20. ` So the Kshatriyas established a continual largesse to the east of the king’s sacrificial pit, and the officials to the south thereof, and the Brahmans to the west thereof, and the householders to the north thereof. And the things given, and the manner of their gift, was in all respects like unto the great sacrifice of King Wide-realm himself.’
`Thus, O Brahman, there was a fourfold co-operation, and King Wide-realm was gifted with eight personal gifts, and his officiating Brahman with four. And there were three modes of the giving of that sacrifice. This, 0 Brahman, is what is called the due celebration of a sacrifice in its threefold mode and with its furniture of sixteen kinds.
21. `And when he had thus spoken, those Brahmans lifted up their voices in tumult, and said: “How glorious the sacrifice, how pure its accomplishment!“But Kutadanta the Brahman sat there in silence.
Then those Brahmans said to Kutadanta : ‘ Why do you not approve the good words of the SamanaGotarna as well-said?’
` I do not fail to approve ; for he who approves not as well-said that which has been well spoken by the Samana Gotama, verily his head would split in twain. But I was considering that the Samana Gotama does not say : “Thus have I heard,” nor “Thus behoves it to be,” but says only, “ Thus it was then, “ or “It was like that then“. So I thought ;“For a certainty the Samana Gotama himself must a.t that time have been King Wide-realm, or the Brahman who officiated for him at that sacrifice. Does the Venerable Gotama admit that he who celebrates such a sacrifice, or causes it to be celebrated, is reborn at the dissolution of the body, after death, into some state of happiness in heaven ?“
‘Yes, O Brahman, that I admit. And at that time I was the Brahman who, as chaplain, had that sacrifice performed.’
22. `Is there, O Gotama, any other sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, with more fruit and more advantage still than this? ‘ ‘ Yes, 0 Brahman, there is.’ ‘And what, 0 Gotama, may that be?’
`The perpetual gifts kept up in a family where they are given specifically to virtuous recluses.’
23. ‘But what is the reason, O Gotama, and what the cause, why such perpetual giving specifically to virtuous recluses, and kept up in a family, are less difficult and troublesome of greater fruit and greater advantage than that other sacrifice with its three modes and its accessories of sixteen kinds ? ‘
‘ To the latter sort of sacrifice, 0 Brahman, neither will the Arhata go, nor such as have entered on the Arhat way. And why not? Because in it beating with sticks takes place, and seizing by the throat. But they will go to the former, where such things are not. And therefore are such perpetual gifts above the other sort of sacrifice.’
24. ‘ And is there, O Gotama, any other sacrifice less difficult, and less troublesome, of greater fruit and of greater advantage than either of these.’ ‘ Yes, 0 Brahman, there is.’ ‘ And what, 0 Gotama, may that be ? ‘
`The putting up of a dwelling place (Vihara) on behalf of the Order in all the four directions.’
25. And is there, O Gotama, any other sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, of greater fruit and of greater advantage than each and all of these three?’ ‘Yes, 0 Brahman, there is.’ ‘ And what, 0 Gotama, may that be ? ‘
‘ He who with trusting heart takes a Buddha as his guide, and the Truth, and the Order—that is a sacrifice better than open largeses, better than perpetual alms, better than the gift of a dwelling place.’
26. ‘And is there, O Gotama, any other sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, of greater fruit and of greater advantage than all these four?’
`When a man with trusting heart takes upon himself the precepts-abstinence from destroying life; abstinence from taking what has not been given ; abstinence from evil conduct in respect of lusts ; abstinence from lying words; abstinence from strong, intoxicating, maddening drinks, the root of carelessness, that is a sacrifice better than open largesses, better than perpetual alms, better than the gift of dwelling places, better than accepting guidance.’
27. `And is there, O Gotama, any other sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, of greater fruit and of greater advantage than all these five?‘ ‘Yes, O Brahman, there is.’ ‘And what, 0 Gotama, may that be?’
(The answer is the long passage from the Samana-phaleSutta 40, p. 62 (of the text,) down to 75 (p. 74) on the First Ghana, as follows :
1. The Introductory paragraphs on the appearance of a Buddha, his preaching, the conversion of ahearer, and his renunciation of the world.
2. The Silas (minor morality).
3. The paragraph on Confidence.
4. The paragraph on ‘Guarded is the door of his senses.‘
5. The paragraph on ‘ Mindful and self possessed.’
6. The paragraph on Content.
7. The paragraph on Solitude.
8. The paragraph on the Five Hindrances.
9. The description of the First Ghana.) ‘This, 0 Brahman, is a sacrifice less difficult and less troublesome, of greater fruit and greater advantage than the previous sacrifices,
(The same is then said the Second, Third, and Fourth Ghanas, in succession (as in the Samannao-phaloSutas 77-82) and of the Insight arising from knowledge (ibid 83, 84), and further (omitting direct mention either way of 85-96 inclusive) of the knowledge of the destruction of the Asavas. the deadly intoxications or floods (ibid. 97-98).
‘ And there is no sacrifice man can celebrate, 0 Brahman, higher and sweeter than this.’
28. And when he had thus spoken, Kutadanta the Brahman said to the Blessed One :
‘ Most excellent, 0 Gotama, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent ! Just as if a man were to set up what has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms—just even so has the truth been made known to me in many a figure by the Venerable Gotama. I, even I, betake myself to the Venerable Gotama as my guide, to the Doctrine and the Order. May the Venerable One accept me as a disciple, as one who, from this day forth, as long as life endures has taken him as his guide. And I myself, O Gotama, will have the seven hundred bulls, and the seven hundred steers, and the seven hundred heifers, and the seven hundred goats, and the seven hundred rams set free. To them I grant their life. Let them eat green grass and drink fresh water, and may cool breezes waft around them.’
29. Then the Blessed One discoursed to Kutadanta the Brahman in due order; that is to say, he spoke to him of generosity, of right conduct, of heaven, of the danger, the vanity, and the defilement of lusts, of the advantages of renunciation. And when the Blessed One became aware that Kutadanta the Brahman had become prepared, softened, unprejudiced, upraised, and believing in heart then did he proclaim the doctrine the Buddhas alone have won; that is to say, the doctrine of sorrow, of its origin, of its cessation and of the Path. And just as a clean cloth, with all stains in it washed away, will readily take the dye, just even so did Kutadanta the Brahman, even while seated there, obtain the pure and spotless Eye for the Truth. And he knew whatsoever has a beginning, in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution.
30. And then the Brahman Kutadanta, as one who had seen the Truth, had mastered it, understood it, dived deep down into it. Who had passed beyond doubt, and put away perplexity and gained full confidence, who had become dependent on no other for his knowledge of the teaching of the Master, addressed the Blessed One and said :
` May the venerable Gotama grant me the favour of taking his tomorrow meal with me and also the members of the Order with him. ‘
And the Blessed One signified, by silence, his consent. Then the Brahman Kutadanta, seeing that the Blessed One had accepted, rose from his seat, and keeping his right towards him as he passed, he departed thence. And at daybreak he had sweet food, both hard and soft, made ready at the pit prepared for his sacrifice and had the time announced to the Blessed One: ‘It is time, 0 Gotama and the meal is ready. ‘ And the Blessed One, who had dressed early in the morning, put on his outer robe, and taking his bowl with him, went with the brethren to Kutadanta’s sacrificial pit, and sat down there on the seat prepared for him. And Kutadanta the Brahman satisfied the brethren with the Buddha at their head, with his own hand, with sweet food, both hard and soft, till they refused any more. And when the Blessed One had finished his meal, and cleansed the bowl and his hands, Kutadanta the Brahman took a low seat and seated himself beside him. And when he was thus seated, the Blessed One instructed and aroused
and incited and gladdened Kutadanta the Brahman with religious discourse ; and then arose from his seat and departed thence.
Thirdly Buddha denounced the caste system. The Caste System in its present form was not then existing. The bar against inter-dining and inter-marriage had not then become operative. Things were flexible and not rigid as they are now. But the principle of inequality which is the basis of the caste system had become well established and it was against this principle that Buddha carried on a determined and a bitter fight. How strongly was he opposed to the pretensions of the Brahmins for superiority over the other classes and how convincing were the grounds of his opposition are to be found in many of his dialogues. The most important one of these is known as the AmbatthaSutta.
(A young Brahman’s rudeness and an old one’s faith). 1. Thus have I heard. The Blessed One when once on a tour through the Kosala country with a great company of the brethren, with about five hundred brethern, arrived at a Brahman village in Kosala named Ikkhanankala; and while there he stayed in the Ikkhanankala Wood.
Now at that time the Brahman Pokkharsadi was dwelling at Ukkattha, a spot teeming with life, with much grassland and woodla.nd and corn, on a royal domain, granted him by King Pasenadi of Kosala as royal gift, with power over it as if he were the king.
2. Now the Brahman Pokkharasadi heard the news : `They say that the SamanaGotama, of the Sakya clan, who went out from a Sakya family to adopt the religious life, has now arrived, with a great company of the brethren of his Order, at lkkhanankala, and is staying there in the lkkhanankala Wood. Now regarding that venerable Gotama, such is the high reputation that has been noised abroad. The Blessed One is an Arahat, a fully awakened one, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, a Blessed One, a Buddha. He, by himself, thoroughly knows and sees, as it were, face to face this universe, including the worlds above of the gods, the Brahmans, and the Maras, and the world below with its recluses and Brahmans, its princes and peoples, and having known it, he makes his knowledge known to others. The truth, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, doth he proclaim, both in the spirit and in the letter, the higher life doth he make known, in all its fullness and in all its purity. `And good is it to pay visits to Arahats like that.’ 3. Now at the time a young Brahman, an Ambattha, was a pupil under Pokkharasadi the Brahman. And he was a repeater (of the sacred words) knowing the mystic verses by heart, one who had mastered the Three Vedas, with the indices, the ritual, the phonology, and the exegesis (as a fourth), and the legends as a fifth learned in the idioms and the grammar, versed in Lokayata sophistry and in the theory of the signs on the body of a great man—so recognised an authority in the system of the threefold Vedic knowledge as expounded by his master, that he could say of him: ‘ What I know that you know, and what you know that I know. ‘.
4. And Pokkharasadi told Ambattha the news, and said : `Come now, dear Ambattha, go to the SamanaGotama, and find out whether the reputation so noised abroad regarding him is in accord with the facts or not, whether the Samana Gotama is such as they say or not ‘. 5. `But how. Sir, shall I know whether that is so or not ?’ ‘ There have been handed down, Ambattha, in our mystic verses thirty-two bodily signs of a great man,—signs which, if a man has, he will become one of two things, and no other. If he dwells at home he will become a sovereign of the world, a righteous king, bearing rule even to the shores of the four great oceans, a conqueror, the protector of his people, possessor of the seven royal treasures. And these are the seven treasures that he has the Wheel, the Elephant, the Horse, the Gem, the Woman, the Treasurer, and the Adviser as a seventh. And he has more than a thousand sons, heroes, mighty in frame, beating down the armies of the foe. And he dwells in complete ascendancy over the wide earth from sea to sea, ruling it in righteousness without the need of baton or of sword. But if he go forth from the household life into the house less state, then he will become a Buddha who removes the veil from the eyes of the world. Now I, Ambattha, am a giver of the mystic verses; you have received them from me. ‘
6. ‘ Very good Sir, said Ambattha in reply; and rising from his seat and paying reverence to Pokkharasadi, he mounted a chariot drawn by mares, and proceeded, with a retinue of young Brahmans, to the Ikkhanankala Wood. And when he had gone on in the chariot as far as the road was practicable for vehicles, he got down, and went on, into the park, on foot.
7. Now at that time a number of the brethren were walking up and down in the open air. And Ambattha went up to them and said: ‘where may the Venerable Gotama be lodging now? We have come hither to call upon him.’
8. Then the brethren thought: This young Brahman Ambattha is of distinguished family, and a pupil of the distinguished Brahman Pokkharasadi. The Blessed One will not find it difficult to hold conversation with such.’ And they said to Ambattha : ‘There Gotama is lodging, where the door is shut, go quietly up and enter the porch gently, and give a cough, and knock on the crossbar. The Blessed One will open the door for you.’
9. Then Ambattha did so. And the Blessed One opened the door, and Ambattha entered in. And the other young Brahmans also went in; and they exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy, and took their seats. But Ambattha, walking about, said something or other of a civil kind in an off-hand way, fidgetting about the while, or standing up, to the Blessed One sitting there.
10. And the Blessed One said to him ; ‘Is that the way, Ambattha, that you would hold converse with aged teachers, and teachers of your teachers well stricken in years, as you now do, moving about the while or standing, with me thus seated ? ‘
11. `Certainly not, Gotama. It is proper to speak, with a Brahman as one goes along only when the Brahman himself is walking and standing to a Brahman who stands, and seated to a Brahman who has taken his seat, or reclining to a Brahman who reclines. But with shavelings, sham friars, menial black fellows, the off scouring of our kinsman’s heels—with them I would talk as I now do to you.‘
‘ But you must have been wanting something, Ambattha, when you come here. Turn your thoughts rather to the object you had in view when you came. This young Brahman Ambattha is ill bred, though he prides himself on his culture ; what can this come from except from want of training?’
12. Then Ambattha was displeased and angry with the Blessed One at being called rude; and at the thought that the Blessed One was vexed with him, he said, scoffing, jeering, and sneering at the Blessed One: ‘ Rough is this Sakya breed of yours, Gotama, and rude, touchy is this Sakya breed of yours and violent. Menials, mere menials, they neither venerate, nor value, nor esteem, nor give gifts to, nor pay honour to Brahmans. That, Gotama, is neither fitting, nor is it seemly.’ Thus did the young Brahman Ambattha for the first time charge the Sakyas with being menials.
Once, Gotama, I had to go to Kapilvastu on some business or other of Pokkharasadi’s, and went into the Sakyas’ Congress Hall. Now at that time there were a number of Sakyas, old and young, seated in the hall on grand seats, making merry and joking together, nudging one another with their fingers; and for a truth, methinks, it was I myself that was the subject of their jokes; and not one of them even offered me a seat. That, Gotama, is neither fitting, nor is it seemly, that the Sakyas, menials, as they are, mere menials, should neither venerate, nor value, nor esteem, nor give gifts to, nor pay honour to Brahmams.”
Thus did the young Brahman Ambattha for the second time charge the Sakyas with being menials.
14. ‘ Why a quail Ambattha, little hen bird tough she be, can say what she likes in her own nest. And there the Sakyas are at their own home, in Kapilvastu. It is not fitting for you to take offence at so trifling a thing.’
15. `There are these four grades, Gotama,—the nobles, the Brahmans, the trades folk, and the work-people. And of these four, three—the nobles, the trades folk, and workpeople—are, verily, but attendants on the Brahmans. So, Gotama, that is neither fitting nor is it seemly, that the Sakyas, menials as they are, mere menials should neither venerate, nor value, nor esteem, nor give gifts to, nor pay honour to the Brahmans.’
1* Thus did the young Brahman Ambattha for the third time charged the sakyes with being menials.
16. Then the Blessed One thought thus: ‘ This Ambattha is very set on humbling the Sakyas with his charge of servile origin. What if I were to ask him as to his own lineage.’ And he said to him:
`And what family do you then, Ambattha, belong to?’ ‘ Yes, but if one were to follow up your ancient name and lineage, Ambattha, on the father’s and the mother’s side, it would appear that the Sakyas were once your masters, and that you are the offspring of one of their slave girls. But the Sakyas trace their line back to Okkaka the kings.’
‘ Long ago, Ambattha, King Okkaka, wanting to divert the succession in favour of the son of his favourite queen, banished his elder children-Okkamukha,Karanda,Hatthinika, and Sinipura-from the land. And being thus banished they took up their dwelling on the slopes of the Himalaya, on the borders of a lake where a mighty oak tree grew. And through fear of injuring the purity of their line they intermarried with their sisters.
Now Okkaka the king asked the ministers at his court :“Where, Sirs, are the children now?”
‘There is a spot, Sire, on the slopes of the Himalaya, on the borders of a lake, where there grows a mighty oak (sako). There do they dwell. And lest they should injure the purity of their line they have married their own (sakahi) sisters.’
‘ Then did Okkaka the king burst forth in admiration: “Hearts of oak (sakya) are those young fellows! Right well they hold their own (parama sakya)!“
`That is the reason, Ambattha, why they are known as Sakyas. Now Okkaka had slave girl called Disa. She gave birth to a black baby. And no sooner was it born than the little black thing said, “Wash me, mother. Bathe me, mother. Set me free, mother of this dirt. So shall I be of use to you.”
Now, just as now, Ambattha, people call devils, “devils“, so then they called devils. “black fellows“(kanhe). And they said, “This fellow spoke as soon as he was born.’Tis a black thing (Kanha) that is born, a devil has been born!“ And that is the origin, Ambattha, of the Kanhayanas. He was the ancestor of the Kanhayanas. And thus is it, Ambattha, that if one were to follow up your ancient name and lineae, on the father’s and on the mother’s side, it would appear that the Sakyas were once your masters, and that you are the offspring of one of their slave girls.’
17. When he had thus spoken the young Brahmans said to the Blessed One : ‘ Let not the Venerable Gotama, humble Ambattha too sternly with this reproach of being descended from a slave girl. He is well born, Gotama, and of good family; he is versed in the sacred hymns, an able reciter, a learned man. And he is able to give answer to the Venerable Gotama in these matters.
18. Then the Blessed One said to them: Quite so. If you thought otherwise, then it would be for you to carry on our discussion further. But as you think so, let Ambattha himself speak.’
19. ‘ We do not think so ; and we will hold our peace. Ambattha is able to give answer to the venerable Gotama in these matters.’
20. Then the Blessed One said to Ambattha the Brahman: `Then this further question arises, Ambattha, a very reasonable one which even though unwillingly, you should answer. If you do not give a clear reply, or go off upon another issue, or remain silent, or go away, then your head will split in pieces on the spot. What have you heard, when Brahmans old and well stricken in years, teachers of yours or their teachers, were talking together, as to whence the Kanhayanas draw their origin, and who the ancestor was to whom they trace themselves back? ‘
And when he had thus spoken Ambattha remained silent. And the Blessed One asked the same question again. And still Ambattha remained silent. Then the Blessed One said to him: ‘ You had better answer, now, Ambattha. This is no time for you to hold your peace. For whosoever, Ambattha, does not, even up to the third time of asking, answer a reasonable question put by a Tathagata (by one who has won the truth), his head splits into pieces on the spot.’
21. Now at that time the spirit who bears the thunderbolt stood over above Ambattha in the sky with a mighty mass of iron, all fiery, dazzling, and aglow, with the intention, if he did not answer, there and then to split his head in pieces. And the Blessed One perceived the spirit bearing the thunderbolt, and so did Ambattha the Brahman. And Ambattha on becoming aware of it, terrified,startled, and agitated, seeking safety and protection and help from the Blessed One, crouched down besides him in awe, and said :‘What was it the Blessed One said ? Say it once again ! ‘
`What do you think. Ambattha? What have you heard, when Brahmans old and well stricken in years, teachers of yours or their teachers, were talking together, as to whence the Kanhayanas draw their origin, and who the ancestor was to whom they trace themselves back?’
`Just so, Gotama, did I hear, even as the VenerableGotamahath said. That is the origin of the Kanhayana, and that the ancestor to whom they trace themselves back.’
22. And when he had thus spoken the young Brahmans fell into tumult, and uproar, and turmoil: and said : `Low born they say, is Ambattha the Brahman: his family, they say is not of good standing: they say he is descended from a slave girl: and the Sakyas were his masters. We did not suppose that the Samana Gotama whose words are righteousness itself, was not a man to be trusted! ‘
23. And the Blessed One thought: ‘They go too far these Brahmans in their depreciation of Ambattha as the offspring of a slave girl. Let me set him free from their reproach. And he said to them :Be not too severe in disparaging Ambattha the Brahman on the ground of his descent. That Kanha became a mighty seer. He went into the Dekkan there he learnt mystic verses, and returning to Okkaka the king, he demanded his daughter Madda-rupi in marriage, To him the king in answer said: “Who forsooth is this fellow who son of my slave girl as he is asks for my daughter in marriage:” and angry and displeased, he fitted an arrow to his bow. But neither could he let the arrow fly nor could he take it off the string again.
Then the ministers and courtiers went to Kanha the seer, and said : “et the king go safe, Sir, let the king go safe.”
“The king shall suffer no harm. But should he shoot the arrow downwards, then would the earth dry up as far as his realm extends.” “ Let the king, Sir, go safe, and the country too.” “The king shall suffer no harm, nor his land. But should he shoot the arrow upwards, the god would not rain for seven years as far as his realm extends.”
“ Let the king, Sir, go safe, and the country too.” “The king shall suffer no harm nor his land. But should he shoot the arrow upwards, the god would not rain for seven years as far as his realm extends.”
“Let the king, Sir, go safe, and the country too: and let the god rain.”
“The king shall suffer no harm, nor the land either, and the god shall rain. But let the king aim the arrow at his eldest son. The prince shall suffer no harm, not a hair of him shall be touched.”
‘Then, O Brahmans, the ministers told this to Okkaka, and said: “ Let the king aim at his eldest son. He will suffer neither harm nor terror.” And the king did so, and no harm was done. But the king, terrified at the lesson given him, gave the man his daughter Madda-rupi as wife. You should not, 0 Brahmans, be too severe to disparage Ambattha in the matter of his slave-girl ancestry. That Kanha was a mighty seer.’
24. Then the Blessed One said to Ambattha :‘What think you, Ambattha? Suppose a young Kshatriya should have connection with a Brahman maiden, and from their intercourse a son should be born. Now would the son thus come to the Brahman maiden through the Kshatriya youth receive a seat and water (as token of respect) from the Brahmans? ` Yes, he would. Gotama.’
` But would the Brahmans allow him to partake of the feast offered to the dead. or of the food boiled in milk. or of the offerings to the gods. or of food sent as a present ?‘ ` Yes. they would Gotama. ‘
`But would the Brahmans teach him their verses or not?’‘They would Gotama.’‘Butwould he be shut off or not from their women?’ ‘ Hewould not be shut off.’
Because he is not of pure descent on the mother’s side.’ 25. ‘Then what think you Ambattha? Suppose a Brahman youth should have connection with a Kshatriya maiden, and from their intercourse a son should be born. Now would the son come to the Kshatriya maiden through the Brahman youth receive a seat and water (as token of respect) from the Brahmans?‘ ‘Yes, he would, Gotama.’
‘ But would the Brahmans allow him to partake of the feast offered to the dead, or of food boiled in milk, or of an offering to the gods, or of food sent as a present? ‘ ‘ Yes, they would, Gotama.’
‘ But would the Brahmans teach him their verses or not ?’ ‘They would, Gotama.’
‘ But would the Kshatriyas allow him to receive the consecration ceremony of a Kshatriya. ‘ `Certainly not, Gotama.‘ ‘Why not that ?’
‘ Because he is not of pure descent on the father’s side.’ 26. ‘ Then, Ambattha, whether one compares women with women, or men with men, the Kshatriyas are higher and the Brahmans inferior.
‘ And what think you, Ambattha ? Suppose the Brahmans, for some offence or other, were to outlaw a Brahman by shaving him and pouring ashes over his head, were to banish him from the land from the township. Would he be offered a seat or water among the Brahmans ? ‘ ‘ Certainly not, Gotama.’
‘ Or would the Brahmans allow him to partake of the food offered to the dead, or of the food boiled in milk, or of the offerings to the gods, or of food sent as a present ? ‘ ‘ Certainly not, Gotama.’
‘ Or would the Brahmans teach him their verses or not ? ‘ `Certainly not, Gotama.’
`And would he be shut off, or not, from their women ?’ ‘He would be shut off.’
27. `But what think you, Ambattha? If the Kshatriyas had in the same way outlawed a Kshatriya and banished him from the land or the township, would he, among the Brahmans, be offered water and a seat ? ‘ `Yes, he would, Gotama.’
‘ And would he be allowed to partake of the food offered to the dead, or of the food boiled in milk, or of the offerings to the gods. or of food sent as a present ?’
`And would he beshut off, or not from their women ?’ ‘ He would not, Gotama.’
` But thereby, Ambattha, the Kshatriya would have fallen into the deepest degradation, shaven as to his head, cut dead with the ash-basket, banished from land and townships. So that, even when a Kshatriya has fallen into the deepest degradation, still it holds good that the Kshatriyas are higher, and the Brahmans inferior.
“The Kshatriya is the best of those among this folk who put their trust in lineage.
But he who is perfect in wisdom and righteousness, he is the best among gods and men.“
`Now this stana, Ambattha, was well sung and not ill sung by the Brahma Sanam-kumarawell said and not ill said full of meaning and not void thereof. And I too approve it, ` I also ‘ Ambattha says:
“The Kshatriya is the best of those among this folk who put their trust in lineage,
But he who is perfect in wisdom and righteousness, he is the best among gods and men.”
HERE ENDS THE FIRST PORTION FOR RECITATION
1. `But what Gotama is the righteousness and what the wisdom spoken of in that verse?’
`In the supreme perfection in wisdom and righteousness, Ambattha. there is no reference to the question either of birth, or of lineage, or of the pride which says: “ You are held as worthy as I “, or “ You are not held as worthy as I“. It is wherethe talk is of marrying, or giving in marriage, that reference is made to such things as that. For whosoever, Ambattha, are in bondage to the notions of birth or of lineage, or to the pride of social position, or of connection by marriage. They are far from the best wisdom and righteousness. It is only by having got rid of all such bondage that one can realise for himself that supreme perfection in wisdom and in conduct.
1. The Silas above pp. 4-12 (8-27) of the text. Only the refrain differs. It runs here, at the end of each clause, through the whole of this repeated passage: `This is reckoned in him as morality.’ Then under ‘Conduct‘(Karuna).
2. The paragraph on `Confidence,’ above, p. 69 of the text 63. The refrain from here onwards. This is reckoned to him as conduct.
3. The paragraph on `Guarded is the door of the senses’ above. p. 70 of the text, 64.
4. The paragraph on `Mindful and self-possessed,’ above, p. 70 of the text 65.
5. The paragraph on `Content,’ above. p. 71 of the text, 66.
6. The paragraph on `Solitude,’ above, p. 71 of the text, 67.
7. The paragraphs on the ‘ Five Hindrances,’ above pp, 71-2 of the text, 68-74.
8. The paragraphs on the `Four Rapt Contemplations’ above, 73-76, pp. 75-82. The refrain at the end of each of them (’ higher and better than the last ‘) is here of course, to be read not as higher fruit of the life of a recluse, but as higher conduct.
9. The Paragraphs on `Insight arising from Knowledge‘(Nana-dassanam), above, p. 76 of the text, 83, 84. The refrain from here onwards is: `This is reckoned in him as wisdom, and it is higher and sweeter than the last.’
10. The paragraphs on the ‘ Mental Image,‘above, p. 77 of the text 85, 86.
11. The paragraphs on `Mystic Gifts’ (lddhi), above, p. 77 of the text, 87, 88.
15. The paragraph on the `Divine Eye‘(Dibbakakkhu), above, p. 82 of the text, 95, 96.
16. The paragraphs on the `Destruction of the Deadly Floods’ (AsavanamKhaya-nanam), above, p. 83 of the text. 97, 98.
‘ Such a man, Ambattha, is said to be perfect in wisdom, perfect in conduct, perfect in wisdom and conduct. And there is no other perfection in wisdom and conduct higher and sweeter than this.’
3. `Now, Ambattha, to this supreme perfection in wisdom and goodness there are Four Leakages. And what are the four?’
`In case, Ambattha any recluse or Brahman, without having thoroughly attained unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct, with his yoke on his shoulder (to carry fire-sticks, a water-pot, needles, and the rest of a mendicant friar’s outfit), should plunge into the depths of the forest, vowing to himself: “I will henceforth be one of those who live only on fruits that have fallen of themselves “— then, verily, he turns that out worthy only to be a servant unto him that hath attained to wisdom and rightsouness.’
`And again, Ambattha in case any recluse or Brahman, without having thoroughly attained unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct, and without having attained to living only on fruits fallen of themselves, taking a hoe and a basket with him, should plunge into the depths of the forest, vowing to himself: “I will henceforth be one of those who live only on bulbs and roots of fruits.” Then, verily he turns out worthy only to be a servant unto him who hath attained to wisdom and righteousness.’
`And again Ambattha in case any recluse or Brahman without having thoroughly attained unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct, and without having attained to living only on fruits fallen of themselves, and without having attained to living only on bulbs and roots and fruits, should build himself a fire shrine near the boundaries of some village or some town and there dwell serving the fire-god, then verily he turns out worthy only to be a servant unto him that hath attained to wisdom and righteousness.’
`And again Ambattha in case any recluse or Brahman without having thoroughly attained unto this supreme perfection in wisdom and conduct, and without having attained to living only on fruits fallen of themselves, and without having attained to living only on bulbs and roots and fruits, and without having attained to serving the fire-god, should build himself a foundered almshouse at a crossing where four high roads meet, and dwell‘ there, saying to himself: “Whosoever, whether recluse or Brahman shall pass here, from either of these four directions, him will I entertain according to my ability and according to my power—then, verily, he turns out worthy only to be a servant unto him who hath attained to wisdom and righteousness.’
`These are the Four Leakage, Ambattha, to supreme perfection in righteousness and conduct.’
4. `Now what think you, Ambattha? Have you, as one of a class of pupils under the same teacher, been instructed in this supreme perfection of wisdom and conduct ?‘
Not that, Gotama. How little is it that I can profess to have learnt! How supreme this perfection of wisdom and conduct! Far is it from me to have been trained therein?’
‘Then what think you, Ambattha? Although you have not thoroughly attained unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness, have you been trained to take the yoke upon your shoulders. and plunge into the depths of the forest as one who would fain observe the vow of living only on fruits fallen of themselves ?’ `Not even that, Gotama’.
`Then what think you Ambattha? Althougn you have not attained unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness, nor have attained to living on fruits fallen of themselves, have you been trained to take hoe and basket, and plunge into the depths of the forest as one who would fain observe the vow of living only on bulbs and roots and fruits? ‘ ‘Not even that, Gotama’
`Then what think you, Ambattha? Althougn you have not attained unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness, and have not attained to living on fruits fallen of themselves, and have not attained to living on bulbs and roots and fruits, have you been taught to build yourself a fire-shrine on the borders of some village or some town. and dwell there as one who would fain serve the fire-god ?’ ‘Not even that, Gotama.’
‘ Then what think you, Ambattha ? Although you have not attained unto this supreme perfection of wisdom and goodness, and have not attained to living on fruits fallen of themselves, and have not attained to living on bulbs and roots and fruits, and have not attained to serving the firegod, have you been taught to build yourself a four-dooredalmshouse at a spot where four high roads cross, and dwell there as one who would fain observe the vow to entertain whosoever might pass that way, from any of the four directions, according to your ability and according to your power ?’ ‘ Not even that, Gotama.’
5. ‘ So then you, Ambattha, as a pupil, have fallen short of due training, not only in the supreme wisdom and conduct, but even in any one of the Four Leakages by which the complete attainment thereof is debarred. And your teacher too, the BrahmanPokkharasadi, has told you this saying :“Who are these shavelings, sham friars, menial black fellows, the offscouring of our kinsman’s heels, that they should claim converse with Brahmans versed in the threefold Vedic Lore!“he himself not having even fulfilled any one even of these lesser duties (which lead men to neglect the higher ones). See, Ambattha, how deeply your teacher the BrahmanPokkharasadi has herein done you wrong.’
6. ‘And the Brhman Pokkharasadi Ambattha, is in the enjoyment of a grant from Pasenadi, the king of Kosala. But the king does not allow him to come into his presence. When he consults with him he speaks to him only from behind a curtain. How is it, Ambattha, that the very King, from whom he accepts this pure and lawful maintenance, King Pasendadi of Kosala, does not admit him to his presence? See, Ambattha, how deeply your teacher the Brahman Pokkharasadi, has herein done you wrong.’
7. ` Now what think you, Ambattha ? Suppose a king, either seated on the neck of his elephant or on the back of his horse, or standing on the footrug of his chariot, should discuss some resolution of state with his chiefs or princes, and suppose as he left the spot and stepped on one side, a workman (Sudra) or the slave of a workman should come up and. standing there, should discuss the matter, saying: “Thus and thus said Pasendadi the King.” Although he should speak as the king might have spoken, or discuss as the king might have done, would he thereby be the king, or even as one of his officers ? ‘ ‘Certainly not, Gotama.’
9. `Now what think you, Ambattha? What have you heard when Brahmans. old and well stricken in years, teachers of yours of their teachers, were talking together—did those ancient Rishis whose verses you so chant over and repeat, parade about well groomed, perfumed, trimmed as to their hair and beard adorned with garlands and gems, clad in white garments, in the full possession and enjoyment of the five pleasures of sense, as you and your teacher too, do now ?’ ‘Not that, Gotama.’
‘ Or did they live, as their food, on boiled rice of the best sorts, from which all the black specks had been sought out and removed, and flavoured with sauces and curries of various kind as you, and your teacher too, do now ? ‘ `Not that, Gotama.’
Or were they waited upon by women with fringes and furbelows round their loins, as you, and your teacher too, do now?
` Or did they go about driving chariots, drawn by mares with plaited manes and tails, using long wands and goads the while, as you and your teacher too, do now?’ ‘Not that Gotama.”
`Or did they have themselves guarded in fortified towns, with moats dug out round them and crossbars let down before the gates, by men girt with long swords, as you, and your teacher too, do now?’ ‘ Not that Gotama.’
10. `So then, Ambattha, neither are you a Rishi, nor your teacher, nor do you live under the conditions under which the Rishis lived. But whatsoever it may be, Ambattha, concerning which you are in doubt or perplexity about me, ask me as to that, I will make it clear by explanation.’
11.. Then the Blessed One went forth from his chamber, and began to walk up and down that Ambattha did the same. And as he thus walked up and down, following the Blessed One, he took stock of the thirty-two signs of a great man, whether they appeared on the body of the Blessed One or not. And he perceived them all save only two. With respect to those two—the concealed member and the extent of tongue—he was in doubt and perplexity, not satisfied not sure.
12. And the Blessed One knew that he was so in doubt. And he so arranged matters by his Wondrous Gift that Ambattha the Brahman saw how that part of the Blessed One that ought to be hidden by clothes was enclosed in a sheath. And the Blessed One so bent round his tongue that he touched and stroked both his ears, touched and stroked both his nostrils, and the whole circumstance of his forehead he covered with his tongue.
And Ambattha, the young Brahman, thought: `The Samana Gotama is endowed with the thirty-two signs of a great man, with them all, not only with some of them.’ And he said to the Blessed One : ‘ And now, Gotama, we would fain depart. We are busy and have much to do.’
And Ambattha mounted his chariot drawn by mares, and departed thence.
13. Now at that time the Brahman Pokkharasadi had gone forth from Ukkattha with a great retinue of Brahmans, and was seated in his own pleasance waiting there for Ambattha. And Ambattha came on to the pleasance. And when he had come in his chariot as far as the path was practicable for chariots, he descended from it, and came on foot to where Pokkharasadi was, and saluted him, and look his seat respectfully on one side. And when he was so seated, Pokkharasadi said to him.
14. `Well. Ambattha! Did you see the Blessed One ?’ ‘ Yes, Sir, we saw him.’
`Well! is the Venerable Gotama so as the reputation about him I told you of declares, and not otherwise. Is he such a one, or is he not ?’
`He is so, Sir, as his reputation declares, and not otherwise. Such is he, not different. And he is endowed with the thirty-two signs of a great man, with all of them, not only with some.’ ‘ And did you have any talk, Ambattha, with the Samana Gotama ?’ ‘Yes, Sir, I had.’ ‘And how did the talk go?’
Then Ambattha told the Brahman Pokkharasadi all the talk that he had with the Blessed One.
15. When he had thus spoken, Pokkharasadi said to him : `Oh, you wiseacre! Oh! you dullard! Oh! you expert, forsooth, in our threefold Vedic Lore! A man, they say, who should carry out his business thus, must, on the dissolution of the body, after death, be reborn into some dismal state of misery and woe. What could the very points you pressed in your insolent words lead up to, if not to the very disclosures the venerable Gotama made? What a wiseacre, what a dullard : what an expert, forsooth, in our threefold Vedic lore!’ And angry and displeased, he struck out with his foot, and rolled Ambattha over. And he wanted, there and then, himself to go and call on the Blessed One.
1. But the Brahmanas there spake thus to Pokkharasadi: `It is much too late. Sir, today to go to call on the Samana Gotama. The venerable Pokkharasadi can do so tomorrow.
So Pokkharasadi had sweet food, both hard and soft, made ready at his own house, and taken on wagons, by the light of blazing torches, out to Ukkattha. And he himself went on to the Ikkhanankala Wood, driving in his chariot as far as the road was practicable for vehicles and then going on foot, to where the Blessed One was. And when he had exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of politeness and courtesy, he took his seat on one side, and said to the Blessed One :
17. ‘ Has our pupil Gotama the young Brahman Ambattha, been here ? ‘ `Yes. Brahman, he has.’
`And did you, Gotama, have any talk with him?’ ‘ Yes. Brahman, I had.’
`And on what wise was the talk that you had with him ?’ 18. Then the Blessed One told the BrahmanPokkharasadi all the talk that had taken place. And when he had thus spoken Pokkharasadi said to the Blessed One :
`Let him be quite happy, Brahman, that young Brahman Ambattha‘ 19. And the Brahman Pokkharasadi took stock, on the body of the Blessed One, of the thirty two marks of a Great Being. And he saw them all plainly, save only two. As to two of them the sheath concealed member and the extensive tongue he was still in doubt and undecided. But the Blessed One showed them to Pokkharasadi, even as he had shown them to Ambattha. And Pokkharasadi perceived that the Blessed One was endowed with the thirty two marks of a Great Being, with all of them, not only with some. And he said to the Blessed One:`May the venerable Gotama grant me the favour of taking his tomorrow’s meal with me and also the members of the Order with him ‘ And the Blessed One accepted, by silence, his request.
20. Then the Brahman Pokkharasadi seeing that the Blessed One had accepted, had (on the morrow) the time announced to him : `It is time. Oh Gotama, the meal is ready.‘ And the Blessed One who had dressed in the early morning, put on his outer robe, and taking his bowl with him, went with the brethren to Pokkharasadi’s house, and sat down on the seat prepared for him. And Pokkharasadi the Brahman. satisfied the Blessed One, with his own hand with sweet food, both hard and soft, until he refused any more, and the young Brahmans the members of the Order. And when the Blessed One had finished his meal, and cleansed the bowl and his hands, Pokkharasadi took a low seat, and sat down beside him.
21. Then to him thus seated the Blessed One discoursed in due order ; that is to say he spoke to him of generosity, of right conduct, of heaven, of the danger, the vanity, and the defilement of lusts, of the advantages of renunciation. And when the Blessed One saw that Pokkharasadi the Brahman, had become prepared, softened, unprejudiced, upraised, and believing in heart, then he proclaimed the doctrine the Buddhas alone have won ; that is to say, the doctrine of sorrow, of its origin, of its cessation, and of the Path. And just as a clean cloth from which all stain has been washed away will readily take the dye, just even so did Pokkharasadi the Brahman, obtain, even while sitting there, the pure and spotless Eye for the Truth, and he knew: `Whatsoever has a beginning in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution.’
22. And then the BrahmanPokkarasadi as one who had seen the Truth, had mastered it, understood it, dived deep down into it, who had passed beyond doubt and put away perplexity and gained full confidence, who had become dependent on no other man for his knowledge of the teaching of the Master, addressed the Blessed One and said :
`Most excellent Oh Gotama (are the words of thy mouth), most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which has been thrown down, or were to reveal that which has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms,—just even so, Lord, has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the venerable Gotama. And I, Oh Gotama, with my sons, and my wife, and my people, and my companions, betake myself to the venerable Gotama as my guide, to the truth, and to the Order. May the venerable Gotama accept me as a disciple, as one who from this day forth, as long as life endures, has taken him as his guide. And just as the venerable Gotama visits the families of others, his disciples at Ukkatha, so let him visit mine. Whosoever there may be there, of Brahmans or their wives, who shall pay reverence to the venerable Gotama or stand up in his presence, or offer him a seat or water, or take delight in him, to him that will be for long, a cause of weal and bliss.’
In the matter of his opposition to Caste, Buddha practised what he preached. He did what the Aryan Society refused to do. In the Aryan Society the Shudra or low caste man could never become a Brahman. But Buddha not only preached against caste but admitted the Shudra and the low caste to the rank of a Bhikku who held the same rank in Buddhism as the Brahman did in Brahmanism. As RhysDavis points out: (Quotation not given)
In the first place, as regards his own Order, over which alone he had complete control, he ignores completely and absolutely all advantages or disadvantages arising from birth, occupation, and social status, and sweeping away all barriers and disabilities arising from the arbitrary rules of mere ceremonial or social impurity.
One of the most distinguished members of his Order, the very one of them who was referred to as the chief authority after Gotama himself, on the rules of the Order, was Upali, who had formerly been a barber. one of the despised occupations. So Sunita, one of the brethren whose verses are chosen for insertion in the TheraGatha, was a Pukkusa. one of the low tribes. Sati, the profounder of a deadly heresy, was of the sons of the fisher folk, afterwards a low caste, and even then an occupation, on account of its cruelty, particularly abhorred. Nanda was a cowherd. The two Panthakas were born out of wedlock, to a girl of good family through intercoure with a slave (so that by the rule laid down in Manu 31. they were actually outcasts). Kapa was the daughter of a deer-stalker,Punna and Punnika had been slave girls. Sumangalamata was daughter and wife to workers in rushes, and Subha was the daughter of a smith. More instances could doubtless be quoted and others will become known when more texts are published.
It does not show much historical insight to sneer at the numbers as small, and to suggest that the supposed enlightenment or liberality was mere pretence. The facts speak for themselves; and the percentage of low-born members of the Order was probably in fair proportion to the percentage of persons belonging to the despised jatis and sippas as compared with the rest of the population. Thus of the Theris mentioned in the Theri Gatha we know the social position of sixty, of whom five are mentioned above that is, 81/2 per cent of the whole number were base-born. It is most likely that this is just about the proportion which persons in similar social rank bore to the rest of the population.
Just as Buddha levelled up the position of the Shudras and the low caste men by admitting them to the highest rank namely that of Bhikkus, he also levelled up the position of women. In the Aryan Society women were placed on the same position as the Shudras and in all Aryan literature women and Shudras are spoken of together as persons belonging to the same status. Both of them were denied the right to take Sanyas as Sanyas was the only way open to salvation. Women and Shudras were beyond salvation. Buddha broke this Aryan rule in the case of women as he did in the case of the Shudras. Just as a Shudra could become a Bhikku so a woman could become a nun. This was taking her to the highest status then conceivable in the eyes of the Aryan Society.
Another issue on which Buddha fought against theleaders of the Aryan Society was the issue of the Ethies of teachers and teaching. The leaders of the Aryan Society held the view that learning and education was the privilege of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The Shudras were not entitled to education. They insisted that it would be danger to social order if they taught women or any males not twice-born. Buddha repudiated this Aryan doctrine. As pointed out by RhysDavis on this question is “That everyone should be allowed to learn; that everyone, having certain abilities, should be allowed to teach ; and that, if he does teach, he should teach all to all ; keeping nothing back, shutting no one out.“ In this connection reference may be made to the dialogue between Buddha and the BrahmanLohikka and which is known as the Lohikka Sutta.
(Some points in the Ethics of Teaching)
1. Thus have I heard. The Exalted One, when once passing on a tour through the Kosala districts with a great multitude of the members of the Order, with about five hundred Bhikshus, arrived at Salavatika. (Village surrounded by a row of Sala trees). Now at that time Lohikka the Brahman was established at Salavatika, a spot teeming with life, with much grassland and woodland and corn, on a royal domain granted him by King Pasenadi of Kosala, as a royal gift, with power over it as if he were the king.
2. Now at that time Lohikka the Brahman was thinking of harbouring the following wicked view; `Suppose that a Samana or a Brahmana have reached up to some good state (of mind), then he should tell no one else about it. For what can one man do for another? To tell others would be like the man who, having broken through an old bond, should entangle himself in a new one. Like that, I say, is this (desire to declare to others) ; it is a form of lust. For what can one man do for another?’
Now Lohikka the Brahman heard the news: `They say that the SamanaGotama, of the sons of the Sakyas, who went out from the Sakya clan to adopt the religious life, has now arrived, with a great company of the brethren of his Order, on his tour through the Kosala districts, at Salavatika. Now regarding that venerable Gotama, such is the high reputation that has been noised abroad : that Exalted One is an Arhat, fully awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, an exalted one, a Buddha. He, by himself thoroughly knows, and sees as it were face to face. This universe-including the worlds above of the gods, the Brahmans and the Maras; and the world below with its Samanas and Brahmans. Its princes and peoples and having known it, he makes his knowledge known to others. The truth, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in consummation, doth he proclaim both in the spirit
and in the letter. The higher life doth he make known in all its fullness, and in all its purity. And good is it to pay visists to Arhats like that.’
4. Then Lohikka the Brahman said to Bhesika the barber, ‘Come now, good Bhesika, go where the SamanaGotama is staying, and on your arrival, ask in my name as to whether his sickness and indisposition as abated, as to his health and vigour and condition of ease; and speak thus :“May the venerable Gotama, and with him the brethren of the order, accept the tomorrow’s meal from Lohikka the Brahman.”
5. ‘Very well, Sir, ‘said Bhesika the barber, acquiescing in the word of Lohikka the Brahman and did so even as he had been enjoined. And the Exalted One consented, by silence, to his request.
6. And when Bhesika the barber perceived that the Exalted One had consented, he rose from his seat and passing the Exalted One with his right hand towards him, went to Lohikka the Brahman, and on his arrival spake to him thus :
‘We addressed that Exalted One. Sir. in your name, even as you commanded. And the Exalted One hath consented to come.’
7. Then Lohikka the Brahman, when the night had passed made ready at his own dwelling place sweet food, both hard and soft, a.nd said to Bhesika the barber: ‘Come now, good Bhesika, go where the Samana Gotama is staying, and on your arrival, announce the time to him, saying :“ It is time, O Gotama, and the meal is ready.”
‘ Very well, Sir ‘, said Bhesika the barber in assent to the words of Lohikka the Brahman: and did so even as he had been enjoined.
And the Exalted One, who had robed himself early in the morning, went robed, and carrying his bowl with him, with the brethren of the Order, towards Salavatika.
8. Now, as he went, Bhesika the barber walked step by step, behind the Exalted One. And he said to him :
‘The following wicked opinion has occurred to Lohikka the Brahman ; “Suppose that a Samana or a Brahmana have reached up to some good state (of mind), then he should tell no one else about it. For what can one man do for another? To tell others would be like the man who, having broken through an old bond, should entangle himself in a new one. Like that, I say, is this (desire to declare to others) ; it is a form of lust”, Twere well. Sir, if the Exalted One would disabuse his mind thereof. For what can one man do for another ?’
‘That may well be, Bhesika, that may well be.’ 9. And the Exalted One went on to the dwelling-place of Lohikka the Brahman, and sat down on the seat prepared for him. And Lohikka the Brahman satisfied the Order, with the Buddha at its head, with his own hand, with sweet food both hard and soft, until they refused any more. And when the Exalted One had finished his meal, and had cleansed the bowl and his hands, Lohikka the Brahman brought a low seat and sat down beside him. And to him, thus seated the Exalted One spake as follows:
` Is it true what they say, Lohikka, that the following wicked opinion has arisen in your mind ; (and he set forth the opinion as above set I forth)?’‘That is so Gotarna.’
`Then suppose, Lohikka. one were to speak thus: “Lohikka the Brahman has domain at Salavatika. Let him alone enjoy all the revenue and all the produce of Salavatika, allowing nothing to anybody else!“Would the uttererof that speech be danger-maker as touching the men who live in dependance upon you, or not?’ ‘He would be danger-maker, Gotama‘
And making that danger, would he be a person who sympathised with their welfare, or not?’
‘ He would not be considering their welfare, Gotama.’ ‘ And not considering their welfare, would his heart stand fast in love towards them. or in enmity ?’ ‘ In enmity. Gotama.’
‘ But when one’s heart stands fast in enmity, is that unsound doctrine, or sound?’ ‘ It is unsound doctrine, Gotama.’
‘ Now if a man hold unsound doctrine, Lohikka, I declare that one of two future births will be his lot, either purgatory or rebirth as an animal.’
`Then suppose, Lohikka. one were to speak thus : ‘ King Pasenadi of Kosala is in possession of Kasi and Kosala. Let him enjoy all the revenue and all the produce of Kasi and Kosala, allowing nothing to anybody else.” Would the utterer of that speech be a danger-maker as touching the men who live in dependence on King Pasenadi of Kosala both you yourself and others or not ?’ ‘ He would be danger-maker Gotama.’
`And making that danger, would he be a person who sympathised with their welfare, or not?’
‘ He would not be considering their welfare, Gotarna.’ ‘ And not considering their welfare, would his heart stand fast in love toward them, or in enmity ?’ ‘‘In enmity, Gotama.”
‘ But when one’s heart stands fast in enmity, is that unsounddoctrine, or sound ?‘ ‘‘ It is unsound doctrine, Gotama.’ ‘‘ Now if a man hold unsound doctrine, Lohikka, I declare that one
of two future births will be his lot, either purgatory or rebirth as an animal.
12 and 14. `So then, Lohikka, you admit that he who should say that you, being in occupation of Salavatika, should therefore, yourself enjoy all the revenue and produce thereof, bestowing nothing on any one else; and he who should say that King Pasenadi of Kosala, being in power over Kasi and Kosala, should therefore himself enjoy all the revenue and produce thereof, bestowing nothing on any one else— would be making danger for those living in dependence upon you ; or for those you and others living in dependence upon the King. And that those who thus make danger for others, must be wanting in sympathy for them. And that the man wanting in sympathy has his heart set fast in enmity. And that to have one’s heart set fast in enmity is unsound doctrine.
13 and 15. `Then just so, Lohikka, he who should say :“ Suppose a Samana or a Brahamana to have reached up to some good state (of mind), then should he tell no one else about it. For what can one man do for another? To tell others would be like the man who, having broken through an old bond, should entangle himself in a new one. Like that, I say, is this desire to declare to others, it is a form of lust ;”—just so he, who should say, thus, would be putting obstacles in the way of those clansmen who, having taken upon themselves the Doctrine and Discipline set forth by Him-who-has-won-the-Truth, have attained to great distinction therein—to the fruit of conversion, for instance, or to the fruit of once returning, or to the fruit of never returning, or even to Arhatship—he would be putting obstacles in the way of those who are bringing to fruition the course of conduct that will lead to rebirth in states of bliss in heaven. But putting obstacles in their way he would be out of sympathy for their welfare ; being out of sympathy for their welfare his heart would become established in enmity ; and when one’s heart is established in enmity, that is unsound doctrine. Now if a man hold unsound doctrine, Lohikka, I declare that one of two future births will be his lot, either purgatory or rebirth as an animal.
16. `There are these three sorts of teachers in the world, Lohikka, who are worthy of blame ; And whosoever should blame such a one, his rebuke would be justified, in accord with the facts and the truth, not improper. What are the three?
`In the first place, Lohikka, there is a sort of teacher who has not himself attained to that aim of Samanaship for the sake of which he left his home and adopted the homeless life. Without having himself attained to it he teaches a doctrine (Dhamma) to his hearers, saying : “ This is good for you, this will make you happy.” Then those hearers of his neither listen to him, nor give ear to his words, nor become steadfast in heart through their knowledge thereof; they go their own way, apart from the teaching of the master. Such a teacher may be rebuked, setting out these facts, and adding :“You are like one who should make advances to her who keeps repulsing him, or should embrace her who turns her face away from him. Like that, do I say, is this lust of yours (to go on posing as a teacher of men, no one heeding, since, they trust you not). For what, then, can one man do for another ?”
‘This, Lohikka, is the first sort of teacher in the world worthy of blame. And whosoever should blame such a one, his rebuke would be justified, in accord with the facts and the truth, not improper.
17. ‘In the second place, Lohikka, there is a sort of teacher who has not himself attained to that aim of Samanship for the sake of which he left his home and adopted the homeless life. Without having himself attained to it he teaches a doctrine to his hearers, saying : “This is good for you ;, that will make you happy.” And to him his disciples listen ; they give ears to his words ; they become steadfast in heart by their understanding what is said ; and they go not their own way, apart from the teaching of the master. Such a teacher may be rebuked, setting out these facts and adding :“You are like a man who, neglecting his own field, should take thought to weed out his neighbour’s field. Like that, do I say, is this lust of yours (to go on teaching others when you have not taught yourself). For what, then, can one man do for another?”
This, Lohikka, is the second sort of teacher in the world worthy of blame. And whosoever should blame such a one, his rebuke would be justified, in accord with the facts and the truth not improper.
18. And again, Lohikka, in the third place, there is a sort of teacher who has himself attained to that aim of Samanaship for the sake of which he left his home and adopted the homeless life. Having himself attained it, he teaches the doctrine to his hearers, saying : “ This is good for you, that will make you happy.” But those hearers of his neither listen to him, nor give ear to his words, nor become steadfast in heart through understanding thereof; they go their own way, apart from the teaching of the master. Such a teacher may be rebuked, setting out these facts, and adding; “You are like a man who, having broken through an old bond, should entangle himself in a new one.” Like that, do I say, is this lust of yours (to go on teaching when you have not trained yourself to teach). For what, then, can one man do for another?”
‘This, Lohikka, is the third sort of teacher in the world worthy of blame. And whosoever should blame such a one, his rebuke would be justified, in accord with the facts and the truth, not improper. And these, Lohikka, are the three sorts of teachers of which I spoke.’
19. ‘And when he had thus spoken, Lohikka, the Brahman spake thus to the Exalted One :
‘ But is there, Gotama, any sort of teacher not worthy of blame in the world ? ‘
‘ Yes, Lohikka, there is a teacher not worthy, in the world of blame.’ ‘ And what sort of a teacher, Gotama, is so ? ‘ (The answer is in the words of the exposition set out above in the Samanna-phala, as follows :
1. The appearance of a Tathagata (one who won the truth), his preaching, the conversion of a hearer, his adoption of the homeless state.
2. The minor details of mere morality that he practises.
3. The Confidence of heart he gains from this practice.
4. The paragraph on `Guarded is the door of his Senses.’
5. The paragraph on ‘ Mindful and Self-possessed.’
6.The paragraph on Simplicity of Life, being content with little.
7. The paragraphs on Emancipation, ill-temper, laziness, worry and perplexity.
8. The paragraph on the Joy and Peace that, as a result of this emancipation, fills his whole being.
10. The paragraphs on the Insight arising from Knowledge (the
knowledge of the First Path).
11. The paragraphs on the Realisation of the Four Noble Truths the destruction of the Intoxications—lust, delusions, becomings, and ignorance—and the attainment of Arhatship.) The refrain through and the closing paragraph is : ‘And whosoever the teacher be, Lohikka, under whom the disciple attains to distinction so excellent as that, that, Lohikka is a teacher not open to blame in the world. And whosoever should blame such a one, his rebuke would be unjustifiable, not in accord either with the facts or with the truth, without good ground.’
78. And when he had thus spoken, Lohikka the Brahman said to the Exalted One :
`Just, Gotama, as if a man had caught hold of a man, falling over the precipitous edge of purgatory, by the hair of his head and lifted him up safe back on the firm land—just so have I, on the point of falling into purgatory, been lifted back on to the land by the Venerable Gotama. Most excellent, 0 Gotama, are the words of thy mouth, most excellent? Just as if a man were to set up what has been thrown down, or were to reveal what has been hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who has gone astray, or were to bring a light into the darkness so that those who had eyes could see external forms—just even so has the truth been made known to me, in many a figure, by the Venerable Gotama. And I, even I, betake myself to the Venerable Gotama as my guide, to the Doctrine and to the Order. May the Venerable Gotama accept me as a disciple ; as one who, from this day forth as long as life endures, has taken him as his guide!‘
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper Wednesday, Jun 25, 2008
P.G.R. Sindhia ousted from the BSP
State unit president Marasandra Muniyappa retained
BANGALORE: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) General Secretary P.G.R. Sindhia was “removed” from the party on Tuesday on the grounds that he was “not able to work in coordination with old office-bearers of the party”.
The BSP National General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka and Rajya Sabha member Veer Singh announced that he had removed Mr. Sindhia from the party on the instructions of the BSP President and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.
When contacted, Mr. Sindhia said his removal from the party had come as a “surprise and shock”. He said he was on a pilgrimage at Kukke Subrahamanya with his family and was totally unaware of the developments.
“After returning to Bangalore, I will find out what has gone wrong and at what level,” he said.
Asked whether he would remain in the BSP, Mr. Sindhia told The Hindu that he would decide on it after ascertaining the facts.
According to sources in the BSP, Ms. Mayawati had decided on revamping the State unit of the party in view of its rout in the Assembly elections and also to strengthen the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
While selecting the new office-bearers, Mr. Sindhia had reportedly tried to accommodate his supporters by ignoring those who had been with the BSP since its inspection. He had not even cleared the list of office-bearers that was sent to him a fortnight ago, sources told The Hindu.
Besides, the BSP central leadership was “unhappy” that in the Assembly elections, Mr. Sindhia could not garner many votes for the party, particularly in those constituencies where he had a good following. The BSP candidate secured around 2,000 votes and lost his security deposit in the Kanakapura constituency from where Mr. Sindhia was elected to the Assembly for six consecutive terms, the sources said.
Mr. Veer Singh, who has been camping in Bangalore for the past two days, is likely to announce the list of new office-bearers of the State unit on Wednesday.
However, Marasandra Muniyappa, who replaced B. Gopal as the State President a few months ago, will continue in the post, sources said.
Mr. Sindhia officially joined the BSP after the dissolution of the previous Assembly in October, severing his three-decade-old association with the Janata Parivar. His relationship with the Janata Dal (Secular) soured after the party joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government in February 2007.
Sindhia expelled from BSP
BANGALORE: Slapping charges of anti-party activities, BSP supremo Mayawati on Tuesday expelled her Karnataka-based national general secretary P G R Sindhia, who was six months old in the outfit.
Taking Sindhia by surprise when he was travelling, the expulsion notice was sent across to the media. “They have accused me of being inactive. I don’t know where and what went wrong. I am surprised as I met Mayawati on May 27,” he told TOI.
After a 35-year association with the Janata Parivar, Sindhia quit to join the BSP on December 23, 2007, at a function attended by Mayawati. Admitting him, Mayawati had said his joining brought strength to the party and also named him as one of the four members from the Karnataka unit to coordinate with the central unit. A former minister in all Janata Parivar governments, Sindhia disassociated himself when JD(S) joined hands with BJP to form a government. Later, he was suspended from JD(S) for anti-party acitivities.
According to BSP sources, Sindhia is reported to have encouraged groupism and was building a core group of his loyalists within the party. “The BSP is cadre-based and does not encourage groupism. Besides, Mayawati was unhappy that he had not put his heart and soul in the assembly elections. In Kanakapura, BSP secured a mere 2,000 votes,” they added. It is learnt Sindhia had taken exception to certain appointments made by Mayawati to the state unit, commenting these should have been done in consultation with him. Following the expulsion, the BSP office has shifted to Dollar’s Colony as the existing premises was given to the party by Sindhia.
International Early Birds Brotherhood Multipurpose Cooperative Society
The Welfare and Ultimate Bliss of Entire Mighty Great Minds
Aims & Objects
To enrol membership for IEBBMCS for the welfare and happiness of all the members in accordance with the Constitution of India through their empowerment by grabbing the master key for distributing the nations wealth to benefit all sections of the society.
Distribution of fertile land to all poor farmers with healthy seeds.
Loan to each and every person who is interested in starting his own business with proper training on latest and most modern successful Trade Practices
To train Government servants to serve the society in a most efficient manner without corruption.
To train members to become leaders for excellent governance.
To train all members on “The Art of Giving” for a happy longevity, beauty, prosperity and Authority.
To create a database of all members with their photos, address, age, and all other necessary information that will serve as Citizens Identity Cards.
To help all members to be in the voters list in order to acquire the Master Key. To strive hard to convert the existing three member Chief Election Commission
as Chief Election Committee, just like any other Parliamentary Committee representing all sections of the society to ensure that all eligible voters in the Country are included in the Voters list with their photo identity for free and fair elections.
To help all members to get genuine Caste Certificates.
To train all members to become media to propagate peace within oneself and harmony with others.
To train all members on the latest trade practices to make them to earn more money for the wholesome desire of propagating the Practicing and the Noble Right path shown by the Blessed, Noble and the Awakened One.
To train and cultivate the habit of early birds
To practice and train on the essential movements of the body, including walking, cycling and swimming for fitness
To practice and train to buy essential qualitative and most economic household articles and commodities
To train to cultivate the best food habits
To train to cultivate the ten disciplines for happy and peaceful life
Through the practice of Noble Eightfold Path
To train to practice meditation such as Pabajja, Vipassana and Zen practice for peace and happiness within oneself and harmony with others to enable to become Great Minds in order to attain the Ultimate Bliss
To enroll minimum two members per street for cultivation of the practice by way of training
Membership Minimum Rs.200 ($100) up to 25% and above of one’s net profit.