« PreviousContinue »
The ninth regeneration was a "Warakappo" of three Buddhos.
7. Anómadassi, born at Chandawatínagara. Parents, Yasaworója and Yasódarárádéwi. His bo-tree, the "ajjuna." Gótamo was then a Yakkha rája.
8. Padumo, born at Champayanagara. Parents, Asamo maharája and Asamadéwi. His bo-tree, the "sónaka." Gótamo was then a lion, the king of animals.
9. Nárado, born at Dhammawatínagara. Parents, Sudhéwo maharaja and Anópamádéwi. His bo-tree, the "sónaka." Gótamo was then a tápaso in the Himawanto country.
The eighth regeneration was a "Sarakappo" of one Buddho.
10. Padumuttaró, born at Hansawatínagara. Parents, Anuruló rája and Sujátadówi. His bo-tree, the "salala." Gótamo was then an ascetic named Jatilo.
The seventh regeneration was a "Mandakappo" of two Buddhos.
11. Sumédo, born at Sudassananagara. Parents bore the same name. Gótamo was then a native of that town, named Uttaro.
His bo-tree, the "nipa."
12. Sujáto, born at Sumangalanagara. Parents, Uggato rája and Pabbáwatidéwi. His bo-tree, the "wélu." Gótamo was then a chakkawati rája.
The sixth regeneration was a "Warakappo," of three Buddhos.
13. Piyadassi, born at Sudannanagara. Parents, Sudata maharája and Subaddhádéwi. His bo-tree, the "kakudha." Gótamo was then a bráhman named Kassapo, at Siriwattanagara.
14. Atthadassi, born at Sónanagara. Parents, Ságara rája and Sudassanadéwi. His bo-tree, the "champa." Gótamo was then a bráhman named Susimo.
15. Dhammadassi, born at Surananagara. Parents, Saranamahá rája and Sunandadéwi. His bo-tree, the "bimbajála." Gótamo was then Sakko, the supreme of déwos.
The fifth regeneration was a "Sárakappo," of one Buddho.
16. Siddhatho, born at Wibháranagara. Parents, Udéni maharája and Suphasadéwi. His bo-tree, the "kaniháni." Gótamo was a bráhman named Mangalo.
The fourth regeneration was a "Mandakappo," of two Buddhos.
17. Tisso, born at Khémanagara. Parents, Janasando rája and Padumádéwi. His bo-tree, the "assana." Gótamo was then Sujáto raja at Yasawatínagara.
18. Phusso, born at Kási. Parents, Jayaséno rája and Siremaya déwi. His bo-tree, the "amalaka." Gótamo was then Wijitáwi, an inferior rája.
The third regeneration was a “Sárakappo," of one Buddho.
19. Wipassi, born at Bandhuwatínagara. Parents bore the same name. His bo-tree, the "pátali." Gótamo was then Atulo rája.
The last regeneration was a "Mandakappo," of two Buddhos.
20. Sikhi, born at Arunawattinagara. Parents, Arunawattirája and Papháwattidéwi. His bo-tree, the "pundariko." Gótamo was then Arindamo rája at Paribhuttanagara.
21. Wessabhu, born at Anúpamanagara. Parents, Suppalittha maharája and Yasáwatidéwi. His bo-tree, the "sála." Gótamo was then Sadassano rája of Sarabhawatinagara.
The present regeneration is a "Mahabadda kappo," of five Buddhos.
22. Kakusando, born at Khémawatínagara. rája, and Wisákhá. His bo-tree, the "sirísa,"
Parents, Aggidatto, the porahitto bráhman of Khéma-
23. Konágamano, born at Sóbhawatinagara. Parents, a bráhman named Yannadattho and Uttará. His bo-tree, the "udumbara." Gótamo was Pabbato rája (the mountain monarch) at Mithila.
24. Kassapo, born at Báránasinagara. Parents, the brahman Brahmadatto and Dhanawati. His bo-tree, the "nigrodha." Gótamo was a brahman named Jótipálo at Wappulla.
Gótamo is the Buddho of the present system, and Mettéyyo is still to appear, to complete the number of the present "Mahábadda kappo."
The Buddhos of this kappo, Gótamo excepted, are represented to have appeared in the long period which intervened between the reigns of Néru and Makhádéwo. The recession to an age so immeasurably and indefinitely remote is a fiction, of course, advisedly adopted, to admit of the intervention of an "abuddhotpádo," with its progressive decrease and readjustment of the term of human life; which, according to the buddhistical creed, precedes the advent of each supreme Buddho. The Mahawanso does not attempt to give the designations of these preposterous series of monarchs, who are stated to have reigned during that interval; but the Pitakattaya and the Atthakatha do contain lists of the names of all the rájas of the smaller, and of the initial rájas of the larger, groups. Whenever these buddhistical genealogical materials are tabularized and graduated, on the principle applied to the hindu genealogies. they will probably be found to accord with them to a considerable degree; making due allowance for the variation of appellations made by either sect, in reference to, or in consequence of, events and circumstances connected with their respective creeds.
In reference to the twelfth verse, the Tíká explains that the name Uruwélaya,—the present Buddhagya, where the sacred bo-tree still stands, and at which place several inscriptions are recorded, some of which have been translated and published in the Asiatic Researches and Journals,-is derived from "Urú" (sands) and "weláyá” (mounds or waves); from the great mounds or columns of sand which are stated to be found in its vicinity, and which have attracted the attention of modern travellers also.
I shall only notice further, in regard to the first chapter, that the isle of Giridípo is mentionedjas being on the south east coast of Ceylon, and is represented to abound in rocks covered with enormous forest trees. The direction indicated, points to the rocks nearly submerged, which are now called the Great and Little Basses. But as speculation and hypothesis are scrupulously avoided in my present sketch, I abstain from further comment on this point.
Mahiyangano, the spot on which Buddho alighted in his first visit to Ceylon, is the present post of Bintenne, where the dágoba completed by Dutthagámini still stands. Sélasumano, or Sumanakúto, is Adam's peak. The position of Nágadipo, the scene of Buddho's second visit, I am not able to identify. It is indicated to have been on the north western coast of the island. The alleged impression of Buddho's foot on Adam's peak; the dágoba constructed at Kalyani, near Colombo; as well as the several dágobas built at Anuradhapura, and at Dhígawápi, and the bo-tree subsequently planted "at Anuradhapura; together with the numerous inscriptions, the more modern of which alone have yet been decyphered,-are all still surviving and unobliterated evidences confirmatory of Gótamo's three visits to Ceylon.
In opening the second chapter, Mahanámo supplies detailed data touching several of Gótamo's incarnations, prior to his manifestation in the person of Mahásammato, the first monarch of this creation. I shall confine myself to a translation of the portion of the commentary which treats of that particular incarnation. It will serve to assimilate his production or manifestation, by "opapátika" or apparitional birth, with the hindu scheme of the origination of the solar race.
At the close of that existence (in the Brahma world) he was regenerated a man, at the commencement of this creation, by the process of " opapátika." From the circumstance of mankind being then afflicted with unendurable miseries, resulting from the uncontrolled state of the sinful passions which had been engendered, as well as from the consternation created by the murder, violence, and rapine produced by a condition of anarchy, a desire manifested itself among men to live subject to the control of a ruler. Having met and consulted together, they thus petitioned unto him (the Buddho elect), “O great man! from henceforth it belongs to thee to provide for our protection and common weal." The whole human race having assembled and come to this decision, the appellation was conferred on him of " Mahásammato," "the great elect."
Valuable as the comments are on the genealogy of the Asiatic monarchs-the descendants and successors of Mahásammato,-they are still only abridged and insulated notes deduced (as already noticed) from the Pitakattaya and the Atthakatha; to which justice would not be done in this limited sketch of the buddhistical annals. As a proof, however of Mahanamo's general rigid adherence to the data from which his history is compiled, I may here advert to one of the instances of the care with which he marks every departure, however trivial, from the authorities by which he is otherwise guided. He says. in reference to the twenty eight kings mentioned in the 6th verse: "In the Atthakatha composed by the Uttarawiháro priests, omitting Chétiyo, the son of Upacharako, and representing Muchalo to be the son of Upacharako, it is stated that there were only twenty seven rájas, whose existence extended to an asankya of years."
In reference to these genealogies, I shall now only adduce the following extracts from the Tíká, containing the names of the capitals at which the different dynasties reigned; and giving a distinct account of Okkáko, (Ixkswaku of the hindus) and of his descendants, as well as the derivation of the royal patronymic "Sakya,"-to which no clue could be obtained in hindu annals; but which is nearly identical with the account extracted by Mr Csoma de Koros from the Tibetan "Káhgyur," and published in the Bengal Asiatic Journal of August, 1833.
Those nineteen capitals were,-Kusáwati, Ayójjhápura, Báránasi, Kapila, Hatthipura, Ekachakkhu, Wajirawutti, Madhura, Aritthapura, Indapatta, Kósambi, Kannagóchha, Rojá, Champá, Mithila, Rájagaha, Takkasillá, Kusnárá, Támalittí. The eldest son of Okkáko was Okkákamukho. The portion of the royal dynasty from Okkákamukkho to Suddhódano, (the father of Gótamo Buddho) who reigned at Kapila, was called the Okkáko dynasty. Okkáko had five consorts, named Hatthá, Chittá, Jantu, Palini, and Wisákhá. Each had a retinue of five hundred females. The eldest had four sons, named, Okkákamukho, Karakando, Hatthinéko, and Nipuro; and five daughters, Piyá, Sapiya, Anandá, Sananda', and Wivitaséna’. After giving birth to these nine children she died, and the rája then raised a lovely and youthful princess to the station of queen consort. She had a son named Jantu, bearing also his father's title. This infant on the fifth day after his nativity was presented to the ra'ja, sumptuously clad. The delighted monarch promised to grant any prayer of her's (his mother) she might prefer. She, having consulted her relations, prayed that the sovereignty might be resigned to her son. Enraged, he thus reproached her: "Thou outcast, dost thou seek to destroy my (other) children ?" She, however, taking every private opportunity of lavishing her caresses on him, and reproaching him at the same time, with "Ra'ja! it is unworthy of thee to utter an untruth;" continued to importune him. At last, the king assembling his sons, thus addressed them : My beloved, in aa unguarded moment, on first seeing your younger brother Jantu, I committed myself in a promise, to his mother. She insists upon my resigning, in fulfilment of that promise, the sovereignty to her son. Whatever may be the number of state elephants and state carriages ye may desire; taking them, as well as a military force of elephants, horses, and chariots. depart. On my demise, return and resume your rightful kingdom." With these injunctions he sent them forth, in the charge of eight officers of state. They, weeping and lamenting, replied, "Beloved parent, grant us forgiveness for any fault (we may have committed.") Receiving the blessing of the ra'ja, as well as of the other members of the court, and taking with them their sisters who had also prepared to depart,-having announced their intention to the king in these words, "We accompany our brothers," they quitted the capital with their army, composed of its four constituent hosts. Great crowds of people, convinced that on the death of the king they would return to resume their right, resolved to adhere to their cause, and accompanied them in their exile.
On the first day, this multitude marched one yojana only; the second day, two; and the third day, three yojanas. The princes thus consulted together: "The concourse of people has become very great: were we to subdue some minor raʼja, and take his territory; that proceeding also would be unworthy of us. What benefit results from inflicting misery on others? Let us, therefore, raise a city in the midst of the wilderness, in Jambudípo." Having decided accordingly, repairing to the frontier of Himawanto, they sought a site for their city.
At that period, our Bodhisatto, who was born in an illustrious bra'hman family, and was called Kapilo brahman, leaving that family, and assuming the sacerdotal character in the "Isi" sect, sojourned in the Himawanto country in a "pannasaʼla " (leaf hut) built on the borders of a pond, in a forest of sal trees. This individual was endowed with the gift called the bhómilakkhanan ;" and could discern good from evil, for eighty cubits down into the earth, and the same distance up into the air. In a certain country, where the grass, bushes, and creepers had a tendency in their growth, taking a southerly direction then to face the east: where lions, tigers, and other beasts of prey, which chased deer and hog; and cats and snakes, which pursued rats and frogs, on reaching that division, were incapacitated from persevering in their pursuit; while, on the other hand, each of the pursued creatures, by their growl or screech only, could arrest their pursuers; there this (Kapila Isi,) satisfied of the superiority of that land, constructed this pannasa'la.
On a certain occasion, seeing these princes who had come to his hut, in their search of a site for a city, and having by inquiring ascertained what their object was; out of compassion towards them, he thus prophesied: "A city founded on the site of this pannasa'la will become an illustrious capital in Jambudípo. Amongst the men born here, each will be able to contend with a hundred or a thousand (of those born elsewhere). Raise your city here, and construct the palace of your king on the site of my pannasa'la. On being established here, even a chanda'lo will become great like unto a Chakkawatti ra'ja." "Lord!" observed the princes, "will there be no place reserved for the residence of Ayyo ?" "Do not trouble yourselves about this residence of mine: building a pannasa ́la for me in a corner, found your city, giving it the name ‘Kapila."" They, conforming to his advice, settled there.
The officers of state thus argued: "If these children had grown up under their father's protection, he would have formed matrimonial alliances for them; they are now under our charge:" and then addressed themselves on this subject to the princes. The princes replied: "We see no royal daughters equal in rank to ourselves; nor are there any princes of equal rank to wed our sisters. By forming unequal alliances, the children born to us, either by the father's or mother's side, will become degraded by the stain attached to their birth; let us therefore form matrimonial alliances with our own sisters" Accordingly, recognizing in their eldest sister the character and authority of a mother, in due order of seniority (the four brothers) wedded (the other four sisters).
On their father being informed of this proceeding, he broke forth (addressing himself to his courtiers) into this exultation; "My friends, most assuredly they are 'sa'kya'. My beloved, by the most solemn import of that term, they are unquestionably sa'kya'," (powerful, self-potential).
From that time, to the period of king Suddhódano, all who were descended (from those alliances) were (also) called Saʼkya'. As the city was founded on the site where the bra'hman Kapilo dwelt, it was called Kapilanagara.
The account of the first covocation on religion, after Gótamo's death, is so clearly and beautifully given in the third chapter, that no explanatory comments are requisite from me. For detailed particulars regarding the construction of the convocation hall at Rájagaha, and the proceedings held therein, the Tíká refers to the Samantapásada Atthakatha on the Díghánikáyo, and the Sumangala wilásini Attakatthá.
The fourth and fifth chapters are the most valuable in the Mahawanso, with reference to the chronology of Indian history. It will be observed that in some respects, both in the names and in the order of succession, this line of the Mágadha kings varies from the hindu genealogies.
Reserving the summing up of the chronological result till I reach the date at which the Indian history contained in the Mahawanso terminates, I shall proceed to touch on each commentary which throws any light on that history, in the order in which it presents itself, in that interval.
The first of the notes I shall select, contains the personal history of Susunágo, who was raised to the throne on the deposition of Nágadásako. With the exception of a somewhat far-fetched derivation
suggested of that usurper's name, the account bears all the external semblance of authenticity. This note is interesting in more than one point of view. It describes the change in the Magadha dynasty to have proceeded from the deposition, and not from the voluntary abdication, of Nágadásako. It, likewise, is not only corroborative of the tolerance of courtesans in the ancient social institutions of India, which was. I believe, first developed by professor Wilson's translation of the hindu plays; but shows also that there was an office or appointment of "chief of courtesans," conferred and upheld by the authority of the state. Professor Wilson thus expresses himself in his essay on the dramatic system of the hindus, on this point. "The defective education of the virtuous portion of the sex, and their consequent uninteresting character, held out an inducement to the unprincipled members, both of Greek and Hindu society, to rear a class of females, who should supply those wants which rendered home cheerless, and should give to men hetœra or female friends, and associates in intellectual as well as in animal enjoyment. A courtesan of this class inspired no abhorrence: she was brought up from her infancy to the life she professed, which she graced by her accomplishments, and not unfrequently dignified by her virtues. Her disregard of social restraint was not the voluntary breach of moral, social, or religious precepts: it was the business of her education to minister to pleasure; and in the imperfect system of the Greeks, she committed little or no trespass against the institutes of the national creed, or the manners of society. The Hindu principles were more rigid; and not only was want of chastity in a female a capital breach of social and religious obligations, but the association of men with professed wantons was an equal violation of decorum, and, involving a departure from the purity of caste, was considered a virtual degradation from rank in society. In practice, however, greater latitude seems to have been observed; and in the "Mrichchakatí" a brahman, a man of family and repute, incurs apparently no discredit from his love for a courtesan. A still more curious feature is, that his passion for such an object seems to excite no sensation in his family, nor uneasiness in his wife; and the nurse presents his child to his mistress, as to its mother; and his wife, besides interchanging civilities (a little coldly, perhaps, but not compulsively), finishes by calling her sister,' and acquiescing therefore in her legal union with her lord. It must be acknowledged that the poet has managed his story with great dexterity, and the interest with which he has invested his heroine, prevents manners so revolting to our notions, from being obtrusively offensive. No art was necessary, in the estimation of a hindu writer, to provide his hero with a wife or two, more or less; and the acquisition of an additional bride is the ordinary catastrophe of the lighter dramas."
The following is a literal translation of the note in question, in the Tíka'.
Who is this statesman named Susunágo? By whom was he brought up? He was the son of a certain Lichchawi ra'ja of Wésáli. He was conceived by a courtesan (“Naggarasóbhiní," literally "a beauty of the town") and brought up by an officer of state. The foregoing is recorded in the Atthakatha of the priests of the Uttarawiháro (of Anuradhapura). Such being the case, and as there is no want of accordance between our respective authorities, I shall proceed to give a brief sketch of his history.
Upon a certain occasion, the Lichchawi rájas consulted together, and came to the resolution, that it would be prejudicial to the prosperity of their capital, if they did not keep up the office of "Naggarasóbhini thárantaran" (chief of courtesans). Under this persuasion, they appointed to that office a lady of unexceptionable rank. One of these rájas, receiving her into his own palace, and having lived with her, there, for seven days, sent her away. She had then conceived unto him. Returning to her residence, she was delivered, after the ordinary term of pregnancy. The issue proved to be an abortion. Deeply afflicted, and overwhelmed with shame and fear, causing it to be thrown into a basket, carefully covered with its lid, and consigning it to the care of a female slave, she had it placed, early in the morning, at the Sank háratánan (where all the rubbish and sweepings of a town are collected). The instant it was deposited there (by the slave), a certain nágarája, the tutelar of the city, observing it, encircling it in its folds and sheltering it with its hood, assumed a conspicuous position. The people who congregated there, seeing (the snake), made the noise "su," "su," (to frighten it away); and it disappeared. Thereupon a person who had approached the spot, opening (the basket) and examining it, beheld the abortion matured into a male child, endowed with the most perfect indications of greatness. On making this discovery, great joy was evinced. A certain chief who participated in this exultation, taking charge of the infant removed him to his house; and on the occasion of conferring a name on him, in reference to the shouts of "su," "su," above described, and to his having been protected by the nagarája, conferred on him the name of "Susunȧgo."