Page images

The schismatic secessions of the preceptors concluded.


Kálâsóka had ten sons: these brothers (conjointly) ruled the empire, righteously, for twenty-two years. Subsequently there were nine 2: they also, according to their seniority, righteously reigned for twenty-two years.

Thereafter the brahman Cánakka, in gratification of an implacable hatred borne towards the ninth surviving brother, called Dhana-nanda, having put him to death, he installed in the sovereignty over the whole of Jambudípa a descendant of the dynasty of Moriyan sovereigns, endowed with illustrious and beneficent attributes, surnamed Candagutta. He reigned thirty-four years.

His son Bindusára reigned twenty-eight years. The sons of Bindusára were one hundred and one, the issue of (sixteen) different mothers.


Among them, Asóka, by his piety and supernatural wisdom, became all-powerful. He having put to death one hundred brothers, minus one, born of different mothers, reigned sole sovereign of all Jambudípa. Be it known, that from the period of the death of Buddha, and antecedent to his installation, two hundred and eighteen years had elapsed. In the fourth year of his accession to his sole sovereignty, this illustriously endowed ruler caused his own inauguration to be solemnised in the city of Páṭaliputta. At the instant of his inauguration, the establishment of his supremacy was (miraculously) proclaimed, from yójana to yójana, throughout the air above and over the surface of the earth.

The devas caused to be brought daily eight men's loads of water from the lake Anótatta, from which (supplies) the deva of devas (the king) caused the people also to be provided. They also procured from the regions of Himavanta, "nágalatá " teeth-cleansers, sufficient for several thousand persons. From the same quarter, the invaluable medicinal "ámalaka"; the precious medicinal "harítaka"; from the same regions the "amba" fruit, superlatively excellent in its colour and flavour.

The devas (procured) also cloths of five different colours, and cloths for hand towels of the colour of gold, as well as the sacred beverage from the waters of Chaddanta lake. The elk, wild hog, and winged game, slaughtered in that city (for the king's household), resorting to the royal kitchen, of their own accord, there expire. There, tigers, having led forth herds of cattle to graze, reconduct them into their pens. Elk and wild hog watch over fields, gardens, tanks, &c. The nagas (brought) fine cloths of the colour of the "sumana" flower, wove without seams; the heavenly "uppala" flower; also ointment for the body; and medicinal drugs from the nága wilderness. Parrots brought nine hundred thousand loads of hill paddy daily from the marshes of Chaddanta. Mice, husking that hill paddy, without breaking it, converted it into rice. Therefrom the rice dressed for the royal household was prepared. For him (the king), bees constantly deposited honey. In like manner, in his arsenals bears worked with hammers, and singing birds of delightful melody, repairing to the monarch, sang sweet


The inaugurated sovereign Asóka then installed his full younger brother, prince Tissa, in the dignity of sub-king.

The installation of Dhammâsóka concluded.

The father (of Asóka) being of the Brahmanical faith, maintained (bestowing daily alms) sixty thousand Brahmans. He himself in like manner bestowed them for three years.

1 "After them." 2 "Add brothers (the Nandas)."

3 " Asóká's.”

Asóka, noticing from the upper pavilion of his palace the 'despicable proceedings of these persons,2 enjoined his ministers to bestow alms with greater discrimination. This wise (monarch) caused to be brought to him the ministers of all religions separately; and having seated them, and discussed their tenets, and given them alms, allowed them to depart. At a moment when he was enjoying the breeze in his upstair pavilion, observing the sámanéra Nigródha passing the palace square, he was delighted with his sanctified deportment. This royal youth was the son of prince Sumana, the eldest of all the sons of Bindusára.

Asóka, on hearing that Bindusára was on his deathbed, left the kingdom of Ujjéní, which had been bestowed on him by his father, and proceeded to Pupphapura. As soon as his sire expired, seizing the capital for himself, and putting to death his eldest brother (Sumana) in that celebrated city, he usurped the sovereignty.

The consort of prince Sumana, bearing the same name, who was then pregnant, proceeding out of the eastern gate, departed and repaired to a village of canḍálas (outcastes). There, the dévatá, Nigródha, addressed her by name; and having caused an habitation to spring up, conferred it on her. She who was thus protected by the dévatá, giving birth on that very day to her son, bestowed on the child the name "Nigródha." The chief of the candálas seeing her (in this condition) and venerating her as his own mistress, served her faithfully seven years.

The théra Mahá Varuna, seeing this infant born with the attributes requisite for the sanctification of "arhat," applied to the mother for him, and ordained him a priest. In the act of shaving his head (for admission into the priesthood) he attained arhathood. Thereafter, while on his way to see his princess-mother, entering the capital by the southern gate, at the moment he was passing through the palace square on his road to the village (of outcastes), the sovereign struck with the extreme propriety of his deportment, as if he had been previously intimate with him, an affection arose in his breast towards him.

'In a former existence there were three brothers, dealers in honey: one was the seller, two were the providers. There was also a paccéka buddha, who was afflicted with sores. Another paccéka buddha, on his account, was solicitous of procuring some honey. In his sacerdotal character, begging his subsistence for the day, he entered the city (of Baránasí). At that moment a young woman, who was proceeding to fetch water at the watering place of the city, observed him. Having made inquiry, and ascertained that he was solicitious of getting some honey, she said, pointing out the direction with her hand, "Lord, here is a honey bazaar, repair thither." The dealer, well pleased, filled the begging-dish of the paccéka buddha who presented himself there, with honey to overflowing. Observing the filling, the overflowing, and the streaming on the ground of the honey, he (the dealer) then formed the following wishes: "By the virtue of this offering may I establish an undivided dominion over Jambudípa: my authority (being recognised) from yójana to yójana through the air and over the earth." To the brothers, who

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

* "One day."

("Now, the history of Nigródha Súmanéra is in this wise.") For the sake of clearness a paragraph such as this should be inserted here within brackets.


was exceedingly pleased with him; and by (the force of) association in a

former birth there sprung a love towards him in his breast."


("Now, the story of the former birth is as follows.")



[ocr errors]

(subsequently) arrived, he thus spoke: "To such a personage (describing him) I have made offerings of honey. According to your shares in that honey, participate ye in the benefits." The eldest brother incensed, thus replied: Surely he must be an outcaste; at all times the outcastes wear yellow cloths." The second said: "Send that paccéka buddha to the farther side of the ocean." (Subsequently) having listened to the youngest brother's discourse on the benefits derived from offerings, they also accepted the promised blessings. She who had pointed out the honey dealer's bazaar formed the wish of becoming his (the honey dealer's) head queen (in his character of sovereign), and that she should be endowed with a form so exquisitely moulded, that the joints of her limbs should be (“asandhi") imperceptibly united. (Accordingly) the donor of the honey became Asóka. The young woman became the queen Asandhimittá. He who blasphemously called him (the paccéka buddha) "an outcaste," became Nigródha. The one who wished him transported became Tissa (Déwánampiya Tissa). From whatever circumstance (it had been the fate of) the outcaste blasphemer to have been born in a village of outcastes, he nevertheless formed the wish to attain "mokkha," and accordingly in the seventh year of his age acquired "mokkha" (by the sanctification of arhat).

The said monarch (Asóka), highly delighted, and conceiving the greatest esteem for him (Nigródha), thereupon caused him to be called in. He approached with decorous self-possession. The sovereign said to him, "My child, place thyself on any seat suited to thee." He, seeing no other priest (present), proceeded towards the royal throne.

While he was in the act of approaching the royal throne, the king thus thought: "This sámanera will this very day become the master of my palace." Leaning on the arm of the sovereign, he ascended and seated himself on the royal throne under the white canopy (of dominion). The ruler Asóka, gazing on the personage who had thus taken his seat, influenced by the merits of his own piety, he thereupon became exceedingly rejoiced. Having refreshed him with food and beverage which had been prepared for himself, he interrogated the said sámanera on the doctrines propounded by Buddha. The sámanera explained to him the "appamádavagga" (section on non-procrastination). The sovereign having heard the same, he was delighted with the religion of the vanquisher. He said unto him: "Beloved, I will constantly provide for you food for eight." "Sire," he replied, "that food I present to the superior priest who ordained me." On another eight portions of rice being provided, he gave them to his superior who had instructed him. the next eight portions being provided, he gave them to the priesthood. the next eight portions being provided, the piously wise (Nigródha) accepted them himself.



He who was thus maintained by the king having propounded the doctrines of the faith to the monarch, established the sovereign and the people in those tenets, and the grace to observe the same.

The history of Nigródha concluded.

Thereafter, this king, increasing the number from day to day, gave alms to sixty thousand Buddhist priests, as formerly (to the Brahman priests). Having dismissed the sixty thousand heretics, he constantly maintained in

"He who had blasphemed by calling the saint an outcaste' was born in a village of outcastes ; but."

2"On the second day he went to the palace accompanied by thirty-two priests, and after he had been served with food by the king himself he preached the law, and established him and his people in faith and piety."

his palace sixty thousand Buddhist priests. He being desirous that the sixty thousand priests should (on a certain occasion) be served without delay, having prepared costly food and beverage, and having caused the city to be decorated, proceeded thither, invited the priesthood, conducted them to the palace, feasted them, and presenting them with many priestly offerings, he thus inquired: "What is the doctrine propounded by the divine teacher?" Thereupon, the théra Tissa, son of Moggali, entered into that explanation, Having learned that there were eighty-four thousand discourses on the tenets of that doctrine, "I will dedicate," exclaimed the monarch, "a vihára to each." Then bestowing ninety-six thousand kótis of treasure on eighty-four thousand towns in Jambudípa, at those places he caused the construction of temples to be commenced by the (local) rájahs; he himself undertook the erection of the Asókâráma in Pupphapura). He bestowed daily, from his regard for the religion, a lac separately to the "ratanattaya," to Nigródha, and to infirm priests.

From the offerings made on account of Buddha, in various ways, in various cities, various festivals were constantly celebrated in honour of "thúpas." From the offerings made on account of the religion, the populace constantly bestowed the four prescribed offerings on the priests, the repositories of true religion.

From the loads of water brought from the lake Anótatta, he bestowed daily four to the priesthood generally, one to the sixty accomplished maintainers of the "tépitaka," one to the queen Asandhimittá. The great monarch reserved for his own consumption two.

To the sixty thousand priests and sixteen thousand females of the palace he gave the teeth-cleansers called "nágalatú.”

On a certain day, having by inquiry ascertained that the supernaturallygifted Mahákála, nága king, whose age extended to a kappa, had seen the four Buddhas (of this kappa); for the purpose of bringing him, having sent a golden chain and having brought him, he placed him under the white canopy of dominion, seated on the royal throne. Making to him many flower-offerings, and surrounded by the sixteen thousand women of the palace, he thus addressed him: "Beloved, exhibit to me the person of the omniscient being of infinite wisdom, the chakkavatti of the doctrine, the mahesi.” The nága king caused to appear a most enchanting image of Buddha, gifted with the thirty attributes of personal beauty, and resplendent with the eighty charms of corporeal perfection, surrounded by the halo of glory, and surmounted by the lambent flame of sanctity.

Gazing on this (apparition), overjoyed and astonished, he made offerings thereto, and exclaimed, "Such is the image created by this personage: what must not the image have been of the deity himself of happy advent!" (meditating thus) his joy became greater and greater.

The illustrious and powerful monarch (Asóka) then caused a great festival to be solemnised for seven successive days, known as the festival of "sight offering" (the miraculous figure of Buddha being visible during that period). Thus, it was foreseen by the saints of old (who had held the second convocation on religion) that this sovereign would be superlatively endowed, and of great faith; and that the son of Moggali would become a théra.

The conversion (of Asóka) to the religion (of Buddha) concluded.

"How many (sections of) the law have been."


2" sections of the law." 3" caused him to be seated on the royal throne under the white canopy of dominion." "thirty-two." s" was this ruler of the land endued with great power and faith. (From what follows it will be seen also that) the thera Moggaliputta was foreseen by the saints of old."

The théras who held the second convocation, meditating on the events of futurity, foresaw that a calamity would befall their religion during the reign of this sovereign. Searching the whole world for him who would subdue this calamity, they perceived that it was 'the long-lived Tissa, the brahman (of the Brahma lóka world). Repairing to him, they thus supplicated the great sage: "Vouchsafe to be born among men for the removal of this calamity." He, willing to be made the instrument for the glorification of religion, gave his consent unto them. These ministers of religion then thus addressed Siggava and Chaṇḍavajji, two 3adult priests: "In eighteen plus one hundred years hence, a calamity will befall our religion, which we shall not ourselves witness. Ye (though) priests failed to attend on the occasion (of holding the second convocation on religion): on that account it is meet to award penalties unto you. Let this be your penance. The brahman Tissa,

a great sage, for the glorification of our religion, will be conceived in a certain womb in the house of the brahman Moggali. At the proper age, one of you must initiate that noble youth into the priesthood. (The other) must fully instruct him in the doctrines of the supreme Buddha."

The théra Dásaka was the disciple of Upáli (the disciple of Buddha himself). Sóņaka was his disciple. The aforesaid two priests (Siggava and Chandavajji) were the disciples of Sóņaka.

In aforetime (at the termination of the first convocation on religion), in Vesáli, a brahman of the tribe of Sotthi, named Dásaka, the superior of three hundred pupils, dwelt with his preceptor. In the twelfth year of his age, having achieved the knowledge of the “ védas," and while he was making his pilgrimage attended by his own pupils, he met with the théra Upáli, who had held the first convocation, sojourning at the temple Valukâráma (in Vesáli). Taking up his residence near him, he examined him on the abstruse passages of the "védas." He (Upáli) explained those passages.

The théra, with a certain object in view, thus addressed him (the brahman): 5" There is a branch of the doctrine superior to all other branches, which perfects the knowledge of the whole doctrine. What branch of the doctrine is it?"

"The brahman was ignorant of it, and inquired, "What doctrine is it?" He replied, "Buddha's doctrine." "Impart it to me," said the one. "Only to him who has been admitted into our order can I impart it," rejoined the other. Thereupon, returning to his native land, he applied for permission from his preceptor (to become a Buddhist priest), in order that he might acquire a knowledge of that doctrine; in like manner from father and mother.

This brahman, together with three hundred of his brahman followers, was admitted into the Buddhistical priesthood in the fraternity of that théra : and in due course was raised to the upasampada order.

The théra Upáli propounded the whole "pitakattaya" to his thousand pupils, who had subdued in themselves the dominion of sin, of whom Dásaka was the senior.

8 The other priests of the fraternity of the said théra, who had not attained the

2" who had not long to live there."



' Omit. (Now the history of these priests is as follows.) This is a very difficult passage to render correctly and yet clearly in consequence of the use therein of the term "dhamma" in different senses. The literal rendering (without putting a sense on the word "dhamma ") would be:"Young man, there is a dhamma which follows all dhammas; and yet all dhammas descend into or follow that dhamma. What is that dhamma ?" "The théra said this with reference to the náma (in contradistinction to the rupa)." "taught."

[ocr errors]


Others who received instruction in the Pitakas from the théra,-those who had entered the paths and those who had not,-were beyond number."

« PreviousContinue »