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of the united merit, punya-bala, of all the various orders of being in existence, so its destruction is caused by the power of their demerit, pápa-bala.

as to all other occurrences, there is a repetition of the same events; that which now takes place has taken place in previous ages, times innumerable, and will again take place times infinite. About the time of the commencement of Christianity this idea appears to have been very generally prevalent, and to have produced the most pernicious consequences. It was thought to be unnecessary to address the Divinity in prayer, inasmuch as everything revolves with unchanging laws in one eternal circle."


As all the worlds below the tenth brahma-lóka are occasionally destroyed, the totality of the destruction being expressed in the strongest terms, it is not right to say, as has sometimes been assumed, that the eternity of matter is one of the dogmas of Budha. Relative to the superior worlds that are beyond the reach of all the revolutions that affect the earth, I have seen no positive statement, their existence may be eternal; but the general principles of Budhism by no means agree with the doctrine of Empedocles, and others of the same school, that "all existences are but a mingling, and then a separation of the mingled."

The opinion that the destruction of the world is at one time accomplished by the agency of fire, and at another time by that of water, agrees, to some extent, with sacred writ. Heraclitus taught that as fire is the first principle of all things, all things shall at last be redissolved into this element; Epicurus supposed that as fire is the most active of the elements, it will in the end overcome the others, and destroy them; and it was the doctrine of Zeno that the world will perish by fire, a principle everywhere diffused, which will in time resolve all things into itself, and will afterwards, as it is the seed of all things, diffuse itself again through the vacuity it has caused, thus producing a new world.

The notions entertained by Gótama that there are innumerable worlds, that the earth has nothing beneath it but the circumambient air; that the interior of the earth is incandescent; and that the world will be destroyed by the agency of fire; may so far be correct;—and a small portion of his other cosmical speculations may agree with ancient philosophy or modern science; but they are mixed up with so many other statements which have no foundation whatever in truth, that they seem like the meteors of the morass, a dim light where there are dangers numberless, or like insulated rocks that are no protection to the mariner, as they are covered by every wave that rushes near them in the storm. The whole of his cosmogony, and of his astronomical revelations, is erroneous; and there are statements in nearly every deliverance attributed to him upon these subjects which prove that his mind was beclouded by like ignorances with other men; consequently, he cannot be, as he is designated by his disciples, "a sure guide to the city of peace."




As all the systems of worlds are homogeneous, so are the orders of being by whom they are inhabited; the various distinctions that are now presented being only of temporary duration. With the exception of those beings who have entered into one of the four paths leading to nirwana, there may be an interchange of condition between the highest and lowest. He who is now the most degraded of the demons, may one day rule the highest of the heavens; he who is at present seated upon the most honorable of the celestial thrones may one day writhe amidst the agonies of a place of torment; and the worm that we crush under our feet may, in the course of ages, become a supreme Budha. When any of the four paths are entered, there is the certainty that in a definite period, more or less remote, nirwana will be obtained; and they who have entered into the paths are regarded as the noblest of all the intelligences in the universe. Hence our earth, in the time of a supreme Budha, or when the sacred dharmma is rightly understood and faithfully observed, is the most favored of all worlds; the priests, or those who observe the precepts, assume a higher rank than any other order of being whatever; and there is an immeasurable distance between even the most exalted of the déwas or brahmas and "the teacher of the three worlds," who is supreme.

Exclusive of the supreme Budhas, the various orders of intelligence include-1. Pasé-Budhas. 2. Rahats. 3. Déwas. 4. Brahmas. 5. Gandhárwas. 6. Garundas. 7. Nágas.

8. Yakás. 9. Khumbandas. 10. Asúrs. 11. Rákshas. 12. Prétas, and other monsters. 13. The inhabitants of the Narakas: in addition to the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fish of the waters, and beings engendered from filth and excrement. The three superior classes are déwas, brahmas, and men. Among men appear sidhas, who can perform wonders by the aid of herbs and other medicinal substances and preparations; widyadharas, who can exercise the same powers by the aid of mantras, or charms; and rishis, who can exercise the same powers through the practice of certain rites and austerities. These orders are divided into five gati, or conditions:-1. Déwa, divine. 2. Manusya, human. 3. Préta, monstrous. 4. Tirisan, brute. 5. Niraya, infernal.

I. The Pasé-Budhas are sages of wondrous power, who never appear at the same time as a supreme Budha; yet in the kalpa in which there is no supreme Budha there is no Pasé-Budha (1). They attain to their high state of privilege by their own unaided powers. Their knowledge is limited; but they never fall into any error that would involve the transgression of the precepts. In the five gradations of being enumerated by Nágaséna, the Pasé-Budhas are placed between the rahat and the supreme Budha. Their relative dignity may be learnt from the announcement, that when alms are given to them it produces greater merit by a hundred times than when given to the rahats; and that when given to the supreme Budhas it produces greater merit by sixteen times sixteen than when given to them. The supreme Budhas reveal the paths leading to nirwána to all beings; but the Pasé-Budhas can only obtain nirwána for themselves. They cannot release any other being from the miseries of successive existence. They cannot preach the perfect bana, even as the dumb man, though he may have seen a remarkable dream, cannot explain it to others; or as

the savage, who enters a city and is sumptuously fed by some respectable citizen who meets with him, is unable, on his return to the forest, to give his fellow-savages an idea of the taste of the food he has eaten, because they are not accustomed to food of the same kind. But although they cannot teach others, they may themselves attain to a perfect acquaintance with the four pratisambhidás, or modes of supernatural illumination. They can give precepts so as to lessen the power of the sensuous principle; but they cannot entirely destroy it. It is a rule of the priests in Ceylon who belong to the sect of the Amarapuras, not to follow the observances of the Pasé-Budhas, unless they have received the sanction of Gótama.

II. The fourth of the paths leading to nirwána is called arya, or aryahat. The ascetic who has entered this path is called a Rahat. He is free from all cleaving to sensuous objects. Evil desire has become extinct within him, even as the principle of fructification has become extinct in the tree that has been cut down by the root, or the principle of life in the seed that has been exposed to the influence of fire. The mind of the rahat is incapable of error upon any subject connected with religious truth; though he may make mistakes upon common subjects, or from allowing the faculty of observation to remain in abeyance. There are five great powers that the rahat possesses :-1. Irdhi, or the power of working miracles; he can rise into the air, overturn the earth, or arrest the course of the sun. 2. The power to hear all sounds, from whatever being proceeding. 3. The power to know the thoughts of other beings. 4. The power of knowing what births were received in former ages. 5. The power of knowing what births will be received by any being in future ages. But all rahats do not possess these powers in an equal degree of perfection. The rahat is subject to bodily pain; nevertheless, his mind is free from the usual accompaniments of pain, such as agitation, sorrow, or unsubmissiveness; as the trunk of the tree remains unmoved in the storm, though the branches may be subject to violent oscil

lations. This high state of privilege was sometimes received in an instant; as when the ascetic Nigródha became a rahat whilst his hair was being cut off to prepare him for the reception of the priesthood. But in other cases it required a long and laborious exercise of discipline; the facility of acquirement being ruled by the amount of merit received in former births. In the earlier ages of Budhism, the rahatship was attained by females. At his death, the rahat invariably enters nirwána, or ceases to exist. As the cause of re-production, karma, is destroyed, it is not possible for him to enter upon any other mode of existence; the concretive power that binds together the elements of existence is now wanting; the effect ceases, from the evanishment of the cause. Το make a false profession of the attainment of rahatship is one of the four crimes that involve permanent exclusion from the priesthood.

III. The moment that man loses the aid of induction, and enters into the unseen world, his littleness becomes manifest; and yet in no department of investigation has he pursued his course with more complacency, or allowed his imagination a revelry more unrestrained. But the bolder the flight he has taken, the less has he brought conviction to the minds of those who have listened to his reveries; as all his creations are only a repetition of what any one may see in the everyday world; or they are airy nothings; or they are an unnatural jumble of things that have no affinity, and can never be really conjoined. New arrangements he can form; and when he has accomplished this simple task, he beguiles himself into the belief that he has emanated a new existence. There is, therefore, no part of heathenism that is less interesting than its description of other worlds; and in no light does it appear so absurd as in its accounts of the creatures by which they are inhabited. The Pasé-Budhas and rahats are equally partakers of humanity; but we must now pass on to the consideration of the unearthly and the monstrous.

The déwas of Budhism do not inhabit the déwa-lókas exclusively, as in the world of men there are also déwas of

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