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state elephant, with 30,000 followers, all of whom embraced the priesthood. After performing the asetic usages for the space of four months, he received the rice-cakes from Aggiséna, and the kusa-grass from Chinduka; and at the root of the tree called udumbura, or dinibul, he attained the object of his great exertion. Gótama Bódhisat was at this time the monarch Parwata, who made an offering to Kónágamana, and heard him repeat the prediction, "In the present kalpa this individual will become a supreme Budha." The principal disciples of Kónágamana were Sambahula and Uttara; his attendant, Sortthijana; his principal female disciples, Sámuddá and Uttará; his stature 30 cubits; and he was 30,000 years of age when he attained nirwana.

The birth-place of Kásyapa was Benares; his father, Brahmadatta; his mother, Dhammawati; the period during which he remained a laic, 2000 years; his queen, Sunanda; his son Wijitasena; his period of asceticism, seven days; the cake-giver, Emasunanda; the grass-giver, Somanassa; and his sacred tree was the nuga, or banian. His principal disciples were Tissa and Bháraddwaja, his attendant, Sarwachitra; and his principal female disciples, Uruwelá and Urulá. At this time Gótama Bódhisat was the brahman Jótipála. His stature was 20 cubits; he had a retinue of 20,000 disciples; and lived in all 20,000 years. After his body was burnt, the bones still remained in their usual position, presenting the appearance of a perfect skeleton; and the whole of the inhabitants of Jambudwípa assembling together, erected a dágoba over his relics, one yojana in height. (Sadharmmaratnakáré).





A GREAT part of the respect paid to Gótama Budha arises from the supposition that he voluntarily endured, throughout myriads of ages, and in numberless births, the most severe deprivations and afflictions, that he might thereby gain the power to free sentient beings from the misery to which they are exposed under every possible form of existence. It is thought that myriads of ages previous to his reception of the Budhaship, he might have become a rahat, and therefore ceased to exist; but that of his own free will, he forewent the privilege, and threw himself into the stream of successive existence, for the benefit of the three worlds. There is a class of virtues, called the ten páramitás, one or other of which is pre-eminently exercised during the whole period in which the Bodhisat prepares himself for the supreme Budhaship (1).

In the discourses that were delivered by Gótama, he occasionally referred to the 24 Budhas who immediately preceded him, on which occasions he related the circumstances of his own life at each of these periods. The history of these Budhas has been briefly recorded in the preceding chapter. It was also the custom of Gótama, when any event of importance occurred, to refer to some similar event that had taken place in previous ages, in which the same persons were actors, dwelling more particularly upon the part he himself had taken in the several transactions. From these relations the

work called by the Singhalese Pansiya-panas-játaka-pota, or the Book of the Five Hundred and Fifty Births, was compiled. The work known by this title," says the Rev. D. J. Gogerly (Ceylon Friend, Aug. 1838), " is a Pali commentary on one of the fifteen books belonging to the fifth section of the Sútra Pitaka, or Discourses of Budha, and forms no part. therefore of the sacred code; but according to a decision that the comments are of equal authority with the text, it is regarded as of indisputable authority. There is a Singhalese translation of the greater part of it, which is exceedingly popular, not on account of the peculiar doctrines of Budhism contained in it, for these are but incidentally referred to, but from its being a collection of amusing stories which they believe to be unquestionably true. The copy of the Pali comment now before me is written on olas 29 inches long, having 9 lines on a page, and occupies 1000 leaves or 2000 pages. The text itself is very scarce; my copy was made from one in the possession of the late chief priest of the Matura district, Bówilla; it contains 340 pages of 9 lines. each, written on olas 23 inches long. It is named Játaka Gáthá, or Birth Stanzas, although a large proportion of them has no reference (independent of the comment) to any birth, being general maxims or miscellaneous observations. Each of the first one hundred Játakas consists of a single verse of four lines; but some of the remainder, being histories, are much longer, the last one, or history of king Wessantara, occupying 40 pages. The comment comprises-1. The occasion upon which the verse was spoken. 2. A story illustrating it, affirmed to have been related at the time by Budha,. detailing circumstances which occurred to him and the parties respecting whom the verse was spoken, in a previous birth. 3. A philological explanation of the words and sense of the stanza, the verse or verses being mostly inserted at length. This last is not translated into Singhalese, except partially in the first Játaka, as being unintelligible to the mere Singhalese reader."

The Singhalese translation, so far as it extends, appears to

be a correct and literal rendering of the Pali original. I have read the greater part of it, and brought a copy to England, intending to read the whole, but have not yet found leisure to accomplish the task. Reckoning a page to contain 9 lines, with about 100 letters in each line, it extends to 2400 pages. I have not made much use of it beyond the present chapter. At my request, my native pundit made an analysis of the number of times in which Gótama Bódhisat appeared in particular states of existence, as recorded in the Játakas, and the following is the result. An ascetic 83 times; a monarch 58; the déwa of a tree 43; a religious teacher 26; a courtier 24; a próhita brahman 24; a prince 24; a nobleman 23; a learned man 22; the déwa Sekra 20; an ape 18; a merchant 13; a man of wealth 12; a deer 10; a lion 10; the bird hansa 8; a snipe 6; an elephant 6; a fowl 5; a slave 5; a golden eagle 5; a horse 4; a bull 4; the brahma Maha Brahma 4; a peacock 4; a serpent 4; a potter 3; an outcaste 3; a guana 3; twice each a fish, an elephant driver, a rat, a jackal, a crow, a woodpecker, a thief, and a pig; and once each a dog, a curer of snake-bites, a gambler, a mason, a smith, a devil dancer, a scholar, a silversmith, a carpenter, a water-fowl, a frog, a hare, a cock, a kite, a jungle-fowl, and a kindurá. It is evident, however, that this list is imperfect.

Not a few of the fables that pass under the name of Æsop are here to be found; and the schoolboy is little aware, as he reads of the wit of the fox or the cunning of the monkey, that these animals become, in the course of ages, the teacher of the three worlds, Budha. Each Játaka begins with the formula, "yata-giya-dawasa," which is an exact equivalent to our own, "in days of yore." The Hindu collection of fables, called the Hitópadésa, is well known. As the scene of these fables is laid in the comparatively modern city of Pátaliputra, whilst that of the Játaka, is almost invariably connected with a Brahmadatta, king of Benares, we may infer therefrom the superior antiquity of the Pali collection. The Játaka-pota bears a considerable resemblance to those parts of the Talmud

that are described as consisting of "aphorisms and moral sentiments, illustrated by similes and parables, and also by narratives, sometimes real and sometimes fictitious." These legends are interesting, as throwing light upon the manners and customs, and upon the modes of thought, that were prevalent when this compilation was made, or in the ages immediately previous; as there is a boundary of verisimilitude beyond which the wildest imagination cannot pass. One tale, after the usual manner of eastern compositions, presents the opportunity for the introduction of several other stories that are only slightly dependent upon the principal narrative. The Singhalese will listen the night through to recitations from this work, without any apparent weariness; and a great number of the Játakas are familiar even to the women.

The Játakas here transcribed are the Sujáta (2), Apannaka (3), Munika (4), Makasa (5), Guna (6), Tinduka (7), Asadrisa (8), and Wessantara (9). In this selection I have had in view the interest of the legend as a tale; the convenience of its length; or its importance as illustrating some feature of Budhism. The Sujáta Játaka is here translated in full, with its introduction; but in the other Játakas the introduction is omitted, and the narrative much abridged. The first Játaka recorded in the original text is the Apannaka; and the last, the Wessantara.

1. The Virtues and Privileges of the Bodhisat.

There are ten primary virtues, called páramitás, that are continually exercised by the Bódhisats; and as each virtue is divided into three degrees; ordinary; upa, superior; and paramártha, pre-eminent; there are in all thirty páramitás.

For the space of twenty asankya-kap-lakshas, that is to say, from the time that the manópranidhána, or resolution to become a Budha, was first exercised, the thirty páramitás were practised by Gótama Bódhisat. 1. He gave in alms, or as charity, his eyes, head, flesh, blood, children, wife, and substance, whether personal or otherwise, as in the Khadirangara birth. In this way

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