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A'rya Langkávatára maha yana sutra. A venerable sutra of high principles (or speculation) on the visiting of Lanká. This was delivered at the request of the lord of Lanká, by Shakya, when he was in the city of Lanká, on the top of the Malayar* mountain, on the sea shore, together with many priests and bodhisatwas. It was in a miraculous manner that Shakya visited Lanká. It is evident from the text that both the visitors and the pretended master of Lanká are fancied beings; but there is in the Langkávatára sutra a copious account of the Budhistic metaphysical doctrine, with some discussion on each. From leaves 298 to 456 there is again an explanation of the Langkávatára sutra, containing (as it is stated) the essence of the doctrine of all the Tathagatas. The Langkávatára sutra was translated by order of the Tibetan king Ral-pa-chan, in the ninth century. No Indian pandit is mentioned. It is stated only that it was translated by Lotsava Gelong, who added also the commentary (which must be the last part of the above-mentioned sutra) of a Chinese professor or teacher, called Wen-hi." It is stated by Hodgson that the Langkàvatára is regarded by the Nepaulese as the fourth dharmma. "The fourth (dharmma) is the Lankavatar, of 300 slokas, in which it is written how Ravana, lord of Lanká, having gone to the Malayagiri mountain, and there heard the history of the Budhas from Sakya Sinha, obtained Boddhynána."

A considerable number of the legends I have translated are known to the Tibetans, as we learn from Csoma Körösi ;† to the Nepaulese, as we learn from Brian Hodgson; or to the Chinese, as we learn from Remusat, Klaproth, and Landresse. The sacred books of Burma, Siam, and Ceylon, are

*Malaya is said by Professor Wilson to be the southern portion of the Western Ghauts.

+ Asiatic Researches, vol. xx.-Journal Bengal As. Soc. passim.

Illustrations of the Literature and Religion of the Buddhists, by B. H. Hodgson, Esq., B.C.S. Serampore, 1841.

§ Foe Koue Ki, ou Relation des Royaumes Bouddhiques: Voyage dans la Tartarie, dans l'Afghanistan et dans l'Inde, exécuté à la fin du IVe Siècle, par Chy fă hian. Traduit du Chinois et commenté par M. Abel Remusat. Ouvrage posthume, revu, complété, et augmenté d'éclaircissements nouveaux, par MM. Klaproth et Landresse: Parie, 1836.

identically the same. The ancient literature of the Budhists, in all the regions where this system is professed, appears to have had its origin in one common source; but in the observances of the present day there is less uniformity; and many of the customs now followed, and of the doctrines now taught, would be regarded by the earlier professors as perilous innovations.

I am tempted by an almost irresistible impulse, to enter upon an extended examination of the personal character of Gótama, and of the religious system he established. But I forbear. The task I have undertaken is rather to impart information, than to assume the office of an expositor or controversialist. There is, nevertheless, something almost overpowering in the thought, that he was the means of producing a moral revolution more important in its results, and more extensive in its ramifications, than any other uninspired teacher, whether of the eastern or western world. The character of the instrumentality by which these mighty effects were brought about, has hitherto been little regarded; but the time is coming when it will engage the attention of our highest orders of intellect. With the founders of other creeds, and of other monastic orders, and of other philosophical systems, Gótama will have to be compared; nor must such beings as Melampus, Empedokles, and Apollonius, who, like himself, are invested with a shadowy existence and partook of supernatural powers, be overlooked. Though the great sage of Maghada has more disciples, by tens of millions, than Mahomet, or Anthony, or Aristotle, his name is scarcely heard beyond the limits of Asia; and in many cases where his history is partially known, he is regarded as a mere abstraction or as the subject of a myth.



THE Budhas are regarded by their adherents as the greatest of beings. The praises they receive are of the most extravagant description; and all the excellencies that the most fertile imagination can invent have been applied to them, in setting forth the beauty of their persons, the propriety of their deportment, the kindness of their disposition, or the greatness of their powers. The first sentence in all the óla books written in Ceylon is as follows:-Namó tassa bhagawató arhaható sammá sambuddhassa. Bhagawató, the virtuous, the meritorious;* araható, the perfectly pure, from having overcome all sensuousness; samma, in a proper manner; sambuddhassa, he who has ascertained the four great truths, by intuition; tassá, to him; namó, be praise, or worship.

In some of the translations now to be inserted, there is presented a more painful proof, if possible, of prostration of intellect, than in any of the preceding statements. But they are consistent in their wildness; and if the honours bestowed upon Budha are legitimately given, the rest of the story may


* The Brahmans give to this word a more recondite signification. word Bhagavat is a convenient form to be used in the adoration of that supreme being, to whom no term is applicable; and therefore Bhagavat expresses that supreme spirit, which is individual, almighty, and the cause of causes of all things. The letter Bh implies the cherisher and supporter of the universe. By ga is understood the leader, impeller, or creator. The dissyllable Bhaga indicates the six properties, dominion, might, glory, splendour, wisdom, and dispassion. The purport of the letter ca is that elemental spirit in which all beings exist, and which exists in all things.Wilson's Vishnu Purána.

follow as a matter of course. We have here a phase of mind that outstrips the utmost extravagancies of our own legends. The old monks have transmitted to us many most wondrous stories; but their most elaborated menologies must yield the palm to the narrative we have received of the prowess of Gótama.

Yet the relation has a melancholy interest, as it may be regarded as the prime effort of the mind of heathendom to present a faultless and perfect character. It is the eastern beau ideal of that which is the most beautiful, and praiseworthy, and great. There are, confessedly, some features that we are called upon to admire; but the folly in some instances, and the absurdity in others, mark the whole to be "of the earth, earthy."

1. The Supremacy of Budha.

It is said of Budha, that he is endowed with many virtues ; he is the joy of the whole world; the helper of the helpless; a mine of mercy; the déwa of déwas; the Sekra of Sekras; the Brahma of Brahmas; the only deliverer; the very compassionate; the teacher of the three worlds; he who receives the homage of kings; the royal preacher; a diamond coffer to those who seek his assistance; a moon to the three worlds; he who gives the ambrosia of righteousness; the father of the world; the helper of the world; the friend of the world; the relative of the world; the gem of the world; the collyrium of the world; the ambrosia of the world; the treasure of the world; the magical jewel of the world; stronger than the strongest; more merciful than the most merciful; more beautiful than the most beautiful; having more merit than the most meritorious; more powerful than the most powerful; he who enables the being who only softly pronounces his name, or who gives in his name only a small portion of rice, to attain nirwána. The eye cannot see anything; nor the ear hear anything; nor the mind think of anything, more excellent, or more worthy of regard than Budha.

The following declaration, which appears in the Aggappasádasútra, was made by Gótama :-" Priests, there is no one


superior to the Tatágata, whether it be among apods, bipeds, quadrupeds, or millapeds; among those that have rúpa, organized bodies, or those that are arúpa, incorporeal. He who trusts in Budha relies upon him who is supreme; and he who trusts in the supreme will receive the highest of all rewards. No one has been my teacher; there is none like me; there is no one who resembles me, whether among déwas or men."

Were a being possessed of all wisdom to repeat during an entire kalpa the praises of Budha, he would not be able to declare the whole. There are beings that are sentient, and beings that are not sentient; of these two classes, the sentient is the chief. There are two classes of sentient beings, animals and men; of these two classes, man is the chief. There are two classes of mankind, the male and the female; of these, the male is the chief. There are two classes of males, those who have fixed habitations and those who have none; of these the men who have no fixed habitation are the chief. Of those who have no fixed habitation, the priests, the Pasé-Budhas, and the supreme Budhas, are the chief.*

On a certain occasion, Jinorasa and Sákyaputra were walking together. He who went in the rear said to the other, " My lord, the excellence of Budha is immensely great; I have been thinking that if there were books written that contained a perfect account of the whole they would form a heap that would reach to the brahma lókas." "Friend," replied the superior priest, "by so saying you lower the dignity of our great monarch; such a comparison appears only like a mockery." The other priest then said, "I spoke according to the extent of my knowledge; and as he had not said it with the intention of being disrespectful, but had spoken it out of a heart filled with affection for Budha, the superior priest forgave him.

The lofty Maha Méru may be reflected in a mirror; by putting out one finger, it may be said that the six déwa-lókas are there; a sign may be made to indicate that the sixteen brahma-lókas are in such a direction; taking up as much earth as is carried in the mouth of a white ant, it may be said that the earth is like that; a mustard seed may be used to declare

"Of created things, the most excellent are those that are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the sacerdotal class."-Manu, Inst. i. 96.

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