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emerging from the earth, and passing through the air (without touching the floor); and took his seat in the pulpit specially reserved for him.
All these théras, accomplished supporters of the faith, allotted to the théra Upáli (the elucidation of the)" vinaya; " and to the théra A'nanda the whole of the other branches of "dhamma." The high priest (Mahákassapa) reserved to himself (the part) of interrogating on
vinaya," and the ascetic théra Upáli that of discoursing thereon. The one seated in the high priest's pulpit interrogated him on " vinaya;" the other seated in the preaching pulpit expatiated thereon. From the manner in which the " vinaya was propounded by this master of that branch of religion, all these théras, by repeating (the discourse) in chants, became perfect masters in the knowledge of " vinaya."
The said high priest (Mahákassapa) imposing on himself (that task), interrogated on "dhamma" him (A'nanda) who, from among those who had been his auditors, was the selected guardian of the doctrines of the supreme ruler. In the same manner, the théra A'nanda, allotting to himself that (task), exalted in the preaching pulpit, expatiated without the slightest omission on dhamma." From the manner in which that sage (A'nanda) accomplished in the "wédo," propounded the "dhamma," all these priests, repeating his discourse in chants, became perfect in "dhamma."
Thus this convocation, held by these benefactors of mankind for the benefit of the whole world, was brought to a close in seven months; and the religion of the deity of felicitous advent was rendered effective for enduring five thousand years, by the high priest Mahákassapa.
At the close of this convocation, in the excess of its exultation, the self-balanced great earth quaked six times from the lowest abyss of the ocean, by various means in this world, divers miracles have been performed. Because this convocation was held exclusively by the théras, (it is called) from generation to generation the "Thériyá Convocation."
Having held this first convocation, and having conferred many benefits on the world, and lived the full measure of human existence (of that period), all these disciples (in due course of nature) died.
In dispelling the darkness of this world, these disciples became, by their supernatural gifts, the luminaries who overcame that darkness. By (the ravages of) death, like unto the desolation of a tempest, these great luminaries were extinguished. From this example, therefore, by a piously wise man (the desire for) this life should be overcome."
The third chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The First Convocation on Religion," composed equally to delight and afflict righteous men.
1" either emerging from the earth (after sinking into it) or passing through the air." The sudden and unexpected appearance of A'nanda in his seat impressed them with the idea that he must have come there by a miraculous exercise of power such as arhats are said to possess.
"the .constant auditors of the Great Sage was the selected guardian of his doctrines."
"accomplished sage." Védéha-muni, an epithet of A'nanda, has no reference to the védas. Védéha here means (6 99 66 wise," perfect," &c.
* Omit "
accomplished in the wédo."
5" and divers (other) wonders happened in the world in various forms." "(Arhat) théras alone, it is called the Thériyá Parampará ('the Tradition or Collection of the Elders')."
The terseness and beauty of the original are so completely lost in this paraphrase that I cannot refrain from rendering it anew. "Even those thóras, who shone like great lamps in dispelling, by the light of their wisdom, the darkness of the world, were themselves extinguished by the fierce tempest of death. Hence, let the thoughtful man cast away (from him) the pride of life."
UDAYIBHADDAKA, the perfidiously impious son of Ajátasattu, having put (his parent) to death, reigned sixteen years.
Anuruddhaka, the son of Udávibhaddaka, having put him to death; and the son of Anuruddhaka, named Munda, having put him to death; these perfidious, unwise (princes, in succession) ruled. In the reigns. of these two (monarchs) eight years elapsed.
The impious Nágadásaka, son of Munda, having put his father to death, reigned twenty-four years.
The populace of the capital, infuriated (at such conduct), designating this a parricidical race," assembled, and formally deposed Nágadásaka; and desirous of gratifying the whole nation, they unanimously installed in the sovereignty the eminently wise minister bearing the (historically) distinguished appellation of Susunága. He reigned eighteen years. His son Kálásóka reigned 'twenty years. Thus, in the tenth year of the reign of king Kálásóka, a century had elapsed from the death of Buddha.
At that time a numerous community of priests, resident in the city of Vésáli, natives of Vajji, shameless ministers of religion, pronounced the (following) ten indulgences to be allowable (to the priesthood): viz.,2 3salt meats," two inches," also in villages, "fraternity," 5proxy, ""milk whey," example," beverage,' covers of seats,' gold, and other coined metals." The théra Yasa having heard of this heresy, proceeded on a pilgrimage over the Vajji country. This Yasa, son of Kákandaka, the brahman, versed in the six branches of doctrinal knowledge, and powerful in his calling, repaired to that place (Vésáli), devoting himself at the Mahávana vihára to the suppression of this heresy.
They (the schismatic priests) having placed a golden dish filled with water in the apartment in which the "upósatha" ceremony was performed, said (to the attendant congregation of laymen): "Devotees, bestow on the priesthood at least a kahápanan." The théra forbade (the proceeding), exclaiming, "Bestow it not it is not allowable." They awarded to the théra Yasa (for this interference) the sentence of patisáraniya." Having by entreaty procured (from them) a messenger, he proceeded with him to the capital, and propounded to the inhabitants of the city the tenets of his own faith.
The (schismatic) priests having learned these circumstances from the messenger, proceeded thither, to award to the théra the penalty of ukkhépaniyam," and took up their station surrounding his dwelling. The théra (however) raising himself aloft, proceeded through the air to the city of Kósambi; from thence, speedily despatching messengers to the priests resident in Páveyya and Avanti, and himself repairing
166 twenty-eight years."
2 These are the opening words of the sentences descriptive of the ten new indulgences attempted to be introduced into the discipline of the Buddhistical priesthood, an explanation of which would lead to details inconvenient in this place. [Note by Mr. Turnour.]
3" salt preserved in horns."
44 going into villages."
666 kahápanas and such like."
An act of censure involving the obligation of seeking forgiveness from an offended layman by the offending priest.
8" (instead of seeking forgiveness) justified himself before the people of the city."
Suspension from privileges of monkhood.
to the Ahóganga mountain (mountain beyond the Ganges), reported all these particulars to the théra Sambhúta of Sána.
Sixty priests of Páveyya and eighty of Avanti, all sanctified characters who had overcome the dominion of sin, descended at Ahóganga. The whole number of priests who had assembled there, from various quarters, amounted to ninety thousand. These sanctified personages having deliberated together, and acknowledged that the théra Révata, of Sóreyya, in profundity of knowledge and sanctity of character, was at that period the most illustrious, they departed thither for the purpose of appearing before him.
The said théra having attended to their statement, and being desirous (on account of his great age) of performing the journey by easy stages, departed at that instant from thence, for the purpose of repairing to Vésáli. 1On account of the importance of that mission, departing each morning at dawn, on reaching the places adapted for their accommodation, they met together again (for consultation) in the evenings.
2At a place (where they had so assembled), the théra Yasa, under the directions of the chief priest Sambhúta, at the close of a sermon, addressing himself to the celebrated théra Révata, inquired what the ten (unorthodox) indulgences were. Having examined those rules, the théra pronounced them" inadmissible," and said, "Let us suppress this (schism)."
These sinners, with the view to seducing the renowned théra Révata to their party, collecting a vast quantity of priestly offerings, and quickly embarking in a vessel, arrived at the place where the principal priests were assembled ; and at the hour of refection set forth the chant of refection. The théra Sálha, who was resident at that selected place, and had overcome the dominion of sin, reflecting whether the doctrine of the Páveyya priests was orthodox, it appeared to him to be so. The Mahá-Brahma (of the world Suddhávása) descending unto him (Sálha) addressed him thus: "Adhere to that doctrine." He replied that his adherence to that faith would be steadfast.
Those who had brought the priestly offerings presented themselves to the eminent théra Révata. The théra declined accepting the offerings, and dismissed the pupil of the sinful fraternity (who presented them).
These shameless characters departing thence for Vésáli, and from thence repairing to the capital Pupphapura, thus addressed their sovereign Kálásóka: "We, the guardians of the dwelling of our divine instructor, reside there, in the land of Vajji, in the Mahávana vihára. The priests resident in the provincial villages are hastening hither, saying, Let us take possession of the vihára. Oh, Mahárájá, prevent them." They having (thus) deceived the king, returned to Vésáli.
In the (aforesaid) selected place where the (orthodox) priests had halted, unto the théra Révata, for the purpose of suppressing the schismatic indulgences, eleven hundred and ninety thousand priests
1 The translation is altogether wrong. There is a lacuna to be filled up here in order to make the sense clear. (And the other priests followed him on the journey), and reaching every evening the place which the noble théra had left in the morning, they overtook and saw him at (a place called) Sahajáti.” Révata being old and infirm wished to journey quietly and by easy stages; so the priests who had gone to fetch him wished not to intrude on his privacy.
2 Omit italicised words, and substitute "There."
4 Delete" were."
5" The théra rejected them as errors, and said Let us hear the case and suppress them.'
congregated. He had decided (however) not to suppress the heresy at any place but that at which it had originated. Consequently the théras, and all these priests repaired to Vésáli. The deluded monarch despatched his ministers thither. Misguided, however, by the interposition of the gods, they proceeded in a different direction.
The sovereign having (thus) deputed these ministers (to the priesthood), in the night, by a dream, he saw that his soul was cast into the Lóhakumbhi hell. The king was in the greatest consternation. To allay that (terror) his younger sister, the priestess Nandi, a sanctified character, who had overcome the dominion of sin, arrived, travelling through the air: "The act thou hast committed is of the most weighty import 1make atonement to the orthodox ministers of the faith: uniting thyself with their cause, uphold true religion. By adopting this course peace of mind will be restored unto thee." Having thus addressed him she departed.
At the very dawn of day the monarch departed to proceed to Vésáli. Having reached the Mahávana vihára, he assembled the priesthood; and having examined the controversy by listening to both parties, he decided in favour of the cause of true religion. The sovereign having 2made atonement to all the ministers of true religion, and having avowed his adherence to its cause, he said: "Do ye according to your own judg ment provide for the due maintenance of religion "; and having extended his protection to them, he departed for his capital (Pupphapura).
Thereupon the priesthood assembled to inquire into these indulgences: there, in that convocation (however) endless and frivolous discussions arose. The théra Révata himself then advancing into the midst of the assembly, and causing to be proclaimed the ubbáhiká rules, he made the requisite arrangements for the purpose of suppressing this heresy.
4By the ubbáhiká 5rules he selected, for the suppression of the sacerdotal heresy, four priests of Pácína and four of Páveyya. These were the Pácína priests: Sabbakámi, Sálha, Khujjasóbhita, and Vásabhagámika. These were the four Páveyya priests: Révata, Sambhúta of Sána, Yasa the son of Kákandaka, and Sumana. For the purpose of examining into these (controverted) indulgences, these eight sanctified personages repaired to Válukáráma vihára, a situation so secluded (that not even the note of a bird was heard), and free from the strife of men. The high priest Révata, the chief of the interrogating party, questioned the théra Sabbakámi in due order on these indulgences, one by one. The principal théra Sabbakámi, who had been thus interrogated by him (Révata), declared: " By the orthodox ordinances all these indulgences are inadmissible." There (at the Válukáráma vihára), having in due form rejected this heresy, in the same manner in the midst of the convocation at Mahávana vihára (to which they returned), they again went through the interrogations and replies.
To the ten thousand sinful priests who put forth the ten indulgences, these principal orthodox priests awarded the penalty of degradation.
1" beseech the forgiveness of."
obtained the forgiveness of."
"that matters in dispute should be settled according to the Ubbáhiká rules of procedure."
A verse is missing here: " And the great elder Sabbakámi, who knew the mind of the great sage, seated himself on a beautiful throne prepared by a young priest."
Sabbakámi was at that time high priest of the world, and had already attained a standing of one hundred and twenty years in the ordination of "upasampadá."
Sabbakámi, Sálha, Révata, Khujjasóbhita, Yasa the son of Kákaṇḍaka, and Sambhúta, a native of Sána,-these six théras were the disciples of the théra A'nanda. Vásabhagámika and Sumana,--these two théras were the disciples of the théra Anuruddha. These eight pious priests, in aforetime, had seen the deity who was the successor of former Buddhas.
The priests who had assembled were twelve hundred thousand of all these priests the théra Révata was at that time the leader.
Thereupon, for the purpose of securing the permanency of the true faith, this Révata théra, the leader of these priests, selected from those who were gifted with the qualifications for sanctification, and were the depositories of the doctrines contained in the three piṭakas," seven hundred sanctified disciples (of Buddha, for the purpose of holding the convocation on religion). All these théras, having Révata for their chief, protected by king Kálásóka, held the convocation on religion at the Válukáráma vihára. According to the form observed in interrogation and illustration on the former occasion, conducting this meeting precisely in the same manner, it was terminated in eight months.
Thus these théras, who were indefatigable in their calling, and absolved from all human afflictions, having held the second convocation on religion, in due course attained "nibbuti."
Hence, bearing in mind the subjection to death of the disciples of the saviour of the universe, who were endowed with the sanctification of "arhat,”—who had attained the state of ultimate beatitude,and had conferred blessings on the beings of the three "bhavas," recollecting also the liability of the rest of mankind to an interminable transmigration, let (the reader) steadfastly devote himself (to a life of righteousness).
The fourth chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The Second Convocation on Religion," composed equally to delight and afflict righteous
THE Convocation which was held in the first instance by the principal théras, having Mahákassapa for their chief, is called the "Théríyá Sangíti."
During the first century after the death of Buddha there was but that one schism among the théras. It was subsequent to that period that the other schisms among the preceptors took place.
The whole of those sinful priests, in number ten thousand, who had been degraded by the théras who had held the second convocation, originated the schism among the preceptors called the Mahá Sangíti heresy.
1" four kinds of highest knowledge."
2 I doubt much whether" schism among the théras " is the proper rendering of 66 théra-váda." I should think it rather means "the tradition of the elders" or "the sayings of the elders." This term théra-váda is used in contradistinction to ácariya-váda in the same verse and subsequent places, translated by Turnour as "schisms among the preceptors," but which I think should be 'the sayings of (the subsequent) false teachers." The subject, however, is one for detailed investigation.