1902 Encyclopedia > Buddhism

Buddhism




BUDDHISM is the name a religion which formerly prevailed through a large part of India, and is now professed by the inhabitants of Ceylon, Siam, and Burma (the southern Buddhists), and of Nepal, Tibet, China, and Japan (the northern Buddhists)'! It arose out of the philosophical and ethical teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the eldest son of Suddhodana, who was raja in Kapilavastu, and chief of the tribe of the Siikyas, an Arvan clan seated during the 5th century B.C. on the banks of the Kohana, about 100 miles N. of the city of Benares, and about 50 miles S. of the foot of the Himiilaya Mountains.

We are accustomed to find the legendary and the miracu-lous gathering, like a halo, around the early history of religious leaders, until the sober truth runs the risk of being altogether neglected for the glittering and edifying falsehood. Buddha has not escaped the fate which has befallen the founders of other religions; and as late as the year 1854 the late Professor Wilson of Oxford read a paper before the Royal Asiatic Society of London in which he maintained that the supposed life of Buddha was a myth, and" Buddha himself; merely an imaginary being." No one, however, would now support this view; and it is admitted that, under the mass of miraculous tales which have been handed down regarding him, there is a basis of truth already sufficiently clear to render possible an intelligible history, which will become clearer and clearer as older and better authorities are made accessible.

The chief sources of our at present available information regarding the life of Buddha are-I, The .Jl£amlal of Buddhism, published in 1860 by the Rev. R. Spence Hardy, compiled from various Sinhalese sources; 2, The transla-tion into English (published by Bishop Bigandet in Rangoon in 1858 under the title Legend of the Burmese Buddha) of the translation into Burrnese of a Pali work called by Bigandet Mallalingara- Wouttoo, of unknown author and date; 3, ,The original Pali text of the Jataka commentary, written in Ceylon in the 5th century A.D., edited in 1875 by Mr Fausbiill of Copenhagen (this is our best authority); 4, Mr Beal's recently published translation into English (under the title The Romantic Legend of Sakya Buddha) of a translation into Chinese, made in the 6th century A.D., of a Sanskrit work, called Abhinishlcramana SzUra j 5, A Sanskrit work called the Lalita Vistara, undoubtedly very old, but of unknown author or date, the text of which has appeared in the Bibliotheca Indica in Calcutta, and a translation through the Tibetan into French by M. Foucaux in Paris (1848). The first three books represent the views of the southern Buddhists, whose sacred books are in Pali, and last the two those of the northern Buddhists, whose sacred books are in Sanskrit. The former are much the more reliable and complete, the latter being inflated to a great length by absurd and miraculous legends, the kernel of fact at the centre of which agrees in the main with the account found in the former. These have their miraculous incidents too, the relation of the Sanskrit sources to the Pali resembling in many respects that of the apocryphal gospels to the New Testament

As there has been little or no intercommunication between the two churches since the 3rd century B.C., great reliance may reasonably be placed on those statements in which they agree; not indeed as a proof of the actual facts of the Buddha's biography, but as giving us the belief of the early Buddhists concerning it. It is to be regretted that the books we have to compare are, as yet, of so comparatively modern a date; but, after the respective canons had once been fixed, it is not likely that translators would deviate very materially from the text of the bio-graphies, so sacred to them, with which they had to deal. The southern canon-usually called the Tripitaka or three collections-was finally determined about 250 B.c., at the Council of Pataliputra on the Ganges, held under the auspices of the Emperor A~oka the Great; and the northern about the commencement of our era at the Council of Jalandhara, in Kashmir, held under Kanishka, a powerful Indo-Scythian monarch. To the former belongs the Bud-dhavansa, or History of the Buddhas, on which, together with its commentary, our three southern accounts are chiefly based; to the latter belongs the Lalita Vistara, the last of the authorities mentioned above.

At the end of this article will be found a description, of those parts of the canon as yet published; for what is known of the contents of the unpublished parts the student is referred, for the northern, to B. H. Hodgson's Essays, pp. 17 et seq. and 36 et seq.j to CsomaKorosi in the Asiatic Researches, and Koppen, ii. 279; for the southern to Hardy's Eastern. .J.Wonachism (1850), p. 166 et seq., and to },{, Barthelemy St-Hilaire's papers in the Journal des Savants for Feb. and March 1866.

PART I. - THE LIFE OF GAUTAMA BUDDHA

At the end of the 6th century B.C. the Aryan tribes from the Panjab had long been settled on the banks of the Ganges; the pride of race had put an impassable barrier between them and the conquered aborigines; the pride of birth had built up another between the chiefs or nobles and the mass of the Aryan people; and the superstitious fears of all yielded to the priesthood an unques-tioned and profitable supremacy; while the exigencies of occupation and the ties of family had further separated each class into smaller communities, until the whole nation had became gradually bound by an iron system of caste. The old child-like joy in life so manifest in the Vedas had died away; the worship of nature had deve1oped or degene-rated into the worship of new and less pure divinities; and the Vedic songs themselves, whose freedom was little compatible with the spirit of the age, had faded into an obscurity which did not lessen their value to the priests. The country was politically split up into little principalities, each governed by some petty despot, whose interests were not often the same as those of the community. A convenient belief in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls satisfied the unfortunate that their woes were the natural result of their own deeds in a former birth, and though unavoidable now, might be escaped in a future state of existence by present liberality to the priests. While hoping for a better fate in their next birth, the oppressed people turned for succour and advice in this to the aid of astrology and witchcraft-a belief in which seems to underlie all religions, and is only just dying out among ourselves. The philosophy of the day no longer hoped for an immor-tality of the soul, but looked for a release from the misery which it found inseparable from life, in a complete extinction of 'individual existence. The inspiriting wars against the enemies of the Aryan people, the infidel deniers of the Aryan gods, had given place to a succession of internecine feuds between the chiefs of neighbouring clans; and in literature an age of poets had long since made way for an age of commentators and grammarians, who thought that the old poems must have been the work of gods. But the darkest period was succeeded by the dawn of a reformation; traveling logicians were willing to maintain theses against all the world; whilst here and there ascetics strove to raise themselves above the gods, and hermits earnestly sought for some satisfactory solution of the mysteries of life. These were the teachers whom the people chiefly delighted to honour; and though the ranks of the priest-hood were for ever firmly closed against intruders, a man of lower caste, a Kshatriya or Vaisya, whose wind revolted against the orthodox creed, and whose heart was stirred by mingled zeal and ambition, might find through these irregular orders an entrance to the career of a religious teacher and reformer.





The population was most thickly scattered within 150 miles of Benares, which was already celebrated as a seat of piety and learning; and it was at Kapilavastu, a few days' journey north of Benares, that in the 5th century B.C,1 a raja Suddh6dana ruled over a tribe who were called the Sakyas, and who from their wall-watered rice-fields could see the giant Himalayas looming up against the clear blue of the Indian sky. Their supplies of water were drawn from the River Rohini, the modern Kohana; and though the use of the river was in times of drought the cause of disputes between the Sakyas and the neighbouring Koliyans, the two clans were then at peace; and two daughters of the raja of Koli, which was only 11 miles east of Kapila-vastu, were the principal wives of Suddhodana. Both were childless, and great was the rejoicing when, in about the forty-fifth year of her age, the elder sister, Mahamaya, promised her husband a son. In due time she started with the intention of being confined at her parent's home, but the party halting on the way under the shade of 80me lofty satin trees, in a pleasant garden called Lumbini on the river side, her son, the future Buddha, was there unexpectedly born. The marvelous stories which gathered round the belief in his voluntary incarnation and immacu-late conception, the miracles at his birth, the prophecies of the aged saint at his formal presentation to his father, and how nature altered her course to keep a shadow over his cradle, whilst the sages from afar came and worshipped him, will be referred to hereafter under the head of later Buddhism.

He was in after years more generally known by his family name of Gautama, but his individual name was Siddhartha. When he was nineteen years old he was married to his cousin Yasodhara, daughter of the Koliyan raja, and gave himself up to a life of Oriental luxury and delight. Soon after this, according to the southern account, his relations formally complained to the raja that his son lived entirely for pleasure without learning anything, and asked what they should do under such a leader if war arose. Gautama, hearing of this, is said to have appointed a day for a trial of his prowess, and by defeating all his competitors in manly exercises, and surpassing even his teachers in knowledge, to have won back the good opinion of the disaffected Sakyas. This is the solitary record of his youth; we hear nothing more till, in his twenty-ninth year, it is related that, driving to his pleasure-grounds one day, he was struck by the sight of a man utterly broken down by age, on another occasion by the sight of a man suffering from a loathsome disease, and some months after by the horrible sight of a decomposing corpse. Each time his charioteer, whose name was Channa, told him that such was the fate of all living beings. Soon after he saw an ascetic walking in a calm and dignified manner, and asking who that was, was told by his charioteer the character and aims of the ascetics. The different accounts of this vary so much as to cast great doubts on their accuracy. It is; however, clear from what follows, that about this time the mind of the young Rajput must, from some cause or other, have been deeply stirred. Many an earnest heart full of disappointment or enthusiasm has gone through a similar struggle, has learnt to look upon all earthly gains and hopes as worse than vanity, has envied the calm life of the cloister, troubled by none of these things, and has longed for an opportunity of entire self- surrender to abstinence and meditation.

Subjectively, though not objectively, these visions may be supposed to have appeared to Gautama.. "After seeing the last of them, he is said to have spent the afternoon in his pleasure-grounds by the river side; and having bathed, to have entered his chariot in order to return home. Just then a messenger arrived with the news that his wife Yasodhara had given birth to a son, his only child. "This," said Gautama quietly, "is a new and strong tie I shall have to break." But the people of Kapilavastu were greatly delighted at the birth of the young heir, the raja's only grandson. Gautama's return became an ova-tion; musicians preceded and followed his chariot, while shouts of joy and triumph fell on his ear. Among these sounds one especially attracted his attention. It was the voice of a young girl, his cousin, who sang a stanza, saying, "Happy the father, happy the mother, happy tbe wife of such a son and husband." In tbe word " happy" lay a double meaning; it meant also freed from the chains of existence, delivered, saved. Grateful to one who, at such a time, reminded ,him of his highest hopes, Gautama, to whom such things had no longer any value, took off his collar of pearls and sent it to her. She imagined this was the beginning of a courtship, and began to build day-dreams about becoming his principal wife, but he took no further notice of her and passed on. That evening the dancing-girls came to go through the Natch dances, then as now so common on festive occasions in many parts of India; but he paid them no attention, and gradually fell into an uneasy slumber. At midnight he awoke; the dancing-girls were lying in the ante-room; an overpowering loathing filled his soul. He arose instantly with a mind fully made up,-" roused into activity," says the Sinhalese chronicle, "like a man who is told that his house is on fire." He called out to. Know who was on guard; and finding it was his charioteer Channa, he told him to saddle his horse. While Channa was gone Siddhartha gently opened the door of the room where Yasodhara was sleeping, surrounded, by flowers, with one hand on the head of their child. He had hoped to take the babe in his arms for the last time before he went, but now he stood for a few moments- irresolute on the threshold looking at them. At last the fear of awakening Yasodhara prevailed; he tore himself away, promising him-self to return to them as soon as his mind had become clear, as soon as he had become a Buddha,-i.e. Enlightened,-c and then he could return to them not only as husband and father, but as teacher and saviour. It is said to have been broad moonlight on the full moon of the month of July, when the young chief, with Channa as his sole companion, leaving his father's home, his wealth and power, his wife and child behind him-went out into the wilderness to become a penniless and despised student, and a homeless wanderer. This is the circumstance which has given its name to the Sanskrit work, the fourth of those mentioned above, of which Mr. Beal has given us a version through the Chinese, the Mahabhinishkraman Sutra, or Sutra of the Great Renunciation.

Next is related an event in which we may again see a subjective experience given under the form of an objective reality. Mara, the great tempter, appears in the sky, and urges Gautama to stop, promising him, in seven days, a universal kingdom over the four great continents if he will but give up his enterprise. When his words fail to have any effect, the tempter consoles himself by the confident hope that he will still overcome, his enemy, saying, "Sooner or later some lustful or malicious or angry thought must arise in his mind; in that moment I shall be his master; " and from that hour, adds the Burmese chronicle, "as shadow always follows the body, so he too from that day always followed the Blessed One, striving to throw every obstacle in his way towards the Buddhahood." Gautama rides a long distance that night, only stopping at the banks of the Anoma beyond the Koliyan territory. There, on the sandy bank of the river, at a spot where later piety erected a dagaba (a solid dome-shaped relic shrine), he cuts off with his sword his long flowing locks, and taking off his ornaments, sends them and the horse back in charge of the unwilling Channa to Kapilavastu. The next seven days were spent alone in a grove of mango trees near by, whence the ascetic walks on to Rajagriha, the capital of Magadha, and residence of Bimbisara, one of the then most powerful rulers in the valley of the Ganges. He was favourably received by the raja, a friend of his father's; but though asked to do so, he would not as yet assume the responsibilities of a teacher. He attached himself first to a Brahman sophist named Amra, and afterwards to another named Udraka, from whom he learnt all that Hindu philosophy had then to teach. Still unsatisfied, he next retired to the jungle of Uruvela, on the most northerly spur of the Vindhya range of moun-tains, and there for six years, attended by five faithful disciples, he gave himself up to the severest penance and self-torture, till his fame as an ascetic spread in all the country round about" like the sound," says the Burmese chronicle "of a great bell hung in the canopy of the skies." At last one day, when he was walking in a much enfeebled state, he felt on a sudden an extreme weakness, like that caused by dire starvation, and unable to stand any longer he fell to the ground. Some thought he was dead, but he recovered, and from that time took regular food and gave up his severe penance, so much so that his five disciples soon ceased to respect him and leaving him went to Benares.

There now ensued a second struggle in Gautama's mind, described in both southern and northern accounts with all the wealth of poetry and imagination of which the Indian mind is master. The crisis culminated on a day, each event of which is surrounded in the Buddhist accounts with the wildest legends, on which the very thoughts pass-ing through the mind of Buddha appear in gorgeous descriptions as angels of darkness or of light. To us, now taught by the experiences of centuries how weak such exaggerations are compared with the effect of a plain unvarnished tale, these legends may appear childish or absurd, but they have a depth of meaning to those who strive to read between the lines of such rude and inarticulate attempts to describe the indescribable. That which (the previous and subsequent career of the teacher being borne in mind) seems to be possible and even probable, appears to be somewhat as follows.

Disenchanted and dissatisfied, Gautama had given up all that most men value, to seek peace in secluded study and self-denial. Failing to attain his object by learning the wisdom of others, and living the simple life of a student, he had devoted himself to that intense meditation and penance which all philosophers then said would raise men above the gods. Still unsatisfied, longing always for a certainty that seemed ever just beyond his grasp, he had added vigil to vigil, and penance to penance, until at last, when to the wondering view of others he had become more than a saint, his bodily strength and his indomitable resolution and faith had together suddenly and completely broken down. Then, when the sympathy of others would have been most welcome, he found his friends falling away from him, and his disciples leaving him for other teachers. Soon after, if not on the very day when his followers had left him, he wandered out towards the banks of the Nairanjara, receiving his morning meal from the bands of Sujata, the daughter of a neighboring villager, and set himself down to eat it under the shade of a large tree (a Ficus religiosa), to be known from that time as the sacred Bo tree or tree of wisdom. There he remained through the long hours of that day debating with himself what next to do. All his old temptations came back upon him with renewed force. For years he had looked at all earthly good through the medium of a philosophy which taught him that it, without exception, contained within itself the seeds of bitterness, and was altogether worthless and impermanent; but now to his wavering faith the sweet delights of home and love, the charms of wealth and power, began to show themselves in a different light, and glow again with attractive colours. He doubted, and agonized in his doubt; but as the sun set, the religious side of his nature had won the victory, and seems to have come out even purified from the struggle. He had become clear in his mind, the Buddha, the Enlightened One, and had determined in the main to adhere to his belief; but from that night he not only did not claim any merit on account of his self· mortification, but took every opportunity. of declaring that from such penances no advantage at all would be derived. All that night he is said to have remained in deep medita-tion under the Bo tree; and the orthodox Buddhists believe that for seven times seven nights and days he continued fasting near the spot, when the archangel Brahma came and ministered to him. As for himself, his heart was now fixed,-his mind was made up,-but he realized more than he had ever done before the power of temptation, and the difficulty, the almost impossibility, of understanding and holding to the truth. For others subject to the same temptations, but without that earnestness and insight which he felt himself to possess, faith might be quite impossible, and it would only be waste of time and trouble to try to show to them" the only path of peace." To one in his position this thought would be so very natural, that we need not hesitate to accept the fact of its occurrence as related in the books. It is quite consistent with his whole career that it was love and pity for humanity-otherwise, as it seemed to him, helplessly doomed and lost-which at last overcame every other consideration, and made Gautama resolve to announce his doctrine to the world.

Gautama had intended to proclaim his new gospel first to his old teachers Alara and Udraka, but finding that they were dead, he determined to address himself to his I former five disciples, and accordingly went to the Deer forest near Benares where they were then livmg. An old gatha or hymn or the northern Buddhists tells us how the Buddha meets, full of his' newly-discovered mission, an acquaintance on the way, who, struck with his appearance, asks him what religion it is that makes him so glad and yet so calm. Gautama tells him that he has now become free from all desires, &c. But his acquaintance, apparently not caring much about these details, further asks him where he is going. The reply is striking. "I am now going," says Buddha, "to the city of Benares to establish the kingdom of righteousness, to give light to those en-shrouded in darkness, and open the gate of immortality to men." His acquaintance only sneers at his high-flown pretensions, asking what he means by all this. The Buddha adds, "I have completely conquered all evil passions, and am no longer tied down to material existence; and I now only live to be the prophet of perfect truth." His acquaint-ance replies, "In that case, venerable Gautama, your way lies yonder," and turns away in the opposite direction. 1

Nothing daunted, the new prophet walked on to Benares, and in the cool of the evening went on to the Deer-forest where the five ascetics were living. Seeing him coming, they resolved not to recognize as a superior one who had broken his vows; to address him by his name, and not as " master" or "teacher;" only, he being a Kshatriya, to offer him a seat. He understands their change of manner, calmly tells them not to mock him by calling him "the venerable Gautama;" that they are still in the way of death, where they must reap sorrow and disappointment, whereas he has found the way to salvation and can lead them to it. They object, naturally enough, from a Hindu point of view, that he had failed before while he was keep-ing his body under, and how can his mind have won the victory now, when he serves and yields to his body. Buddha replies by explaining to them the principles of his new gospel; and it will be necessary here to anticipate somewhat, and explain very briefly what this was, as the narrative will otherwise be difficult to follow.

The Buddhist Way of Salvation.-Everything corporeal is material, and therefore impermanent,' for it contains within itself the germs of dissolution. So long as man is bound up by bodily existence with the material world he is liable to sorrow, decay, and death. So long as he allows unholy desires to reign within him, there will be unsatisfied longings, useless weariness, and care. To attempt to purify himself by oppressing his body would be only wasted effort; it is the moral evil of a man's heart which keeps him chained down in the degraded state of bodily life,-of union with the material world. It is of little avail to add virtue to his badness, for so long as there is evil, his goodness will only ensure him for a time, and in another birth, a higher form of material life; only the complete eradication of all evil will set him, free from the chains of existence, and carry him to the '" other side," where he will be no longer tossed about on the waves of the ocean of transmi-gration. But Christian ideas must not be put into these Buddhist expressions. Of any immaterial existence Buddhism knows nothing. The foundations of its creed have been summed up in the very ancient formula pro-bably invented by its founder, which is called the four great Truths. These are-1, that misery always accompanies existence; 2, that all modes of existence (of men or animals, in earth and heaven) result from passion or desire (tanha); 3, That there is no escape from existence except by destruction of desire; 4, That this may be accomplished by following the fourfold way to Nirvana. Of these four stages, called" the Paths," the first is an awakening of the heart. There are few that do not acknowledge that no man can be really called happy and that men are born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards, but the majorities glide through life filling up their time with business or with pleasure, buoyed up with ever-changing hopes in their mad pursuit of some fancied good. When the scales fall from their eyes, when they begin to realize the great mystery of Sorrow, that pain is inseparable from existence, and that all earthly good leads to vexation of spirit, when they turn for comfort and for guidance to the Enlightened One, then they may be said to be awake, and to have entered the first stage of the Buddhist way of salvation. When the awakened believer has gone further, and got rid, firstly, of all impure desires, and then of all revengeful feelings, he has reached the second stage; in the third he successively be-comes free (1) from all evil desires, (2) from ignorance, (3) from doubt, (4) from heresy, and (5) from unkindliness and vexation. "As even at the risk of her own life a mother watches over her child, her only child, so let him (the Buddhist saint) exert good-will without measure towards all beings."

The order here observed is very remarkable. The way to be freed from doubt and heresy lies through freedom from impurity and revenge and evil longings of all kinds; or, in other words, if a man awakened to a deep sense of the mystery or sorrow wishes to understand the real facts of existence, wishes to believe not the false or the partly false, but the true altogether, Buddha tells him not to set to work and study, not to torture himself with asceticism or privation, but to purify his mind from all unholy desires and passions; right actions spring from a pure mind, and to the pure in heart all things are open. Again, the first enemy which the awakened believer has to fight against is sensuality, and the last is unkindliness; it is impossible to build anything on a foundation of mire; and the topstone of all that one can build, the highest point he can reach, the point above purity, above justice, above even faith is, according to Buddha, Universal charity. Till he has gained that the believer is still bound, he is not free, his mind is still dark; true enlightenment, true freedom are complete only in Love.

The believer who has gone thus far has reached the last stage; he has cut the meshes of ignorance, passion, and sin, and has thus escaped from the net of transmigration; Nirvana is already within his grasp; he has risen above the laws of material existence; the secrets of the future and the past lie open before him; and when this one short life is over, he will be free for ever from birth with its inevitable consequences, decay, and death. No Buddhist now hopes to reach this stage on earth; but he who has once entered the "paths" cannot leave them; the final perseverance of the saints is sure; and sooner or later, under easier conditions in some less material world, he will win the great prize, and, entering Nirvana, be at rest for ever.





But to return to the narrative. For reasons too long to be specified here, it is nearly certain than Buddha had a commanding presence, and one of those deep, rich, thrilling voices which so many of the successful leaders of men have possessed. We know his deep earnestness, and his thorough conviction of the truth of his new gospel. When we further remember the relation which the five students mentioned above had long borne to him, and that they already believed those parts of his doctrine that are most repugnant to our modem feelings,-the pessimist view of life and the transmigration of souls,--it is not difficult. To understand that his persuasions were successful, and that his old disciples were the first to acknowledge him in his new character. The later books say that they were all converted at once; but, according to the most ancient Pali record,-though their old love and reverence had been so rekindled when Gautama came near that their cold resolutions quite broke down, and they vied with each other in such acts of personal attention as an Indian disciple loves to pay to his teacher,-yet it was only after the Buddha had for five days talked to them, sometimes separately, some· times together, that they accepted in its entirety his plan of salvation.

Gautama then remained at the Deer-forest near Benares until the number of his personal followers was about three· score, and that of the outside believers somewhat greater. The principal among the former was a rich young man named Yasa, who had first come to him at night out of fear of his relations, and afterwards shaved his head, put on the yellow robe, and succeeded in bringing many of his former friends and companions to the teacher, his mother and his wife being the first female disciples, and his father the first lay devotee. It should be noticed in passing that the idea of priesthood with mystical powers is altogether repugnant to Buddhism; everyone's salvation is entirely dependent on the modification or growth of his own inner nature, resulting from his own exertions. The life of a recluse is held to be the most conducive to that state of sweet serenity at which the more ardent disciples aim j but that of a layman, of a believing householder, is held in high honor; and a believer who does not as yet feel himself able or willing to cast off the ties of home or -of business, may yet "enter the paths," and by a life of rectitude and kindness ensure for himself a rebirth under more favourable conditions for his growth in holiness.

After the rainy season Gautama called together those of his disciples who had devoted themselves to the higher life, and whom, for want of a better name, we may call monks, and said to them, "Beloved Rahans, I am free from the five passions which, like an immense net, hold men and angels in their power; you too, owing to my teaching, enjoy the same glorious privilege. There is now laid on us a great duty, that of working effectually for men and angels, and gaining for them also the priceless blessing of salvation. Let us, therefore, separate, so that no two of us shall go the same way. Go ye now and preach the most excellent law, explaining every point thereof, unfolding it with diligence and care…For my part I shall go to the village of Sena, near the deserts of Uruwela." Throughout his career Gautama yearly adopted the same plan, collecting his disciples round him in the rainy season, and after it was over traveling about as an itinerant preacher; but in subsequent years he was always accompanied by some of his most attached disciples.

In the solitudes of Uruwela, there were at this time three brothers, fire-worshippers and hermit philosophers, who had gathered round them a number of scholars, and enjoyed a considerable reputation as teachers. Gautama settled among them, and after a time they became believers in his system,-the elder brother, Kasyapa, taking henceforth a principal place among his followers. His first set sermon to his new disciples is related by Bishop Bigandet under the name of the Sermon on the Mount, the subject of which was a jungle-fire which broke out on the opposite hillside. He warned his hearers against the fires of concupiscence, anger, ignorance, birth, death, decay, and anxiety j and taking each of the senses in order he compared all human sensations to a burning flame which seems to be something it is not, which produces pleasure and pain, but passes rapidly away, and ends only in destruction.

Accompanied by his new disciples, Gautama walked on to Rajagriha, the capital of King Bimbisara, who, not unmind-ful of their former interview, came out to welcome him. Seeing Kasyapa, who as the chronicle puts it, was as well known to them as the banner of the city, the people at first doubted who was the teacher and who the disciple j but Kasyapa put an end to their hesitation by stating that he had now given up his belief in the efficacy of sacrifices either great or small j that Nirvana was a state of rest only to be attained by a change of heart; and that he had become a disciple of the Buddha. Gautama then spoke to the king on the miseries of the world which arise from passion and on the possibility of release by following the way of salvation, which has been briefly sketched above. The raja invited him and his disciples to eat their simple mid-day meal at his house on the following morning j and then presented Gautama with a garden called Veluvana or Bamboo-grove, afterwards celebrated as the place where the Buddha spent many rainy seasons, and preached many of his most complete discourses. There he taught for some time, attracting large numbers of hearers, among whom two, Sariputra and Moggallana, who afterwards became conspicuous leaders in the new crusade, then joined the Sangha, or Society, as Buddha's order of mendicants was called.

Meanwhile the old Raja Suddhodana, who had anxiously watched his son's career, heard that he had given up his asceticism, and had appeared as an itinerant preacher and teacher. He sent therefore to him urging him to come home, that he might see him once more before he died. The Buddha accordingly started for Kapilavastu, and stopped according to his custom in a grove outside the town. His father and his uncles and others came to see him there, but the latter were angry and would pay him no reverence. It was the custom to invite such teachers and their disciples for the next day's meal, but they all left without doing so. The next day, therefore, Gautama set out at the usual hour, carrying his bowl to beg for a meal. As he entered the city he hesitated whether he should not go straight to the raja's house, but determined to adhere to his custom. It soon reached the raja's ears that his son was walking through the streets begging. Startled at such news he rose up, seizing the end of his outer robe, and hastened to the place where Gautama was, exclaiming, "Illustrious Buddha, why do you expose us all to such shame? Is it necessary to go from door to door begging your food? Do you imagine that I am not able to supply the wants of so many mendicants?" "My noble father," was the reply, "this is the custom of all our race." "How so?" said his father, "Are you not descended from an illustrious line of kings? no single person of our race has ever acted so indecorously." "My noble father," said Gautama, "you and your family may claim the privileges of royal descent j my descent is from the prophets (Buddhas) of old, and they have always acted so j the customs of the law (Dharma) are good both for this world and the world that is to come. But, my father, when a man has found a treasure it is his duty to offer the most precious of the jewels to his father first. Do not delay j let me share with you the treasure I have found." Suddhodana, abashed, took his son's bowl and led him to his house. There the women of the palace came to welcome him but not Yasodhara, whom he had not seen since he had watched her sleeping in their chamber with their new-horn babe by her side on that eventful night now seven long years ago "I will wait and see," she had said ; "perhaps I am still of some value in hise yes; he may ask or come. I can welcome him better here." Gautama noticed her absence, and remembering, doubtless, that a recluse could not touch or be touched by a woman, he said, "The princess is not yet free from desire as I am; not having seen me so long she is exceeding sorrowful. Unless her sorrow be allowed to take its course, her heart will break. She may embrace me; do not stop her." He then went to her, and when she saw him enter,-not the husband she had mourned so long, but a recluse in yellow robes with shaven head and shaven face,-though she knew it would be so, she could not contain herself, and fell on the ground, and held him by the feet, and wept; then remembering the impassable gulf between them, she rose and stood on one side. The raja thought it necessary to apologize for her, telling Gautama how entirely she had continued to Jove him, refusing to enjoy comforts which he denied himself, taking but one meal a day, and sleeping on a hard uncanopied bed. The different accounts often tell us the thoughts of the Buddha on any particular occa-sion; here they are silent, only adding that he then told a Jataka story, showing how great had been her virtue in a former birth. And then they parted: she became an earnest hearer of the new doctrines; and when long afterwards the Buddha was induced, much against his inclination, to established an order of female recluses, his widowed wife Yasodhara became one of the first of the Buddhist nuns.

The next day a great festival was to take place to celebrate the marriage of Gautama's half-brother, Nanda. Gautama went to the pavilion and said to Nanda, "the greatest festival after all is the destruction of all evil desires, the life of a recluse, the knowledge of truth, and the attainment of Nirvana." He then gave him his alms-bowl, and Nanda followed him to the Nigrodha grove where he was staying. On their arrival there Gautama asked him if he would not enter the Society; but Nanda, though tenderly attached to his half-brother, with whom he had been brought up as a play-fellow (Gautama having no brothers of his own), did not yet desire to give up the world After much persuasion, however, he consented, and became a disciple. A few days afterwards Yasodhara dressed Rahula, her child and Gautama's, in his best, and I told him to go and ask his father for his inheritance. "I know of no father," said the child, "but the raja. Who is my father" Yasodhara took him in her arms, and hold-ing him up to the window pointed out to him the Buddha, who was then taking his mid-day meal at the palace. "That monk," she said, "whose appearance is so glorious, is your father; he has four mines of wealth; go to him, and entreat him to put you, in possession of your inheritance." Rahula went up to Gautama and said to him, without fear and with much affection, "My father, how happy I am to be near you." Gautama silently gave him his blessing; hut presently, when he rose to go, Rahula followed him asking for his inheritance. None of the people stopped him, and Gautama still said nothing. When they reached the Nigrodha grove, he called Sariputra, and said, "Beloved disciple, Rahula is asking for a worldly inheri-tance which would avail him nothing; I will give him a spiritual inheritance which will not fade away; let him be admitted among us." When Suddhodana heard this he was exceedingly grieved; he had lost his two sons as far as all worldly hopes were concerned, and now his grandson was taken from him. Full of sorrow he determined to save other parents a similar affliction, and going to Gautama asked him to establish a regulation that no one should in future be admitted to the Society unless he had the consent of his parents. Gautama granted this request, and after some more interviews with his father returned to the Bambu grove at Rajagriha.

Eighteen months had now elapsed since the turning-point of Gautama's career-his great struggle under the Bo tree. Thus far all the accounts agree, and follow chronological order. From this time they simply narrate disconnected stories about the Buddha, or the persons with whom he was brought into contact,-the same story being usually found in more than one account, but not often in the same order. It is not as yet possible, except very partially, to arrange chronologically the snatches of biography to be gleaned from these stories. They are mostly told to show the occasion on which some memorable act of Gautama's took place, or some memorable saying was uttered, and are as exact as to place as they are indistinct as to time. It would be impossible within the limits of this article to give any large number of them, but space may be found for one or two.

A merchant from Sunaparanta having joined the Society was desirous of preaching to his relations, and is said to have asked Gautama's permission to do so. "The people of Sunaparanta," said the "teacher," are exceedingly violent. If they revile you what will you do?" I will make no reply," said the mendicant. "And if they strike you?" "I will not strike in return," was the reply. "And if they try to kill you?" "Death is no evil in itself; many even desire it, to escape from the vanities of life, but I shall take no steps either to hasten or to delay the time of my departure." These answers were held satisfactory, and the monk started on his mission.

At another time a rich farmer held a harvest home, and Gautama, wishing to preach to him, is said to have taken his alms-bowl" and stood by the side of the field and begged. The farmer, a wealthy Brahman, said to him, "Why do you come and beg 1 I plough and sow and earn my food; you should do the same." "I, too, 0 Brahman," said the beggar, " plough and sow; and having ploughed and sown I eat." "You profess only to be a farmer; no one sees your ploughing, what do you mean?" said the Brahman. "For my cultivation, " said the beggar, "faith is the seed, self-combat is the fertilizing rain, the weeds I destroy are the cleaving to existence, wisdom is my plough, and its guiding-shaft is modesty; perseverance draws my plough, and I guide it with the rein of my mind; the field I work in is the law, and the harvest that I reap is the never· dying nectar of Nirvana. Those who reap this harvest destroy all the weeds of sorrow. "

On another occasion he is said to have brought back to her right mind a young mother whom sorrow had for a time deprived of reason. Her name was Kisagotami. She had been married early, as is the custom in the East, and had a child when she was still a girl. When the beautiful boy could run alone he died. The young girl in her love for it carried the dead child clasped to her bosom, and went from house to house of her pitying friends asking them to- give her medicine for it. But a Buddhist convert thinking "she does not understand," said to her, "My good girl, I myself have no such medicine as you ask for, but I think I know of one who has." "Oh, tell me who that is?" said Kisagotami "The Buddha can give you medicine j go to him," was the answer. She went to Gautama; and doing homage to him said, "Lord and master, do you know any medicine that will be good for my child?" "Yes, I know of some," said the teacher. Now it was the custom for patients or their friends to provide the herbs which the doctors required; so she asked what herbs he would want. "I want some mustard-seed," he said; and when the poor girl eagerly promised to bring some of so common a drug, he added, " you must get it from some house where no son, or husband, or parent, or slave has died." "Very good," she said; and went to ask for it, still carrying her dead child with her. The people said, "Here is mustard-seed, take it ; " but when she asked, " In my friend's house has any son died, or a husband, or a parent, or slave ?" They answered, "Lady! what is this that you say ?the living are few, but the dead are many." Then she Went to other houses, but one said" I have lost a son," another" We have lost our parents," another" I have lost my slave." At last, not being able to find a single house where no one had died, her mind began to clear, and summoning up resolution she left the dead body of her child in a forest, and returning to the Buddha paid him homage. He said to her, "Have you the mustard seed?" "My lord," she replied, "I have not; the people tell me that the livings are few, but the dead are many." Then he talked to her on that essential part of his system, the impermanency of all things, till her doubts were cleared away, she accepted her lot, became a disciple, and entered the" first path."

For forty-five years after entering on his mission Gautama itinerated in the valley of the Ganges, not going further than about 150 miles from Benares, and always spending the rainy months at one spot-usually at one or the viharas, or homes, which had been given to the Society. In the twentieth year his cousin Ananda became a mendicant, and from that time seems to have attended on Gautama, being constantly near him, and delighting to render him all the personal service which love and reverence could suggest. Another cousin, Dewadatta, the son of the raja of Koli, also joined the society, but became envious of the teacher, and stirred up Ajatasatru (who having killed his father, Bimbisara, had become king of Rajagriha) to persecute Gautama. The account of the manner in which the Buddha is said to have overcome the wicked devices of this apostate cousin and his parricide protector is quite legendary; but the general fact of Ajataatru’s opposition to the new sect and of his subse-quent conversion may be accepted. The rival teachers, or sophists, as might be expected, were bitter enemies of the new philosophy, and the Brahmins did all they could to put down a faith which inculcated such dangerous doctrines as the equality within the Society of all ranks and castes, and the possibility of salvation without sacrifices or the assistance of the priests. They instigated certain men to murder Moggallana, one of the two chief disciples, and made several attempts on the life of the teacher himself; but many of the chiefs, and the great bulk of the common people, are represented, with probable truth, as being uni-formly in favour of his doctrine, though the number of those who actually joined the Society was comparatively small.

The confused and legendary notices of the journeyings of Gautama are succeeded by tolerably clear accounts of the last few days of his life. On a journey towards Kusinagara, a town about 120 miles N.N.E of Benares, and about 80 miles due E. of Kapilavastu, the teacher, being then eighty years of age, had rested for a short time in a grove at Pawa, presented to the Society by a goldsmith of that place named Ohunda. Ohunda prepared for the mendi-cants a mid-day meal, consisting of rice and pork; and it may be noticed in passing how highly improbable it is that any Buddhist would have invented the story of the Buddha's last illness having been brought on by such a cause. He started for Kusi-nagara in the afternoon, but had not gone far when he was obliged to· rest, and soon afterwards he said, "Ananda, I am thirsty;" and they gave him water to drink. Half-way between the two towns flows the River Kukushta. There Gautama rested again, and bathed for the last time. Feeling that he was dying, and carefullest Chunda should be reproached by himself or others, he said to Ananda," After I am gone tell Chunda that he will receive in a future birth very great reward; for, having eaten of the food he gave me, I am about to pass into Nirvana; and if he should still doubt, say that it was from my own mouth that you heard this. There are two gifts which will be blest above all others, namely, Sujata's gift before I attained wisdom under the Bo tree, and this gift of Chunda's before I enter the final rest of Nirvana." After halting again and again the party at length reached the River Hiranyavati, close by Kusi-nagara,.and there for the last time Gautama rested; and lying down under some Sal trees, with his face towards the south, he talked long and earnestly with Ananda about his burial, and about certain rules which were to be observed by the Society after his death. Towards the end of this conversation, when it was evening, Ananda broke down and went aside to weep, but Gautama missed him, and sending for him comforted him with the promise of Nirvana, and repeated what he had so often said before about the impermanence of all things,-" 0 Ananda ! do not weep; do not let yourself be troubled. You know what I have said; sooner or later we must part from all we hold most dear. This body of ours contains within itself the power which renews its strength for a time, but also the causes which lead to its destruction. Is there anything put together which shall not dissolve? But you, too, shall be free from this delusion, this world of sense, this law of change. Beloved," added he, speaking to the rest of the disciples, "Ananda for long years has served me with devoted affection. He knows all that should be done; after I am gone listen to his word." And he spoke to them at some length on the insight and kindness of Ananda.

About midnight Subhadra, a Brahman philosopher of Kus-nagara, came to ask some questions of the Buddha; but Ananda, fearing that this might lead to a longer discussion than the sick teacher could bear, would not admit him. Gautama heard the sound of their talk, and asking what it was, told them to let Subhadra come. He began by asking whether the six great teachers knew all laws, or whether there were some that they did not know, or knew only partially. "This is not the time," was the answer, "for such discussions. To true wisdom there is only one way, the path that is laid down in my law. Many have already followed it, and conquering the lust and pride and anger of their own hearts, have become free from ignorance and doubt and wrong belief, have entered the calm state of universal kindliness, and reached Nirvana even in this life. Save in my religion the twelve great disciples, who being good themselves rouse up the world, and deliver it from indifference, are not to be found. O Subhadra! I do not speak to you of things I have not experienced. Since I was twenty-nine years old till now I have striven after pure and perfect wisdom, and following the good path, have found Nirvana." A rule had been made that no follower of a rival system should be admitted to the Society without four months' probation. So deeply did the words or the impres-sive manner of the dying teacher work upon Subhadra that he asked to be admitted at once, and Gautama granted his request. Then turning to his disciples he said, "When I have passed away and am no longer with you, do not think that the Buddha has left you, and is not still in your midst. You have my words; my explanations of the deep things of truth, the laws I have laid down for the Society; let them be your guide; the Buddha has not left you." Soon afterwards he again spoke to them, urging them to reverence one another, and rebuked one of the disciples who spoke indiscriminately all that occurred to him. To-wards the morning he asked whether anyone had any doubt about the Buddha, the law, or the Society; if so, he would clear them up. No one answering, he said, "Beloved mendicants, if you revere my memory, love all the disciples as you love me and my doctrines." Ananda expressed his surprise that amongst so many none should doubt, and all be firmly attached to the law. But Buddha laid stress on the final perseverance of the saints, saying that even the least among the disciples who had entered the first path only, still had his heart fixed on the way to perfection, and constantly strove after the three higher paths. "No doubt," he said, "can be found in the mind of a true disciple." After another pause he said, "Beloved, that which causes life, causes also decay and death. Never forget this; let your minds be filled with this truth. I called you to make it known to you." These were the last words Gautama spoke; shortly afterwards he became unconscious, and in that state passed away.

PART II. - EARLY BUDDHISM.

The accounts of Gautama's cremation and of the distribution of his relics are full of the miraculous, but it seems that the body was burnt with great reverence by the local rajas of Malva. Even before this ceremony had taken place dissensions began to break out in the Society,-one member of the order, Subhadra (not the Brahman men-tioned above), having even gone so far as to rejoice that now at last they were free from control, and could not always be told to do this, or not to do that. Struck by this language, the chief disciples began at once to consider the expediency of holding a council, where all points of difference should be definitively set at rest. Chief among the leaders was the aged Kasyapa of Uruvela, whose distinguished position before his conversion, and his great learning, were not the only grounds of the respect in which he was held by the infant Society. He had been one of those most intimate with Gautama; so much so, that on one occasion) when walking together and talking of the deepest truths of their belief, the two friends bad entered into a more than usual confidence and intercom-munion of thought and feeling, and had then changed robes with one another in token of their sympathy and love. Sariputra and Moggallana were dead; but Ananda, the beloved disciple, and U pali, who though of low caste origin was looked up to in· the Society as the greatest authority on points of conduct and discipline, were of one opinion with Kasyapa as to the advisability of a council. This was agreed upon; the disciples first separated and went to their homes, and when they met again for the rainy season in that vihara at Rajagriha, which had been the first gift to the Society, the council was held under the presidency of Kasyapa, and with the patronage and assist-ance of Ajatasatru, the powerful raja of Magadha. The number of believers present was five hundred, but if any discussion took place no tradition of it has survived. We are only told that at each daily sitting of the council which lasted seven months, Ananda or Upali repeated some portion of the law, and the whole assembly chanted It after them. A second council is said to have been held one hundred years later in Vaisali, about 70 miles N. of Rajagriha, and another was' certainly held about 250 B.C. under the Buddhist emperor Asoka, in his capital Pataliputra, the Palibothra of the Greeks and the modern Patna. There is reasonable ground for belief that the sacred books of the Buddhists at present existing in Ceylon are substantially the same as the canon settled at this last council of Pataliputra, and it is from these books that the modern accounts on which we are as yet obliged to depend purport to have been ar..d, with some alterations and additions, undoubtedly have been derived. The orthodox Buddhists hold the present canon to be identically the same as that settled at the first council of Rajagriha; but the internal evidence of those parts of the canon which have as yet been published tends to show that they cannot possibly have been composed in their present state imme-diately after Buddha's death. The date, derived from Ceylon, which is usually assigned to that event is 543 B.C.; but those scholars who have devoted most attention to the point hold this calculation to contain a certain error of about 60 years, and a probable error of 80 to 100 more; so that the date for the death of Buddha would have to be brought forward to 400 B.C., or a few years later. As the date of Asoka's council has been determined with certainty to have been within a year or two of 250 B.C., there remains an interval of a century and a half between the first council and the earliest records now accessible to us, an interval amply sufficient for the growth of the supernatural element which they so largely contain. When these records have been published in the original Pali, it may be possible to decide how far some portions are older than the rest, and how far it is possible to hold that they reproduce any earlier canon; at present we can only claim in the following brief outline to give an account of Buddhism as it existed 150 years after the decease of its founder. But when it is recollected that Gautama Buddha was himself learned in all the learning of his time; that he did not leave behind him a number of deeply simple sayings from which his followers subsequently built up a system, but had thoroughly elaborated a system of his own before his mission began; that during his long career as teacher he had ample time to repeat the principles and details of the system to his disciples over and over again, and to test their knowledge of it; and finally, that his principal disciples were, like himself, accustomed to the subtlest metaphysical distinctions, and tramed to that wonderful command of memory which Indian ascetics then possessed,-when these facts are recalled to mind, it will be seen that much more reliance can be placed upon the doctrinal parts of the existing Buddhist canon than upon correspondingly late records· of other religions, or on the biographical parts of the Buddhist canon itself.

The ABHIDHARMA or Philosophy. Buddhism does not attempt to solve the problem of the ultimate origin of the kosmos. It takes as its own ultimate fact the existence of the material world and of conscious beings living within it; and it holds that everything is subject to the law of cause and effect, and that everything is constantly, though perhaps imperceptibly, changing. Though in its principles it anticipates much that modern science has proved, in .its details it does not, as might be expected, rise much above the beliefs most current at the time of its origin; but' it has formulated them into a hypothetical system sufficiently consistent with itself to have satisfied Buddhists for more than 2000 years, however little consist-ent with actual truth. Scattered through space, it teaches, there are innumerable circular worlds in sets of three. All of these are exactly similar to our own, in the centre of which rises an enormous mountain, called Maha Meru, which is surrounded by seven concentric circles of rock of an enormous height, and the circle enclosed by the outer-most is divided into four quarters, or great continents, part of one of which is Jamoudvipa, the earth in which we live. On the heights of Maha Meru, and above it and the rock circles, rise the twenty-four heavens, and beneath it and the earth are the eight great hells. These heavens and hells are part of the material world, subject like the rest of it to the law of cause and effect, and the beings within them are still liable to rebirth, decay, and death. Between Maha Meru and the outmost circle of rocks, the sun, moon, and stars revolve through space; and it is when they pass behind the first circle of rocks that they appear to the inhabitants of Jambud- vipa to set. This world, like each of the others scattered through space, is periodically destroyed by water, fire, or wind, but the sum of the demerits of the beings (men, animals, angels, &c.) who lived within it produces each time a new world, , which in its turn is fated to be destroyed. The number of these beings never varies save on those few occasions when one of them either in earth or heaven attains Nirvana; in every other case, as soon as an individual dies, another is produced under more or less material conditions, according as the sum of the former individual's demerits, minus the sum of its merits, was, at the time of its death, large or small. A belief in such hypotheses seems inconsistent with a funda-mental tenet of Buddhist philosophy, that there are only two sources of knowledge, experience, and inference; but -the hypotheses themselves are too intimately involved in the whole scheme of Buddhism to leave much doubt as to their having formed part of the original doctrine of its founder. They are, however, scarcely distinctive of Buddhism, but, like the pessimist view of life, are rather modifications of previous beliefs which Buddhism adopted into its system, and from the consequences of which it promised to relieve those who followed out its teachings.

The two ideas of the utter vanity of all earthly good and the inevitable law of rebirth, decay, and death will be ·seen to lead naturally to the belief in Nirvana. If life be an evil, and death itself be no delivery from life, it is necessary to go further back to discover the very origin, the seed, so to speak, of existence; and by destroying that to put an end at last to the long train of misery in which we are compelled to go again and again through the same weary round of experiences, always ending in disappointment. This seed of existence Buddhism finds in "Karma," the sum of merit and demerit, which, as each one's demerit is the greater of the two, often comes practically to much the same thing as sin or error. It forms the second link in the Buddhist chain of causation, and arises itself from ignorance. Destroy that ignorance which brings with it such a progeny, cut the links of this chain of existence, root out karma with the mistaken cleaving to life, and there will be deliverance at last-deliverance from all sorrow and all· trouble in the eternal rest of Nirvana. Anything less than this would be a mockery of hope; for there is no life outside the domain of transmigration, and by the inevitable law of change that which causes existence of any kind would itself be the cause also of decay, and bring with it after a time the whole chain of evils from which the tired heart of man seeks relief.

To reach this end, to destroy karma, and thus to attain Nirvana, there is only one way-the fourfold path already explained above, which is also summed up in the Buddhist books in the eight divisions, "right views, right thoughts, right speech, right actions, right living, right exertion, right recollection, and right meditation." By these means ig-norance will be overcome and karma destroyed, and after the organized being has been dissolved in death, there will be nothing left to bring about the production of another life. For it must be understood that while Buddhism occasionally yielded so far to popular phraseology as to make use of the word soul, it denies altogether that the word is anything more than a convenient expression, or that it bas any counterpart in fact. Birth is not rebirth, but new birth; transmigration of soul becomes a transfer of karma; metempsychosis gives way to metamorphosis. As one generation dies and gives way to another-the heir of the consequences of all its vices and all its virtues, the exact result of pre-existing causes-so each individual in the long chain of life inherits all of good or evil that all its predecessors have done or been, and takes up the struggle towards enlightenment precisely there where they have left it. There is nothing eternal, but the law of cause and effect, and change; the kosmos itself is passing away; even karma can be destroyed; nothing is, everything becomes. And so with this organized life of ours, it contains within itself no eternal germ; it passes away like everything else, there only remains the accumulated result of all its actions. One lamp is lighted at another; the second flame differs from the first, to which it owes its existence. A seed grows into a tree and produces a seed from which arises another tree different from the first, though resulting from it. And so the true Buddhist saint does not mar the purity of his' self-denial by lusting after a positive happiness which he himself is to enjoy hereafter. He himself will cease to be, but his virtue will live and work out its full effect in the decrease of the sum of the misery of sentient beings.

A not unnatural confusion has arisen from the fact that the result of each man's actions is held not to be dissipated as it were into many streams, but concentrated together in the formation of one new sentient being. This link of connection between the two otherwise distinct individuals has led to expressions in Buddhist writings which when read by Christians seemed to infer the existence of a soul. Phrases used of those living saints who have entered the fourth path, and have practically attained Nirvana, have also been supposed by mistake to apply to Nirvana itself. And when further Nirvana has been described in glowing terms as the happy seat; the excellent eternal place of bliss, where there is no more death, neither decay; the end of suffering; the home of peace; the other side of the ocean of existence; the shore of .salvation; the harbour of refuge; the medicine for all evil; the transcendent, formless, tranquil state) the Truth, the Infinite, the Unspeakable, the Everlasting,-it has been supposed by some European scholars to mean a blissful state, in which the soul (!) still exists in an everlasting trance. There can, however, now be no longer any doubt on the point. Spence Hardy and Bigandet find in the modern Sinhalese and Burmese books the same opinion as Alvis and Gogerly and especially Childers have found in the more ancient authori-ties j and though the modern books of the Northern Bud-dhists are doubtful, Eugene Burnouf has clearly ~roved that their older texts contain only the same doubtful as that held in the South. Buddhism does not acknowledge the existence of a soul as a thing distinct from the parts and powers of man which are dissolved at death, and the Nirvana of Buddhism is simply Extinction.

It will seem strange to many that a religion which ignores the existence of God, and denies the existence of the soul, should be the very religion which has found most acceptance among men, and it is easy to maintain that had Buddha merely taught philosophy, or had he lived in later ages, he might have had as small a following as Comte. Gautama's power over the people arose in a great degree from the glow of his practical philanthropy, which did not shrink in the struggle against the abuses most peculiar to his time; his philosophy and his ethics attracted the masses, from whose chained hands they struck off the manacles of caste, and in leaving the school for the world they insensibly became a religion. But there is no reason to believe that Gautama intended either at the beginning or the end of his career to be the founder of a new religion. He seems to have hoped that the new wine would go into the old bottles, and that all men, not excepting even the Brahmins, would gradually adopt his, the only orthodox, form of the ancient creed. However the question of the historical succession or connection between the different systems of Hindu philosophy be ultimately settled, whether any of them were post-Buddhistic or not, they afford at least sufficient evidence that beliefs very inconsistent with the practical creed of the masses met with little opposi-tion from the priests so long as they were taught only in schools of philosophy j and Buddhist morality was not calculated to excite anger or hatred. But the very means which Gautama adopted to extend and give practical effect to his teaching, while giving it temporary success, led to its ultimate expulsion from India. It was his Society rather than his doctrine, the Sangha rather than the Dharma, which both gave to his religion its practical vitality and excited the active hostility of the Brahmins.

The SANGHA or Society, the Buddhist Order of Mendicants. -It was a logical conclusion from the views of life held by Gautama that any rapid progress in spiritual life was only compatible with an ascetic life, in which all such contact with the world as would tend to create earthly desires could be reduced as much as possible; and accordingly from the first he not only adopted such a mode of life for himself but urged it on his more earnest disciples. He contem-plated no such division between clergy and laity as obtains in Christian countries, and constantly maintained that there was no positive merit in outward acts of self-denial or penance; but holding that family connections and the possession of wealth or power were likely to prolong that mistaken estimate of the value of things, that clinging to life which was the origin of evil, he taught that to forsake the world was a necessary step towards the attainment of spiritual freedom. Little by little, as occasion arose, he laid down rules for the guidance of those who thus devoted themselves to the higher life, and insensibly as he did so, he Society became more and more like one of the monkish orders which sprung up afterwards in the west. But not even now has the order become a priesthood. It possesses no mystic powers of regeneration or confirmation or absolu-tion from sin j it works no miracles by consecration or by prayer, and its doors are always open alike to those who wish to enter and to those who wish to leave it. In a. system which acknowledged no Creator and no God, the monks could never become the only efficient intercessors between man and his maker; and since salvation was held to be and to depend upon a radical change in man's nature, brought about by his own self-denial and his own self-control, the monks could never obtain power over the keys of heaven and hell. When successive kings and chiefs were allowed to endow the society, not indeed with gold or silver, but with the few necessaries of the monkish life, including lands and houses, it gradually ceased in great measure to be the school of virtue or the most favourable sphere for intellectual progress, and became thronged with the worthless and the idle j but in the time of its founder it undoubtedly contained few besides those who longed under his guidance first to train themselves and then to preach to others the glad tidings of rest; that hope, to us so uninviting and so cold, to them-to whom life, under their glowing sky and under the oppressive weight of tyranny in church and state, was a burden too heavy to be borne-to them so welcome and so sweet, of utter rest in annihilation. For admittance to the Society no other credentials were at first required than the simple wish of the applicant; afterwards on different occasions a few neces-sary conditions were imposed, the applicant being obliged to state that he was free from contagious disease, consump-tion, and fits ; that he was neither a slave nor a debtor nor a soldier, that is, that he was sui juris;, and that he had obtained the consent of his parents. At first, also, the candidate was admitted without any ceremony by merely shaving his head, putting on the yellow robes, and leading an ascetic life j afterwards a simple ceremony was adopted, probably identical with that now in use in Ceylon, an excellent account of which has been given in the Journals of the Ceylon Asiatic Society for 1852 and of the Royal Asiatic Society for 1873. At first also there is no mention of any distinction within the ranks of the society; but the preparatory rank of novice was very early introduced, and later on, as the religion became more and more corrupted, the order became more and more subdivided, until in Tibet, in the 14th century, we find a complete episcopal hierarchy.

Rules of the Order.-The most usual names applied in the sacred books to the senior members of the order are Sramana and Bhikshu, and to the novices Samanera. The first, from which the third is derived, means one who exerts himself, controls himself; the second means simply a beggar. Self-conquest and poverty, then, were to be the distinguish-ing characteristics of the" sons of Sakya," but it was not left to them to decide for themselves how far this self- suppression and abstinence were to be carried. The teacher gave a number of rules and directions which have been handed down to us more or less correctly in the Vinaya, the first part of the Buddhist canon, and which are summed up in the " Patimokkha," a book which, though not included in the canon, cannot be much later than the great council of Asoka, about 250, and is regarded with much reverence by the monks, from its having from time immemorial been ordered to be read twice monthly in every monastery. These rules may be roughly divided into two divisions, those which are obligatory, and those which, not being obligatory, are recommended to such as wish to work "out their own salvation to a point further than that attainable by the ordinary rules. And first, as to food. No monk can eat solid food except between sunrise and noon, and total abstinence from intoxicating drinks is obligatory The usual mode of obtaining food is for the monk to take his begging-bowl, a brown earthenware vessel, in shape nearly like a soup tureen without its cover, and holding it in his hands, to beg straight from house to house. He is to say nothing, but simply stand outside the hut, the doors and windows of which in India are usually large and open. If anything is put into his bowl he utters a pious wish on behalf of the giver and passes on; if nothing is given he passes on in silence, and thus begs straight on without going to the houses of the rich or luxurious rather than to those of the poor and thrifty. As the food of all classes consisted almost exclusively of some form or curry, the mixture was not so very incongruous, and when enough had been given, the monk retired to his home to eat it, thinking the while of the impermanence and worth-lessness of the body which was thus nourished, and of the processes through which the food would have to pass. To express a Buddhist idea in the quaint words of Herbert, "Look on meat, think it dirt, then eat a bit, and say withal, Earth to earth I commit." From the first it was permitted to wealthy or pious laymen to invite one or more monks to take their mid day meal at their houses, and this was frequently done, especially on full moon days; it was also allowed to the laity on special occasions to bring food to the monastery. For the stricter monks further vows are mentioned of abstinence from animal food, of eating the whole meal without rising, of refusing all invitations and all food brought to them, of eating everything in the bowl without leaving or rejecting anything, and so on; but it is doubtful whether they are ever observed now, and they were formerly taken only for a time. Much later a practice sprung up of the order possessing rice fields, letting them out to be cultivated on condition of receiving a share of the produce, and then having their meals cooked at home by some lay follower or even slave.

As regards residence, Gautama considered a lonely life in the forest to be the most conducive to self-conquest; but as he himself, after having lived apart from the world, spent his life from the commencement of his prophetic career among men, so from the first the lonely life was adopted only by the most earliest, and that only for a time. The majority of the monks lived in companies in groves or gardens, and very soon the piety of laymen provided for them suitable monasteries, several of which were built even in the lifetime of Buddha. During the fine weather the monks often travelled from place to place, as their teacher did, but during the rainy season they always settled in one spot in or near a town; and near the ancient cities of India have been lately discovered extensive ruins on the site of the monasteries mentioned in the Pali books. On the other hand, there have been found numerous rock caves, many of which, especially in Ceylon, were evidently meant for solitary hermits, and they often bear inscriptions in the old Pali character, brought by Asoka's son Mahendra to Ceylon in the 3d century B.C.

As regards clothing, the monks were to be habited in clothes of no value, pout together from cast-off rags; but here again the practice of Buddha himself, and that followed by the large majority of the brethren, was to dress in simple robes of dull orange colour, first tom to pieces and then sewed together again, so as to form two under garments, and one upper garment to cover the whole of the body except the right shoulder. All three are simply lengths of cotton cloth; the two under ones, the antara-vasaka and the sanghati, being wrapt rOl1.ud the middle of the body, and round the thighs and legs respectively; and the upper one, the uttarasanga, being first wrapt round the legs and then drawn over the left shoulder. The colour was probably at first chosen as the one regarded with most contempt, because of its being nearly the same as that of very old rags of the common white cotton cloth, and because cloths of that colour were of no value at all for ordinary purposes' but the orange-coloured robes, from their very peculiarity assign of the members of the Sangha, soon came to be looked upon as an honour, and were sought after on that account alone j so that the Dhammapada, a collection of ethical verses, one of the books in the Buddhist canon, has to give a warning that those who are not free from sin (kasava) are not worthy of the orange colour (kasava). In Buddhist countries men's ordinary dress is merely a cloth wrapt round the loins, whereas the monks are to cover the whole body, and are not permitted at any time to lay their robes aside. To do so would be to lay aside their membership of the order, to put on or to put off the robes being current ex-pressions for joining or leaving the Society. Of course no ornaments are allowed, and even the natural ornament of hair is not permitted, complete tonsure being obligatory on all. No monk should possess more than one change of robes, and minute rules in detail are laid down to guard against any brother even by indirect methods taking any steps to procure himself new ones ,; to provide them spon-taneously is the duty and privilege of the laity.

It is scarcely necessary to state that sexual intercourse, theft, and murder entail upon the culprit irrevocable expulsion from the order; while the ease with which the Society could be left provided an escape for those who found the vow of continence too hard to keep. On the vow of poverty a few words ought to be said. In his individual right no monk is to possess more than the following eight articles: 1, 2, 3, the three robes mentioned above; 4-, a girdle for the loins; 5, an alms-bowl ; 6, a razor ; 7, a needle ; 8, a water-strainer, through which he is to strain all he drinks--not only to remove impurities, but also and chiefly to prevent the accidental destruction of any living creatures. This individual vow of poverty has however been swallowed up by the permission given to the community to possess not only books and other personal property, but even lands and houses. Gautama himself is said to have received such gifts on behalf of the Sangha, which at the time of its expulsion from India must have rivalled in wealth the most powerful orders of the Middle Ages; and in some Buddhist coun-tries at the present day the Society possesses enormous tract" of the most valuable land. But water-drinking celibates, who take only one meal a day, and dress in a simple uniform, could never indulge in unbounded personal luxury. Many members of the order enjoy the fascinating sense of wealth, so completely contrary to all the principles of their religion, and to the precepts laid down by their Teacher for the attainment of spiritual progress ; they are often lazy and not seldom avaricious ; but in the southern church at least they are Rot disgraced by gluttony or drunkenness, and have never given way to the weak vanity of dress, or of the pomp and pride of ritual.

The vow of obedience was never taken by the Buddhist monks or nuns, and in this may-be noticed a fundamental difference between them and their brethren and sisters in the West. Mental culture, not mental death, was the aim set before the Buddhist ascetic by the founder of his order. Each one is to conquer self by himself; and the observance of no ceremony, the belief in no creed, will avail him who fails in obtaining this complete self-mastery. Outward respect and courtesy to his superiors are exacted from the novice, but his own salvation and his usefulness as a teacher depend on his self-culture. He to obey not his brother, but the law; his superior ha no supernatural gifts of wisdom or of absolution; and by himself must the ascetic stand or fall. A few simple rules of discipline are laid down, but the highest punish-ment is to compel the fallen brother to return to the world; which he has not sufficient self-control to reject. Twice a month, when the rules of the order are read, a monk who has broken them is to .confess his crime. If it be slight some slight penance is laid upon him, to sweep the courtyard of the wihara, or to sprinkle dust round the sacred Bo tree, but no inquisitorial questions are put to anyone. Charges may be brought against a monk for breach of the ordinances laid down by Buddha, and must then be examined into by a chapter, but none can change or add to the existing law, or claim obedience from any other member of the order, however young.

The daily life of the novice should, according to a manual in Sinhalese called Dina Chariyawa, be about as follows. He shall rise before daylight and wash, then sweep the wihara and round the Bo tree, fetch the drinking water for the day, filter it, and place it ready for use. Returning to a solitary place he shall then meditate on the regulations. Then he shall offer flowers before the sacred dagaba or Bo tree, thinking of the great virtues of the Teacher, and of his own faults. Soon after, taking the begging-bowl, he is to follow his superior in his daily round for food, and on their return is to bring water for his feet, and place the alms-bowl before him. After the meal is over, he is to wash the alms-bowl, then again retire, and meditate on kind-ness and love. About an hour afterwards he is to begin his studies from the books, or copy one of them, asking his superior about passages he does not understand. At sun-set he is again to sweep the sacred places, and lighting a lamp, to listen to the teaching of his superior, and repeat such passages from the canon as he has learnt. If he finds he has committed any fault he is to tell his superior; he is to be content with such things as he has, and, keeping under his senses, to grow in wisdom without haughtiness of body, speech, or mind. The superiors, relieved by the novices from any manual labour, were expected to devote themselves all the more earnestly to intellectual culture and meditation. There are five principal kinds of meditation, which in Buddhism takes the place of prayer. The first is called Maitri-bhavana, or meditation on Love, in which the monk thinks of all beings, and longs for happi-ness for each, First, thinking how happy he himself would be if free from all sorrow, anger, and evil desire, he is then to wish for the same happiness for others; and lastly, to long fur the welfare of his foes, remembering their good actions only, and that in some former birth his enemy may have been his father or his friend, he must endeavour in all earnestness and truth to desire for him all the good he would seek for himself. The second is Kanma-bhavana, or meditation on Pity, in which he thinks of all beings in distress, realizes as far as he can their un-happy state, and thus awakens the sentiment of pity. The third meditation is Mudita-bhavana, or meditation on Gladness, the converse of the last. The fourth is Asubha-bhavana, or Purity, in which the monk thinks of the vileness of the body, and of the horrors of disease and cor-ruption, how everything corporeal passes away like the foam of the sea, and how by the continued repetition of birth and death mortals become subject to continual sorrow. We hear of the mirage in the desert cheating the unwary traveller's eyes with the promise of water to quench his burning thirst; but this mirage of human life, raising hopes of joy that. Turns bitter in the drinking, is a more real mockery. The fifth is Upeksha-bhavana, or the meditation on Serenity, wherein the monk thinks of all things that men hold good or bad,-power and oppression, love and hate, riches and want, fame and contempt, youth and beauty, decrepitude and disease,-and regards them all with fixed indifference, with utter calmness and serenity of mind.

The Duty of the Laity.-Gautama's ideal was that all men should sooner or later join the order, and thus that an end should be put at once to individual existence and to misery and sin; but even those who did not enrol them-selves in the Sangha could obey many of the precepts, and by a virtuous life here raise themselves in their next birth to a higher and less material state of existence. Laymen could thus take the" three refuges," and keep five of the "ten precepts," viz., not to take life, to steal, to lie, to commit adultery or fornication, or to drink strong drink. There are also ten commandments applicable to the laity, viz., to avoid taking life, theft, illicit intercourse, lying, slander, swearing, idle talk, covetousness, anger, and wrong belief, i.e., either superstition, doubt, or heresy; the first three are sins of the body, the next four sins of the mouth, the last three sins of the mind. The following short ex-tracts from the Buddhist Scriptures will perhaps give a better idea of the lay position in the Buddhist system than any longer description in modern terms. In answer to a question as to what he considered the summum bonum, Gautama is reported to have said-

"1. To serve wise men, and not to serve fools, to give honour to whom honour is due,-this is the greatest blessing. 2. To dwell in a pleasant land, to have done good deeds in a former birth, to have right desires for one's self,-this is the greatest blessing. 3. Much in-sight and much education, a complete training and pleasant speech, -this is the greatest blessing. 4. To succour father and mother, to cherish wife and child, to follow a peaceful calling,-this is the greatest blessing. 5. To give alms, and live righteously, to help one's relatives, and do blameless deeds,- this is the greatest bless-ing. 6. To cease and abstain from sin, to eschew strong drink, not to be weary in well doing,-this is the greatest blessing. 7. Rever-ence and lowliness, contentment and gratitude, the regular hearing of the law,-this is the greatest blessing. 8. To be long-suffering and meek, to associate with members of the Sangha, religious talk at due seasons,-this is the greatest blessing. 9. Temperance and chastity, a conviction of the four great truths, the hope of Nir-vana,-this is the greatest blessing. 10. A mind unshaken by the things of the world, without anguish or passion, and secure, -this is the greatest blessing. 11. They that act like this are invincible on every side, on every side they walk in safety, and theirs is the greatest blessing."

Self-conquest and universal charity, these are the foundation thoughts, the web and the woof of Buddhism, the melodies on the variations of which its enticing harmony is built up. Such a religion could never remain buried in the cloister, or remain the privilege of the few. From the first it became an appeal to the many, and addressed itself not to the learned or the rich but to all mankind, to men and women, slaves and bondmen, Brahmins and Sudras, nobles and peasants alike. The abuses of caste and priest -craft could no longer grow and thrive among men who looked at every question from a rationalistic standpoint, while their hearts were aglow with real and practical philanthropy. In Guatall1a's view men differed one from another not by the accident of birth, but by their own attainments and character; the same path to the same salvation lay equally open to all; and even in this life the poor and the despised were welcomed to the ranks of the order, where wealth was abandoned, and birth went for nothing in comparison with character or insight. It is true that, like Christianity, it did not in so many words condemn any of the political institutions amid which it arose; there is nothing said, at least in the older books, against slavery or despotism or wealth; and even as regards caste, Gautama did not directly interfere with it outside the limits of his Society. But the new wine soon burst the old bottles; the principles of the new creed were quite inconsistent with oppression and wrong of every kind; and the government of Asoka, as Buddhist emperor of India, was probably the most enlightened, and certainly the most philanthropic, which the natives of India have had.

PART III. - LATER BUDDHISM.

It is not surprising that teaching so earnest and so high, so deep-reaching and so radical, should have met with eager acceptance among a people intensely religious, to whom the doctrines of the priests held out so little hope in exchange for the privileges it claimed from them on behalf of an oppressive caste. It is only to be regretted that the history of Buddhism in India lies under so thick a cloud that very little is known of it with certainty. Immediately after the death of Gautama the first council of 500 was held at Rajagriha, as related above, and the young church, in the vigour of its purity and fresh enthusiasm, spread very rapidly among the surrounding tribes. In less than 150 years after the death of its founder, the new religion had become the most powerful in Northern and Central India, and was the state religion of Magadha, whose kings claimed the superiority over the whole peninsula. It probably continued to gain in the number of its adherents till two or three centuries later, but soon after the com-mencement of our era it began to decay; though Fa Hian, a Chinese pilgrim, who visited India about 400 A.D., found it still flourishing over a large area, it was certainly not increasing, and scarcely maintaining its ground. Hiouen Thsang, another Chinese pilgrim, has left us an account of his journey made about two centuries later, and he found Buddhism in a much lower condition even than it had fallen to in the time of Fa Hian. In the 8th and 9th centuries a great persecution arose, and the Buddhists were so utterly exterminated that there is now not a Buddhist in all India; although of course the effects of so great a movement could not pass away, and it left its mark for ever on the Hinduism which supplanted it. The full reasons for this revolution are not known: but so much is clear, that long before its expulsion Buddhism had become very cor-rupt; the order had become wealthy and idle; and the laity, instead of following the precepts of the Teacher, had gone back to the old devil-worship, witchcraft, and astrology, which always underlay their nominal beliefs. From the great body of his followers the ethics and philo-sophy of Guatama were concealed by the mass of legends and superstitions which had· grown up around the story of his life; and though the Buddhists no longer propitiated the favour of the gods by sacrifices of living beings, they rested I their hopes more on their liberality to the monks than on the harder duties of self-control and charity,-the latter word having thus become even more limited in its meaning than it has among ourselves. Their worship of the relics of the Buddha came very near to rank idolatry; their reverence for their ancestors came very near to worship, and was a dangerous source of emolument to the monks; while the old Hindu gods were regarded much more highly than was at all consistent with the Buddhist Abhidharma.

Buddhism had, however, been introduced into Ceylon, at a time when it was comparatively pure, by Mahendra and Sanghamitra, the son and daughter of the emperor Asoka. It became at once the state religion, and the only religion of the island, on which Brahminism had never gained much hold. Protected there by its isolated position, and by the patriotic spirit which identified it with the Sinhalese nation, whose hereditary enemies, the Tamils, were first Jains and afterwards Hindus, it has retained almost its pristine purity to modern times. From Ceylon it was introduced into Burma in the 5th century A.D., whence it penetrated into Arakan, Kambaya, and Pegu, and finally into Slam m the 7th century of our era. As already mentioned it became, in a less pure form, the state religion of Kashmir about the time of Christ, and was thence carried to Nepal and to Tibet and China. It would be impossible within the limits of this article to trace its various fortunes in these countries, but the following remarks may not be out of place.

It would be hazardous as yet to attempt to trace chrono-logically the growth of the Buddhist legends, but in one or other of the Buddhist books are found the following ideas, the growth of which was, under the circumstances, almost inevitable. Gautama himself became regarded as omni-scient, and as absolutely sinless; he was supposed to have I descended of his own accord from heaven into his mother's womb, and to have had no earthly father; angels were said to have assisted at his birth, immediately after which he walked three paces, and in a voice of thunder proclaimed his own greatness. On his formal presentation to his father, an aged saint is said to have worshipped him and prophesied that he would become a Buddha, who would show the people the way of salvation. When the babe was five months old, he was left under a tree, where he meditated so deeply that he worked himself into a trance; and five wise men who were journeying northwards through the air, being miraculously stopped over the place where he was, came down and worshipped him, the hymn put into their mouths surprising us in the midst of so absurd a legend by its beauty; in five stanzas they announce that the babe shall be the teacher of a law which shall be the water to extinguish all the fires of the sorrow of life, the light to , enlighten the world, and the chariot to carry us through this wilderness to the promised land; that he shall deliver men from the bonds and shackles of the world, and be the great physician to heal all their diseases, and do away with the miseries of life and death. The only other legend we have of his youth is one in which he is said to have surpassed all his contemporaries in feats of bodily and mental skill, and even to have taught his teachers,-the later forms of this legend bearing a curious resemblance to some parts of the apocryphal "Gospel of the Infancy." In the accounts of his father's home and of his marriage he is surrounded with all the state and wealth of the eldest son and heir to a powerful monarch, whereas it is apparent from the geographical and other details that his. Father’s power can only at most have extended a few miles from his home. It was a pious task to make his abnegation and condescension greater by the comparison between the splendour of the position he abandoned and the poverty in which he afterwards lived; and in countries distant from Kapilavastu the inconsistencies between these glowing accounts· and the very names they contain would pass unnoticed by credulous hearers. With the same object of magnifying the person of Buddha, he is related in the legends to have performed at various times a very large number of miracles, mostly mere manifestations of power of no direct advantage to anyone, and only designed to impress those who beheld or might hear of them with a belief in his great superiority over other teachers. Of several of these legends we have different versions in authorities of different ages, and it is exceedingly interest-ing and instructive to notice how the supernatural parts of the story gradually grow. Among the northern Buddhists of Kashmir, Tibet, Nepal, and China, these legends have assumed much larger dimensions than among the southern Buddhists in Burma, Siam, and Ceylon, the former having evolved a theory of the spirit of the Buddhas still working in the church, while the latter remain at the standpomt apparent in the canon as fixed by the council of Asoka.

The amplification of Buddhism by its northern discipline will be described under the heading LAMAISM. It is enough to notice here that it is called by them the Great Vehicle, in contradistinction to that of the southern church, which they call, not without some contempt, the Little Vehicle; and the Great Vehicle, while holding fast to the real foundation of Buddhism, its ethical views of self conquest and charity, has in fact developed an entirely new religion. This is based on the worship of Maitreya, the Dhyani-buddhas, Manjufilri, and Avalokiteswara, personi-fications respectively of charity, meditation, serenity, and wisdom. The first of these appears in ancient Buddhism as the name of the Buddha to come, and the last is the holy spirit of the northern Buddhist church. Among the Dhyani-buddhas, who are philosophical abstractions corresponding to the earthly Buddhas, Amitabha, i.e., Infinite Light, is the heavenly counterpart of Gautama, and soon took the most important place. Avalokiteswara" proceeded" from him, and manifests him to the world since the death of Buddha; and his worship in the 10th century of our era bore its full fruit in the invention of a being, Adibuddha, the origin of all things, who, using the wisdom within him, produced by meditation the five Dhyani-buddhas, of whom Amitabha is the fourth,-a notion curiously similar to the theosophy of the Gnostics, and utterly opposed to the Agnostic materialism or Buddha.

In Tibet especially, the development in doctrine was followed by a development in ecclesiastical government, which runs so remarkably parallel with the development of the Romish hierarchy as to awaken an interest which could scarcely otherwise be found in the senseless and fatal corruptions which have overwhelmed the ancient Buddhist beliefs. The Buddhism introduced into that country in the 7th and 8th centuries of our era was a form of the Great Vehicle, already much corrupted by Siva-ism, a mixture of witchcraft and Hindu philosophy; but it worked a great change among the savage races who then inhabited those remote valleys. In the 13th century the country was possessed by independent chiefs, who struggled with the abbots of the great monasteries for power over the people; and the crozier proved itself in the long run more powerful than the sword. We then find the two leading priests or archbishops, the Pantshen Lama and the Dalai Lama, claiming to be official incarnations of Amitabha and Avalokiteswara; and the latter as such succeeded in obtain-ing superior political and secular power, leaving to his brother pope his high ecclesiastical position and the aroma, of holiness-a division of power which has again resulted in a Guelph and Ghibelin-like rivalry. Lamaism, with its shaven priests, its bells and rosaries, its images and holy water, its popes and bishops, its abbots and monks of many grades, its processions and feast-days, its 'confessional and purgatory, and its worship of the double Virgin, so strongly resembles Romanism, that the first Catholic missionaries thought it must be an imitation by the devil of the religion of Christ; and that the resemblance is not in externals only is shown by the present state of Tibet -the oppression of all thought, the idleness and corruption of the monks, the despotism of the Government, and the poverty and beggary of the people. (T. W. R. D.)



The above article was written by T. W. Rhys Davids, LL.D., Ph.D.; Secretary and Librarian, Royal Asiatic Society; Professor of Pali and Buddhist Literature, University College, London; author of Buddhism, Buddhist Birth Stories, Buddhist Suttas from the Pali, Hibbert Lectures, 1881, etc.




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