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[Footnote 2: Buddha's mother, Maya and Maha-maya, died seven days after his birth.]

[Footnote 3: Anuruddha was a first cousin of Sakyamuni, being the son of his uncle Amritodana. He is often mentioned in the account we have of Buddha's last moments. His special gift was the "heavenly eye," the first of the six "supernatural talents," the faculty of comprehending in one instantaneous view, or by intuition, all beings in all worlds.]

[Footnote 4: This was Brahma, the first person of the Brahmanical Trimurti, adopted by Buddhism, but placed in an inferior position, and surpassed by every Buddhist saint who attains to bodhi.]

[Footnote 5: A note of Mr. Beal says on this:—"General Cunningham, who visited the spot (1862), found a pillar, evidently of the age of Asoka, with a well-carved elephant on the top, which, however, was minus trunk and tail. He supposes this to be the pillar seen by Fa-hien, who mistook the top of it for a lion. It is possible such a mistake may have been made, as in the account of one of the pillars at Sravasti, Fa-hien says an ox formed the capital, whilst Hsuean-chwang calls it an elephant."]

[Footnote 6: These three predecessors of Sakya-muni were the three Buddhas of the present or Maha-bhadra Kalpa, of which he was the fourth, and Maitreya is to be the fifth and last. They were: (i) Kra-kuchanda, "he who readily solves all doubts"; a scion of the Kasyapa family. Human life reached in his time forty thousand years, and so many persons were converted by him. (2) Kanakamuni, "body radiant with the color of pure gold"; of the same family. Human life reached in his time thirty thousand years, and so many persons were converted by him. (3) Kasyapa, "swallower of light." Human life reached in his time twenty thousand years, and so many persons were converted by him.]

[Footnote 7: This would seem to be absurd; but the writer evidently intended to convey the idea that there was something mysterious about the number of the topes.]



CHAPTER XVIII

Buddha's Subjects of Discourse

Fa-Hien stayed at the Dragon vihara till after the summer retreat, [1] and then, travelling to the southeast for seven yojanas, he arrived at the city of Kanyakubja, lying along the Ganges. There are two monasteries in it, the inmates of which are students of the hinayana. At a distance from the city of six or seven li, on the west, on the northern bank of the Ganges, is a place where Buddha preached the Law to his disciples. It has been handed down that his subjects of discourse were such as "The bitterness and vanity of life as impermanent and uncertain," and that "The body is as a bubble or foam on the water." At this spot a tope was erected, and still exists.

Having crossed the Ganges, and gone south for three yojanas, the travellers arrived at a village named A-le, containing places where Buddha preached the Law, where he sat, and where he walked, at all of which topes have been built.

[Footnote 1: This was, probably, in A.D. 405.]



CHAPTER XIX

Legend of Buddha's Danta-kashtha

Going on from this to the southeast for three yojanas, they came to the great kingdom of Sha-che. As you go out of the city of Sha-che by the southern gate, on the east of the road is the place where Buddha, after he had chewed his willow branch, stuck it in the ground, when it forthwith grew up seven cubits, at which height it remained, neither increasing nor diminishing. The Brahmans, with their contrary doctrines, became angry and jealous. Sometimes they cut the tree down, sometimes they plucked it up, and cast it to a distance, but it grew again on the same spot as at first. Here also is the place where the four Buddhas walked and sat, and at which a tope was built that is still existing.



CHAPTER XX

The Jetavana Vihara—Legends of Buddha

Going on from this to the south, for eight yojanas, the travellers came to the city of Sravasti in the kingdom of Kosala, in which the inhabitants were few and far between, amounting in all only to a few more than two hundred families; the city where king Prasenajit ruled, and the place of the old vihara of Maha-prajapati; [1] of the well and walls of the house of the Vaisya head Sudatta; [2] and where the Angulimalya [3] became an Arhat, and his body was afterwards burned on his attaining to pari-nirvana. At all these places topes were subsequently erected, which are still existing in the city. The Brahmans, with their contrary doctrine, became full of hatred and envy in their hearts, and wished to destroy them, but there came from the heavens such a storm of crashing thunder and flashing lightning that they were not able in the end to effect their purpose.

As you go out from the city by the south gate, and one thousand two hundred paces from it, the Vais'ya head Sudatta built a vihara, facing the south; and when the door was open, on each side of it there was a stone pillar, with the figure of a wheel on the top of that on the left, and the figure of an ox on the top of that on the right. On the left and right of the building the ponds of water clear and pure, the thickets of trees always luxuriant, and the numerous flowers of various hues, constituted a lovely scene, the whole forming what is called the Jetavana vihara.

When Buddha went up to the Trayastrimsas heaven, and preached the Law for the benefit of his mother, after he had been absent for ninety days, Prasenajit, longing to see him, caused an image of him to be carved in Gosirsha Chandana wood, and put in the place where he usually sat. When Buddha, on his return entered the vihara, this image immediately left its place, and came forth to meet him. Buddha said to it, "Return to your seat. After I have attained to pari-nirvana, you will serve as a pattern to the four classes of my disciples," [4] and on this the image returned to its seat. This was the very first of all the images of Buddha, and that which men subsequently copied. Buddha then removed, and dwelt in a small vihara on the south side of the other, a different place from that containing the image, and twenty paces distant from it.

The Jetavana vihara was originally of seven stories. The kings and people of the countries around vied with one another in their offerings, hanging up about it silken streamers and canopies, scattering flowers, burning incense, and lighting lamps, so as to make the night as bright as the day. This they did day after day without ceasing. It happened that a rat, carrying in its mouth the wick of a lamp, set one of the streamers or canopies on fire, which caught the vihara, and the seven stories were all consumed. The kings, with their officers and people, were all very sad and distressed, supposing that the sandalwood image had been burned; but lo! after four or five days, when the door of a small vihara on the east was opened, there was immediately seen the original image. They were all greatly rejoiced, and cooperated in restoring the vihara. When they had succeeded in completing two stories, they removed the image back to its former place.

When Fa-hien and Tao-ching first arrived at the Jetavana monastery, and thought how the World-honored one had formerly resided there for twenty-five years, painful reflections arose in their minds. Born in a border-land, along with their like-minded friends, they had travelled through so many kingdoms; some of those friends had returned to their own land, and some had died, proving the impermanence and uncertainty of life; and today they saw the place where Buddha had lived now unoccupied by him. They were melancholy through their pain of heart, and the crowd of monks came out, and asked them from what kingdom they were come. "We are come," they replied, "from the land of Han." "Strange," said the monks with a sigh, "that men of a border country should be able to come here in search of our Law!" Then they said to one another, "During all the time that we, preceptors and monks, have succeeded to one another, we have never seen men of Han, followers of our system, arrive here."

Four li to the northwest of the vihara there is a grove called "The Getting of Eyes." Formerly there were five hundred blind men, who lived here in order that they might be near the vihara. Buddha preached his Law to them, and they all got their eyesight. Full of joy, they stuck their staves in the earth, and with their heads and faces on the ground, did reverence. The staves immediately began to grow, and they grew to be great. People made much of them, and no one dared to cut them down, so that they came to form a grove. It was in this way that it got its name, and most of the Jetavana monks, after they had taken their mid-day meal, went to the grove, and sat there in meditation.

Six or seven li northeast from the Jetavana, mother Vaisakha built another vihara, to which she invited Buddha and his monks, and which is still existing.

To each of the great residences for the monks at the Jetavana vihara there were two gates, one facing the east and the other facing the north. The park containing the whole was the space of ground which the Vaisaya head, Sudatta, purchased by covering it with gold coins. The vihara was exactly in the centre. Here Buddha lived for a longer time than at any other place, preaching his Law and converting men. At the places where he walked and sat they also subsequently reared topes, each having its particular name; and here was the place where Sundari [5] murdered a person and then falsely charged Buddha with the crime. Outside the east gate of the Jetavana, at a distance of seventy paces to the north, on the west of the road, Buddha held a discussion with the advocates of the ninety-six schemes of erroneous doctrine, when the king and his great officers, the householders, and people were all assembled in crowds to hear it. Then a woman belonging to one of the erroneous systems, by name Chanchamana, prompted by the envious hatred in her heart, and having put on extra clothes in front of her person, so as to give her the appearance of being with child, falsely accused Buddha before all the assembly of having acted unlawfully towards her. On this, Sakra, Ruler of Devas, changed himself and some devas into white mice, which bit through the strings about her waist; and when this was done, the extra clothes which she wore dropped down on the ground. The earth at the same time was rent, and she went down alive into hell. This also is the place where Devadatta, trying with empoisoned claws to injure Buddha, went down alive into hell. Men subsequently set up marks to distinguish where both these events took place.

Further, at the place where the discussion took place, they reared a vihara rather more than sixty cubits high, having in it an image of Buddha in a sitting posture. On the east of the road there was a devalaya [6] of one of the contrary systems, called "The Shadow Covered," right opposite the vihara on the place of discussion, with only the road between them, and also rather more than sixty cubits high. The reason why it was called "The Shadow Covered" was this: When the sun was in the west, the shadow of the vihara of the World-honored one fell on the devalaya of a contrary system; but when the sun was in the east, the shadow of that devalaya was diverted to the north, and never fell on the vihara of Buddha. The malbelievers regularly employed men to watch their devalaya, to sweep and water all about it, to burn incense, light the lamps, and present offerings; but in the morning the lamps were found to have been suddenly removed, and in the vihara of Buddha. The Brahmans were indignant, and said, "Those Sramanas take our lamps and use them for their own service of Buddha, but we will not stop our service for you!" [7] On that night the Brahmans themselves kept watch, when they saw the deva spirits which they served take the lamps and go three times round the vihara of Buddha and present offerings. After this administration to Buddha they suddenly disappeared. The Brahmans thereupon knowing how great was the spiritual power of Buddha, forthwith left their families, and became monks. It has been handed down, that, near the time when these things occurred, around the Jetavana vihara there were ninety-eight monasteries, in all of which there were monks residing, excepting only in one place which was vacant. In this Middle Kingdom there are ninety-six sorts of views, erroneous and different from our system, all of which recognize this world and the future world and the connection between them. Each has its multitude of followers, and they all beg their food: only they do not carry the alms-bowl. They also, moreover, seek to acquire the blessing of good deeds on unfrequented ways, setting up on the roadside houses of charity, where rooms, couches, beds, and food and drink are supplied to travellers, and also to monks, coming and going as guests, the only difference being in the time for which those parties remain.

There are also companies of the followers of Devadatta still existing. They regularly make offerings to the three previous Buddhas, but not to Sakyamuni Buddha.

Four li southeast from the city of Sravasti, a tope has been erected at the place where the World-honored one encountered king Virudhaha, when he wished to attack the kingdom of Shay-e, and took his stand before him at the side of the road.

[Footnote 1: Explained by "Path of Love," and "Lord of Life." Prajapati was aunt and nurse of Sakyamuni, the first woman admitted to the monkhood, and the first superior of the first Buddhistic convent. She is yet to become a Buddha.]

[Footnote 2: Sudatta, meaning "almsgiver," was the original name of Anatha-pindika, a wealthy householder, or Vaisya head, of Sravasti, famous for his liberality. Of his old house, only the well and walls remained at the time of Fa-hien's visit to Sravasti.]

[Footnote 3: The Angulimalya were a sect or set of Sivaitic fanatics, who made assassination a religious act. The one of them here mentioned had joined them by the force of circumstances. Being converted by Buddha, he became a monk.]

[Footnote 4: Arya, meaning "honorable," "venerable," is a title given only to those who have mastered the four spiritual truths:—(i) that "misery" is a necessary condition of all sentient existence; this is duhka: (ii) that the "accumulation" of misery is caused by the passions; this is samudaya: (iii) that the "extinction" of passion is possible; this is nirodha: and (iv) that the "path" leads to the extinction of passion; which is marga. According to their attainment of these truths, the Aryas, or followers of Buddha, are distinguished into four classes—Srotapannas, Sakridagamins, Anagamins, and Arhats.]

[Footnote 5: Hsuean-chwang does not give the name of this murderer; see in Julien's "Vie et Voyages de Hiouen-thsang "—"a heretical Brahman killed a woman and calumniated Buddha." See also the fuller account in Beal's "Records of Western Countries," where the murder is committed by several Brahmacharins. In this passage Beal makes Sundari to be the name of the murdered person. But the text cannot be so construed.]

[Footnote 6: A devalaya is a place in which a deva is worshipped—a general name for all Brahmanical temples.]

[Footnote 7: Their speech was somewhat unconnected, but natural enough in the circumstances. Compare the whole account with the narrative in 1 Samuel v. about the Ark and Dagon, that "twice-battered god of Palestine."]



CHAPTER XXI

The Three Predecessors of Sakyamuni

Fifty li to the west of the city brings the traveller to a town named Too-wei, the birthplace of Kasyapa Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Over the entire relic of the whole body of him, the Kasyapa Tathagata, a great tope was also erected.

Going on southeast from the city of Sravasti for twelve yojanas, the travellers came to a town named Na-pei-kea, the birthplace of Krakuchanda Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Going north from here less than a yojana, they came to a town which had been the birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected.



CHAPTER XXII

Legends of Buddha's Birth

Less than a yojana to the east from this brought them to the city of Kapilavastu; but in it there was neither king nor people. All was mound and desolation. Of inhabitants there were only some monks and a score or two of families of the common people. At the spot where stood the old palace of king Suddhodana there have been made images of his eldest son and his mother; and at the places where that son appeared mounted on a white elephant when he entered his mother's womb, and where he turned his carriage round on seeing the sick man after he had gone out of the city by the eastern gate, topes have been erected. The places were also pointed out where the rishi A-e inspected the marks of Buddhaship on the body of the heir-apparent when an infant; where, when he was in company with Nanda and others, on the elephant being struck down and drawn on one side, he tossed it away; [1] where he shot an arrow to the southeast, and it went a distance of thirty li, then entering the ground and making a spring to come forth, which men subsequently fashioned into a well from which travellers might drink; where, after he had attained to Wisdom, Buddha returned and saw the king, his father; where five hundred Sakyas quitted their families and did reverence to Upali [2] while the earth shook and moved in six different ways; where Buddha preached his Law to the devas, and the four deva kings and others kept the four doors of the hall, so that even the king, his father, could not enter; where Buddha sat under a nyagrodha tree, which is still standing, with his face to the east, and his aunt Maha-prajapati presented him with a Sanghali; and where king Vaidurya slew the seed of Sakya, and they all in dying became Srotapannas. [3] A tope was erected at this last place, which is still existing.

Several li northeast from the city was the king's field, where the heir-apparent sat under a tree, and looked at the ploughers.

Fifty li east from the city was a garden, named Lumbini, where the queen entered the pond and bathed. Having come forth from the pond on the northern bank, after walking twenty paces, she lifted up her hand, laid hold of a branch of a tree, and, with her face to the east, gave birth to the heir-apparent. When he fell to the ground, he immediately walked seven paces. Two dragon-kings appeared and washed his body. At the place where they did so, there was immediately formed a well, and from it, as well as from the above pond, where the queen bathed, the monks even now constantly take the water, and drink it.

There are four places of regular and fixed occurrence in the history of all Buddhas: first, the place where they attained to perfect Wisdom and became Buddha; second, the place where they turned the wheel of the Law; third, the place where they preached the Law, discoursed of righteousness, and discomfited the advocates of erroneous doctrines; and fourth, the place where they came down, after going up to the Trayastrimsas heaven to preach the Law for the benefit of their mothers. Other places in connection with them became remarkable, according to the manifestations which were made at them at particular times.

The country of Kapilavastu is a great scene of empty desolation. The inhabitants are few and far between. On the roads people have to be on their guard against white elephants [4] and lions, and should not travel incautiously.

[Footnote 1: The Lichchhavis of Vaisali had sent to the young prince a very fine elephant; but when it was near Kapilavastu, Deva-datta, out of envy, killed it with a blow of his fist. Nanda (not Ananda, but a half-brother of Siddhartha), coming that way, saw the carcass lying on the road, and pulled it on one side; but the Bodhisattva, seeing it there, took it by the tail, and tossed it over seven fences and ditches, when the force of its fall made a great ditch.]

[Footnote 2: They did this, probably, to show their humility, for Upali was only a Sudra by birth, and had been a barber; so from the first did Buddhism assert its superiority to the conditions of rank and caste. Upali was distinguished by his knowledge of the rules of discipline, and praised on that account by Buddha. He was one of the three leaders of the first synod, and the principal compiler of the original Vinaya books.]

[Footnote 3: The Srotapannas are the first class of saints, who are not to be reborn in a lower sphere, but attain to nirvana after having been reborn seven times consecutively as men or devas. The Chinese editions state there were one thousand of the Sakya seed. The general account is that they were five hundred, all maidens, who refused to take their place in king Vaidurya's harem, and were in consequence taken to a pond, and had their hands and feet cut off. There Buddha came to them, had their wounds dressed, and preached to them the Law. They died in the faith, and were reborn in the region of the four Great Kings. Thence they came back and visited Buddha at Jetavana in the night, and there they obtained the reward of Srotapanna.]

[Footnote 4: Fa-hien does not say that he himself saw any of these white elephants, nor does he speak of the lions as of any particular color. We shall find by and by, in a note further on, that, to make them appear more terrible, they are spoken of as "black."]



CHAPTER XXIII

Legends of Rama and its Tope

East from Buddha's birthplace, and at a distance of five yojanas, there is a kingdom called Rama. The king of this country, having obtained one portion of the relics of Buddha's body, returned with it and built over it a tope, named the Rama tope. By the side of it there was a pool, and in the pool a dragon, which constantly kept watch over the tope, and presented offerings at it day and night. When king Asoka came forth into the world, he wished to destroy the eight topes over the relics, and to build instead of them eighty-four thousand topes. [1] After he had thrown down the seven others, he wished next to destroy this tope. But then the dragon showed itself, and took the king into its palace; when he had seen all the things provided for offerings, it said to him, "If you are able with your offerings to exceed these, you can destroy the tope, and take it all away. I will not contend with you." The king, however, knew that such appliances for offerings were not to be had anywhere in the world, and thereupon returned without carrying out his purpose.

Afterwards, the ground all about became overgrown with vegetation, and there was nobody to sprinkle and sweep about the tope; but a herd of elephants came regularly, which brought water with their trunks to water the ground, and various kinds of flowers and incense, which they presented at the tope. Once there came from one of the kingdoms a devotee to worship at the tope. When he encountered the elephants he was greatly alarmed, and screened himself among the trees; but when he saw them go through with the offerings in the most proper manner, the thought filled him with great sadness—that there should be no monastery here, the inmates of which might serve the tope, but the elephants have to do the watering and sweeping. Forthwith he gave up the great prohibitions by which he was bound, and resumed the status of a Sramanera. With his own hands he cleared away the grass and trees, put the place in good order, and made it pure and clean. By the power of his exhortations, he prevailed on the king of the country to form a residence for monks; and when that was done, he became head of the monastery. At the present day there are monks residing in it. This event is of recent occurrence; but in all the succession from that time till now, there has always been a Sramanera head of the establishment.

[Footnote 1: The bones of the human body are supposed to consist of 84,000 atoms, and hence the legend of Asoka's wish to build 84,000 topes, one over each atom of Sakyamuni's skeleton.]



CHAPTER XXIV

Where Buddha Renounced the World

East from here four yojanas, there is the place where the heir-apparent sent back Chandaka, with his white horse; and there also a tope was erected.

Four yojanas to the east from this, the travellers came to the Charcoal tope, where there is also a monastery.

Going on twelve yojanas, still to the east, they came to the city of Kusanagara, on the north of which, between two trees, on the bank of the Nairanjana river, is the place where the World-honored one, with his head to the north, attained to pan-nirvana and died. There also are the places where Subhadra, [1] the last of his converts, attained to Wisdom and became an Arhat; where in his coffin of gold they made offerings to the World-honored one for seven days, where the Vajrapani laid aside his golden club, and where the eight kings divided the relics of the burnt body: at all these places were built topes and monasteries, all of which are now existing.

In the city the inhabitants are few and far between, comprising only the families belonging to the different societies of monks.

Going from this to the southeast for twelve yojanas, they came to the place where the Lichchhavis wished to follow Buddha to the place of his pari-nirvana, and where, when he would not listen to them and they kept cleaving to him, unwilling to go away, he made to appear a large and deep ditch which they could not cross over, and gave them his alms-bowl, as a pledge of his regard, thus sending them back to their families. There a stone pillar was erected with an account of this event engraved upon it.

[Footnote 1: A Brahman of Benares, said to have been one hundred and twenty years old, who came to learn from Buddha the very night he died. Ananda would have repulsed him; but Buddha ordered him to be introduced; and then putting aside the ingenious but unimportant question which he propounded, preached to him the Law. The Brahman was converted and attained at once to Arhatship.]



CHAPTER XXV

The Kingdom of Vaisali

East from this city ten yojanas, the travellers came to the kingdom of Vaisali. North of the city so named is a large forest, having in it the double-galleried vihara where Buddha dwelt, and the tope over half the body of Ananda. Inside the city the woman Ambapali [1] built a vihara in honor of Buddha, which is now standing as it was at first. Three li south of the city, on the west of the road, is the garden which the same Ambapali presented to Buddha, in which he might reside. When Buddha was about to attain to his pari-nirvana, as he was quitting the city by the west gate, he turned round, and, beholding the city on his right, said to them, "Here I have taken my last walk." Men subsequently built a tope at this spot.

Three li northwest of the city there is a tope called, "Bows and weapons laid down." The reason why it got that name was this: The inferior wife of a king, whose country lay along the river Ganges, brought forth from her womb a ball of flesh. The superior wife, jealous of the other, said, "You have brought forth a thing of evil omen," and immediately it was put into a box of wood and thrown into the river. Farther down the stream another king was walking and looking about, when he saw the wooden box floating in the water. He had it brought to him, opened it, and found a thousand little boys, upright and complete, and each one different from the others. He took them and had them brought up. They grew tall and large, and very daring and strong, crushing all opposition in every expedition which they undertook. By and by they attacked the kingdom of their real father, who became in consequence greatly distressed and sad. His inferior wife asked what it was that made him so, and he replied, "That king has a thousand sons, daring and strong beyond compare, and he wishes with them to attack my kingdom; this is what makes me sad." The wife said, "You need not be sad and sorrowful. Only make a high gallery on the wall of the city on the east; and when the thieves come, I shall be able to make them retire." The king did as she said; and when the enemies came, she said to them from the tower, "You are my sons; why are you acting so unnaturally and rebelliously?" They replied, "Who are you that say you are our mother?" "If you do not believe me," she said, "look, all of you, towards me, and open your mouths." She then pressed her breasts with her two hands, and each sent forth five hundred jets of milk, which fell into the mouths of the thousand sons. The thieves thus knew that she was their mother, and laid down their bows and weapons. The two kings, the fathers, hereupon fell into reflection, and both got to be Pratyeka Buddhas. The tope of the two Pratyeka Buddhas is still existing.

In a subsequent age, when the World-honored one had attained to perfect Wisdom and become Buddha, he said to his disciples, "This is the place where I in a former age laid down my bow and weapons." [2] It was thus that subsequently men got to know the fact, and raised the tope on this spot, which in this way received its name. The thousand little boys were the thousand Buddhas of this Bhadra-kalpa. [3]

It was by the side of the "Weapons-laid-down" tope that Buddha, having given up the idea of living longer, said to Ananda, "In three months from this I will attain to pari-nirvana"; and king Mara [4] had so fascinated and stupefied Ananda, that he was not able to ask Buddha to remain longer in this world.

Three or four li east from this place there is a tope commemorating the following occurrence: A hundred years after the pari-nirvana of Buddha, some Bhikshus of Vaisali went wrong in the matter of the disciplinary rules in ten particulars, and appealed for their justification to what they said were the words of Buddha. Hereupon the Arhats and Bhikshus observant of the rules, to the number in all of seven hundred monks, examined afresh and collated the collection of disciplinary books [5]. Subsequently men built at this place the tope in question, which is still existing.

[Footnote 1: Ambapali, Amrapali, or Amradarika, "the guardian of the Amra (probably the mango) tree," is famous in Buddhist annals. She was a courtesan. She had been in many narakas or hells, was one hundred thousand times a female beggar, and ten thousand times a prostitute; but maintaining perfect continence during the period of Kasyana Buddha, Sakyamuni's predecessor, she had been born a devi, and finally appeared in earth under an Amra tree in Vaisali. There again she fell into her old ways, and had a son by king Bimbisara; but she was won over by Buddha to virtue and chastity, renounced the world, and attained to the state of an Arhat.]

[Footnote 2: Thus Sakyamuni had been one of the thousand little boys who floated in the box in the Ganges. How long back the former age was we cannot tell. I suppose the tope of the two fathers who became Pratyeka Buddhas had been built like the one commemorating the laying down of weapons after Buddha had told his disciples of the strange events in the past.]

[Footnote 3: Bhadra-kalpa, "the Kalpa of worthies or sages." "This," says Eitel, "is a designation for a Kalpa of stability, so-called because one thousand Buddhas appear in the course of it. Our present period is a Bhadra-kalpa, and four Buddhas have already appeared. It is to last two hundred and thirty-six millions of years, but over one hundred and fifty-one millions have already elapsed."]

[Footnote 4: "The king of demons." The name Mara is explained by "the murderer," "the destroyer of virtue," and similar appellations. "He is," says Eitel, "the personification of lust, the god of love, sin, and death, the arch-enemy of goodness, residing in the heaven Paranirmita Vasavartin on the top of the Kamadhatu. He assumes different forms, especially monstrous ones, to tempt or frighten the saints, or sends his daughters, or inspires wicked men like Devadatta or the Nirgranthas to do his work. He is often represented with 100 arms, and riding on an elephant."]

[Footnote 5: Or the Vinaya-pitaka. The meeting referred to was an important one, and is generally spoken of as the second Great Council of the Buddhist Church. The first Council was that held at Rajagriha, shortly after Buddha's death, under the presidency of Kasyapa—say about B.C. 410. The second was that spoken of here—say about B.C. 300.]



CHAPTER XXVI

Remarkable Death of Ananda

Four yojanas on from this place to the east brought the travellers to the confluence of the five rivers. When Ananda was going from Magadha to Vaisali, wishing his pari-nirvana to take place there, the devas informed king Ajatasatru [1] of it, and the king immediately pursued him, in his own grand carriage, with a body of soldiers, and had reached the river. On the other hand, the Lichchhavis of Vaisali had heard that Ananda was coming to their city, and they on their part came to meet him. In this way, they all arrived together at the river, and Ananda considered that, if he went forward, king Ajatasatru would be very angry, while, if he went back, the Lichchhavis would resent his conduct. He thereupon in the very middle of the river burnt his body in a fiery ecstasy of Samadhi [2], and his pari-nirvana was attained. He divided his body into two parts, leaving one part on each bank; so that each of the two kings got one part as a sacred relic, and took it back to his own capital, and there raised a tope over it.

[Footnote 1: He was the son of king Bimbisara, who was one of the first royal converts to Buddhism. Ajasat murdered his father, or at least wrought his death; and was at first opposed to Sakyamuni, and a favorer of Devadotta. When converted, he became famous for his liberality in almsgiving.]

[Footnote 2: "Samadhi," says Eitel, "signifies the highest pitch of abstract, ecstatic meditation; a state of absolute indifference to all influences from within or without; a state of torpor of both the material and spiritual forces of vitality; a sort of terrestrial Nirvana, consistently culminating in total destruction of life."]



CHAPTER XXVII

King Asoka's Spirit-built Palace and Halls

Having crossed the river, and descended south for a yojana, the travellers came to the town of Pataliputtra [1], in the kingdom of Magadha, the city where king Asoka ruled. The royal palace and halls in the midst of the city, which exist now as of old, were all made by spirits which he employed, and which piled up the stones, reared the walls and gates, and executed the elegant carving and inlaid sculpture-work—in a way which no human hands of this world could accomplish.

King Asoka had a younger brother who had attained to be an Arhat, and resided on Gridhra-kuta hill, finding his delight in solitude and quiet. The king, who sincerely reverenced him, wished and begged him to come and live in his family, where he could supply all his wants. The other, however, through his delight in the stillness of the mountain, was unwilling to accept the invitation, on which the king said to him, "Only accept my invitation, and I will make a hill for you inside the city." Accordingly, he provided the materials of a feast, called to him the spirits, and announced to them, "Tomorrow you will all receive my invitation; but as there are no mats for you to sit on, let each one bring his own seat." Next day the spirits came, each one bringing with him a great rock, like a wall, four or five paces square, for a seat. When their sitting was over, the king made them form a hill with the large stones piled on one another, and also at the foot of the hill, with five large square stones, to make an apartment, which might be more than thirty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and more than ten cubits high.

In this city there had resided a great Brahman, named Radha-sami, a professor of the mahayana, of clear discernment and much wisdom, who understood everything, living by himself in spotless purity. The king of the country honored and reverenced him, and served him as his teacher. If he went to inquire for and greet him, the king did not presume to sit down alongside of him; and if, in his love and reverence, he took hold of his hand, as soon as he let it go, the Brahman made haste to pour water on it and wash it. He might be more than fifty years old, and all the kingdom looked up to him. By means of this one man, the Law of Buddha was widely made-known, and the followers of other doctrines did not find it in their power to persecute the body of monks in any way.

By the side of the tope of Asoka, there has been made a mahayana monastery, very grand and beautiful; there is also a hinayana one; the two together containing six hundred or seven hundred monks. The rules of demeanor and the scholastic arrangements in them are worthy of observation.

Shamans of the highest virtue from all quarters, and students, inquirers wishing to find out truth and the grounds of it, all resort to these monasteries. There also resides in this monastery a Brahman teacher, whose name also is Manjusri, whom the Shamans of greatest virtue in the kingdom, and the mahayana Bhikshus honor and look up to.

The cities and towns of this country are the greatest of all in the Middle Kingdom. The inhabitants are rich and prosperous, and vie with one another in the practice of benevolence and righteousness. Every year on the eighth day of the second month they celebrate a procession of images. They make a four-wheeled car, and on it erect a structure of five stories by means of bamboos tied together. This is supported by a king-post, with poles and lances slanting from it, and is rather more than twenty cubits high, having the shape of a tope. White and silk-like cloth of hair is wrapped all round it, which is then painted in various colors. They make figures of devas, with gold, silver, and lapis lazuli grandly blended and having silken streamers and canopies hung out over them. On the four sides are niches, with a Buddha seated in each, and a Bodhisattva standing in attendance on him. There may be twenty cars, all grand and imposing, but each one different from the others. On the day mentioned, the monks and laity within the borders all come together; they have singers and skilful musicians: they say their devotions with flowers and incense. The Brahmans come and invite the Buddhas to enter the city. These do so in order, and remain two nights in it. All through the night they keep lamps burning, have skilful music, and present offerings. This is the practice in all the other kingdoms as well. The Heads of the Vaisya families in them establish in the cities houses for dispensing charity and medicines. All the poor and destitute in the country, orphans, widowers, and childless men, maimed people and cripples, and all who are diseased, go to those houses, and are provided with every kind of help, and doctors examine their diseases. They get the food and medicines which their cases require, and are made to feel at ease; and when they are better, they go away of themselves.

When king Asoka destroyed the seven topes, intending to make eighty-four thousand, the first which he made was the great tope, more than three li to the south of this city. In front of this there is a footprint of Buddha, where a vihara has been built. The door of it faces the north, and on the south of it there is a stone pillar, fourteen or fifteen cubits in circumference, and more than thirty cubits high, on which there is an inscription, saying, "Asoka gave the Jambudvipa to the general body of all the monks, and then redeemed it from them with money. This he did three times." North from the tope three hundred or four hundred paces, king Asoka built the city of Ne-le. In it there is a stone pillar, which also is more than thirty feet high, with a lion on the top of it. On the pillar there is an inscription recording the things which led to the building of Ne-le, with the number of the year, the day, and the month.

[Footnote 1: The modern Patna. The Sanscrit name means "The city of flowers." It is the Indian Florence.]



CHAPTER XXVIII

Rajagriha, New and Old—Legends Connected with It

The travellers went on from this to the southeast for nine yojanas, and came to a small solitary rocky hill, at the head or end of which was an apartment of stone, facing the south—the place where Buddha sat, when Sakra, Ruler of Devas, brought the deva-musician, Panchasikha, to give pleasure to him by playing on his lute. Sakra then asked Buddha about forty-two subjects, tracing the questions out with his finger one by one on the rock. The prints of his tracing are still there; and here also there is a monastery.

A yojana southwest from this place brought them to the village of Nala, where Sariputtra was born, and to which also he returned, and attained here his pari-nirvana. Over the spot where his body was burned there was built a tope, which is still in existence.

Another yojana to the west brought them to New Rajagriha—the new city which was built by king Ajatasatru. There were two monasteries in it. Three hundred paces outside the west gate, king Ajatasatru, having obtained one portion of the relics of Buddha, built over them a tope, high, large, grand, and beautiful. Leaving the city by the south gate, and proceeding south four li, one enters a valley, and comes to a circular space formed by five hills, which stand all round it, and have the appearance of the suburban wall of a city. Here was the old city of king Bimbisara; from east to west about five or six li, and from north to south seven or eight. It was here that Sariputtra and Maudgalyayana first saw Upasena [1]; that the Nirgrantha made a pit of fire and poisoned the rice, and then invited Buddha to eat with him; that king Ajatasatru made a black elephant intoxicated with liquor, wishing him to injure Buddha; and that at the northeast corner of the city in a large curving space Jivaka built a vihara in the garden of Ambapali, and invited Buddha with his one thousand two hundred and fifty disciples to it, that he might there make his offerings to support them. These places are still there as of old, but inside the city all is emptiness and desolation; no man dwells in it.

[Footnote 1: One of the five first followers of Sakyamuni. He is also called Asvajit; in Pali Assaji; but Asvajit seems to be a military title, "Master or trainer of horses." The two more famous disciples met him, not to lead him, but to be directed by him, to Buddha.]



CHAPTER XXIX

Fa-Hien Passes a Night on Gridhra-kuta Hill

Entering the valley, and keeping along the mountains on the southeast, after ascending fifteen li, the travellers came to mount Gridhra-kuta. Three li before you reach the top, there is a cavern in the rocks, facing the south, in which Buddha sat in meditation. Thirty paces to the northwest there is another, where Ananda was sitting in meditation, when the deva Mara Pisuna, having assumed the form of a large vulture, took his place in front of the cavern, and frightened the disciple. Then Buddha, by his mysterious, supernatural power, made a cleft in the rock, introduced his hand, and stroked Ananda's shoulder, so that his fear immediately passed away. The footprints of the bird and the cleft for Buddha's hand are still there, and hence comes the name of "The Hill of the Vulture Cavern."

In front of the cavern there are the places where the four Buddhas sat. There are caverns also of the Arhats, one where each sat and meditated, amounting to several hundred in all. At the place where in front of his rocky apartment Buddha was walking from east to west in meditation, and Devadatta, from among the beetling cliffs on the north of the mountain, threw a rock across, and hurt Buddha's toes, the rock is still there.

The hall where Buddha preached his Law has been destroyed, and only the foundations of the brick walls remain. On this hill the peak is beautifully green, and rises grandly up; it is the highest of all the five hills. In the New City Fa-hien bought incense-sticks, flowers, oil and lamps, and hired two bhikshus, long resident at the place, to carry them to the peak. When he himself got to it, he made his offerings with the flowers and incense, and lighted the lamps when the darkness began to come on. He felt melancholy, but restrained his tears and said, "Here Buddha delivered the Surangama Sutra. I, Fa-hien, was born when I could not meet with Buddha; and now I only see the footprints which he has left, and the place where he lived, and nothing more." With this, in front of the rock cavern, he chanted the Surangama Sutra, remained there over the night, and then returned towards the New City.



CHAPTER XXX

Srataparna Cave, or Cave of the First Council

Out from the old city, after walking over three hundred paces, on the west of the road, the travellers found the Karanda Bamboo garden, where the old vihara is still in existence, with a company of monks, who keep the ground about it swept and watered.

North of the vihara two or three li there was the Smasanam, which name means in Chinese "the field of graves into which the dead are thrown."

As they kept along the mountain on the south, and went west for three hundred paces, they found a dwelling among the rocks, named the Pippala cave, in which Buddha regularly sat in meditation after taking his mid-day meal.

Going on still to the west for five or six li, on the north of the hill, in the shade, they found the cavern called Srataparna, [1] the place where, after the nirvana of Buddha, five hundred Arhats collected the Sutras. When they brought the Sutras forth, three lofty seats had been prepared and grandly ornamented. Sariputtra occupied the one on the left, and Maudgalyayana that on the right. Of the number of five hundred one was wanting. Mahakasyapa was president on the middle seat. Ananda was then outside the door, and could not get in. At the place there was subsequently raised a tope, which is still existing.

Along the sides of the hill, there are also a very great many cells among the rocks, where the various Arhans sat and meditated. As you leave the old city on the north, and go down east for three li, there is the rock dwelling of Devadatta, and at a distance of fifty paces from it there is a large, square, black rock. Formerly there was a bhikshu, who, as he walked backwards and forwards upon it, thought with himself:—"This body is impermanent, a thing of bitterness and vanity, and which cannot be looked on as pure. I am weary of this body, and troubled by it as an evil." With this he grasped a knife, and was about to kill himself. But he thought again:—"The World-honored one laid down a prohibition against one's killing himself." [2] Further it occurred to him:—"Yes, he did; but I now only wish to kill three poisonous thieves." Immediately with the knife he cut his throat. With the first gash into the flesh he attained the state of a Srotapanna; when he had gone half through, he attained to be an Anagamin; and when he had cut right through, he was an Arhat, and attained to pari-nirvana, and died.

[Footnote 1: A very great place in the annals of Buddhism. The Council in the Srataparna cave did not come together fortuitously, but appears to have been convoked by the older members to settle the rules and doctrines of the order. The cave was prepared for the occasion by king Ajatasatru.]

[Footnote 2: Buddha made a law forbidding the monks to commit suicide. He prohibited any one from discoursing on the miseries of life in such a manner as to cause desperation.]



CHAPTER XXXI

Sakyamuni's Attaining to the Buddhaship

From this place, after travelling to the west for four yojanas, the pilgrims came to the city of Gaya; but inside the city all was emptiness and desolation. Going on again to the south for twenty li, they arrived at the place where the Bodhisattva for six years practised with himself painful austerities. All around was forest.

Three li west from here they came to the place where, when Buddha had gone into the water to bathe, a deva bent down the branch of a tree, by means of which he succeeded in getting out of the pool.

Two li north from this was the place where the Gramika girls presented to Buddha the rice-gruel made with milk; and two li north from this was the place where, seated on a rock under a great tree, and facing the east, he ate the gruel. The tree and the rock are there at the present day. The rock may be six cubits in breadth and length, and rather more than two cubits in height. In Central India the cold and heat are so equally tempered that trees live for several thousand and even for ten thousand years.

Half a yojana from this place to the northeast there was a cavern in the rocks, into which the Bodhisattva entered, and sat cross-legged with his face to the west. As he did so, he said to himself, "If I am to attain to perfect wisdom and become Buddha, let there be a supernatural attestation of it." On the wall of the rock there appeared immediately the shadow of a Buddha, rather more than three feet in length, which is still bright at the present day. At this moment heaven and earth were greatly moved, and devas in the air spoke plainly, "This is not the place where any Buddha of the past, or he that is to come, has attained, or will attain, to perfect Wisdom. Less than half a yojana from this to the southwest will bring you to the patra tree, where all past Buddhas have attained, and all to come must attain, to perfect Wisdom." When they had spoken these words, they immediately led the way forward to the place, singing as they did so. As they thus went away, the Bodhisattva arose and walked after them. At a distance of thirty paces from the tree, a deva gave him the grass of lucky omen, which he received and went on. After he had proceeded fifteen paces, five hundred green birds came flying towards him, went round him thrice, and disappeared. The Bodhisattva went forward to the patra tree, placed the kusa grass at the foot of it, and sat down with his face to the east. Then king Mara sent three beautiful young ladies, who came from the north, to tempt him, while he himself came from the south to do the same. The Bodhisattva put his toes down on the ground, and the demon soldiers retired and dispersed, and the three young ladies were changed into old grandmothers.

At the place mentioned above of the six years' painful austerities, and at all these other places, men subsequently reared topes and set up images, which all exist at the present day.

Where Buddha, after attaining to perfect Wisdom, for seven days contemplated the tree, and experienced the joy of vimukti; where, under the patra tree, he walked to and fro from west to east for seven days; where the devas made a hall appear, composed of the seven precious substances, and presented offerings to him for seven days; where the blind dragon Muchilinda [1] encircled him for seven days; where he sat under the nyagrodha tree, on a square rock, with his face to the east, and Brahma-deva came and made his request to him; where the four deva kings brought to him their alms-bowls; where the five hundred merchants presented to him the roasted flour and honey; and where he converted the brothers Kasyapa and their thousand disciples;—at all these places topes were reared.

At the place where Buddha attained to perfect Wisdom, there are three monasteries, in all of which there are monks residing. The families of their people around supply the societies of these monks with an abundant sufficiency of what they require, so that there is no lack or stint. The disciplinary rules are strictly observed by them. The laws regulating their demeanor in sitting, rising, and entering when the others are assembled, are those which have been practised by all the saints since Buddha was in the world down to the present day. The places of the four great topes have been fixed, and handed down without break, since Buddha attained to nirvana. Those four great topes are those at the places where Buddha was born; where he attained to Wisdom; where he began to move the wheel of his Law; and where he attained to pari-nirvana.

[Footnote 1: Called also Maha, or the Great Muchilinda. Eitel says: "A naga king, the tutelary deity of a lake near which Sakyamuni once sat for seven days absorbed in meditation, whilst the king guarded him." The account in "The Life of the Buddha" is:—"Buddha went to where lived the naga king Muchilinda, and he, wishing to preserve him from the sun and rain, wrapped his body seven times round him, and spread out his hood over his head; and there he remained seven days in thought."]



CHAPTER XXXII

Legend of King Asoka in a Former Birth

When king Asoka, in a former birth, was a little boy and playing on the road, he met Kasyapa Buddha walking. The stranger begged food, and the boy pleasantly took a handful of earth and gave it to him. The Buddha took the earth, and returned it to the ground on which he was walking; but because of this the boy received the recompense of becoming a king of the iron wheel, to rule over Jambudvipa. Once when he was making a judicial tour of inspection through Jambudvipa, he saw, between the iron circuit of the two hills, a naraka for the punishment of wicked men. Having thereupon asked his ministers what sort of a thing it was, they replied, "It belongs to Yama, [1] king of demons, for punishing wicked people." The king thought within himself:—"Even the king of demons is able to make a naraka in which to deal with wicked men; why should not I, who am the lord of men, make a naraka in which to deal with wicked men?" He forthwith asked his ministers who could make for him a naraka and preside over the punishment of wicked people in it. They replied that it was only a man of extreme wickedness who could make it; and the king thereupon sent officers to seek everywhere for such a bad man; and they saw by the side of a pond a man tall and strong, with a black countenance, yellow hair, and green eyes, hooking up the fish with his feet, while he called to him birds and beasts, and, when they came, then shot and killed them, so that not one escaped. Having got this man, they took him to the king, who secretly charged him, "You must make a square enclosure with high walls. Plant in it all kinds of flowers and fruits; make good ponds in it for bathing; make it grand and imposing in every way, so that men shall look to it with thirsting desire; make its gates strong and sure; and when any one enters, instantly seize him and punish him as a sinner, not allowing him to get out. Even if I should enter, punish me as a sinner in the same way, and do not let me go. I now appoint you master of that naraka."

Soon after this a bhikshu, pursuing his regular course of begging his food, entered the gate of the place. When the lictors of the naraka saw him, they were about to subject him to their tortures; but he, frightened, begged them to allow him a moment in which to eat his mid-day meal. Immediately after, there came in another man, whom they thrust into a mortar and pounded till a red froth overflowed. As the bhikshu looked on, there came to him the thought of the impermanence, the painful suffering and inanity of this body, and how it is but as a bubble and as foam; and instantly he attained to Arhatship. Immediately after, the lictors seized him, and threw him into a caldron of boiling water. There was a look of joyful satisfaction, however, in the bhikshu's countenance. The fire was extinguished, and the water became cold. In the middle of the caldron there rose up a lotus flower, with the bhikshu seated on it. The lictors at once went and reported to the king that there was a marvellous occurrence in the naraka, and wished him to go and see it; but the king said, "I formerly made such an agreement that now I dare not go to the place." The lictors said, "This is not a small matter. Your Majesty ought to go quickly. Let your former agreement be altered." The king thereupon followed them, and entered the naraka, when the bhikshu preached the Law to him, and he believed, and was made free. Forthwith he demolished the naraka, and repented of all the evil which he had formerly done. From this time he believed in and honored the Three Precious Ones, and constantly went to a patra tree, repenting under it, with self-reproach, of his errors, and accepting the eight rules of abstinence.

The queen asked where the king was constantly going to, and the ministers replied that he was constantly to be seen under such and such a patra tree. She watched for a time when the king was not there, and then sent men to cut the tree down. When the king came, and saw what had been done, he swooned away with sorrow, and fell to the ground. His ministers sprinkled water on his face, and after a considerable time he revived. He then built all round the stump with bricks, and poured a hundred pitchers of cows' milk on the roots; and as he lay with his four limbs spread out on the ground, he took this oath, "If the tree do not live, I will never rise from this." When he had uttered this oath, the tree immediately began to grow from the roots, and it has continued to grow till now, when it is nearly one hundred cubits in height.

[Footnote 1: Yama was originally the Aryan god of the dead, living in a heaven above the world, the regent of the south; but Brahmanism transferred his abode to hell. Both views have been retained by Buddhism. The Yama of the text is the "regent of the narakas, residing south of Jambudvipa, outside the Chakravalas (the double circuit of mountains above), in a palace built of brass and iron. He has a sister who controls all the female culprits, as he exclusively deals with the male sex. Three times, however, in every twenty-four hours, a demon pours boiling copper into Yama's mouth, and squeezes it down his throat, causing him unspeakable pain." Such, however, is the wonderful "transrotation of births," that when Yama's sins have been expiated, he is to be reborn as Buddha, under the name of "The Universal King."]



CHAPTER XXXIII

Kasyapa Buddha's Skeleton on Mount Gurupada

The travellers, going on from this three li to the south, came to a mountain named Gurupada, inside which Mahakasyapa even now is. He made a cleft, and went down into it, though the place where he entered would not now admit a man. Having gone down very far, there was a hole on one side, and there the complete body of Kasyapa still abides. Outside the hole at which he entered is the earth with which he had washed his hands. If the people living thereabouts have a sore on their heads, they plaster on it some of the earth from this, and feel immediately easier. On this mountain, now as of old, there are Arhats abiding. Devotees of our Law from the various countries in that quarter go year by year to the mountain, and present offerings to Kasyapa; and to those whose hearts are strong in faith there come Arhats at night, and talk with them, discussing and explaining their doubts, and disappearing suddenly afterwards.

On this hill hazels grow luxuriantly; and there are many lions, tigers, and wolves, so that people should not travel incautiously.



CHAPTER XXXIV

On the Way Returning to Patna

Fa-Hien returned from here towards Pataliputtra, keeping along the course of the Ganges and descending in the direction of the west. After going ten yojanas he found a vihara, named "The Wilderness"—a place where Buddha had dwelt, and where there are monks now.

Pursuing the same course, and going still to the west, he arrived, after twelve yojanas, at the city of Varanasi in the kingdom of Kasi. Rather more than ten li to the northeast of the city, he found the vihara in the park of "The rishi's Deer-wild." [1] In this park there formerly resided a Pratyeka Buddha, with whom the deer were regularly in the habit of stopping for the night. When the World-honored one was about to attain to perfect Wisdom, the devas sang in the sky, "The son of king Suddhodana, having quitted his family and studied the Path of Wisdom, will now in seven days become Buddha." The Pratyeka Buddha heard their words, and immediately attained to nirvana; and hence this place was named "The Park of the rishi's Deer-wild." After the World-honored one had attained to perfect Wisdom, men built the vihara in it.

Buddha wished to convert Kaundinya and his four companions; but they, being aware of his intention, said to one another, "This Sramana Gotama [2] for six years continued in the practice of painful austerities, eating daily only a single hemp-seed, and one grain of rice, without attaining to the Path of Wisdom; how much less will he do so now that he has entered again among men, and is giving the reins to the indulgence of his body, his speech, and his thoughts! What has he to do with the Path of Wisdom? To-day, when he comes to us, let us be on our guard not to speak with him." At the places where the five men all rose up, and respectfully saluted Buddha, when he came to them; where, sixty paces north from this, he sat with his face to the east, and first turned the wheel of the Law, converting Kaundinya and the four others; where, twenty paces further to the north, he delivered his prophecy concerning Maitreya; and where, at a distance of fifty paces to the south, the dragon Elapattra asked him, "When shall I get free from this naga body?"—at all these places topes were reared, and are still existing. In the park there are two monasteries, in both of which there are monks residing.

When you go northwest from the vihara of the Deer-wild park for thirteen yojanas, there is a kingdom named Kausambi. Its vihara is named Ghochiravana—a place where Buddha formerly resided. Now, as of old, there is a company of monks there, most of whom are students of the hinayana.

East from this, when you have travelled eight yojanas, is the place where Buddha converted the evil demon. There, and where he walked in meditation and sat at the place which was his regular abode, there have been topes erected. There is also a monastery, which may contain more than a hundred monks.

[Footnote 1: "The rishi," says Eitel, "is a man whose bodily frame has undergone a certain transformation by dint of meditation and asceticism, so that he is, for an indefinite period, exempt from decrepitude, age, and death. As this period is believed to extend far beyond the usual duration of human life, such persons are called, and popularly believed to be, immortals." Rishis are divided into various classes; and rishi-ism is spoken of as a seventh path of transrotation, and rishis are referred to as the seventh class of sentient beings.]

[Footnote 2: This is the only instance in Fa-hien's text where the Bodhisattva or Buddha is called by the surname "Gotama." For the most part our traveller uses Buddha as a proper name, though it properly means "The Enlightened." He uses also the combinations "Sakya Buddha," which means "The Buddha of the Sakya tribe," and "Sakyamuni," which means "The Sakya sage." This last is the most common designation of the Buddha in China. Among other Buddhistic peoples "Gotama" and "Gotama Buddha" are the more frequent designations.]



CHAPTER XXXV

Dakshina, and the Pigeon Monastery

South from this two hundred yojanas, there is a country named Dakshina, where there is a monastery dedicated to the by-gone Kasyapa Buddha, and which has been hewn out from a large hill of rock. It consists in all of five stories;—the lowest, having the form of an elephant, with five hundred apartments in the rock; the second, having the form of a lion, with four hundred apartments; the third, having the form of a horse, with three hundred apartments; the fourth, having the form of an ox, with two hundred apartments; and the fifth, having the form of a pigeon, with one hundred apartments. At the very top there is a spring, the water of which, always in front of the apartments in the rock, goes round among the rooms, now circling, now curving, till in this way it arrives at the lowest story, having followed the shape of the structure, and flows out there at the door. Everywhere in the apartments of the monks, the rock has been pierced so as to form windows for the admission of light, so that they are all bright, without any being left in darkness. At the four corners of the tiers of apartments, the rock has been hewn so as to form steps for ascending to the top of each. The men of the present day, being of small size, and going up step by step, manage to get to the top; but in a former age they did so at one step. Because of this, the monastery is called Paravata, that being the Indian name for a pigeon. There are always Arhats residing in it.

The country about is a tract of uncultivated hillocks, without inhabitants. At a very long distance from the hill there are villages, where the people all have bad and erroneous views, and do not know the Sramanas of the Law of Buddha, Brahmanas, or devotees of any of the other and different schools. The people of that country are constantly seeing men on the wing, who come and enter this monastery. On one occasion, when devotees of various countries came to perform their worship at it, the people of those villages said to them, "Why do you not fly? The devotees whom we have seen hereabouts all fly"; and the strangers answered, on the spur of the moment, "Our wings are not yet fully formed."

The kingdom of Dakshina is out of the way, and perilous to traverse. There are difficulties in connection with the roads; but those who know how to manage such difficulties and wish to proceed should bring with them money and various articles, and give them to the king. He will then send men to escort them. These will, at different stages, pass them over to others, who will show them the shortest routes. Fa-hien, however, was after all unable to go there; but having received the above accounts from men of the country, he has narrated them.



CHAPTER XXXVI

Fa-Hien's Indian Studies

From Varanasi the travellers went back east to Pataliputtra. Fa-hien's original object had been to search for copies of the Vinaya. In the various kingdoms of North India, however, he had found one master transmitting orally the rules to another, but no written copies which he could transcribe. He had therefore travelled far and come on to Central India. Here, in the mahayana monastery, he found a copy of the Vinaya, containing the Mahasanghika [1] rules—those which were observed in the first Great Council, while Buddha was still in the world. The original copy was handed down in the Jetavana vihara. As to the other eighteen schools, each one has the views and decisions of its own masters. Those agree with this in the general meaning, but they have small and trivial differences, as when one opens and another shuts. This copy of the rules, however, is the most complete, with the fullest explanations. [2]

He further got a transcript of the rules in six or seven thousand gathas, [3] being the sarvastivadah [4] rules—those which are observed by the communities of monks in the land of Ts'in; which also have all been handed down orally from master to master without being committed to writing. In the community here, moreover, he got the Samyuktabhi-dharma-hridaya-sastra, containing about six or seven thousand gathas; he also got a Sutra of two thousand five hundred gathas; one chapter of the Pari-nirvana-vaipulya Sutra, of about five thousand gathas; and the Mahasanghika Abhidharma.

In consequence of this success in his quest Fa-hien stayed here for three years, learning Sanscrit books and the Sanscrit speech, and writing out, the Vinaya rules. When Tao-ching arrived in the Central Kingdom, and saw the rules observed by the Sramanas, and the dignified demeanor in their societies which he remarked under all occurring circumstances, he sadly called to mind in what a mutilated and imperfect condition the rules were among the monkish communities in the land of Ts'in, and made the following aspiration: "From this time forth till I come to the state of Buddha, let me not be born in a frontier-land." He remained accordingly in India, and did not return to the land of Han. Fa-hien, however, whose original purpose had been to secure the introduction of the complete Vinaya rules into the land of Han, returned there alone.

[Footnote 1: Mahasanghika simply means "the Great Assembly," that is, of monks.]

[Footnote 2: It was afterwards translated by Fa-hien into Chinese.]

[Footnote 3: A gatha is a stanza, generally consisting of a few, commonly of two, lines somewhat metrically arranged.]

[Footnote 4: "A branch," says Eitel, "of the great vaibhashika school, asserting the reality of all visible phenomena, and claiming the authority of Rahula."]



CHAPTER XXXVII

Fa-hien's Stay in Champa and Tamalipti

Following the course of the Ganges, and descending eastward for eighteen yojanas, he found on the southern bank the great kingdom of Champa, with topes reared at the places where Buddha walked in meditation by his vihara, and where he and the three Buddhas, his predecessors, sat. There were monks residing at them all. Continuing his journey east for nearly fifty yojanas, he came to the country of Tamalipti, the capital of which is a seaport. In the country there are twenty-two monasteries, at all of which there are monks residing. The Law of Buddha is also flourishing in it. Here Fa-hien stayed two years, writing out his Sutras, and drawing pictures of images.

After this he embarked in a large merchant-vessel, and went floating over the sea to the southwest. It was the beginning of winter, and the wind was favorable; and, after fourteen days, sailing day and night, they came to the country of Singhala. The people said that it was distant from Tamalipti about seven hundred yojanas.

The kingdom is on a large island, extending from east to west fifty yojanas, and from north to south thirty. Left and right from it there are as many as one hundred small islands, distant from one another ten, twenty, or even two hundred li; but all subject to the large island. Most of them produce pearls and precious stones of various kinds; there is one which produces the pure and brilliant pearl—an island which would form a square of about ten li. The king employs men to watch and protect it, and requires three out of every ten pearls which the collectors find.



CHAPTER XXXVIII

At Ceylon—Feats of Buddha—His Statue in Jade

The country originally had no human inhabitants, but was occupied only by spirits and nagas, with which merchants of various countries carried on a trade. When the trafficking was taking place, the spirits did not show themselves. They simply set forth their precious commodities, with labels of the price attached to them; while the merchants made their purchases according to the price; and took the things away.

Through the coming and going of the merchants in this way, when they went away, the people of their various countries heard how pleasant the land was, and flocked to it in numbers till it became a great nation. The climate is temperate and attractive, without any difference of summer and winter. The vegetation is always luxuriant. Cultivation proceeds whenever men think fit: there are no fixed seasons for it.

When Buddha came to this country, wishing to transform the wicked nagas by his supernatural power, he planted one foot at the north of the royal city, and the other on the top of a mountain, [1] the two being fifteen yojanas apart. Over the footprint at the north of the city the king built a large tope, four hundred cubits high, grandly adorned with gold and silver, and finished with a combination of all the precious substances. By the side of the tope he further built a monastery, called the Abhayagiri, where there are now five thousand monks. There is in it a hall of Buddha, adorned with carved and inlaid work of gold and silver, and rich in the seven precious substances, in which there is an image of Buddha in green jade, more than twenty cubits in height, glittering all over with those substances, and having an appearance of solemn dignity which words cannot express. In the palm of the right hand there is a priceless pearl. Several years had now elapsed since Fa-hien left the land of Han; the men with whom he had been in intercourse had all been of regions strange to him; his eyes had not rested on an old and familiar hill or river, plant or tree: his fellow-travellers, moreover, had been separated from him, some by death, and others flowing off in different directions; no face or shadow was now with him but his own, and a constant sadness was in his heart. Suddenly one day, when by the side of this image of jade, he saw a merchant presenting as his offering a fan of white silk; [2] and the tears of sorrow involuntarily filled his eyes and fell down.

A former king of the country had sent to Central India and got a slip of the patra tree, which he planted by the side of the hall of Buddha, where a tree grew up to the height of about two hundred cubits. As it bent on one side towards the southeast, the king, fearing it would fall, propped it with a post eight or nine spans around. The tree began to grow at the very heart of the prop, where it met the trunk; a shoot pierced through the post, and went down to the ground, where it entered and formed roots, that rose to the surface and were about four spans round. Although the post was split in the middle, the outer portions kept hold of the shoot, and people did not remove them. Beneath the tree there has been built a vihara, in which there is an image of Buddha seated, which the monks and commonalty reverence and look up to without ever becoming wearied. In the city there has been reared also the vihara of Buddha's tooth, in which, as well as on the other, the seven precious substances have been employed.

The king practises the Brahmanical purifications, and the sincerity of the faith and reverence of the population inside the city are also great. Since the establishment of government in the kingdom there has been no famine or scarcity, no revolution or disorder. In the treasuries of the monkish communities there are many precious stones, and the priceless manis. One of the kings once entered one of those treasuries, and when he looked all round and saw the priceless pearls, his covetous greed was excited, and he wished to take them to himself by force. In three days, however, he came to himself, and immediately went and bowed his head to the ground in the midst of the monks, to show his repentance of the evil thought. As a sequel to this, he informed the monks of what had been in his mind, and desired them to make a regulation that from that day forth the king should not be allowed to enter the treasury and see what it contained, and that no bhikshu should enter it till after he had been in orders for a period of full forty years.

In the city there are many Vaisya elders and Sabaean merchants, whose houses are stately and beautiful. The lanes and passages are kept in good order. At the heads of the four principal streets there have been built preaching halls, where, on the eighth, fourteenth, and fifteenth days of the month, they spread carpets, and set forth a pulpit, while the monks and commonalty from all quarters come together to hear the Law. The people say that in the kingdom there may be altogether sixty thousand monks, who get their food from their common stores. The king, besides, prepares elsewhere in the city a common supply of food for five or six thousand more. When any want, they take their great bowls, and go to the place of distribution, and take as much as the vessels will hold, all returning with them full.

The tooth of Buddha is always brought forth in the middle of the third month. Ten days beforehand the king grandly caparisons a large elephant, on which he mounts a man who can speak distinctly, and is dressed in royal robes, to beat a large drum, and make the following proclamation: "The Bodhisattva, during three Asankhyeya-kalpas, [3] manifested his activity, and did not spare his own life. He gave up kingdom, city, wife, and son; he plucked out his eyes and gave them to another; he cut off a piece of his flesh to ransom the life of a dove; he cut off his head and gave it as an alms; he gave his body to feed a starving tigress; he grudged not his marrow and brains. In many such ways as these did he undergo pain for the sake of all living. And so it was, that, having become Buddha, he continued in the world for forty-five years, preaching his Law, teaching and transforming, so that those who had no rest found rest, and the unconverted were converted. When his connection with the living was completed, he attained to pari-nirvana and died. Since that event, for one thousand four hundred and ninety-seven years, the light of the world has gone out, and all living things have had long-continued sadness. Behold! ten days after this, Buddha's tooth will be brought forth, and taken to the Abhayagiri -vihara. Let all and each, whether monks or laics, who wish to amass merit for themselves, make the roads smooth and in good condition, grandly adorn the lanes and by-ways, and provide abundant store of flowers and incense to be used as offerings to it."

When this proclamation is over, the king exhibits, so as to line both sides of the road, the five hundred different bodily forms in which the Bodhisattva has in the course of his history appeared:—here as Sudana, there as Sama; now as the king of elephants, and then as a stag or a horse. All these figures are brightly colored and grandly executed, looking as if they were alive. After this the tooth of Buddha is brought forth, and is carried along in the middle of the road. Everywhere on the way offerings are presented to it, and thus it arrives at the hall of Buddha in the Abhayagiri-vihara. There monks and laics are collected in crowds. They burn incense, light lamps, and perform all the prescribed services, day and night without ceasing, till ninety days have been completed, when the tooth is returned to the vihara within the city. On fast-days the door of that vihara is opened, and the forms of ceremonial reverence are observed according to the rules.

Forty li to the east of the Abhayagiri-vihara there is a hill, with a vihara on it, called the Chaitya, where there may be two thousand monks. Among them there is a Sramana of great virtue, named Dharma-gupta, honored and looked up to by all the kingdom. He has lived for more than forty years in an apartment of stone, constantly showing such gentleness of heart, that he has brought snakes and rats to stop together in the same room, without doing one another any harm.

[Footnote 1: This would be what is known as "Adam's peak," having, according to Hardy, the three names of Selesumano, Samastakuta, and Samanila. There is an indentation on the top of it, a superficial hollow, 5 feet 3 3/4 inches long, and 2 1/2 feet wide. The Hindus regard it as the footprint of Siva; the Mohammedans, as that of Adam; and the Buddhists, as in the text—as having been, made by Buddha.]

[Footnote 2: We naturally suppose that the merchant-offerer was a Chinese, as indeed the Chinese texts say, and the fan such as Fa-hien had seen and used in his native land.]

[Footnote 3: A Kalpa, we have seen, denotes a great period of time; a period during which a physical universe is formed and destroyed. Asankhyeya denotes the highest sum for which a conventional term exists—according to Chinese calculations equal to one followed by seventeen ciphers; according to Thibetan and Singhalese, equal to one followed by ninety-seven ciphers. Every Maha-kalpa consists of four Asankhye-yakalpas.]



CHAPTER XXXIX

Cremation of an Arhat—Sermon of a Devotee

South of the city seven li there is a vihara, called the Maha-vihara, where three thousand monks reside. There had been among them a Sramana, of such lofty virtue, and so holy and pure in his observance of the disciplinary rules, that the people all surmised that he was an Arhat. When he drew near his end, the king came to examine into the point; and having assembled the monks according to rule, asked whether the bhikshu had attained to the full degree of Wisdom. They answered in the affirmative, saying that he was an Arhat. The king accordingly, when he died, buried him after the fashion of an Arhat, as the regular rules prescribed. Four or five li east from the vihara there was reared a great pile of firewood, which might be more than thirty cubits square, and the same in height. Near the top were laid sandal, aloe, and other kinds of fragrant wood.

On the four sides of the pile they made steps by which to ascend it. With clean white hair-cloth, almost like silk, they wrapped the body round and round. They made a large carriage-frame, in form like our funeral car, but without the dragons and fishes.

At the time of the cremation, the king and the people, in multitudes from all quarters, collected together, and presented offerings of flowers and incense. While they were following the car to the burial-ground, the king himself presented flowers and incense. When this was finished, the car was lifted on the pile, all over which oil of sweet basil was poured, and then a light was applied. While the fire was blazing, every one, with a reverent heart, pulled off his upper garment, and threw it, with his feather-fan and umbrella, from a distance into the midst of the flames, to assist the burning. When the cremation was over, they collected and preserved the bones, and proceeded to erect a tope. Fa-hien had not arrived in time to see the distinguished Shaman alive, and only saw his burial.

At that time the king, who was a sincere believer in the Law of Buddha and wished to build a new vihara for the monks, first convoked a great assembly. After giving the monks a meal of rice, and presenting his offerings on the occasion, he selected a pair of first-rate oxen, the horns of which were grandly decorated with gold, silver, and the precious substances. A golden plough had been provided, and the king himself turned up a furrow on the four sides of the ground within which the building was to be. He then endowed the community of the monks with the population, fields, and houses, writing the grant on plates of metal, to the effect that from that time onwards, from generation to generation, no one should venture to annul or alter it.

In this country Fa-hien heard an Indian devotee, who was reciting a Sutra from the pulpit, say: "Buddha's alms-bowl was at first in Vaisali, and now it is in Gandhara. After so many hundred years (he gave, when Fa-hien heard him, the exact number of years, but he has forgotten it), it will go to Western Tukhara; after so many hundred years, to Khoten; after so many hundred years, to Kharachar; after so many hundred years, to the land of Han; after so many hundred years, it will come to Sinhala; and after so many hundred years, it will return to Central India. After that, it will ascend to the Tushita heaven; and when the Bodhisattva Maitreya sees it, he will say with a sigh, 'The alms-bowl of Sakyamuni Buddha is come'; and with all the devas he will present to it flowers and incense for seven days. When these have expired, it will return to Jambudvipa, where it will be received by the king of the sea nagas, and taken into his naga palace. When Maitreya shall be about to attain to perfect Wisdom and become Buddha, it will again separate into four bowls, which will return to the top of mount Anna, whence they came. After Maitreya has become Buddha, the four deva kings will again think of the Buddha with their bowls as they did in the case of the previous Buddha. The thousand Buddhas of this Bhadra-kalpa, indeed, will all use the same alms-bowl; and when the bowl has disappeared, the Law of Buddha will go on gradually to be extinguished. After that extinction has taken place, the life of man will be shortened, till it is only a period of five years. During this period of a five years' life, rice, butter, and oil will all vanish away, and men will become exceedingly wicked. The grass and trees which they lay hold of will change into swords and clubs, with which they will hurt, cut, and kill one another. Those among them on whom there is blessing will withdraw from society among the hills; and when the wicked have exterminated one another, they will again come forth, and say among themselves, 'The men of former times enjoyed a very great longevity; but through becoming exceedingly wicked, and doing all lawless things, the length of our life has been shortened and reduced even to five years. Let us now unite together in the practice of what is good, cherishing a gentle and sympathizing heart, and carefully cultivating good faith and righteousness. When each one in this way practises that faith and righteousness, life will go on to double its length till it reaches eighty thousand years. When Maitreya appears in the world, and begins to turn the wheel of this Law, he will in the first place save those among the disciples of the Law left by the Sakya who have quitted their families, and those who have accepted the three Refuges, undertaken the five Prohibitions and the eight Abstinences, and given offerings to the Three Precious Ones; secondly and thirdly, he will save those between whom and conversion there is a connection transmitted from the past.'" [1]

Such was the discourse, and Fa-hien wished to write it down as a portion of doctrine; but the man said, "This is taken from no Sutra, it is only the utterance of my own mind."

[Footnote 1: That is, those whose Karma in the past should be rewarded by such conversion in the present.]



CHAPTER XL

After Two Years Fa-hien Takes Ship for China

Fa-hien abode in this country two years; and, in addition to his acquisitions in Patna, succeeded in getting a copy of the Vinaya-pitaka of the Mahisasakah school; the Dirghagama and Samyuktagama Sutras; and also the Samyukta-sanchaya-pitaka;—all being works unknown in the land of Han. Having obtained these Sanscrit works, he took passage in a large merchantman, on board of which there were more than two hundred men, and to which was attached by a rope a smaller vessel, as a provision against damage or injury to the large one from the perils of the navigation. With a favorable wind, they proceeded eastward for three days, and then they encountered a great wind. The vessel sprang a leak and the water came in. The merchants wished to go to the smaller vessel; but the men on board it, fearing that too many would come, cut the connecting rope. The merchants were greatly alarmed, feeling their risk of instant death. Afraid that the vessel would fill, they took their bulky goods and threw them into the water. Fa-hien also took his pitcher and washing-basin, with some other articles, and cast them into the sea; but fearing that the merchants would cast overboard his books and images, he could only think with all his heart of Kwan-she-yin, and commit his life to the protection of the church of the land of Han, saying in effect, "I have travelled far in search of our Law. Let me, by your dread and supernatural power, return from my wanderings, and reach my resting-place!"

In this way the tempest continued day and night, till on the thirteenth day the ship was carried to the side of an island, where, on the ebbing of the tide, the place of the leak was discovered, and it was stopped, on which the voyage was resumed. On the sea hereabouts there are many pirates, to meet with whom is speedy death. The great ocean spreads out, a boundless expanse. There is no knowing east or west; only by observing the sun, moon, and stars was it possible to go forward. If the weather were dark and rainy, the ship went as she was carried by the wind, without any definite course. In the darkness of the night, only the great waves were to be seen, breaking on one another, and emitting a brightness like that of fire, with huge turtles and other monsters of the deep all about. The merchants were full of terror, not knowing where they were going. The sea was deep and bottomless, and there was no place where they could drop anchor and stop. But when the sky became clear, they could tell east and west, and the ship again went forward in the right direction. If she had come on any hidden rock, there would have been no way of escape.

After proceeding in this way for rather more than ninety days, they arrived at a country called Java-dvipa, where various forms of error and Brahmanism are flourishing, while Buddhism in it is not worth speaking of. After staying there for five months, Fa-hien again embarked in another large merchantman, which also had on board more than two hundred men. They carried provisions for fifty days, and commenced the voyage on the sixteenth day of the fourth month.

Fa-hien kept his retreat on board the ship. They took a course to the northeast, intending to fetch Kwang-chow. After more than a month, when the night-drum had sounded the second watch, they encountered a black wind and tempestuous rain, which threw the merchants and passengers into consternation. Fa-hien again, with all his heart, directed his thoughts to Kwan-she-yin and the monkish communities of the land of Han; and, through their dread and mysterious protection, was preserved to daybreak. After daybreak, the Brahmans deliberated together and said, "It is having this Sramana on board which has occasioned our misfortune and brought us this great and bitter suffering. Let us land the bhikshu and place him on some island-shore. We must not for the sake of one man allow ourselves to be exposed to such imminent peril." A patron of Fa-hien, however, said to them, "If you land the bhikshu, you must at the same time land me; and if you do not, then you must kill me. If you land this Sramana, when I get to the land of Han, I will go to the king, and inform against you. The king also reveres and believes the Law of Buddha, and honors the bhikshus." The merchants hereupon were perplexed, and did not dare immediately to land Fa-hien.

At this time the sky continued very dark and gloomy, and the sailing-masters looked at one another and made mistakes. More than seventy days passed from their leaving Java, and the provisions and water were nearly exhausted. They used the salt-water of the sea for cooking, and carefully divided the fresh water, each man getting two pints. Soon the whole was nearly gone, and the merchants took counsel and said, "At the ordinary rate of sailing we ought to have reached Kwang-chow, and now the time is passed by many days;—must we not have held a wrong course?" Immediately they directed the ship to the northwest, looking out for land; and after sailing day and night for twelve days, they reached the shore on the south of mount Lao, on the borders of the prefecture of Ch'ang-kwang, and immediately got good water and vegetables. They had passed through many perils and hardships, and had been in a state of anxious apprehension for many days together; and now suddenly arriving at this shore, and seeing those well-known vegetables, the lei and kwoh, [1] they knew indeed that it was the land of Han. Not seeing, however, any inhabitants nor any traces of them, they did not know whereabouts they were. Some said that they had not yet got to Kwang-chow, and others that they had passed it. Unable to come to a definite conclusion, some of them got into a small boat and entered a creek, to look for someone of whom they might ask what the place was. They found two hunters, whom they brought back with them, and then called on Fa-hien to act as interpreter and question them. Fa-hien first spoke assuringly to them, and then slowly and distinctly asked them, "Who are you?" They replied, "We are disciples of Buddha." He then asked, "What are you looking for among these hills?" They began to lie,[2] and said, "To-morrow is the fifteenth day of the seventh month. We wanted to get some peaches to present to Buddha." He asked further, "What country is this?" They replied, "This is the border of the prefecture of Ch'ang-kwang, a part of Ts'ing-chow under the ruling House of Ts'in." When they heard this, the merchants were glad, immediately asked for a portion of their money and goods, and sent men to Ch'ang-kwang city.

The prefect Le E was a reverent believer in the Law of Buddha. When he heard that a Sramana had arrived in a ship across the sea, bringing with him books and images, he immediately came to the sea-shore with an escort to meet the traveller, and receive the books and images, and took them back with him to the seat of his government. On this the merchants went back in the direction of Yang-chow; but when Fa-hien arrived at Ts'ing-chow, the prefect there begged him to remain with him for a winter and a summer. After the summer retreat was ended, Fa-hien, having been separated for a long time from his fellows, wished to hurry to Ch'ang-gan; but as the business which he had in hand was important, he went south to the Capital; and at an interview with the masters there exhibited the Sutras and the collection of the Vinaya which he had procured.

After Fa-hien set out from Ch'ang-gan, it took him six years to reach Central India; stoppages there extended over six years; and on his return it took him three years to reach Ts'ing-chow. The countries through which he passed were a few under thirty. From the sandy desert westwards on to India, the beauty of the dignified demeanor of the monkhood and of the transforming influence of the Law was beyond the power of language fully to describe; and reflecting how our masters had not heard any complete account of them, he therefore went on without regarding his own poor life, or the dangers to be encountered on the sea upon his return, thus incurring hardships and difficulties in a double form. He was fortunate enough, through the dread power of the three Honored Ones, to receive help and protection in his perils; and therefore he wrote out an account of his experiences, that worthy readers might share with him in what he had heard and said.

[Footnote 1: What these vegetables exactly were it is difficult to say; and there are different readings of the characters for kwoh, brings the two names together in a phrase, but the rendering of it is simply "a soup of simples."]

[Footnote 2: It is likely that these men were really hunters; and, when brought before Fa-hien, because he was a Sramana, they thought they would please him by saying they were disciples of Buddha. But what had disciples of Buddha to do with hunting and taking life? They were caught in their own trap, and said they were looking for peaches.]



THE SORROWS OF HAN

[Translated into English by John Francis Davis]



INTRODUCTION

"The Sorrows of Han" is considered by Chinese scholars to be one of the largest tragedies in the whole range of the Chinese drama, which is very voluminous. Although, properly speaking, there are no theatres in China, the Chinese are passionately fond of dramatic representations. Chinese acting is much admired and praised by travellers who are competent to follow the dialogue. The stage is generally a temporary erection improvised in a market-place, and the stage arrangements are of the most primitive character; no scenery is employed, and the actors introduce themselves in a sort of prologue, in which they state the name and character they represent in the drama. They also indicate the place where they are in the story, or the house which they have entered. Yet the Chinese stage has many points in common with that of Ancient Greece. It is supported and controlled by government, and has something of a religious and national character, being particularly employed for popular amusement in the celebration of religious festivals. Only two actors are allowed to occupy the stage at the same time, and this is another point in common with the early Greek drama. The plots or stories of the Chinese plays are simple and effective, and Voltaire is known to have taken the plot of a Chinese drama, as Moliere took a comedy of Plautus, and applied it in writing a drama for the modern French stage. "The Sorrows of Han" belongs to the famous collection entitled "The Hundred Plays of the Yuen Dynasty." It is divided into acts and is made up of alternate prose and verse. The movement of the drama is good, and the denouement arranged with considerable skill.

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