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conspicuous merit. “The Admonition to Râhula concerning Falsehood, uttered by our Lord Buddha,” has been restored to us, thanks to the activity of Professor Beal. It occupies two pages of the Chinese Dhammapada. “The Supernatural Powers of the Masters” and “The Terrors of the Future” can
” scarcely be considered by Dr. Rhys Davids generic titles of large groups of the "original Pâli” Scriptures, because he has so often pointed out to us that the distinctive feature of those Scriptures is that they ignore "supernatural powers” and “the future" altogether.
“ The Question of Upatishya” had reference to the acquisition of the amțita, the “ food of immortality.” 1 Upatishya is a name of Śâriputra, Buddha's chief disciple. This, again, could scarcely be a felicitous motto for a large section of volumes which deny immortality altogether. “The Question of Upatishya” and Buddha's answer to it occupy leaf forty-one and leaf fifty of the Tibetan Dulvâ. Far from there being a sacred literature four times as voluminous as the Bible at the date of Asoka, it is possible that up to his date there were no holy books at all.
I will now briefly consider the rites, the symbols, the cosmology, etc., and some of the holy books of Buddhism, to see what light they throw on the great
change of front effected by the movement entitled the Great Vehicle. And on account of its factitious importance at the present moment, I will consider chiefly the literature of Ceylon.
BUDDHAGHOSA'S CONDENSATION OF THE LALITA
An analysis of the Lalita Vistara seems to show portions due to at least three distinct schools, and, I may add, periods of Buddhism.
1. When Brahma was recognized as the Supreme God.
2. When Śâkya Muni had been promoted to the rank of Supreme God.
3. The Buddhism of “the Carriage that drives to the Great Nowhere."
It is patent that in its main lines and framework the Lalita Vistara is an allegory, exhibiting a fallible man working up from the lower to the divine life. It is not pretended that he is without sin :
“I have known the lusts of man, O charioteer, and my joy is fled !”
In the Chinese Life of Wung Puh there is a picturesque expression that the prince revelled in the
“five dusts ;” and if the story means anything, its main purpose is to show how a mortal, subject to the chief miseries of existence—age, disease, and deathcan find a mode of escape. Much ingenuity of alteration has been shown by later Buddhists, but the ribs and backbone of the story have proved too stout for them.
The historical Buddha was a Brahmacharin. To know Brahma was the main object of these solitary mystics; and in the Lalita Vistara is much that is in harmonious keeping with such an historical character. Buddha constantly alludes to the "world of Brahma and to Nirvâņa, as if the two ideas were synonymous in his mind. Before his last birth he was in the heaven Tusita, the sixth of the Devaloka, and therefore the nearest, according to Brahmin ideas, to the indestructible heaven of the immortal spirits, the Brahma heaven. The prince is constantly described as being well versed in the “way of Brahma." He is “eminently raised by his prayers.” In the great competition for pretty Gopâ he excels all rivals in his knowledge of theology and worship, and also in “ "joining his hands in prayer.” He certainly prays to Him of the Ten Hundred Eyes before riding away through the Gate of Benediction ; and it is to be observed that Brahma is the title given to the father when Buddha as the Golden Germ is in the womb
of his mother. And finally, in the great crisis of Buddha's struggle with the Wicked One, the ascetic invokes Brahma, and at once the hellish legions are dispersed. An important subtlety has to be noticed here. All the influences that push the prince along the higher pathway are from spirit-land. The king, the court, the pious priests, and even poor Gopâ, all mortals, persistently attempt an opposite urging. And in the Lalita Vistara these unseen guides all belong to the Brahma heavens; and a moment's reflection shows that this subtlety was a logical necessity to the original author of the allegory. None of the denizens of earth and of the six lower heavens had attained the great spiritual enlightenment; and the prince, having reached the Tuśita heaven, was as instructed as they. The Southern Canon, by banishing the ministering Jinas and Buddhas of the Northern Lalita Vistara, has completely stultified the whole original story. It was a mighty conflict between two great camps, the indestructible heaven of the immortal spirits and the domain of Kâma or Eros, whence the prominence given to the erotic principle in the struggle.
To one who holds that Buddhism started as a pure atheism, this question of Brahma is vital. In the Buddhist books there are two Brahmas—one a kind of body-servant to Buddha, and the other the supreme