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It is said, according to one Indulged in every delight, the legend, that on the day of Sakya's boy nevertheless grew weary birth were born also the daughter the pomp and pleasures of his of a neighbouring king, Yasõdara father's court. (who, when the pair had reached It appears from the Laws of their seventeenth year, became his Manu that it was not unusual in wife), and Ananda, who after the the earliest times of Brahmanism prince became accepted as a Buddha, for such as sought a superior life accompanied him as pupil and to turn hermits and to live secluded friend. If the story be true, the in the forest, engaged in the study three friends, bound on a mission of the Vedas, in abstinence, medi. from the worlds of spirits to “as- tation, and prayer.
The young sume a human form and to be prince's preceptors foretold that born in the earth," must have he would become a recluse. He started with a wonderful sympathy himself appears to have enterof impulse to time their simulta- tained a larger idea than that of neous arrival here so exactly. mere seclusion, and to have
Sakya-muni, it is said, early dis- awakened to the belief that he was tinguished himself by his qualities to stand forth among his fellowboth intellectual and personal. men in the capacity of a saviour. This statement is probable enough, To the king it came as a great for an Englishman (the late R. C. grief when his son, in the flower Childers), writing nearly twenty- of his youth and the splendid five centuries after the time of the worldly promise of his fine faculinfluence of the Buddha, says that ties of body and mind and his " to those who are familiar with princely accomplishments, began to the Pali sacred books, nothing is shew signs of that rare unworldli. more striking than the intense per- ness that marks the spiritual man. sonality of Gautama.”
The youth was no doubt for a The Scythians gave to their kings long time going through deep the title of “universal ruler,” and experiences, and preparing for the were probably known as the lion transition that was to withdraw among nations, if it is of them that him once and for ever from the the words were said, “ The lion is career of one of his rank, to a life come up from his thicket, and the shared in its externals at least by destroyer of nations has moved his the mendicant and the anchorite. camp." (Jerem. iv. 6.) The legend He was married and had one of Gautama's bi is that the child, a son named Rohula. Everyflower (Ficus glomerata) appeared thing external betokened the likewhich is fabled to manifest itself lihood of the usual settling down whenever one of the order of uni. from the fleeting enthusiasms of versal monarchs is born; and that youth to the shorter views of he himself uttered with his “ lion
average mature life. But the voice," “ My births are now at an spirit moved him too strenuously end ; I await the unchangable body. for this, and the evils of the world, I have come and gone for the sal- which the most of us accept as a vation of all men, but now there is matter of course, pressed upon the an end ; henceforth, there shall be keen sensibilities of the prophetic no more birth."
nature, and forced the youth's The child grew up to learn all heart and brain into some attempt the wisdom of the age, and the at a solution of the problem of chivalric skill and grace of a prince mortal life. of good family.
The received account of his own
personal final conversion from the the robe of those dedicated to gay routine of a prince's life to religion, of few wants and no the arduous career of a seeker devouring anxieties or ambitions. after truth, is no doubt a Here, in an air full of mortality picturesque and artistically com- and sorrow, in a state in which posed romance founded on facts. pleasures are fleeting, and nothing
Mounted in his chariot, drawn truly permanent or stable, was a by four white steeds, Prince man who seemed to have given up Sakya was on his way to his all, and to live in a world from pleasure grounds, when his mind which care was removed. became drawn into serious thought He pondered the matter. There by the appearance of a decrepit could be nothing permanent but old man, grey-haired and toothless, truth, the absolute eternal law that tottering feebly along by the aid regulated existence. Let me but of a staff. The reflections aroused discover that, he felt, and I shall by this sight were none other than know the way of lasting peace for mournful, since man's subjection mankind, and become their deto decay is evidenced no less in liverer. the palace than in the highway, He decided to go out from his though it may be more nakedly life and never to return to it, until manifest in humble life, where he should have attained to the there are no artifices for hiding sight of this divine law of life. So the ravages of time.
he quitted the palace and his Four months later, Sakya’s im- native city, left behind him his pressions were deepened by en wife and child, and, in spite of the countering, while on a similar opposition of his father, his wife, excursion to his pleasure gardens, and his friends, exchanged the a poor squalid wretch smitten position of a prince for that of a with the horrible disease of leprosy. mendicant friar. Some would He returned again to the palace, think this an inhuman way of only to brood over the fact that beginning wisdom; but it was man is not only subject to a natural done for humanity, and, if he had decay of old age, but to loathsome not made such a complete change disease as well.
in his own life, the enervating Four months more elapsed, and influences of the palace (for it was Sakya met on the same route a not only father, wife, and child corpse being conveyed along by its that he was leaving) might have bearers. He returned with the insensibly overpowered the efforts conviction so heightened that it of the young man whose course became as a new and startling eventually affected the religious revelation; that man, no matter beliefs of half the human race. his station, is subject to decay, to So Sakya went forth on his disease, and to inevitable death. wanderings in search of absolute So came to his mind the sense of truth. On his journey he cut off the vanity of what is existent, his long hair. with the tiara of however well disguised by wealth royalty still attached to it, and and luxury and the conventional donned the three simple garments habits of life and modes of of the friar, with the begging pot, regarding it.
razor, sewing needle, and bathing Again a period of four months, cloth, which comprised the appointand he met a calm and cheerful ments of the homeless ascetic. recluse of a pleasant countenance, He was pursuing the orthodox healthy, well and simply clad in plan of retirement and purification.
Far away from home he begged, in after dieting himself on a scanty the conventional manner, for alms allowance of seeds, and so reducing and food, and retiring with the his body to a skeleton, he concluded broken scraps that had been cast that physical prostration, or any into his begging pot, he seated but a rational treatment of the himself in a retired place, and, body, was attended with debility facing the east, ate without loath of the will and no elevation of the ing (for his purpose and passion mind; and, as the path of perfecwere strong) his first mendicant tion evidently did not lie that way, meal, so different from the re- he rejected the system of mortificapasts to which he had been accus- tion of the flesh. tomed.
The years of privation had no He resorted for instruction, as doubt brought this fruit, that they was natural, to the Brahman had tested his earnestness and priests, and hearkened to the expo- enabled him to vanquish any tensition of their doctrines, but found dency to luxury or selfishness that little satisfaction therein ; for to his nurture in a palace might have him, in his ardent state, they pro- implanted in him. bably seemed cold and abstract. But being satisfied that Buddha
As there are traditional records hood was not to be reached through of Buddhas antecedent to Sakya, depravation of the body, but fragments of whose speech is incor- through
through enlightenment of the porated with orthodox Buddhist mind, he resumed his ordinary pilscriptures, we may suppose it grimages as a friar, and his simple possible that the works of these but sufficient fare. On proper diet earlier prophets were accessible to and a less unnatural mode of life he the new seeker after wisdom, and regained both his bodily strength that what he may have studied and mental vigour, but was demeant more to him than it did to serted by the disciples who had those of the learned class of the been attracted by the amazing Brahmans who were without his extreme of austerity which he had enthusiasm.
reached. As he pursued his pilgrimage he He now passed some time alone in acquired from certain Brahmans his hermitage, or under divers trees, instruction in the faculty of silent thinking out the problems which abstraction and contemplation of had disturbed him, and absorbed the Supreme Being, but could not in deep meditation. Temptations obtain from them the peace and
assailed him, but his principles certainty he sought-that deep enabled him to withstand them, interior tranquillity which, as it is even the cowardly terrors of the said, was at that time already called Demon of Death. Nirvana.
Somehow his philosophy came Finding that by contemplation to him, with the solid conviction he arrived no nearer at the bodhi for which he had longed. He was or Buddhahood of which he was in enabled to penetrate into the first search, he devoted himself to the principles of things, as it seemed, vanquishment of Nature or con- and so to lay the foundation of a crete matter. Although not regard practicable plan of life. ing as an end the austerities that “Having attained this inward subdue the force of the sense life, certainty of vision, he decided he spent six years in study and the to teach the world his truth. practice of the utmost extremes of He knew well what it would starvation and penance. At length, bring him,—what opposition, in.
sult, neglect, and scorn. But he transmigrations and ever unsatisthought of three classes of men : fied unrest, these doctrines, prothose who were already on the way claimed without ceremony were to the truth, and did not need intelligible to all. Women were him ; those who were already enrolled as disciples, and no man fixed in error, and whom he could was refused because he was a not help; and the poor doubters, pariah of the lowest caste. “ The uncertain of their way. It was to
Brahman is born of a woman, so is help these last that the Buddha the outcast
My law is a went forth to preach."
law of grace for all. My doctrine In himself he felt freed from the is like the sky. There is room for limitations of corporeal existence, all without exception-men, women, but for the sake of promoting the boys, girls, poor and rich.” This emancipation of others, he did not was a renovation of a truth propass away into his higher state, claimed long before. “The man but directed his steps to the Deer who has learned to recognise all Park at Sarnath, where he unfolded beings in the supreme spirit and his principles, and first to those to the supreme spirit in all beings, whom he had been an offence by henceforth look upon, no his departure from his course of creature with contempt: (Isaconsummate austerity. As they had Upanishad). followed him for his transcendent It matters little whether the mortification of the flesh, so it is new teacher obtained hints of his to be presumed that they were now philosophy from Brahman or Jain. attracted by the supremacy of his His true legacy was the infusion wisdom. In three months' kindly of a new earnestness into religion, instruction he succeeded in convert- so that one of the epithets that ing them.
has become attached to him, or to After this he preached in many any true follower of his, is, “ He places, in forests and groves, in that hath life.' palaces, by rivers, in gardens, in His doctrines all led in one cities. He visited Benares, and direction-conduct. Knowing how finally settled in the Jetavana at much happier we are ourselves in Sravasti, where a monastery was our earnest and unselfish moments built for him. His followers rapidly than when we are drifting down increased; he taught, by conver- the heavy stream of ennui, or sation only and precept, to the end seeking for a new pleasure with of his life, which reached the span an over-pleasured, enfeebled, and of eighty years.
yet feverish taste, we need not Disciples had clustered round wonder at the influence gained by in great numbers in these latter a man who had power to really Fears, and wherever the preacher rouse his hearers out of apathy went there followed him a crowd. and formality into vitality, or even A general proclamation of the into a wholesome fear, and could powerlessness of the world of sense succeed in stimulating them out of to satisfy the soul, a simple code of indulgence into conviction that in deeply-founded morality, a con- the abandonment of selfish purtinuous appeal to the law of suits lay the certain way peace; kindness to all living things, an while, on the other hand, the entire disregard of caste and con- poorest person by becoming a stoic tempt for social distinctions as may win an individual conscioustrivialities in the face of the great ness of power. Buddha did not danger of continuance in wearisome expect anxieties to be laid down
at once; he told his disciples that right road to emancipation. Of progress was gradual. What he the simpler, and therefore in all succeeded in impressing upon them probability the real teachings of was that by adhering to the paths Buddha, we will give instances in he pointed out they were on the a concluding paper.