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One until the Blessed One shall elucidate to me, either that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal... or that the saint exists or does not exist after death,'-that person would die, Mālunkyāputta, before the Accomplished One had ever elucidated this to him.

"The religious life, Mälunkyäputta, does not depend on the dogma that the world is eternal, nor does the religious life depend on the dogma that the world is not eternal. Whether the dogma obtains, that the world is eternal, or that the world is not eternal, there still remain birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair, for the extinction of which in the present life I am prescribing.""

Thus again it is nothing but a sign of the surpassing wisdom of the Buddha, that of the ocean of wisdom wherein he had plunged, he only has communicated just as much as is necessary to save us from our desperate situation; anything more would only distract our mind from the great goal of concentrating all our forces upon this salvation.

But of course the four excellent truths do not exhaust all truths, as the Buddha acknowledges. Naturally he admits all verities the human mind has ever found and may still find. Some of them he even incorporates into his teaching, e. g. the doctrine of reincarnation, simply because they are true! "That of which the wise declare that it does not exist in the world, that I also declare not to exist; and what the wise declare to exist in the world, that I also declare to exist." 12 But just because these verities were known to mankind apart from him, and might well have been discovered without a "Perfectly Awakened One," he does not acknowledge them as distinguishing points in his doctrine. What he has given to mankind is something entirely unique, something it might never obtain again through any other man with the exception of another Perfectly Awakened One, it is "that doctrine that is peculiar to the Awakened Ones.”

Certainly mankind itself, in its greatest representatives, has gained deep insight into suffering, into its origin, annihilation, and the way leading to this annihilation. Since the fact of suffering dominates the whole cosmos as well as the life of every single being, it would be quite incomprehensible, if this were not the case. But these were only But these were only single glimpses of light, only partial insights that could lead to no decisive results. This holds good of the modern philosophy of Schopenhauer, who, like no other European, has shown the essence of all life to consist in suffering, but who has not been able to find the way and the bridge leading out of suffering. Not less does it hold good of the ancient Upanishads, which in their greatness are only surpassed by the Buddha's doctrine. But they too fall below it inasmuch as they do not make the fact of suffering their only content, do not see suffering always and everywhere, and therefore do not know a clearly visible way to its complete annihilation.

The Buddha thus brings immediately before our consciousness as does no other, the principal and cardinal problem of our life, how to escape suffering and, above all, the suffering of death. But he does more: he promises us its solution in the highest possible form of certitude, that is, by the awakening of our own direct cognition. His doctrine is, first, free from every wrapping of a mythological or allegorical character, such as is peculiar to religions. "As if there were somewhere near a village or a town a big sal tree, and in the changing season, there fell leaves and twigs down from it, there fell branches and bark and greenwood, so that later on it was free from leaves and twigs, free from branches and bark, consisting of kernel wood only,-even so here the exposition of Lord Gotama is free from leaves and twigs, free from branches and bark, consisting of pure kernel wood." 9914

Then, next, the Buddha rejects every kind of theorising:

"The Accomplished One is free from every theory, for he has seen," he says of himself. 15 Not even with logical conclusions which in one way or another forsake immediate perception does the Buddha concern himself. The sole criterion of truth for him is, and always remains, one's own, immediate, intuitive apprehension of truth. It is only the self-evident consequence of this standpoint, that he does not claim any belief in his own purely descriptive exposition of the things he says he knows by his direct perception; and that he even admonishes his disciples to accept nothing, even from himself, simply on good faith, but to accept only as fact what they themselves have beheld. "Now, ye monks, thus knowing, thus perceiving, will ye speak thus: 'We hold the Teacher in reverence and what we say is only said out of reverence for the Teacher?""-"Nay, verily, Lord.”— "Then, monks, what you say is only what you yourselves have recognised, what you yourselves have comprehended, what you yourselves have understood, is it not so?"—"It is even so, Lord."-"Well said, monks! Given are ye, my monks, to this Teaching, the clearly visible, the timeless, the all-inviting, which is to be understood by every reasonable man.' And further on: "Do not believe, O Bhaddiya, in hearsay, nor in traditions, nor in rumours, nor in the word handed down, nor in purely logical conclusions, nor in external semblance, nor because of agreement of anything with the views you cherish and approve of, nor because of your own thinking of anything that it is true. Neither shall you think: "The ascetic, the Buddha himself, is my teacher,' but if you, Bhaddiya, yourself, gain the insight: Such things are evil, such things lead to misfortune and suffering: then you may reject them."" Especially does he often warn against holding any transmitted dogmas of belief; because "one may remember well or may remember badly." 18 In the same manner he compares believers to "a row of blind

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men chained together, of whom not one, of the first, nor of the middle, nor of the last, sees anything."19 Particular warning he also gives against trusting to the speculations of any speculating philosopher, for such an one "may philosophize well or philosophize badly." Only our own immediate insight is of value; and the Buddha's doctrine itself also has value only in so far as it makes this our own insight possible. "And the Teacher expounds the Teaching, more and more deeply, more and more highly, in all its divisions obscure and clear. According as the Teacher proceeds to expound the Teaching to the monk, more and more deeply, more and more highly, in all its divisions obscure and clear, so, penetrating ever further into the Teaching, he arrives at certitude as respects point after point in the Teaching. Wheresoever, disciples, for such reasons, upon such grounds, through such tokens, faith is fixed on the Accomplished One, has struck root, is settled fast, such, disciples, is called reasonable faith, faith grounded in sight, firm, not to be shaken by any ascetic or recluse or god or devil or by any one whatsoever in all the world. In this wise, disciples, is the Teaching tried in respect of the Accomplished One. In this wise also is the Accomplished One well tried in respect of the Teaching." "Not directly at the beginning, ye disciples, may certainty be attained; but gradually striving, gradually struggling, striding on pace by pace, certainty is attained. But how, gradually striving, gradually struggling, striding on pace by pace, is certainty attained? There, ye monks, a man full of trust comes near. Having come near, he associates. Associating, he listens. With open ears he hears the Teaching. Having heard the Teaching, he retains it. Having retained the sentences, he contemplates their content. Contemplating their content, the sentences give him insight. As the sentences give insight to him, he approves them. Approving them, he weighs them. Having


weighed them, he works, and because he works earnestly, he in his own person realizes the supreme truth, and, wisely penetrating, beholds it face to face." 22

According to this, the Buddha only asks one thing from his disciples, namely, the treading of the way shown by himself, upon which one may oneself win the intuitive apprehension of truth. This minimum of trust, to try, at least once, the way shown by him to the discovery of truth, even he cannot omit, but as anima candida, as a man who obviously has no selfish purpose in view, he may certainly demand it. But this minimum of trust, entirely indispensably in the world, once given to him, and the way shown be him and described by him with the accuracy of an ordnance map, once entered upon, all the rest follows of itself. Very soon the foretold glimpses of light and undivined results will appear, one after the other, like the stations a traveller on a road reaches one after the other; thus the faith first given will change into unshakeable certainty as to the correctness of that part of the way not yet accomplished. "Whoever, ye monks, is a worldly master who deals with worldly things, even such an one is not treated like a merchant or a dealer, by people saying of him: 'Thus we want it, then we will try; if we cannot get it thus, we do not want to try.' How much more, O disciples, the Accomplished One, who is entirely free from worldly matters! To the trusting follower, to the follower training himself in the Master's Order with earnest zeal, the confidence dawns: Master is the Accomplished One, his disciple am I; the Accomplished One knows, I do not know. To the trusting disciple, to the disciple who trains himself in the Master's Order with earnest zeal, the Master's Order imparts itself, refreshing and precious; in him the confidence dawns: Let skin and tendons and bones shrivel up within my body, let flesh and blood dry up: whatever may be

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