« PreviousContinue »
the natives,—thirty native presses in Madras, and I know not how many in Bombay and Ceylon, and twenty-five presses among the missions alone. It has established schools in all parts of the land, in which those sciences are taught that undermine the prevailing systems of superstition and error. It has made the English language classical in the country; and, by this means, it is furnishing the native mind with the rich and Christian stores of which that noble tongue is the medium. It has protected missionaries of Christ, and their converts.
“Look, then, at this great Peninsula, linked to the continent and the world by its languages, commerce, and religions; source of the false faiths which, together, ensnare six hundred millions of the human race, and the stronghold of a delusion that blinds a hundred and eighty millions more
There are more Mohammedans under Victoria's sceptre than under any other on earth.
The Sultan has but twenty-one millions ; she has twenty-five millions, at least. There are more heathen under the same Christian Queen than under any sovereign except the Emperor of China. And this mass is, all through and through, and more and more, subjected to Christian influences. The telegraphs are so many ganglia in a great nervous system, diffusing new sensations; the railways are so many iron arteries, pumping Christian blood through the native veins; the newspapers are so many digestive powers, preparing healthful moral food; the schools are so many batteries, thundering at the crumbling battlements of error; the missions are many brains, thinking new and better thoughts.
“Knowledge must be diffused through the earth. We know two things more, namely, that our religion can withstand modern science, and make it tributary to itself, and that no other religion can; for every other faith has linked its science with its doctrines, so that they must both fall together. As to take Paris is to take France, and to take Sebastopol is to shake Russia to the Arctic seas, and to take Richmond is to shake out the rebels of the United States from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, so to Christianize India, owing to its key position in heathendom, is to shake out the idols from the face of the whole earth.”
Narrative of Fă Hian, concerning his visit to Benares and Sárnáth.
Extracted from the Foě Kouě Ki, by MM. Rémusat, Klaproth, and Landresse. Paris, 1836. Ch. xxxiv., pp. 304, 305.
Fă Hian, on his way back to Pa lian foě (Páțaliputra), followed 3 the river Heng (Ganges) westward. After ten yeou yans (about seventy miles), he came to a temple entitled Vast Solitude. It is one of the stations of Foě (Buddha). There are devotees there at this day. Still following, for twelve yeou yans, the course of the river Heng, towards the west, he reached the city of Pho lo naï (Benares), in the kingdom of Kia chi (Káśí). Ten lis to the northeast of the city, one comes to the temple located in the Park of the Immortal's Deer. This Park was, of yore, the abode of a Pỹ tchi foě (Pratyeka-Buddha): deer constantly repose in it. When the Honourable of the Age was on the point of accomplishing the Law, the gods sang, in the midst of the enclosure : “The son of King Pě tsing (Suddhodana) has embraced a religious life; he has studied the doctrine; and, in seven days, he will become Foč." tchi foě, having heard this, assumed Ni houan (Nirvana). It is on this account that this place is called the Garden of the Plain of the 1 At page
I have promised Mr. Laidlay's translation of the passage in question ; but it has seemed preferable, on some accounts, to substitute that here given.
2 His point of departure was Buddha-Gaya.
3 The French is “descended.” Perhaps this word was chosen to denote, that, in passing along the Ganges from Buddha-Gaya to Benares, one's direction is rather southerly than northerly.
Immortal's Deer. Since the time when the Honourable of the Age accomplished the Law, the men of later ages have constructed a chapel in this place.
Foč, desiring to convert, from among the five men, Keou lin (Kauņdinya), these five men said among themselves : “For six years this Cha men (Sramaņa) Kiu tan (Gautama) has practised austerities; eating, daily, only one hemp-seed and one grain of rice; and he has not yet been able to obtain the law. À fortiori, when one lives in the society of men, and gives one's self up to one's body, mouth, and thoughts, how could one accomplish the doctrine ? When he comes to-day, let us be careful not to speak to him.” When Foě drew near, the five men rose, and did homage to him.
Sixty paces to the north of this spot, Foe, facing the east, sate down, and began to turn the Wheel of the Law. From among the five men he converted Keou lin (Kaundinya), Twenty paces to the north is the spot where Foě recounted his history to Mi lě (Maitreya). Fifty paces thence, to the south, is the place where the dragon I lo pò asked Foě : “In what space of time shall I be able to obtain deliverance from this dragon's body?” At all these spots they have raised towers, among which are two seng kia len (sangháráma, or monasteries), in which are devotees.
Narrative of Hiouen Thsang. Translated by myself, from the "Mémoires
sur les Contrées Occidentales de Hiouen Thsang” of M. Stanislas Julien, translator of the original Chinese work. Vol. i., pp. 353-376.
KINGDOM OF P’O-LO-NI-SSE.
(Váránasi). The kingdom of P'o-lo-ni-sse (Váránasí, Benares) is about four thousand lis (667 miles)' in circuit. To the west, near the Ganges, is the capital, which is from eighteen to nineteen lis (three miles and upwards) long, and from five to six lis (about one mile) broad. The villages lie very near together, and contain a numerous population. Families of very great wealth, whose houses are stored with rare and precious things, are to be seen. The people are gentle and polished, and esteem most highly men given to study. The greater portion of them believe in the heretical doctrines [Hinduism]; and few revere the Law [religion] of Buddha. The climate is temperate, grain is abundant, the fruit-trees are luxuriant, and the earth is covered with tufted vegetation. There are thirty [Buddhist] monasteries, containing about three thousand devotees, who, all, study the principles of the school Tching-liang-pou (the school of the Sammatiyas), which holds to the Minor Vehicle. There
Taking the common reckoning of six lis to the mile. M. St. Martin assigns only five lis to the mile.
According to M. Julien, whose explanation is based on a Chinese Dictionary, the Buddhists recognize Five Vehicles, that is to say, five means, used by as many classes of eminent men, for the attainment of beatification.