« PreviousContinue »
each of them containing a statue of Buddha, in embossed gold. In the centre of this Vihára stands a statue of Buddha, in Teou-chi (brass). It has exactly the height of Jou-laï (the Tathágata), who is represented turning the Wheel of the Law [i.e., preaching].
To the south-west of the Vihára is a stone Stúpa, erected by king Wou-yeou (Asoka). Although its base is embedded in the earth, it has about a hundred feet of elevation. In front of this monument, a stone column has been set up, some seventy feet high. The stone is smooth as jade, and shines like a mirror. Those who pray fervently discern in it a multitude of figures ; on all occasions, every one sees there images that answer to his virtues or his vices. It was at this spot that Jou-lai (the Tathagata), after having attained to perfect knowledge, began to turn the Wheel of the Law.
The Stúra on the side of the aforesaid marks the place where 'O-jo-kiao-tch'in-jou ('Ajnáta Kauņdinya), etc. [the uther companions of Buddha), having seen the Pou-sa (the Bodhisattwa) relinquish his austerities, suddenly desisted from following him and from watching over his safety. Having arrived at this place, they gave themselves up to meditation.
The Stupa on the side of that last-mentioned occupies the site where five hundred Pratyeka-Buddhas (To-kio) entered Nie-pan (Nirváņa) together. There are, also, three other Stúpas. The three last Buddhas reposed on that spot, and there walked for exercise.
To the side of the place where the three Buddhas walked for exercise there is a Stupa. It was there that Mei-ta-li-ye-pou-sa (Maitreya Bodhisattwa) received a prediction announcing that he should attain to Buddhahood. Of yore, when Jou-lai (the Tathágata) was at Rájagņiha (Wang-che-tching), on [Mount] Vulture-Peak (Gridhrakúța), he addressed the Pi-tsou (Bhikhshus) as follows: “In coming ages, when the inhabitants of this island of Tchen-pou shall have become just and upright, and when men shall attain a longevity of eighty thousand years, a Po-lo-men (Brahman) child named T'se-chi (Maitreya) will be born there. His body will be of the colour of the purest gold, and will shed abroad a lustrous radiance. He will renounce his family, will attain to superior knowledge (Paramabodhi), and, at three great synods, will expound the Law for the behoof of all men. Those whom he will convert and save are the numerous mortals to whom I have bequeathed my Law, in order to conduct them to happiness. To the Three Jewels' they will, with their whole heart, pay profound reverence. Whether they remain with their families or quit them, whether they observe the precepts or transgress them, all will have the happiness of being converted and guided to good; all will obtain the fruit of Bodhi, and final deliverance. · By explaining the Law in the three great Synods, he will save the disciples to whom I have bequeathed my Law. Subsequently, he will conrert their virtuous friends who have the same vocation.
“At that moment, T''se-chi-pou-sa (Maitreya Bodhisattwa), having heard these words of Buddha, rose from his seat, and said to Buddha: *I desire to become this Honourable of the Age, under the name of T'se-chi (Maitreya).' Then Jou-lai (the Tathagata) spoke to him as follows: Agreeably to the wish you have just expressed, you shall see this fruit, face to face, (that is, you shall become that Buddha). What I have just declared will be owing to the influence of your instructions.''
To the west of the place where T'se-chi-pou-sa (Maitreya Bodhi. sattwa) received this prediction, there is a Stúpa. It was there that Chi-kia-pou-sa (Sákya Bodhisattwa) received, likewise, a prediction. In the Age of the Wise (Bhadrakalpa), when the life of man lasted for twenty thousand years, Kia-ye-po-fo (Káśyapa Buddha) appeared in the world. He turned the Wheel of the excellent Law, converted mortals, and received from Hou-ming-pou-sa (Prabhápála (?) Bodhisattwa) the following prediction : "This Pou-sa (Bodhisattwa), in the ages to come, at the time when the life of man shall last for a hundred years, will obtain the dignity of Buddha, under the name of Chikia-meou-ni (Sakya Muni).
A short distance from the place where Chi-kia-pou-sa (Sákya Bodhisattwa) received this prediction, to the south, are ancient stone seats, erected on the spot where the four last Buddhas walked for exercise. They are about fifty paces in length, and seven feet in height, and consist of blue stones. A statue of Jou-lai (the Tathágata), in the attitude of walking, is placed there. Its body surpasses human stature; and its entire appearance exhibits an imposing majesty. From the top of the fleshy cone which projects from the head, flows a mass of waving hair. Celestial prodigies are seen there, and the divine power displays itself with effulgence.
1 In Sanskrit, triratna or ratnatraya. These, on the authority of M. Julien, are Buddha, the Visible Communion of Saints, and the Law.
Within the enclosure of the monastery-walls is a multitude of sacred monuments. There are several hundred Viháras and Stúpas. We notice only two or three ; for it would be difficult to describe them in detail
West of the walls of the Seng-kia-lan (Sangháráma, monastery), is a reservoir of pure and limpid water, about two hundred paces in circuit. Here Jou-laï (the Tathágata) formerly bathed.
A little further to the west is a great reservoir, one hundred and eighty paces in circuit. Here Jou-lai (the Tathagata) washed his devotee's water-pot.
A little further to the north is another reservoir, one hundred and fifty paces in circuit. Here Jou-lai (the Tathagata) washed his garment. These three reservoirs are haunted by dragons. The water is deep, sweet to the taste, pure, and transparent. It never either increases or diminishes. When men of proud hearts come to bathe in these reservoirs, the Kin-pi-lo (Kumbhíras, alligators) destroy a great number of them; but, should a pious person come, he may draw water without any fear.
On the side of the reservoir where the Buddha washed his garments is a large square stone, on which may be seen the marks of the Kiacha (Kásháya, brown vestment) of Jou-lai (the Tathagata). The threads of the cloth have a brilliant hue, and stand out distinctly, as if they were carved. Men animated with a sincere faith come here, daily, to offer their adoration. But, should heretics or evil-doers trample on this stone contemptuously, the king-dragon, who lives in this reservoir, at once unchains the winds and the rain.
A short distance from these reservoirs is a Stúpa. In ancient times, when Jou-lai (the Tathágata) was leading the life of a Pou-sa (Bodhisattwa), and was a king of elephants, armed with six tusks, a hunter, wishing to carry off these valuable ivories, clothed himself, craftily, with a Kia-cha (Kásháya, or devotee's brown garment), bent his bow, and awaited his prey. The king of the
The hind, sighing, replied: "Our king has no tenderness. I am to die on the first day.” She went and told her distress to the Bodhisattwa, king of the deer. The king of the deer said to her: “ What a matter for grief ! As an affectionato mother, you extend your kindness even to a being not yet born. Very well! I will take your place to-day."
He repaired, at once, to the gate of the king. The people along the road carried the news, saying, in a loud voice: “This great king of the deer is on his way, at this moment, to the city." The inhabitants of the capital-alike magistrates and common people, hastened, emulously, to see him.
The king was loth to credit this news ; but, when the warder of the palace-gate announced it to him, at last he believed it. Then, addressing the king of the deer, he asked him: “Why have you come here all of a sudden ?” · The deer answered: “There is a hind who ought to die ; but she carries a little one that has not yet seen the light of day. As I cannot permit this evil, I venture to offer myself to die in her stead.”
At these words the king sighed, and said: “I am a deer, with a human body; and you are a man, with the body of a deer.” Thereupon, he gave all the deer their freedom, and no longer wished that they should sacrifice their lives for him. In consequence of this circumstance, he gave up that forest to the deer, and called it the forest given to the deer, from which came the name of the Deer. Forest (Mrigadáva).
From two to three lis [about half a mile] to the south-west of the monastery is a Stúpa, about three hundred feet in height. It is a large and lofty monument, resplendent with the most rare and precious materials. As it has no storeyed niches, there has been placed (on its summit) a kind of devotee's water-pot, inverted. Although this Stupa is surmounted by an arrow, it is not crowned by a bell-shaped cupola.
At its side is a small Stúpa. It was at this place that 'O-jo-kiaotch'in-jou (Ajnáta Kaundinya) and others, to the number of five, departed from their compact,' and advanced to meet Buddha." Originally, the prince royal So-p'o-ho-la-tha-si-tho (Sarvártha
1 The compact was, not to accost Buddha