Page images

mmortal's Deer. Since the time when the Honourable of the Age ccomplished the Law, the men of later ages have constructed a hapel in this place.

Foě, desiring to convert, from among the five men, Keou lin Kauņdinya), these five men said among themselves: "For siz ears this Cha men (Sramaņa) Kiu tan (Gautama) has practised isterities ; eating, daily, only one hemp-seed and one grain of rice; nd he has not yet been able to obtain the law. À fortiori, when ne lives in the society of men, and gives one's self up to one's ody, mouth, and thoughts, how could one accomplish the doctrine ? Then he comes to-day, let us be careful not to speak to him.” Then 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 own, and began to turn the Wheel of the Law. From


the ve men he converted Keou lin (Kauņļinya), Twenty paces to ne north is the spot where Foš recounted his history to Mi le Maitreya). Fifty paces thence, to the south, is the place where the ragon I lo po asked Foě: “In what space of time shall I be able

obtain deliverance from this dragon's body?” At all these spots ney have raised towers, among which are two seng kia len (sanghama, or monasteries), in which are devotees.



Narrative of Hiouen Thsang. Translated by myself, from the Mémoires

sur les Contrées Occidentales de Hiouen Thsangof M. Stanislas Julien, translator of the original Chinese work. Vol. i., pp. 353-376.


(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.


On hearing these words, the other three, sighing, exclaimed: “He was on the point of putting the seal to his merits; but now he holds back. For six years he devoted himself to penance; and in one day he has lost the fruit of it."

Thereupon, one after the other, they made quest for him. The two first, on seeing them, sate down in a suitable place, and conversed together in a grave and loud tone. Then, resuming their discourse, they spoke as follows: "Some time ago, we saw I-tsie-;tch'ing (Sarvárthasiddha) leave the palace of the king, and betake himself to a desert valley; strip off his costly garments, and cover himself with a deer's skin ; exhibit burning zeal, and put forth energetio efforts ; lead a chasto life, and torment himself in spirit, in search of the sublime Law, and for the acquisition of the supreme recompense. But, behold, he has already to-day accepted, from the hand of a young cowherdess, à dish of rice and milk. He has destroyed the germ of knowledge, and frustrated his project. We see, now, that he will succeed in nothing.

The two others said to them: “How is it, sirs, that you have been 80 slow in perceiving this ? He behaves like a fool Formerly, he dwelt in the recesses of the palace, and lived happily in the most honourable and glorious rank. Unable to subdue his will, he went and concealed himself far away, upon the mountains and in the woods. He renounced the throne of King Chakravartin (Tch'ouenlun-wang), to lead the life of a vile and abject man. Is he worthy to be thought of more ? In speaking about him, the heart is wrung with sadness."

In the meantime, the Pou-sa (the Bodhisattwa), having bathed in the river Ni-lien (Nairanjaná), and having sate down under the Pou-ti (Bodhidruna) tree, arrived at perfect knowledge, and was surnamed Master of gods and men. He remained immovable and taciturn, thinking only of discovering those who deserved to be saved. “This son of 'Yo-t'eou-lan," said he, “has devoted himself to meditation which excludes all thought (Naivasanjná samadhi). He is worthy of receiving the excellent Law.”

The Devas who traverse the air announced to him this intelli.

1 This word is incorrect. It should be Yo-to-lo-mo-tseu (Udra, son of Ráma).

« PreviousContinue »