Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

of existence (limited existence), by removal of which we arrive at
Nirvana (what is called Nirvana).
(2) But if all things are real,

Then how can we remove
Birth and death, real existence,

And so arrive at Nirvana ? This section argues that we cannot destroy that which has in itself real existence, and therefore, if all things have this real being, we cannot remove Birth and Death, and so arrive at Nirvana : therefore, neither by the theory of “Bhava,” nor by the theory of “Sunyata” (emptiness), can we arrive at the just idea of Nirvana. (3) That which is not striven for, or "obtained,"

That which is not “for a time," or eternal,”
That which is not born, nor dies,

This is that which is called Nirvana. “Not to be striven for," that is, in the way of religious action (acharya), and its result (fruit).

“Not obtained” (or “arrived at ”), that is, because there is no place or point at which to arrive. "Not for a time” (or not by way of interruption [per saltum]);

" for the five skandas having been from the time of complete enlightenment proved to be unreal, and not part of true existence, then on entering final Nirvana (anupadisesha Nirvana)—What is there that breaks or interrupts the character of previous existence ?

"Not for ever," or "everlasting,” for if there were something to be obtained that admitted of distinctions whilst in the possession of it, then we might speak of an eternal Nirvana ; but as in the condition of silent extinction (Nirvâna) there can be no properties to distinguish, how can we speak of it as "everlasting"?

And so with reference to Birth and Death.
Now that which is so characterized is what we call Nirvana.

Again, there is a Sûtra which says, “Nirvana is the opposite of Being' and not Being;' it is the opposite of these two combined; it is the opposite of the absence of · Being,' and the absence of *not Being

“So, in short, that which admits of no conditions such as are attached to limited existence; that is Nirvana.”

(4) Nirvâna cannot be called “ Bhava;”

For if so, then it admits of old age and death,
In fact, both “ Being” and “Not Being” are phenomena,

And therefore are capable of being deprived of characteristics. This means that as all things which the eye beholds are seen to begin and to end, and this is what the Slôka calls “Life” and “Death” (or birth and death); now if Nirvana is like this, then it would be possible to speak of removing these things and so arriving at something fixed: but here is a plain contradiction of terms—for Nirvana is supposed to be that which is fixed and unchangeable. (5) If Nirvana is Bhava (existent),

Then it is personal;
But, in fact, that which cannot be individualized

Is spoken of as “not personal.” This means that as all phenomenal existence comes from cause and consequent production, therefore all such things are rightly called “personal.” (6) If Nirvana be Bhava,

Then it cannot be called “without sensation" (anuvedana);
For non-Being comes not from sensation,

And by this obtains its distinct name. This means that as the Sûtras describe Nirvâna as being “without sensation" (anuvedana), it cannot be Bhava; for then abhava would come from sensation. But now it will be asked if Nirvana is not Bhava, then that which is “not Bhava" (abhava), surely this is Nirvana. To this we reply(7) If Nirvâna be not Bhava,

Much less is it nothing (abhava);
For if there be no room for “Being,”

What place can there be for “Not Being"? This means that “not Being" is the opposite of “Being.” If, then, • Being" be not admissible, how can we speak of “ Not Being"? (its opposite). (8) If, again, Nirvana is Nothing,

How is it called "without sensation"? (anuvedana)
For it would be wonderful indeed if everything not capable of

sensation
Were forthwith spoken of as Nothing.

you

[ocr errors]

If, then, Nirvâna be neither “Being" nor “Non-Being," what

"
is it?
(9) By participation in cause and effect

Comes the wheel of continual existence,
By non-participation in cause and effect

Comes Nirvana. As by knowing a thing to be straight we also know that which is crooked, so by the knowledge of the elements of finite existence comes the knowledge of continual life and death. Do away with those, and do away

also with the other.
(10) As Buddha says in the Sûtra,

Separate “Being,” separate “Not Being,"
This is Nirvana,

The opposite of “Being,” the opposite of “Not Being." “Being" here alludes to the three worlds of finite existence. The absence of these three worlds is “not Being." Ged rid of both these ideas, this is Nirvana. But it may now be asked, if Nirvana is not "Being" and if it is not "absence of Being"—then perhaps it is the intermixture of the two. (11) If it is said that “Being” and “Not Being,"

By union, produce Nirvana,
The two are then one;

But this is impossible. Two unlike things cannot be joined so as to produce one different from either. (12) If it is said “Being” and “Not Being,"

United, make Nirvana,
Then Nirvana is not “ without sensation";

For these two things involve sensation.
(13) If it is said “Being” and “ Not Being,”

United, produce Nirvana,
Then Nirvana is not Impersonal;

For these two things are Personal.
(14) “Being” and “Not Being," joined in one,

How can this be Nirvana ?
These two things have nothing in common.
Can Darkness and Light be joined ?

[ocr errors]

(15) If the opposite of "Being" and "Not Being”

Is Nirvana,
These opposites-

How are they distinguished ? (16) If they are distinguished,

And so, by union, become Nirvana,
Then that which completes the idea of “Being” and “Not

Being,”
Also completes the idea of the opposite of both.
(17) Tathâgata, after his departure,

Says nothing of “Being" and "Not Being";
He says not that his “Being” is not, or the opposite of this.

Tathagata says nothing of these things or their opposites. “The question of Nirvana sums itself up in this, that whether past, or present, or to come, it is one and the same condition of nonsensational existence. Tathâgata is ever the same; if he be removed, then Nirvana itself becomes a mere fancy.

“ The conclusion of the whole matter is, that Nirvana is identical with the nature of Tathāgata, without bound, and without place or time."

From this Section of the Tchong-lun we can understand the character of the entire work. It advocates the theory that the true condition of Being (Nirvana), or the nature of Tathagata, is to be found in the conciliation of differences. Neither Eternal, or non-Eternal, personal, or impersonal—but above and beyond all such verbal limitations.

Fo-shwo-chen-tseu-king.

For : vid. 128 Jul. Meth., as in Kauçambi.

Compare Fa-hian cap. xxxviii. E, 1E, *, Q. It is evident this is the Sâma Jâtaka.

Sâma is said (E.M. 275) to have been the son of the hermit Dukhula.

In the Ramayana he is called Serwan. Talboys Wheeler, vol. ii. p. 159, n.

The incident is illustrated in the Sanchi Sculptures. Tree and Serpent Worship, pl. xxxvi.

:

It is the 37th Sûtra in the compilation known as King-tsang yoshwo.

Thus have I heard. Buddha was once residing in the country of Pi-lo-lah, with a company of 1,250 Bhikshus, and a congregation of Bodhisatwas, ministers, householders, and devout women without number. Having on a certain occasion held a meeting, Buddha addressed the Bhikshus thus: “When my mind and senses are thus thoroughly composed—then I am able to look back through all time, and see all that happened from the first moment I began to acquire the merit of a holy life (Bodhisatwa's conduct)." Ananda having requested Buddha to enter on this subject, he continued: “In ages gone by there was a certain Bodhisatwa, called Yah-tsai-mia-hing, conspicuous for his universal love and charitable conduct. Dwelling in the Tusita Heaven, there instructing the Devas, he every day at three periods of the day looked throughout the ten regions to see what was the advance of goodness or crime amongst men; and whatever piety there was on the part of child to parent, or in other relationships, he by his divine sight detected it at once.

"At this time in the Ka-i (Kasi) country there was an old man who had no child, and both he and his wife were blind. They desired to become hermits. Then the Bodhisatwa thought thus: This man, being blind, desires to become a recluse, and he will inevitably fall into all kinds of dangers and perils. I will myself become his son. On this, the Bodhisatwa’s days in Tusita having come to an end, descended to earth, and was born in the house of the blind couple. And now they were filled with joy, and doated on their child, and were resolved to continue in the world, and not become solitary hermits.

“When the child was ten years old, they called him Chen-tseu (Sâma-putra). He was a most dutiful child, and practised the ten moral virtues incessantly—not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to deceive (K'i), not to drink wine, not to lie, not to slander, not to envy, not to hold heretical views, and always day and night to serve and honour his parents. And in every

he was gentle and complacent to all around him, and was the joy of his parents' life. After arriving at the age of ten, Sâma bowed down at his parents' feet, and said, “Dear parents, I wish to become a recluse, and to give up the world; would that you would permit me so to do, and accompany me into the solitary mountains, that we might there

other way

« PreviousContinue »