Page images

“ 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."

[ocr errors]



Narrative of Hian, concerning his visit to Benares and Sárnáth.

Extracted from the Foč 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 (Pátaliputra), followed 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 (Kási). 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 På tsing (Suddhodana) has embraced a religious life; he has studied the doctrine; and, in seven days, he will become Foě.” The Př tchi foë, having heard this, assumed Ni houan (Nirvana). It is on this account that this place is called the Garden of the Plain of the 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.

1 At page 231 supra, 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-Gaye

The French is "descended." Perhaps this word was chosen to denote, that, in passing along the Ganges from Baddha-Gaya to Benares, one's direction is rather southerly than northerly.


Foě, 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, Foě, facing the east, sate down, and began to turn the Wheel of the Law. From among the five men he converted Keou lin (Kauņdinya), 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.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

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.


(Váránast). The kingdom of P'o-lo-ni-sse (Váráņasí, 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 lio 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.

are a hundred temples of the (Hindu) gods, and about ten thousand heretics [Hindus], who, for the most part, worship the god Ta-tseuthsai (Maheswara Deda). Some cut off the hair, others reserve a tuft upon the crown of the head, go naked, and are destitute of any kind of clothing (the Nirgranthas). Some besmear their bodies with ashes (the Pasupatas), and zealously practise severe austerities, in order to obtain release from life and death, (that is, from transmigration].

In the capital there are twenty temples of the (Hindu) gods.? Towers of many storeys are seen there; and magnificent chapels, constructed of stone, skilfully carved, and of richly painted wood. Umbrageous trees cover them with their shade; and streams of olear water flow in all directions. The statue of the god (Mahoswara Deva), in Teou-chi (brass), is little less than a hundred feet in height. Its aspect is grave and majestic; and, at sight of it, one is filled with respectful awe, as if it were, indeed, alive.

To the north-east of the capital, and to the west of the river of Po'-lo-ni-886 (Váráņasí, that is, the Ganges), is a Stúpa (or sacred tower), built by king Wou-yeou (Asoka), about one hundred feet high. A stone column stands over against it, of blue colour, bright as a mirror, and of a highly polished surface, in which one may always discover the shadow of Jou-laï (the Tathagata).

Passing on about ten lis north-east from the river of Pop-lo-ni-888 (Váráņasí), he reached the Monastery of the Deer Park (Mrigadáva), which is divided into eight sections, and is entirely surrounded by walls. There you see balustrades and two-storeyed pavilions, of admirable construction. The devotees of whom there are as many as fifteen hundred-study the doctrine of the school Tching-liang pori, holding to the Minor Vehicle. In the midst of the walled enclosure is a Vihara, two hundred feet in height, surmounted by an 'An-mo-lo (Amra, or mango), wrought in embossed gold. The foundations and stairs are of stone. All round the monument there are a hundred rows of niches, made of brick, arranged one above another,

1 This shows that the hundred temples, with the "ten thousand heretics' attached to them, comprised the number in the entire kingdom of Benares. In like manner, the thirty (Buddhist) monasteries,' with their three thousand occupants, refer not merely to the city, but to the whole kingdom, the city included.

« PreviousContinue »