Now the Blessed One thought:  “To whom shall I preach the  doctrine

first?   My old teachers are dead.   They would have received the good

news with joy.   But my five disciples are still alive.  I shall go to

them, and to them shall I first proclaim the gospel of deliverance.” 1

At that time the five bhikkhus dwelt in the Deer Park at  Benares,

and the Blessed One rose and journeyed to their abode, not thinking of

their unkindness in having left him at a time when he was most in need

of  their sympathy and help,  but mindful only of the  services  which

they had ministered unto him,  and pitying them for austerities  which

they practised in vain.                                              2

Upaka,  a  young  Brahman and a Jain,  a  former  acquaintance  of Siddhattha,  saw the Blessed One while he journeyed to  Benares,  and, amazed at the majesty and sublime joyfulness of his appearance,  said:

“Thy  countenance,  friend,  is  serene;  thine eyes  are  bright  and

indicate purity and blessedness.”                                    3

The  Holy  Buddha replied:  “I have obtained  deliverance  by  the

exinction of self.  My body is chastened, my mind is free from desire,

and  the deepest truth has taken abode in my heart.   I have  obtained

Nirvana,  and this is the reason that my countencance is serene and my

eyes  are  bright.  I now desire to found the kingdom  of  truth  upon

earth,  to  give light to those who are enshrouded in darkness and  to

open the gate of deathlessness.”                                     4

Upaka replied:  “Thou professest then,  friend,  to be  Jina,  the

conqueror of the world, the absolute one and holy one.”              5

The Blessed One said:  “Jinas are all those who have conquered self

and  the passions of self,  those alone are victors who control  their

minds and abstain from evil.  Therefore, Upaka, I am the Jina.”      6

Upaka shook his head.   “Venerable Gotama,” he said,  “thy way lies

yonder,” and taking another road, he went away.                      7


On  seeing their old teacher approach,  the five  bhikkhus  agreed

among  themselves not to salute him,  nor to address him as a  master,

but by his name only.  “For,” so they said, “he has broken his vow and

has abandoned holiness.   He is no bhikkhu but Gotama,  and Gotama has

become  a man who lives in abundance and indulges in the pleasures  of

worldliness.”                                                        1

But when the Blessed One approached in a  dignified  manner,  they

involuntarily rose from their seats and greeted him in spite of  their

resolution.   Still  they called him by his name and addressed him  as

“friend Gotama.”                                                     2

When they had thus received the Blessed One,  he said: “Do not call

the  Tathagata by his name nor address him as ‘friend,’ for he is  the

Buddha,  the Holy One.   The Buddha looks with a kind heart equally on

all  living  beings,   and  they  therefore  call  him  ‘father.’   To

disrespect a father is wrong; to despise him, is wicked.             3

“The Tathagata,” the Buddha continued,  “does not seek salvation in

austerities,  but  neither does he for that reason indulge in  worldly

pleasures,  nor live in abudance.   The Tathagata has found the middle

path.                                                                4

“There are two extremes, O bhikkhus, which the man who has given up

the world ought not follow - the habitual practice,  on the one  hand,

of  self-indulgence  which  is unworthy,  vain and fit  only  for  the

worldly-minded  - and the habitual practice,  on the  other  hand,  of

self-mortification, which is painful, useless and unprofitable.      5

“Neither  abstinance from fish or  flesh,  nor  going  naked,  nor

shaving  the head,  nor wearing matted hair,  nor dressing in a  rough

garment, nor covering oneself with dirt, nor sacrificing to Agni, will

cleanse a man who is not free from delusions.                        6

“Reading the Vedas,  making offering to priests,  or sacrifices  to

the gods,  self-mortification by heat or cold,  and many such penances

performed  for the sake of immortality,  these do not cleanse the  man

who is no free from delusions.                                       7

“Anger,  drunkenness,  obstinacy,  bigotry,  deception, envy, self-

praise,  disparaging  others,  superciliousness  and  evil  intentions

constitute uncleanness; not verily the eating of flesh.              8

“A middle path,  O bhikkhus,  avoiding the two extremes, discovered

by  the  Tathagata  -  a path  which  opens  the  eyes,  and  bestowes

understanding,  which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to

full enlightenment, to Nirvana!                                      9

“What is that middle path, O bhikkhus, avoiding these two extremes,

discovered  by  the Tathagata - that path which opens  the  eyes,  and

bestows  understanding,  which leads to peace of mind,  to the  higher

wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana?                          10

“Let me teach you,  O bhikkhus,  the middle path, which keeps aloof

from  both extremes.   By suffering,  the emanciated devotee  produces

confusion  and  sickly thoughts in his  mind.   Mortification  is  not

condusive even to worldly knowledge;  how much less to a triumph  over

the senses!                                                         11

“He who fills the lamp with water will not dispel the darkness, and

he who tries to light a fire with rotten wood will fail.   And how can

any one be free from self by leading a wretched life,  if he does  not

succeed  in  quenching the fires of lust,  if he still  hankers  after

either worldly or heavenly pleasures.   But he in whom self has become

extinct is free form lust; he will desire neither worldly nor heavenly

pleasures,  and the satisfaction of his natural wants will not  defile

him.  However, let him be moderate, let him eat and drink according to

the needs of the body.                                              12

“Sensuality is enervating; the self-indulgent man is a slave to his

passions, and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar.             13

“But to satisfy the necessities of life is not evil.   To keep  the

body in good health is a duty,  for otherwise we shall not be able  to

trim the lamp of wisdom,  and keep our mind strong and  clear.   Water

surrounds the lotus-flower, but does not wet its petals.            14

“This is the middle path,  O bhikkhus,  that keeps aloof from  both

extremes.”                                                          15

And the Blessed One spoke kindly to his disciples, pitying them for

their  errors,  and pointing out the uselessness of their  endeavours,

and  the ice of ill-will that chilled their hearts melted  away  under

the gentle warmth of the Master’s persuasion.                       16

Now  the  Blessed  One set the wheel of  the  most  excellent  law

rolling,  and he began to preach to the five bhikkhus, opening to them

the gate of immortality, and showing them the bliss of Nirvana.     17

   The Buddha said:                                                 18

“The spokes of the wheel are the rules of pure conduct:  justice is

the  uniformity  of their length;  wisdom is  the  tire;  modesty  and

thoughtfulness  are  the hub in which the immovable axle of  truth  is

fixed.                                                              19

“He  who recognizes the existence of  suffering,  its  cause,  its

remedy, and its cessation has fathomed the four noble truths.  He will

walk in the right path.                                             20

“Right  views  will  be  the  torch  to  lilght  his  way.   Right

aspirations  will be his guide.   Right speech will be  his  dwelling-

place  on  the  road.   His gait will be straight,  for  it  is  right

behaviour.   His  refreshments  will be the right way of  earning  his

livelihood.   Right  efforts  will be his steps;  right  thoughts  his

breath;  and right contemplation will give him the peace that  follows

in his footprints.                                                  21

“Now, this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering: 22

“Birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful,

death is painful.   Union with the unpleasant is painful,  painful  is

separation  from the pleasant,  and any craving that  is  unsatisfied,

that too is painful.   In brief,  bodily conditions which spring  from

attachment are painful.                                             23

“This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering.24

“Now this,  O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the origin of

suffering:                                                          25

“Verily, it is that craving which causes the renewal of existences,

accompanied  by sensual delight,  seeking satisfaction now  here,  now

there,  the craving for the gratifiaction of the passions, the craving

for a future life, and the craving for happiness in this life.      26

“This,  then,  O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the origin

of suffering.                                                       27

   “Now  this,   O  bhikkhus,  is  the  noble  truth  concerning  the

destruction of suffering:                                           28

“Verily,  it is the destruction,  in which no passion  remains,  of

this very thirst;  it is the laying aside of, the being free from, the

dwelling no longer upon this thirst.                                29

“This,  then,  O  bhikkhus,  is  the noble  truth  concerning  the

destruction of suffering.                                           30

“Now this,  O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the way which

leads  to  the  destruction of  sorrow.   Verily!  it  is  this  noble

eightfold path; that is to say:                                     31

“Right views;  right aspirations;  right speech;  right  behaviour;

right   livelihood;   right  effort;   right   thoughts;   and   right

contemplation.                                                      32

“This,  then,  O  bhikkhus,  is  the noble  truth  concerning  the

destruction of sorrow.                                              33

“By the practice of loving kindness I have attained liberation  of

heart,  and  thus  I am assured that I shall never return  in  renewed

births. I have even now attained Nirvana.”                          34

And the Blessed One had thus set the royal chariot-wheel of  truth

rolling onward, a rapture thrilled through all the universes.       35

The devas left their heavenly abodes to listen to the sweetness  of

the  truth;  the saints that had parted form life crowded  around  the

great  teacher to receive the glad tidings;  even the animals  of  the

earth felt the bliss that rested upon the words of the Tathagata:  and

all  the creatures of the host of  sentient  beings,  gods,  men,  and

beasts, hearing the message of deliverance, received and understood it

in their own language.                                              36

And when the doctrine was propounded,  the venerable Kondannya, the oldest  one  among the five bhikkhus,  discerned the  truth  with  his mental eye,  and he said:  “Truly, O Buddha, our Lord, thou hast found the  truth!”  Then the other bhikkhus too,  joined him and  exclaimed:

“Truly, thou art the Buddha, thou hast found the truth.”            37

And the devas and saints and all the good spirits of the  departed

generations that had listened to the sermon of the Tathagata, joyfully

received the doctrine and shouted: “Truly, the Blessed One has founded

the kingdom of righteousness.  The Blessed One has moved the earth; he

has set the wheel of Truth rolling,  which by no one in the  universe,

be he god or man,  can ever be turned back.  The kingdom of Truth will

be preached upon earth;  it will spread; and righteousness, good-will,

and peace will reign among manking.”                                38


Having  pointed out to the five bhikkhus  the  truth,  the  Buddha

said:                                                                1

“A man that stands alone,  having decided to obey the truth, may be

weak and slip back into his old ways.   Therefore,  stand ye together,

assist one another, and strengthen one another’s efforts.            2

“Be like unto brothers;  one in love,  one in holiness,  and one in

your zeal for the truth.                                             3

“Spread the truth and preach the doctrine in all quarters  of  the

world, so that in the end all living creatures will be citizens of the

kingdom of righteousness.                                            4

“This is the holy brotherhood; this is the church, the congregation

of  the saints of the Buddha;  this is the Sangha that  establishes  a

communion among all thse who have taken their refuge in the Buddha.” 5

And  Kondannya  was  the first disciple  of  the  Buddha  who  had

thouroughly  grasped the doctrine of the Holy One,  and the  Tathagata

looking  into his heart said:  “Truly,  Kondannya has  understood  the

truth.”   Hence  venerable  Kondannya  received  the  name   “Annyata-

Kondannya,” that is, “Kondannya who has understood the doctrine.”    6

Then the  venerable Kondannya spoke to the Buddha and said:  “Lord,

let us receive the ordination from the Blessed One.”                 7

   And  the Buddha said:  “Come,  O bhikkhus!   Well  taught  is  the

doctrine.  Lead a holy life for the extinction of suffering.”        8

Then  Kondannya and the other bhikkhus uttered three  times  these

solemn vows:                                                         9

“To the Buddha will I look in faith:  He,  the Perfect One, is holy

and  supreme.   The  Buddha conveys to  us  instruction,  wisdom,  and

salvation;  he is the Blessed One,  who knows the law of being;  he is

the Lord of the world,  who yoketh men like oxen,  the Teacher of gods

and men,  the Exalted Buddha.  Therefore, to the Buddha will I look in

faith.                                                              10

“To  the  doctrine will I look  in  faith;  well-preached  is  the doctrine by the Exalted One.   The doctrine has been revealed so as to become visible; the doctrine is above time and space.  The doctrine is not based upon hearsay, it means ‘Come and see’; the doctrine leads to welfare;  the doctrine is recognized by the wise in their own  hearts.

Therefore to the doctrine will I look in faith.                     11

“To  the  community will I look in faith;  the  community  of  the

Buddha’s  disciples instructs us how to lead a life of  righteousness;

the   community of the Buddha’s disciples teaches us how  to  exercise

honesty and justice;  the community of the Buddha’s disciples shows us

how  to practise the truth.   They form a brotherhood in kindness  and

charity,  and their saints are worthy of reverence.   The community of

the  Buddha’s disciples is founded as a holy brotherhood in which  men

bind  themselves together to teach the behests of rectitude and to  do

good.  Therefore, to the community will I look in faith.”           12

And the gospel of the Blessed One increased from day to  day,  and

many  people  came to hear him and to accept the  ordination  to  lead

thenceforth a holy life for the sake of the extinction of suffering.13

And the Blessed One seeing that it was impossible to attend to  all

who wanted to hear the truth and receive the ordination, sent out from

the number of his disciples such as were to preach the Dharma and said

unto them:                                                          14

“The Dharma and the Vinaya proclaimed by the Tathagata shine  forth

when they are displayed, and not when they are concealed.  But let not

this doctrine,  so full of truth and so excellent, fall into the hands

of  those unworthy of it,  where it would be despised  and  condemned,

treated shamefully, rediculed and censured.                         15

“I now grant you,  O bhikkhus,  this permission.  Confer henceforth

in the different countries the ordination upon those who are eager  to

receive it, when you find them worthy.                              16

“Go  ye now,  O bhikkhus,  for the benefit of the  many,  for  the welfare  of  mankind,  out of compassion for the  world.   Preach  the doctrine which is glorious in the beginning,  glorious in the  middle, and  glorious  in the end,  in the spirit as well as  in  the  letter.  There are beings whose eyes are scarcely covered with dust, but if the doctrine  is  not  preached  to them  they  cannot  attain  salvation.

Proclaim  to  them  a life of  holiness.   They  will  understand  the

doctrine and accept it.”                                            17

And  it became an established custom that the  bhikkhus  went  out

preaching  while the weather was good,  but in the rainy  season  they

came  together  again  and  joined their  master,  to  listen  to  the

exhortations of the Tathagata.                                      18


At that time there was in Benares a noble youth,  Yasa by name, the

son of a wealthy merchant.   Troubled in his mind about the sorrows of

the  world,  he  secretly rose up in the night and stole away  to  the

Blessed One.                                                         1

The Blessed One saw Yasa,  the noble youth,  coming from afar.  And

Yasa   approached  and  exclaimed:   “Alas,   what   distress!    What

tribulations!”                                                       2

The Blessed One said to Yasa:  “Here is no distress;  here are  no

tribulations.   Come  to me and I will teach you the  truth,  and  the

truth will dispel your sorrows.”                                     3

And  when Yasa,  the noble youth,  heard that there  were  neither distress,  nor tribulations, nor sorrows, his heart was comforted.  He went into the place where the Blessed One was, and sat down near him.

Then  the Blessed One preached about  charity  and  morality.   He

explained the vanity of the thought “I am”; the dangers of desire, and

the  necessity of avoiding the evils of life in order to walk  on  the

path of deliverance.                                                 5

Instead of disgust with the world,  Yasa felt the cooling stream of

holy wisdom,  and, having obtained the pure and spotless eye of truth,

he  looked  at his person,  richly adorned with  pearls  and  precious

stones, and his heart was filled with shame.                         6

   The Tathagata, knowing his inward thoughts, said:                 7

“Though  a person be ornamented with jewels,  the heart  may  have

conquered the senses.   The outward form does not constitute  religion

or affect the mind.   Thus the body of a samana may wear an  ascetic’s

garb while his mind is immersed in worldliness.                      8

“A man that dwells in lonely woods and yet covets worldly vanities,

is  a worldling,  while the man in worldly garments may let his  heart

soar high to heavenly thoughts.                                      9

“There is no distinction between the layman and the hermit,  if but

both have banished the thought of self.”                            10

Seeing that Yasa was ready to enter upon the path,  the Blessed One

said to him: “Follow me!”  And Yasa joined the brotherhood, and having

put on a bhikkhu’s robe, received the ordination.                   11

While the Blessed One and Yasa were discussing the doctrine, Yasa’s

father  passed by in search of his son;  and in passing he  asked  the

Blessed One: “Pray, Lord, hast thou seen Yasa, my son?”             12

And the Blessed One said to Yasa’s father: “Come in, sir, thou wilt find  thy son”;  and Yasa’s father became full of joy and he  entered.

He  sat down near his son,  but his eyes were holden and he  knew  him

not;  and the Lord began to preach.   And Yasa’s father  understanding

the doctrine of the Blessed One, said:                              13

   “Glorious is the truth,  O Lord!   The Buddha,  the Holy  One,  our

Master,  sets  up what has been overturned;  he reveals what has  been

hidden;  he points out the way to the wanderer who has gone astray; he

lights  a  lamp in the darkness so that all who have eyes to  see  can

disern  the things that surround them.   I take refuge in the  Buddha,

our Lord: I take refuge in the doctrine revealed by him: I take refuge

in the brotherhood which he has founded.   May the Blessed One receive

me  from this day forth while my life lasts as a lay disciple who  has

taken refuge in him.”                                               14

Yasa’s  father was the first lay-member who became the  first  lay

disciple  fo  the  Buddha  by pronouncing  the  threefold  formula  of

refuge.                                                             15

When the wealthy merchant had taken refuge in the Buddha,  his eyes

were  opened  and he saw his son sitting at his side  in  a  bhikkhu’s

robe.  “My son, Yasa,” he said, “thy mother is absorbed in lamentation

and grief.  Return home and restore thy mother to life.”            16

Then  Yasa looked at the Blessed One,  and the Blessed  One  said:

“Should Yasa return to the world and enjoy the pleasures of a  worldly

life as he did before?”                                             17

And Yasa’s father replied:  “If Yasa,  my son,  finds it a gain  to

stay  with  thee,  let him stay.   He has become  delivered  from  the

bondage of worldliness.”                                            18

When  the Blessed One had cheered their hearts with the  words  of

truth and righteousness,  Yasa’s father said:  “May the Blessed One, O

Lord,  consent  to  take his meal with me together with  Yasa  as  his

attendant?”                                                         19

The Blessed One,  having donned his robes,  took his alms-bowl  and

went  with  Yasa to the house of the rich  merchant.   When  they  had

arrived there, the mother and also the former wife of Yasa saluted the

Blessed One and sat down near him.                                  20

Then the Blessed One preached,  and the women having understood his

doctrine,  exclaimed:  “Glorious is the truth, O Lord!  We take refuge

inthe Buddha,  our Lord.   We take refuge in the the doctrine revealed

by him.   We take refuge in the brotherhood which has been founded  by

him.   May  the Blessed One receive us from this day forth  while  our

life lasts as lay disciples who have taken refuge in him.”          21

The mother and wife of Yasa,  the noble youth of Benares,  were the

first  women  who became lay disciples and took their  refuge  in  the

Buddha.                                                             22

Now  there  were four friends of Yasa  belonging  to  the  wealthy

families of Benares.   Their names were Vimala,  Subahu, Punnyaji, and

Gavampati.                                                          23

When Yasa’s friends heard that Yasa had cut off his hair and put on

bhikkhu  robes  to give up the world and go forth  into  homelessness,

they thought: “Surely that cannot be a common doctrine, that must be a

noble renunciation of the world,  if Yasa, whom we know to be good and

wise,  has  shaved  his hair and put on bhikkhu robes to give  up  the

world and go forth into homelessness.”                              24

And they went to Yasa,  and Yasa addressed the Blessed One, saying:

“May  the Blessed One administer exhortation and instruction to  these

four  friends  of mine.”  And the Blessed One preached  to  them,  and

Yasa’s  friends accepted the doctrine and took refuge in  the  Buddha,

the Dharma, and the Sangha.                                         25


At that time there lived in Uruvela the Jatilas,  Brahman  hermits

with matted hair,  worshipping the fire and keeping a fire-dragon; and

Kassapa was their chief.                                             1

Kassapa  was  renowned throughout all  India,  and  his  name  was

honoured  as  one  of  the wisest men on earth  and  an  authority  on

reigion.                                                             2

And the Blessed One went to Kassapa of Uruvela,  the  Jatila,  and

said: “Let me  stay  a night in the room where  you  keep  your sacred

fire.”                                                               3

Kassapa,  seeing the Blessed One in his majesty and beauty, thought

to himself: “This is a great muni and a noble teacher.  Should he stay

over night in the room where the sacred fire is kept, the serpent will

bite  him  and he will die.”  And he said:  “I do not object  to  your

staying over-night in the room where the sacred fire is kept,  but the

serpent lives there; he will kill you and I should be sorry to see you

perish.”                                                             4

But the Buddha insisted and Kassapa admitted him to the room  where

the sacred fire was kept.                                            5

And  the Blessed One sat down with  his  body  erect,  surrounding

himself with watchfulness.                                           6

In the night the dragon came to the Buddha,  belching forth in rage

his fiery poison,  and filling the air with burning vapour,  but could

do him no harm,  and the fire consumed itself while the World-honoured

One  remained composed.   And the venomous fiend became very wroth  so

that he died in his anger.                                           7

When  Kassapa saw the light shining forth from the room  he  said:

“Alas,  what  misery!   Truly,  the  countenance of Gotama  the  great

Sakyamuni is beautiful, but the serpent will destroy him.”           8

In the morning the Blessed One showed the dead body of the fiend to

Kassapa, saying: “His fire has been conquered by my fire.”           9

And Kassapa thought to himself:  “Sakyamuni is a great samana  and

possesses high powers, but he is not holy like me.”                 10

There  was in those days a festival,  and  Kassapa  thought:  “The

people will come hither from all parts of the country and will see the

great Sakyamuni.  When he speaks to them, they will believe in him and

abandon me.”  And he grew envious.                                  11

When the day of the festival arrived,  the Blessed One retired  and

did not come to Kassapa.   And Kassapa went to the Buddha on the  next

morning and said: “Why did the great Sakyamuni not come?”           12

The Tathagata replied:  “Didst thou not think,  O Kassapa,  that it

would be better if I stayed away from the festival?”                13

And Kassapa was astonished and thought: “Great is Sakyamuni; he can

read my most secret thoughts, but he is not holy like me.”          14

And the Blessed One addressed Kassapa and said:  “Thou  seest  the

truth,  but  acceptest it not because of the envy that dwells  in  thy

heart.   Is envy holiness?   Envy is the last remnant of self that has

remained in thy mind.   Thou art not holy,  Kassapa; thou hast not yet

entered the path.”                                                  15

And Kassapa gave up his resistance.   His envy  disappeared,  and,

bowing down before the Blessed One, he said: “Lord, our Master, let me

receive the ordination from the Blessed One.”                       16

And the Blessed One said: “Thou, Kassapa, art chief of the Jatilas.

Go, then, first and inform them of thine intention, and let them do as

thou thinkest fit.”                                                 17

Then Kassapa went to the Jatilas and said:  “I am anxious to lead a

religious life under the direction of the great Sakyamuni,  who is the

Enlightened One, the Buddha.  Do as ye think best.”                 18

And the Jatilas replied:  “We have conceived a profound  affection

for  the great Sakyamuni,  and if thou wilt join his  brotherhood,  we

will do likewise.”                                                  19

The  Jatilas  of Uruvela now flung their  paraphernalia  of  fire-

worship into the river and went to the Blessed One.                 20

Nadi  Kassapa  and Gaya Kassapa,  brothers of  the  great  Uruvela

Kassapa,  pwerful men and chieftains among the people,  were  dwelling

below on the stream,  and when they saw the instruments used in  fire-

worship floating in the river,  they said:  “Something has happened to

our  brother.”  And they came with,  their fold to  Uruvela.   Hearing

what had happened, they, too, went to the Buddha.                   21

The Blessed One seeing that the Jantilas of Nadi and Gaya,  who had

practised  severe austerities and worshipped fire,  were now  come  to

him, preached a sermon on fire, and said:                           22

“Everything,  O Jatilas,  is burning.   The eye is burning, all the

senses are burning,  thoughts are burning.   They are burning with the

fire of lust.   There is anger,  there is ignorance,  there is hatred,

and  as  long as the fire finds inflammable things upon which  it  can

feed,  so long will it burn, and there will be birth and death, decay,

grief, lamentation, suffering, despair, and sorrow.  Considering this,

a  disciple of the Dharma will see the four noble truths and  walk  in

the eightfold path of holiness.   He will become wary of his eye, wary

of all his senses,  wary of his thoughts.   He will divert himself  of

passion  and become free.   He will be delivered from selfishness  and

attain the blessed state of Nirvana.”                               23

And the Jatilas rejoiced and took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma,

and the Sangha.                                                     24


And the Blessed One having dwelt some time in Uruvela went forth to

Rajagaha,  accompanied by a great number of bhikkhus, many of whom had

been Jatilas before;  and the great Kassapa,  chief of the Jatilas and

formerly a fireworshipper, went with him.                            1

When the Magadha king,  Seniya Bimbisara,  heard of the arrival  of

Gotama Sakyamuni,  of whom the people said,  “He is the Holy One,  the

blessed Buddha, guiding men as a driver curbs bullocks, the teacher of

high  and  low,”  he  went out surrounded  with  his  counsellors  and

generals and came to the grove where the Blessed One was.            2

There they saw the Blessed One in the company of Kassapa, the great

religious  teacher  of  the Jatilas,  and  they  were  astonished  and

thought:  “Has the great Sakyamuni placed himself under the  spiritual

direction of Kassapa, or has Kassapa become a disciple of Gotama?”   3

And the Tathagata,  reading the thoughts of the  people,  said  to

Kassapa:  “What knowledge hast thou gained,  O Kassapa,  and what  has

induced  thee  to renounce the sacred fire and give up  thine  austere

penances?”                                                           4

Kassapa  said:  “The profit I derived from adoring  the  fire  was continuance  in  the wheel of individuality with all its  sorrows  and vanities.   This service I have cast away,  and instead of  continuing penances  and sacrifices I have gone in quest of the highest  Nirvana.

Since I have seen the light of truth, I have abandoned worshipping the

fire.”                                                               5

The  Buddha,  perceiving that the whole assembly was  ready  as  a

vessel to receive the doctrine, spoke thus to Bimbisara the king:    6

“He  who knows the nature of self and understands how  the  senses

act,  finds  no room for selfishness,  and thus he will  attain  peace

unending.   The world holds the thought of self,  and from this arises

false apprehension.                                                  7

“Some say that the self endures after death,  some say it perishes.

Both are wrong and their error is most grievous.                     8

“For if they say the self is perishable,  the fruit they strive for

will perish too,  and at some time there will be no  hereafter.   Good

and  evil would be indifferent.   This salvation from  selfishness  is

without merit.                                                       9

“When some,  on the other hand,  say the self will not perish, then

in  the midst of all life and death there is but one  identity  unborn

and undying.  If such is their self,  then it is perfect and cannot be

perfected  by deeds.   The lasting,  imperishable self could never  be

changed.  The self would be lord and master, and there would be no use

in  perfecting  the  perfect;   moral  aims  and  salvation  would  be

unnecessary.                                                        10

“But  now  we  see the marks of joy  and  sorrow.   Where  is  any

constancy?   If there is no permanent self that does our  deeds,  then

there is no self;  there is no actor behind our actions,  no perceiver

behind our perception, no lord behind our deeds.                    11

“Now attend and listen:  The senses meet the object and from  their

contact sensation is born.  Thence results recollection.  Thus, as the

sun’s power through a burning-glass causes fire to appear,  so through

the cognizance born of sense and object,  the mind originates and with

it the ego,  the thought of self,  whom some Brahman teachers call the

lord.   The  shoot springs from the seed;  the seed is not the  shoot,

both are not one and the same,  but successive phases in a  continuous

growth.  Such is the birth of animated life.                        12

“Ye that are slaves of the self and toil in its service from  morn

until  night,  ye  that  live in constant  fear  of  birth,  old  age,

sickness,  and death,  receive the good tidings that your cruel master

exists not.                                                         13

“Self  is an error,  an illusion,  a dream.   Open your  eyes  and

awaken.  See things as they are and ye will be comforted.           14

“He who is awake will no longer be afraid of nightmares.   He  who

has recognized the nature of the rope that seemed to be a serpent will

cease to tremble.                                                   15

“He who has found there is no self will let go all the  lusts  and

desires of egotism.                                                 16

“The cleaving to things,  covetousness,  and sensuality  inherited

from former existences, are the causes of the misery and vanity in the

world.                                                              17

“Surrender the grasping disposition of selfishness,  and you  will

attain  to  that  calm  state of mind  which  conveys  perfect  peace,

goodness, and wisdom.”                                              18

   And the Buddha breathed forth this solemn utterance:             19

“Do not deceive, do not despise

Each other, anymore.

Do not be angry, nor should ye

Secret resentment bear;

For as a mother risks her life

And watches o’er her child,

So boundless be your love to all,

So tender, kind and mild.                                  20


“Yea, cherish good-will right and left,

All round. early and late,

And without hinderance, without stint,

From every free and hate,

While standing, walking, sitting down,

Whate’er you have in mind,

The rule of life that’s always best

         Is to be loving-kind.                                      21

   “Gifts  are  great,   the  founding  of  viharas  is  meritorious,

mediations and religious exercises pacify the heart,  comprehension of the truth leads to Nirvana,  but greater than all is loving  kindness.

As  the light of the moon is sixteen times stronger the the  light  of

all the stars,  so lovingkindness is sixteen times more efficacious in

leberating  the heart than all other religious  accomplishments  taken

together.                                                           22

“This state of heart is the best in the world.   Let a man  remain

steadfast in it while he is awake,  whether he is  standing,  walking,

sitting, or lying down.”                                            23

When the Enlightened One had finished his sermon,  the Magadha king

said to the Blessed One:                                            24

“In  former days,  Lord,  when I was a prince,  I  cherished  five wishes.  I wished: O, that I might be inaugurated as a king.  This was my first wish,  and it has been fulfilled.   Further,  I wished: Might the  Holy Buddha,  the Perfect One,  appear on earth while I rule  and might  he  come  to my kingdom.   This was my secong wish  and  it  is fulfilled  now.   Further I wished:  Might I pay my respects  to  him.

This was my third wish and it is fulfilled now.   The fourth wish was:

Might the Blessed One preach the doctrine to me, and this is fulfilled

now.   The  greatest  wish,  however,  was the  fifth  wish:  Might  I

understand  the  doctrine  of  the Blessed  One.   And  this  wish  is

fulfilled too.                                                      25

   “Glorious  Lord!   Most  glorious is the  truth  preached  by  the

Tathagata!  Our Lord, the Buddha, sets up what has been overturned; he

reveals  what has been hidden;  he points out the way to the  wanderer

who  has gone astray;  he lights a lamp in the darkness so that  those

who have eyes to see may see.                                       26

“I take my refuge in the Buddha.   I take my refuge in the  Dharma.

I take my refuge in the Sangha.”                                    27

The Tathagata,  by the exercise of his virtue and by wisdom, showed his unlimited spiritual power.   He subdued and harmonized all  minds.

He made them see and accept the truth,  and throughout the kingdom the

seeds of virtue were sown.                                          28


The  king,  having taken his refuge in  the  Buddha,  invited  the

Tathagata to his palace, saying: “Will the Blessed One consent to take

his meal with me to-morrow together with the fraternity of bhikkhus?”1

The  next morning Seniya Bimbisara,  the king,  announced  to  the

Blessed  One  that  it was time for taking food:  “Thou  art  my  most

welcome guest, O Lord of the world, come; the meal is prepared.”     2

And the Blessed One having donned his robes,  took  his  alms-bowl

and,  together  with a great number of bhikkhus,  entered the  ciy  of

Rajagaha.                                                            3

Sakka,  the king of the Devas,  assuming the appearance of a  young

Brahman, walked in front, and said:                                  4

“He  who teaches self-control with those who  have  learned  self-

control; the redeemer with those whom he has redeemed; the Blessed One

with those to who he has given peace,  is entering Rajagaha!   Hail to

the  Buddha,  our Lord!   Honour to his name and blessings to all  who

take refuge in him.”  And Sakka intoned this stanza:                 5

“So blest is an age in which Buddhas arise,

So blest is the Sangha, concordant and wise,

So blest a devout congregation!                          6

“And if by all the truth were known,

More seeds of kindness would be sown,

And richer crops of good deeds grown.”                   7

When the Blessed One had finished his meal,  and had cleansed  his

bowl and his hands, the king sat down near him and thought:          8

“Where may I find a place for the Blessed One to live in,  not  too

far  fromt he town and not toor near,  suitable for going and  coming,

easily accessible to all people who want to see him,  a place that  is

by  day not too crowded and by night not exposed to  noise,  wholesome

and well fitted for a retired life?   There is my pleasure-garden, the

bamboo grove Veluvana, fulfilling all these conditions.  I shall offer

it to the brotherhood whose head is the Buddha.”                     9

The king dedicated his garden to the brotherhood,  saying: “May the

Blessed One accept my gift.”                                        10

Then the Blessed One,  having silently shown his consent and having

gladdened  and edified the Magadha king by religious  discourse,  rose

from his seat and went away.                                        11


At that time Sariputta and Maggallana,  two Brahmans and chiefs  of

the followers of Sanyjaya,  led a religious life.   They had  promised

each other: “He who first attains Nirvana shall tell the other one.” 1

Sariputta seeing the venerable Assaji begging for  alms,  modestly keeping  his eyes to the ground degnified  to  deportment,  exclaimed:

“Truly this samana has entered the right path; I will ask him in whose name  he has retired from the world and what doctrine  he  professes.”

Being addressed by Sariputta,  Assaji replied: “I am a follower of the

Buddha,  the  Blessed  One,  but  being a novice I can  tell  you  the

substance only of the doctrine.”                                     2

Said Sariputta:  “Tell me,  venerable monk,  it is the substance  I

want.” And Assaji recited the stanza:                                3
“The Buddha did cause unfold

Of all the things that spring from causes.
And further the great sage had told

How finally all passion pauses.”                         4

Having heard this stanza,  Sariputta obtained the pure and spotless

eye of truth and said:  “Now I see clearly,  whatsoever is subject  to

origination is also subject to cessation.   If this be the doctrine  I

have reached the state to enter Nirvana which heretofore has  remained

hidden from me.”                                                     5

Sariputta went to Moggallana and told him,  and both said: “We will

go to the Blessed One, that he, the Blessed One, may by our teacher.”6

When the Buddha saw Sariputta and Moggallana coming from  afar,  he

said to his disciples, “These two monks are highly auspicious.”      7

When the two friends had taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and

the Sangha, the Holy One said to his other disciples: “Sariputta, life

the first-born son of a world-ruling monarch,  is well able to  assist

the king as his chief follower to set the wheel of the law rolling.” 8

And the people were annoyed.   Seeing that many distinguished young

men of the kingdom of Magadha led a religious life under the direction

of the Blessed One,  they became angry and murmured: “Gotama Sakyamuni

induces  fathers  to leave their wives and causes families  to  become

extinct.”                                                            9

When they saw the bhikkhus,  they reviled them,  saying: “The great

Sakyamuni has come to Rajagaha subduing the minds of men.  Who will be

the next to be led astray by him?”                                  10

The bhikkhus told it to the Blessed One,  and the Blessed One said:

“This murmuring,  O bhikkhus,  will not last long.  It will last seven

days.  If they revile you, O bhikkhus, answer them with these words:11

“’It is by preaching the truth that Tathagatas lead men.   Who will

murmur at the wise?   Who will blame the virtuous?   Who will  condemn

self-control, righteousness, and kindness?’”                        12

And the Blessed One proclaimed this verse:

“Commit no wrong but good deeds do And let thy heart be pure.
All Buddhas teach this doctrine true

Which will for aye endure.”                             13


At this time there was Anathapindika,  a man of unmeasured  wealth,

visiting Rajagaha.   Being of a charitable disposition,  he was called

“the supporter of orphans and the friend of the poor.”               1

Hearing that the Buddha had come into the world and was stopping in

the bamboo grove near the city,  he set out in the very night to  meet

the Blessed One.                                                     2

   And  the  Blessed  One  saw  at  once  the  sterling  quality   of

Anathapindika’s heart and greeted him with words of religious comfort.

And  they  sat  down  together,  and  Anathapindika  listened  to  the

sweetness  of the truth preached by the Blessed One.   And the  Buddha

said:                                                                3

“The restless, busy nature of the world, this, I declare, is at the

root of pain.   Attain that composure of mind which is resting in  the

peace of immortality.   Self is but a heap of composite qualities, and

its world is empty like a fantasy.                                   4

   “Who  is  it that shapes our lives?   Is  it  Isvara,  a  personal

creator?   If  Isvara  be the maker,  all living  things  should  have

silently to submit to their maker’s power.  They would be like vessels

formed  by  the potter’s hand;  and if it were so,  how  would  it  be

possible  to practise virtue?   If the world had been made  by  Isvara

there should be no such thing as sorrow,  or calamity,  or  evil;  for

both pure and impure deeds must come from him.  If not, there would be

another cause beside him,  and he would not be  self-existent.   Thus,

thou seest, the thought of Isvara is overthrown.                     5

“Again,  it is said that the Absolute has created  us.   But  that

which is absolute cannot be a cause.  All things around us come from a

cause  as the plant comes from the seed;  but how can the Absolute  be

the cause of all things alike?   If it pervades them, then, certainly,

it does not make them.                                               6

“Again,  it is said that Self is the maker.   But if self  is  the

maker,  why did it not make things pleasing?  The causes of sorrow and

joy are real and objective.  How can they have been made by self?    7

“Again,  if we adopt the argument that there is no maker,  our fate

is such as it is,  and there is no causation,  what use would there be

in shaping our lives and adjusting means to an end?                  8

“Therefore,  we argue that all things that exist are  not  without

cause.  However,  neither Isvara,  nor the absolute, nor the self, nor

causeless  chance,  is the maker,  but our deeds produce results  both

good and evil according to the law of causation.                     9

“Let us,  then,  abandon the heresy of worshipping Isvara  and  of

praying to him;  let us no longer lose ourselves in vain  speculations

of profitless subtleties;  let us surrender self and all  selfishness,

and as all things are fixed by causation, let us practise good so that

good may result from our actions.”                                  10

And  Anathapindika said:  “I see that thou  art  the  Buddha,  the Blessed One,  the Tathagata, and I wish to open to thee my whole mind.

Having listened to my words advise me what I shall do.              11

“My life is full of work,  and having acquired great wealth,  I  am

surrounded with cares.   Yet I enjoy my work,  and apply myself to  it

with all diligence.   Many people are in my employ and depend upon the

success of my enterprises.                                          12

“Now, I have heard thy disciples praise the bless of the hermit and

denounce  the unrest of the world.   ‘The Holy One,’  they  say,  ‘has

given  up his kingdom and his inheritance,  and has found the path  of

righteousness,  thus setting an example to all the world how to attain

Nirvana.’                                                           13

“My heart yearns to do what is right and to be a blessing unto  my

fellows.  Let me then ask thee, Must I give up my wealth, my home, and

my business enterprises,  and,  like thyself,  go into homelessness in

order to attain the bliss of a religious life?”                     14

And  the  Buddha  replied:  “The bliss  of  a  religious  life  is

attainable by everyone who walks in the noble eightfold path.  He that

cleaves  to wealth had better cast it away than allow his heart to  be

poisoned by it;  but he who does not cleave to wealth,  and possessing

riches, uses them rightly, will be a blessing unto his fellows.     15

“It is not life and wealth and power that enslaves  men,  but  the

cleaving to life and wealth and power.                              16

“The bhikkhu who retires from the world in order to lead a life  of

leisure will have no gain,  for a life of indolence is an abomination,

and lack of energy is to be despised.                               17

“The  Dharma  of the Tathagata does not requre a man  to  go  into

homelessness or to resign the world, unless he feels called upon to do

so; but the Dharma of the Tathagata requires every man to free himself

from the illusion of self, to cleanse his heart, to give up his thirst

for pleasure and lead a life of righteousness.                      18

“And whatever men do, whether they remain in the world as artisans,

merchants,  and  officers of the king,  or retire from the  world  and

devote  themselves  to a life of religious meditation,  let  them  put

their whole heart into their task; let them be diligent and energetic,

and,  if  they are like the lotus,  which,  although it grows  in  the

water,  yet remains untouched by the water,  if they struggle in  life

without  cherishing envy or hatred,  if they live in the world  not  a

life of self but a life of truth,  then surely joy,  peace,  and bliss

will dwell in their minds.”                                         19


Anathapindika rejoiced at the words of the Blessed One and said: “I

dwell at Savatthi,  the capital of Kosala,  a land rich in produce and

enjoying peace.   Pasenadi is the king of the country, and his name is

renowned among our own people and our neighbours.  Now I wish to found

there  a vihara which shall be a place of religious devotion for  your

brotherhood, and I pray you kindly accept it.”                       1

The  Buddha saw into the heart of the supporter  of  orphans;  and

knowing that unselfish charity was the moving cause of his  offer,  in

acceptance of the gift, the Blessed One said:                        2

“The  charitable man is loved by all;  his  friendship  is  prized

highly;  in death his heart is at rest and full of joy; for he suffers

not from repentance;  he receives the opening flower of his reward and

the fruit that ripens from it.                                       3

“Hard is it to understand:  By giving away our food,  we get  more

strength,  by bestowing clothing on others,  we gain more  beauty;  by

donating abodes of purity and truth, we acquire great treasures.     4

“There is a proper time and a proper mode in charity just  as  the vigorous warrior goes to battle,  so is the man;  who is able to give.

He is like an able warrior, a champion strong and wise in action.    5

“Loving and compassionate he gives with reverence and banishes  all

hatred, envy, and anger.                                             6

“The charitable man has found the path of salvation.   He is  like

the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the flowers,

and the fruit in future years.  Even so is the result of charity, even

so  is the joy of him who helps those that are in need of  assistance;

even so is the great Nirvana.                                        7

“We reach the immortal path only by continuous acts of kindness and

we perfect our souls by compassion and charity.”                     8

Anathapindika invited Sariputta to accompany him on his return  to

Kosala and help him selecting a pleasant site for the vihara.        9


Anathapindika,  the friend of the destitute and the  supporter  of

orphans,  having returned home,  saw the garden of the  heir-apparent,

Jeta, with its green groves and limpid rivulets, and thought: “This is

the place which will be most suitable as a vihara for the  brotherhood

of the Blessed One.”  And he went to the prince and asked leave to buy

the ground.                                                          1

The prince was not inclined to sell the garden,  for he valued  it

highly.  He at first refused but said at last, “If thou canst cover it

with gold, then, and for no other price, shalt thou have it.”        2

Anathapindika rejoiced and began to spread his gold; but Jeta said:

“Spare thyself the trouble,  for I will not sell.”  But  Anathapindika

insisted.  Thus they contended until they resorted to the magistrate.3

Meanwhile the people began to  talk of the unwonted proceeding, and

the prince, hearing more of the details and knowing that Anathapindika

was  not  only  very wealthy but  also  straightforward  and  sincere,

inquired  into  his plans.   On hearing the name of  the  Buddha,  the

prince became anxious to share in the foundation and he accepted  only

one-half of the gold,  saying:  “Yours is the land,  but mine are  the

trees.   I  will  give the trees as my share of this offering  to  the

Buddha.”                                                             4

Then  Anathapindika tood the land and Jeta  the  trees,  and  they

placed them in trust of Sariputta for the Buddha.                    5

After the foundations were laid, they began to build the hall which

rose loftily in due proportions according to the directions which  the

Buddha   had  suggested;   and  it  was  beautifully  decorated   with

appropriate carvings.                                                6

This  vihara was called Jetavana,  and the friend of  the  orphans

invited  the Lord to come to Savatthi and receive the  donation.   And

the Blessed One left Kapilavatthu and came to Savatthi.              7

   While  the  Blessed  One  was  entering  Jetavana,   Anathapindika

scattered  flowers and burned incense,  and as a sign of the  gift  he

poured  water from a golden dragon decanter,  saying:  “This  Jetavana

vihara I give for the use of the brotherhood throughout the world.”  8

The  Blessed  One received the gift and  replied:  “May  all  evil

influences  be  overcome;  may  the offering promote  the  kingdom  of

righteousness  and be a permanent blessing to mankind in  general,  to

the land of Kosala, and especially also to the giver.”               9

Then the king Pasenadi, hearing that the Lord had come, went in his

royal equipage to the Jetavana vihara and saluted the Blessed One with

clasped hands, saying:                                              10

“Blessed is my unworthy and obscure kingdom that it has met with so

great a fortune.   For how can calamities and dangers befall it in the

presence  of  the  Lord of the world,  the  Dharmaraja,  the  King  of

Truth.                                                              11

“Now that I have seen they sacred countenance,  let me partake  of

the refreshing waters of thy teachings.                             12

“Worldly profit is fleeting and perishable, but religious profit is

eternal and inexhaustible.   A worldly man,  though a king, is full of

trouble, but even a common man who is holy has peace of mind.”      13

Knowing the tendency of the king’s heart,  weighed down by  avarice

and love of pleasure, the Buddha seized the opportunity and said:   14

“Even those who, by their evil karma, have been born in low degree,

when they see a virtuous man,  feel reverence for him.   How much more

must  an indipendent king,  on account of merits acquired in  previous

existences, when meeting a Buddha, conceive reverence for him.      15

“And now as I briefly expound the law,  let the Maharaja listen and

weigh my words, and hold fast that which I deliver!                 16

   “Our good or evil deeds follow us continually like shadows.      17

   “That which is most needed is a loving heart!                    18

“Regard thy people as men do an only son.   Do not oppress the,  do

not destroy them;  keep in due check every member of thy body, forsake

unrighteous doctrine and walk in the straight path.  Exalt not thyself

by trampling down others, but comfort and befriend the suffering.   19

“Neither ponder on kingly dignity,  nor listen to the smooth  words

of flatterers.                                                      20

“There is no profit in vexing oneself by austerities,  but meditate

on the Buddha and weigh his righteous law.                          21

“We are encompassed on all sides by the rocks of birth,  old  age,

disease,  and death,  and only by considering and practising the  true

law can we escape from this sorrow-piled mountain.                  22

   “What profit, then, in practising iniquity?                      23

“All who are wise spurn the pleasures of the  body.   They  loathe

lust and seek to promote their spiritual existence.                 24

“When  a tree is burning with fierce flames,  how  can  the  birds

congregate therein?   Truth cannot dwell where passion lives.   He who

does  not  know this,  though he be a learned man and  be  praised  by

others as a sage, is beclouded with ignorance.                      25

“To  him who has this knowledge true wisdom  dawns,  and  he  will

beware  of hankering after pleasure.   To acquire this state of  mind,

wisdom  is  the one thing needful.   To neglect wisdom  will  lead  to

failure in life.                                                    26

“The teachings of all religions should centre  here,  for  without

wisdom there is no reason.                                          27

“This truth is not for the hermit alone;  it concerns every  human

being,  priest and layman alike.   There is no distinction between the

monk who has taken the vows,  and the man of the world living with his

family.   There  are hermits who fall into perdition,  and  there  are

humble householders who mount to the rank of rishis.                28

“Hankering after pleasure is a danger common to  all;  it  carries

away the world. He who is involved in its eddies finds no escape.  But

wisdom  is the handy boat,  reflection is the rudder.   The slogan  of

religion calls you to overcome the assaults of Mara, the enemy.     29

“Since it is impossible to escape the result of our deeds,  let  us

practise good works.                                                30

“Let us guard our thoughts that we do no evil,  for as we  sow  so

shall we reap.                                                      31

“There  are ways from light into darkness and from  darkness  into

light.  There are ways, also, from the gloom into deeper darkness, and

from the dawn into brighter light.  The wise man will use the light he

has  to  receive  more  light.   He will  constantly  advance  in  the

knowledge of truth.                                                 32

“Exhibit true superiority by virtuous conduct and the exercise  of

reason;   meditate  deeply  on  the  vanity  of  earthly  things,  and

understand the fickleness of life.                                  33

“Elevate  the  mind,  and seek sincere faith  with  firm  purpose;

transgress  not the rules of kingly conduct,  and let  your  happiness

depend,  not upon external things,  but upon your own mind.   Thus you

will lay up a good name for distant ages and will decure the favour of

the Tathagata.”                                                     34

The king listened with reverence and remembered all the  words  of

the Buddha in his heart.                                            35


When the Buddha was staying at the Veluvana,  the bamboo grove  at

Rajagaha, he addressed the brethren thus:                            1

“Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not arise,

it  remains a fact and the fixed and necessary constitution  of  being

that all conformations are transitory.   This fact a Buddha  discovers

and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he announces,

teaches,  publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains and makes

it clear that all conformations are transitory.                      2

“Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not arise,

it  remains  a fact and a fixed and necessary constitution  of  being,

that  all conformations are suffering.   This fact a Buddha  discovers

and masters, and when he has discovered and mastered it, he announces,

teaches,  publishes, problaims, discloses, minutely explains and makes

it clear that all conformations are suffering.                       3

“Whether Buddhas arise, O priests, or whether Buddhas do not arise,

it  remains  a fact and a fixed and necessary constitution  of  being,

that  all  conformations  are lacking a  self.   This  fact  a  Buddha

discovers and masters,  and when he has discovered and mastered it, he

announces, teaches, publishes, proclaims, discloses, minutely explains

and makes it clear that all conformations are lacking a self.”       4

And on another occasion the Blessed One dwelt at Savatthi  in  the

Jetavana, the garden of Anathapindika.                               5

At  that time the Blessed  One  edified,  aroused,  quickened  and gladdened  the  monks  with a religious discourse on  the  subject  of Nirvana.   And these monks grasping the meaning,  thinking it out, and accepting with their hearts the whole doctrine,  listened attentively.

But  there was one brother who had some doubt left in his  heart.   He

arose and clasping his hands made the request:  “May I be permitted to

ask a question?”  When permission was granted he spoke as follows:   6

“The Buddha teaches that all conformations are transient,  that all

conformations  are  subject  to sorrow,  that  all  conformations  and

lacking  a self.   How then can there be Nirvana,  a state of  eternal

bliss?”                                                              7

And the Blessed One, in this connection, on that occasion, breathed

forth this solemn utterance:                                         8

“There is,  O monks,  a state where there is  neither  earth,  nor

water,  nor heat,  nor air;  neither infinity of space nor infinity of

consciousness,  nor  nothingness,  nor perception nor  non-perception;

neither this world nor that world,  neither sun nor moon.   It is  the

uncreate.                                                            9

“That,  O  monks,  I term neither coming nor going  nor  standing;

neither death nor birth.   It is without stability, without change; it

is the eternal which never originates and never passes away.  There is

the end of sorrow.                                                  10

“It  is hard to realize the essential,  the truth  is  not  easily

perceived;  desire is mastered by him who knows,  and to him who  sees

aright all things are naught.                                       11

“There is,  O monks,  an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed.

Were  there  not,  O  monks,  this  unborn,  unoriginated,  uncreated,

unformed,  there  would  be  no escape from the  world  of  the  born,

originated, created, formed.                                        12

“Since,  O monks,  there is an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, and

unformed,  therefore  is there an escape from  the  born,  originated,

created, formed.”                                                   13


The Buddha’s name became famous over all India and Suddhodana,  his

father,  sent word to him saying: “I am growing old and wish to see my

son before I die.   Others have had the benefit of his  doctrine,  but

not his father nor his relatives.”                                   1

And the messenger said:  “O world-honoured Tathagata,  thy  father

looks for they coming as the lily longs for the rising of the sun.”  2

The Blessed One consented to the request of his father and set  out

on his journey to Kapilavatthu.  Soon the tidings spread in the native

country  of the Buddha:  “Prince Siddhattha,  who wandered forth  from

home  into homelessness to obtain enlightenment,  having attained  his

purpose, is coming back.”                                            3

Suddhodana went out with his relatives and ministers to  meet  the

prince.   When the king saw Siddhattha,  his son,  from afar,  he  was

struck with his beauty and dignity,  and he rejoiced in his heart, but

his mouth found no words to utter.                                   4

This,  indeed,  was his son; these were the features of Siddhattha.

How  near was the great samana to his heart,  and yet what a  distance

lay between them!   That noble muni was no longer Siddhattha, his son;

he was the Buddha,  the Blessed One,  the Holy One, Lord of truth, and

teacher of mankind.                                                  5

Siddhattha the king,  considering the religious dignity of his son,

descended from his chariot and after saluting his son said: “It is now

seven  years  since  I have seen thee.   How I have  longed  for  this

moment!”                                                             6

Then the Sakyamuni took a seat opposite his father,  and the  king gazed eagerly at his son.   He longed to call him by his name,  but he dared  not.   “Siddhattha,”  he  exclaimed  silently  in  his   heart, “Siddhattha,  come  back to thine aged father and be his  son  again!”

But seeing the determination of his son, he suppressed his sentiments,

and desolation overcame him.                                         7

Thus  the king sat face to face with his  son,  rejoicing  in  his

sadness and sad in his rejoicing.   Well might he be proud of his son,

but his pride broke down at the idea that his great son would never be

his heir.                                                            8

“I would offer thee my kingdom,” said the king, “but if I did, thou

wouldst account it but as ashes.”                                    9

And the Buddha said:  “I know that the king’s heart is full of love

and that for his son’s sake he feels deep grief.   But let the ties of

love that bind him to the son whom he lost embrace with equal kindness

all his fellow-beings,  and he will receive in his place a greater one

than Siddhattha; he will receive the Buddha, the teacher of truth, the

preacher  of righteousness,  and the peace of Nirvana will enter  into

his heart.”                                                         10

Suddhodana trembled with joy when he heard the melodious words  of

his son,  the Buddha,  and clasping his hands, exclaimed with tears in

his  eyes:  “Wonderful is this change!   The overwhelming  sorrow  has

passed away.   At first my sorrowing heart was heavy,  but now I  reap

the fruit of thy great renunciation.   It was right that, moved by thy

mighty sumpathy, thou shouldst reject the pleasures of royal power and

chieve  thy noble purpose in religious devotion.   Now that thou  hast

found  the path,  thou canst preach the law of immortality to all  the

world that yearns for deliverance.”                                 11

The king returned to the palace,  while the Buddha remained in  the

grove before the city.                                              12


On the next morning the Buddha took his bowl and set out to beg his

food.                                                                1

And the news spread abroad.  “Prince Siddhattha is going from house

to  house  to  receive alms in the city where he used  to  ride  in  a

chariot attended by his retinue.   His robe is like a red clod, and he

holds in his hand an earthen bowl.”                                  2

On hearing the strange rummour,  the king went forth in great haste and when hi met his son he exclaimed: “Why dost thou thus disgrace me?

Knowest  thou not that I can easily supply thee and thy bhikkhus  with

food?”                                                               3

   And the Buddha replied: “It is the custom of my race.”            4

   But the king said:  “How can this be?   Thou art  descendant  from

kings, and not one of them ever begged for food.”                    5

“O great king,” rejoined the Buddha,  “thou and thy race may  claim

descent  from kings;  my descent is from the Buddhas  of  old.   They,

begging their food, lived on alms.”                                  6

The  king made no reply,  and the Blessed One  continued:  “It  is

customary,  O king,  when one has found a hidden treasure,  for him to

make an offering of the most precious jewel to his father.  Suffer me,

therefore,  to  open this treasure of mine which is  the  Dharma,  and

accept from me this gem:”                                            7

And the Blessed One recited the following  stanza:

“Rise from dreams and loiter not

Open to truth thy mind.

Practise righteousness and thou

Eternal bliss shalt find.”                                  8

Then  the  king conducted the prince  into  the  palace,  and  the

ministers  and  all the members of the royal family greeted  him  with

great reverence, but Yasodhara, the mother of Rahula, did not make her

appearance.  The king sent for Yasodhara, but she replied: “Surely, if

I am deserving of any regard, Siddhattha will come and see me.”      9

The  Blessed One,  having greeted all his relatives  and  friends,

asked:  “Where  is  Yasodhara?”  And on being informed  that  she  had

refused to come, he rose straightaway and went to her apartment.    10

“I am free,” the Blessed One said to his disciples,  Sariputta  and

Moggallana,  whom  he  had bidden to accompany him to  the  princess’s

chamber;  “the princess, however, is not as yet free.  Not having seen

me for a long time, she is exceedingly sorrowful.  Unless her grief be

allowed  its  course  her heart will cleave.   Should  she  touch  the

Tathagata, the Holy One, ye must not prevent her.”                  11

Yasodhara sat in her room,  dressed in mean garments,  and her hair

cut.  When Prince Siddhattha entered,  she was,  from the abundance of

her  affection,  like  an overflowing vessel,  unable to  contain  her

love.                                                               12

Forgetting that the man whom she loved was the Buddha,  the Lord of

the world,  the preacher of truth,  she held him by his feet and  wept

bitterly.                                                           13

Remembering,  however,  that  Suddhodana  was  present,  she  felt

ashamed, and rising, seated herself reverently at a little distance.14

The king apologized for the princess, saying: “This arises from her

deep  affection,  and is more than a temporary  emotion.   During  the

seven  years  that  she has lost her  husband,  when  she  heard  that

Siddhattha had shaved his head,  she did likewise; when she heard that

he  had left of the use of perfumes and ornaments,  she  also  refused

their use.   Like her husband she had eaten at appointed times from an

earthen bowl only.  Like him she had renounced high beds with splendid

coverings,  and whn other princes asked her in marriage,  she  replied

that she was still his.  Therefore, grant her forgiveness.”         15

And the Blessed One spoke kindly to Yasodhara, telling of her great

merits  inherited from former lives.   She had indeed been  again  and

again of great assistance to him.   Her purity,  her  gentleness,  her

devotion  had  been invaluable to the Bodhisatta when  he  aspired  to

attain enlightenment, the highest aim of mankind.  And so holy had she

been that she desired to become the wife of a Buddha.   This, then, is

her karma,  and it is the result of great merits.   Her grief has been

unspeakable,  but  the consciousness of the glory that  surrounds  her

spiritual inheritance increased by her noble attitude during her life,

will  be  a  balm that will miraculously transform  all  sorrows  into

heavenly joy.                                                       16


Many  people in Kapilavatthu believed in the  Tathagata  and  took

refuge in his doctrine,  among them Nanda,  Siddhattha’s  halfbrother,

the son of Pajapati;  Devadatta,  his cousin and brother-in-law; Upali

the barber;  and Anuruddha the philosopher.   Some years later Ananda,

another cousin of the Blessed One, also joined the Sangha.           1

Ananda was a man after the heart of the Blessed One;  he  was  his most beloved disciple, profound in comprehension and gentle in spirit.

And  Ananda remained always near the Blessed Master  of  truth,  until

death parted them.                                                   2

On  the seventh day after the Buddha’s  arrival  in  Kapilavatthu,

Yasodhara dressed Rahula, now seven years old, in all the splendour of

a prince and said to him:                                            3

“This holy man,  whose appearance is so glorious that he looks like

the  great Brahma,  is thy father.   He possesses four great mines  of

wealth  which I have not yet seen.   Go to him and entreat him to  put

thee in possission of them,  for the son ought to inherit the property

of his father.”                                                      4

Rahula  replied:  “I know of no father but the king.   Who  is  my

father?”                                                             5

The  princess  took the boy in her arms and from  the  window  she

pointed  out to him the Buddha,  who happened to be near  the  palace,

partaking of food.                                                   6

Rahula then went to the Buddha,  and looking up into his face  said

without fear and with much affection: “My father!”                   7

And standing near by him, he added: “O samana, even thy shadow is a

place of bliss!”                                                     8

When the Tathagata had finished his repast,  he gave blessings  and

went  away from the palace,  but Rahula followed and asked his  father

for his inheritance.                                                 9

   No one prevented the boy, nor did the Blessed One himself.       10

Then the Blessed One turned to Sariputta,  saying: “My son asks for

his  inheritance.   I cannot give him perishable treasures  that  will

bring cares and sorrows,  but I can give him the inheritance of a holy

life, which is a treasure that will not perish.”                    11

Addressing Rahula with earnestness, the Blessed One said: “Gold and

silver and jewels are not in my possession.   But if thou art  willing

to  receive spiritual treasures,  and art strong enough to carry  them

and to keep them,  I shall give thee the four truths which will  teach

thee  the  eightfold path of righteousness.   Dost thou desire  to  be

admitted  to  the brotherhood of those who devote their  life  to  the

culture of the heart seeking for the highest bless attainable?”     12

And  Rahula replied with firmness:  “I do.   I want  to  join  the

brotherhood of the Buddha.”                                         13

When  the  king heard that Rahula had joined  the  brotherhood  of

bhikkhus he was grieved.   He had lost Siddhattha and Nanda, his sons,

and Devadatta,  his nephew.   But now that his grandson had been taken

from  him,  he  went to the Blessed One and spoke  to  him.   And  the

Blessed  One promised that from that time forward he would not  ordain

any minor without the consent of his parents or guardians.          14