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        THE Saddharma-pundarîka is one of the nine Dharmas which are known by the titles of---1.Ashtasahasrikâ Pragñâpâramitâ; 2.Ganda-vyȗha; 3.Dasabhûmîsvara; 4.Samâdhi-râga; 5.Lakâvatâra; 6.Saddharma-pundarika; 7.Thatâgata-guhyaka; 8.Lalita-vistara; 9.Suvarna-prabhâsa.

        These nine works, to which divine worship is offered, embrace (to use the words of the first investigator of Nepalese Buddhism[1]) ‘in the first, an abstract of the philosophy of Buddhism[2]; in the seventh, a treatise on the esoteric doctrines; and in the seven remaining ones, a full illustration of every point of the ordinary doctrine and discipline, taught in the easy and effective way of example and anecdote, interspersed with occasional instances of dogmatic instruction. With the exception of the first, these works are therefore of a narrative kind; but interwoven with much occasional speculative matter.’

        As to the form, it would seem that all the Dharmas may rank as narrative works, which, however, does not exclude in some of them a total difference in style of composition and character. The Lalita-vistara e.g. has the movement of a real epic, the Saddharma-pundarîka has not. The latter bears the character of a dramatic performance, and undeveloped mystery play, in which the chief interlocutor, not the only one, is Sâkyamuni, the Lord. It consists of a series of dialogues, brightened by the magic effects of a would-be supernatural scenery. The phantasmagorical parts of the whole are as clearly intended to impress us with the idea of the might and glory of the Buddha, as his speeches are to set forth his all-surpassing wisdom. Some affinity of its technical arrangement with that of the regular Indian drama is visible in the prologue or Nidâna, where Mañgusrî at the end prepares the spectators and auditors-both are the same-for the beginning of the grand drama, by telling them that the Lord is about to awake from his mystic slumber and to display his infinite wisdom and power.

        In the book itself we find it termed a Sûtra or Sûtrânta of the class called Mahâvaipulya. In a highly instructive discussion on the peculiar characteristics and comparative age of the different kinds of Sûtras, Burnouf arrives at the conclusion that the Mahâvaipulya Sûtras are posterior to the simple Sûtras in general[3]. As there are two categories of simple Sûtras, 1. those in which the events narrated are placed contemporary with the Buddha, 2. those which refer to persons living a considerable time after his reputed period, e.g. Asoka[4], it follows that the composition of the Mahâvaipulya Sûtras must be held to fall in a later time than the production of even the second category of simple Sûtras. Now in one of the latter, the Asoka-Avadâna, we read of Asoka using the world dînâra[5] , whish leads us to the conclusion that the said Avadâna was composed, not only after the introduction of dînâra from the West, in the first century of our era or later, but at a still more modern time, when people had forgotten the foreign origin of the coin in question.

        The results arrived at by Burnouf may be right so far as any Mahâvaipulya Sûtra, as a whole, is concerned; they cannot be applied to all the component parts of such a work. Not to go further than the Saddharma-pundarîka and the Lalita-vistara, it can hardly be questioned that these works contain parts of very different dates, and derived from various sources. The material discrepancies between the version in prose and that in verse are occasionally too great to allow us to suppose them to have been made simultaneously or even by different authors conjointly at work[6]. Further it can be shown that the Mahâvaipulya Sûtras are partially made up of such materials as must be referred to the oldest period of Buddhism. Let me adduce some examples to render more clear what I mean.

        If we compare Lalita-vistara (Calc. ed.), p.513, 13-p.514, 2 with Mahâvagga (ed. Dr. Oldenberg) I, 5,2, we perceive that the passages are to a great extent literally identical, and that the variations amount to little more than a varietas lectionis.

        The passage adduced is in prose; now let us take some stanzas. In Mahâvagga I, 5,3, the Lord utters the following slokas:

                kikkhena me adhigatam halam dâni pakâsitum,

                râgadosaparetehi nâyam dhammo susambudho.

                patisotagâmi nipunam gambhîram duddasam anum

                râgarattâ na dakkhanti tamokhandhena âvutâ.

        This does not materially differ from Lalita-vistara, p.515, 16 seq.:

        Pratisrotagâmiko mârgo gambhîro durdriso mama,

        Na tam drakshya(n)ti[7] râgândhâ alam tasmât prakâsitum.

        Anusrotam pravâhyante kâmeshu patitâh pragâh;

        Krikkhrena me’yam samprâptam(!) alam tasmât prakâsitum.

        Though there is some difference in the wording and arrangement of the verses, it is of such a kind as to exclude all idea of the compiler of the Lalita-vistara having composed the distichs himself. Even the words ayam dhammo susambudho and nipunam of the Pâli text were known to him, as appears from the passage in prose immediately preceding the slokas quoted: gambhîrah khalv ayam, Mahâbrahman, mayâ dharmo ‘bhisambuddhah sûkshmo nipunah. What follows, api ka me, Brahman, ime gâthe abhîkshnam pratibhâsatah[8], is but a slight, not very felicitous modification of what we read in the Mahâvagga 1.c.: api ‘ssu bhagavantam imâ anakkhariyâ gâthâyo patibhamsu pubbe assutapubbâ.

        Evidently from the same source are the verses in Trishtubh uttered by the god Brahma, Mahâvagga 1, 5, 7, and those found in Lalita-vistara, p.517, 3 seq. The former text has:

                pâturahosi Magadhesu pubbe

                dhammo asuddho samalehi kintito,

                apâpur’ etam amatassa dvâram

                sunantu dhammam vimalenânubuddham[9].

The other runs thus:

                vâdo babhûva samalair vikintito

                dharmo hy[10] asuddho Magadheshu pûrvam;

                amritam mune tad vivrinîshva dvâram

                srinvanti[11] dharma vipulam[12] vimalena buddham.

        On comparing the two texts we may infer that the Pâli version is purer, that vâdo babhûva is a corruption of pâdû babhûva or something like it, answering to a Sanskrit prâdur babhûva, but we cannot deny that the stanzas have the same origin.

        In Mahâvagga 1, 5, 12, the Lord addresses the god Brahma with the following Trishtubh:

                apârutâ tesam amatassa dvâra

                ye sotavanto, pamuñkantu[13] saddham.

                vihimsasaññî pagunam na bhâsi

                dhammam panîtam manugesu, Brahma; iti.

        Then in prose: Atha kho Brahmâ Sahampati katâvakâso kho ‘mhi bhagavatâ dhammadesanâyâ ‘ti bhagavantam abhivâdetvâ padakkhinam katvâ tatth’ ev’ antaradhâyi.

        The paralled passage in Lalit-vistara, p. 520 19 seq., has:

                apâvritâs teshâm[14] amritasya dvârâ

                Brahmann iti[15] satatam ye srotavantah,

                pravisanti sraddhâ na vihethasañgñâ

                srinvanti dharmam Magadheshu sattvâh.

        Atha khalu Sikhî Mahâbrahmâ Thatâgatasyâdhivâsanâm viditvâ tushta udagra âttamanâ pramuditah prîtisaumanasyagâtas Thatâgatasya pâdau sirasâbhivanditvâ tatraivântaradhât.

        At the meeting of the Âgîvaka monk Upaka and the Buddha, the latter is represented as having pronounced the following slokas (Mahâvagga 1, 6, 8 and 9 ) :

        na me âkariyo atthi, sadiso me na viggati,

        sadevakasmim lokasmim n’ atthi me patipuggalo.

        aham hi arahâ loke, aham satthâ anuttaro,

        eko ‘mhi sammâsambuddho, sîtibhûto ‘smi nibbuto.

        mâdisâ ve Ginâ honti ye pattâ âsavakkhayam,

        gitâ me pâpakâ dhammâ tasmâham Upaka[16] gino.

        Materially the same slokas, albeit in somewhat different arrangement, occur Lalita-vistara, p. 526, 22 seq., as being spoken at the same meeting:

                âkâryo nahi me kaskit, sadriso me na vidyate,

                eko ‘ham asmi sambuddhah, sîtibhûto nirâsravah.

                aham evâham[17] loke sâstâ hy aham anuttarah,

                sadevâsuragandharve nâsti me pratipudgalah[18].

Ginâ hi mâdrisâ gñeyâ ye prâptâ âsravakshayam,

gitâ me pâpakâ dharmâs tenopa(ka) Gino [hy] aham.

        The following verses, taken from Mahâvagga and Lalita-vistara 1. c., have likewise the same origin, notwithstanding some variations:

  dhammakakkam pavattetum gakkhâmi kâsinam puram,

  andhabûtasmi lokasmim âhañhi amatadudrabhim.


  Vârânasîm gamishyâmi gatvâ vai Kâsikâm purîm,

  andhabhûtasya lokasya karâsmy asadrisîm[19] prabhâm.

  Vârânasîm gamishyâmi gatvâ vai Kâsikâm purîm,

  sabdahînasya lokasya tâdayishye[20] 'mritadundubhim.

  Vârânasîm gamishyâmi gatvâ vai Kâsikâm purîm,

  dharmakakram pravartishye lokeshv aprativartitam.

        An important passage on the diving sight of the Buddha in Lalita-vistara, p. 439 seq., almost literally occurs in the Sâmaññaphala-Sutta, as has been pointed out by Burnouf[21].

        These few examples I have chosen will suffice to prove that the material of a Mahâvaipulya Sûtra is partly as old as that of any other sacred book of the Buddhists. The language of the prose part of those Sûtras dose not differ from that used in the simple Sûtras of the Northern canon. Should the Sanskrit text prove to be younger than the Pâli text, then we may say that we do not possess the Northern tradition in its original shape. That result, however, affords no criterion for the distinction between the simple Sûtras and the Mahâvaipulya Sûtra, for both are written in the very same Sanskrit, if we except the Gâthâs.

        It would lead me too far, were I to enter into the heart of the question which of the three idioms, Sanskrit, Pâli, and the so-called Gâthâ dialect, was the oldest scriptural language of the Buddhists, and I will therefore confine. myself to a few remarks. In the first place it will be granted that the same person cannot have uttered any speech or stanza in two languages at the same time , and, further, that he is not likely to have spoken Sanskrit, when expressing himself in prose, and to have had recourse to a mere dialect, when speaking in poetry. One need not suppose that the common and every-day language of the god Brahma and the Buddha was Pâli or Prâkrit, in order to call it an absurdity that those persons would have spoken prose in Sanskrit and poetry in the Gâthâ dialect, such as we find in some passages already quoted and in many others. Nor is it absurd, even if we do not believe that Pâli is the original language of scripture, to contend that the Sanskrit text of the canonical works is at any rate a translation from some dialect. If the Sanskrit text of the Northern Sûtras, in general, were the original one, it would be impossible to account for occasional mistranslations and for the fact that the most palpable dialect forms have been left untouched, whenever the passage by being Sanskritised would have been spoilt. A striking instance is afforded in Lalita-vistara, p.145. There we read that the pronouncing of the letter tha of the Indian alphabet is to be brought in connection with the world thapanîyaprasna, i.e. a question that should be avoided, set aside, Pâli thapaniyapañho. Here the context absolutely opposed itself to the Pâli or Prâkrit thapanîya being rendered by the Sanskrit sthâpanîya, because the initial syllable of this form could not be made to agree with the letter tha. On the same page of the Lalista-vistara we also meet with a world airapatha[22], the initial syllable of which must needs harmonise with the diphthong ai, so that airapatha did not admit of being Sanskritised into âryapatha. From the occurrence of this airapatha I infer that the original text was composed in some kind of Prâkrit, and not in regular Pâli, because the latter has lost both the primary and secondary diphthong ai, though it may be asked whether forms such as kayira (Sansk. Kâlya), payinupâsati (Sansk. paryupâsati(, and the like are antthing else but instances of inaccurate spelling[23]. This much is certain that thaira occurs in the inscriptions of Asoka, and in these the diphthong cannot but have the value of a short a followed by i.

        If we eliminate the Sanskrit, there remain two dialects, Pâli and the Gâthâ idiom. Which of the two can lay claim to being the original language of the Buddhist scriptures or is the nearest approach to it? Pâli is intelligible in its phonetics, the Gâthâs are not. Under ordinary circumstances the comparatively greater regularity of Pâli would tend to favour its claims; the case before us is, however, so peculiar that it is not safe to draw inferences from the state in which the Gâthâs have come to us. It seems to me that the verses in the Northern books in general, as well as the prose of the Mahâvastu[24], have been Sanskritised to a large extent, so that they ought to be restored, as much as possible, to a more primitive form, before a comparison with Pâli can lead to satisfactory results. When we come across such words as heshthâd (Sansk. adhastâd), gunebhih, &c., we easily perceive that these forms are more primitive than Pâli hetthâ, gunehi; but what warrant have we of such forms being really in use at the time when the Gâthâs were composed, if we observe that in a verse, Lalita-vistara 53, the syllable bhih is reckoned as a short one in the words gunebhih pratipûrna? In short, in their present state the Gâthâs afford no conclusive evidence that the language in which they were composed is older than Pâli.

        Whatever may have been the phonetic aspect of the oldest standard dialect of the Buddhists, its vocabulary is unmistakably closely related to that of the Satapathabrâhmana. The coincidences are so striking that the interval separating the younger parts of the Satapatha and the beginnings of Buddhist literature can hardly be supposed to have been very great. Among those coincidences I cite sarvâvat, a word which as yet has not been discovered in the whole range of Sanskrit literature except Satap. XIV, 7, 1, 10, and in Northern Buddhist writings, as well as in Pâli (sabbâvâ). The ekoti Satap. XII, 2, 2, 4 recurs in ekoti-bhâva, Lalita-vistare, p.147, 8[25]; p.439, 6; Pâli ekodi-bhâva[26]. The expression samîrita in the sense of ‘equipped, furnished with’ occurs in Satapatha thrice[27], in Atharva-veda once, in Saddharma-pundarîka several times, e.g. in pattaghantâsamîrita, chap. xxii. We may add the Prâkritism iñg in samiñgayati, Brihad-âranyaka VI, 4, 23, the usual form in Buddhist works in Sanskrit, Gâthâ dialect, and Pâli; further

maṅku, Sata. V, 5, 4, 11; manda in the compound naumanda, Satap. II. 3, 3, 15; cf. bodhi-manda. An archaic trait in the stanzas is the expletive use of the particle u, e.g. in teno, yeno, tasyo, adyo, for tena, yena, tasya, adya. Both in prose and poetry[28] we meet with no, sometimes in the sense of Sansk. atho, almost imperceptible differing from atha. Perhaps the most curious of similar forms in the Gâthâs is ko, in meaning exactly coinciding with ka; this ko I take to be the older form of the Mâgadhî ku in the Asoka edicts.

        From the occurrence of peculiar old words and forms we may draw inferences as to the age of certain compositions in ordinary cases; but it is not safe to apply the same test, if there is sufficient reason to suppose that the work, the date of which we wish to determine, has been carefully moulded upon time-honoured models. In such a case new words prove a good deal[29], old ones next to nothing. Therefore it would be an abuse of the argument ex silentio to infer from the total absence of such new words in our Saddharma-pundarîka that the bulk of the Sûtra must date from the earlier period of Buddhism.

        I had already occasion to notice that the two versions, the prose and the metrical one, in our Sûtra show here and there material discrepancies. The question arises to which of the two we must award the palm of priority. Repeatedly, both in prose and poetry, the Sûtra is spoken of as consisting of stanzas; e.g. chap. vii, st. 82; chapters x and xxii in the prose portion, several times. As the term of stanza (Gâthâ), for aught I know, is never used to denote a certain number of syllables, there is a strong presumption that the ancient text consisted of verses, with an admixture of short prose passages serving as introduction or to connect the more solemn poetical pieces. The idea to expand such passages into a regular prose version would especially recommend itself at a period when the poetical dialect began to become obsolete and obscure. Without being a formal commentary, the prose version would yet tend to elucidate the older holy text.

        It will not be objected that, because not all chapters in the Saddharma-pundarîka have a poetical version added, the original cannot have been a poem. For the chapters containing but one version, viz. xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxv, and xxvi, show decided traces of being later additions; and as to the final chapter, it may be held to be a moderate amplification of a short prose epilogue.

        In contending that the original text of our S was probably, in the main, a work in metrical form, I not mean to say that the poetical version in all the chapters must be considered to be prior to the prose[30]. The Gâthâs of the Saddharma-pundarîka are nowhere very brilliant, but in some chapters they are so excessively clumsy and mechanically put together that involuntarily we are led to the assumption of their having been made by persons to whom the old dialect was no longer familiar. The stanzas, e.g. in chapters xi and xiv, are abominable in form, and usually silly; those in chap. xxiv are pattern of mechanical verse-making, and give the impression as if they were intended rather to stultify than to edify the credulous reader. Now it is a curious fact that in a Chinesepreface to the translation of our Sûtra by Gñânagupta and Dharmagupta, A.D. 601[31], we meet with the following notice: ‘the omission of the Gâthâs in No. 134, chaps. 12 and 25[32], have since been filled in by some wise men whose example I wish to follow[33].’

        Here we have a direct proof that the Gâthâs of some chapters have been added in later times. Had we similar notices concerning all the chapters in which the Gâthâs are of a comparatively modern date, and could we prove that the prose of such chapters belongs to a later period, then the supposition of the ancient text of the Saddharma-pundarîka having been in the main a metrical one would seem to lose in strength. For, reasoning by analogy, one might say that just as some later chapters have notoriously been enriched with a metrical version in later times, so the ancient parts also will have gradually received their Gâthâs. Still the fact remains that those chapters in which the metrical portion is wanting clearly belong to a later period, so that it is questionable whether their case is entirely analogous to that of the more ancient part of the whole work.

At present we are far from the ultimate end which critical research has to reach; we are not able to assign to each part of our Sûtra its proper place in the development of Buddhist literature. We may feel that compositions from different times have been collected into a not very harmonious whole; we may even be able to prove that some passages are as decidedly ancient as others are modern, but any attempt to analyse the compound and lay bare its component parts would seem to be premature. Under these circumstances the inquiry after the date of the work resolves itself into the question at what time the book received its present shape.

        There exist, as it is well known, various Chinese translations of the Saddharma-pundarîka, or parts of it, the dates of which are well ascertained. The above-mentioned Catalogue by Mr. Bunyin Nanjio affords some valuable information about the subject, from which I borrow the following particulars[34]:

        The oldest Chinese translation, known by the title of Kan-fâ-hwâ-kiṅ, is from Ku Fâ-hu (Dharmaraksha), of the Western Tsin dynasty, A.D. 265-316; in 28 chapters[35].

        Equally old is an incomplete translation entitled Sâ-thân-fan-tho-li-kiṅ, of an unknown author.

        Next in time comes the Miâo-fâ-lien-hwâ-kin, by Kumâragîva, of the latter Tshin dynasty, A.D. 384-417[36]. It agrees with the Tibetan version, and contains 28 chapters. Of one chapter (xxiv in the Nepalese MSS. and the English translation) Kumâragîva translated the prose only; the Gâthâs were rendered by Gñânagupta, of the Northern Keu dynasty, A.D. 557-589.

        The last translation in order of time, entitled Thien-phin-miâo-fâ-lien-hwâ-kiṅ, is from Gñânagupta and Dharmagupta, A.D. 601, of the Sui dynasty; in 27 chapters.

        We see that the older translations-and, consequently, their originals-counted one chapter more than our MSS. The difference, however, does not affect the contents of the whole, because the matter divided over chapters 11 and 12 of the older translations is contained in chap. xi of our texts and the latest Chinese version. The order of the chapters is the same in all the texts, both original and translated, up to chap. xx (=21 older division); the discrepancies first begin at chap. xxi, on Dhâranîs. The subjoined comparative table, to begin with the chapter on Dhâranîs, exhibits the order of the last seven chapters in the various texts. The first column refers to the Nepalese MSS. and the Chinese translation by Gñânagupta and Dharmagupta; the second to the oldest Chinese translation; the third to that of Kumâragîva.








        A glance at this table will suffice to convince us that chapters xxi-xxvi (1-6) are of later growth, if we bear in mind that the order of the chapters down to the Dhâranîs is the same in all sources. This result is quite in harmony with what we would have guessed upon internal grounds. The last chapter, entitled Dharmaparyâya, must, from its very nature, have been the close, the epilogue of the whole, In the Chinese translation of Kumâragîva it occurs, as the table shows, immediately after chap. xx, by itself a clear indication that xxi-xxvi are later additions. It is somewhat strange that in the older translation of Ku Fâ-hu the Dharmaparyâya has already taken its place after the additional matter, but this may be explained on the supposition that Kumâragîva, though living in a

later time, made use of ancient manuscripts[37]. However that may be, I think that the following facts may be held to be established, both from internal and external evidence: 1. The more ancient text of the Saddharma-pundarîka contained 21 chapters and an epilogue, i.e. the matter of chaps. I-xx and of chap. xxvii; 2. The later additions, excepting probably some verses, had been connected with the work, in the way of Parisishtas or Addenda, about 250 A.D. or earlier, As the book, along with the Parisishtas, already existed some time before 250 A.D., we may safely conclude that the more ancient text in 21 chapters, the epilogue included, dates some centuries earlier. Greater precision is for the present impossible.

        We know that a commentary on the Saddharma-pundaîka was composed by Vasubandhu[38]. The date of that work, not yet recovered, it seems, must fall between 550 and 600 A.D., or at least not much earlier, for Vasubandhu’s pupil Gunaprabha became the Guru of the famous SrîHarsha, alias Sîlâditya, king of Kanauj, the friend of Hiouen Thsang[39]. The latter often mentions Vasubandhu and some of that great doctor’s writings, as well as Gunaprabha[40]. As both worthies at the time of Hiouen Thsang’s visiting India had already departed this life, and Vasubandhu must have been at least one generation older than Gunaprabha, we cannot be far amiss in assigning to Vasubandhu’s commentary the date above specified.

        It appears from the above-mentioned preface to the Chinese translation of A.D. 601, that the text-differences in the MSS. current in those days were more important than such as we observe in the Nepalese MSS. from 1000 A.D. downward, with which the Tibetan closely agree. The Chinese preface is so interesting that it is worth while to copy a passage from it as quoted in the Catalogue of the Tripitaka[41]:

        ‘The translation of Ku Fâ-hu, No. 138, and Kumâragîva, No. 134, are most probably made from two different texts. In the repository of the Canon, I (the author of the preface) have seen two texts (or copies of the text, of the Saddharma-pundarîka); one is written on the palm leaves, and the other in the letters of Kwei-txz’, or Kharakar, Kumâragîva’s materal country. The former text exactly agrees with No. 138, and the latter with No. 134. No. 138 omits only the Gâthâs of the Samantamukha-parivarta, chap. 24. but No. 134 omite half of the Ôshadhiparivarta, chap. 5, the beginning of the Pañkabhikshusata-vyâkarana-parivarta, chap. 8, and that of the Saddharmabhânaka-parivarta, chap. 10, and the Gâthâs of the Devadatta-parivarta, chap. 12[42], and those of the Saman-tamukha-parivarta, chap. 25. Moreover, No.134 puts the Dharmaparyâya-parivarta (the last chapter of the Sûtra) before the Bhaishagyarâga-parivarta, chap. 23. Nos. 138 and 134 both place the Dhâranîparivarta next to the Samantamukha-parivarta, chaps. 24 and 25 respectively. Beside these, there are minor differences between the text and trandlation. The omission of the Gâthâs in No. 134, chaps. 12 and 25, have since been filled in by some wise men, whose example I wish to follow. In the first year of the Zan-sheu period, A. D. 601, I, together with Gñâna-gupta and Dharmagupta, have examined the palm-leaf text, at the request of a Sramana, Shâṅ-hhiṅ, and found that the beginning of two chapters, 8th and 10th, are also wanting in the text (though No. 138 contains them). Nevertheless we have increased a half of the 5th chapter, and put the 12th chapter into the 11th, and restored the Dhâranî-parivarta and Dharmaparyâya-parivarta to their proper order, as chaps. 21 and 27. There are also some words and passages which have been altered (while the greater part of No. 134 is retained). The reader is requested not to have any suspicion about these differences.’

                According to the opinion of an eminent Chinese scholar, the late Stanislas Julien, the translation of Kumâragîva widely differs from Burnouf’s. He gives utterance to that opinion in a letter dated June 12, 1866, and addressed to Professor Max Müller, to whose obliging kindness it is due that I am able to publish a specimen of Kumâragîva’s version rendered into French by Stanislas Julien. The fragment answers to the stanzas 1-22 of chap. iii. As it is too long to be inserted here, I give it hereafter on page xl.

        On comparing the fragment with the corresponding passages in Burnouf’s French translation and the English version in this volume, the reader cannot fail to perceive that the discrepancies between the two European versions are fewer and of less consequence than between each of them and Kumâragîva’s work. It is hardly to be supposed that the text used by Kumâragîva can have differed so much from ours, and it seems far more probable that he has taken the liberty, for clearness sake, to modify the construction of the verses, a literal rendering whereof, it must be owned, is impossible in any language. It is a pity that Stanislas Julien has chosen for his specimen a fragment exclusively consisting of Gâthâs. A page in prose would have been far more useful as a test of the accuracy of the Chinese version.

        Proceeding to treat of the contents of our Sûtra, I begin by quoting the passage where Burnouf, in his usual masterly way, describes the general character of the bok and the prominent features of the book and the prominent features of the central figure in it. The illustrious French scholar writes[43]:

        ‘Là, comme dans les Sûtras simples, c’est çâkya qui est le plus important, le premier des êtres; et quoique l’imagination du compilateur l’ait doué de toutes les perfections de science et de vertu admises chez les Buddhistes; quoique çâkya revête déjà un caractère mythologique, quand il declare qu’il y a longtemps qu’il remplit les devoirs d’un Buddha, et qu’il doit les remplir longtemps encore, malgré sa mort prochaine, laquelle ne détruit pas son éternité; quoiqu’enfin on le représente créant de son corps des Buddhas qui sont comme les images et les reproductions idéales de sa personne mortelle, nulle part Çâkyamuni n’est nommé Dieu; nulle part il ne reçoit le titre d’Âdibuddha.’

        To this I have nothing to object, only something to add. It is perfectly true that Sâkya does not receive the simple title of Deva; why? Because that title is far too poor for so exalted a personage who is the Devâtideva, the paramount god of gods. So he is called in the Lotus, chap. vii, st. 31[44], and innumerable times in the whole range of Buddhist literature, both in Pâli and Sanskrit[45]. It is further undeniable that the title of Âdibuddha does not occur in the Lotus, but it is intimated that Sâkya is identical with Âdibuddha in the words; ‘From the very beginning (âditaeva) have I roused, brought to maturity, fully developed them (the innumerable Bodhisattvas) to be fit for their Bodhisattva position[46].’ It is only by accommodation that he is called Âdibuddha, he properly being anâdi, i.e. existing from eternity, having no beginning. The Buddha most solemnly declares (chap. xv) that he reached Bodhi an immense time ago, not as people fancy, first at Gayâ. From the whole manner in which Sâkya speaks of his existence in former times, it is perfectly clear that the author wished to convey the meaning that the Lord had existed from eternity, or, what comes to the same, from the very beginning, from time immemorial, &c.

        Sâkya has not only lived an infnite number of Æons in the past, he is to live for ever. Common people fancy that he enters Nirvâna, but in reality he only makes a show of Nirvâna out of regard for the weakness of men. He, the Father of the world[47], the Self-born One, the Chief and Saviour[48] of creatures, produces a semblance of Nirvâna, whenever he sees them given to error and folly[49]. In reality his being is not subject to complete Nirvâna; it is only by a skilful device that he makes a show of it; and repeatedly he appears in the world of the living, though his real abode is on the summit of the Gridhrakûta[50]. All this is, in other words, the teaching of Nârâyana in Bhagavad-gîtâ IV, 6 seqq.:

        Ago ‘pi sann avyayâtmâ bhûtânâm îsvaro ‘pi san,

        prakritim svâm adhishthâya sambhavâmy âtmamâyayâ.

        yadâ-yadâ hi dharmasya glânir bhavati, Bhârata,

        abhyutthânam adharmasya tadâtmânam srigâmy aham.

        paritânâya sâdhûnâm vinâsâya ka dushritâm,

        dharmasamsthâpanârthâya sambhavâmi yuge-yuge.

        The Buddha is anthropomorphic, of course; what god is not? the Lotus, far from giving prominence to the unavoidable human traits, endeavours as much as possible to represent the Lord and his audience as superhuman beings. In chap. xiv there is a great pause, as in a drama, of no less than fifty intermediate kalpas, during which Sâkyamuni and all his hearers keep silence[51]. A second pause of 1000, or according to a various reading, 100,000 years is held in chap. xx. Now it is difficult to conceive that any author, willfully and ostentatiously, would mention such traits if he wished to impress the reader with the notion that the narrative refers to human beings.

        It will not be necessary to multiply examples. There is, to my comprehension, not the slightest doubt that the Saddharma-pundarîka intends to represent Sâkya as the supreme being, as the god of gods, almighty and all-wise. But what have we to understand by the words ‘god’ and ‘god of gods?’ that is the question. To find the answer let us recall to memory the theosophic notions prevailing in ancient India at certain periods.

        In general it may be said that the Upanishads recognize two supreme beings, which in a mystical way are somehow identified; one is the great illuminator of the macrocosm, and is sometimes called the Sun, at other times Ether; the other, the enlightener of the microcosm, is Mind or Reason[52]. As soon as the Sun ceased to be considered an animate being or to be represented as such, he might continue, or worship’s sake, honoris causâ, to be called the highest god; the really remaining deity was Reason, poetically termed the inward light. This idea is expressed by Nîlakantha in his commentary on Bhagavad-gîtâ V, 14, in the following terms: Prabhus Kidâtmâ sûrya ivâsmadâdînâm prakasakah, the Lord (is) the intelligent Self that like a sun is the illuminator of ourselves and others[53]. Now the same author, in his notes on Bhagavad-gîtâ VI, 30, distinctly states that our inward consciousness, or as he puts it, the pratyagâtman, the individual Self, otherwise called gîve, is Nârâyana, i.e. the supreme being.

At IX, 28 he paraphrases Nârâyana by sarveshâm pratyagâtman, the individual consciousness of all (sentient beings); at XII, 14 he identifies Nârâyana with nirgunam brahma. Just as here and there Nârâyana is represented as clad in all the glory and majesty of a sovereign, as the illuminator, the vivifier of the world, in one word as the sun, so we find Sâkyamuni invested with all the grandeur and all the resources of a ruler of nature. Philosophically, both Nârâyana and his counterpart Sâkyamuni are purushottama, paramâtman, the highest Brahman, Mind. Sâkyamuni is, esoterically, the very same muni, the beholder of good and evil, the punyapâpekshitâ muni that is spoken of in Mann VIII, 91. It is acknowledged in Bhagavad-gîtâ IX, 14 seqq. that the supreme being may be conceived and respected in different ways a according to the degree of intelligence of creatures. Some pay their worship by leading a virtuous life, others by pious devotion, others by contemplation, others by confessing a strictly monistic philosophy[54], others by acknowledging a personal god[55]. The Lord in the Saddharma-pundarîka admits of being viewed in all these various aspects. Whether the Buddha-theory, such as we find it developed in the Sūtra, not in plain words, indeed, but by circumlocutions and ambiguities, should be called atheistic or not, is a matter of comparatively slight importance, about which opinions may differ. This much, however, may be asserted, that the Lotus and the Bhagavad-gîtâ are, in this respect, exactly on a par.

        The conclusion arrived at is that the Sâkyamuni of the Lotus is an ideal, a personification, and not a person. Traits borrowed, or rather surviving, from an older cosmological mythology, and traces of ancient nature-worship about both in the Lotus and the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, but in the highest sense of the word, paramârthatas, the Purushottama in both is the center of mental life. It is just possible that the ancient doctors of the Mahâyâna have believed that such an ideal once walked in the flesh here on earth, but the impression left by the spirit and the letter of the whole work does not favour that supposition. In later times fervent adherents of the Mahâyâna really held that belief, as we know from the example of the pious Hiouen Thsang, who was evidently as earnest in his belief that the Lord once trod the soil of India as he was convinced of Mañgusrî, Maitreya, and Avalokitesvara existing as animated beings. Whether the system of the Lotus can be said to agree with what is supposed to be ‘genuine’ Buddhism, it is not here the place to discuss. So far as the Northern Church is concerned, the book must be acknowledged as the very cream of orthodoxy; it is the last, the supreme, the most sublime of the Sûtras exposed by the Lord; it is, so to say, the siromani, the crown jewel, of all Sûtras[56].

        The contents of the separate chapters into which the Sûtra is divided may be described, summarily, as follows:

1. Prologue.

2. Awakening of the Lord from his mystic trance; display of his transcendent skillfulness, proved by the apparent trinity of vehicles, whereas in reality there is but one vehicle.

3. Prophecy of the Lord regarding the future destiny of Sâriputra, his eldest son. Second turn of the wheel of the law on that occasion, with incidental commemoration of the first turn near Benares. Parable of the burning house, to exemplify the skill of the good father in saving his children from the burning pains of mundane existence.

4. Another parable, exemplifying the skill o the wise father in leading a child that has gone astray and lost all self-respect back to a feeling of his innate nobility and to happiness.

5. Parable of the plants and the rain, to exemplify the impartiality and equal care of the Lord for all creatures[57]. Parable of the blind man, to intimate that the phenomena have but an apparent reality, and that the ultimate goal of all endeavours must be to reach all-knowingness, which in fact is identical with complete nescience.

6. Sundry predictions as proofs of the power of the Sugata to look into the future.

7. He has an equal knowledge of the remotest past; his remembrance of the turning of the wheel by the Thatâgata Mahâbhigñâgñânâbhibhû. Edifying history of the sixteen sons of the said Thatâgata.

8. Prophecy regarding five hundred Arhats.

9. Prophecy concerning Ânanda, Râhula, and the two thousand monks.

10. The Lord teaches how pious preachers of the law, who will come in after-times, ought to be duly honoured, and promises that he will always protect the ministers of religion.

11. Display of the miraculous power of Sâkyamuni shown in the appearance of a Stûpa, which, being opened by him, discloses to sight the frame of the expired Thatâgate Prabhûtaratna, who is desirous of hearing the exposition of the Lotus of the True Law. How Sâkyamuni in a former birth strove to acquire the Lotus. His great obligations to Devadatta. Episode of the wise daughter of the Ocean and her change of sex.

12. Prediction to Gautamî, Yasodharâ, and the nuns in their train. Promise of the host of disciples and Bodhisattvas to take up the difficult task of preaching the holy word in days to come, after the Lord’s Nirvâna.

13. Vocation of the ministers of religion, and practical rules for their conduct in and out of society. Parable of the king who rewards his valiant warriors; in the same manner the Buddha will reward those who struggle for his sake, by bestowing upon them all kinds of favours, at last the most valuable of his boons-eternal rest.

14. Splendid phantasmagory of innumerable Bodhisattvas evoked by the creative power of the Lord. Long pause, during which the Thatâgata and the four classes of hearers are silent. Perplexity of Maitreya on hearing that the innumerable Bodhisattvas have all been the pupils of the Lord.

15. The Buddha explains the fact by revealing the immense duration of his lifetime, in the past and the future.

16. Meritoriousness of the belief in the immense duration of the Thatâgatas and all those who have once become Buddhas.

17. The Lord details the great merit attending a ready acceptance of the preaching of the law.

18. Exposition of the advantages, worldly and spiritual, enjoyed by the ministers of religion.

19. Story of Sadâparibhûtra, exemplifying the superiority of simple-mindedness and pure-heartedness to worldly wisdom and skepticism.

20. Grand show exhibited by the two Thatâgatas Sâkyamuni and Prabhûtaratna conjointly[58]. Pause after the performance. After the pause a great stir amongst gods, celestial and infernal beings, men, &c.[59] The Tathâgata extols the Sûtra of the Lotus in which ‘all Buddha-laws are succinctly taught,’ as well as the keepers of this most eminent of Sûtras.

Immediately after this chapter may have followed, in the oldest version, the epilogue entitled ‘Perios of the Law;’ the reasons for this opinion have been already stated above. The supposed additional chapters contain the following topics, briefly indicated:

21. Efficacy of talismanic spells (Dhâranîs).

22. Self-sacrifice of the Bodhisattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana, otherwise called Bhaishagyarâga. Glorification of the Lotus as the most eminent of Sûtras.

23. Visit of the Bodhisattva Gadgadasvara to the Sahaworld. Extraordinary qualities and achievements of this worthy, incidentally narrated by the Thatâgata. Return of the Bodhisattva to whence he came.

24. Grandeur and ubiquitousness of Avalokitesvara.

25. Wonderful and edifying story of the conversion of the king Subhavyûha through the instrumentality of his two sons Vimalagarbha and Vimalanetra, al. Bhaishagyarâga and Bhaishagyasamudgata.

26. The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra charges himself with the task of being a protector to the preachers of religion in after-times after the Lord’s Nirvâna[60].

This summary, however meager, will be sufficient to show that there is no lack of variety in our Sûtra. We may, indeed, be satisfied that the compilers of it intended giving an exposition of the principal truths of their religion in general, and of the peculiar tenets of their own system[61] in particular, the whole with anxious care arranged in such a form that the Sûtra admitted of an exoterical and esoterical interpretation. It contains a revelation of the state of things in the present, as well as in the past and the future, a revelation derived from a virtually eternal source, so that the doctrine taught in it must be deemed valid not only for a certain spiritual brotherhood or church, but for the human race at large. The highest authority to whom the doctrine is referred, is not a certain individual having lived a short span of times somewhere in India, but the sublime being who has his constant abode on the Gridhrakûtra, i.e. he who is the terminology of other Indian creeds is called Kûtastha.

        As a general rule it may be said that in such works of ancient Indian literature as are anonymous, we must distinguish between the authority and the author. In the Lotus we meet after the invocation in some MSS. the following distich:

        Vaipulyasûtrarâgam paramârthanayâvatâranirdesam

        Saddharmapundarîkam sattvâya mahâpatham vakshye I.e. ‘Ishall proclaim the king of the Vaipulya-sûtras, that teacheth how one arrives at the (right) method of attaining the highest truth; the Saddharma-pundarîka, the great road (leading) to substantiality (being in abstracto),’ The person here speaking is not the Buddha, who is neither the author nor the writer of the work. Have we then to ascribe the distich to one of the ancient copyists? Burnouf[62]

 decidedly thinks so, and his opinion is corroborated by the fact that the verses do not occur in all MSS. I must confess that I am not so sue of it. As the Sûtra, like other compositions of the kind, begins with the solemn ‘Thus have I heard, &c.,’ it is at least possible that the distich belongs to the compiler. I am not aware that the scribes were in the habit of using such expressions as vak or synonymous terms instead of likh, to writ; and as we find in the Mahâvastu similar futures as vakshye, viz. udîrayishyam and upavarnayishyâmi[63], where they can hardly be imputed to the scribe, it is safer to leave the question, whether the opening distich of the Lotus is the work of a compiler or of a copyist, undecided, the more so because the parallel phrase athâto-vyâkhyâ-syâmah, frequently found immediately after the invocation, in non-Buddhistic writings, must be held to refer to the author or authors, compilers.

        The Lotus being one of the standard works of the Mahâyâna, the study of it cannot but be useful for the right appreciation of that remarkable system. A perusal of the book will convince the reader that a statement of Professor Wassiljew’s[64] can only be accepted with some restrictions, when this scholar, so profoundly versed in the history and development of Northern Buddhism, says that the Buddha of the Mahâyâna is ‘neither the creator nor the ruler of the world; he remains the same cold, indifferent egoist, absorbed in Nothingness.’ The Tathâgata of the Lotus is passionless, indeed, but that does not involve his being an egoist. In general it may be said that the spirit of the Mahâyâna is more universal, its ideal less monastical than the Hînayâna’s. According to Professor Rhys Davids we must not seek the superior vital power which enabled the Great Vehicle to outlive the earlier teaching in certain metaphysical subtleties, but in the idea of a desire to save all living creatures; ‘the idea,’ to quote his own words[65], ‘as summarized in the theory of Bodisatvaship, is the key-note of the later school, just as Arahatship is the key-note of early Buddhism.’ The Mahâyâna doctors said in effect: ‘ We grant you all you say about the bliss of attaining Nirvâna in this life[66]. But it produces advantage only to yourselves; and according to your own theory there will be a necessity for Buddhas in the future as much as there has been for Buddhas in the past. Greater, better, nobler then, than the attainment of Arahatship must be the attainment of Bodisatvaship from a desire to save all living creatures in the ages that will come.’ The teaching of the Lotus, however, is different, and comes to this, that every one should try to become a Buddha. It admits that from a practical point of view one may distinguish three means, so-called Vehicles, yânas, to attain the summum bonum, Nirvâna, although in a higher sense there is only one Vehicle. These means are, in plain language, piety, philosophy or rather Yogism , and striving for the enlightenment and weal of our fellow-creatures; these means are designated by the terms of Vehicle of (obedient) hearers or disciples, of Pratyekabuddhas, and of Bodhisattvas. Higher than piety is true and self-acquired knowledge of the eternal laws; higher than knowledge is devoting oneself to the spiritual weal of others[67]. The higher unity embracing the three separate Vehicles is the Buddha-vehicle.

        The title of Bodhisattva is not always used in the same acceptation. Apart from a broad distinction we can draw between human and superhuman Bodhisattvas[68]-the latter are here left out of account-we find sometimes the word applied to those persons who in the passage of our Sûtra alluded to are styled Srâvakas, hearers, learners. This appears to be the case at least in Nepâl, as we know from the following passage[69]: ‘The Buddha is the adept in the wisdom of Buddhism (Bodhijnána), whose first duty, so long as he remains on earth, is to communicate his wisdom to those who are willing to receive it. These willing learners are the “Bodhisattvas,” so called from their hearts being inclined to the wisdom of Buddhism , and “Sanghas,” from their companionship with one another, and with their Buddha or teacher, in the viháras or coenobitical establishments. The Bodhisattva or Sangha continues to be such until he has surmounted the very last grade of that vast and laborious ascent by which he is instructed that he can “scale the heavens,” and pluck immortal wisdom from its resplendent source: which achievement performed, he becomes a Buddha, that is, an Omniscient Being,’

        Here the Bodhisattvas are plainly distinguished from the coenobitical monks; they are so likewise in the Lotus[70], in which we find them also in the function of learned or wise men (Panditas), of preachers or ministers of religion. Wassiljew l.c. remarks about the Bodhisattva-the terrestrial one of course-that ‘from one side, he seems to be the substitute of the ancient Bhikshu;’ from which we ought not to infer that the mendicant monks, as such, ceased to exist, for that is notoriously not the case, but that the Bodhisattvas were charged with the office of preaching. They are persons who deserve to be honoured both by mendicant monks and lay devotees[71], and formed, it would seem, a kind of learned clergy, not to be confounded, however, with the modern Vagra-Âkâryas or married clergymen in Nepâl. There is reason to suppose that one of the honorific titles given to the preachers or interpreters of the law was ‘wise’ or ‘learned man,’ Pandit, for the word is so often applied to them that it looks more like a title than a common epithet[72].

Târanâtha knows Panita to be a title[73], and considers it to be the equivalent of the older Mahâbhadanta; he distinguishes ‘Bodhisattvas’ from ‘common Panditas’ and “Arhats.’ How does this agree with the data in the Lotus? As it has been intimated in a foregoing note, the three Vehicles are imitations of three Âsramas or stages in the model life of an Ârya, in the first place of a Brâhman. The stages are that of a student, of a hermit living in the forest, and of a Sannyâsin, Yati, or Mukta, who has wholly given up the world. The second stage, that of a householder, does not exist, of course, for those who vow themselves to a monastic life. Our Sûtra does not prescribe that the three stages must be gone through by the same persons, no more than the Bhagavadgîtâ l.c. requires that one should pass the stages of study, knowledge, and meditation before resolving upon complete renunciation (tyâga); what follows from the context is only this, that the Vehicle of Bodhisattvas, alias those who strive for the weal of all creatures, is superior to the two preceding Vehicles. The Vehicle of the Bodhisattvas being the loftiest of the three, they themselves must be considered as occupying the highest rank.

Now Târanâtha places the Arhats above them, and with the Nepalese also the first class of the monastic order is that of Arhat[74]. The question is, how are we to judge of the relation between Arhats and Bodhisattvas in the Lotus? As far as I am able to see, the compiler[75] of the Sûtra describes facts, or supposed facts, which he knew from oral or literary tradition, as having occurred in the past, whereas the actual state of things in his own time and shortly before is represented as that of the future. His Arhats are sages of the past, canonized saints; his human Bodhisattvas are sages, wise men of the present, most reverend worthies who should live a saintly life and generally do so, but who, however sanctimonious, are not acknowledged saints. Of an antagonism between Arhats and Bodhisattvas there is no trace in the book; the Arhats being dead, they cannot be active; the Bodhisattvas as living persons, can[76]. In a certain respect, then, the remark of Professor Rhys Davids holds good; the Bodhisattvas represent the ideal of spiritual activity, the Arhats of inactivity. It must be admitted that the Lotus, as a whole, breathes a less monastic and ascetic[77] spirit; it does not go the length to speak of ascetism and mortification in such scornful terms as the Bhagavadgîtâ[78] does, but at the same time it never extols it. There are in the book may indications that the art of preaching was made much of and highly developed, and it may be supposed that a greater proficiency in hermeneutics combined with superior mental activity has enabled the Mahâyâna to supplant its rival, the Hînayâna, and to extend its spiritual conquests once form the snows of Siberia to the luxuriant islands of the Indian Archipelago.

        After having touched upon such points in the text of the Saddharma-pundarîka as seemed to require more special notice, it behoves me to say a few words about the translation and its resources. In the first place, I must declare that I cannot speak in too warm terms of the benefit I have derived from the French translation by the illustrious Burnouf. I have taken that work throughout for my model, without having been able to reach its excellency. The material discrepancies between his translation are partly due to my having followed other MSS., partly to another interpretation, especially of frequently corrupt and difficult Gâthâs. If some reader not acquainted with the peculiar difficulties of those Gâthâs should wonder at the occurrence of numerous discrepancies, I would repeat the words of the preface to the Chinese version from A.D. 601, and request him ‘not to have any suspicion about these differences.’ Let him compare the fragment from Kumâragîva’s rendering on page xl with the corresponding passages in the French and English translations, and he will observe that the difference between the work of the learned Buddhist of the fourth century and the two European versions is far more considerable than between the latter.

        The base of my translation has been an old manuscript on palm leaves, belonging to Dr. D. Wright’s collection, in the University Library of Cambridge. The manuscript is dated Newar, era 159 (=A.D. 1039), and was written in the reign of the king Kâmadeva (?), in the bright half of the month Vaisâkha, on a Thursday[79]. It is one of the most ancient Sanskrit MSS. existing in Europe, and therefore I thought that it was advisable to follow its readings as much as possible, except in such passages as were evidently corrupt. A second Ms., unfortunately incomplete, from the same collection, is of unknown date, since the latter part of the codex is lost; from the form of the characters it may be inferred that it is not much more modern than the other codex[80]. The difference between both is not very great; yet there can be no doubt that the second MS. belongs to another family. The varietas lectionis is strikingly similar in kind to what we find in the different texts of the Vagrakkhedikâ, edited by Professor Max Müller.

        The former manuscript has much in common with the London codices, from which Burnouf in the notes on his translation has derived numerous various readings; it stands farther off from the Paris MS. that has formed the base of Burnoug’s version, but not so far as the second Cambridge MS., which shows the greatest number of peculiar readings. The text of chapter iv in Professor Foucaux’s edition of the Parabole de l’enfant égaré is comparatively modern and bad. In general it may be said that all the known copies of the Saddarma-pundarîka are written with a want of care little in harmony with the holy character of the book.

        Before closing this preface I beg to offer my sincere thanks to Professors William Wright and E. B. Cowell, at Cambridge, for the generous way in which they have enabled me to use the MSS. I wanted for my translation. My thanks are due also to the Council of Cambridge University and Mr. H. Bradshwa, for their readily complying with my wishes. To Professor Max Müller I owe a debt of gratitude for his kindly assisting me in my task in more than one respect, a debt which I am glad here openly to acknowledge.



From 《The Lotus of the True Law》, Translates by H.Kern



[1] B, H. Hodgson, Essays on the Language, Literature, and Religion of Nepál and Tibet, p.13; cf. p.49.

[2] As the Perfect Pragñâ is she who has produced all Thatâgatas, the mother of all Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Disciples (see Cowell and Eggeling, Catalogue of Buddhist Sanskrit Manuscripts, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series, VIII, p.3), we must infer that the work is chiefly intended to set forth the principia rerum. It begins with chaos (pradhâna or pragâñ; and hence its place at the commencėment of the list. We may, perhaps, best designate it as an abstract of mystic-natural or materialistic philosophy.

[3] Introduction l’histoire du Buddhisme indien, pp. 103-128.

[4] Burnouf, Introd. P.218 seq.

[5] Burnouf, Introd. P.423; cf. p.431, where Pushyamitra is made to speak of Dînâras; Max Müller, History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p 245.

[6] See e.g. the foot-note, p.413.

[7] An erroneous Sanskritisation of the present tense dakkhanti.

[8] Obviously an unhappy attempt to Sanskritise a Pâli or Prâkrit patibhamsu; it ought to have been pratyabhâsishtâm.

[9] The text is corrupt; we have either to read vimalânubuddham, a Tatpurusha compound expressing the same as what the text exhibits, or vimalena buddham.

[10] Hi is meaningless, and only a clumsy device to satisfy the exigency of Sanskrit phonetical rules, which are not applicable to Prâkrit.

[11] Read srinvantu.

[12] Read dharmam vimalena. Vipula probably owes its origin to a dittography.

[13] I do not understand this pamuñkantu, i.e. let them cast off, loose or emit. Perhaps we have to read payuñgantu, let them practise.

[14] Read tesham, if not tesam, because a contraction of a m and a following vowel into one syllable is as common as one of â m is unheard of.

[15] These words do not suit the metre, and have undoubtedly been transposed from their original place, which they have kept in the Pâli text.

[16] Rather Upakâ, a common Prâkrit form of the vocative case. See Sukhâ-vatî-vyûha, p. xi, in Anecdota Oxoniensia, Aryan Series, vol. I, part ii.

[17] Read aham evâraham (Sanskrit arhan).

[18] The Calc. ed. has wrongly dharvo and pugalah.

[19] The reading a ham sadrisîm of the Calc. ed. is clearly a corrupt reading.

[20] This word, which spoils the metre, has manifestly replaced an older expression, not unlikely âhañhi, or a similar form of the future tense of âhan (Sansk. âhanishye).

[21] Lotus de la bonne Loi, p.864.

[22] Written âirapatha, for the Vriddhi vowel denotes the sound of âi in Sanskrit, at least originally; from the same dipnthong being used in the Asoka edicts in thaira (Sansk. sthavira), we must infer that the diphthong was, in the then Prâkrit, sounded ai, not âi.

[23] That is, kayirn was probably pronounced kǎira, which cannot be exactly expressed by because those who were acquainted with the rules of Sanskrit grammar would pronounce this and similar words with the sound of âi.

[24] The able editor of this work. M. Senart, makes the following remarks on its language (p.xii): ‘Nous sommes ici en présence d’une langue irréguliére et instable, mélange siogulier de formes diverses d’âge et d’origine.’

[25] Khâbhibhâva of the Cala. text is a clerical blunder.

[26] See Childers’ Pâli Dict. p.134, where the Thero Subbûti’s etymology eko udeti proves that he does not know the origin of the word; nor is it likely that the writer of the Pâli passage cited by Childers knew more, for had he recognized the word, he would have written ekoti, because a Prâkrit d between two vowels, if answering to a Sanskrit t, usually requires a t in Pâli.

[27] III, 5, 1, 31; VIII, 2,6; XIV, 1,3,31.

[28] Also in the inscriptions of Asoka.

[29] As e.g. the word dînâra in the Asoka Avadâna; the passage on the Greeks Yoâs, in Assalâyana Sutta (ed. Pischel), p.10; cf. the editor’s remark, p.6; the word karama for kalama, calamus to write with, in Kâranda-vyûha (Calc. ed.), p.69.

[30] Isolated stanzas, as in chapters xxii, xxv, and elsewhere, ar ewholly left out of question.

[31] Catalogue of the Tripitaka (Oxford), by Mr. Bunyin Nanijo; Sûtra Pitaka, col. 45.

[32] In the English translation chapters xi and xxiv.

[33] Another notice in the above-mentioned Catalogue, col. 44, runs thus: ‘The portion of prose” (of chap. xxiv)’ was translated by Kumâragîva, of the latter Tshin dynasty, A. D. 384-417; and that of Gâthâs by Gñânagupta, of the Northern Keu dynasty, A.D. 557-589’ So it seems that the Gâthâs have been added, and, not unlikely, been composed, between 417 and 557 A.D.

[34] Sûtra Pitaka, col. 44seqq.

[35] In S. Beal, The Buddhist Tripitaka, p.14, the name of the author Ku Fâ-hu (Chu-fa-hu) is identifief with Dharmagupts.

[36] Cf. Beal, Buddhist Tripitaka, p.15.

[37] The preface to the Chinese translation of Gñânagupta and Dharmagupta says: ‘The translations of Ku Fâ-hu and Kumâragîva are most probably made from two different texts.’

[38] Wassiljew, Buddhismus, p.222. This was written before the publication of my Cambridge Lectures, ‘India, what can it teach us?’ and affords valuable, because independent, confirmation of the chronological system contained in Note G, ‘Renaissance of Sanskrit Literature,’ pp.281-366.-The Editor, F.M.M.

[39] Wassiljew, Buddhismus, p.78; cf. pp. 64 and 219;Târanâtha, Geschichte des Buddhismus (transl. Schiefner), p.126.

[40] See especially Histoire de la vie de Hiouen Thsang, pp.83, 93, 97, 114, 106.

[41] Sûtra Pitaka, col. 45.

[42] In the Nepalese MSS. and the European translations the latter part of chap. xi,

[43] Introduction, p.119.

[44] Burnouf’s rendering is ‘Déva supérieur aux Dévas.’

[45] Less frequent than devâtideva is the synonymous devâdhideva, e.g. Lalita-vistara, p. 131; essentially the same is the term sarvadevottama, the highest of all gods, ib. p.144.

[46] See chap. xiv, p.295.

[47] Cf. Krishna declaring of himself in Bhagavad-gîtâ IX, 17; Pitâham gagato mâtâ dhâtâ pitâmahah. Cf. XI, 43. the significant title of Pitâmaha is given to Buddha in an inscription found at Dooriya (Bithâ); Cunningham, Archæol, Survey, vol. iii, pl. xviii; cf. p.48.

[48] Like Nârâyana in Bhagavad-gîtâ XII, 7: Teshâm aham samuddhartâmrtyusamsârasâgarât.

[49] Chap. xv. st. 21.

[50] Chap. xv, st. 6,10.

[51] One intermediate kalpa is, in the system, equal to 8 yugas. As 4 yugas number 4,320,000 years, it follows that the pause lasted 432 millions of years. Esoterically, kalpa has certainly denoted a short interval of time, but even if we take the ‘intermediate kalpa’ to mean, in reality, a lapse of time equal to a few hours, the pause would not refer to an historical event.

[52] See e.g. Khândogya-upanishad III, 18 and 19; cf. Bhagavad-gîtâ XV, 12.

[53] Cf. Bhagavad-gîtâ XIII, 33; yathâ prakâsayaty ekah kritsnam lokam imam ravih, kshetram kshetrî thatâ kritsnam prakâsayati, Bhârata. The ksbetra here is the body, the kshetrin is Mind, Reason, âtman. Cf. Saṅkara on Khândogya-upanishad, l. c.

[54] The followers of the Upanishads, Aupanishadas, who say, ‘Myself am God,’ or as Nîlakantha puts it, ‘Myself am the Lord Vâsudeva.’

[55] According to Nîlakantha the common people, who think, ‘He, the Lord, is my Master.’

[56] Chap. xiii, st. 53 seq.

[57] Cf. Bhagavad-gît IX, 29, where Nârâyana declares: ‘ I am equal towards all creatures, none is hateful to me, none beloved; ‘samo’ ham sarvabhûteshu, na me dveshyo ‘stina priyah.

[58] Both stretch their flaming tongues as far as the Brahma-world. In the Bhagavad-gîtâ XI, 30 it is said of Nârâyana, when at the request of Arguna he shows himself in his full grandeur: lelihyase grasamânah samantâl lokân samagrân vadanair gvaladhih, tegobhir âpûrya gagat samagram bhâsas tavogrâh prapatanti, Vishno!

[59] Cf. Bhagavad-gîtâ XI, 15.

[60] There is some incongruity between this chapter and chapter x. because in the latter it is the Lord himself who promises to be in future the protector of the preachers.

[61] I.e. of the Mahâyâna, which according to Târanâtha, Geschichte des buddhismus, p.274, stands above the division of the Buddhas into various schools.

[62] Lotus, p.285.

[63] Mahâvastu (ed. Senart), p. 1, with the remarks of the editor, and p.9.

[64] In his Buddhismus, p.126.

[65] In Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion, p.254.

[66] It may be observed that there is nothing peculiarly Buddhistic in the searching for Nirâna in this life, except in the sound of the word. It is exactly the same as what other Indian enthusiasts or mystics called Gîvammukti, the aim of Yogins in the fourth degree (answering to the Arhats of the Buddhists) and of the Brâhmans or Dvigas in the fourth Âsrama.

[67] See chap. iii, p.80. Something similar in Bhagavad-Gîtâ Xii, 12: sreyo hi gñânam abhyâsâg gñânâd dhyânam visishyate, dhyânât karmaphalatyâgas tyâgâk khântir anantaram; and IV, 5: labhante brahmanirânam rishayah kshînakalmashâh, khinnadvaidhâ yatâtmânah sarvabhûtahite ratâh. Neither in these passages of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ nor in the three Vehicles is there anything new; abhyâsa, study, denotes the period of one’s studying under a master, the Brahmakâriship, which the Lotus calls the Vehicle of Disciples; the period od dhyâna, alias the Vehicle of Pratyekabuddhas, coincides with the third Âsrama, that of Vânaprastha; the tyâga, alias Bodhisattvaship, is virtually the same with the life of a Sannyâsin, Yati, or Mukta. Gñâna characterizes the second Âsrama; in the Lotus it is merged in or combined with dhyâna.

[68] Cf. Wassiljew, Buddhismus, p.124.

[69] B. H. Hodgson, Essays, p.62. Cf. Stanislas Julien, Voyages des Pèlerins bouddhistes, II, p.436 note.

[70] See especially the whole of chapterx.

[71] Lotus, chap. x, st. 27 seq.

[72] E. g. Lotus, chap. x, st. 4, cf. 6; 23, 33; xiii, 13,16,24,26,30,32,39,44.

[73] Geschichatë des Büddhismus, p.60.

[74] Hodgson, Essays, p.52; cf. p.30.

[75] The reader should not lay stress upon this singular.

[76] Something of contempt for the Arhats is shown in the story communicated by Hiouen Thsang in Voyages des Pèlerins bouddhistes, II, p.176, where the editor inadvertently writes Vasubandhu instead of Vasumitra; his index affords the means of correcting the mistake; cf. Wassiljew in Târanâtha, p.298.

[77] See chap. xiii, 28, where the eighth commandment of the Dasasîla, forbidding the use of ointment, is slighted.

[78] See there xvii, 5 seqq., and cf. 14 seqq., where we are taught what the true tapas should be.

[79] Samvat 159 Vaisâkhasukle (illegible the Tithi) Gurudine, Kâmadevasya vigayarâgye likkitam iti. There seem to be wanting two syllables before kâma.

[80] The two Cambridge MSS. are marked Add. 1682 and 1683.