The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:26 am


There was a courtesan in Mathurā named Vāsavadattā. She happened to see Upagutta, one of Buddha's disciples, a tall and beautiful youth, and fell desperately in love with him. Vāsavadattā sent an invitation to the young man, but he replied: "The time has not yet arrived when Upagutta will visit Vāsavadattā."[Pg 201]1

The courtesan was astonished at the reply, and she sent again for him, saying: "Vāsavadattā desires love, not gold, from Upagutta." But Upagutta made the same enigmatic reply and did not come.2

A few months later Vāsavadattā had a love-intrigue with the chief of the artisans, and at that time a wealthy merchant came to Mathurā, who fell in love with Vāsavadattā. Seeing his wealth, and fearing the jealousy of her other lover, she contrived the death of the chief of the artisans, and concealed his body under a dunghill.3

When the chief of the artisans had disappeared, his relatives and friends searched for him and found his body. Vāsavadattā, however, was tried by a judge, and condemned to have her ears and nose, her hands and feet cut off, and flung into a graveyard.4

Vāsavadattā had been a passionate girl, but kind to her servants, and one of her maids followed her, and out of love for her former mistress ministered unto her in her agonies, and chased away the crows.5

Now the time had arrived when Upagutta decided to visit Vāsavadattā.6

When he came, the poor woman ordered her maid to collect and hide under a cloth her severed limbs; and he greeted her kindly, but she said with petulance: "Once this body was fragrant like the lotus, and I offered thee my love. In those days I was covered with pearls and fine muslin. Now I am mangled by the executioner and covered with filth and blood."7

"Sister," said the young man, "it is not for my pleasure that I approach thee. It is to restore to thee a nobler beauty than the charms which thou hast lost.8

"I have seen with mine eyes the Tathāgata walking upon earth and teaching men his wonderful doctrine. But thou wouldst not have listened to the words of righteousness while surrounded with temptations, while under the spell[Pg 202] of passion and yearning for worldly pleasures. Thou wouldst nor have listened to the teachings of the Tathāgata, for thy heart was wayward, and thou didst set thy trust on the sham of thy transient charms.9

"The charms of a lovely form are treacherous, and quickly lead into temptations, which have proved too strong for thee. But there is a beauty which will not fade, and if thou wilt but listen to the doctrine of our Lord, the Buddha, thou wilt find that peace which thou wouldst have found in the restless world of sinful pleasures."10

Vāsavadattā became calm and a spiritual happiness soothed the tortures of her bodily pain; for where there is much suffering there is also great bliss.11

Having taken refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, she died in pious submission to the punishment of her crime.
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:27 am


There was a man in Jambūnada who was to be married the next day, and he thought, "Would that the Buddha, the Blessed One, might be present at the wedding."1

And the Blessed One passed by his house and met him, and when he read the silent wish in the heart of the bridegroom, he consented to enter.2

When the Holy One appeared with the retinue of his many bhikkhus, the host whose means were limited received them as best he could, saying: "Eat, my Lord, and all thy congregation, according to your desire."3

While the holy men ate, the meats and drinks remained undiminished, and the host thought to himself: "How wondrous is this! I should have had plenty for all my relatives and friends. Would that I had invited them all."4

When this thought was in the host's mind, all his relatives and friends entered the house; and although the hall in the house was small there was room in it for all of them. They sat down at the table and ate, and there was more than enough for all of them.5

The Blessed One was pleased to see so many guests full of good cheer and he quickened them and gladdened them with words of truth, proclaiming the bliss of righteousness:6

"The greatest happiness which a mortal man can imagine is the bond of marriage that ties together two loving hearts. But there is a greater happiness still: it is the embrace of truth. Death will separate husband and wife, but death will never affect him who has espoused the truth.7

"Therefore be married unto the truth and live with the truth in holy wedlock. The husband who loves his wife and desires for a union that shall be everlasting must be faithful to her so as to be like truth itself, and she will rely upon him and revere him and minister unto him. And the wife who loves her husband and desires a union that shall be everlasting must be faithful to him so as to be like truth itself; and he will place his trust in her, he will provide for her. Verily, I say unto you, their children will become like unto their parents and will bear witness to their happiness.8

"Let no man be single, let every one be wedded in holy love to the truth. And when Māra, the destroyer, comes to separate the visible forms of your being, you will continue to live in the truth, and you will partake of the life everlasting, for the truth is immortal."9

There was no one among the guests but was strengthened in his spiritual life, and recognized the sweetness[Pg 206] of a life of righteousness; and they took refuge in Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:27 am


Having sent out his disciples, the Blessed One himself wandered from place to place until he reached Uruvelā.1

On his way he sat down in a grove to rest, and it happened that in that same grove there was a party of thirty friends who were enjoying themselves with their wives; and while they were sporting, some of their goods were stolen.2

Then the whole party went in search of the thief and, meeting the Blessed One sitting under a tree, saluted him and said: "Pray, Lord, didst thou see the thief pass by with our goods?"3

And the Blessed One said: "Which is better for you, that you go in search for the thief or for yourselves?" And the youths cried: "In search for ourselves!"4

"Well, then," said the Blessed One, "sit down and I will preach the truth to you."5

And the whole party sat down and they listened eagerly to the words of the Blessed One. Having grasped the truth, they praised the doctrine and took refuge in the Buddha.
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:27 am


There was a Brahman, a religious man and fond in his affections but without deep wisdom. He had a son of great promise, who, when seven years old, was struck with a[Pg 207] fatal disease and died. The unfortunate father was unable to control himself; he threw himself upon the corpse and lay there as one dead.1

The relatives came and buried the dead child and when the father came to himself, he was so immoderate in his grief that he behaved like an insane person. He no longer gave way to tears but wandered about asking for the residence of Yamarāja, the king of death, humbly to beg of him that his child might be allowed to return to life.2

Having arrived at a great Brahman temple the sad father went through certain religious rites and fell asleep. While wandering on in his dream he came to a deep mountain pass where he met a number of samanas who had acquired supreme wisdom. "Kind sirs," he said, "can you not tell me where the residence of Yamarāja is?" And they asked him, "Good friend, why wouldst thou know?" Whereupon he told them his sad story and explained his intentions. Pitying his self-delusion, the samanas said: "No mortal man can reach the place where Yama reigns, but some four hundred miles westward lies a great city in which many good spirits live; every eighth day of the month Yama visits the place, and there mayst thou see him who is the King of Death and ask him for a boon."3

The Brahman rejoicing at the news went to the city and found it as the samanas had told him. He was admitted to the dread presence of Yama, the King of Death, who, on hearing his request, said: "Thy son now lives in the eastern garden where he is disporting himself; go there and ask him to follow thee."4

Said the happy father: "How does it happen that my son, without having performed one good work, is now living in paradise?" Yamarāja replied: "He has obtained celestial happiness not for performing good deeds, but because he died in faith and in love to the Lord and[Pg 208] Master, the most glorious Buddha. The Buddha says: 'The heart of love and faith spreads as it were a beneficent shade from the world of men to the world of gods.' This glorious utterance is like the stamp of a king's seal upon a royal edict."5

The happy father hastened to the place and saw his beloved child playing with other children, all transfigured by the peace of the blissful existence of a heavenly life. He ran up to his boy and cried with tears running down his cheeks: "My son, my son, dost thou not remember me, thy father who watched over thee with loving care and tended thee in thy sickness? Return home with me to the land of the living." But the boy, while struggling to go back to his playmates, upbraided him for using such strange expressions as father and son. "In my present state," he said, "I know no such words, for I am free from delusion."6

On this, the Brahman departed, and when he woke from his dream he bethought himself of the Blessed Master of mankind, the great Buddha, and resolved to go to him, lay bare his grief, and seek consolation.7

Having arrived at the Jetavana, the Brahman told his story and how his boy had refused to recognize him and to go home with him.8

And the World-honored One said: "Truly thou art deluded. When man dies the body is dissolved into its elements, but the spirit is not entombed. It leads a higher mode of life in which all the relative terms of father, son, wife, mother, are at an end, just as a guest who leaves his lodging has done with it, as though it were a thing of the past. Men concern themselves most about that which passes away; but the end of life quickly comes as a burning torrent sweeping away the transient in a moment. They are like a blind man set to look after a burning lamp. A wise man, understanding the transiency of worldly relations,[Pg 209] destroys the cause of grief, and escapes from the seething whirlpool of sorrow. Religious wisdom lifts a man above the pleasures and pains of the world and gives him peace everlasting."9

The Brahman asked the permission of the Blessed One to enter the community of his bhikkhus, so as to acquire that heavenly wisdom which alone can give comfort to an afflicted heart.
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:28 am


There was a rich man who found his gold suddenly transformed into ashes; and he took to his bed and refused all food. A friend, hearing of his sickness, visited the rich man and learned the cause of his grief. And the friend said: "Thou didst not make good use of thy wealth. When thou didst hoard it up it was not better than ashes. Now heed my advice. Spread mats in the bazaar; pile up these ashes, and pretend to trade with them."1

The rich man did as his friend had told him, and when his neighbors asked him, "Why sellest thou ashes?" he said: "I offer my goods for sale."2

After some time a young girl, named Kisā Gotamī, an orphan and very poor, passed by, and seeing the rich man in the bazaar, said: "My lord, why pilest thou thus up gold and silver for sale."3

And the rich man said: "Wilt thou please hand me that gold and silver?" And Kisā Gotamī took up a handful of ashes, and lo! they changed back into gold.4

Considering that Kisā Gotamī had the mental eye of spiritual knowledge and saw the real worth of things, the rich man gave her in marriage to his son, and he said:[Pg 210] "With many, gold is no better than ashes, but with Kisā Gotamī ashes become pure gold."5

And Kisā Gotamī had an only son, and he died. In her grief she carried the dead child to all her neighbors, asking them for medicine, and the people said: "She has lost her senses. The boy is dead."6

At length Kisā Gotamī met a man who replied to her request: "I cannot give thee medicine for thy child, but I know a physician who can."7

And the girl said: "Pray tell me, sir; who is it?" And the man replied: "Go to Sakyamuni, the Buddha."8

Kisā Gotamī repaired to the Buddha and cried: "Lord and Master, give me the medicine that will cure my boy."9

The Buddha answered: "I want a handful of mustard-seed." And when the girl in her joy promised to procure it, the Buddha added: "The mustard-seed must be taken from a house where no one has lost a child, husband, parent, or friend."10

Poor Kisā Gotamī now went from house to house, and the people pitied her and said: "Here is mustard-seed; take it!" But when she asked, "Did a son or daughter, a father or mother, die in your family?" They answered her: "Alas! the living are few, but the dead are many. Do not remind us of our deepest grief." And there was no house but some beloved one had died in it.11

Kisā Gotamī became weary and hopeless, and sat down at the wayside, watching the lights of the city, as they flickered up and were extinguished again. At last the darkness of the night reigned everywhere. And she considered the fate of men, that their lives flicker up and are extinguished. And she thought to herself: "How selfish am I in my grief! Death is common to all; yet in this valley of desolation there is a path that leads him to immortality who has surrendered all selfishness."[Pg 211]12

Putting away the selfishness of her affection for her child, Kisā Gotamī had the dead body buried in the forest. Returning to the Buddha, she took refuge in him and found comfort in the Dharma, which is a balm that will soothe all the pains of our troubled hearts.13

The Buddha said:14

"The life of mortals in this world is troubled and brief and combined with pain. For there is not any means by which those that have been born can avoid dying; after reaching old age there is death; of such a nature are living beings.15

"As ripe fruits are early in danger of falling, so mortals when born are always in danger of death.16

"As all earthen vessels made by the potter end in being broken, so is the life of mortals.17

"Both young and adult, both those who are fools and those who are wise, all fall into the power of death; all are subject to death.18

"Of those who, overcome by death, depart from life, a father cannot save his son, nor kinsmen their relations.19

"Mark! while relatives are looking on and lamenting deeply, one by one mortals are carried off, like an ox that is led to the slaughter.20

"So the world is afflicted with death and decay, therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world.21

"In whatever manner people think a thing will come to pass, it is often different when it happens, and great is the disappointment; see, such are the terms of the world.22

"Not from weeping nor from grieving will any one obtain peace of mind; on the contrary, his pain will be the greater and his body will suffer. He will make himself sick and pale, yet the dead are not saved by his lamentation.[Pg 212]23

"People pass away, and their fate after death will be according to their deeds.24

"If a man live a hundred years, or even more, he will at last be separated from the company of his relatives, and leave the life of this world.25

"He who seeks peace should draw out the arrow of lamentation, and complaint, and grief.26

"He who has drawn out the arrow and has become composed will obtain peace of mind; he who has overcome all sorrow will become free from sorrow, and be blessed."27
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:28 am


South of Sāvatthi is a great river, on the banks of which lay a hamlet of five hundred houses. Thinking of the salvation of the people, the World-honored One resolved to go to the village and preach the doctrine. Having come to the riverside he sat down beneath a tree, and the villagers seeing the glory of his appearance approached him with reverence; but when he began to preach, they believed him not.1

When the world-honored Buddha had left Sāvatthi Sāriputta felt a desire to see the Lord and to hear him preach. Coming to the river where the water was deep and the current strong, he said to himself: "This stream shall not prevent me. I shall go and see the Blessed One," and he stepped upon the water which was as firm under his feet as a slab of granite.2

When he arrived at a place in the middle of the stream where the waves were high, Sāriputta's heart gave way, and he began to sink. But rousing his faith and renewing his mental effort, he proceeded as before and reached the other bank.3

The people of the village were astonished to see Sāriputta, and they asked how he could cross the stream where there was nether a bridge nor a ferry.4

And Sāriputta replied: "I lived in ignorance until I heard the voice of the Buddha. As I was anxious to hear the doctrine of salvation, I crossed the river and I walked over its troubled waters because I had faith. Faith, nothing else, enabled me to do so, and now I am here in the bliss of the Master's presency."5

The World-honored One added: "Sāriputta, thou hast spoken well. Faith like thine alone can save the world from the yawning gulf of migration and enable men to walk dryshod to the other shore."6

And the Blessed One urged to the villagers the necessity of ever advancing in the conquest of sorrow and of casting off all shackles so as to cross the river of worldliness and attain deliverance from death.7

Hearing the words of the Tathāgata, the villagers were filled with joy and believing in the doctrines of the Blessed One embraced the five rules and took refuge in his name.8
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:29 am


An old bhikkhu of a surly disposition was afflicted with a loathsome disease the sight and smell of which was so nauseating that no one would come near him or help him in his distress. And it happened that the World-honored One came to the vihāra in which the unfortunate man lay; hearing of the case he ordered warm water to be prepared[Pg 214] and went to the sick-room to administer unto the sores of the patient with his own hand, saying to his disciples:1

"The Tathāgata has come into the world to befriend the poor, to succor the unprotected, to nourish those in bodily affliction, both the followers of the Dharma and unbelievers, to give sight to the blind and enlighten the minds of the deluded, to stand up for the rights of orphans as well as the aged, and in so doing to set an example to others. This is the consummation of his work, and thus he attains the great goal of life as the rivers that lose themselves in the ocean."2

The World-honored One administered unto the sick bhikkhu daily so long as he stayed in that place. And the governor of the city came to the Buddha to do him reverence, and having heard of the service which the Lord did in the vihāra asked the Blessed One about the previous existence of the sick monk, and the Buddha said:3

"In days gone by there was a wicked king who used to extort from his subjects all he could get; and he ordered one of his officers to lay the lash on a man of eminence. The officer little thinking of the pain he inflicted upon others, obeyed; but when the victim of the king's wrath begged for mercy, he felt compassion and laid the whip lightly upon him. Now the king was reborn as Devadatta, who was abandoned by all his followers, because they were no longer willing to stand his severity and he died miserable and full of penitence. The officer is the sick bhikkhu, who having often given offence to his brethren in the vihāra was left without assistance in his distress. The eminent man, however, who was unjustly beaten and begged for mercy was the Bodhisatta; he has been reborn as the Tathāgata. It is now the lot of the Tathāgata to help the wretched officer as he had mercy on him."4

And the World-honored One repeated these lines: "He who inflicts pain on the gentle, or falsely accuses the[Pg 215] innocent, will inherit one of the ten great calamities. But he who has learned to suffer with patience will be purified and will be the chosen instrument for the alleviation of suffering."5

The diseased bhikkhu on hearing these words turned to the Buddha, confessed his ill-natured temper and repented, and with a heart cleansed from error did reverence unto the Lord.
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:30 am


While the Blessed One was residing in the Jetavana, there was a householder living in Sāvatthi known to all his neighbors as patient and kind, but his relatives were wicked and contrived a plot to rob him. One day they came to the householder and often worrying him with all kinds of threats took away a goodly portion of his property. He did not go to court, nor did he complain, but tolerated with great forbearance the wrongs he suffered.1

The neighbors wondered and began to talk about it, and rumors of the affair reached the ears of the brethren in Jetavana. While the brethren discussed the occurrence in the assembly hall, the Blessed One entered and asked "What was the topic of your conversation?" And they told him.2

Said the Blessed One: "The time will come when the wicked relatives will find their punishment. O brethren, this is not the first time that this occurrence took place; it has happened before", and he told them a world-old tale.3

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king of Benares, the Bodhisatta was born in the Himālaya region as[Pg 216] an elephant. He grew up strong and big, and ranged the hills and mountains, the peaks and caves of the tortuous woods in the valleys. Once as he went he saw a pleasant tree, and took his food, standing under it.4

Then some impertinent monkeys came down out of the tree, and jumping on the elephant's back, insulted and tormented him greatly; they took hold of his tusks, pulled his tail and disported themselves, thereby causing him much annoyance. The Bodhisatta, being full of patience, kindliness and mercy, took no notice at all of their misconduct which the monkeys repeated again and again.5

One day the spirit that lived in the tree, standing upon the tree-trunk, addressed the elephant saying, "My lord elephant, why dost thou put up with the impudence of these bad monkeys?" And he asked the question in a couplet as follows:6

"Why dost thou patiently endure each freak
These mischievous and selfish monkeys wreak?"7

The Bodhisatta, on hearing this, replied, "If, Tree-sprite, I cannot endure these monkeys' ill treatment without abusing their birth, lineage and persons, how can I walk in the eightfold noble path? But these monkeys will do the same to others thinking them to be like me. If they do it to any rogue elephant, he will punish them indeed, and I shall be delivered both from their annoyance and the guilt of having done harm to others."8

Saying this he repeated another stanza:9

"If they will treat another one like me,
He will destroy them; and I shall be free."10

A few days after, the Bodhisatta went elsewhither, and another elephant, a savage beast, came and stood in his place. The wicked monkeys thinking him to be like the old one, climbed upon bis back and did as before. The[Pg 217] rogue elephant seized the monkeys with his trunk, threw them upon the ground, gored them with his tusk and trampled them to mincemeat under his feet.11

When the Master had ended this teaching, he declared the truths, and identified the births, saying: "At that time the mischievous monkeys were the wicked relatives of the good man, the rogue elephant was the one who will punish them, but the virtuous noble elephant was the Tathāgata himself in a former incarnation."12

After this discourse one of the brethren rose and asked leave to propose a question and when permission was granted he said: "I have heard the doctrine that wrong should be met with wrong and the evil doer should be checked by being made to suffer, for if this were not done evil would increase and good would disappear. What shall we do?"13

Said the Blessed One: "Nay, I will tell you: Ye who have left the world and have adopted this glorious faith of putting aside selfishness, ye shall not do evil for evil nor return hate for hate. Nor do ye think that ye can destroy wrong by retaliating evil for evil and thus increasing wrong. Leave the wicked to their fate and their evil deeds will sooner or later in one way or another bring on their own punishment." And the Tathāgata repeated these stanzas:14

"Who harmeth him that doth no harm
And striketh him that striketh not,
Shall gravest punishment incur
The which his wickedness begot,—15

"Some of the greatest ills in life
Either a loathsome dread disease,
Or dread old age, or loss of mind,
Or wretched pain without surcease,16

"Or conflagration, loss of wealth;
Or of his nearest kin he shall
See some one die that's dear to him,
And then he'll be reborn in hell."
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:30 am



When the Blessed One was residing on the mount called Vulture's Peak, near Rājagaha, Ajātasattu the king of Magadha, who reigned in the place of Bimbisāra, planned an attack on the Vajjīs, and he said to Vassakāra, his prime minister: "I will root out the Vajjīs, mighty though they be. I will destroy the Vajjīs; I will bring them to utter ruin! Come now, O Brahman, and go to the Blessed One; inquire in my name for his health, and tell him my purpose. Bear carefully in mind what the Blessed One may say, and repeat it to me, for the Buddhas speak nothing untrue."1

When Vassakāra, the prime minister, had greeted the Blessed One and delivered his message, the venerable Ānanda stood behind[Pg 220] the Blessed One and fanned him, and the Blessed One said to him: "Hast thou heard, Ānanda, that the Vajjis hold full and frequent public assemblies?"2

"Lord, so I have heard," replied he.3

"So long, Ānanda," said the Blessed One, "as the Vajjis hold these full and frequent public assemblies, they may be expected not to decline, but to prosper. So long as they meet together in concord, so long as they honor their elders, so long as they respect womanhood, so long as they remain religious, performing all proper rites, so long as they extend the rightful protection, defence and support to the holy ones, the Vajjis may be expected not to decline, but to prosper."4

Then the Blessed One addressed Vassakāra and said: "When I stayed, O Brahman, at Vesālī, I taught the Vajjis these conditions of welfare, that so long as they should remain well instructed, so long as they will continue in the right path, so long as they live up to the precepts of righteousness, we could expect them not to decline, but to prosper."5

As soon as the king's messenger had gone, the Blessed One had the brethren, that were in the neighborhood of Rājagaha, assembled in the service-hall, and addressed them, saying:6

"I will teach you, O bhikkhus, the conditions of the welfare of a community. Listen well, and I will speak.7

"So lone, O bhikkhus, as the brethren hold full and frequent assemblies, meeting in concord, rising in concord, and attending in concord to the affairs of the Sangha; so long as they, O bhikkhus, do not abrogate that which experience has proved to be good, and introduce nothing except such things as have been carefully tested; so long as their elders practise justice; so long as the brethren esteem, revere, and support their elders, and hearken unto their words; so long as the brethren are not under the[Pg 221] influence of craving, but delight in the blessings of religion, so that good and holy men shall come to them and dwell among them in quiet; so long as the brethren shall not be addicted to sloth and idleness; so long as the brethren shall exercise themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom of mental activity, search after truth, energy, joy, modesty, self-control, earnest contemplation, and equanimity of mind,—so long the Sangha may be expected not to decline, but to prosper.8

"Therefore, O bhikkhus, be full of faith, modest in heart, afraid of sin, anxious to learn, strong in energy, active in mind, and full of wisdom."
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Re: The Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus

Postby admin » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:31 am


The Blessed One proceeded with a great company of the brethren to Nālandā; and there he stayed in a mango grove.1

Now the venerable Sāriputta came to the place where the Blessed One was, and having saluted him, took his seat respectfully at his side, and said: "Lord! such faith have I in the Blessed One, that methinks there never has been, nor will there be, nor is there now any other, who is greater or wiser than the Blessed One, that is to say, as regards the higher wisdom."2

Replied the Blessed One: "Grand and bold are the words of thy mouth, Sāriputta: verily, thou hast burst forth into a song of ecstasy! Surely then thou hast known all the Blessed Ones who in the long ages of the past have been holy Buddhas?"3

"Not so, O Lord!" said Sāriputta.4

And the Lord continued: "Then thou hast perceived all[Pg 222] the Blessed Ones who in the long ages of the future shall be holy Buddhas?"5

"Not so, O Lord!"6

"But at least then, O Sāriputta, thou knowest me as the holy Buddha now alive, and hast penetrated my mind."7

"Not even that, O Lord!"8

"Thou seest then, Sāriputta, that thou knowest not the hearts of the holy Buddhas of the past nor the hearts of those of the future. Why, therefore, are thy words so grand and bold? Why burstest thou forth into such a song of ecstasy?"9

"O Lord! I have not the knowledge of the hearts of all the Buddhas that have been and are to come, and now are. I only know the lineage of the faith. Just as a king, Lord, might have a border city, strong in its foundations, strong in its ramparts and with one gate only; and the king might have a watchman there, clever, expert, and wise, to stop all strangers and admit only friends. And on going over the approaches all about the city, he might not be able so to observe all the joints and crevices in the ramparts of that city as to know where such a small creature as a cat could get out. That might well be. Yet all living beings of larger size that entered or left the city, would have to pass through that gate. Thus only is it, Lord, that I know the lineage of the faith. I know that the holy Buddhas of the past, putting away all lust, ill-will, sloth, pride, and doubt, knowing all those mental faults which make men weak, training their minds in the four kinds of mental activity, thoroughly exercising themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom, received the full fruition of Enlightenment. And I know that the holy Buddhas of the times to come will do the same. And I know that the Blessed One, the holy Buddha of to-day, has done so now."10

"Great is thy faith, O Sāriputta," replied the Blessed One, "but take heed that it be well grounded."
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