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NOV 26 1909 ■■



BR 128 .


B8 E4 V


2




Edmunds ,


Albert


J.


1857-


1941.








Buddhist


and Christian


rf/-^c•r^) So the robber
thought to himself : "This is wonderful, this is
marvelous : hitherto I have chased and caught
an elephant running, a horse, a chariot, or a
deer ; but now, going with all my might, I can-
not overtake this philosopher going by his inner
force." He stood and said to the Lord :
"Philosopher, stand ! Philosopher, stand !"

"I am standing, O Finger-garland ; stand
thou also !"

Then Finger-garland the robber thought

(3) Sanskrit, Prakxxti, the well-known term in the Sarjkhya
philosophy, for ideal or primordial matter, the mind-stuff of
creative power.

16



35- THE PENITENT ROBBER



to himself: "These Sakya philosophers tell the
truth, and mean what they say. And yet this
philosopher, even while he is going, says : 'I
am standing, O Finger-garland ; stand thou
also !' "What if I now ask him [what he
means] ?" Then the robber addrest the Lord
with a stanza :

"Philosopher, thou sayest, 'I am standing,'
while thou art going, and thou callest
me standing when thou art not so ;

"I ask thee, philosopher, this question :
How art thou standing when I am not
standing?"

[The Lord.] **I am standing, O Finger-
garland, always among all beings, (4)

having laid aside the staff ;

"But thou art unrestrained among living
things: therefore I am standing and
thou art not."

[The Robber.] "Long has the great Seer
(Isi),(s) this philosopher debating in
the Great Forest, been revered by me.

I myself will renounce evil for long, hav-
ing heard thy stanza that is linkt with
religion.

(4) Cf. Rev. III. 20 : Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock.

(5) Sanskrit, Rishi.

17



SACRED TEXTS



"Even thus does a robber resemble a
sword or a weapon at the pit and
precipice of hell. "(6)
The robber bowed at the feet of the Auspi-
cious One, and begged of him initiation
on the spot.
Then Buddha, the Compassionate Seer, he
who is Master of the world with its
angels,
Said to him : "Come, O monk ;" and this
was all there was to make him a
monk. (7)
Now, the Lord, with Finger-garland for
an attendant philosopher, went on his journey
toward Savatthi and in due time arrived there ;
and there the Lord stayed at Savatthi, in the
Conqueror's Grove, the cloister-garden of the

(6) Anvakdn. The word is not in Childers, but the text
here is corrupt or abbreviated.

The Chinese reads : He threw his sword into the
deep [bottom of a] precipice. (A. M.)

(7) Here is inserted an episode in the Chinese. It tells
that the robber was trying to kill his mother in order to get a
number of fingers necessary to fill up his finger-garland because
it was his oath, and that just at the moment he caught sight of
the coming philosopher. In this wise in the Chinese version
Aggulimalo is not a mere robber. The same story is told in a
Mahayana text (N. C. No. 434). His garland was to be dedi-
cated to a certain god in order that he might be purified from
his sins. There is also added a discourse on the six false views
arising from attachment to egotism. On account of this remark
the story is taken into the sixth Nipato. (A. M. )

18



2^. THE PENITENT ROBBER



Feeder of the Poor. Now at that season a
great crowd collected at the palace-gate of
Pasenadi, the King of Kosala, and there went
up a hue and cry: "Your Majesty, there is a
robber in your realm named Finger-garland,
who is barbarous, red-handed, devoted to kill-
ing and slaughter, unmerciful to all who live.
By him towns, villages, and districts are made
as if they had never been. He slays men all
the time, and wears a garland of their fingers.
Let your Majesty arrest him."

Now Pasenadi, the King of Kosala, de-
parted that day from Savatthi with some five
hundred horses, and proceeded to the cloister-
garden. He went by chariot as far as the
ground was passable for chariots, and then
alighted, and went on foot to where the Lord
was. Going up to the Lord, he saluted him
and sat respectfully on one side. While he so
sat, the Lord said to him : "O great King, is
Seniyo Bimbisaro, the King of Magadha, pro-
voked at you, or the Licchavi [clan] of Vesali,
or other rival kings ?" "Nay, Lord, none of
these kings are provoked at me. But, Lord,
there is in my realm a robber named Finger-
garland, who is barbarous, red-handed, de-
voted to killing and slaughter, unmerciful to all
who live. By him towns, villages, and dis-
tricts are made as if they had never been. He
slays men all the time and wears a garland of



SACRED TEXTS



their fingers. Lord, I fear I shall not arrest
him."

"But, great King, if you saw Finger-gar-
land with his hair and beard cut off, having
put on the yellow robes and gone forth from
domestic life into the homeless one ; abstain-
ing from taking life, from theft, and from lying;


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Online LibraryAlbert J. (Albert Joseph) EdmundsBuddhist and Christian gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 15)