Copyright
Albert J. (Albert Joseph) Edmunds.

Buddhist and Christian gospels (Volume 2) online

. (page 7 of 15)
Online LibraryAlbert J. (Albert Joseph) EdmundsBuddhist and Christian gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 7 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


which, however, is a very much abridged text. In the Samyukta,
Anando speaks to Chando when, after the Master's death, doubts
as to the truth of the four principles occurred to the mind of the
latter. The place is Ko^ambi. (A.M.)

(2) For a description of the friars or wandering philoso-
phers of ancient India see Rhys Davids : Buddhist India : Lon-
don, 1903, p. 141.

134



jS. HOLY scripture: the old and the new

we have been talking about the Truths of the
Brahmins."

"Friars, there are these four truths of the
Brahmins which have been reaHzed by me by
my own higher knowledge, and made known.
What are the four ?

"Friars, in this case a brahmin says thus :
•ALL LIVES ARE IGNORANCE.' In SO Speak-
ing he tells the truth and not falsehood. He
thinks therefore : 'There is no such distinction
as philosopher or brahmin ; I am neither better,
alike, nor worse.' And whatever truth is there
is his by higher knowledge, and he enters into
pity and compassion for all lives.

"And again, O friars, a brahmin says:
'ALL LUSTS ARE EVANESCENT, PAINFUL
AND FRAUGHT WITH CHANGE.' He Comes
to the same conclusion as before, and the truth
therein is his by higher knowledge, and he
enters into disgust with, detachment from, and
cessation of, all lusts.

"Again, O friars, a brahmin says: 'ALL
EXISTENCES ARE EVANESCENT, PAINFUL
AND FRAUGHT WITH CHANGE.' Again he
comes to the same conclusion, and the truth
therein is his by higher knowledge, and he
enters into disgust with, detachment from, and
cessation of, all existences.

"Moreover, O friars, a brahmin says:
'There is no fundamental distinc-

135



SACRED TEXTS



TION BETWEEN ME AND ANYONE ELSE.Y3)
In saying so, the brahmin speaks truth and not
falsehood. He therefore reflects : 'There is no
such distinction as philosopher or brahmin ; I
am neither better, alike, nor worse.' And
whatever truth is there is his by higher know-
ledge and he enters upon the path, which is
nothingness itself.

"These, O friars, are the four truths of the
Brahmins which have been realized by me
by my own higher knowledge and made
known.



First Sermon : Major Section on Discipline i. 6.

(C. T., N. C. 1122).
Translated in S. B. E. XIII, p. 96, and XI. p. 150.

Insight, knowledge, intellection, wisdom
and intuition arose within me, saying : "This
is the Noble Truth concerning Pain.' ' [It was] ,
O monks, among doctrines not formerly trans-
mitted.



For the stereotyped passage about the sacred
lore of the Brahmins, see S. B. E. X, part 2, p. 97 ;
for Atharva Veda, p. 168. For training in the

(3) Warren translates this sentence literally : I am no-
where a somewhatness for anyone, and nowhere for
me is there a somewhatness of anyone. {Buddhism in
Translations, p. 145, from the Visuddhi-maggo.)

136



78. HOLY SCRIPTURE : THE OLD AND THE NEW

Buddhist Scriptures, Dhammapada 259 and 363,
and my notes, (4) pp. 61 and 89.



Numerical Collection II. 2.

Monks, these two qualities conduce to the
confusion and decline of the Gospel.

What two ?

Faulty remembrance (or, preservation) of
the text and faulty explanation of the meaning.
Monks, when a text is ill remembered, the
meaning also is ill explained. These two
qualities, O monks, conduce to the confusion
and decline of the Gospel.

There are two qualities which conduce to
the stability of the Gospel, with no confusion
and with no decline. What two ?

Good remembrance of the text and good
explanation of the meaning. Monks, when a
text is well remembered, the meaning also is
well explained. These two qualities, O monks,
conduce to the stability of the Gospel, with no
confusion and with no decline.

(4) Hymns of the Faith {^Dhammapada) . Translated by
Albert J. Edmunds. (Chicago, 1902).



137



SACRED TEXTS



79. THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL.



Mark Xin. 10.

The Gospel must first be preacht unto all
the nations.



Matthew XXIV. 14.
This Gospel of the kingdom shall be
preacht in the whole world, for a testimony
unto all the nations ; and then shall the end
come.



Long Collection, Dialog 16.

(Book of the Great Decease. Translated in S. B. E.,
Vol. XI, p. 53).

(C. T., N. C. 119. Cf. No. 2 of the Chinese Dirgha,
and N. C. ii8).

O Evil One, I shall not pass into Nirvana,
[i. e., die] till my monks and nuns, my laymen
and laywomen, become wise and trained dis-
ciples, apt and learned, reciters of the Doc-
trine, [&c., as in Parallel 64.] O Evil One, I
shall not pass into Nirvana, till this religion of
mine is successful, prosperous, widespread,
popular, ubiquitous ; in a word, made thoroly
public among men.



138



8o. DECLINE OF THE FAITH



80. DECLINE OF THE FAITH.
With Remarks on Maitreya.



Matthew XXIV. 11, 12.
Many false prophets shall arise, and shall
lead many astray. And because iniquity shall
be multiplied, the love of the many shall wax
cold.



Luke XVIII. 8.
When the Son of man cometh, shall he
find faith on the earth ?



Numerical Collection V. 79.(1)
(C. T., N. C. 468.(2) Cf. also N. C. 123, 470 and 766.)

Monks, the following five future dangers
(or, fears for the future), tho not arisen now,
will hereafter arise. Ye must be awake thereto,
and being awake, must struggle to avert them.
What are the five ?

Monks, there will be monks in the far



(i) Translated from the Anagata-bhaydni {YvXvlxq Dangers),
one of the texts among the selections of the Emperor Asoko, in
his Edict at Bhabra, and found in the Numerical Collection,
V. 77-80. Chapters 77 and 78 deal with the personal dangers
for monks in any age, including Buddha's own. In Chapter 77
they practise religion for security against the dangers of the
forest : snakes, scorpions, centipedes, etc. In Chapter 78 they
practise it for security in old age or times of trial. I now trans-
late Chapter 79 entire.

(2) Translated between A. D. 265 and 316. Here we
have before us another version of the Anagafal>hayam coming

139



SACRED TEXTS



future, wanting in physical, moral, emotional
and intellectual control; and being so, they
will confer Initiation upon others, and will not
be able to train them in superior morals, emo-
tions and intelligence. These, being also with-
out the aforesaid control, will initiate others in
their turn, who will keep up the same state of
things. And so, monks, from corruption of
doctrine [will come] corruption of discipline,
and from corruption of discipline corruption of
doctrine.

This, monks, is the first future danger
which, tho not arisen now, will hereafter arise.
Ye must be awake thereto, and being awake,
must struggle to avert it.

Again, monks, there will be monks in the

down to us from the latter part of the third century A. D. It
differs not in substance from the Pali but much in its arrange-
ment. Subdivisions under each of five dangers seem not to
have been original. They are as follows :

[I.] Pursuit of fame; [II.] (i) seeking livelihood by
commerce, (2) hatred against the pious; [HI.] (i) not being dili-
gent (as in the above two heads and corresponding to the first
part of each danger in the Pali), (2) ignorance of Scripture, (3)
disobedience toward wise men; [IV.] (i) corruption of the
discipline, (2) love of social intercourse and vanity, (3) pride,
(4) looseness of conduct ; [V.] (i) neglecting deep teaching :
the twelve Nidanas, the thirty -seven Sections, the wisdom of the
Vaipulya mysticism, the incomparable Prajnaparamita, the promise
(or faith) of Nothingness, (2) reciting miscellaneous stanzas and
petty secular texts, (3) because novices like them, (4) and in
consequence they are abandoned by angels. (5) In this way
the right teaching wanes.

Thus we see IV. and V. correspond to the fifth and fourth
danger of the Pali, and as a whole this text may be said to be
another and later version of the Pali Anagata-bhayani. (A. M.)

140



8o. DECLINE OF THE FAITH



far future wanting in control as before, who
being so will give asylum to others, and they
will not be able to train them in superior
morals, emotions and intelligence. These will
give asylum to yet others, and so [there will
be] more corruption of discipline from doc-
trine, and of doctrine from discipline.

This, monks, is the second future danger
which will come and must be guarded against.

Again, monks, there will be monks in the
far future without physical, moral, emotional
and intellectual control, and being so, when
they discourse upon the Higher Doctrine
(Abhidhammo) and the Exegesis (Vedalla)
they will not be awake, descending into doc-
trine dark. (3) And so, monks, [there will be]
corruption of discipline from corruption of
doctrine, and corruption of doctrine from cor-
ruption of discipline.

This, monks, is the third future danger
which, tho not arisen now, will hereafter arise.
Ye must be awake thereto, and being awake
must struggle to avert it.

(4) [Again,] monks, there will be monks

(3) Jwake is the same root as Buddha and Buddhist, while
dark is the same word as the Sanskrit Krishna. One might
almost suspect a punning allusion to the later admixture of Bud-
dhism with the Krishna cult ; but our text is too ancient.

(4) This paragraph, except the words in square brackets,
is found in the Classified Collection, XX. 7. The grammatical
connection of the clause beginning. There are Dialogs, etc.,
is as awkward in the Pali as it is in the English, and seems to
indicate a separateness for this passage.

141



SACRED TEXTS



in the far future, [wanting in physical, moral,
emotional and intellectual control ; and they
being thus wanting in physical, moral, emo-
tional and intellectual control,] there are
Dialogs (Suttanta) spoken by the Tathagato —
deep, of deep meaning, transcendental, con-
nected with the Void(5) (or, classified under
Void); and when these are recited they will
not listen or give ear or present a heart of
knowledge; and they will not study those doc-
trines, learn them, nor reflect thereon. But
there are Dialogs poet-made, poetical, thrilling
the heart, suggestive to the heart, the utter-
ances of disciples who are outsiders. When
these are recited they will listen, give ear, and
present a heart of knowledge : these doctrines
they will study, learn by heart and reflect
upon.

And so, monks, [there will be] corruption
of discipline from corruption of doctrine, and
corruption of doctrine from corruption of dis-
cipline.

This, monks, is the fourth future danger
which, tho not arisen now, will hereafter arise.

(5) See, e. g., Majjhima 121 and 122, which were very
popular dialogs. The Chinese, in the seventh century, consid-
ered them such thoro compendiums of Buddhism that many
cared for no other Scriptures. (I-tsing, p. 51. I take nothing-
ness = sunnatd. )

Majjhima 121 and 122 are Nos. 190 and 191 in Chinese.
(A. M.)

142



80. DECLINE OF THE FAITH



Ye must be awake thereto, and being awake,
must struggle to avert it.

Again, monks, there will be monks in the
far future without physical, moral, emotional
and intellectual control ; and being so, the
Presbyter monks will be luxurious, loose-lived,
taking precedence by their descent, in seclusion
neglecting their charge. They will not strive
with their will for attainment of the unattained,
approach to the unapproacht, realization of the
unrealized. The last generation of them will
fall into heresy, and will be luxurious, loose-
lived, taking precedence by descent, in seclu-
sion neglecting their charge. And so, monks,
[there will be] corruption of discipline from
corruption of doctrine, and corruption of doc-
trine from corruption of discipline.

This, monks, is the fifth future danger
which, tho not arisen now, will hereafter arise,
and which ye must be awake to, and so strug-
gle to avert.

These, monks, are the Five Future
Dangers which, tho not arisen now, will here-
after arise, and which ye must be awake to,
and so struggle to avert.



Chapter 80 gives a detailed account of the
future luxuries, such as building monasteries in
towns, villages, and capitals ; wearing fine robes ;
associating with young nuns, etc.



143



SACRED TEXTS



The Buddhist Apocalypse translated by Warren
is a medieval treatise, expanded from just such
texts as our present one.



Minor Section on Discipline (Cullavaggo) X. i.

(C. T., N. C. 1 1 17. Cf. Madhyama 116.)
Translated in S. B. E. XX, p. 325.

Anando, if women had not received per-
mission to go forth from domestic life and
enter the homeless one, under the Doctrine
and Discipline made public by the Tathagato,
then, Anando, would the religious life have
lasted long : the Gospel (Saddhammo) would
have lasted for a thousand years. But,
Anando, now that women have received that
permission, the religious life will not last long:
the Gospel, Anando, will now last only five
hundred years.



This passage is important as a time-mark in
the history of the Canon, a fact which was pointed
out in my provisional preface to this series of
Parallels. {Open Court, February, 1900, p. 115).
In patristic works written after the Christian era,
such as Buddhaghoso's commentaries and the Great
Chronicle of Ceylon, the figure 500 has been altered
to 5000. This was because the five hundred years
had expired, and still the faith flourisht. Therefore
the sacred text has not been materially altered, and
,144



.O. DECLINE OF THE FAITH



goes back behind the time of Christ. The period
of a thousand years in our text may perhaps be
compared with those of the Mazdean Saviors or the
millennium of the Apocalyptic Christ.

It is to be regretted that the period of decline
has been confounded with the Second Coming or
advent of Metteyyo (Sanskrit, Maitreyas ;(6) con-
tracted into Maitreya). Thus, Eitel, in his Ha^td-
book of Chinese Buddhism^ places this advent five
thousand years after Gotamo, which, as we have
seen, is a later exaggeration of the five hundred
predicted in the Book of Discipline. Rhys Davids,
in his Manual, probably following Eitel, says the
same ; for that learned scholar has never had the
leisure to rewrite his book and give full references
in the light of his present knowledge. Pali learn-
ing is still in its infancy. Even Kern, whose Manual
is deemed the best by so exacting a critic as Barth,
does not give the original Pali authority on the
Metteyyo prophecy, but a passage in the late
patristic Milindo. This is because the Pali text in
question has not been edited in Roman letters, but
must be painfully read in the character of Siam.
The text, however, was briefly referred to by Olden-
berg in 1 88 1, in the first edition of his Buddha ;

(6) The first Europeans to transcribe Sanskrit words were
the Greeks, and they rightly transcribed them in the nominative
case, thus bringing out the sameness of the s-ending in Sanskrit,
Greek and Latin.

145



SACRED TEXTS



but was never, I believe, given fully, at least in
English, until its appearance in The Open Court in
1900. (Cf. Oldenberg, 4. ed. 1903, p. 187).

Paul Carus, in his Gospel of Buddha, p. 217,
made the mistake pointed out, of associating the
coming of Metteyyo with the end of the period of
purity, and Dharmapala requested me to set the
matter right. Hence this present article, which
appeared in The Open Court, November, 1902.

Owing to the curious coincidence that five
hundred years is the period between Gotamo and
Jesus, some writers who have accepted the con-
fusion of Metteyyo with this period, have regarded
him as a Buddhist prophecy of Christ. Were it so,
it would be a more remarkable one than any oracle
of Daniel or Isaiah ; for nowhere do the prophets
clearly state that, at the end of a definite, non-mys-
tical, mundane term of years, a Savior will arise
named Love, for such is the meaning of Metteyyo.
I have purposely kept separate, in my Pali
Parallels, these two doctrines of the Second Coming
and the Decline of the Faith.



146



I. DISCOURSE ON THE END OF THE WORLD



8i. DISCOURSE ON THE END OF

THE WORLD; OR,

THE SERMON ON THE SEVEN SUNS.



Mark XIII. 31.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
words shall not pass away.



2 Peter III. 10.



But the day of the Lord will come as a
thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away
with a great noise, and the heavenly bodies
[or, elements] shall be dissolved with fervent
heat, and the earth and the works that are
therein shall be burned up [or, discovered] .



Revelation XXI. i.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth :
for the first heaven and the first earth are past
away ; and the sea is no more.



Numerical Collection VII. 62.

(C. T. Chinese Middling Collection, No. 8, pp. 188, 189 ;
also Ekottara. )

Thus have i heard. At one season the
Lord was staying at Vesali, in Ambapali's

147



SACRED TEXTS



grove. And the Lord addrest the monks, say-
ing: "Monks!" **Lord!" answered those
monks in reply to him. The Lord spake thus :

'^Impermanent, O monks, are the con-
stituents of existence, unstable, non-eternal :
so much so, that this alone is enough to weary
and disgust one with all constituent things,
and emancipate therefrom. Sineru, monks,
the monarch of mountains, is eighty-four thou-
sand leagues(i) in length and breadth ; eighty-
four thousand leagues deep in the great ocean,
and eighty-four thousand above it.

Now there comes, O monks, a season when
after many years, many hundreds and thou-
sands and hundreds of thousands of years, it
does not rain ; and while it rains not, all seed-
lings and vegetation, all plants, grasses, and
trees dry up, wither away and cease to be.
Thus, monks, constituent things are imperma-
nent, unstable, non-eternal : so much so, that
this alone is enough to weary and disgust one
therewith and emancipate therefrom.

And, monks, there comes a season, at vast
intervals in the lapse of time, when a second
sun appears. After the appearance of the
second sun, monks, the brooks and ponds dry
up, vanish away and cease to be. So imper-
manent are constituent things! And then,
monks, there comes a season, at vast intervals

(i) I. e., yojanas, a yojana being about eight miles.
148



8 I. DISCOURSE ON THE END OF THE WORLD

in the lapse of time, when a third sun appears ;
and thereupon the great rivers : to wit, the
Ganges, the Jamna, the Rapti, the Gogra, the
Mahi, — dry up, vanish away and cease to be.

At length, after another great period, a
fourth sun appears, and thereupon the great
lakes, whence those rivers had their rise :
namely, Anotatto,(2) Lion-leap, Chariot-
maker, Keel-bare, Cuckoo, Six-bayed, and
Slow-flow, dry up, vanish away and cease to
be.

Again, monks, when, after another long
lapse, a fifth sun appears, the waters in the
great ocean go down for an hundred leagues ;
then for two hundred, three hundred, and even
unto seven hundred leagues, until the water
stands only seven fan-palms deep, and so on
unto one fan-palm ; then seven fathoms deep,
and so on unto one fathom, half a fathom ;
waist-deep, knee-deep, ankle-deep. Even, O
monks, as in the fall season, when it rains in
large drops, the waters in some places are
standing around the feet of the kine : even so,
monks, the waters in the great ocean in some
places are standing to the depth of kine-feet.
After the appearance of the fifth sun, monks,
the water in the great ocean is not the measure
of a finger-joint. Then at last, after another

(2) I am not sure of the meaning of this word and its
Sanskrit equivalent Anavatapta, but it appears to mean without
warmth at the bottom.

149



SACRED TEXTS



lapse of time, a sixth sun appears ; whereupon
this great earth and Sineru, the monarch of
mountains, reek and fume and send forth
clouds of smoke. Even as a potter's baking,
when first besmeared, doth reek and fume and
smoke, such is the smoke of earth and moun-
tains when the sixth sun appears.

After a last vast interval, a seventh sun
appears, and then, monks, this great earth and
Sineru, the monarch of mountains, flare and
blaze and become one mass of flame. And
now, from earth and mountains, burning and
consuming, a spark is carried by the wind and
goes as far as the worlds of God ; and the
peaks of Mount Sineru, burning, consuming,
perishing, go down in one vast mass of fire
and crumble for an hundred, yea five hun-
dred leagues. And of this great earth, monks,
and Sineru, the monarch of mountains, when
consumed and burnt, neither ashes nor soot
remains. Just as when ghee or oil is con-
sumed and burnt, monks, neither ashes nor
soot remains, so is it with the great earth and
Mount Sineru.

Thus, monks, impermanent are the con-
stituents of existence, unstable, non-eternal :
so much so, that this alone is enough to weary
and disgust one with all constituent things and
emancipate therefrom. Therefore, monks, do
those who deliberate and believe, (3) say this:

(3) Translation uncertain. The word saddhCitd is not in
Childers, and I can find no equivalent in Sanskrit ; but the
various reading, saddhdratd, indicates the sense.

150



8l. DISCOURSE ON THE END OF THE WORLD

"This earth and Sineru, the monarch of moun-
tains, will be burnt and perish and exist no
more," excepting those who have seen the
Path.

A late expansion of this discourse is given by
Warren, in his Buddhism in Translations, from
Buddhaghoso's Way of Purity, a Pali compendium
of the fifth Christian century.(4) When Warren
wrote, the Pali original had not as yet appeared in
the edition of the Pali Text Society, which is printed
in Roman letters.

It is well known to New Testament scholars
that the great Eschatological Discourse in the
Synoptical Gospels (i. e., the Sermon on the Last
Things, delivered upon the Mount of Olives) is a
blending of historical and spiritual vaticination.
As I pointed out in 1893,(5) the Evangelist Luke
attempted to separate the spiritual prophecy from
the historical prediction, putting the former into his
seventeenth chapter, and the latter into his twenty-
first. But Luke evidently understood even the
physical cataclysm to refer to the siege of Jerusalem
and the destruction of the Hebrew State. Mark
himself and the editor of Matthew probably under-
stood the same thing, tho our English translations
of Matthew make his consummation of the eon
the **end of the world." After the siege, the early

(4) On p. 323 of Warren's book our present Sutta is quoted
by name.

(5) Haverford College Studies for 1893: Our Lord's
Quotation from the First Book of Maccabees.



SACRED TEXTS



Christians evidently made this Eschatological Dis-
course refer to a cosmical convulsion ; and so in
the Second Epistle of Peter, the thief-like advent of
the spiritual nature into man is transformed into
the terrors of a ruined world. But the only words
in the Gospel sermon which can justly apply to
such a thing are those in all three of the Synoptists :
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my
words shall not pass away. (6) I have therefore
used this verse among my parallels to Buddha's
present discourse, but have given an extract from
the Gospel prophecy under Parallel 80.

(6) The second clause indicates the application of this
verse : the passing of heaven and earth does not belong to the
subject of the discourse, but is used as a standard whereby to
gauge the perpetuity of the oracles of Christ.



*52



82. FORMER RELIGIONS ECLIPST, ETC.

82. FORMER RELIGIONS ECLIPST BY
THE RELIGION OF LOVE.



Matthew V. 17, 18 ; 43, 44.

Think not that I came to destroy the law
or the prophets : I came not to destroy, but to
fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven
and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall
in no wise pass away from the law, till all
things be accomplisht

Ye have heard that it was said. Thou shalt
love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy : but
I say unto you. Love your enemies, and pray
for them that persecute you.



Numerical Collection VII. 62.(1)
In olden times, O monks, there was a
religious teacher (or, Master) named Sunetto,
founder of an Order, and free from indulgence
in lusts ; and he had several hundred disciples.
The Master Sunetto preacht to his disciples
the doctrine of fellowship with the world of
God ; and those who understood all his religion
in every way, when he preacht this doctrine,
were born again, upon the dissolution of the

(i) There is no break in the Pali, but the present division
is made for the sake of another Gospel parallel, which belongs
really to Part 3 (Ethics); but I wish to preserve the integrity
of the celebrated sermon. Moreover, it contains eschatology,
even in this portion, and may therefore claim a place in Part 5.

153



SACRED TEXTS



body after death, to weal in the world of God.


1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryAlbert J. (Albert Joseph) EdmundsBuddhist and Christian gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 7 of 15)