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PROBSTHAIN'S ORIENTAL SERIES.

VOL. II.



BUDDHISM AS A RELIGION



BUDDHISM AS A RELI-
GION : ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOP-
MENT AND ITS PRESENT CONDITIONS.
BY H. HACKMANN, Lie. THEOL.

FROM THE GERMAN, REVISED
AND ENLARGED BY THE AUTHOR




PROBSTHAIN & CO.

41. GREAT RUSSELL ST., LONDON. W.C.

1910.



Second Edition, 1910.



BEENHAKD DUHM,

Doctor and Professor of Theology at the University
of Basle,

IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE

DEDICATED BY AN OLD PUPIL.



PREFACE

THERE seems to be no need of books on Buddhism,
yet, though the literature on this subject is indeed
immense, a serious gap remains to be filled. In vain
one looks about for a book which represents Bud-
dhism as a present-day religion, comprising all the
countries under its sway. The writers on Buddhism
either deal chiefly with the Buddha himself and with
the old Indian Buddhism (as Oldenberg and Ehys
Davids), or they put before us the Buddhism of one
single country Ceylon, or Burma, or Tibet, or China
(as Spence Hardy, Bigandet, Waddell, Edkins, and
others). Even Monier-Williams' well-known book,
though more complete than many others, is far from
being an exhaustive record. Northern Buddhism he
only slightly touches upon. But there should be a
work showing Buddhism as a whole, beginning with
Gautama Buddha himself, tracing the line of historical
development which his religion took over all the lands
of its influence, and painting a vivid picture of its
present-day conditions and organizations everywhere.
This is the scope of the volume now before us. The
book is written for a general public, avoiding purposely



viii PEEFACE

display of scholarship as much as possible. At the
same time it should be understood that it is entirely
based, not only on the most recent scientific publica-
tions of our best scholars, but on long personal investi-
gations made on the spot.

The author has studied Buddhism for more than
twenty years. He has lived in Buddhist countries for
nearly ten years, and has travelled a good deal in
these lands with the special object of ascertaining the
actual state of the Buddhist religion. He has been
in personal contact with Chinese, Japanese, Korean,
Tibetan, Burmese, and Singhalese Buddhism. Living
in the monasteries, watching the monks and the lay-
devotees, inquiring about rituals and institutions, he
learnt thoroughly what Buddhism as a practical re-
ligion of the present day really is.

Having returned from Eastern Asia to Europe, the
writer was asked by a publisher to contribute a book
on Buddhism to a series of popular treatises. He
gladly consented, as he thought it very necessary, at a
time when Buddhism is discussed more and more in
European countries, to make the general public ac-
quainted with this religion as a whole, laying stress
especially on the modern features of its life. The
book is meant to give a fair and impartial statement.
Of course that does not mean to restrain from criticism.
Facts must be seen as they are. And some of the
facts which one has to face in studying Buddhism
as a living religion are not pleasant. Neverthe-
less, animosity and one-sidedness have been avoided.
Also there is no arguing from the dogmatical point of
view, which seems entirely useless. But the historical



PEEFACE ix

and the social character of Buddhism are the points
to which attention is drawn.

The publication being in German, 1 friends suggested
a translation into English, because the English-
speaking people are those most interested in the topic.
I had the privilege of finding a very congenial trans-
lator in a lady who herself is personally acquainted
with the Far East, having travelled in China twice
for a considerable time.

The book has been revised and much enlarged for
this translation, there being no restriction of space,
which hampered the German edition. But vast as
the subject is, concentration seemed necessary. Par-
ticularly, the system of the Buddha himself has
been stated in the most concise way, so as only to
give a clear understanding of the ruling ideas. Who
wants to go more deeply into details has books
enough to help him on. To facilitate further studies,
hints on the best literature are given at the end of the

volume.

H. HACKMANN,

15, WINDSOR BOAD,
DENMARK HILL,

LONDON, S.E.
October, 1909.



1 Published in 1905. Tubingen, J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck).



CONTENTS
BOOK I

THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTRINE

CHAPTER PAOE

I. THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA . . . .1

H.^THE DOCTRINE OF THE BUDDHA . . .7

BOOK II
SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF BUDDHISM

I. INDIA ....... 36

II. THE SPREAD OF BUDDHISM . . . .63

CEYLON . . . . . .64

FARTHER INDIA . . . . .67

TIBET . . . . .71

CHINA ...... 77

KOREA . . . . . .85

JAPAN . . . . . .88

BOOK III
THE MODERN BUDDHISM

I. GENERAL REMARKS ON SOUTHERN AND NORTHERN

BUDDHISM . . . . .93

II. BUDDHISM OF CEYLON . . . .96

(a) ENTRANCE INTO THE MONASTIC ORDER . 96

(&) SACRED BUILDINGS .... 103

(c) SPECIAL NOTEWORTHY SANCTUARIES . . 110

(d} LIFE AND CHARACTER OF THE MONKS . 113

(e) SECTS AND REFORMS .... 118

(/) INFLUENCE ON THE LAITY . . . 120

xi



xii CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAOB

III. BUDDHISM OF BURMA .... 126

(a) NOVICES AND MONKS . . 126

(6) GRADES OF EANK . . 130

(c) SACRED BUILDINGS .... 132

(d) DAGABAS ..... 135

(e) CHARACTER OF THE MONKHOOD . 139
(/) LIFE OF THE PEOPLE AND BUDDHISM . 142

IV. BUDDHISM OF SIAM ..... 151
V. LAMAISM ... . 154

(a) THE SACRED BUILDINGS . . . 156

(6) THE LAMAISTIC GODS .... 157

(c) THE INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLES . . 165

(d) THE LAMAISTIC MONKHOOD . . . 168

(e) THE SACRED WRITINGS . . . 177
(/) THE SECTS ... .179
(g) THE HIERARCHY .... 183
(ft) THE PEOPLE AND RELIGION . . . 188

VI. CHINESE BUDDHISM ..... 200

(a) THE MONASTERIES .... 201
(6) THE TEMPLE GODS . . . .206

(c) THE MONKS ..... 218

(d) THE CANON ... .230

(e) ORGANIZATION ..... 232
(/) FAMOUS MONASTERIES .... 234
(g) SCHOOLS OF CHINESE BUDDHISM . . 237
(h) THE CHARACTER OF MONASTICISM . . 245
(i) BUDDHISM AND THE PEOPLE . . . 248

VII. BUDDHISM IN KOREA ..... 257

(a) MONASTERIES AND MONKS . . . 257

(6) THE PEOPLE AND BUDDHISM . . . 264

VIII. JAPANESE BUDDHISM ..... 269

(a) THB EXTERNALS .... 271

(6) THE DIVINITIES . . . 277

(c) PRINCIPAL SANCTUARIES . . . 282

(d) THE MONKS ... .284

(e) THE SECTS ..... 286
(/) BUDDHISM AND THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE . 293

CONCLUSION ... . 296

LIST OF LITERATURE . 300

INDEX . . 309



NOTE ON PRONUNCIATION

In Indian words pronounce :

s as French./ (injeu,jouer).
s as English sh.
c as English ch.

m, n, and t as English m, n and t.
Double consonants are pronounced as two distinct
sounds.

The h after a consonant is audible.
The vowels e and o are always long.
In Tibetan words the Tibetan orthography is not
given, but the words are spelt as they are pronounced.
In Chinese words the transcription of Sir Thomas
Wade (and Professor Giles in his Dictionary) is
followed.

The vowels a, e, i, o, u are to be pronounced as in
Italian or German.



xiii



BOOK I

THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTRINE

CHAPTER L THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA

THE founder of Buddhism is called the Buddha. It is
the title of his rank, and not his own personal name.
The one whom his followers, in reverence for him, speak
of as the Buddha (the Enlightened One) came of the
stock of an ancient noble Indian family which bore
the name of Sakya. From this family name was
derived the poetical designation of Sdkyamuni (the
Saint of the Sakyas), by which he is widely known
to-day. His personal name was Siddhdrtha; but as
he renounced it at the very beginning of his religious
career, he is not called by it amongst his followers.
The Buddhist only recognizes the Prince Siddhartha as
the young man living at his father's Court before the
great religious transformation had taken place in him.
There is, indeed, another name belonging to his family
from the earliest times by which the Buddha was also
known throughout his later holy life viz., that of
Gautama. This was a surname of his family derived
from one of the famous bard families of Vedic times.
The father of Gautama was an Indian nobleman,

1



2 BUDDHISM AS A RELIGION

not exactly what we should understand to-day as a
King. His name was uddhodana. The capital of
his principality was called Kapilavastu. Although up
to the present time there is no absolute certainty as
to which of the ruined towns which dispute the honour
of being the actual home of the Buddha is the real
one, there is no doubt as to the neighbourhood in
which it stood, nor as to the district over which the
Sakya family held sway ; these points were fully
established by discoveries made in 1896-97. The
district was on the borders of the British and Nepalese
territory, at both sides of the eighty-fourth degree of
longitude, and undoubtedly Kapilavastu itself stood in
Nepal. Gautama was not born in the capital. His
mother, belonging to a side branch of the &akya
family, came from the mountains lying to the north,
and when she felt the time approaching for the birth
of her firstborn, she desired to await her confinement
in the paternal home ; so she left Kapilavastu for her
native place, Devadaha. On the way, however, in the
grove of Lumbini, she was surprised to find that her
hour had come. On the spot where the child was
born, some hundreds of years later, King Asoka raised
a memorial tablet with an inscription commemorating
the event, and it was this tablet which was discovered
in December, 1896 ; so that both the event and the
spot where it took place are beyond all doubt. The
name of Gautama's mother was Maya (also often
called Mayadevi). She paid for the birth of her son
with her own life. Her sister (Mahaprajapati), who
was also one of the wives of Gautama's father, under-
took the rearing of the child.



THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTRINE 3

These events took place in the middle of the sixth
century before Christ. It is only from what we know of
the general condition of Indian culture at that period
that we can form some conception of the way in which
Gautama grew up. He was surrounded by the luxury
due to his gentle birth. Crowds of servants ; careful
physical training; a splendid home, varied according to
the three seasons of the Indian year (summer, winter,
and the rains) ; the enjoyment of the beauties of nature
which India offers; gardens containing a wealth of
tropical vegetation ; from time to time a festival or a
hunting-party such are the things which certainly
belonged to his life. He was trained in the use of
arms, and his military capacity was developed. His
mental faculties were also developed by careful in-
struction, and certainly the Veda, the famous collec-
tion of old Indian sacred songs and texts, played a
role in his education, though we can no longer ascer-
tain to what extent.

"When the youth was grown up he married. The
name of his wife is not certain ; we find it mentioned
as Yasodhara, but also as Bhaddakacca and as Gopa.
She bore him a son, Eahula. Not long after this
event Gautama left his home, his father, his wife and
child, in order to withdraw into the solitude of the
wilderness. He did it in opposition to the wishes of
the family ; certainly it could have been no easy matter
for him thus to have broken the ties with his former
life. He was driven to it by an overpowering inner
longing to give himself up to the consideration of the
fundamentals of human existence. For this purpose
he desired to be quite free from external bonds.

12



4 BUDDHISM AS A KELIGION

Such a mode of action was not altogether uncommon
in those days. The religious instinct of India had
already produced hermits, ascetics, and people of
monastic habits. Gautama took the usual way to
solve the riddle of existence which pressed upon him :
he associated with famous anchorites and sought their
advice. It was the accepted opinion of the period that
a deeper insight into the meaning of life could be
obtained by the help of severe asceticism, which would
free the soul from physical bondage. Gautama allowed
himself to be driven into this course, but all such
attempts failed to satisfy him. For seven years he
wrestled strenuously, but in vain, till at last he gave
up the struggle us a failure.

Soon afterwards a marked change came over him.
Emerging from profound meditation, which had for
many hours rendered him oblivious of all outward
things as he sat under a peepul-tree, Gautama hence-
forth had a new outlook on the meaning of life and
the highest task of humanity. He had received his
revelation. At that time he was about thirty-six years
of age. From now his whole life is devoted to the dis-
semination of his new doctrine. He has become the
Awakened, the One who Knows, the Buddha.

For about forty-five years he worked amongst his
people as the Buddha, wandering from place to place
and preaching. With ever-increasing care he elabo-
rated his system of thought by means of discussion
with foes and friends alike. He won adherents.
Soon he was surrounded by an inner circle of disciples
faithfully devoted to him, and whom he taught and
trained. He gained respect besides from a large number



THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTEINE 5

of outsiders, even if they did not accept his deeper
instruction, and could not live up to his highest require-
ments. Although opposition was not altogether lacking,
the impression gathered is mainly that of success and
of the rapid spread of his doctrine. The Buddha also
converted his own family, his father, his former wife,
his son, and other relatives. The extent of country
traversed by Gautama in his itinerary work far ex-
ceeded that of the paternal domain. He travelled
in the eastern parts of North India, where the old
kingdoms of Magadha and Kosala were situated, in a
region the centre of which is the city of Benares.
These tours, on which he was accompanied by his
disciples, were interrupted every year for several
months by the rainy season. Then they sought a
shelter at a place where the gifts and care of adherents
made a longer stay possible.

Thus four and a half decades had passed. The
Buddha had become an old man while still engaged
in his labours. He saw the result of a remarkable
life - work surrounding him a great community,
obedient to the rule of salvation, framed by him.
Death overtook him in or about the year 477 B.C.
He happened to be in a village close to the noted city
Vaisali, when a severe illness attacked him ; but after
recovering a little, he still pursued his way. Arriving
in a small place called Pava, he was invited to a meal
by a smith, Chunda by name. This meal (consisting
of boar's flesh 1 ) brought back his illness. He knew

1 Some scholars disagree about the meaning of the term used
for that meal (suJcaramaddavam), asserting that it was a kind
of mushroom named after boars ; but that is doubtful.



6 BUDDHISM AS A BELIGION

that the end had come, and held a farewell discourse,
especially with his favourite disciple, Ananda. Under
some blossoming trees by the river-bank, near the
city of Kusinagara, his last resting-place was prepared.
There he died. His corpse was cremated by his adher-
ents with the greatest honour, and the remains of his
body were divided among Princes and noble families.
Some of these remains the family of the &akyas re-
ceived, who buried them under a great monument. The
place where these relics have been buried was found
and opened in 1898, the old remains being left entirely
untouched.

This is what may be asserted with confidence of
the life of the Buddha Gautama.

In the traditions handed down by his followers
there is a large addition of legendary embellishments
tacked on to this kernel of truth. Already in the dis-
courses of the master, carefully treasured by the first
generation after his death, together with many interest-
ing details of his life which are historic, a fantastic
glorification crept in. We must here set aside the
Buddha legends, as we are only concerned with his-
torical information ; but for those who desire to
know more of the legendary Buddha, the following
hints as to literature are annexed.

We possess four ancient records of the life of the
Buddha :

1. The Nidanakatha that is, the introduction to
the book of the Jatakas, a work relating to the former
lives of the Buddha. The Nidanakatha, written in Pali,
has been translated into English under the editorship
of E. B. Cowell. (The Jataka, or Stories of the Bud-
dha's Former Births. Cambridge. Six vols. 1895-



THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTRINE 7

1907. The Nidanakatha is contained in vol. i.). See
also Buddhist Birth Stories ; or, Jataka Tales. Trans-
lated by T. W. Rhys Davids. London: Triibner.
Vol. i. 1880.

2. P. E. Foucaux : Le Lalita Vistara trad, du Sans-
crit. Ann. d. Mus. Guimet, tome 6. Paris, 1884.

3. The Mahavastu, written in Gatha dialect. Edited
and translated by E. Senart.

4. The Buddhacarita by Asvaghosa. Sacred Books
of the East, vol. xlix. Translated by E. B. Cowell,
F. Max Miiller, and J. Takakusu. The same work
translated from the Chinese by S. Beal. (Sacred
Books of the East, vol. xix. Oxford, 1883.)

Besides these original biographies of the Buddha,
there should be mentioned some works based on old
Oriental tradition :

R. Spence Hardy : A Manual of Buddhism. London,
1880. (Contains a Life of the Buddha on pp. 141-371.)

W. W. Rockhill : The Life of the Buddha . . . from
Tibetan Works. 1884.

P. Bigandet : The Life or Legend of Gaudama, the
Buddha of the Burmese. Third edition. London,
1880.

CHAPTER II. THE DOCTRINE OF THE
BUDDHA

Of greater importance than the life of the Buddha
is the question as to his teaching.

There is one point which from the first should not
be overlooked. The teaching of the Buddha has a
certain arbitrary limitation : it will give us no infor-
mation as to many metaphysical and philosophical



8 BUDDHISM AS A KELIGION

problems surrounding us for instance, as to the
origin of the world, the creating power, the deeper
sense of existence, the character of good and evil, and
such-like things. It always reverts to one cardinal
point of practical importance, sweeping aside all other
questions which man's thirst for knowledge may raise.
The one cardinal point referred to is the deliverance
from suffering.

For the very first statement which is at the root of
all the Buddha's thought is this life is suffering.

What, then, does Gautama mean by this phrase?
The ideas and sentiments which grew up in the mind
of the Buddha so as to form this fundamental con-
viction are partly due to his individual temperament,
and partly to the spirit of the age in which he lived,
to the inheritance he owed to his nation.

Personally, he certainly experienced life as burden-
some. It must be borne in mind that the Indian
genius is ripened by the Indian climate. There is a
benumbing of existence under the tropical sun as well
as under perpetual snow and ice. From the intel-
lectual life of India there soon ebbed the joyous
activity of primitive times, a passive receptivity taking
its place, and a dull drifting on the stream of events.
The exuberance of Nature also had something para-
lyzing in it. There can be no permanent satisfaction
for man in the rest of satiety, our nature being rather
formed for a life of endeavour and striving. Melan-
choly takes possession of him, a morbid scepticism,
an overwhelming sensibility for everything destitute
and afflicted. Such a mental attitude the Buddha
must have had stamped upon him from the outset by



THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTKINE 9

his Indian parentage and surroundings, and it may
have been unusually developed in him. What he
saw as the curse of human existence more than any-
thing else is plainly set forth in an old legend, which
gives the motive for his abandonment of family and
home. The legend describes how on three different
occasions he took a drive from his palace : the first time
he met with an old man, the second time with a sick
man, the third time with a corpse. By each of these
an indelible impression was made upon his mind. A
fourth excursion showed him the apparition of a
mendicant who had turned his back on the world an
indication of his appointed path. Old age, illness,
and death are the terrible powers of destruction which
hover over life ; they are all included in the one word
transitoriness.

This word leads up to the very heart of Gautama's
experience, so far as it is connected with the world's
suffering. There is no real happiness because every-
thing in life is transitory. Behind every blossoming
forth is a fading ; behind every attainment, a loss ;
behind every life, death. This truth, though ex-
perienced to a certain extent by everybody and in
every epoch in its ruthless irrevocability, takes such
gigantic shape in this Indian mind that it over-
shadows all earthly gifts and values. Happiness is a
mirage, a deception. Whoever really opens his eyes
must recognize that all life is suffering.

This aspect of things is sharply intensified, more-
over, by a doctrine which the Buddha received from
the age in which he lived. This is the doctrine of
metempsychosis. Nobody can ascertain at the present



10 BUDDHISM AS A RELIGION

day at what time this conception, a hazy, fantastic
idea at the outset, but in course of time strengthened
by the pantheistic and pessimistic trend of ancient
Indian thought, first took rise in the mind of man.
The idea has undoubtedly something very natural
and attractive for primitive philosophy. In any case,
long before the Buddha's time it had become quite
familiar to the speculative mind. It is a gloomy
thought, well qualified to deepen the melancholy
contemplation of existence to a degree that is terrible
and unendurable. To be forced to pass through life
again and again in a bodily form, predestined to the
same imperfections, the same transitoriness, the same
death this is indeed a wearisome and formidable
treadmill ! Already thinkers before the Buddha had
felt the torturing sting of this conception very deeply.
The doctrine of metempsychosis is therefore to be
reckoned as an element of the atmosphere in which
the Buddha grew up. He has, indeed, modified it
somewhat, but he was unable to free himself from
the main conception. He never thought of doubting
the fact of reincarnation. Such universally accepted
beliefs surround the single individual who is born into
their midst with an impression of reality like that of
heaven and earth. But it cannot be doubted that the
belief in reincarnation most powerfully accentuated
Gautama's view of life as suffering.

If one has realized as an unalterable truth that life
means suffering, the next question arising must be
as to the original cause of suffering; for it is only
by coming to an understanding of this that anyone
can hope to succeed in removing suffering. What,



THE BUDDHA AND HIS DOCTRINE 11

then, is the original fountain of all suffering ? The
answer to this question forms the second fundamental
truth of the Buddha's teaching, and runs thus : The
cause of suffering is thirst (craving).

It is worth attention that at this point already the
system of the Buddha takes its turn to the personal
and subjective side. The question is not how it may
be explained that we find ourselves in such a world,
which in reality is nothing else than a hell, a place
of suffering for all its inhabitants ; nor as to who or
what may have originated such a phenomenon. We
are not to look about for an external objective cause,
to which this universal fate is due. The explanation
is given entirely from the inner, the subjective, side
of the phenomenon ; it is merely psychological.
Suffering originates in a certain psychological dis-
position of the individual, but this, disposition as it
is, might be ruled and mastered by the individual
who possesses it. Suffering originates from the thirst.

Before stating, further, how the thirst is the creative
power of all suffering in the world, we must look at a
certain doctrine of the Buddha intimately connected
with that question, and at the same time a doctrine
differing from the common mode of thought even in
ancient India. Most philosophical systems of the
pre-Buddhist period recognized a permanent soul as
the active centre of the body, which represented the
indestructible unit, this unit being led by Death
from one habitation to another in the course of all its
reincarnations. In order to come to rest, this soul of
the individual must attain union with the All- Soul,
the World- Soul, with Brahma, after which union the


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