If you on earth will gladly give Departed ghosts will gladly live! As water poured on mountain tops Must soon descend, and reach the plain; So surely what is given here Will reach and bless the sprits there! The grave is filled in. Two lights, one at the head of it, and one at the foot, are left burning.
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If you on earth will gladly give Departed ghosts will gladly live! As water poured on mountain tops Must soon descend, and reach the plain; So surely what is given here Will reach and bless the sprits there! The grave is filled in.
Two lights, one at the head of it, and one at the foot, are left burning. And then the friends and relations return to the house. The funeral now being over, is followed by a feast; for though nothing may be cooked in a house or hut in which there is a corpse, yet plenty of food has been brought in from neighbouring tenements by the relations of the deceased.
There is, however, yet another very curious ceremony to be gone through. He arrives in the evening; reads bana that is, the Word, passages from the sacred books throughout the night; and in the morning is presented with a roll of white cloth, and is asked to partake of food, chiefly of course curries, of those different kinds of which the deceased had been most particularly fond.
Such offerings are of course forbidden to Buddhists, and it is a very instructive instance of a survival in belief, of the effect of the natural reluctance to make much change in the mode of paying the customary funeral respect to deceased friends, that the kind of food supposed to be most appreciated by the dead should still be used in the Buddhist funeral rites.
Nothing is known of any religious ceremony having been performed by the early Buddhists in India, whether the person deceased was a layman, or even a member of the [1. The Vinaya Pitaka, which enters at so great length into all the details of the daily life of the recluses, has no rules regarding the mode of treating the body of a deceased Bhikkhu.
It was probably burnt, and very much in the manner described in the last chapter of our Sutta--that is to say, it was reverently carried out to some convenient spot, and there simply cremated on a funeral pyre without any religious ritual, a small tope being more often than not erected over the ashes. Though funerals are, naturally, not unfrequently mentioned in the historical books, and in the Birth Stories, there is nowhere any reference to a recognised mode of performing any religious ceremony.
Only by adding together the lengths of the reigns of the intermediate kings is it possible to calculate the length of the time that is said to have elapsed between any two given events.
If these lists of kings had been accurately kept from [1. This last we can do; for the date of Kandragupta, and the date of his grandson Asoka, can be independently fixed within a few years by the aid of the Greek historians.
The first purports to give the time which elapsed between B. Would it then be sound criticism to accept the other, earlier, period of years found in those chronicles--a period which we cannot test by Greek chronology--and by simply adding the Ceylon calculation of years to the European date for the eighteenth year of Asoka that in circa B. I cannot think so. The further we go back the greater does the probability of error become, not less.
The most superficial examination of the details of this earlier period shows too, that they are unreliable; and what reliance would it be wise to place upon the total, apart from the details, when we find it mentioned for the first time in p.
This would account not for , but only for about years. For let the reader take the case of any clergyman in the present day. The Bishop who ordains him would have been ordained thirty or forty years before; and four such intervals would fill out, not years, but about a century and a half; and a similar argument applies with reasonable certainty to the case in point.
An examination of the details of the List of Theras confirms this conclusion strongly on every essential point.
An examination also of the List of Kings shows that the period of years is wrong by being too long. The shorter period of years between Asoka and the Great Decease agrees much better with what we know of the literary history of Buddhism during that interval. And it also agrees with the tradition of the northern Buddhists as preserved by Hiouen Thsang, and in Kashmir and Tibet.
They place the Great Decease years before Kanishka, whose Council was held shortly after the commencement of our era.
This would make the date of the Great Decease about B. I have been able here to present only a summary of an argument which is in so far of little importance, inasmuch as the rectification which I have ventured to propose only differs by a little more than half a century from the earliest date which can in any case be suggested as approximately correct that is about B. The date B. Trenckner, p.
Trenckner says in his preface that Buddhaghosa quotes this work, but unfortunately he does not give any reference. See the note below on our Sutta, Chap. On the dated Edict, ascribed by some to Asoka, see my note loc. Thus have I heard.
Persons of distinction are scarcely ever mentioned by name in Indian Buddhist books, a rule applying more especially to kings, but extended not unfrequently to private persons. For the Buddhas speak nothing untrue!
There is nothing supernatural about the iddhi here referred to. See M. I, 34, 35, 39, On arriving there he exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of friendship and civility, sat down respectfully by his side [and then delivered to him the message even as the king had commanded]. So, Gotama, the Vaggians cannot be overcome by the king of Magadha; that is, not in battle, without diplomacy or breaking up their alliance.
And now, Gotama, we must go; we are busy, and have much to do. The Sum. The members of the order were not priests, for they had no priestly powers. They were not monks, for they took no vow of obedience, and could leave the order and constantly did so and do so still whenever they chose. They were not beggars, for they had none of the mental and moral qualities associated with that word. Listen well and attend, and I will speak.
So long as these seven conditions shall continue to exist among the brethren, so long as they are well-instructed in these conditions, so long may the brethren be expected not to decline, but to prosper.
Listen well, and attend, and I will speak. This is an interesting analogue to Philippians iii. See also below, Chap. But this is rather a gloss than an exact and exclusive definition. I, we find hiri described as subjective, and ottappa as objective, modesty of heart as contrasted with decency in outward behaviour.
Buddhaghosa makes no special comment here on either of the seven perceptions. Great is the fruit, great the advantage of intellect when set round with earnest contemplation. The mind set round with intelligence is freed from the great evils, that is to say, from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and from ignorance.
This paragraph is spoken of as if it were a well-known summary, and it is constantly repeated below. It would be difficult to find a passage in which the Buddhist view of the relation of these conflicting ideas is stated with greater beauty of thought, or equal succinctness of form. The mind set round with intelligence is freed from the great evils, that is to say, from sensuality, from individuality, from delusion, and from ignorance.
Why therefore are your words so grand and bold? Why do you burst forth into such a song of ecstasy? I have not the knowledge of the hearts of the Arahat Buddhas that have been, and are to come, and now are.
I only know the lineage p. And he, on going over the approaches all round the city, might not so observe all the joints and crevices in the ramparts of that city as to know where even a cat could get out. That might well be. Yet all living things of larger size that entered or left the city, would have to do so by that gate.
Thus only is it, Lord, that I know the lineage of the faith. I know that the Arahat 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 Arahat Buddhas of the times to come will [do the same].
The tertium quid of the comparison is the completeness of the knowledge. So far--after the cross-examination by the Buddha--he admits that his knowledge does not reach. But he maintains that he does know that which is, to him, after all the main thing, namely, that all the Buddhas must have passed through the process here laid down as leading up to Buddhahood.
And the Blessed One signified, by silence, his consent. On arriving there they made the rest [1. From this sentence down to the end of the verses at Chap. It would be very rude to have left him otherwise. So in Europe a similar custom is carried still further, persons leaving the royal presence being expected to go out backwards. It is time for you to do what you deem most fit.
And the Blessed One robed himself, took his bowl and other things, went with the brethren to the rest house, washed his feet, entered the hall, and took his seat against the centre pillar, with his face towards the east.
And the brethren also, after washing their feet, entered the hall, and took their seats round the Blessed One, against the western wall, and facing the cast. This, O householders, is the fivefold loss of the evil-doer!
This, O householders, is the fivefold gain of the well-doer. And the Blessed One, not long after the disciples [1. The first three seem to be synonyms. The last is one of the four divisions into which the first is usually divided, and is often translated hell; but not being an eternal state, and not being dependent or consequent upon any judgment, it cannot accurately be so rendered.
Now, wherever ground is so occupied by powerful fairies, they bend the hearts of the most powerful kings and ministers to build dwelling-places there, and fairies of middling and inferior power bend in a similar way the hearts of middling or inferior kings and ministers. The belief is turned to ridicule in the edifying legend, No. And when they had come there they exchanged with the Blessed One the greetings and compliments of friendship and civility, and stood there respectfully on one side.
And on arriving there, they prepared sweet dishes of boiled rice, and cakes; and informed the Blessed One, saying: p. And with their own hands they set the sweet rice and the cakes before the brethren with the Buddha at their head, and waited on them till they had had enough.
And when the Blessed One had finished eating his meal, the ministers brought a low seat, and sat down respectfully at his side. Let him give gifts to all such deities as may be there. Revered, they will revere him: honoured, they honour him again; Are gracious to him as a mother to her own, her only son. And the man who has the grace of the gods, good fortune he beholds.
This passage gives Buddhaghosa a good deal of difficulty, as it apparently inculcates offerings to the gods, which is contrary not only to both the letter and spirit of Buddhism, but also to the practice of Buddhists.
The verses were perhaps originally non-Buddhistic.
I will destroy them, and lay ruin and devastation upon them! Ask him if he is healthy and well, nimble, strong, and living comfortably. For Realized Ones say nothing that is not so. He had the finest carriages harnessed. He went by carriage as far as the terrain allowed, then descended and approached the Buddha on foot, and exchanged greetings with him.
Maha Parinibbana Sutta
X The updated version is freely available at This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda responded to the Blessed One. On arrival, he said to Ven. Ananda, "Ananda, please prepare a bed for me between the twin sal-trees, with its head to the north. I am tired, and will lie down.
Edit 1. Thus have I heard. At that time the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, desired to wage war against the Vajjis. He spoke in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them. He has spoken in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them. He went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then dismounting, he approached the Blessed One on foot.