The Gospel Of Buddha (With Active Table of Contents)
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The pain of parting overcame him powerfully. Although his mind was determined, so that nothing, be it good or evil, could shake his resolution, the tears flowed freely from his eyes, and it was beyond his power to check their stream. But the prince tore himself away with a manly heart, suppressing his feelings but not extinguishing his memory.
Therefore, stay, my Lord. The Bodhisatta replied: "Well do I know that the wheel of empire will appear to me; but it is not sovereignty that I desire. I will become a Buddha and make all the world shout for joy. Thus Siddhattha, the prince, renounced power and worldly pleasures, gave up his kingdom, severed all ties, and went into homelessness. He rode out into the silent night, accompanied only by his faithful charioteer Channa. Darkness lay upon the earth, but the stars shone brightly in the heavens. Siddhattha had cut his waving hair and had exchanged his royal robe for a mean dress of the color of the ground.
Having sent home Channa, the charioteer, together with the noble steed Kanthaka, to king Suddhodana to bear him the message that the prince had left the world, the Bodhisatta walked along on the highroad with a beggar's bowl in his hand. Yet the majesty of his mind was ill-concealed under the poverty of his appearance. His erect gait betrayed his royal birth and his eyes beamed with a fervid zeal for truth. All the people who saw this unusual sight gazed at him in wonder. Those who were in haste arrested their steps and looked back; and there was no one who did not pay him homage.
Wherever the Blessed One came, the people gave him what they had; they bowed before him in humility and were filled with gratitude because he condescended to approach their homes. Old and young people were moved and said: "This is a noble muni! His approach is bliss. What a great joy for us! Having heard that the muni must be a Sakya and of noble family, and that he had retired to the bank of a flowing river in the woods to eat the food in his bowl, the king was moved in his heart; he donned his royal robe, placed his golden crown upon his head and went out in the company of aged and wise counselors to meet his mysterious guest.
The king found the muni of the Sakya race seated under a tree. I am sorry to see thee wasting thy youth. Believing that thou art of royal descent, I invite thee to join me in the government of my country and share my royal power. Desire for power is becoming to the noble-minded, and wealth should [Pg 27] not be despised. To grow rich and lose religion is not true gain. But he who possesses all three, power, wealth, and religion, enjoying them in discretion and with wisdom, him I call a great master.
A kind man who makes good use of wealth is rightly said to possess a great treasure; but the miser who hoards up his riches will have no profit. How is it possible for me to return to the world? He who seeks religious truth, which is the highest treasure of all, must leave behind all that can concern him or draw away his attention, and must be bent upon that one goal alone.
He must free his soul from covetousness and lust, and also from the desire for power. Wield worldly power and you will be burdened with cares. Would a man who has burnt his hand with a torch take up the torch after he had dropped it to the earth? Would a blind man who has recovered his sight desire to spoil his eyes again? Shall we advise him to drink that which will [Pg 28] increase the fever?https://sardipitness.cf
the gospel of buddha with active table of contents Manual
Shall we quench a fire by heaping fuel upon it? Rather pity those who are burdened with the cares of royalty and the worry of great riches. They enjoy them in fear and trembling, for they are constantly threatened with a loss of those boons on whose possession their hearts are set, and when they die they cannot take along either their gold or the kingly diadem. But I will go to the sages who can teach me religion and so find the path on which we can escape evil.
May thy royal power be strong and may righteousness be the sceptre in thine hand. The king, clasping his hands with reverence, bowed down before Sakyamuni and said: "Mayest thou obtain that which thou seekest, and when thou hast obtained it, come back, I pray thee, and receive me as thy disciple. The Bodhisatta parted from the king in friendship and goodwill, and purposed in his heart to grant his request.
The Bodhisatta went to them and sat at their feet. He learned their views of the transmigration of souls and of the law of karma; how the souls of bad men had to suffer by being reborn in men of low caste, in animals, or in hell, while those who purified themselves by libations, by sacrifices, and by self-mortification would become kings, or Brahmans, or devas, so as to rise higher and higher in the grades of existence. He studied their incantations and offerings and the methods by which they attained deliverance of the ego from material existence in states of ecstasy. What is that which is active in the two ways of motion, in the hands and in the feet?
The problem of the soul appears in the expressions ' I say,' ' I know and perceive,' ' I come,' and ' I go' or ' I will stay here. The I is the one who feels the touch in thy body. The I is the smeller in the nose, the taster in the tongue, the seer in the eye, the hearer in the ear, and the thinker in the mind. The I moves thy hands and thy feet. The I is thy soul. Doubt in the existence of the soul is irreligious, and without discerning this truth there is no way of salvation.
Deep speculation will easily involve the mind; it leads to confusion [Pg 30] and unbelief; but a purification of the soul leads to the way of escape. True deliverance is reached by removing from the crowd and leading a hermit's life, depending entirely on alms for food. Putting away all desire and clearly recognizing the non-existence of matter, we reach a state of perfect emptiness.
Here we find the condition of immaterial fife. This is true deliverance, but those only who will have deep faith will learn. The Bodhisatta found no satisfaction in these teachings. He replied: "People are in bondage, because they have not yet removed the idea of the ego. Heat is different from fire in our thought, but you cannot remove heat from fire in reality. You say that you can remove the qualities and leave the thing, but if you think your theory to the end, you will find that this is not so.
Are we not composed of various attributes? Man consists of the material form, of sensation, of thought, of dispositions, and, lastly, of understanding. That which men call the ego when they say ' I am' is not an entity behind the attributes; it originates by their co-operation. There is mind; there is sensation and thought, and there is truth; and truth is mind when it walks in the path of righteousness. But there is no separate ego-soul outside or behind the thought of man.
THE GOSPEL OF BUDDHA
He who believes that the ego is a distinct being has no correct conception of things. He who thinks correctly will rid himself of ignorance and acquire wisdom. The ideas ' I am' and ' I shall be' or ' I shall not be' do not occur to a clear thinker. If the ego is to be reborn in any of the three worlds, be it in hell, upon earth, or be it even in heaven, we shall meet again and again the same inevitable doom of sorrow.
We shall remain chained to the wheel of individuality and shall be implicated in egotism and wrong. Is this a final escape? Said Uddaka: "Consider the unity of things. Things are not their parts, yet they exist. The members and organs of thy body are not thine ego, but thine ego possesses all these parts.
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What, for instance, is the Ganges? Is the sand the Ganges? Is the water the Ganges? Is the hither bank the Ganges? Is the farther bank the Ganges? The Ganges is a mighty river and it possesses all these several qualities. Exactly so is our ego".
But the Bodhisatta replied: "Not so, sir! If we except the water, the sand, the hither bank and the farther bank, where can we find any Ganges? In the same way I observe the activities of man in their harmonious union, but there is no ground for an ego outside its parts. The Brahman sage, however, insisted on the existence of the ego, saying: "The ego is the doer of our deeds.
How can there be karma without a self as its performer?