Chinese Buddhism, by Joseph Edkins, , at sacred-texts.com
p. 10 p. 11
Previous lives—Chronology—The seventh Buddha—Birth—Early life—Becomes a hermit—Becomes Buddha—Legendary stories of his early preaching—Hwa-yen-king—Extramundane teaching—Appearance at Benares.
IN examining the Buddhist writings, the reader is at once reminded that he has entered a field where he is deprived of the trustworthy guidance and careful adherence to facts and dates of native Chinese authors. Not only is this true of works that contain the wilder extravagances of Indian mythology, and introduce the wondering disciple to the scenery and inhabitants of numberless other worlds, even those that wear an historical look, and yield the most information, do not fail thus to betray their foreign origin. The doctrine of transmigrations, and an eternal succession of kalpas past and future, is tempting to the biographer who wishes for variety of incident. He can place his hero wherever he pleases, in the universe boundless in space and time of the Indian imagination. The founder of Buddhism, Shakyamuni, or the "Sage of the house of Shakya," is a case in point. It is said of him that before his birth more than two thousand years since in the present kalpa, he had during many previous ones taken religious vows,
and honoured the Buddhas who then instructed the world. His name is associated particularly with Dipankara, in Chinese, Janteng, a fictitious Buddha, who received him as his disciple, and foretold that he would in a subsequent kalpa become Buddha, and bear the name by which he is now known. The time when this happened was too long ago to be expressed by common Chinese numerals. It was at a distance of numberless kalpas. 1 In modern Chinese temples, an image behind that of Julai sometimes represents Janteng. In the kalpa immediately preceding the present, Shakya is said to have risen to the rank of Bodhisattwa. He was then born in the heaven called Tushita, 2 and when the time was come his soul descended to our world. He came on a white elephant having six tusks. The date of Shakya's birth is very variously given. The Siamese, Peguans, and Singhalese, all using the Pali versions of the Buddhist classics, differ among themselves. The numbers as stated by them are B.C. 744, 638, and 624. 3 The Chinese historian, Ma Twan-lin, mentions two dates as assigned by various authorities to this event, viz., 1027 and 668. The former is what is commonly given in Chinese books. Burnouf rightly prefers the chronology of the Southern Buddhists. Their discrepancies between themselves form an objection, but not at all a fatal one, to such a conclusion. The uncertainty that involves this question is an instance of the difficulty attending researches in Indian chronology and history, as contrasted with the fulness and accuracy of Chinese writers. What was the original language of Buddhism is another point not yet fully determined. The settlement of it would throw light on the chronology. Only one of the dates can be right, for there is no doubt as
to Buddha's identity. If Sanscrit was the language in which he taught his disciples, it must have been just dying out at the time, for the old Buddhist inscriptions, in the countries watered by the Ganges, are in a dialect derived from the Sanscrit and differing little from Pali. The mother-tongue of the Hindoos must then have been already supplanted by a derived dialect in the time of Ashôka, king of Central India, who reigned near Patna, as both the Northern and Southern Buddhists inform us, about 150 or 200 years after Buddha's death. It is to his age that those monuments are ascribed. Perhaps a discussion as to whether the Sanscrit or Pali versions of the sacred books were the earlier, may have led to a designed altering of dates by the Northern or Southern school of Buddhism. The deception was an elaborate one, by whichever party it was practised, for the interval from the death of Buddha until modern times is in the writings of both schools filled up by a series of events and dates. 1 The lives of some of the patriarchs, as given in Chinese books, appear too long. Ananda, a favourite disciple of Buddha, is made to die eighty-three years after him. Of his successors in the office of patriarch, the first two held it for sixty-two and sixty-six years respectively. The average of the first fourteen patriarchs is more than fifty-two years to each. Without forgetting the simple and abstemious habits of these ancient ascetics, their lives must be regarded as prolonged beyond probability. Perhaps the most convincing argument for the claim of the Pali to be that which was spoken by Buddha himself, is that the ascertained interval between him and Ashôka is too short for the formation of a new language.
The work called San-kiau-yi-su 2 places the Buddha called Shakyamuni in the seventh place among those whom
it commemorates as having, on account of their perfect enlightenment, received that title. The list begins with the ninety-eighth Buddha of a preceding kalpa. He is called the Biba Buddha. The two next, who are supposed to live toward the close of the same vast period of time, are called Shï-chï and Baishevu. The three first Buddhas of the present kalpa are said to have been named Kulusan, Kunashemuni, and Kashiapa. In Ward's Mythology of the Hindoos, it is said, "The Buddhists assign to their hero ten incarnations, and designate the histories of these incarnations by the names of ten Hindoo sages." But the true history of the religion begins with Shakyamuni.
Where all is fictitious, it matters not very much whether the preceding six Buddhas were incarnations of Shakyamuni Buddha, or were separate in their personality. There appears to be no ground for believing in any Buddhism before Buddha. Given a hero, it is easy to invent for him six preliminary lives, or six predecessors in the same dignity. One would like to know whether the Mohammedan series of seven sages, selected out of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, from Adam to Christ, is imitated from this Hindoo series of seven sages.
The effects of the teaching of each of the past Buddhas are recorded. The most ancient of the seven is said to have saved 34,800 men. The figures diminish, step by step, to 20,000, the number attributed to the immediate predecessor of the historical Buddha.
The names of the most faithful, and also the two proficient disciples, are given in the case of each Buddha. The city in which they lived is also mentioned, and the tree under which they were fond of delivering instruction. The favourite city of Shakyamuni was Shravasti, and his tree, the Bodhi tree. His disciples were too many to number. His faithful disciple was Rahula, his son, and his two most proficient pupils were Shariputra and Maudgalyayana.
The true history of the Buddhist religion begins with
[paragraph continues] Shakyamuni. He was the son of Suddhodana, king of the city Kapilavastu, near the boundary of Nepaul. The king of Kapilavastu was subject to the king of Magadha, a country in Southern Bahar, to which the Ganges provinces were then tributary. Suddhodana is called in Chinese Tsing-fan—"He who eats food freed from impurities."
Buddha was born B.C. 623, and attained the rank of Buddha at thirty-five years of age, in B.C. 588, the sixteenth year of the reign of Bimbisara. He died at seventy-nine, in the eighth year of the reign of Ajatashatru, B.C. 543. These are Ceylonese dates, and are, says Turnour, too late by sixty-five years. According to the Siamese and Birmese chronology, the birth and death of Buddha are assigned to the years B.C. 653 and B.C. 628. Koeppen prefers the former dates, on the ground that they are usually accepted by the Southern Buddhists, and the date of the Nirvâna is sanctioned by a very extended official use. He suggests that the Buddhists of China and other northern countries were influenced by the prophecy uttered by Shakyamuni, which stated that his doctrines would spread in China a thousand years after his death. It was in A.D. 64 that Buddhism entered China. The Nirvâna, therefore, should have its date a thousand years earlier. From this we may understand why the Chinese Buddhists place the life of Buddha so much earlier than do their brother believers in the south. Koeppen also remarks that Ceylon was converted to Buddhism much earlier than countries north of India, and that historical events are, therefore, more likely to be correctly recorded in Ceylon. The events in Buddha's life were fresher in remembrance when the early Buddhist literature of Ceylon was compiled, than when Buddhism spread in China and other northern countries.
The accepted date in China for Buddha's birth is B.C. 1027. His name was Siddharta, and that of his mother was Maya. She died ten days after his birth. The question in regard to this date is thus treated by the author of Fo-tsu-t‘ung-ki. He first gives six grounds for accepting
the older chronology. 1. A portent in the year B.C. 1027. According to a work called Cheu-shu-yi-ki, a bright light of five colours was seen to pierce the constellation Tai-wei, and pass over the whole west. On seeing it, the historian Su Yeu remarked that a great sage was born in the west. Seventy-nine years later, a white rainbow was seen, having twelve stripes stretching from south to north. The historian Hu To, seeing it, said, "It is the sign of the death of a great sage in the west." 2. Kashiapmadanga said to the Han emperor, Ming-ti, who introduced Buddhism into China, that it was in the year B.C. 1027, on the eighth day of the fourth month, that Buddha was born. 3. The statement of the third Chinese patriarch in the sixth century, that it was in the fifty-first year of the cycle, on the fourth month and eighth day. 4. Another early work of a Chinese Buddhist gives the year B.C. 1027, the month and day agreeing. 5. The same is true of a statement by a Buddhist in the History of the Wei, an imperial work. 6. Early in the seventh century, the emperor T‘ai-tsung ordered an investigation into the date of Buddha's birth. Lieu Te-wei, a minister of State, inquired of a famous Buddhist named Fa-lin the reason of the discrepancy in the current accounts. The consequence was that Fa-lin settled it to be B.C. 1027.
The same author proceeds to give several other epochs, believed in by as many authorities. 1. Inscription on a stone pillar. This gives B.C. 718. 2. The statement of the pilgrim Fa-hien, B.C. 1197. 3. The statement of the work Siang-cheng-ki, B.C. 753. 4. Another statement places it in the time of Hia-kie, B.C. 1800. The fifth authority, Chung-sheng-tien-ki, gives the date B.C. 457. The sixth states that B.C. 687 was the year in question, and that then, according to the Tso-chwen, there was a shower of falling stars. This phenomenon is supposed to indicate Buddha's birth. A learned Buddhist, Ku-shan, argues that the birth must have taken place in the second month of the modern Chinese calendar, because in the Cheu
dynasty the year began two months later. To this the defenders of the orthodox Chinese view say in reply, that in three Sutras the birth of Buddha is said to have taken place in the fourth month, and as they were all translated since the modern calendar was adopted, a century before the Christian era, it is not open to us to say that it took place in the second month.
At fifteen years of age he was, in an assembly of nobles and Brahmans, formally invested with the rank of heir-apparent. The nobles presented to his royal father basins filled with water from the four seas, and ornamented with the seven precious things. They also sprinkled water on the prince's head, and gave him the seal of the seven precious things.
At seventeen he was married to a Brahman maiden of the Shakya family called Yashodara. He was taught in his youth every possible accomplishment, and was supplied with all the delights that high position and riches could afford, but he soon learned to despise them.
At eighteen years of age he left the palace to visit certain pleasure gardens and groves. Passing the east gate of the city he saw there a Deva who had assumed the form of an old man, with white hairs and crooked back. He thought sadly on the rapidity with which men grow old. They become aged like lightning, and yet are not afraid. Going out again, the same divinity presented himself at the south gate in the disguise of a sick man, with languid features and swelled paunch. At the west gate he saw a dead man, and the members of his family laughing as they followed him to the grave. He went out once more, and saw at the north gate a begging priest, a Bikshu in fact. He wore the garb of an ascetic, and carried a bowl. A staff was in his hand. The prince asked him who he was. He replied, "I am a Bikshu, practising sacred duties, and always obtaining the reward of freedom from action." As he finished these words he rose into the air, and was soon out of sight. The prince thought, "I fear
lest I may be pressed down by old age, sickness, death, the miseries I have witnessed. This Bikshu has arrived at the perception of my feelings. He shows me the path of deliverance." From this time the prince began to desire the ascetic life.
At twenty-five years old he sought an interview with his father, and said, "Kindness and affection, multiplied as they may be, lead but to partings. Allow me to enter on the ascetic life, that I may learn what wisdom is." His father tried in vain to detain him. On the seventh day of the second month the prince, while reflecting on the life of the recluse, emitted from his body a light which shone to all the palaces of the Devas. These beings then knew that Siddharta had become a recluse, and came to congratulate him. He asked their aid, and left his father's palace in the night-time under their escort, resolved to be a hermit, and saying, "If the eight miseries"—viz., birth, death, sickness, love, hatred, &c.—"be not abandoned, wisdom cannot be attained." He refused to return to his father's palace, and lived on the Himalaya Mountains in solitary spots, trying various methods to attain mental satisfaction, but in vain. He lived on hemp and barley, and assuaged his thirst with snow, till at thirty years of age he came to the perception of the true condition and wants of mankind. "He sighed, and said, 'It is strange that all men while they have within them Julai (the capacity of perceiving the true nature of life and worldly phenomena), and possess knowledge and virtue as the original property of their nature, should be entangled by deceptive thoughts and remain in ignorance of these things.' After this he lived forty-nine years, and delivered thirty-five discourses of special importance."
There were, during Buddha's life, five principal periods of instruction.
I. The time of delivering the Hwa-yen-king.—The scene was mostly in the paradises of the Devas, and the audience was composed of mythological personages. This
was the first grand outburst of Buddhist thought, and it belongs to the "Greater development."
II. The deer garden period.—Buddha now becomes historical. His teaching and his audience are human. This is the period of instruction in the four miseries, examples of which we have in the Sutra of Forty-two Sections, and other works.
III. The teaching of squareness and equality;—where all the principles of Shakyamuni's philosophy appear in symmetry, as in the Leng-yen-king.
IV. The period of the Prajna.—Here Shakyamuni becomes most coldly metaphysical, and expounds the doctrine of salvation for man and all living beings in the triumphant tone of an icy logic. The miseries of society are to be terminated by minute hair-splitting and belief in certain profound abstractions, which, after all that may be said for them, are simply impossibilities.
V. The closing period of Buddha's public life included the announcement of the Lotus of the Good Law, and the doctrine of Nirvâna. Here, in prospect of death, the warmth of human feeling returns. Shakyamuni becomes sympathetic and touching, as in the days of youth when he founded the Hindoo monastic societies, and when, as an enthusiastic preacher, he visited one after another the great cities of Oude and Bahar.
At first Buddha appeared like the sun in the east illuminating the tops of the western hills. Bodhisattwas from immense distances were attracted, and came to recognise him as the teacher whose instructions would guide mankind to the highest truth. This was the Hwa-yen period. Next the sun shone on the valleys, and then upon the wide plains. After the Bodhisattwas had been taught, the first disciples of the human race, the Shramanas, or "listeners," were instructed in the valleys, and then all mankind in the plains. The changes of milk are referred to in illustration. The first teaching was like milk fresh from the cow. There are four subsequent
stages, cream, ordinary butter, rich butter, and the oil which appears on the surface in the last boiling process. In Mongolia and North China milk is boiled to make butter.
The Hwa-yen doctrine is described also as tun, "an abrupt outburst." The teaching of the Bikshus is "gradual and elementary" (tsien), proceeding step by step from the Book of the Forty-two Sections to the Leng-yen, or "Square and equal," and from thence to the Prajna paramita. Beyond that, in the later years of his life, Buddha unfolded the "secret" (pi-mi) and "unfixed" (pu-ting) aspects of his doctrine.
The scene of the delivery of the Hwa-yen Sutra was laid in nine places. The first was under the Bodhi tree of Aranya in the kingdom of Magadha. This is different from the Bodhi tree of the Agama Sutras of the Small Development school. Aranya is "wild," "a quiet place," "belonging to the woods;" and Aranyakah "a forester," "a hermit," "living in seclusion" (see Eitel). The addition of ka marks an agent. Before Buddha's time, and during his youth, the hermit life had already become a fashion in India. He would, when a young and enthusiastic hermit, find himself more at home with men of this class than any other. In some green glade of the forests that skirt the mighty Himalayas, Shakyamuni is pictured by his northern followers with numberless mythological personages assembled before him. P‘u-hien, or, as he is called in Sanscrit, Samantabhadra, is the principal speaker. He is one of the fabulous Bodhisattwas. Manjusiri, another, follows hit.
The scene is then suddenly changed to the paradises of the Devas. Indra receives Buddha in one of his palaces 1
on the Sumeru Mountain, and utters an encomium upon him in a speech in which he states that Kashiapa Buddha had discoursed on the same spot. He is followed by ten Bodhisattwas, who all speak in praise of Buddha's wisdom.
Buddha is next found in the heaven of Yama, the Indian Pluto, and after this in that called Tushita, literally "the happy," where his mother Maya resides. After this, the scene of the instructions and encomiums of the Bodhisattwas in the presence of Buddha is transferred to other Deva paradises, where Indra and other gods of the Brahmanical mythology hold conference with them.
Last of all, at the close of this long Sutra, the scene is laid in the garden of Jeta as in the "Sutra of the Diamond," Kin-kang-king. Shariputra and other disciples are there by anticipation, but do not see Buddha, nor the magnificent assemblage of Bodhisattwas. Before the assembly breaks up, Manjusiri takes his farewell of Buddha, and sets forth on a southward journey among mankind. Shariputra and 6000 Bikshus went to him for instruction. He exhorted them to practise the duties of the Bodhisattwas, that they might obtain the samadhi of faultless vision, and see the Buddha regions and all the Buddhas. Manjusiri then proceeded to the "city of happiness," on the east of which he met the youth familiarly known among the Northern Buddhists as Shan-ts‘ai-t‘ung-tsi, who became his disciple and learned from him the knowledge of Bodhi. He also traversed Southern India, where he taught in 110 cities.
Shakyamuni himself says very little in the course of this Sutra. It is intended rather for developing the mythology of the great Bodhisattwas. As such, it is highly valued in China, where the images of Wen-shu (Manjusiri) and P‘u-hien are common in the temples. P‘u-hien in one speech mentions China under the name Chen-tan, 1 as a
region where many Bodhisattwas have been engaged in past times in instructing the people.
But the time had arrived when Shakyamuni must become a teacher of mankind, and we now find him suddenly making his appearance at Benares.
Legend having resolved to exalt Shakyamuni to the utmost extent of her resources, busied herself particularly with the year when he attained that perfect vision of truth which is called the state of Buddha.
He had passed six years in the exercises of severe abstinence and meditation. One day he thought, "I had better eat, lest the heretics should say that Nirvâna is attained in famishing the body. Let me eat, and then attain to perfect knowledge." He went to the Nairanjana river to bathe. Here a shepherdess gave him food which suddenly grew on a lotus-flower at her feet. He took it, and felt his strength return. He went to sit under a banyan tree (Pippala), or tree of Bodhi. The god Indra brought him a straw seat. He sat here, resolved not to move till the transformation he was about to undergo should be completed.
The king of the Maras, perceiving that the walls and foundations of his palace were shaking, thought in himself, "Gautama is now attaining perfect knowledge. Before he has reached the height of wisdom, I will go and trouble him." He went with bow and arrows, and attendant demons, to the tree where the object of his attack was sitting. He then addressed him—"Bodhisattwa! give up the monastic principle (c‘hu-kia fa), and become a 'wheel king.' 1 If you rise not, I will shoot my darts at you." The Bodhisattwa was unmoved. The darts, as they fell, became lotus flowers. The king of the Maras then offered him his three daughters to attend on him. Shakyamuni said, "You attained, by a small act of virtue, the body
of a Deva. You think not on the perishing, but seek to tempt me. You may leave me; I need you not." The king of the Maras again said, "I will resign to you my throne as a Deva, with the instruments of all the five pleasures." "No," replied the Bodhisattwa, "you attained the rank of Ishwara by some charitable deed. But this happiness has an end. I wish it not."
An army of spirits now issued from the ground and rebuked the tempter, who, as his last device, summoned a host of demons to assault the unconquerable youth. The air was filled with grim faces, gnashing teeth, and bristling spears. The Bodhisattwa looked on this scene as if it were child's play. A spirit in the air was now suddenly heard to say, "The Bodhisattwa attains this day, under the Bodhi tree, the perfection of knowledge. Here stands the diamond throne of many past Buddhas. It is not for you to disturb him. Cease your hostility, and wait upon him with respect." The king of the Maras then returned to his palace.
It was on the seventh day of the second month that Shakyamuni, after this victory, attained the rank of Buddha. This is described as entering into a state of reverie, emitting a bright light, and reflecting on the four modes of truth. 1 It is added, that he comes to the complete knowledge of the unreality of all he once knew as good and evil acting, long and short life, and the five paths of the metempsychosis, leading all living beings into a perpetual interchange of sorrow and joy. As the morning star of the eighth day of the month appeared, he suddenly awoke to this consciousness, and attained the perfect view of the highest truth.
As soon as Shakyamuni had risen from the state of
[paragraph continues] P‘usa to that of Fo, the assembly of the forty-one great teachers embodying the law, and of innumerable Devas, Nagas, and other supernatural beings, gathered round him, as the clouds gather round the moon.
To them he discoursed, as already described, in the Hwa-yen-king.
While he was meditating on the hopelessness of attempting the instruction of mankind, none but a Buddha being able to comprehend what Buddha knew, it first appeared better that he should enter at once into the Nirvâna. But from this wish he was dissuaded by Brahma and Indra, who came to intercede for mortals, and induce Buddha to become a public teacher. During seven days he received in silence Brahma's entreaties. In the second week he reflected on the sufferings and sorrows of man. In the third week, he said, "I ought to open the gate of the sweet law. Who should first hear it? The hermit Arara, who desired the perfect knowledge of truth? Let me first save him." A voice in the air said, "He died yesterday." Again he thought, "Then let the hermit Nalana be the first." The voice again said, "He died last night." He thought once more, "The five messengers sent by the minister of state had a like wish. Let them first hear the law." Buddha accordingly set out for Benares.
On the way, he sat by a pool in a state of samadhi for seven days. A blind Naga (snake or dragon) that lay in the pool felt the light that shone from Buddha restore his vision. He came out of the water, was transformed into a youth, and received the vows as a disciple.
On the seventh day of the third month, the spirit of the tree under which Buddha had for seven days been in a state of samadhi, took notice of Buddha's long abstinence from food. Five hundred travelling merchants passed at the moment, and the oxen that drew their waggons proved unable to pull the vehicles over the obstacles that lay in the road. Two of the merchants came to the tree to ask
the spirit's aid. The spirit advised them of the presence of Buddha near the pool, and said they should offer him food. They gave him barley mixed with honey. The four kings of the Devas (who are seen in the front hall of Buddhist temples) took from the mountain stones four sweet-smelling bowls, which they found there by a happy chance. In these they offered the food. Buddha took all the bowls, for fear of giving offence to any of the kings. He then piled them up on his left hand, and, with his right (by magical manipulation), formed them into one, holding it so that all present might see it. Then, after uttering a charm, he ate the food, and proceeded at once to administer the vows to the two merchants, who, with their companions, all attained high grades in Buddhist knowledge.
Buddha, in this instance, imposed on the neophytes the ordinary five prohibitions suited for men and Devas. This must be regarded, therefore, as exoteric teaching. But as the grade attained was high in proportion to the amount of training, it belongs so far to the unfixed or arbitrary division of the exoteric doctrine Hien-lu-chï-pu-ting-kiau, "manifested, and not fixed teaching."
It is at this point in Shakya's biography that a new section begins.
Mankind were not at this time in a state to receive the doctrine of the Greater development, and Buddha must be content to leave the brilliantly-illuminated regions of the great Bodhisattwas and shine upon the retired valleys, where he will, by a gradual process of teaching, reform and make happy such groups as he may meet of ordinary mortals in their wretchedness and desolation. He will, for the time, postpone his more elevated discourses, and proceed to Benares to teach the rudiments of his system. The shining robes of the recognised Buddha must be exchanged for the tattered garb of the ascetic. This is to him a temporary disguise.
The Northern school, with all the looseness of its chronology, professes great exactness in dates.
Shakyamuni becomes Buddha.
Teaches the Hwa-yen doctrine.
In reverie by the pool.
Receives food from the merchants.
In the garden at Benares.
In these dates, says the biographer, intervals of three, four, and five weeks may be observed.
12:1 A-send-gi-kap. The Sanscrit word Asankhyâ means "innumerable." Kalpa is applied to periods of time varying from a few hundreds to many thousand years.
12:2 Tushita now pronounced Tushïto.
12:3 See Klaproth's Life of Buddha, and Turnour's Examination of the Pali Buddhistical Annals.
13:1 The suggestion of Turnour to account for the sixty-five years discrepancy of the Singhalese and Greek dates is, that dates were altered to reconcile Buddha's prophecies with facto. This throws light on the design of the Northern Buddhists in antedating Buddha's birth by 447 years.
13:2 San-kiau-yi-su, "Supplementary account of the three religions."
20:1 The Tau-li-t‘ien, or "Heaven of the number 33;" in Sanscrit, Triyastrimsas. Sumeru is probably Elburz, an isolated mountain of the Caucasus range, 18,000 feet in height, and surrounded by low ground. The syllable su, like el, is a prefix. If this supposition be correct, the Hindoo race, when forming its legends of the Deva worlds in their first form, must have lived in the vicinity of the Caucasus. Su = El; Me = Bu; Ru = r.
21:1 Hwa-yen-king, chap. xxvi. Tan means "country," as in Hindostan, Afghanistan.
22:1 A king who rules the world, and causes the wheel of doctrine everywhere to revolve. The great Ashôka was a wheel king. The word is Chakravarti in Sanscrit, from Chakra, "wheel," the symbol of activity, whether of Buddha in preaching, or of kings like Ashôka in ruling.
23:1 These are, Ku, "misery," Tsi, "assembling," Mie, "destruction," and Tau, "the path," consisting in knowledge of misery, truth, and oppressive restraints, the need of separation from the ties of passion, the possibility of destroying the desires, and the path of salvation as regards the practical Buddhist life.