Bimbasâra Râga having, in a decorous manner, and with soothing speech, made his request, the prince on his part respectfully replied, in the following words, deep and heart-stirring: . 827
'Illustrious and world renowned! Your words are
not opposed to reason, descendant of a distinguished family--an Aryan 1--amongst men 2 a true friend indeed, . 828
'Righteous and sincere to the bottom of your heart, it is proper for religion's sake to speak thus 3. In all the world, in its different sections, there is no chartered place 4 for solid virtue (right principles), . 829
'For if virtue flags and folly rules, what reverence can there be, or honour paid, to a high name or boast of prowess, inherited from former generations! . 830
'And so there may be in the midst of great distress, large goodness, these are not mutually opposed. This then is so with the world in the connection of true worth and friendship. . 831
'A true friend who makes good (free) use of wealth--is rightly called a fast and firm treasure, but he who guards and stints the profit he has made, his wealth will soon be spent and lost; . 832
'The wealth of a country is no constant treasure, but that which is given in charity is rich in returns, therefore charity is a true friend, altho' it scatters, yet it brings no repentance; . 833
'You indeed are known as liberal and kind, I make no reply in opposition to you, but simply as we meet, so with agreeable purpose we talk. . 834
'I fear birth, old age, disease, and death, and so I seek to find a sure mode of deliverance; I have put away thought of relatives and family affection, how is it possible then for me to return to the world (five desires) . 835
'And not to fear to revive the poisonous snake, (and after) 1 the hail to be burned in the fierce fire; indeed I fear the objects of these several desires, this whirling in the stream (of life) troubles my heart, . 836
'These five desires, the inconstant thieves 2--stealing from men their choicest treasures, making them unreal, false, and fickle--are like the man called up as an apparition 3; . 837
'For a time the beholders are affected (by it), but it has no lasting hold upon the mind; so these five desires are the great obstacles, for ever disarranging the way of peace; . 838
'If the joys of heaven are not worth having, how much less the desires common to men, begetting the thirst of wild love, and then lost in the enjoyment, . 839
'As the fierce wind fans the fire, till the fuel be spent and the fire expires; of all unrighteous things in the world, there is nothing worse than the domain of the five desires; . 840
'For all men maddened by the power of lust, giving themselves to pleasure, are dead to reason. The wise man fears these desires, he fears to fall. into the way of unrighteousness; . 841
'For like a king who rules all within the four seas, yet still seeks beyond for something more, (so is lust); like the unbounded ocean, it knows not when and where to stop. . 842
'Mandha, the Kakravartin, when the heavens rained yellow gold, and he ruled all within the seas, yet sighed after the domain of the thirty-three heavens; . 843
'Dividing with Sakra his seat, and so thro’ the power of this lust he died; Nung-Sha (Nyâsa?), whilst practising austerities, got power to rule the thirty-three heavenly abodes, . 844
'But from lust he became proud and supercilious, the Rishi whilst stepping into his chariot, through carelessness in his gait, fell down into the midst of the serpent pit. . 845
'Yen-lo (Yama?) the universal monarch (Kakravartin) wandering abroad thro’ the Trayastrimsas heaven, took a heavenly woman (Apsara) for a queen, and unjustly extorted 1 the gold of a Rishi; . 846
'The Rishi, in anger, added a charm, by which the country was ruined, and his life ended. Po-lo, and Sakra king of Devas 2, Sakra king of Devas, and Nung-sha (Nyâsa), . 847
'Nung-sha returning (or, restoring) to Sakra; what certainty (constancy) is there, even for the lord of heaven? Neither is any country safe, though kept by the mighty strength of those dwelling in it. . 848
'But when one's clothing consists of grass, the berries one's food, the rivulets one's drink, with long hair flowing to the ground, silent as a Muni, seeking nothing, . 849
'In this way practising austerities, in the end lust shall be destroyed. Know then, that the province (indulgence) of the five desires is avowedly an enemy of the religious man. . 850
'Even the one-thousand-armed invincible king, strong in his might, finds it hard to conquer this. The Rishi Râma perished because of lust, . 851
'How much more ought I, the son of a Kshatriya, to restrain lustful desire; but indulge in lust a little, and like the child it grows apace, . 852
'The wise man hates it therefore; who would take poison for food? every sorrow is increased and cherished by the offices of lust. . 853
'If there is no lustful desire, the risings of sorrow are not produced, the wise man seeing the bitterness of sorrow, stamps out and destroys the risings of desire; . 854
'That which the world calls virtue, is but another form of this baneful law 1; worldly men enjoying the pleasure of covetous desire then every form of careless conduct results; . 855
'These careless ways producing hurt, at death, the subject of them reaps perdition (falls into one of the evil ways). But by the diligent use of means, and careful continuance therein, . 856
The consequences of negligence are avoided, we should therefore dread the non-use of means; recollecting
that all things are illusory, the wise man covets them not; . 857
'He who desires such things, desires sorrow, and then goes on again ensnared in love, with no certainty of ultimate freedom; he advances still and ever adds grief to grief, . 858
Like one holding a lighted torch burns his hand, and therefore the wise man enters on no such things. The foolish man and the one who doubts, still encouraging the covetous and burning heart, . 859
'In the end receives accumulated sorrow, not to be remedied by any prospect of rest; covetousness and anger are as the serpent's poison; the wise man casts away . 860
'The approach of sorrow as a rotten bone; he tastes it not nor touches it, lest it should corrupt his teeth, that which the wise man will not take, . 861
'The king will go through fire and water to obtain, the wicked sons 1 labour for wealth as for a piece of putrid flesh, o’er which the hungry flocks of birds contend. . 862
'So should we regard riches; the wise man is ill pleased at having wealth stored up, the mind wild with anxious thoughts, . 863
'Guarding himself by night and day, as .a man who fears some powerful enemy, like as a man's feelings revolt with disgust at the (sights seen) beneath the slaughter post of the East Market, . 864
'So the high post which marks the presence of lust, and anger, and ignorance, the wise man always avoids; as those who enter the mountains or the seas have much to contend with and little rest, . 865
'As the fruit which grows on a high tree, and is
grasped at by the covetous at the risk of life, so is the region (matter) of covetous desire, tho’ they see the difficulty of getting it, . 866
'Yet how painfully do men scheme after wealth, difficult to acquire, easy to dissipate, as that which is got in a dream, how can the wise man hoard up (such trash)! . 867
'Like covering over with a false surface a hole full of fire, slipping thro’ which the body is burnt, so is the fire of covetous desire. The wise man meddles not with it. . 868
'Like that Kaurava [Kau-to-po], or Pih-se-ni Nanda, or Ni-k’he-lai Danta, as some kandala's (butcher's) appearance 1, . 869
'Such also is the appearance of lustful desire; the wise man will have nothing to do with it, he would rather throw his body into the water or fire, or cast himself down over a steep precipice. . 870
'Seeking to obtain heavenly pleasures, what is this but to remove the place of sorrow, without profit. Sün-tau, Po-sun-tau (Sundara and Vasundara), brothers of Asura, . 871
'Lived together in great affection, but on account of lustful desire slew one another, and their name perished; all this then comes from lust; . 872
'It is this which makes a man vile, and lashes and goads him with piercing sorrow; lust debases a man, robs him of all hope, whilst through the long night his body and soul are worn out; . 873
'Like the stag 2 that covets the power of speech
and dies, or the winged bird that covets 1 sensual pleasure (the net), or the fish that covets the baited hook, such are the calamities that lust brings; . 874
'Considering what are the requirements of life, none of these possess permanency; we eat to appease the pain of hunger, to do away with thirst we drink, . 875
'We clothe ourselves to keep out the cold and wind, we lie down to rest to get sleep, to procure locomotion we seek a carriage, when we would halt we seek a seat, . 876
'We wash to cleanse ourselves from dirt, all these things are done to avoid inconvenience; we may gather therefore that these five desires have no permanent character; . 877
'For as a man suffering from fever seeks and asks for some cooling medicine, so covetousness seeks for something to satisfy its longings; foolish men regard these things as permanent, . 878
'And as the necessary requirements of life, but, in sooth, there is no permanent cessation of sorrow; for by coveting to appease these desires we really increase them, there is no character of permanency therefore about them. . 879
'To be filled and clothed are no lasting pleasures, time passes, and the sorrow recurs; summer is cool during the moon-tide shining; winter comes and cold increases; . 880
'And so through all the eightfold laws of the world they possess no marks of permanence, sorrow and joy cannot agree together, as a person slave-governed loses his renown. . 881
'But religion causes all things to be of service, as a king reigning in his sovereignty; so religion controls sorrow, as one fits on a burthen according to power of endurance. . 882
'Whatever our condition in the world, still sorrows accumulate around us. Even in the condition of a king, how does pain multiply, though bound to others by love, yet this is a cause of grief; . 883
'Without friends and living alone, what joy can there be in this? Though a man rules over the four kingdoms, yet only one part can be enjoyed; . 884
'To be concerned in ten thousand matters, what profit is there in this, for we only accumulate anxieties. Put an end to sorrow, then, by appeasing desire, refrain from busy work, this is rest. . 885
'A king enjoys his sensual pleasures; deprived of kingship there is the joy of rest; in both cases there are pleasures (but of different kinds); why then be a king! . 886
'Make then no plan or crafty expedient, to lead me back to the five desires; what my heart prays for, is some quiet place and freedom (a free road); . 887
'But you desire to entangle me in relationships and duties, and destroy the completion of what I seek; I am in no fear of a hated house (family hatred), nor do I seek the joys of heaven; . 888
'My heart hankers after no vulgar profit, so I have put away my royal diadem; and contrary to your way of thinking, I prefer, henceforth, no more to rule. . 889
'A hare rescued from the serpent's mouth, would it go back again to be devoured? holding a torch and burning himself, would not a man let it go? 89c
'A man blind. and recovering his sight, would he again seek to be in darkness? the rich, does he sigh for poverty? the wise, does he long to be ignorant? . 891
'Has the world such men as these? then will I again enjoy my country. (But) I desire to get rid of birth, old age, and death, with body restrained, to beg my food; . 892
'With appetites moderated, to keep in my retreat; and then to avoid the evil modes of a future life, this is to find peace in two worlds: now then I pray you pity me not. . 893
'Pity, rather, those who rule as kings! their souls ever vacant and athirst, in the present world no repose, hereafter receiving pain as their meed. . 894
'You, who possess a distinguished family name, and the reverence due to a great master, would generously share your dignity with me, your worldly pleasures and amusements; . 895
'I, too, in return, for your sake, beseech you to share my reward with me; he who indulges in (practises) the threefold kinds of pleasure, this man the world calls "Lord," . 896
'But this is not according to reason either, because these things cannot be retained, but where there is no birth, or life, or death, he who exercises himself in this way, is Lord indeed! . 897
'You say that while young a man should be gay, and when old then religious (a recluse), but I regard the feebleness of age as bringing with it loss of power (to be religious), . 898
'Unlike the firmness and power of youth, the will determined and the heart established; but death
as a robber with a drawn sword follows us all, desiring to catch his prey; . 899
'How then should we wait for old age, ere we bring our mind to a religious life? Inconstancy is the great hunter, age his bow, disease his arrows, . 900
'In the fields of life and death he hunts for living things as for the deer; when he can get his opportunity, he takes our life; who then would wait for age? . 901
'And what the teachers say and do, with reference to matters connected with life and death, exhorting the young, mature, or middle-aged, all to contrive by any means, . 902
'To prepare vast meetings for sacrifices, this they do indeed of their own ignorance; better far to reverence the true law (religion), and put an end to sacrifice to appease the gods! . 903
'Destroying life to gain religious merit, what love can such a man possess? even if the reward of such sacrifices were lasting, even for this, slaughter would be unseemly; . 904
'How much more, when the reward is transient! Shall we (in search of this) slay that which lives, in worship? this is like those who practise wisdom, and the way of religious abstraction, but neglect the rules of moral conduct. . 905
'It ill behoves us then to follow with the world, and attend these sacrificial assemblies, and seek some present good in killing that which lives; the wise avoid destroying life! . 906
'Much less do they engage in general sacrifices, for the purpose of gaining future reward! the fruit (reward) promised in the three worlds is none of mine to choose for happiness! . 907
'All these are governed by transient, fickle laws, like the wind, or the drop that is blown from the grass; such things therefore I put away from me, and I seek for true escape. . 908
'I hear there is one O-lo-lam (Arâda Kâlâma) who eloquently (well) discourses on the way of escape, I must go to the place where he dwells, that great Rishi and hermit. . 909
'But in truth, sorrow must be banished; I regret indeed leaving you; may your country have repose and quiet! safely defended (by you) as (by) the divine Sakra-râga! . 910
'May wisdom be shed abroad as light upon your empire, like the brightness of the meridian sun! may you be exceedingly victorious as lord of the great earth, with a perfect heart ruling over its destiny! . 911
'May you direct and defend its sons! ruling your empire in righteousness! Water and snow and fire are opposed to one another, but the fire by its influence causes vapour, . 912
'The vapour causes the floating clouds, the floating clouds drop down rain; there are birds in space, who drink the rain, with rainless bodies 1(?) . 913
'Slaughter and peaceful homes are enemies! those who would have peace hate slaughter, and if those who slaughter are so hateful, then put an end, O king, to those who practise it! . 914
'And bid these find release, as those who drink
and yet are parched with thirst.' Then the king clasping together his hands, with greatest reverence and joyful heart, . 915
(Said), 'That which you now seek, may you obtain quickly the fruit thereof; having obtained the perfect fruit, return I pray and graciously receive me!' . 916
Bodhisattva, his heart inwardly acquiescing, purposing to accomplish his prayer, departing, pursued his road, going to the place where Arâda Kâlâma dwelt, . 917
Whilst the king with all his retinue, their hands clasped, themselves followed a little space, then with thoughtful and mindful heart, returned once more to Râgagriha! . 918
120:1 The symbols are 'ho-lai;' the translation may be simply 'descendant of a noble (ariya) and renowned family.'
120:2 Or, for men's sake.
120:3 This line literally translated is, 'Religion requires (me) thus to speak,' or, if the expression 'gm shi' refers to what has been said (as it generally does), then the line will run thus,' Religion justifies you in speaking as you have.'
120:4 We cannot place (i.e. fix the place) where religion (or, virtue and right principle) must dwell.
121:1 Like frozen hail and fierce burning fire.
121:2 Robbers of impermanency.
121:3 That is, are as unreal as an apparition.
122:1 The literal translation of this line would be, 'Taxing the gold of Lim the Rishi;' or, 'of the harvest ingathered by the Rishi.'
122:2 These lines refer to the transfer of heavenly power from Sakra to others, but the myth is not known to me; and there is confusion in the text, which is probably corrupt.
123:1 The sense of this passage seems to be that what is called by men a virtuous life, is but a form of regulated vice.
124:1 The foolish world.
125:1 This line may be translated, 'as the appearance of the shambles.'
125:2 I do not know to what this refers; the symbol 'shing' may not only mean 'the power of speech,' but also 'musical power' or 'music;' or it may mean 'celebrity.
126:1 Or, 'that follows after form-covetousness.'
130:1 This line literally translated is,' Who drink rain, not rain-body;' there may be a misprint, but I cannot see how to correct the text. The sense of the text and context appears to be this, that as there are those who drink the rain-clouds and yet are parched with thirst, so there are those who constantly practise religious duties and yet are still unblest. Compare Epistle by Jude, ver. 12 'Clouds without water.'