‘She could not have meant that,’ protested Basil. ‘Child

time:2023-12-01 23:49:40source:newsedit:zop

Going on from this to the south-east for three yojanas, they came to the great kingdom of Sha-che.[1] As you go out of the city of Sha-che by the southern gate, on the east of the road (is the place) where Buddha, after he had chewed his willow branch,[2] stuck it in the ground, when it forthwith grew up seven cubits, (at which height it remained) neither increasing nor diminishing. The Brahmans with their contrary doctrines[3] became angry and jealous. Sometimes they cut the tree down, sometimes they plucked it up, and cast it to a distance, but it grew again on the same spot as at first. Here also is the place where the four Buddhas walked and sat, and at which a tope was built that is still existing.

‘She could not have meant that,’ protested Basil. ‘Child

[1] Sha-che should probably be Sha-khe, making Cunningham's identification of the name with the present Saket still more likely. The change of { .} into { .} is slight; and, indeed, the Khang-hsi dictionary thinks the two characters should be but one and the same.

‘She could not have meant that,’ protested Basil. ‘Child

[2] This was, no doubt, what was called the danta-kashtha, or "dental wood," mostly a bit of the /ficus Indicus/ or banyan tree, which the monk chews every morning to cleanse his teeth, and for the purpose of health generally. The Chinese, not having the banyan, have used, or at least Fa-hien used, Yang ({ .}, the general name for the willow) instead of it.

‘She could not have meant that,’ protested Basil. ‘Child

[3] Are two classes of opponents, or only one, intended here, so that we should read "all the unbelievers and Brahmans," or "heretics and Brahmans?" I think the Brahmans were also "the unbelievers" and "heretics," having { .} { .}, views and ways outside of, and opposed to, Buddha's.


Going on from this to the south, for eight yojanas, (the travellers) came to the city of Sravasti[1] in the kingdom of Kosala,[2] in which the inhabitants were few and far between, amounting in all (only) to a few more than two hundred families; the city where king Prasenajit[3] ruled, and the place of the old vihara of Maha-prajapti;[4] of the well and walls of (the house of) the (Vaisya) head Sudatta;[5] and where the Angulimalya[6] became an Arhat, and his body was (afterwards) burned on his attaining to pari-nirvana. At all these places topes were subsequently erected, which are still existing in the city. The Brahmans, with their contrary doctrine, became full of hatred and envy in their hearts, and wished to destroy them, but there came from the heavens such a storm of crashing thunder and flashing lightning that they were not able in the end to effect their purpose.

As you go out from the city by the south gate, and 1,200 paces from it, the (Vaisya) head Sudatta built a vihara, facing the south; and when the door was open, on each side of it there was a stone pillar, with the figure of a wheel on the top of that on the left, and the figure of an ox on the top of that on the right. On the left and right of the building the ponds of water clear and pure, the thickets of trees always luxuriant, and the numerous flowers of various hues, constituted a lovely scene, the whole forming what is called the Jetavana vihara.[7]

When Buddha went up to the Trayastrimsas heaven,[8] and preached the Law for the benefit of his mother, (after he had been absent for) ninety days, Prasenajit, longing to see him, caused an image of him to be carved in Gosirsha Chandana wood,[9] and put in the place where he usually sat. When Buddha on his return entered the vihara, Buddha said to it, "Return to your seat. After I have attained to pari-nirvana, you will serve as a pattern to the four classes of my disciples,"[10] and on this the image returned to its seat. This was the very first of all the images (of Buddha), and that which men subsequently copied. Buddha then removed, and dwelt in a small vihara on the south side (of the other), a different place from that containing the image, and twenty paces distant from it.


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