The Project Gutenberg ebook of Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3)



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CHAPTER XXII



FROM KANISHKA TO VASUBANDHU




Tradition, as mentioned above, connects the rise of the Mahayana with the reign of Kanishka. Materials for forming a picture of Indian life under his rule are not plentiful but it was clearly an age of fusion. His hereditary dominions were ample and he had no need to spend his reign in conquests, but he probably subdued Kashmir as well as Khotan, Yarkand and Kashgar.[187] Hostages from one of these states were sent to reside in India and all accounts agree that they were treated with generosity and that their sojourn improved the relations of Kanishka with the northern tribes. His capital was Purushapura or Peshawar, and the locality, like many other features of his reign, indicates a tendency to amalgamate India with Persia and Central Asia. It was embellished with masterpieces of Gandharan sculpture and its chief ornament was a great stûpa built by the king for the reception of the relics of the Buddha which he collected. This building is described by several Chinese pilgrims[188] and its proportions, though variously stated, were sufficient to render it celebrated in all the Buddhist world. It is said to have been several times burnt, and rebuilt, but so solid a structure can hardly have been totally destroyed by fire and the greater part of the monument discovered in 1908 probably dates from the time of Kanishka. The base is a square measuring 285 feet on each side, with massive towers at the corners, and on each of the four faces projections bearing staircases. The sides were ornamented with stucco figures of the Buddha and according to the Chinese pilgrims the super-structure was crowned with an iron pillar on which were set twenty-five gilded disks. Inside was found a metal casket, still containing the sacred bones, and bearing an inscription which presents two points of great interest. Firstly it mentions "Agiśala the overseer of works at Kanishka's vihâra," that is, probably Agesilaus, a foreigner in the king's service. Secondly it states that the casket was made "for the acceptance of the teachers of the Sarvâstivâdin sect,"[189] and the idea that Kanishka was the special patron of the Mahayana must be reconsidered in the light of this statement.

Legends ascribe Kanishka's fervour for the Buddhist faith not to education but to conversion. His coinage, of which abundant specimens have been preserved, confirms this for it presents images of Greek, Persian, Indian and perhaps Babylonian deities showing how varied was the mythology which may have mingled with Gandharan Buddhism. The coins bearing figures of the Buddha are not numerous and, as he undoubtedly left behind him the reputation of a pious Buddhist, it is probable that they were struck late in his reign and represent his last religious phase.[190] Hsüan Chuang[191] repeats some legends which relate that he was originally anti-Buddhist, and that after his conversion he summoned a council and built a stupa.

The substance of these legends is probable. Kanishka as a barbarian but docile conqueror was likely to adopt Buddhism if he wished to keep abreast of the thought and civilisation of his subjects, for at that time it undoubtedly inspired the intellect and art of north-western India. Both as a statesman and as an enquirer after truth he would wish to promote harmony and stop sectarian squabbles. His action resembles that of Constantine who after his conversion to Christianity proceeded to summon the Council of Nicæa in order to stop the dissensions of the Church and settle what were the tenets of the religion which he had embraced, a point about which both he and Kanishka seem to have felt some uncertainty. Our knowledge of Kanishka's Council depends chiefly on the traditions reported by Hsüan Chuang[192] which present many difficulties. He tells us that the king, acting in consultation with Parśva, issued summonses to all the learned doctors of his realm. They came in such crowds that a severe test was imposed and only 499 Arhats were selected. There was some discussion as to the place of meeting but finally Kashmir[193] was selected and the king built a monastery for the Brethren. When the Council met, there arose a question as to whether Vasumitra (who is not further described) should be admitted seeing that he was not an Arhat but aspired to the career of a Bodhisattva. But owing to the interposition of spirits he was not only admitted but made president.

The texts of the Tripitaka were collected and the Council "composed 100,000 stanzas of Upadeśa Śâstras explanatory of the canonical sûtras, 100,000 stanzas of Vinaya-vibhâshâ Śâstras explanatory of the Vinaya and 100,000 of Abhidharma-vibhâshâ Śâstras explanatory of the Abhidharma. For this exposition of the Tripitaka all learning from remote antiquity was thoroughly examined; the general sense and the terse language (of the Buddhist scriptures) was again and again made clear and distinct, and learning was widely diffused for the safe-guiding of disciples. King Kanishka caused the treatises when finished to be written out on copper plates and enclosed these in stone boxes which he deposited in a tope made for the purpose. He then ordered spirits to keep and guard the texts and not to allow any to be taken out of the country by heretics; those who wished to study them could do so in the country. When leaving to return to his own country, Kanishka renewed Asoka's gift of all Kashmir to the Buddhist Church."[194]

Paramârtha (499-569 A.D.) in his Life of Vasubandhu[195] gives an account of a council generally considered to be the same as that described by Hsüan Chuang, though the differences in the two versions are considerable. He says that about five hundred years[196] after the Buddha's death (i.e. between 87 B.C. and 13 A.D. if the Buddha died 487 B.C.) an Indian Arhat called Katyâyanî-putra, who was a monk of the Sarvâstivâdin school, went to Kipin or Kashmir. There with 500 other Arhats and 500 Bodhisattvas he collected the Abhidharma of the Sarvâstivâdins and arranged it in eight books called Ka-lan-ta (Sanskrit Grantha) or Kan-tu (Pali Gantho). This compilation was also called Jñâna-prasthâna. He then made a proclamation inviting all who had heard the Buddha preach to communicate what they remembered. Many spirits responded and contributed their reminiscences which were examined by the Council and, when they did not contradict the sûtras and the Vinaya, were accepted, but otherwise were rejected. The selected pieces were grouped according to their subject-matter. Those about wisdom formed the Prajñâ Grantha, and those about meditation the Dhyâna Grantha and so on. After finishing the eight books they proceeded to the composition of a commentary or Vibhâshâ and invited the assistance of Aśvaghosha. When he came to Kashmir, Katyâyanî-putra expounded the eight books to him and Aśvaghosha put them into literary form. At the end of twelve years the composition of the commentary was finished. It consisted of 1,000,000 verses.... Katyâyanî-putra set up a stone inscribed with this proclamation. "Those who hereafter learn this law must not go out of Kashmir. No sentence of the eight books, or of the Vibhâshâ must pass out of the land, lest other schools or the Mahayana should corrupt the true law." This proclamation was reported to the king who approved it. The sages of Kashmir had power over demons and set them to guard the entrance to the country, but we are told that anyone desirous of learning the law could come to Kashmir and was in no way interrupted.

There follows a story telling how, despite this prohibition, a native of Ayodhya succeeded in learning the law in Kashmir and subsequently teaching it in his native land. Paramârtha's account seems exaggerated, whereas the prohibition described by Hsüan Chuang is intelligible. It was forbidden to take the official copies of the law out of Kashmir, lest heretics should tamper with them.

Târanâtha[197] gives a singularly confused account of the meeting, which he expressly calls the third council, but makes some important statements about it. He says that it put an end to the dissensions which had been distracting the Buddhist Church for nearly a century and that it recognized all the eighteen sects as holding the true doctrine: that it put the Vinaya in writing as well as such parts of the Sûtra-piṭaka and Abhidharma as were still unwritten and corrected those which already existed as written texts: that all kinds of Mahayanist writings appeared at this time but that the Śrâvakas raised no opposition.

It is hard to say how much history can be extracted from these vague and discrepant stories. They seem to refer to one assembly regarded (at least in Tibet) as the third council of the Church and held under Kanishka four or five hundred years[198] after the Buddha's death. As to what happened at the council tradition seems to justify the following deductions, though as the tradition is certainly jumbled it may also be incorrect in details.

(a) The council is recognized only by the northern Church and is unknown to the Churches of Ceylon, Burma and Siam. It seems to have regarded Kashmir as sacred land outside which the true doctrine was exposed to danger. (b) But it was not a specially Mahayanist meeting but rather a conference of peace and compromise. Târanâtha says this clearly: in Hsüan Chuang's account an assembly of Arhats (which at this time must have meant Hinayanists) elect a president who was not an Arhat and according to Paramârtha the assembly consisted of 500 Arhats and 500 Bodhisattvas who were convened by a leader of the Sarvâstivâdin school and ended by requesting Aśvaghosha to revise their work. (c) The literary result of the council was the composition of commentaries on the three Pitakas. One of these, the Abhidharma-mahâvibhâshâ-śâstra, translated into Chinese in 437-9 and still extant, is said to be a work of encyclopædic character, hardly a commentary in the strict sense. Paramârtha perhaps made a confusion in saying that the Jñâna-prasthâna itself was composed at the council. The traditions indicate that the council to some extent sifted and revised the Tripitaka and perhaps it accepted the seven Abhidharma books of the Sarvâstivâdins.[199] But it is not stated or implied that it composed or sanctioned Mahayanist books. Târanâtha merely says that such books appeared at this time and that the Hinayanists raised no active objection.

But if the above is the gist of the traditions, the position described is not clear. The council is recognized by Mahayanists yet it appears to have resulted in the composition of a Sarvâstivâdin treatise, and the tradition connecting the Sarvâstivâdins with the council is not likely to be wrong, for they are recognized in the inscription on Kanishka's casket, and Gandhara and Kashmir were their headquarters. The decisions of councils are often politic rather than logical and it may be that the doctors summoned by Kanishka, while compiling Sarvâstivâdin treatises, admitted the principle that there is more than one vehicle which can take mankind to salvation. Perhaps some compromise based on geography was arranged, such as that Kashmir should be left to the Sarvâstivâdin school which had long flourished there, but that no opposition should be offered to the Mahayanists elsewhere.

The relations of the Sarvâstivâdins to Mahayanism are exceedingly difficult to define and there are hardly sufficient materials for a connected account of this once important sect, but I will state some facts about it which seem certain.

It is ancient, for the Kathâvatthu alludes to its doctrines.[200] It flourished in Gandhara, Kashmir and Central Asia, and Kanishka's casket shows that he patronized it.[201] But it appears to have been hardly known in Ceylon or Southern India. It was the principal northern form of Hinayanism, just as the Theravâda was the southern form. I-Ching however says that it prevailed in the Malay Archipelago.

Its doctrines, so far as known, were Hinayanist but it was distinguished from cognate schools by holding that the external world can be said to exist and is not merely a continual process of becoming. It had its own version of the Abhidharma and of the Vinaya. In the time of Fa-Hsien the latter was still preserved orally and was not written. The adherents of this school were also called Vaibhâshikas, and Vibhâshâ was a name given to their exegetical literature.

But the association of the Sarvâstivâdins with Mahayanists is clear from the council of Kanishka onwards. Many eminent Buddhists began by being Sarvâstivâdins and became Mahayanists, their earlier belief being regarded as preliminary rather than erroneous. Hsüan Chuang translated the Sarvâstivâdin scriptures in his old age and I-Ching belonged to the Mûlasarvâstivâdin school;[202] yet both authors write as if they were devout Mahayanists. The Tibetan Church is generally regarded as an extreme form of Mahayanism but its Vinaya is that of the Sarvâstivâdins.

Though the Sarvâstivâdins can hardly have accepted idealist metaphysics, yet the evidence of art and their own version of the Vinaya make it probable that they tolerated a moderate amount of mythology, and the Mahayanists, who like all philosophers were obliged to admit the provisional validity of the external world, may also have admitted their analysis of the same as provisionally valid. The strength of the Hinayanist schools lay in the Vinaya. The Mahayanists showed a tendency to replace it by legends and vague if noble aspirations. But a code of discipline was necessary for large monasteries and the code of the Sarvâstivâdins enjoyed general esteem in Central Asia and China.

Three stages in the history of Indian Buddhism are marked by the names of Aśvaghosha, Nâgârjuna and the two brothers Asanga and Vasubandhu. It would be easier to give a precise description of its development if we were sure which of the works ascribed to these worthies are authentic, but it seems that Aśvaghosha represents an ornate and transitional phase of the older schools leading to Mahayanism, whereas Nâgârjuna is connected with the Prajñâ-pâramitâ and the nihilistic philosophy described in the preceding chapter. Asanga was the founder of the later and more scholastic system called Yogâcâra and is also associated with a series of revelations said to have been made by Maitreya.

As mentioned above, tradition makes Aśvaghosha,[203] one of the most brilliant among Sanskrit writers, live at the court of Kanishka[204] and according to some accounts he was given to the Kushans as part of a war indemnity. The tradition[205] is confirmed by the style and contents of his poems and it has been noted by Foucher that his treatment of legends is in remarkable accord with their artistic presentment in the Gandharan sculptures. Also fragmentary manuscripts of his dramas discovered in Central Asia appear to date from the Kushan epoch. Aśvaghosha's rank as a poet depends chiefly on his Buddhacarita, or life of the Buddha up to the time of his enlightenment. It is the earliest example of a Kâvya, usually translated as artificial epic, but here literary skill is subservient to the theme and does not, as too often in later works, overwhelm it. The Buddha is its hero, as Râma of the Râmâyana, and it sings the events of his earlier life in a fine flow of elaborate but impassioned language. Another of his poems,[206] discovered only a few years ago, treats of the conversion of Nanda, the Buddha's half-brother.

Various other works are ascribed to Aśvaghosha and for the history of Buddhism it is of great interest to decide whether he was really the author of The Awakening of Faith. This skilful exposition of a difficult theme is worthy of the writer of the Buddhacarita but other reasons make his authorship doubtful, for the theology of the work may be described as the full-blown flower of Mahayanism untainted by Tantrism. It includes the doctrines of Bhûta-tathatâ, Âlaya-vijñâna, Tathâgatagarbha and the three bodies of Buddha. It would be dangerous to say that these ideas did not exist in the time of Kanishka, but what is known of the development of doctrine leads us to expect their full expression not then but a century or two later and other circumstances raise suspicions as to Aśvaghosha's authorship. His undoubted works were translated into Chinese about 400 A.D. but The Awakening of Faith a century and a half later.[207] Yet if this concise and authoritative compendium had existed in 400, it is strange that the earlier translators neglected it. It is also stated that an old Chinese catalogue of the Tripitaka does not name Aśvaghosha as the author.[208]

The undoubted works of Aśvaghosha treat the Buddha with ornate but grave rhetoric as the hero of an epic. His progress is attended by miracles such as Indian taste demands, but they hardly exceed the marvels recounted in the Pali scriptures and there is no sign that the hero is identified, as in the Ramayana of Tulsi Das or the Gospel according to St. John, with the divine spirit. The poet clearly feels personal devotion to a Saviour. He dwells on the duty of teaching others and not selfishly seeking one's own salvation, but he does not formulate dogmas.

The name most definitely connected with the early promulgation of Mahayanism is Nâgârjuna.[209] A preponderance of Chinese tradition makes him the second patriarch after Aśvaghosha[210] and this agrees with the Kashmir chronicle which implies that he lived soon after Kanishka.[211] He probably flourished in the latter half of the second century. But his biographies extant in Chinese and Tibetan are almost wholly mythical, even crediting him with a life of several centuries, and the most that can be hoped is to extract a few grains of history from them. He is said to have been by birth a Brahman of Vidarbha (Berar) and to have had as teacher a Sudra named Saraha or Râhulabhadra. When the legend states that he visited the Nâgas in the depths of the sea and obtained books from them, it seems to admit that he preached new doctrines. It is noticeable that he is represented not only as a philosopher but as a great magician, builder, physician, and maker of images.

Many works are attributed to him but they have not the same authenticity as the poems of Aśvaghosha. Some schools make him the author of the Prajñâ-pâramitâ but it is more usually regarded as a revelation. The commentary on it known as Mahâ-prajñâ-pâramitâ-śâstra is generally accepted as his work. A consensus of tradition makes him the author of the Mâdhyamika[212] aphorisms of which some account has been given above. It is the principal authority of its school and is provided with a commentary attributed to the author himself and with a later one by Candrakîrti.[213] There is also ascribed to him a work called the Suhrillekha or friendly letter, a compendium of Buddhist doctrines, addressed to an Indian king.[214] This work is old for it was translated into Chinese in 434 A.D. and is a homily for laymen. It says nothing of the Mâdhyamika philosophy and most of it deals with the need of good conduct and the terrors of future punishment, quite in the manner of the Hinayana. But it also commends the use of images and incense in worship, it mentions Avalokita and Amitâbha and it holds up the ideal of attaining Buddhahood. Nâgârjuna's authorship is not beyond dispute but these ideas may well represent a type of popular Buddhism slightly posterior to Aśvaghosha.[215]

In most lists of patriarchs Nâgârjuna is followed by Deva, also called Âryadeva, Kâṇadeva or Nîlanetra. I-Ching mentions him among the older teachers and a commentary on his principal work, the Śataśâstra, is attributed to Vasubandhu.[216] Little is known of his special teaching but he is regarded as an important doctor and his pupil Dharmatrâta is also important if not as an author at least as a compiler, for Sanskrit collections of verses corresponding to the Pali Dhammapada are ascribed to him. Âryadeva was a native of southern India.[217]

The next epoch in the history of Buddhism is marked by the names of Asanga and Vasubandhu. The interval between them and Deva produced no teacher of importance, but Kumâralabdha, the founder of the Sautrântika school and perhaps identical with Kumârata the eighteenth Patriarch of the Chinese lists, may be mentioned. Hsüan Chuang says[218] that he was carried off in captivity by a king who reigned somewhere in the east of the Pamirs and that he, Aśvaghosha, Nâgârjuna and Deva were styled the four shining suns.

Asanga and Vasubandhu were brothers, sons of a Brahman who lived at Peshawar. They were both converted from the Sarvâstivâdin school to Mahayanism, but the third brother Virincivatsa never changed his convictions. Tradition connects their career with Ayodhya as well as with Peshawar and Vasubandhu enjoyed the confidence of the reigning monarch, who was probably Candragupta I. This identification depends on the hypothesis that Vasubandhu lived from about 280 to 360 A.D. which, as already mentioned, seems to me to have been proved by M. Péri.[219] The earlier Gupta kings though not Buddhists were tolerant, as is shown by the fact that the king of Ceylon[220] was allowed to erect a magnificent monastery at Nâlanda in the reign of Samudragupta (c. 330-375 A.D.).

Asanga founded the school known as Yogâcâra and many authorities ascribe to him the introduction of magical practices and Tantrism. But though he is a considerable figure in the history of Buddhism, I doubt if his importance or culpability is so great as this. For if tradition can be trusted, earlier teachers especially Nâgârjuna dealt in spells and invocations and the works of Asanga[221] known to us are characterized by a somewhat scholastic piety and are chiefly occupied in defining and describing the various stages in the spiritual development of a Bodhisattva. It is true that he admits the use of magical formulæ[222] as an aid in this evolution but they form only a slight part of his system and it does not appear that the Chên-yen or Shingon sect of the Far East (the Sanskrit Mantrayâna) traced its lineage back to him.

Our estimate of his position in the history of Buddhism must depend on our opinion as to the authorship of The Awakening of Faith. If this treatise was composed by Aśvaghosha then doctrines respecting the three bodies of Buddha, the Tathâgatagarbha and the Âlaya-vijñâna were not only known but scientifically formulated considerably before Asanga. The conclusion cannot be rejected as absurd—for Aśvaghosha might speak differently in poems and in philosophical treatises—but it is surprising, and it is probable that the treatise is not his. If so, Asanga may have been the first to elaborate systematically (though not to originate) the idea that thought is the one and only reality. Nâgârjuna's nihilism was probably the older theory. It sounds late and elaborate but still it follows easily if the dialectic of Gotama is applied uncompromisingly not only to our mental processes but to the external world. Yet even in India the result was felt to be fantastic and sophistical and it is not surprising if after the lapse of a few generations a new system of idealism became fashionable which, although none too intelligible, was abstruse rather than paradoxical.

Asanga was alleged to have received revelations from Maitreya and five of his works are attributed to this Bodhisattva who enjoyed considerable honour at this period. It may be that the veneration for the Buddha of the future, the Messiah who would reign over his saints in a pure land, owed something to Persian influence which was strong in India during the decadence of the Kushans.[223] Both Mithraism and Manichæism classified their adepts in various ranks, and the Yogâcâra doctors who delight in grading the progress of the Bodhisattva may have borrowed something from them.[224] Asanga's doctrine of defilement (kleśa) and purification may also owe something to Mani, as suggested by S. Lévi.

In spite of his literary merits Asanga remains a doctor rather than a saint or poet.[225] His speculations have little to do with either Gotama or Amitâbha and he was thus not in living touch with either the old or new schools. His brother Vasubandhu had perhaps a greater position. He is reckoned as the twentieth Patriarch and Tibetan tradition connects him with the worship of Amitâbha.[226]

Paramârtha's life of Vasubandhu represents him as having frequented the court of Vikramâditya (to be identified with Candragupta I), who at first favoured the Sânkhya philosophy but accorded some patronage to Buddhism. During this period Vasubandhu was a Sarvâstivâdin but of liberal views[227] and while in this phase wrote the Abhidharma-kośa, a general exposition of the Abhidharma, mainly according to the views of the Vaibhâshikas but not without criticism. This celebrated work is not well known in Europe[228] but is still a text-book amongst Japanese Buddhist students. It gained the esteem of all schools and we are given to understand that it presupposed the philosophy of the Vibhâshâ and of the Jñâna-prasthâna. According to Paramârtha the original work consisted of 600 aphorisms in verse which were sent by the author to the monks of Kashmir. They approved of the composition but, as the aphorisms were concise, asked for fuller explanations. Vasubandhu then expanded his verses into a prose commentary, but meanwhile his views had undergone a change and when he disapproved of any Vaibhâshika doctrine, he criticized it. This enlarged edition by no means pleased the brethren of Kashmir and called forth polemics. He also wrote a controversial work against the Sânkhya philosophy.

Late in life Vasubandhu, moved by the entreaties of his brother Asanga, became a devout Mahayanist and wrote in his old age Mahayanist treatises and commentaries.[229]

 

FOOTNOTES:




[187] The uncertainty as to the date of Kanishka naturally makes it uncertain whether he was the hero of these conquests. Kashmir was certainly included in the dominions of the Kushans and was a favourite residence of Kanishka. About 90 A.D. a Kushan king attacked Central Asia but was repulsed by the Chinese general Pan-Ch'ao. Later, after the death of Pan-Ch'ao (perhaps about 103 A.D.), he renewed the attempt and conquered Kashgar, Yarkand and Khotan. See Vincent Smith, Early History of India, 3rd ed. pp. 253 ff.

[188] See Fa-Hsien, ed. Legge, p. 33, B.E.F.E.O. 1903 (Sung Yün), pp. 420 ff. Watters, Yüan Chwang, I. pp. 204 ff. J.R.A.S. 1909, p. 1056, 1912, p. 114. For the general structure of these stûpas see Foucher, L'art Gréco-Bouddhique du Gandhara, pp. 45 ff.

[189] J.R.A.S. 1909, p. 1058. "Acaryanam Sarvastivadinam pratigrahẽ."

[190] Similarly Harsha became a Buddhist late in life.

[191] Watters, vol. I. p. 203. He places Kanishka's accession 400 years after the death of the Buddha, which is one of the arguments for supposing Kanishka to have reigned about 50 B.C., but in another passage (Watters, I. 222, 224) he appears to place it 500 years after the death.

[192] Watters, vol. I. 270-1.

[193] But Târanâtha says some authorities held that it met at Jalandhara. Some Chinese works say it was held at Kandahar.

[194] Walters, l.c.

[195] Translated by Takakusu in T'oung Pao, 1904, pp. 269 ff. Paramârtha was a native of Ujjain who arrived at Nanking in 548 and made many translations, but it is quite possible that this life of Vasubandhu is not a translation but original notes of his own.

[196] Chinese expressions like "in the five hundred years after the Buddha's death" probably mean the period 400-500 of the era commencing with the Buddha's death and not the period 500-600. The period 1-100 is "the one hundred years," 101-200 "the two hundred years" and so on. See B.E.F.E.O. 1911, 356. But it must be remembered that the date of the Buddha's death is not yet certain. The latest theory (Vincent Smith, 1919) places it in 554 B.C.

[197] Chap. XII.

[198] See Watters, I. pp. 222, 224 and 270. It is worth noting that Hsüan Chuang says Asoka lived one hundred years after the Buddha's death. See Watters, I. p. 267. See also the note of S. Lévi in J.R.A.S. 1914, pp. 1016-1019, citing traditions to the effect that there were 300 years between Upagupta, the teacher of Asoka, and Kanishka, who is thus made to reign about 31 A.D. On the other hand Kanishka's chaplain Sangharaksha is said to have lived 700 years after the Buddha.

[199] See Takakusu in J.P.T.S. 1905, pp. 67 ff. For the Sarvâstivâdin Canon, see my chapter on the Chinese Tripitaka.

[200] See above, vol. I. p. 262. For an account of the doctrines see also Vasilief, 245 ff. Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, pp. 190 ff.

[201] Its connection with Gandhara and Kashmir is plainly indicated in its own scriptures. See Przyluski's article on "Le Nord-Ouest de l'Inde dans le Vinaya des Mûla-sarvâstivâdins," J.A. 1914, II. pp. 493 ft. This Vinaya must have received considerable additions as time went on and in its present form is posterior to Kanishka.

[202] The distinction between Sarvâstivâdin and Mûlasarvâstivâdin is not clear to me. I can only suggest that when a section of the school accepted the Mahâvibhâshâ and were known as Vaibhâshikas others who approved of the school chiefly on account of its excellent Vinaya called themselves Primitive Sarvâstivâdins.

[203] See Sylvain Lévi, J.A. 1908, XII. 57 ff., and Winternitz, Ges. Ind. Lit. II. i. pp. 201 ff.

[204] The only reason for doubting it is that two stories (Nos. 14 and 31) in the Sûtrâlankâra (which appears to be a genuine work) refer to Kanishka as if he had reigned in the past. This may be a poetic artifice or it may be that the stories are interpolations. See for the traditions Watters on Yüan Chwang, II. 102-4 and Takakusu in J.R.A.S. 1905, p. 53 who quotes the Chinese Samyukta-ratna-piṭaka-sûtra and the Record of Indian Patriarchs. The Chinese list of Patriarchs is compatible with the view that Aśvaghosha was alive about 125 A.D. for he was the twelfth Patriarch and Bodhidharma the twenty-eighth visited China in 520. This gives about 400 years for sixteen Patriarchs, which is possible, for these worthies were long-lived. But the list has little authority.

[205] The traditions are conveniently collected in the introduction to Teitaro Suzuki's translation of The Awakening of Faith.

[206] The Saundarânandakâvya.

[207] See Nanjio, Nos. 1182, 1351, 1250, 1299. It is noticeable that the translator Paramârtha shows a special interest in the life and works of Asanga and Vasubandhu.

[208] See Winternitz, Ges. Ind. Lit. II. i. p. 211. It is also noticeable that The Awakening of Faith appears to quote the Lankâvatâra sûtra which is not generally regarded as an early Mahayanist work.

[209] Nâgârjuna cannot have been the founder of the Mahayana for in his Mahâ-prajñâ-pâramitâ-śâstra (Nanjio, 1169, translation by Kumârajiva) he cites inter alia the Lotus, the Vimalakirti-sûtra, and a work called Mahâyâna-śâstra. See B.E.F.E.O. 1911, p. 453. For Nâgârjuna see especially Grünwedel, Mythologie, pp. 29 ff. and the bibliography given in the notes. Jour. Budd. Text. Soc. V. part iv. pp. 7 ff. Watters, Yüan Chwang, pp. 200 ff. Târanâtha, chap. XV and Winternitz, Ges. Ind. Lit. II. i. pp. 250 ff.

[210] He is omitted from the list of Buddhabhadra, giving the succession according to the Sarvâstivâdins, to which school he did not belong. I-Ching classes him with Aśvaghosha and Aryadeva as belonging to the early period.

[211] Râjataranginî, i. 173, 177.

[212] Edited in the Bibliotheca Buddhica by De la Vallée Poussin and (in part) in the Journal of the Buddhist Text Soc. See too Walleser, Die Mittlere Lehre des Nâgârjuna nach der Tibetischen Version übertragen, 1911: nach der Chinesischen Version übertragen, 1912.

[213] The ascription of these works to Nâgârjuna is probably correct for they were translated by Kumârajîva who was sufficiently near him in date to be in touch with good tradition.

[214] The name of this king, variously given as Udayana, Jetaka and Śâtavâhana, has not been identified with certainty from the various transcriptions and translations in the Chinese and Tibetan versions. See J. Pali Text Soc. for 1886 and I-Ching Records of the Buddhist Religion (trans. Takakusu), pp. 158 ff. The Andhra kings who reigned from about 240 B.C. to 225 A.D. all claimed to belong to the Śâtavâhana dynasty. The stupa of Amarâvati in the Andhra territory is surrounded by a stone railing ascribed to the period 160-200 A.D. and Nâgârjuna may have addressed a pious king living about that time.

[215] For other works attributed to Nâgârjuna see Nanjio, Nos. 1169, 1179, 1180, 1186 and Walleser's introduction to Mittlere Lehre nach der Chinesischen Version The Dharmasangraha, a Sanskrit theological glossary, is also attributed to Nâgârjuna as well as the tantric work Pancakrama. But it is not likely that the latter dates from his epoch.

[216] Nanjio, No. 1188.

[217] The very confused legends about him suggest a comparison with the Dravidian legend of a devotee who tore out one of his eyes and offered it to Śiva. See Grünwedel, Mythologie, p. 34 and notes. Polemics against various Hinayanist sects are ascribed to him. See Nanjio, Nos. 1259, 1260.

[218] Watters, Yüan Chwang, II. p. 286. Hsüan Chuang does not say that the four were contemporary but that in the time of Kumâralabdha they were called the four Suns.

[219] For Asanga and Vasubandhu see Péri in B.E.F.E.O. 1911, pp. 339-390. Vincent Smith in Early History of India, third edition, pp. 328-334. Winternitz, Ges. Ind. Lit. II. i. p. 256. Watters, Yüan Chwang, I. pp. 210, 355-359. Taranâtha, chap. XXII. Grünwedel, Mythologie, p. 35.

[220] Meghavarman. See V. Smith, l.c. 287.

[221] Two have been preserved in Sanskrit: the Mahâyâna-sûtrâlankâra (Ed. V. Transl., S. Lévi, 1907-1911) and the Bodhisattva-bhûmi (English summary in Muséon, 1905-6). A brief analysis of the literature of the Yogâcâra school according to Tibetan authorities is given by Stcherbatskoi in Muséon, 1905, pp. 144-155.

[222] Mahâyâna-sûtrâl. XVIII. 71-73. The ominous word maithuna also occurs in this work, XVIII. 46.

[223] Vincent Smith, l.c. p. 275.

[224] But there are of course abundant Indian precedents, Brahmanical as well as Buddhist, for describing various degrees of sanctity or knowledge.

[225] The wooden statues of Asanga and Vasubandhu preserved in the Kōfukaji at Nara are masterpieces of art but can hardly claim to be other than works of imagination. They date from about 800 A.D. See for an excellent reproduction Tajima's Select Relics, II. x.

[226] See Eitel and Grünwedel, but I do not know in what texts this tradition is found. It is remarkable that Paramârtha's life (T'oung Pao, 1904, pp. 269-296) does not say either that he was twentieth patriarch or that he worshipped Amida.

[227] On receiving a large donation he built three monasteries, one for Hinayanists, one for Mahayanists and one for nuns.

[228] The work consists of 600 verses (Kârikâ) with a lengthy prose commentary (Bhâshya) by the author. The Sanskrit original is lost but translations have been preserved in Chinese (Nanjio, Nos. 1267, 1269, 1270) and Tibetan (see Cordier, Cat. du Fonds tibétain de la Bib. Nat. 1914, pp. 394, 499). But the commentary on the Bhâshya called Abhidharma-kośa-vyâkhyâ, or Sphuṭârtha, by Yásomitra has been preserved in Sanskrit in Nepal and frequently cites the verses as well as the Bhâshya in the original Sanskrit. A number of European savants are at present occupied with this literature and Sir Denison Ross (to whom I am indebted for much information) contemplates the publication of an Uigur text of Book I found in Central Asia. At present (1920), so far as I know, the only portion of the Abhidharma-kośa in print is De la Vallée Poussin's edition and translation of Book III, containing the Tibetan and Sanskrit texts but not the Chinese (De la Vallée Poussin—Vasubandhu et Yaśomitra, London, 1914-18). This chapter deals with such topics as the structure of the universe, the manner and place of rebirth, the chain of causation, the geography of the world, the duration and characteristics of Kalpas, and the appearance of Buddhas and Cakravartins.



[229] See Nanjio, pp. 371-2, for a list of his works translated into Chinese. Hsüan Chuang's account differs from the above (which is taken from Paramârtha) in details. He also tells a curious story that Vasubandhu promised to appear to his friends after death and ultimately did so, though he forgot his promise until people began to say he had gone to hell.



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