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The Gospel of Buddha


  • Preface:
    by Paul Carus

  • Chapter 01:
  • Chapter 02:
    Samsara and Nirvana
  • Chapter 03:
    Truth the Saviour

    Prince Siddhattha becomes Buddha
  • Chapter 04:
    The Bodhisatta's Birth
  • Chapter 05:
    The Ties of Life
  • Chapter 06:
    The Three Woes
  • Chapter 07:
    The Bodhisatta's Renunciation
  • Chapter 08:
    King Bimbisara
  • Chapter 09:
    The Bodhisatta's Search
  • Chapter 10:
    Uruvela, the Place of Mortification
  • Chapter 11:
    Mara, the Evil One
  • Chapter 12:
  • Chapter 13:
    The First Converts
  • Chapter 14:
    Brahma's Request

    The Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness
  • Chapter 15:
  • Chapter 16:
    The Sermon at Benares
  • Chapter 17:
    The Sangha
  • Chapter 18:
    Yasa, the Youth of Benares
  • Chapter 19:
  • Chapter 20:
    The Sermon at Rajagaha
  • Chapter 21:
    The King's Gift
  • Chapter 22:
    Sariputta and Moggallana
  • Chapter 23:
  • Chapter 24:
    The Sermon on Charity
  • Chapter 25:
  • Chapter 26:
    The Three Characteristics and the Uncreate
  • Chapter 27:
    The Buddha's Father
  • Chapter 28:
  • Chapter 29:

    Consolidation of the Buddha's religion
  • Chapter 30:
    Jivaka, the Physician
  • Chapter 31:
    The Buddha's Parents Attain Nirvana
  • Chapter 32:
    Women Admitted to the Sangha
  • Chapter 33:
    The Bhikkhus' Conduct Toward Women
  • Chapter 34:
  • Chapter 35:
    The Uposatha and Patimokkha
  • Chapter 36:
    The Schism
  • Chapter 37:
    The Re-establishment of Concord
  • Chapter 38:
    The Bhikkhus Rebuked
  • Chapter 39:
  • Chapter 40:
    Name and Form
  • Chapter 41:
    The Goal
  • Chapter 42:
    Miracles Forbidden
  • Chapter 43:
    The Vanity of Worldliness
  • Chapter 44:
    Secrecy and Publicity
  • Chapter 45:
    The Annihilation of Suffering
  • Chapter 46:
    Avoiding the Ten Evils
  • Chapter 47:
    The Preacher's Mission

    The Teacher
  • Chapter 48:
    The Dhammapada
  • Chapter 49:
    The Two Brahmans
  • Chapter 50:
    Guard the Six Quarters
  • Chapter 51:
    Simha's Question Concerning Annihilation
  • Chapter 52:
    All Existence is Spiritual
  • Chapter 53:
    Identity and Non-Identity
  • Chapter 54:
    The Buddha Omnipresent
  • Chapter 55:
    One Essence, One Law, One Aim
  • Chapter 56:
    The Lesson Given to Rahula
  • Chapter 57:
    The Sermon on Abuse
  • Chapter 58:
    The Buddha Replies to the Deva
  • Chapter 59:
    Words of Instruction
  • Chapter 60:
  • Chapter 61:
    The Teacher Unknown

    Parables and Stories
  • Chapter 62:
  • Chapter 63:
    The Widow's Two Mites and the Parable of the Three Merchants
  • Chapter 64:
    The Man Born Blind
  • Chapter 65:
    The Lost Son
  • Chapter 66:
    The Giddy Fish
  • Chapter 67:
    The Cruel Crane Outwitted
  • Chapter 68:
    Four Kinds of Merit
  • Chapter 69:
    The Light of the World
  • Chapter 70:
    Luxurious Living
  • Chapter 71:
    The Communication of Bliss
  • Chapter 72:
    The Listless Fool
  • Chapter 73:
    Rescue in the Desert
  • Chapter 74:
    The Sower
  • Chapter 75:
    The Outcast
  • Chapter 76:
    The Woman at the Well
  • Chapter 77:
    The Peacemaker
  • Chapter 78:
    The Hungry Dog
  • Chapter 79:
    The Despot
  • Chapter 80:
  • Chapter 81:
    The Marriage-Feast in Jambunada
  • Chapter 82:
    A Party in Search of a Thief
  • Chapter 83:
    In the Realm of Yamaraja
  • Chapter 84:
    The Mustard Seed
  • Chapter 85:
    Following the Master Over the Stream
  • Chapter 86:
    The Sick Bhikkhu
  • Chapter 87:
    The Patient Elephant

    The Last Days
  • Chapter 88:
    The Conditions of Welfare
  • Chapter 89:
    Sariputta's Faith
  • Chapter 90:
  • Chapter 91:
    The Mirror of Truth
  • Chapter 92:
  • Chapter 93:
    The Buddha's Farewell Address
  • Chapter 94:
    The Buddha Announces His Death
  • Chapter 95:
    Chunda, the Smith
  • Chapter 96:
  • Chapter 97:
    The Buddha's Final Entering into Nirvana

  • Chapter 98:
    The Three Personalities of the Buddha
  • Chapter 99:
    The Purpose of Being
  • Chapter 100:
    The Praise of All the Buddhas

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    The Gospel of Buddha

    The Sermon at Benares

    On seeing their old teacher approach,
    the five bhikkhus agreed among themselves not to salute him,
    nor to address him as a master, but by his name only.
    "For," so they said, "he has broken his vow and has abandoned holiness.
    He is no bhikkhu but Gotama,
    and Gotama has become a man who lives in abundance
    and indulges in the pleasures of worldliness."

    But when the Blessed One approached in a dignified manner,
    they involuntarily rose from their seats
    and greeted him in spite of their resolution.
    Still they called him by his name and addressed him as "friend Gotama." [2]

    When they had thus received the Blessed One, he said:
    "Do not call the Tathagata by his name
    nor address him as 'friend,'
    for he is the Buddha, the Holy One.
    The Buddha looks with a kind heart equally on all living beings,
    and they therefore call him 'father.'
    To disrespect a father is wrong; to despise him, is wicked.

    "The Tathagata," the Buddha continued,
    "does not seek salvation in austerities,
    but neither does he for that reason indulge in worldly pleasures, nor live in abudance.
    The Tathagata has found the middle path.

    "There are two extremes, O bhikkhus,
    which the man who has given up the world ought not follow -
    the habitual practice, on the one hand,
    of self-indulgence which is unworthy, vain and fit only for the worldly-minded -
    and the habitual practice, on the other hand,
    of self-mortification, which is painful, useless and unprofitable.

    "Neither abstinance from fish or flesh, nor going naked,
    nor shaving the head, nor wearing matted hair,
    nor dressing in a rough garment, nor covering oneself with dirt,
    nor sacrificing to Agni, will cleanse a man
    who is not free from delusions.

    "Reading the Vedas, making offering to priests,
    or sacrifices to the gods, self-mortification by heat or cold,
    and many such penances performed for the sake of immortality,
    these do not cleanse the man who is not free from delusions.

    "Anger, drunkenness, obstinacy, bigotry, deception, envy, self-praise,
    disparaging others, superciliousness and evil intentions constitute uncleanness;
    not verily the eating of flesh.

    "A middle path, O bhikkhus,
    avoiding the two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata -
    a path which opens the eyes, and bestowes understanding,
    which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom,
    to full enlightenment, to Nirvana!

    "What is that middle path, O bhikkhus,
    avoiding these two extremes, discovered by the Tathagata -
    that path which opens the eyes, and bestows understanding,
    which leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, to Nirvana?

    "Let me teach you, O bhikkhus, the middle path,
    which keeps aloof from both extremes.
    By suffering, the emanciated devotee produces confusion and sickly thoughts in his mind.
    Mortification is not condusive even to worldly knowledge;
    how much less to a triumph over the senses!

    "He who fills the lamp with water will not dispel the darkness,
    and he who tries to light a fire with rotten wood will fail.
    And how can any one be free from self by leading a wretched life,
    if he does not succeed in quenching the fires of lust,
    if he still hankers after either worldly or heavenly pleasures.
    But he in whom self has become extinct is free form lust;
    he will desire neither worldly nor heavenly pleasures,
    and the satisfaction of his natural wants will not defile him.
    However, let him be moderate,
    let him eat and drink according to the needs of the body.

    "Sensuality is enervating; the self-indulgent man is a slave to his passions,
    and pleasure-seeking is degrading and vulgar.

    "But to satisfy the necessities of life is not evil.
    To keep the body in good health is a duty,
    for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom,
    and keep our mind strong and clear.
    Water surrounds the lotus-flower,
    but does not wet its petals.

    "This is the middle path, O bhikkhus,
    that keeps aloof from both extremes."

    And the Blessed One spoke kindly to his disciples,
    pitying them for their errors,
    and pointing out the uselessness of their endeavours,
    and the ice of ill-will that chilled their hearts
    melted away under the gentle warmth of the Master's persuasion. [16]

    Now the Blessed One set the wheel of the most excellent law rolling,
    and he began to preach to the five bhikkhus,
    opening to them the gate of immortality,
    and showing them the bliss of Nirvana. [17]

    The Buddha said: [18]

    "The spokes of the wheel are the rules of pure conduct:
    justice is the uniformity of their length;
    wisdom is the tire;
    modesty and thoughtfulness are the hub
    in which the immovable axle of truth is fixed.

    "He who recognizes the existence of suffering,
    its cause, its remedy, and its cessation
    has fathomed the four noble truths.
    He will walk in the right path.

    "Right views will be the torch to light his way.
    Right aspirations will be his guide.
    Right speech will be his dwelling-place on the road.
    His gait will be straight, for it is right behaviour.
    His refreshments will be the right way of earning his livelihood.
    Right efforts will be his steps; right thoughts his breath;
    and right contemplation will give him the peace that follows in his footprints.

    "Now, this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering: [22]

    "Birth is attended with pain, decay is painful, disease is painful, death is painful.
    Union with the unpleasant is painful, painful is separation from the pleasant,
    and any craving that is unsatisfied, that too is painful.
    In brief, bodily conditions which spring from attachment are painful.

    "This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning suffering. [24]

    "Now this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the origin of suffering: [25]

    "Verily, it is that craving which causes the renewal of existences,
    accompanied by sensual delight, seeking satisfaction now here, now there,
    the craving for the gratifiaction of the passions,
    the craving for a future life,
    and the craving for happiness in this life.

    "This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the origin of suffering. [27]

    "Now this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the destruction of suffering: [28]

    "Verily, it is the destruction, in which no passion remains, of this very thirst;
    it is the laying aside of, the being free from, the dwelling no longer upon this thirst. [29]

    "This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the destruction of suffering. [30]

    "Now this, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the way which leads to the destruction of sorrow.
    Verily! it is this noble eightfold path;
    that is to say:

      "Right views;
      right aspirations;
      right speech;
      right behaviour;
      right livelihood;
      right effort;
      right thoughts;
      and right contemplation.

    "This, then, O bhikkhus, is the noble truth concerning the destruction of sorrow. [33]

    "By the practice of loving kindness I have attained liberation of heart,
    and thus I am assured that I shall never return in renewed births.
    I have even now attained Nirvana."

    And the Blessed One had thus set the royal chariot-wheel of truth rolling onward,
    a rapture thrilled through all the universes. [35]

    The devas left their heavenly abodes to listen to the sweetness of the truth;
    the saints that had parted from life crowded around the great teacher to receive the glad tidings;
    even the animals of the earth felt the bliss that rested upon the words of the Tathagata:
    and all the creatures of the host of sentient beings, gods, men, and beasts,
    hearing the message of deliverance, received and understood it in their own language. [36]

    And when the doctrine was propounded, the venerable Kondannya,
    the oldest one among the five bhikkhus,
    discerned the truth with his mental eye, and he said:
    "Truly, O Buddha, our Lord, thou hast found the truth!"
    Then the other bhikkhus too, joined him and exclaimed:
    "Truly, thou art the Buddha, thou hast found the truth." [37]

    And the devas and saints and all the good spirits of the departed generations
    that had listened to the sermon of the Tathagata,
    joyfully received the doctrine and shouted:
    "Truly, the Blessed One has founded the kingdom of righteousness.
    The Blessed One has moved the earth;
    he has set the wheel of Truth rolling,
    which by no one in the universe, be he god or man,
    can ever be turned back.
    The kingdom of Truth will be preached upon earth;
    it will spread; and righteousness, good-will, and peace
    will reign among mankind."

    End Chapter 16

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    The Gospel of Buddha
    The Gospel of Buddha
    Compiled from ancient records by Paul Carus, 1894

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