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The Gospel of Buddha

Preface

  • Preface:
    by Paul Carus


    Introduction
  • Chapter 01:
    Rejoice
  • 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:
    Enlightenment
  • Chapter 13:
    The First Converts
  • Chapter 14:
    Brahma's Request


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


    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:
    Visakha
  • Chapter 35:
    The Uposatha and Patimokkha
  • Chapter 36:
    The Schism
  • Chapter 37:
    The Re-establishment of Concord
  • Chapter 38:
    The Bhikkhus Rebuked
  • Chapter 39:
    Devadatta
  • 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:
    Amitabha
  • Chapter 61:
    The Teacher Unknown


    Parables and Stories
  • Chapter 62:
    Parables
  • 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:
    Vasavadatta
  • 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:
    Pataliputta
  • Chapter 91:
    The Mirror of Truth
  • Chapter 92:
    Ambapali
  • Chapter 93:
    The Buddha's Farewell Address
  • Chapter 94:
    The Buddha Announces His Death
  • Chapter 95:
    Chunda, the Smith
  • Chapter 96:
    Metteyya
  • Chapter 97:
    The Buddha's Final Entering into Nirvana


    Conclusion
  • 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

    Visakha

    Visakha, a wealthy woman in Savatthi
    who had many children and grandchildren,
    had given to the order the Pubbarama or Eastern Garden, and was the first in Northern Kosala
    to become a matron of the lay sisters. [1]

    When the Blessed One stayed at Savatthi,
    Visakha went up to the place where the blessed One was,
    and tendered him an invitation to take his meal at her house,
    which the Blessed One accepted. [2]

    And a heavy rain fell during the night and the next morning;
    and the bhikkhus doffed their robes to keep them dry
    and let the rain fall upon their bodies. [3]

    When on the next day the Blessed One had finished his meal,
    she took her seat at his side and spoke thus:
    "Eight are the boons, Lord, which I beg of the Blessed One." [4]

    Said the blessed One: "The Tathagatas, O Visakha,
    grant no boons until they know what they are."
    [5]

    Visakha replied: "Befitting, Lord,
    and unobjectionable are the boons I ask."
    [6]

    Having received permission to make known her requests, Visakha said:
    "I desire, Lord, through all my life long
    to bestow robes for the rainy season on the Sangha,
    and food for incoming bikkhus, and food for outgoing bhikkhus,
    and food for the sick, and food for those who wait upon the sick,
    and medicine for the sick, and a constant supply of rice-milk for the Sangha,
    and bathing robes for the bhikkhunis, the sisters."
    [7]

    Said the Buddha: "But what circumstance is it, O Visakha,
    that thou hast in view in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata?"
    [8]

    And Visakha replied: [9]

    "I gave command, Lord, to my maid-servant, saying,
    'Go, and announce to the brotherhood that the meal is ready.'
    And the maid went, but when she came to the vihara,
    she observed that the bhikkhus had doffed their robes while it was raining,
    and she thought: 'These are not bhikkhus,
    but naked ascetics letting the rain fall on them.'
    So she returned to me and reported accordingly,
    and I had to send her a second time.
    Impure, Lord, is nakedness, and revolting.
    It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view
    in desiring to provide the Sangha my life long
    with special garments for use in the rainy season.
    [10]

    "As to my second wish, Lord, an incoming bhikkhu,
    not being able to take the direct roads,
    and not knowing the places where food can be procured,
    comes on his way tired out by seeking for alms.
    It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view
    in desiring to provide the Sangha my life long
    with food for incoming bhikkhus.
    [11]

    "Thirdly, Lord, an outgoing bhikkhu,
    while seeking about for alms, may be left behind,
    or may arrive too late at the place whither he desires to go,
    and will set out on the road in weariness.
    [12]

    Fourthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable food,
    his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die.
    [13]

    Fifthly, Lord, a bhikkhu who is waiting upon the sick
    will lose his opportunity of going out to seek food for himself.
    [14]

    "Sixthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable medicines,
    his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die.
    [15]

    "Seventhly, Lord, I have heard that the Blessed One has praised rice-milk,
    because it gives readiness of mind, dispels hunger and thirst;
    it is wholesome for the healthy as nourishment,
    and for the sick as a medicine.
    Therefore I desire to provide the Sangha my life long
    with a constant supply of rice-milk.
    [16]

    "Finally, Lord, the bhikkhunis are in the habit
    of bathing in the river Achiravati with the courtesans,
    at the same landing place, and naked.
    And the courtesans, Lord, ridicule the bhikkhunis, saying,
    'What is the good, ladies, of your maintaining chastity when you are young?
    When you are old, maintain chastity then;
    thus will you obtain both worldly pleasure and religious consolation.'
    Impure, Lord, is nakedness for a woman, disgusting, and revolting.
    [17]

    "These are the circumstances, Lord, that I had in view." [18]

    The Blessed One said:
    "But what was the advantage
    you had in view for yourself, O Visakha,
    in asking the eight boons of the Tathagata?"
    [19]

    Visakha replied: [20]

    "Bhikkhus who have spent the rainy seasons in various places
    will come, Lord, to Savatthi to visit the Blessed One.
    And on coming to the Blessed One they will ask, saying:
    'Such and such a bhikkhu, Lord, has died.
    What, now, is his destiny?'
    Then will the Blessed One explain
    that he has attained the fruits of conversion;
    that he has attained arahatship
    or has entered Nirvana, as the case may be.
    [21]

    "And I, going up to them, will ask, 'Was that brother, Sirs,
    one of those who had formerly been at Savatthi?'
    If they reply to me, 'He has formerly been at Savatthi,'
    then shall I arrive at the conclusion,
    'For a certainty did that brother enjoy either the robes for the rainy season,
    or the food for the incoming bhikkhus,
    or the food for the outgoing bhikkhus,
    or the food for the sick,
    or the food for those that wait upon the sick,
    or the medicine for the sick,
    or the constant supply of rice-milk.'
    [22]

    "Then will gladness spring up within me;
    thus gladdened, joy will come to me;
    and so rejoicing all my mind will be at peace.
    Being thus at peace I shall experience a blissful feeling of content;
    and in that bliss my heart will be at rest.
    That will be to me an exercise of my moral sense,
    an exercise of my moral powers,
    an exercise of the seven kinds of wisdom!
    This, Lord, was the advantage I had in view for myself
    in asking those eight boons of the Blessed One."
    [23]

    The Blessed One said: "It is well, it is well, Visakha.
    Thou hast done well in asking these eight boons
    of the Tathagata with such advantages in view.
    Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it
    is like food seed sown on a good soil that yields an abundance of fruits.
    But alms given to those who are yet under the tyrannical yoke of the passions
    are like seed deposited in a bad soil.
    The passions of the receiver of the alms choke, as it were,
    the growth of merits."
    [24]

    And the Blessed One gave thanks to Visakha in these verses: [25]




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

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