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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

    Rescue in the Desert

    There was a disciple of the Blessed One,
    full of energy and zeal for the truth,
    who, living under a vow to complete a meditation in solitude,
    flagged in a moment of weakness. He said to himself:
    "The Teacher said there are several kinds of men;
    I must belong to the lowest class
    and fear that in this birth there will
    be neither path nor fruit for me.
    What is the use of a forest life
    if I cannot by my constant endeavour
    attain the insight of meditation
    to which I have devoted myself?"

    And he left the solitude
    and returned to the Jetavana. [1]

    When the brethren saw him they said to him:
    "Thou hast done wrong, O brother, after taking a vow,
    to give up the attempt of carrying it out;"

    and they took him to the Master. [2]

    When the Blessed One saw them he said:
    "I see, O mendicants,
    that you have brought this brother here against his will.
    What has he done?" [3]

    "Lord, this brother, having taken the vows of so sanctifying a faith,
    has abandoned the endeavour to accomplish the aim of a member of the order,
    and has come back to us."

    Then the Teacher said to him:
    "Is it true that thou hast given up trying?" [5]

    "It is true, O Blessed One!" was the reply. [6]

    The Master said:
    "This present life of thine is a time of grace.
    If thou fail now to reach the happy state
    thou wilt have to suffer remorse in future existences.
    How is it, brother, that thou hast proved so irresolute?
    Why, in former states of existence whou wert full of determination.
    By thy energy alone the men and bullocks of five hundred wagons
    obtained water in the sandy desert, and were saved.
    How is it that thou now givest up?"

    By these few words that brother was re-established in his resolution.
    But the others besought the Blessed One, saying:
    "Lord! Tell us how this was." [8]

    "Listen, then, O mendicants!" said the Blessed One;
    and having thus excited their attention,
    he made manifest a thing concealed by change of birth. [9]

    Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Kasi,
    the Bodhisatta was born in a merchant's family;
    and when he grew up, he went about trafficking with five hundred carts: [10]

    One day he arrived at a sandy desert many leagues across.
    The sand in the desert was so fine
    that when taken in the closed fist
    it could not be kept in the hand.
    After the sun had risen
    it became as hot as a mass of burning embers,
    so that no man could walk on it.
    Those, therefore, who had to travel over it
    took wood, and water, and oil, a
    nd rice in their carts,
    and travelled during the night.
    And at daybreak they formed an encampment
    and spread an awning over it,
    and, taking their meals early,
    they passed the day lying in the shade.
    At sunset they supped,
    and when the ground had become cool
    they yoked their oxen and went on.
    The travelling was like a voyage over the sea;
    a desert-pilot had to be chosen,
    and he brought the caravan safe to the other side
    by his knowledge of the stars. [11]

    Thus the merchant of our story traversed the desert.
    And when he had passed over fifty-nine leagues he thought,
    "Now, in one more night we shall get out of the sand,"
    and after supper he directed the wagons to be yoked, and so set out.
    The pilot had cushions arranged on the foremost cart
    and lay down, looking at the stars and directing the men where to drive.
    But worn out by want of rest during the long march, he fell asleep,
    and did not perceive that the oxen had turned around
    and taken the same road by which they had come. [12]

    The oxen went on the whole night through.
    Towards dawn the pilot woke up,
    and, observing the stars, called out:
    "Stop the wagons, stop the wagons!"
    The day broke just as they stopped
    and were drawing up the carts in a line.
    Then the men cried out:
    'Why this is the very encampment we left yesterday!
    We have but little wood left and our water is all gone!
    We are lost!"

    And unyoking the oxen and spreading the canopy over their heads,
    they lay down in despondency, each one under his wagon.
    But the Bodhisatta said to himself,
    "If I lose heart, all these will perish,"
    and walked about while the morning was yet cool.
    On seeing a tuft of kusa-grass, he thought:
    "This could have grown only by soaking up some water
    which must be beneath it."

    And he made them bring a spade and dig in that spot.
    And they dug sixty cubits deep.
    And when they had got thus far,
    the spade of the diggers struck on the rock;
    and as soon as it struck, they all gave up in dispair.
    But the Bodhisatta thought,
    "There must be water under that rock,"
    and descending into the well he got upon the stone,
    and stooping down applied his ear to it and tested the sound of it.
    He heard the sound of water gurgling beneath,
    and when he got out he called his page.
    "My lad, if thou givest up now, we shall all be lost.
    Do not lose heart. Take this iron hammer,
    and go down into the pit, and give the rock a good blow."

    The lad obeyed, and though they all stood by in despair,
    he went down full of determination and struck at the stone.
    The rock split in two and fell below,
    so that it no longer blocked the stream,
    and water rose to fill its depth
    from the bottom to the brim of the well was equal to the height of a palm-tree.
    And they all drunk of the water, and bathed in it.
    Then they cooked rice and ate it, and fed their oxen with it.
    And when the sun set, they put a flag in the well, and went to the place appointed.
    There they sold their merchandise at a good profit and returned to their home,
    and when they died they passed away according to their deeds.
    And the Bodhisatta gave gifts and did other virtuous acts,
    and he also passed away according to his deeds. [15]

    After the Teacher had told the story
    he formed the connection by saying in conclusion,
    "The caravan leader was the Bodhisatta, the future Buddha;
    the page who at that time despaired not, but broke the stone,
    and gave water to the multitude, was the brother without perseverance;
    and the other men were attendants on the Buddha."

    End Chapter 73

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

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