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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 Buddha's Final Entering into Nirvana

    Then the Mallas, with their young men and maidens and their wives,
    being grieved, and sad, and afflicted at heart,
    went to the Upavattana, the sala grove of the Mallas,
    and wanted to the Blessed One,
    in order to partake of the bliss that devolves
    upon those who are in the presence of the Holy One. [1]

    And the Blessed One addressed them and said: [2]

    "Seeking the way,
    ye must exert yourselves
    and strive with diligence.
    It is not enough to have seen me!
    Walk as I have commanded you;
    free yourselves from the tangled net of sorrow.
    Walk in the path with steadfast aim.

    "A sick man may be cured by the healing power of medicine
    and will be rid of all his ailments without beholding the physician.

    "He who does not do what I command sees me in vain.
    This brings no profit.
    Whilst he who lives far off from where I am
    and yet walks righteously is ever near me.

    "A man may dwell beside me, and yet,
    being disobedient, be far away from me.
    Yet he who obeys the Dharma will always enjoy
    the bliss of the Tathagata's presence."

    Then the mendicant Subhadda went to the sala grove of the Mallas
    and said to the venerable Ananda:
    "I have heard from fello mendicants of mine,
    who were deep stricken in years and teachers of great experience:
    'Sometimes and full seldom do Tathagatas appear in the world, the holy Buddhas.'
    Now it is said that to-day in the last watch of the night,
    the final passing away of the samana Gotama will take place.
    My mind is full of uncertainty,
    yet I have faith in the samana Gotama
    and trust he will be able so to present the truth
    that I may become rid of my doubts,
    O that I might be allowed to see the samana Gotama!"

    When he had thus spoken
    the venerable Ananda said to the mendicant Subhadda:
    "Enough! friend Subhadda. Trouble not the Tathagata.
    The Blessed One is weary."

    Now the Blessed One overheard this conversation
    of the venerable Ananda with the mendicant Subhadda.
    And the Blessed One called the venerable Ananda, and said:
    "Ananda! Do not keep out Subhadda.
    Subhadda may be allowed to see the Tathagata.
    Whatever Subhadda will ask of me,
    he will ask from a desire for knowledge,
    and not to annoy me,
    and whatever I may say in answer to his questions,
    that he will quickly understand."

    Then the venerable Ananda said to Subhadda the mendicant:
    "Step in, friend Subhadda;
    for the Blessed One gives thee leave."

    When the Blessed One had instructed Subhadda,
    and aroused and gladdened him with words of wisdom and comfort,
    Subhadda said to the Blessed One: [11]

    "Glorious Lord, glorious Lord!
    Most excellent are the words of thy mouth, most excellent!
    They set up that which has been overturned,
    they reveal that which has been hidden.
    They point out the right road to the wanderer who has gone astray.
    They bring a lamp into the darkness
    so that those who have eyes to see can see.
    Thus, Lord, the truth has been made known to me by the Blessed One
    and I take refuge in the Blessed One, in the Truth, and in the Order.
    May the Blessed One accept me as a disciple and true believer,
    from this day forth as long as life endures."

    And Subhadda, the mendicant, said to the venerable Ananda:
    "Great is thy gain, friend Ananda,
    great is thy good fortune,
    that for so many years thou hast been sprinkled
    with the sprinkling of discipleship in this brotherhood
    at the hands of the Master himself!"

    Now the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda, and said:
    "It may be, Ananda, that in some of you the thought may arise,
    'The word of the Master is ended, we have no teacher more!'
    But it is not thus, Ananda, that you should regard it.
    It is true that no more shall I receive a body.
    for all future sorrow has now forever passed away.
    But though this body will be dissolved, the Tathagata remains.
    The truth and the rules of the order
    which I have set forth and laid down for you all,
    let them, after I am gone, be a teacher unto you.
    When I am gone, Ananda, let the order,
    if it should so wish, abolish all the lesser and minor precepts." [14]

    The the Blessed One addressed the brethren, and said:
    "There may be some doubt or misgiving in the mind of a brother
    as to the Buddha, or the truth, or the path.
    Do not have to reproach yourselves afterwards with the thought,
    'We did not inquire of the Blessed One when we were face to face with him.'
    Therefore inquire now, O brethren, inquire freely."

    And the brethren remained silent. [16]

    Then the venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One:
    "Verily, I believe that in this whole assembly of the brethren
    there is not one brother who has any doubt or misgiving
    as to the Buddha, or the truth, or the path!" [17]

    Said the Blessed One:
    "It is out of the fullness of faith that thou hast spoken, Ananda!
    But, Ananda, the Tathagata knows for certain
    that in this whole assembly of the brethren
    there is not one brother who has any doubt or misgiving
    as to the Budda, or the truth, or the path!
    For even the most backward, Ananda,
    of all these brethren has become converted,
    and is assured of final salvation."

    Then the Blessed One addressed the brethren and said:
    "If ye now know the Dharma,
    the cause of all suffering,
    and the path of salvation,
    O disciples, will ye then say:
    "We respect the Master,
    and out of reverence for the Master
    do we thus speak?'"

    The brethren replied: "That we shall not, O Lord." [20]

    And the Holy One continued: [21]

    "Of those beings who live in ignorance,
    shut up and confined, as it were, in an egg,
    I have first broken the egg-shell of ignorance
    and alone in the universe
    obtained the most exalted, universal Buddhahood.
    Thus, O disciples, I am the eldest, the noblest of beings.

    "But what ye speak, O disciples,
    is it not even that which ye have yourselves know,
    yourselves seen, yourselves realised?"

    Ananda and the brethren said: "It is, O Lord." [24]

    Once more the Blessed One began to speak:
    "Behold now, brethren," said he,
    "I exhort you, saying,
    'Decay is inherent in all component things,
    but the truth will remain forever!'
    Work out your salvation with diligence!"

    This was the last word of the Tathagata.
    Then the Tathagata fell into a deep meditation,
    and having passed through the four jhanas,
    entered Nirvana. [25]

    When the Blessed One entered Nirvana there arose,
    at his passing out of existence,
    a mighty earthquake, terrible and awe-inspiring:
    and the thunders of heaven burst forth,
    and those of the brethren who were not yet free from passions
    some stretched out their arms and wept,
    and some fell headlong on the ground, in anguish at the thought:
    "Too soon has the Blessed One passed away from existence!
    Too soon has the light of the world gone out!"

    Then the venerable Anuruddha exhorted the brethren and said:
    "Enough, my brethren! Weep not, neither lament!
    Has not the Blessed One formerly declared this to us,
    that it is in the very nature of all things near and dear unto us,
    that we must separate from them,
    since everything that is born,
    brought into being, and organized,
    contains within itself the inherent necessity of dissolution?
    How then can it be possible
    that the body of the Tathagata should not be dissolved? No such condition can exist!
    Those who are free from passion will bear the loss,
    calm and self-possessed,
    mindful of the truth he has taught us."

    And the venerable Anuruddha and the venerable Ananda
    spent the rest of the night in religious discourse. [28]

    Then the venerable Anuruddha said to the venerable Ananda:
    "Go now, brother Ananda, and inform the Mallas of Kusinara saying,
    'The Blessed One has passed away:
    do, then, whatsoever seemeth to you fit!'"

    And when the Mallas had heard this saying they were grieved,
    and sad, and afflicted at heart. [30]

    Then the Mallas of Kusinara gave orders to their attendants, saying,
    "Gather together perfumes and garlands,
    and all the music in Kusinara!"

    And the Mallas of Kusinara took the perfumes and garlands,
    and all the musical instruments, and five hundred garments,
    and went to the sala grove where the body of the Blessed One lay.
    There they passed the day in paying honour and reverence
    to the remains of the Blessed One, with hymns, and music,
    and with garlands and perfumes,
    and in making canopies of their garments,
    and preparing decorative wreaths to hang thereon.
    And they burned the remains of the Blessed One
    as they would do to the body of a king of kings. [31]

    When the funeral pyre was lit,
    the sun and moon withdrew their shining,
    the peaceful streams on every side were torrent-swollen,
    the earth quaked, and the sturdy forests shook like aspen leaves,
    whilst flowers and leaves fell untimely to the ground,
    like scattered rain, so that all Kusinara became strewn knee-deep
    with mandara flowers raining down from heaven. [32]

    When the burning ceremonies were over,
    Devaputta said to the multitudes
    that were assembled round the pyre: [33]

    "Behold, O brethren, the earthly remains of the Blessed One have been dissolved,
    but the truth which he has taught us lives in our minds and cleanses us from all error.

    "Let us, then, go out into the world,
    as compassionate and merciful as our great master
    and preach to all living beings the four noble truths
    and the eightfold path of righteousness,
    so that all mankind may attain to a final salvation,
    taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha."

    And when the Blessed One had entered into Nirvana,
    and the Mallas had burned the body with such ceremonies
    as would indicate that he was the great king of kings,
    ambassadors came from all the empires
    that at the time had embraced his doctrine,
    to claim a share of the relics;
    and the relics were divided into eight parts
    and eight dagobas were erected for their preservation.
    One dagoba was erected by the Mallas
    and seven others by the seven kings of those countries,
    whose people had taken refuge in the Buddha. [36]

    End Chapter 97

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

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