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BL1451 .A43 1871 
A^labaster, Henry, d. 1884 
Wheel of the law. 
















\All riyhts reserved.'] 


Preface — 

Object and nature of the work, .... 

On the tendency of the ideas of the " Modern Buddhist," . 
On other translations of the " Life of Buddha," 
On the interest of Sanscrit literature to students of Siamese, 
On the various distinct religious ideas found in the Siamese 
"Life of Buddha," .... 

On tree worship, ..... 

On Lidian jahilosophies akin to Buddhist metaphysics, 
The Asoka edicts, ..... 

General sketch of Buddhism, 

Metempsychosis and equality of beings, 

The misery of existence and absence of Providence, 

Nirwana and heaven, .... 

The non-existent soul, .... 

The road to happiness ; virtue, charity, and meditation, 

Monasticism, . , 

Prayer, ...... 

Reason for writing on the " Phrabat," 

List of the authors consulted for this work. 

On Barthelemy St Hilaire's condemnation of Buddhism, 





















Siamese Introduction. 

Summary of the " Life of Buddha," . 




The Glorious Marriage. 

The first coiuicil of Buddhism convened by King Adjata- 
sattrn— Ananda relates the " Life of Buddha "—The 
wheel of the law— King Singhanu— Pre-existences of 
Maia— Her beauty and virtue— Her interview with 
Brahmins sent to find a wife for Suddhodana, son of 
Singhami— Dream of King Singhanu— Preparations for 
the marriage— The marriage, . . . .77 


The Descent from the Tushita Heavens. 

The pre-existences of the Being that would be Buddha— His 
charities — Five portents preceding advent of a Buddha 
— ^The angels invoke him to descend from heaven — Five 
signs of end of an angel's life — The nature of angels — 
The five considerations as to birth in the world— The 
gardens of the angels— The descent— Wonderful mani- 
festations throughout the world, ... 88 

The Birth in this World. 

The feast of the full moon of the eightli month— Conduct oi 
Queen Maia— Her dream— The conception — The inter- 
pretation of the dream — Her life and worship— Her 
journey towards Dewadaha — The birth in the forest — 
The child regards the world, and proclaims himself 
greatest of all beings — The thirty-two miraculous signs 
— Seven other things produced at same time — The re- 
turn to Kapila, ...... 97 


Predictions of Future Greatness. 

Rejoicings of the angels— Story of Kaladewila— Prophecy of 
-the Brahmins— The thirty-two signs of a Grand Being 

His feet — Prophecy of Kondanya that he would be 

Buddha, 107 

The Four Visions. 

He is named Angkhirasa and Sidharta— Pachapati (on the 
death of Maia) becomes his foster-mother — Miracle at 
sowing festival— His lotus pool— His palace— Display 
of skill in the arts— He marries— He visits his garden, 



and on four distinct occasions sees an old man, a sick 
man, a corpse, and a devotee — The birth of his son — The 
incident of Kisagotami, , . . .117 


The Commexcement op a Religious Career. 

His last night in his harem — Repulsive exliibition of woman- 
kind — He determines on adopting religious life — De- 
scription of liis horse — His look at his newly-born son — 
He leaves his palace — Mara tempts him to remain — His 
journey of two hundred miles in one night — He disrobes, 
and cuts off his hair — He receives the eight priestly 
requisites, . . . . . .125 

The Practice of Asceticism. 

He sends back his attendant — Deatli of the horse — After 
seven days' fast, he marches two hundred miles to Raja- 
griha — His inter\dew ■with King Bimblsara — He studies 
with masters of philosophy — He goes to the Uruwela 
solitude — Five ascetics come and attend on him — For 
six years he practises extreme mortification, even to 
ceasing to take food — Mara tempting him, is worsted — 
Accepting a suggestion of Indra, he again takes food, at 
which liis five companions are offended, lose their faith 
in him, and leave him, , . , .132 

The Final Effort. 

The woman Suchada prepares an offering for the angel of the 
Banyan-tree — Five visions seen by the Great Being — 
Buddha receives Suchada's offering in a golden bowl — 
He goes to the river-side and casts the bowl into the 
stream — It sinks to the realms of the Nagas — He 
marches, attended by angels, towards the Bo-tree — A 
bundle of grass, given him by the way, placed iinder the 
Bo-tree, becomes a throne, . , . .143 

The Contest with the Evil Spirit. 

Mara's daughters tempts him — Mara and his host assail him — 
He relies on his virtue — The discussion, with Mara — 
He invokes the earth — The angel of the earth appears 
and discomfits the host of ]\Iara — The angels and Mara 
vmite in praising him, . . . - .149 



The Attainment op the Buddhahood. 

He attains supernatural knowledge — Discovers the law of 
the circle of existence — Realises that all existence is 
unstable, sorrowful, and illusive — He sees Nirwana, 
and enters the four paths— Passing through the paths, 
he attains the Buddhahood, .... 

Native Conclusion. 

The Buddha does honour to the Bo-tree— He silences the 
angels by a display of his power, 

Continuation (placed as Note 172). 

Buddha spends seven weeks by the Bo and other trees — He 
is sheltered by the King of Nagas — Two merchants are 
his first alnisgivers and converts — By entreaty of the 
angels, he consents to preach — He turns the wheel of 
the law at Benares — He makes niunerous converts 
diuing his first season — Proceeds to Raj agriha— Con- 
verts King Bimbisara, who gives him the Weluwana 
monastery — Visits his father — Founds an order of nuns 
— Has a public contest with the heretics — The fable of 
Kappaka's donkey — Visit to the heavens — Descent at 
Sangkaslii — Visits to Ceylon and Siam — Plots of his 
opponents — Ananda appointed his attendant — His recep- 
tion by the courtesan — His entertainment by the gold- 
smith — His last meal — His death. 





1. On the words Buddha, Bodhi, Bodliisatva, and Phra, 

2. Sidharta, ..... 

3. Religious mendicants previous to Buddha, 

4. Amrita, the draught of immortality, 

5. Kusinagara, the city of, . 

6. Nirwana, ..... 

7. King Adjatasattru and the first Buddhist Council, 

8. Wephara Hill, where the Council met, 

9. The patriarch Kasyappa, 

10. Bhawana meditation, 

11. Ananda, ..... 

12. The wheel of the law, 

13. The monks screen Phatchani, 

14. The four paths, or highest degrees of saintliness, 

15. The archangel Indra, 








Chotiban, a pre-existence of Buddha, 

The five elements of corporeal being (Skandhas), 

The Sakya race, 

Kapila, tlie city of, . 

Suddhodana, the father of Buddha, 

The beauties and perfections of woman, 

The five and eight observances or commandment; 

Bralimins and the Vedas, . 

Wipassi and other Buddhas preceding Gotama, 

The three worlds, .... 

The joyful heaven, Tushita, 

The confusion between Dewadaha and Dewalangk 

Yaks or Yakkhas, .... 

The four guardians of the world. 

The ten rules of kings, 

The royal insignia, .... 

The coronation ceremony, . 

Yasodhara or Sunantha, 

The Chakravartin, or Universal Emperor, . 

The seven great treasures of the Chakravartin, 

Explanation as to Kalpa and Asongkhai, periods of time, 

The Buddha Dipangkara and the story of Sumetta, 

Samabatti ecstacy, and mii-aculous powers (Aphinya yan), 

The thirty transcendent virtues (Barami), . 

The power of righteousness. 

Story of Prince Wessautara's charities. 

Angels of the tempest and god of the wind. 

Translation of the Siamese word Pram at, . 

Ten thousand worlds, . . 

Angels' attention excited by their becoming hot, 

The five considerations, Pawilokana, 

The duration of human life. 

The continent Jambu Dvipa, 

The central country, 

Pacheka Buddhas, .... 

The two principal disciples and the dignities of the rio-ht 

and left, ..... 
The eighty chief disciples, . 
The expression Maha Sal, . 
Caste, ..... 

The gardens where angels end tlieir existence. 
The demons Pret or Pretas, . 
Feast of the fifteenth day of the eighth month. 
The various meanings of Ubosot, Bot, and Uposatha, 
The Himalayan fairyland and Lake Anodat, 




60. The ceremony of marching round, or Thaksina, 

61. The sects Tajjasa and Parivrajaka, . 

62. Remark on the story of Kaladewila, 

63. The jewelled throne, .... 

64. Yom, Yak, Asura, Gandharva, Suparna, and Garnda, 

65. Dhyana meditation and the Brahma heavens, 

66. The four means to obtain miraculous powers (Itthibat), 

67. The seven Bodhyangas, .... 

68. The five principles of emancipation (Wimuti), 

69. Anawara yan, 

70. Asamiman, .... 

71. The four pre-eminent truths, 

72. The four Satij)atthan, 

73. The four Pati samphita yan, 

74. The four Phrommawihan, . 

75. The eleven fires, 

76. The sixty-two false doctrines, 

77. The Holy Triad, . 

78. The eightfold path, . 

79. Samanya Phon, 

80. Seven things produced at Buddha's birth, 

81. Buddha's visit to the heavens, 

82. Bucha (Puja), or sacrifice, . 

83. Respect shown by children to parents, 

84. The want of merit of Kaladewila, . 

85. The eight requisites of a monk, 

86. The term Samana or Sramana, 

87. The meditation called Kammathan, 

88. Nalaka Patijiada, 

89. The thirty-two signs of a Grand Being, 

90. Remark on interruption in the story, 

91. The name Tathagata, 

92. Correction of text, . 

93. Meta Bhawana, 

94. Marks on the foot of Buddha, 

95. Cause of softness of hands, . 

96. Cause of fingers being close set (Sangkhriha watthu), 

97. Suphasit or Confucian teachings, . 

98. Explanatory of text, 

99. Supplements the abridged translation, 

100. On the golden tint, and Siamese idea of beauty of com- 

plexion, .... 

101. The raised skull of Buddha, the glory, and crowns, 

102. Angkhirasa, a name of Buddha, 

103. Sidharta, .... 







104. Pachapati, ....... 


105. Qualities of nurses, . , . . . 


106. The festival of sowing-time (Rek ua), 


107. Explanatory of text, . . . . . 


108. The three seasons, ...... 


109. Maradop or shrine, . . . . . 


110. The Silapasatr and kingly accomplishments, 


111. Crown Prince, ...... 


112. Yasodhara, ...... 


113. Polygamy, ...... 


114. The four visions, or Thewathut, . . . . 


115. Rahula, ....... 


116. Upathi kilet, ...... 


117. Vahana or Phahana, .... 


118. Angels of the gate, ..... 


119. Mara, the devil, ..... 


120. Festival of midday of sixth month, . . . 


121. Lopho, Moho, Thoso, .... 


122. Sawatthi (the city), .... 


123. Wesali or Vaisoli, .... 


124. Anoma, the river, ..... 


125. Augury drawn from Anoma, . . 


126. Samana and Samanen, .... 


127. Touching the head, .... 


128. The head of Buddha, .... 


129. The tree that gratifies all desires, and cremation gifts. 


130. Yellow dress of monks, .... 


131. Manophanithan, ..... 


132. Explanatory of omission, .... 


133. Rajagriha, the city, .... 


134. Rahu the cause of eclipses, 


135. Nagas, or serpents of preternatural power, 


136. Rule that monks should keep their eyes on the ground. 


137. The Banthawa Hill, .... 


138. Samathi, the position of contemplation, 


139. Alara and Kuddhaka, .... 


140. Dhyanas, 


141. The Uruwela solitude, 


142. Mahapathan, 


143. The five Wakkhi, . 


144. Sayamphu, . 


145. The generals of Mara, 


146. Angels of trees, 


147. The story of Suchada, 


148. Kala, the Naga king. 





Three former Buddhas, 

The white umbrella of kings, 

The three daughters of Mara, 

The King of Death, 

The thirty Barami, 

The Chakra, 

Spirit or understanding, meaning of Chitr, 

On pouring water on the earth, 

The angel of the earth, 

Satsada, .... 

Buppheniwasayan, . 

Thij)hachaksuyan, . 

Laws of cause and effect (Nidanas), 

Wipassana panya, 

Samathi, .... 


Impermanence, sorrow, and instability, 

Anulom yan, 

Khotraphu yan. 

The four paths, 

Kilet, . . . . 

Samma samphothi yan, 

Chatu wesara khim. 

Sketch of the subsequent life of Buddha, 

Translation of part of chapter x., omitted in text, 

Note on the thirty-seven constituents of Buddha's wisdom 




General account of the superstition, 

Visit to the Phrabat, ..... 

Account op figures on the Footprint, 


^The thirty-two characteristics of a great man, 





All Buddhists, throughout the wide range of countries 
where the doctrines of Buddha prevail, call their religion 
the doctrine of " The Wh eel of the Law." I have adopted 
the name for this book, because it is peculiarly appro- 
priate to a theory of Buddhism, which the book in some 
degree illustrates. I refer to the theory that all exist- 
ence of which we have any conception is but a part of 
an endless chain, or circle, of causes and effects ; that 
so long as we remain in that wheel there is no rest and 
no peace ; and that rest can only be obtained by escap- 
ing from that wheel into the incomprehensible Nirwana. 
Buddha taught a religion of which the wheel was the 
only proper symbol ; for his theory, professing to be 
complete, dealt with but a limited round of knowledge ; 
ignored the beginning, and was equally vague as to the 
end. He neither taught of a God, the Creator of ex- 
istence, nor of a heaven, the absorber of existence, but 
restrained his teaching within what he believed to be 
the limits of reason. 

The wheel of the law, or Buddhism, is in this volume 
illustrated by three distinct essays or parts, which 


exemplify the sceptical phase, the traditionary phase, 
and the ultra-superstitious phase. 

The first part is a revised and enlarged edition of the 
" Modern Buddhist," the short essay in which I, last 
year, introduced to European readers a summary of 
the ideas of an eminent Siamese nobleman on his own 
and other religions. The Buddhism it teaches, though 
it has a strong party in favour of it, rejects many 
superstitions, and so dififers from the Buddhism of the 
generality of educated Siamese, which is illustrated by 
the second and third parts. 

The second part, which illustrates the traditionary 
phase, is a Buddhist Gospel, or "Life of Buddha," com- 
mencing with events previous to his last birth, and 
ending with his attainment of the Buddhahood. I 
have translated it from a popular Siamese work, 
" Pathomma Somphothiyan," the " Initiation, or First 
Festival of Perfect Wisdom." 

My translation is free or literal, according to my 
judgment. In many parts I have cut out tedious 
descriptive passages ; in one or two places, duly re- 
ferred to in the notes, I have corrected presumed errors 
in my Siamese manuscript ; and in chapter x. I have 
substituted a simple for a confused arrangement. In 
order that the story of the Life may convey a thorough 
idea of the doctrines of traditionary Buddhism, I have 
in the notes dilated on every point of Buddhist teach- 
ing referred to in the text ; and I believe that text and 
notes combined may be considered to give a fair idea 
of the Siamese view of the character of their great 
teacher, the principles of the law which he taught, and 
the observances becoming in his followers. 

The third part, which illustrates the ultra-supersti- 


tious phase of Buddhism, is an account of the " Phra- 
bat, or kSiamese Footprint of Buddha/' a curious and 
gross superstition, which offers a very thorough con- 
trast to the ideas of the " Modern Buddhist." In the 
description of my journey to visit it will be found 
some notices of the Siamese people, monks, and temples, 
as they are. 

When I introduced to the readers of Europe the 
speculations of a Siamese nobleman on his own and 
other religions, I looked forward, in the event of that 
essay being successful, to bringing out a new edition 
with the corrections and additions of the Siamese 
author, Chao Phya Thipakon, himself. His much-to- 
be-lamented death has prevented this, and I am left to 
re-edit it by myself. 

I venture to preface it with some remarks, con- 
ceived, so far as such is possible for me, in sympathy 
with, and as a development of, the ideas of the author, 
particularly intended to show that practical applica- 
tion of his principles which has a personal interest for 

The " Modern Buddhist," in his endeavours to justify 
his religion in the eyes of Europeans, has" enunciated 
a form of Buddhism which must be of considerable in- 
terest to many who, in these days of criticism and 
doubt, have lost all the faith and hope that was in 
them, and search in vain for some foundation on which 
to rebuild their belief. The " Modern Buddhist " is scep- 
tical, but his scepticism is not of that demolishino- 
character, the evil nature — I may perhaps say, untruth 
— of which is shown by the misery it brings to those 
who are plunged in it. 

Happy are they that sleep ! and happy are they who. 


with unshaken faith, follow the religion of their an- 
cestors, and console themselves for all the trials they 
experience in this life by the glad hope of a life im- 
mortal ! Evidently miserable are most of those whose 
hopes are bounded by the day they are ever approach- 
ing, who believe in no reward for virtue unless it be an 
immediate one, whose aspirations to do good for future 
times only call up the sad thought that it is useless, and 
who, panting for an immortality they cannot see the 
reason of, chill the promptings of their spirit by such 
words as those of the poet — 

"No man lives for ever, 
And dead men rise up never." 

The theories of the " Modern Buddhist " are better 
than such hopelessness. 

The " Modern Buddhist " assumes religion to be the 
science of man, and not the revelation of God. He 
does not think that the comprehension of the Deity, 
or the firm persuasion of the exact nature of heaven, 
is of so much consequence as that just idea of one's 
own self which he believes he finds in Buddhism purged 
of superstitions. 

He is a deeply religious man, but his ideas of reli- 
gion diS"er so much from English ideas, that it is difii- 
cult to state them without giving offence. 

Strange to us are his teachings on the subjects of 
God and eternity ; yet throughout his w^ork there is a 
spiritual tone which shows, that with him, as with 
us, religion is the link which connects man with the 
Infinite, and is that which gives a law of conduct 
depending on a basis more extensive than the mere 
immediate present. 


The ordinary man, whatever his religion may be, 
whatever he believes in, whatever he doubts, acknow- 
ledges himself, and acknowledges infinity, and longs 
to connect the two.'^' 

In his endeavours, he either works from himself 
towards the Infinite, as does the Buddhist, or by a bold 
definition of the undefinable, he assumes the nature of 
the Deity, and by a declaration of the laws which ac- 
cord with that nature, he governs his religion. Such 
is the practice of the followers of the great religions 
of Christ, Mahomet, and Brahma. 

Man, who cannot conceive the Infinite in any one of 
its aspects — who grows appalled as he looks at the 
sky, and utterly, hopelessly fails to find a limit to his 
look and his thought, cannot, and does not, of himself 
pretend to have so fearful a knowledge. But man, 
listening to a craving that is in him, welcomes the 
heaven-promising teachings of those he believes to 
have been inspired, and so in many cases learns suffi- 
cient for his satisfaction. 

At the same time, there are many men who cannot 
believe that which they cannot comprehend ; and still 
more cannot accept as revealed truth those writings 
which appear to them to be the work of men very im- 
perfectly acquainted with the laws of nature, inclined 
to write history from a rather partial stand-point, and 
often teaching very bad morality. 

These sceptics must either cease to occupy their 
minds with religion, or must assume that it is the 

* I do not here refer to the teachings of philosophers, but to the 
ideas of those who have learnt no metaphysical subtleties. Some 
Buddhists, like followers of other philosophical schools, emphatically 
deny their own existence, professing to believe in the maxim, " Neither 
I am, nor is aught mine." 


subject of some law ; for if it is not governed by 
some law, any attempt to reason on it would be waste 
of time. 

If religion is the subject of law, it must be believed 
that the law which rules it is a law of perfect justice. 
Belief that we are ruled by an unjust law, or by an 
unjust God, capable of having ever reserved His special 
love for peculiar people, or of visiting on children the 
sins of their fathers, is too horrible. 

If there is a law of perfect justice, then the "Modern 
Buddhist" argues that, from the different conditions 
and fortunes of men, we must conclude that there have 
been previous states of existence, and will be future 
states, which, taken together, will balance the good 
and bad luck, the happiness and misery of all beings. 
He, with a mathematical mind, cannot by any process 
balance one finite existence againt infinity. He can- 
not believe that a bad life of, say fifty years, shall be 
punished eternally, or a good life of fifty years blessed 
eternally. Fifty years is nothing when compared 
with infinite time, and there is no justice in allowing 
so short a period to perceptibly affect one that is long 
beyond all comparison with it. It seems to him, as it 
will seem to many others, that proportion is insepar- 
able from justice ; that limited time cannot bear any 
proportion to infinity ; and that, in fact, infinity can 
only be affected by infinity. He can balance an in- 
finite past, spent in innumerable states of transmigra- 
tion, against an infinite future ; he can also believe 
that life is but a phenomenon of disturbance ; that the 
principle of equalisation existing in it will cause the 
rise and fall of the waves of disturbance to be propor- 
tionate to one another, acting and re-acting until the 


disturbance disappears in perfect rest. But he can- 
not believe that the short span of one life shall, by 
itself, determine the nature of our eternity. 

Throuo-hout his main arfifuments there is at least an 
appearance of reason. As the mathematician begins 
from a conceivable definite unit, and works towards in- 
finity, rather than beginning with infinity in order 
thence to evolve his unit, so does the " Modern Bud- 
dhist " work from his apparently comprehensible unit 
man towards the incomprehensible eternity of existence, 
and does not begin by defining the eternity of existence, 
and other problems of infinity therewith connected, and 
thence argue as to the state of man. He observes that 
many men pass through a great deal of sorrow during 
their lives, whilst others are comparatively happy ; that 
evil men, owing to the favourable circumstances of 
their birth, are prosperous, while good men, born in a 
less fortunate grade of life, often struggle vainly 
against adverse fortune. He believes all this must be 
balanced and equalised, and he thinks it natural that 
the equalisation should be obtained by the man that 
has sufiered becoming, or having been, happier in 
another state of existence, and the man who has 
misused advantages afterwards suffering reverses. He 
sees in the diff'erent conditions of life a proof that there 
must be a transmigration of the spirit from existence 
to existence, that the beggar of yesterday may be the 
millionaire of to-day, and the prince of to-day the dog 
of the future. 

Supposing he is right — that the merit and demerit 
of man accounts for his present existence and will 
shape his future ; supposing that, whether or no we 
have a soul, there is a something we create, — our 


destiny — which will hereafter reap the benefit of our 
good actions and the punishment of our wickedness, 
then I think his teaching has at least one of the most 
valuable characteristics of religion, in that it afibrds a 
strong motive to be virtuous, and a very manifest 
reason to endeavour to benefit the world, whose plea- 
sures and sufi'erings we shall by our destiny continue 
to partake of. 

Many will object that the motive above stated is a 
selfish one, and therefore a bad one. We have, all of 
us, a prejudice against everything to which the word 
selfish can be applied ; we like the thoughtless, liberal 
prodigal, better than the careful man who takes care 
of his future, and whom we call selfish. I venture to 
think that selfishness is not objectionable in so far as 
it makes man act on the presumption that his first 
duty is to take care of himself. It becomes objection- 
able when, exceeding its proper bounds, it interferes 
with the due performance of mans second duty, which 
is his duty to promote the general happiness. The 
Buddhist principle would increase man's readiness to 
perform this second duty, by its recognition that it is 
indeed a part of his first duty ; that, in fact, his only 
way to act with a view to his own future benefit is to 
strive for the amelioration of the condition of all 
human beings. Selfishness producing unselfishness 
cannot be very seriously condemned. When we study 
the lives of Buddhists, we do not find that their re- 
ligion has made them objectionably selfish. Those I 
have lived amongst are kind, charitable, and hospitable, 
and the life of the founder of their religion, given in this 
volume, is a remarkable instance of self-abnegation. 

The theory that the various conditions of men and 


animals is caused by good and bad acts and thoughts 
in previous generations, is orthodox Buddhism ; but 
the argument, as used by the " Modern Buddhist," seems 
to me to tend to a somewhat latitudinarian behef. 

If we are to dispense with "inner consciousness" 
and revelation, and belief in those venerable traditions 
which were introduced into our minds in our infancy, 
or before our minds were capable of fairly judging 
them ; if we are to ignore all this, and deduce our be- 
lief in future existence merely from the conditions of 
present existence, then it appears to me to follow 
naturally, that as from the conditions of visible exist- 
ence we have drawn a belief in future existence, and 
the advantage of a virtuous life, so also from the same 
conditions of visible existence we must ascertain what 
a virtuous life is — that is to say, what will conduce 
best to the happiness of all creatures, any one of which 
we may hereafter chance to be. 

True it is the "Modern Buddhist " does not go so far 
as to assert this, but declares that Buddha, the wise 
one, has already taught the nature of a virtuous life. 
Nevertheless he does not attempt to set up the wisdom 
of Buddha as a bar to further progress in the way of 
wisdom. He has a firm faith that whatever truths 
science may reveal, none will be found opposed to the 
vital points of Buddhism. He freely criticises his 
sacred books by such small lights of science as he pos- 
sessed. He states his opinion that Buddha, although 
he knew everything, was careful not to teach that 
which the people of his age were not ripe to under- 
stand, and therefore refrained from many topics he 
might have referred to had he lived in a more ad- 
vanced age. 


It may be denied that such ideas are consistent with- 
orthodox Buddhism, but orthodox or unorthodox, they 
at least prove that Buddhism does not cramp the mind, 
as some of its antagonists have declared. They show 
that Buddhism does not hold men in such an iron grip 
that they dare not let their reason travel beyond its 
so-called canonical dogmas. They show that there is 
in that religion a suitability to the natures of many 
progressive men ; that it will lead them well so far as 
it goes, and will not offer to those whose intelli- 
gence, rightly or wrongly, perforce carries them for- 
wards — so terrible a ruin of all their previous ideas and 
aspirations, that they can lament that they are reason- 
ing beings. 

Chao Phya Thipakon was regarded as a very pious 
Buddhist by a nation of Buddhists, so it is scarcely for 
us to question his orthodoxy ; yet he teaches doctrines 
which go a long way towards the belief that the highest 
religious duty of man is the reverential study of social 
and political science. 

The teachings of Chao Phya Thipakon are at an end. 
In the text of the "Modern Buddhist/' I mention that he 
had been for some years blind. In hopes of recover- 
ing his sight, he underwent an operation for cataract. 
He never recovered his sight, and sank under his afflic- 
tions in the summer of last year, before he had had 
the opportunity of criticising my version of his book, 
or had even learnt the pleasure with which his vindi- 
cation of his religion was received by liberal-minded 
critics in Europe. I will tell one anecdote of my in- 
tercourse with him. Many years ago, when I first 
acquired some little facility in speaking Siamese, but 
had no real knowledge of Buddhism, I used sometimes 


to visit His Excellency of an evening, and converse on 
science and religion. One night I expounded to 
him part of the Sermon on the Mount, and he seemed 
so pleased with those beautiful maxims, that I thought 
him half a Christian, and hoped soon to convert him. 
Then it was that he told me of the beauty of Buddha's 
teachings, and showed me how hopeless was the task 
which the missionaries had undertaken in his country. 

The missionaries again and again feel hopeful that 
the day of conversion is at hand, yet are ever doomed 
to disappointment. I cannot but think that the 
money and energy expended on their work is in great 
measure lost, and that the labour of many of them 
would be better employed in their own country. It is 
a pity to see good men, who might be of use in their 
own country, doomed to a life of disappointment in 
an unhealthy and enervating climate. It is a pity to 
see good Buddhists turned into bad Christians ; and I 
am afraid that the Protestant missionaries could not 
produce one good Siamese Christian for each ten thou- 
sand pounds that has been devoted to their work. 
They may have a few sincere and intelligent Chinese 
and Burmese converts, but Siamese converts, if any, 
are very rare. 

I hope this will not be misunderstood to be an at- 
tack on the missionary body. They have not succeeded 
as missionaries, but they have done, and still do, much 
good in the country as physicians, teachers, and pio- 
neers. There are too many of them, and the work of 
most of them is wasted, but some of them are among 
the most useful members of the foreign community. 
To one of them (who supports himself without draw- 
ing a salary from any missionary body) the Siamese 


are indebted for many useful publications, including 
tlie Siamese laws, and several volumes of semi-his- 
torical works. From another who has exiled himself 
to the Laos country, we may expect valuable informa- 
tion concerning the Laos language and people. While 
speaking of their useful w^orks, I must mention the 
excellent schools of two of the lady members. 

In the first edition of the " Modern Buddhist " I 
omitted a few passages which were of some importance, 
but which referred to subtleties of Buddhism that 
would; in my opinion, have made the essay unsuitable 
to the class of readers I designed it for. As an un- 
known man, seeking a publisher, I had to endeavour 
to make my work easily appreciable. I was fortunate 
enough to find in Mr Triibner a publisher who took a 
personal interest in the literature of Oriental religions, 
and he at once took charge of my essay, and has since 
urged me to extend my selections from the writings of 
Chao Phya Thipakon. I have therefore in this edition 
given to my readers all that seems to me worth trans- 
lation in the book of Chao Phya Thipakon. I have 
not complied with the desire of some of my critics, 
that I should quash the " Modern Buddhist," and give 
a literal translation of the text of the Siamese author 
in its entirety, for I know that such a translation would 
scarcely find readers. I myself find literal translations 
of Oriental works intolerably tedious ; and I am not 
alone in my opinioD, for otherwise the original edition 
of the " Lotus de la Bonne Loi," the work of Burnouf, 
the most illustrious of European scholars of Buddhism, 
would not now be procurable uncut from its publishers. 

One more remark, and I shall end this preface to 
the " Modern Buddhist." Some men appear to believe 


that, in publishing that book, I have perpetrated a 
literary hoax, and invented a Siamese author. I do 
not think that any careful reader of the book would do 
me this injustice, for it seems to me that there is a 
quaintness of thought and manner in the writing of 
Chao Phya Thipakon which I have in some measure 
happily rendered in the translations, while I have quite 
failed to imitate it in my remarks. In this edition I 
have been careful to mark all the translated passages 
by inverted commas, and my readers may rest assured 
that all passages so marked are purely Siamese. It is 
as a translator and exponent of the thoughts of the 
Siamese that I seek for credit, and I altogether decline 
the honour of being considered a clever forger. 

I will now make some prefatory remarks on the 
second part of this work, the " Life of Buddha." 

The "Life of Buddha" has been translated several 
times, from different sources; but I believe Bishop 
Bigandet's translation from the Burmese is the only 
"Life" now procurable in England. 

The most classical translations I have read are 
Tumour's and Foucaux's — the first from the Pali 
classics of Ceylon, the second from the Thibetan "Rgya 
Tcher Rol Pa," compared with the Sanscrit " Lalita 
Vistara." Tumour's translations, published in his "Pali 
Annals," are elegant and concise ; Foucaux's work, 
though valuable for reference, is the literal reproduc- 
tion of a long and tedious book, which not even the 
skill of M. Foucaux can render pleasant reading. 

Bishop Bigandet's compilation from Burmese sources 
is interesting, and in one sense complete ; for whereas 
my Siamese manuscript concludes with the attainment 


of omniscience, he had materials which enabled him to 
continue the story to the death or Nirwana. So far 
as we travel over the same ground, I prefer the Siamese 
version to the Burmese : it is not only more poetical, 
but in those points where there is a difference as to 
fact, it may be considered more accurate, inasmuch as 
when the same circumstance is mentioned in the Pali 
annals, it is generally in accordance with the Siamese 
version. Bishop Bigandet's work has very much 
assisted me in my labours, and should be read by all 
who take an interest in Buddhism. 

There is an ample " Life of Buddha/' compiled from 
Singhalese sources, in the Kev. Spence Hardy's " Man- 
ual of Buddhism," which, I believe, is out of print. I 
have not the good fortune to possess a copy, but when 
I read it, it appeared to me that, although the narra- 
tive of events was ample, it was deficient in those 
explanatory notes which Spence Hardy's great know- 
ledge of Buddhism would have rendered it easy for 
him to supply, and it seemed altogether to lack the 
poetical character which marks the "Life of Buddha" in 
the native texts. To translate agreeabty, one must to 
a certain extent sympathise with the feelings of the 
author one translates from, and not serve up our glow- 
ing Oriental feasts with a cold chill on them. 

I believe that Csoma de Koros and Hodgson, men 
eminent among Buddhist scholars, have also published 
abstracts of translations of the "Life of Buddha," but I 
have not seen that portion of their writings. 

I do not expect to supply fresh materials to scholars. 
I rather write in hopes of popularising the knowledge 
of Buddhism, and giving a fair idea of Siamese literary 
style. I have taken some pains to make my transla- 


tion readable, though I fear my success is but partial, 
and I have also endeavoured to elucidate every Bud- 
dhist expression by a note. Where there is no direct 
reference from the text, the index will generally direct 
the reader to an explanation. The index is not a 
verbal one, referring its consulter to every page of the 
book on which any word appears, but it is purposely 
limited to those references which are important to the 
understanding of the words entered in it. 

Many of the notes have been written especially for 
my readers in Siam, who will, I hope, find that my 
hints open out to them a new interest in their study of 
the Siamese language, their participation in Siamese 
ceremonies, and their visits to Siamese temples. They 
will see that miich that they may have hitherto regarded 
as meaningless formality, or fanciful painting, has a 
religious and historical significance that carries them 
back to the dawn of history. As instances, I may 
refer to the notes on the custom of giving money and 
lottery tickets in limes at cremations, the ceremony of 
pouring water on the earth, the ploughing ceremony, 
the gift of gold and silver flowers at coronations, &c. 
Some may perhaps be interested in the comparisons I 
have endeavoured to draw between Siamese -and Sans- 
crit words. I was moved to attempt the comparison 
of Siamese and Sanscrit words by the complaint of a 
critic, who blamed me for not having done it in the 
" Modern Buddhist." He rightly presumed that I was 
" no Sanscrit scholar." I had not even begun to study 
that language ; nevertheless, I did not discover in his 
criticism any Sanscrit words that were not known to 
me from miscellaneous reading ; and, indeed, the 
simple examples he gave suggested to me the thought 


that scholarship was not required for such an under- 
taking. I therefore procured a Sanscrit dictionary, 
and by its aid I have been able to make numerous 
comparisons. I hope some day to return to the work 
with a better knowledge of Sanscrit to help me ; in 
the meantime, I must ask Sanscrit scholars to excuse 
such errors as they may detect. The labour has proved 
interesting, as it has enlightened me as to the original 
meaning of many Siamese words, and has shown how 
much the Siamese language has been enlarged from 
the Sanscrit. The Siamese seem to have derived their 
relio-ion, most of their state ceremonies, and (so far as 
I have yet examined) almost every word in their lan- 
guage which rises above mere savagery, from the 
ancient Aryans — " the respectable race " — of Central 


■ The Siamese " Life of Buddha," as my translation 
shows it, contains a mixture of what seem to be several 
very distinct reverential (if not exactly religious) ideas. 

We find a primitive form of Buddhism, with its 
four great truths, conveying the simple idea that as all 
states of existence which we can conceive are states of 
vanity, sorrow, and change, the object of the wisely 
pious must be to escape from them, and that it is pos- 
sible to escape from them by eradicating all delight in 
worldly pleasure, and raising the mind to that intellec- 
tual state in which there is no longer any cleaving to 
existence, but a tranquil readiness to pass into the 
perfect rest of Nirwana. 

We find monastic Buddhism sharing the fate which 
must attend all religions which encourage a professional 
class of monks, or men who lead unnatural lives, that 
is cumbered with dogmas and absurdities, the result 


of warped, fantastic, and prurient minds. We do not 
find an Athanasian Creed ; for so far as this book en- 
lightens us, we find that the Buddhist speaks of heaven 
rather than of hell, and never thinks of such uncharity 
as to damn everlastingly those who differ with him. 
But nevertheless we find that the professional religious 
class, in the absence of useful occupation, has invented 
an intolerable terminology, has multiplied ridiculous 
distinctions, has twisted the elementary principles into 
all manner of shapes, and has invented a system of 
meditation which, in lieu of expanding the mind, tends 
to contract it almost to idiocy. 

We find Brahminical superstitions, a continual refer- 
ence to Brahmin soothsayers and the Vedas, and an 
adherence to Brahminical rites in all matters pertain- 
ing to royal ceremonials. Those who know that by 
the Brahmins the Buddhists were extirpated from 
Central India, the birthplace of their religion, must 
wonder to see Brahmins and Buddhists pictured side 
by side in harmony. Yet this story gives no undue 
idea of the position of the royal Brahmins in Siam. 
On every great occasion the Brahmin soothsayers are 
consulted, in every state ceremony they are prominent 
personages; yet they are genuine Brahmins, and not 
Buddhists, and worship in their own Brahman temple, 
full of grotesque and lascivious gods. 

We find Indra and Brahma, and other Hindu 
divinities, and indeed a cosmogony and mythology 
mainly drawn from the Hindus, and only altered in 
the divinity being denied. The gods are but mortal 
beings in a superior state of transmigration. 

We find mention of the Naga or snake, powerful as 
the gods ; we find a disc or wheel, Chakkra, rever- 


entially brouglit into prominence as a mystic symbol ; 
we find a Trinitarian idea represented as Buddha, the 
Law, and the Cliurch ; we find indications of relic wor- 
ship associated mth holy buildings, Topes,* or, as the 
Siamese call them, Phrachedis ; we find one reference 
to the Suphasit or Confucian doctrines of propriety ; 
and we find extraordinary importance attributed to 
the Sacred Feet. 

We find what we may suppose to be local supersti- 
tion in the mention of angels of gates and of trees ; 
not but what these latter are also mentioned in the 
Nepalese " Life of Buddha," " Lalita Vistara." 

And lastly, we find, what I have seen in no other 
" Life of Buddha," a very curious passage representing 
Buddha offerino- adoration to a tree. I refer to the 
concluding passage in my translation. 

Professor Fergusson's splendid work on " Tree and 
Serpent Worship" first drew my attention to the adora- 
tion of the tree at an early period of Buddhism ; and 
I was much struck when I reflected on this illustra- 
tive passage. I am not yet inclined to go as far as 
Professor Fergusson, and call every sign of respect to 
an emblem a distinct worship ; but I certainly believe 
the tree was an object of worship, and one of the very 
first objects of man's worship. 

Some think that this sculpture-depicted worship of 
the tree, shown equally in the bas-reliefs of Assyria 
and India, was no more than the adoration now paid 
by intelligent Buddhists to their images of Buddha ; 
the worship of an idea through an emblem, a vicarious 
worship ; and they may be right. Yet it seems to me 

* I mention Phrachedi (Chaitya) as the most common designation of 
a relic spire, but the word Tope is better reproduced in the word Sathup. 


that before the mind of man was prepared for emble- 
matic subtleties, for Arkite symbolism and other 
idolatries, wliile it was simple, straightforward, and 
uneducated, it would have led man to adore the tree. 
The primeval savage, pursued by a beast of prey, over- 
taken by a pitiless storm, or sinking under the fierce 
heat of the sun, would have found in some large tree 
a refuge excelling all others. On its branches was a 
hiding-place where he could rest safe from his fierce 
enemies ; beneath its leafy canopy was shelter from 
the cutting hail or the intolerable heat. There was no 
dank smell, such as he found in his only other asylum, 
the caves, but a delicious fragrance ofi"ered itself for 
his enjoyment. Its ever-lovely foliage, lovely in the 
sun and lovely in the rain, inspired him with the senti- 
ment of beauty ; its size, its longevity, and its quiet 
majesty, inspired him with a sense of awe. It was 
beautiful, beneficent, and wonderful, and he venerated 
it. He picked up the fallen flowers that lay around, 
and placed them on a stone, so that they might not be 
trodden on. That act originated a worship, an altar, 
and a sacrifice. 

Such seems to me a probable origin of the worship 
of the tree. The Pipul, Bodhi, or Bo-tree, the chief 
sacred tree of the Buddhists, has certainly some of the 
attributes which would account for its being selected 
above other trees as the typical tree of this worship. 
It is noble in dimensions and appearance. Its seeds 
have extraordinary vitality ; and when a drop of mois- 
ture has caused them to shoot, even in a crack high in 
some lofty tower, they will not die, but forcing the 
thin air and the hard bricks to nourish them, they 
will send down their suckers to the earth ; and then 


these suckers, growing into huge roots, will crack and 
rend the building, shiver and destroy it, and only pre- 
serve its memory by the huge fragmentary masses 
which it will for centuries retain clasped in its embrace. 
Its Sanscrit name, " Bodhi-tree," may be translated 
" The Tree of Wisdom." The same word, Bodhi, is also 
applied to the penetrating wisdom of a Buddha, and 
is said to be derived from a word, Budh, meaning to 
penetrate. If it obtained this name, Bodhi, independ- 
ently, and not from connection with any religious 
myth, I suppose it may have originated in the above- 
described insinuating or "penetrating" character of 
its roots. 

Great as is the variety of these elements, the more 
important points of Buddhism are not lost among 
them, but stand out with marked distinctness. When 
I say more important points of Buddhism, I do not 
mean points peculiar to, and originating in. Buddhism, 
but I mean points the belief in which is essential to 
all who would be called Buddhists. 

It has been said that there is no special teaching in 
Buddhism, and that its tenets are the same as those 
of the Sankhya and other schools of Indian philoso- 
phers. Certainly, as we read portions of the Sankhya 
books, we recognise doctrines like those we meet in 
Buddhist books. In both we find that the great object 
of man is to destroy the misery inseparable from ordi- 
nary existence ; in both w^e read the words, " Neither 
I am, nor is aught mine." Both systems are apparently 
grounded on ideas such as transmigration, &c., gener- 
ally prevailing in India some two to three thousand 
years ago. Yet, as among other differences, we find 


that the Sankhyas dwelt specially on the existence of 
a soul, while the Buddhists specially avoided all recog- 
nition of one, we cannot allow that the teacher or 
teachers of Buddhism felt bound by the principles 
of the early Sankhya philosophy ascribed to Kapila. 
Still less could the Buddhists have valued the Yoga or 
theistical development of the Sankhya system which 
asserted the existence of a God actively interested in 
the world, and making His law known by revelation, — 
beliefs incompatible with Buddhism. 

Similarly with the Nyaya and other Indian sects, 
the metaphysical theories are at times identical, but 
the practical differences are radical. 

The origin of these sects is, I believe, now considered 
to be posterior to the rise of Buddhism. The story of 
Buddha's life, however, assumes that there were philoso- 
phers before him, with whom he studied, and whose 
teachings were not opposed to his, but only failed in 
not going to the height of meditative science which he 
reached. In Buddhism there are eight degrees of the 
meditation called Dhy^na ; these philosophers, we are 
told, could only attain to the seventh. The Yoga 
Sankhyas have a system of Dhyana meditation akin to 
that of the Buddhists, and possibly both drew the idea 
from the same source. I believe that Dhyana was not 
a primitive institution of Buddhism ; for though it has 
been associated with it long enough to be referred to 
several times in the " Life," I think the story would be 
quite complete if all those references were omitted. 
Dhyana is not mentioned in the vital parts of the 

The metaphysical system of Buddhism is now an im- 
portant part of the religion ; but we are by no means 


bound to believe that originally it was treated in any 
but a very broad way. A great many of the Buddhist 
classics — presumably the oldest — deal little in meta- 
physical niceties. Our oldest Buddhist records, that 
cannot have been corrupted, are the stone-cut edicts 
of King Asoka in the third century before Christ. 
Asoka, King of Magadha, desiring to extend the Bud- 
dhist religion, had edicts cut in stone in various parts 
of his dominions, of which several have been dis- 
covered, and deciphered by Prinsep and other scholars. 
Their teaching is marvellously simple. In one the 
King enjoins his subjects "not to slay animals ;" in 
another, "to plant trees and dig wells by the road-sides, 
for the comfort of men and animals ; " in another he 
desires "the appointment of teachers to superintend 
morals, and encourage the charitable, and those ad- 
dicted to virtue;" in another he orders his subjects 
" to hold quinquennial assemblies for the enforcement 
of moral obligations — duty to parents, friends, chil-' 
dren, relations, Brahmans and Sramanas (Buddhist 
monks)." "Liberality is good, non-injury of living 
creatures is good ; abstinence from prodigality and 
slander is good." In others, he proclaims, " The be- 
loved of the gods (himself) does not esteem glory and 
fame as of great value ; for it may be acquired by 
crafty and unworthy persons." " To me there is not 
satisfaction in the pursuit of worldly affairs ; the most 
worthy pursuit is the prosperity of the whole world. 
My whole endeavour is to be blameless towards all 
creatures, to make them happy here below, and to en- 
able them to attain Swarga (heaven)." 

Observe that it is not " Nirwana " which is to be 
sought, but heaven ! 


So free is the pious King from dogmatism, that 
though in one proclamation he declares that he has 
faith "in Buddha, the law, and the assembly/' so far, 
at least, as to " the words which have been spoken by- 
Buddha ; " he in another edict declares himself no sec- 
tarian in the words, "ascetics of the different sects 
all aim at moral restraint and purity of disposition ; 
but men have various opinions and various desires." 

Such is an abstract of the Asoka edicts, and the 
picture they present of Buddhism, when compared 
with the picture of the metaphysical Buddhism of the 
monks, seems to me as cool and refreshing as is the 
" Sermon on the Mount " of our religion, compared 
with the Thirty-nine Articles and Creeds of our Church. 

I will now give a sketch of the chief points of Bud- 
dhist belief and practice mentioned in the " Life.'' 

The first essential idea is that of transmigration — 
transmigration not only into other human states, but 
into all forms, active and passive. 

Gods and animals, men and brutes, have no intrinsic 
difference between them. They all change places ac- 
cording to their merits and demerits. They exist 
because of the disturbance caused by their demerits. 
How they began to exist is not even asked ; it is a 
question pertaining to the Infinite, of which no expla- 
nation is attempted. Even in dealing with the illus- 
trious being who afterwards became Buddha, no 
attempt is made to picture a beginning of his ex- 
istence, and we are only told of the beginning of his 
aspiration to become a Buddha, and the countless 
existences he subsequently passed through ere he 
achieved his object. 


The teaching on this point may be said to recognise 
the equality of all beings, at the same time that it 
provides against the mischievous results European 
Socialists draw from that doctrine ; which it does, by 
declaring the compatibility of intrinsic equality of 
beino; with actual difference of condition and ad van- 
tages. It teaches that the relative positions of all 
beings are perfectly just, being self-caused by the good 
and evil destiny created by conduct in previous exist- 
ences. It teaches that if a good man is poor and 
wretched, he is so because he has lived evilly in pre- 
vious generations : if a bad man is prosperous, he is so 
because in previous generations he lived well. 

Having thus declared the fact of transmigration, 
and the principle which causes its various states. Bud- 
dhism teaches that there is no real or permanent satis- 
faction in any state of transmigration ; that neither 
the painless luxuries of the lower heavens, nor the 
tranquillity of the highest angels, can be considered as 
happiness, for they will have an end, followed by a re- 
currence of varied and frequently sorrowful existences. 

Here is one of the great distinctions, the irrecon- 
cilable differences, between Buddhism and Christianity. 
Christians, even priests, have been known to Write of 
the similarity between their religion and Buddhism. 
They saw corAipt Buddhists, dressed in gorgeous rai- 
ment, going through mummeries, and as they, too, 
prided themselves on the gorgeous vestments in which 
they concealed their spiritual humility, and as they, 
too, were addicted to mummeries, they did not see 
much difference between the religions. Possibly they 
had false ideas of Christianity, and equally false ideas 
of Buddhism. Passing from outside show to inner 


belief, the distinction is radical. Take this one point 
alone : Christians profess that their existence is the 
effect of the benign providence of God, and that they 
have something to thank God for. The few who 
divide the hoarded wealth of former generations, people 
who are well off, have every reason to believe this ; 
and the many who are taxed to pay the debts of 
former generations, the people who are not well off, 
are taught to believe this without any special reference 
to their own circumstances. But Buddhists, rich or 
poor, acknowledge no providence, and see more reason 
to lament existence than to be grateful for it. 

Nirwana, the extinction of all this kind of existence, 
must therefore be the object of the truly wise man. 
What this extinction is may perhaps have never been 
defined. Certainly it has been the subject of endless 
contention by those who think themselves capable of 
dealing with the infinite, and analysing the beginning 
and the end. All I can see of it in this " Life " is that 
it is now considered to be peace, rest, and eternal 
happiness. The choicest and most glorious epithets 
are lavished on it by the Siamese (see Notes to "Life " — 
No. 6), but we are left as ignorant of it as we are of 
the heaven of Christians. We may call heaven an 
existence, but we are even less capable of realising that 
existence than we are of realising what Barthelemy St 
Hilaire calls, with professed horror, the annihilation or 
non-existence of Nirwana. 

I believe that most men recognise sleep as a real 
pleasure. Certain it is that after a hard day's toil, bodily 
or mental, man longs for sleep ; and if his overtasked 
body or too excited brain deprives him of it, he feels 
that the deprivation is pain. Yet, what is sleep 1 It 


is, to all intents and purposes, temporary non-existence, 
and during its existence we do not appreciate its tem- 
porariness. The existence during sleep, when sleep is 
perfect, appreciates no connection with the waking 
existence. When it is imperfect, it is vexed by dreams 
connected with waking existence, but that is not the 
sleep which men long for. 

The ordinary Siamese never troubles himself about 
Nirwana, he does not even mention it. He believes 
virtue will be rewarded by going to heaven (Sawan), 
and he talks of heaven, and not of Nirwana. Buddha, 
he will tell you, has entered Nirwana, but, for his part, 
he does not look beyond Sawan. A man of erudition 
would consider this Sawan to be the heaven (Dewa- 
loka) of Indra, a heaven that is not eternal. The 
ordinary Siamese does not consider whether or not it 
be eternal ; it is at least a happy state of transmigra- 
tion of vast duration, of which he does not recognise the 
drawbacks, and it is quite sufficient for his aspirations. 

This Sawan is the Siamese form of the Sanscrit word 
used for heaven in those primitive records, the edicts of 
Asoka, mentioned above. It is the Sanscrit Svarga. 

Whatever Nirwana may be, Siamese Buddhists 
assume it to be more desirable than anything they 
can define as existence, and the question they ask is 
not, " How shall it be defined 1 " but " How can it be 
attained V'' 

Before giving their answer to this question, I must 

* In Note 6, page 165, I have given an extract from Professor Max 
Miiller's remarks on Nirvana, in his introduction to " Rogers' Buddhag- 
hosha's Parables." I ouglit in the same place to have given Mr R. C. 
Childers' note on the subject, which appeared in Triibner's Literary 
Record, of June 25, 1870. Mr Childers writes as follows :— " I venture 
to propose a theory of Nirvana, which may, perhaps, aflford the true 
solution of that important problem. It is well known that in the 


speak of the Buddhist idea as to what we call the 

The Buddhist who differs from us in recoo-nisino; a 
law of nature, without seeking for a Maker of that 
law, also differs from us in assuming a continuation 
of existence, without defining a soul as that which 
is continued. For all practical purposes we may speak 
of a soul as that which passes from one state of exist- 
ence to another, but such is not the Buddhist idea, at 
least, not the idea of Buddhist metaphysicians. 

According to them, it is not the soul or self which is 
reborn, but the quality, the merit and demerit. Indi- 
vidual existence (Dj^ti) is but a part of general exist- 

Buddhist books there are two distinct sets of epithets applied to Nir- 
vana, the one implying a state of purity, tranquillity, and bliss, the 
other iniplying extinction or annihilation. This circumstance has 
given rise to endless discussions relative to the true nature of Nirvana, 
the result being that the most conflicting views have been held upon 
this question by European scholars. The theory I have to propose is 
one which, if true, will, I think, meet all dilficulties, and reconcile 
expressions in the Buddhist texts, even the most opposite and antago- 
nistic. It is, that the word Nirvana is applied to ttvo different things, 
namely — first, to the annihilation of existence, which is the ultimate 
goal of Buddhism ; and secondly, to the state of sanctification, or, as 
we should say, " conversion," which is the stepping-stone to annihila- 
tion, and without which annihilation cannot be obtained. According 
to this view, the term Amopadhigesha, " void of all trace of the body" 
(see Burnouf, Int. p. 589), is not merely an epithet of Nirvana generally, 
but a distinctive epithet, distinguishing that Nirvana which is the 
extinction of being from UpadJiigesliaiiirvdna, " Nirvana in which the 
body remains," that is to say, the blissful state of one who is walking 
in the Fourth Path. I advance this theory not without hesitation, for 
though I have collected a great deal of evidence in support of it, I feel 
that I have not as yet proved it to my satisfaction. I am, however, 
actively prosecuting my inquiries, and I hope some day to return to 
this important subject." 

The fourth path is that of Arhat, or perfect saint. Mr Childers has 
lately read an important paper on this subject before the Royal Asiatic 
Society, which will appear in their Journal. Vol. v., part ii. 


ence (Bhava) ; and general existence is but the result 
of the pre-existence of distinction caused by merit and 
demerit. Commonly, merit and demerit, in the active 
potential condition, must have an effect in pro- 
ducing the general existence suited to them. I will 
not now enlarge upon the doctrine of Karma, as it is 
discussed at some length in the " Modern Buddhist." 

In my explanation of Buddhist ideas, I at times use 
the word soul, because it facilitates the comprehension 
of the idea I want to convey, and because I have not 
been able to find any other way of conveying it. The 
Buddhist tells me there is no soul, but that there is 
continuation of individual existence without it. 1 can- 
not explain his statement, for I fail thoroughly to 
understand it, or to appreciate the subtlety of his 
theory. Perhaps it is to be understood by compari- 
son with the "line" of a mathematician. The line is 
length, without thickness or breadth ; but very few 
people can conceive it by such a definition. Again, 
the "line " is produced by the motion of a point ; but 
a point has no dimensions. So we see a "line'"' arising 
from that which has no dimensions. And indeed, all 
the definiteness which we thought we saw in our care- 
fully drawn geometrical problem passes into the difficult 
abstraction of relative motion and relative position. 

This mathematical abstraction is assuredly true, 
and it seems to me that by analogy we may consider 
the " line " or continued individual existence to be 
made up of the motion or succession of points, which 
are separate individual existences. The point is no- 
thing but an idea realising the rest or motion arising 
from any cause ; and the soul is also but an idea real- 
ising the disturbance caused by merit and demerit. 


The line is an infinite one ; it is greater than any 
which has dimensions, yet we cannot recognise the 
dimension which is its only material quality — we have 
left only the abstract idea of direction or tendency. 

Now for the answer to the above stated question, 
** How. to obtain Nirwana 1 " 

The answer is, that, as all that we define as exist- 
ence is (within the limits of our thought) self-caused, 
is the result of a law that every act, word, or thought 
must be followed by its efi'ect, we can annihilate such 
existence, by removing all cause for future action ; 
and as this cause, that is to say, our every thought and 
word and act, is voluntary, or the result of desire, we 
must eradicate all desire, and shall then be free to enter 

Tracing backwards the chain of causation, we find 
that ignorance is the first cause of which desire or 
worldly cleaving is but an efi'ect. Ignorance is not 
really a first cause, for, as the modern Buddhist tells 
us, Buddha would not teach of the beginning, and 
Buddhism has nothing to do with first causes, which 
pertain to the infinite. But it is a first cause within 
the limits to which reason can penetrate ; inasmuch 
as, but for ignorance, all beings would infinitely, before 
this time, have perceived that Nirwana was the only 
object desirable, and would have destroyed all that pre- 
vented its attainment, that is, would have destroyed 

The ignorance of those who lived before us, caused 
us to be born. Our own desire or afi'ection for worldly 
things, causes existence to be continued. We come 
then to the means of destroying desire or affection for 
the world. 


The four pre-eminent truths of Buddhism (see note 
71 to Life), which declare the principles I have enlarged 
on in the preceding pages, do not help us much here. 
The fourth truth, instead of pointing out a means to 
attain a state of purity, simply asserts that purity is 
a consequence of entering into the paths of the saints, 
or the eightfold path of purity (notes to Life, Nos. 1 4 
and 78). Extending our inquiry, we find that man 
by perseverance, continued through countless successive 
births, can of himself become a Buddha, a teacher of 
the paths, but that the majority of those who enter 
the paths are only led into them by the personal in- 
jBiuence of a Buddha ; and that when the earth is not 
enlio-htened by the teaching of a Buddha, the most 
remarkable religious attainments * will not lead men 
into the paths to Nirwana, but will only so far fit 
them for its reception, that after some further angelic 
and human experiences, they will, by the inherent 
power of their accumulated merit, be born to meet a 
Buddha, and by his teaching, be led into the paths of 
the saints. 

The object of man must therefore be, the accumula- 
tion of merit, and repression of demerit, so as to fit 
himself to benefit by the teachings and influence of 
the next Buddha. 

To this end, Buddhism inculcates a virtuous and 
self-denying life, the practice of charity, and the 
exercise of meditation. 

AVh ether we read the opinions of the Wesley an 
missionary, Spence Hardy, or the Roman Catholic 
Bishop, Bigandet, or the philosophic student of all 
religions, Max Muller, we find the highest praise 

* See story of Kaladewila, in chap, iv, of the Life of Buddha. 

PREFACE. xliii 

awarded to the moral teacliings of Buddhism. I 
believe this Buddhist gospel will confirm their views. 

The main rules of a virtuous life, that is, the five 
principal commandments, are — 

1. Not to destroy life. 

2. Not to obtain another's property by unjust 

3. Not to indulge the passions, so as to invade the 
legal or natural rights of other men. 

4. Not to tell lies. 

5. Not to partake of anything intoxicating. 
Other commandments mentioned in the Life relate 

to the repression of personal vanity, greed, fondness 
for luxury, &c. ; and among evil tendencies, especially 
singled out for reprobation, we find covetousness, 
anger, folly, sensuality, arrogance, want of veneration, 
scepticism, and ingratitude. These bad qualities are 
personified as leaders of the army of Mara, the evil 
one, who, with a curious parallelism to our story of 
Satan, is made out to be an archangel of a heaven 
even higher than that of the beneficent Indra. 

Of the practice of charity, it is not requisite to say 
much here. The whole character of Buddha is full of 
charity, insomuch that, although his perfection was 
such that at almost an infinite period before he be- 
came Buddha, he might, during the teaching of an 
earlier Buddha, have escaped from the current of 
existence, which he regarded as misery, he remained 
in that current, and passed through countless painful 
transmigrations, in order that he might ultimately 
benefit, not himself, but all other beings, by becoming 
a Buddha, and helping all those whose ripe merits 
could only be perfected by the teaching of a Buddha. 

xliv PREFACE. 

Meditation is regarded by Buddhists as the highest 
means of self-improvement. It is referred to in the 
Life, under three classes, called Kammathan, Bhavana, 
and Dhyana, which are described in notes 87, 10, and 


The Kammathan meditation on the nature of ele- 
mentary substances, leads to the thorough appreciation 
of their impermanence and unsatisfactoriness ; the 
Bhavana meditation on the characteristics of charity, 
pity, joy, sorrow, and equanimity, leads the mind to a 
pure state of intellectuality ; and the Dhyana medita- 
tion, each step of which is accompanied by a state of 
ecstacy or trance, is supposed, during its continuance, 
actually to remove him who is absorbed in it from 
subjection to the ordinary laws of nature ; indeed, it is 
supposed to be such a proof of power in him who can 
achieve it, that he will, at the same time, become a 
master of magical arts, such as flying, changing his 
form, &c., &c. It is, in fact, a kind of spiritualism. 
We find that the modern Buddhist speaks of these 
magic powers with great contempt. He laughs at 
books which contain such stories, saying they are un- 
profitable reading ; but perhaps his allusion is rather 
to secular than to religious novels. He, however, tells 
us that there are no saints now-a-days, and I think we 
may add, there are none who can achieve the state of 

With meditation is connected the system devised 
to facilitate its practice, monastic asceticism. The Life 
assumes that there w^ere religious bodies, devoted to 
asceticism, before Buddha began to teach ; it shows 
Buddha imitating them in the practice of extreme 
austerities, and after a long course of them, relaxing 


the severity of his discipline, and declaring a middle 
course to be the best. In one passage, the self-inflicted 
torture of some classes of ascetics, is particularly re- 

In Siam, the monastic vow is not binding for life, 
but can be, and is cancelled, by the authority of the 
superior of the monastery, whenever application is 
made to him. This rule leads to every Siamese man 
spending at least three months of his life in a monas- 
tery. While in the monastery, he is supported by the 
alms of the pious. 

With a few words on prayer, I shall conclude this 
sketch of Siamese Buddhism. 

Prayer is not a Buddhist practice, for the simple 
reason, that Buddhists have no divine being to pray 
to. What some writers designate as Buddhist prayers, 
are not prayers at all. Palligoix, in his " Grammatica 
Linguae Thai," gives the Pali and Siamese text of what 
he calls "tres preces vald^ in honore apud Siamenses," 
which, on examination, I find not to be prayers, but 
merely sentences for rej^etition. The first, is a simple 
list of the thirty-two elements, into which their philo- 
sophers resolve the body ; the repetition of which is 
supposed to assist meditation on the vanity and misery 
of existence. The second, is a list of the epithets of 
Buddha, designed to help meditation on the excellence 
of Buddha. The third, is the creed or profession of be- 
lief in Buddha, his law, and his church. It is the habit 
of both monks and laymen to recite formulas of this 
kind, but that habit cannot properly be called prayer. 
There is perhaps something of the nature of prayer 
in the request to a living Buddha, to reward an offer- 
ing by some particular re- birth, such as is illustrated 



in our first chapter, by Maia's desire expressed to the 
former Buddha Wipassi — " May I be, in some after 
generation, the mother of a Buddha like thyself." I 
have also, in my translation, found it convenient to 
use the word prayer, for the practice of expressing a 
firm determination * or desire, addressed to no one in 
particular, but being an invocation of the power ex- 
isting in him who prays, and dependent for its success 
on the inherent force of his merits and demerits. As 
an example, take the incident of Buddha throwing into 
the air the long locks he had just cut off", and crying, 
" If, indeed, I am about to attain the Buddhahood, let 
these locks remain suspended in the air ; " and they 
remained suspended by virtue of his merits. 

The Life, however, illustrates a real form of prayer, 
resulting from superstitions grafted on to Buddhism ; 
we find it in the girl Suchada's prayer to the angels of 
the tree, to grant her a happy marriage and a male 
child ; and we find it in the prayer of Maia's mother, 
" Hear me, all ye angels ! In that I am old, and shall 
not live to see the child that this my daughter will 
bring forth to be the Holy Teacher, may I after death 
be re-born in the heavens of the Brahmas, and thence 
descend to listen to the teachino- of the Wheel of the 
Law, and so escape further evils in the circle of trans- 

Prayer of this kind is not uncommon ; for the 
Siamese are angel worshippers as well as Buddhists, 
and many of them, ignorant of their own religion, 
Avithout doubt pray not only to angels, but to Buddha, 
and w^orship him with offerings. They are encouraged 
in angel worship by their popular novels, from one of 
which I extract the following example : — " Then the 

* In Siamese caller! Athithan. 



queen, raising her hands over her head, did homage to 
the angels of all places who had power, possessions, 
and dignity, and called on them to be benevolent to 
her child, to help, protect, and shield him." 

I have dilated somcAvhat on this subject of prayer, 
because I have been asked to explain it by men who, 
after a residence of some years in Siam, have failed to 
comprehend it. They have heard men fervently re- 
peating these formulas, and to all appearance praying. 
They have read of the Northern Buddhists turning 
the praying-wheel, a box full of texts, the turning of 
which is supposed to be as efficacious as the actual 
repetition of them ; and they naturally accept the 
dictionary translation of " suet mon " as to pray, 
rather than the, in my opinion, more correct interpre- 
tation " to recite mantras, i.e., verses, or formulas." 

My Essay on the Footprint of Buddha originated in 
this wise : — 

About two years ago I was in very bad health, and, 
seeking change of air and scene, made a journey to 
the Footprint. I had no intention of publishing 
anything on the subject. I did not impose upon 
myself the task of inquiring closely into what I saw ; 
and I did not make any notes. 

Some twelve months afterwards, Mr Triibner, seeing 
a drawing of the Footprint in my possession, con- 
sidered it of sufficient interest to warrant his pub- 
lishing' a photograph of it ; and asked me to prepare 
a memoir to accompany it, for gratuitous distribution. 
I promised to do so. The memoir proved longer than 
Mr Triibner had anticipated, and by his advice was 
reserved for this book. 

The Footprint superstition does not seem to me to 

xlviii PREFACE. 

be one of mucli importance, and I can scarcely expect 
that any but residents in Siam will take much 
interest in my attempt to show its present state and 
probable origin. 

The recollections of what I saw on my journey to 
Phra Bat (Holy Foot), which is the name both of the 
Footprint and the hill on which it is indented, will, I 
hope, be not altogether uninteresting to those who can 
care little about the Footprint itself. 

I should have much preferred withholding, not only 
the Essay on the Footprint, but the whole of this 
book for revision with native aid in Siam. My return 
to Siam is, however, indefinitely postponed, and I have, 
therefore, sent my work to the printer in what may 
be called a rough state. 

It is now my duty to mention some of those greater 
labourers in the field of Buddhism, whose works have 
been most useful to me, and are essential to the 
European student of that religion. 

The most important of all are E. Burnouf s *' Intro- 
duction a r Histoire du Buddhisme Indien," Paris, 
1844; and his "Lotus de la Bonne Loi," Paris, 1852; 
to which latter are attached twenty-one very important 
essays on various points of Buddhist scholarship. 
M. E. Burnouf was not only an extraordinary scholar, 
but also a beautiful writer, and it is remarkable that 
the original edition of his works should be still pro- 
curable uncut. His labours were mainly founded 
on the study of the Sanscrit classics, forwarded by 
Mr Brian H. Hodgson from Nepal; but he was also 
acquainted with some of the Pali classics of the 
Ceylonese or Southern Buddhists, and he was assisted 
by the preceding labours of Mr Hodgson, Csoma de 

PREFACE. xlix 

Koros, and the Hon. G. Tumour. Csoma de Koros 
was one of the most remarkable travellers that ever 
lived. Without any resources but his ability, he 
made his way overland from Hungary to Thibet, 
searchino- for the orimn of the Hungarian race. In 
Thibet he devoted himself to the study of Buddhism, 
and finally made his way to Calcutta, where he was 
welcomed and enabled to make his knowledge known 
to the world. 

The Hon. G. Tumour's principal contributions to 
Buddhism were translations from the Ceylonese Pali 
classics, with valuable essays accompanying them, 
published as " The Mahawanso," and " Pali Annals." 
I found the " Pali Annals," which contain a classicpJ 
Life of Buddha, extremely useful when translating the 
Life from the Siamese. I was also indebted to Ph. E. 
Foucaux's French translation of the Thibetan Egya 
Tcher Eol Pa, a version of the Sanscrit classic Lalita 
Vistara. The work is tedious, for it is a close trans- 
lation of a most tedious book. It is very agreeable 
to turn from it to M. Foucaux's charming Essay on 
Nirwana, a critique on the controversy between 
M Barthelemy St Hilaire, the attacker of Buddhism, 
and M. Obry, its learned defender. 

I now come to the writer whose works are best 
known among those whose knowledge of Buddhism 
is gained from English sources, the Eev. E. Spence 
Hardy, a Wesleyan missionary, long resident in 
Ceylon, to whom all honour is due for his candour in 
dealing with that which he desired to destroy, and 
whose " Manual of Buddhism," and Eastern Mona- 
chism " are mines of information. These works are, 
if I am not misinformed, both out of print, and if &o, 
the owner of the copyright might do well either to 


reprint tliem or to Lave a digest of the two works 
prepared for publication. 

The Eoman Catholic Bishop, Bigandet, who has 
studied Buddhism in Burmah, has published a very 
complete biography of Buddha, in his " Life or Legend 
of Gaudama, the Buddha of the Burmese," to which are 
added some interesting appendices.* The bishop is not 
merely tolerant, but generous, in his endeavours to do 
justice to Buddhism. I do not, however, always agree 
with Ms statements, as will be found by readers of 
this work. 

I cannot attempt to give a complete biography of 
Buddhism; those who desire a convenient list of books 
and papers relating to this religion will find one in 
Otto Kistner's cheap little pamphlet, entitled, " Buddha 
and his Doctrines." t I think it a pity that such a title 
was given to the essay, which is only valuable for the 
list of books, papers, etc., it contains ; and which has 
in it very little about Buddha and his doctrines, 
and that little very unsatisfactory. I should have 
liked the title for this book of mine. 

Among the books which have been especially consulted 
by me whilst writing these pages, I must also men- 
tion Max Miiller's translation of the "Dhammapada," 
from the Pali, with which is published Capt. Eogers' 
translation from the Burmese of " Buddhaghosha's 
Parables." J The Eev. S. Beal's " Travels of Buddhist 

--'- The Life or Legend of Gaudama, the Buddha of the Burmese, with 
Annotations, the Ways to Neibban, and Notice on the Phongyies or Burmese 
Monks. By the Right Reverend P. Bigandet, Bishop of Ramatha, Vicar. 
Ajiostolic of Ava and Pegu. 8vo. Triibner & Co. 

t Buddha and his Doctrines, A BibliograiAical Essay. By Otto Kistner. 
4to, sewed, 2s. 6d. Triibner & Co. 

J Buddhaghosha's Parables, translated from the Burmese. By Captain H. T. 
Rogers, R.E. With an Introduction, containing Buddha's Dhammapada, or 
Path of Virtue, translated from Pali. By E. Max Miiller. 8vo, cloth. 1870. 
Triibner & Co. 


Pilgrims," being the narrative (translated from Chinese) 
of the travels of enthusiastic Chinese Buddhists, in the 
fifth and sixth centuries, to increase their religious 
knowledge, and obtain books, in Central India, the 
Holy Land of Buddhism/'' Professor Fergusson's 
" Tree and Serj)ent Worship." General Cunningham's 
" Bhilsa Topes," and " Geography of Ancient India." 
Mr E. C. Childers' translation from the Pali of the 
Khuddaka Patha, or lesser readings, a small but 
valuable pamphlet contributed to the Journal of the 
Poyal Asiatic Society. 

I have also used, and referred to in my notes to the 
Life, Pallegoix's " Grammatica Linguae Thai," 
Bradley's "Bangkok Calendars," Skeen's *' Adam's 
Peak," Colebrooke's " Essays on the Philosophy of the 
Hindoos," Low's " Essays on the Phra Bat, etc.," pub- 
lished in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 
and Bastian's " Reisen in Siam." 

The most readable popular w^ork on Buddhism that 
I have yet met with, is M. Barthelemy St Hilaire's 
" Bouddha et sa Religion." It is a beautifully written 
book, the production of a master of language, a most 
learned man, a member of the Institute of France. 
Mainly a compilation from the works of Burnouf, 
Foucaux, Stanislas Julien, and Spence Hardy, it 
contains much accurate information on Buddhism ; 
but most unfortunately the learned writer, leaving the 
safe guidance of the eminent authorities above 
mentioned, has included in his book a critique on 
Buddhism and the civilisation of Buddhist nations, 
founded on apparent misinformation. 

* Travels of Fall Hian and Sung Yun, Buddhist Pilgrims from China to 
India. Translated from the Chinese. By S. Beal, a Chaplain in H.M. Fleet, 
&c. Crown 8vo. 


M. Barthelemy St Hilaire, who has perhaps never 
seen living; Buddhists, has conceived a violent horror 
for what he describes as Atheism and Annihilation, and 
it has led him to attack Buddhism with a vigour of 
persecuting assertion, which must be wondered at by 
those who have read the tolerant writings of men who 
have lived among Buddhists for long periods — Bishop 
Bigandet, for example. 

Whether Buddhism is truly a religion of Atheism 
and Annihilation is, to a certain degree, a moot point, 
for indeed it is doubtful what those words mean. The 
terms Theism and Atheism, Immortality and 
Annihilation, involve infinite considerations, which, in 
my humble opinion, we are so little capable of 
thoroughly comprehending, that I, though a Theist, 
am unwilling to apply to a Buddhist a term which is 
held in reproach. The word Atheist is among us a 
word of reproach, and I do not like to apply it to 
those who, so far as I see, do not deny the existence of 
a God, but only reverentially abstain from defining 
that which it is impossible to comprehend. 

Nevertheless, as Buddhism (at least the Southern 
Buddhism) recognises no eternal, personal God, actively 
interested in the world, it is what most people would 
call Atheistic, and I shall not dispute the correctness 
of the epithet. 

Also as Buddhism, according to my appreciation of 
it, regards the highest aim of man to be the peace 
resulting from the utter absence of all that we under- 
stand to be connected with existence, I cannot decline 
to allow the term Nihilistic to be applied to it. 

I must accept it as being Atheism and Annihilation, 
only hoping that men will not too rashly believe that 
they thoroughly understand these terms, and hoping 

PREFACE. liii 

that they will, if interested in Euddhism, read the 
arguments of Obry, Foucaux, Max Miiller, and Childers 
on these points. 

While I accept so far M. Barthelemy St Hilaire's 
definitions of Buddhism, I cannot but lament that he 
should have been misled as to the practical effect of 
those beliefs on Buddhist nations, causing him to 
attribute to religious belief differences in civilisation 
which perhaps are due to other causes. 

M. Barthelemy St Hilaire candidly acknowledges 
that he is a partizan writer. He commences his work . 
with the acknowledgment that he is not attempting 
to do justice to a religion which it is difficult for 
Europeans to view without prejudice, but has one 
sole object, that is, to strengthen that prejudice. His 
opening words are — "En publiant ce livre sur le 
Bouddhisme, je n'ai qu'une intention : c'estde rehausser 
par une comparaison frappante la grandeur et la 
v^rite bienfaisante de nos croyances spiritualistes." 

To obtain the striking comparison, he simply mis- 
represents the civilisation of between three and four 
hundred millions of men, and coupling this misrepre- 
sentation with an ever-recurring appeal to prejudice, 
in the form of skilfully introduced " deplorable 
abysses of Atheism and Annihilation," he produces in 
some degree the desired contrast. 

On page 180 of the edition of 1866, in a passage, 
apparently referring to all Buddhists, but especially 
mentioning the Chinese, Tartars, Mongols, and 
Thibetans, he actually tells us that "These people 
have no books but those of their religion ; they have not 
let their imagination, ill-regulated as it is, wander to 
other subjects ; and the most part of Buddhist nations 
has no literature but that of the Church (Sutras). 


Of Tartars, Mongols, and Thibetans, I am unable 
to speak, having no knowledge of their literature ; but 
of Chinese and some other Buddhist nations I am 
able to assert (and to prove my words by catalogues, 
etc., existing in Europe), that they have a large secular 
literature. They have an extensive imaginative 
literature, including many novels of no small interest ; 
they have histories, law-books, and treatises on medical 
and other arts ; even the luxuries of literature, ela- 
borately illustrated works on artistic design, are to be 
found in China ; and not only do these things exist, 
but the arts of printing and woodcutting have, in 
China and Japan, made books very cheap, and given 
the poor great facilities for study. 

Not satisfied with this misrepresentation as to the 
literary state of Buddhist nations, M. St Hilaire adds 
to it the charge that Buddhism has been unable to or- 
ganise equitable and intelligent societies. 

I will not say that Buddhism has organised such 
societies, for it has not that meddling j)ropensity which 
marks' some other religions, and it does not set itself 
up as the organiser of society ; but it is clear enough 
that M. St Hilaire means, by his assertion, that the 
natives, where Buddhism is professed, have not been 
able to oro;anise such societies. 

The societies or systems of government now existing 
in China or Siam have fairly flourished for long pe- 
riods, despite all their deficiencies. The people have 
not found it necessary to change their form of govern- 
ment once in every decate, nor even once a century. 
The Siamese Government manages to rule a country 
as large as England wdth a fair amount of comfort to 
its people, and little annoyance to its neighbours. 
Unwieldy China is ruled in a manner that certainly 


shows a great deal of intelligence. I grant that these 
governments cannot claim to be perfect models of 
equity and intelligence, but indeed, if a Siamese asked 
me to point out a perfect government in Europe, I 
should be unable to do so. 

An Asiatic reader of M. St Hilaire's book would 
probably be interested to know what M. St Hilaire 
considers to be an intelligent and equitable govern- 
ment, for with the vagueness which not uncommonly 
characterises those who talk about " grandeur," he does 
not define what he means by his words. To which of 
the many governments that have during the last cen- 
tury ruled his spiritualistic country, does he prefer to 
ascribe that character '? 

Eminent philosophers have denied that the superior 
civilisation of Europe is attributable to the prevailing 
relimon : and when we see the head of the Catholic 
Church fulmiuatins: orders in council ao;ainst the 
exercise of men's intellects, we recognise a great testi- 
mony to the truth of these philosophers' views. The 
modern Buddhist, in reply to a missionary who boasted 
of European civilisation with its railways and tele- 
graphs, acknowledged the advantage of those things, 
but pertinently asked, "Are Christians happier than 
other menl" 

The terrible war that has lately raged, and a new 
outbreak of which can only be prevented by force, and 
not by civilisation, affords a very sad answer to the 
Asiatic philosopher's question. I am afraid that our 
religious education is not entirely blameless for these 
wars. We have given up that proud feeling of being 
the special children of God, as distinguished from other 
men, which characterised the old Jews ; yet our earliest 
ideas are formed from the history of that nationally 


selfish race, and we are full of what seem to me to 
be very objectionable notions of patriotism. We en- 
courao-e, rather than discourage, differences of race, 
language, and territory, and so organise nations that 
the wonder is, not that we fight so often, but that we 
do not fight oftener. 

On such grounds, I think that we must not be too 
jubilant on the success of our civilisation as between 
nation and nation, nor too rashly adduce it as a proof 
of the " verite bienfaisante" of spiritual ideas. 

AVhen I turn to our domestic condition, I still fail 
to find any very sufficient proof of M. Barthelemy St 
Hilaire's theory, and I fail also to find a satisfactory 
answer to the Buddhist's question. Much as my coun- 
trymen excel the Siamese in arts and sciences, which 
ouD'ht to promote the general happiness of all ranks, 
I cannot but feel that vast numbers of us, the poor, 
may well envy the corresponding class in Siam. 

It may be answered that the difference in physical 
comfort is mainly due to climate, and I am ready to 
agree to the truth of this if I may, at the same time, 
ascribe to the same cause our greater physical strength 
and practical intellectual power. 

Fairly to judge of the difference due to religious 
ideas, I believe one must judge of them as seen side 

by side. 

It would not be fair to make the comparison be- 
tween Buddhism and Christianity as seen in Siam, for, 
as I have before said, Christianity does not flourish 
there. It is, however, sufticient for my purpose to 
compare the Siamese Buddhists with their neighbours, 
the Malays, who, being Mahometans, ought, according 
to M. Barthelemy St Hilaire's theory, to have shown 
the superior civilisation due to spiritualistic belief. 


While Siam has made remarkable progress, produced 
men like the late king, the modern Buddhist, and the 
present regent (under whose auspices his country is 
rapidly progressing), ^Yhat progress has been made by 
the Malays, and what eminent men have they produced 1 

So far as I have seen, they have not produced one 
eminent man, and have not progressed one step be- 
yond what has been forced on them by the Siamese 
Regent on the one side, and the British Government 
of Singapore on the other. The Siamese Buddhist 
materialist goes ahead, while the Malay Mahometan 
spiritualist, with all his grandeur of idea, drops behind 
in the race of civilisation. The Siamese materialists, 
modifying their laws as they find expedient, year by 
year strengthen their position. The Malay spiritualists 
— unable, apparently, to organise societies — are broken 
up into a number of small factious states mainly de- 
pendent on their better organised neighbours, the 
English, Dutch, and Siamese. 

It is not fair to ascribe these diflferences to religion, 
for religion is but one of many causes. Race, climate, 
nature of the country, etc., have each of 'them had as 
much, if not more, effect than religion. Religions may 
differ widely in their solutions of the greatest of mys- 
teries, but happily they differ less in their definitions 
of what is good and evil conduct. The more elastic a 
religion is, the more modifications it admits of, by so 
much the more likely is it to harmonise with the ever- 
changing necessities of civilisation. Buddhism does 
not seem to be inelastic or unsuitable to civilisation, 
and judged on the charges laid against it by M. Bar- 
thelemy St Hilaire, it appears to me to stand at least 
as well as its numerically greatest spiritualistic rival, 
Roman Catholicism. 


Had M. Bartlielemy St Hilaire personally studied 
Buddhism in Buddhist countries, had he lived some 
years in Siam or Ceylon, he would surely have had a 
different opinion, both of the present condition and 
the future capabilities of the followers of that wide- 
spread religion. 

I have lived long among Buddhists, and have expe- 
rienced much kindness among them. Above all things, 
I' have found them exceedingly tolerant. 

In recognition of their hospitality, tolerance, and 
other good qualities, I have attempted this defence of 
them and their opinions. 

This book of mine is but the superficial work of a 
man who is no scholar, who has not learned the clas- 
sical languages of Buddhism, Sanscrit, and Pali, and 
unfortunately whilst in Siam was unaware how ac- 
ceptable the labours of local students would be to 

Should the chances of life take me back to the coun- 
try where I shall be most usefully employed, though 
perhaps not for my own advantage, for its climate 
plays havoc w^ith my health, I shall hope a few years 
hence to rewrite this book in a much more complete 
manner. The Pali Dictionary of Mr Childers, now 
being printed, will immensely decrease the labour of 
students of Southern Buddhism, and whether from 
myself or from another, will, I hope, in a few years, 
elicit a more thorough book on Buddhism than any 
that has yet appeared. 





Of the tliree hundred and sixty-five millions of men, 
the third of the human race who, according to a com- 
mon estimate, profess in some form the religion of 
Buddha, the four million inhabitants of Siam are ex- 
celled by none in the sincerity of their belief and the 
liberality with which they support their religion. No 
other Buddhist country, of similar extent, can show so 
many splendid temples and monasteries. In Bangkok 
alone there are more than a hundred monasteries, and, 
it is said, ten thousand monks and novices. More 
than this, every male Siamese, some time during his 
life, and generally in the prime of it, takes orders as a 
monk, and retires for some months or years to practise 
abstinence and meditation in a monastery. 

The principal \vorks on Buddhism in our language 
are uninviting to the general reader. The most able 
translators have not been able to render the Buddhist 
classics anything but tedious to read, and it is seldom 
that the great authorities go beyond the classics. 
Such pleasing and instructive discourses as Max 
Mllller's late lecture on Buddhistic Nihilism are rare 
indeed, and the most familiar accounts of Buddhism 
depict it surrounded by, and almost buried in, the mass 



of superstitions wliicli have been from time to time 
connected with it. 

Such treatment is no more fair than it would be 
fair to describe Christianity as inseparable from every 
monkish fable which has from time to time found 
credence. Indeed, it is still less fair, for Christianity 
has always had some check kept on alterations of its 
teachings, by the fact that some of its earliest apostles 
committed their views to writing, but Buddhism hav- 
ing, for upwards of four hundred years,^^ from the days 
when Samana Khodom, Gotama, or Buddha first taught 
it, been transmitted by oral tradition alone, must, in 
the very nature of things, have been overwhelmed with 
ideas which were not those of its founder. 

Our object is to show something of the religion of 
Buddha apart from its grosser superstitious surround- 
ings, not by our own analysis, but by extracts from the 
writings of a thoughtful Siamese Buddhist on his own 
and other religions. 

Somdet Phra Paramendr Maha Mongkut, the late 
King of Siam, has been called the founder of a new 
school of Buddhist thought, having, while himself a 
monk, eminent amoug monks for his knowledge of the 
Buddhist Scriptures, boldly preached against the can- 
onicity of those of them whose relations were opposed 
to his reason, and his knowledge of modern science. 
His Majesty was a man of remarkable genius and ac- 
quirements. His powers as a linguist were consider- 
able, and enabled him to use an English library with 
facility. Had he been able to publish his ideas at 

*Buddliists themselves say four liundred and fifty years, but this is 
improbable. Some modern scholars are inclined to believe that the 
period was much less. 


a late period of his life, we might have had still more 
enlightenment shown, than appears in the book we are 
about to present to our readers ; but his position as 
king was a bar to his doing such a thing ; he could do 
no more than in some measure inspire his minister, 
whose ideas were less advanced. 

Chao Phya Thipakon, better known to foreigners as 
Chao Phya Phraklang, successfully conducted the 
foreign affairs of Siam from 1856, when Sir John Bo wr- 
ing's Treaty opened the country to foreign trade, until 
two years ago, when he retired into private life stricken 
with blindness. The minister was greatly esteemed 
by those his duties brought him in contact with ; he 
was always open to argument, and never let anything 
disturb the courteous urbanity of his demeanour. It 
was his wont, when with those who could converse 
freely in Siamese, to end every official interview with 
a private discussion on some theoretical or transcen- 
dental subject, therein differing from all the other lead- 
ing men in his country, whose thoughts and inquiries 
were always about material, mechanical, and practical 
subjects. Por instance, if gunpowder was alluded to, 
he would expatiate on the advantage civilised nations 
derived from it, or would speculate on its combustion 
changing a solid into gas, while any other nobleman 
would have discussed either the best proportion of its 
ingredients, or the best place to buy it, and the right 
price to pay for it. 

By many years of verbal inquiry, and by reading 
the elementary tracts published by missionaries in 
Siam, he acquired such knowledge as he has of 
European science and of foreign religions. 

The results of his speculations he published two 


years ago in the " Kitchauukit : " " a book explaining 
many things," which, independently of its internal 
qualities, is curious, as being the first book printed 
and published by a Siamese without foreign assistance. 
He thus states his reason for becoming an author : — 
" I propose to write a book for the instruction of the 
young, being of opinion that the course of teaching at 
present followed in the temples is unprofitable. That 
course consists of the spelling-book, religious formulae, 
and tales. What knowledge can any one gain from 
such nonsense as ' Chan, my little man, please bring 
rice and curry nice ; and a ring, a copper thing round 
my little brother's arm to cling' "? jingling sound 
without sense, — a fair example of a large class of 
reading exercise. I shall endeavour to write fruitfully 
on various subjects, material knowledge and religion, 
discussing the evidence of the truth and falsity of 
things. The young will gain more by studying this 
than by reading religious formulae and novels, for they 
will learn to answer questions that may be put to 
them. My book will be one of questions and answers, 
and I shall call it * a book explaining many things.' " 
We can, from our own experience, confirm the 
character thus given to the education of children in 
monasteries, which are the only extensive educational 
establishments in Siam. The pupils who remain long 
enough in them, learn to read and to write their own 
language, and also, if clever, the Pali language in the 
Kawm, or old Cambodian character ; but when the 
language is mastered, the literature it opens to them 
is for the most part silly and unprofitable. To quote 
again from our author : — 

" Our Siamese literature is not only scanty but 


nonsensical, full of stories of genii stealing women, 
and men fighting with genii, and extraordinary 
persons who could fly through the air, and bring dead 
people to life. And even those works which profess 
to teach anything, generally teach it wrong, so that 
there is not the least profit, though one studies them 
from morning to night." 

The work, though mainly devoted to the comparison 
of Buddhism with other religions, commences with 
an account of native and foreign methods of reckoning 
time, the construction of calendars, the author's views 
on astronomy, the nature of air and water, &c., 
prefaced by the modest remark — 

" Though I may be wrong, still, what I write will 
serve to stimulate men's thoughts, and lead to their 
finding out the truth." 

It seems to us that much of this is inserted for the 
purposes of showing that the absurd cosmogony of the 
" Traiphoom," '"' a work which the old school of Bud- 
. dhists regard as sacred, is not wholly an essential part 
of the Buddhist religion ; but that Samana Khodom 
or Buddha, even if he did not teach the truths of 
modern science, taught nothing opposed to them. It 
is also written, to keep in some degree the promise of 
the first page, that it shall be a book of education for 
the young, a book about many things. It is not 
until the author has warmed to his work that the 
religious and controversial element takes the place of 
every other. 

It is not our purpose to refer much to this first 

* The " Traiphoom " is the standard Siamese work on Buddhist cos- 
mogony, &c. It was compiled from presumed classical sources in a.d. 
1776, by order of the Siamese King, Phya Tak. 


part of the book. There is a great deal of useful 
information in it, strangely mixed up with nonsense. 
The author has been at times deliberately deceived by 
his informants, and gravely quotes some very foolish 
stories which there is no use in repeating. We prefer 
to give, as an example of his style, a part of his 
discourse on rain. 

"Now as to the cause of the dry and wet seasons, 
I will first give the explanation as it stands in the 
* Traiphoom.' When the sun goes south near the 
heavenly abode of the Dewa Wasawalahok, the Lord 
of Eain, the Dewa finds it too hot to move out of his 
palace, and so it is dry season. But when the sun is 
in the north, out he goes, and sets the rain falling. 

" Another statement is that in the Himaphan forest 
there is a great lake, named Anodat, and that a cer- 
tain kind of wind sucks up its waters, and scatters 
them about. Another statement is, that the Naga 
King,* when playing, blow^s Avater high up into the 
air, where it is caught by the wind, and falls as rain. 
There is no proof of these stories, and I have no faith 
in them, for I cannot see wdiere Wasawalahok lives, 
and I don't know whether he can make rain fall or 
not. As for the w^'nd sucking up the water in the 
Himaphan t forest, that forest lying to the north, all 
clouds must needs form in the north, but as in fact 
they form at all points of the compass, how can we 
say they come from Himaphan ? As for the Naga 
playing with Avater, no one has seen him, so there is 
no proof of it. The Chinese say rain falls because the 

* The King of the Nagas — hooded serpents of immense size and 
power. For an account of them see the Essay on the Phra Bat. 
f Or Himalayan forest. The Buddhist fairyland. 


Dewas"' will it, or because the Dragon shows his might 
by suckicg up the sea water, which by his power be- 
comes fresh. They having seen that in the open ocean 
a wind sometimes sucks up the water transparently 
into the sky, and that thence arise clouds, believe that 
the Dragon does it. There is no proof of this. The 
Brahmins and other believers in God the Creator, 
believe that He makes the rain to fall, that men may 
cultivate their fields and live. I cannot say whether 
God does this or not, for it seems to me that if so, He 
would of His great love and mercy make it fall equally 
all over the earth, so that all men might live and eat 
in security. But this is not the case. Indeed, in 
some places no rain falls for years together, the people 
have to drink brackish water, and cannot cultivate 
their lands, or have to trust but to the dew to moisten 
them ; besides, a very great deal of the rain falls on 
the seas, the mountains, and the jungles, and does no 
good to man at all. Sometimes too much falls, flood- 
ing the towns and villages, and drowning numbers of 
men and animals ; sometimes too little falls in the 
plains for rice to be grown, while on the mountain 
tops rain falls perpetually through seasons wet and dry. 
How can it be said that God, the Creator of the world, 
causes rain, when its fall is so irregular '? We now 
come to the idea of philosophers, who have some proof 
of their theory. They say rain falls somewhere every 
day without fail ; for the earth, the sky, and the sea 
are like a still, and it is a property of salt water to 
yield fresh by distillation. The heat of the sun draws 
up steam from the sea, and wherever there is moisture. 
Do not pools dry up 1 This steam is not lost, it flies 

* Angels of eartb, trees, and the lower heavens. 


to cool places above, and collecting in the cold skies, 
becomes solid like ice, then, when the hot season arrives, 
this ice melts, and forms into clouds, floating accord- 
ino; to the wind, and when a wind forces a cloud near 
the earth, the hills and earth act on it like a magnet, 
draw it down, and there is rain. Hence it arises that 
rain water is cooler than other water, for it is formed 
by melting ice, and wherever the sun goes, there it is 
rainy season." 

We also give his remarks on epidemic diseases, 
which, like the preceding passage, illustrate his idea 
of the perfect equality that should result from divine 

"How is it that in some years fevers prevail, in 
others not ; in some, ophthalmia, small-pox, etc., arise 
as epidemics ; and in some, animals are attacked by 
epidemics *? 

" Those who believe in devils say they cause them. 
Those who believe in God the Creator say He inflicts 
them as a punishment. The Mahometans say that 
there are trees in heaven, on each of whose leaves is 
the name of a human being, and whenever one of 
these leaves withers and falls, the man whose name it 
bears dies with it. Old Siamese sages held that some 
King of Nagas mixed poison with the air.*- Those 
who do not believe in devils ascribe epidemic diseases 
to the change of seasons, the change from heat to cold, 
and cold to heat, disturbing the body, which is healthy 
enough when the season is well set in, and become 
thoroughly hot, or cold, or rainy, as is the case. They 
further say, the evil element in the atmosphere is a 

* Among the supernatural powers attributed to Nagas is that of 
poisoning by their breath. 


poisonous gas, affecting all those whose bodily state 
cannot resist its entry. Epidemics among animals 
can be accounted for by the poisonous gas finding an 
afiinity for the elements of the animals. I find corro- 
boration in the fact that exposure to bad air brings on 
sicknesses which those who remain sheltered do not 
sufi'er from. Moreover, the sea water, which is a 
coarse atmosphere, when it is discoloured and stinking 
kills the fish which are in it, but those which are 
strong enough to swim out of the foul part escape. 
The same is seen wdth fish in a basin, w^hich die if 
fresh water is not given to them. So we find many 
people live to old age without having the small-pox, 
by always running away from any place where it 
has broken out. In the same way outbreaks of fever 
are local, and danger is escaped by moving to another 
locality where there is none. Now, if it was a visita- 
tion of God, there would be no running away from it. 
I leave you to form your own opinion whether it is 
the work of devils, or the visitation of God, or the 
result of the fall of the leaves in heaven, or of a Naga 
King's poison, or of a bad atmosphere." 

The tides he explains by " lunar attraction, wdiich 
can be demonstrated by mathematics, and is a more 
reasonable idea than that of the Brahmins, some of 
whom believe that they are caused by winds blowing 
back the water in estuaries, and others that they are 
caused by flames rising from time to time up a 
chimney in the middle of the ocean, and forcing the 
water back towards the coast and rivers." 

We shall now compare our author's view of the 
probable manner of formation of mountains and 
islands, with the account given in the " Traiphoom " 


of the coming into being of a new group of worlds. 
First our author's view. 

" It is said in our old books that the world arose 
from ^rain-water, which, drying up, left the earth 
floating about over it like a lotus-leaf, and the hills 
were caused by the water boiling up. The earth was 
left heaped irregularly, like rice at the bottom of a 
boilino' rice-pot, and in time the higher parts became 
rock. Some think that the world was created by 
Allah for the use and advantage of mankind, but I 
cannot believe it, when I think of the terrible rocks 
on which ships are wrecked, and of fiery mountains, 
which are certainly not an advantage to man. How, 
then, can we ascribe it to a Creator? Those who 
say the higher parts became rock, do not say how 
they became so. Philosophers think that when the 
earth was first formed there was fire beneath the sur- 
face, and that hills are due to that cause. And it is 
observed in other countries, as well as our own, that 
mountains and islands generally lie either in groups or 
in lines. 

" And there is an inference of fire to be drawn from 
the fact that we can melt earth with fire, and it will 
become like rock or glass. I mention this only as a 
suso-estion, for if the fire existed when the earth was 
formed, it should exist now ; but no one has seen any 
hills arise in this way, and no one saw the world come 
into existence, so we cannot say anything for certain." 

The " Traiphoom " view is, that the whole of space 
has been for ever occupied by an infinite number ot 
Chakrawans, or groups of worlds, all exactly similar, 
and each embracing a world of men, with a series of 
heavens and hells, &c. From time to time a l)illion of 


these groups are annihilated by fire, water, or wind 
and a void remains, until the necessity of giving scope 
to merit and demerit '" causes the void to be aa'ain 
filled. First there appears an impalpable mist, 
gradually changing to an immense rainfall, con- 
tinuing until a great part of the void is filled sxith. 
water. Then arises a whirlwind, Avhich shapes the 
system, and dries up part of the water, causing the 
mountains and plains to appear in slow succession. 
During this time the only inhabitants of the system 
are the Brahmas, the hio;hest order of ano;els, o-lorious 
beings, whose own radiance illuminates the system, 
who need no food, and have no sensual feelings. 
These Brahmas have, in the course of thousands of 
previous transmigrations in pre-existing worlds, gradu- 
ally improved, until reachiug that angelic state which 
is next to perfection. They have then degenerated, 
and some will continue to degenerate until they reach 
the most unhappy forms of life. This degeneracy 
commenced by one of them craving for food, and 
being so pleased on tasting it, that he could not 
refrain from continually eating thenceforth. Others 
followed his example. Their glory and luminosity 
left them, and, by degrees, gluttony being follov/ed by 
other desires, the distinction of sex arose, their forms 
decreased in beauty, and they became human, then 
brutal, and, lastly, devilish. 

We revert to our modern Buddhist. Eclipses, 
comets, meteors, and will-o'-the-wisps are in turn 
treated of mainly according to European ideas, and 
the common Siamese idea of the intervention of spirits 

* The subject of " merit " and " demerit " is treated of later in the 
book. See p. 47, seq. 


is ridiculed ; but he claims tliat the theory of eclipses 
being caused by the dragon Phra Kahu swallowing 
the sun or moon, may be regarded as a parable veiling 
the truth ; and he makes the somewhat bold state- 
ment that the great noise made in his country when- 
ever there is an eclipse, the frantic beating of gongs 
and firing of guns, is not an effort on his countrymen's 
part to frighten the dragon, and make him drop the 
sun from his jaws, but is a sign of the joy of all men 
that their mathematicians are able to predict the 
time of such extraordinary events. This ingenious ex- 
planation seems more like a saying of the late king 
than that of the author of this book, and was probably 
the plea by which His Majesty justified himself for 
allowing his cannons to be fired on these occasions. 

He fully adopts the general views of astronomy he 
has learned from Europeans, even to the theory of the 
plurality of solar systems, and then imagines the 
question put, '' Is not this contrary to the teaching 
of Buddha *? " His argument in reply is lengthy, com- 
prising, firstly, an abstract of the " Traiphoom " cosmo- 
graphy ; secondly, an account of the chief religions of 
the world, which, he argues, were all as opposed to 
true astronomical teaching as Buddhism is supposed to 
be ; and thirdly, an exposition of what he considers to 
be Buddha's teaching on the subject, from which he 
deduces that Buddha knew the truth, and that the 
" Traiphoom " and other books of the class are uncano- 
nical. His abstract of the " Traiphoom " cosmography, 
being intended for those who have already read that 
book, is not very definite ; we shall therefore give our 
own in its place. 

The universe consists of an infinite number of solar 


systems (Cliakrawan), eacli depending on a central 
mountain named Phra Men, or Meru. Around this 
central mountain are eight circular belts of ocean, 
divided from each other by seven annular mountains 
(Satta Boriphan). Outside of all is an eighth rino- 
of mountains, called the Crystal Walls of the World. 
On the ocean between the seventh mountain-chain 
and the walls of the world, which is called the Great 
Ocean, are four groups of islands, each consisting of a 
principal island and 500 satellites. The group to the 
south, called Jambudvipa (Siamese, Chomphu Thawip), 
is that inhabited by man ; the groups to the north, 
the east, and the west, are inhabited by beings akin to 
man, but differing in appearance. On the annular 
mountains, and on and above Meru, are the six lower 
heavens, inhabited by Dewas, or ordinary angels, 
whose pleasures are of a sensual nature, and who are 
blessed with an immense number of wives. Above 
them are nine tiers of heavens, which are subdivided 
into sixteen heavens, wherein dwell the Brahma angels 
(Siamese, Phrom), superior angels, whose pleasures are 
simply intellectual or meditative, but who are yet 
mundane, in that they have bodies or forms. Above 
them are the four highest heavens of the spiritual, or 
formless Brahma angels. The Dewa heavens are 
attainable by virtue and charity, but the Brahma 
heavens are entered only by those who have devoted 
themselves to the abstract meditation called by Bud- 
dhists Dhyana (Siamese, Chan). The sun and moon 
are Dewa angels living in gold and silver palaces, who 
travel round and round on the plane of the summit of 
the mountain range next to Meru, which is named 
Yukunthon. Beneath the earth, at a distance of 100 


miles, is tlie nearest of eight places of misery, or hells. 
The whole system is held up by an ocean, in which 
are vast fish, whose movements cause earthquakes. 
The ocean is supported in space by wind. 

About one-third of the region of men, Jambudvipa, 
is taken up by the Himaphan forest — tlie Buddhist 

In the " Traiphoom " this system is elaborated in a 
most tedious manner, and the strictest measurements 
are given of every thing and place referred to. 

It will be convenient for a while to omit our author's 
account of the great religions of the world, excepting 
so far as bears on the point of astronomy. He first 
gives the Brahminical cosmography, which closely re- 
sembles that in the " Traiphoom," differing only in that 
it names a creating God as the cause. He then traces 
from Brahminism the religions of Abraham, Christ, 
and Mahomet, asking Avhere any of these teachers 
taught astronomy correctly, and sums up in the fol- 
lowing words : — 

" When philosophers found out the truth, the dis- 
ciples of Mahomet put them in prison because they 
taught that which was opposed to the teaching of ' the 
Exact One,' which made out the world to be a plain, 
with the sun and moon revolving about it, much as 
our ' Traiphoom ' does. But after a while, there being 
too many witnesses of the truth of what the philo- 
sophers asserted, they then adopted their ideas, and 
incorporated them into their religion. The ancients, 
whether Brahmins or Arabs, or Jews or Chinese, or 
Europeans, had much the same idea of cosmography, 
and their present ideas on the subject are the work of 
scientific men in modern times." 


We now come to the third point, what was Buddha's 
teaching on astronomy. 

" When the Lord Buddha was born in the Land of 
the Brahmins, he knew all that was just, and how 
to deliver the body from all ills. This he knew per- 
fectly. And he journeyed and taught in Brahmin 
countries, the sixteen great cities,'"'" for forty-five years, 
desiring only that men should do right, and live suit- 
ably, so that they might escape sorrow, and not be 
subject to further changes of existence. Those who 
have studied Pali know that the Lord taught concern- 
ing the nature of life, and the characteristics of good 
and evil, but never discoursed about cosmography. It 
is probable that he knew the truth, but his knowledge 
being opposed to the ideas of the * Traiphoom,' which 
every one then believed in, he said nothing about it. 
For if he had tauo-ht that the world was a revolvins: 
globe, contrary to the traditions of the people, 
who believed it to be flat, they would not have 
believed him, and might have pressed him with ques- 
tions about things of which there was no proof, 
except his allegations ; and they, disagreeing with 
him, mio;ht have used towards him evil lano;uao;e, and 
incurred sin. Besides, if he had attacked their old 
traditions, he would have stirred up enmity, and lost 
the time he had for teachins; all livins; beino;s. There- 
fore he said nothing about cosmography. When a 
certain man asked him about it, he forbade him to 
inquire; he would not teach it himself, and forbade 
his disciples to speak of it. This can be seen in 

* Centi'al India, the neighbourhood of Benares. This statement 
gives up the popular idea of the Siamese that Buddha visited their 


various Sutras ; and where there are references to 
heaven and earth and hell in the sacred books, I pre- 
sume they have found their way in as illustrations, etc. 
Yet there is an expression in those old books pointing 
out the truth for future men as to the revolution of 
the earth. The Pali expression is Wattakoloko, which, 
translated, is 'revolving world;' and those who did 
not know this translation, explained it as referring to 
the sun and moon turning round the world, because 
they did not fully comprehend it. After the religion 
of Buddha had spread abroad, a certain king, desiring 
to know the truth as to cosmogony, inquired of the 
monks, and they, knowing the omniscience of Buddha, 
and yet fearing that if they said Buddha never taught 
this, people would say 'your Lord is ignorant, and 
admired without reason,' took the ancient Vedas, and 
various expressions in the Sutras and parables, and 
fables, and proverbs, and connecting them together into 
abook, the 'Traiphoom,' produced it as the teaching of 
Buddha. The people of those days were uneducated 
and foolish, and believed that Buddha had really taught 
it ; and if any doubted, they kept their doubts to 
themselves, because they could not prove anything. 

" Had the Lord Buddha taught cosmography as it is 
in the ' Traiphoom,' he would not have been omni- 
scient, but by refraining, from a subject which men of 
science were certain eventually to ascertain the truth 
of, he showed his omniscience." 

Our author, nevertheless, will not give up the tradi- 
tion that Buddha visited the heaven called Dava- 
dungsa, and there taught the angels. He believes that 
omnipotence may be gained by perfect virtue, absti- 
nence, and thought, and does not think it impossible 


that it should enable a man to visit the starry 

" It cannot 1)e asserted that the Lord did not preach 
in Davadimgsa, any more than the real existence of 
Mount Meru can be asserted. I have explained about 
this matter of Meru, and the other mountains, as an 
old tradition. But with respect to the Lord preaching 
on Davadungsa as an act of grace to his mother, I 
believe it to be true, and that one of the many stars 
or planets is the Davadungsa world. The Lord Buddha 
disappeared for a period of three months, and then 
returned. Had he been hiding, that he might pretend 
he had been preaching to the angels in heaven, he 
would have been seen by somebody, and could not 
have kept quite concealed. The disciples, who must 
have brought him food, would surely not have 
kept the secret. It would have become matter of 
conversation and rumour. In truth, nothing was 
said against it, but in consequence of it great respect 
was shown, and the religion spread far and wide. 
It cannot be authoritatively denied that many saints 
have visited the abodes of the angels, for the worlds of 
heaven are beyond the knowledge of ordinary men." 

Henceforward the book deals with none but religious 
subjects. The first selections we shall give are from 
his criticism of missionary tracts, and his conversations 
with their writers. Many readers will be shocked at his 
apparent irreverence. We beg to remind such persons 
that he, from education, sees these matters in an utterly 
different light to what it is seen by believers in a 
God actively interested in the world, and also that he 
naturally feels justified in treating with ridicule the 
ideas of those foreigners who send to his country a 



body of missionaries, who spare little sarcasm or insult 
in their never-ceasinor endeavours to brinoj his relio;ion 
into contempt. He, as a Buddhist, might believe in 
the existence of a God sublimed above all human qua- 
lities and attributes, a perfect God, above love and 
hatred and jealousy, calmly resting in a quiet happi- 
ness that nothino; could disturb, and of such a God he 

CD ' 

would speak no disparagement ; not from desire to 
please him, or fear to offend him, but from natural 
veneration. But he cannot understand a God with 
the attributes and qualities of men, a God who loves 
and hates and shows anger, a Deity who, whether de- 
scribed to him by Christian Missionaries, or by Maho- 
metans or Brahmins or Jews, falls below his standard 
of even an ordinary good man. 

" I have studied the Roman Catholic book, ' Maha 
Kangwon' — the Great Care — and it seems to me that 
the priests' great cares are their own interests. I see 
no attempt to explain any difhcult and doubtful mat- 
ters. If, as they say, God, when He created man, knew 
what every man would be, why did He create thieves 1 
This is not explained. The book tells us that all those 
virtuous men who have taught religions differing from 
the Roman Catholic, have been enemies of God, but it 
does not explain why God has allowed so many differ- 
ent relio;ions to arise and exist. How much do this 
and all other religions differ on this point from the re- 
ligion of Buddha, which allows that there are eight kinds 
of holiness leading to ultimate happiness ! (i.e., does not 
insist on Buddhism being necessary to salvation).""' 

" The American missionary, Dr Jones, wrote a book 

* This strange passage does not at all accord with the general teach- 
ing of Buddhists as to the " eight paths," which I explain in my notes 
to the Life of Buddha. 


called the * Golden Balance for weighing Buddhism 
and Christianity/ but I think any one who reads it 
will see that his balance is very one-sided ; indeed, he 
who would weio;h thino;s ou2;ht to be able to look im- 
partially at the scales. 

" Dr Caswell remarked to me that if the religion of 
Buddha prevailed throughout the world, there would 
be an end of mankind, as all men would become monks, 
and there would be no children. This, he urged, 
showed that it was unsuited to be the universal reli- 
gion, and therefore could not be the true religion. I 
replied that the Lord Buddha never professed that 
his religion would be universal He was but as a 
transient gleam of light, indicating the path of truth. 
His religion was but as a stone thrown into a pool 
covered with floating weeds ; it cleared an opening 
through which the pure water was seen, but the effect 
soon died away, and the weeds closed up as before. 
The Lord Buddha saw the bright, the exact, the ab- 
struse, the diflicult course, and but for the persuasion 
of angels would not have attempted to teach that which 
he considered too difficult for men to follow. The re- 
mark of the doctor really does not bear on the question 
(i.e., on the truth of the religion)." 

This answer is less to the point than most of the 
arguments of the Modern Buddhist. Had I been in 
our author's place, answering from a Buddhist point 
of view, I should have said that as Buddha recognised 
that all existence in this world was unsatisfactory and 
miserable, the suggested cessation of the renewal of the 
species was not a matter to be at all deplored. 

"Dr Gutzlaff" declared that 'Samana Khodom only 
taught people to reverence himself and his disciples, 


saying that by such means merit and heaven could be 
attained, teaching them to respect the temples, and 
Bo-trees,"^'" and everything in the temple grounds, lest 
by injuring them they should go to hell, a teaching 
designed only for the protection of himself and his 
disciples, and of no advantage to any others/ I 
replied, ' In Christianity there is a command to wor- 
ship God alone, and no other ; Mahomet also taught 
the worship of one only, and promised that he would 
take into heaven every one who joined his religion, 
even the murderer of his parents, while those who would 
not join his religion, however virtuous their lives, 
should surely go to hell ; also he taught that all other 
religions were the enemies of his religion, and that 
heaven could be attained by injuring the temples, 
idols, and anything held sacred by another religion. 
Is such teaching as that fit for belief ^ Buddha did 
not teach that he alone should be venerated, nor did 
he, the just one, ever teach that it was right to perse- 
cute other religions. As for adoration, so far as I know% 
men of every religion adore the holy one of their 
religion. It is incorrect of the doctor , to say that 
Buddha taught men to adore him alone. He neither 
taught that such was necessary, nor offered the alter- 
native of hell as all other religions do.' 

"The doctor told me that 'Jehovah, our Creator, 
although jealously desirous that men should not hold 
false religions, permits them to hold any religion they 
please, because in His divine compassion, doing that 
which is best for them, He will not force man's con- 

* This Bo, or Bodlii tree, is the tree under the shade of which Buddha 
attained to omniscience. It is to be found in most, if not all, Siamese 
monasteries. '- 


version by the exercise of His power, but will leave it 
to their own free will/ I answered, 'Why did the 
Creator of all things create the holy chiefs (teachers) 
of the religions of the Siamese, Brahmins, Mahome- 
tans, and others 1 Why did He permit the teaching 
of false relio;ions which would lead men to neglect 
His religion, and to suffer the punishment of hell "? 
Would it not have been better to have made all men 
follow the one religion which would lead them to 
heaven ? Mahometans hold that Allah sent prophet 
after prophet to teach the truth, but that evil spirits 
corrupted their teaching, and made it necessary for 
him to send an emanation from himself in human 
form (Mahomet) to teach the truth as they now have 
it. Brahmins hold that God the Father, ordering the 
descent of Siva in various avatars, as Krishna, and 
others, has so given rise to various sects ; but that, 
whichever of these sects a man belongs to, he will, on 
death, pass to heaven, if only he has done righteously 
according to his belief. The missionaries hold that 
God Jehovah made all men to worship in one way, 
but that the devil has caused false teachers to arise 
and teach doctrines opposed to God. Such are the 
various stories told by Mahometans, Brahmins, and 
missionaries. My readers must form their own opinion 
about them.' 

" I said to the missionary, ' How about the Devvas 
the Chinese believe in — are there any 1 ' He said, 
* No ; no one has seen them ; they do not exist ; there 
are only the angels, the servants of God, and the evil 
spirits whom God drove out to be devils, and deceive 
men.' I said, 'Is there a God Jehovah T He 
answered, * Certainly, one God ! ' I rejoined, ' You said 


there were no Dewas because no one had seen them ; 
why then do you assert the existence of a God, for 
neither can we see Him V The missionary answered, 
' Truly, we see Him not, but all the works of creation 
must have a master ; they could not have originated of 
themselves/ I said, ' There is no evidence of the crea- 
tion ; it is only a tradition. Why not account for it 
by the self-producing power of nature 1 ' The mis- 
sionary replied, ' That he had no doubt but that God 
created everything, and that not even a hair, or a grain 
of sand, existed of itself, for the things on the earth 
may be likened to dishes of food arranged on a table, 
and though no owner should be seen, none would doubt 
but that there was one ; no one would think that the 
things came into the dishes of themselves.' I said, 
' Then you consider that even a stone in the bladder is 
created by God !' He replied, * Yes. Everything. God 
creates everything!' 'Then,' answered I, 'if that is 
so, God creates in man that which will cause his death, 
and you medical missionaries remove it and restore his 
health ! Are you not opposing God in so doing 1 Are 
you not offending Him in curing those whom He would 
kill V When I had said this the missionary became 
angry, and saying I was hard to teach, left me. 

"Dr Gutzlaff once said to me, *Phra Samana 
Khodom, having entered Niruana, is entirely lost and 
non-existent, who, then, will give any return for reci- 
tations in his praise, benedictions, reverences, observ- 
ances, and merit-making 1 It is as a country without 
a king, where merit is unrewarded, because there is no 
one to reward it ; but the religion of Jesus Christ has 
the Lord Jehovah and Christ to reward merit, and 
receive prayers and praises, and give a recompense/ I 


replied, 'It is true that, according to the Buddhist 
religion, the Lord Buddha does not give the reward of 
merit ; but if any do as he has taught, they will find 
their recompense in the act. Even when Buddha 
lived on earth, he had no power to lead to heaven 
those who prayed for his assistance, but did not 
honour and follow the just way. The holy religion of 
Buddha is perfect justice springing from a man's own 
meritorious disposition. It is that disposition which 
rewards the good and punishes the evil. The recita- 
tions are the teachings of the Lord Buddha, which are 
found in various Sutras, set forms given by Buddha to 
holy hermits, and some of them are descriptions of that 
which is suitable and becoming in conduct. Even 
though the Lord has entered Niruana, his grace and 
benevolence are not exhausted. You missionaries 
praise the grace of Jehovah and Christ, and say that 
the Lord waits to hear and grant the prayers of those 
that call to Him. But are those prayers granted 1 So 
far as I see, they get no more than people who do not 
believe in prayer. They die the same, and they are 
equally liable to age, and disease, and sorrow. How, 
then, can you say that your religion is better than any 
other 'i In the Bible we find that God created Adam 
and Eve, and desired that they should have no sick- 
ness nor sorrow, nor know death ; but because they, 
the progenitors of mankind, ate of a forbidden fruit, 
God became angry, and ordained that thenceforth they 
should endure toil and weariness and trouble and 
sickness, and, from that time, fatigue and sorrow and 
sickness and death fell upon mankind. It was said 
that by baptism men should be free from the curse of 
Adam, but I do not see that any one who is baptized 


now-a-days is free from the curse of Adam, or escapes 
toil and grief and sickness and death, any more than 
those who are not baptized.' The missionary answered, 
* Baptism for the remission of sin is only effectual in 
gaining heaven after death, for those who die unbap- 
tized will certainly go to hell.' But the missionary 
did not explain the declaration that by baptism men 
should be free from pains and troubles in their present 
state. He further said, * It does at times please God 
to accede to the requests of those that pray to Him, a 
remarkable instance of which is, that Europeans and 
Americans have more excellent arts than any other 
people. Have they not steamboats and railways, and 
telegraphs and manufactures, and guns and weapons 
of war superior to any others in the world 1 Are not 
the nations which do not worship Christ comparatively 
ignorant ? ' I asked the doctor about sorrow and 
sickness, things which prevail throughout the world, 
things in which Christians have no advantage over 
other men, but he would not reply on that point, and 
spoke only of matters of knowledge. Where is the 
witness who can say that this knowledge was the gift 
of God ? There are many in Europe who do not 
believe in God, but are indifferent, yet have subtle and 
expanded intellects, and are great philosophers and 
politicians. How is it that God grants to these men, 
who do not believe in Him, the same intelligence He 
grants to those who do ? Again, how is it that the 
Siamese, Burmese, Cochin Chinese, and other Eoman 
Catholic converts, whom we see more attentive to their 
religion than the Europeans who reside among us, do 
not receive some reward for their merit, and have 
superior advantages and intelligence to those who are 


not converted ? So far as I can see, the reverse is the 
case : the unconverted flourish, but the converted are 
continually in debt and bondage. There are many 
converts in Siam, but I see none of them rise to wealth, 
so as to become talked about. They continually pray 
to God, but, it seems, nothing happens according to 
their prayer.' The missionary replied, * They are 
Roman Catholics, and hold an untrue religion, there- 
fore God is not pleased with them.' I said to the 
missionary, * You say that God sometimes grants the 
prayers of those who pray to Him ; now, the Chinese, 
who pray to spirits and devils, sometimes obtain what 
they have prayed for ; do you not, therefore, allow that 
these spirits can benefit man 1 ' The missionary 
answered, ' The devil receives bribes.' I inquired, 
' Among the men and animals God creates, some die 
in the womb, and many at or immediately after birth 
and before reaching maturity, and many are deaf, 
dumb, and crippled : why are such created 1 Is it 
not a waste of labour 1 Again, God creates men, and 
does not set their hearts to hold to His religion, but 
sets them free to take false religions, so that they are 
all damned, while those who worship Him go to 
heaven : is not this inconsistent with His goodness 
and mercy 1 If He, indeed, created all men, would 
He not have shown equal compassion and goodness to 
all, and not allowed inequalities ■? Then I should have 
believed in a creating God. But, as it is, it seems 
nothing but a game at dolls.'* The missionary re- 
plied, ' With regard to long and short lives, the good 
may live but a short time, God being pleased to call 
them to heaven, and sometimes He permits the wicked 
* Or, " a mere mauufacture of dolls to play with." 


to live to a full age, tbat they may repent of their 
sins. And the death of innocent children is the mercy 
of God calling them to heaven.' I rejoined, ' How 
should God take a special liking to unloveable, shape- 
less, unborn children ? ' The missionary replied, ' He 
who would learn to swim must practise in shallow 
places first, or he will be drowned. If any spoke like 
this in European countries, he would be put in prison.' 
I invite particular attention to this statement. 

"Another time I said to the missionary GutzlafF, 

* It is said in the Bible that God is the Creator of all 
men and animals. AVhy should He not create them 
spontaneously, as worms and vermin arise from filth, 
and fish are formed in new pools by the emanations 
of air and water ? Why must there be procreation, 
and agony and often death to mothers "? Is not this 
labour lost 1 I can see no good in it.' He replied, 

* God instituted procreation so that meii might know 
their fathers and mothers and relatives, and the pains 
of childbirth are a consequence of the curse of Eve, 
for whose sin all her descendants sufier.' I said, * If 
procreation was designed that men should know their 
relatives, why are animals which do not know their 
relatives, produced in the same manner 1 And why 
do they, not being descendants of Eve, sufier pain in 
labour for her sin of eating a little forbidden fruit 1 
Besides, the Bible says, by belief in Christ man shall 
escape the consequences of Eve's sin, yet I cannot see 
that men do so escape in any degree, but suffer just 
as others do.' The missionary answered, ' It is waste 
of time to converse with evil men who will not be 
taught,' and so left me." 

" Missionaries profess that Christianity teaches the 


true nature of the beginning of man, his creation by- 
God. The Lord Buddha did not know the orioin of 


livino; beincrs, and taught about that which was 
already in existence, saying that it would continue to 
exist in various states of transmigration until the 
richness and perfection of its merits should cause it 
to be born in the world during the teaching of a 
Buddha, by whom it would be saved from farther 

" The Lord Buddha declined to discourse on the 
creation ; he said that there was no beginning, and 
that the subject was unprofitable, as such knowledge 
was no help towards diminishing misery. I doubt not 
that he knew the truth, and would not tell it, because 
it would have shocked the prejudices of his hearers. 
Brahmins, who believed that various classes of men 
had sprung from different parts of the Creator's body, 
and who had instituted caste according to the more 
or less honourable part of the body from which they 
thought that certain classes had sprung. Those who 
believe in God the Creator tell us that the creation 
occupied six days, the sun, moon, and stars being 
created on the fourth. Now the number of stars is 
infinite, and each star or'sun is greater than the earth 
by as much as a fortress is greater than a pea. How 
can we believe that God. made this inconceivable in- 
finity of immense things in one day, and yet required 
five days to make this little world, this mere drop in 
the great ocean 1 " 

" Again the missionaries tell us that God brought 
all animals to Adam, that he might name them. How 
can we believe this when we find that in every lan- 
guage the names differ V 


" I asked a missionary, * How it is that man, wlio 
was created after everything else, is able to give an 
account of that which was created before him 1 ' He 
replied, ' Man knows, because God has revealed it to 
him.' I rejoined, ' If this is the revelation of God, 
why does your (scriptural) account of the creation 
differ from the teaching of philosophers, who show that 
the world is a revolving globe 'i Were not the first 
philosophers who held these views punished for them ? 
And were not their views opposed until the number of 
their followers rendered further opposition vainT 
The missionary answered, ' The knowledge of the 
revolution of the world was obtained by wdsdom and 
intelligence given by God, which is the same as if 
God had revealed it directly. God did not reveal it 
before, because He considered men were too stupid.' 
Let those who are intelligent say whether such an 
explanation can be accepted!" 

" I asked the Mussulmans and missionaries, ' If God 
created all things, and is Euler of the world, and has 
spirit, and knowledge, and judgment to reward the 
good and punish the wicked, what merit did He make 
in former times that He should become the Great God 
of heaven V They answered, ' Not by acquired merit, 
but by Himself did God exist. As in numbers you 
have two, and three, and four, upwards, but they all 
depend on the first, or one, and none can say whence 
comes one.' I asked, * The elements of the world are 
endless, space is infinite, men and animals infinite, the 
worlds in space uncountable ; if the Spirit of God is 
single, how can it fill them all and search out every- 
thing in the disposition of men, and watch the good 
and evil in every heart ? Surely this idea is rather 


that there is an infinity of gods, than that there is but 
one God !' They replied, ' Tlie power of God is great, 
wherever there is «pace God is.' I invite a comparison 
between this idea of a Divinity going about in all 
directions, and the (Buddhist) idea that the all-know- 
ing Divine Bestower of rewards and punishments is 
Merit and Demerit, or Kam itself." 

Nearly fifty pages of the " Kitchanukit " are taken 
up by the sketch of the religions of the world. 

There are philosophers who say that all known sects 
may be classed under two religions only, the Brah- 
manyang and the Samanyang. All those who pray 
for assistance to Brahma, Indra, God the Creator, 
Angels, Devils, Parents, or other intercessors or pos- 
sible benefactors — all who believe in the existence of 
any being who can help them, and in the efficacy of 
prayer, are Brahmanyang ; while all who believe that 
they must depend solely on the inevitable results of 
their own acts, that good and evil are consequences of 
preceding causes, and that merit and demerit are the 
regulators of existence, and who therefore do not pray 
to any to help them, and all those who profess to know 
nothing of what will happen after death, and all those 
who disbelieve in a future existence, are Samanyang. 

" Brahminism is," he writes, " the most ancient 
known religion, held by numbers of men to this day, 
though with many varieties of belief. Its funda- 
mental doctrine was that the world was created by 
Thao Maha Phrom (Brahma), who divided his nature 
into two parts, Isuen (Vishnu), Lord of the Earth, and 
re warder of the good, and Narai (Siva), Lord of the 
Ocean, and punisher of the wicked. The Brahmins 
believed in blood sacrifices, which they offered before 


idols with three faces and six hands, representing 
three gods in one. Sometimes they made separate 
images of the three, and called them the father, the 
son, and the spirit, all three being one, and the son 
being that part of the deity which at various times is 
born in the earth as a man, the Avatar of God." 

After Brahminism he treats of Judaism. 

" About 3000 years ago a Khek,^' named Abraham, 
who lived in Khoran (1 Chaldaea), the son of a Brah- 
min priest, dreamt that the Lord Allah came and told 
him that it was not right to worship images, and that 
he must destroy his idols, and flee from that country, 
and establish a new religion, permitting no kneeling 
or sacrifice except to God alone. Animal sacrifice was 
to be retained, and the followers of his religion were 
to be circumcised instead of being baptized. For 
without circumcision none is a follower of Islam." 

He continues with the story of Abraham and his 
trial, as told in the Bible, ending with the remark, 
" Thus the religion of Islam branched off from Brah- 
minism.^^ Next follows a short account of the separa- 
tion of Christianity from Judaism, and the introduc- 
tion of the rite of baptism, of which he observes : — 

" Baptism was a religious rite from very ancient 
times, the Brahmins holding that if any one who had 
sinned went to the bank of the Ganges, and saying, 
'I will not sin again,' plunged into the stream, he 
would rise to the surface free of sin, all his sins float- 
ing away with the water. Hence it was called baptism, 
or the rite of washing off" offences, so that they floated 
away. Sometimes when any one was sick unto death, 

* This word is applied to Jews and Mahometans, whatever country 
they are natives of. 


his relatives would place him by the river, and give 
him water to drink, and pour water over him till he 
died, believing that he would thus die holy, and go to 
heaven. This was the old belief, the rite of circum- 
cision being introduced by the prophet Abraham, and 
it is to be supposed that the holy man John (the 
Baptist) thought that the ancient rite was the proper 
one, and so restored it." 

Next follows an account of the second great off- 
spring of the religion of Abraham, Mahometanism, the 
rise of which, and its division into two sects, Soonnees 
and Mahons (Sheres), are treated of at some length. 
" This religion," he observes, " was not spread by the 
arguments of preachers, but by men who held the 
Koran with one hand, and the sword with the other." 
"We will not occupy our readers' time by quoting the 
history of Mahometanism, which they can read else- 
where, but they may be amused by the account of the 
reason that pork is forbidden food. 

" They say that when men first filled the world, 
Allah forbade them to eat any animals but such as 
died a natural death ; and as the animals would not 
die as quickly as they wished, they accelerated their 
deaths by striking them, and throwing things at them. 
The animals complained to Allah of this treatment, 
and He sent His angel Gabriel to order all men and 
animals to assemble together, that He might decide 
the case. But the pigs were disobedient, and did not 
come. Then Allah said, ' The pigs, the lowest of ani- 
mals, are disobedient, let no one eat them or touch 
them.' " 

His remarks on other religions, we quote in his own 
words : — 


" Another relioioii is what the Siamese call that of 


the Lord Phoot (Phra Phutthi Chao), and Europeans 
call that of Samana Khodom or Gotama, or Buddha. 
Its followers, some of them, walk reverently according 
to the rules, called Winya, others follow a relaxed 
code. In some countries Buddhist monks are treated 
as kings. The teaching of Buddha does not go back 
to the origin of life, but treats of that which already 
exists, showing that ignorance of the four truths is 
the cause of continued existence (in transmigration). 
These four truths are — 1st, The perception of sorrow ; 
2d, The perception that sorrow is a consequence of 
desire ; 3d, The perception of nirot, which is the 
extinction of sorrow, so that it has no further birth ; 
4th, Walking in the eight paths of holiness, which 
purify the disposition, and lead to a happiness beyond 
all sorrow. Such was the teaching of Buddha." 

" Christianity is also a great religion. Christians 
were originally all Eoman Catholics. The Eoman 
Catholics believed in Jehovah and Christ, and Mary 
the mother, and in saints, and in the Pope, the great 
bishop of Kome, who they say is the substitute for 
Christ on earth, with power to absolve from sin, and 
to order doctrines. The priests of that religion, whom 
we call Bat Hluang, dress in black, and have no wives. 
After many centuries certain Germans considered that 
the Pom an Catholic tenets were contrary to the Bible, 
so they formed a new sect, believing in God and Christ 
only. Their teachers are called missionaries, and dress 
like ordinary people, and have Avives, and if their 
wives die, can marry again, though some hold that 
they should not do so. They do not worship Mary 
the mother, nor the saints ; many left the old relio-ion 


to join this sect. Another sect are the Mormons ; 
they say that their rehgion arose from certain men 
dreaming that God in heaven took a golden plate, 
whereon was written the holy doctrine, and buried it 
in the earth. And those who dreamt thus dug, and 
found a scripture engraven on a plate of gold, accord- 
ing to their dream. Then they believed in God in 
heaven, and Christ, and polygamy, and doing as they 
pleased ; the rules of their religion being much more 
lax than those of Roman Catholics or Christians (Pro- 
testants). And they believed that if they turned 
their thoughts to Christ when at the point of death, 
Christ would take their souls to heaven. All these 
three sects worship the same God and Christ, why ' 
then should they blame each other, and charge each 
other with believing wrongly, and say to each other, 
' you are wrong, and will go to hell, we are right, and 
shall go to heaven V It is one religion, yet how can 
we join it when each party threatens us with hell if 
we agree with the other, and there is none to decide 
between them. I beg comparison of this with the 
teaching of the Lord Buddha, that whoever endea- 
vours to keep the Commandments,* and is charitable, 
and walks virtuously, must attain heaven." A few 
remarks on the worship of Vishnu (Juggernauth), fire- 
worship, Confucianism, spirit-worship, and unbelief, 
and a sketch of the principal localities of each reli- 
gion, conclude this subject. 

The next question is. Out of so many religions, how 
shall a man select that which he can trust to for his 
future happiness "? 

" He must reflect, and apply his mind to ascertain 

* For an account of the Five Commandments, see page 57. 



wliich is most true. This is a subject of constant dis- 
pute, every one upholding his own religion. Even the 
lowest of mankind, devil worshippers, have faith in 
their own belief, and will not hear those who would 
teach them differently. It is very hard for men to 
relinquish their first ideas and habits. Those who do 
change their religions are either poor people who do it 
out of respect to those who have helped them when in 
difficulties, or those who have been persecuted and 
forced to change, or those who are induced, by observ- 
ing the superior skill and knowledge of the followers 
of any religion, to believe that their religion must be 
the true one ; or those who change their religion for 
that of some one whom they respect as much wiser and 
better than themselves, and sure to be right in every- 
thing, or those who do it to get help when they have 
lawsuits,^'' and to obtain protectors against oppression. 
Also there are those who, having listened to teaching, 
are enlightened, and see clearly that form and name 
are not realities, and must be considered as sorrows, 
and that there is no help to be had from any one, but 
that good and evil are the result of merit and demerit. 
Some there are who have become Buddhists on these 

On this subject he quotes one of the Sutras, sup- 
posed to be a sermon of Buddha : — 

" There is a Buddhist Sutra which pleased me much 
when I read it, and I have remembered it, and will 
repeat it here, begging to be excused for variations, 
omissions, and additions, as it is intended for those 

* This refers to Catholic priests, supported by French Consuls, 
interfering with the ordinary course of Siamese law when Christians 
arc concerned. 


wh.0 are not learned, in the holy religion of Buddha. 
It is as follows : — On a certain occasion the Lord 
Buddha led a number of his disciples to a village of 
the Kalamachon, where his wisdom and merit and 
holiness were known. And the Kalamachon assembled, 
and did homage to him and said, ' Many priests and 
Brahmins have at different times visited us, and ex- 
plained their religious tenets, declaring them to be 
excellent, but each abused the tenets of every one else, 
whereupon we are in doubt as to whose religion is right 
and whose wrong ; but we have heard that the Lord 
Buddha teaches an excellent religion, and we beg that 
we may be freed from doubt, and learn the truth.' 

" And the Lord Buddha answered, * You were right 
to doubt, for it was a doubtful matter. I say unto all 
of you, Do not believe in what ye have heard ; that 
is, when you have heard any one say this is especially 
good or extremely bad ; do not reason with yourselves 
that if it had not been true, it would not have been 
asserted, and so believe in its truth. Neither have 
faith in traditions, because they have been handed 
down for many generations and in many places. 

" ' Do not believe in anything because it is rumoured 
and spoken of by many ; do not think that it is a 
proof of its truth. 

" ' Do not believe merely because the written state- 
ment of some old sage is produced ; do not be sure 
that the writing has ever been revised by the said sage, 
or can be relied on. Do not believe in what you have 
fancied, thinking that because an idea is extraordinary 
it must have been implanted by a Dewa, or some 
wonderful being. 

" ' Do not believe in guesses, that is, assuming some- 


thing at hap-hazard as a starting point draw your 
conclusions from it ; reckoning your two and your 
three and your four before you have fixed your number 

-" ' Do not believe because you think there is analogy, 
that is a suitability in things and occurrences, such as 
believing that there must be walls of the world, 
because you see water in a basin, or that Mount Meru 
must exist, because you have seen the reflection of 
trees ; or that there must be a creating God, because 
houses and towns have builders. 

" ' Do not believe in the truth of that to which you 
have become attached by habit, as every nation be- 
lieves in the superiority of its own dress and ornaments 
and language. 

" ' Do not believe because your informant appears to 
be a credible person, as, for instance, when you see any 
one having a very sharp appearance, conclude that he 
must be clever and trustworthy ; or when you see any one 
who has powers and abilities beyond what men gene- 
rally possess, believe in what he tells. Or think that 
a great nobleman is to be believed, as he would not be 
raised by the king to high station unless he were a 
good man. 

" ' Do not believe merely on the authority of your 
teachers and masters, or believe and practise merely 
because they believe and practise. 

" ' I tell you all, you must of your own selves know 
that " this is evil, this is punishable, this is censured 
by wise men, belief in this will bring no advantage to 
one, but will cause sorrow." And when you know 
this, then eschew it. 

" • I say to all of you dwellers in this village, answer 


me this. Lopho, that is covetousness, Thoso, that is 
anger and savageness, and Moho, that is ignorance and 
folly, — when any or all of these arise in the hearts of 
men, is the result beneficial or the reverse ? ' 

" And they answered, ' It is not beneficial, Lord.' 

" Then the Lord continued, ' Covetous, passionate, 
and ignorant men destroy life and steal, and commit 
adultery and tell lies, and incite others to follow their 
example, is it not so "? ' 

" And they answered, ' It is as the Lord says.' 

"And he continued, 'Covetousness, passion, ignor- 
ance, the destruction of life, theft, adultery, and lying, 
are these good or bad, right or wrong 1 do wise men 
praise or blame them "? Are they not unprofitable, 
and causes of sorrow 1 ' 

" And they replied, ' It is as the Lord has spoken.' 

" And the Lord said, ' For this I said to you, do not 
believe merely because you have heard, but when of 
your own consciousness you know a thing to be evil, 
abstain from it.' 

" And then the Lord taught of that which is good, 
saying, * If any of you know of yourselves that any- 
thing is good and not evil, praised by wise men, ad- 
vantageous, and productive of happiness, then act 
abundantly according to your belief. Now I ask you, 
Alopho, absence of covetousness, Athoso, absence of 
passion. Am oho, absence of folly, are these profitable 
or not 1 ' 

" And they answered, ' Profitable.' 

" The Lord continued, ' Men who are not covetous, 
or passionate, or foolish, will not destroy life, nor steal, 
nor commit adultery, nor tell lies, is it not so ? ' 

" And they answered, ' It is as the Lord says." 


" Then the Lord asked, ' Is freedom from covetous- 
ness, passion, and folly, from destruction of life, theft, 
adultery, and lying, good or bad, right or wrong, 
praised or blamed by wise men, profitable and tending 
to happiness or not V 

" And they replied, * It is good, right, praised by the 
wise, profitable, and tending to happiness.' 

" And the Lord said, * For this I taught you not to 
believe m.erely because you have heard, but when you 
believed of your own consciousness, then to act accord- 
ingly and abundantly.' 

" And the Lord continued, * The holy man must not 
be covetous, or revengeful, or foolish, and he must be 
versed in the four virtuous inclinations (Phrommawi- 
han), which are, Meta, desiring for all living things 
the same happiness which one seeks for one's self; 
Karuna, training the mind in compassion towards all 
living things, desiring that they may escape all sor- 
rows either in hell or in other existences, just as a man 
who sees his friend ill, desires nothing so much as his 
recovery ; Muthita, taking pleasure in all living 
things, just as playmates are glad when they see one 
another; and Ubekkha, keeping the mind balanced 
and impartial, with no afiection for one more than 
another.' " 

From another Sutra is extracted the following pas- 
sage : — 

" Consider ! Can you respect or believe in religions 
which recommend actions that bring happiness to one's 
self by causing sorrow to others, or happiness to others 
by sorrow to one's self, or sorrow to both one's self and 
others '? 

" Is not that a better religion which promotes the 


happiness of others simultaneously with the happiness 
of one's self, and tolerates no oppression 1 ' 

" This better religion, exercising an excellent influence 
on the natures of those who walk according to it, has 
produced holy men of the eight grades of sanctity, 
called the four ways and four fruits. These holy men 
have taught the importance of the four Satipatthan, 
or applications of reflective power ; of the four Sam- 
mappathan, or reasonable objects of continued exer- 
tion ; of the four Itthibat, or effectual causes ; of the 
five Intri, or great virtues (moral powers) ; the five 
Phala, or forces ; and the seven Photchangkas, or 
principles of all knowledge, which are the illuminators 
of the mind. They have also taught that those per- 
sons who, on due consideration of form, sensation, 
perception, idea, and intelligence (which are the five 
elements of existence), conclude that they are unreal, 
full of sorrow, and perishable, may be called * flourish- 
ing in intelligence ; ' that those who have no longer 
any desire for worldly pleasures, or evil feelings towards 
others, may be called ' firm in intelligence ; ' and those 
who have entirely freed themselves from desire, anger, 
folly, revenge, ingratitude, giving blow for blow (1), 
envy, avarice, deceit, resistance C?), desire to excel 
others, pride, intoxication, and heedlessness, all which 
are vices, are said to have a ' crushing intelligence.' 
This is the state of mind which sets the spirit and 
body free from all entanglement, which makes the 
nature of man bright and pure, and leads to calm and 
happiness. Is not this teaching good 1 " 

In the above passage, full of monastic technicalities, 
the most noticeable feature, in my opinion, is that 
these dogmatisms are not attributed to Buddha, who, 


in a previous passage, is said to have simply taught 
the four truths, but are attributed to the saints. By 
this neat distinction our author avoids the appearance 
of heresy. The twenty-nine qualities mentioned in 
the text, with the eight ways and fruits, constitute 
what Buddhists call the thirty-seven constituents of 
Buddha's wisdom. Those who wish to investigate 
more thoroughly the tedious and, to many of us, stupid 
subject, must consult note 174, at the end of the notes 
to the Life. 

The next subject we deal with is the future state : — 
" Some men believe that merit and demerit cause 
successive re -births of the soul until it becomes perfect, 
when it is not born again. Others believe that after 
death the soul is next born in heaven or hell, and has 
no further change. Others believe that man is re-born 
as man, and every animal born again in its kind for 
ever. Others believe that there is no resurrection of 
the dead. I have pondered much on this subject, and 
cannot absolutely decide it. If we were to believe that 
death is annihilation, we should be at a loss to account 
for the existence of mankind. 

" If we were to hold with those who believe in God 
the Creator, it should follow that (the impartial justice 
of God) would make all men and animals equal in life 
and similar in nature, which is not the case. We 
observe that some die young, others live to old age ; 
some are born great, others not ; some rich, others 
poor ; some beautiful, others ugly ; some never suffer 
illness, others are continually ill, or blind, or deaf, or 
deformed, or mad. If we say that God made these, 
we must regard Him as unjust, partial, and ever 
changing ; making those suffer who have never done 


anything to deserve suffering, and not giving to men 
in general that average of good and bad fortune which 
attends even the speculations of the gambler. But if 
we believe in the interchange and succession of life 
throughout all beings {i.e., the transmigration of 
souls), and that good and evil arise from ourselves, 
and are the effects of merit and demerit, we have some 
grounds for belief. The differences of men and animals 
afford a very striking proof, clear to our eyes." 

The argument here is, that as some men and animals 
have a superior lot to others, there must needs follow 
other successive states to compensate those whose 
present condition is inferior, unless we suppose the 
difference of present condition to be caused by the 
merits and demerits of a previous existence. Either 
supposition, he considers, affords proof of his proposi- 
tion, and requires only one presumption, viz., that the 
law of the world is perfect justice : — 

" Those who believe that after death the soul passes 
to hell or heaven for ever, have no proof that there is 
no return thence. Certainly, it would be a most ex- 
cellent thing to go direct to heaven after death, without 
further change, but I am afraid that it is not the case. 
For the believers in it, who have not perfectly purified 
their hearts and prepared themselves for that most 
excellent place, where there is no being born, growing 
old, and dying, will still have their souls contaminated 
with uneradicated evil, the fruit of evil deeds, for 
where else can that evil go to ? 

" That there is a place of perfect happiness, where 
there is no being born or growing old, or dying, w^as 
known only to Him who attained the perfection of 
holiness. He said that there is really such a place, but 


none of us have seen it, and we know not tlie condition 
of his soul. We can only judge of it by analogy. 

" The worker in gold cannot make anything of his 
gold until he has refined it from all impurities. Sub- 
sequent meltings will not then affect it, because it is 
pure. In like manner the Lord, before he ceased to 
breathe, had repressed and cleared away all evil from 
his soul,'"' so that it could not return, and there re- 
mained nothing but good. Being pure, we can con- 
ceive that, like the pure gold, it might pass to where 
it would be affected by no further change. How is it 
possible that those who have not cleared away the evil 
disposition from their soul should attain the most ex- 
cellent heaven, and live eternally with God the 
Creator *? and of those who are to remain in hell for 
ever, many have made merit, and done much good. 
Shall that be altogether lost ? 

" The Lord Buddha taught, saying, * All you who are 
in doubt as to whether or not there is a future life, had 
better believe that there is one ; that there is another 
existence, in which happiness and misery can be felt. 
It is better to believe this than otherw^ise, for if the 
heart believes in a future life it will abandon sin and 
act virtuously ; and even if there is no resurrection, 
such a life will bring a good name, and the regard of 
men. But those who believe in extinction at death will 
not fail to commit any sin that they may choose because 
of their disbelief in a future; and if there should happen 
to be a future after all, they will be at a disadvantage 
— they will be like travellers without provisions/ 

* Possibly I have erred in using the term soul in this passage. The 
Siamese terms are chitr and chitr-borisut — i.e., perfectly pure chitr. 
For the usual meaning of chitr see note 155, 


" Buddha, seeing the doubt in some men's minds as 
to birth and extinction, was pleased to preach thus." 

This argument is followed by stories from the sacred 
books illustrating transmigration, and by several anec- 
dotes of the present time of children who, as soon as 
they could speak, have asserted and given proofs of 
their having previously existed as men or animals. 

"In the sacred books we read of a certain rich 
Brahmin of Sawatthi named Tothai, who was not a 
Buddhist, and whose death-bed thoughts were only 
about his money. The result of his merit and demerit 
caused him to be born as a pnppy in the very house 
that had belonged to him when a man, and of which 
his son was now master. One day, as Buddha passed 
the house collecting alms, the puppy ran to the gate 
and barked, and the Lord called to it, ' Tothai ! Tothai ! ' 
and it ran and lay down at his feet. Then was the 
son very angry at the insult he considered to have been 
cast against his father, by using his name to a dog ; 
and he remonstrated with Buddha. Buddha asked 
him, 'Have you yet found the money your father 
buried during his life V He answered, *Only a part 
of it.' * Then, if you would indeed know whether or 
not this puppy is Tothai the Brahmin, treat him with 
great respect for several days, and then ask him where 
the treasure is, and he will show you.' And the young 
man did so, and the dog indicated the place where the 
treasure was hid. And from thenceforth the son of 
Tothai followed the teachings of the Lord Buddha." 
This story is an old one, handed down from the days 
of Buddha, and people must attach just so much credit 
to it as they think due. 

" Another instance is that of the child of a Peguan, 


at Paklat (a town near Bangkok), who, as soon as he 
learned to speak, told his parents that he was formerly 
named Makran, and had been killed by a fall from a 
cocoa-nut tree, and that as he fell his hatchet fell from 
his hand and dropped into a ditch. And they, seeing 
that his story coincided with something that had 
happened within their knowledge, tried the child by 
making him point out the tree, and he pointed out the 
tree, and his story was confirmed by their digging up 
the hatchet from the ditch." 

The next question is, What is it that is re-born ? 

" It is difficult to explain whether it is the same or 
another life which is born again in a future state. It 
may be compared to the seeds of plants which sprout 
and grow, and produce more seed ; can the succeeding 
tree and seed be said to be the same as the orio-inal 
tree and seed 1 So it is in this case. To dwell on the 
subject would be tedious. Again, is the echo the same 
sound as that to which it answers, or another sound ? 
The condition in which the new birth will take place 
must be dependent on the necessity which the being 
has itself caused by the state of its disposition, for 
merit and demerit are the orderers of the manner of 
the new birth, and the preparers of increasing happi- 
ness or misery. 

We are next told that all entry into a new state is 
effected in one of four ways — i.e., by production in the 
egg, by ordinary birth, by life resulting from emana- 
tions of earth and water, and change of leaves, &c., as 
vermin results from filth, fish from emanations in new 
pools, insects from fruits, and snakes from a certain 
vine ; and fourthly, by spontaneous appearance with- 
out birth, as angels and devils originate. 


The subject of a future life will be again reverted 
to after our readers have had set before them the 
nature of the directing influence of merit and demerit, 
of that law of nature or guiding power with which 
Buddhists supply the place of God. The Siamese call 
this Kam,* and it is sometimes translated as fate or 
consequence. We shall use the word Kam in pre- 
ference to any translation. 

We may aid our readers to comprehend this Kam, 
by giving a short account of its action before proceed- 
ing further with quotations. 

Buddhists believe that every act, word, or thought 
has its consequence, which will appear sooner or later 
in the present or in some future state. Evil acts will 
produce evil consequences — that is, may cause a man 
misfortune in this world, or an evil birth in hell, or as 
an animal in some future existence. Good acts, etc., 
will produce good consequences ; prosperity in this 
world, or birth in heaven, or in a high position in the 
world in some future state. When we say every act, 
etc., has its effect, we must make the exception that 
where several acts, etc., are of such a nature that their 
result will be the same in kind, and due at the same 
time, then only one of the said acts, etc., will produce 
an effect, and the others will be neutralised, or become 
" Ahosikam." Sometimes even single acts may become 
effectless, or " Ahosikam,'' as will be explained further 

There is no God who judges of these acts, etc., and 
awards recompense or punishment ; but the reward or 

* Kam is the same as the Sanscrit word Karman (action). The 
Siamese, while they pronounce it Kam, spell it as if it should be pro- 
nounced Karma. 


punishment is simply the inevitable effect of Kam 
which works out its own results. 

Our author first draws a distinction between the 
causation called Kam and that called Nisai.* 

*' Nisai causation is that which can be calculated or 
foreseen, and results from intention, such as where a 
speculation is entered into, because one knows that it 
will be profitable, or work is done for the king, because 
one knows that it will be rewarded. These two in- 
stances are nisai causation of a meritorious kind. The 
demeritorious kind is illustrated by a wilful breach of 
the law leading to the punishment known to be due 
to it. These are instances of Nisai, and are not called 

"Kam causation gives rise to that which is not 
foreseen. It is illustrated by the story of Phra Maha 
Chanok, who, escaping from a wrecked ship, fell asleep 
in the woods, and on waking was received in a royal 
chariot and made king of the country. This happen- 
ing without any plan or foreknowledge on his part, 
was Kam causation of the meritorious kind. The de- 
meritorious kind is illustrated when an innocent man 
is punished for another's crime. And we have instances 
of both kinds of Kam in the cases where, when two 
men were bathing together, a crocodile devoured the 
one and left the other ; and when two men were 
equally liable to execution, the judges condemned the 
one and set free the other." 

Our author next quotes from the ancient canonical 
commentaries, "Attha Katha;" adds some passages 
from the "Attanomati" (a worki am unacquainted with, 

♦ Nisai is, I presume, the Sanscrit Nigchaya, meaning ascei-- 
tainment, certainty, design . 


but which is probably a Siamese commentary on part of 
the " Attha Katha"), and interposes with much defer- 
ence a few explanations of his own : — 

"The meritorious and demeritorious Kam, which 
living beings have caused to exist by their own acts, 
words, or thoughts, are, whether their fruits be joy or 
sorrow, to be classed under three heads. 

" The first is Thittham Wethaniya Kam, that is the 
Kam of which creatures will have the fruits at once, 
in their present state of existence. 

"The second is Upacha Wethaniya Kam, that is the 
Kam of which creatures will have the fruits in the 
next state of existence. 

" The third is Aprapara Wethaniya Kam, that is the 
Kam of which creatures will have the fruits in future 
states of existence from the third onward. 

" Merit or demerit will cause a tendency of the soul 
in one direction sometimes to as many as seven births 
and deaths, which will be followed by a relapse in the 
opposite direction for six, five, or less times ; such is 
the way of the soul. 

" The merit of a single act of charity, or the demerit 
of the slaughter of a single ant, will be certainly fol- 
lowed by one of these three Kams. 

Then follow anecdotes of Thittham Wethaniya Kam, 
telling how men have been rewarded for a distin- 
guished act of goodness by a sudden change from 
poverty to wealth ; and how for an act of cruelty 
horrible sufierings have been almost instantaneously 

"Merit or demerit of this class must have their 
fruit in the present existence. If they do not, they 
will become ' Ahosikam,' lost altogether. They will 


be like a bowshot which misses the animal it is aimed 
at, or like fruit which a man has gathered and forgotten 
to eat until it has turned rotten. 

"Meritorious Upacha Wethaniya Kam, of which the 
fruits appear in the next existence (that following the 
one in which the works which caused it were done), is 
produced by the eight states of pious meditation 
(Samabatti)/" and will assuredly cause re-birth in the 
superior heavens ; but as any one of the eight would 
of itself be followed by this Kam, and cause the same 
heavenly birth, and as the effect is one which can hap- 
pen in the second and in no other existence, it follows 
that he who has attained all the eight Samabatti will 
but receive the result of one, and the other seven will 
be lost or Ahosikam. 

" Demeritorious Upacha Wethaniya Kam is caused 
by parricide, matricide, killing saints, defiling Buddha 
with blood,f and dispersing monks. Any one of these 
will cause re-birth in hell, and the commission of more 
than one of these sins will make no difference. The 
others will be lost or Ahosikam, for they have no power 
in any other existence. 

" Aprapara Wethaniya Kam difi'ers from the pre- 
ceding, in that it can never be lost or Ahosikam, 
Every act of which the Kam is of this class, whether 
meritorious or demeritorious, will certainly have its 
fruits in some generation, from the third onward, 
whenever the suitable time may come. 

" The ' Attanomati ' states, ' This present existence, 

* See Notes 38 and 65. 

t Our author remarks that as Buddha has passed to Nirwana, and 
there are now no saints, it is no longer possible to commit these 
two sins. 


from the time that Kam is incuiTecl until death, is the 
domain of Thittham AYethaniya Kam ; when it has 
power, it produces its effects within this limit ; when 
it has not enough power to produce its effects within 
this limit, its domain is ended by death, and it becomes 
Ahosikam. The whole of the second existence is the 
domain of Upacha Wethaniya Kam ; when it has 
power enough, it gives its fruits within that time, but 
when it has not power enough to do so, it becomes 
Ahosikam. From the time of entering on the third 
existence and onwards, is the domain of Apr^para 
Wethaniya Kam, which ends only with the attainment 
of Nirwana, the cessation from further change/" 

Kam is ao;ain divided under four heads — Khru, 
Pahula, Asanna, and Kotta, — according to the time 
when its effects will appear, which depends on compa- 
rative importance. The more important the act, the 
sooner will the effect come. First of Khru Kam : — 

"The most powerful of all demeritorious Kam is the 
result of the five before-mentioned sins (parricide, 
&c.) ; when any one of these has been committed, not 
even a hundred years of merit-making will secure 
happiness, or prevent the soul going to hell at death. 
The most powerful meritorious Kam results from the 
eight states of Samabatti (pious meditation)." 

We omit, as of less interest, the remarks on Pahula 
and Asanna Kam ; the first, meaning Kam which is 
important from its nature, the second, Kam which is 
rendered important by the circumstances of the action 
giving rise to it, as a good or bad act done at the point 
of death ; and we quote the account of Kotta Kam, 
the lio;htest Kam : — 

" Kotta Kam is light, small, not made at the point 



of death, aud made in ignorance of its being merito- 
rious or demeritorious. As, for instance, wlien men 
not knowing tliat they are doing a meritorious act, 
remove a stake or thorn, or tile from the road, lest it 
may hurt any one passing along, or, seeing any kind of 
filth lying in a public place, remove it, and cleanse the 
place ; or when a child, seeing its parents make offer- 
ino^s and bow to a Phrachedi,'"' imitates them, this is 
meritorious Kotta Kam. 

"Demeritorious Kotta Kam arises when men, not 
knowing that they are doing wrong, kill or strike 
small animals, regarding them as vegetables ; and 
when children playfully do mischievous tricks, and 
when any wrong is committed in ignorance. In the 
absence of other Kam, this Kam will operate at some 
stage of existence, causing happiness or sorrow accord- 
ing as it is meritorious or demeritorious." 

The aforementioned divisions of Kam, under three 
heads and four heads, refer to time and gravity ; it 
is also divided into four classes according to the nature 
of its action. They are Chanaka Kam, Uphatamphaka 
Kam, Upa-pilaka Kam, and Upakhathaka Kam. The 
first is the Kam which causes birth or existence in 
any particular state of happiness or sorrow ; the 
second modifies that state by causing its premature 
cessation or prolongation ; the third modifies it by 
reducing the amount of happiness or misery ; and the 
last violently opposes itself to any existing Kam, so as 
to destroy its effects. This last Kam is illustrated by 
the story of " Angknlimau." 

* Phrachedi are spires in temples, generally covering a relic, or image 
of Buddha, and supposed to lead the thoughts to the teachings of the 
Great Teacher. 


" Angkuliman, whilst yet a layman, committed nine 
liundred and ninety-nine murders, but afterwards, by 
attaining to saintly perfection, lie obtained an Upa- 
kbathaka Kam, which cut otf the Kam of the murders 
he had committed. He acquired meritorious Upacha 
AVethaniya Kam, of which he would enjoy the fruits in 
his next generation, and meritorious Aprapara Wetha- 
niya Kam, of which he would enjoy the fruits in the 
third and subsequent generations. There Avas left 
only Thittham Wethaniya Kam, by which his murders 
could have any eflfect ; and it did have effect, causing 
him, after he had attained his saintly condition, to 
be accidentally pelted with sticks and lumps of 

Such are the eleven Kam of the Attha Katha 
Chari, the last eight being only the same as the first 
three, but differently described. Next follows a 
passage comparing the idea of Kam with that of a 
divine judge. 

"These Kam w^e have discoursed about have no 
substance, and we cannot see where they exist ; nor 
when they are about to have effect do they come 
crying, ' I am the Kam, named So-and-so, come to 
give fruits to such-a-one.' This I have only adverted 
to for comj)arison with the belief of some that there is 
a creating God who causes existences. Those who so 
believe cannot see the Creator better than others see 
tlie Kam. It is a matter for the consideration of the 
wise, whether we should say there is a creating God, 
the Lord and Master of the world, or should say that it 
is Kam which fashions and causes existences. Neither 
has a visible form. If we believe that Kam is the 
cause, the creator, the arranger, we can get hold of 


tlie end of the thread, and understand that the happi- 
ness and misery of living beings is all caused by 
natural sequence. But if we assert that a creating 
God is the dispenser of happiness and misery, we 
must believe that He is everywhere, and at all times 
watching and trying, and deciding what punishments 
are due to the countless multitude of men. Is this 
credible 1 Moreover, we are told that the Creator 
made animals to be food for man ; these animals 
enjoy happiness and suffer misery, like as human beings 
do. How can we, then, say that the Creator does not 
grant them justice, and give them also a future state 
of reward and punishment 1 

From this disquisition on Kam, we pass to the 
duties of a good Buddhist. The question is put, " If 
a man believes in a future existence governed by Kam, 
how shall he make merit to save himself from future 
misery "? " The answer to this is, of course, " By fol- 
lowing the teachings of Buddha, the holy and omni- 
scient ; the teaching which praises kindness, and com- 
passion, and pleasure in the general happiness of all 
beino-s, and freedom from love or dislike to individuals, 
and which forbids hatred and jealousy, and envy and 
revenge ; the religion which teaches Than, or alms- 
giving, Sin, or rules of morality, and Bhawana, or 
simple meditation ; which, with fidelity and other 
virtues, are the merits of an ordinary class ; and the 
firm observance of the rules of the priesthood, which 
is merit of the highest class." 

Than, or almsgiving, is explained as follows : — • 
" Than is the voluntary gift of anything not injuri- 
ous. If there is no intention to give, or the gift is 
harmful (as poison or spirits), it is not Than. Fur- 


tliermore, there must be either the desire to assist, or 
the desire to show gratitude. 

" The desire to assist is manifested when a layman 
gives food to monks, reflecting that monks must starve 
unless laymen feed them ; also when a man, from 
compassionate motives, gives anything to a beggar ; 
and also, in a lower degree, when a man gives food to 
animals merely from the knowledge that without his 
assistance they would die. 

" The desire to show gratitude is manifested in gifts 
to parents, and others entitled to respectful regard, 
especially to holy and distinguished men. 

"It is not Than when gifts are given from other 
considerations, as when animals are fed that they may 
be used, or presents are given by lovers to bind affec- 
tion, or given to slaves to stimulate labour. 

" Sages and relio;ious men have observed that Than 
is an universal merit, existing at all times and in all 
countries. It was a practice of old, it is a practice 
now, and it -will be a practice in future in all coun- 
tries and among all people, sometimes more, some- 
times less, sometimes having much fruit, and some- 
times not being genuine and having but little fruit. 
I now beg to speak of it as practised at the present 
day, and to point out what is praiseworthy, and what 
censurable, according to my own observation. The 
following descriptions of almsgiving are very merito- 
rious : — 

" Firstly, When a man, reflecting that his present 
wealth is but the result of causation in previous exist- 
ences, and that it is his duty to make merit for future 
existences, and not hoard up that which is unstable ; 
and that so long as there are wearers of the yellow 


robe, the religion will exist, hut that if none assist 
them the monks must die out — eagerly clevises means 
to promote the religion of Buddha, and ensure its per- 
manence, and with that view erects temples, monas- 
teries, spires, and preaching-houses, where religious 
exercises may be practised, and the monks may cherish 
their religion in peace, and be a leaven for the future. 
This is most excellent almsgiving. 

" Another kind is when a man seeks the happiness 
and pleasure of all men — those he loves and those he 
hates, those he has a cause of revenge against, and 
those against whom he has none — and with that view 
digs canals and pools, and makes roads and bridges 
and salas, and plants large trees to give shade. This 
generally dififiised charity is most excellent alms- 

"Another is when any show kindness to their 
elder relatives, parents, etc., seeking their happiness 
during their lives, and showing respect by merit-mak- 
ing and almso-ivino; after their deaths. This, too, is 
very meritorious. 

"Another is when, from com.passion to the poor 
and miserable who have none to help them, and suffer 
extreme misery, a man erects rest-houses and drink- 
ing-fountains, and gives them food and clothes, and 
necessaries and medicine for their ailments, without 
selecting one more than another. This is true charity, 
and has much fruit. 

" There are four classes who make merit by alms- 
giving without pure compassion and piety. One class 
does it for show, another from greediness, another 
from jealousy, and another from envy. 

" Those ^Yho do it for show are such as, without 


any real desire to aid religion, or genuine feeling of 
compassion, make merit as they see others do, from a 
desire to display their wealth, not for future ad- 
vantage. Sometimes they do not even own the gifts 
they pretend to bestow, and hire them for half-a- 
crown from some priest who owns them, and give him 
another half-crown to carry them away, ostentatiously 
piled up on a stand. 

"Those who do it from greediness are such as, 
having much wealth, distribute it before their death, 
partly to prevent their heir getting it, and partly in 
hopes that they will be rewarded by going to heaven,and 
havinoj tens of thousands of houris to minister to them. 

" Another class makes merit from jealousy ; as when 
some person of property dies, and the administrator 
of his estate, in order to prevent some person receiv- 
ing a share, distributes the whole in alms and merit 

" Another class gives alms from envy, that is, when 
they see an enemy make merit in any way, they go 
and make more merit, not from piety, but from a 
desire to be born in their next existence in a superior 
condition to that their enemy will have. 

" Let no one who makes merit by giving alms have 
such a disposition as any of these." 

Ostentatious merit-making is common among all 
the Siamese. The kings annually, in person or by de- 
puty, make offerings at the principal temples through- 
out the country, accompanied by procession of some- 
times more than a hundred state barges, bands of 

* It does sometimes happen that all the estate of the deceased is 
expended in a great entertainment and feast given at the cremation of 
the body. 


music, and every material of display. Those who can 
afford it combine in similar processions on a smaller 
scale ; even poor people will, from time to time, invite 
two or three monks to receive some trumpery presents 
at their houses, and will proclaim the fact by beating 
a drum for several hours. The Siamese certainly sup- 
port their priests well, not only by occasional gifts of 
clothing, etc., but by daily gifts of food. 

Much money is also spent in the other ways desig- 
nated by our author, the construction of temples 
especially. He himself is now, and has been for years, 
superintending the building of one called Pratom 
Prachidee, near Bangkok, which will, when finished, 
be one of the finest and largest Buddhist temples in 
the world. It is built principally with funds supplied 
by the late king, who also built many other temples. 
It is unfortunate that the desire is always to build 
new temples rather than to repair old ones, so that 
there are but too many temples in a ruinous con- 

Charity of the kind which is best known in Eng- 
land is scarcely ever called for in Siam, where it is 
easy to live with but little labour, and where the 
respect shown to family ties and the prevalence of a 
mild system of slavery enable almost every one to 
support himself, or get supported without recourse to 

It is only just to the Siamese to add, that though 
fond of ostentatious almsgiving, as above said, they 
are also privately charitable, and kind and hospitable 
to strano;ers. 

From " Than " we pass to " Sin," which is defined 
as meaning " abstinence " from tlie offences specified 


in the Five Commandments. In common parlance, the 
Five Sin are the Five Commandments, which are all 
of a negative character, that is, are orders to abstain. 
The Five Commandments are : — 

1st, Thou shalt abstain from destroying or causino- 
the destruction of any living thing. 

2d, Thou shalt abstain from acquiring or keeping, 
by fraud or violence, the property of another. 

3d, Thou shalt abstain from those who are not 
proper objects for thy lust. 

4th, Thou shalt abstain from deceiving others either 
by word or deed. 

5th, Thou shalt abstain from intoxication. 

The offence of breaking these Commandments may 
be greater or less according to the quality of the person 
injured by the act, the amount of premeditation lead- 
ing to the act, the desire or passion which causes the 
act, and lastly, the object of the act, i.e., the value of 
the thing stolen, the damage done by a lie, etc. AVe 
give one example of the way in which these Command- 
ments are analysed. 

" There are five essentials of Athinnathan (the 2d 
Commandment). 1st, Property which another sets 
store by. 2d, Knowledge that it is so. 3d, Inten- 
tion to get possession of it. 4th, Means taken to do 
so personally or by agent. 5th, Obtaining said pro- 
perty against the owner's will." 

In the same manner, for a breach of the other Com- 
mandments, there must be not only a completed act, 
but also intention. 

Having thus defined the Commandments, our author 
remarks that the mere fact of not committinor the 
offences therein named, cannot be called the practice 


of Sin, altliougli it is good in that it prevents the rise 
of demerit. 

" When the abstention arises from the impulse of 
the moment, without any predetermination to observe 
the Commandments, it cannot be called ' keeping the 
Commandments' (Sin); but when the abstention is 
caused by the reflection that these offences will be 
punished in future generations, and the consequent 
determination to guard against committing them ; or 
when it results from the unerring purity of mind of 
those who have entered on the Paths of the Saints, 
then it is called observance of the Commandments, or 

Excellent as these Commandments are, few men 
keep them all. 

" At the present time very few men, even Buddhists, 
perfectly observe these Five Commandments. Some 
can abstain from all but lying. Others take care not 
to destroy large animals, but cannot restrain them- 
selves from killing gad-flies and mosquitoes. Some 
can keep from actual theft, but not from getting other 
people's property by oppression and fraud. Some can 
refrain from other men's wdves, but not from their 
daughters. Some can keep from great lies, such as 
bearing false witness, but will tell other lies, such as 
saying they have not seen or heard, when they have 
seen or heard, regarding these as trifling offences. As 
for drunkenness, some abstain from all intoxicating 
things, even in medicine, others take them in mode- 

" He who cannot abstain from these five offences is 
guilty — not because the religion of Buddha is cruel, 
and forbids that which men best like and cannot 


abstain from, or because the rules are cruel and will 
cause misfortune to those who believe in them — but 
because of his own passions. 

"The observance of these Five Commandments is 
good at all times, and in all places. There has never 
been, and there never will be, a wise man who would 
not praise them." 

Comparing these Commandments with the laws of 
other religions, he observes that theft, adultery, lying, 
and the destruction of human life (with exceptions), 
are regarded as sins by all people ; that intoxication is 
only forbidden by Buddhists, Brahmins, and Maho- 
metans, and that the destruction of life, other than 
human, is regarded as sin by none but Buddhists and 
Brahmins, believers in the Buddh Avatar. The 
sanctity of animal life and the use of animal food 
first claim attention : — 

"It is to be observed that animals are agitated, 
tremble, feel sorrow, show jealousy and envy, and fear 
death, much as men do. Their existence cannot be 
compared with that of plants or trees. We know not 
whether they will after death have another existence 
or not. But those persons who do believe in other 
births in varied conditions, who believe in transmig- 
ration, must believe that it is sinful to kill any animal ; 
whilst those who believe in a single resurrection only, 
or none at all — who do not believe in the theory of 
Kam — will not hold it as sinful. He w^ho is merciful 
and compassionate, and believes in the certainty of 
future existences, will not venture to kill or shorten 
the life of any being, from compassion and fear of the 

" Question. — If, then, he who has compassion will 


not injure their lives, why does he support his life on 
their flesh ? were there no eaters, there would be no 
killers. Is not the eating of flesh sin 1 

" Answer. — There is a Buddhist ordinance which 
declares that there is no sin in eating proper meat, 
althouo;h it is a sin to cause the death of animals. 
With respect to this argument, we observe that those 
who hold the slaughter of animals to be sinful, are 
few compared with those who believe that there is no 
harm in it. Supposing that those who are compas- 
sionate were to refuse to eat meat, others would kill 
and trade in it, and the animals would die. The 
Mahometans do not eat pork, so pigs ought to abound 
in their countries, but in fact there are none at all. 
Animals must die by the law of nature, nor will the 
absence of auy one to eat them prevent their death. 
The religion of Buddha does not compel any to act 
against their own dispositions, it only indicates good 
and evil." 

" If any one who is perfectly indifferent to the 
nature of the food he receives, accepts killed meat 
given to him, or buys it in the market, or takes for 
food an animal which has died a natural death, there 
is no offence, for there is not the intention which is 
essential to any breach of the commandments ; but 
when, on a present of meat being made, the receiver 
expresses his great pleasure, says that he has been 
longing for that kind of meat, and orders it to be 
cooked at once, and makes it clear to the giver that 
he wishes for more, and so incites him to go and kill 
more, this is unrighteous. Again, when one insists on 
one's servants getting some kind of meat which one 
knows they will not find ready kiljed in the market. 


and so forces tliem to have some specially killed, this 
is uucompassionate and wicked. If a monk knows in 
any way that animals are killed merely to supply him 
with flesh, he should abstain from that flesh ; it is 
impure, and the laws of the priesthood forbid him to 
eat it." 

" The Lord Buddha was asked to forbid animal 
food, but he would not. There are those who hold his 
religion, but will not accept the First Commandment, 
like the Chinese, who believe in transmigration as 
Buddhists, but assert that there is no sin in executing 
criminals, or in killing animals for food." 

Next, as to the vice of intoxication. 

"As to the sin of drinking intoxicating things, 
consider ! It is a cause of the heart becomino- excited 
and overcome. By nature there is already an intoxi- 
cation in man caused by desire, anger, and folly ; he 
is already inclined to excess, and not thoughtful of the 
impermanence, misery, and vanity of all things. If 
we stimulate this natural intoxication by drinking, it 
will become more daring ; and if the natural inclina- 
tion is to anger, anger will become excessive, and acts 
of violence and murder will result. Similarly with 
the other inclinations. The drunken man neither 
thinks of future retribution nor present punish- 

"Again, spirituous liquors cause disease, liver dis- 
ease, and short life ; and the use of them, when it has 
become a habit, cannot be dispensed with without dis- 
comfort, so that men spend all their money unprofitably 
in purchasing them, and when their money is spent 
become thieves and dacoits. The evil is both future 
and immediate." 


" As for tlie argument urged by some people, that it 
is customary to make offerings of spirituous liquors to 
the Dewa angels, and that that practice tells in favour 
of spirit-drinking, I can only answer that we have 
no proof that the angels consume these offerings ; and 
the only foundation for such a supposition is the state- 
ment of some ancient sages that the Asura angels of 
Indra's heavens got drunk, which, after all, only 
amounts to the assertion that the Dewa (or sensual) 
angels resemble men in their taste for liquor." 

He refers to the Total Abstinence Movement and 
the Mahometan law thus : — 

" In the present age, many Americans have declared 
spirit-drinking to be an evil, a cause of much imme- 
diate mischief, and of no future good. The Jews used 
not to consider spirit-drinking a sin, but Mahomet 
declared that Allah had ordered him to forbid its use, 
on the ground that spirit-drinkers, if they went to 
heaven, would smell so offensively that the angels 
could not endure their vicinity.'' 

On the subject of the Third Commandment, we are 
told that women who are the objects of another's 
jealous care — that is, wives and unmarried women, who 
are cared for or supported by their husbands or rela- 
tives, and women who are betrothed, are all improper 
objects of desire ; but as this is " the undisputed 
opinion of all except those bad men who think there 
is no harm in adultery unless it is discovered," the 
main point considered is, why, under this Command- 
ment, men and women are put on a different footing — 
that is, why polygamy is allowed ? 

" If we say the Commandment is different for men 
and women, we make two commands of it ; but it is 


not so ; it is only one — an order that sensual inter- 
course should be suitably regulated." 

"Women are not allowed to have more than one 
husband, because they are under the rule of man, and 
not superior to man. If women might have many 
husbands, they would not know who was the father of 
their children, and these children might injure their 
father, and even commit parricide, without knowing 
it. And, moreover, the dispositions of men and 
women differ ; men, however many wives they have, 
and whatever their liking or dislike to any of them, 
have no desire to kill them ; but if women had more 
husbands than one, they would wish to kill all but 
the one they liked best, for such is their nature. There 
are many stories in point, one of which I will relate 

" There was once on a time a priest who daily blessed 
a great king, saying, * May your Majesty have the firm- 
ness of a crow, the audacity of a woman, the endurance 
of a vulture, and the strength of an ant.' And the 
King, doubting his meaning, said, 'What do you mean 
by the endurance of a vulture 1 ' and he replied, ' If a 
vulture and all kinds of other animals are caged up 
without food, the vulture will outlive them all.' And 
the king tried, and it was so. And the priest said, ' I 
spoke of the strength of the ant, for an ant is stronger 
than a man, or anything that lives. No other animal 
can lift a lump of iron or copper as large as itself, but 
an ant will carry off its own bulk of either metal, if it 
be only smeared with sugar. And I said ' the firmness 
of the crow,' for none can subdue the boldness and 
energy of the crow ; however long you cage it, you 
will never tame it. And if the kino; would see the 


audacity of a woman, I beg him to send for a couple 
who have been married only one or two months, who 
are yet deeply in love with one another, and first call 
the husband and say, ' Go and cat off your wife's head, 
and bring it to me, and I will give you half my king- 
dom, and make you my viceroy.' And if he will not 
do it, then send for the woman, and say, ' Kill your 
husband, and bring me his head, and I will make you 
my chief queen, ruler of all the ladies in the palace.' 
And the king did so. He found a newly-married 
couple who had never quarrelled, and were deeply 
enamoured of one another, and sending for the hus- 
band, he spoke to him as the priest had suggested. 
And the man took the knife, and hid it in his dress, 
and that same night rose when his wife slept, thinking 
to kill her, but he could not, because he was kind- 
hearted, and reflected that she had done no wrong. 
And the next day he returned the knife to the king, 
saying that he could not use it against his wife. Then 
the king sent messengers to the wife secretly, and they 
brought her to him, and he flattered and enticed her 
with promises, as the priest had told him, and she took 
the knife, and as soon as her husband slept, stabbed 
him, and cut off his head, and took it to the king. 
This story shows not only that woman is more 
audacious than man, but also that if any one entices 
and pleases them, they will plot their husband's death, 
which is a good reason for not letting them have more 
than one husband." 

" At the time Jesus Christ lived, and still later in 
Mahomet's time, there was no law of monogamy. 
Mahomet limited the number of wives to four, and 
after a time Europeans instituted monogamy by 


law, not from religious motives, but from conviction of 
its expediency, considering tliat plurality of wives was 
unfair to women, and gave rise to jealousy and murder, 
and constant trouble." 

"The religion of Buddha highly commends a life of 
chastity^ Buddha stated that when a man could not 
remain as a celibate, if he took but one wife it was yet 
a kind of chastity, a commendable life. Buddha also 
censured polygamy, as involving ignorance and lust, 
but he did not absolutely forbid it, because he could 
not say there was any actual wrong in a man having a 
number of wives properly acquired." 

Polygamy is extensively practised in Siam, the 
kings setting the example. The late king's life affords 
an instance of both celibacy and polygamy. At the 
age of twenty, his Majesty, who had been already 
married for some years, entered the priesthood and 
remained a monk for twenty-seven years ; he then 
came to the throne, and accepting the custom of poly- 
gamy as suitable for his new position, he was, within 
the next sixteen years, blessed with a family of seventy- 
nine children. The number of his wives we could not 
ascertain. Many noblemen have thirty or forty, or 
more wives. So far as our own observation goes, this 
polygamy, accompanied by a facility for divorce- 
ment, is not attended by very evil results. There 
is a great deal of domestic happiness in Siam, and 
suicides and husband and wife murders, so common 
in monogamic Europe, are rare there. Nevertheless, 
many of the best men we have known there were 
theoretical admirers of monogamy, and one practised 

The commandments against theft and lying are not 


dilated on, as " they are regarded in the same light by 
all people throughout the world." 

Having thus treated of morality and charity, we 
might expect our author to discourse on the nature of 
meditation, which is the great Buddhistic means of 
self-improvement. We presume that he omits it 
because it is only practised by monks, whilst his 
book is intended for laymen. In the absence of any 
remarks from him, we will only observe that by medi- 
tation and self-abstraction from all human concerns 
and passions, Buddhists believe man can purify him- 
self, and can attain supernatural knowledge and power, 
and ultimately perfection. 

We now revert to the nature of future existence. 
Firstly, we have a sketch of the ideas of Christians, 
Mahometans, and Brahmins, as to a future life, heaven 
and hell, which we need not quote, but pass to his 
exposition of the Buddhist views. 

" In the religion of Phra Samana Khodom we also 
find mention of heaven and hell, and we are taught 
that those who have kept the Commandments, given 
alms, and lived righteously, will after death go to hea- 
venly palaces furnished with houris, more or less 
numerous, according to the amount of merit they have 
acquired. And those who have no merit, but have 
only acquired demeritorious Kam, will on death go to 
hell, and remain there until their Kam is exhausted, 
when they will be born again as animals or men ; or if 
there is any merit still belonging to them, they may 
even go to heaven. Those whose merit has caused 
them to be born as angels in heaven will, when the 
power of their merit is exhausted, be extinguished in 
heaven, and reappear as men or animals, or sometimes, 


when a demeritorious Kam still attaches to them, they 
will fall to hell. There is no fixity, but continual cir- 
culation and alternation, until such time as the spirit 
has become perfect in ' the four ways and the four 
fruits,'^^ which extinguish all further sorrow, stay all 
further change, and cause eternal rest in a state of 
perfect happiness where there is no further birth, nor 
old ao;e, nor death. Even those who do not believe 
in the religion of Buddha, by good actions acquire 
merit, and will on their death attain heaven, and by 
evil actions acquire demerit, and on death will pass 
to hell. Buddhism does not teach the necessary dam- 
nation of those who do not believe in Buddha, and in 
this respect I think it is more excellent than all the 
other religions which teach that all but their own 
followers will surely go to hell." 

After remarking that women as well as men can 
enjoy the highest pleasures of heaven, and that there 
may be a change of sex with a change of state, he 
gives his own views of the common sensual idea of 

"The fact of the matter is this. The Hindoos who 
live in countries adjoining the Mahometan countries 
believe that in heaven every male has tens and hun- 
dreds of thousands of female attendants, according to 
what their teachers of old taught them concerning the 
riches of heaven, and their idea is akin to that of the 
Mahometans. The Mahometans had held out great 
inducements representing the pleasures that would 
result from their religion ; and the Hindoo teachers 

* These are tlie four highest grades of sanctity. He who 
attains the first will reach Nirwana within seven existences ; the 
fourth leads to Nirwana direct, without any existence intervening. 
See also Note 14. 


fearing that their people might be excited by this 
most promising new doctrine, themselves intro- 
duced it into their own teaching. At least, this is my 
impression on the subject. But if we must speak out 
the truth as to these matters, we must say that the 
world of heaven is but similar to the world of man, 
only differing in the greater amount of happiness there 
enjoyed. Angels there are in high places with all the 
apparel and train of their dignity, and others of lower 
station with less surroundings. All take up that posi- 
tion which is due to their previous merits and demerits. 
Buddha censured concupiscence ; Buddha never spoke 
in praise of heaven ; he taught but one thing as worthy 
of praise, ' the extinction of sorrow.' All this inco- 
herent account of heaven is but the teaching of later 
writers, who have preached the luxuries and rich 
pleasures of heaven in hopes thereby to attract men 
into the paths of holiness, and the attainment of 
sanctity. We cannot say where heaven and hell are. 
All religions hold that heaven is above the world and 
hell below it, and every one of them uses heaven to 
work on men's desires, and hell to frighten them with. 
Some hold forth more horrors than others, according 
to the craft of those who have designed them to con- 
strain men by acting on their fears, and making them 
quake and tremble. We cannot deny the existence of 
heaven and hell, for as some men in this world cer- 
tainly live well and others live ill, to deny the 
existence of heaven and hell would be to deprive 
men's works of their result, to make all their good 
deeds utterly lost to them. We must observe, that 
after happiness follows sorrow, after heat follows cold ; 
they are things by nature coupled. If after death 


there is a succession of existence, there must be states 
of happiness and of sorrow, for they are necessarily 
coupled in the way I have explained. As for heaven 
being above the earth and hell below it, I leave intelli- 
gent people to come to their own conclusion ; but as 
to future states of happiness and sorrow, I feel no 
doubt whatever." 

He next remarks, "That both in ancient and modern 
times there have been instances of persons who, on 
recovering from a state of trance, have declared that 
they have visited other worlds during their trance." 

As an ancient instance he gives this story : — 

" An old story of this class is that a certain Chinese 
Emperor — named Hli Si Bin, on recovering from a 
three days' trance, told his courtiers that he had 
visited hell and imdergone fearful sufferings, and had 
clearly seen there many whom he knew ; and that 
when he asked the officials of hell how these men 
might be rescued from their misery, he was told to 
follow the teaching of the Holy Buddha, and make 
merit on their behalf; by which means they would 
escape. Then the Emperor sent Som Chang to seek 
out and learn the religion of Buddha, and he intro- 
duced it into China from Sai Thi, a city of the 
Brahmins, or, as some say, Ceylon." 

This story seems to refer to the dream of the 
Emperor Ming Ti (a.d. 62), mentioned in the Rev. S. 
Beal's Buddhist Pilgrims, which dream is supposed to 
have led to the introduction of Buddhism into China. 

We next quote one of his modern instances of 
visions seen during a state of trance. 

" A young Cambodian, aged eighteen, living at the 
hamlet of Phrakanong, in Siam, being sick of fever, 


swooned for a day, and then recovered animation. 
On recovery he said that he had been bound and taken 
to a place where there were a number of seething frying- 
pans containing oil or water, he was not sure which, 
and crowds of men and women were being unceasingly 
hurried along and thrown into the frying-pans, but they 
rejected him, saying that he had been brought there 
by mistake, and they drove him back to his own 

Lest the preceding remarks should mislead any 
readers into the " heretical opinion that any part of 
the actual life existing in one state, is carried on to 
another, or that the actual idea which constitutes the 
dream is that which is born again," our author care- 
fully reminds us that " it is only the fruit of merit and 
demerit, the Kam which has been created by a being, 
that constitutes that being in the next state of exist- 
ence." He does not, however, dwell on this metaphysical 
subtlety of Buddhism, but passes on to the question 
of eternal damnation, which he combats on the ground 
that " there is no being who has not done something 
good, and that to recognise the liability of any one to 
suffer eternally in hell, would be to deny to good works 
the same power of producing fruit that is ascribed to 
evil works." 

Some observations on the disposal of the bodies of 
the dead appropriately follow. " This," he writes, 
"is not a religious question, though Christians, in 
preferring burial, do look to rising in their own bodies 
at the sound of the trumpet when God shall come to 
judge them ; but it is a matter of custom and conve- 
nience." The Siamese practise " cremation, a rite de- 
rived by the Buddhists from the Brahmins," and he 


approves it, as causing less pollution of air and water 
than burial does. He considers, however, that cremation 
in air-tight iron cases would be preferable, on sanitary 
grounds, to the open cremation now practised. 

He next refers to the Buddhist belief, that there 
have been successive Buddhas who have enlightened 
the world at various times, between which times all 
knowledge of true doctrine has been lost, and he asks, 
" What is the fate of all those who have lived in the 
dark ages of the world, and of those others who, 
living on remote islands or in uncivilised countries, 
have had no opportunity of learning the religion of 
Buddha 1 " He answers that " all men have ideas of 
right and wrong, and according to their virtues and 
vices, they will accumulate merit and demerit to shape 
their next existence." Taking this in connection with 
other passages, we may say that his idea of the diflference 
between the virtuous man who follows the teaching of 
Buddha, and the virtuous man who does not, is that 
the one is in a safe road which will prevent the recur- 
rence of all sorrowful existence ; the other, though he 
will also be rewarded for his virtue, is liable again to 
pass through a course of painful existences, for he is 
not in the path to Nirwana. 

In the latter pages of the " Kitchanukit," there are 
many repetitions of ideas that have been already 
dilated on. There are, however, two passages of much 
significance, which I must quote : "What is this un- 
seen God, personified by the Theists (Keks) as God 
the Creator, the Divine Spirit, and the Divine Intelli- 
gence'? It seems to me that this Divine Spirit 
(Phra Chitr) is but the actual spirit (chitr) of man, 
the disposition, be it good or evil. And I think that 


the Divine Intelligence (Phra Winyan) which is said 
to exist in the lio;ht and in the darkness, in all times 
and in all places, is the Intelligence (Winyan) which 
flies forth from the six gates of the body, that is, the 
faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and 
knowledge, whose Intelligence exists in all places and 
at all times, and knows the good and evil which man 
does. And God the Creator (Phra phu sang) is the 
Holy Merit and Demerit (Phra kusala, a-kusala), the 
cause and shaper of all existence. Those who have not 
duly pondered on these matters may say that there is a 
God who exists in all places, waiting to give men the 
reward or punishment due to their good or evil deeds, 
or they may say that prosperity and adversity are the 
work of angels or devils ; but to me it seems that aU 
happiness and misery are the natural result of causa- 
tion (Kam) which influences the present existence, and 
will determine the nature of the next existence." 

" How can we assent to the doctrine of those who 
believe in but one resurrection — who believe in a man 
being received into heaven while his nature is still 
full of impurity, by virtue of sprinkling his head with 
water, or cutting off by circumcision a small piece of 
his skin 1 Will such a man be purified by the merit of 
the Lord Allah, or of the Great Brahma 1 We know 
not where they are. We have never seen them. But 
we do know, and can prove, that men can purify their 
own natures, and we know the laws by which that 
purification can be efi'ected. Is it not better to be- 
lieve in this which we can see and know, than in that 
which has no reality to our perceptions 1 " 

Such are the ideas and arguments of an honest and 
earnest Buddhist of the present day, defending his 


religion against the assaults of the numerous body of 
missionaries, who live in comfort, and teach without 
molestation among liis countrymen. He is indebted 
to them for much information, and willingly accepts 
it. He listens to and admires the morality of the 
Christian religion, until they believe him almost a Chris- 
tian, and then he tells them that Buddha too taught a 
morality as beautiful as theirs, and a charity that ex- 
tends to everything that has breath. And when they 
speak of faith, he answers that by the light of the 
knowledge they have helped him to, he can weed out 
his old superstitions, but that he will accept no new 
ones. Their cause is, as the late king said, hopeless : — 

" You must not think that any of my party will 
ever become Christians. We will not embrace what 
we think is a foolish religion." 

The religion of Buddha meddled not with the 
Beginning, which it could not fathom ; avoided the 
action of a Deity it could not perceive ; and left open 
to endless discussion that problem which it could not 
solve, the ultimate reward of the perfect. It dealt 
with life as it found it ; it declared all good which 
led to its sole object, the diminution of the misery of 
all sentient beings ; it laid doAvn rules of conduct 
which have never been surpassed, and held out reason- 
able hopes of a future of the most perfect happiness. 

Its proofs rest on the assumptions that the reason 
of man is his surest guide, and that the law of nature 
is perfect justice. To the disproof of these assump- 
tions we recommend the attention of those missionaries 
who wish to convert Buddhists. 






The Great, the Holy Lord, the Being who was about to become 
a Buddha/ passed the first twenty-nine years of his life as a layman 
by the name of Prince Sidharta.^ He then became a religious 
mendicant,^ and for six years subjected himself to self-denials of 
a nature that other men could not endure. Thereafter he became 
the Lord Buddha, and gave to men and angels the draught of 
Immortality,^ which is the savour of the True Law. Forty-five 
years after this the Lord, the Teacher, entered the Holy Nirwana,^ 
passing thereto as he lay between two lofty trees in the State 
Gardens of the Malla Princes, near the Royal City of Kusinagara.^ 

Note. — The numbers refer to the Notes printed at the end of Part II. 




But a short time after the death of Buddha, Adjata- 
satrii J king of Magadha, convened an assembly of the 
monks of the highest order of sanctity, at a monastery 
built by him on the Wephara^ Hill ; and having done 
homage to them, requested the patriarch^ Kasyappa 
to teach him the doctrine which the great Buddha 
had preached. 

Then Kasyappa answered that he was an authority 
only in meditative science''' (Bhawana), and that his 
knowledge of the words and acts of the great master 
was not equal to that of Ananda," who had lived with 
him, and attended on him. He suggested, therefore, 
that Ananda should be called upon to speak. 

Now Ananda was not then present in the Assembly, 
but was meditating in a solitary place, yet by his 
knowledge of the thoughts of others, he became aware 
that Kasyappa desired his presence, and arranging his 
garments suitably, he entered the assembly. 

And all the men and angels who saw (his miracu- 
lous approach) were astonished. 

78 PART 11. 

Having done reverence to tlie patriarch, he inquired 
what was desired of him, and being informed that the 
king desired to hear the doctrine of the Wheel of the 
Law ^^ as Buddha had taught it, he arranged his robes 
so as to leave one shoulder exposed, and holding his 
screen^^ before him, took his place in the pulpit, and 
spoke as follows : — 

" The Holy Wheel which the Lord taught is plen- 
teous in twelve ways, just as water poured on a flat 
stone slab streams in all directions. The Holy Wheel 
utterly exterminates the evil dispositions of all beings, 
and establishes them in the four highest degrees of 

" Again, this Holy Wheel may be likened to the 
Chakkra of Indra,^^ king of the angels, which exter- 
minates those against whom it is hurled, and leaves 
no angel remaining in the heavens it is thrown to ; 
for even so does the Holy Wheel of the Lord Buddha 
extirpate evil from the dispositions of men, and bring 
them to holy Nirwana. 

"I, Ananda, have learned but one of its twelve 
ways. I can only speak of what I have seen and 
heard in the company of our Lord the Teacher. 

" When the Lord fixed his desire on becomino- a 
Buddha, he was a man named Chotiban.^^ He bore 
his mother on his shoulders to her house, and dili- 
gently ministered to her ; and then it was that the 
desire arose in him to arrive at perfect wisdom. 

"After he had destroyed the five elements^^ of cor- 
poreal being, he was reborn in the Brahma heavens. 

" The grandfather of our Lord Buddha was King 
Singhanu, of the noble race of Sakyas,^^ who ruled the 
kingdom of Kapila.^^ He had three sons, and when the 


eldest, named Suddhodana/" reached sixteen years of 
age, he resigned his sovereignty to him, and sought as 
his queen a princess of the most kingly descent, en- 
dowed with the sixty-four marks of perfection,^^ and 
the five great beauties, perfect in manners, and steadfast 
in observing the Five Commandments^^ and the Eight 
Commandments. To this end he selected eight Brah- 
mins^^ skilled in the three Vedas, learned in all arts, 
able to interpret the signs of the qualities of men and 
women ; and bestowing on them a large sum of 
money, he ordered them to seek a princess such as he 

"Now in the time of the Buddha Wipassi,^* the 
Princess Maia was daughter of the King of Panthuma- 
wadi, and she having offered to that Buddha a stick 
of precious sandal wood, had placed the remainder in 
a holy building, and had made a prayer. " Lord, 
who excellest in the three ^^ worlds, let the reward of 
my offering be that in an after generation I may be 
the mother of a Buddha like thyself ! " And the 
Buddha Wipassi assented to her prayer. From thence- 
forth she devoted herself to works of piety, and passed 
through many transmigrations, until the time of the 
Buddha Kasyappa, when she was born as the daughter 
of King Kingkisa, and was called Sutharama. And 
then hearing the teaching of that Buddha, her heart 
took delight in his religion, and she gave immense alms 
to its followers, and its Lord ; and thereafter she was 
born in the Dewa heavens, and when she left them, 
was re-born in the world as daughter of the King of 
Mathura by name Phusadi, and she married the Prince 
Saiyachai. When she had extinguished the five at- 
tributes of corporeal being, she was again born in the 

80 PART II. 

Dewa heaven, named Tushita,^^ and thereafter was 
again born as daughter of Ankana,^^ King of Dewadaha. 
She was exquisitely lovely, her form a perfect picture, 
her complexion golden, her hair of surpassing fine- 
ness, and glossy as the wings of the beetle; eminent in 
the five beauties, and possessing all the sixty -four signs 
of superiority in women. And she was named Maia. 
And she grew in beauty and in virtue. One day when 
distributing rice to the poor, her bowl supplied the 
wants of a vast number of people, and yet remained 
full ; again all sick persons who touched her hand were 
cured of their diseases. 

" Nor was this all — the Chiefs of the Genii (Yak) ^^ 
guarded her on all sides with their royal swords ; and 
the four^^ guardians of the world unceasingly watched 
and protected her. And whenever she saw poor 
men or hermits, her desire was to help them, and the 
gifts she desired to present to them came miraculously 
to her hands. Having grown to maidenhood, she one 
day, attended by her train of guardians and com- 
panions, a crowd of lovely women, visited her garden, 
and after bathing in a shady pool, collected flowers, 
and weaving them into garlands, made an oS"ering of 
them to the Buddhas of former times, her mind at the 
time being full of the desire to become the mother of 
a Buddha. 

" At this very time, the eight Brahmins who had 
been sent forth by King Singhanu entered the garden 
where Maia was walking with her maidens. They had 
travelled through many countries, vainly seeking for a 
princess having the sixty-four signs of perfection ; they 
had indeed found some few endowed with eighteen 
signs, but none with sixty-four. Hearing the sound of 


many pleasant voices, they entered the garden, and their 
venerable appearance having attracted the attention of 
the princess, she ordered them to be provided with 
seats that they might converse with her. 

" After offering to supply whatever they required, she 
inquired the object of their visit, and they told her ; 
and then she asked who Singhanu was. 'He,' they 
answered, ' is a glorious monarch, steadfast in the Five 
Commandments, firm in the Ten Kules of Kings, ^^ and 
his eldest son, Prince Suddhodana, is graced with every 
art and accomplishment. He is of middle height ; no 
woman sees him without loving him ; his age is sixteen 
years, and his father desires to resign his sovereignty 
to him, and has sent us to discover a princess possessed 
of the five beauties, and the sixty-four signs of per- 
fection, to be his queen. Hitherto we have searched 
in vain, but now in you we see one who would be an 
equal match for our prince. 

" And the princess, hearing their words, was pleased 
and felt a passion for the Prince Suddhodana, but she 
concealed it as a light in a dark lantern, saying, ' 
Brahmins, this is no matter for my ears — go tell it my 

" Havino; been introduced to the kino;, that monarch 
strictly examined them as to the position and qualities 
of Prince Suddhodana, and being perfectly satisfied, 
and with the approval of his counsellors, he consented 
to the marriage ; and loading the messengers with 
presents for themselves, and royal presents for their 
king, he sent them away to announce their success. 

" In the middle watch of the night King Singhanu, 
calmly sleeping on his royal couch, dreamt a dream. 
A magnificent jewelled palace sprang ujd from the 


82 PART II. 

earth — its base rested on the world of men, its roof 
reached to the Brahma heavens, and it embraced all 
the ten thousand worlds within its walls. Its first 
story was in the lowest angelic world (Chatii 
Maharachika), its second in the next higher angelic 
world (Dawadungsa) ; in each of the six Dewa heavens 
was one story, and its stories extended throughout 
the sixteen heavens of the Great Brahmas, and the 
(still higher) heavens of the formless. Its dazzhng 
radiance shone throughout all worlds. And in its 
midst there was a jewelled throne two hundred and 
fifty miles in height and fifty miles in width. And 
on it sat a mighty lion-like man, beside a beautiful 
lady. Then there arose a great cloud, and rain fell in 
gentle showers over the whole world. Then all formed 
beings fell before the feet of the mighty man, and he 
made them learn the rules of virtue, and bestowed ex- 
ceeding happiness upon them. And on the east of 
the palace there was a vast lake, so wide that none 
could see across it ; and the mighty man made a ship, 
so that all who desired might be able to cross it. 

"Next morning the king summoned his Brahmin 
soothsayers, and he declared the dream to mean that 
his messengers had been successful, that they had found 
a princess whose child would be a Buddha, and that 
they were about to return with the news. And as the 
Brahmin spoke, the eight messengers entered the palace, 
and laid their presents before the king. Having fully 
reported their acts, the king sent them to conduct his 
ambassador, Suthathiya, and three Sakya princes, as 
an embassy, to demand Maia in marriage for his son ; 
and the King of Dewadaha graciously received the em- 
bassy, and assented to the marriage. 


" Then King Singlianu assembled the Sakyas (the 
princes of his family), and made a broad road from his 
own country to Dewadaha. Beside it were planted 
sugar canes and bananas, and it was adorned with 
royal standards and other insignia. In the adjoining 
fields were halls for music, and all kinds of festivities. 
Over the road was spread an awning of white cloth, 
hung with bunches of flowers, filling the air in all 
directions with their rich frao;rance. And all beino- 
prepared. King Singhanu, and the Prince Suddhodana, 
mounted on royal elephants, with gorgeous trappings, 
and surrounded by a large escort, with ten thousand 
horsemen, and a great train of chieftains and ladies, 
marched towards Dewadaha. 

" When King Ankana learnt of their approach, he 
summoned his courtiers around him, and, arrivino- at 
the gardens where they were resting, he descended from 
his litter, and entering on foot, ofi'ered homage to 
King Singhanu, and then sat down on a suitable seat 
on one side. King Singhanu clasped his hand, and 
invited him to come close to him, and they conversed 
pleasantly together. The King of Dewadaha would 
then have escorted his guest into the city, but he de- 
clined, on the ground that his followers were better 
away from the city, where, perchance, they might make 
broils. And it was agreed between them that he should 
reside in the garden. 

"Great preparations were then made for the marriage. 
Three palaces and a temple were erected, and in the 
temple was placed a lofty jewelled throne. 

" And on the first day of the fourth month, the King 
of Dewadaha caused his royal daughter to be bathed 
with sixteen bowls of scented waters, and to adorn 

84 PAllT II. 

herself with rich garments, like an angel of the Tushita 
heavens. And Kins; Sino-hanu caused his son to bathe, 
so that not a spot of impurity might remain on his 
body, then to anoint himself with scented waters, and 
put on the vestments of a king, with the five insignia ^^ 
requisite at the coronations of sovereigns. 

" And when the moment of good omen arrived, the 
Kino; of Dewadaha brouo;ht forth his daughter in a 
magnificent chariot, and at that moment, Indra, king 
of the angels, perceiving that she who would be the 
mother of a Buddha was on the 23oint of her espousals, 
attended by a vast number of angels and houris, de- 
scended to Dewadaha, and there, with the angels of the 
earth, the angels of the trees, and the angels of the air, 
united in singing praises, loud sounding praises, audible 
even in the worlds of the highest Brahma. And Suth- 
awat, the great Brahma, brought his great royal parasol 
and extended it ; and Sahabodi, the great Brahma, 
brought in his right hand a crystal jar full of scented 
water, and in his left a crystal cup, and, attended by 
the host of Brahmas, appeared before the king ; and 
the king joyfully exclaimed, ' Wonderful is the merit 
of my daughter, and worthy of all praise ; the very 
skies are radiant with the glory of the heavenly host 
which comes to praise her.' 

" At the moment she mounted her car, the Angel 
Queen Suchada anointed her head with heavenly fluid. 

" Thus attended by angels and men, the Princess Mai a 
was escorted to the temple. 

" On his part, the King of Kapila escorted his son 
with equal pomp ; and he, too, was attended by a host 
of angels. 

" And they all entered the temple. 


"And when the moment of good omen arrived, the 
Brahmin Chipho took the wrists of Prince Suddhodana 
and placed him on a jewelled throne, and the noblest 
lady of the harem led the Princess Maia by her wrist 
and placed her on the same seat. Then they made 
them clasp each other's hands, entwining their fingers. 
And the angels filled the air with music. Indra blew 
his loud cornch. Suthawat, the great Brahma, repeated 
a blessing, and poured scented water on both their 
heads, ^^ the ceremony of assumption of royal dignity. 

" Then the earth quaked ; the sea heaved in great 
waves, and was covered with foam, and all the angels 
of all the infinite worlds made ofFerino;s of flowers, and 
gave praises with one voice. 

" And all beholders were astonished, their hair stood 
on end, and they shouted the praises of the royal pair, 
saying, ' Surely this miracle betokens the vastness of 
their merit.' 

" And their royal parents were equally astonished, 
and the Queen Sunantha,^^ mother of the Princess 
Maia, made an offering to the angels — candles, incense 
sticks, dried rice, and flowers, and all kinds of scents, 
and prayed thus : ' Hear me, all ye angels ! In that 
I am old, and shall not live to see the child that this 
my daughter will bring forth to be the holy Teacher, 
may I after death be reborn in the heavens of the 
Brahmas, and thence come to listen to the Wheel of 
the Law, that I may escape further evils in the circle 
of existence.' Having made this prayer, she returned 
to her palace. 

" The two kings and their attendant princes raised 
their hands in adoration to the angels, and pronounced 
blessings on the royal couple ; and the angels offered 

86 PART II. 

sacrifice to them ; and the eight kings of the Yak- 
khas offered sacrifice of the most precious sandal- 
wood ; and a great king of angels, the Wetsuwan, 
brought an off'ering of angelic raiment, and two great 
kings of angels off"ered the most exquisite fruits of the 
earth ; and all the angels invoked on them four bless- 
ings — * May you both live to a full age ! May your 
glory increase, and become more lustrous than that of 
any of the beings on this earth ! May you live in 
perfect happiness ; and may the powers of your minds 
and bodies be beyond all comparison ! ' And having 
thus blessed them, the angels departed to their own 

" Immediately after the ceremony, the King of Ka- 
pila despatched ofiicers to build three palaces — one 
of seven stories, constructed entirely of sandal-wood ; 
a second of nine stories, constructed entirely of eagle- 
wood ; and a third of gold and jewels. 

" And when news was brought of their completion, 
they took leave of the King of Dewadaha, and 
ascended a glorious chariot prepared for them by 
Indra, king of the angels, in order that they might 
return to Kapila, and they took their way escorted 
by the King Singhanu, and the royal tribe of Sakyas, 
and the four divisions of the army, and Indra and a 
host of angels, and King Ankana, and the four 
divisions of his army. 

" And King Ankana sent vast presents after them 
to follow them to Kapila. 

*' Now, the road from Kapila to Dewadaha was about 
twenty miles ; and in general when people travelled 
to and fro by it the dust rose in clouds, darkening 
the air ; yet as this great procession marched along it, 


there was not one handful of dust, it was like one 
smooth slab the whole way. 

" On arrival, the coronation ceremony was repeated 
by the Sakyas, and Prince Suddhodana governed the 
kingdom in place of his father. And when the King 
Singhanu died, Suddhodana ruled over the realm of 





The most illustrious king, the Grand Being who was 
born the exalted crown of the world, the anointed 
head of the world, was moved by his vast compassion 
to endeavour to redeem all teachable beings sunk in 
the great ocean of ever-circling existence, and lead 
them to the jewelled realm of happiness, the immortal 
Nirwana. For this object he gave up the glories of 
universal ^* dominion, the pomp of state, and the 
possession of the seven great treasures,^^ which he was 
within seven days of attaining ; he gave them up, 
regarding them as no more than a drop of spittle, or 
the dust upon his feet, and entered the great order of 
mendicants, in order that he might obtain the fruit, 
which is Omniscience, in the tree of perfect virtue and 

This had the Lord steadfastly desired for an almost 
infinite period of years,^^ from the time when the 
holy Buddha Dipangkara ^'^ was the Teacher of the 
world. He was then a hermit, named Sumetta, pro- 
ficient in meditative science,^^ and perceived with his 
angelic sight that misery is the lot of all beings ; yet 
did he not seek to escape from transmigrating exist- 
ence, because of his vast compassion. Even though 
by lying down in a pool and making a bridge of his 
body for the great Teacher to pass over, he perfected 


liis merits, and might have at once obtained the fruits 
of the highest sanctity and escaped the sorrows of 
life, he declined the fruit of his merits because of the 
charity he felt towards all beings, and the desire he 
had to become their future Buddha. For this he 
persisted in enduring toil, trouble, and pain ; for this 
he bore the miseries of life and the pangs of death 
throuo;h an uncountable number of transmigrations : 
and no sufferino; ever turned his thouo;hts from his 
one great object — the Buddhahood. He cut off por- 
tions of his flesh and gave them in alms so vast a 
number of times, that, if collected, the mass would be 
greater than this world. He poured out his blood in 
alms, more than there is water in the great ocean. 
He gave his head so many times, that the heap would 
be hio;her than the mightiest of mountains, Meru. 
He gave his eyes, more than there are stars in the 
sky. Throughout the immense period that passed 
from the times of the Buddha Dipangkara, to the 
present Buddha age, he steadily practised the thirty 
virtu es,^^ and the five great charities, and perfected 
himself in the power of righteousness.^*^ 

AVhen he appeared in the world as the Prince Wes- 
santara,^^ continuing his practice of the highest 
virtues, he caused the earth to quake seven times in 
acknowledgment of his seven most eminent acts of 
charity ; and on ending that existence, he was born 
in the Tushita heavens, there to reign throughout 
five thousand angelic years, which are five hundred 
and eighty-six millions of the years of men. 

Such has ever been the custom of Grand Beings, 
whose virtues are perfect ; but if their virtue is not 
yet perfected, they do not complete their whole period 

90 PART II. 

of existence in the heavens, but, closing their eyes, 
they pray : " Now let me fulfil my time," and they 
immediately descend and are reborn among men 
according to their desire, that they may perfect their 
power of righteousness ; and when they have per- 
fected it, they are reborn as angels to dwell their full 
age in the Tushita heavens, preparatory to reappear- 
ino- in their last transmigratory existence as Buddha. 

When our Grand Being had ruled in the Tushita 
heavens to within one hundred thousand years of the 
end of his time, there was a portent followed in due 
course by four others, for such has ever been the case 
with Buddhas. 

The first portent is, when the angels of the tempest,^^ 
clothed in red garments and with streaming hair, 
travel among the abodes of mankind crying : " Attend 
all ye who are near to death ; repent and be not heed- 
less ! ^^ The end of the world approaches ; but one 
hundred thousand years more, and it will be destroyed. 
Exert yourselves then, exert yourselves to acquire 
merit. Above all things be charitable ; abstain from 
doing evil ; meditate with love towards all beings, and 
listen to the teachings of holiness. For we are all in 
the mouth of the King of death. Strive then earnestly 
for meritorious fruits, and seek that which is good." 

And the second portent is, when the great Brahma 
proclaims : " Oh let us all seek to do good, and give 
alms, that we may profit by it ; that we may meet 
him whose merits are perfect. The time is near, but 
one hundred years distant, that the Lord of the uni- 
verse will be born in this world, to teach us all, and 
lead us all to the glorious possession of men, the 
glorious possession of heaven. Be not heedless ! " 


And the third portent is, when the great Brahma 
Suthawat comes and cries in the worlds of men : " Be 
not intent on that which is around yon. But twelve 
years hence, and the Lord, the Jewel, Buddha, will 
teach his glorious secrets, will teach that which is 
glorious for all beings, that they may arrive at the 
perfection of their desires! Be not heedless, but 
endeavour to acquire merit ! " 

And the fourth portent is, when the Dewa angels 
proclaim in similar manner his advent in seven years. 

And the fifth portent is, when the great Brahma, 
in the gorgeous attire of his order, travels through 
the ten thousand worlds proclaiming : " Attend all ye 
who are in the jaws of death ! one hundred thousand 
j'ears hence, the omniscient Lord, the venerable Teacher 
of the three worlds, shall be born in this earth. If ye 
would meet him, ye must abstain from the five great 
offences, — the destruction of life, fraud, adultery, lying, 
and intoxication ; ye must give alms, observe the rules 
of religion, practise thoughtful love, and seek to do meri- 
torious acts, and be not niggardly in doing them." 

Such are the five portents which invariably precede 
the birth of a Buddha. 

The time having arrived, the Brahma and Dewa 
angels of the ten thousand worlds,^^ the four guar- 
dians of each world, in all forty thousand, and all the 
Dewas of might and influence assembled together, 
proceeded to the abode of the Grand Being, and having 
done homage, addressed him thus : — 

" Lord, perfect in merits, whose time is at hand ; 
thou that hast coveted no earthly honour, no heavenly 
glory, no sovereignty of Brahmas or Dewas ; that 
hast steadfastly set thy will on arriving at the Holy 

92 PART IT. 

Buddhaliood, desiring to rescue all beings from the 
ocean of circling existence, and lead tliem to the 
Immortal Nirwana ; now has the time arrived 
that thou shalt descend into the womb ! Lord 
Buddha, the creatures of the worlds have no protector. 
They are sunk in the vast and terrible ocean of exist- 
ence, and there is none to help them. There is but 
thou alone to show compassion towards them. Accept, 
we pray thee, our supplication, and be born into the 
world of men. Thou art he that will become the 
omniscient Buddha. Enter the lustrous vessel of the 
true law ! Incite, lead and redeem all beings from the 
four seas of existence ; that by the power of thy 
mighty merits, we may all escape from misery ! " 

And as they spoke, there appeared to the Grand 
Being five signs. 

First, — The flowers with which he was adorned 

Second, — His splendid robes appeared discoloured 
and soiled. 

Third, — Sweat streamed from the pores of his body. 

Fourth, — His beautiful golden skin became dark 
and discoloured. 

Fifth, — He could not rest at ease on his heavenly 

Yet, indeed, the flowers of heaven remain ever fresh 
throughout the life of the angel whom they adorn, and 
wither not until the day is near that their possessor 
will descend from his angelic existence. Neither 
until that time is at hand do the royal robes of angels 
lose their spotless beauty. Nor until then does sweat 
ever appear on their bodies, for they feel neither heat 
nor cold ; nor are their bodies subject to any imper- 


fection. Male angels ever appear in the full beauty 
of early manhood, and female angels with all the 
perfection of fair sixteen ; and they are subject to no 
change until they are about to enter on another life, 
Avhen deformity comes upon them, and their lives, 
which till then have known no sorrow, are clouded with 
sadness. And simultaneously with these signs of an 
angel's approaching end, there are other portents ; not 
for all angels, but for those only whose merit is of the 
highest degree ; portents such as earthquakes, eclipses, 
and meteors, of like nature to those which are the 
precursors of the death of the great among men, signs 
full of meaning to those who have knowledge of astro- 
logy, and who alone can predict these great events. 

Now while the host of angels yet invoked the Grand 
Being, as has been already set forth ; ere he vouchsafed 
to accord their prayer, he reflected on the five condi- 
tions of the appearance of a Buddha in the world. 

These five conditions are,^^ the duration of human 
life, the continent wherein he will appear, the country 
where he will be born, the caste to which he will 
belong, the age of her who will be his mother. 

He considered the duration^ ''^ of human life, knowiuo- 
that no Buddha ever appears when the duration of life 
is more than a hundred thousand years, or less 
than one hundred years, because in either case 
his teaching would be lost ; inasmuch as when 
the lives of men extend to so long a period they 
are unlikely to believe in the unchangeable teachings 
of Buddha on the three subjects — Impermanence, 
Misery, and Unreality ; and he will be unable to rescue 
them from ever circling existence : and when their 
lives are less than one hundred years, they will be so 

94 PAET II. 

full of ignorance and wickedness, that even tliougli 
they listen for a while to the teachings, they will re- 
lapse into wickedness as soon as their teacher has left 
them. The effect of the teaching will entirely disap- 
pear, just as a mark drawn on water, which is visible 
but for a moment and then vanishes for ever. And the 
Lord saw that the age of beings was now a full hundred 
years, and that the time was therefore suitable for his 

Next he considered the continent, and reflecting that 
all preceding Buddhas had been born in the continent of 
men like ourselves, Jambu Dvipa, he also selected that 

Then reflecting on the country, he perceived that 
the central country^^ (Mid India) had been the birth- 
place of all Buddhas, of Pacheka^^ Buddhas, of the two 
principal disciples,^^ and the eighty^^ great disciples of 
Buddhas, of universal Emperors, of the most emincnt^^ 
of the warrior caste, of the men of property, and of 
Brahmins, of all who have surpassing merit. On 
these considerations he also selected the central country 
as his birthplace. Having duly considered the coun- 
tries, he next considered of caste^^ or family, and he 
perceived that all Buddhas have been born either in 
the Eoyal caste or the caste of Brahmins, whichever 
of the two was at the time held in most esteem by 
men, but never had they been born as merchants, or 
farmers, or in other castes. He perceived that at this 
time the race of kings was esteemed above all others, 
and therefore he decided that he would be born of the 
Royal race of Kapila, and that the King Suddhodana 
should be his father. 

Finally, he reflected on her who should be his mother. 


According to the custom of Buddlias, lie could not be 
'born of any ill-conducted, immoral person, but of one 
who had passed stainlessly through countless genera- 
tions, and had never offended against the Five great 
Commandments ; and he saw that she who would be his 
royal mother, the Queen Maia, would continue to live 
but ten months and eight days from that time, 
and that it was now right that he should descend 
into the world of men. 

Then the Grand Being assented to the prayer of 
the host of angels, saying : " Take heed, all ye that are 
in the jaws of death. The time has arrived that I 
should descend, and be born on earth as the Holy 
Jewel Buddha. Depart to your abodes ! " 

And when the host of angels had left him according 
to his command, surrounded by his own train of 
Tushita angels, he entered the Nanthawan^^ Gardens. 
Beautiful are the Nanthawan Gardens ! They abound 
in trees, covered with angelic flowers and fruits of 
exquisite loveliness, amid whose branches innumerable 
birds of the most gorgeous plumage make the air 
resound with their harmonious songs. Mid masses of 
ever-blooming flowers, there are lotus lakes wherein 
grow scented lilies of the choicest kinds, and shoals of 
fishes, large and small, disport themselves. And there 
are stairs leading down to the water, overlaid with 
gold and jewels. 

Thither the Grand Being went, surrounded by his 
train, and seeing the suitable moment, he descended 
from the abodes of angels. 

Then was seen a prodigy. The earth trembled — 
the worlds throuo-hout the universe trembled and 


quaked. A brilliant light shone among all worlds. 

96 PART 11. 

The blind who desired to see, saw. The deaf who 
desired to hear, heard. The dumb recovered their 
speech. The cripples became straight. The prisoners 
were set free. The flames of hell were extinguished. 
The insatiable hunger and thirst of the Pretas^^ was 
appeased. All pain ceased. Detraction was at an 
end. All beings spoke kindly to one another. The 
elephants trumpeted their joy. The horses neighed 
with delight. Every instrument of music gave forth 
sweet sounds of itself without being touched. Even 
the very jewels people wore clanged together in sweet 
harmony. The air was filled with flowers. The winds 
blew mild, cool, and refreshing. The rain fell in soft 
showers. The birds ceased to fly through the air. 
The rivers stayed their current. The waters of the 
sea became sweet. The whole sky was dotted with 
the five kinds of lotuses. All flowers burst into 
bloom and distilled the most delicious fragrance. 
Lotuses sprang from every tree, and branch, and 
shrub, and herb, even from the very stones. On 
every lotus stem were seven flowers. Garlands hung 
suspended in the skies, and flowers rained down on all 
sides. And there was a mighty sound of music, 
spontaneously rising from the instruments of music 
of the angels. 

Such were the prodigies which appeared when the 
King, the Descendant of Mighty Conquerors, the Holy 
Grand Man, the Highest Crown, the Perfection of 
Power, the Infinitely Meritorious, the Lord excelling 
all, descended from the Tushita heavens, and was con- 
ceived in the world of men. 



In the city of Kapila, on the fifteenth ^'^ day of the 
eighth month, Siiddhodana the liing commanded his 
people to celebrate the festival of the constellation 
Asanha. And they had great rejoicings, feasting and 
music, and sports of all kinds, and gave themselves up 
to pleasure without restraint. 

For seven days before the festival, the Queen Maia, 
clad in her sumptuous royal robes, and perfumed with 
precious ointments, appeared in all the glory and pomp 
of her high dignity. On the morning of the seventh 
day, rising from her couch, she had sixteen jars of 
scented water poured over her, and then distributed 
four hundred thousand pieces of money among the 
sick, the crippled, and the destitute. Then she put 
on the robes and insignia of a queen of the highest 
rank, and entering her breakfast chamber, partook of 
the most delicious food, and then diligently performed 
the religious observances proper to the holy day.^^ 

Having finished her duties, she entered her beautiful 
sleeping chamber, and falling asleep on her couch, she 
saw a vision. 

The four kings of the world bore her away on her 
couch, and placed her on the top of an immense rock 
in the Himalayan forest. They then retired ; and 
their queens advancing, led her to bathe in the 


98 PART II. 

Anodat^^ Lake, and having caused her to wash oflf all 
human impurities, they anointed her with heavenly 
scents, robed her in heavenly raiment, and adorned her 
with heavenly flowers. Then they led her to a golden 
palace, standing on a silver mountain, and prayed her 
to rest on a couch with her face turned to the west. 
Thence she saw a golden mountain, whereon the Koyal 
Being that should be Buddha marched in the form 
of a white elephant. The most admirable of w^hite 
elephants leaving the mountain of gold, came to the 
foot of the mountain of silver, and passed round to its 
northern side. In his beautiful trunk he held a newly- 
expanded white lotus flower. He ascended the moun- 
tain, and having trumpeted loudly, entered the golden 
palace. Thrice he marched around ^^ the couch, and 
at the end of the third circuit, he appeared to enter 
her right side and pass into her w^omb. 

And at the very time that the Queen Maia had this 
vision, the Grand Being descended from the Tushita 
heavens, and was conceived in her womb. 

Next morning, the Queen Maia related her vision 
to the king, and the king summoned sixty- four Brah- 
mins, learned in the three Vedas, that they might 
show its interpretation, and tell him whether it was of 
good or evil import. And when they had heard it, 
they answered, " Be not grieved, king ! for this is 
a most auspicious vision. Thy queen shall bear a son, 
a Grand Being, of excelling glory and power, of infi- 
nite merits, and wisdom beyond estimation. If he 
devote himself to a worldly life, he will be a Chak- 
kravartin Emperor, possessor of the seven treasures, 
and ruling over all the world. If he devote himself to 
religion, then will he become a Buddha." 


Then the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave orders 
that all care might be taken of his queen during her 
pregnancy ; that wherever she might be, sleeping or 
waking, she might be surrounded by that which was 
pure, melodious, harmonious, refined, elegant, and 

And the forty thousand guardian angels of the ten 
thousand worlds watched around her, with perfect 
delicacy. Never were they seen when she desired 
privacy, but at all other times she saw them guarding 
her by day and by night, and she saw them without 

From this time no sensual desire ever disturbed her 
thoughts. She steadfastly obeyed, as she had done 
from her youth up, the Five great Commandments, and 
abstained from all impurity, as the mothers of Buddhas 
ever have done. 

In those days, when the teachings of a Buddha 
were unknown, men raising their hands with rever- 
ence, held as their creed the commandments taught by 
the followers of the Tapas and Parivrajaka.^^ And the 
Queen Maia herself had been wont to follow the rules 
of the ascetic Kaladewila,^^ but, from the time of her 
conception, she would no longer sit at the feet of others, 
but worshipped according to her own thoughts. 

And the great kings of the earth vied with each 
other in bringing gifts to the great King Suddhodana, 
impelled thereto by the influence of the merits of the 
Grand Being who was in the womb of Maia. 

And the Grand Being dwelt in his mother's womb, 
not in pain and discomfort, as is the lot of other 
beings, but in comfort and happiness, sitting erect 
like to one of those beautiful images ^^ which men 

100 PART II. 

erect on jewelled thrones, or like to the Great Brahma 
sitting in a glorious palace of the heavens, plunged in 
deep meditation. 

Beautiful in form, free from all contact with im- 
purity, he sat in the womb enjoying the full use of his 
reason, and fully aware of the three circumstances of 
his existence, namely, his conception, his gestation, and 
his birth, unlike all other beings, which have no know- 
ledo;e of these thino-s. 

And Maia felt no pain, nor had she the troubles of 
other women in her condition, nor was the elegant 
contour of her figure enlarged or changed. Her body 
became clear and brilliant, so that she and her child 
could see each other through it, even as the red 
thread can be seen through the bright pearls threaded 
on it. 

Such were the effects of the infinite merits of the 
Grand Being. 

When Maia had completed a period of ten months, 
she obtained the king's permission to visit her parents 
at Dewadaha. The king had the road cleared and 
levelled, and made gay with flags and flowers, and jars 
of water were placed at intervals along it. A golden 
litter was provided for the queen, and an escort of a 
thousand noble ladies attended her. 

Between the cities of Kapila and Dewadaha, there 
was in those days a forest of the most splendid trees, 
named Sim wall wana. It was a lovely spot. Interlac- 
ing branches, richly covered with foliage, sheltered the 
traveller as if he were covered with a canopy. The 
sun's scorching rays could not penetrate to the deli- 
cious shade. All over the trees, from their trunks to 
their very tops, bunches of flowers budded, bloomed, 


and shed their fragrant leaves, and unceasingly budded 
and bloomed again. Attracted by their sweet pollen, 
flights of shining beetles buzzed around them, filling 
the air with a melodious humming like to the music 
of the heavens. There were pools full of lotuses of all 
colours, whose sweet scent was wafted around by gentle 
breezes, and whose fruit floated on the waters in all 
stages of ripeness. 

AVhen the Queen Maia entered this forest, the trees, 
the inanimate trees, bowed down their heads before 
her, as if they would say, " Enjoy yourself, queen ! 
among us, ere you proceed on your journey." And 
the queen, looking on the great trees, and the forest 
lovely as the gardens of the angels, ordered her litter 
to be stayed, that she might descend and walk. 

Then, standing under one of the majestic trees, she 
desired to pluck a sprig from the branches, and the 
branches bent themselves down that she might reach 
the sprig that she desired ; and at that moment, 
while she yet held the branch, her labour came upon 
her. Her attendants held curtains around her ; the 
angels brought her garments of the most exquisite 
softness ; and standing there, holding the branch, with 
her face turned to the east, she brought forth her son, 
without pain or any of the circumstances which attend 
that event with women in general. 

Thus w^as he bom, on Friday, the fifteenth day of 
the sixth month of the year of the dog, under the 
astronomical sio;n Wisakha. 

The Great Brahma Sutthawat receiving the child in 
a golden net, held him before his mother's face, cry- 
ing, " Happy art thou, queen, whose son hath merit 
beyond all comparison." And at that moment there 

102 PART II. 

poured from heaven two streams of water, one on the 
queen and one upon the Grand Being. 

From the hands of the Great Brahma, he was received 
by the four guardians of the world, from them by the 
archangel Indra, and from him by the host of Brah- 
mas, and, leaving their hands, he stood erect upon the 
earth on his own holy feet. The Great Brahma held 
over him the white parasol of kings, the Dewa 
Suyama brought a royal fan, and other angels bore 
the royal sabre, gleaming with jewels, the royal golden 
slippers, and the jewelled crown, the five great insignia 
of royalty. These things were seen, but the angels 
who bore them were invisible. 

The Holy King, the Grand Being, turning his eyes 
towards the east, regarded the vast host of angels, 
Brahmas, and Dewas, Yom ^-^ and Yakhas, Asuras, 
Gandharvas, Suparnas, Garudas, and men ; and they 
rained flowers and off'erings upon him, and bowed in 
adoration, praising him, and crying, " Behold the ex- 
cellent Lord, to whom none can be compared, to whom 
there is none superior." Then, in order, he turned to 
the other points of the compass, and from each received 
the same adoration. And having thus regarded the 
whole circle of the heavens, he turned to the north, 
and, gravely marching seven paces, his voice burst 
forth in the glorious words, " I am the greatest being 
in the world, excelling in the world ; there is none 
equal to me, there is none superior to me. This is my 
last generation. For me there will be no future birth 
into the world ! " 

Then the ten thousand worlds quaked. The universe 
was illumined with an exceeding bright light. The 
moon shone with heavenly radiance. The sun's heat 


ceased its violence, and gave out but an agreeable 
warmth. A refreshing shower fell upon the four con- 
tinents, and all musical instruments gave out harmo- 
nious sounds of themselves ; and in all places there 
appeared the thirty-two miraculous signs which had 
attended his conception in the womb. 

These are the signs, and the interpretation which 
the learned give of them : — 

The ten thousand worlds quaked ; signifying that 
he would be omniscient. 

The angels assembled ; signifying that the angelic 
ruler would teach them the true law. 

The Brahma angels first received him ; signifying 
that he would attain the meditative science ^^ of the 
formless Brahmas. 

Men received him from the angels; signifying 
that he would attain the meditative science of the 
formed Brahmas.^^ 

He at once stood firmly on his feet ; signifying that 
he would have the four miraculous powers.^^ 

He turned to the north ; signifying that he would 
rescue all beings from false doctrines. 

He took seven steps ; signifying that he would have 
the seven constituents^^ of the highest wisdom. 

The Great Brahma held over him the white parasol 
of kings ; signifying that he would arrive at the per- 
fection of saintly fruits of emancipation. 

The angels bore after him the five insignia of 
royalty ; signifying that he would be master of the 
five great principles of emancipation.^^ 

He looked upon all points of the compass ; signify- 
ing that he would attain the science which makes all 
things perfectly manifest. ^^ ("?) 

104 PART II. 

He declared that he was the most exalted of beings ; 
signifying that he would teach the law of the revolv- 
ing wheel. 

All jewels in the world shone with unwonted lustre ; 
signifying that the earth would be enlightened by the 
holy jewel of the true law. 

The guitars sounded of themselves ; signifying that 
he would enjoy the meditative tranquillity of perfect 
freedom. C?) 

The drums gave out their notes ; signifying that he 
would possess the drum of victory, which is the true 

All who were in torment and fetters were set free ; 
signifying that he would cause all pain to cease. "^^ 

The sick were healed ; signifying that he would 
attain the knowledge of the four pre-eminent truths. "^^ 

The mad became sane; signifying that he would 
attain the four applications of reflective power. "^^ 

The vessel crossed the seas and returned to its port ; 
signifying that he would attain the four classes of dis- 
tinctive knowledge. 73 

Those who had been enemies, became friends ; signi- 
fying that he would attain the four virtuous inclina- 
tions. '^^ 

The fires of hell were extinguished ; signifying that 
he would extinguish the eleven fires, of which lust is 
the fiercest. '^^ 

The blind saw ; signifying that he would be all- 

The deaf heard ; for that he would be all-hearing. 

The lame walked ; signifying that he would lead his 
disciples to the attainment of miraculous powers. 

Light shone through the darkest hells; signifying 


tliat he would repress ignorance, and make manifest 

The water of the ocean became sweet and pleasant 
to drink ; signifying that he would enjoy the most 
excellent flavour of Nirwana. 

The violent winds ceased their fury ; signifying 
that he would make an end of the sixty-two false 
doctrines. ''^ 

The birds no longer flew hither and thither through 
the air, but remained still on their trees ; signifying 
that all beings would take their stand in the Holy 
Triad "*^ of the excellent religion of Buddha. 

The moon's rays became supernaturally brilliant ; 
for men and angels would love the Lord : and the 
sun's rays fell with unusual mildness ; for that the 
Lord would bestow happiness of body and spirit on 
all teachable beings. 

The angels stood and clapped their hands at their 
palace gates ; signifying that he would display the 
divine authority of a Buddha. 

The ever ravenous Pretas ceased to crave for food ; 
signifying that he would bestow the happiness of 
emancipation on all his disciples. 

Doors opened of themselves ; signifying that he 
w^ould open the royal gates, the eight-fold paths ^^ of 
the saints, to all teachable beings. 

All trees and plants burst into bloom ; signifying 
that he would cause all who acted according to his 
teaching to receive the reward of their works. ''^ 

Lotus flowers appeared in every place ; signifying 
that he would constrain the paths and fruits to appear 
for the advantage of all teachable beings. 

And lastly, the appearance of flowers and flags of 

106 PART n. 

victory throughout the ten thousand worlds, signified 
that he would bestow the monk's robe, which is the 
flag of victory of the saints, on all teachable beings 
who desired to receive ordination. 

Now, when the Grand Being marched those seven 
paces, and the universe was filled with the portents 
that have been related, he, though naked, appeared to 
be clad in rich vestments ; though but a small babe, 
he appeared like a youth of sixteen ; though walking 
on the ground, he seemed to tread upon the air. 

The sases tell us that at the same time that the 
Grand Being was born into the world, seven other 
things came into the world — namely, the Princess 
Phimpha, Ananda, Phra Luthayi (Kaludari), Channa, 
the horse Kanthaka, the great Bodhi or sacred Po tree, 
and the four great gold mines. ^*^ 

Then all the royal Sakyas of the cities Dewadaha 
and Kapila made glad and rejoiced, and brought ofi"er- 
ings to the Grand Being and his mother, sacrificial 
off"erings of the most glorious kind ; and they escorted 
them back to the royal city of Kapila, amid songs and 



On that day, the angels of tlie Davadungsa heavens, 
led by the archangel Indra, vied in joyful cries^ say- 
ing — " To Suddhodana, king of Kapila, and Maia his 
queen, there is now a son born, who, in days to come, 
when he attains the full age of manhood, shall sit on 
the jewelled throne beneath the holy tree, and shall 
there arrive at the Buddhahood, and shall make mani- 
fest the law of the revolving v>dieel to all teachable 
beings who are now enveloped in ignorance. We, too, 
shall see the glory, and praise the beauty of the Lord 
Buddha, and shall hear his teachings ^^ of the true 
law." They shouted forth their praises, and wor- 
shipped him with offerings ; ^^ they waved cloths and 
flags ; male and female, they gave expression to their 
joy by the grandest of festive ceremonies. 

In those times lived a holy man named Kaladewila, 
who was a member of a religious body whose doctrines 
differed from those of Buddha ; and he was the teacher 
of the King Suddhodana. He was master of the Ave 
supernatural arts, and of the eight perfections of medi- 
tative abstraction, and had the power of flying through 
the air, etc., etc. This day he had transported himself 
to the Davadungsa heavens, and, sitting there, heard 
the rejoicings of the angels, and was told by them of 
the birth of Kinor Suddhodana's son, a beino; who 


had more accumulated merit than any other in the 

Immediately he returned to earth, and entering 
the palace, seated himself before the king. The king 
ordered the ladies in attendance to adorn the child, 
and bring him to do reverence to the holy man ; but 
instead of doing reverence, he rose into the air, and 
placed his beautiful feet on the head of the holy man. 
Nor, indeed, would it have been right that the inci- 
pient Buddha, who had arrived at his last generation, 
and had perfected the powers of righteousness, should 
have shown signs of respect to any being. Had any 
constrained him to bow his head to the feet of Kala- 
dewila, doubtless, at that moment, the head of Kala- 
dewila would have split into seven pieces. 

And Kaladewila was filled with astonishment, and, 
respectfidly leaving the seat (of honour), he bowed 
down and did homage to him, raising his hands, and 
reverentially embracing the feet of the being who would 
be Buddha. 

And the King Suddhodana, amazed at what he saw, 
did homage to his son for the first time. ^^ 

Then Kaladewila, whose supernatural powers enabled 
him to tell all that had happened during forty past 
creations of the world, and to foresee all that would 
happen for forty generations to come, perceiving that 
the body of the Grand Being was marked with all the 
signs of eminence, recognised that he would certainly 
become Buddha, and his countenance beamed with joy ; 
but immediately reflecting as to whether he himself 
would live to see the day, he divined that he would 
not ; but, dying before that time, would be reborn in 
the worlds of the formless Brahmas, an impassible, in- 


sensible, immovable spirit, which not all the powers of 
a thousand Buddhas could move to a knowledge of the 
ways and fruits. Overcome by the thought of his 
misfortune and want of merit,^* he could not restrain 
his tears, but sat and wept. 

And the wondering courtiers inquired the cause of 
his joy and sorrow so quickly succeeding one another, 
and when they had heard it they told the king. 

But Kaladewila, as he thought sadly of these things, 
seeinor that he himself would not hear the teachino- of 

O a 

the Buddha, cast about to see which of his relations 
would be more fortunate, and he saw tbat his nephew 
Nalaka would certainly behold the Great Teacher. 
Quickly rising, he sought his nephew, and said to him, 
" Take heed, Nalaka, the son of King Suddhodana is 
endowed with the thirty-two signs of a Grand Being ; 
he is an incipient Buddha, who has perfected the 
powers of virtue. Arriving at manhood, he will be 
crowned king, and afterwards, retiring from lay life, 
and receiving holy orders, he will obtain the Buddha- 
hood ! " Then Nalaka, who was a good man, and had ac- 
cumulated merit during a hundred thousand creations, 
and was now born in a noble and wealthy family, 
reflected on his uncle's words, which he knew were 
ever spoken for his advantage, (and acting on them), he 
forthwith purchased in the market place the requisites 
for those who take holy orders,^^ an earthen pot, and 
some yellow cloth ; and shaving oif his beard and 
hair, became a member of an association of holy men ; 
and having turned towards the holy being who would 
be Buddha, he offered adoration : and then slinsino- 
over his right shoulder the bag containing his pot, he 
proceeded to the Himalayan forest, and practised 


asceticism ^^ and meditation,^'' until the time that the 
Grand Being attained the Buddhahood. Then he sought 
his presence, and from him received the instructions 
named Nalaka-patipada,^^ and when he had studied 
them, he took leave of the Lord and returned to the 
hills and forests of Himalaya, that he might practise 
meditation without interruption. In due course, he 
became the first to attain the highest degree of sanctity 
by means of the Nalaka instructions, and within seven 
months of that time, placing himself on a hill top, lie 
entered Nirwana, at that very place. 

On the fifth day after the birth, King Suddhodana 
held a great festival for the naming of his child. The 
palace was gaily decorated, the princes and chieftains 
assembled, and one hundred and eight Brahmins, all 
skilled in the Three Vedas and the Shastras, were 
requested to predict the prince's fortune. 

Of the one hundred and eight Brahmins, there were 
eight more learned than their fellows ; by name Rama, 
Lakkhana, Yaiya, Tucha, Bhocha, Sudhatta, Suyama, 
and Konthanya (or Kondanya). These eight Brahmins 
gladly responded to the king's desire, saying — 

" Angelic king, thy son has the soles of his feet full 
fleshed and perfectly flat, like unto golden sandals. 
They move, not alternately, like the feet of ordinary 
men, but they both touch, the ground at the same time, 
and leave it at the same time. Nor does one end of 
the foot touch the ground before the other, but the 
whole sole touches the ground at the same moment. 
This is a very great sign of a Grand Being." ^^ 

Then was the question asked, ^^ " How came it that 
he who should be Buddha had this remarkable pecu- 
liaritv 1 Was it on account of merit amassed in his 


previous existence *? " And tlie master, who knew tlie 
truth of these matters, answered, "Tlie Grand Being 
was distinguished by the thirty-two principal charac- 
teristic marks of a Grand Being, and the eighty minor 
ones by virtue of the infinite amount of merit he had 
accumulated by the practise of duty and charity. He 
himself taught, saying. The Tathagata ^^ had these 
distinctions, because, throughout an infinite number 
of creations of worlds, he had steadfastly and without 
wavering practised all kinds of meritorious works ; 
Jiad followed the law of truth in act, speech, and 
thought ; had constantly made merit by the most 
bountiful charities ; had ever taken delight in observ- 
ing the abnegations ordered by the Five Commandments 
and the Eight Commandments ; ^^ had continually 
exercised himself in charitable meditations ;^^ had 
ever shewn respect to the aged of his own rank ; and 
had always acted for the benefit of his parents. Such 
were the merits to which those signs were due, and 
even had he been born in the heavens instead of on 
the earth, he must necessarily, as the result of those 
merits, have had ten advantasies over other ano-els. 
He must have excelled them in certainty of life, in 
beauty, in advantages of comfort and possessions, in 
power, in form, in voice, in odour, in taste, in sensi- 
bility (touch), and in strength of body and mind. 
Being born on earth, by virtue of these merits, he 
could not fail to be either an universal Emperor or an 
omniscient Buddha." 

The Brahmins continued their discourse on the signs, 
as follows : — 

On each of his feet ^^ is a fig-ure of the beautiful 


wheel Chakkra, with its thousand rays or spokes, all 

112 PART il. 

richly adorned as if it were a wheel of emeralds. Its 
outline is shewn by elegantly drawn circles, and its 
centre is filled with exquisite devices, which gleam in 
beauty like the jewelled chakkra of the angels. Around 
the chakkra are one hundred and eight other figures, 
namely, the crystal spear, a female figure with orna- 
ments, the flower Phutson, a chain and neck jewel, a 
baisi standard, a wicker seat, two fishes, a palace, the 
royal elephant goad, a stand for torches or candles, a 
royal sword, a palm leaf fan, a peacock's tail fan, a 
royal white parasol, a crown, a monk's food pan, a 
bunch of Mali flowers, the green Q blue) Utpala lotus, 
the white Utpala lotus, a chakkra, a royal chowrie 
(fly flap), the royal lotus (nymphoea), a full water jar, 
a tray full of water, the great ocean, the mountains 
which form the walls of the world, the Himalayan 
forest. Mount Meru, the moon, the sun, the constel- 
lations, the four great continents, the two thousand 
lesser continents, a figure of the Lord of the Chakkra 
(Vishnu 1), a chank shell, with reversed spiral ; the 
seven great rivers or seas, the seven chains of 
mountains that encircle those seas, the seven great 
lakes, the elephant Chatthan, a crocodile, the flags Chai 
and Patat, the monks fan (chani), Mount Krailasa, the 
king of lions, the king of royal tigers, the king of 
yellow tigers ; Walahaka, the king of horses ; the 
elephant Uposatha, the kings of Garudas, Nagas, Bur- 
mese geese, and jungle fowl ; the ox Usupharat, the 
elephant Erawan, the dragon Mangkara, a golden beetle, 
a crystal throne, a golden tortoise, a golden ship, a cow 
and calf, a kinnara, a kinnari ; the birds karawek, 
peacock, karien, chakphrak, and krachip ; an angel, the 
angels in the six Dewa heavens, and the Brahmas of 


the sixteen Brahma heavens of the formed. Such are 
the hundred and eight subordinate figures which appear 
as a guard of honour around that most excellent sign, 
the holy and glorious Chakkra/' 

The Lord, after He became Buddha, taught that He 
bore this most excellent sign, because, throughout 
innumerable previous existences. He had ever sought 
the welfare of all other beings with the same zeal with 
which He had souo;ht His own. 

The Brahmins continued : " The heel of the Prince is 
not like that of other men, but long (and projecting). 
The sole of his foot is divided into four parts — the heel, 
the neck, and the two fore-portions. His heel is 
smooth and round as a ball of thread, and excels in 
beauty the heel of any other being. His toes are 
all of equal length, perfectly straight, long, and 
tapering." This peculiarity was due to the Lord 
having ever abstained from causing death. 

The Brahmins continued : "This extraordinary length 
of heel is one of the signs of a Grand Being. The 
length and beauty of his fingers and toes is another 
sign of a grand being. The palms of his hands and 
the soles of his feet are softer than floss cotton ^^ 
carded one hundred times ; they are exquisitely marked, 
and the fingers are set so close ^^ that no drop of water 
can pass between them. His feet are high, shapely, 
and not fiat and spreading like the feet of ordinary 
persons. They are not jointed to the ankle in the 
usual manner, but the ankle rises from the centre of 
the foot, and is so formed that, without the trouble of 
moving his feet, he can turn his whole body ^"^ in 
any direction he pleases. His knees are round, ^^ full, 
and fleshy, with the bone in the centre. His arms are 


114 PART IT. 

SO long that, without stooping, he can touch his knees 
with his hands. That which should be secret is con- 
cealed.^^ His skin is of the tint of the purest gold, ^*"' 
or gold rubbed with vermilion. His skin is perfect, 
pure, delicate, without spot, and of such a nature that 
no impurity can adhere to it. His glossy blue-black 
hairs grow one by one, regular, and curling upwards, 
as if they were each endeavouring to look upon his 
face. His body is without deformity, straight and 
beautiful as that of the great Brahma, or the golden 
candlestick of the Davadungsa heavens. His voice is 
endowed with the eight qualities, it is melodious, soft, 
resonant, and full of modulation, it is indeed sweeter 
and more agreeable than the voice of Brahma : this is 
one of the most eminent of the marks of a Grand Being. 
His body is rounded and full in the seven places ; his 
hands and feet are round as the back of the great 
golden tortoise ; between his shoulders there is no de- 
pression, and his arms are as round, smooth, and free 
from irregularities or veins, as a well made candle or a 
golden image. He has the bold front of the king of 
lions ; and the front of the lion is perfect in its outline 
and proportions, each part being long or short, or full 
or scant, as best suits its place ; the hind part of the 
lion cannot be said to be so admirably shaped. His 
back is full and fleshy, it has no channel or depression 
down its centre, but is flat as a golden plank. His 
body is like the banyan-tree, a perfect circle of beauty, 
(i.e., perfectly proportioned). His neck is not long 
and curved like that of a peacock or a stork, but is like 
a well-made golden tube. He has about seven thousand 
nerves of taste converging at the entrance of his^ throat, 
by means of which, the moment that food has passed 


the end of his tongue, he has the sensation of taste all 
over his body. His jaw is like that of a lion. He has 
forty teeth, closely set together, without any space 
between them ; forty below, forty above, even and 
perfect as a row of polished gems set in a golden plate. 
He has four canine teeth (or tusks), white and gleam- 
ing like planets. His tongue is soft and flexible, and 
long enough to reach to his forehead. His eyes flash 
forth rays of every colour, and are beautiful as the 
gems of heaven. His eyelashes and eyes are perfect 
orbs, round and beautiful as a precious pearl. On his 
forehead, between his eyebrows, is clearly to be seen a 
spiral tuft of long, soft, brilliant white hairs turning 
to the right. On his head there is a sirorot"^ (or 
glory), like to a glorious angelic crown, in imitation 
of which all the kings of the world have made crowns 
a sign of royal dignity. Such are the thirty-two signs 
of a Grand Beino-." 

Now, if it be asked, How did the Brahmins know 
of these signs 1 the reply is, that the great Brahma 
Suthawat, knowing the approaching advent of a 
Buddha, and desiring that men should know the 
means of identifying him, came upon earth in the 
form of a superior Brahmin, and taught the three 
Vedas and the Shastras. After the Lord entered 
Nirwana, the original treatises of the science of the 
Shastras were lost, and now no one truly knows them. 

Of the eight superior Brahmins who recited the 
above-stated signs, there was one more learned than 
all the others, and he was the youngest, by name 
Kondanya. He remained silent whilst the seven 
prophesied thus : " This prince, endowed with the 
thirty-two signs of a Grand Being, has two careers 

116 PART II. 

before him ; either he will remain a layman, and 
will become an emperor of the world, possessor of the 
seven jewels, ruling over the four continents, and 
their two thousand dependencies, father of a thou- 
sand mighty sons who will overcome all his foes ; 
or he will relinquish lay occupations, will become 
an ordained religious mendicant, and will attain 
omniscience, and become the Lord Buddha." 

So spake the seven ; but Kondanya, the youngest 
and most learned of all, the first of all Buddhists who 
arrived at the highest degree of sanctity, reflecting on 
the marks on the feet, was assured that they denoted 
a being no longer subject to circling existence. He 
therefore did not hold up two fingers as did the other 
Brahmins, but he held up one finger only ; and when 
they had ceased, he added : " king ! thy son will 
not take delight in the pleasures of the world, or 
remain a layman to become an universal emperor, but 
after twenty-nine years, he will enter holy orders, and 
will become an omniscient Buddha of the world." 



The King, Suddhodana, inquired of the Brahmins who 
had interpreted the signs : " By what vision will my 
son be induced to adopt a religious life ? " And they 
answered : " He will see four visions — an old man, a 
sick man, a dead man, and a man in holy orders ; 
these will cause him to adopt a religious life." 

Then the King, desiring that his son might become 
the emperor of the world, determined to prevent his 
seeing those signs which might lead him to adopt a 
religious life ; and to that end, stationed officers all 
round the city, to watch that none of those four 
objects should come under the Prince's notice. 

And the Brahmins named the Prince, Angkhirasa,^^^ 
because of the brilliant rays which streamed from his 
royal head, and they also named him Sidharta,^*^^ 
because of the perfection of his prosperity. And each 
of his relatives brought one son to follow him through 
life whichever of the two careers he might adopt. 

On the seventh day after the birth of the Being 
that should be Buddha, his mother, the Queen Maia, 
died and was re-born in the Tushita heavens ; and her 
younger sister, Pachapati,^""* giving her own son, 
Nanda, to be reared by wet-nurses, became the 
prince's foster-mother. And the King appointed sixty 
hiofh officers to suard the Prince, and numerous 

1 1 8 PART II. 

nurses, free from all bodily defects/"^ to be his con- 
stant attendants. 

When the time came for the festival "^ of the com- 
mencement of sowing-time, the city of Kapila was 
gaily adorned ; and the King, and Brahmins, and 
noblemen marched out to the appointed place for 
sowing the first seeds, and commenced to break the 
earth with seven hundred and ninety-nine ploughs, 
richly gilt and decked with flowers. 

The young Prince was carried thither, and laid 
asleep on a couch, surrounded with curtains, and 
shaded by a tree whose thick foliage let no ray of 
sunshine pass through it. His nurses, seeing that he 
slept, left him one by one that they might watch 
the ceremonies, and he was left alone. After a while 
he w^oke, and leaving the curtains, gazed for a time 
at the splendid festivities. Then he re-entered his 
curtains, and, sitting in a cross-legged position, became 
absorbed in spiritual meditation. And as he so sat, 
the hours passed away, the sun passed across the 
skies, and the shadow of the trees all around fell on 
another side of them to that it had fallen on duriuo- 
the earlier part of the day. But, wonderful to relate, 
the shadow of the tree beneath which he sat did not 
change its position in the least ; and when his nurses 
and attendants returned to him, they found him still 
perfectly shaded from the sun's rays, even as they 
had left him ; and they told the King, and the King 
having seen the miracle with his own eyes, ao-ain for 
the second time did homage to his son. 

When the Grand Being reached his seventh year, 
the King ordered a lotus-pool to be dug for his 
amusement. At that moment, Indra, kino- of the 


angels, felt uncomfortable ^'^'^ on his coucli ; and per- 
ceiving the cause, the thousand-eyed one summoned 
the ansel AVetsukam, and commanded him without 
delay to make, by his miraculous powers, and present 
to the Prince, a pool such as the King desired for him. 

Immediately the angel descended from the heavens 
and did his bidding. He made a pool with a hundred 
sloping banks, a hundred pleasant shallows ; its 
bed shone with the seven kinds of precious stones, 
and its sides were lined with brick, and ornamented 
with crystal and jewels. Growing amid its clear cool 
waters were abundance of lotuses of the five kinds ; 
and floating about on them were a hundred golden 
bowls filled with ever-blooming blue lotuses ; and 
there were boats of gold, and silver, and crystal, and 
one with a beautiful throne, and golden and jewelled 
parasols. This pool, which the angel Wetsukam made 
for the Grand Being, was beautiful as the lotus-lake 
of heaven, which is called Nantabokkharani. 

Having completed his task,' the angel returned to 
the heavens ; and next morning, when the ]ieople 
assembled to dig the pool, lo ! it was there. 

And the young Prince took pleasure in His lotus- 
garden, and walked there attended by a crowd of 
children, numerous as the retinue of a king of angels. 

And when he reached his sixteenth year, his father 
ordered his skilled workmen to build him a palace with 
three residences, one for each season.^"® For the cold 
season the palace was nine stories high, with close-fit- 
tino; doors and windows, so that no drauo;ht could enter. 
For the hot season the building was in five stories, and 
with doors and windows admitting the breeze. And 
for the wet season, the building was in seven stories, 

120 PART II. 

with close-fitting doors and windows. When the 
builders had finished their work, the artists decorated 
them with beautiful paintings, and they were fitted 
with the most costly hangings and furniture. Then 
they raised four Maradops/"^ one on each side of the 
seven-storied building ; one of these was named 
Chanthalokaya, referring to its being a place where- 
from (or wherein) the Prince might take delight in the 
perfection of the moon and the planets. High above it 
were raised columns firuily bound together, to which 
were hung bells which gave out sweet music whenever 
there was motion in the air. And round about the 
buildings were lotus-pools, and on a lofty flagstaff, a 
flag towered over everything else. And round about 
the palace were seven walls. 

And when the palace was finished, the King an- 
nounced his intention of raising his son to the sove- 
reignty, and called upon the Sakya Princes to oSer 
their daughters as his wives. But they answered, 
" King ! thy son is of proper birth, and his appear- 
ance is admirable ; but so far as we know he has 
never learned anything, and has no knowledge or 
accomplishments. Therefore we hesitate to ofier our 
daughters to him ! " 

Then the King told his son what the Princes had 
said, and he answered, " My father, I have all these 
accomplishments without having studied them. Pro- 
claim, then, throughout the kingdom, an assembly of 
all the people, and on the day appointed, I will show 
my skill." 

On the day appointed, in the midst of the Brahmins 
and the Princes and the people, he showed his skill in 
the twelve arts ;"° he strung the bow which required 


a thousaud ordinary men to string it, and firing an 
arrow from it, pierced a liair, hung so far from him 
that no other man's eye could see it at that distance. 

Then the Sakya Princes acknowledged his wondrous 
skill, and presented their daughters to be his wives, 
and he was invested with the royal dignity/^^ and 
the beautiful Yasodara"^ became his Queen. He 
passed his days in honour, luxury, and comfort ; no 
cares assailed him, and his beautiful Queen, and the 
lovely daughters"^ of the Sakyas, unceasingly strove 
to promote his happiness. 

One day the Grand Being felt a desire to visit his 
flower-garden^ and ordered his chariot to be made 
ready. They brought him the royal chariot, inlaid 
with the seven kinds of precious stones, and carpeted 
with lion and tiger skins, furnished with all kinds of 
military weapons, and drawn by magnificent horses, 
of the colour of the red lotus, like to the glorious car 
of the conquering Indra. Mounting his chariot, he 
rode towards the garden, and on his way he saw the 
first of the four visions. 

He saw an old man, blear-eyed, toothless, deaf, 
hollow-cheeked, bald, bent, and with shrivelled skin 
hanging loosely on his bones, endeavouring to support 
his tottering trembling body with a crutch. 

And he was deeply moved at the sad sight. 

Again, another day, riding towards his garden, he 
saw the second vision. 

Rolling in agony on the ground, weeping and groan- 
ing without ceasing, was a wretched sick man, his 
whole body foul with humours oozing from his sores, 
and incessantly tormented by swarms of flies. 

And his heart grew more and more sorrowful. 

122 PART II. 

Again, a third time, riding towards his garden, he 
saw a corpse. A horrible smell rose from it, swarms 
of maggots crept in and out of the nine portals, and 
crows, and vultures, and dogs, feasted upon its entrails. 
His heart fell within him. What is this 1 he asked 
of his charioteer ; and the charioteer answered, " This 
is a dead man, a body from which the breath has 
passed ; this is the certain lot of every man, whoever 
he be." 

Then the Prince was overcome by sadness, and no 
longer taking any pleasure in his garden, he returned 
to his palace. 

And his father, the King Suddhodana, heard of his 
seeing these three visions, and increased the strictness 
of his watch that the Prince might not see the fourth. 

Nevertheless when the Prince again rode towards 
his garden, a messenger from the heavens,^" assuming 
the form and dress of one who had taken holy orders, 
appeared before him. 

The Prince saw the stranger, charming in manner 
and appearance, and inquired of his charioteer, " Who 
is this man, who dresses so differently to all other 
men 1 " And the angel inspiring the charioteer, he 
answered, " Most excellent Lord, this is a man in holy 
orders, a man of the highest merit," 

Then the Grand Being, reflecting on what he saw and 
heard, said to himself, " No being that is born can 
escape age, sickness, and death ; happiest by far is the 
lot of a monk, who lives free from all entanglements 
or concern with wives or children." 

Eejoicing in such thoughts, he passed on to his 
garden, and wandered happily amid the lovely flowers, 
and the harmonious birds. He bathed in the delicious 


lotus-pool, and then sitting on a marble throne, he 
conceived a desire to put on his state robes ; but as 
his attendants bore them to him on golden trays the 
archangel Indra felt a sensation of warmth, and 
knowing the cause, sent one of his angels in the form 
of a barber to adorn him with the glorious robes of a 
king of angels. 

So he sat until the setting sun showed the approach 
of night, and then remounting his chariot, he rode 

On his way he met a messenger from his father, 
bringing the news that his wife, the royal Yasodara, 
had brought forth a son, and at first he showed every 
sign of delight, but immediately after he sadly ex- 
claimed, " This child is a snare and a fetter to hold and 
bind me to a life of transmigrations." 

And thenceforth the child was called Eahula.^^^ 

As the Prince, the Grand Being that should be 
Buddha, re-entered his palace, the beautiful lady 
Kisagotami looked out on him from one of the upper 
stories, and sang his praises, saying, " Happy the 
parents of the Prince Sidharta, for he will keep all 
sorrow from them. Happy the wife of the Prince 
Sidharta, for he will make her heart glad, and keep 
all sorrow from her ! " 

And the Grand Being heard her song, and thought, 
" How shall I extinguish the sorrows of my parents 
and my wife 1 What is the means by which sorrow 
can be destroyed 1 If I could destroy concupiscence, 
or pleasure in love, anger, or the desire to injure others, 
and folly which causes men to err — if I could destroy 
the sources of evil, such as arrogance and falsehood, 
then I might be called the extinguisher of the misery 

124 PART II. 

of m}^ parents, and of all living beings. For this end 
must I now seek the way of Mrwana, that misery may 
be destroyed. I must relinquish this royal pomp, and 
devote myself to religion." 

Having thus thought, he sent to the lady Kisago- 
tami a string of pearls of immense value ; and she 
received it with delight, regarding it as a token of 

Thus had the Grand Being lived as a layman for 
twenty-nine years, when his Queen, Yasodara, bore 
him a son. 



The Grand Being entered his magnificent palace, redo- 
lent with fragrant perfumes, brilliantly illuminated 
with innumerable candles, and gay with wreaths of 
flowers — a palace splendid as the abode of Indra — and 
sat down upon his royal couch. A bevy of the most 
lovely and fascinating girls surrounded him, striving 
by dancing, music, and songs to attract his thoughts 
to pleasure ; but all their enticements were vain. He 
no longer found any satisfaction in such things, and, 
heeding them not, he fell asleep. 

When they saw that their lord slept, they, retiring 
to a short distance, lay down on the floor, and also fell 
asleep. Then a lord of the angels, exerting miraculous 
powers, caused those ladies to sleep in a most unseemly 
manner, quite different to that usual with ladies of 
high birth and good education. Some of them snored 
loudly or painfully, others lay with their mouths wide 
open, others gnashed their teeth, others rolled about in 
ungraceful attitudes, and let their clothes fall off their 
bodies. And when the Grand Being awoke from his 
sleep, and looked around, his heart sank within him. 
He conceived a disgust for a worldly life, and regarded 
his royal palace, full of lovely women, as if it were 
but a cemetery full of horrid corpses. The more he 

126 PART II. 

looked, the more sorrowful he became — the more his 
heart quaked for the miseries of circling existence. 

" Take heed, Sidharta," he said to himself, " be not 
vain ! Transmigratory existence must be attended 
by destruction. Ignorance leads all beings astray, and 
makes them think that to be good which is really evil ; 
it hinders them apjDreciating the truth that life is an 
evil, and it prevents their becoming disgusted, and 
relinquishing their cleaving to circling existence." 

Moved by such sights and thoughts, he determined 
to adopt a religious life without delay. That very 
day he would become a mendicant. 

Eising from his throne, he inquired who was on 
guard at the door. It was Channa. To him the Grand 
Being gave orders immediately to prepare his horse. 

His horse was the splendid Kanthaka, thirty feet in 
length — his coat white and lustrous as a well-polished 
conch-shell, his head black as the black sapphire, his 
mane soft and delicate, his power enormous — a horse 
fit to be the bearer ^" of a sovereign of the world. 
And Kanthaka knew wherefore he was required, and 
neighed loudly with delight ; yet was not his neighing 
heard, for an angel prevented the noise spreading (lest 
it might awaken the guards, and so prevent the Prince 

And while Channa was preparing the horse, the 
Prince, reflecting on the uncertainty of his return, de- 
termined to have one look at his son before settino; out. 

He stood at the door of the Queen's chamber, and 
lovingly gazed at her sleeping, with her child in her 
arms. He, too, longed to embrace his son, yet re- 
frained, from the fear that the mother might wake, and 
prevent him carrying out his purpose of stealing away 


from the palace. He stood at the door, and longingly, 
lovingly continued to look at his child, until his 
thoughts showed him his error. " How can I continue 
to live thus," he reflected ; " how can I live, loving my 
wife and child, and at the same time escape the evils 
of circling existence ? It is impossible ! If I remain 
with them I shall never attain omniscience. I will 
away at once ; and when I have attained all knowledge 
I can return to visit my relations." And, so thinking, 
he turned away. 

Then he addressed his horse, "Help me, Kan- 
thaka ! to enter the class of mendicants this very 
nio;ht ! " and the horse was delio-hted. He mounted 
the horse, Channa held on to its tail, and the four 
guardians of the world held lotus flowers, one under 
each of the horse's feet. 

Now the King, thinking to prevent his son's flight, 
had caused the gates of the palace to be covered with 
iron-plates, studded with mushroom-headed nails, and 
they were of immense weight, so that they could only 
be opened by the united efl'orts of many men. Yet 
these heavy gates would not have stayed him. Had 
it been necessary he would have jumped over them ; 
but it was not necessary, for the guardian angels of 
the gate^^^ opened it. 

Then the King of the Maras,"' the Evil One, 
trembled as he thought of the Prince passing those 
gates, for he knew that if he entered the religious pro- 
fession, he would rise beyond his power, and he deter- 
mined to prevent him. Descending, therefore, from 
his abode in the highest of the Dewa heavens, and 
floating in the air, he cried — 

" Lord, that art capable of such vast endurance, go not 

128 PART II. 

forth to adopt a religious life, but return to thy king- 
dom, and in seven days thou shalt become an emperor 
of the world, ruling over the four great continents." 

He that should become Buddha heard the voice. 
" Who art thou 1 " he cried ; and the voice answered, 
" I am Wasawadi, the King of the Maras.'' 

" Take heed, Mara ! " replied the Grand Being ; 
" I also know that in seven days I might gain uni- 
versal empire, but I have no desire for such posses- 
sions. I know that the pursuit of religion is better 
than the empire of the world. See how the world is 
moved, and quakes with praise of this my entry on a 
religious life ! I shall attain the glorious omniscience, 
and shall teach the wheel of the law, that all teach- 
able beings may free themselves from transmigratory 
existence. You, thinking only of the lusts of the flesh, 
would force me to leave all beings to wander without 
guide into your power. Avaunt ! Get thee away far 
from me." 

Deeply vexed was the King of the Maras as he 
listened to these words. "Vain will be my efforts," he 
reflected, " if Sidharta perseveres. Yet, perchance, he 
will not be able to free himself from the lusts of the 
flesh — hatred and envy — and then my opportunity 
will come ! " So he withdrew to a short distance, and 
watched without ceasing, that he might seize the first 
occasion that presented itself. 

The Grand Being left his palace on the middle day 
of the sixth month. ^^'^ The lovely full moon shone 
without a speck ; and the earth, flooded with its rays, 
appeared like a sea of gleaming white milk. The 
angels of the ten thousand worlds illuminated the 
spheres with the bright lights of heaven. 


As he rode along, he thought of the city he had left, 
and desired once more to see it. Then the earth, 
which has neither life nor intelligence, appeared en- 
dowed with both ; and turning round, as does a 
potter's wheel, it brought the city directly in front of 
him. Gazing on the city of Kapila, he invoked its 
guardian angels, saying : "Angels of yon glorious city, 
listen to my vow ! Never will I return hither while 
I have not achieved omniscience, and my heart is 
yet subject to lust, passion, and folly.^^^ But when I 
have attained the mastery of the most excellent law — 
when I am surrounded by the crowd of saints, then 
will I return ! " 

The place where this occurred became famous, and 
a spire was erected there by the name of Kanthaka 
niwatana Chedi. 

The Lord rode onwards, intent on his purpose of 
entering the noble body of mendicants, and no regret 
assailed him for the glory, the power, and the family 
that he had left behind. 

A vast train of angels attended him ; the skies 
rained flowers, and delicious odours pervaded the air. 
In this splendid state he, in one night, passed through 
the three kingdoms — Kapila, Sawatthi,^"^ and Wesali,^^^ 
and reached the river Anoma,^'"* a distance of thirty 
yojana (about two hundred miles). 

Just before daybreak he arrived at the river Anoma, 
and the great train of angels, having done obeisance, 
returned to their heavenly abodes. " Excellent is the 
augury to be drawn from the name of this river," 
exclaimed the Lord, "for it refers to the success of 
my entry into holy orders." ■^^'' 

He crossed the river, dismounted from his horse, 


130 PART II. 

and, standing on the sandy bank, took off his royal 
ornaments, and, having made a parcel of them, handed 
them to Channa, that he might take them back to 

Next, he reflected that his long hair did not be- 
come the character of a poor ascetic,^ ^^ and he deter- 
mined to have it cut ofi"; but as no one was worthy 
to touch his head, he cut it off with his own sword, 
praying : " May my hair, thus cut, be neat and even ! " 
and by the force of his prayer, the hair parted evenly, 
leaving each hair about an inch and a half in length, 
and they curled in right-handed spirals, and never 
grew more to the last day of his life. ^^^ 

Then, desiring to know if he would truly become 
the Buddha, he prayed again : " If I shall indeed 
attain to holy omniscience, may this roll of long hair, 
which I shall now throw upwards, remain suspended 
in the sky ; but if not, let it straightway fall to the 
ground ; " and by the force of his prayer it remained 
suspended ten miles above the earth, until the angels 
carried it to the Davadungsa heavens, where it is 
adored to this day. 

Next, he desired to change his dress for the garb 
suitable to an ascetic, and at that moment the great 
Brahma angel Kbatikara, who had been an intimate 
friend of the Grand Being when they were both living 
on earth in the time of the Buddha Kasyappa, and had 
since passed his time in the Brahma heavens, knowing 
his desire, brought him the eight articles requisite for 
a monk — the food-pan, the three robes, the razor, the 
needle-case, the girdle, and the filtering-cloth, which 
grow on the tree called Karaphrtik. And the Lord 
received them from the hands of the Great Brahma,^^** 


and putting on tlie yellow dress, which is the flag 
of victory of the saints, he appeared as a well-con- 
ditioned professor of religion. 

Then again praying, as he had done when he cut 
off his long hair, he threw upwards the royal vest- 
ments he had taken off, and they were taken by the 
great Brahma Khatikara, and placed in a great relic 
temple in the Brahma heavens as an object of adora- 
tion for all the Brahma angels. 



Then the most excellent Grand Being, turning to 
Channa, said : " Channa, that hast been my friend, 
helping me to enter the noble order of mendicants, 
now take these my ornaments to my royal parents, 
and tell them from me, that they should not grieve 
nor feel anxiety on my account. Tel] them that I 
have entered the order of mendicants, not from want 
of gratitude towards them, nor from any feeling of 
spite or annoyance, nor because any desire of mine 
has not been gratified ; but because I have pondered 
on the miseries which are caused by transmigrating 
life, on age, sickness, and death. Tell them that I 
have embraced a religious life from the earnest desire 
to redeem and save all beings who are now whirled 
vaguely and helplessly in the continuous channel of 
the sea of transmigrating existence — from the desire 
to conduct them across that sea to the farther bank, 
which is the holy immortal Nirwana. It will be no 
lono; time ere I attain the meditative knowledo;e of all 
things — the realisation of my desire for the Buddha- 
hood.^^^ Then will I return to my father, and will 
wipe away the tears of my family with the most 
excellent of kerchiefs — the teaching of the true law. 
Go then, quickly go, and deliver this message to my 


When Channa heard these words, he fell at his 
master's feet and implored him to let him also enter 
into the religious order, that he might stay with him 
and serve him, and not leave him alone in those 
desolate jungles ; but the Lord would not, but an- 
swered him, saying : " If Channa remained here, my 
father, my aunt, and wife, and my sister, would re- 
main in painful doubt, and would give way to unen- 
durable grief; their hearts would break, and their 
years be diminished. If they Avere gone, who would 
take care of my son, Rahula 1 who would preserve 
him 1 Go, then, and watch over the well-being of 
those my relatives, and you will do that which is 
most profitable." 

Channa, fearing to displease his master, urged his 
wish no more. Respectfully taking leave of him, he 
withdrew to a short distance from where he sat, and, 
holding; his hands before him in an attitude of adora- 
tion, he walked thrice round him from left to risht, 
thinking of the journey he was about to make. 

Now, when the horse Kanthaka heard the conver- 
sation between his master and Channa, he reflected : 
"Why should my master send me backl What is 
the use of my going 1 Channa alone can carry back 
the ornaments, and he can tell the King of what has 
occurred ; but I am a mere animal, I can tell nothing; 
it would be better that I should remain here." Tears 
streamed from his eyes and fell on the holy foot of 
the Grand Being. Then the Lord laid his hand on 
the back of his charger, and spoke to him, saying : 
" Kanthaka, you have done me good service, you 
have been my bearer to the noble order of mendi- 
cants ; be not sad and sorrowful, but return joyfully." 

134 PART II. 

Then Channa led the horse away ; and when they 
had gone a short distance, Kanthaka turned to look 
again at his master ; but his heart could no longer 
contain itself; he staggered along the road overcome 
with grief, until he lost sight of his master, then he 
shuddered and fell dead ; and by virtue of his fidelity 
to his master, he was immediately re-born in the 
Davadungsa heavens as the angel Kanthaka, to live 
in a golden palace with a thousand lovely houris to 
attend on him. 

Channa fell weeping on the horse, and presently 
recovering himself, he took off his trappings, and, 
gathering some flowers in the woods, made of them 
an offering to the remains of the horse. This done, 
he pursued his journey to Kapila, and in due course 
'arriving there, went straighway into the palace, re- 
fusing to give any information to the towns-people, 
who pressed him with their inquiries. He laid the 
ornaments and the trappings of the horse before the 
King ; but before he could utter a word, the Princess 
Yasodara, and the aunt and half-sister of the missing 
Prince, rushed into the audience-chamber w^ith loud 
lamentations, bewailing ^^^ the fate they supposed to 
have befallen their beloved. After some time, they 
listened to Channa's story; and the King recalling 
the prediction of Kaladewila and the Brahmin Kon- 
danya, their grief abated. 

The Grand Being, when Channa had left him, re- 
mained alone, full of compassionate thoughts for all 
beings subject to circling existence — to an existence 
inseparable from liability to death and incessant 
change. He reflected — " When I left the royal city 
of Kapila, a vast host of angels, with one accord. 


escorted me to the bank of tins river Anoma. Then 
they left me, with Channa and my horse Kanthaka. 
Channa and Kanthaka left me, and now I am alone, 
alone without a companion. How chano-eable, how 
sad, is the law of this existence ! " 

In that region there was a forest of mango-trees 
called Annpia. There the Grand Being remained 
seven days, without ever taking food, satiated with 
the joy which he felt in his religious profession. 

On the eighth day, alone and on foot — walking on 
those beautiful feet adorned with the Chakkra, emi- 
nently distinguished by the thirty-two signs of a 
Grand Being, and by the eighty minor signs, radiant 
with a moon-like glory — alone, like the solitary lion of 
the Himalayas — without a companion, yet attracting 
the loving; admiration of all the beasts of the forest — 
in one day he marched two hundred miles, and cross- 
ing a river near the city of Rajagriha,^^^ he entered 
the city, and visited each house he came to, that he 
might receive alms. 

Astounded at his beauty, the people crowded round 
him, wondering who it might be. Some said, " Surely 
it is the moon fleeing from the ravenous Asura Rahu,^^^ 
how else can we account for his radiant glory 1" Others 
made other guesses, and they could come to no con- 
clusion. So they went and told the King — Bimbisara, 
King of Rajagriha — that there was a being in the city 
whose beauty made them doubt whether he were not 
an angel. Then the King, looking from a window of 
the palace, saw him, and, filled with astonishment, 
gave orders to ascertain who he might be, saying, 
" Follow him ! If he is not a human being, when he 
leaves the city he will disappear ; if he is an angel, he 

136 PART IL 

■will fly through the air ; if a snake-king, ^^^ he will sink 
into the earth ; but if a man, he will remain and eat 
his food." 

The Grand Being, that was approaching the Buddha- 
ship, calmly continued his walk, regarding but the 
small span of earth close ^^^ around him ; and having 
collected sufficient food, he left the city by the same 
gate he had entered it. 

He passed on to the Banthawa Hills, ^^'^ and sitting 
down on the summit of a lofty rock, he looked at the 
food collected in his pan. 

He — who had ever been accustomed to the most 
dainty meats, the most refined delicacies — looked at 
the mixed mess in his pot, and loathed it ; he could 
scarcely swallow it. Yet even this caused no wish to 
return to his city and his palace. He reflected on the 
foulness of his own body, and ate without further 
aversion. He finished his meal, rinsed his mouth, 
washed his pan, and replaced it in his wallet, and 
seated himself in a position of contemplation ^^^ on 
the rocky cliff". 

Then the officers who had been set to watch him 
returned, and told King Bimbisara that he was cer- 
tainly a man ; and the King, desiring to converse with 
him, called for his royal palankeen, and attended by a 
great train of noblemen and soldiers, went forth to 
seek him at the Banthawa Hills. 

Sitting on a rocky slab, the King gazed with delight 
at the Grand Being, and observed the grace of his 
manner, and thus addressed him : 

" Man of beauty, whence comest thou 1 " 

" Most excellent lord, I come from the country of 
the Sakyas." 


" From what Sakya country l " 

" From the royal city Kapila." 

The King continued to question him as to his caste, 
family, and name, and was informed, in answer, that 
he was of the royal race (caste) of the Sakyas, the son 
of King Suddhodana, and named Sidharta. 

Now Kino; Bimbisara and the Prince Sidharta were 
on most friendly terms. Though they had never met, 
and did not know each other by sight, they were in 
the constant habit of exchanging presents as tokens of 
good-will ; and when the Grand Being announced his 
name, the King was assured beyond all doubt, by his 
admirable manners and language, that it was none 
other than his friend. 

He reflected that perhaps the Prince had fled from 
his country on account of some family quarrel, and, 
under that impression, he invited him to share his 
power — to rule over half the great country of Maga- 
dha. Then the Grand Being told him the reasons, 
the object for which he had resigned the empire of the 
world. He told him of the four sights which had in- 
fluenced his thoughts, and of his determination to 
achieve the omniscient Buddhahood. And the King, 
having obtained from him a promise that after the 
attainment of omniscience he would first teach in 
Eajagriha, did homage, and returned to his city. 

Travelling on through the country, collecting alms, 
the Grand Being came to the dwellings of the hermits 
Alara and Kuddhaka, ^^^ and staying with them, learned 
the whole course of their instructions — the end of their 
knowledge. By their aid he acquired the science of 
Dhyana meditation ^^*^ from its first degree (in which 
the mind, in an ecstatic state, fixes itself on one 

138 PART II. 

object, and perfectly comprehends it) to the seventh 
degree (wherein the mind, attaining the idea of nothing- 
ness, is in the tranquil state of an ethereal, formless 
Brahma of the heaven next to the highest). But when 
he asked them to instruct him in the eighth Dhyana, 
the perfect quietude of the highest Brahmas, they 
could not do it. 

The Lord, seeing that those seven Dhyana did not 
constitute Nirwana, and that the teaching of those 
hermits was unsatisfactory, left them and proceeded 
to the country of Uruwela. ^*^ 

In the Uruwela forest there was a quiet spot suit- 
able as an abode for those who desired to lead an 
ascetic life. Kich verdure, noble trees, and lovely 
Howers were suggestive of enlightened thoughts. There 
was abundance of cool water in pools close at hand, 
and not far off was the river Nairanjana, in whose clear 
waters thousands of fish and tortoises might be seen 
disporting. The advantages of the situation were com- 
pleted by its being sufficiently near to a village for 
convenience in seeking alms, and yet not so near as to 
be disturbed by its proximity. 

This place he selected to practise a course of the 
severest asceticism ^^2 or mortification; and thither came 
to him Kondanya the Brahmin who had prophesied at 
his birth, and four others, who were the sons of all the 
Brahmins who had taken part in that prediction. 
These five had adopted the religious profession, wait- 
ing for the Grand Being, and from that were called 
the five Wakkhi.^^* They wandered from place to 
place seeking for the Lord, and having found him, 
remained with him to minister to his wants. 

The Grand Being applied himself to practise asceti- 


cism of the extremest nature. To this end he de- 
voted himself incessantly to the meditation called 
Bhawana, and in order that his meditation might not 
be interrupted, he gradually reduced his daily allow- 
ance of food until a grain of sesame sufficed for his 
nourishment. Still he considered that the duty of 
seeking food occupied too much time ; time he required 
for his religious observances, and thenceforth he ceased 
to seek alms. He sat under a tree and ate the fruits 
that fell within his reach, but never rose to seek any. 
Even this he regarded as an interruption, and thence- 
forth ceased to eat. Then the angels, observing it, pre- 
served his life, by insinuating food through the pores 
of his skin ; nevertheless his body became extremely 
attenuated, his blood and his flesh dried up, his ribs 
protruded, and he had nought left of him but skin and 
bones. The thirty-two marks of a Grand Being, and 
the eighty minor signs, entirely disappeared, and his 
body became like a withered leaf. 

For six years he endured this extremity of mortifi- 
cation without ever wishing to discontinue it ; and 
never did it occur to him to say, " Long as I have 
practised asceticism, I have not arrived at the Buddha- 
hood. It is useless to continue. I will, therefore, 
return to my father." 

Such a thought never entered his mind ; but stead- 
fastly pursuing the self-achieved ^^^ omniscience of a 
Buddha, he never wavered in the object of his desires. 

At last, one day, when attempting to move, his 
whole body was racked with the most violent pain, 
and he fainted senseless on the ground. 

A certain lady of heaven, seeing him lying sense- 
less and motionless, hastened to the King Suddho- 

140 PART 11. 

dana, and told him that his son was dead ; but the 
monarch would not believe, saying, " My son cannot 
die ere he has become Buddha." 

When the Grand Being recovered consciousness, he 
changed his seat, and a few days afterwards, dissatis- 
fied with the result of his previous mortifications, he 
reflected that the asceticism which did not remove 
the necessity of respiration was but a coarse unrefined 
method, and he therefore determined to restrain his 
breath, as the most exquisite of all acts of endurance. 
He held his breath, and the air, unable to pass through 
his nostrils, turned upwards into his head, and made 
it suffer exceeding pain : and then, unable to escape 
through the head, it again passed down, and entering 
his belly, caused intense agonies. Yet with all this 
suff'ering, he was perfectly firm and constant, and 
never thought of relinquishing this extremity of 

Then it was that the royal Mara sought occasion 
to induce the Grand Being to cease his exercises. 
Craftily pretending to be influenced by motives of 
compassion, he offered his advice, saying, " Beware, 
Grand Being 1 Your state is pitiable to look on ; you 
are attenuated beyond measure, and your skin, that was 
of the colour of gold, is dark and discoloured. You 
are practising this mortification in vain. I can see 
that you w^ill not live through it. You, who are a 
Grand Being, had better give up this course, for, be 
assured, you will derive much more advantage from 
sacrifices of fire and flowers," 

Him the Grand Being indignantly answered : 
" Hearken, thou vile and wicked Mara ! thy words suit 
not the time. Think not to deceive me, for I heed 


thee not. Thou mayest mislead those who have no 
understanding, but I, who have virtue, endurance, and 
intelligence, who know what is good, and what is evil, 
cannot be so misled. Thou, Mara ! hast eight 
generals.^^^ Thy first is delight in the five lusts of the 
flesh, which are the pleasures of appearance, sound, 
scent, flavour, and touch. Thy second general is wrath, 
who takes the form of vexation, indignation, and 
desire to injure. Thy third is concupiscence. Thy 
fourth is desire. Thy fifth is impudence. Thy sixth 
is arrogance. Thy seventh is doubt. And thine eighth 
is ingratitude. These are thy generals, who cannot 
be escaped by those whose hearts are set on honour 
and wealth. But I know that he who can contend 
wdth these thy generals shall escape beyond all sorrow, 
and enjoy the most glorious happiness. Therefore I 
have not ceased to practise mortification [i.e., the sub- 
jugation of these generals of Mara), knowing that even 
were I to die whilst thus engaged, it would be a most 
excellent thing." 

Then Mara, unable to answer his severe reproach, 
fled in confusion. 

After he had departed, the Grand Being reflected 
as to why even this extreme course of mortification 
failed to bring him into the path leading to the om- 
niscience of the Bo-tree. Then the archangel Indra 
brought a three-stringed guitar, and sounded it at a 
short distance. One string, too tightly strained, gave 
a harsh and unpleasant sound ; the second, not strained 
enough, had no resonance ; the third, moderately 
stretched, gave forth the sweetest music. Having 
thus done, the thousand- eyed angel returned to his 
abode, and the Grand Being, having pondered on the 

142 PART II. 

meaning of the vision, determined to draw a lesson 
from the string moderately stretched, and in future to 
practise asceticism with moderation. He resolved to 
resume his former practice of sitting contemplatively 
under a tree, thereby hoping to attain the Buddha- 

In order that he might have sufticient bodily strength 
to effect his purpose, he again collected alms and ate 
sufficient for his absolute needs, and thus after a few 
days he regained his pristine strength, his flesh, his 
blood, his beauty, and his significant marks. 

And when the five Brahmins who had till that time 
attended him saw this, they were ofi'ended, saying to 
one another : " How shall he who has ceased to prac- 
tise mortification attain to the Buddhaship 1 " 

And they left him and went to a distance of one 
hundred and twenty miles, to the Isipatana deer-forest 
(near Benares). 



In the village Sanekka of Umwela, there lived a 
maiden named Sucliada, the daughter of a rich man. 
She had made a vow to the angel established in a 
great banyan-tree, that if she married a worthy hus- 
band, and if her first-born proved to be a son, she would 
yearly make an immense offering in honour of the 
angel of the tvee}^^ The objects of her vow having 
been accomplished, she prepared her offering for the 
fifteenth day of the sixth month. She selected a 
thousand cows, fed in the richest pastures ; with their 
milk she fed five hundred others; with theirs, two 
hundred and fifty ; and so on until the number was 
reduced to eight cows, from whose udders the most 
luscious milk flowed without pressure into the vessels 
placed to receive it. 

With this rich milk she prepared her offering, and 
lo ! when the vessel was set on the fire, bubbles rose 
from it in waves curling to the right, yet not one 
single drop was spilt, neither did any smoke rise 
from the fire, for these things were controlled by the 
power of the merits of the Grand Being, now about to 
become Buddha. The angels also brought ambrosial 
flavours, and placed them in the savoury rice. 

And Suchada wondered at these miracles, exclaim- 

144 PART II. 

ing, " Often as I have made offerings, the angels have 
never before shown their satisfaction as they have this 
day ; " and she sent her servant Bun without delay 
to sweep the ground around the banyan-tree, that it 
might be perfectly clean and neat. 

Now in the last watch of the preceding night, the 
Grand Being, sleeping soundly, saw five visions. 

Firstly, He dreamt that the world was his couch, the 
Himalaya mountains his cushion, and his outstretched 
hands reached to the eastern and western oceans. 

Secondly, He dreamt that a shoot of the grass named 
Kha sprouted from his navel, and growing, growing, 
growing, reached the skies, more than ten thousand 
miles above him. 

Thirdly, He dreamt that all kinds of birds, of the 
most varied plumage, flew towards him from all direc- 
tions, and falling at his feet, became perfectly white. 

Fourthly, He dreamt that four kinds of grubs, with 
white bodies and black heads, crawled from his toes 
to his knees, quite covering his feet. 

Fifthly, He dreamt that he walked on a heap of filth 
twenty miles in height, yet not the least particle soiled 
his feet, which remained clean as though he had been 
walking on a stone slab. 

When he awoke, he pondered on these visions, 
making the reflection, " Had I still been in my former 
royal state, I should have sent for the soothsayers to 
expound these dreams ; but as it is, I must use my 
own meditative science to explain them." And by 
his meditative science he perceived clearly that the 
first dream meant that he would become the lord of 
all law and of all knowledge. The second dream 
meant that he would relinquish desire, wrath, and 


folly, and would bestow (the knowledge of) the eight 
paths to salvation on all angels and men. The third 
dream signified that beings would flock in from all 
quarters to hear his teaching, and would alter their 
nature, till then given up to desire, wrath, and folly. 
The fourth dream showed that he would bestow the 
rite of monasticism and the adoration of the Triad 
upon all men. The fifth dream was a sure token that 
abounding in (a knowledge of) the four causes of 
misery, he would (no longer) be detained by them. 

When he had interpreted the visions, he washed 
his face and hands, took his food-pan, and went and 
sat under the shade of the great banyan-tree (where 
Bun, the slave of Suchada, had just finished sweepino-), 
and she saw him radiant with a glory, and ran and 
told her mistress. Great was the joy of Suchada. 
"You are no longer my slave, but my daughter," she 
exclaimed ; and she gave her suitable attire and 
ornaments. Then elegantly dressed, followed by her 
attendant, she went to the tree, bearing on her head her 
savory rice, in a golden bowl which had cost a hun- 
dred thousand pieces of silver, covered with a second 
golden bowl, and with a clean white cloth over all. 

As she entered beneath the spreading branches of 
the great banyan-tree, she saw the Grand Beino-, and 
filled with angelic happiness, she respectfully ap- 
proached him, and placing her bowl on the ground, 
took from her attendant a golden scent-vase, and 
ofi'ered it to the Lord. 

Now, at this very moment, the bowl which the 
great Brahma Khathikara had presented to him, dis- 
appeared, and the Grand Being stretched forth his 
right hand to receive the bowl of Suchada. 


146 PART TI. 

Suchada first poured perfume on his hand, and then 
offered her golden bowl, offered it joyfully and freely, 
gave it as if she prized it no more than an old cracked 
clay pot. 

And the Lord accepted it, saying, "Your desire 
shall be accomplished." And she offered homage, and 
went away joyfully, singing, "My desire will be 
accomplished." She thought she had seen the angel 
(of the tree). 

Then, following the precedent of all the Buddhas, 
the Grand Being rose, and carried the bowl thrice 
round the banyan-tree, and then proceeding to the 
Nairanjana river, placed his golden bowl on the spot 
where previous Buddhas had placed their bowls, 
bathed, resumed the monk's dress, sat for a time 
meditatins:, with his face turned towards the east, 
and ate forty-nine portions of his savory rice, each 
portion the size of an egg. 

Having finished his meal, he cried, " If I shall in- 
deed become a Buddha, let this golden bowl float 
upwards against the stream ; " and setting his bowl 
adrift upon the river, it became, as it were, endowed 
with life and intelligence, and floated against the 
stream, swift as a racehorse. It travelled about eighty 
cubits, and then, sinking into the realms of Kala, the 
Naga King,^*^ it clashed loudly against the three 
bowls which had been similarly set afloat by former^** 
Buddhas, and placed itself beneath them. 

Kala, the King of Nagas, was awoke by the loud 
resounding clash, and, starting from his resting- 
place, exclaimed, " It was but yesterday that a royal 
Buddha assumed his dignity ; to-day there is another. 
I never have time for a comfortable sleep." Then he 


went forth and offered sacrifice, and sang a vast num- 
ber of songs of praise. 

The Grand Being that should be Buddha saw the 
miracle (of the bowl), and was filled with joy ; for he 
knew that he should now certainly attain the Bud- 

He sat all day by the river side, in a spot perfumed 
with the fragrant flowers of the forest-trees ; and in 
the evenino-, when the flowers were fallino; from the 
trees, he marched thence to a copse of the flower- 
abounding forest. Eoyally he marched, with the bold 
bearing of the king of lions of the Himalayan forests, 
his thoughts intent on a single object, the Buddha- 

In the direction to which he turned, there was a 
grand Bo-tree, perfect in the beauty of its trunk and 
branches and brilliant dark-green foliage. To it the 
angels made a road, five hundred cubits wide, for 
him to pass by. 

Then the whole host of Indra angels of the 
thousand worlds approached with sacrificial offerings. 
The great Brahma, Sahabodi, held over him the white 
umbrella ^^° of royalty. The angels of the Tushita 
and Yama heavens brought a chowrie, six thousand 
fathoms in length, and waved it, fanning the Grand 
Being. The thousand-eyed Indra marched before him, 
blowing his great conch-shell, two thousand fathoms 
long. Thus the Grand Being pursued his way, escorted 
by the angelic host. And he met a certain Brahmin, 
named Sotiya, and from him accepted eight handfuls 
of long grass. Arriving at the tree, he placed the 
grass on the south side. Then the very earth itself, 
as if it knew, showed that that was not the proper 

148 PAKT 11. 

place for tlie jewelled throne ; and the Lord, reflect- 
ing on it, took up the grass, and proceeding to the 
east side, spread it there, exclaiming, " If I shall in- 
deed be master of the omniscience of the tree, may 
these eight bundles of grass become a jewelled throne 
for me to sit on." And it became a beautiful jewelled 
throne, fourteen cubits in height. 

The Lord took his seat on the throne, and with 
upright figure and well-steadied mind, he plunged his 
whole thought, in perfect purity, to attain the omni- 
science of the Buddhahood, by virtue of his charity 
and avoidance of sin throughout a countless number 
of existences of the world. 

"Never will I rise from this seat," he exclaimed, 
" until I have attained the Buddhahood." 

Thus the royal Holy Being of the order of Buddhas, 
now in his last state of transmigrating existence, 
seeking to insure the happiness of men and angels, 
unequalled in intelligence, in patient endurance, and 
in bodily strength, sat on the jewelled throne, and 
exerted that persistence by which the Buddhahood 
was to be attained. 

And the host of angels of the ten thousand worlds 
gathered round him with ofi'erings of precious per- 
fumes, and raised a heavenly concert, the strains of 
which resounded even in the most distant universe. 



The great King Mara, who ruled over all the Mara 
angels, he whose nature is sinful and filthy, had 
throughout these six years been vainly seeking an 
occasion against the Grand Being. He heard the rejoic- 
ings of the angels, and knew their cause, and determined 
that he must at once destroy the man who was about 
to pass beyond his power. 

For this purpose he sent his three daughters, Raka, 
Aradi, and Tanha.^^^ 

Beautifully bedecked, and escorted by five hundred 
maidens, they approached the throne of the Grand 
Being, and Eaka first addressed him, " Lord ! fearest 
thou not death r'''' 

Having inquired her name, he further demanded 
the object of her visit ; and being answered that she 
came because it was her wont to chain all beino-s in 
the fetters of concupiscence, he drove her away, with 
the words, " All this course of mortification have I 
endured, that I might purge myself of concupiscence." 

With similar words he drove away Aradi, whose 
wont it was to bind all beings in the fetters of angry 
temper, and Tanha, whose fetters were those of desire 
or delight in voluptuous sensations. 

The Grand Beino; drove them from him in confu- 
sion, for the daughters of Mara could suggest no plea- 

150 PART II. 

sure to him, and had no charm of sufficient power to 
entice him. 

Then the royal Mara, in fury, assembled his generals, 
saying, " Listen, ye Maras, that know not sorrow ! 
Now shall I make war on the Prince Sidharta, that 
man without an equal. I dare not attack him in face, 
but I will circumvent him by approaching on the north 
side. Assume, then, all manner of shapes, and use 
your mightiest powers, that he may flee in terror." 
And they, obedient to their King, assumed the most 
horrible and fearful forms, and raised an awful sound, 
as of a hundred thousand thunders. 

King Mara himself, assuming an immense size, and 
with a thousand arms brandishing all kinds of martial 
weapons, riding on his elephant Girimaga, a thousand 
miles in height, led on his army. The van stretched 
two hundred and fifty miles before him, and the rear- 
guard extended to the very walls of the world. 

"Advance, my soldiers !" he shouted; "seize and 
bind the Prince Sidharta, and bring him to me, that I 
may cut ofi" his feet and cast them across the great 

Terrible in appearance, they advanced. Yet did 
none of them dare enter beneath the shade of the 
great Bo-tree. Vainly their King shouted to them to 
enter and seize him, for none could pass the precincts 
of the tree. 

Nevertheless, the angels who, till then, had watched 
around him, when they heard the tumult, and saw the 
horrible army coming from the north, fled in terror. 
They fled and left him — left him alone, sitting on his 
glorious throne, like the Great Brahma in his heavenly 


The Grand Being, deserted by the angels, looked 
towards the north, and saw the army of Mara advanc- 
ing, as if by the feet alone of its innumerable hosts it 
would trample the great Bo-tree into impalpable dust. 
Then he reflected : "Long have I now devoted myself 
to a life of mortification, and now I am alone, without 
a friend to aid me in this contest. Yet may I escape 
the Maras, for the virtue of my transcendent merits 
will be my army ! " " Help me," he cried, " ye thirty 
Barami ! ^^^ ye powers of accumulated merit, ye powers 
of Almsgiving, Morality, Relinquishment, Wisdom, 
Fortitude, Patience, Truth, Determination, Charity, 
and Equanimity, help me in my fight with Mara !" 

Yet the approach of Mara's army caused in him no 
fear, nor did he move in the least from his perfectly 
calm position of meditation on the jewelled throne. 

Loudly King Mara shouted to his army to advance 
and seize him, to slay him, and cut out his heart. 
Vainly King Mara, his eyes darting flames, urged on his 
army to the attack ; vainly they brandished their 
weapons and assumed the most hideous forms. As 
elephants, horses, and stags, lions, tigers, and panthers, 
they crowded round about him ; with long wild hair 
they floated around and above him, shaking their 
spears, and trying to strike terror with huge pestles 
and mortars ; but they could neither hurt him nor 
inspire him with fear. 

Then King Mara caused a rain of all kinds of mis- 
siles to pour from the skies. He made his own form 
huger and huger every moment ; he became five miles 
in height — ten miles — twenty — and even thirty. He 
caused a violent gale to blow from the east, of exceed- 
ing force, such that the mountain peaks fell before it, 

152 PART 11. 

and the earth shook and cracked beneath its rao;e. He 
caused a rain of burning ashes to fall, so that the 
Grand Being might be destroyed ; yet, by the virtue 
of his merits, the burning ashes were changed into 
wreaths of flowers — into an offering of sweet-scented 

" Come down from my throne/' shouted the evil- 
formed one ; " come down, or I will cut thine heart 
into atoms ! " 

Then the Grand Being spoke : 

"This jewelled throne was created by the power of 
my merits, for I am he who will teach all men the 
remedy for death, who will be Buddha, and will redeem 
all beings, and set them free from the sorrows of 
circling existence." 

Fierce was the rage of Mara when he heard these 
words. He dismounted from his elephant, and armed 
with the most exquisite of weapons, the splendid 
Chakkra,^^* he approached the Grand Being and again 
addressed him : 

" Why, Sidharta ! wilt thou not rise and leave 
that throne, which should be mine alone, for thou 
becomest it not 1 My intelligence is higher than 
thine, my power greater than thine ; and it was by 
the virtue of my merits that this throne was created." 

And the Lord answered, " Are these words true 1 " 
And Mara asserting that they were indeed true, the 
Grand Being again declared, " This throne, Mara ! 
has been created by the virtue of merits accumulated 
by me in previous existences." 

Still did Mara shout to him to leave the throne, 
and assert that it had been created by his merits, for 
he trusted to the numbers of his host, that they would 


offer themselves as witnesses of all that lie asserted. 
Then tlie Lord, putting forth the majesty of his power, 
spoke : " Mara ! thou knowest not the force of my 
Chakkra, or the might of my army. Thou knowest 
not that my intellect is a piercing weapon against 
which no enemy can contend." 

And Mara, hearing these words, reflected : " Indeed 
(it seems that) this Prince Sidharta has no equal among 
men or angels in keeping to the truth, and every word 
he speaks is spoken with due care. But I must fur- 
ther inquire into this matter." So he asked : " Now I 
know, Prince Sidharta ! that thou art a liar ; sitting 
alone, thou yet declarest that thou hast a large army. 
If it exists, why cannot we see it 1 " 

" Mara ! I cannot lie. Through a countless number 
of successive existences, I have persistently accumu- 
lated the Barami, the virtue of transcendent merit, of 
thirty kinds. They are my forces. They will accom- 
plish my desires." 

" What," demanded Mara, " are these forces thou 
hast so long maintained 1 " 

" Hearken, Mara ! I have given my wealth, my 
garments, my children in charity. I have given my 
wife in charity. I have given my flesh, my blood, my 
head, my heart in charity. Such are my forces. By 
the thirty virtues of transcendent merits, and the five 
great alms, I have obtained this throne. Thou, in 
saying that this throne was created by thy merits, 
tellest an untruth, for indeed this is no throne for a 
sinful, horrible being such as thou art." 

Angered beyond endurance. King Mara now put 
forth his highest powers. He hurled the awful Chakkra, 
and it clove the mountains in its course, but it could 

154 PART IT. 

not toucli the Grand Being, nor pass the miraculous 
canopy of flowers outspread to protect his head. 
Vainly did Mara seize the rocks and mountains, and 
hurl them forth to crush him ; for by the virtue of 
the Grand Being they were changed into fragrant 
flowers, and fell as offerings at his feet. 

And the angels, who had fled to the walls of the 
world, and thence watched the combat, saw him, sit- 
ting like a noble lion surrounded by deer, calm and 
unmoved by the army of Mara. 

Then the Grand Being called to King Mara, and 
said, " Where are the witnesses of those acts of merit 
by the performance of which thou say est thou hast 
caused the creation of this throne '? " And King 
Mara, pointing to his generals, answered, " Behold my 
witnesses ! " and with one accord they shouted that 
they could bear him witness. " Tell me now," he con- 
tinued, " where is the man that can bear witness for 
thee 1 " 

The Grand Being reflected. " Truly here is no man 
to bear me witness ; but I will call on the earth itself, 
though it has neither spirit ^^^ nor understanding, and 
it shall be my witness. Stretching forth his hand, he 
thus invoked the earth : " holy earth ! I who 
have attained the thirty powers of virtue, and per- 
formed the five great alms, each time that I have 
performed a great act have not failed to pour ^^^ water 
upon thee. Now that I have no other witness, I call 
upon thee to give thy testimony. If this throne was 
created by my merits, let the earth quake and show 
it ; and if not, let the earth be still ! " 

And the angel of the earth, unable to resist his 
invocation, sprang from the earth in the shape of a 


lovely woman with long flowing hair, and standing 
before him, answered : 

" Being more excellent than angels or men ! it is 
true that when you performed your great works you 
ever poured water on my hair." And with these 
words she wrung her long hair, and a stream, a flood 
of waters gushed forth from it. 

Onwards against the host of Mara the mighty 
torrent rushed. His generals were overturned, his 
elephant swept away by the waters, his royal in- 
signia destroyed, and his whole army fled in utter 
confusion, amid the roarings of a terrific earthquake, 
and peals of thunder crashing through the skies. 

Thus the Grand Being conquered King Mara and 
his army ; and forthwith the whole world was filled 
with the sound of the rejoicings of the angels, singing 
songs of praise. 

And King Mara and his generals feared and trem- 
bled, and a strong feeling of compassionate sorrow 
aff'ected them, and they cried, "Oh! truly is made 
manifest the reward of acts of charity which will fulfil 
the desire of Prince Sidharta." Then joy filled the 
heart of the King of the Maras ; and throwing away 
his weapons, he raised his thousand arms above his 
head, and did reverence, saying, " Homage to the 
Lord who has subdued his body, even as a charioteer 
breaks his horses to his use ! Homage to the Lord, 
more excellent than men, or angels, or Brahmas. The 
Lord will become the omniscient Buddha, the Teacher 
of angels and Brahmas, Yakkhas, and men. He will 
confound all the Maras, and will rescue men from the 
whirl of transmigration ! " 

156 PART II. 

Thus did King Mara praise the Lord ere he returned 
to his abode. 

Then the host of angels shouted praises, saying, 
" Worthy is he of the offerings of men and angels, for 
there is none that can overcome or equal him ! " 



The Lord, the Teacher, ^^' not having yet attained omni- 
science, continued to sit on his throne shaded by the 
holy jewel the Bo-tree, where he had routed King Mara 
and all his host. 

His victory had been completed in the evening near 
about nio-htfall. 

And in the first watch of the night, the Lord entered 
into that state of meditation which gave him the powder 
of remembering ^^^ his former existences to a number 
beyond count. He remembered the time and place and 
nature of each existence, his form, his colour, his good 
and evil fortune, and the condition to which he trans- 
migrated on death. All this the Lord saw clearly, as 
if it had been a world illumined by a hundred or a 
thousand suns of exceeding; brightness. 

And on entering the middle watch, the Lord entered 
into that state of meditation which confers angelic 
sight and hearing,^®'' the power of seeing and hearing 
what is desired, irrespective of distance, or of inter- 
vening obstacles. 

And at the beginning of the third watch of the 
night, the Lord applied himself to the consideration of 
the Laws of Cause and Effect, the sequence of exis- 

Then he saw that life, or the state of transmigrating 

158 PART II. 

existence, was but one condition of a series of twelve, 
of whicli the first was ignorance, and the last sorrow, 
decrepitude, and death ; a series of which each con- 
dition was an effect of that which preceded it, and a 
cause of that which followed it. 

He saw that the first condition was Ignorance, 
which, during some preceding state of existence, had 
prevented the recognition of the vanity of all things, 
and had led to acts of merit and demerit, instead of to 
perfect rest. It might therefore be justly regarded as 
the cause of merit and demerit, which, in the form of 
Predisposition, or active tendency to arrangement, 
was the second condition. This predisposition was the 
disposer of the fruits of merit and demerit ; indeed, was 
that which caused the fruits to be just and consistent 
with their origin. 

In order that effect might be given to the predispo- 
sition, there was need of an appreciating power (of 
which it might be regarded as the cause,) and that 
power was Intelligence, the third condition. 

This intelligence at once led to a fourth condition 
that of Distinction, and the Expression of distinction, 
or form and name, that is, the elements of objects and 
their qualities. 

From the existence of these naturally arose that 
which was necessary for their manifestation, that is 
to say, the fifth condition, the six Seats of the 

And in order that they might develop themselves, 
they caused a sixth condition to arise, and unite them 
with the feelings it was their object to express ; this 
condition was Contact, uniting ideas with their sensa- 
tions. The seventh condition, which followed on con- 


tact, and was caused by it, was tlae Sensation itself, 
agreeable or disag-reeable, as it mio-ht be. 

And this sensation was naturally followed by the 
eighth condition, that of Desire for, pleasure in, or 
inclination towards something which would promote 
its continuance. 

Desire gave rise to a ninth condition, that of firm 
Attachment to the object of desire, a cleaving and 
adherence to it. 

This cleaving to its object gave rise to a tenth con- 
dition, that of Existence in general, the state of devil, 
man, and angel, or, in fine, the worlds. 

The eleventh condition, dependent on general exis- 
tence, was the existence of a being in the conditions of 
transmigration, or the Life of the individual. 

The twelfth and last condition, the invariable sequence 
of life, was Decrepitude and Death. Such were the 
twelve conditions of the sequence of existence which 
the Lord considered of as He sat on the jewelled throne 
shaded by the great tree of wisdom. 

And he saw clearly their perfect connection, un- 
broken as a stream of water. He saw that decrepitude^ 
death, and sorrow were but the consequences of indi- 
vidual life ; that individual life depended on general 
existence ; that general existence sprang from attach- 
ment to that which was desired, and that from desire. 
He saw that desire could not arise without sensation ; 
that sensation could not arise without contact ; and 
that contact was impossible without the six seats of 
the senses. He saw that the seats of the senses were 
a result of the pre-existence of distinction and its ex- 
pression, and that these existed because an intelligent 
influence gave rise to them ; that that intelligence was 

160 PART TI. 

caused by a predisposition to action, and the predis- 
position by ignorance of the four great truths. 

And he saw that by extinguishing ignorance, pre- 
disposition to action would be extinguished also ; and 
that by the extinction of predisposition, each of the 
other conditions would in turn be done away with, 
and sorrow would be destroyed. 

The Grand Being sat on the jewelled throne raised 
above the plain of virtue, holding in the hand of truth 
the sword of thorough investigation,^*^^ sharpened on 
the whetstone of contemplation,-^^ with which to cut 
off the circulation of transmio-ratino; existence. 

With patient perseverance in good deeds^^*^^ for his 
strength, he wielded the sword of thorough investiga- 

Then did he see that all the twelve conditions were 
but unstable, painful, and illusive.^^^ 

Earnestly persisting in his meditation, he progressed 
to a knowledge of the paths which lead to salvation. 

Meditation on all things in due sequence,^*^^ and that 
meditation which reveals Nirwana to the mind,^^^ were 
the steps that brought him to the first path.^*'^ 

Reaching the first path, he destroyed belief in the 
existence of self and of possession. He destroyed 
doubt, and destroyed false doctrine. 

Earnestly persisting in meditation, he arrived at the 
second path, and annihilated the coarser evils, lust, 
avarice, and anger. 

Still persisting in meditation, the Lord arrived at 
the third path, and annihilated the more refined pas- 
sions still remaining in him. 

And further persisting in meditation with yet in- 
creased force, the Lord arrived at the fourth path, and 


utterly annihilated all contamination, ^'^^ all evil that 
remained in him. 

Thus did the Lord arrive at the Samma-samphotthi- 
yan/'*' the omniscient Buddhahood, perfected by self- 
confidence"^ in his knowledge, his goodness, his just 
appreciation of difficulties, and the completeness of the 
law he would teach. 

Thus did the Lord become the Buddha worthy of 
the adoration of all beino;s — Ano;els and Asuras, Gand- 
harvas, Suparnas, and Nagas. 

Then there were signs and portents and earthquakes 
throughout all the ten thousand worlds, the same great 
wonders as had attended his birth. 


The Lord Buddha having obtained omniscience, yet 
remained seated on the jewelled throne beneath the 
great holy Bo-tree for a space of seven days, full of 
satisfaction and happiness, arising from the fruition of 
his holiness. 

And at the end of seven days, rising from his throne, 
and proceeding to a short distance from it, he stood on 
its east and on its north in due order, and thus 
reflected — 

" Vast has been the kindness and the service which 
this great holy Bo-tree has rendered to me. Trusting 
to its protecting shade have I attained to omniscience. 
Yet have I nothing here by which to express my 
gratitude. I have but my eyes with which to make 
my offering, in place of flowers, or lights, or incense." 

Thus thinking, the holy Lord of compassion stood 
with unclosed eyes for seven days, as an off'ering to 


162 PART II. 

the holy Bo-tree. He kept open the azure lotuses, Lis 
eyes, and offered them instead of scents and flowers. 

And that place became famous by the name of the 
Anila Chaitya. 

Then many of the angels wondered and doubted, 
saying : " Is this all that happens on the attainment 
of the Buddhahood ? Does the Buddha merely vene- 
rate the great Bo-tree with unclosed eyes 1 or will he 
perform some other work 1 " 

And the Lord, the conqueror, knowing their thoughts, 
relieved them by a great miracle, causing the miracu- 
lous appearance of a crystal portico for himself to walk 
in, a crystal portico with ten thousand golden columns. 

Note. — The story of Buddha's Life is continued in Note 173. 



In this note I will endeavour to explain tlie words Buddha, 
Bodhi, Bodhisatva, and Phra. 

Buddha, in Siamese, Fkut and Phutha, ' The Wise,' is the 
principal title of every Buddha, of whom it is supposed there 
have been infinite numbers, who have enlightened the world 
successively at distant intervals. The word comes from the 
Sanscrit " Budha/' which is derived from " budh " — to fathom, 
penetrate, understand. 

Bodhi, a Sanscrit word, in Siamese, Phothi, has in both 
languages the same meanings — (1.) wisdom ; (2.) the sacred 
fig-tree, pipul, ficus religiosa, or Bo-tree — the tree under which 
Buddha sat during the meditation which raised him to omni- 
science, and which is to be found in the grounds of almost 
every temple in Siam. 

M. Burnouf remarked of the word Bodhi, that he preferred 
not to translate it, as although it could be translated as " intel- 
ligence," its meaning would be incompletely conveyed by that 
word, and it in fact implied the " condition of a Buddha." 

In Siamese it is most commonly found in compound words, 
such as — 

Phothisat (Sanscrit, Bodhisatva), a being who is passing 
through transmigrations on the way to become a Buddha. 
At the beginning of the Siamese story of Buddha are men- 
tioned some of these pre-existences of the Phothisat, the term 
applied to him up to the very time he achieves the Buddha- 


Pliothiyan is another compound of frequent occurrence. It 
is a contraction for Sompliothiyan (Sanscrit, sam, bodhi, 
jnana), the omniscience of a Buddlia. 

Phra is a Siamese word applied to all that is worthy of 
the highest respect, that is, everything connected with re- 
ligion and royalty. It may be translated as " holy." The 
Siamese letters p-h-r commonly represent the Sanscrit v-r. 
I therefore presume this word to be derived from the Sanscrit 
" vri — to choose or be chosen," and " vara — better, best, ex- 
cellent," the root of dpLaTo<i. I also find a Sanscrit word, 
varh, or barh, to be pre-eminent. 

In Burmah the words Para and Bhura are used in a similar 
way to the Siamese Phra. 


Sidharta, a Sanscrit word meaning " one who has attained 
his aim ; " the name of Buddha Gotama during his youth, 
and until he attained the Buddhahood. See also Note 103. 

Religious mendicant. — The whole narrative assumes that, 
previous to Gotama Buddha, there were numerous sects of re- 
ligious mendicants, apparently all Brahmins, who wore a 
special dress. The same presumption is found in the stories 
supposed to have been related by Buddha, recounting his 
various lives in former states of transmigration, in which the 
Brahmins are continually referred to as persons deserving 
high respect. The idea of the religious mendicant, of the 
man who believes that he does a good action in devoting him- 
self to the salvation of his own soul, while he leaves others to 
work to maintain his body, is undoubtedly a very ancient one. 


The drauglit ofimmortalitij. — The word I have thus trans- 
lated is Amrita, a Sanscrit word meaning immortal, the elixir 
of life, the beverage of the gods. 


Kusinagara, the scene of Buddha's Nirwana, is identified 
by General Cunningham with Kasia, about 110 miles N.N.E. 
of Benares. He believes that the very spot, marked in ancient 
times by a reclining figure, representing Buddha in the atti- 
tude in which he died, may be recognised in a heap of ruins, 
whose name he translates as " The Fort of the Dead Prince." 


Ninuana, by Siamese called Nipphan or Niruphan. A 
fierce fight is ever waged as to the exact nature of Nirwana, 
and Buddhists themselves have differed as to whether it is 
annihilation or not. Whichever it be, it is certainly exemption 
from all future anxiety and sorrow, from all the chances of 
transmigrating life, in fact, rest or peace. 

The Siamese always refer to it as something existing, as in 
the phrases, " Nirwana is a place of comfort, where there is 
no care ; lovely is the glorious realm of Nirwana !" which I 
take from the story of " Buddha's Nirwana." In the second 
chapter of this work (The Life), it will be found described as 
the " Jewelled realm of happiness, the immortal Nirwana." 

Max Miiller, in his introduction to the Dhammapada, gives 
an interesting disquisitioa on Nirwana, to which I may refer 
my readers. He comes to the conclusion that though the 
word etymological] y means extinction, or literally blowing 
away, and though the third part of the Buddhist Canon (the 
Abhidharma) teaches it as annihilation, it was not so taught by 
Buddha. I quote the following passage (page xlv.) : — " What 
Bishop Bigandet and others represent as the popular view of 
Nirvana, in contradistinction to that of the Buddhist divines, 
was, in my opinion, the conception of Buddha and his disciples. 
It represented the entrance of the soul into rest, a subduing 
of all wishes and desires, indifference to joy and pain, to good 
and evil, an absorption of the soul in itself, and a freedom 
from the circle of existences from birth to death, and from 
death to a new birth. This is still the meaning which edu- 


cated people attach to it, whilst to the minds of the larger 
masses Nirvana suggests rather the idea of a Mohammedan 
paradise or of blissful Elysian fields.' 

I cannot profess any certainty of opinion as to what Buddha 
taught on the subject. His teaching, as the modern Buddhist 
tells us, did not profess to explain the beginning, and it seems 
to me that it did not explain the end. It dealt with material 
existence, ever-circling existence ; it considered it an evil, and 
suggested its annihilation as desirable. Nirwana was the 
annihilation of that existence. 

Adjata-sattru and the first Buddhist Council. — Adjata- 
sattru, the son of Bimbisara, the great supporter of Buddha, 
was King of Magadha, in Central India, his capital being 
Eajagriha (about 150 miles E. byS. of Benares). He gained 
the throne by murdering his father, seven years previous to 
Buddha's death ; and at first opposed the great teacher, but 
afterwards became strongly attached to him and his religion. 
He enlarged his dominions by subjugating the neighbouring 
states of Kapila (Buddha's own country), Kosali, and Wesali ; 
in the latter case, efi'ecting his purpose by using means which 
the legends tell us were suggested by Buddha. 

The assembly convened by him, immediately after Buddha's 
death, is known as the first Buddhist Council, and is said to 
have consisted of five hundred monks, who had all attained to 
the Kahatship, or highest degree of sanctity, which confers 
miraculous powers, and immediately precedes the reception of 
Nirwana. The council was presided over by Kasyappa, under 
whose direction the whole canon of Buddha's teachings was 
recited. These teachings are divided into three parts, known 
as the three baskets (Trai Pidok, or Pitaka). 

The first, called Winya, in Siamese, Phra-Winai, " discip- 
line," consisting of the series of instructions for the monks, 
was recited by Upali, now eminent among monks, but form- 
erly following the despised profession of a barber. 


The second part, called Sutras, in Siamese, Phra-Sut, 
" things strung together," or sermons addressed to all, was 
recited by Buddha's personal attendant, Ananda. 

The third part, called Abhidharmma, in Siamese, Phra- 
Baramat, the " superior truths," or metaphysics, was repeated 
by Kasyappa himself. 

These three parts, carefully remembered by the auditors, 
are supposed to have been orally transmitted for some hundreds 
of years, though some say that they were at once written in 
the Sanscrit language. 

Such is the tradition of this first council ; but with respect 
to the third part of the canon, called Abhidharmma, the nor- 
thern Buddhists teach that it was not among the oral tra- 
ditions of early Buddhists, but was first taught by Nagarjuna 
(about the Christian era), who learnt it from the superhuman 
Nagas, who had heard Buddha teach it. European scholars 
do not allow that books difi'ering so much as the Sutras and 
the Abhidharmmas can have had a simultaneous origin. 


Wephara Hill. — The council is said to have been Iield in the 
Sattapani cave, on the Wephara or Webharo mountain, which 
Cunningham shows to be Mount Baibhar, one of the five hills 
around the city of Eajagriha (150 miles E. by S. of Benares). 


Kasyappa, generally called the Great Kasyappa, is said to 
have been a great teacher previous to his conversion to Bud- 
dhism ; and when, after a contest, he acknowledged the superi- 
ority of Buddha's teaching, and became a convert, he was 
followed by five hundred, who had previously been his own 
disciples. His conversion took place in the first year of 
Buddha's teaching. 

His succession to the patriarchate or primacy of Buddhists 
is attributed to Buddha's own designation, and is associated 


with a story that Buddha either exchanged robes with him, 
or said that he would wear his mantle. 


Bhawana (Siamese, Phawana) is meditation. The Sanscrit 
word Bhavana has the meanings mental perception and medi- 

The monks of Buddhism have converted this practice of 
meditation into a formal rite, with an elaborate ritual, which 
is well described by Spence Hardy in his " Eastern Mona- 
chism," chapter xx. 

There are five chief sections of Bhawana, named respectively 
the meditations of Charity (Maitri), of Pity (Karuna), of Joy 
(Mudita), of Sorrow (Asubha), and of Indifference (Upeksha). 
Those most frequently mentioned among the Siamese are the 
first and last, called by them Meta and Ubekkha. 

To practise the first it is necessary, as a preliminary, to 
abstain from doing evil, and then seeking a solitary place, to 
reflect on charity, or universal love, repeating a number of 
texts appropriate to the occasion, and calculated to remove 
from the heart every feeling opposed to universal charity. 

To practise Upeksha Bhawana, it is requisite to cultivate 
such reflections and repeat such texts as will lead the mind to 
regard all beings with perfect equanimity, neither loving nor 
hating one more than another. 

The fact that Phawana is for the most part a repetition of 
set forms or texts, has caused it to be translated as " prayer." 
The Siamese expression Suet mon, which means "to repeat 
mantras or texts," is also translated "to pray ; ' but I object 
to the translation in both cases, bearing in mind the saying of 
the " Modern Buddhist," that the Buddhists are Samanyang, 
i.e., do not believe that there is any one to pray to. My ideas 
on Buddhist prayer are stated in the Preface. 


Ancmda, the cousin of Buddha, must not be confounded 
with Nanda, Buddha's half-brother. 


Ananda, born on the same day as Bnddlia, is througliout 
his career represented as a man of a peculiarly sweet dis- 
position, and a great favourite of his Teacher. He was con- 
verted in the first year of Buddha's teaching, and in the 
twentieth season was appointed his personal attendant, and 
remained in that capacity until Buddha's Nirwana. Never- 
theless, he is represented as somewhat deficient in intelligence, 
and outstripped in the race of sanctity by many who had less 
advantages. There was a question as to whether he could be 
admitted to the first council of five hundred, owdng to his not 
having attained the requisite degree in the priesthood. The 
objection was overruled, and at the same time, by a night of 
intense meditation, he attained the sanctity required, and with 
it the miraculous powers of knowing the thoughts of other men 
and of flying through the air, which are referred to in the 

But for the direct assertion in chapter iii. that Ananda was 
born at the same time as Buddha, everything in the stories of 
Buddha that I have read seems to assume Ananda as younger 
than his master. 


Wheel of the law (Phra thamma chak). — In this pas- 
sage the Siamese author speaks of the wheel as if it was the 
quoit-like weapon (chakra) the emblem of power of Indra, 
King of the Angels, and of Emperors of the World ; a very few 
lines farther on the allusion seems to be to the circle of cause 
and effect, by which, in chapter x., Buddha is said to account for 
continued existence in transmigration. The twelve causes and 
effects (nidanas), are called the twelve constituent parts of the 

The ancient sculptures of Sanchi, which I refer to in the 
account of the Footprint, give several examples of the mystic 
wheel, as drawn by Buddhists, probably a short time before 
the Christian era. In them the wheel is not a weapon, but a 
true wheel with spokes. 


Practically the favourite Buddhist expression " turning the 
wheel" means simply teaching the law. I suggest an explan- 
ation of this in my account of the Chakra on the Footprint. — 
See Part III., chap. iii. 

One of the most curious forms of wheel superstition is the 
praying-wheel of Northern Buddhists, a box full of texts, the 
turning of which is supposed to be as efficacious as repeating 
the text. This is praying by machinery, and is perhaps an 
improvement on the not uncommon practice of praying by 

The word I have translated " law," is the Siamese Tham or 
Thamma (Sanscrit, Dharma — " right"), meaning right, truth, 
the eternal principle followed by nature, the law of nature. 


The word I have translated " screen " (Phat chani) is gene- 
rally rendered priest's fan. It is not a fan, but a spoon- 
shaped screen to assist the monk in keeping from his sight 
objects which might distract his thoughts. The rules of his 
order forbid him to look about when he walks, enjoining him 
to keep his eyes fixed on the ground within a plough-length o£ 
his feet. 

One of these screens is figured on the Footprint, No. 48. 


The four highest degrees of saintship. — The reference is to 
what are called " the four paths and the four fruits," or other- 
wise " the eight paths." The four degrees are in Siamese 
called Soda, Sakkitha, Anakha, and Arahatta, each degree 
being divided into the path Mak or Makkha, in Sanscrit, 
Marga, and the fruit (or perception of the path), Phon— San- 
scrit, Phala. The four Siamese terms given above will be 
easily referred to the Sanscrit in the following list : — 

1st degree. — Srota apatti — "the state of entering into the 
stream of wisdom." The saint who has attained this 


cannot have more than seven births among men and 
angels before he enters Nirwana. 

2nd degree. — Sakridagamin — "he who must come back 
once." After attaining this degree there will be only- 
one birth among men or angels before reaching 

3rd degree. — Anagamin — "he who will not come back." 
There will be another birth, but not in the worlds of 
sensuality. From the heavens of the Brahmas Nir- 
wana will be attained. 

4th degree. — Arhat — " the venerable." This is the perfect 
saint who will pass to Nirwana without further birth. 


Indra, King of Angels. — I must request my readers to 
bear in mind the system of sensual or Dewa heavens, and 
spiritual or Brahma heavens, described on page 13. Indra 
(Phra In) is King of the lower Dewa heavens ; his palace, 
Wechaiyanta, is in the second tier of heavens, reckoning 
from the earth, called Dawadungsa. There the thousand- 
eyed Lord, as he is called, is attended by thousands of houris. 
His charger is the three-headed elephant, Erawan, and his 
great weapon the disc, Chakra, with which he drives from 
heaven the fallen angels, Asura. Among other treasures, he 
has for a trumpet a huge chankshell, of the kind still held 
precious by Eastern kings. 

No Hindoo deity, unless it be the great Brahma himself, 
is so frequently introduced in Siamese legends as is Indra, to 
whose inspiration they attribute the Lak Inthapat, one of 
their oldest books on the principles of law. 


Chotiban (Pali Jotipalo) was Buddha's name in the days 
when Kasyappa, the Buddha next preceding himself, taught 
among men. At that time Chotiban was a Brahmin of 
wondrous piety and learning, and his ultimate succession or 


accession to the Buddhahood was predicted by Kasyappa. It 
is not, however, in accordance with the legends to say, as our 
text does, that he then commenced his approach to the Bud- 
dhahood ; for the legend is, that he commenced in the days 
of Dipangkara, a much earlier Buddha. The general idea 
conveyed is, that almost an infinite time elapsed between the 
day on which he fixed his desire, and the time when he 
attained the object of his desire ; throughout which period, 
in innumerable transmigrations, he steadily persevered in 
amassing merit. Many stories of what occurred in these 
transmigrations are supposed to have been told by Buddha, 
in illustration of his teachings. Those who would read some 
of them can do so in Captain Eogers' translation of Buddha- 
ghosha's Parables. 


The five elements of corporeal being ; Siamese, Khan ; 
Pali, Khandha ; Sanscrit, Skandha. — Bigandet calls them the 
five aggregates constituting a living being. Hardy explains 
them as the elements of sentient existence. The Siamese 
say of them that they are utterly destroyed at death, and a 
fresh series of them created by the merit and demerit which, 
under the influence of Kam (Karma), causes re-birth. They 
are — 

1. Eup (Kiipa), form or materiality. 

2. Wethana (Vedana), sensation of pleasure, pain, &c., &c. 

3. Sanya (Samdjna), perception, enabling us to distinguish 


4. Sangkhan (Samskara), translated by Hardy "discrimina- 

tion ;" by Bigandet, " consciousness ;" and defined by 
Siamese as "arrangement," or perhaps "tendency to 
arrange." In chapter x. I have translated it as " pre- 
disposition," or active tendency to arrangement. As 
one of the Khan (Skandhas), it is said to be a gene- 
ral term embracing fifty ideas; for example, touch, 
thought, attention, effort, shame, fear, &c., &c. Tlie 


Ceylonese and Siamese have a list of fifty-two classes 
of ideas, of which this term includes fifty, and the other 
two are Wethana and Sanya, sensation and perception, 

5. Winyan (Vidjiiana), intelligence. 

The term in the text, "destroyed the five elements," means 
simply " died." 


SaJcyas. — An interesting account of the Sakya race is to be 
found in Tumour's " Introduction to the Mahawanso." Its 
founders, princes who had been defrauded of their own birth- 
rights, established a sovereignty for themselves in forests they 
found uninhabited ; and in the absence of any other princesses 
of sufficiently illustrious descent to be fit mates for them, took 
their sisters as their wives or queens, and were thence called 
Sakya, or " self-potential." 


Kapila, or Kapilavastu. — General Cunningham identifies 
this town as Nagar, near the river Ghaghra, about a hundred 
miles north of Benares, Those who wish to study the geo- 
graphy carefully should procure his " Ancient Geography of 
India." For my part, I only roughly indicate the positions 
by reference to bearing and distance from Benares. 


Suddhodana ; in Siamese, Si Suthot. — In the second chapter 
of the Mahawanso is an account of the genealogy of Suddho- 
dana, and his descent from the first king of the world, Maha 
Sammato, " the great elect," who is said to have been a pre- 
existence of Buddha. Suddhodana is called a king, but would 
be more correctly described as the rajah of a petty state, 


The sixty-four perfections and five beauties of ivomen. — 
Literally, " the sixty-four female (Itthi) characteristics (lak- 


Sana), and the five beauties of woman in the five places." 
The last part of the description seems analogous to an 
expression in the description of the thirty-two personal 
characteristics of a great man, viz., " he is rounded in the 
seven places," which are the hands, feet, arms, and back. 

The Lalita Vistara states that the mother of Buddha had 
thirty-two perfections, and her family sixty-four distinctions. 
The family distinctions are, being well-descended, wise, brave, 
virtuous, rich, pious, &c., &c. The personal distinctions are : 
" She is well-known, well-respected, dutiful, of an excellent 
family, of excellent maternal descent, of ripe beauty ; she has 
an excellent name, and a graceful figure ; she has never 
borne a child ; her morals are perfect ; she is self-denying ; 
she has a smiling countenance and kind manner ; she is 
wise, submissive, free from timidity, experienced, learned, 
straightforward, without guile, and free from anger, envy, 
jealousy, rudeness, and levity ; she is not given to vain talk- 
ing; she is patient, truthful, modest, and chaste ; she yields 
neither to passion nor dislike ; folly finds but little place in 
her ; she is free from the defects of women, and devoted to 
her husband." 


'^ The five and the eight commandments', Siamese, Sin (spelt 

sil) ; Sanscrit, ^il — to practise, to worship. — It would per- 
haps be proper to call these observances rather than com- 

The five observances are : — 

(1.) Abstinence from taking life. 

(2.) Abstinence from theft. 

(3.) Abstinence from fornication. 

(4.) Abstinence from lying. 

(5.) Abstinence from intoxication. 

These five which are dilated on in the " Modern Buddhist," 
are obligatory on all persons. They are increased to eight 
by the addition of — 


(G.) Abstinence from food after midday until next sunrise. 

(7.) Abstinence from feasting, theatrical spectacles, songs, 
dances, &c. 

(8.) Abstinence from adorning tbe body with flowers, and 
the use of perfumes and unguents. 

These eight are obligatory on all who have entered holy 
orders, and are also observed by pious laymen at times, for 
such periods as they may determine on ; that is to say, they 
observe " sin" for a day, or two days, or any longer period, 
just as some Christians appoint fasts for themselves. 

The eight commandments are increased to ten by the addi- 
tion of the following two, which are binding on all who 
have entered holy orders, though the last is commonly dis- 
regarded : — 

(9.) Abstinence from the use of high couches. 

(10.) Abstinence from receiving gold and silver. 


Brahmins skilled in the Vedas. — In ancient Yedic times the 
Indian monarchs used to have attached to their establish- 
ments a Purohita, or Brahmin priest, to attend to their sacri- 
fices, &c. , and act as family astrologer. Even to this day the 
Kings of Siam maintain a body of Brahmin astrologers or 
soothsayers (Hon) to inform them of the days and hours of 
good omen, and to superintend state ceremonies. 

In Siamese religious and historical works there are frequent 
references to, and (supposed) quotations from, the three Vedas 
(Trai Phet), and the Shastras (Sat), to which sources they 
attribute many of their superstitions — such as the idea of the 
thirty-two signs of a great man, &c., &c. They believe that 
the Vedas, as they now exist, are spurious, and that the true 
Vedas, now lost, were taught by the angel Maha Brahma, who 
descended from heaven in the form of a Brahmin for that 
purpose. This is but a variation of the Hindu tradition that 
they were revealed by the god Brahma. 

When a reference is made in Siamese writings to the Vedas, 


they are always called the Three Vedas (Trai Phet). They 
reject the Atharva Veda, as does also the most ancient In- 
dian Code, the Laws of Manu, in the words : " The divisions 
of the Kig, the several branches of the Yajur, and the mani- 
fold strains of the Saman, must be considered as form- 
ing the triple Veda ; he knows the Veda who knows them 

Whether texts of these Vedas exist among the Siamese in 
an imperfect state I cannot say. I have never heard of such 
books, though I have met with many passages purporting to 
be extracts from them. 

There is much information anent the Siamese Brahmins 
and their books in Dr Bastian's " Keisen in Siam." From 
his notes I learn that the race of Brahmins now in Siam came 
from Ligor, and succeeded to the positions of an older race, 
now extinct, which flourished at Phitsanulok, in Upper Siam, 
before the Siamese had moved their capital to Lower Siam. 
His informant told him that the three Vedas were the Veda of 
Prayer, the Veda of Medicine, and the Veda of Astronomy. 

The Buddha Wipassi. — The number of former Buddhas is 
countless, and though some classics mention differences be- 
tween them, both in appearance and in the trees under which 
they became Buddhas, they are supposed to have all lived and 
taught in exactly the same manner. There is a history of the 
last twenty-four Buddhas preceding our Gotama Buddha, 
supposed to have been related by him. An abstract may be 
found in Tumour's " Pali Annals." Twenty-one of the num- 
ber appeared in eleven previous creations of this world, which, 
it must be remembered, is periodically destroyed and re-created 
by the influenca of merit and demerit. In some of these 
eleven creations only one Buddha appeared ; in others two, 
three, or four. The present creation is highly fortunate, as it 
will number five. Of these, three, by name Kakusandha 
(Kukuson), Konagamana (Konagon), and Kasyappa, preceded 


our Buddha, and Maitri Buddha will follow him after his 
doctrine has been forgotten. Dipangkara is the earliest and 
first of the above-mentioned list, and Wipassi (mentioned in 
the text) is the nineteenth. Since his time the world has been 
twice destroyed and re-created. 

The passage simply means, that she who was to be the 
mother of a Buddha had lived virtuously through countless 


The three worlds are the worlds of men, the heavens of the 
sensual Dewa angels, and the heavens of the intellectual 
Brahma angels, 


Tusliita heavenfi; in Siamese, Dusit. — This, " the joyful 
heaven," is the fourth Dewa heaven above the earth, and is 
that in which is laid the scene of the second chapter of this 
volume. The name is derived from the Sanscrit Tush — to be 
content ; and is explained by the Siamese as meaning, "that 
in which all desires are satisfied !" 

It is the heaven in which the almost perfect beings, about 
to become Buddhas, pass their last angelic life before being 
born on earth to assume the Buddhahood. If any ask, 
Why does this being occupy a low, sensual heaven, instead of 
the highest heaven of the Brahmas ? the answer given by 
Buddhists is, that as each heaven has a term of life allotted 
to it, and the allowance to the Brahmas is vast beyond imagi- 
nation, the delay would be too great. We shall, in the course 
of this narrative, find Kaladewila bewailing his misfortune in 
having attained so high a degree of virtue and meditative 
knowledge, that he will, perforce, be re-born in the formless 
Brahma worlds before he has heard Buddha preach, and so 
will lose the opportunity of, by his aid, staying for ever the 
course of transmigration. 




Aiikana, King of Deivadaha. — I have here made the paren- 
tage of Maia agree with that stated in otlier legends of 
Buddha ; but the Siamese, both in this and other popular 
works, describe her father as Chanathiba, King of Ceylon. 
The error seems to have arisen from confounding Dewadaha 
with Dewa Langka (Cej'lon). In my manuscript, the writer 
corrects himself, after using Dewa Langka for several pages, 
by using the correct term, Dewadaha. 

This Dewadaha or Koli is a town or village, only a few 
miles distant from Kapila, and was ruled over by a family 
kindred to that of which Buddha was a member. 

Genii Yah, or Yal'kJias. — A kind of demon, represented in 
Siamese temples as enormous and horrible, though somewhat 
human in form. They are not absolutely evil, for Buddha 
himself passed through the state of Yak, whilst on his trans- 
migrating journey towards perfection. They are often associ- 
ated with the angels, but are more often represented as of evil 
than of good disposition. 


The four guardians of the world. — In Siamese, called 
Chatu Maharachik Thewada, or Thao Lokaban. These 
are four angels named Thatarot, Wirulahok, Wirupak, and 
Wetsuwan, whose palaces are in the Yukunthon mountains 
(the circular range next to Mount Meru), and who, respec- 
tively, rule over the east, south, west, and north divisions of 
the system, and have under their jurisdiction the Khonthan 
angels (Gandharvas), the Kumphan angels or Yaks, the 
Nagas or serpents of supernatural power, and the local 
angels, &c. 


Ten rules of kings ; in Siamese, Thosaphit Rachatham. — 
These are stated to be — (1.), Almsgiving ; (2.) Observance of 


the]commandments ; (3.) Liberality ; (4.) Justice ; (5.) Kind- 
liness ; (6.) Endurance; (7.) Freedom from anger; (8.) Absence 
of envy (?) ; (9.) Kestraint of heart ; (10.) Care not to give 
offence by language. 


The five 'principal insignia of kings are — the white 
umbrella, or rather umbrella in stages (figured on the Foot- 
print) ; the sword ; the royal fan ; the golden slippers ; and 
the jewelled crown. 

The Ceylonese list, given by Spence Hardy, differs from 
the Siamese, specifying them as golden sword, slippers, and 
frontlet, umbrella, and chamara (fiy-fiap.) 


The ceremony of pouring water on Maia and Suddhodana, 
reminds me of the coronation of the King of Siam, which it 
was my privilege to witness. The King, robed in white, 
placed himself in a gold bath, under a canopy from which a 
shower of water (collected, I was told, from all parts of the 
kingdom), fell upon him ; and for about fifteen minutes after- 
wards His Majesty sat shivering, whilst the chief Brahmin 
and the highest princes and ladies poured over him each a 
bowl of water. This ceremony was conducted in an inner 
court of the palace, in presence of a very small and select 
audience, and no foreigner had been permitted to witness it 
until this occasion, when the courtesy of His Grace the Ke- 
gent, breaking through customary prejudice, procured the 
honour for a few. After the bath, the King changed his dress 
forgone more gorgeous, and proceeded to a hall, where, in pre- 
sence of a larger, but still select audience, he sat on an 
octagonal throne, and changing his seat eight times, to face 
the eight points of the compass, repeated each time the 
formula called the coronation oath. He then marched along 
the centre of the hall, and, taking his seat at the end opposite 
to that where the octagonal throne was placed, he was invested 


with the crown, sword, and other insignia of royalty. A 
variety of warlilre weapons were then presented to His Ma- 
jesty, each one of which, having been touched by him, was 
returned to its place. 

His Majesty then received a bowl full of small gold and 
silver flowers to distribute as a token of his royal desire to rain 
prosperity on the recipients. The reader of the " Life of 
Buddha " will connect this custom with the angelic habit of 
raining flowers on great occasions. 

His Majesty first handed some of these flowers to the lead- 
ing princes and ministers, and then turned to give some to the 
foreigners present. The Consul-General, who headed the 
foreign representatives, stepped forward ; but on this occasion 
diplomatic precedence was ignored, and the good-will felt 
towards my country was shown by the Kegent and King 
calling for Alaba (the name by which I am familiarly known 
among the rulers of Siam), to come forward and receive the 
first handful of golden flowers. The other foreigners were 
then presented with the tokens of royal good-will, and what 
remained were scattered among the audience. 

After this ceremony the King rested for a short time, and 
then, in one of the great audience-halls of the palace, gave 
audience to the whole body of nobles. Then each leading 
chief, each head of a department, in turn or order of rank, re- 
signed into the new King's hands the rank and power conferred 
on him by the King who had passed away, and the new King, 
in a few short graceful words, re-conferred all upon him. To 
this audience the Siamese admitted many foreigners, who, for 
want of space, had been debarred from the honour and pleasure 
of participating in the preceding ceremonies. The whole was 
managed by the Kegent, who took care that the foreigners at- 
tending should be well provided with refreshment, and who, 
with that remarkable energy which characterises him, in the 
midst of the ceremonies found time to discuss and settle with 
me two important questions, about which I had had six weeks' 
vain discussion with the Foreign Minister and his subordi- 


nates. The stoical endurance and calmness of the A^ounor Kino- 
(then an invalid) was wonderful, and eminently characteristic 
of a high-bred oriental. 


Sunantha. — The Queen of King Ankana and mother of 
Maia, is in other accounts named Yasodhara. 


Universal dominion. — Although this chapter is headed 
" Tushita Heavens," it commences with a part of the story 
whicli will he related more fully in a subsequent chapter. 
The story is that Prince Sidharta, had he not stolen away from 
his kingdom to become a mendicant ascetic, would have be- 
come Emperor of the whole world just seven days later than 
the night in which he fled. He is therefore said to have re- 
signed the empire of the world in order to become a Buddha. 

The Universal Emperor (Chakkravartin) rules over not 
only this earth, but the other three kindred earths or con- 
tinents described in the cosmography (page 13). He can 
fly through the air, and convey his armies with him. He is 
especially fortunate in possessing the seven treasures mentioned 
in the next note. 


The seven great treasures of the Universal Emperor (Sat 
ratana) are — (1.) the disc Chakkra ; (2.) the elephant ; (3.) 
the horse ; (4.) the jewel ; (5.) the Queen ; (6.) the retinue 
of attendants ; (7.) the prince or general. 

In the Thibetan version of the Lalita Vistara, we find tliat 
No. 1 is not regarded as Southern Buddhists regard it, that 
is, as a quoit- like weapon ; but is described as analogous to 
the Wheel of the Law, a glorious wheel, which, being set in 
motion by the Emperor, rolls before him as he visits and 
establishes the law in his wide dominions. In the same list, 
No. 3 is the flying horse (Valahaka) ; No. 4 is described as 


a jewel which, on the darkest night, will emit a radiance that 
will enable the Emperor to review and perfectly see all his 
troops within a space of seven miles ; No. 6 is a careful vizier, 
who has the power of discovering hidden treasures for his 
master's benefit. 


Almost an infinite period of years. The literal translation 
is, " four asongkhai and one hundred thousand great kal- 
pas." A great kalpa, which is the interval of time between 
two creations of the universe, is divided into four ordinary 
kalpas ; and an ordinary kalpa is so vast a length of time 
as to defy computation. An asongkhai is, I believe, a million 
raised to its twenty-eighth power. 


Dipangkara, or Thibangkara (Pali, Dipankaro), was the 
earliest of the last twenty-four Buddhas preceding our 
Buddha, whose histories are presumed to be known (see Note 
24). Since his days, the world has been twelve times de- 
stroyed and reproduced. The story of Sumetta, indicated in 
the text, is to be found in other books. Its gist is, that 
Sumetta, a very holy and accomplished hermit, hearing that 
the Buddha Dipangkara was about to make a journey, soli- 
cited the task of smoothing part of the road for him. His 
work was incomplete when Dipangkara arrived. There was 
yet a gully to fill up, and he filled it with his own body, 
making himself a bridge. The act was so meritorious, that 
he might at once have become a saint of the highest degree, 
and might have entered Nirwana, had he not voluntarily 
declined it, that he might live to be a blessing to men in 
future ages, by becoming a Buddha. 

Meditative science. — Literally, "the five Aphinya Yan, 


and the eight Samabatti," — that is, " the five supernatural 
powers, and the eight accomplishments or perfections." 

Samabatti (Sanscrit, Samapatti) refers, I believe, to the 
perfect accomplishment of the state of meditative absorption 
or trance called Dhyana. The Dhyanas I treat of in a sepa- 
rate note, No. 65, the perusal of which will show their divi- 
sion into four meditations of the material contemplatives, 
and four meditations of the formless or spiritual contem- 
platives; or, in other words, four meditations on subjects 
which are of a limited nature, and four on subjects whose 
nature is infinite. The attainment of each one of these eight 
degrees of meditation results in the Samapatti, connected 
with it, — that is, a state of absorption or trance, in which the 
meditative saint is removed from all worldly influence, so 
that he neither sees, hears, nor feels. In one of the stories 
illustrating this, a saint thus absorbed is found in a jungle 
that has been burnt, and is supposed to be dead. The per- 
sons who set the jungle on fire, fearing to be held responsible 
for the death, make a pyre, and endeavour to burn the body, 
so as to remove all traces of it ; but the state of Samapatti 
prevents the fire having any effect, and the saint recovers 
from his trance. 

Those who have achieved the first four degrees of medita- 
tive science (Dhyana), acquire, by virtue of their intellectu- 
ality, the five miraculous powers, Aphinya Yan ; in Sanscrit, 
Abhi-djiia, which are — 

1. Power over their own bodies, such that they can change 
their form, fly through the air, become invisible, &c., &c. 

2. Power to see what they desire to see, even though 
obstacles intervene. 

3. Power to hear in a similar manner. 

4. Knowledge of the thoughts of others. 

5. Eemembrance of their previous existences. 

These five powers are possessed in different degrees, 
according to the sanctity of the possessor. 



The thirty transcendent virtues (Sainadungsa Barami) 
would be more properly described as the ten transcendent 
virtues. The Siamese enumerate them as follows : — Alms- 
giving (than), morality (sin), relinquishment of the world 
and worldly possessions (nekka) ; wisdom (panya), energy or 
fortitude (wirya), patience under opposition (khanti), truth 
(sattha), firm purpose or determination (athithan), charity 
(meta), indifference or equanimity (ubekkha). These cor- 
respond with the Sanscrit words, dana, gila, niskrama, prad- 
jtia, virj'a, kchanti, satya, adhichthana, maitri, upeksha. 

These ten Barami (Sanscrit, Paramita) are made into 
thirty by dividing each into the grades — the ordinary, the 
superior, and the most excellent. 

Burnouf tells us that Paramita, which the Southern Bud- 
dhists translate as " that which attains to the other shore " 
{i.e., Nirwana), is derived from Param, "to the other shore," 
and ita^ " the act of being gone. 


Poiver of righteousness, literally " the completion of the 
Barami," or virtues described in the previous note. I use 
the word " power/' because these Barami exercise a very great 
influence, or power, in shaping the Karma, or destiny. 


The charities of Priyice Wetsandon or Wessantara. — Ac- 
cording to the legend, Wetsandon (the last human existence 
of Gotama Buddha previous to that in which he attained the 
Buddhahood), was the son of Sanda, a king of Central India. 
His great delight was the performance of works of abnegation 
and charity. He was blessed with a very loving wife and 
two children, and, among other treasures, owned a white 
elephant, which had a wonderful power of causing rain to 


In a neighbouring country, drought led to famine ; but on 
some Brahmins coming to ask for his rain-causing elephant, 
he gave it with delight for the benefit of the sufferers. 

This act caused much dissatisfaction among his father's 
subjects, to appease which he was ordered into banishment. 
Before leaving, he gave in charity seven hundred slaves, seven 
hundred elephants, horses, chariots, buffaloes, and treasures 
of all kinds. 

His affectionate wife accompanied him, taking her children. 

On his journey he first gave away his chariot, and then his 
horses, to Brahmins. 

His next alms caused him some pain ; for he gave his 
two children to be slaves to a Brahmin. Finally, he gave his 
wife to a Brahmin who came and asked for her ; but the 
Brahmin was, indeed, the angel Indra, who, to prevent her 
being really given away, disguised himself as a Brahmin ; 
and having had her presented to him, left her with the 
Prince, saying, " I leave her with you ; but as you have given 
her to me, you cannot give her to any other." 

Spence Hardy has given a translation of this Jataka, or 
legend of Buddha, in his Manual. 


Angels of the tempest. — This I suppose to be the transla- 
tion of the Siamese Loka Phayu, but I am not certain. Tur- 
nour, translating an account of this same portent, says they 
were Kamawachara angels, that is, angels of any of the sen- 
sual heavens. Phayu seems to be the same as the Vedic Vayu 
— god of the wind ; and this mention of the Phayu angels 
clothed in red garments seems to have been suggested by a 
hymn of tire Rig Veda, quoted in Manning's " Ancient and 
Mediaeval India" from Muir's translation: — 

" I celebrate the glory of Vata's (z'.e., Vayu's) chariot ; its 
noise comes rending and resounding. Touching the sky, he 
moves onward, making all things ruddy." I must add an- 
other verse, it is so beautiful: — " Soul of the gods, source of the 


universe, this deity moves as he lists. His sounds have been 
heard, but his form is not ! This Vata let us worship." 


Be not heedless. — The Siamese term is Pramat, which in 
in its ordinary acceptation means oppressive, overbearing, and 
insolent, I believe it to come from the Sanscrit Pramada 
(mad, &c.), which admits of the interpretation I have given to 
it. It is, I presume, the opposite of Apramada — which Max 
Miiller translates by " reflection," "earnestness," " the absence 
of that giddiness which characterises the state of mind of 
worldly people." 


Ten thousand ivorlds refers to the ten thousand systems 
of worlds (each complete in itself), which are nearest to this 
system of worlds ; all of which quake on the conception of a 
Buddha in this world. The term "four guardians of the 
world " has been explained in a previous note. As each system 
of worlds is alike, each has its four guardians. 


The inability to rest at ease, or becoming warm, as the 
Siamese term it, is the expression generally used to denote 
that an angel is in any way excited. Thus, whenever Indra's 
interposition on earth is desirable, he is represented as becom- 
ing aware of the fact by becoming warm. 


The five conditions; in Siamese, Pancha maha Pawilokana. 
— Perhaps " considerations " would be a better rendering. It 
is evidently derived from the Sanscrit Vilokana — "seeing," re- 

The average term of human life gradually reduces itself, 
owing to men's wickedness, from the immense number of 


years called Asongkai, to the term of ten years, when a man 
of five years old is full grown. The average then increases 
until it reaches its former length. 


Jamhu dvipa (Siamese, Chom-phu Thawip), that one of 
the four great continents which we inhabit. See page 13. 


Central country (Siamese, Machima). — I omit the imper- 
fect description which the Siamese author gives of its fron- 
tiers. It corresponds to that part of India now known as 
Oude, South Behar, Agra, and Delhi, and may be called the 
Buddhist's Holy Land. 


Pacheka Buddhas (Sanscrit, Pratyeka Buddha), called by 
the Singhalese Pase Buddhas, are beings who attain to the 
same personal wisdom and perfection as true Buddhas, but 
have none of that compassion which leads true Buddhas to be 
teachers of mankind. They only appear in the world when 
there is no true Buddha living. 


The two principal disciples ; in Siamese, Akkha Sawok. 
Akkha being equivalent to the Sanscrit agra, eka, or aika, 
" one, chief ;" and Sawok to Qravaka, " one who attends,' a 
term applied to the disciples of Buddha. 

Every Buddha is supposed to have his two principal dis- 
ciples, and the list of the last twenty-four Buddhas referred 
to in Note 24 gives, with the record of each Buddha, the names 
of his principal disciples. 

Gotama Buddha's two disciples " of the right and left hand " 
were named Moggalana and Sariputra. Both died before their 
master. In Siamese temples their statues may be seen stand- 


ing in an attitude of adoration before images of Buddha, one 
on the right hand, the other on the left. 

The expression " right and left," applied to dignities, is still 
used in Siam, where there are two Prime Ministers, one of the 
left, the other of the right ; and where, when the King has two 
principal Queens (which is not now the case) they bear the 
titles of Queens of the left and right. The dignity of the left 
is the more honourable. 


The eighty chief disciples ; in Siamese, Phra siti maha 
sawok ; Siti is for asiti, eighty. — I have not been able to 
ascertain who these "were ; I only find that they are mentioned 
in the ancient Pali Commentaries as saints possessed of mira- 
culous powers. I quote a passage referring to them in a 
subsequent note (159). 


The most eminent of the ivarrior caste, <tc. — In Siamese 
the words are Khatiya, Kahabodi, Phrahmana, Maha-Sal. 
The three first words are clear enough. Khatiya (Sanscrit, 
Kchattriya), and Phrahmana (Sanscrit, Brahmana) are the 
two highest castes, and Kahabodi (Sanscrit, Griha-pati) means 
householder. The fourth term is doubtless also Sanscrit, and 
occurs without variation in the Thibetan and Singhalese ver- 
sions. Literally it means " the great Sala-tree,"but this does not 
make sense. Foucaux believes it to designate a fourth class ; 
but this will not suit the Singhalese and the Siamese texts, in 
which it is made not a distinct term, but one qualifying each 
of the three preceding terms. I have translated it as if it was 
an erroneous reading for Maha-sara, " the great essence, or 
most important part of anything." Spence Hardy does not 
attempt to explain it. 


The institution of caste does not exist in Siam, but it exists 


in Ceylon with Buddhism, or, I should say, in despite of 
Buddhism. In this book we are reading of events supposed 
to have occurred in India, the stronghold of caste ; and the 
object of the writer in introducing the subject is to explain 
why Buddha sprang, not from the Brahmin caste, generally 
supposed to be the highest, but from the Kchattriya caste, 
" the warriors," called in the text the royal caste. He tells us 
that this caste (now of less importance) was in those days the 
most respected. 


Nantliawan gardens. — When the term of angels' lives 
are ended, they enter certain heavenly gardens, and there 
suddenly quit their state (chut), and descend into another 
form. They do not die, but simply transmigrate. 

Preta or Fret. — One of the most miserable forms of being. 
Some are condemned to a weary life in regions beyond the 
walls of the world, where no light ever penetrates. Others 
rove about on earth, incessantly in motion. Though 
twelve miles in height, the}'' are so thin as to be invisible. 
They particularly suffer from hunger and thirst, being ex- 
tremely voracious, and yet, from the very small size of their 
mouths, unable ever to satisfy their cravings. 


The fifteenth day of the eighth month is the day on which 
Buddhist Lent or Wasa commences. It is held as a great 
festival, and especially devoted to making offerings to the 
monks, who, for the three ensuing months, are debarred from 
travelling, and bound to sleep in the dormitories of the mon- 
asteries of which they are members. 

Holy day ; Siamese, Ubosot ; Sanscrit, Uposatha.— Bur- 


iiouf states it to be " a term applied to the confession of 
offences, made by Buddhist monks on the days of the new 
and full moon." Siamese also apply it to the temple building 
commonly called " bot," in which the confession has to be 
made. Only monks are present at the ceremony, which I 
believe is a mere formality. The 227 precepts contained in 
the book Patimokkha are supposed to be read through, and 
any monk who has offended against them is bound to declare 
his offence, and request his superior to appoint a penance. 

The term is also applied to the Uposatha elephant, one of 
the elephants of the Himalayan fairyland. 


Anodat lahe. — One of the seven lakes of the Himalayan 
forest or mountains ; supposed by some to be the source of 
rain (see the " Modern Buddhist"). I use the term Hima- 
laya in accordance with precedent, but it is not correct ; for 
even though the Himalayan mountains first suggested the 
idea of the Himawonta, or, in Siamese, Himaphan forests 
and mountains, the word now simply means fairyland. 


Thrice he marched arou7id. — This is the mystic ceremony 
of Thaksina, still observed by Buddhists, who, especially the 
women, may be seen on festival days marching thrice around 
some holy spire, with their hands raised in adoration, or bear- 
ing lighted scent-sticks. European residents in Siam may 
have noticed it on the day when they are in the habit of resort- 
ing to Paknam, near the river's mouth, to look at the vast 
number of pretty Siamese and Peguan girls who, on that day, 
devote themselves first to religious duties, and then to boat- 
races and other sports. A variety of this form of worship is 
described under the heading Baisee, in the account of the 
Phrabat. The word Thaksina is derived from the Sanscrit 
" Dakshina," meaning " right," as opposed to left ; and the 


ceremony of showing reverence by walking round a person or 
thing, keeping the right hand towards them, is also Brah- 

Professor Ferguson, in his " Tree and Serpent Worship," 
calls attention to the gallery round the ancient Topes or relic 
mounds, evidently intended to be used for this ceremony. 


TajMS and ParivrdjaJia, Sanscrit for the Siamese Tapasa 
and Pariphachok, 

Tapas is defined in Benfey's Sanscrit Dictionary as '* penance 
or mortification," " an ascetic." As an example is mentioned 
the Pancha-tapas, or " five (fire) ascetic," who sits between 
four fires, exposed at the same time to the sun. 

Parivrajaka is defined as a wandering ascetic who lives on 


Kaladeivila. — As an account of this sage is to be found at 
the beginning of the fourth chapter of this work, it is unne- 
cessary to give the story here. 


The reference is to ordinary idols of Buddha, which are 
always placed on pedestals euphuistically called jewelled 


Yom, Yak, Asura, Gandharva, Suparna, and Garuda. 

Yom, ministers of the judge of hell, the Yaraa of the 

Yak or Yakkhas form the subject of Note 28. 

Asura, fallen angels. The same word is found in Indian 
mythology with a similar meaning, the opposite of Sura, " a 
god." The Siamese, who do not seem to have the word Sura 
with the meaning of " god or angel," derive Asura from Sura, 


" spirituous liquor," defining the a-sura as " no-liquor angels," 
angels who have suffered so much through drunkenness that 
they have now foresworn liquor. 

The story is that they were formerly angels residing in the 
heaven of Indra, from which Indra expelled them in a drunken 
state, and drove them to a region underneath Meru, from 
which they make continual sallies, vainly attempting to regain 
their former abodes. Some of them are very powerful ; as, for 
instance, the Asura Eahu, the great dragon, whose attempts 
to swallow the sun and moon are the cause of eclipses. 

Gandharva, a Sanscrit word, the Siamese being Khonthan, 
derived from gandha, (Sanscr.) " fragrance." Described in 
the Traiphoom as angels of scent, born in fragrant places. 
In Indian mythology they are the musicians of Indra's heaven. 
They are also regarded as musicians in Buddhist mythology, 
but are removed from the heaven wherein Indra dwells to the 
heaven below it, and are made subject to the rule of the angel 
Thatarot, one of the four guardians of the world. See 
Note 29. 

Suparna and Garuda (Siamese, Suban and Khrut) are also 
Sanscrit terms, denoting a race or races of enormous birds, 
whose chief occupation seems to be watching for and pouncing 
on the weaker Naga serpents. Their power is not equal to 
that of the superior Nagas. I give other particulars in my 
description of the Footprint, on which one is figured. 

Meditative science of the formed and formless Bralimas ; 
Siamese, Chan ; Sanscrit, Dhyana. — The Dhyanas are a 
series of states of abstract meditation, or, it may be said, 
ecstatic trance, the attainment of which is the highest 
accomplishment of a Buddhist saint. I have already re- 
ferred to them in Note 38 ; but in that note I treat rather 
of the result of the Dhyana than of the Dhyana itself. 
They are generally classed as four Dhyanas of the formed 
Brahmas, and four of the formless Brahmas, the idea being 


that a necessary result of the accomplishment of Dhyana will 
be a re-birth in that intellectual or Brahma heaven which, by 
a scale I shall presently mention, they conceive to correspond 
to it. They consider that the soul which has attained to 
even the lowest of these intellectual states is too superior to 
enter any of the lower or sensual heavens, but must enter a 
Brahma or meditative heaven. It will be remembered that 
there are sixteen heavens of the formed Brahmas, and above 
them four of the formless Brahmas. The three lowest 
Brahma heavens are inhabited by those who have attained 
the first Dhyana, in which the mind, absorbed in careful 
investigation, perfectly comprehends the object it is fixed on, 
attains the first degree of tranquillity, and frees itself from all 
desire, except that for Nirwana. 

The next three heavens are the abode of those who have 
attained the second Dhyana, which is a state of joy undis- 
turbed by the exercise of the reasoning powers. 

The next three heavens are the abode of those whose medi- 
tation has risen above the idea of joy or sorrow, comfort or 
discomfort, which constitutes the third Dhyana. 

The next two heavens are the abode of those who have 
attained the fourth Dhyana, a meditation of such perfect 
calmness or indifierence that it raises those who have mastered 
it above subjection to the laws which bind those who have not 
so freed their minds. While yet men, before transmigrating 
to the heavens, they will, by virtue of this meditative force, 
be gifted with more or less of the magic powers described in 
Note 38. They will have supernatural vision and hearing ; 
they will know the thoughts of others ; they will remember 
some of their past existences, and will be able to fly through 
the air, pass through the earth, &c. Some are represented 
as visiting the heavens by virtue of this power. 

In reference to this Dhyana, Barthelemy St Hilaire, in 
his very readable but unsympathetic book " Le Bouddha," 
observes, that it is a flagrant contradiction to represent im- 
passibility and magic powers as existing together. I fail to 



see the accuracy of his argument. They may exist together, 
although not simultaneously exercised. The impassive state 
is only transient, but denotes such an intellectual power that 
he who possesses it can, in other phases of his meditation, 
exercise supernatural powers. 

With this list of four Dhyanas, which may be called the 
Dhyauas proper, there are associated only eleven of the sixteen 
heavens of the formed Brahmas. The remaining five heavens 
are tenanted by those saints who have entered what some 
incorrectly call the fifth Dhyana, that is, the lowest of the 
four paths or conditions of sanctity which lead to Nirwana. 
See Note 14. 

The four heavens of formless Brahmas are inhabited by 
those who have attained the Dhyanas of the formless. These 
are, I believe : — 

1. A condition above all limitation by form, &c. ; that is, 

realisation of the idea of infinity in respect to space. 

2. Kealisation of the idea of infinity in respect to mind. 

3. Kealising the idea of nothingness (as regards space, mat- 

ter, &c.) 

4. A state in which there is neither idea nor absence of 

idea, or perhaps a state which realises the nothingness 
of mind. 

Bishop Bigandet, translating the Burmese version of a 
Siamese book, states that the five degrees of meditation are 
perception, reflection, satisfaction, happiness, and fixity. His 
system of translation is such that one can never tell whether 
we are reading the text of the native author, or the comments 
of the Catholic scholar, but, wherever the fault lies, the state- 
ment is incorrect. The steps requisite to attain the Dhyanas 
are confounded with the Dhyanas themselves. The following 
abstract of a part of the Siamese Traiphoom will explain the 
mistake, which I take notice of because it once misled me, 
and may mislead others : — 

" Only those who have practised Dhyana can enter the 
Brahma worlds. The Brahmas are all males, need no food, 


and are satisfied with a constant blessedness. They have no 
sense of taste, nor scent, nor touch, but have six spiritual 
faculties — viz., (1.) Witok, or Witaka (consideration), which, 
like the wings of a bird, raises the mind to contemplation. 
(2.) Wichara (reflection), which is the contemplation itself. 
(3.) Piti, which is the satisfaction which fills the body. (4.) 
Suk, which is the thorough happiness following on the satis- 
faction, and which gives rise to Samathi, or Dhyana, which is 
thorough abstraction. (5.) Ekkhata, which is fixedness of 
the mind on a single object. (6.) Ubekkha, which is perfect 
indifference to everything." 

Dhyana is a Sanscrit word meaning "meditation," derived 
(Benfey's Die.) from Dhyai, " to think or meditate on." 
The Siamese word Chan is evidently a corruption of it, and 
the statement in the " Bangkok Calendar " that " Chan is a 
Pali word meaning ' sin-burning' " — a statement attributed to 
an eminent Siamese authority on Pali — is, I presume, in- , 


Four miraculous poiuers (Siamese, Itthibat). — Literally, the 
four steps to, or effective means of obtaining, the miraculous 
powers. These means are — firm determination, earnest medi- 
tation, persevering exertion, and close investigation. The 
resulting powers are ten in number, but may be summed up 
as — power to reproduce forms like one's self, to change one's 
form, to disappear, to fly, to escape all dangers, and to cause 
to appear anything that one desires. The word Itthibat is 
compounded of Itthi ; in Pali, " Irdhi ;" in Sanscrit, " Riddhi " 
(superior power) ; and Bat ; Sanscrit, Pada, "a foot." 

The Sanscrit " Eiddhi " is much more exactly reproduced in 
the colloquial Siamese word " Rit" (superior power), than in 
the Pali form of the religious books. I mention this as an 
example of the occurrence in the Siamese language of Sanscrit 
words, apparently not derived through the Pali, but in some 
more direct way. There are many such words. 



The seven constituents of tlie highest wisdom — in Siamese, 
Photchangkha ; in Sanscrit, Bodhyafiga (for Sambodhyagga) — 
are Memory (Sati), Confidence (Pasathi), Energy (Virya), 
Joy (Piti), Self-collection or quietude (Samathi), Eesearch 
into law (Thammavisai), and Indifference (Ubekkha). 

There is some discrepancy between various lists. Thus 
Hardy gives them as — ascertainment of truth by mental exer- 
tion, investigation of causes, persevering exertion, joy, tran- 
quillity, tranquillity in a higher degree, and equanimity. 


The five great principles of emancipation (Wimuti) difier 
little from the four pre-eminent truths (Note 71). Burnouf 
gives them as the idea of progress, of passage, of the sorrow 
in the passage, of infinity in the sorrow, of abandonment, or 

The Sanscrit word is Vimukti, " separation or liberation." 


The science loliich makes all things perfectly manifest. — 
The word is Anawara Yan, or Anawarana Yan. I take it to 
be the negative of the Sanscrit Awarana, " covering," but I 
have some doubt as to the correctness of my rendering. 


Would cause all pain to cease. — The Siamese reads, " that 
he would cut off the Asa mi man of all living things." I do 
not know the word Asamiman, and my translation of it is very 
probably incorrect. 


The four fre-eminent truths, or truths of the saints 
(Siamese, Chaturariasat ; Sanscrit, Arya Satyani, or Aryani 


1. That sorrow ever attends (transmigratory) existence. 

2. That the cause of sorrow lies in the passions, or desire. 

3. That cessation of sorrow can be procured by the extinc- 

tion of desire. 

4. That desire can be extinguished by holiness (literally, 

by entry into the paths). 

Buddhists seem to have rather a hazy idea as to the sense 
in which the last term, " the paths," is to be understood. 

One explanation is, that the paths are the " four ways and 
four fruits," the degrees of saiutliness described in Note 14. 

Another explanation is, that the eight paths are — right doc- 
trine, right intention, right speech, and right conduct, right 
life, right application, right memory, and right meditation, 

A third explanation is to be found in chapter x. of this 
volume, where Prince Sidharta is represented as attaining the 
Buddhahood by first acquiring a knowledge of the circle of 
causes of continued existence in transmigration, and then pass- 
ing through the four paths. In this account, the first path is 
that which destroys belief in the existence of self, and of 
anything belonging to self. This evidently corresponds with 
the " right doctrine" of the preceding list. The second path 
destroys the coarser passions. The third path destroys the more 
refined passions. The fourth path brings perfect purity. 


The four applications of reflective power or memory 
(Siamese, Satipatthan; Sanscrit, Smrityupasthana). — Burnouf 
defines them as : — 

1. The act of keeping one's self mindful of one's body. 

2. The act of keeping one's self mindful of one's thought. 

3. The act of keeping one's self mindful of one's sensations. 

4. The act of keeping one's self mindful of the law. 
Spence Hardy terms them the " four subjects of fixed atten- 
tion," and thus enumerates them : — 

1. The consideration that the body is composed of thirty- 
two impurities. 


2. The consideration that the three modes of sensation are 

connected with sorrow. 

3. The consideration that mental faculties are imper- 


4. The consideration that the five elements of existence 

(Skandhas) are unreal and not the truth. 


Four classes of distinctive knoivledge (Pali, Samphitha 
Yan). — These are evidently the four (Sanscrit) Pratisamvid 
mentioned in Appendix Burnouf's "Lotus," which are — 

(1 .) Distinct knowledge of meaning ; that is, of all which 
proceeds from a cause, &c. 

(2.) Distinct knowledge of the law. 

(3.) Distinct knowledge of the true explanation of every- 

(4.) Distinct knowledge of the transitoriness, misery, and 
illusion of all things. 

Spence Hardy gives them as knowledge of — (1.) the meaning 
of any matter in its separate divisions ; (2.) the doctrines of 
Buddha; (3.) the power of the Buddhas to perceive truth 
intuitively ; (4.) the power of saints to know the roots and 
properties of things. 


The four virtuous inclinations, Phrommawihan. — The 
Siamese define them as — 

(1.) Seeking for others the happiness one desires for one's 

(2.) Compassionate interest in the welfare of all beings. 
(3.) Love for, and pleasure in all beings. 
(4.) Impartiality, preventing preference or prejudice, 


The eleven fires. — I have not been able to find a list of 
the passions or vices thus designated. There are lists of eight 


vices and ten vices. Perhaps the number eleven is made up 
of the eight generals and the three daughters of Mara, the 
Evil One, which would involve some repetition. The list 
would then be — sensuality, anger, concupiscence, desire, dis- 
respect, arrogance, doubt, ingratitude, love, wrath, and lust. 


Tlie sixty-hco false doctrines. — An account of the sixty- 
two false doctrines was translated by Gogerly from the 
Brahma Gala Siitra, and an abstract of his translation 
appears in Spence Hardy's Manual. The Siitra, I believe, 
defines them as "all the different modes of belief then in 
existence or that could exist." I^do not think the distinctions 
worth recapitulating, but as an example of them give the 
following : — 

" There are sixteen sects who hold a future state of con- 
scious existence, and that it is either material, immaterial, a 
mixed state, or neither material nor immaterial ; that it is 
either finite, indefinitely extended, a mixture of both states, 
or neither the one nor the other ; " or that its perceptions are 
either simple, discursive, limited, unlimited, happy, miserable, 
mixed, or insensible." 


The Holy Triad consists of Buddha, the law or teachings 
of Buddha, and the church or assembly of ordained Bud- 
dhists. The expression in the Siamese is Phra Trai Sara- 
nakhom, which is a Pali formulary or creed, in which the 
Buddhists thrice repeat the words, " I take refuge in Buddha, 
his law, and the church." I do not quote the Pali, as it 
would be waste of space. It may be found in Hardy's " Mo- 
nachism," p. 23. 

The three jewels is another form of the same expression 
(Siamese, Phra Katanatrai ; Sanscrit, Tri Katna). 

The eightfold 'path (Siamese, Atthang khika mak; San- 


scrit, Ashtaka Marga, or perhaps Asbtangika Marga) — con-^ 
sists of — 

(I .) Correct religious idea, or orthodoxy. 

(2.) Correct thought ending all doubt. 

(3.) Correct speaking, or exactitude in words. 

(4.) Correct works or conduct. 

(5.) Correct life, free from sin and ambition. 

(6.) Correct application, or energy in the search for Nir- 

(7.) Correct memory. 

(8.) Correct meditation in perfect tranquillity. 


Beivard of their ivorTis. — I doubt the correctness of my 
translation here. The Siamese words are, Samanya phon ; 
Sanscrit, Samanya phala. Phon means fruits or effects, and 
Samanya means common, ordinary, general, and also " in 
common," One of the meanings of the Sanscrit word is " in 
common," and another, " common property." It may, there- 
fore, refer to the Buddhist principle of sharing merit, or 
bestowing on others (by declaration, at the moment of the 
act, as when giving alms, &c.) a share of the merit which 
would otherwise all pass to the merit-maker's own credit. 


Seven other things came into the world at the same time 
as Buddha : — 

(1.) Phimpha or Yasodhara became his wife. 

(2.) Ananda, his attendant and favourite disciple. 

(3.) Luthayi or Kaludari was his playmate, and after he 
became Buddha, was bearer of a message to induce 
him to visit his father. 

(4.) Channamat or Channa was the nobleman who accom- 
panied and assisted him in his flight when he left 
his palace to become a hermit. 

(5.) Kanthaka or Kanthat was his horse on which he fled. 


(6.) The great Bodhi or Bo-tree was the tree under whose 

shade he became Buddha. 
(7.) The four great mines were supposed to be immense 

gold mines in the vicinity of Kapila, which enriched 

his father. 

We, too, shall hear Ms teachings. — This probably refers to 
Buddha's supposed ascent to the Davadungsa heaven, seven 
years after his attainment of the Buddhahood, to preach 
to the angels, and particularly to his mother, who resorted 
thither from the Tushita heaven to hear him. The Dava- 
dungsa heaven is the second tier above the earth, in which 
dwells Indra. The Tushita heaven is the fourth tier. 


Worshipped him luith offerings (Siamese, Sakarabucha). — 
Bucha is evidently the Sanscrit Puja, meaning worship. 
Sakara I have not been able to identify, unless it be the same 
as Kriya, performance, religious ceremony, &c., and Sa Kriya, 
observant of religious duties. 

The offerings made in the performance of Bucha must be 
distinguished from those called Than or Dana, which are given 
to priests, beggars, &g. The Bucha offerings are principally 
flowers, scent-sticks, &c., which are olBfered before idols and 
in other holy places ; also to the remains of deceased persons, 
and to the angels of trees, &c. 

Did homage to his son for the first time. — In Eastern coun- 
tries, intense respect is paid by children to their parents. The 
child, whatever his rank, renders menial services to his father. 
The chronicler, therefore, calls special attention to the reversal 
of custom shown in this passage. 

Want of merit. — It may seem extraordinary that Buddhist 


doctors should have admitted this story of Kaladewila, who, 
by virtue of his high perfections in meditative science (Note 38), 
would be, by entering for an immense period the impassive 
state of the formless Brahmas, deprived of the opportunity of 
at once learning the way to Nirwana. The explanation is, 
that no one existence is the summation of the merits and 
demerits which govern what I must call the soul. I may 
perhaps say, that Kaladewila was on the crest of a great 
wave of preponderating merit, but not yet in the state in 
which, from the absence of demerit, he could pass into the 
calm of Nirwana. 

The story is probably introduced owing to the Buddhist 
leaders finding it impossible to refuse to recognise the high 
character and attainments of some of those who did not agree 
with them, and yet being unwilling, like all other priests, to 
acknowledge that there was any way to heaven bat that they 
were the teachers of. 

In the " Lalita Vistara," a similar story is told, but the names 
are different, — Kaladewila being represented by the hermit 
Asita, and Nalaka by Naradatta. 


The requisites for those who tcike holy orders (in Siamese, 
called the eight Borikhan ; in Pali, the Pirikara ; which 
words perhaps represent the Sanscrit " Parigraha," " posses- 
sion") — These eight requisites and lawful possessions of a 
monk are — (1.-3.) three robes (Traichiwon or Chiwara), all 
worn at the same time ; (4.) a pan (Batr) in which to collect 
food ; (5.) a razor to shave the head, eyebrows, &c. ; (6.) a case 
of needles for mending clothes ; (7.) a girdle ; (8.) a filtering- 

Some schools of Buddhists object to a girdle, and I find 
Bishop Bigandet, in his list, substitutes a hatchet for a girdle. 

The Siamese monks by no means limit their possessions to 
these eight articles. According to strict rule they should pre- 
sent, for the common use of their monastery, all gifts they 


receive beyond their food and these eight requisites ; but this 
rule is a dead letter. 

Instead of three patched yellow robes, they commonly wear 
seven articles of dress ; and in some of the wealthier monas- 
teries the priests may be seen adorned with embroidered silk 

I cannot state with any certainty the reason yellow robes 
were adopted by Buddhists. There is a story that thieves wore 
yellow dresses, and that the poor ascetics, in the depth of their 
humility, imitated the thieves. It is far more probable that 
the people of the lowest caste, or outcastes, were compelled to 
wear yellow, and that Buddhists, voluntarily making them- 
selves outcastes, proudly adopted the colour which marked 
their act. We find them boasting of their yellow robe (Kasa- 
waphat ; in Sanscrit, Kashaya), as the flag of victory of the 
saints. In the early days of Buddhism the monks wore what- 
ever they could get. Some picked up and patched together 
the rags strewn about cemeteries ; whilst others are men- 
tioned as magnificently attired in glittering royal vestments, 
and in the precious dresses procured by kings for the ladies 
of their harems, which these ladies piously gave away. 


Practised asceticism (in Siamese, Samanatham ; Sanscrit, 
Sramana dharma). — Samanatham would mean the system or 
practice of the Samanas, which now means Buddhist monks, 
and which word (Sramana) is said by the Buddhists to mean 
" one who tames the senses, or has quieted the evil in him." 
This explanation is commonly given in European works on 
Buddhism, but, like other efforts of Buddhist scholarship, as, 
for example, the Siamese explanation of Dhyana, in Note Q5, it 
is wrong. I quote a note from Max Miiller's "Dhammapada: " 
— "This etymology (of the writer of the "Dhammapada") 
is curious, because it shows that at the time when this verse 
was written, the original meaning of ' sramana ' had been 
forgotten. Sramana meant, originally, in the language of the 


Brahmins, a man who performed hard penance, from sram, to 
work hard, &c. When it became the name of the Buddhist 
ascetics, the language had changed, and sramana was pro- 
nounced samana. Now, there is another Sanscrit root, ' sam,' 
to quiet, which in Pali becomes likewise * sam,' and from 
this root, 'sam,' to quiet, and not from 'sram,' to tire, did 
the popular etymology of the day, and the writer of our verse, 
derive the title of the Buddhist priests." I should add, that 
Max Miiller refers the date of the verses he speaks of (the 
" Dhammapada") to, probably as early as 2-16 b.c. 

Kammathan (Pali, Kammatthana), is one of the modes of 
Buddhist meditation, and may be called analytical meditation. 
He who exercises it fixes his mind on any one element, and 
reflects on it in all its conditions and changes, until, so far as 
that element is concerned, he sees that it is only unstable, 
grievous, and illusory. To aid this kind of meditation there 
are formulas ; some people incorrectly call them prayers, in 
which a list of the elements is repeated ; and the ordinary 
exercise of Kammathan is probably a mere mumbling of 
these formulas. One of these is a list of the thirty-two con- 
stituents of the body— a string of thirty-two Pali words, 
translated as, " hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, 
skin, flesh, muscles, bones," &c., &c. I do not know whether 
the term is used in Sanscrit ; it does not occur in my dic- 
tionary. I presume that it is a compound of Karman, 
" action, the cause of life," and sthana, " fixed position ;" but 
I do not feel at all certain. 

Naldka Patipada. — Patipada is the life of holiness of those 
walking in the right paths (Mak, or Megga). I cannot say 
what book is referred to as the Nalaka Patipada. 

The thirty-two signs of a great being are dealt with in the 


Phrabat, and ia a special Appendix ; so it is unnecessary to 
explain them here. 

Then ivas the question asked. — This sudden interruption in 
the narrative will be understood by those who remember that 
the whole story is presumably told by Ananda, questioned by 
the patriarch at the first council (see chap, i.) 


Tathdgata (Siamese, Tathakhot,) a great name of Buddha, 
used in the Sutras (discourses) when he speaks of himself. It 
is said to signify " he who has come in the same manner as 
his predecessors," that is, " he who has passed, like previous 
Buddhas, through innumerable states of transmigration, ac- 
quiring the vast merit which will result in the Buddhahood." 


The five commandments and eight commandments have 
been set forth in Note 22. The Siamese text here is " the 
twenty-five eightfold observances " (Yi sib ha assadang khika 
sin) ; but I presume that the error arises from the copyist not 
knowing the meaning of Assadang khika. 


Charitahle meditations (Siamese, Meta Phawana ; Pali, 
Maitri Bhawana, the meditation of kindness). — I give an ac- 
count of the five Bhawanas or meditations of kindness, pity, joy, 
sorrow, and indifference, in Note 10. 


For an account of the meaning of the marks on the Foot- 
print, see the part of this work called Phrabat. 


Softness of hands, dx. — I have omitted in the text a few 


remarks of an interruptory character. With this clause it is 
observed that the softness of hands and feet remained through- 
out his life. 

Fingers close set. — It is added that this peculiarity arose 
from " his having steadily established himself in the four 
elements of benevolence, Sangkhriha watthu.'^ These are the 
Sanscrit Saggraha vastuni, defined as almsgiving, agreeable 
speaking, kind acts, unity in that which is for the general 


He can turn Ms whole body, d:c. — It is added that this was 
the result of observance of the Suphasit or rules which teach 
that which is convenient and agreeable, i.e., good manners. 
The only works called Suphasit that I know of are translations 
of Chinese Confucian teachings. 

His knees round, &c. — This is because he had truly taught 
morality (Silapasat), free from greed (Matchiriya). I am not 
quite certain that my translation of these two words is correct. 

Literally, " Id quod celandum est celatur, instar bovis 
Brahminensis scrotum, vel calyx nymphseae qui nondum sese 

The golden tint resulted from the merit of abstention from 
anger and unkindliness, &c., and from forbearance and alms- 
giving. Some people hint that men first gilded their statues, 
and subsequently regarded a yellow complexion as beautiful. 
I remember that when the late King obtained the daughter of 
a Malay Sultan as a wife, I was told she was " very lovely, her 
skin quite yellow." 



Crowus made in imitation of the sirorot or sirotama. The 
Siamese crown is a tall, pointed crown, like the curious pyra- 
midal cranium given to idols of Buddha, of which an account 
will be found in the Appendix on the " Thirty-two Signs of a 
Grand Being." The expression Sirotama occurs twice in this 
book, each time followed by Kesa (Sanscrit, Ke§a, hair), the 
hair of the head ; the whole expression meaning the hair on 
the pointed skull. The Sirotama is sometimes written Sirorot 
in Siamese, and in this form I think it may be recognised as 
derived either from the Sanscrit words ^iroruh, head-growth 
or hair, or else from ^ii'as, " the head," and Euch, " light, 
splendour, to shine" (the latter being the same as the Siamese 
word Kot, "resplendent"). If this latter derivation were 
correct, it would justify the term glory by which Sirorot is 
sometimes translated. 

If taken as glory, it is to be remembered that the Siamese 
regard the glory as not spreading round the head, but rising 
up from it to a height of six cubits, flame-like as I may say. 
Hence the shape of their crown coincides with their idea of the 
form of the glory. ]\Ioreover, we Westerns, who differ from the 
Siamese in painting our saints with glories encircling their 
heads, instead of rising over them, also differ from them in 
the essential part of our crowns being the circlet round the 
head, and not the point above it. 


Anghhirasa. — I do not find this name given in any other 
Life of Buddha. 

The name Angirasa is mentioned by Csoma de Koros (trans- 
lating from the Thibetan) as one of the descendants of 
Mahasammato, the first king of the world, and may perhaps 
be the Bhagiraso of the Pali Mahawanso. We also find the 
name Angiras as that of one of the authors or custodian 
families of the Vedic hymns. The name may perhaps have 
crept in here by mistake. In accounting for it by connecting 


it with the brilliant glory or rays streaming from his head, the 
Siamese probably derive it from their word " rasami" (Sanscrit, 
Kagmi), effulgence. 


Sidharta (in Siamese, Sri that tha or Si that). — la Note 2 
I have given the usual interpretation of this name, which 
differs little from the " perfection of prosperity " given in the 
text. In Tumour's translation from the Pali of Buddha2:hosa's 
Commentary, we find, " those who were conferrers of a name, 
as he was destined to be the establisher (of the faith) through- 
out the world, gave him the name of Siddhatto, the establisher." 


Pachdpati (in Siamese, Pachabodikhot ; in Pali — vide 
Roger's " Buddhasrhosha's Parables " for account of the 
family — Pagapatigotami). — She was sister of Maia, and a joint- 
Queen of Suddhodana. She had two children — a son, Nanda, 
and a daughter, Ganapadakalyani. She ultimately became a 
nun. Although among the respectable middle classes of Siam 
it is not considered proper to marry a living wife's sister, such 
is not uncustomary among the higher classes, and does not 
seem to lead to any special inconvenience. There were seve- 
ral sisters in the harem of the late King, and two wives of the 
present Eegent who are best known to and most esteemed by 
foreigners are also sisters. 


Nurses free from all bodily defects. — The text is, neither 
too tall nor too squat, too fair nor too dark, &c., &c. Almost 
exactly the same words occur in the " Lalita Vistara " in the 
description of Queen Maia herself. 


Festival of commencement of sowing-time. — This festival, 
by name Eekna, is one of the great annual Brahminical cere- 


monies of tlie Siamese. The King does not himself attend it, 
but is represented by the Minister of Agriculture, who for the 
day is regarded as King, and whose powers until the last 
reign extended even to seizing foi- himself the goods of any 
shopkeeper who dared open his shop on that day. The day 
is fixed by the royal Brahmin astrologers, and is usually early 
in May. The Minister proceeds to a field in or near the city, 
and superintends the ploughing. Several elderly ladies from 
the King's harem follow him scattering seed, and the cere- 
mony ends by setting free the oxen who have drawn the 
plough, and observing which kind of seed, of several placed 
before them, they eat the most of. Whichever they eat most 
of will, it is said, be scarce during the year. 

Indra felt uncomfortable on Ms couch. — The expression is 
a not unusual one, and the attention of angels to matters where 
their interposition is required, is generally preceded by their 
feeling hot or uncomfortable on their seats. The thousand- 
eyed is a common epithet of Indra. 


The three seasons. — In tropical regions the year is divided 
into three seasons — the cold, the hot, and the wet. In 
Siam, for instance, the cold season lasts from November to 
February, being the time that the sun is in the south ; this 
comparatively cold season has an average temperature of 
about 79° F., that is, warmer than an English summer. As the 
sun advances from the south, the heat of the hot season be- 
comes terrible, untiUhe middle or end of May, when rain falls 
and slightly reduces the temperature. 

The three palaces built for Prince Sidharta, according to 
native ideas of what suits the seasons, were all of the same 
height; hence the five stories of the hot-season palace, gave 
him loftier rooms. 


Maradop or Manradop (Sanscrit, Mandapa).-The 



Maradop of the present clay are sacred buildings of a square 
form with pointed roofs. They commonly cover shrines, such 
as the Phrahat Footprint. 

This passage about the Maradop seems to me to be ex- 
tracted from some Brahmin book. 


Tlie twelve arts (in Siamese, Silapasatr — that is, in San- 
scrit, the Q^stras, treatises, of the ^ilpa, arts). — This is 
another example of a Sanscrit word used by the Siamese, not 
derived through the Pali, which is Sippa. 

I have no list of the twelve arts specially distinguished. 
In the " Lalita Vistara " account of the Prince's trial, he is 
said to have excelled in writing, mathematics, gymnastics, 
swimming, running, wrestling, archery, riding, driving, poetry, 
painting, music, dancing, magic, astrology, logic, and almost 
every conceivable accomplishment. 

In a Siamese historical novel, treating of the Kings of Pegu, 
I found a list of twenty-four arts which Princes should be 
conversant with. According to a note I made when I read 
the book, they are divided into four crafts, five arts, eight 
merits, and seven manners of action. The four crafts are — 
warlike tactics, omens, skill in dealing with men according to 
their characters, and the art of judiciously acquiring wealth. 
The five arts are — knowledge of all mechanical arts, sooth- 
saying, history, law, and natural history. The eight merits 
are — truthfulness, just treatment of all people, kindliness, 
courage, good manners, knowledge of medicine, freedom from 
covetousness, and forethought. The seven manners are — noble 
daring when it is required, calm and even government, con- 
siderateness for the people, merciful adaptation of government 
according to circumstances, punishment of the wicked, and 
watchfulness for their detection, and just apportionment 
of punishments to ofiences without any display of malice. 
One of these last I have omitted, probably from not being 
able to understand the recondite words used in it. I should 


add that this list is evidently extracted from some older work, 
either Pali or Sanscrit. 


Invested loitli royal dignity. — This seems rather to be a 
ceremony of making him Crown Prince than actual King. 


Yasodara (in Siamese, generally called NangPhimpha). — 
She was cousin of Prince Sidharta, being daughter of Suddho- 
dana's sister Amita, married to Prince Supprabuddha. 

In the " Lalita Vistara " (Foucaux's translation) her name is 
given as Gopa. 


Polygamy. — It is noticeable that his promotion to royal 
dignity, and his provision with a large harem, are simultan- 
eous. This book must throughout be regarded as conveying 
an ancient story moulded on general Eastern, and especially 
Siamese ideas, which are not very modern. Eoyal polygamy 
in Siam must be regarded not as mere sensuality, but as a 
state engine for binding all the leading families (whose 
daugliters are in the harem) to the King's interests ; and also 
probably for enlightening the King as to the secrets of those 
families. Of course it cuts both ways, and the wives some- 
times spy in the interests of their families rather than of the 


Messenger from the heavens (Siamese, Thewathut). — The 
four motives to pious thoughts described in these visions — 
that is, age, disease, death, and religious life — are known to 
Siamese as the four Thewathut. 


Rahida. — I am unable to explain the connection between 
the name Rahula and the remark which, according to the 


text, occasioned it. There is a curious note in Burnouf s 
" Lotus," p. 397, respecting Ealiula, but it does not much 
help me. He mentions that some derive the name from Eahu, 
the demon that causes eclipses. Benfey derives Eahu from 
the Sanscrit root Eah, which has the sense of " abandonment ;" 
and perhaps this may be the root of Eahula, " the aban- 


Sources of evil or wi2nirity (in Siamese, Upathi Kilet, 
equivalent to the Sanscrit Upadhi Kle^a). — Spence Hardy 
gives Kilet, in its Pali form, Kilesa, as meaning evil desire, 
cleaving to existence. In Siamese I think it refers to im- 
purity and evil in general. Burnouf, quoting Judson, gives 
the following list of the ten Kilesa : — 

Desire or cupidity, anger, folly, arrogance, false doctrine, 
doubt, impudence, rudeness, immodesty, hard-heartedness. 


Bearer (in Siamese, Phanana). — Evidently the same as the 
Sanscrit, Vahana, the term applied in Hindu mythology to 
the animal devoted to the use of a god as his bearer. Thus 
the bird Garuda is the bearer of Vishnu, who is commonly 
represented in pictures as being borne along by that bird. 
Siva, if I remember correctly, is borne by an ox ; Indra by a 
three or thirty-three headed elephant, &c., &c. 


Guardian angels of the gate. — The mythological system of 
the Siamese admits not only the Brahma and Dewa angels of 
the various tiers of heavens, but also numerous Dewa angels 
of the earth, trees, gates, lakes, and ponds, &c., &c. For- 
merly, in Siam, when a new city gate was being erected, it 
was customary for a number of officers to lie in wait near the 
spot, and seize the first four or eight persons who happened 
to pass by, and who were then buried alive under the gate 


posts, to serve as guardian angels. The governess at the 
Siamese court declares this was done when a new gate was 
added to the palace a few years ago, but her book is, to my 
knowledge, so untrustworthy that I may decline to believe 
this story, the more so as it is quite inconsistent with the 
humane character of the late King. 


Mara, or Man (Sanscrit, Mara, death, god of love ; by 
some authors translated " illusion," as if it came from the 
Sanscrit Maya). — The angels of evil desire, of love, death, 
&c. Though King Mara plays the part of our Satan the 
tempter, he and his host formerly were great givers of alms, 
which led to their being born in the highest of the Dewa 
heavens, called Paranimit Wasawatti, there to live more than 
nine thousand million years, surrounded by all the luxuries 
of sensuality. From this heaven the filthy one, as the Siamese 
describe him, descends to the earth to tempt and excite to evil. 
In the ninth chapter will be found an account of Mara, his 
daughters, his troops, his elephant, and his weapons. 


The middle day of the sixth month, which generally corre- 
sponds with some early day in May, is in Siam held as the 
festival of the anniversary of the birth, inspiration, and death 
of Buddha. 


Lust, passion, and folly. — These are the words Lopho, 
Thoso, Moho, on which the " Modei-n Buddhist " dwells so 


Saiuathi (the Siamese for Sravasti). — In General Cunning- 
ham's " Ancient Geography of India " there is an interesting 
chapter on the identificatioxi and history of Sravasti. He 


makes it out to be Ouclh, north of the Ghagra, and identifies 
the ruined city Sahet Mahet as the city itself. In the time 
of Buddha, Sravasti was the capital of Prasenajit, a convert 
and protector of Buddha. In Sravasti (also known among 
the Southern Buddhists as Sewet) was the Jetawana monas- 
tery, where Buddha, according to the received histories, passed 
many years, and performed many miracles. 

Taking, as I have done before, Benares as a known point, 
Sawatthi lies about a hundred and ten miles north of it. 


Wesali, or Vaisdli, Cunningham identifies as Besarh, lying, 
roughly speaking, about a hundi'ed and forty miles east of 
Benares. Buddha is supposed to have frequently resided 


Biver Anoma. — Cunningham identifies this as probably the 
river Aumi, about forty miles from Kapila. This identi- 
fication cannot, however, be made to tally with our story; 
and it is to be remembered that that learned archasologist 
draws his conclusions mainly from the works of the Chinese 
pilgrims who visited the Buddhist Holy Land a thousand to 
twelve hundred years after the date assigned to the com- 
mencement of Buddha's teaching. I, regarding the history 
of Buddha as a fiction, embracing only a few historical truths, 
and mainly important as showing what is now believed by 
Buddhists, do not look upon the question of the exact identi- 
fication of sites as one of much importance in this place. 
Assuming, however, Cunningham's sites of Kapila, Sravasti, 
and Vaisali as correct, and that Prince Sidharta passed 
through these places to some river Anoma lying beyond 
Vaisali, then we can make up our distance of two hundred 
miles, or, as I should have translated it, two hundred and ten 
miles. The literal translation is thirty yot or yojanas. I 
have taken the yojana at seven miles, on the authority of 


General Cunningham. A Siamese reading the story would 
probably believe it to be the same as his own yot, which is 
nearly ten miles. 


Augury from name of river Anoma. — For an explanation 
of this I am indebted to General Cunningham's work. He 
suggests that the original name may have been Auma, or 
" inferior ;" and that the Prince's remark was, " My ordina- 
tion shall be an-auma, that is, "not inferior," or " superior." 
He doubts whether the name Anoma or Anauma was not a 
corruption or false reading for its opposite, Auma. Supposing 
that Auma, inferior, was the true name, then the crossing to 
the other side of the river, the passing over inferiority, has its 
signification in connection with this play upon words. 


Ascetic. — The word used is Samana, which is explained in 
Note 86. In Siam, it designates a monk ; while its diminu- 
tive, Samanera, Samanen, or vulgarly Nen, is the designation 
of a novice. 


Touching the head. — The Siamese regard touching the 
head, or rather tuft of hair, as a very great insult ; and the 
higher the rank of the person, the more sacred his head 


The head of Buddha. — In some Siamese idols the skull 
rises in a conical form, and is covered with small spikes, 
representing the short hairs. Foreigners often speak of this 
as if it were a crown ; and, indeed, in some cases it is unmis- 
takably figured as a crown by native idol manufacturers, 
who seem to have lost all idea of the origin of what they 
represent. See Note 101. 



Kara'pliruk-tree, also called Kamaphruk, and KappJiruksa 
(in Sanscrit, Kalpa-vriksha, the tree of Indra's paradise, 
which gratifies all desires). — According to the Siamese Trai- 
phoom, this tree grows in the Tushita heavens — the heavens 
of the joyous — and produces as its fruit everything that can 
be desired by the angels — gold and silver, precious raiment, 
and jewels, and all that is beautiful and useful. 

At all important cremation ceremonies in Siam, it is cus- 
tomary to hang on a framework representing this tree, a large 
number of limes or nut-shells, containing money and tickets, 
exchangeable against the articles mentioned in them — such 
as boats, mats, scarves, &c. — purchased with the money of 
the deceased. These limes are scattered, to be scrambled for 
by the crowd ; and it is believed that the merit of this charity 
will be advantageous to the deceased in his next state of 
transmigration. On the same occasions great presents of 
yellow rolJes, screens, boats, &c., &c., are made to the monks, 
and these are also considered to be Karaphruk fruits. 

Another curious custom, presumably connected with the 
same idea, is that of hanging gifts for the monks on the 
trees in the monastery garden at night, and then awakening 
the monks to get up and seek them. 


In the " Lalita Vistara," Buddha is said to have obtained 
his yellow dress by exchanging clothes with a hunter, who, 
it is added, was really an angel, who had taken mortal form 
for this very purpose. 


Realisation of desire for the Buddhahood. — The word I 
have rendered " desire for the Buddhahood," is Manophani- 
than ; Pali, Manopranidhana ; probably a compound of the 
Sanscrit words, Manas, " mind, purpose," and Pranidhana, 
" attendance to, prayer." Spence Hardy gives it as the era 


of resolution, or of the desire, " May I become a Buddha." 
I have already referred to the immense period supposed to 
intervene between the day the soul of a Buddha first fixes its 
determination, and the day it achieves its aim. 


Loud lamentations. — In the Siamese, about two pages are 
filled with their exclamations ; but, as any one can conceive 
what women would say under the circumstances, I have not 
thought it worth translating. 


Rajagriha, about a hundred and twenty miles east of Benares, 
and forty miles south by east of Patna. The story says, crossing 
a river, he arrived at Kajagriha. This river is, I suppose, the 
Ganges, which he must have crossed to make this journey ; or it 
may refer to the Nairanjana, or to the Panchana, which is close 
to Kajagriha. As I before observed, the geography of the story 
will not bear too close an examination. Kajagriha was the 
capital city of Bimbisara, King of Magadha, the great pro- 
tector of Buddha. See Note 7. 

In the neighbourhood of Kajagriha are five hills, of which 
the Wephara hill (see Note 8) is famous as the place where 
the first Buddhist council was held. Another famous spot 
close to Kajagriha is the Weluwana, or Weloowoon monas- 
tery, a garden presented by King Bimbisara to Buddha in the 
first year of his teaching, and thenceforward a favourite 


Asura Eahu. — The story is, that in a former state of trans- 
migration, the sun (Athit), the moon (Chan, or Chandra), 
and the Asura Kahu, were brothers. They gave alms to the 
priesthood, instituted by some former Buddha — the first in a 
golden vase, the second in a silver vase, and the third in a 
black pot. Their almsgiving led to their being all born as 


angels: the first, the angel of the sun; the second, the angel 
of the moon ; the third, the angel Eahii. Kahu, who had 
been on bad terms with his brothers, and was a wicked 
angel, became one of the Asuras who were expelled from 
heaven by Indra (see Note 64). He continually visits the 
heavens for the purpose of swallowing his brothers in their 
palaces ; and his seizures of their palaces are the cause ot 
eclipses. The rapid motion of those palaces makes it impos- 
sible for him to hold them for any time. At great Siamese 
festivals, one may commonly see an enormous serpent (made 
of lines of lamps, ingeniously jointed together, and borne 
about by a number of men), representing Eahu chasing the 


Snake King, or Boyal Naga. — The Siamese define the 
Nagas as hooded, and commonly seven-headed, serpents of 
supernatural power, who reside in subterranean kingdoms and 
palaces beneath this and other earths. Those of this world 
are ruled over by Waruna. They are also subjected to Thao 
Wiruphak, one of the four angelic guardians of the world. 
Among their miraculous powers are those of passing through 
the earth instantaneously, of assuming the form of men and 
angels, and of making themselves invisible. Their breath is 
deadly. They are mostly well inclined, and one reads con- 
tinually of their beneficent appearance to help the pious. A 
common representation of Buddha is one in which the seven- 
headed King of Nagas shields the teacher during a storm, by 
encircling him with his coils, and covering his head with his 
seven expanded hoods. The great enemies of the Nagas are 
the Garudas (monstrous birds) ; but the Garudas can only 
conquer the weaker members of the family. For further 
remarks on the Naga, see remarks on the Phrabat, in this 
volume. I should add, that the Waruna above mentioned is 
not the Indian deity Varuna, but is probably the same as 



Regarding but the small space of earth close around him, 
— This is a reference to the Buddhist rule that a monk must 
keep his eyes on the ground close before him, and not gaze 
around. Most Siamese monks are provided with a screen 
to assist them in this duty. 


Banthatua hills (Pali, Pandawo). — Identified by Cunning- 
ham with Katnagiri, a hill close to Eajagriha. 


Seated himself in a position of contemplation. — This is the 
general attitude of seated idols of Buddha, and is called 
Samathi (Sanscrit, Samadhi), The term means a state of 
meditation, in which the mind is shut up in itself, and in- 
sensible to that which is passing around it. It is, as it were, 
the first exercise preparatory to entering on the various 
sciences of meditation called Kammathan, Dhyana, &c., &c. 
Its first meaning, according to Benfey, is "composing or 
reconciling differences;" whence arises the meaning, "re- 
straining the senses, and confining the mind to contemplation 
on the true nature of spirit." 


Hermits Alara and Kuddhaka. — Turnour, in his " Pali 
Annals," gives their names as Alarakalamo and Uddakaramo. 
In the " Lalita Vistara," they are called Arata Kalama, and 
Kudraka. They are not supposed to have lived and taught 
together, but to have been visited in succession by Buddha, 
whose ready comprehension of their teachings led each in 
turn to invite him to remain as joint-teacher. 

Dhyana meditation. — I have endeavoured, by the words in 
brackets, to explain the Pali words of the Siamese text, which 


are, that they taught the seven Dhyana Samapatti from the 
first to the Akinya chayayatana Dhyana, but could not reach 
to the Newa sanyana newa Dhyana. For an account of Sam- 
patti and Dhyana, see Notes 38 and 65. 


Uruiuela, by the Nairanjana river, supposed to be near 
Bodh-Gaya, about forty miles south-west of Rajagriha. 


Severest asceticism (in Siamese, Maha pathan ; in Pali, Ma- 
hapadhanan ; explained by the Siamese as endurance, Phien). 
— It is not the mortification of self-infiicted pain, but of patient 

Maha means great, and Pathan probably represents the 
Sanscrit Pradhana, which has the meanings " primitive mat- 
ter,'^ "nature;" "chief," "principal," &c., &c. So that the 
conjoint word only means " something very great;" and it is pos- 
sible that the Siamese translation of endurance is incorrect, 
and that it should be translated, he devoted himself to the 
"highest object," that is, the Buddhahood. 


The Jive JFa7i;Mi (Bencha Wakkhi).— The "LalitaVistara," 
and other lives of Buddha, all contain an account of these first 
pupils of Buddha, but in none of them do I find the term 
" Wakkhi" used. I presume it to be the same as the Sanscrit 
word Varga, a class — compounds of which, Tri-varga, and 
Chatur-varga, mean respectively an " assembly of three things, 
and of four things." Bencha Wakkhi would in this case 
stand for Pancha(n)-varga, " an assembly of five (men)." 

Dr Bastian refers to them as the five Chaphakhi. See 
p. 406 of his third volume " Eeisen in Siam." 

Self-achieved. — The Siamese is Sayamphu. which is pro- 
bably the same as the Sanscrit Svayambhu, " self-existent," 


and which, as an epithet of Badtiha, is considered to mean that 
he of himself, without mastery or guide, brought himself to a 
state of perfection. 

I give a list of the Siamese-Pali names of these eight gene- 
rals of the evil one, giving the Sanscrit in brackets where I 
know it : — Kama (Kama), Thoso (Dvesba), Sepha (^epa), 
Tanha (Trichna), Thinnamittha, Utthacha, Wichikitcha 
(Vichi Kitsa), and Lop hlu khun. The last word is not 
Siamese- Pali, but common Siamese. 


Angel of tree. — As I mentioned in Note 118, the Siamese 
recognise not only angels of the heavens, but also angels who 
live in trees, &c., on earth. To these they commonly make 
offerings, hanging the offerings on the branches, or placing 
them on a stand or altar beneath the tree. They often object 
to cut down trees, lest the angels of the said trees should be 
angry. The superstition was probably rooted in the minds of 
the people before they ever heard of Buddhism. It prevails 
also in Burmah, where these angels are called Nat, a term 
applied by the Siamese to a beautiful woman. 

Some years ago, when I employed my spare energy in show- 
ing the Siamese how to make roads in the, till then, roadless 
suburbs of Bangkok, I had to cut my lines through villages, 
temple groves, orchards, and plantations, and patches of 
jungle. For the " wicked " duty of cutting down the trees, a 
gang of the lowest criminals was placed at my disposal ; and, 
moreover, the Government, which allowed me to interfere as 
1 thought fit with private property, specially interdicted the 
removal of any holy building or sacred tree. 


The story of Suchada (Sudjata) is somewhat differently told 
in the " Lalita Vistara." According to that work, the great 
ascetic found by the servant of Suchada sitting under the tree 


accepted an invitation to follow her to her mistress's house, 
there to receive his meal. Nothing is said about the angel of 
the tree. 


Kala, the Naga, or Snake King. — See Note 135. This 
Kala, or Maha Kala, is thus mentioned in the " Mahawauso," 
as teaching King Asoka the appearance of Buddha. 

" The supernaturally gifted Naga King, whose age extends 
as long as a creation of the world, and who had seen the four 
Buddhas, was brought in to King Asoka, and seated on the 
royal throne, and having been adored with an ofifering of 
flowers, he, at the King's request, caused to appear an en- 
chanting image of Buddha." 

I quote this passage because it seems to me to illustrate the 
mixture of Naga-worship with Buddhism in the fourth and 
fifth century, the period assigned by Professor Ferguson to 
the later sculptures of the Amravatti Tope, in which sculp- 
tures remarkable prominence is given to figures of the Naga. 


The former Buddhas mentioned in the text, whose bowls 
clashed against Grotama Buddha's, are Kakusandha, Konaga- 
mana, and Kasyappa, the three Buddhas of the present crea- 
tion who preceded Gotama. See Note 24. 

The white umbrella, or staged parasol of royalty, the 
chowrie or fly-flap, and the chank-shell used as a trumpet, are 
figured on the Phrabat, and described in the list of figures on 
the Footprint. 


The tliree daughters of Mara. — Eaka (Sanscrit, Eaga) per- 
sonifies Jove ; Aradi (Sanscrit, Arati, discontent) is said by 
the Siamese to personify angry passion ; Tanha (Sanscrit, 
Trichna) personifies desire. 



Death. — Mara is referred to, one of lils titles being King of 

Tliiriy Barami (or Paramita), described in Note 40 as con- 
sisting of ten classes, each divided into three grades. Hardy 
calls them the ten paths in which he who would be a Buddha 
must walk, but this meaning is hardly sufficient. The word 
seems to imply power as well as merit, and I take it as the 
virtue of accumulated merit of the highest kind. 


Chakh'ci — The disc — weapon of Indra and universal Em- 
perors, also the wheel of the law, or the teaching of Buddha. 
See Note 12. 


Neither spirit nor understanding. — The words in Siamese 
are Chitr and Winyan. I believe there is no doubt about the 
translation of Winyan (Sanscrit, Vijnana) as understanding; 
but the translation of " chitr" may be questioned. Our only 
Siamese dictionary (Bishop Palligoix's), though excellent for 
ordinary purposes, is a dangerous guide in the translation of 
recondite words, used in religious and metaphysical treatises. 
In this case I adopt one of the conventional meanings given 
in the dictionary, where Chitr is translated as "spirit, life, 
soul, intelligence." " Idea" ought to have been added to this 

In tracing Chitr to the Sanscrit, one finds the letter r at 
the end (preserved in writing, but mute in pronunciation), in- 
dicates that the word is derived from Chitra, " visible," or 
" a surprising appearance," and not from Chitta, " thought," 
which is reproduced in the Siamese word " chitta." This 
derivation does, however, help us, for it shows that the word 
does not refer to an actual spirit, or soul, but to an " appear- 
ance," " manifestation," or " idea" of the same. 



Pouring luater on the earth. — This ancient Brahminical 
ceremony is frequently mentioned in Buddhist works — for 
example, when the King of Magadha presents his pleasure 
garden, Weloowoon, to Buddha as a site for a monastery, he 
ratifies the gift by pouring water from a shell upon the earth. 
In chapter viii. of this " Life of Buddha," when the village 
maid Suchada is about to present to him, whom she believes 
to be an angel, the offering she had prepared with vast care 
and expense, she, as a preliminary, pours scented water on 
his hands. 

In Colebrooke's " Essays on the Religious Ceremonies of 
the Hindoos," we find that almost all the Brahminical cere- 
monies for sacrifices, marriage, &c., consist in part of out- 
pourings of water, and that those who make oflferings to 
Brahmins pour water into the hand of those to whom the 
offerings are given. As an example read the following 
passage: — "In making a donation of land, the donor sits 
down with his face to the east, opposite to the person to whom 
he gives it. The donor says, ' Salutation to this land with its 
produce; salutation to the priest to whom I give it.' Then, 
after showing him honour in the usual form, he pours water 
into his hand, saying, ' I give thee this land with its pro- 
duce.' The other replies, ' Give it.' Upon which he sprinkles 
the place with water." 

In one of the ancient bas-reliefs figured in Ferguson's " Tree 
and Serpent Worship," we see a Rajah pouring water from a 
long-spouted vessel, presumably in confirmation of a grant. 
The vessel used by the Rajah is very like the teapot which 
the King of Siam bestows on his officers. The teapot is very 
useful to them, serving to hold tea or brandy to refresh them 
while waiting for weary hours at their stations in the King's 
audience-hall. That ancient sculpture, however, suggests the 
idea that perhaps originally the teapot of a King's officer was 
not merely a very convenient utensil, but had a significance 
connected with the custom of pouring water on the ground. 



Atigel of the earth (in Siamese, Pbra Torani, or Nang 
Plia sunthari). — In the much finer account of the contest be- 
tween Buddha and the Evil One given in the " Lalita Vistara," 
the goddess of the earth (Sthdvara) appears as Buddha's 
witness, but the flight of Mara's army is caused by an earth- 
quake. In that account the intervention of the angels of the 
Bodhi-tree is also very noticeable. 


The teacher Satsada. — One of the ten great names of 
Buddha, meaning he who teaches the way of heaven to angels, 
men, and animals. 


The state of meditation luhich gave him the poiver of re- 
memhering his former existences (Siamese, Buppheniwasayan). 
— Turnour, quoting from Pali classics (Buddhistical Annals, 
No. 3, p. 5), defines this power of Pubbeniwasananan, from 
which I extract the following : — " This power six descriptions 
of beings exercise, viz., heretical teachers (or rather teachers 
of other religions) ; ordinary disciples of Buddha, the eighty 
principal disciples ; the two chief disciples ; Patyeka Bud- 
dhas ; and supreme Buddhas. These possess the power in dif- 
ferent degrees, the heretics remembering the least, while the 
memory of the supreme Buddhas has no limit." 

This is the fifth of the supernatural powers, of which a list 
is given in Note 38. 


The state ivhich conferred angelic right, &c. (Thipha 
chaksuyan). — One of the five supernatural powers. See Note 


The laws of cause and effect (Paticha samubattham ; in 
Sanscrit, Pratitya samutpada, "the production of the succes- 



sive causes of existence "). — This is commonly known as the 
theory of the twelve Nidanas. Hardy gives it as Paticha- 
samuppada, the circle of existence. The translations I give 
differ in some cases from that he quotes (taken from Gogerley), 
and also from other translations I have seen. In order 
to help my readers, I have in the text given a carefully 
arranged abstract of the Siamese text with my own ex- 
planations, and have placed a free translation in Note 173. 
To make this free translation, I first made a literal trans- 
lation, but it was so confused that I thought it advisable to 
remodel it. In so doing, I have, however, only presented the 
material of the original, and not deprived it of its value by 
inserting any of my own ideas. 


Tliorough investigation (Siamese, Wipassana panya). 
Panya represents the Sanscrit Prajna, " wisdom." 
Wipassana, a Pali word, I suppose to be derived from the 
Sanscrit Pracna, (prachh, " to ask "), "a question." 


Contemplation (Siamese, Samathi). — Explained in Note 


Patient perseverance in good deeds. — The Siamese is 
Sammapathan, defined by Siamese as " well-directed endur- 
ance of four kinds." It is more correctly defined by Spence 
Hardy as " four great objects of endurance." I suppose it to 
be derived from the Sanscrit Samyak (Samyanch), " correct," 
and Pradhana, " chief, principal." 

The objects are — (1.) To obtain freedom from previous de- 
merit ; (2.) to prevent the rise of fresh demerit; (3.) to 
procure new merit ; (4.) to improve previously acquired merit. 

Unstable, painfid, and illusive. — This triple formula is of 


very frequent occurrence in Siamese religious writings ; indeed, 
is so well known, that instead of being written at length, it 
is often written Anichang, &c. The words, which are Siamese- 
Pali, are Anichang, Thukkhang, Anatta. They correspond to 
the Sanscrit Anitya, Duhkha, and Anatma. A-nitya is " in- 
constant, or perishable." Duhkha is " pain." An-atma is 
" that which has no self." 

The formula is known as the Phra Trai Laksana, or the 
three characteristics of existence. 


Meditation on all things in due sequence Anulomyan, cf. 
Sanscrit Anulomana. — " Putting in due order." 

Khotraphuyan (Gotraphu-gnyana). — The meditation which 
reveals Nirwana to the mind, which enables the saint to see 
Nirwana. Vide Hardy's " Monachism," 281. 


The first path, (&c. — In this explanation of the effects of 
the four paths, the paths are designated as those called (Pali) 
Soda, Sakkitha, Anakha and Arahatta. See Note 14. 


Contamination, &c. — The word is Kilet, which is the same 
as the Sanscrit Klega and Pali Klesha (or perhaps rather the 
participle Klishta, or Kilittha, meaning " what is spoilt"). 


Samma sampliottlii yan. — Somphotthiyan is the complete 
omniscience of a Buddha. Samma is the Sanscrit Samyak, 
"properly," " completely." Sam is a Sanscrit prefix, here im- 
plying completeness ; Photthi is Bodhi, " the intelligence of a 
Buddha," explained in Note 1. Connected with this term is 
the second of the Siamese list of the ten great titles of Buddha 


given in the " Traiphoom," which is Samma samphutho, de- 
fined in that work to mean, " Ivnowing of himself the laws of 
nature and all creatures surely, truly, clearly, and distinctly." 


Perfected hy, &c. — The Siamese text merely has " perfected 
by the four Wesara khun." I have stated the four Wesara 
(Sanscrit, Vaicaradya) according to the list in Burnouf's 
"Lotus de la bonne Loi." They may be stated as "confi- 
dence " resulting from — (1.) his having a knowledge of all 
law ; (2.) his having freed himself from all vice ; (3.) his 
having recognised the obstacles to contemplation ; (4.) his 
having discovered a law by which sorrow could be destroyed. 
They seem intimately connected with the four pre-eminent 


As I have no materials at hand to complete the Life of 
Buddha from Siamese sources, I in this note give a short me- 
moir of his further career, compiled mainly from Tumour's 
" Pali Annals," and Bigandet's " Life of Gaudama," from the 

After spending four weeks under and around the Bodhi-tree, 
Buddha passed three weeks more in meditation under three 
other trees. 

While under one of these trees there occurred a violent 
storm, during which he was sheltered from the rain and wind 
by the Naga or Snake King, who coiled his body around him 
and expanded his seven hoods to shelter his head. This is a 
favourite subject with Buddhist artists, and may be seen 
painted or sculptured in many Siamese temples. 

After these seven weeks of ecstasy, Buddha required food, 
and the honour of being his first almsgivers and first lay 
disciples fell to two traders who chanced to be passing by. 

Although he had become the Buddha, he doubted his power 
to do good by teaching, and only accepted the task of en- 


lightening mankind on the special intercession of the Great 

His first thought was to teach those two masters with whom 
he had studied, but his omniscience making him aware of 
their death, he decided on proceeding to Benares, there to 
convert the five men who had dwelt with him during his 
struggles to attain the Buddhahood by fasting and self-morti- 

Thus did he first teach his doctrine, or turn the wheel of the 
law, at Benares ; and there he spent his first Wasa or Lent. 

This Wasa is the three months during which Buddhists 
abstain from travelling, and devote themselves to religious 
duties in the neighbourhood of their own monasteries. Monks 
count their seniority by Wasas, not by years, though of course 
it comes to the same thing. 

During this first year he converted not only his five former 
companions but many others, especially the great Kasyappa 
and his brothers and their numerous disciples, for they were 
great teachers. 

He then kept the promise he had made to King Bimbisara, 
by teaching the law in his capital, Kajagriha. The pious 
King accepted his doctrine, and pouring water from a shell, 
offered his garden for a monastery. The gift was accepted, 
and the Weluwana (or Weloowoon) monastery was thence- 
forth a favourite residence of Buddha. 

Among the numerous disciples made at this time were two 
students named Upatissa and Kalita ; they became ardent con- 
verts, and changing their names to Sariputra * and Moggalana, 
were elevated to thedignity of disciples of the right and left hands. 

His father sent many messengers to beg him to visit him. 
One after the other was seized with religious zeal, became 
a disciple, aad forgot the object of his mission, but finally 
the companion of his boyhood, Kaludari, came and persuaded 
him to visit his parents. 

On his way from Kajagriha to Kapila, his father's city, he 
* Siamese, Saributr and Makhalan. 


passed through the territory of the Malla Princes. They 
became converts, and the occasion was taken to show how 
utterly Buddhism ignores caste. Their barber, Upali, a low 
caste man, was ordained just before them, and they, as postu- 
lants, had to do reverence to him, a priest. 

Buddha visited his family, but only as a teacher. His wife, 
his father, and others became converts, and his half-brother 
and his son relinquished the world and were ordained priests. 

Buddha's second, third, and fourth Lents were spent in the 
Weluwana monastery at Rajagriha. The intervening seasons 
were employed in travelling and teaching in the neighbouring 
countries, Sravasti and Vaisali. In the fifth year he again 
visited his father, then lying on his deathbed. After the 
King's death, his Queen, Buddha's foster-mother, desired to be 
ordained, and though her request was at first refused, it was 
subsequently granted on the intercession of Ananda. Thus 
was founded the Buddhist order of nuns. 

His sixth season he spent in retirement on the Makula 
mountain, and shortly afterwards engaging in public contest 
with other teachers as to their relative superiority in know- 
ledge and power, he worked miracles which utterly confounded 
his opponents, and drove their leader, Purana, to drown him- 
self in despair. 

I should here mention that, according to our authorities, 
Buddha was ever wont to illustrate his teaching by parables, 
most commonly asserted to be narratives of what actually 
occurred in pre-existences of the persons to whom they were 
applied. The following was told in reference to his favourite, 
Ananda, who for a time felt a wish to leave his holy profession 
^nd return to his neglected bride, the half-sister of Bud- 
dha, subsequently a nun : — 

" Once upon a time, a pedlar named Kappaka, strapping his 
pack on the back of a donkey, set off* on a journey. The 
donkey was well fed and kindly treated, and for a while all 
went happily. But one day they encamped close by a field 
where a good-looking she-ass was tethered, and Kappaka's 


donkey was smitten with love. Vainly his master endeavoured 
to make him leave the place by expostulations and blows ; he 
would not stir. At last, smarting with his punishment, and 
sore with love, the donkey told his master the reason of his 
strange behaviour. Kappaka forthwith promised him that, if 
he would but continue his journey, he should at the end of it 
have as many fair asses as he could desire, each one more 
lovely by far than the creature that had stinmlated his passion. 

" The donkey accepted the proposal, and at the end of his 
journey was again addressed by his master : ' I will now keep 
my promise to you ; you shall have as many fair asses as you 
desire, but you will have to maintain them and their little 
ones. I shall allow you no more food than I have been 
accustomed to do, and I shall expect you do your work as 
usual.' Kappaka's donkey reflected on the comfortable life 
he led, and was cured of all love for the fair ones of his kind. 
The donkey has now in course of transmigration become An- 
anda, and that she-ass his bride." 

The seventh Lent is the most celebrated of all. Leaving 
Moggalana to teach in his place on earth, Buddha rose into the 
heavens to teach the law to the angels, particularly to his 
mother (who it will be remembered died seven days after his 
birth). To the angels he taught the Abhidharma, " the 
superior truth," or metaphysics of Buddhism ; and according 
to one school of Buddhists, this, which forms the third part or 
Pitaka of their law, was unknown on earth until revealed some 
five hundred years later to Nagarjuna by the Nagas; but 
according to the Siamese, it was known simultaneously with 
the other two Pitakas, having been repeated to Anauda by 

The descent from heaven at Sankisa is one of those events 
in describing which the Buddhist writers have let loose their 
gorgeous fancy. From heaven to earth extended three flights 
of steps, of jewels, of gold, and of silver, by which, in radiant 
glory, descended Buddha the conqueror, attended by a vast 
host of angels of all degrees. 


The narrative of Buddha's life during the first twenty years 
of his teaching is copiously given in the -Burmese version. 
They were spent in travelling over Central India, living on 
alms collected day by day, and rewarding the almsgivers by 
teaching them the law. All classes of people were among 
his converts, which were of two kinds — lay converts, who kept 
to their usual avocations, and monks and nuns, who renounced 
the world. 

TheCeylonese, Siamese, and Burmese all claim that Buddha 
also taught in their countries ; but they do not even profess 
that he visited them by ordinary travel. He visited them 
supernaturally by flight through the air. 

Buddha's teaching during these years was not unopposed. 
Failing to equal him in science and miracle-working, his oppo- 
nents tried to ruin his character. Twice they leagued with 
wicked women to charge him with unchastity. On the first 
occasion the woman showed herself to the assembly as if she 
were with child, and taxed Buddha with the paternity ; but 
hardly had she told her story ere a little mouse gnawed the 
string which fastened a pillow to her waist, and the pillow 
falling down, exposed the plot. Again, a woman was bribed 
to accuse Buddha of misconduct with her ; and when she had 
proclaimed her story, was murdered by her bribers, in order 
that Buddha might be suspected of the act. This plan also 
failed, for the plotters, in drunken revel, boasted of their craft, 
and acknowledged their villainy. 

In the twentieth year of his teaching, and fifty-sixth of his 
age, Buddha appointed Ananda as his personal attendant, an 
admission that age, penance, and exertion had began to tell 
on his constitution. From this time to the forty-fourth year 
of his teaching the life or romance lacks details. Presuming 
that the story is based on a groundwork of fact, we may ascribe 
this failure in the narrative to confusion caused by political 
events in the city of Bimbisara, his patron, who was murdered 
by his son, Adjatasattru. Adjatasattru was at first opposed 
to Buddha, but afterwards supported him. It is also probable 


that the age ascribed to Buddha is too great. His remaining 
Wasas were mainly spent in the Jetawana monastery at 
Sravasti, and the Pubharams monastery at Saketa (Ayodhya) ; 
but he is described as constantly travelling and preaching, 
even to the very last. 

In the forty-fifth year of his preaching, he lost his two prin- 
cipal disciples, Sariputra and Moggalana, the first by natural 
death, the second by assassination. 

His own end was at hand. " He died," says a missionary 
writer, " of dysentery caused by eating pork." There is a 
quaintness about the Pali account of his decease which in- 
duces me to narrate the circumstances at greater length than 
the missionary I have quoted from. 

Travelling and preaching his divine law, Buddha came to 
the garden of Ambapali, an eminent courtesan, of great wealth 
and high estimation, in a country where, as in ancient Greece 
and Kome, men of character and wisdom were not afraid of 
at times openly seeking relaxation in the company of ladies 
remarkable for their wit, learning, accomplishments, and 
boldness of thought. 

Hearing of his arrival, Ambapali, accompanied by her 
retinue, proceeded to the garden, and having done homage 
to Buddha, sat by his side wliile he preached the law. Com- 
forted by his teaching, she invited him to her house, that she 
might there serve him and his disciples with a repast. The 
Princes of Wesali vainly contended for the honour of enter- 
taining Buddha in her stead. He had accepted her invitation, 
and would make no change. Next day he went to her house, 
and after she had with her own hands served him and his 
disciples, she concluded her ofi'ering by presenting her garden 
for the use of the Church. Her offering was accepted, and 
again Buddha preached the law. 

During the ensuing Lent (the forty-fifth) Buddha suffered 
agonising illness, significant of his approaching end. 

After predicting the time of his death to Ananda, and 
addressing some final advice to the priesthood in various 


places, he accepted his last meal from Chuncio, a goldsmith, 
who invited him as the com'tesan had done. 

On reaching the goldsmith's house, Buddha addressed him : 
" Chundo, if any pork is to be dressed by thee, with it only 
serve me ; serve to the priests from any other food or provi- 
sion thou mayest have prepared." Chundo having replied, 
" Lord, be it so," Buddha again called him, saying, " Chundo, 
if any of the pork prepared by thee should be left, bury it in 
a hole ; for indeed, Chundo, I see not any one in this universe, 
angels, ascetics, or men, who could digest it, if he ate the 
same, excepting only myself." Chundo accordingly buried it. 

From this meal followed the predestined attack of dysen- 
tery. Hastening, as much as his malady permitted, to the 
city of Kusinagara, attended by Ananda and his disciples, he 
gave some further instructions on various points, including the 
ceremonials of cremation. Keclining between two lofty Sala- 
trees in the garden of the Malla Princes, close to Kusinagara, 
he spoke his last words : " Transitory things are perishable ; 
qualify yourselves (for the imperishable) ! " Absorbed in 
ecstatic meditation (Dhyana), he remained until the third 
watch of the night, and then expired. 

Then was there a great earthquake, and the pious who had 
not yet the perfection of saints wept aloud with uplifted arms ; 
they sank on the earth, they reeled about, exclaiming, " Too 
soon has the blessed one expired, too soon has the eye closed 
on the world." But those more advanced in religion calmly 
submitted themselves, saying, " Transitory things are perish- 
able ; in this world there is no permanence." 


In accordance with the promise given in Note 161,1 now 
give a more detailed translation of the chain of causation, 
than I thought advisable to insert in the text of chapter x. 

Ignorance (Awicha) * is the cause of predisposition (Sangk- 

* Sanscrit, Avidya. 


han.) * Predisposition is the cause of a controlling influence 
such as can give it effect, that is, an intelligent spirit or active 
intelligence (Winyan). f This active intelligence gives rise to 
distinction and the expression of distinction (Nama rupa). | 

Each of these follows on the other, perfect in their continuity 
as a stream of water, the continuity of which remains undis- 
turbed, whatever waves may arise on it. 

Ignorance is the not knowing what is good, the disposition to 
think wrong right, and evil good ; the obscuration of the in- 
tellect so that it cannot see the four truths. It is that which 
induces the grasshopper to look on a flame as cool, and seek 
its own destruction. When it is powerful in any nature, it 
must cause darkness and error, it must hide intelligence, and 
prevent the recognition of " change, sorrow, and illusion." 

This powerful error was what the Grand Being referred to 
by the term ignorance. 

Predisposition (Sangkhan) is the term applied to " arrange- 
ment." It is that controlling power or disposition which 
causes the birth, fruit, or result to be consistent with the 
merit and demerit (which cause it). It is not the actual 
product, but the disposer. Neither is it the actual cause, for 
it gives no fruit of itself. It is but as the architect of a city, 
who is by no means the master of it, but prepares it for its 
master the king. 

It is classed under three heads, Bunyaphi, Abunyaphi, and 

Bunyaphi (meritorious) is of two kinds. First, the merito- 
rious predisposition which will lead to birth in one of the six 
sensual heavens. This is the state of every one who, without 
attaining to the ecstatic meditation (Dhyana), is nevertheless 
eminently pious, a practiser of almsgiving, an observer of 
the commandments, a perseverer in the simple meditations 
(Bhawana), and an attentive listener to religious teaching, 

Sanscrit, Samskara : the translation usually given is " conceptions." 
t Sanscrit, Vidjuana, knowledge. 
X Sanscrit, Namaiiipa, name and form. 


and a follower of that teaching to the best of his ability. 
Second, the meritorious predisposition of those who have 
attained the four states of Dhyana, which will cause their 
re-birth in the heavens of the Brahamas who have form. 

Abunyaphi (demeritorious) is the predisposition which will 
lead to birth in one of the four states of sorrow, viz.,- exist- 
ence in hell, existence as a Preta, existence as an Asura, and 
brute existence ; and which will cause the object of it, after 
having endured one of those states, to be born in some de- 
graded condition as a man — as an evil, poor, stupid, unfortu- 
nate, sickly, wretched fellow. This is the state of every one 
who is wicked, and particularly of those who have taken life, 
or committed theft. 

Anenchaphi is the predisposition of those who are steadfast 
in the higher Dhyanas, the Dhyanas of the formless. It will 
cause re-birth in one of the four worlds of the formless 
Brahmas, the angels who have neither form nor materiality, 
and have but spiritual faculties (Chit-chetasik), fixed and 
subject to no disturbance. 

Intelligence (Winyan), which is the result of predisposition, 
may be defined as the spirit (Chitr), whose office it is to undergo 
conception or birth, and to realise fruits or effects. It may be also 
defined as " thought and knowledge of causes and effects.^' It 
is that spirit (Chit) which understands the qualities (Arom)* of 
all things. It may be likened to the monarch who rules over and 
governs the city which the architect has prepared for him. 

Distinction, and the expression of distinction (Namarupa),-f- 
which must exist simultaneously, are the result of intelligence. 
They are divided into classes, of which there are twenty- eight 
Kupa (distinctions), and three, or originally fifty-two, Nama 
(expressions), which are called Chetasik. 

The twenty-eight Kupa are as follows : — Four Maha- 
phutha rup, which are the elements, earth, water, fire, and air. 

* The Arom are — appearance, sound, scent, flavour, feeling, and 
nature known by reason, 
t Literally, name and form. 


Five Pasatha rup, which are the organs of the senses of 
sight, hearing, scent, touch, and feeling. 

Four Wisai rup, which are the qualities of visual appear- 
ance, sound, scent, and taste, their size, and nature, which 
the Pasatha rup appreciate. 

Two Phawa rup, which are the distinctions of sex. 

One Hatthai rup, which is the heart. 

One Chiwitr rup, which is life, that which gives freshness 
to all the other Kupa, even as water nourishing lotuses. 

One Ahan ruj), which is food of all kinds, grain and water 
being the principal.* 

Nama is divided into three classes, called Khan, or Kantha, 
Formerly it was divided into fifty-two Chetasik (modes of 

The three Khan are: — 

1. Wethana khan, or Wethana chetasik, which has the 
control of the realisation of pleasure, pain, and indifierence, 
which are essentials of all Chitr (spirit or idea). 

2. Sanya khan, or Sanya chetasik, is that which enables 
us to distinguish colours and kinds. This also occurs in all 

3. Sangkhara khan comprehends all the remaining fifty 
Chetasik (or modes of expression of the idea or spirit). 

The six seats of the senses (Ayatana),t which are the result 
of distinction and its expression, are — 1st, The eyes, the 
only place where form is manifested ; 2d, The ears, the only 
places where sound is manifested; 3d, 4th, and 5th, The 
nose, tongue, and whole body, where respectively are mani- 

* My manuscript contains only the eighteen Rupa, translated as 
above. To make up the number of twenty-eight, there should be 
added — space, power of giving and receiving information by gesture, 
the same by speech, lightness, elasticity, adaptation, aggregation, 
duration, decay, impermanency. Spence Hardy, in his " Manual of 
Buddhism," states these, with details. They are so different in charac- 
ter to the first eighteen Rupa, that I cannot help thinking that the 
Siamese writer omitted them deliberately. 

t Sanscrit, Ayatana. 


fested odour, taste, and touch ; 6th, The heart, as a seat of 
knowledge (Manas). 

These six are, as it were, six branches on which the six 
birds — appearance, sound, scent, &c. — perch themselves, fly- 
ing on and off them. 

Contact (Phat, or Phasa)* is a necessary result of the (ex- 
istence of the) six seats of the senses. Its property is to 
assemble, arrange, and bring into contact with the seats of 
the senses the six objects of the senses (arom), which are 
appearance, sound, scent, flavour, nature of touch, and effect 
known by the heart. It may be likened to an officer whose 
duty it is to make arrangements for an assembly ; or it may 
be likened to the owner of (fighting) rams, who sets his rams, 
the seats of the senses, and the objects of the senses, to butt 
at one another. 

Sensation (Wethana),i- which results from contact, is of 
five kinds : — 

1. Suk, when the absorption of a sensation causes physical 
pleasure and happiness. 

2. Thuk, when the same causes sorrow. 

3. Somanat, where the same causes joyousness. 

4. Thomanat, when the same causes vexation. 

5. Ubekkha, when the same causes neither pleasure nor 
pain, joy nor vexation, but an equable frame of mind. 

Desire (Tanha)J results from sensation. There are as 
many as one hundred and eight divisions of desire, ranked 
under three heads. The first embraces two principal sub- 
divisions, one being desire for voluptuous pleasures, greed 
for praise and rank, and ambition to excel all others ; the 
other is desire for wealth. The second head embraces those 
desires in which the desire for sensual pleasures is accom- 
panied by the false belief that beings are stable, and the 
world stable, that all beings die, and are re-born everlastingly, 
and never are destroyed. The third head embraces those 

* Sanscrit, Sparqa. + Sanscrit, VedanS,. 

:J: Sanscrit, Trichn^. 


desires in which the desire for sensual pleasures is accom- 
j^anied by the false doctrine that on death all beings are 
utterly extinguished, and not born again. 

Each of these three classes is subdivided into six internal 
and six external desires, making thirty-six ; and each of these 
thirty-six is again subdivided into desires of the past, of the 
present, and of the future, thus bringing the total to one 
hundred and eight. 

Attachment, or firm adherence (Upathan),* results from 
desire, and causes it to flourish. It is of four kinds : — 

1. Attachment to lust and greed. 

2. Attachment to belief in the permanence of existence,"!" 
or to belief in there being no re-birth after death.j 

3. Attachment to false religions, such as those of Brahmins, 
Mussulmans, and Europeans, and the belief that self-torture 
can destroy lust and vice, and procure remission of sins. 

4. Attachment to the belief that I and mine exist. § 
General formal existence (Phop) || results from adherence. 

It is of two kinds — material and apparitional. It is of three 
characters— Kama, Kupa, and Arupa. The first (Kama) is 
the existence of the four places of misery, the human world, 
and the six lower heavens (Kamawachara) ; in all, eleven 
worlds addicted to sensuality. The second and third are the 
sixteen heavens of the formed (Rupa) Brahmas, and the four 
heavens of the formless (Arupa) Brahmas. 

Individual existence, or condition in being (Chat),T[ is the 
result of general existence, and is the state of circulating 
existence, living and dying in the said general existence or 

Decrepitude and death are the consequences of individual 

* Sanscrit, Upadana : by some translated conception, 
t In Siamese-Pali this belief is termed Sasasa thritthi. 
X In Siamese-Pali, this belief is termed Uchetha thritthi. 
§ This belief is termed in the text, Attuwathu. 
II Sanscrit, Bhava. 
T Sanscrit, Djati. 


Such are the steps by which we may perceive that decrepi- 
tude, death, and sorrow are but the consequences of individual 
existence. That individual existence is dependent on general 
existence, and that general existence springs from and is 
regulated by firm adherence to that which is desired. That 
desire cannot arise without sensation, and that sensation can- 
not arise without contact or conjunction of the idea which is 
to be felt, and the means of feeling it. That contact cannot 
be without a place of contact — that is, is dependent on the 
six seats of the senses. That the six seats of the senses are 
a result of the pre-existence or co-existence of distinction 
and the expression of distinction (otherwise translated form 
and name). That these exist because an intelligent influence 
gives rise to them, and that this intelligent influence springs 
from a predisposition to action. And lastly, that this predis- 
position results from ignorance or folly, the want of know- 
ledge of that whicli is good and evil, the non-appreciation of 
the four great truths. 

By extinguishing ignorance, the predisposition is extin- 
guished ; and that being extinguished, each of the other 
steps also fails, and all sorrow is done away with. 

These steps the Lord (Buddha) classed under four heads : — 

1. Ignorance and predisposition. 

2. Intelligence, distinction, and its expression, the seats of 
the senses, contact, and sensation. 

3. Desire, adherence, and general existence. 

4. Individual existence, decrepitude, and death. 

The first two are past causes : they first existed. The 
third to the eleventh are present causes. The last is the 
future awaiting all beings. 

If classed according to character (Akan), there are twenty 
divisions — that is to say, five past causes and five present 
efi'ects ; five present causes, and five future effects. 

The five past causes are — ignorance, predisposition, de- 
sire, adherence, and general form of existence ; which five 
originated in preceding individual existence, and repro- 


duced themselves as five present effects. In relation to the 
future, these five present effects become causes which will 
again produce the ignorance, &c., which are the five future 

If we look for elementary roots (Mula), we find two — one 
being ignorance, and the other desire. 

These two are the axis of the wheel, which has predis- 
position for its spokes, and decrepitude and death for its tire. 
Its axle is the ever-circulating Phop, or general existence. 
Whatever man drives the chariot, the wheel will turn so long; 
as all its parts are perfect. 


In this note I give the key to the expressions used on page 
39 of the " Modern Buddhist." 

The four Satipatthan, or applications of reflective power, 
are explained in Note 72. 

The four Sammapathan, or reasonable objects of continued 
exertion, are explained in Note 164. 

The four Itthibat, or effectual causes, are explained in 
Note 66. 

The five Intri (Indraya), moral powers, are — holiness, 
persevering exertion, reflection, tranquillity, and wisdom. 

The five Phala (Bala), or forces, are— the force of holiness, 
force of persevering exertion, force of reflection, force of 
tranquillity, and force of wisdom. 

The seven Photchangkas (Bodhyaggas), or principles of 
all knowledge, are explained in Note 67. 







In the "Modern Buddhist" an attempt is made, by the 
aid of translations from the writings of an eminent 
Siamese philosopher, to give a glimpse of the reason- 
able religious teaching and beautiful morality which 
lie buried among the superstitions of corrupted Bud- 
dhism ; and prominence is given to Buddha's Sermon 
on Faith, to show how strictly he charged his disciples 
to believe in nothing that their reasoning powers did 
not commend to their belief. 

The present essay will show how far Buddhists have 
strayed from the course they acknowledge their great 
Teacher pointed out to them. 

The canonical traditions always acknowledge that 
Buddha was but a man, a prince who had given up 
his royal state and devoted himself to the acquirement 
of omniscience, in order that he might teach men how 
to escape from sorrowful existence. 

246 PART Til. 

Yet the popular superstition, dissatisfied with mental 
and moral qualifications alone, insisted on adding to 
them a number of the most absurd physical characters. 
Thus it is that even the earliest written legends of 
Buddha's life (which probably reproduce the oral tra- 
ditions accepted by the members of the third Buddhist 
Council in 246 B.C.*) contain both the statement that 
Buddha was a man, subject to the same laws as other 
men, despised by them until he had, in public contest, 
shown his superior strength and skill, and, like them, 
subject to stomach-ache, and deriving benefit from 
medical advice ; and also the statement that he had 
peculiarities of body enough to have frightened all 
adversaries, and to have deterred physicians from 
regarding him otherwise than as a lusiis naturw. 

The Sanscrit "Life of Buddha," " LalitaVistara," tells 
us that Buddha was born with certain peculiarities of 
person, which, according to Vedic tradition, indicated 
a man who would become either a supreme Emperor 
of the world, or a supreme Teacher. The same story, 
with Siamese developments, will be seen in chapter 
iv. of our " Life of Buddha." These personal peculiarities 

* The Buddhists of the North have their Scriptures in the Sanscrit 
language ; those of the South, in the PaU language. Some of the Sia- 
mese are said to believe that their Scriptures were written in Sanscrit, 
at the First Council, held immediately after the death of Buddha. 
Others beheve that Pali (which they call Makhot, i.e., the language of 
Magadha) was the vernacular language of Magadha, the Holy Land of 
Buddhism, and was that in which the sacred books were first written. 
It is reasonable to believe this, for otherwise we cannot account for the 
Pali language being used at all. Sanscrit, the ornamental classical 
language of India, would have been used, as it was by Northern Bud- 
dhists, had not tradition been on the side of Pali. The Pali Scriptures, 
as they now exist, are supposed to have been first edited by Buddhag- 
hosha, in the fifth century. 


are called the thirty- two principal and the eighty 
secondary characteristics of a grand man, and are for 
the most part those characteristics which, in the works 
of Indian poets, are ascribed to the most beautiful men 
and women. Strange indeed are some of the ideas of 
beauty. We fail to appreciate the loveliness of a tongue 
"long enough to reach and enter the ears;" and 
though we see the practical advantage of " long arms 
reaching to the knees," we cannot help regarding as 
ungainly a characteristic which reminds us so forcibly 
of our ancestors, the gorillas and orang-outangs. 

I give an account of the thirty-two characteristics 
in an Appendix, so need not w^eary my readers by in- 
serting a list of them here. It will suffice for present 
purposes to state those relating to the feet, which are, 
" the toes are marked with a network of lines," and 
" the soles are soft, flat, and delicate, richly decorated, 
and marked with the beautiful wheel Chakkra. 

The " Lalita Vistara" does not mention the numerous 
figures of animals, &c., which are described in our '' Life 
of Buddha," and in Pali works of probably no great 
antiquity. The mention in the "Lalita Vistara" of a 
representation of the wheel Chakkra existing on the 
sole of the foot, is confirmed as an ancient idea by 
the sculptures which formerly adorned the Topes or 
holy relic mounds of Sanchi and Amravatti in 

The Sanchi Topes, situated between Bhopal and 
Saugor, in Central India, are described in General 
CunninD-ham's interestins; work entitled *' The Bhilsa 
Topes." They were carefully examined by him and 
Colonel Maisey, and from them were extracted a few 
small inscribed boxes, some of them of crystal and 

248 PART III. 

soapstone, containiDg relics/'' declared to be those of 
the two principal disciples of Buddha. 

The sculptures of the great Sanchi Tope have been 
made known to us by several splendid photographs 
(taken by Lieutenant Waterhouse) published in Pro- 
fessor Fergusson's " Tree and Serpent Worship." 

On one of the gate pillars of this Tope, which, on 
architectural grounds, Professor Fergusson ascribes to 
the early part of the first century of our era, there is 
a sculptured representation of a footprint marked with 
the wheel or Chakkra. The footprint is large, but not 
gigantic, being, so far as I can make out by the photo- 
graphs, about twenty inches long. It is not unshapely, 
as is the Siamese design of modern days, but is fairly 
natural and human in outline. It is consistent with 
the record of the " Lalita Vistara," and to a certain 
extent supports the antiquity of that work. 

The ruined Tope of Amravatti, situated near the 
mouth of the river Kistnah, on the East Coast of India, 
affords numerous illustrations of the footprint. 

Some of the bas-reliefs from Amravatti may be seen 
in the court of the India Office. They may also be 
studied in Professor Fergusson's book above named. 
In these bas-reliefs, which are supposed to vary in date 
from the second to the fifth centuries of our era, there 
are numerous representations of altars, on or before 
which are a pair of footprints marked with the 
Chakkra, but with no other figures. On a fragment, 
whose position in the building is not yet ascertained, 

* The Maisey collection is now on view at the South Kensington 
liluseum. The authorities of that museum have also conferred a 
favour on students of Buddhism, by procuring casts of some of the 
most interesting sculptures. 


is cut in low relief a large pair of footprints, marked 
not only -with the Chakkra, but with several other 
mystic emblems. It is thus described by Professor 
Fergusson : — " In the centre of the soles is the Chak- 
kra ; above it the Trisul ^'' emblem reversed, with a 
Swastika on each side. Below the Chakkra is the 
Swastika again, with an ornament like the Crux 
Ansata on each side. On the great toe is the Trisul. 
On each side of the others a Swastika." 

The Professor ascribes these feet to the best age of 
sculpture — the fourth and fifth centuries; assuming 
which date, we see that for about nine hundred years 
after Buddha's death the people of India regarded the 
Chakkra as the important sign of the sacred foot, and 
in all that long period only added to it a few mystic 

After that time, the ornamentation of the footprint 
was slightly developed in India, but it never attained 
the elaboration described in so-called sacred books of 
the Siamese, Burmese, and Ceylonese. 

Mr Hodgson inserted in vol. xxi. of the "Asiatic Ee- 
searches " a drawing of the footprint obtained by him 
from Nepaul. The accompanying text describes the 
footprint as marked with the eight mangala, signs 
of good augury, or royal emblems, to wit : the Crivatsa, 
lotus, standard, water-pot, fly-flap, flsh, parasol, and 
chank-shell. The text, most strangely, makes no men- 
tion of the Chakkra, which, however, I believe to be 

* The Trisul is a figure of which the simplest form may be repre- 
sented as ^. Swastika is thus formed py. For particulars, con- 
sult Cunningham's " Bhilsa Topes." 

The Crux Ansata, or cross, with a handle, is a T with a ring on the 
top. It is generally held ring downwards. 

250 PART III. 

represented on the plate by a large blotch that seems 
to have puzzled both engraver and describer. 

The extreme development of the idea in India is, so 
far as I have been able to ascertain, represented in a 
drawing of unknown date lent me by Mr C. Home 
of the Indian Civil Service, in which are two pairs of 
feet resting on lotus flowers, and marked with the 
Chakkra, and fifteen or sixteen other figures, including 
a palace, temple, elephant goad, standard, parasol, 
chank-shell, fish, bow, and other figures unknown to 
me. These plates, however, are not supposed to represent 
the footmarks of Buddha, but of Radha and Krishna. 

I should here mention that veneration of holy foot- 
prints is not a peculiarly Buddhist idea, but is also 
found in other religions, and particularly in Vishnuism. 

I shall now turn from considering the documents 
and stone records bearing on the belief that the sole 
of Buddha's foot was characteristically marked, and 
advert to that which is indeed a distinct belief — I mean 
belief in the existence of rock impressions which are 
actual footprints of Buddha. 

So far as I have heard or read, this belief is not 
sanctioned by the ancient Scriptures of Buddhism ; 
and the earliest books which mention it were not 
written until about a thousand years after the date 
given by Siamese and Singhalese, as that of Buddha's 

Three works written in the fifth century of our era 
refer to footprints of Buddha. These works are the 
Travels of Fah Hian the Chinaman, written and pre- 
served in China ; and the Commentaries of Buddhag- 
hosha, and the Mahawanso, or History of Ceylon, 
both written and preserved in that Island. All these 


works mention the existence of a footprint of Buddha 
on Adam's Peak, and their agreement amounts to proof 
that the superstition was established in Ceylon at the 
time of Fah Hian's visit (about a.d. 400), and being 
established, must have originated at some earlier 
period. I see no particular reason to discredit the 
Ceylonese tradition that their footprint was discovered 
at the beginning of the century before Christ, and 
venerated from the time of its discovery. 

Fah Hian's mention of a footprint at Sangkashi '^ is 
not so well supported, and in fact seems to refer to a 
vaguer superstition. He tells us that " a tower is 
erected where there are certain marks and impressions 
left on the stones by the feet of the different Buddhas." 
And Sung Yun, another Chinese pilgrim, who visited 
India about a hundred years after Fah Hian, writes, 
" There is a trace of the shoe of Buddha on a rock. 
They have raised a tower to enclose it. It is as if the 
foot had trodden on soft mud. Its length is unde- 
termined, as at one time it is long, and at another 
time short." With respect to this strange footprint, 
that seems to have depended so much on the imagina- 
tion of its visitors, we should bear in mind that Sang- 
kashi was the spot w^here, according to the legends, 
Buddha first set his foot on earth, after a three months' 
visit paid by him to the heaven of Indra. 

Fah Hian mentions two footprints in Ceylon. 
" Buddha, by his spiritual powder, planted one foot to 
the north of the royal city, and one on the top of 
a mountain ; the distance between the two being fif- 
teen yoganas (say a hundred miles)." 

* Identified by General Cunningham as Sankisa, on the rivei- Kahu- 
dri, about 250 miles W. by N. of Benares. 

252 PART III. 

The Ceylonese " Mahawanso " twice mentions the 
footprint on Adam's Peak with great distinctness. In 
it we read, " The Comforter of the world, the divine 
Teacher, the supreme Lord, having there propounded 
the doctrines of his faith, rising aloft into the air, dis- 
played the impression of his foot on the mountain 
Sumanekuto {i.e., Adam's Peak)." 

In Buddhaghosha's Commentaries ^'' on the sacred 
books of the Buddhists, written in Ceylon ^t about 
the same date as the earlier portion of the "Maha- 
wanso " was written, it is stated that there are three 
footprints of Buddha — one in Ceylon, and two in 

The footprint on Adam's Peak, referred to by these 
three authors, is the celebrated Sri Pada (beautiful 
footstep), which still attracts travellers to the summit 
of a mountain, striking in appearance, and most diffi- 
cult of access. It is a hole in the rock, about five feet 
long, and represents a very rude outline of a foot ; but 
its unshapeliness has not prevented Buddhists from 
claiming it as made by the foot of Buddha ; Sivaites, 
as made by that of Siva ; Mahometans, by that of 
Adam ; and Christians, by that of St Thomas. 

An interesting account of it has lately been pub- 
lished by Mr Skeen, a resident in Ceylon, who has 
paid several visits to the locality, and has studied the 
book-lore beariug on its history. 

The Sri Pada is supposed to have been discovered 

* Tliese Commentaries, known as the Attha Katli^, are said to have 
been first written in Pali, by Buddhaghosha, from the Singhalese Com- 
mentaries written in Ceylon by Mahindo immediately after the third 
Buddhist Council. It is evident that the footprint on Adam's Peak 
could not have been mentioned in Mahindo's Commentaries, as it was 
not discovered until long after his death. 


about 90 B.C., by King Walagambahu, who, when out 
hunting, was led on and on, by following a beautiful 
stag, to the very summit of the mountain, where the 
stag, which indeed was an angel, vanished, and left 
the fortunate .monarch to discover the holy footprint. 

So far I can gather from Mr Skeen's book, and the 
observations of the Hon. R. Marsham, who visited it a 
few years ago, there is no vestige of any ornamenta- 
tion on the Sri Pada, and there is nothing in the 
little building which covers it, or in the monastery 
below it, to show that the Ceylonese attribute any im- 
portance to such marks. All Mr Skeen tells us of such 
marks is, that on his way to Adam's Peak he saw a 
drawing of a footprint, marked with a hundred and 
eight figures of lotuses. 

Ceylonese books mention the figures on the foot- 
print, much as the Siamese books do ; but as the 
Ceylonese have copied their religious works exten- 
sively from the Siamese, it is possible that the high 
development of the marks on the footprint is due to 
Siamese fancy, and not to Ceylonese. 

The Ceylonese Sri Pada is the most celebrated of 
all footprints of Buddha, and, of those now to be seen, 
by far the most ancient. I am told that there are 
others in Thibet, Canton, the Malay Peninsula, and 
the Laos country north of Si am. I know nothing of 
these, and so pass on- to the Siamese Phra Bat or 
Holy Footprint. 

According to Siamese records, their footprint was dis- 
covered by a hunter named Bun, in or about a.d. 1602, 
in the reign of Phra Chao Song Tham, who, on the 
news being brought to him, sent a number of learned 
monks to examine it, and compare it with the descrip- 

254 PART in. 

tion of Buddha's foot in the sacred books. The 
examiners reported that it was genuine, whereupon 
the King erected a shrine over it, and the place has 
remained to this day as the great Siamese memorial 
of Buddha. 

On the few fragments of history which I have 
stated, I venture to base a theory as to the origin 
and development of the superstition. 

The idea that a very superior man should be dis- 
tinguished by extraordinary physical characteristics, 
probably existed before Buddha was born. 

Peculiar features and marks on the body, ascribed 
by ancient poets to their heroes, may have been col- 
lected into lists, and formulated as the thirty-two 
characteristics of a great man, previous to the age of 
Buddha, or shortly afterwards, when, as Mr Childers"' 
has suggested, people assisted their memory by classi- 
fying everything in numbered lists. 

Until I saw this suggestion of Mr Childers, I looked 
with great impatience on the numerous lists I met in 
every Buddhist book, — such as, five commandments, 
eight commandments, ten commandments, four virtu- 
ous dispositions, ten powers, &c., &c. Kegarded indi- 
vidually, they seemed to be nonsense ; but now that 
a reasonable object for them has been pointed out, one 
can regard them with more tolerance. 

Among the poetical characters attributed to great 
men in those ancient days, fleetness of foot would 
have been naturally one of the most important. 
Nothing could have conveyed the idea better than a 
wheel under the foot. This would have been depicted 
in drawings by a wheel marked on the sole of the foot. 
* The Pali scholar, not Mr Gladstone's late colleague. 


A symbol so easily comprehended would naturally 
have been a favourite one with the sculptors who 
decorated the earliest Buddhist buildings. They 
adorned the gateways of the Sanchi Tope with huge 
footprints marked with the wheel — an unmistakable 
chariot- wheel. 

Probably Sanchi was not the only place where pil- 
grims looked on gigantic carvings of feet thus marked. 
It is not improbable that some pilgrim from Ceylon, 
struck by these huge designs, and perhaps, also, 
hearing some vague stories of actual footprints, such 
as that I quoted above from the travels of Sung Yun, 
should have returned to his own country, and there 
given an incorrect account of what he had seen, 
describing them not as sculptures, but as actual foot- 
prints ; and this may have led to some man of vivid 
imagination discovering on Adam's Peak an indenta- 
tion, so much in accordance with floating rumours, 
that he believed he had found a real footprint. 

Such a belief would have rapidly spread among 
people in a low state of civilisation. Thus, while in 
India the belief retained, for the most part, an imagi- 
native and symbolical character, in Ceylon the ac- 
tuality of the impression on the rock may have led to 
the symbolical character being less thought of. In 
a similar manner I account for the superstition in 

It is reasonable to believe that some pilgrim who 
had seen the Sri Pada on Adam's Peak, afterwards 
wandering to the jungle-covered hill in his own 
country, now called Phrabat, and there having 
pointed out to him a hole in the hard rock similar in 
appearance and size to that which he had adored in 

256 PART Til. 

Ceylon as the footpriot of Buddha, should have 
believed that his discovery was a footprint also. 

A discovery so gratifying to the vanity of the 
Siamese people would have met with easy credence. 
The examiners sent by the King were probably rather 
credulous than critical, and found little difhculty in 
recognising, in the centre of the hole, an irregularity 
or discolouration answering to their idea of the one 
sign of importance — the Chakkra ; and they may have 
perhaps also discovered other marks which they con- 
sidered to represent mystical signs. The copyists 
then came in, and, instead of reproducing fac- 
similes of the original marks^ they set their imagina- 
tions free to make what they could out of the dis- 
coloured patch of veined rock ; and as we in the 
glowing cinders of a fire can see pictures as varied as 
our imaginations, they, in the veins and stains and 
irregularities of surface, found all the many emblems 
which were subsequently developed into the elaborate 
desio-n represented in our plate, full accounts of which 
may have soon worked their way among the received 
classics of the Siamese and Singhalese.'"' 

Traditions resting on so weak a basis naturally 
varied ; and it is not surprising that there should be 
a discrepancy in the accounts given in various books. 
The plate we now print, the list in Burnouf, taken 
from the Singhalese "Dharma Pradipika," the list given 
by Colonel Low in the " Transactions of the Koyal 

* There was quiie sufficient intercourse between the Siamese and 
Singhalese monks to account for Siamese additions finding their way 
into Singhalese books : indeed, at the beginning of this century, a 
so-called complete set of copies of the Pali Scriptures was taken from 
Siam to supply the place of works which were no longer extant in 


Asiatic Society," wliich lie copied from a Siamese 
work — the Siamese list in chapter iv. of the "Life of 
Buddha ; " in fact, all the lists with which I am ac- 
quainted differ in various details, though they all 
agree in the main. 

In all of them we find the centre of tlie foot occu- 
pied by the Chak or Chakkra ; no longer the simple 
chariot-wheel of the ancient sculptures, but the destroy- 
ing wheel or quoit of the Hindu Vishnu, and Indra, 
king of angels ; the disc which, flying from the hand 
of its fortunate possessor, and rapidly revolving, utterly 
exterminates those against whom it is directed, and 
which, as one of the insignia or emblems of Buddha, 
refers to the extermination of ignorance and sin. 

In every account we find grouped around this Chak- 
kra a variety of figures, partly the insignia of royalty, 
and partly mythological objects. The foot is, in fact, 
made an index to the prevalent mystical, mythological, 
and cosmographical ideas. We are introduced to the 
sixteen heavens of the formed Brahmas, and the six 
heavens of the inferior angels, Thewadas or Dewas. 
We have Mount Meru, the centre of each system of 
the universe ; we have the seven annular mountains 
which surround it, and the seven belts of ocean between 
them, with monstrous fishes and water-elephants dis- 
porting in the waves ; and we have the eighth ocean, 
the great ocean, in which are the four Thawips, 
Dvipas, or human worlds. The Thawips themselves 
are depicted separately — one for men such as we are ; 
another for square-faced beings ; another for circular- 
faced beings ; and another for semicircular-faced beings. 
We have Mount Chakrawan, the wall of the world, the 
crystal annular mountain which encircles the system. 


258 PART III. 

"We have a group of stars wiiicli may refer to the 
principal constellations, or the signs of the zodiac. In 
every description we find the half-mythical Himaphan 
or Himalaya mountain, with its seven great lakes, in 
which grow the red-blue rose and white lotuses ; we 
find the five great rivers which flow from the Hima- 
laya, and the various fabulous animals and birds which 
are associated with its forests — the Kinon, half-human 
and half-birdlike ; the kings of elephants, lions, and 
tigers ; the Insi, or king of eagles ; the Hongsa, or 
royal goose of the Burmese ; and the Karawek, the 
sweet-voiced bird of paradise, whose melodious singing 
charms all the inhabitants of the forest; the royal 
Naga, the seven-headed king of serpents, who, in the 
fables of Buddhism, bears an excellent character for 
piety ; and Phya Khrut, or Garuda, the enemy of the 
race of Nagas, but not otherwise evil-disposed. 

The evil-disposed animals, the demons, yaks, and 
prets, are absent ; the holy foot is not supposed to 
have borne the figure of anything so ill-omened. 

Every description also includes a palace, a flag, a 
throne, a royal sword, a white parasol of several stages, 
a crown, and other insignia of royalty ; a golden ship, 
a jar full of water, and other designs of less impor- 
tance. All these will, by the aid of the following 
numbered list, be identified in the accompanying 
engraving, which, however, omits some figures quoted 
in other lists, such as the golden beetle and the tortoise, 
and inserts a rabbit, which none of them mention, and 
also the very significant designs of "a book" and "a 
bundle of priest's garments," which may, perhaps, be 
taken as symbols of the law and the church, which, with 
Buddha, constitute what is called the Buddhist Triad. 


I did not myself copy one of the golden plates at 
Phrabat ; but on my return to Bangkok, after a visit 
to it, requested my friend, the Phya Eat Eong Muang, 
the Lord Mayor, as he is often called, to procure a copy 
for me. He had a copy taken from the facsimile 
placed in the great AVat Po temple at Bangkok, which 
is that from which the plate illustrating this book is 

The plate accompanying Colonel Low's article in 
the " Transactions of the Eoyal Asiatic Society,'' can- 
not be identified with his own description of it — is 
unlike any drawing of a Phrabat which I ever saw in 
Siam, and seems to have been drawn expressly for 
foreigners, some of its figures being not only modern, 
but European. Indeed, Low, to whom very great 
credit is due for his labours in Siamese literature, only 
gave it as the fanciful composition of a priest of 
his acquaintance ; and there is no wonder that M. 
Burnouf should have been puzzled when he compared 
it with his more classical Sino;halese list. 

I give a detailed explanation of the figures on the 
plate in chapter iii. 

I shall now quote from Bigandet's translation of 
the Burmese " Life of Buddha," two stories, illustrating 
the importance attached to the sacred feet in Buddhist 
histories. I am sorry I cannot quote from the Siamese 
version, as my Siamese "Life of Buddha" ends with 
the attainment of omniscience, and I cannot find the 
continuation in Eno-land. 


The first story is thus rendered by Bishop Bigandet : — 

"During all the time that elapsed after the rain, 

Buddha travelled through the country engaged in his 

usual benevolent errand, and converting many among 

260 TART III. 

men and Nats. In the country of Garurit, in a village 
of Pounhas,'"' called Magoulia, the head man, one of 
the richest in the place, had a daughter, whose beauty 
equalled that of a daughter of Nats.t She had been in 
vain asked in marriage by princes, nobles, and Pounhas. 
The proud damsel had rejected every offer. On the day 
that her father saw Gaudama, he was struck with his 
manly beauty and meek deportment. He said within 
himself : ' This man shall be a proper match for my 
daughter.' On his return home he communicated his 
views to his wife. On the following day, the daughter, 
having put on her choicest dress and richest apparel, 
they all three went with a large retinue to the Dze- 
tawon monastery. Admitted to the presence of Buddha, 
the father asked for his daughter the favour of being 
allowed to attend on him. Without returning a word 
of reply, or giving the least sign of acceptance or re- 
fusal, Baddha rose up and withdrew to a small distance, 
leaving behind him on the floor the print of one of his 
feet. The Pounha's wife, well skilled in the science of 
interpreting wonderful signs, saw at a glance that the 
marks on the print indicated a man no longer under 
the control of passions, but a sage, emancipated from 
the thraldrom of concupiscence." 

The story continues with a further offer on the 
father's part, and a sermon from Buddha, who leads 
both parents to a holy frame of mind ; the rejected 
damsel becomes the chief Queen of the King of Ko- 
thambi, and retains a warm hatred for him who re- 
fused her love. | Further on in the same • work, in a 

* Brahmins. t Augels. 

X The same story, with some interesting variations, occurs in chap- 
ter v. of Captain Rogers's lately published translation of "Buddhag- 


description of tlie great saint Kathaba's^^ arrival at the 
pile erected for the cremation of the body of the de- 
ceased Buddha, the mystic symbols on the feet are 
merely clearly referred to. 

" Standing opposite to the feet, he made the follow- 
ing prayer : * I wish to see the feet of Buddha, where- 
upon are imprinted the marks that formerly prognos- 
ticated his future glorious destiny. May the cloth 
and cotton they are wrapt with be unloosened, and 
the coffin, as well as the pile, be laid oj)en, and the 
sacred feet appear out, and extend so far as to lie on 
my head.' He had scarcely uttered this prayer when 
the whole was suddenly opened, and there came out 
the beautiful feet, like the full moon emerging from 
the bosom of a dark cloud." 

This subject is sometimes represented by images in 
Siamese temples, the two feet projecting from the end 
of a coffin towards a standing figure of Kathaba or 

The idea of rock footprints was not confined to 
Asia, and Mr Lesley, in his " Lectures on the Origin 
and Destiny of Man," regards the manufacture of such 
prints as the next stage in sculpture to that of the 
flint tools and rough carvings of the prehistoric 
stone age. I take the liberty of closing this chapter 
with an interesting extract from his eighth lecture : — 
" The next stage of sculpture was, probably, imita- 
tions in stone of the marks of wet feet and hands. 
These would first be made at river fordings, and after- 
wards on the tops of look-out mountains. Such sculp- 

hosha's Parables," and I think it also occurs in Hardy's " Manual of 
* Kasyappa. 

262 PART IIT. 

turings are described in books of travels all over the 
world. Tlie savage crosses a stream by swimming, 
and dries his dripping body on some sun-lit rock. 
Then he waits for his companions, or for^his prey, or 
for his enemy. Meanwhile he pecks away at one of 
the damp footsteps on the rock. Others notice what 
he has left undone, and finish it. The footprint be- 
comes a permanent landmark. Some battle there in 
subsequent days shall make it famous ; some deified 
hero shall be propitiated there by sacrifices. The foot- 
print becomes a symbol of worship. You have all heard 
of the two footprints sculptured on the summit of Mount 
Olivet, and worshipped by pilgrims as the marks left 
when Jesus sprang into the sky at His Ascension. There 
is another footprint of Jesus preserved on a stone in the 
Mosque of Omar, at the extremity of the eastern aisle. 
At Poitiers, in France, the traveller may see two foot- 
prints of the Lord upon a slab enshrined in the south 
wall of the church of St Eadigonde, made when He 
stood before her to inform her of her coming martyrdom. 

" The prints of the two feet of Ishmael are preserved 
on a stone in the temple of Mecca, which, tradition 
saj^s, was the threshold of the palace of his father-in- 
law, the King of the Dhorhamides. Others say they 
are the prints of his father Abraham's feet, when 
Ishmael's termagant wife drove the old patriarch away 
from the threshold of her husband's house. 

" There are two immense footprints, 200 feet apart, 
on the rocks of Magdesprung, a village in the Hartz 
mountains of Germany, which, tradition says, were 
made when a huge giantess leaped down from the 
clouds to save one of her beautiful maidens from the 
violence of a baron of the olden times." 



I VISITED Phrabat in December 1868, having been 
provided by the Ministry in Bangkok with very 
excellent letters of commendation or command to 
the authorities of the towns I was likely to stay at 
en route. 

Be the season wet or dry, there is only one way of 
travelling from Bangkok, that is, by water; for even 
when the floods have left the rice-fields, the numerous 
canals and branches of the river which reticulate the 
flat alluvial plain of the Menam eff'ectually prevent 
land-travelling. The travelling boats generally used 
are propelled by four to sixteen men, who stand and 
push the oars, which are attached to high standing 
rowlocks. These posts or rowlocks have to be high, 
as the men do not stand on the bottom of the boat 
(as in the gondolas I have seen in the Mediterranean), 
but on a deck. The middle of the boat is covered by 
a house or cabin, in which the traveller lives. The 
stores and luggage are all stowed, away under the 
deck, and the cook generally makes his kitchen just 
at the back of the house. On this trip, as my wife 
was with me, we took two boats, one to live in, 
the other for cook and servants. 

The first part of a journey from Bangkok is always 
rather tiresome to old residents — they have seen the 

264 PART III. 

same things so often — tliey pass the temples, the 
palaces, and floating-houses of Bangkok, then a mile 
or more of teak and bamboo rafts moored for sale just 
above the city, and then village after village of poor- 
looking bamboo shanties, all very similar, and none 
very picturesque. If the start is made in the after- 
noon, soon after nightfall one is interested in passing 
a village of sugar-cane sellers ; a row of small stalls, 
built over the water, in each of which sits a girl with 
a heap of large bundles of sugar-cane, lit up by a 
flaring torch, hailing every boat that passes to pur- 
chase her " oi chin,'' the thin yellow cane, which is a 
favourite sweatmeat among the Siamese. 

The reader can picture our progress — the two boats 
keeping pretty close, the boatmen, in high spirits, 
singing catches or chaffing passers-by, and now and 
again indulging in a race, or dropping their oars and 
enjoying a smoke; for when I go on a pleasure excur- 
sion, I always let my men do much as they like, pro- 
vided they don't do what I dislike. My wife and I 
are comfortably reclining in the cabin on a heap of 
cushions, uttering perhaps an occasional growl at the 
mosquitoes, but otherwise very comfortable. I smoke 
contemplatively, and do not disturb myself much with 
moonlight effects and darkness visible, but my wife, 
who has never made such a journey before, is full of 
lively enjoyment, and thinks every fresh bush that 
flashes with fireflies more lovely than the one she 
has praised just a moment before. She is charmed 
with the water rippling past the boat, she finds life 
and change in the plash of the oar and the merri- 
ment of the boatmen, and she thinks that she never 
knew so fine a night for travelling, though indeed. 


in Siam, almost every night is fine from October to 

A little before midnight we stop for the night 
at a Wat, or Buddhist monastery, just below Samkhok, 
which is the larofest villao-e between the old and new 
capitals. The monks' dwellings and temples are 
hidden among thick trees, but we find two Salas or 
travellers' rest-houses built on piles by the shore, and. 
in one of these we spread our beds, and pitch our 
mosquito-curtains. As the erection of resting-places 
for travellers is a recoa;nised means of merit-makino; 
among the Buddhists, there is no lack of them in the 
populous parts of Siam. Every temple has two or 
three of them, and others are placed at the mouths of 
frequented canals and in other convenient spots. They 
are almost always quite simple buildings, consisting of 
a plank-floor raised above the ground, with a tiled 
roof supported on wooden columns, and no walls, 
for in so warm a climate there is no need for walls. 
Some are more solidly constructed with bricks. 

Before daybreak we hear the monastery bell waking 
the inmates, and as soon as it is light we see two or 
three boats, canoes, paddled each by one or two monks, 
who are starting ofi"to collect their day's supply of food. 
Two of the canoes are larger, and hold monks who 
have some pretensions to scholarship, and who, instead 
of paddling themselves, are paddled by their pupils. 
All these monks have shaved their heads and eye- 
brows, and wear the significant yellow robe said to 
have been originally adopted by Buddha, because it 
was the dress of outcasts, and so its use would be a 
standing declaration against caste ; but I do not know 
whether this story has any foundation ; I have not yet 
found good authority for it. 

266 PART IIT. 

According to strict rule, tlie monks ought to sweep 
their monastery before going out to collect food, but I 
have not observed this to be the practice. 

As we pass along the river we notice the monks' 
boats stojDping before the houses on the banks, and at 
each stoppage their food-pans receive a ladleful or 
more of rice and condiments, the donor, generally a 
woman, raising her joined hands to her forehead as a 
mark of respect and gratitude to the representative of 
the priesthood — the " khun," * or benefactor, as she 
calls him who has given her an opportunity of making 
merit. He, for his part, looks stolidly, as if unconscious 
that he has gained anything by the merit the other 
has made. It is not now the custom, as, according to 
the legends, it was in Buddha's time, to reward the 
donor by preaching the law to them ; in fact, very 
few of the monks, except in the greater monasteries in 
the towns, know much of the law, or could preach it 
with any effect. Only a few of the number have any 
idea of remaining monks all their days, and the ma- 
jority relinquish, after a few months, or at most a few 
years, the orders they have taken on them, not from 
any preference for a monastic life, but in compliance 
with their religious idea that every man should be a 
monk for some part of his life. 

We presently stop at another monastery, and break- 
fast in its Sala. Our appetites have been invigo- 
rated by the cool morning air, and by a short walk in 
the AA^at grounds, where we have shot some pigeons. 

* Both this word Khun, and the word Sala, used a few hues above, 
are Sanscrit words, very shghtly changed. Khun is Guna, which, among 
other meanings, has those of " excellence " and " quality," both which 
are also meanings of Khun. Sala is S^IS, — a house. 


It is altogether improper to shoot birds in temple 
grounds, but on this occasion one of the monks has 
invited us to shoot the dark birds, as he only wishes 
to have white ones. We are very glad to avail our- 
selves of his proposal, but we cannot help thinking 
him a very bad Buddhist. Two or three sad fights 
have arisen from foreigners ignorantly or wilfully 
shooting in temple grounds against the wish of 
monks ; and I am sorry to say that, in the last of 
them, not only were the monks punished, as their 
cruelty probably justified, but the foreigners, who had 
brought their thrashing upon themselves, had a large 
compensation obtained for them by their Consul The 
case I refer to was not English. 

After breakfast we push on until nearly noon, and 
then rest for a while at another Sala. There is no dif- 
ficulty in finding one, for w^e pass an astonishing 
number of temples. The monks are now taking 
their last meal for the day, as they must not eat 
after midday. Once the sun has begun to fall, they 
must be satisfied Avith tea and cigars until the next 
morning. In regard to this matter of fasting, as also 
in regard to continence, I believe that most Siamese 
monks carry out the rules of their order very 

Some of the villagers come in while we are taking 
our rest, and having been obliged by an inspection of 
my breechloader, which they believe to be a gun that 
requires to be loaded with shot only, and has no need 
of powder, they are easily led into conversation. They 
are not Siamese, but the descendants of Peguan cap- 
tives. I ask them whether they are any better off 
now than they were before foreigners frequented the 

268 PART m. 

country, that is, before the treaty of 1 856 ; and they say, 
much better off; that in former times they used always 
to go in person when called on once every three 
months for the corvee, or service of one month, to 
which they are all liable, and that their crops were 
often ruined in their absence ; but now they can get a 
good price for their produce, so they attend to their 
fields, and pay a composition in money for non- 
attendance at the corvee, and thus grow richer every 
year. They neither know nor care much about state 
affairs, and are even unaware that their King died 
nearly three months ago. 

During the afternoon we pass from the winding 
river, with its fringe of trees, which has almost con- 
stantly, from the time we left Bangkok, limited our 
view ; and entering a narrow canal, make a direct 
course for the former capital of Siam, Yuthia, through 
the still flooded rice-fields, a wide, open, treeless plain, 
in some parts bounded by low jungle, in others level 
to the horizon, which is backed by a few very distant 
chains of hills. 

The many temples of the old capital next rise into 
view. First, one or two conspicuous spires tower over 
the horizon, and presently afterwards the whole city 
appears, a crowd of spires of varied forms, but mostly 
ruinous, lying in the midst of luxuriant jungles, fruit 
and shade trees. 

The Siamese call this place " Kroong Kao," the old 
capital, or simply " Meuang Kroong," the capital town ; 
but among foreigners it is better known as Yuthia, a 
corruption of Ayutthaya, or Ayodhya, " the unassail- 
able," a part of the long state name which belongs as 
much to the whole country or the present capital as to 


the old one. The old capital belied this part of its 
name by being captured, and in great measure 
destroyed, by Burmese invaders in 1767, since which 
it has ceased to be the seat of the Government. It is 
now a large, populous, and flourishing town, though 
half- buried among jungle and ruined temples, which 
present a most desolate and melancholy appearance. 
These temples, having been built on a scale only suit- 
able for a capital city, and endowed with extensive 
lands which cannot be re-granted for secular purposes, 
are necessarily, many of them, deserted and covered 
with dense jungle. It is a remarkable transition to 
pass from some canal, half-choked with weeds, and bor- 
dered by masses of ruins and tangled jungle, directly 
into the main street of the town, a wide canal about 
a mile in length, crowded with boats, with a line of 
floating-houses on each side, and l^ehind them on the 
banks numerous well-kept temples and houses. The 
whole length of the street is a bazaar, and such of the 
boat-shops as cannot find room in it are moored in 
close lines on one of the smaller canals running from 
it. These boats serve both as dwellings and shops for 
the traders, who lay in a stock worth one or two hun- 
dred pounds at Bangkok, and then quietly journeying 
to Yuthia, wait there until they have disposed of their 
goods. No European trader lives at Yuthia. 

We stay a day at Yuthia, that I may show my wife 
the three sights which all travellers thither are su23- 
posed to see. Two of them are temples situated some 
five miles apart, and the third is a place of elephant- 
catching, some distance from either of the others, so 
that the three together give a good day's work. The 
first is the " Mount of Gold," the highest of the spires, 


which differs from most Buddhist towers in having 
three accessible terraces round it. The highest terrace 
commands a view over most of the tree-tops. From 
it we count about fifty spires, so there may be some 
truth in a native assertion, that Yuthia had two hun- 
dred temples. There is nothing very elegant about 
the spire to justify its grand name ; and its height, 
which I judge to be about a hundred and fifty feet, 
is nothing very great ; but as a good illustration of 
one of the forms of Buddhist spires, it is worth 

Upon an extensive square base rises a pyramidal 
tower in three parts, tier above tier, separated by wide 
terraces. Cornices of many forms, round and angular, 
encircle it in close succession. Deep flutings and re- 
entering angles reduce the squareness of the four cor- 
ners. Two flights of steps on the north and south 
sides lead to the terraces. 

From the highest terrace, which is about sixty feet 
from the ground, the tower rises for about thirty feet 
more in the same pyramidal form as described for the 
lower part. In this portion are two niches containing 
imao-es of Buddha about seven feet hio;h. Above the 
niches the still tapering tower is without cornices and 
quite smooth for about fifteen feet ; and thence changing 
from a square pyramid to a cone, it rises about forty 
feet to a point. The upper part of the spire is orna- 
mented with narrow headings or rings, lying close one 
over the other. "^^^ 

The tower is built of brick, and seems to be almost 

* Some Buddhist spires are supposed to represent or symbolise, by 
their various tiers and cornices, the various tiers of the Dewa and 
Brahma heavens ; and possibly the three stages of this temple may 


solid, excepting only a small chamber, to which access 
is obtained from the hio;hest terrace. We find nothinoj 
but bats in the chamber, which seems to have sufi'ered 
from fire. Previous to the Burmese invasion, it pro- 
bably contained some idols or relics. I know of no 
other large spires, or Phrachedi, as they are generally 
called, which have an accessible chamber, though such 
are found in a few of the smaller spires. 

Leaving this, we, after some time, pass a temple 
newly built or repaired, and ornamented with a mosaic 
of broken bits of coloured crockery set in plaster, and 
representing flowers and other fanciful designs, with 
gay saucers let into the walls, bright china birds on 
the cornices, coloured and glazed tiles for the roof, 
and all the usual accessories of the modern Siamese 
florid style — a style which has an excellent effect at a 
little distance, the form, and often the colour, being 
good, but is most disappointing on close inspection, 
the materials being too common and perishable. 

The second great sight is Wat Cheuen, built, I am 

have been meant to typify the world, the Dewa heavens, and the 
heavens of the formed Brahmas. In other temples I have counted 
the rings of architectural ornament, but have seldom found them tally 
with the number of heavens. The temple above described is of the 
form called Phra Chedi, which represents the primitive Tope or relic 
mound. The nearest approach to the form of the old Topes is shown 
in some Chedis or Sathups, which are bell-shaped, with a small pointed 
spire rising from their crown. The Phra Pi'ang difiers from the Phra 
Chedi or Sathup in being terminated, not by a pointed spire, but by 
a straight column rounded at the end, a form said to be derived from 
the Linga, and therefore not really Buddhistic. Great confusion exists 
as to the proper application of the terms Phra Prang and Phra Chedi, 
the words being often misapplied. Thus the spire of Wat Cheng at 
Bangkok, though a Phra Prang, is often called Phra Chedi. This 
misapplication is, to a certain degree, warranted by the derivation of 
Chedi, viz., Chaitya, " a holy place ;" and it is to be observed, that though 
Chedi is used for all relic spires, Prang and Sathup are seldom misapplied. 

272 PART III. 

told, by a Princess Cheuen. We land at a small 
Chinese josshouse, with fantastic roof, and great red 
placards of unimpeachable morality on the outside, 
and within darkness, dirt, tinsel, and peacock's tail 
offerings, flaring tapers, sickly-smelling pastilles, and 
an old gray-bearded, long-nailed, filthy Chinaman in 
charge of it ; everything, in fact, as I have seen it 
in Hong-Kong. Behind it is a well-kept Buddhist 
monastery, with a large " wihan," or idol-house, and 
" bort," or most holy building, i.e., the building where 
take place the assemblies of the monks, consecrations, 
&c. The " bort," according to invariable custom, has 
not far from its walls eight "sema,"* or boundary 
stones, cut in a shape somewhat like the leaf of the 
Jicus reUgiosa, or Po-tree, which mark it out as the 
most sacred part of the temple ; and in the same court- 
yard are also numerous small spires. In an adjoining 
court is the idol-house, and in close vicinity are the 
monks' residences and preaching-hall. Not far dis- 
tant is the part of the ground set apart for cremations, 
the recent use of which is proved by two or three heaps 
of fresh ashes. The hall for idols I judge to be about 
one hundred and twenty feet in length, square, and 
about eighty in height ; perhaps this is an over- 
estimate. Externally it is an ugly building — a Chinese 
pagoda spoilt — but internally it is very effective. The 

* The Sema, or Bai sema (Sanscrit, Sim4, a "boundary" or land- 
mark), are eight stones placed, one at each point of the compass, round 
the most holy part of a temple. When the ground is first dedicated, 
eight " luk nimit," or round marking-stones, ai'e sprinkled with holy 
water and buried, to mark the limits from which evil spirits are warned 
off. Over these Luk nimit are built small platforms, supporting the 
heart-shaped Bai sema, generally covered by an elaborately carved or 
mosaic-worked canopy. 


walls are pierced with a fretwork of pigeon-holes, in 
each of which is a gilt idol about a finger in length. 
All around, on hundreds of pedestals, are figures of 
Buddha and his disciples in various attitudes, from a 
few inches to six feet in height ; and in the centre, on 
a broad pedestal or throne, between six huge red pil- 
lars, whose capitals are lost in the darkness which 
hides the roof, is seated a colossal image of Buddha, 
in what Buddhists call the position of contemplation, 
the legs crossed, the right hand clasping the right knee, 
and the left lying palm upwards across the thighs. 
The head is indistinct, as there are no lights in the 
upper part of the building. The general expression is 
that of profound meditation, and the effect decidedl}- 
grand. The size we cannot judge with any accuracy, 
the only clue we have being that a priest, who has 
ascended as far as the hand to dust it, seems no larger 
than the thumb of the image. The idol is, I believe, 
made of brick and plaster, covered with lacquer, and 
then gilt. 

On the right and left of this great seated figure are 
two standing figures about twenty feet high, represent- 
ing Sariputra and Moggalana, the disciples of the left 
hand and the right hand. 

The third sight is the stockade for elephant-catch- 
ing, a strong enclosure into which once a year are 
driven the elephants from the neighbouring jungles, 
that the King may select such as he desires to have 
domesticated for use. Elephants are supposed not to 
breed in confinement, and are therefore kept in this 
half- wild way. 

The nearest route from Yuthia to Phrabat is by a 
branch of the river flowing from the east ; but as our 


274 PART III. 

object is to see Nophburi, we take a smaller branch, 
and keep a northerly course. The main river lies to 
the west of us. Our channel, which is about the size 
of the Thames at Richmond, is more picturesque than 
the broad river below Yuthia, the trees on the banks 
not being dwarfed by too wide an expanse of water. 
The floods being still over the country, enable us to 
avoid many a bend of the river, and make short cuts 
across fields, and along what, in a month or two 
hence, will be cart-roads. The white paddy-bird is 
very abundant ; there are a good many large herons, 
and occasionally we find teal, water-hens, plover, and 
other birds fit for the table. My wife is charmed 
with a bright blue plume of kingfishers' feathers, and, 
in fine, the gun has quite a good day of it. In the 
evening, we put up at a Sala, one side of which looks 
over a wide lake, and the other looks on the river, 
overhung with graceful clumps of bamboo, all bright 
green and golden in the lights, and a rich brown in 
the shadows — an exquisite picture. I try fly-fishing, 
at which the natives smile pityingly, as they never 
saw fish eat feathers ; but they seem just as pleased 
as I am when a number of little, dace-like fish fall 
victims to the new guile. In the meantime my wife 
adds another pretty sketch to her collection. With 
darkness comes dinner, then a chat with the monks, 
and early retirement within our mosquito curtains ; 
for the mosquitoes are both numerous and virulent. 
We are unfortunate in not having any injrethrum 
roseum, which, infused in alcohol, makes a varnish 
for the body which efi'ectually keeps the vermin away. 
The friend who taught me the use of it found only 
one fault with it — it was expensive; so each coat 


bad to be made to last as long as possible ; and, in 
short, he could not afford to wash oftener than twice 
a week. 

Our night is rather disturbed, not only by the mos- 
quitoes, but by a number of dogs, who swarm about 
our quarters, and are made restless by our presence. 
Buddhists are forbidden to kill animals ; so, when- 
ever their dogs, or any other domestic animals, have 
the mange, or otherwise become a nuisance in the 
house, they take them across a river, and leave them 
to pass the rest of their lives in some monastery, 
whence it arises that almost every temple is infested 
with diseased and half-starved dogs ; and in some 
cases, pigs and other animals add to the nuisance. 

Despite such little inconveniences, we pass very 
agreeably the two days occupied in journeying from 
Yuthia to Nophburi, the Louvo of old French writers 
on Siam. The correct name is Lophaburi, which 
means " the new city." We first take up our abode 
in the Kambarien of a monastery — that is, a large 
enclosed building used for preaching. My experience 
of these preaching-halls has been, that they are inva- 
riably large and dirty, and that their furniture con- 
sists solely in a chair or pulpit for the preacher, who, 
on great days of the church, recites a number of sen- 
tences in the Pali language to a prostrate crowd, 
mainly consisting of women, not one of whom under- 
stands a word that is said. A corner of the hall is 
generally used as a lumber-room for articles used as 
ornaments at the cremation ceremony of people whose 
friends are ready to go to some expense on the occa- 
sion ; and among thi§ rubbish will usually be dis- 
covered a litter of puppies, with a savage mother, who 

276 • PART III. 

never will be quiet. We are very glad to be rescued 
from such a place by the Governor, who at once calls 
on us, and installs us most comfortably in a large and 
clean floatins-house. In front of this house there is 
nearly eighteen feet depth of water ; yet we are 
assured that, soon after the floods abate, all the water 
in the river will disappear, no boats will be able to 
approach the town, and water will be only obtainable 
by digging wells in the sandy bed. 

My wife is charmed with our quarters ; there are 
two lovely views up and down the river, and within a 
few hundred yards are many more " perfect pictures " 
than she will ever find time to transfer to paper. 

We are not far from the old palace, the favourite 
residence of the King of Siam in the days of Louis 
XIV., when a Greek, Constantine Falcon, by sheer 
ability, rose to be Prime Minister of Siam, and would 
probably, had he not been assassinated, have succeeded 
in handing over the country that had used him so 
well to the Jesuits and soldiers of the French mon- 
arch. His story, a very romantic one, can be read in 
Sir John Bowring's " Siam ;" so I shall not repeat it 
liere. The ruins of his house and chapel, which are 
European in style, still exist, and traditions of him, by 
the name Chai Yin, or Phya Wichaiyen, survive among 
the people. He is said to have built an aqueduct to 
bring into the palace water collected on hills some 
eight miles distant. Whether the work was ever 
completed and in action, I cannot say ; but its remains 
do him much credit as an engineer ; and the large 
earthenware pipes or tubes are excellently made. He 
also built smelting furnaces, and began to work the 
neighbouring copper mines, a work which it might 


pay to try once again ; for such surface specimens as 
I obtained were very promising. 

The palace outer walls are very extensive, and the 
gates handsome ; but the beauty of the place has been 
much destroyed by the late King building a new and 
ugly palace on the site of the old one. The old ruins 
were picturesque ; but now there is a labyrinth of 
whitewashed, prison-like dens, which are quite an eye- 
sore. Even the old gates have mostly been spoilt 
with whitewash. 

We spend several days in Nophburi, seeing the 
sights, and feasting on Pla Tepo, a rich and delicious 
fish, the pig of the waters, as the Siamese call it, which 
is rather an uncommon luxury in Bangkok, but so 
abounds here, that a fish of four pounds weight, which 
is an average full-sized fish, costs less than four pence. 

The obliging Governor seems to take a pleasure in 
exceeding the courtesy our letter of commendation 
demands from him. He waits on us several times a 
day, to learn what more can be done for our comfort ; 
he escorts us on walks and rides ; for we have now 
escaped from the flooded lowlands, and only use our 
boat to land from our floating-house. He is as kind 
as it is possible to be, and we find that every one else 
is also civilly disposed. 

In country places I have almost always found the 
Siamese of all ranks a kindly people, though some- 
times shy ; but in Bangkok, where they are more used 
to foreigners, and see many bad specimens of them, 
and where also the worst conducted and most drunken 
natives congregate, the lowest class does not always 
show such good feeling. 

Nophburi has a considerable trade in limestone and 

278 PART III. 

lime, and also in a white clay called Din siphong, 
used as a medicine, cosmetic, &c. This clay is dug up 
near the river side, in a very soft, plastic state, and, 
being moulded into lumps, and dried in the sun, it 
becomes like a lump of chalk. Plastered over chil- 
dren, it is believed to keep them cool ; it whitens the 
young ladies' dusky faces, and foreigners find it con- 
venient to pipe-clay their white boots, and to chalk 
the tips of their billiard cues. 

The rides and walks about the town are very pretty. 
The distance of the town walls from the palace ap- 
pears to prove that it was formerly a populous place, 
though now no longer so. Much of the space inside 
the walls, and some ground outside, is covered by 
plantations of custard-apple trees ; but we do not 
notice any other fruit-trees as particularly abundant. 

We, of course, visit the copper mines already spoken 
of — that is, Ave visit the hill where the copper ores 
are. The only traces of work that we see are the 
ruins of a furnace, and the inclined plane on the hill- 
side, down which the ore seemed to have been rolled. 
We pick up several heav}^ stones, covered with verdi- 
gris, and from a cave one of our men extracts a little 
copper pyrites. The place certainly looks promising. 
The Governor, who is very anxious to see his province 
become of more importance — and to that end desires 
to have the mines worked — visits them with us, and 
points with regret to the camping-ground of an Eng- 
lish mining engineer, who, some twelve years ago, 
devoted himself to the task of re- opening the mines, 
and unfortunately died of jungle fever within a few 
days after discovering specimens of very rich ore. 

After two or three days spent rambling about Noph- 


buri, we start for Plirabat. Our frieud the Governor 
has provided us with seven elephants and guides ; the 
cook has packed his pots and kettles ; and my wife 
and her maid have, by aid of a ladder, been placed in a 
howdah, about as comfortable as a washing-basket, on 
one of the elephant's backs, there to remain until the 
end of the journey. I, unwilling to be made a pri- 
soner of, learn at once to mount my animal in Siamese 
style, that is, to clamber up by the aid of the elephant's 
knee, for Siamese elephants do not, like the animal 
which the fellows of the Zoological Society of London 
exhibit at fourpence a ride, kneel to be mounted, but 
simply raise one knee a very little, to be used as a step. 
We have a choice of two roads. One is a well-made 
road which follows the high ground, so as to be ser- 
viceable in all seasons — a work dating from the time 
of Nophburi's greatness; the other is a track across 
the lowland, much more direct than the former, and as 
the country it traverses is now dry, we determine to 
follow it. Our great difficulty is to tell when we are 
in it, and when not ; for where it crosses fields, the 
farmers have obliterated all trace of it, run their dikes 
across it, and planted their rice over it ; and in other 
parts it is so covered by long grass, and a thick jungle 
of young trees, and fresh shoots of old trees, that 
only a practised guide can recognise it. It has pro- 
bably never been really cleared. A body of men with 
axes, swords, and bill-hooks has, may be, some three or 
four years ago, cut a fairly straight track through the 
jungle, avoiding large trees, and from that time to 
this, the road has never been retouched, and scarcely 
ever used except by an occasional foot-passenger. 
We consequently lose our way two or three times, and 

280 PART III. 

even when on the track, our progress is slow, the lead- 
ing elephant having to stop continually, while the 
way is cleared of bamboos and awkward branches. 
Part of this clearance is done with swords, but the 
elephants help considerably with their trunks, break- 
ing off great branches, and throwing them aside. My 
elephant, which is the tallest, shows surprising accuracy 
of judgment in knowing when he can safely pass an 
overhanging branch without damage to his howdah, 
and when it is necessary for him to stop and break 
away the obstacle with his trunk, or select another 

Our journey is said to be about twelve miles in 
length, and by the time half that distance is accom- 
plished, which we know by finding a rest-house in 
the jungle, I get thoroughly tired of being shaken 
upon an elephant, and take to my legs, which I find 
enables me to make quicker progress, although it is 
very hard work brushing through grass higher than 
one's head, and struggling away from the bamboo 
thorns which every now and then make one a prisoner. 
We see one little deer cross our path, but no sign of 
the tigers, which are said to be numerous. 

After a while the stilless of the jungle is broken by 
the sound of a bell, tolling probably as a summons to 
the monks to get inside their houses before nightfall. 
The increasing gloom of the undergrowth, and the rich 
golden fringes of the tops, is a further sign of the ap- 
proach of sunset, and we hurry on to our destination, 
having by some lucky chance lost our jungle track, 
and found a good road on which fast walking is prac- 

Just before sunset, 1 and two men who have kept up 


with me, emerge from the bamboo jungle on to a grassy 
plot on the skirts of the monastery. Before me on a heap 
of rugged rocks is a small but very elegantly designed 
temple of the kind called Maradop, a square building 
with carved columns round it, supporting the project- 
ing cornices of a most elaborately decorated pyramidal 
roof, terminating in a tapering spire, surmounted by 
the symbol " Chat," or royal parasol in stages. I judge 
it to be about a hundred feet high. The whole roof is 
richly gilt, and the last rays of the setting sun resting 
on it make it gleam like a mass of flames. Behind 
it is a dark limestone hill, whose rugged side and many 
peaks are dotted with numerous little white spires, on 
some of which hang yellow cloths, the offerings of pil- 
grims. Near the Maradop are residences for monks, 
idol-houses, numerous rest-houses for travellers, and an 
unusual number of large bells, each covered by a small 
roof. Most of the rest-houses are of wood, but we are 
introduced by an official of the place into a brick one. 
Having selected quarters, I anxiously await the arrival 
of the elephant party, which has evidently got lost in 
the jungle, and in the meantime the men make as 
much noise as they can on the bells by way of signal 
to the lost ones. At last they arrive, a full hour after 
dark ; the cook sets to work at the fires we have made 
ready for him, our dirty quarters are illuminated and 
swept, and we make ourselves fairly comfortable for 
the night. 

First thinsf in the morninoj we take a walk. We 
find the monastery well kept, several slaves being at- 
tached to it in order to sweep it, cut the grass, &c. 
There seem to be no residents in the neighbourhood 
except the monks, officials, and servants of the temple. 

282 PART III. 

Of monks, only ten are now in residence, others hav- 
ing gone off travelling. Most Siamese monks travel a 
great deal, only remaining in their monasteries for the 
three months of the rainy season known as the Bud- 
dhist Lent/'" during which time residence is imperative. 
We are struck by the unusual number of Salas,or rest- 
houses, erected to shelter the crowds of pilgrims — men 
and women — who resort hither in the month of Febru- 
ary each year. A very pleasant house has been erected 
for the King. Passing from the courts of the temple, 
with their crowd of spires, idol-houses, preaching-houses, 
and bells, we ascend the hill-side, a mass of jagged rocks, 
and climb to one of the points, on which there is a spire. 
Some heavy body is heard crashing through the grass 
and brushwood, evidently in flight ; and we step on 
to a smooth lair, still smelling strongly of a tiger, 
whose white and tawny hairs lie there in some quantity. 
We look about for the footprints of all kinds of ani- 
mals which an old traveller (Bishop Paligoix) assures 
us he found imprinted there in the hard rock, but we 
only find many little hollows, due apparently to fossil 
shells. We also search for what he describes as the 
butterfly-plant, but do not find any. I once had 
some of the plants brought to me from Phrabat, and 

* The Buddhist Lent lasts from the middle of the eighth to the 
middle of the eleventh Siamese months, corresi^onding roughly with 
the time from July to October, the worst part of the " rainy season." 
The custom of remaining in one place during this time is believed to 
be an imitation of the practice of Buddha himself. The Siamese 
word for it is Was^, which is a form of the Sanscrit Varsha, meaning 
" rain," and also " a year." The time of Was4 is spent in the mon- 
astery, or Wat, This word Wat is rather curiously derived. It repre- 
sents, I believe, the Sanscrit Vata, " an enclosure, grove," &c., which is 
derived from Vata, the /ci(s Indica, one of the Buddhist sacred trees. 
If Wat does not come from Vata, it may come from V^sa, a dwelling- 


found their leaves indeed very like butterflies, witli 
green wings striped with red. I have never seen any 
specimens except from Phrabat. 

On our return to the monastery, the monks invite us 
. to see the Phrabat. We mount a flight of steps to the 
rocky platform on which stands the before-described 
Maradop. Its walls are all covered with a com- 
mon but brilliant mosaic : the laro;e double doors are 
very elaborately and beautifully inlaid with mother-of- 
pearl figures set in black lacquer. The inner face of 
the walls is painted * with scenes from the life of Bud- 
dha, &c. The floor is covered by a mat of plaited 
silver-wire. Some incense-sticks burn before a small 
image of Buddha, and a most miscellaneous collection of 
ofi'erings is heaped around, comprising European and 
Chinese toys, bottles, pictures, mirrors, common 
jewellery, and odds and ends of all sorts, for the most 
part neither beautiful, useful, nor valuable. The more 
valuable gifts are probably taken care of elsewhere. 
On the walls are fixed two large gold plates, one 
jewelled, which are full-size representations of the de- 
sign supposed to have formerly existed in the Phra- 
bat itself, a collection of figures which I shall describe 
in the next chapter. These figures are more curious 

* The inner faces of the walls of Siamese temples are frequently 
painted with scenes not only taken from their religious histories and 
mythologies, but also from European drawings. There is a very good 
example in Wat Bowora Niwet, at Bangkok, where, by compounding 
native and European drawings of different dates, the artist has intro- 
duced us to a scene of ladies and gentlemen of the time of Louis XIV. 
having a picnic and dance on a hill, under which is a railway tunnel 
with a train about to enter it ; and not far off a contemplative Buddha 
is pondering on the mutability of human affairs, or, perhaps, on the 
change of fashions. In some cases, a whole story is depicted in a series 
of tableaux. 

284 PART III. 

than beautiful, excepting the central disc (see the en- 
graving), which is really very handsome. 

We next examine the actual Phrabat, which is in 
the centre of the building, and find it to be a hole in 
the rock about five feet long by two broad, perhaps a- 
monster relative of the fossil shells we have seen out- 
side. The grating which usually covers it is removed 
to enable us to see the bottom, but the temple is so 
dark that we cannot see much of it. AYe move aside 
some of the ofierings lying on it, but can see nothing 
of the pattern except the five marks of the toe-nails — 
five grooves in the rock, which some declare to have 
been made with chisels ; and on inquiry we are told 
that the other marks were long ago destroyed by an 
accidental fire. Likeness to a foot there is none. 

Yet to this holy footprint year after year crowds of 
Siamese flock with varied ofi"erings, and even the most 
enlightened among them — the late King for instance — 
have observed and encouraged the practice. Whether 
the King considered it politic to encourage the de- 
lusion that there existed in his country a mark of the 
special favour of the founder of his religion, or 
whether he merely supported it as a formal duty, 
or whether he had himself, if not a belief in it, yet a 
respect for it as one of the generally received symbols 
of his religion, we cannot tell, but probably the latter 
was the preponderating reason. Probably he made 
offerings to the Phrabat monastery in the same spirit 
that he raised spires in conspicuous places, the sum- 
mits of hills and headlands — in the same spirit that he 
built images of Buddha ; not that he wished the Phra- 
bat, or the spires, or the idols to be worshipped, but 
that he believed in the utility of everything which 


attracted the thoughts of men, even but for a moment, 
to the great Teacher of the law of the avoidance of 
sorrow — to the Prince who, in the prime of manhood, 
gave up a throne, and a life of luxury and honour, 
and became a wanderer and mendicant, that he misht 
teach men by example as well as precept that a life 
of conscious virtue, a life free from anxiety as to the 
future, is the life of the truest happiness, and that free- 
dom from anxiety can be obtained by a man's own 
efforts ; that he is not a toy or puppet, exposed to be 
victimised by malignant spirits unless saved by an 
intervening deity, but that he is the absolute ruler of 
the destiny of his own soul, controlled only by the law 
of perfect justice. 



The drawing of the footprint is surrounded by an 
ornamental border, the design of which is derived from 
the lotus (nymj^hcea). This lotus-pattern is found 
everywhere in Buddhist architecture, and notably is 
used for the capitals of columns, and for the decoration 
of the '' lion seats" or altars on which images of Buddha 
are placed. 

The toes are three-jointed, and each joint is marked 
with a spiral pattern, "the network" of the books. 
The great-toe is on the left side, showing this to be a 
print of the right foot. 

The Chak or Chakra occupies the central square of 
the print. It is sometimes described by the Siamese 
as the beautiful Chakra with its thousand rays or flames, 
also as the beautiful Chakra with its thousand spikes, 
adorned as it were with emeralds. In Indian drawino-s 
we find the Chakra, disc, or quoit, as the weapon of 
Vishnu. In Siamese mythology, it is the irresistible 
weapon of Indra, the king of the lower heavens, with 
which he can, at his pleasure, drive his adversaries 
from any part of his dominions. In Siamese religious 
writings we find it described as the wheel of the law, 
the teaching of Buddha, the means of exterminating 

* The plate, being a photographic reduction, should be examined with 
a reading-glass or other magnifier. 


sin and misery. European writers commonly regard 
it in its mystic reference to tlie circle of transmi- 

I have, in chapter i., suggested that the Chakra 
marked on the foot was originally a poetical way of 
expressing fleetness. This suggestion is supported by 
examination of the most ancient Indian sculptures, those 
of Sanchi, in which the Chakra is evidently a chariot- 
wheel. But at the same time that I offer this expla- 
nation of the original meaning of a wheel on the sole 
of the foot, I do not suggest it as the only meaning of 
the wheel in the first five centuries of Buddhism. The 
Sanchi sculptures show it in positions in which we can 
only regard it as having some mystic signification. 
In one bas-relief, from the Tope, called by Professor 
Fergusson, No. 2, there is a Chakra, also exactly like a 
chariot- wheel, with two figures standing by it, and 
perhaps about to make it revolve, while other people 
around are ofiering it adoration. This design may 
represent the Chakra as described in the "■ Lalita Vis^ 
t^ra," or it may represent the teaching of Buddhism in 
a manner I shall presently indicate. In the "Lalita 
Vistara" we read of it as the most marvellous of the 
seven extraordinary possessions of an emperor of the 
whole world. Turned by his hand, it rolls before him 
and his armies, causing all to bow down to him and 
acknowledge his righteous rule. It seems to me that 
this rolling wheel originally referred to the advantage 
possessed by the first possessors of chariots ; in course 
of time poets and priests made a mysterious emblem 
of it. 

During a few centuries preceding, and just after the 
Christian era, while Buddhism was flourishing in India, 

288 PART III. 

and the monastic system developed itself extensively, 
mysticism prevailed greatly, and the Chakra was 
probably regarded no more as a poetic image, but as 
one of the most holy emblems of religion ; it might 
naturally have been first applied to Buddhism, from 
Buddha's treatment of life. Buddha, as I have tried 
to show in other parts of this book, did not attempt 
to teach of the beginning of existence, but assumed it 
as a rolling circle of causes and effects. This was his 
circle or wheel of the law. 

In the same way that the early teachers of Bud- 
dhism adapted their doctrines to their disciples, by 
formulating them in easily-remembered lists, five kinds 
of this virtue, four kinds of that, &c., &c., they may 
have met the difficulty of professing to teach every- 
thing without being able to show either a beginning 
or end, by setting up a wheel in their schoolrooms, and 
showing that which is perfect in itself and may revolve 
eternally, without beginning or end. Such a practice 
on their part would have accounted for the expression 
used in the sacred books to denote Buddha's teaching, 
viz., "turning the wheel of the law ;" and would also 
have naturally led to the mystic wheel becoming what 
Professor Fergusson considers to have been an actual 
object of worship. 

This religious meaning, applied to the Chakra, did 
not result in a distinct word being invented for it, or 
for its other sense mentioned above, i.e., the emblem of 
an emperor. The same word w^as retained for both 
ideas, but in its religious use, Dharma (law or right) 
was prefixed to it. 

As time rolled on, the chariot- wheel of the emperor 
lost that which I have supposed to be its original sig- 


nificance, and became the discus or quoit, the most 
powerful of all weapons. Indra, the good king of 
angels, had but to hurl it from his hand, and the 
heavens against which it was cast were depopulated. 
Mara, the devil, the bad king of angels, hurled his 
Chakra against Buddha ; and though he could not injure 
the object of his rage, his weapon clove the mountains 
in its course. Buddha, with his Chakra, the Dharma 
chakra, exterminated ignorance and sin. Thus, in the 
modern drawing of the footprint of Buddha, the simple 
wheel of the Sanchi sculptures has given place to the 
radiant weapon so beautifully drawn in the original 
from which our plate is taken. 

The smaller compartments of the plate, of which 
there are one hundred and eight, I shall describe by 
numbers. The upper left-hand corner, adjoining the 
great-toe, being No. 1, and the numbers running across 
the plate, from left to right, viz. — six lines of eight 
figures each (1-48) ; four lines of four figures each 
(49-64) ; three lines of eight each (65-88) ; one cen- 
tral line of two (89-90) ; one curved line of four 
(91-94) ; one curved line of six (95-100); and one 
curved line of eight (101-108). 

This arrangement will separate some of the figures, 
which ought to be taken in groups ; but that is 

I should mention that the number of compartments, 
one hundred and eight (Attra sotawara rup), agrees 
with the Siamese account in the Life given in this 
volume, although neither Low nor Burnouf seem to 
have found this number stated in the native works 
quoted by them. It also tallies with the number in 
the Burmese footprint now in the British Museum, 

290 PART III. 

and in a Ceylonese drawing mentioned in Mr Skeen's 
account of " Adam's Peak." 

This number, one hundred and eight, also occurs in 
the " Lalita Vist4ra," not applied to marks on the 
footprint, but to a list of the " Evident Gates of the 
Law ; " that is a summation of one hundred and eight 
things especially to be remembered by Buddhists. 

I believe it to have been a number selected some- 
what fancifully by some Buddhist mathematician. I 
see that it is composed of unity, duality, and trinity. 
It consists of one one, two twos, and three threes, all 
multiplied together, thus : — 

1x2x2x3x3x3- 108. 

In the same way I find that thirty-two, which is 
the number selected for the signs of a great man, is 
composed very simply of the square of two multiplied 
by the cube of two. 

These numbers seem to show that the early Bud- 
dhists were a mathematically-minded set of men, or 
at least studied the science of numbers. 

I will now describe the compartments as numbered : — 


The royal spear. Literally the crystal spear, but 
the word crystal (Keou) is applied to anything gem- 
like, or beautiful, or royal. 

A palace (Siamese, Prasat ; Sanscrit, Prasada). The 
projecting, flame-like points of the roof are marks of 
royal and sacred buildings in Siam. The Siamese 
call them flowers of heaven, or gems of heaven. They 
are of two forms, according to their position as ter- 


minals of the ridge of the roof, or ornaments of the 
eaves. These latter, I feel little doubt, represent the 
heads of hooded snakes, and are a modification of the 
snake-heads which occupy a similar position on the 
roofs of ancient Cambodian temples.'"' The Siamese 
acknowledge that they obtained the alphabet of their 
religious literature from Cambodia, and it is probable 
that some of their architectural ideas were also derived 
thence. I believe the Siamese derived their civilisa- 
tion from the ruling race of ancient Cambodia, and 
that ancient Cambodia f derived its civilisation from 
Central India. This would account for the number of 
Sanscrit forms in the Siamese language, and for the 
use by the Siamese of Brahmin astrologers and Brah- 
min ceremonies. I have above remarked that the 
sacred books of the Siamese are written in the alphabet 
of ancient Cambodia, the Kawm character, which is, 
at least, in part the source of the modern. Siamese 
character, and which is allied to the Devanao-ari. The 
neighbours of the Siamese lying on the west and north 
— the Peguans, and Avanese, and Laos — are also Bud- 
dhists, but the character in which they write seems to 
me to show that Ceylon gave them their teachers. 


A trident (Tri), the weapon of Siva. The insertion 
of this emblem illustrates a point I referred to in the 
preceding note — that is, the occurrence of Brahminical 
ideas among the Siamese. Buddhism, emphatically a 

* See Thompson's photographs of Cambodian laiins, published 
under the title "Antiquities of Cambodia." Edinburgh, 1867. 

t See Fergusson's " Tree and Serpent Worship " as to a conquering 
race from India being the builders of the great temples and palaces of 

292 PART III. 

religion of peace, ought to have nothing to do with 
warlike weapons, still more should it avoid as an em- 
blem that which is a special emblem of one of the 
great Hindu divinities. 


A golden vase supporting a prince's hair-pin. The 
pattern of the vase is derived from an expanded nym- 
'phcea (lotus). These vases are used by the Siamese 
in oflfering anything to the King, or carrying any ob- 
ject entitled to peculiar respect. AVhen the King of 
Siam is informed of the arrival of a letter from any 
foreign sovereign, he sends his state barges, and has 
the letter conveyed to him in one of these golden vases, 
placed on a royal throne, and screened by a state 

The gold and jewelled hair-pin is worn in the top- 
knots of princes and other wealthy Siamese children. The 
top-knot is a tuft of long hair left uncut from infancy 
on the centre of the head, all the rest of the head being 
kept clean shaved. When the child reaches its ninth, 
eleventh, or thirteenth year of age, this top-knot is 
shaved off with much ceremony, and the hair left to 
grow all over the head until it becomes thick enough 
to be cut and shaved into the brush worn by adults. 
It is considered very unfortunate that a child should 
attain puberty before its top-knot has been shaved. 
More on this subject will be found in the description 
of figure 24. 


The flower Mentha (Mandara). There is in Siam a 
sweet-scented flowering tree called by this name, but 


I believe the Montlia of the figure is a flower of 

A royal candle or torch stand (Sao tai). 

A book resting on a vase. 

The royal elephant goad (Kho chang) ; the hook 
with which the driver, sitting on the neck, controls the 


The seven annular belts of ocean which separate the 
seven annular mountains from Mount Meru and each 
other. They are supposed to be inhabited by immense 

An account of the Buddhist idea of a system of 
worlds is given in page 10. Mount Meru is the 
centre of each system, round it are seven alternate 
belts of ocean and mountain ; then an eighth (the 
great) ocean, at the four cardinal points of which are 
the four great human worlds or continents (Siamese, 
Thawip ; Sanscrit, Dvipas), one inhabited by men, 
the other three by half-human beings. Each great 
continent has around it five hundred islands. The 
system is bounded by the walls of the world, the 
crystal mountain Chakkrawan. 

A palace of the angels (Wiman ; Sanscrit, Vimdna). 
Vim^na means also a chariot or any vehicle ; and if 
we in this place suppose (as is permissible), the 

294 PART III. 

Siamese Wiman to mean "litter" or "palanquin," 
then our figure will answer to one of the symbols 
mentioned in the Ceylonese list, which I cannot other- 
wise identify. 

The usual meaning of Wiman is "palace of the 
angels," and the idea attached to that meaning is 
shown in the following translation from the " Book of 
Indra," one of the most ancient of the Siamese law 
books : — " There is a celestial abode in the Dewa 
heavens, an aerial dwelling covered with gold and 
gems, with roofs shining with gold and jewels, and 
roof points'" of crystal and pearl ; and the whole 
gleams with wrought and unwrought gold more bril- 
liant than all the gems. Around its eaves plays the 
soft sound of tinkling golden bells. There dwell a thou- 
sand lovely liouris, virgins in gorgeous attire, decked 
with the richest ornaments, singing sweet songs in 
concert, with a melody whose resounding strains are 
never still. This celestial abode is adorned with lotus 
lakes, and meanderino; rivers full of the five kinds of 
lotus, whose golden petals, as they fade, fill all the air 
with sweet odours. And round the lakes are splendid 
lofty trees growing in regular order, their leaves, their 
boughs, their branches, covered with sweet-scented 
blossoms, whose balmy odours fill the surrounding air 
with heart-delighting fragrance." 

My object in translating this passage is to show the 
Siamese idea of a sensual heaven. 

The great ocean (Maha samut), in which are the four 
continents mentioned in Nos. 9-15. 

* These points are the projections mentioned in No. 2. 



The royal ox Usupliarat ; tlie humped Brahmin 
bull, otherwise called king of the white oxen. 


Erawan, the three-headed elephant of Indra, some- 
times a conspicuous ornament of Siamese temples.'"'' 

An Indian drawing in Moor's " Hindu Pantheon " 
(plate 79), shows Indra riding on this three-headed 

Burnouf applied the term Erawan or Airavana to a 
one-headed elephant, and considered the three-headed 
elephant to be that named Chatthan, which he iden- 
tified as Chaddanta, the elejDhant of six defences or 
tusks. We find Chaddanta (or Chatthan), repre- 
sented in our plate as one-headed (No. 42). 


The dragon Mangkon (Makara), or sea-serpent. 
The name of the Chinese drao-on. The Indian Makara 
is, I believe, a fish. 


The golden junk or ship. In the " Life of Buddha " 
we read of " the lustrous vessel of the true law," by 
which Buddha would enable men to cross the ocean of 
transmigrating existence, and reach the other shore, 
i.e., Nirwana. 

The symbol is probably connected with the Hindu 
legend of the precious things recovered by churning 

♦ Wat Cheng at Bangkok is an instance. The elephant's head may 
be seen high on the principal spire. 

296 PART III. 

tlie ocean, in the tortoise incarnation of Vishnu. The 
ship was one of the precious things. 


The cow and calf. Probably the Hindu cow of 
plenty, one of the precious things referred to in the 
previous note. The cow is a symbol of the Buddha 
Gotama, as the Naga, hen, and crocodile are of pre- 
ceding Buddhas. 


This figure of water and lotuses, seven times repeated 
(31, 39, 47, 51, 55, 59), represents the seven lakes 
of Himaphan, or Himalaya, named Anodat, Kanna- 
muntha, Eotaphan, Chatthan, Kunala, Manthakini, and 
Sihapat. Of these, the only two whose names I have 
read more than once, are Anodat, the source of rain, 
and Chatthan, the home of the king of elephants and 
his dependents. 

In these lakes grow the five kinds of nymphcea or 
lotus (Bencha prathum). 

The lotus, the emblem of vitality and symbol of 
Buddha, holds a very foremost'position among Buddhist 

In Siam (and judging from drawings, it is much 
the same in India) one can scarcely see a Buddhist 
building, figure, or drawing, but what has some part 
of its design taken from the lotus {nymphcea). 

In Hindu mythology it may be especially noticed 
in connection with Brahma and Vishnu. 

In the Siamese Traiphoom we read, that on the 
formation of a new system of worlds (their theory 
being that worlds are from time to time destroyed 


and reproduced) some of tlie Brahma angels from the 
highest heavens, who have escaped the destruction 
which has long previously overtaken the lower heavens 
and the abodes of men, come upon the new world, and 
anxiously seek to discover whether a Buddha, a teacher 
of the law of escape from sorrow, will be born in it. 
The lotus is the sio;n. If there is no lotus, there will 
be no Buddha. If there are lotuses, the number of 
flowers foretells the number of Buddhas. Thus for 
this present world there will be five Buddhas, for the 
Brahmas found five flowers growing on one stalk. 

Another pretty story anent the lotus, which I got 
from the Laos of Chiengmai, north of Siam, is, that 
the alphabet was taught by a fairy, springing from a 
lotus, on each of whose expanded leaves appeared one 


This is a figure of what the Siamese call Bai si 
and Wen wien thien, used in the ceremony of top- 
knot-cutting. The Bai si is a pyramidal construc- 
tion of plaintain-leaf, designed to hold what may be 
called sacrificial rice and flowers. The "Bangkok 
Calendar" for 1864, in an article on the top-knot- 
cutting of a prince, thus describes the Bai si and 
ceremony of Wien thien : — 

" After the shaving is over, the priests, princes, and 
noblemen are sumptuously fed ; and that being ended 
about midday, two standards called Bai see are brought 
and set within the circle of concourse. They have 
something the appearance of the Siamese Sawekrachat, 
or royal umbrella, one of the five insignia of royalty 
peculiar to the Kings of Siam. These standards are 

298 PART III. 

about five cubits higli, having from tliree to five 
stories. The staff is fixed on a wooden j)edestal, light 
and portable. The difierent stones of the Bai see are 
made of plantain-leaves, interspersed with silvered and 
gilt paper. Each story is circular in form, with a 
flaring and deeply-serrated brim, and has a flat bottom. 
Within these receptacles, custom places a little cooked 
rice, called Khao khwan, a small quantity of cakes, a 
little sweet-scented oil, a handful of fragrant flowers, 
young cocoa-nuts, and plantains. Other edibles of 
many kinds are brought and arranged round about 
the Bai see, and a beautiful bouquet adorns the topmost 
story of each. A procession is then formed of the 
princes, noblemen, and others, who circumambulate 
the standards nine times. There are three golden 
candlesticks, holding each a large wax-candle, which, 
being lighted, are carried by different princes and other 
dignitaries in the procession, and handed from one to 
the other as they move around the standards. Mean- 
while the royal son or daughter, for whom the festival 
is held, is seated on a kind of throne between the two 
standards, arrayed in splendid costume. The persons 
holding the candles wave them when passing in front 
of the prince, and fan the smoke of them into his face, 
as the influence of this has much to do in conferrino' 
the desired blessing upon him. This moving of the 
procession around the Bai sees is denominated Weean 
theean, literally, circumambulating with candles. 
There are nine of these evolutions for a child of a 
king, and five for a child of a subject." 


The chank-shell with reversed sj)iral ; a shell some- 


thing like a large whelk, much prized in the East when 
it is white, and has its convolutions turned the con- 
trary way to what is usual in shells. Among the 
King of Siam's presents to Her ]\[ajesty was one of 
these shells. The Brahmins, or royal astrologers, carry 
them in state processions, and blow shrill music from 
them on great occasions. One of them, richly deco- 
rated with gold and jewels, is among the chief insignia 
of kino;s. 

In Hindu mythology, the chank is generally borne 
by Vishnu, and is one of the precious things recovered 
from the sea of milk in the tortoise incarnation above 
referred to. 


The Burmese goose or swan, Hongsa ; the bird 
which gave its name to Hongsawadi, the capital of 
Pegu. Representations of it, carved on the tops of 
high columns, are common in the temples of those 
Siamese villages where live the descendants of captive 
Peguans. It is probably the same as the Hindu 
Hanasa, the bird which carries Brahma, and from it 
the common goose of Siam has derived its name, 
" han." 


The four-faced Brahma. Sixteen squares will be 
found to contain four-faced Brahmas, with very slight 
differences in dress. These sixteen squares represent 
the sixteen heavens of the formed Brahmas (Siamese, 
Phrom), the meditative angels. Their distribution is 
treated of in Note 65 to the " Life of Buddha." 

300 PART III. 

Are the same as the preceding. 

30. , ' 

A Kinon, or Kinara, a figure half-man and half- 
bird, one of the inhabitants of the Himalayan fairy- 


One of the Himalayan lakes. See No. 23. 


The royal umbrella, or white parasol of several 
tiers, called Sawetrachat, the principal insignia of the 
Kings of Siam. Seven or nine tiers are usual in the 
Sawetrachat of Buddhas or kings. 


A Dewa angel (Siamese, Thewada), of the lower or 
sensual heavens. As these are elsewhere depicted, 
this may be intended for the Universal Emperor. 


A king of Nagas (Siamese, Phya nak). The 
Naga of Siamese mythology is a hooded serpent, pos- 
sessed of various supernatural powers, such as ability 
to change its form and assume any desired appear- 
ance ; to dart through the earth, fly through the skies, 
and indeed to move anywhere instantaneously ; also 
to cause death by a glance or a breath. In the 
" Modern Buddhist," the Naga is alluded to as causing 
epidemics by poisoning the air. In the "Life of 
Buddha," we read of the Naga King Kala, who wakes 


only when a new Buddha is about to illumine the earth, 
and who, having risen from his subterranean abode, 
honours the Buddha with innumerable songs of praise, 
and then returns to sleep. Another great appearance 
of the Naga, in connection with Buddha, is one, often 
depicted in Siamese temples, in which the seven-headed 
King of Nagas shields the teacher from a storm by 
encircling him with the coils of his body, and spreading 
over his head his seven expanded hoods. The Naga's 
appearance is not confined to religious literature ; 
Nagas are important characters in novels. For example, 
in the story of " Prince Phin Suriwong," we read that 
the young Prince, lost in a forest, and sleeping under a 
tree, is awoke by a loud noise, and sees that the mighty 
bird Garuda has pounced on a King of Nagas, and is 
about to carry him off. The Prince claps his hands, 
and so alarms the bird, that he drops his prey and 
flies. The Naga glides into his hole, but mindful of 
the service rendered to him, sends his son, transformed 
into a man, to escort the Prince to his dominions, 
and present him with a ring, enabling him to take any 
desired appearance, or become invisible. The novel 
continues with an account of the way the Prince makes 
love to a Princess by help of this ring. 

The Naga was the symbol of Konagamana, the 
Buddha next but one before Buddha Gotama. 

In my description of No. 2, I mentioned that an 
ornament, derived from the snake-head, decorated the 
roofs of Siamese temples and palaces ; and that the 
design had apparently been adopted from Cambodia, 
some of the grand religious buildings of which country 
are richly ornamented with carvings of the seven- 
headed snake. Professor Fergusson regards Cambodia 

302 PART III. 

as having been a great seat of serpent- worship ; but 
although his fascinating writing did for a time make 
me inclined to agree with him, my agreement was but 
transitory, and I am inclined to believe that the 
temples of Cambodia were Buddhist temples ; the 
Brahmin element, so marked in Siam, being perhaps 
even more marked in Cambodia ; and the Naga-wor- 
ship, probably, no more than that indicated in the 
before-quoted passage of the " Mahawanso," where 
Asoka is represented as obtaining his knowledge of 
Buddha's appearance by the aitl of a wonder-working 
serpent, who was treated with royal or divine honour. 
Professor Fergusson refers to the formation of the 
courts of the temple at Nakhou wat, and pictures 
them flooded for the ceremony of serpent-worship. 
He even points out the pipes used for flooding them. 
Those pipes seem to me to be mere drains for carry- 
ing ofl^ rain-water from the courts ; and if the courts 
had intended to be flooded, I hardly think the rich 
carvings would have been carried down to their very 
pavement ; they would surely have ended at the water- 
line. There can, however, be no doubt that the old 
Cambodians attached an importance to the Naga which 
it has now lost ; and it is most interesting to follow the 
learned Professor in tracing the position of the Naga 
in various ages as shown by architectural remains. 
From the ruins of Cambodia (date, fifth to thirteenth 
centuries), we pass back to the Tope of Amravatti, 
where the Naga appears as the protector of altars, and 
also as the sign of some family or race ; and thence, 
going back three hundred years, to the date when the 
Sanchi Rail was carved, we still find the protecting 


Professor Fergussoii, in his elaborate work, indicates 
the respect paid to the snake among almost all ancient 
people. I cannot enter into that subject here, and must 
refer those interested in it to the " Tree and Serpent 
Worship," or if they cannot borrow, and cannot afford 
to buy that very expensive book, I can commend to 
them an " Essay on Tree and Serpent Worship," which 
they can obtain by forwarding six penny-stamps to Mr 
Thomas Scott, Mount Pleasant, Eamsgate. 

Brabmas. See No. 27. 

A Kinari or female Kinara. See No. 30. 


One of the seven lakes of Himaphan. See No. 23. 


The royal sword (Phra khan) on a vase. This is 
one of the five 2!reat insio-nia of kino-s. 

o o o 


This and the three similar figures below it must 
represent the four Thawips or Dvipas ; that is, worlds 
of the square-faced, round, semicircular, and human- 
faced beings, whose worlds respectively partake of the 
contour of their inhabitants' faces. See also No. 9. 

The figures, which are those of female angels, pro- 
bably represent the angels of the earth, mentioned in 
the " Life of Buddha." 


. . 42. 

Ubosot (Upos^tha), one of the two kings of ele- 
phants of the Himalayan fairyland. On the saddle- 
cloth is the mystic sign described by Burnouf as 

The general meaning of the word Ubosot is de- 
scribed in the notes to the Life. 

Brabmas. See No. 27. 

The bird Insi, king of eagles. 

One of the seven lakes of Himaphan. See No. 23. 


The fan used by monks. This is not so much a fan 
as a screen ; something to cover the eyes of the monk, 
and prevent his attention being diverted by what is 
passing around him. It helps him to avoid seeing the 
dangers of the bewitching ladies he may meet on his 
journeys. It does not prevent his fixing his eyes on 
the ground before him, and watching, lest he break 
the great commandment, not to destroy life, by tread- 
ing on one of the myriad creeping things which are 
ever present in the prolific East. 


This probably represents the Thawip or Dvipa of 
semicircular-faced beings. See No. 41. 



Chattban, or Chaddanta, a king of elephants, who, 
according to Siamese legends, lives in a golden 
palace on the shores of the Himalayan lake Chatthan, 
attended by eighty thousand ordinary elephants. See 
also No. 19. 


One of the seven lakes of Himaphan. See No. 23. 


The peacock's tail, a mark of royal dignity. 


The continent of round-faced beings. See No. 41. 


Phalahok (Valahaka), the king of horses. The 
horse occupies a much more important place among 
Northern Buddhists tlian it does among those of the 


One of the seven lakes of Himaphan. See No. 23. 


The Mongkut, or crown, the design of which was, 
according to the Siamese, taken from the flaming glory 
on the head of Buddha. 

The continent of square-faced beings. See No. 41. 


306 PART III. 

The King of Tigers. The tiger is the symbol of the 
coining Bnddha Maitreya. 

One of the seven lakes of Himaphan. See No. 23. 

The Batr or pot in which Buddhist monks collect 
their food. (Sanscrit, Patra, a plate or cup.) 

The sun, moon, and planets. 

Rachasi, the king of lions. 

Mountains. Ten mountains are depicted on the plate, 
seven of them in juxtaposition, the others separate. 
The seven lying together represent the seven annular 
mountains surrounding Mount Meru. See No. 9. 
The three detached figures probably represent — 1. 
Mount Meru; 2. The walls of the world, Mount Cha- 
krawan; 3. Mount Krailat, or some other representa- 
tive of the eighty-four thousand mountains of Hima- 
phan or Himalaya. 

A vase and diamond chain. 

A rabbit or hare. 



Mountains. See No. 63. 

Brahma ano-els. See No. 27. 


A peacock. 

Mountains. See No. 63. 


River, with lotus. There are five similar figures 
representing the five great rivers (Maha nathi), whose 
source is in the Himalayan lake Anodat. They are 
named Kongkha (Ganges), Yumna, Achirawadi, Sara- 
phum, and Mahi. 


Peacock expanding its tail. 


The Chamara, chowrie, or mosquito-swish. This 
useful article is one of the royal insignia — the long 
hair in that case being properly the tail of the Thibe- 
tan yak. 

Brahma angels. See No. 27. 

The bird Khektao, by some called dove. 

308 PART III. 

Mountains. See No. 63. 

River, with lotus. 

A palace of the angels. See No. 16. 

A preacher's chair. 

Brahma angels. See No. 27. 

Dewa angels (Siamese, Thewada), holding swords 
and lotuses. These, with the four adjoining similar 
figures, represent the six heavens of the inferior or sen- 
sual angels. These six heavens bear the names — 1 . Cha- 
tumaharachit, which is level with the summit of Yu- 
khunthon, the circular range next to Mount Meru, and 
in which dwell the four guardians of t]ie world. 2. 
Dawadungsa, level with the summit of Mount Meru, in 
which is the palace of Indra, and in which flourish the 
Kalpa trees (Siamese, Kamaphruk), whose branches 
furnish everything that the angels can desire. 3. 
Yama, which rests entirely on air. 4. Dusit (or Tush- 
ita) the joyful heaven, wherein Buddhas and others 
pass their last existence before being born on earth. 

5. Nimanaradi, a heaveu in which the mere will of the 
ano-els dwelling in it creates for them all they desire. 

6. Paranimit wasawadi, in which angels have all they 
desire, without having to create it by their own will, 


subsidiary angels gratifying their desires. In this 
highest of the luxurious sensual heavens, dwells Mara, 
the angel who takes the place of Satan, the tempter 
in our leg-end of Buddha. 


The Karawek bird of fairyland, whose sweet song 
charms all the inhabitants of the forest. 

Mountains. See No. 63. 

River, with lotus. See No. 72. 

Dewa angels. See No. 84. 

Peacocks. There are too many peacocks on our 
plate, owing probably to the copyist not being able to 
distinguish between the peacock and other birds. 
The plate omits the jungle-fowl, Karieng (stork), Chak- 
phrak, and Krachip (two small birds), and gives the 
royal peacock in their place. 

The flag of victory. 

An alligator, the symbol of the Buddha Kasyappa. 

The King of the Garudas (Siamese, Phya khrut). 
The Garudas or Suparnas figure in Siamese writings 

310 . PART III. 

mainly as the great enemy of the Nagas. With the 
Hindus, Garuda is the vehicle or Vahan of Vishnu. 


Mountains. See No. 63. 


The golden fishes ; or perhaps the Pla anon, the 
huo;e fish in the waters beneath the earth, whose 
movements, shaking the world, give rise to earth- 

Pha krai or Trai chiwara, the three robes of a monk. 


A (full) water-jar. In Indian Buddhist architecture 
the overflowing water jar is a conspicuous figure, but 
the idea does not seem to have passed on to the Siamese. 

Mountains. See No. 63. 

River, with lotus. See No. 72. 



In predicting the glorious future of the young Prince, born 
to be a Buddha, the Brahmin soothsayers, skilled in Vedic 
lore, relied on the appearance of the thirty-two principal, and 
eighty minor, characteristics of a great man ; the marks which 
were a sure sign that their bearer would be either temporal or 
spiritual Lord of the whole world, that is, either a Chakkra- 
vartin Emperor, ruler over all the continents, or a Buddha, 
teacher of all beings. 

According to the Siamese account, Brahma had previously 
descended from heaven, and appeared in human form, merely 
to teach men the signs by which they might recognise the 
Great Being who would be born for their salvation. 

These signs probably are the various characteristics ascribed 
to or possessed by different Indian heroes, and exaggerated by 
the fancies of Indian poets ; and we may suppose that they 
have been formulated in a list, as " the thirty-two great signs" 
for at least twenty-two centuries. 

M. Burnouf, in an appendix to the " Lotus de la bonne Loi," 
treats of these signs almost exhaustively. They interested 
him under two aspects — one as illustrating the authenticity of 
Buddhist classics, evidenced by the concurrence of the records 
of the Northern and Southern Buddhists, the other in con- 


nection with a theory that they showed the race to which 
Buddha belonged — certain persons having, on account of the 
curled hairs described in the list, and shown in idols, sup- 
posed Buddha to have been a negro. 

The list has lost its interest in connection with these points ; 
no one now supposes Buddha to have been a negro, and the 
age of Buddhist books is established by something better than 
the similarity of the lists contained in Northern and Southern 

The concurrence of these lists only carries us back to the 
beginning of the fifth century ; for Buddhaghosha, the com- 
mentator and translator into Pali of the Singhalese sacred 
works, learned his Pali in India, and would naturally have 
made the lists in his translations agree with the Indian lists, 
which he must have learned. 

We have in the sculptures of the Sanchi Tope a better 
proof of the antiquity of Buddhist records than any afforded 
by comparison of Northern and Southern books, for these sculp- 
tures are evident illustrations of stories contained in the books, 
and it is manifest that the age of a story must be greater than 
that of its illustrations. The researches of scholars in China 
have also given us some valuable dates, considerably anterior 
to the days of Buddhaghosha.* 

I will now quote the list as given by Burnouf : — 

1. His head is crowned with a protuberance of the skull. 

2. His curly hair is of a brilliant black, shining like the 

tail of a peacock, or sparkling collyrium (eye-salve), 
and each curl turns from left to right. 

3. He has a broad and regular forehead. 

4. Between his eyebrows is a circle of down, brilliant as 

snow or silver. 

5. His eyelids are like those of a heifer. 

6. He has brilliant black eyes. 

* See Introduction to the Rev. S. Beal's " Travels of Buddhist 


7, 8, 9. He has forty teeth, all equal, set closely together, 
and of the most perfect whiteness. 

10. His voice is like that of Brahma. 

11. He has an exquisite sense of taste. 

12. His tongue is broad and thin, or. according to tlie Thi- 

betan version, "long and thread-like." 

13. He has the jaw of a lion. 

14. His shoulders or arms are perfectly rounded. 

15. He has seven parts of his body filled out, or with pro- 

tuberances (i.e., soles of feet, palms of hands, 
shoulders, and back). 

16. The space between his shoulders is covered. 

17. His skin has the lustre or colour of gold. 

18. His arms are so long that when he stands upright his 

hands reach to his knees. 

19. His front is lion-like. 

20. His body is perfectly straight, tall as a banyan-tree, and 

round in proportion. 
. 21. His hairs grow one by one. 

22. And their ends are turned to the right. 

23. The generative organs are concealed. 

24. 25. He has perfectly round thighs, and his legs are 

like those of the King of the Gazelles. 

26. His toes or fingers are long. 

27. The nails of the toes are well developed. 

28. His instep is high. 

29. His feet and hands are soft and delicate. 

oO. His toes and fingers are marked with lines forming a 

31. Under the soles of his feet are marked two beautiful, 

luminous, brilliant white wheels, with a thousand 

32. His feet are even and well placed. 

Such is the list given by M. Burnouf. In the fourth 
chapter of the " Life of Buddha" is the Siamese list. The 


differences between the two are very trifling. Scarcely 
one cliaracter of importance is wanting in the Siamese list, 
and the only additions of consequence are four large canine 
teeth (which M. Burnouf places among the eighty secondary 
signs), and a peculiar attachment of the feet to the body — 
such that; while they remained still, the whole body could 
move round on them as on a pivot. 


Abhidharma, a class of sacred books, 

Abhi-dju&, supernatural power, 183. 
Abunyaphi sangkhan, demeritorious pre- 
disposition, 236. 
Achirawadi, one of tbe five great rivers, 

Adam's Peak, footprint on, 252, 
Adjatasattru, King of Magadha, 166. 
Ahan, food, 237. 

Akkha sawok, the (two) jH-incipal dis- 
ciples, 187. 
Akusala, or akuson, demerit, 72. 
Alara, a teacher of philosophy, 137, 219. 
Almsgiving, 52, 266. 
Alphabets, Burmese, Siamese, &c., 291. 
Ambapali, name of a woman, and of a 

garden, 233. 
Amravatti, ruined tope at, 248. 
Amrita, the draught of immortality, 164. 
Anakha (Anagami), one of the four paths, 

Ananda, the favourite disciple, 77, 168, 

230, 232. 
Anatta, unreal, 227. 
Anawara yan, 196. 
Anenchaphi, 236. 

Angels, Dewa and Brahma, 13, 92, 93, 
192, 299, 308. 

of the earth, 225. 

of gates, 127, 212. 

of trees, 221. 

of the tempest, 185. 

Angels' palace, Siamese description of, 

Angirasa ( Angkhirasa), aname of Buddha, 

117, 207. 
Angkuliman, murderer and saint, 51. 
Ankana, father of Maia, 178. 
Anichang, unstable, 227. 
Animal food, propriety of eating, 60. 
Anodat, a lake in the Himalayan fairy- 
land, 6, 97, 190, 296. 

Anoma, a river, 214, 215. 

Anon, immense fishes under the earth, 
14, 599. 

Aimlom yan, 227. 

Aphinya yan, the five miraculous powers, 

Aradi, discontent, a daughter of Mara, 

Arahat, the highest degi-ee of saintship, 

Arata Kalama, a teacher of philosophy, 

Arom, the six senses, 236. 

Arts of princes, the twelve and twenty- 
four, 210. 

Ai-upa, the formless (Brahma) angels. 

Asamiman, 196. 

Asita, or Kaladewila, a philosopher, 

Maha Sawok, the eighty chief dis- 
ciples, 188. 

Asoka, a King of Central India, xxxiv. 

atistract of his stone-cut edicts, 


Asongkhai, a vast number, 182. 

Asubha, sorrow, 168. 

Asura, fallen angels, 191, 217. 

Athinnathan (Adinuadana), lirstwordof 
second commandment ; theft, 57. 

Athithan, a vow, an invocation, xlvi. 

Attachment, the result of desire, 239. 
Attha Katha, 46, 252. 

Attbangkhika mak, the eightfold patli, 

Attuwathu, belief in the actuality of ex- 
istence, 239. 

Awicha, ignorance, the cause of exis- 
tence, 234. 

Ayatana, the seats of the senses, 237. 
Ayutthaya, the former cajiital of Siani, 

Baist, 297. 



Banthawa, hill near Eajagriha, 219. 

Baptism, 23, 30. 

Baramat, the metaphysics of Buddhism, 

Barami, the ten transcendent virtues, 

Batr, the monk's food pan, 203, 306. 
Beauties of women, 173. 
Beal's " Travels of Buddhist Pilgrims," li. 
Benares, the city where Buddha first 

taught, 229. 
Bhawa (Bhava), existence, 239. 
Bhawana (Bhdvana), meditation, xliv., 

Bigandet's Life of Buddha, xxv., 1., 

Bimbisara, King of Magadha, 165, 136, 

Bo-tree, xxxi., 163. 
Boat for travelling, 263. 
Bodhi, wisdom, 163. 
Bodhisatva (Phothisat), a being that will 

be a Buddha 163. 
Bodhyanga, constituents of a Buddha's 

wisdom, 196. 
Books on Buddhism, xlviii. 
Borikhan (Pirikara), the eight requisites 

of monks, 202. 
Brahma angels, 11, 193, 194, 299. 

heavens, 13, 193, 194. 

Brahmins, xxix., 175. 
Brahminism, 29. 
Bucha, 201. 
Buddha, 163. 

idols of, 273. 

Life of. See Table of Contents. 

192, 228. 

Pacheka, a selfish Buddha, 187. 

Buddhas, other than Gotama, 176. 
Buddhism, primitive, xxviii., xxxiv. 

sketch of Siamese, xxxv. 

Budha, same as Buddha, 163. 
Bunyaphi sangkhan, meritorious predis- 
position, 235. 
Buppheniwasayan, 225. 
Burmese goose, 229. 
Burnoiif's works, xlviii, 

Cambodia, ancient, 291, 301. 

Candlestand, 293. 

Caste, 188. 

Causation, the Buddhist theory of, 45, 

225, 234. 
Central country, 187. 
Ceremony of coronation of Kings of Siam, 

cremation, gifts made at, 216. 

haircutting, 292, 297. 

ploughing, or Kekna, 208. 

pouring water on the earth, 224. 

receiving royal letters, 292, 

Thaksina, or walking round, 190, 


Ceylon, footprints of Buddha in, 251, 

mis-stated to be birthplace of 

Buddha's mother, 178. 
Chaitya, a holy building, xxx. , 271. 
Chak, Chakra, or Chakkra, wheel or disc, 

111, 247, 254, 286. 
Chakravartin, universal Emperor, 116, 

Chakrawan (chakrawala), 10, 13. 
Chamara, or fly-flap, on the footprint, 

Chan (Dhyana), 192. 
Chanathiba, King, 178. 
Cbank shell, or conch, 147, 298. 
Channa, Chanammat, name of an officer, 

126, 200. 
Chao Phya Thiphakon, xv., xxii., 3. 
Charity, 52, 168. 

Chat, the roval parasol, 147, 222, 300. 
Chatthan, King of elephants, 295, 305. 

one of the Himalayan lakes, 

Chaturaaharachit heavens, next .above 

the earth, 178, 308. 
Chatur-ariasat, the four truths, 196. 
Chetasik, 237, 
Childers, R. C, Note on Nirwana, 

Chitr, spirit or idea, 223, 237. 
Chitta, thought, 223. 
Chiwara (chiwou), robes of the monks, 

Chiwitr, life, 237. 
Chomphu thawip, this world, 13. 
Chotiban, a former existence of Buddha, 

78, 171. 
Chowrie, or fly-flap, 147, 307. 
Chundo, the last entertainer of Buddha, 

Circle of existence, 225, 234. 
Commandments, five, xliii., 57, 174. 

eight and ten, 174, 175. 

Constantino Falcon, a Greek prime 

minister of Siam, 276. 
Contact. 238. 
Contemplation, 192, 195, 219. 

position of, 219. 

Continence of Buddhist monks, 267. 
Continents, the four, 13, 303. 
Copper mines of Nophburi, 278. 
Coronation ceremony, 179. 
Cosmogony and cosmography, 11, 13. 
Council, first Buddhist, 166, 
Cow of plenty, 296. 
Cremation, 70, 216. 

of Buddha, 261. 

Crown, the form whence derived, 207, 

Crux ansata, the cross with a handle, 

Cunningham's "Ancient Geogr.aphy of 
India," 165, 167, 



Davtadl'XGSa (Davaduiigsa) heavens, 

17, 201, 308. 
Death, Mara, the King of (Phya Machu- 

rat), 152. 
Desire, and its subdivisions, 238. 
Dewa angels and heavens, 13, 308. 
Dewadaha, or Koli, an Indian town, 

Dewa Langka, Siamese name of Ceylou, 

Dliarma, the law, 170, 288. 
Dhyana, abstract meditation, 182, 192. 
Dij)angkara, a former Buddha, 89, 182. 
Disciples, the two principal, 187. 

the eighty chief, 188. 

Distinction, and its exi)ression or form 

and name, 236. 
Djati (chat), individual existence, birth, 

xxxix. , 239. 
Dress of monks, 202. 
Dusit, or Tushita, the joyful heaven, 

177, 308. 
Dvipas, continents or worlds, 13, 303. 

Eclipses, the cause of, 12, 217. 
Education of Siamese, 4. 
Eight observances, or commandments, 

paths, or ways and fruits, 170, 


requisites of monks, 202. 

hells, 13. 

Eightfold path, 199. 

Ekkhata, fixedness of mind, 195. 

Elements of corporeal being (Skandhas), 

Elephant, Chatthan, 295, 305. 

Ubosot, 304. 

of Indra, 171, 295. 

of Mara, 150. 

Elephant-goad on the footprint, 293. 
Eleven fii-es, or vices, 198. 
Emancipation, five principles of 

(Wimuti), 196. 
Epidemics, cause of, 8. 
Equality of beings, xxxvi. 
Erawan, the three-headed elephant of 

Indra, 171, 295. 
Existence, 239. 

Fah Hian's travels, li. , 250. 
Fan or face-screen of monks, 170, 304. 
Feet of Buddha described, 110. 
Fergusson's "Tree and Serpent Wor- 
ship," XXX., li., 248. 
Festival of sowing-time, 118, 208. 
Fish, the golden, 310. 
Five considerations determining the 

birth of Buddha, 93. 
elements of corporeal being (Skand- 
has), 172, 186. 

forces (Phala), 241. 

great beauties of women, 173. 

Five greatest sins, 48. 

great rivers ttowing from Lake 

Anodat, 307. 

kinds of lotus, 296. 

meditations (Bhawana), 168. 

miraculous powers (Aphinya yan), 

moral powers (Intri), 241. 

observances, or commandments, 

xliii., 57, 174. 
portents denoting advent of a 

Buddha, 90. 
principles of emancipation("\Vimuti), 


royal insignia, 101, 179. 

signs of an angel's end, 92. 

Flag of ^^ctory on the footprint, 309. 
Footj)rint at Sangkashi, in India, 251. 
on Adam's Peak, in Ceylon, 250, 


drawings of, from Nepaul, &c. , 249. 

at Phrabat, 284. 

explanation of plate, 286. 

Footprints in Europe and elsewhere, 262. 
Formless Brahmas, 194. 
Foucaux's Life of Buddha, xxv., .xlix. 
Four applications of reflective power 

(Sati patthan), 197. 
classes of distinctive knowledge 

(Samphitayan), 198. 

continents, or worlds, 13, 303. 

degrees of saintliness, 170. 

dhyanas of the formed, 192, 193. 

of the formless, 194. 

elenients (Maha phutha rup), 236. 

elements of benevolence (Sang- 

khriha watthu), 206. 

fruits, 170. 

great objects of endurance (Samnia 

patthan), 226. 

great mines, 201. 

guardians of the world (Thao 

Lokaban), 178. 
heavens of the formless Brahmas, 


manners of birth, 44. 

paths, 170. 

pre-eminent truths, 32, 196. 

self -confidences ( Wesara khun), 228. 

signs, or visions (Thewathut), 117. 

states of misery, 236. 

steps to miraculous power (Itthi- 

bat), 195. 
virtuous inclinations (Phromma- 

wihan), 198. 

Ganapada Kalyiini, Buddha's half sister, 
' Gandharva (Khonthan), 192. 
i Garuda (khrut), a fabulous bird, 192. 

God, 8, 17, 22, 28, 51, 72. 
I Gopa, 211. 



Gotama Buddha (also often spelt Gau- 
tama), 32. 

Hatrcutttng ceremony (sokan), 292, 

Hair-pin, 292. 

Han (Hanasa), the Burmese Goose, 299. 
Hardy (Spence), works on Buddhism, 

xxvi., xlix. 
Hatthai rup, the heart, 237. 
Heaven, xxxvii., 66. 

Buddha's visit to, 16, 231. 

Heavens, the six inferior, of the Dewas, 
13, 294, 308. 

the superior of the Brahmas, 13, 

HeU, 66. 
Himalaya, Himaphan, or Himawonta, 

Hon , the Brahmin astrologers, 175. 
Hongsa, the Burmese goose, 299. 

Ignoeance, the cause of existence, xli. , 

Image of Buddha, 273. 
Immortality, the draught of (Amrita), 

Indra (Phra In), King of the lower Dewa 

heavens, 171, 424. 
Indra, the book of (Lak Inthapat), 171. 
Insi, the eagle, on the footprint, 304. 
Insignia, the five royal, 102, 179. 
Intelligence (Winyan), 235. 
Intoxication, 61. 
Intri (Indraya), the five moral powers, 

Irdhi, superhuman power, 195. 
Itthibat, the steps to superhuman power, 


JambU-DVIPA, this world, 13. 
Jetawana monastery, 214. 
Jewelled throne of Buddha, 191. 
Jewels, the three (Buddha, the law, the 

assembly), 199. 
Junk, the golden, 92, 295. 

Kahabodi, householders, 188. 
Kakusandha, a former Buddha, 176, 222. 
Kala, a King of the Nagas (snakes), 222. 
Kaladewila, a philosopher, 107, 201. 
Kalpa, an age, an immense period, 182. 
Kalpa-tree, the tree that gratifies all 

desires, 130, 216. 
Kaludari, a nobleman, by Siamese called 

Phra Luthayi, 200. 
Kam (Karma), consequence, 45. 
Kamaphruk-tree (same as Kalpa-tree), 

130, 216. 
Kamawachara, sensual, epithet of the 

Dewa angels, 185, 239. 
Kambarien, preaching hall in temples, 


Kammathan, meditation, xliv., 204. 

Kanthaka, or Kanthat, the horse of 
Buddha, 126, 133, 134. 

Kapila, the city of (Kabilaphatsadu), 173. 

Kappaka's donkey, the story or parable 
of, 230. 

Karai^hriik-tree (same as Kalpa-tree), 
130, 216. 

Karawek bird, 309. 

Karuna, compassion, 38, 168. 

Kasawaphat, the monk's yellow robes, 

Kasyappa the Great, the first Buddhist 
patriarch, 167. 

a preceding Buddha, 176, 222. 

Khan, the elements of being, 172, 237. 

or Chetasik, 237. 

Khanti, endurance or patience under 
opposition, 184. 

Khatiya (Kchattriya), the warrior class, 

Khek, foreigners, especially Mussulmen 
and Jews, 30. 

Khektao bird, 307. 

Khonthan, Gandharva, angels of fra- 
grance, the choristers of heaven, 192. 

Khotraphuyan, 227. 

Khrut, Garuda, a mythological bird, 192. 

Khun (Guna), benefactor, &c. , 266. 

Kilet (Kilesa), 212, 227. 

Kinara, Kinari, fabulous being, half 
human, half bird-like, 300. 

King of Siam, the late, 2, 73, 213. 

Kings, the five chief insignia of, 102, 

Kingly acquirements, twelve, and twenty- 
four, 210. 

conduct, ten rules of, 178. 

Kinon.— See Kinara, 300. 

Kisagotami, the lady, 123. 

Kitchanukit, 4. 

Konagamana,, a former Buddha, 176, 222. 

Kondanya, a very learned Brahmin, 
afterwards Buddhist, 110, 115, 138. 

Kongkha, the river Ganges, 307. 

Krailat, a celebrated mountain in fairy- 
land, 306. 

Kuddhaka, a teacher of philosophy, 137, 

Kumphan, Kumbhanda, a kind of demon, 

Kusinagara, the city of (Phra Nakhon 
Kusinarai), 165. 

Lak Inthapat, the Book, or Statute of 

Indra, 171. 
Lalita Vistara, xxv. 
Laos Alphabet, 289, 297. 
Lent, the Buddhist, 189, 229, 282. 
Lesley's " Man's Origin and Destiny," 

Life of Buddha, from the Siamese, 75. 
continuation of, 228. 



Limes containing nionej', &c., given 

away at cremations, 216. 
Lion seats, or thrones, 286. 
Lions, the King of (Eachasi), 306. 
Lives of Buddha by Bigandet and others, 


Lophaburi, or Nopburi, the town of, 275. 

Lopho, covetousness, 37. 

Lotus, the five kinds of, 296. 

" Lotus de la Bonne Loi," xlviii. 

Louvo, 275. 

Luthayi, or Kaludari, a nobleman, 200. 

Machimma, central, 187. 

Magadha, the country of, 166. 

Mahanathi, the great rivers, 307. 

Maha pathan, endurance, 220. 

phutharup, princijml elements, 236. 

sal, 188. 

samut, the great ocean, 13, 294. 

Mahawanso, 250. 

Mahi, one of the five great rivers, 307. 

Mahindo, son of Asoka, apostle to Cey- 
lon, 252. 

Maia, the mother of Buddha, 79. 

Maitri, charity, 168. 

Mak, marga, the paths, 197. 

Jlakara, or Mangkon, tlie dragon, 295. 

Makhot, the language of Magadha, Pali, 

Man, Mara, a wicked angel, the tempter, 

Manas, the knowing sense, 238. 

Mandara flower (Montha), 292. 

Mangala, signs of good augury, 249. 

Mangkon, the dragon, 295. 

Manophanithan, 217. 

Mara, or Phya man, a wicked angel, the 
tempter, 149, 213. 

Maradop, sacred buildings of a square 
form covering relics, &c., 209. 

MS,rga, a path, 197. 

Marriage of sisters in Siam, 208. 

Meditation, xliv., 66. 

Meditative science, 182, 192. 

Merit and demerit, 40 ; the Creator, 72. 

Merit-making, 55. 

Meru or Phra men, the central moun- 
tain, 13. 

Meta, goodwill towards all, 38. 

Mines, the four great gold mines of 
Kapila, 201. 

Missionary labours in Siam unsuccessful, 

Missionaries, Chao Phya Thipakon's 
arguments with, 19. 

Moggalana, or Mokhalan, disciple of the 
left hand, 187, 229. 

Moho, folly, 130. 

Monasticism, xliv. 

Mongkut, the crown, 305. 

Monk's requisites (Borikhan), 202. 

Montha flower, 292. 

I\Iormonism, a licentious creed, 33. 
Mosquitoes, an effectual deterrent of, 

Muthita (Mudita), joy, 38, 168. 

Naga, or Nak, a fabulous race of serpents, 

6, 218, 222, 300. 
sheltering Buddha with its seven 

hoods, 218, 228. 
Nngarjuna, 167. 
Nalaka, 109. 

Nama, name, the expression of distinc- 
tion, 236. 
Nama-rupa, name and form, 236. 
Nanda, half-brother of Buddha, 117, 168. 
ISTang Pha Sunthari, Goddess of Eartli, 

154, 225. 
Nanthawan, the gardens of the angels, 

Nekkha, relinquishment, 184. 
Nen, for samanen, a novice, 215. 
Nidanas, the twelve, 225. 
Nimanaradi heavens, fifth above the 

earth, 308. 
Nirwana (Nirvana, Nipphan, Niruphan), 

xxxvii., 165. 
Mr R. C. Childers' Note on, 

Nisai, a calculable i-esult, 46. 
Nophburi, a Siamese town, 275. 
Nuns, order of, founded, 230. 
Nyiiya, an Indian philosophy, xxxiii. 

OBSEKVANCESor Commandments, the five, 
57, 174. 

the eight, 174. 

Ocean, the great, in which are the four 

continents, 13, 294. 
Offerings, sacrificial, 201. 
Ox, figured on footprint, 212, 295. 

Pachabodikhot (Pachapati), 208. 
Pacheka Buddhas, an inferior class of 

Buddhas, 187. 
Paintings on temple walls, 283. 
Palace on the footprint, 290 ; Angels' 

palace, 293. 
Pali, the language of the books of the 

Southern Buddhists, 246. 
Pallegoix, author of Siamese Grammar 

and Dictionary, li. 
Panya, wisdom, 184, 455. 
Paranimit Wasawadi heaven, 213, 308. 
Pariphachok (Parivr^jaka), P9, 191. 
Pasatlia rup, the organs of the senses, 

Path,'the eightfold, 199. 
Patliomma somphothiyan, xiv., 75. 
Paths, the four, 170. 
Paticha samubattham, the circle of ex- 
istence, 225, 234. 
Patimokkha, the rules of the monks, 




Patipada, walking in holiness, 204. 

Patisamphitha van, distinct knowledge, 

Pawilokana, consideration, 186. 

Peacocks on footprint, 307, 309. 

Peacock's tail, 305. 

Perfections of woman, sixty-four, 174. 

Phaliana (Vahana), a bearer, 212. 

Phala (Siamese, Phon), fruits, 170. 

Phalahok ( Valahaka), the King of Horses, 

Phasa (phat), contact, 238. 

Phat chani, monk's fan, 170, 304. 

Phawa rup, distinction of sex, 237. 

Phawana (Bh^wana, or Bhavana), medi- 
tation, 168. 

Phayu, wind, 185. 

Phimpha, or Yasodhara, wife of Buddha, 
121, 200, 211. 

Phin Suriwong, a Siamese novel, 301. 

Phon, fruits, 170. 

Phop, the worlds, formal existence, 239. 

Photchangkha, principles of knowledge, 

39, 196. 
Phothi (Bodhi), wisdom, the Bo-tree, 163. 
Phothisat, a being that will be a Buddha, 

Phothiyan, omniscience, 104. 
Phra, a term of the highest respect, 164. 
Phrabat, 281. 

history of the footprint, 253. 

symbols on the footprint, 286, 

Phra chedi, 270. 

Phra khan, the royal sword, 303, 
Phrahmana, the Brahmin caste, 188. 
Phrom, Brahma angels, 13, 194. 
Phrommawihan, virtuous inclinations, 

38, 198, 
Phut, Phra Phut, Buddha, 32, 163. 
Phya Nak, the King of Nagas (serpents), 

6, 218, 222, 300. 
Phya Rat Rong Muang, Mayor of Bang- 
kok, 259. 
Pidok, Trai pidok, the three baskets, the 

scriptures, 166. 
Pin, worn in the top-knot by children, 292, 
Pipul, or Bo-tree, xxxi., 163. 
Pirikara, the requisites of a monk, 202. 
Pitaka, the three. — See PiDOK, 166. 
Piti, joy or satisfaction, 195. 
Plate of footprint, description of, 286. 
Plots against Buddha, 232. 
Polygamy, 63, 65, 211, 230. 
Position of contemplation (Samathi), 219, 
Pramat, 186. 
Prasat, a palace, 290, 
Prayer, xlv. 

Predisposition (sangkhan), 235. 
Pret (Preta), an insatiable demon, 189.' 
Providence denied by Buddhists, xxxvi. 
Pubhir&mo monastery, 233. 
Pvrrohita, a family priest'and soothsayer, 

Pyi-ethrum roseum, prevents mosquito 
bites, 274. 

Rachasi, the King of Lions, 306. 
Rabat (Arahatta), a complete saint, 171. 
Rahu, the Asura who causes eclipses, 

12, 217. 
Rahula, son of Buddha, 123, 211. 
Rain, the cause of, 6. 
Rajagriha, a city, 166, 217. 
Raka (Raga), love, daughter of Mara, 

149, 222. 
Ratana trai, the three jewels, 199. 
Regent of Siam, Ivii., 179, 180. 
Rekna, the ploughing festival, 118, 208. 
Rgya Tcher Rol Pa, Thibetan life of 

Buddha, xxv. 
Rit, superior power, 195. 
Rivers, the five great (Maha nathi), 307. 
Rudraka, teacher of philosophy, 219. 
Rup (Rupa), form, distinction, 172, 2.36. 
Rujja, the twenty-eight, 236. 
Rupaphob, worldsof the formed Brahmas, 


Sakara bucha, to worship with offer- 
ings, 201. 

Sakkitba, the second path, 170. 

Sakya, the clan to which Buddha be- 
longed, 78, 173. 

Sal, the term Maha sal, 188. 

Sala, a hall, or traveller's rest-house, 
265, 266. 

Sam, prefix implying completeness, 227. 

Samabatti (Sam^patti), the accomplish- 
ment of dhy^na, 182. 

Samana (Sramana), a monk, 203. 

Samanen, Samanera or Nen, a novice, 

Samanya phon, 200. 

Samathi, the position of contemplation, 
&c., 195, 219. 

Samma pathan, great objects of endur- 
ance, 226. 

samphotthiyan, the omniscience of 

a Buddha, 227. 

Samut, Maha, the great ocean, 294, 

Sanchi tope, 247. 

Sangkashi (Sankisa), place of Buddha's 
descent from heaven, 231, 251. 

Sangkkan, arrangement, &c., 172, 235, 

Sangkhriha watthu, the four elements of 
benevolence, 206. 

Sankhya philosophy, xxxii. 

Sanscrit source of many Siamese words, 

Sanya, perception, 172, 237. 

Saraplium, one of the five great rivers, 

Saripixtra, one of the two principal dis- 
ciples, 187, 229. 

Sasata thritthi, name of a heresy, 239, 



Sat, the Shastras, 175, 210. 
Sathub, a tope or tower, xxx. 
Satipathan, applications of reflective 

power, 30, 197. 
Satsada, the teacher, 225. 
Sattapani cave, 1G7. 
Sattha, truth, 184. 

Sawan (Savan, svarga), heaven, xxxviii. 
Sawatthi (Sriivasti), a city, 214. 
Sawetrachat, the royal (white) parasol, 

297, 300. 
Sawok (Sravaka), a hearer or di-sciple 

(occurs in Siamese text). 
Sayaniphu, self -existent, 220. 
Screen, or fan used by monks (Phat 

chani), 170, 304. 
Seasons, the three, 209. 
Seraa, boundary stones, 272. 
Sensation (Wethana) of five kinds, 238. 
Senses, seats of the six (Aj^atana), 237. 
Sermon on faith, Buddha's, 34. 
Serpent worship, 301, 303. 
Seven annular mountains (Satta Bori- 
phan), 13, 293, 306. 

-'' annular seas, or rivers (Satta Maha 

Kongka), 13, 293. 

births simultaneous with Buddha's, 


lakes of the Himalayan fairyland, 


principles of knowledge (Phot- 

changkha), 196. 
treasures of an Emperor (Sat rat- 
ana), 181. 
Sewet, Sawatti, or Sravasti, a city, 213. 
Shastras, treatises on the arts, &c., 175, 

Siamese and Malays compared, Ivii. 

literature, 4. 

Sidharta, name of the Prince who became 

Buddha, 1(34, 208. 
Silapa-satr, treatises on the arts, 210. 
Sin (Sil), observance, the five, eight, kc, 

prohibitions, 56, 174. 
Sinsthanu, King, grandfather of Buddha, 

Siphong, din, a white clay found in Siam, 

Sirot, Sirotama, or Sirorot, the glory, 

Sisuthot (Sri Suddhodana), father of 

Buddha, 173. 
Sithat, or Sri that tha (Sidharta), after- 
wards Buddha, 208. 
Six Dewa lieavens, their names, 308 

Seats of the senses (Ayatana), 237. 

Sixteen great cities (Solotsanakhon), 15. 

Brahma heavens, 13, 193. 

Sixty-two false doctrines, 199. 
Skandhas (Khan), the five elements of 

corporeal being, 172. 
Skeen's "Adam's Peak," li., 2.V2. 
Sleep and Nirwana compared, xxxvii. 

Snake Kuig, or Royal Naga, fi, 218, 222, 

heads on buildings, 291. 

Soda, the first path, 170. 
Somanat, joyousness, 238. 
Somphothiyan, perfect omniscience of a 

Buddha, 227. 
Soul, Buddhist idea of the, xxxix., 44. 
Spear, the royal (Hok keou), 290. 
Spirit as a translation of Chitr, 223. 
Spirit-drinking, 61. 
Sravasti, a city, 213. 
Sri Pada, tlie Ceylonese footprint of 

Buddha, 252. 
Srithattha, or Sri-that, pronounced 

Sithat. — See Sidhakta, 208. 
Suban, Suparna, a fabulous bird, 192. 
Suchada makes an offering to Buddha, 

143, 145, 221. 
Suddhodana, the father of Buddha, 173. 
Suk, happiness, 195, 238. 
Sunietta, a previous existence of Bud- 
dha, 88, 182. 
Sun and moon, 13, 217. 
Suiiantha, Queen, mother of Maia, 85, 

Sung Yun, the travels of, 251. 
Suparna, a fabulous bird, 192. 
SupluLsit, rules of good manners, 200. 
Sura, a god, 191. 
Sut, Sutra, that which is strung together, 

Buddha's sermons, 342. 
Swastika, a mystic figure, 249. 
Sword, the royal, figured on the foot- 

pi-int, 303. 

Tanha, desire, one hundred and eight 

classes, 238. 
Tapasa, 99, 191. 
Tathiigata (Tathakhot), name of Buddha, 

Teapot of Siamese officials, 224. 
Temple, discription of a modern Siamese, 

Ten Kilesa, impurities, 212. 

advantages of a Buddha, 111. 

rules of kingly conduct, 178. 

Thaksina, a circumambulating ceremony, 

Tham (Dharma), the law, 170, 288. 
Thammachak, wlieel of the law, 169. 
Than (Dana), almsgiving, 52. 
Tliao Lokaban, guai'dians of the world, 

Tliao Maha Phrora, the great Brahma, 29. 
Thatarot, one of the four guardian angels, 

Tliawip, continent, or world, 13, 303. 
Thewada, Siamese for Dewa angels, 308. 
Thewathut, the four angelic messengers, 

Thibangkara, a former Buddha, 182. 
Thipachnksiiyan, angelic vision, 225. 




Thirty transcendent virtues (Barami), 

Thirty-two signs of a grand man, 246, 

perfections of woman, 173. 

miracles attending birth of Buddlia, 

Thomanat, vexation, 238. 
Thoso, auger, 37. 

Thousand-eyed, epithet of Indra, 171. 
Three characteristics of existence (Lak- 
sana trai), 227. 

distinct classes of Nama, called 

Khan, 237. 

jewels (Ratana), or Holy Trial, 109. 

refuges (Sarana), Buddlia, the law, 

and the church, 199. 

robes of monks (Chiwara), 202. 

seasons (Eadu), 209. 

sections of sacred books (Traipidok), 


vedas (Trai-phet), 175. 

worlds of men, Dewas, and Brah- 

mas, 177. 
Thuk, sorrow, 238. 
Thukkhang (Duhkha), 227. 
Tigers, Kings of (Seua Khrong, Seua 

Hleuang), 112, 30G. 
Tope, XXX., 191. 

at Amravatti in India, 248. 

at Sanchi in India, 247. 

Top-knot worn by children, 292. 
Torani (Phra), the angel of the earth, 

154, 225. 
Tortoise, incarnation of Vishnu, 295. 
Totliai the Brahmin transmigrates into 

a dog, 43. 
Trai laksana, three characteristics of 

existence, 227. 
Trai-phet, the three Vedas, 175. 
Trai-])hoom, the tlii'ee i)laces, a work on 

Buddhism, 5. 
Trai-pidok, the three baskets, the Scrij)- 

tures, 166. 
Trai-saranakhom, the three refuges, a 

creed, 199. 
Trance, instances of, 69. 
Transmigration, stories illustrating, 43. 
Treasures, seven, of an Emj^eror (Sat 

ratana), 181. 
Treaty of 1856, its operation, 268. 
Tree that gi'atifies all desires, 130, 216. 
Tree worship, xxx., 161. 
Tri, a trident, figured on the footprint, 

Triad,' the Buddhist, 199. 
Trisul, an emblem, or ornament, 249. 
Truths, four pre-eminent, 32, 196. 
Tumour's Pali Annals, xxiv. 
Tushita heavens, the joyful heavens, 

177, 308. 
Twelve arts of princes (Silapa-satr), 


Twelve nidanas, or links in the chain of 

causation, 234. 
Two principal disciples, 187. 

Ubekkha, equanimity, indifference, im- 
partiality, 38, 168, 195, 238. 
Ubosot, or Bot, the confession hall, &c., 

189, 272. 

Ubosot, one of the Kiags of Elephants, 

190, 304. 

Uchetha thritthi, a false doctrine, 239. 
Umbrella, the royal (Sawetra chat), 297, 

Universal Emperor, 116, 181. 
Upali, a monk, 166, 230. 
Upathan, attachment to, 239. 
Upatlii kilet, impurity, evil, 212. 
Upeksha (Ubekkha), indifference, &c., 

Uposatha, 189, 304. 
Uruwela, the solitude of, 220. 
Usupharat, the royal Brahmin bull, 


Vahana, in Siamese Phahana, a bearer, 

Vaisali, or "Wesali, a country, 214. 
Vai^ilradya (Wesara khun), confidences, 

Valahaka (Maphalahok), King of Horses, 

Vase used on ceremonial occasions, 292. 
Vedas, the three, 175. 
Viuya (Phrawinai), discipline, section of 

the Scriptures, 166. 
Virtues transcendent (Barami), 184. 
Visions, seen during trances, 69. 

Wakkhi, the five, 138, 220. 

Walagambaliu, discovers the Ceylon 
footprint, 253. 

Waruna, one of the snake kings, 218. 

Wasa, lent, 189, 229, 282. 

Wasawadi, highest of the dewa heavens, 

Wasawalahok, the Lord of Rain, 6. 

Wat, or temple, 265, 271, 272, 282. 

Wat Cheuan at Yuthia described, 272. Cheng at Bangkok, ornament on 
the spire, 295. 

Wat Bowora Niwet, drawings in, 283. 

Water-pouring ceremony, 179, 224. 

Wattakoloko, revolving world, 16. 

AVechaiyanta, palace of Indra, 171. 

Weill vvana monastery, 217, 229. 

Wen vvien thien, or marching round with 
candles, 298. 

Wephara hill, 167. 

AVesali, or Vaisftli, 214. 

Wesara khun (Vaijaradj'a), the four con- 
fidences, 228. 

Wessantara, or Wetsandon, " Prince, a 
former state of Buddha, 89, 184. 



Wetsuwan, one of the four guardians of 

the world, 178. 
Wheel (Chakra), 169, 247, 254, 286. 
Wheel of the law, xiii., 1G9, 229, 288. 
Wichara, reflection, 195. 
Winian, an angel's palace, 293. 
Wimuti, emancipation, 196. 
Wind, Angel of, Vdyu, or Vata, 185. 
Wiuya (Winai), discipline, a section of 

the sacred books, 1G6. 
Winyan, understanding, intelligent 

spirit, 223, 236. 
Wipassana panya, thorough investiga- 
tion, 220. 
Wipassi, the Buddha, 170. 
Wirulahok, one of the four guardians of 

the world, 178. 
Wirupak, one of the four guardians of 

the world, 178. 
Wii-ya, energy, 184. 
Wisai rup, quality of objects of the 

senses, 237. 

Witok, consideration, 195. 
Woman, the beauties of, 173. 

Yak (Yakkha), a demon, 178. 

Yama angels, 191, 308. 

Yasodhara, name of Buddha's grand- 
mother and wife, 181. 211. 

Yellosv complexion admired by Siamese, 

robes of Buddhist monks, 203, 216. 

Yoga, a mystical philosophical system, 

Yom, or Yama angels, 191, 308. 

Yot, Siamese for yojana, a measure of 
length, 215. 

Yukunthon, mountains, 13, 178. 

Yuuma, river flowing from the Him.i- 
layas, 307. 

Yuthia, the former capital of Slam, 268. 


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'' ^ The wheel of the law : Buddhism / by 

Princeton Theological Seminary-Speer Library 

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