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Buddha and His Dhamma by Dr. Ambedkar [ Book Part- 6 ]

He and His Contemporaries

Buddha and His Dhamma by Dr. Ambedkar [ Book Part- 6 ]

  • Part I—His Benefactors.
  • Part II—His Enemies.
  • Part III—Critics of His Doctrines.
  • Part IV—Friends and Admirers.


1. Gift from Bimbisara.
2. Gift from Anathapindika.
3. Gift from Jeevaka.
4. Gift from Ambrapali.
5.  Munificence of Vishakha.

Gift fro King Bimbisara

1. King Bimbisara was not merely a follower of the Blessed Lord: he was also a great devotee and a great supporter of his Dhamma.

2. After his becoming a lay disciple Bimbisara asked: "Might the Blessed Lord consent to take his meal with me tomorrow together with the fraternity of the monks ? "

3. The Blessed One expressed his consent by remaining silent.

4. Then King Bimbisara, when he understood that the Blessed One had accepted his invitation, rose from his seat, respectfully saluted the Blessed One, and, passing round him with his right side towards him, went away.

5. And when the night had elapsed, Bimbisara ordered excellent food to be prepared, and at time announced to the Blessed One in the words: " It is time. Lord, the meal is ready."

 6. And in the forenoon the Blessed One, having put on his under-robe, took his alms-bowl, and with his robe on, entered the city of Rajagraha        accompanied by monks who had all been Jatilas before.

 7. And the Blessed One went to the palace of King Bimbisara. Having gone there, he sat down with the monks who followed him, on seats laid out for them. Then King Bimbisara with his own hands served the fraternity of monks with the Buddha at its head; and when the Blessed One had finished his meal and cleaned his bowl and his hands, he sat down near him.

8. Sitting near him King Bimbisara thought:        " Where may I find a place for the Blessed One to live in, not too far from the village and not too near, suitable for going and coming, easily accessible for people who keep on seeking him, by day not too crowded, where there is little sound, little noise by night, sequestered, hidden from men, well fitted for a retired life ? "

9. And King Bimbisara thought: " There is the    Veluvana, my pleasure garden, which is not too far from the town and not too near, suitable for going and coming. What if I were to make an offering of the Veluvana pleasure garden to the fraternity of monks, with the Buddha at its head ? "

10. And King Bimbisara took a golden vessel with water in it, to be poured over the Buddha's hand; and made a gift to the Blessed One, saying, "I give this Veluvana pleasure garden, Lord, to the fraternity of monks with the Buddha at its head." The Blessed One accepted the park.

11. Then the Blessed One, after having taught, incited, animated, and gladdened King Bimbisara by religious discourse, rose from his seat and went away.

12. And in consequence of this event the Blessed One, after having delivered a religious discourse, addressed the monks: ' I allow you monks, to receive this donation of a park."

Gift from Anathapindika

1. After his conversion Anathapindika once went to the Blessed Lord. Taking his seat on his right side, he said:

2. "The Lord knows that I dwell in Shravasti, a land rich in produce, and enjoying peace; Pasendi is the great king thereof.

3. "Now am I wishful to found a Vihar there, I pray you, of your tenderness come to Shravasti and accept it from me."

4. The Blessed Lord kept silent and thereby showed his willingness to accept the gift".

5. Anathapindika, the friend of the destitute and the supporter of orphans, having returned home, saw the garden of the heir-apparent, Jeta, with its green groves and limpid rivulets, and thought: "This is the place which will be most suitable as a Vihara for the fraternity of the Blessed One." And he went to the prince and asked leave to buy the ground.

6. The prince was not inclined to sell the garden for he valued it highly. He at first refused but said at last: " If you can cover it with gold, then, and for no other price, shall you have it."

7. Anathapindika rejoiced and began to spread his gold; but Jeta said: " Spare yourself trouble for I will not sell." But Anathapindika insisted. Thus they differed and contended until they resorted to the magistrate.

8. Meanwhile the people began to talk of the unwonted proceeding and the prince hearing more of the details, and knowing that Anathapindika was not only very wealthy, but also straightforward and sincere, inquired into his plans. On hearing the name of the Blessed One, the prince became anxious to share in the foundation and he accepted only one-half of the gold, saying: " Yours is the land but mine are the trees. I will give the trees as my share of the offering to the Lord."

9. Having made the foundation, they began to build the hall which rose loftily in due proportions according to the directions which the Blessed One had given; and it was beautifully decorated with appropriate carvings.

10. This Vihara was called Jetavana and the friend of the orphans invited the Lord to come to Shravasti and receive the gift. And the Blessed One left Kapilavastu and came to Shravasti.

11. While the Blessed One entered Jetavana, Anathapindika scattered flowers and burned incense, and as a sign of the gift he poured water from a golden dragon pitcher, saying, "This Jetavana Vihara I give for the use of the brotherhood throughout the world."

12. The Blessed One received the gift and replied: " May all evil influences be overcome; may the offering promote the kingdom of righteousness and be a permanent blessing to mankind in general and especially also to the giver."

13. Anathapindika was one of the eighty chief disciples who bore the title of Chief Airnsgiver.

Gift from Jeevaka

1. Jeevaka the physician visited the Blessed One twice a day whenever the Blessed One happened to be in Rajagraha.

2. Jeevaka found the Veluvana gifted away to the Blessed One by King Bimbisara too far away.

3. Jeevaka had his own park in Rajagraha, known as Ambavana, which was much nearer from his place. 4. He thought of building a Vihara with all its adjuncts and present the Ambavana and the Vihara to the Blessed One.

5. With this idea in his mind he approached the Blessed One and requested him to let him fulfil his wishes.

6. The Blessed Lord showed his acceptance by remaining silent.

Gift from Ambrapali

1. Now the Exalted One was staying at Nadika and was wishing for a change. He addressed Ananda, and said: " Come, Ananda, let us go on to Vesali."

2. " So be it. Lord," said Ananda, in assent, to the Exalted One.

3. Then the Exalted One proceeded, with a great company of the brethren, to Vesali, and there at Vesali, the Exalted One stayed at Ambrapali's grove.

4. Now the courtesan Ambrapali heard that the Exalted One had arrived at Vesali and was staying there at her mango grove. And ordering a number of state vehicles to be made ready, she mounted one of them, and went forth with her train from Vesali towards her garden. She went in the carriage as far as the ground was passable for carriages; there she alighted and she proceeded on foot to the place where the Exalted One was, and took her seat respectfully on one side. And when she was thus seated the Exalted One instructed her with religious discourse.

5. Then she addressed the Exalted One, and said: " May the Exalted One do me the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at my house tomorrow ? "                                     

6. And the Exalted One gave, by silence, his consent. Then when Ambrapali the courtesan saw that the Exalted One had consented, she rose from her seat and bowed down before him, and keeping him on her right hand as she passed him, she departed thence.

7. Now the Licchavis of Vesali heard that the Exalted One had arrived at Vesali, and was staying at Ambrapali's grove. They too wanted to invite the Buddha to their place for a meal. And ordering a number of state carriages to be made ready, they each mounted one of them and went forth with their train from Vesali.

8. They and Ambrapali crossed on the way.

9. And Ambrapali drove up against the young Licchavis, axle to axle, wheel to wheel, and yoke to yoke, and the Licchavis said to Ambrapali the courtesan, " How is it, Ambrapali, that thou drivest up against us thus ? "

10. " My Lords, I have just invited the Exalted One and his brethren for their morrow's meal," said Ambrapali.

11. "Ambrapali, sell this honour to us fora hundred thousand," said they.

12. " My Lords, were you to offer all Vesali with its subject territory, I would not give it up."

13. The Licchavis cast up their hands, exclaiming: "We are outdone by this mango girl. We are out-reached by this mango girl," and they went on to Ambrapali's grove.

14. Knowing that they were outdone they still thought of approaching the Blessed One in the hope that he might reconsider and give their invitation first preference. So they went on to Ambrapali's grove.

15. When the Exalted One saw the Licchavis approaching in the distance, he addressed the brethren and said: "Brethren, let those of the brethren who have never seen the devas, gaze upon this company of the Licchavis, behold this company of the Licchavis, compare this company of the Licchavis—-for they are  even a company of next-world devas."

16. And when they had ridden as far as the ground was passable for carriages the Licchavis alighted there, and then went on foot to the place where the Exalted One was, and took their seats respectfully by his side.

17. Then they addressed the Exalted One, and said : " May the Exalted One do us the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at our house tomorrow ? "

18. "I have promised, Licchavis, to dine tomorrow with Ambrapali," was the reply.

19. Then the Licchavis knew that they had failed. And after expressing their thanks and approval of the words of the Exalted One, they rose from their seats and bowed down before the Exalted One, and keeping him on their right hand as they passed him, departed thence.

20. And at the end of the night Ambrapali the courtesan made ready in her mansion sweet rice and cakes, and announced the time to the Exalted One, saying: "The hour. Lord, has come, and the meal is ready."

21. And the Exalted One who had dressed himself early in the morning, took his bowl, and his robe and went with the brethren to the place where Ambrapali's mansion was ; and when he had come there he seated himself on the seat prepared for him. And Ambrapali, the courtesan, set the sweet rice and cakes before the order, with the Buddha at their head, and waited upon them till they refused any more.

22. And when the Blessed One had quite finished his meal and had cleansed the bowl and his hands, the courtesan had a low stool brought, and sat down-at his side, and addressed the Exalted One, and said :

23. " Lord, I present my pleasance to you and to the order." And the Exalted One accepted the gift; and after giving a religious discourse he rose from his seat and took her leave.

Munificence of Vishakha

1. Vishakha was a wealthy woman of Shravasti. She had many children and grandchildren.

2. When the Blessed One stayed at Shravasti, Vishakha went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and tendered Him an invitation to take his meal at her house, which the Blessed One accepted.

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

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

5. Then the Blessed One said: " The Tathagatas, 0 Vishakha, grant no boons unless they know what they are."

6. Vishakha replied: "Proper, Lord, and unobjectionable are the boons I ask."

7. Having received permission to ask the boons, Vishakha said: " I desire. Lord, through all my life to bestow robes for the rainy season on the Sangha, and food for incoming bhikkhus, and food for outgoing bhikkhus and food for the sick, and food for those who wait upon the sick, and medicine for the sick, and a constant supply of rice-milk for the Sangha, and bathing robes for the bhikkhunis, the sisters."

8. "But," said the Lord, "What, 0 Vishakha, have you in view in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata ?"

9. And Vishakha replied: "I gave command, Lord, to my maid-servant, saying, ' Go thou and announce to the fraternity that the meal is ready,' and my maid went, but when she came to the vihara, she observed that the bhikkhus had defied their robes, while it was raining, and she thought: ' These are not bhikkhus, but naked ascetics letting the rain fall on them.' So she returned to me and reported accordingly and I had to send her a second time.

10. " Impure, Lord, is nakedness, and revolting. It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view in desiring to provide the Sangha throughout my life with special garments for use in the rainy season.

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. " Finally, Lord, the bhikkhunis are in the habit of bathing in the river Archiravati with the courtesans, at the same landing-place, and naked. And the courtesans. Lord, ridicule the bhikkhtmis, saying, 'What is the good, ladies, of your maintaining chastity when you are young? When you are old, maintain chastity then; thus will you be obtainers of both ends.' Impure, Lord, is nakedness for a woman, disgusting, and revolting.

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

19. The Blessed One said: " But what was the advantage you had in view for yourself, 0 Vishakha, in asking these eight boons of the Tathagatha ?"

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

21. " And I, going up to them, shall ask, ' Was that brother, sirs, one of those who had formerly been at Shravasti,' then shall I arrive at the conclusion, 'For a certainty did that brother enjoy either the robes for the rainy season, or the food for the incoming bhikkhus, or the food for the outgoing bhikkhus, or the food for the sick, or the food for those that wait upon the sick, or the medicine for the sick, or the constant supply of rice-milk.'

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

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

24. And the Blessed One gave thanks to Vishakha vi    in these verses ; " Whatsoever donation a woman upright in life, a disciple of the Blessed One, may bestow in gladness of heart and without stint, her gift is heavenly, destructive of sorrow, and productive of bliss." " A blissful life does she attain entering upon the path that is from corruption and impurity." "Aiming at good, happy does she become; and she rejoices in her charitable actions."

25. Vishakha gave to the Order the Purva-Aram  or Eastern Garden, and was the first to become a matron of the lay-sisters.


1. Charge of Conversion by Glamour.
2. Charge of being a Parasite !
3. Charge of Breaking Happy Households.
4. Jains and a False Charge of Murder.
5. Jains and a False Charge of Immorality.
6. Devadatta a Cousin and an Enemy.
7. Brahmins and the Buddha.

Charge of Conversion by Glamour

1. Once the Exalted One dwelt at Vesali, in the Gable-roofed Hall in the Great Wood. Now Bhaddiya the Licchavi came to the Exalted One and said: " Lord! People say ' Gotama the recluse is a charmer and knows a trick of glamour, whereby he entices the followers of other sects.'

2. "They who say this disclaim any desire to misrepresent the Exalted One. Indeed, Lord, we Licchavis do not believe in this charge. But we would like to know what the Exalted One has to say about it."

3. The Lord said: "Come now, Bhaddiya, accept not on hearsay, nor by tradition, nor by what people say. Accept not because it is in the scriptures, by mere logic, nor by inference, nor by consideration of appearances, nor because it accords with your view, nor because you think it must be right, nor out of respect, with the thought that ' One must revere a recluse."

4. "But, Bhaddiya, if at any time you know of yourself by examination of facts that what is being done is sinful or wrongful, that it is reproached by the wise and the result is loss or injury, then, Bhaddiya, eschew them.

5. "Now as to your question, Bhaddiya, what think you; Are not those who accuse me of performing conversion by glamour ambitious persons ? " " They are. Lord," replied Bhaddiya.

6. "What think ye, Bhaddiya; Does not an ambitious person, overcome by avarice and with mind overpowered, tell lies or commit crime to achieve his ambition ? " " It is so. Lord," replied Bhaddiya.

7. " What think you, Bhaddiya, when thoughts of ill-will and vindictiveness arise in the mind of such a person, does he not instigate others to level accusations against those who come in the way of his ambition?" "That' is so Lord," said Bhaddiya.

8. " Now, Bhaddiya, all I do is to exhort my pupil thus: ' Come you, my dear man, dwell controlling (thoughts of) avarice. So dwelling you will not commit acts born of avarice, either by body, work or thought. Dwell controlling ill-will and ignorance.'

9. "So, Bhaddiya, those recluses and Brahmins,    who wrongly reproach me with being a teacher and proclaimer of such views, are false, empty liars, when they say: ' The recluse Gautama is a charmer and knows a trick of glamour, whereby He entices the followers of other sects.' "

10. " A lucky thing indeed, 0 Lord—a fair find is this trick of glamour ! Lord would that my beloved blood-relations were enticed by this same trick of glamour ! It would indeed conduce to their advantage and happiness! Lord, would that all the classes the Brahmins, the Khatiyas, the Vessas and the Suddas were enticed by this same trick of glamour, it would indeed conduce to their advantage and happiness for a long time."

11. "It is so, Bhaddiya ! It is so Bhaddiya ! If all the classes enticed by this trick of glamour, were to eschew sinful conditions, my trick would result in great advantage and happiness to the world. "

Charge of Being a Parasite!

1. The Blessed One was accused of being a parasite, living upon others and not earning his living by working for it. The accusation and the reply of the Blessed Lord is set out below :

2. Once the Lord was living among the Magadha folk at Dakkhina-giri in the Brahmin village of Eka-Nala, at a time when the Brahmin Kasi-Bharadvaja's five hundred ploughs were harnessed for the sowing.

3. In the morning early, duly robed and bowl in hand, the Lord went to where the Brahmin was busy, at an hour when a meal was brought forward; and stood there to one side.

4. Observing him standing there for alms, the Brahmin said: " Before I eat, I plough and sow, anchorite; and you too should plough and sow before you eat."

5. "I too Brahmin, do plough and do sow before I eat."

6. " I fail, however, to see the worthy Gautama's yoke, or plough, or ploughshare, or goad, or ox-team —albeit, he asserts that he ploughs and sows before he eats.

7. " You claim to be a tiller, though we see none of your tillage. Tell us how you till; for of your tilling we would fain hear more."

8. " My seed is faith; austerity of life my rain; wisdom my yoke and plough; my pole is fear to err; with thought to Strap the yoke; and mindfulness for plough share and the goad," replied the Lord.

9. " Watchful o'er word and deed, and temperate in diet, I make in sight weed my crop, nor rest till final bliss is harvested. Effort is my stout ox, which turns not back at headlands;—straight to Peace he bears me on, to that last bourne where anguish is no more. Thus, I till with Deathlessness for crop. And who tills as I, is freed from ills."

10. Thereupon the Brahmin served up milk-rice on a great bronze dish and offered it to the Lord, saying: "Eat this, Gautama, a tiller indeed art thou, in that thou tillest a crop that is Deathless."

11. But the Lord said: "I take no chanter's fee. Seers countenance it not; the Enlighten'd scout such fees; and while this Doctrine lasts, this practice must hold good. Provided with other fare a sage of holy calm, consummate, cankerless; merit Co reap,— sow there."

12. On hearing these words the Brahmin went over to the Lord, and, bowing his head at the Lord's feet, cried: "Wonderful, Gautama; quite wonderful. Just as a man might set upright again what had fallen down, or reveal what had been hidden away, or tell a man who had fallen down, or reveal what had been hidden away, or tell a man who had gone astray which was his way, or bring a lamp into darkness so that those with eyes to see might see the things about them,—even so, in many ways has Gautama made his Doctrine clear !

13. "To the reverend Gotama I come for refuge and to his Doctrine and to his community. Be it mine to receive admission and confirmation at the hands of the Lord!" So the Brahmin Kasi-Bharadvaja was admitted and confirmed as an almsman of the Lord.

Charge of Breaking Happy Households

1. Seeing that many distinguished young Magadha noblemen had become the discipJes of the Blessed One, people became annoyed and angry, saying: " The Samana Gautama causes parents to be childless; the Samana Gautama causes wives to become widows; the Samana Gautama causes the uprooting of families.

2. " Now he has ordained one thousand Jatilas, and he has ordained these two hundred and fifty wandering ascetics who were followers of Sanjaya, and these many distinguished young Magadha clansmen are now leading a holy life under the Samana Gautama. What will happen next ? No one can say! "

3. And, moreover, when they saw the monks they chide them in the following terms: " The great Samana has come to Giribhaja (i.e., Ragagaha) of the Magadha people, leading with him all the followers of Sanjaya ; who will be the next to be led by him ?"

4. The monks heard this accusation and they reported it to the Blessed One.

5. The Blessed One replied: "This noise, monks, will not last long; it will last only seven days; after seven days it will be over.

6. "And if they chide you, monks, you should reply that it is truly by a good Dhamma that the great heroes, the Tathagatas, lead. Who will murmur at the wise, why grudge the wise leading men righteously? There is no compulsion in my Dhamma. One is free to leave home. One is free to remain attached to his home."

7. When the Bhikkhus replied to the revilers as the Blessed One had directed, then the people under-stood : "It is by Dhamma, and not unrighteously that the Sakyaputtiya Samana leads men"; and ceased to accuse the Blessed One.

Jains and a False Charge of    Murder

1. The Tirthikas'were beginning to feel that the people no longer respected them with the appearance of Samana Gautama and that even some people did not know of their existence.

2. So, "let us see whether with the connivance of somebody, we can lower his prestige," thought the Tirthikas. " Perhaps with Sundari's help we might succeed."

3. And they approached Sundari and said to her: " Sister, you are extremely beautiful and charming. If you spread a scandal about Samana Gautama, the people might believe it, and it would lower his influence."

4. Sundari used to go every evening towards the Jetavana with garlands, camphor, and sweet scents when the people used to return to the city; and if anybody asked her, " Sundari, where are you going ? " she used to answer, "I am going to Samana Gautama to stay with in the garden house (Gandha Kutir)."

5. And staying the night in some gardens of the Tirthikas, she used to return in the morning, and if anybody asked her where she had spent the night, she would say that she had spent the night with Gautama.

6. After a few days the Tirthikas hired a few assassins and told them: " Kill Sundari and throw her body on the rubbish heap near Gautama's Gandha Kutir." This the assassins did.

7. Then the Tirthikas brought it to the notice of the officers of peace and justice that Sundari used to frequent Jetavana and she was missing.

8. So with the assistance of the officers they found Sundari's body on the rubbish heap. 9. And the Tirthikas accused the disciples of  Gautama to have killed Sundari in order to hide the shame of their leader.                                 

10. But the assassins began to quarrel amongst themselves in a liquor shop about the distribution of the prize money for having killed Sundari.

11. The officers at once arrested them and they admitted their guilt and implicated the Tirthikas at whose instigation they had committed the crime.

12. Thus the Tirthikas lost whatever influence was left for them.                                   

Jains and a False Charge of Immorality

1. As with the sunrise the glow-worms vanish, so miserable became the situation of the Tirthikas. The people ceased to pay them respects or presents.

2. Standing on the public streets they used to harangue: " If Samana Gautama is enlightened (Buddha), we are also. If you acquire virtue by showering presents on the Buddha, you will get the same by giving us presents. Therefore make gift to us."

3. But the public paid no heed to it. So they conspired in secret how by spreading scandal on the character of Samana Gautama, they could discredit the Sangha.

4. At that time there used to live in Shravasti a Brahmani Parivrajaka, known as Chincha. In bodily formation and physical charms she was a seductive beauty. She used to radiate voluptuous grace with her bodily movements.

5. One of the crafty schemers among the Tirthikas said that with the help of Chincha it would be easy to spread a scandal about Gautama, and thereby discredit him, to which other Tirthikas gave their consent.

6. Then, one day Chincha came to the park of the Tirthikas and saluting them, sat near them. But nobody talked with her. 7. Surprised at this she said: "How have I offended you ? I have saluted you thrice though you do not say a single word to me."

8. "Sister," the Tirthikas said, "Don't you know that Samana Gautama is causing us harm and loss by his popularity." " I do not know that. And    have I got any duty to perform toward its solution? "

9. " Sister, if you mean to do us good, then by your own efforts, spread scandals about Gautama, and thus make him unpopular." " All right ; be content ; and depend that on me," saying thus she left the place.

10. Chincha was an expert in feminine charms and coquetry. When the citizens of Shravasti used to return from the religious discussions at Jetavana, Chincha wearing a red garment and with perfumes and garlands in her hands used to go towards it.

11. If anybody asked her: " Where are you going now ? " " That's none of your business," she used to answer. Spending the night at the rest house of the Itinerants (Tirthikarama) near Jetavana, she used to return to the city in the morning, when the citizens used to go to the Jetavana to pay respect to the Buddha.

12. If anybody asked her, "Where did you spend the night ? " she used to say, " That is none of your business. I spent the night with Samana Gautama in his garden house (Gandha Kutir) at Jetavana." The remark used to create doubts in the minds of some.

13. After four months she used to increase the size of her belly by wrapping round it some old rags, and say that she became pregnant through Samana Gautama. Some began to believe it.

14. In the ninth month, she suspending a wooden protuberance round her belly and having arms swollen through insect bites, appeared before the Buddha when he was making a religious discourse before monks and laymen and said: " Great teacher, you give many people religious lessons. Your voice is sweet, and your lips are very tender. Through cohabitation with you I have been pregnant, and my delivery time is near.

15. "You have not fixed any delivery place for me, nor I do see any medicine for that emergency. If you cannot do that yourself, why don't you appoint one of your disciples, the king of Kosala, Anathpindika or Visakha for that purpose.

16. "It seems you know well how to seduce a girl, but you do not know how to take care of the new-born baby that is born out of the seduction." The assembly remained silent.

17. The Buddha, breaking the continuity of his lecture, answered her with reserved dignity. " Sister, whatever you have said, whether true or false, is only known to us both."

18. Chincha coughing loudly, said. "Yes, O Teacher, such a thing can be known to us only."

19. With her coughing the knot with which the wooden protuberance was tied round her belly slackened, and it fell on her feet to her discomfiture.

20. And she was turned away with stones and sticks.

Devadatta a Cousin and an Enemy

1. Devadatta was a cousin of the Buddha. But from the beginning he was jealous of the Buddha and disliked him intensely.

2. When the Buddha had left his home, Devadatta tried to make love to Yeshodhara.

3. Once when Yeshodhara was about to retire, he without being intercepted by anybody entered into her chamber in the guise of a monk. She asked him, " Bhikkhu, what do you want ? Have you got any message for me from my husband ?"

4. " Your husband, he cares a damn for you. In your house of happiness he cruelly and wickedly abandoned you," said Devadatta.

5. " But he did it for the good of many," replied Yeshodhara.

6. " Whatever that be, now take revenge on his disdainful cruelty to you," suggested Devadatta.

7. " Stop it, 0 Monk : your words and thoughts are impure," countered Yeshodhara.

8. " Don't you recognize me, Yeshodhara ? I am Devadatta who loves you."

9. " Devadatta, I knew you to be false and vile.     I thought you would make a bad monk, but did not     suspect you to be so mean-minded."             

10. " Yeshodhara, Yeshodhara, I love you" pleaded Devadatta. "And your husband shows you nothing but contempt. He has been cruel to you. Love me and revenge his cruelty."

11. Yeshodhara's pale and emaciated face became tinged with a purple hue. Tears rolled down her cheeks.

12. "Devadatta, it is you who are cruel to me. Even if your love were sincere, it would have been an insult to me. You are simply lying when you say you love me.

13. "When I was young and pretty you hardly looked at me. Now I am old, broken down by sorrow and anguish, you have come at night to declare your treacherous and guilty love. You are a base coward."

14. And she shouted: " Devadatta, get out from the place," and Devadatta left the place.

15. Devadatta was very angry with the Buddha who did not make him the chief in the Sangh and instead made Sariputta and Mogallana the chief men in the Sangh. Devadatta made three attempts on the Buddha's life, but did not succeed in any of them.

16. At one time the Blessed One was walking up and down in the shade below the hill called the Vultures Peak (Girdhra Kuta).

17. Devadatta climbed it up and hurled down a large stone with the intention of depriving the Blessed One of his life, but it fell upon another rock and there it was entombed; only a splinter falling from it made the foot. of the Blessed One to bleed.

18. A second time he made an attempt to take the life of the Buddha.

19. This time Devadatta went to Prince Ajata-satru and said: " Give me some men." And Ajata-satru, the prince gave orders to his men : " Whatsoever the worthy Devadatta tells you, do that."

20. Then to one man Devadatta gave command: " Go, my friend ; the Samana Gautama is staying at such a place. Kill him." And the man returned and said to him : " I cannot deprive the Blessed One of his life.

21. He made a third attempt on the life of the Buddha.

22. This time there was at Rajgraha an elephant named Nalagiri, fierce and a man-slayer.

23. And Devadatta went into Rajgraha and to the elephant stables, and said to the elephant keepers : " I, my friends, am a relative of the raja, and am able to advance a man occupying a low position to a high position, and to order an increase of his rations or of his pay."

24. Therefore, my friends' when Samana Gautama shall have arrived at this carriage road, then loose the elephant Nalagiri and let him go down the road.

25. Devadatta engaged archers to kill the Buddha. He had also let loose on his way the mad elephant Nalagiri.

26. But he did not succeed. When these attempts became known, Devadatta lost all the public endowments given to him. And even the king (Ajatasatru) stopped giving him interview.

27. For living he had to beg from house to house. Devadatta received many favours from Ajatasatru, which he could not retain long. Devadatta lost all his influence after the Nalagiri incident.

28. By his acts, Devadatta becoming very unpopular in Magadha left it for Kosala, thinking that Prasenjit might receive him cordially. But he was contemptuously driven out by Prasenjit.

Brahmins and the Buddha

1. Once when the Blessed One was travelling about in the Kosala country with a large company of the monks, he went down to a Brahmin village named Thuna.

2. The Brahmin householders of Thuna heard the news, " The Samana Gautama, they say, has arrived in the field of our village."

3. Now the Brahmin householders were nonbelievers, holding wrong views and avaricious by   nature.

4. They said, " If the Samana Gautama should enter this village and stay two or three days, he would convert all these people. Then the Brahmin religion would have no support. We must, therefore, prevent his entry in our village.

5. To reach the village a river had to be crossed and the Brahmins, in order to prevent the Blessed One from entering the village, took the boats away from the landing places, and made the bridges and causeways unusable.

6. They filled all the wells except one with weeds and the like and concealed the watering-places, rest-houses and sheds.

7. The Blessed One learned of their misdeeds and having compassion on them, crossed the river with his company of monks, went on, and in due course of time reached the Brahmin village of Thuna.

8. He left the road and sat down at the foot of a tree. At that moment many women were passing by near the Blessed One carrying water.

9. And in that village an agreement had been made, " If the Samana Gautama comes there, there is to be no welcome or the like made for him and when he comes to a house, neither to him nor to his disciples is any food or water to be given."

10. Then a certain Brahmin's slave girl, going along with a jar of water, saw the Blessed One and the monks, realized that they were weary and thirsty, and being of devout heart, wanted to give them water.

11. "Even and though the people of this village have resolved that nothing at all is to be given to the Samana Gautama and not even a show of respect is to be made," she said to herself, " yet if after I have found these supreme fields of merit and worthy recipients of meritorious giving, I do not lay the foundation for my salvation by a mere giving of water, when hereafter shall I be released from woe ? "

12. " So be it, my masters ! Let every one who lives in the village beat or bind me, still I will give a gift of water to a field of merit such as this."

13. When she had made this resolve, though the other women carrying water tried to stop her, without regard for her life, she lifted down the water jar from her head, placed it on one side, approached the Blessed One, and gave him water; he washed his hands and feet and drank the water.

14. Her master, the Brahmin, heard of her giving water to the Blessed One. " She has broken the rule of the village and I am blamed," he said, and burning with rage and grinding his teeth he buried her to the ground and beat her with hands and feet. Because of that she died.


1. Now Brahmin Dona visited the Exalted One and greeted him; and after exchanging the customary words of greetings, sat down at one side. So seated, Brahmin Dona said to the Exalted One :

2. " I have heard it said, Master Gotama, that Master Gotama does not salute aged, venerable Brahmins, well stricken in years, long on life's road, grown old—nor rise up for them, nor offer them a seat.

3. " Master Gotama, it is just so; Master Gotama does none of these things . . . to aged, venerable Brahmins . . . This is not right. Master Gotama."

4. " Do you not profess to be a brahmin, Dona ? "

5. " If of anyone. Master Gotama, in speaking rightly it should be said: ' The brahmin is well born on both sides', pure in descent as far back as seven generations, both of mother and father, unchallenged and without reproach in point of birth; studious, carrying the mantras in mind, a past master in the three Vedas with the indices and ritual, in phonology too, and in the legends; an expert in verse and grammar skilled in reading the marks of a great man, in speculation on the universe' to be sure of me, Master Gotama, in speaking rightly that thing should be said; for I, Master Gotama, am so born . . . so skilled . . . "

6. " Dona, those Brahmin-sages of old, mantra-    makers, mantra-sayers, whose ancient collection of mantra verses, hymns and sayings. Brahmins know every hymn, every say, every word the word, ever have the sayings said to wit: Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva. Vassamitta, Yamadaggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, have declared: the Brahma-like, the deva-like, the bounded, the breaker of bounds, and fifthly, the Brahmin outcast, which of them, Dona, are you ? "

7. "We know not of these five Brahmins, Master Gotama; yet we know that we are Brahmins. It were well for me if Master Gotama would teach me Dhamma so that I may know of them five."

8. "Then listen, Brahma, give heed and I will speak !"

9. "Yes sir," replied he; and the Exalted One said:

10. "And how, Dona, becomes a Brahmin Brahma-like ? "

11. " Take the case, Dona, of a Brahmin who is well born on both sides, pure in descent as far back as seven generations, both of mother and father, unchallenged and without reproach in point of birth—he for eight and forty years leads to the Brahma-life of virginity, applying himself to the teacher's fee for teaching according to Dhamma, not non-Dhamma.

12. "And what there is Dhamma, Dona? Never as ploughman nor trader nor cowherd nor bowman nor rajah's man nor by any craft (to get his living), but solely by going about for alms, despising not the beggar's bowl.

13. " And he hands over the teacher's fee for teaching, has his hair-beard shaved off, dons the yellow robe and goes forth from the home to the homeless life.

14. "And thus gone forth, he abides in mind pervading with amity one world quarter, so a second, a third, a fourth; then above, below, athwart, everywhere, the whole wide world he pervades with thoughts of amity, far-reaching, expansive, measureless, without hatred or ill-will,

15. "He abides in mind pervading with pity . . . sympathy . . . poise, one world quarter, so a second, a third, a fourth; then above, below, athwart, every-where, the whole wide world he pervades with thoughts of pity, sympathy and poise, far-reaching, expansive, measureless, without hatred or ill-will.

16. " And having made these four Brahma-abidings become, on the breaking up of the body after death, he arises in the well-faring Brahma world. Thus, Dona, Brahmin becomes Brahma-like.

17. " And how, Dona, becomes a Brahmin deva-like ?

18. "Take the case, Dona, of a Brahmin of similar birth and conduct . . . . He does not get a living by ploughing and so forth, but by going about for alms. . . . He hands over the teacher's fee for teaching and seeks a wife according to Dhamma, not non-Dhamma.

19. " And what then is Dhamma? Not with one bought or sold, but only with a Brahmani on whom water has been poured. And he goes only to a Brahmani, not to the daughter of an outcast, hunter, bamboo-worker, cart-maker, or aboriginal, nor goes to a woman with child, nor to one giving suck, nor to one not in her season.

20. " And wherefore, Dona, goes not a Brahmin to one with child ? If he go, the boy or girl will sure-ly be foully born, therefore he goes not. And wherefore goes he not to one giving suck ? If he go, the boy or girl will surely be an unclean suckling, therefore he goes not.

21. "And wherefore goes he not to one not in her season? If, Dona, a Brahmin go to one not in her season, never for him does the Brahmani become a means for lust, for sport, for pleasure; the Brahmani is for the Brahmin just as a means to beget offspring.

22. "And when in wedlock he has begot-ten (a child), he has his hair-beard shaved off. . . and goes forth . . ..

23. " And being thus gone forth, aloof from sensuous appetites . . . he enters and abides in the first  (to the) fourth musing . . . he enters and abides in the first (to the) fourth musing.

24. "And having made these four musings become, on the breaking up of the body after death, he arises in the well-faring heaven world.

25. " Thus, Dona, a Brahmin becomes deva-like.

26. " And how, Dona, becomes a Brahmin Brahmin bounded?

27. "Take the case, Dona of a Brahmin of similar birth and conduct . . . who weds in like manner....

28. " And when in wedlock he has begotten a child, the fondness for children obsesses him and he settles on the family estate, and does not go forth from the home to the homeless life.

29." In the bounds of the Brahmin of old he stays nor transgresses them; and it is said: 'Within bounds he keeps and transgresses not.' And therefore the Brahmin is called bounded.

30. " Thus, Dona, the Brahmin becomes bounded.

31. "And how, Dona, becomes a Brahmin'a breaker of bounds ?

32. "Take the case, Dona, of a Brahmin of similar birth and conduct. . . . He hands over the teacher's fee and seeks a wife either according to Dhamma or non-Dhamma: one bought or sold or Brahmani on whom the water-pouring ceremony has been performed.

33. "He goes to a Brahmani or to the daughter of a noble or a low-caste man or a serf; to the daughter of an outcast or a hunter or a bamboo-worker or a cart-maker or an aboriginal; he goes to a woman with child, to one giving suck, to one in her season, to one not in her season; and for him the Brahmani becomes just a means for lust, for sport and for pleasure or to beget offspring.

34. "And he keeps not within the ancient Brahmin bounds, but transgresses them; and it is said:’He keeps not within bounds but transgresses,' and therefore he is called a breaker of bounds.

35. "Thus, Dona, the Brahmin becomes a breaker of bounds.

36. "And how, Dona, becomes a Brahmin a Brahmin outcast?

37. "Take the case, Dona, of a Brahmin of similar birth, he for eight and forty years leads the Brahma-life of virginity, applying himself to the mantras; then, completing that course, he seeks the teaching fee for teaching; (he gets his living according to Dhamma or non-Dhamma) as ploughman, trader, cowherd, bowman, rajah's man or by some craft or, despising not the beggar's bowl, just by going about for alms.

38. "On handing back the teacher's fee, he seeks a wife according to Dhamma or non-Dhamma; one bought or sold, or a Brahmani on whom water has been poured. He goes to a Brahmani or any other woman . . . one with child, giving suck and so forth. . . and she is for him a means for lust . . . or to beget offspring. He leads a life doing all these things.

39. "Then the Brahmans say thus of him: 'How is it that an honourable Brahmin leads this sort of life?'

40. "And to this he replies: 'Just as fire burns clean things or unclean, but not by that is the fire defiled ; even so, good sirs, tf a Brahmin lead a life doing all these things, not by that is a Brahmin defiled.'

41. And it is said: 'He leads a life doing all these things,' and therefore he is called a Brahmin outcast.

42. "Thus, Dona, a Brahmin becomes a Brahmin outcast.

43. " Verily, Dona, those Brahmin sages of old, mantra-makers, mantra-sayers, whose ancient collection hymn, say, word each rest . . . these five Brahmins declared; the Brahma-like, the deva-like. the bounded, the breaker of bounds and, fifthly, the Brahmin outcast.

44. " Which of them Dona, are you ? "

45. "' If such there are, Master Gotama, we at least do not fulfil (the ways) of the Brahmin-outcast ?

46. " But it is marvellous what you say, Master Gotama . . . let Master Gotama take me as a lay-disciple, gone to his refuge, henceforth as long as life lasts."


1. Critics of Open Admission to the Sangh.
2. Critics of The Rule of Vows.
3. Critics of the Doctrine of Ahimsa.
4. Charge of Preaching Virtue and Creating Gloom.
5. Critics of the Theory of Soul and Rebirth.
6. Charge of being an Annihilationist.

Critics of Open Admission to the Sangh

1. It was open for the Sangh to admit a layman who was merely a disciple.

2. There were persons who criticised the Lord for making the Sangh a wide open temple for anybody to enter.

3. They argued that under such a scheme it may well happen that after they have been admitted into the Order they give it up, and return again to the lower state and by their back-sliding the people are led to say : " Vain must be this religion of Samana Gotama, which these men have given up."

4. The criticism was not well founded and had altogether missed the intention of the Blessed Lord in making such a scheme.

5. The Blessed Lord replied that in establishing his religion he had constructed a bathing tank full of the excellent waters of emancipation—-the bath of good law.

6. It was the Lord's desire that whosoever is polluted with stains of sin, he, bathing in it, can wash away all his sins.

7. And if anyone, having gone to the bathing tank of good law, should not bathe in it, but turn back polluted as before and return again to the lower state, it is he who is to be blamed and not the religion.

8. "Or could I," said the Blessed Lord, "after constructing this bathing tank for enabling people to wash away their sins, say : ' Let no one who is dirty go down into this tank ! Let only those whose dust and dirt have been washed away, who are purified and stainless go down into the tank.'

9. " On such terms what good would have been my religion ? "

10. The critics forgot that the Blessed Lord did not wish to confine the benefit only to a few. He wanted to keep it open to all, to be tried by all.

Critics of the Rule of Vows

1. Why are the five precepts not enough ? Why vows are felt necessary? These were the questions that were often raised,                                   

2. It 'was argued that if diseases would abate without medicine, what could be the advantage -of weakening the body by emetics, by purges, and other like remedies?

3. Just so, if laymen, living at home and enjoying the pleasures of the senses, can realize in themselves the conditions of peace, the Supreme Good, Nibbana, by taking precepts, what is the need of the bhikkhu taking upon himself these vows ?

4. The Blessed Lord devised the vows because of the virtues inherent in them.

5. A life conditioned by vows is certain to bring with it growth in goodness, it is itself a protection against a fall.

6. Those who take vows and keep them as self-dependents, are emancipated.

7. The keeping of vows is the restriction of lust, and of malice, of pride, the cutting of evil thoughts.

8. Those who take vows and keep them, well guarded are they indeed and altogether pure are they in manners and in mind.

9. Not so with mere taking of precepts.

10. In the case of the precepts there is no protection against moral decline as there is in the case of vows.

11. A life of vows is very difficult and a life of precepts not so. It is necessary for mankind to have some who live the life of vows. So the Blessed Lord prescribed both.

Critics of the Doctrine of Ahimsa

1. There were persons who objected to the doctrine of Ahimsa. They said that it involved surrender or non-resistance to evil.

2. This is a complete misrepresentation of what the Blessed Lord taught by his doctrine of Ahimsa.

3. The Blessed Lord has made his position clear on various occasions so as to leave no room for    ambiguity or misunderstanding.

4. The first such occasion to which reference should be made is the occasion when he made a rule regarding the entry of a soldier in the Sangh.

5. At one time the border provinces of the kingdom of Magadha were agitated. Then the Magadha king Seniya Bimbisara gave order to the Commander of the army: ' Well now, go and ask your officers to search through the border provinces for the offenders, punish them and restore peace." The Commander acted accordingly.

6. On hearing the orders of the Commander the officers found themselyes placed in a dilemma. They knew that the Tathagatha taught that those who go to war and find delight in fighting, do evil and produce great demerit. On the other hand, here was the king's order to capture the offenders and to kill them. Now what shall we do, asked the officers to themselves.

7. Then these officers thought: "If we could enter the order of the Buddha we would be able to escape from the dilemma."

8. Thus these officers went to the bhikkhus and asked them for ordination; the bhikkhus conferred on them the pabbajja and upasampada ordinations and the officers disappeared from the army.

9. The Commander of the army .finding that the officers were not to be seen, asked the soldiers: "Why, how is it that the officers are nowhere to be seen ?" " The officers, lord, have embraced religious life of the bhikkhus," replied the soldiers.

10. Then the Commander of the army was annoyed, and became very angry: "How can the bhikkhus ordain persons in the royal army ? "     

11. The Commander of the army informed the king of what had happened. And the king asked the officers of justice: "Tell me, my good sirs, what punishment does he deserve who ordains a person in the royal service ?"

12. "The Upagghaya, Your Majesty, should be    beheaded; to him who recites (the Kammavaka), the tongue should be torn out; to those who form the chapter, half of their ribs should be broken."

13. Then the king went to the place where the Blessed One was; and after obeisance informed him of what had happened.

14. " The Lord well knows that there are kings who are against the Dhamma. These hostile kings are ever ready to harass the bhikkhus even for trifling reasons. It is impossible to imagine the lengths to which they might go in their ill-treatment of the bhikkhus if they find that the bhikkhus are seducing the soldiers to leave the army and join the Sangh. Pray Lord to do the needful to avert the disaster."

15. The Lord replied: " It was never my intention to allow soldiers undfer the cloak of Ahimsa or in the name of Ahimsa to abandon their duty to the king or to their country."

16. Accordingly the Blessed One made a rule against the admission of persons in royal service to the Sangh and proclaimed it to the bhikkhus, saying: "Let no one, 0 Bhikkhus, who is in the royal service, receive the Pabbajja ordination. He who confers the Pabbajja ordination on such a person will be guilty of a dukkata offence."

17. A second time the Blessed One was crossexamined on the subject of Ahimsa by Sinha, a General in the army, and who was a follower of Mahavir.

18. Sinha asked: " One doubt still lurks in my mind concerning the doctrine of the Blessed One. Will the Blessed One consent to clear the cloud away so that I may understand the Dhamma as the Blessed One teaches it."

19. The Tathagata having given his consent, Sinha said:   "I am a soldier, 0 Blessed One, and am appointed by the king to enforce his laws and to wage his wars. Does the Tathagata, who teaches kindness without end and compassion with all sufferers, permit the punishment of the criminal ? And further, does the Tathagata declare that it is wrong to go to war for the protection of our homes,    our wives, our children, and our property ? Does the Tathagata teach the doctrine of a complete self-surrender, so that I should suffer the evil-doer to do what he pleases and yield submissively to him who threatens to take by violence what is my own ? Does the Tathagata maintain that all strifes, including such warfare as is waged for a righteous cause, should be forbidden?"

20. The Lord replied : "The Tathagata says: ' He who deserves punishment must be punished, and he who is worthy of favour must be favoured. Yet at the same time he teaches to do no injury to any living being but to be full of love and kindness. These injunctions are not contradictory, for whosoever must be punished for the crimes which he has committed suffers his injury not through the ill-will of the judge but on account of his evil-doing. His own acts have brought upon him the injury that the executor of the law inflicts. When a magistrate punishes, let him not harbour hatred in his breast, yet a murderer, when put to death, should consider that this is the fruit of his own act. As soon as he will understand that the punishment will purify his soul, he will no longer lament his fate but rejoice at it.' "

21. A proper understanding of these instances would show that the Ahimsa taught by the Blessed Lord was fundamental. But it was not absolute.

22. He taught that evil should be cured by the return of good. But he never preached that evil should be allowed to overpower good.

23. He stood for Ahimsa. He denounced Hirnsa. But he did not deny that Hirnsa may be the last resort to save good being destroyed by evil.

24. Thus it is not that the Blessed Lord taught a dangerous doctrine. It is the critics who failed to understand its significance and its scope.

Charge of Preaching Virtue and Creating Gloom


 Dukkha as the Cause of Gloom

1. Dukkha in its original sense given to it by Kapila means unrest, commotion.

2. Initially it had a metaphysical meaning.

3. Later on it acquired the meaning of suffering arid sorrow

4. The two senses were not far detached. They were very close.

5. Unrest brings sorrow and suffering.

6. Soon it acquired the meaning of sorrow and suffering from social and economic causes.

7. In what sense did the Buddha use the word sorrow and suffering?

8. There is a sermon on record from which it is clear that the Buddha was very much aware that poverty was a cause of sorrow.

9. In that sermon he says—" Monks, is poverty a woeful thing for a worldly wanton ? "

10. " Surely, Lord."

11. " And when a man is poor, needy, in straits, he gets into debt, and is that woeful too ?"

12. " Surely, Lord."

13. " And when he gets into debt, he borrows, and is that woeful too ? "

14. " Surely, Lord."

15. "And when the bill falls due, he pays not and they press him; is that woeful too ? "

16. " Surely, Lord."

17. " And when pressed, he pays not and they beset him ; is that woeful too ? "

18. " Surely, Lord."

19. "And when beset, he pays not and they bind him; is that woeful too?"

20. " Surely, Lord."

21. "Thus, monks, poverty, debt, borrowing, being pressed, beset and bound are all woes for the worldly wanton.

22. " Woeful in the world is poverty and debt."

23. Thus the Buddha's conception of Dukkha is material.                                         

(2) Impermanence as the Cause of Gloom

1. Another ground for this accusation arises from the doctrine that everything which is compound is impermanent.

2. Nobody questions the truth of the doctrine.

3. Everything is impermanent is admitted by all.

4. The doctrine, if it is true, must be told just as truth must be told however unpleasant it may be.

5. But why draw a pessimistic conclusion?

6. If life is short it is short and one need not be gloomy about it.

7. It is just a matter of interpretation.

8. The Burmese interpretation is very much different.

9. The Burmese celebrate the event of death in a family as though it was an event of joy.

10. On the day of death the householder gives a public feast and the people remove the dead body to the graveyard dancing. Nobody minds the death for it was to come.

11. If impermanence is pessimistic it is only because permanence was assumed to be true although it was a false one.

12. Buddha's preaching cannot, therefore, be charged as spreading gloom.

(3) Is Buddhism Pessimistic ?

1. The Buddha's Dhamma has been accused of creating pessimism.

2. The accusation arises from the first Aryan Truth which says that there is Dukkha (sorrow-misery) in the world.

3. It is rather surprising that a reference to Dukkha should give cause to such an accusation.

4. Karl Marx also said that there is exploitation in the world and the rich are being made richer and    the poor are being made poorer.

5. And yet nobody has said that Karl Marx's doctrine is pessimism.

6. Why then should a different attitude be shown to the Buddha's doctrine?

7. It may be because the Buddha is reported to have said in his first sermon. Birth is sorrowful, old age is sorrowful, death is sorrowful, that a deeper pessimistic colouring has been given to his Dhamma.

8. But those who know rhetoric know that this is an artifice of exaggeration and that it is practised by skilled literary hands to produce effect.

9. That birth is sorrowful is an exaggeration by the Buddha can be proved by reference to a sermon of his in which he has preached that birth as a human being is a very precious thing.

10. Again, if the Buddha had merely referred to Dukkha such an accusation could be sustainable.

11. But the Buddha's second Aryan Truth emphasises that this Dukkha must be removed. In order to emphasise the duty of removal of Dukkha he spoke of the existence of Dukkha.

12. To the removal of Dukkha the Buddha attached great importance. It is because he found that Kapila merely stated that there was Dukkha and said nothing more about it that he felt dissatisfied and left the Ashram of Muni Alara Kalam.

13. How can this Dhamma be called pessimistic. ?

14. Surely a teacher who is anxious to remove Dukkha cannot be charged with pessimism.

 Critics of the Theory of Soul and Rebirth

1. The Blessed Lord preached that there was no Soul. The Blessed Lord also affirmed that there was rebirth.

2. There were not wanting people who criticised the Lord for preaching what they regarded as two such contradictory doctrines.

3. How can there be rebirth if there is no Soul, they asked.

4. There is no contradiction. There can be rebirth even though there is no Soul.

5. There is a mango stone. The stone gives rise to a mango tree. The mango tree produces mangoes.

6. Here is rebirth of a mango.

7. But there is no Soul.

8. So there can be rebirth although there is no Soul.

 Charge of Being an Annihilationist

1. Once when the Lord was staying at Shravasti in Jeta's grove it was reported to him that a certain bhikkhu by name Arittha had come to certain views about the doctrines taught by the Lord, as the views of the Lord although they were not the views of the Lord.

2. One of the doctrines about which Arittha was misrepresenting the Lord was whether he was an annihilationist.

3. The Blessed Lord sent for Arittha. Arittha came. On being questioned he sat silent and glum.

4. The Lord then said to him : " Some recluses and Brahmins—wrongly, erroneously and falsely— charge me in defiance of facts, with being an annihilationist and with preaching disintegration, and extirpation of existing creatures.

5. It is just what I am not and what I do not affirm.

6. What I have consistently preached both in the past and today is the existence of ill and the ending of ill.


1. Devotion of Dhananjanani—a Brahmini.
2. The Abiding Faith of Visakha.
3. The Devotion of Mallika.
4. The ardent Wish of a Pregnant Mother.
5. Keniya's Welcome.
6. Pasendi in Praise of the Master.

Devotion of Dhananjanani—a Brahmini

1. The Blessed Lord had many friends and admirers. Among them was Dhananjanani.         

2. She was the wife of a Bharadvaja Brahmin. Her husband hated the Lord. But Dhananjanani was a devotee of the Lord. Her devotion is worthy of mention.

3. The Exalted One was once staying near Rajagraha in the bamboo grove at the Vihara known as the squirrels' feeding ground.

4. Now at that time Dhananjanani, a Brahmini, the wife of a certain Brahmin of the Bharadvaja family, was living with her husband in Rajagraha.

5. While her husband was a great opponent of the Buddha, Dhananjanani was a fervent believer in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Order. She was in the habit of praising, the triple gem. Whenever she broke out in this way in praise, her husband used to close his ears.

6. On the eve of his giving a great banquet to many fellow-Brahmins, he begged her to do what she liked, provided she did not offend his guests by her praises of the Buddha.

7. Dhananjanani would give no such undertaking and he threatened to slice her like a plantain with his dagger. She declared herself ready to suffer, so -she retained her freedom of speech and proceeded to pour forth five hundred verses on her theme, so that he surrendered unconditionally.

8. Bowl and golden spoon were laid down and the guests sat down for food. While serving the guests the dominant impulse arose. In the midst she turned towards the bamboo grove and uttered the praises of the triple gem.

9. The scandalized guests hurried away, spitting out the food defiled by the presence of a heretic and the husband scolded her amid the ruins of his feast.

10. And she, while serving the Bharadvaja with his dinner, came before him and praised the gem. Glory to that Exalted One, the Arahant, the Buddha Supreme! Glory to the Norm ! Glory to the Order!

11. And when she had so said the Bharadvaja Brahmin grew angry and exclaimed: "There now !    You wretch! Must you be singing the praises of that shaveling friar at any and every opportunity ? Now, wretch, will I give that teacher of thine a piece of my mind! "

12. " 0 Brahmin," replied Dhananjanani, " I know of no one throughout the world of gods, Maras, or Brahmas, recluses or brahmins, no one human or divine, who could so admonish that Exalted One, Arahant, Buddha Supreme. Nevertheless, go thou, Brahmin, and then thou wilt know."

13. Then the Bharadvaja, vexed and displeased, went to find the Exalted One; and coming into his presence, exchanged with him greetings and compliments, friendly and courteous, and sat down at one side.

14. So seated, he asked the Exalted One the following questions : "What must we slay if we would happy live? What must we slay if we could weep no more? What is above all other things, whereof the slaughter thou approvest, Gotama?"

15. The Exalted One replied as follows: "Wrath must ye slay if ye would happy live ; Wrath must ye slay if ye would weep no mor.e. Of anger. Brahmin, with its poisoned source, and fevered climax, murder-ously sweet. That is the slaughter by the Ariyans praised. That must ye slay in sooth, to weep no more."

16. Realising the excellence of the reply given by the Exalted One, the Bharadvaja Brahmin said to him: "Most excellent. Lord, most excellent! Just as if a man were to set up that which had been thrown down, or were to reveal that which was hidden away, or were to point out the right road to him who had gone astray, or were to bring a lamp into the darkness, so that those who had eyes could see external objects—even so. Lord, has the Lord Gotama shown me his doctrine in various ways. I, even I, Lord, betake myself to the Exalted One as my refuge to the Norm and to the Order. I would leave the world under the rule of Gotama; I would take orders."

17. So Dhananjanani was not only a devotee of the Buddha, she made her husband also a devotee    of the Buddha.

The Abiding Faith of Visakha

1. Visakha was born in the city of Bhadiya in the Anga country.

2. Her father was Dhananjaya and her mother's name was Sumana.

3. Once the Buddha visited Bhadiya with a large company of monks at the invitation of the Brahmin Sela. Visakha his granddaughter was then seven years old.

4. Visakha though only seven expressed to her grandfather Mendaka her desire to see the Buddha. Mendaka allowed her to do so and gave her five hundred companions, five hundred slaves, and five hundred chariots, that she might visit the Buddha.

5. She stopped the chariot some distance away and approached the Buddha on foot.

6. He preached to her the Dhamma and she became his lay disciple.

7. For the next fortnight Mendaka invited the Buddha and his followers daily to his house, where he fed them,.

8. Later, when at Pasendi's request, Bimbisara sent Dhananjaya to live in Kosala, Visakha accompanied her parents and lived in Saketa.

9. Migara, a wealthy citizen of Shravasti, wanted to get his son Punnavadhana married. He had sent a few people to find a suitable bride.

10. The party in search of a bride happened to come to Shravasti. They saw Visakha on her way to the lake to bathe on a feast day.

11. At that moment there was a great shower. Visakha's companions ran for shelter. But Visakha did not. She walked at her usual pace and reached the spot where the messengers were.

12. They asked her why she did not run for shelter and so preserve her clothes. She answered    that she had plenty of clothes, but that if she ran she might damage a limb which she could not replace. " Unmarried girls," she said, " are like goods awaiting sale, they must not be disfigured."

13. The party which was already struck by her beauty was greatly impressed by her intelligence. The party offered her a bouquet of flowers which she accepted as a proposal of marriage.

14. After Visakha returned home the marriage party followed her and laid Punnavadhana's suit before Dhananjaya. The proposal was accepted and confirmed by an exchange of letters.

15. When Pasendi heard of it, he offered to accompany Punnavadhana to Saketa, as a mark of signal honour. Dhananjaya welcomed the king and his retinue, Migara, Punnavadhana and their followers with all regard, attending personally to all the details of hospitality.

16. Five hundred goldsmiths were engaged to make ornaments for the bride. Dhananjaya gave his daughter, as dowry, five hundred carts full of money, five hundred with vessels of gold and cattle, etc.

17. When the time came for Visakha to leave, Dhananjaya gave her ten admonitions, which Migara overheard from the next room. These admonitions were: Not to give fire from the house outside: not to take into the house fire from without; to give only to those who gave in return, not to give to those who did not give in return, to give him that gives and to him that gives not; to seat, eat and eat happily; and to tend the fire and to honour the household deities.

18. On the following day Dhananjaya appointed eight householders to be sponsors to his daughter and inquire into any charges that might be brought against her.

19. Migara wanted that his daughter-in-law should be seen by the public of Shravasti. Visakha entered Shravasti standing in her chariot with the public lining the road on both sides. The public showered gifts on her, but these she distributed among the people.

20. Migara was a follower of the Niganthas and soon after Visakha's arrival in his house, he sent for    them and told her to minister to them. But Visakha repulsed by their nudity, refused to pay them homage.

21. The. Niganthas urged that she should be sent away, but Migara bided his time.

22. One day as Migara was eating, while Visakha stood fanning him, a monk was seen standing outside the house. Visakha stood aside that Migara might see him. But Migara continued to eat without noticing the monk.

23. Seeing this Visakha said to the monk, " Pass on, sir, my father-in-law eats stale fare." Migara was angry and threatened to send her away, but at her request the matter was referred to her sponsors.

24. They inquired into the several charges brought against her and adjudged her not guilty.

25. Visakha then gave orders that preparations be made for her return to her parents. Both Migara and his wife begged for forgiveness which she granted, on condition that he would invite to the house the Buddha and his monks.

26. This he did, but, owing to the influence of the Niganthas, he left Visakha to entertain them, and only consented to hear the Buddha's sermon at the end of the meal from behind a curtain.

27. He was, however, so convinced by the sermon that he became a convert.

28. His gratitude towards Visakha was boundless. Henceforth he considered her to be his mother deserving all the honours due to a mother. From this time onward she was called Migarmata.

29. Such was the abiding faith of Visakha.

The Devotion of Mallika

1. Once while the Lord was staying at Shravasti in Jeta's grove the darling son of a certain house-holder died, and the loss made the father neglect his business and his meals.

2. He was always going to the charnel ground and wailing aloud saying, " Where are you, my son, where    are you ? "

3. The bereaved father came to the Blessed Lord and after due salutations sat on one side.

4. Seeing that his mind was absolutely vacant showing no interest in anything, not telling the purpose for which he had come, the Blessed Lord, noticing his condition, said "' You are not yourself ; your mind is all awry. "

5. "How could my mind not be awry, sir, when I have lost my darling and only son?"

6. " Yes, householder; our dear ones bring sorrow and lamentation,  pain,   suffering  and tribulation ? "

7. "Who sir can entertain such a view ? ", said the angry householder, " Nay, our dear ones are a joy and happiness to us."

8. And with these words the householder, rejecting the Lord's pronouncement, indignantly got up and departed.

9. Hard by, there were a number of gamblers having a game with dice; and to them came the householder with his story of how he had related his sorrows to the recluse Gotama, how he had been received and how he had indignantly departed.

10. You were quite right, said the gamblers, for our dear ones are a source of joy and happiness to us. So the householder felt he had got the gamblers on his side.

11. Now all this, in due course, penetrated to the private apartments of the palace where the king told Queen Mallika that her recluse Gotama had stated that dear ones bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, suffering and tribulation.

12. "Well, sir, if the Lord said so, so it is"

13. "Just as a pupil accepts all his master tells him, saying, 'So it is, sir; so it is'—-just in the same way Mallika, you accept all the recluse Gotama says with your  ' If the Lord said so, so it is'; away with you and begone! "

14. Then the queen told the Brahmin Nali Dhyan to go to the Lord and in her name, to bow his head at the Lord's feet and, after asking after his health, to enquire whether he had really said what was attributed to him.

15. "And be careful," she added, "to tell me exactly what the Lord answers."

16. In obedience to the queen's commands the Brahmin went off and duly asked the Lord whether he had really said so.

17. "Yes, Brahmin; our dear ones do bring sorrow and lamentation, pain, suffering, and tribulation. Here is the proof.

18. " Once, here in Shravasti, a woman's mother died and the daughter, crazed and beside herself, went about from street to street, from cross-road to crossroad, saying: 'Have you seen my mother? Have you seen my mother?'

19. " Another proof is a woman of Shravasti who lost her father—a brother—a sister—a son—a daughter —a husband. Crazed and beside herself, the woman went about from street to street and from cross-road to cross-road, asking if anyone had seen the dear ones she had lost.

20. " Another proof is a man of Shravasti who lost his mother—his father—a brother—a sister—a son —a daughter—a wife, crazed and beside himself, the man went about from street to street and from crossroad to cross-road, asking if anyone had seen the dear ones he had lost.

21. " Another proof is the woman of Shravasti who visited her people's home; and they wanted to take her from her husband and marry her to someone else whom she did not like.

22. " She told her husband about it, whereupon he cut her into two and then killed himself, so that they might both die together.

23. "All this the Brahmin Nali Dhyan duly reported to the queen.

24. " The queen then went to the king and asked: * Are you fond, sir, of your only daughter, the princess Vajira.' ' Yes, I am,' replied the king.

25. " ' If anything happened to your Vajira    would you feel sorry or not?' 'lf anything happened to her, it would make a great difference to my life.' "

26. " ' Are you fond, sir, of me, ' asked Mallika.'Yes,l am.'

27. " ' If anything happened to me would you feel sorry or would you not ?' ' If anything happened to you it would make a great difference to my life.'

28. " ' Are you fond, sir, of the people of Kasi and Kosala ?' 'Yes,' replied the king. 'If anything happened to them would you be sorry or not?'

29. " ' If anything happened to them, it would make great difference—how could it be otherwise?'

30. " ' Did the Blessed Lord say anything different?' ' No Mallika,' said the king in repentance."

The Ardent Wish of a Pregnant Mother

1. Once when the Lord was staying in the Bhagga country at Sumsumara-gira in the Bhesakala grove, in the deer-park there. Prince Bodhi's palace, called the Lotus, had just been finished but had not as yet been inhabited by recluse, Brahmin or any other person.

2. Said the prince to a young Brahmin named Sankika-putta: " Go to the Lord and in my name bow your head at his feet, ask after his health and invite him to be so good as to take his meal with me tomorrow and to bring his confraternity with him."

3. The message was delivered to the Lord who, by silence, signified acceptance—as was duly reported to the prince.

4. When night had passed, the prince, having ordered an excellent meal to be got ready in his palace and a carpeting of white doth to be laid to the foot of the stairs of the Lotus palace, told the young Brahmin to announce to the Lord that all was ready.

5. This was done, and early that day the Lord, duly robed and bowl in hand, came to the palace where the prince was awaiting him, outside the portals.

6. Seeing the Lord approaching, the prince advanced and saluted him and moved in his train towards the palace.

7. At the foot of the stairs the Lord stood still. Said the prince: " I beg the Lord to step up on the carpeting; I beg the Blessed One to do this,—to my abiding weal and welfare." But the Lord kept silent.

8. A second time did the prince appeal, and still the Lord kept silent. A third time he appealed, and now the Lord looked towards Ananda.

9. Ananda understood what the trouble was and asked that the carpeting should be rolled up and removed for the Lord would not tread upon it as he is looking to those that shall follow hereafter.

10. So the prince ordered the carpeting to be rolled up and removed, after which he ordered seats to be set out upstairs in the palace.

11. The Lord then proceeding upstairs, sat down on the seat set for him, with the confraternity.

12. The prince with his own hand served that excellent meal without stint to the Lord and the confratemity.

13. The Lord's meal over and done. Prince Bodhi, seating himself on a low seat to one side, said to the Lord: " My view, sir, is that true weal must be sought not through things pleasant but through things unpleasant. "

14. "In days gone by. Prince," said the Blessed One, " I too held the same view in the days before my enlightenment. Time was when being quite young—with a wealth of coal-black hair and in all the beauty of my early prime—despite the wishes of my parents who wept and lamented, I cut off hair and beard, donned the yellow robes and went forth from home to home" lessness as a pilgrim. A pilgrim now, in quest of the Good and in search for the road to that utter peace which is beyond all compare.

15. "Now I hold a different view. If a man knows the Doctrine he will find the destruction of all ills."

16. Said the prince to the Lord: "What adoctrine! What an exposition of doctrine ! It is so easy to   understand."

17. Here the young Brahmin Sankika-putta observed to the prince that, though he had testified thus, yet he had not gone on to say that he sought as a refuge the Lord and his doctrine and his con-fraternity as he should have.

18. " Say not so, my friend; say not so" said the Prince: "for, I have heard from the lips of my lady mother, how, when once the Lord was staying at Kosambi in the Ghosita pleasance, she, being then pregnant, came to the Lord, saluted him and took a seat to one side, saying: 'Be it a boy or be it a girl that I carry in my womb, my child unborn seeks refuge with the Lord and his doctrine and his confraternity; and I ask the Lord to accept the child as a follower who has found an abiding refuge from this time forth while life lasts.'

19. "Another time, when the Lord was staying here in this Bhagga country at Sumsumara-gira, in the Bhesakala grove, in the deer park there, my nurse carried me to the Lord, and standing before him, said: 'Here is Prince Bodhi who seeks refuge with the Lord and his doctrine and his confraternity.'

20. Now, in person, for the third time I seek such refuge and ask the Lord to accept me as a follower who has found an abiding refuge while life lasts."

Keniya's Welcome

1. There was living at Apanath a Brahmin, Sola, who was versed in all three Vedas, was accomplished in ritual with the glosses thereon, in phonology, and in etymology, with chronicles as a fifth branch; he knew exegesis, and was learned in casuistry the signs that mark a superman; he had three hundred young brahmins to whom he taught the runes.

2. Keniya the fire-worshipper was an adherent of this Brahmin Sela.  Accompanied by his three hundred pupils, Sela went and saw all the fire-worshippers there busy with their several tasks, with Keniya himself marking off the reserved circles.

3. At the sight of this the Brahmin said to Keniya: "What is all this? Is it a wedding feast? Or is there a great sacrifice afoot ? Or have you invited to a repast tomorrow Seniya Bimbisara, king of Magadha, with all his host? "

4. "It is no wedding feast, Sela, nor is the king coming with all his host. But I have got a great sacrifice afoot. For, the recluse Gotama has arrived at Apana, in the course of an alms-pilgrimage, with twelve hundred and fifty alms-men in his train.

5. "Now, such, according to report, is the high repute of this Gotama that he is deemed to be the Lord of Enlightenment.

6. "It is he whom I have invited to tomorrow's meal here, together with his confraternity. The feast that is being prepared is for him."

7. " Did you attribute to him Enlightenment, Keniya," asked Sela. "Yes, I did," replied Keniya. "Did you?" "Yes I did"

Pasendi In Praise of the Master

1. Once the Exalted One was staying near Shravasti, at Jeta's grove, in Anathapindika's park.

2. Now at that time the rajah of Kosala, Pasendi, had just returned from a sham-fight, in which he was victorious, having carried out his object. And on reaching the park he turned in that way. So far as the cart-road went he rode in his chariot, and then got down and went on foot through the park.

3.     On that occasion a number of the brethren were walking up and down in the open air. Then Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala, went up to those brethren and thus accosted them: "Reverend sirs, where now is the Exalted One staying, that Arahant, Buddha Supreme: for Hong to behold Him ? "

4.     " Yonder, Maharajah, is his lodging, and the door is shut. Do you go up quietly, without nervousness, enter the verandah, cough, and rattle the door-bar.. The Exalted One will open the door to you."

5. So Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala, went up to the lodging as he was told, coughed and rattled the door-bar. And the Exalted One opened the door.

6. Then Pasendi entered the lodging, fell with his head at the feet of the Exalted One, kissed His feet and stroked them with his hands, and announced his name, saying, " Lord, I am Pasendi, the rajah of Kosala."

8.     "But, Maharajah, seeing what significance therein, do you show me this profound humanity and pay such affectionate obeisance to this body," said the Lord !

<Part-5 , Part-7>

 Editors Note- The source of the text for this electronic version was: Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar: Writings and Speeches, Vol. 11 (Bombay: Education Department, Government of Maharashtra, 1992). Our site also makes available, from the same series, Vol. 11 Supplement: Pali and Other Sources of The Buddha & His Dhamma with an Index, by Vasant Moon. The original publication was by Siddharth College Publications, Bombay, in 1957.

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