Sacred Books of the East eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about Sacred Books of the East.
now I desire to rely on thee alike! to carry me far off to the stream (ford) of endless life, to fight against and overcome the opposing force of men, the men who associate in search of pleasure, the men who engage in the search after wealth, the crowds who follow and flatter such persons; in opposing sorrow, friendly help is difficult to find, in seeking religious truth there must be rare enlightenment, let us then be knit together thus as friends; then, at last, there will be rest from sorrow.  But now I wish to go abroad, to give deliverance from pain; now then, for your own sake it is, and for the sake of all your kind, that you should exert your strength, with noble pace, without lagging or weariness.”  Having thus exhorted him, he bestrode his horse, and grasping the reins proceeded forth; the man like the sun shining forth from his tabernacle, the horse like the white floating cloud, exerting himself but without exciting haste, his breath concealed and without snorting; four spirits (Devas) accompanying him, held up his feet, heedfully concealing his advance, silently and without noise; the heavy gates fastened and barred, the heavenly spirits of themselves caused to open.  Reverencing deeply the virtuous father, loving deeply the unequalled son, equally affected with love towards all the members of his family these Devas took their place.

Suppressing his feelings, but not extinguishing his memory, lightly he advanced and proceeded beyond the city, pure and spotless as the lily flowers which spring from the mud; looking up with earnestness at his father’s palace, he announced his purpose—­unwitnessed and unwritten—­“If I escape not birth, old age, and death, for evermore I pass not thus along.”  All the concourse of Devas, the space-filling Nagas and spirits followed joyfully and exclaimed, “Well! well!” in confirmation of the true words he spoke.  The Nagas and the company of Devas acquired a condition of heart difficult to obtain, and each with his own inherent light led on the way shedding forth their brightness.  Thus man and horse, both strong of heart, went onwards, lost to sight like streaming stars, but ere the eastern quarter flashed with light, they had advanced three yoganas.

[Footnote 91:  Mara, the king of the world of desire.  According to the Buddhist theogony he is the god of sensual love.  He holds the world in sin.  He was the enemy of Buddha, and endeavored in every way to defeat him.  He is also described as the king of death.]

[Footnote 92:  That is, the Brahman wearing the twice-born thread.]

[Footnote 93:  The “eternal draught” or “sweet dew” of Ambrosia.  This expression is constantly used in Buddhist writings.  It corresponds with the Pali amatam, which Childers explains as the “drink of the gods.”]

[Footnote 94:  The condition of the highest Deva, according to Buddhism, does not exempt him from re-birth; subject to the calamities incident on such a renewal of life.]

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Sacred Books of the East from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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