Sacred Books of the East eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 632 pages of information about Sacred Books of the East.
for deliverance?  There are those who say, ‘I’ (the soul) is the cause of birth, and others who affirm, ‘I’ (the soul) is the cause of death.  There are some who say, ’Birth comes from nothingness, and without any plan of ours we perish.’  Thus one is born a fortunate child, removed from poverty, of noble family, or learned in testamentary lore of Rishis, or called to offer mighty sacrifices to the gods, born in either state, untouched by poverty, then their famous name becomes to them ‘escape,’ their virtues handed down by name to us; yet if these attained their happiness, without contrivance of their own, how vain and fruitless is the toil of those who seek ‘escape.’  And you, desirous of deliverance, purpose to practise some high expedient, whilst your royal father frets and sighs; for a short while you have essayed the road, and leaving home have wandered through the wilds, to return then would not now be wrong; of old, King Ambarisha for a long while dwelt in the grievous forest, leaving his retinue and all his kinsfolk, but afterwards returned and took the royal office; and so Rama, son of the king of the country, leaving his country occupied the mountains, but hearing he was acting contrary to usage, returned and governed righteously.  And so the king of Sha-lo-po, called To-lo-ma, father and son, both wandered forth as hermits, but in the end came back again together; so Po-’sz-tsau Muni, with On-tai-tieh, in the wild mountains practising as Brahmakarins, these too returned to their own country.  Thus all these worthies of a by-gone age, famous for their advance in true religion, came back home and royally governed, as lamps enlightening the world.  Wherefore for you to leave the mountain wilds, religiously to rule, is not a crime.”

The royal prince, listening to the great minister’s loving words without excess of speaking, full of sound argument, clear and unconfused, with no desire to wrangle after the way of the schools, with fixed purpose, deliberately speaking, thus answered the great minister:  “The question of being and not being is an idle one, only adding to the uncertainty of an unstable mind, and to talk of such matters I have no strong inclination; purity of life, wisdom, the practice of asceticism, these are matters to which I earnestly apply myself, the world is full of empty studies which our teachers in their office skilfully involve; but they are without any true principle, and I will none of them!  The enlightened man distinguishes truth from falsehood; but how can truth be born from such as those?  For they are like the man born blind, leading the blind man as a guide; as in the night, as in thick darkness both wander on, what recovery is there for them?  Regarding the question of the pure and impure, the world involved in self-engendered doubt cannot perceive the truth; better to walk along the way of purity, or rather follow the pure law of self-denial, hate the practice of impurity, reflect on what was said of old, not obstinate in one belief

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