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.
or one tradition, with sincere mind accepting all true words, and ever banishing sinful sorrow (i.e. sin, the cause of grief).  Words which exceed sincerity are vainly spoken; the wise man uses not such words.  As to what you say of Rama and the rest, leaving their home, practising a pure life, and then returning to their country, and once more mixing themselves in sensual pleasures, such men as these walk vainly; those who are wise place no dependence on them.  Now, for your sakes, permit me, briefly, to recount this one true principle of action:  The sun, the moon may fall to earth, Sumeru and all the snowy mountains overturn, but I will never change my purpose; rather than enter a forbidden place, let me be cast into the fierce fire; not to accomplish rightly what I have entered on, and to return once more to my own land, there to enter the fire of the five desires, let it befall me as my own oath records.”  So spake the prince, his arguments as pointed as the brightness of the perfect sun; then rising up he passed some distance off.

The Purohita and the minister, their words and discourse prevailing nothing, conversed together, after which, resolving to depart on their return, with great respect they quietly inform the prince, not daring to intrude their presence on him further; and yet regarding the king’s commands, not willing to return with unbecoming haste.  They loitered quietly along the way, and whomsoever they encountered, selecting those who seemed like wise men, they interchanged such thoughts as move the learned, hiding their true position, as men of title; then passing on, they speeded on their way.

[Footnote 97:  That is, raising his nose to look up at the sun.]

[Footnote 98:  This description of the prince’s hair seems to contradict the head arrangement of the figures of Buddha, unless the curls denote the shaven head of the recluse.]

CHAPTER III

Bimbisara Raga Invites the Prince

The royal prince, departing from the court-master (i.e. the Purohita) and the great minister, Saddharma, keeping along the stream, then crossing the Ganges, he took the road towards the Vulture Peak,[99] hidden among the five mountains, standing alone a lovely peak as a roof amid the others.  The trees and shrubs and flowers in bloom, the flowing fountains, and the cooling rills; all these he gazed upon—­then passing on, he entered the city of the five peaks, calm and peaceful, as one come down from heaven.  The country folk, seeing the royal prince, his comeliness and his excessive grace, though young in years, yet glorious in his person, incomparable as the appearance of a great master, seeing him thus, strange thoughts affected them, as if they gazed upon the banner of Isvara.  They stayed the foot, who passed athwart the path; those hastened on, who were behind; those going before, turned back their heads and gazed with earnest, wistful look.  The marks and distinguishing

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