The Sanscrit, the most perfect of all languages, and the mother of Greek and of all the languages of the Aryan races, now spread over the world, had gone out of use in Buddha’s time, and the Pali, one of its earliest offspring, was used by the great teacher and his people.
Arnold follows the tradition, that there was but one, whom he makes a young wife, without any authority so far as I can learn. I prefer to follow the Chinese pilgrim, Fa Hian, who was on the ground with every means of knowing, who makes them two young girls, and named as above.
Bishop Heber says he saw a recluse whose hands had been clinched so close and so long that the nails had actually grown through the hands as here described.
The last temptation of Buddha was to keep his light to himself under the fear that men would reject his message.
Seven days had passed since first he saw
Seven days of deep, ecstatic peace and joy,
Of open vision of that blissful world,
Of sweet communion with those dwelling there.
But having tasted, seen and felt the joys
Of that bright world where love is all in all,
Filling each heart, inspiring every thought,
Guiding each will and prompting every act,
He yearned to see the other, darker side
Of that bright picture, where the wars and hates,
The lust, the greed, the cruelty and crime
That fill the world with pain and want and woe
Have found their dwelling-place and final goal.
Quicker than eagles soaring toward the
Till but a speck against the azure vault
Swoop down upon their unsuspecting prey,
Quicker than watch-fires on the mountain-top
Send warnings to the dwellers in the plain,
Led by his guides he reached Nirvana’s verge,
Whence he beheld a broad and pleasant plain,
Spread with a carpet of the richest green
And decked with flowers of every varied tint,
Whose blended odors fill the balmy air,
Where trees, pleasant to sight and good for food,
In rich abundance and spontaneous grow.
A living stream, as purest crystal clear,
With gentle murmurs wound along the plain,
Its surface bright with fairer lotus-flowers
Than mortal eye on earth had ever seen,
While on its banks were cool, umbrageous groves
Whose drooping branches spicy breezes stir,
A singing bird in every waving bough,
Whose joyful notes the soul of music shed.
A mighty multitude, beyond the power
Of men to number, moved about the plain;
Some, seeming strangers, wander through the groves
And pluck the flowers or eat the luscious fruits;
Some, seeming visitors from better worlds,
Here wait and watch as for expected guests;
While angel devas, clothed in innocence,
Whose faces beam with wisdom, glow with