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contemporary of Prasastapāda. Dharmakirti criticised Uddyotakara and Kumārila criticised Dharmakirti. Kumā rila's age is c. 700 A. D. Uddyotakara, therefore must have lived between Dionaga (450 A. D.) and Kumarila, rather in the earlier part of this period to make room for Dharmakirti who is not mentioned by Hieuen Tsang (629-645 A. D.) but mentioned by I-Tsing (671 A. D.). Then comes Vacaspati Misra who gives his date as Vascankarasu vatsare, that is, the year, 898. But he does not say of what Era. If it is Saka, it would be 976 A. D. but if it is Vikrama Era it would be 842. Then comes Udayana one of whose books was written in 1006 A. D. and he is the last great name in the Nyaya System. After him the two system Nyāya and Vaigeshika were amalgamated principally by Gaugesopādhyāya who flourished a few years before the Muhammadan conquest of Bengal.
Buddhaghosa's visits to Ceylon and
the island of Lanka.
BY BIMALA CHARAN LAW, M.A. B.L., F. R. Hist. S.
áfter having established his father in the fruition of the first stage of sanctification, Buddhaghosa begged his father's pardon and went to his preceptor. As soon as he got permission from the preceptor to go to Ceylon he directed bis steps towards the shore together with the merchants and boarded the ship which at once sailed. On his way to Ceylon (1), he met a Thera named Buddhadatta who was then coming back to Jambudipa from Lahkā (2) Buddhaghosa safely reached Lahkā.dvipa. There he went to the Samgharāja Mahāthera, saluted him and sat on one side just behind the monks who were learning Abbidhamma and Vinaya. (3) One day the chief of the congregation while instructing the monks, came on a knotty point, the meaning and purport of which he could not make clear. He was struck dumb and went to his inner chamber and sat there thinking upon it. Buddhaghosa knew all about it and wrote out on a blackboard the purport and meaning of the knotty point and when the chief of the congregation came out of his inner chamber, he looked at the writing. The Samgharāja inquired “Who has written this "? He was told by the hermits thus, “It must have been written by the stranger monk.” The chief inquired "Where has be gone"? The hermits sought him out and showed him to the chief. The chief inquired whether it was written by
(1) On his way to Ceylon, before he met Budddhadatta, he reached Naga pattana (p. 53 Saddhamma.Samgaho, J. P, T. S. 1890 ).
(2) Buddhaghosuppatti, p. 49.
(3) It is recorded in the Sasanavarasa (edited by Mabel Bode) p. 81 that Baddbaghosa went to Ceylon and he entered into the Mahavihara at Anuradhapara. There having listened to the Sinhalese Atthakatha and Theravada from Thera Samghapala, he said that he would prepare an atthakatha himself.
him and getting a reply in the affirmative, he said, “ The congregation of monks should be taught by you in the three Pitakas". Buddhaghosa refused by saying, "I have come here to translate the teachings of the Lord from Sinhalese into Māgadhi”. On hearing this, the chief became pleased and said, “If you have come here to perform such a task, you may clear to us the significance of the following stanza uttered by the Buddha in reference to the three Pi. takas :-“Who is that person who being wise and established in precepts, and having cultured his thought and wisdom, being ardent and skilful can unravel this kaot"? Buddhaghosa consented, saying, “ All right”, and then he departed to his abode. On the very day in the afternoon, he wrote out the Visuddhi-magga very easily, beginning with Sile patitthāya, etc., after writing the Visuddhimag, he fell asleep. Sakka, the chief of the gods stole it. After awaking, he could not find his own composition and he wrote out Visuddhimagga again as quickly as possible by lamplight; after completing it, he kept it on his head and he again fell asleep. Sakka stole it for the second time. The Thera after awaking could not find it, he again wrote it as quickly as possible. After completing it, he fell asleep by tying it to the garment he wore. Sakka then left the two books already stolen by him, on his head (1). In the morning Buddhaghosa became delighted, seeing his books on his head. After ablutions he showed the three books to the chief of the congrega. tion of the monks of Lanká (2). It is interesting to note that in these three books, there were more than one million, nine hundred and twenty-three thousand letters particles or prefixes. The chief became astounded and asked him as to the cause of writing out the same book three times. Buddhaghosa told him the reason. Then the three books were recited (3). It is to be noticed that the particles, prefixes and letters are the same and are put in the same places in these three books (4). The chief noticing this feature became greatly pleased and gave him permission to render the teaching of the Lord
(1) See also Saddhamma-Samgaho, p. 53., J. P. T. 8. 1890,
cf. Basanavamsu p 30. (2) cf. 8. V., p. 30. (8) cf. 8-8 J. P. T. 8., 1890, p. 63. (4) cf. Saddhamma-Samgaho, J. P. T. 8., 1890, pp. 53-64.
" Ganthato va akkhara to va padato va vyanjanato va atthato
va pubbaparavagena va theravadadihi va palihi va tisu potthakesu annathattam nama nahosi”.
into Māgadhi from Sinhalese. The chief spoke highly of the vir- . tues of Buddhaghosa. Since then he became famous as Buddha- . ghosa among the inhabitants of Ceylon (5). He was called the chief of human beings like the Buddha on earth (6).
Buddhaghosa while he was at Ceylon used to live on the lower flat of a seven-storied building. There he was engaged in translating the teachings of the Lord daily (7) and in the morning he used to go out for alms, he saw the palm leaves which fell and taking them he departed for the place where he had to come to beg. This was his practice while he was at Ceylon. One day a toddy-seller who was wise and experienced saw his acts and scattered on the place of his begging unbroken palm leaves and then he hid himself. The Thera when he had finished begging, carried them to his house. The toddy-seller followed him and saw him actually engaged in writing and he was satisfied. One day he took a potful of food and presented it to the Thera. The Thera said to him, “There lives a superior Thera in the upper flat, please give it to him. The toddy. seller went upstairs and was asked by the Thera in the upper flat thus, "Buddhaghosa who dwells on the lower flat is worthier than us, daily does he translate the teachings of the Lord into Māgadbi, give it to him "
The toddy-seller thus told, came to Buddhaghosa and gave it to him. He accepted it, and made six shares out of it and gave one share to each of the six Theras. Buddhaghosa's task of translating was completed in three months. Having observed the Pavāraṇā, he informed the chief of the cor.gregation of the com. pletion of his task and the Samgharāja praised him much and set fire to all the works written by Mahinda in Sinhalese. He asked the permission of the congregation to go home to see his parents. While he was going to embark, the Sinhalese monks spoke ill of him thus : “We are of opinion that this Thera knows the Tripitakas but he does not know Sanskrit ”. As soon as Buddhaghosa heard of
(5) cf. Saddhamma-Samgaho, J. P. T. S., 1890, pp. 52-53.
(7) According to Spence Hardy, Buddha, hosa took up his residence in the secluded Ganthakara Vihara where he was occupied with the work of translating, according to the grammatical rule of the Magadhi wbich is the root of all langu: ages, the whole of the Sinhalese Atthakathas into Pali (A Manual of Buddhism, p. 531).
this, he made a fair display of his knowledge of Sanskrit and since then the monks entertained no doubt as to his knowledge of that language (8).
An interesting event happened while Buddha ghosa was in Ceylon. One day two maid-servants of two brahmins fell out with each other. When one of them was walking up the bank taking a jar of water from a pond, the maid servant of the other brahmin was then going down in a hurry with an empty jar which coming in contact with the jar of the maid-servant who was going up was broken. The maide-servant whose jar was broken grew angry and abused the other, who also abused her. Buddhaghosa hearing this thought thus, “There is nobody here, these women abusing each other would surely speak to their masters about it and I might be cited as a witness”. The master of the maid-servant whose jar was broken referred the matter to the tribunal; the king not being able to decide the case, asked “Who is your witness "? Of these two one referred to Buddhaghosa who was introduced to the king as a stranger who obtained the punishment of the Church. The king sent for Buddhaghosa who said thus: “The abusive language used by the maid-servants of the brahmins has been heard by me. We, monks, take no notice of such things ". Biddhaghosa handed over the book in which he recorded the abusive language, to the king. The king decided the case relying on the written evidence of Buddhaghosa. The king praised him much by saying that he (Buddhaghosa) was one of quick wisdom. The king inquired as to where he lived. The brahmins spoke ill of him by saying, “This discarded monk has come to trade, you should not see him”. The king's appreciation of Buddhaghosa may be stated thus, "I have never seen before a Samaņa like him who is religious, of quick intellect and greatly meditative (9).
On returning from Ceylon, he first of all went to his preceptor at Jambudvipa and informed him that he had written Pariyatti. Buddhaghosa saluted him and then went to his parents who gave him excellent food to take (10),
(8) Buddhagh-suppatti, pp. 59-61.