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In the reign of MAI-IAMANYGOLARI-IVE BHUNGXTHOP KRIDAYAKK MANGTARA, in the year 2323, certain unholy priests violated the laws of the holy Bonmr by inventing in the Pali language ten heterodox doctrines of their own, and substituting them in the stead of the dictates of Bunnrr. It was amongst other things directed, that a piece of yellow cloth of four cubits long and one span in breadth, tied around the breast, should form the only raiment of priests-a doctrine to which
they gave all the force of their own example. These inconsistencies
made the monarch anxious to exhibit and elucidate to all his subjects, both foreigners and aborigines, the laity and the priesthood, the true shastras with commentaries: he therefore convened a general meeting, where those versed in shastrical lore, by long discussion and close scrutiny, came to the conclusion that the use of the yellow cloth in the manner stated was a violation of the shastras, and that priests should roll part of their cloth, and pass it under their arms; when it was also enjoined that the uninitiated priests should study Sekhig/avatha, (a volume which regulates dress and ceremonies,) and correct by its dictates their system of mendicancy, habiliments, and general demeanour. Many holy volumes, teeming with sapient comments, were brought to demonstrate the inconsistency of the practices prevalent, which could not be gainsaid or counteracted by the advocates of the new system, who formed a class living by themselves in the village of Dum.
Another general conference was held, in which presided M AHAYASA. There was a class of priests called Chhabbaggi, who used to practise ten several kinds of inconsistencies, when in the year 2326, it was determined and ascertained that the practice was founded on tradition, and not in the shastras. Cnnsnornu rrnanssxrrsno MANG TARAH run, the king of Amarapura, to whom were subject several tributary rajas, being displeased at the perversion, he by the power he was invested with by the institutions of Heaven, as well as by those of the laws of his own kingdom, suppressed unholiness,and amongst the rest destroyed the evil practices alluded to, and what was impure he filtered into re. finement, so that the conduct and holy exercises of the priests were brought to concord and harmony, and those who followed wrong dogmas, or their own whims, were brought within the pale of orthodoxy.
In fine like SRIDHAMMASOKA, king of the world, he directed the oi;-culation and establishment of the shastras in all accessible countries. Having heard that the shastras were made light of in a country called Mahavisa, he took possession of it, and brought and charmed away thence the statue of MAHAMUNI, and deposited it in a temple decorated
with gems. In Brother Cr-umernunnsuo's reign, Vrcmrrs LANKARA being ex
traordinarily versed in shastrical learning, the sovereign invested him with the joint office of Vimala vansa-dhaja-maharaja guru, and the presidency of the five several religious denominations; and they are as follow : Pun;/avansaparama makaraja Gurucharato, Munindasridhaja maharaja Gurucharato, Chandamedhabhidkara maharaja Gurucharato, Paramasrzl dhaja maharaja Gurucharato.
After a consultation between the king and the priests of the country, it was determined upon, that some should be employed in extending and circulating the shastras beyond the limits to which they were confined. To this end those who had the shastras by heart started in the year Sakkaraj H48 (A. n. 1786), with a view to plant and introduce it in Rammavati, in the island of Yanbya Kvg/an, accompanied by a numerous retinue and‘ attendants to answer every purpose. But before the conveyers of the holy word arrived at the destined place, they were escorted with honor thither by (the governor) Nnnnsnmnzxvro, the general Cnrcnxnvnnv KHONGSIHA KVYO cuvn, &c. CHIKSIHANAKHANGNAT MHANG TAKNGORALHAKYOTAN, and the chief secretary CI-IARE KKIVERASUNGORASU MIUNG, and other chiefs of the country, who introduced the body composing the mission into the country. So great was the effect produced by their arrival, that from the 5th day of Tabodoa, (February,) to the end of the month, the very flower of the country were ordained priests of different degrees in the great temple called Maluwihara.
In the full-moon of Tabongla, (March,)a temple called Kalg/am‘ simtokri, was duly consecrated ; in short, the various parts and villages of the island abounded with temples and pagodas, which were on this occasion built and consecrated. They also fixed the holy shastras in Dvdrdvati and M egh¢ivati*, and brought into operation the holy institutions, so that the very government and all its members, with the subjects of the island, heard with attention the three several classes of holy science, read, 61:pounded, and proclaimed, in which they were eventually established. Thus holiness was attained, ministers of different ranks and degrees commenced the study of the shastras, so that the very island shone with yellow robes, characteristic of the prayers of holiness. During this state of things, it was earnestly prayed by all the zealous, that the unholy should separate and divide themselves from the righteous within 5000
years, and that the excellent of the land with their votaries may shine and prosper, in order that they may at last obtain that most transcendent
of all bliss, Nirbhan, (final emancipation.)
* Sandowaé and Cheduba, according to Mr. Wnr.rnn’s free translation of the
same inscription, which has reached us too late to be otherwise available than for
general comparison with Ratua Paula’s version.—En.
II.—Translation Qf an Inscription in the P612’ character and Burmese Language, on a stone at Buddh Gya. in Be/ear. Plate XVI.
When the Burmese ambassador MENGY MAHA Cunsu and his suite were on their way to the Upper Provinces, to visit the Governor General ; they took the opportunity of paying their devotions at the celebrated Buddhist temple near Gya. There, as usual making notes of every occurrence, they took copies of an ancient inscription in the Pzili character, discovered by them,iu a half-buried situation near the Malta Bodhi gdch or sacred pipal tree, on the terrace of the temple. A copy of their manuscript having come into RATNA PAULA’S hands, he has obliged me by lithographing the text, as a sequel to the more lengthy inscription from Ramree in the present number.
It will be remarked that there is a near coincidence in the names of the kings of Ava, alluded to in the two inscriptions ; although an interval of more than 500 years separates the two in date: this can only be cleared up by a better knowledge of the history of the country, than we now possess. In the Burmese chronological table, published in Crawford's Embassy, SATO-MANG-BYA (probably the same as Sado-meng) only founded Angwa or Ava in the Sakkaraj year 726. In 667-8, TACHI-SHANG-SI-HA-SU reigned in Panya .- his grand-son founded and reigned in Chit-going.
At page 111, Lieut. Bum refers to an unintelligible inscription at Gya, mentioned by Mr. HARINGTON; but that contained only one line, and was in a different locality. The present inscription seems therefore to have escaped attention up to the present moment : it is now recorded as furnishing an authentic note of the construction of the Buddha Gya monument in the year i305 A. D. ;for it maybe presumed that the previous Chaityas and Buddhist structures had been long before levelled with theground, and the inscription states, that previous missions to reconstruct the edifice had been unsuccessful. As proving that this spot is held in peculiar veneration by the Burmese, it may be remembered that in 1823, a deputation of Buddha priests was sent from Amarapura, by the Burman emperor, to perform the obsequies of his predecessor, recently deceased, at the shrine of Buddha Gya.
Translation. > “This is one of the 84,000 shrines erected by SR1 DHARM ASOKA, ruler of the world (Jambodwip), at the end of the 218th year of Buddha annihilation, (B. C. 326,) upon the holy spot in which Buaoavén (Buddha) tasted milk and honey (rnadhupayasa .-) In lapse of time, having fallen into disrepair, it was rebuilt by a priest named NaurMAHANTA. Again, being ruined, it was restored by Raja SADO-MANG. After a long interval it was once more demolished, when Raja SEMPYU
SAKHEN-TARA-MENGI appointed his gu’rzi SR1-DHAMMA RAJA-GUNA to superintend the building. He proceeded to the spot with his disciple, SR1 K.-(sum, but they were unable to complete it, although aided in every way by the Raja. Afterwards VARADASLNAIK-THERA petitioned the Raja to undertake it, to which he readily assented, commissioning prince PYUTASING to the work, who again deputed the younger Prvsa-' KHENG, and his minister RATHA, to cross over and repair the sacred building. It was thus constructed a fourth time, and finished on Friday the 10th day of Pg/adola, in the Sakkaraj year 667 (A. D. 1305). On Sunday the 8th of Tachhaon-mungla, 668 (A. D. 1306), it was consecrated with splendid ceremonies and offerings of food, perfumes, banners, and
‘lamps, and piija of the famous ornamented tree called calpa-vrilcsha .- and
the poor (two F) were treated with charity, as the Raja’s own children ? Thus was completed this meritorious act, which will produce eternal reward and virtuous fruits. May the founders endure in fame, enjoy the tranquillity of Nirbhan, and become Arahanta on the advent of ARYA
III.—Classiflcation of the Néwdrs, or Aborigines of Népdl Proper, preceded by the most authoritative Legend relative to the Origin and Early History of the Race.
The Swoyambhfi Pfmina relates in substance as follows : That formerly the valley of Népzil was of circular form, and full of very deep water, and that the mountains confining it were clothed with the densest forests, giving shelter to numberless birds and beasts. Countless waterfowl rejoiced in the waters. The name of the lake was Nétga Vfisa; it was beautiful as the Lake of Indra; south of the Heméchal, the resi. dence of KARK('>TAKA, prince of the Nagas; seven cos long, and as many broad. In the lake were many sorts of water-plants ; but not the lotos. After a time, VIPASYI BUDDHA arrived, with very many disciples and Bhikshus, from Vind1'1mati Nagar, in Madhya Désa, at the Lake of Naga Vzisa, in the course of his customary religious peregrinations. Vrrasn, having thrice circumambulated the lake, seated himself in the N. W. (Vziyfrkona) side of it, and, having repeated several mantras over the root of a lotos, he threw it into the water, exclaiming, “ What time this root shall produce a flower, then, from out of the flower, Swoyambhu, the Lord of Aknishtha Bhavana, shall be revealed in the form of flame; and then shall the lake become a cultivated and populous country.” Having repeated these words, VIPASYI departed. Long after the date of this prophecy, it was fulfilled according to the letter.
AfterVrPAsY1 BUDDHA, came SIKHI BUDDHA to Nags. Vdsawith a great; company of respectful followers, composedof rajas and persons of the four
castes (chatur varana). SIKHI, so soon as he beheld J YOTI-RUP-SWOYAMBHU, offered to him many laudatory forms of prayer: then rising, he thrice walked round Naga Vasa, and, having done so, thus addressed his disciples: “ This place shall hereafter, by the blessing of SWOYAMBHU, become a delightful abode to those who shall resort to it from all quarters to dwell in it, and a sweet place of sojourn for the pilgrim and passenger: my apotheosis is now near at band, do you all take your leave of me and depart to your own country.” So saying SIKHI threw himself into the waters of Naga Vasa, grasping in his hands the stalk of the lotos, and his soul was absorbed into the essence of SWOYAMBHU. Many of his disciples, following their master, threw themselves in the lake, and were absorbed into SWOYAMBHU, (i. e. the self-existent ;) the rest returned home. Vrswasnn was the third Buddha who visited Naga Vasa. Vrswannu was born in An1'1pama-puri-nagar, of Madhya désa, (in the Trita yuga ;) his life was devoted to benefitting his fellow-creatures. His visit to Népéil was long after that of SIKHI, and, like SIKHI, he brought with him a great many disciples and Bhikshas, Rajas and cultivators, natives of his own land. Having repeated the praises of SWOYAMBHU-JYOTI-RUPA he observed. “ In this lake Prajnasur1'1pa-Guhyéswari will be produced. A Bodhisatwa will, in time, make her manifest out of the waters: and this place, through the blessing of SWOYAMBHU, willbecome replete with villages, towns, and tirthas, and inhabitants of various and diverse tribes.” Having thus prophesied hethrice circumambulated the lake and returned to his native country. The Bodhisatwa above alluded to is MANJU SR1, whose native place is very far off, towards the north, and is called Pancha Sirsha Parvata, [which is situated in Maha China Dés*.] One day in the Trita yuga, and immediately after the coming of VISWABHU Buddha to Naga Vasa, MANJU Sm, meditating upon what was passing in the world, discovered by means of his divine science that SWOYAMBHU-JYOTI-RUPA, that is, the self-existent, in the form of flame, was revealed out of a lotos in the Lake of Naga Vasa. Again, he reflected within himself : “ Let me behold that sacred spot, and my name will long be celebrated in the world ; and on the instant, collecting together his disciples, comprising a multitude of the peasantry of the land, and a Raja named DHARMAKAR, he assumed the form of VISWAKARMA, and with his two Dévis (wives,) and the persons above-mentioned, set out upon the long journey from Sirsha Parvata to Naga Vasa. There having arrived, and having made p1'1ja. to the self-existent, he began to circumambulate the lake, beseeching all the while the aid of SWOYAMBHU in ‘prayer. In the second circuit, when he had reached the central barrier mountain on the south, he
“’ The bracketed portions are from the commentators.