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Adverting again to REMUsA'r's Review in the Journal des Savans for May, 1831, I find myself charged with another omission more impor-' tant than that of all mention of the Avatars. It isno less than the omission of all mention of any other Buddhas than the seven celebrated Manfishis. The passage in which this singular allegation is advanced is the following: “ Les noms de ces sept personnages (the ‘ Sapta Buddha’) sont connus des Chinois, et ils en indiquent une infinite’ d’autres dont le Bouddhiste Nipélien no parle pas.”
My Essay in the London Transactions was the complement and continuation of that in the Calcutta Researches. Rnuvsu was equally well acquainted with both ,~ and, unless he would have had me indulge in most useless repetition, he must have felt convinced that the points enlarged on in the former essay would be treated cursorily or omitted, in the latter; Why, then, did he not refer to the Calcutta paper for what was wanting in the London one P Unless I greatly deceive myself, I was the first person who shewed clearly, and proved by extracts from original Sanscrit works, that Buddhism recognises “ une infinité” of Buddhas, -'—Dhyani and Manushi, Pratyéka, Srévaka, and Maha Yfmika. The xvith vol. of the Calcutta Transactions was published in 1828. , In that vol. appeared my first Essay, the substance of which had, however, been in the hands of the Secretary nearly three years before it was published*. In that vol. I gave an original list of nearly 150 Buddhas (p. 446, 449) : I observed that the Buddhas named in the Buddhist scriptures were “ as numerous as the grains of sand on the banks of the Ganges ;" but that, as most of them were nonentities in regard to chronology and history, the list actually furnished would probably more than sufiice to gratify rational curiosity; on which account I suppressed another long list, drawn from the Samiadhi Raja, which was then in my hands, (p. 444.) By fixing attention on that cardinal dogma. of sugatism, viz. that man can enlarge his faculties to infinity, I enabled every inquirer to conclude with certainty that the Buddhas had been multiplied ad libitum. By tracing the connexion between the Arhantas and the Bodhisatwas; between the latter again, and the Buddhas of the first, second, and third degree of eminence and power; I pointed out the distinct steps by which the finite becomes confounded with the infinite,—-man with Buddha ; and I observed in conclusion that the epithet Tathsigata, a synonyme of Buddha, empressly pourtrays this transition. (London Transactions, vol. ii. part i.) Facts and dates are awkward opponents except to those, who, with REMusA'r’s compatriot, dismiss them witha ‘tant pis pour les faits !' For years before I published my first Essay, I had been in possession of hundreds of drawings, made from the Buddhist pictures and sculptures with which this land is saturated, and which drawings have not yet been published, owing to the delay incident to procuring authentic explanations of them from original sources. All the gentlemen of the residency can testify to the truth of this assertion; and can tell those who would be wiser for the knowledge, that it is often requisite to walk heedfully over the classic fields of the va_lley of Nipiil, lest perchance you break your shins against an image of a Buddha! These images are to be met with every where, and of all sizes and shapes, very many of them endowed with a multiplicity of members sufficient to satisfy the teeming fancy of any Brahman of Madhya Désa ! Start not, gentle reader, for it is literally thus, and no otherwise. Buddhas with three heads instead of one—six or ten arms in place of two! The necessity of reconciling these things with the so called first principles of Buddhism*, may reasonably account for delay in the production of my pictorial stores. Meantime, I cannot but smile to find myself condoled with for my poverty when I am really, and have been for 10 years, accablé des richessesl One interesting
* According to usage in that matter provided : a statement in which I request the present Secretary will have the goodness to bear me out.
This delay was and is a necessary evil of the publication of an occasional volume of Researches. It was to obviate the inconvenience in some measure that the present form of the Journal was adopted, but still this is inadequate to the production of papers of any magnitude, as we fear Mr. Honoson feels by experience l—En.
"' See Ensnmn’s Essays in the Bombay Transactions.
result only have I reached by means of these interminable trifles ; and that is, strong presumptive proof that the cave temples of Western India are the work of Buddhists solely, and that the most apparently Brahmanical sculptures of those venerable fanes are, in fact, Buddhist. A hint to this effect Igave so long ago as 1827, in the Quarterly Oriental Magazine, (No. XIV. p. 219;) and can only afford room to remark in this place, that subsequent research had tended strongly to confirm the impressions then derived from my very learned old friend AMIRTA NANDA. The existence of an infinite number of Buddhas; the existence of the whole Dhyéni class of Buddhas; the personality of the Triad: its philosophical meaning; the classification and nomenclature of the ascetical or true followers of this creed; the distinction of its various schools of philosophy; the peculiar tenets of each school, faintly but rationally indicated; the connexion of its philosophy with its religion; and, as the result of all these, the means of speaking consistently upon the general subject*, are matters for the knowledge of which, if REMUSAT he not wholly indebted to me and my authorities, it is absolutely certain that I am wholly unindebted to him and his ; for till he sent me, 10 months ago, (I speak of the date of receipt,) his essay on the Triad, I had never seen one line of his, or any other continental writer’s lucubrations on Buddhism.
I have ventured to advance above that in the opinion of a learned friend, the Chinese and Mongolian works on Buddhism, from which the continental savans have drawn the information they possess on that topic, are not per se adequate to supply any very intelligible views of the general subject.
As this is an assertion which it may seem desirable to support by
proof, allow me to propose the following. Rsmusn observes, that a'
work of the first order gives the subjoined sketch of the Buddhist cos
nmgony. “ Tous les étres etant contenus dans la tres pure substance
de la pensée, une idée surgit inopinement et produisit la fausse lumiere; Quand la fausse lumiere fut née, le vide et l’obscurité s’imposerent reciproquement des limites. Les formes qui en resulterent étant indeterminées, il y eut agitation et mouvement. De la naquit le tourbillon de vent qui contient les mondes. L’intelligence lumineuse etoit le principe de solidité, d’ou naquit la roue d'or qui soutient et protege la.
* A learned friend assures me that “ a world of Chinese and Mongolian enig. mas have been solved by means of your general and consistent outline of the system, but for which outline the said enigmas would have continued to defy all the con. tinental CEdipuses."
terre. - Le contact mutuel du vent et du metal produit le feu et la lumiere, qui sont les principes des changemens et des modifications. La lumiere precieuse engendre la liquidité qui bouillonne a la surface de la lumiere ignée, d’ou provient le tourbillon d’eau qui embrasse les mondes
- de toute part.”
Now I ask, is there a man living, not familiar with the subject, who can extract a particle of sense from the above passage? And are not suchpassages, produced in illustration of a novel theme, the veriest obscurations thereof P But let us see what can be made of the enigma. This apercu cosmogonique of the Long-yan-king, is, in fact, a description of the procession of the five elements, one from another, and ultimately from Prajna, the universal material principle, very nearly akin to the Pradluin of the Kapila Simkhya. This universal principle has two modes or states of being, one of which is the proper, absolute, and enduring mode; the other, the contingent, relative, and transitory.
The former is abstraction from all efi'ects, or quiescence : the latter is concretion with all effects, or activity, When the intrinsic energy of matter is exerted, efi'ects exist ; when that energy relapses into repose, they exist not. All worlds and beings composing the versatile universe are cumulative efiects ; and though the so-called elements composing them be evolved and revolved in a given manner, one from and to another, and though each be distinguished by a given property or properties, the distinctions, as well as the orderly evolution and revolution, are mere results of the gradually increasing and decreasing energy of nature in a state of activity*. Updya, or ‘ the expedient’, is the name of this energy ;—increase of it is increase of phenomenal properties ;—-decrease of it is decrease of phenomenal properties. All phenomena are homogeneous and alike unreal ; gravity and extended figure, no less so than colour or sound. Extension in the abstract is not a phenomenon, nor belongs properly to the versatile world. The productive energy begins at a minimum of intensity, and increasing to amaximum, thence decreases again to aminimum. Hence dkdsh, the first product, has but one quality or property ; air, the second, has two ; fire, the third,
' ‘* Causes and efiects, quoad the versatile world, cannot be truly alleged to exist, There is merely customary conjunction, and certain limited eifects of proximity in the precedent and subsequent, by virtue of the one true and universal cause, viz. Prajna. With the primitive Swobhavikas cause is not unitised: for the rest, their tenetsare very much the same with those above explained in the text, only their conclusions incline rather to scepticism than dogrnatism. It may also perhaps be doubted whether with the latter school, phenomena are unreal as well as
homogeneous. In the text, I would be understood to state the tenets of the Prainikas only.