Buddhist Legends 1

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  • Ihe volumes of the Harvard OrientalSeries are printed at the expense of fundsgiven to Harvard University by HenryClarke Warren (1854-1899), of Cambridge,Massachusetts. The third volume, War-ren's Buddhisniy is a noble monument to hiscourage in adversity and to his scholarship.The Series, as a contribution to the workof enabling the Occident to understand theOrient, is the fruit of an enlightened liber-ality which now seems to have been analmost prophetic anticipation on his partof a great political need.

    A brief account of Mr. Warren's life is given at the endof volume 30. Also a list of the volumes of the Series,with titles and descriptions. This is followed by a partiallist of Public Libraries in which the Series may be found.




    CHARLES ROCKWELL LANMANProfessor at Harvard University; Honorary Fellow of the Asiatic Society of

    Bengal, of France, of England, and of Germany; Corresponding Member of theSociety of Sciences at Gottingen, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the

    AcadSmie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres of the Institute of France

    l^olume ^tDentp=isf)t


    Harbarb Winihtviity l^xti^1921

  • BUDDHIST LEGENDStHran^lateb from tije original ^ali text ot tlje


    EUGENE WATSON BURLINGAMEFellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; sometime

    Harrison Fellow for Research, University of Pennsylvania, andJohnston Scholar in Sanskrit, Johns Hopkins University;

    Lecturer on Pali (1917-1918) in Yale University

    ^PART 1 : Introduction ; Synopses ; Translation of Books 1 and 2

    With a photogravure of a palm-leaf manuscript


    ?|artiarb Winihtxiitp ^regg1921

  • Volumes 28 and 29 and 30, first issue : 1000 copies eachCopyright, 1921, by the Harvard University Press

    Composed on the monotype, and printed from electrotype plates, byThe University Press : John Wilson & Son, Incorporated,

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.


  • He whose heart is unwetted by the rain of Itist,He whose heart is unsinged by the fire of ill-will.He who has renounced both good and evil,He who is vigilant, such a man has nothing to fear,

    DOME are reborn on earth, evil-doers go to hell.The righteous go to heaven, Arahats pass to Nibbdna.

    IJY self alone is evil done, by self alone does one suffer.By self alone is evil left undone, by self alone does one

    obtain Salvation.

    Salvation and Perdition depend upon self; no man cansave another.

    1 HE shunning of all evil, the doing of good.The cleansing of the heart : this is the Religion of the Buddhas.

    One should overcome anger with kindness;One should overcome evil with good;One should overcome the niggard with gifts.And the speaker offalsehood with truth.

    Dhammapada 39, 126, 165, 183, 223


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  • [Page xii]

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  • [Page xiii]



    I wish to thank Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., Librarian of the Uni-versity of Pennsylvania, and his assistants, and Dr. M. L. Raney,Librarian of the Johns Hopkins University, for generous facihtiesafforded me in the loan of books. I am greatly indebted also to Mr.Albert J. Edmunds of Philadelphia, author of Buddhist and ChristianGospels, and of a translation of the Dhammapada, for the loan ofmany rare and valuable books from his private collection, at presentdeposited in the Library of Bryn Mawr College. I have also to thankMrs. C. A. F. Rhys Davids, Honorary Secretary of the Pali TextSociety, for her kindness in sending to me, as fast as issued, the ad-vance sheets of the Society's edition of the text of the DhammapadaCommentary.

    During the progress of the work, more particularly during my yearsof residence at the Johns Hopkins University as Johnston Scholar inSanskrit, Professor Maurice Bloomfield has greatly assisted me withhints and suggestions of the highest value with reference to correctphilological method as applied to the interpretation of Indie texts. Iam especially indebted to Professor Bloomfield for assistance in solv-ing many difficult problems in the comparative grammar of Sanskritand Pali, in Pali lexicography, and in the history of the religions ofIndia; and for innumerable suggestions relating to the handling ofHindu legends and folk-tales and to the analytical study of psychicmotifs recurring in Hindu fiction. For this generous assistance I wishto express to him my most grateful thanks.


  • NOTE FOR LIBRARIANS AND CATALOGUERSDhamma-pada, or Way of Righteousness, is the name of one of the canonical

    books of the Buddhist Sacred Scriptures. It is written in the Pali language. It con-sists of 423 stanzas. These are reputed to be the very words of the Buddha.The Dhammapada Commentary (in Pali, Dhammapad-Attha-katha) is ascribed to

    Buddhaghosa, the greatest of all the Buddhist scholastics. This ascription is withoutdue warrant, as appears from the translator's Introduction, page 60. The Commen-tary purports to tell us "where, when, why, for what purpose, with reference to whatsituation, with reference to what person or persons" Buddha uttered each one of thesestanzas see page 27. In so doing, the author of the Commentary narrates 299legends or stories. These stories are the preponderating element of the Commentary,and it is these which are here translated.The Library of Congress issues printed catalogue-cards made to follow rules now

    generally approved by the best experts. The cards for this work bear the serial num-ber 20-27590, and the main entry is Dhammapadatthakatha. Complete sets of thesecards may be had (at a nominal price of 12 cents for each set of 8) upon applicationto "The Library of Congress Card Division, Washington, D. C." But (to foreignlibrarians, at least) the suggestion may be welcome that this work be recorded inLibrary Catalogues under the following eight entries:

    Burlingame, Eugene Watson Buddhist LegendsDhammapad-Attha-katha Dhammapada CommentaryBuddhaghosa Warren, Henry Clarke, 1854-1899 (as subject of Memorial)Harvard Oriental Series Lanman, C. R., 1850- (as editor, and as author of Memorial)

    MEANING OF REFERENCES IN THE HEAD-LINESThe references in square brackets at the inside upper corners of the Translation are

    intended to be read across from the left-hand page to the right-hand page. Theyshow the portions of the original Pali text (in the edition of H. C. Norman: hencethe "N.") the translation of which is contained upon any two pages that face eachother, that is, contained between the first line of a left-hand page of the Transla-tion and the last line of the next right-hand page. Thus, in this volume, pages 194and 195 contain the translation of that portion of the Pali text which begins in Nor-man's edition at volume 1, page 83, line 14, and ends at page 85, line 24. In num-bering the lines of the pages of the original, the Vagga-headings (in capitals) andstory-headings (in capitals and small capitals), added by the Editor, have not beencounted, and of course not the head-lines of the pages.

    NOTE AS TO PRONOUNCING THE PALI NAMESShort a, as in organ, or like the u in but. The other vowels, as in the key-words

    far, pin, pique, pull, rule, (and roughly) they, so. Pronounce c like ch in church, andj as in judge. The "aspirates" are true aspirates: thus, th, dh, ph, as in hothouse,madhouse, uphill. They are not spirants, as in thin, graphic. The underdotted t, d, n,etc. are pronounced (by the Hindus, at least) with the tip of the tongue turned upand drawn back. Dotted m indicates nasalization of the preceding vowel.

    The completed manuscript of this translation was delivered by theauthor, January 10, 1917


    Five stanzas translated from the Dhamma-pada ixPhotogravure of a Cingalese palm-leaf manuscript

    Mounted on a guard between pages x and xi

    Facsimile of a page of Pali text in Burmese letters xiiFacsimile of a page of Pali text in Cingalese letters xiiiPrefatory note xv

    Note for Librarians and Cataloguers xvii


    1. Legendary life of the Buddhaa. Birth amid rejoicing of angels 1h. The Buddhist Simeon 2c. Youth and marriage 2d. Resolve to seek after Nibbana 2e. The Great Retirement 3/. The Great Struggle 3g. The Enlightenment 4h. Ministry and death 6i. Buddhist-Christian parallels 9

    2. Teachings of the Buddhaa. The Beginningless Round of Existences 146. The motive of the Religious Life 15c. Impermanence, Suffering, Unreality 15d. The Four Noble Truths regarding Suffering 16e. The Noble Eightfold Path to Nibbana 17

    3. Practice of Meditation 19 4. Dhammapada: its place in the Buddhist Canon 25 5. Dhammapada Commentary : general character and structure of parts . . 26 6. Subject-matter and motifs of the stories

    a. Karma and Rebirth . . 29 e. Legends of the Saints 43h. Other motifs 34 /. Stories of seven-year-old novices . 44c. Humorous stories ... 36 g. Stories of good and evil spirits . 44d. Animal stories .... 42

    7. Literary relations of the Dhammapada Commentary: its relation toa. The Four Agamas ... 45 d. Buddhaghosa's Works 48