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Now if we take the distance of four yojuns to Kia-ye (Gaya) modern Gaya would answer, but if we are guided by the direction, it is too much to the southward of west, if on the other hand we be guided by the bearing and less by the distance, we should decide that
Kia-ye” was meant the ancient Gaya now known as “Ram Gya,” which is on the west or right bank of the Phulgo and a mile to the north of the Barabur hills. There is a tradition that all ceremonies were formerly performed here; a fair is held in the month of April, at which still, the lower casts perform the “ Pind” or ceremony of offering the funeral cake. Hoolasgunge, which is further east, consequently nearer the distance given (of four yojuns) is by some supposed to have been ancient Gaya, (see Buchanan, Vol. I. p. 100.) It is strange that Fa-Hian mentions neither the Phulgo (or Mohana) nor its branch stream which, had he gone to Ram-Gya, he must have crossed; it is also remarkable that he does not allude to the Barabur caves or hills, places which must have been of note even in his time, however, it is possible that they were in possession of heretics or of Hindus, for from the later inscriptions we learn that Sardula Varma, Annund Varma, &c. appropriated the caves and set up brahmánical images, the same reason may be assigned, for no mention being made of Kundilpur or Burgaon, but let us now turn to the south.
Going to the south twenty li, you come to where the Phou-sa spent six years in mortifications; the place is woody. Thence going three li to the west you come to where Foé descended into the water to bathe ; the gods held branches of trees over him when coming out of the pool (or tank). Two li further to the north, you come to the place where the young women of secluded families offered Foé rice and milk : thence to the north two li more, to where Foé sat on a stone, turned to the east, under a great tree; the tree and the stone exist to this day. The stone is six feet long and six broad. In the kingdom of the middle (Magadha) the temperature is so equable that trees last several thousand years, even ten thousand.”
We now come to the most perplexing part of our pilgrim's narrative, for not only do his bearings but his distances puzzle us, the indiscriminate use of li and yojun is one cause.* Now if Hoolasgunje or
With regard to the length of the yojana, we must not expect to find extreme precision in the narrative of Fa-hian. That traveller no doubt set down his distances from
Ram-Gya be Kia-ye and a “li” be equal to as much as half a mile, we should have ten miles south, which would only bring us within six miles of the Vishnupad, four of the Ramsila hill, and twelve of Budh Gya which the others believe to be the holy locality (see Vol. XIX Asiatic Researches, p. 187.) It is there mentioned in a note, tbat there are seven places held sacred called the “ Satta Stana,” three of which only answer to the description given by Fa-Hlian, viz. the two trees and the tank where Buddha was protected from the rain by a dragon : (Seshnag ?) the Vakeels, however, name four, as the only spots now visible: the distances of all are given except of the hill and Bukrowr
(Bagaroo Goun),” this hill is no doubt the same under which is the lake called Mórátal.
Fa-Hian leaves you in doubt as to whether by "pool" (where Buddha performed his ablutions) was meant a pool in the river, or a tank or lake ; the Burmese seem to believe in the latter, though in the Tibetan books the “ Nirajuna” (Lillajun) is distinctly mentioned; but to return to the narrative.
“Thence going to the north-east half a yeou yan, you come to a stone grotto; Phou sa entering it and facing the west, sat with his legs crossed, and thought within himself" in order that I should accomplish the law, I must have a divine testimonial.” Immediately his shadow depicted itself upon the wall; it was three feet high ; the weather was clear and brilliant; heaven and earth were both moved, and all the gods in that space exclaimed, it is not in this place that all the Foés past and to come should accomplish the law.”
Now, before proceeding further, I must remark, that if Buddha Gaya is the spot meant by Fa-Hian, we must give up all idea of his having gone west from Rajgriha and assume that his route was continued from the Ban Gunga or from Buddha's cave (the Guddeh-dwar) directly west to some deserted place opposite modern Gaya, and then have turned south along the right bank of the Phulgo (the Lillajun is here so called) to Bukrowr and Buddha Gaya, which is directly opposite across the Lillajun, and here again he makes no mention of that great river (it is next to impossible (now that no tradition even is left) to trace each particular spot, it would seem certain however, that one tree was at Bukrowr and the other at Bodh Gaya, which tree is now called the Sutjug Peepul, the first I assume to be “Ni-kiu-liu" “the tree of all the Buddhas.” The second, Pei-to “ there have been Chaityas at both places, and no doubt long before Fa-Hian's time, there was, as I have mentioned in
popular estimation, and the yojana will therefore vary in different localities precisely as we find the Kros to do at the present day. From the comparison of the actual distances of well identified places in the north-western Provinces with those given by Fa-hian, Capt. A. Cunningham (Jour. Roy. As. Soc. Vol. VII. p. 243) determines the length of the ancient yojana to be a fraction more than 7 English miles. This will be found rather too much when applied to Fa-bian's distances in Magadha. Mr. Turnour (Mahawanso, p. 30 of the glossary) makes the yojana equal to sixteen E. miles ; a valuation manifestly excessive.- Eds.
“Notes on the sculptures of Budh Gaya,” more than one very ancient Dagope, and I believe the trees to have had enclosures as represented in those sculptures, also in the caves of Kundgirri in Cuttack and in other Buddhist sculptures. The hill beneath which is Moratal lake, lies about two miles or less north of Bukrowr: there are spots on this hill still venerated by the Hindoos, and as it runs north and south, consequently faces west, and as the distance answers tolerably well, I should be inclined to consider it to be that alluded to, on which “ Buddha sat facing the west.”
Bukrowr is due east of Buddha Gaya, having only the wide bed of the river between them, the large tumulus and remains of a Dagope may be three furlongs or even half a mile due east of the great Budh Mundir and Peepul tree. About a furlong east by south of the tumulus is a tank held sacred by both Buddhist and Hindus, it is not far from the banks of the Mohana, on the narrow tongue of land which extends up from the junction of the two rivers, where both take the common name of Phulgo.
There are several large tanks at Budh Gaya and the mounds of brick, clay and pottery extend over a very great surface, the great Dagopes must have stood very close to the tree : and were excavations carried on, it is possible many more curious sculptures would come to light,--but to continue.
“To the south-west a little more than half a yeou yan is the Pei-to tree where all the Foés past, and to come, should accomplish the law. Having said this, they sang to him and showed him the way, retiring. The Phou sa rose, and when he was thirty paces from the tree, a god gave him the grass of happy omen; the Phou sa took it and advanced fifteen paces further. Five hundred blue birds approached, flew thrice round him and then flew away ; The Phou sa advanced to the tree Pei-to, held out the grass of happy omen towards the east, and sat down. Then the king of the demons sent three lovely damsels, who came from the north, to tempt him, and himself also came with the same purpose. The Phou sa struck the ground with his toes ; the crew of the demons recoiled and were dispersed, and the girls were transformed into old women: for six years he subjected himself to the greatest mortifications, In all these places men of later times have erected towers and carved images which exist to this day.”
I was at first inclined to think that Gaya-proper, was the site of soine of Buddha's exploits, and that the Vishunpad was the very place where Buddha left the impression of his foot; that the tree called Achaih But inega2 where the “ Pind” offerings are now made was the tree alluded to in this chapter, but the distance from the Ram-Gaya hill is too short, though the direction would be correct, however as both better answer for Budh Gaya, we may again consider it more probable that the latter is the proper spot. The chapter continues thus :
“In the place where Foé having accomplished the law, rested seven days to contemplate the tree, and obtained the joy of extreme celestial beatitude ; in the place in which he passed seven days under the tree Pei-to ; in that where the gods, having created the edifice of seven precious mansions served Foé seven days ; in that where the blind dragon with brilliant scales surrounded Foé for seven days; in that where Foé, being seated under a tree“ Ni-kiu-liu," upon a square stone and turned to the east, the god Brahma caine and prayed to him ; in that where the four kings of the gods offered him a dish; in that where the chief of five hundred merchants presented him with parched rice and honey; in that in which he convert ed Kia-se and his brothers, master and disciples to the number of a thousand ; in all these places have towers been erected.”
With reference to the different places here enumerated, it seems clear that they must all have been close at hand, indeed several of them are no doubt, those described in a more fabulous and extravagant manner by the Burmese as the 'Satta-Stana,' for instance the square stone under the tree' is converted seemingly into the Golden Throne.' The • Edifice of the seven mansions,' into the golden mansion, the spot
where the damsels offered milk and rice, perhaps tempted him; the dragon with brilliant scales is, no doubt, the snake Sehsa, which protected Buddha from the rain with its Irod. The “ Pei-to tree" is, no doubt, “ Buddha's holy tree,” and the place “ where goats used to graze" is probably Bukrowr. I must now again repeat that there is an ample extent of ruins to warrant the supposition, that there must have been numerous buildings around the holy tree, indeed the fact of three distinct and very ancient sets of carvings and fragments of Dagopes of the earliest forms, would strengthen our belief in the former existence of numerous edifices, such as described by Fa-Hian.
We now come to a further enumeration of places, where buildings had been erected by the Buddhists in early times.
“In all these places they have also erected towers. Ist, In the place where Foé obtained the Law, there are three Seng-kia-lan (Viharas); in each is an establishment for the priests, the number of whom is there very great. The people supply them with abundance, so that they lack nothing. They keep precepts rigidly; they observe the greatest gravity in all their deportment; in rising up, in sitting down, and in going abroad.” This would seem to be at Buddh Gaya ; but it is doubtful, whether the remaining places enumerated, as follows, were so.
“The four great towers which have been erected in commemoration of the holy things done by Foé, during his sojourn in this world, have been conserved to the present moment (A. D. 408) since the time of his · Nirvana' (death.) These four great towers are—first, where he was born-second, where he obtained the law-third, where he turned the wheel of the law; and fourth, where he entered Nirvana" (died).
Now it would seem, that this does not, as I have before hinted, allude to Dagopes or Chaityas at Buddh Gaya exclusively, for in the first place Sakya, i. e. Buddha was born at Kapilavastu somewhere, it is believed, in the Oude territory. As to the second, most probably Budh Gaya was the place ; by the third I should have little doubt but that Varanasi or Benares was meant, for all the Buddhist historians record this event of the prophet's life to have taken place there, i. e. his “ turning the wheel of the law ;'** the present tower of Sarnath erected evidently since Fa
• Turning the wheel of the law' is a metaphorical or mystic expression, equivalent when applied to a Buddha, to 'commencing his ministration.' Benares was no doubt the