lated into Chinese from Sanscrit, by a priest called Chu-fa-lan, so early as the eleventh year of the reign of Wing-ping (Ming-ti), of the Han dynasty, i. e., 69 or 70 A.D. We may, therefore, safely suppose that the original work was in circulation in India for some time previous to this date.

It must be borne in mind, however, that several translations of the "Legend of Buddha" are quoted under the name Fo-pen-hing.2 The first, which we have already alluded to, the original of which was lost so early as the beginning of the Tang dynasty, was in five chapters (kiouen). There is allusion to another translation (Kai-yuen-shi-kiau-mu-lu, vol. i, cap. i, fol. 3), bearing the same name but in one chapter, now lost. Again, it is stated (vol. ii, chap. xiii, fol. 20, and vol. iii, chap. xx, fol. 32, op. cit.) that a work called Fo


1 The Chinese title of this book is given by Wassalief (Bouddhisme, § 114), as "da cine", in the German edition (Der Buddhismus, § 114) as 'ta-king", in either case I suppose there is a mistake of transcription, as the title is plainly "ta-sse", the "great thing or compilation". That this is really the equivalent of "Mahavastu" is evident, not only because "vastu" is the literal rendering of "sse", thing-but also from the remarks of Bournouf (Introd. to Ind. Bud., p. 452). The latter writer speaks of the Mahavastu, as "volumineux recueil de légendes relatives à la vie religieuse de Çakya," a description which agrees completely with the character of the work here translated.

2 Amongst others, the work here translated is constantly referred to in the Fa-yuen-chu-lin" (e. gr., Yuen, 8th fol. 32) and in the Commentary of Wong-Puh", as the Fo-pen-hing,

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dynasty (502-555 A.D.), is also
Fo-pen-hing. Again (vol. ii, ch
it is said that a work called Fo
chapters, was translated by a
(called Ratnamegha, chap. xx,
Sung dynasty (420-477 A.D.)
that this last-named translation
pen-hing-tsan-king. The Chines
used to denote the class of Bu
Sanscrit as Udanas, i. e., works

These statements are in agre of the learned translator of the the Thibetan. In his opinion adjusted in its present form a under Kanishka, four hundred Buddha. "This would give thousand years," he adds, altho must be attributed to an earlier The inscriptions found on I

1 This copy of the Fo-pen-hing, is p the one originally composed by Asva Asvagosha is uncertain; we know tha Nagarjuna, who is generally placed shall not be wrong, therefore, if we somewhere during the first century B 2 The date of Kanishka is the grea of Northern Buddhism.

3 "Histoire du Bouddha Sakya-M mers, Index, sub voc., "Lalita Vistara

hut. If the date of these topes is to be placed between Asoka (about 300 B.C.) and the first century of the Christian era, it will be seen that the Records of the Books and of the stone Sculptures are in agreement.

The author of "Three Lectures on Buddhism" states, however, "that nearly all the legends which claim to refer to events many centuries before Christ, cannot be proved to have been in circulation earlier than the 5th or 6th century A.D." The legends to which this writer refers are these, "the pre-existence of Buddha in heaven-his birth of a virgin-salutation by angelsrecognition by Asita (Simeon)-presentation in the Temple—baptism by fire and water-disputation with the doctors-temptation in the wilderness-life passed in preaching and working miracles-transfiguration on the mount descent into hell-ascension into heaven," etc. Some of these events I do not find named in any Chinese work within my reach. But others are undoubtedly commonly referred to. The previous existence of Bodhisatwa in heaven-his miraculous incarnation- the songs of the Suddhvasa Devas (angels) at his birth—the events of his early childhood-his temptation in the desert-and his life of continual labour and travel-these points of agreement with the Gospel narrative naturally arouse curiosity and require examination.2

1 Three Lectures on Buddhism, by the Rev. E. Eitel. Lec. i, p. 5. 2 They have ever done so. The Franciscan monk Plano Car


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prove the contrary. Nor can we tion in the way a late writer has auffassung der Buddhisten", p. 1 these legends or stories (erzälu are equally worthless, that they myths".

How then may we explain the better at once to say that in our ledge there is no complete exp must wait until dates are finally

We cannot doubt, however, mixture of Eastern tradition, and ing, running through Jewish lit Christ's birth, and it is not u amount of Hebrew folk-lore ha East. It will be enough for the

pini reports that "the Cathayans ha ment of their own, and Lives of t recluses, and buildings used for chur Compare also what Andrew Corsalis Lorenzo de' Medici (do. cxli, n.) In a of War" (under the heading Fa-lanmentioned that the Portuguese on the Malacca, spent the greater portion of hist books. [For other allusions, and other writers down to Huc and Ga

1 It would be a natural inference t the legend of Buddha were borrowed pels (compare e. gr., the "Gospel of t Lord learning his alphabet", with the of this volume), if we were quite cert Gospels had not borrowed from it.

culty to the numerous writers on Buddhism, who, in their lectures and articles, tell us that it teaches atheism, annihilation, and the non-existence of soul. These

statements are more easily made than proved. It would be better, at least, if they were not so frequently repeated in the face of contrary statements made by those well able to judge respecting the matter.2

I have called this work a "Romantic Legend", because, as is well known, the first romances were merely metrical histories. There can be no doubt that the present work contains as a woof (so to speak), some of the earliest verses (Gâthas) in which the History of Buddha was sung, long before the work itself was penned. These

1 Readers will observe several coincidences in the following pages beyond those already referred to. The most singular of these is the aim of Buddha to establish a "Religious Kingdom" (Dharmachakra), i. e., "a Kingdom of Heaven." We are told again (Lightfoot, Exercit. Talmud, sub cap. ix, v. 2, St. John's Gospel) that the Jews believed in the pre-existence of souls, and a modified form of the metempsychosis. The singular agreement between the Buddhist "Metta," and the "Charity" of the New Testament has called forth a remark from Mr. Alwis that the coincidence is "very remarkable" (Pali Translations, parti, p. 16). The account given by St. Peter (Ep. ii, cap. 3) of the earth once destroyed by water, and about to be destroyed by fire, is in agreement with the Buddhist story (vide Catena, sub voc., Kalpa); many other parallellisms might be pointed out.

2 Compare for instance the remarks of the priest Migettuwatte, in the Buddhist controversy held at Pantura, August 26th, 1873, respecting the existence of "individual soul." Many of the writers on "Buddhism" place such implicit faith in the statements of M. Bart. St. Hilaire as to adopt his clever epigrams as facts, without enquiry.

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