Sykes, On the Miniature Chaityas and Inscriptions of the Buddhist Religious Dogma

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  • 37

    ? UT. IV.?On the Miniature Chaityas and Inscriptions of the

    Buddhist religioits dogma, found in the ruins of the Temple of

    S?rn?th, near Benares. By Lieut.-Col. Sykes, F.ll.S.

    In a lottor received on the 1st March last from Major Kittoe, engaged in antiquarian researches under the Bengal Government, he informed

    mo that in oxcavating tho mound constituting tho ruin of the great Buddhist templo of S?rn?th at Bonarcs, ho had turned up some scores

    of miniaturo ohaityas in baked clay, the base of many of them being

    impressed with an inscription in the early Deva N?gar? characters in a seal form. Some of tho chaityas being broken transversely at tho

    base, it was found that an independent seal with an inscription, not in

    intaglio, but in cameo, was enclosed in tho base ;and that the seal was

    first prepared and hardened, and the chaitya then fashioned round it

    while tho clay was plastic, was manifest by the raised letters of the

    seal having imbedded themselves in tho clay, and leaving fac-similes of their forms. Major Kittoe readily discovered that the seals or

    stamps comprised the Buddhist religious dogma, or confession of faith, "

    Yo dhama," &c. or "

    Yedharma,"

  • 38 MINIATURE CHAITYAS.

    tope, still existing in M?lw?. Chaitya and Ddgopa, in their sig

    nification, mean tho receptacle or holding-placo of a sacred relic, and in this practice of preserving the remains of sanctified persons, tho original of the existing Roman Catholic practice is pourtrayed.

    Drawing No. 2 (Plate I.) represents a transverso section of drawing No. 1, near to the base, showing the seal with its confession of faith

    in relief letters imbedded. As this religious dogma has only yet been met with in impure Sanskrit, and of a date not anterior pro

    bably to tho soventh or eighth centuries of our era, a question might bo raised whether tho confession of faith, which is so obsouro and mys

    tical, could bo cooval with the propagation of the doctrine of Buddha, when it would have been recorded in Pali, and whether it did not owo

    its origin to the polemical disputations and heterodoxy into which tho

    Buddhists fell in tho early centuries of the Christian era, and havo

    been adopted as a test by tho orthodox to determine

    who were schis

    matics. Tho first time, I believe, tho confession of faith was brought to notico, was through the instrumentality of Mr. Stcphenson, who in

    1834, near to tho village of Bakhra, in Tirhut, bought from a Hindu

    fakir, a mutilated image covered with clay and coloured ochro, and on cleaning the image it was found to bo a well-sculptured figure, in

    red sandstone, of Buddha, with an inscription on its base. Mr. James

    Prinscp gave an account of this imago on tho 15th January, 1835, to tho

    Asiatic Society of Bengal,1 and he stated that tho inscription caused

    somo interest, as none of the images of Buddha in the musoum, whether

    from Benares or, the Bhagalpur Hills, had any similar characteristic.

    While this inscription was under examination by Mr. Prinsep, Lieut.

    Cunningham sent to him from Benares a fac-simile of an inscription on a slab which ho had found 10? feet under the surface, in oxcuvating the Siirmitli tope at Benares. Somo of tho letters

    were evidently

    similar to thoso of tho inscriptions on tho Allahabad Pillar, No. 2,

    [of the eighth century ?] and though tho whole differed as much from

    tho Tirhut image form of letters as tho Dova N?gar? from tho Bon

    g?l? alphabet, yet with his accustomed intuitiveness, Mr. Prinscp was

    led to believe they were

    substantially tho samo, and tho result proved

    tho fact. Tho Tirh?t inscription diflorcd only in tho substitution of two

    entirely synonymous words, tho transposition of two others,

    and tho

    omission of the particle "

    hi," "

    for,1' united to " avadat:" tho result was

    the " Yo dharina/'&c, of which the various forms and readings will bo

    given subsequently. At this period, Mr. Prinscp did not know that

    the inscription was a religious Buddhist dogma, but ho suspected it ;

    he therefore wrote to M. Csoma de K?r?s, whoso oxtonsive Thibetan

    1 Journal Ab. Soc. of Bengal, IV, 131.

  • A/thtaluw C/uu?/a i/? fmr/cjivm t/u. /f//s/M/.U 7?/w a? f Sc?it/i/A. ^ '

    '

    ..AfaUuvU .Vue.

    TnuusyrwesJecfmi o/'?M Aftn?ilaw ?uulya, ntart/ieahw, uvM /At im?o/jM.* fa'/.

    2

    i?a????ilr W?B?Nk ,"i_li>it^0ns-.. va:

    .,Va ?urai J?4r.

  • MINIATURE CHAITYAS. 39

    readings in Buddhist polemics would probably enable him to pronounco an opinion upon it. At first M. Csoma did not recognise it, but a

    search enabled him to discover it in tho three volumes of the Kah-gyur collection, being in Thibetan characters; and in the corresponding Sanskrit originals in modern Dcva N?gar?, made known

    to the world

    by Mr. B. Hodgson, fifteen examples were brought to light. In all

    these instances it was found to occur as a peroration, or concluding

    paragraph at tho end of a volume. But as there was an ambiguity

    indicating its having relation to somo other matter and wanting a solu

    tion, Mr. Csoma was led to further inquiry, and he fortunately found

    tho dogma in Thibetan in connexion with its transcript in Sanskrit, but in Thibetan characters ; the whole was,

    Yo dharm? h?tu prabhavu, bet?n t?sh?n Tath?gat? hyavadat, Tosh?n cha yo nirodha ?vam v?di Malui Slmunanah. Sar va p?pasynkarani [1 am] kuslialasyopasapradain, Sva chittam paridamanam, otad Buddhtinush?sanum.

    Whatever moral [or human] actions arise from some cause,

    Tho cause of them has been declared by Tath?gata :

    What is tho check to these actions Is thus set forth by tho great Shramanah,

    No vice is to bo committed; Every virtue must bo perfectly practised ;

    Tho mind must bo brought under entire subjection ;

    This is tho commandment of Buddha.

    Tho text of tho last part was not met with in Sanskrit, and the

    Sanskrit in Thibetan characters has apparently some error.

    Dr. Mill's version was :?

    i( Qiunqu officia exstant i?i~caiiH?-quavis-origh\Qm-habentia Causam eorum sic-phofectus Ule [Buddhas] quidem declaravit,

    Eorumque quod obstaculum exstat,

    Ita quoque dicons maonus asckticus.

    Oinnis-peccati ronunciatio,

    Sanctitatis prefectos,

    Proprii- intcllcctus subjugatio, Hieo est BuDDii/E-disoiplina."

    Mr. Priusep adds, that Dr. Mill's reading was confirmed by the

    Cingalese Christian convert llatua Pala, who repeated tho whole from Pali from memory, and said that it formed part of the Buddhist daily service in Ceylon. But ho gave

    " upusampadii" [profectus] in tho

    plural, and in the dogma he omitted "hi." and instead of tho verb "

    avadat "

    or li uvaeha," he read "

    aha." In Pali it was,

  • 40 MINIATURE CHAPITAS.

    " Ye dkamm? hetuppabhav?, Tesan hetun tath?gat? Aba tesan chayo nirodha: Evan v?d? mah? samana, Sabba p?passa akaranan : kusalassa upasan pad ? :

    Sa chitta paridamanan : Etan Buddh?nus?sanan."

    In Western India the dogma had not been met with until Dr.

    James Bird, of Bombay, excavated a tumulus at Salsctte, at tho cele

    brated Buddhist rook excavations at Kanari. Ho found a gold caso

    and a silver case with precious stonos, evidently containing the exuvioo

    of some holy or respected personage, and above the cases he discovered a copper plate with two inscriptions, one in the Lath character, the

    other in the character in front of one of tho caves at Adjunta and not

    antique, but from the square hollow heads to tho letters evidontly of

    tho Cbattisgurh typo ; in the latter part of this inscription was the Buddhist confession of faith, as in former instances, wlioro the charac

    ters were not of the L?th type, in ungrammatical Sanskrit.1?(See No. 3, Plato II.)

    Yo dbarma lietti prabhava, tesham hetu Tathagata suvacha

    tesh?ucha yo nirodha ovam vudi Maha Suvana.

    "Whatever meritorious acts proceed from causo, of theso the

    sourco Tathagata [Buddha] has declared ; tho opposing principio of

    these, tho great ono of goldon origin has also demonstrated."

    Tho only difference botweon this and tho Tirhut inscriptions is in

    the substitution of tho Pali word Suvana for Sramana.