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430

BUDDHISM

verses intended to be learnt by heart. And the whole style and method of arrangement is entirely subordinated to this primary necessity. Each siltra (Pali, sutta) is very short; usually occupying only a page, or perhaps two, and containing a single proposition. When several of these, almost always those that contain propositions of a similar kind, are collected together in the framework of one dialogue, it is called a suttanta. The usual length of such a suttanta is about a dozen pages ; only a few of them are longer. And a collection of such suttantas might be called a book. But it is as yet neither narrative nor essay. It is at most a string of passages, drawn up in similar form to assist the memory, and intended, not to be read, but to be learnt by heart. The first of the four Buddhism.—Since the article on Buddhism in Nikayas is a collection of the longest of these suttantas, and the ninth edition of this work was written (vol. iv. pp. it is called accordingly the Digha Nikdya, that is “ the 424-438) nearly the whole of the works composed in Collection of Long Ones” (scil. Suttantas). The next is the earliest period of Buddhism have been edited in the the Majjhima Nikdya, the “ Collection of the suttantas of original Pali, chiefly through the Pali Text Society. A Medium Length ”—medium, that is, as being shorter than few works of the second period have been edited in the the suttantas in the Digha, and longer than the ordinary original Pali or Sanskrit, and a number of books of later suttas preserved in the two following collections. Between Buddhism have appeared in the various languages of them these first two collections contain 186 dialogues, in Eastern Asia. To appreciate the additions thus made to which the Buddha, or in a few cases one of his leading our knowledge it is necessary to remember that the disciples, is represented as engaged in conversation on Buddha, like other Indian teachers of his period, taught some one of the religious, or philosophic, or ethical points by conversation only. A highly-educated man (according in that system which we now call Buddhism. In depth of to the education current at the time), speaking constantly philosophic insight, in the method of Socratic questioning to men of similar education, he followed the literary habit often adopted, in the earnest and elevated tone of the of his day by embodying his doctrines in set phrases whole, in the evidence they afford of the most cultured (sulras), on which he enlarged, on different occasions, in thought of the day, these dialogues constantly remind the different ways. Writing was then widely known. But reader of the dialogues of Plato. But not in style. They the lack of suitable writing materials made any lengthy have indeed a style of their own; always dignified, and books impossible. Such siltras were therefore the recog- occasionally rising into eloquence. But for the reasons nized form of preserving and communicating opinion. already given, it is entirely different from the style of They were catch-words, as it were, memoria technica, Western writings which are always intended to be read. which could be easily remembered, and would recall the Historical scholars will, however, revere this collection of fuller expositions that had been based upon them. In the dialogues as one of the most priceless of the treasures of Buddha’s time the Brahmins had their sfttras in Sanskrit, antiquity still preserved to us. It is to it, above all, that already a dead language. He purposely put his into the we shall always have to go for our knowledge of the most ordinary conversational idiom of the day, that is to say, ancient Buddhism. Of the 186, 144 have now been into Pali. When the Buddha died these sayings were edited for the Pali Text Society, and the remainder are collected together by his disciples into what they call the either in the press or in preparation. The present Eour Nikayas, or “ collections.” These cannot have reached writer has commenced a translation of them into English, their final form till about fifty or sixty years _ afterwards. entitled “The Dialogues of the Buddha,” of which one Other sayings and verses, most of them ascribed, not to volume has appeared. And Dr K. E. Neumann has pubthe Buddha, but to the disciples themselves, were put into lished the first volume of a translation of the shorter a supplementary Nikaya. We know of slight additions collection into German, under the title “Reden des made to this Nikaya as late as the time of Asoka, 3rd Gotamo.” A disadvantage of the arrangement in diacentury B.c. And the developed doctrine, found in cer- logues, more especially as they follow one another accordtain portions of it, shows that these are later than the four ing to length and not according to subject, is that it is not old Nikayas. For a generation or two the books so put easy to find the statement of doctrine on any particular together were handed down by memory, though probably point which is interesting one at the moment. It is very written memoranda were also used. And they were doubt- likely just this consideration which led to the compilation less accompanied from the first, as they were being taught, of the two following Nikayas. In the first of these, by a running commentary. About one hundred years after called the Anguttara Nikdya, all those points of Buddhist the Buddha’s death there was a schism in the community. doctrine capable of expression in classes are set out in Each of the two schools kept an arrangement of the canon order. This practically includes most of the psychology still in Pali, or some allied dialect. Sanskrit was not and ethics of Buddhism. For it is a distinguishing mark used for any Buddhist works till long afterwards, and of the dialogues themselves that the results arrived at are never used at all, so far as is known, for the canonical arranged in carefully systematized groups. We are familiar books. Each of these two schools broke up, in the follow- enough in the West with similar classifications, summed up ing centuries, into others. Several of them had their in such expressions as the Seven Deadly Sins, the Ten different arrangerhents of the canonical books, differing Commandments, the Thirty-nine Articles, the Four also in minor details. These books remained the only Cardinal Virtues, the Seven Sacraments, and a host of authorities for about five centuries, but they all, except others. These numbered lists (it is true) are going out of o]i jy our extant Pali Nikayas, have been lost in India. fashion. The aid which they afford to memory is no These then are our authorities for the earliest period of longer required in an age in which books of reference abound. It was precisely as a help to memory that they Buddhism. Now what are these books? We talk necessarily of Pali books. They are not books were found so useful in the early Buddhist times, when in the modern sense. They are memorial sentences or the books were all learnt by heart, and had never as yet

persons per square mile. Classified according to religion, Hindus numbered 774,779 ; Mabommedans, 148,393 ; Christians, 2581, of whom 19 were Europeans ; “others,” 229. In 1901 the population was 1,024,888, showing an increase of 11 per cent. The land revenue and rates were Rs.13,03,767, the incidence of assessment being Rs.0:13:13 per acre ; the number of police was 2680. Out of a total cultivated area in 1896-97 of 840,827 acres, 104,800 were irrigated, mainly from wells. There are 51 indigo factories, employing 3000 persons, with an out-turn valued at Rs. 1,20,400. The district is crossed by two lines of the Oudh and Rohilkhand railway, with five stations. The chief centre of trade is Bilsi.