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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/181

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v.
133
ON PLANTS.

however, I can go whither my mind prompts me; formerly I was ignorant, of little understanding, in fact, a blind man.

Such, Kâsyapa, is the parable I have invented to make thee understand my meaning. The moral to be drawn from it is as follows. The word 'blind-born,' Kâsyapa, is a designation for the creatures staying in the whirl of the world with its six states; the creatures who do not know the true law and are heaping up the thick darkness of evil passions. Those are blind from ignorance[1], and in consequence of it they build up conceptions[2]; in consequence of the latter name-and-form, and so forth, up to the genesis of this whole huge mass of evils[3].

So the creatures blind from ignorance remain in the whirl of life, but the Tathâgata, who is out of the triple world, feels compassion, prompted by which, like a father for his dear and only son, he appears in the triple world and sees with his eye of wisdom that the creatures are revolving in the circle of the mundane whirl, and are toiling without finding the right means to escape from the rotation. And


  1. Or, false knowledge, avidyâ, which in the Chain of Causation (pratîtyasamutpâda, Pâli patikkasamutpâda) occupies exactly the same place as in other systems of Indian philosophy. In reality the avidyâ was not only the origin of all evils, but also the remedy, the panacea. It was, however, thought convenient to veil that conclusion and to call the future state of complete ignorance 'all-knowingness.'
  2. Rather, products (samskâra) of the imaginative power, of fancy. These form the second item in the enumeration of Causes and Effects.
  3. The genesis of diseases, death, &c. The merely ideal nature of this genesis is proved by the fact that the sage who has overcome avidyâ is just as liable to diseases and death as the most ignorant creature.