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The Gospel of Buddha

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About the Book First published in 1894 and reprinted several times since. The Gospel of Buddha by Paul Carus has attained the stature of a classic today. This book is not designed to contribute to the solution of historical problems nor is it an attempt at popularizing the Buddhist religious writings. It sketches the picture of a religious leader of the remote past with the view of making it to bear upon the living present and become a factor in fashioning the future. The bulk of its con...
About the Book

First published in 1894 and reprinted several times since. The Gospel of Buddha by Paul Carus has attained the stature of a classic today. This book is not designed to contribute to the solution of historical problems nor is it an attempt at popularizing the Buddhist religious writings. It sketches the picture of a religious leader of the remote past with the view of making it to bear upon the living present and become a factor in fashioning the future. The bulk of its contents is derived from the Old Buddhist canons: many passages, and indeed the most important ones, are literally copied in translations from the original texts; some are rendered freely; others have been rearranged; and still others are abbreviated. Dr. Paul Carus Captures in his simple and sensitive prose, as Olga Kopetzky has done in her delicate drawings to the volume, the radiant spirit of Buddhism and the poetic grandeur of the Buddha's personality.



This booklet needs no preface for those who are familiar with the sacred boos of Buddhism, which have been made accessible to the Western world by the indefatigable zeal and industry of scholars like Beal, Bigandet, Buhler, Burnouf, Childers, Alexander Csoma, Rhys Davids, Butoit, Eitel, Fausboll, Foucaux, Francke, Ednund hardy, Spence Hardy, Hodgson, Charles R.Lanman, F. Max Muller, Karl Eugen Neumann, oldenberg, Pischel, Schiefner, Senart, Seidenstucker Bikkhu Nyaratiloka, D.M Strong, Henry Clarke warren, Wassiljew, Weber, windisch, winterniz & c. To those not familiar with the subject it may be stated that the bulk of its contents is derived from the old Buddhist canon. Many passages and indeed the most important ones, are literally copied in translations from the original texts. Some are rendered rather freely in order to make them intelligible to the present generation; others have been rearranged; and still others are abbreviated. Besides the three introductory and the three concluding chapters there are only a few purely original additions, which however, are neither mere literary embellishments nor deviations from Buddhist doctrines. Wherever the compiler has admitted modernization he has done so with due consideration and always in the spirit of a legitimate development. Additions and modifications contain nothing but ideas for which prototypes can be found somewhere among the traditions of Buddhism, and have been introduced as elucidations of its main principles.

The best evidence that this book characterizes the spirit of Buddhism correctly can be found in the welcome it has received throughout the entire Buddhist world. It has even been officially introduced in Buiddhist schools and temples of Japan and Ceylon. Soon after the appearance of the first edition of 1894 the Right Rev. Shaku Soyen, a prominent Buddhist abbot of Kamakura, Japan, had a Japanese translation made by Thitaro Suzuki, and soon afterwards a Chinese version was made by Mr O'Hara of Otzu, the talented editor of a Buddhist periodical, who in the meantime has unfortunately met with a premature death. In 1895, the Open Court Publishing Company brought out a German edition by E.F.L Gauss, and Dr. L. de MIlloue, the curator of the Muse Guimet, of Pariis, followed with a French translation. Dr Federigo Rodriguez has translated the Book into Spanish and Felix Orth into Dutch. The privilege of translating the book into Russsian, Czechic, Italian, also into Siamese and other Oriental tongues has been granted, but of these latter the publishers have received only a version in the Urdu Language, a dialect of eastern India.

In as much as twelve editions of The Gospel of Buddha have been exhausted and the Plates are worn out, the publishers have decided to bring out an edition de luxe and have engaged Miss Olga Kopetzky, of Munich, to supply illustration. The artist has undertaken the task methodically and with great zeal. She has studied in the Ajanta caves the Buddhist paintings and sculptures and other monuments of Gandhara. Thus the drawings faithfully reflect the spirit of the classical period of Buddhist art.

For those who want to trace the Buddhism of this book to its fountainhead, a table of reference has been added, which indicates as briefly as possible the main sources of the various chapters and points out the parallelisms with Western thought, especially in the Christian Gospels.

Buddhism, like Christianity, is split up into innumerable sects, and these sects not infrequently cling to their sectarian tenets as being the main and most indispensable features of their religion. The present book follows none of the sectarian doctrines, but takes an ideal position upon which all true Buddhists may stand as ideal position upon which all true Buddhists may stand as upon common ground. Thus the arrangement into a harmonious and systematic from is the main original feature of this Gospel of Buddha. Considering the bulk of the various details of the Buddhist canon, however it must be regarded as a mere compilation, and the aim of the compiler has been to treat his material in about the same way as he thinks that the author of the Fourth Gospel of the New Testament utilized the accounts of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. He has ventured to present the data of the Buddha's life in the light of their religio-philosophical importance; he has cut out most of their apocryphal adornments, especially those in which the Northern tradition abound, yet be did not deem it wise to shrink from preserving the marvellous that appears in the old records, whenever its moral seemed to justify its mention; he only pruned away the exuberance of wonder which delights in relating the most incredible things, apparently put on to impress while in fact they can only tire. Miracles have ceased to me religious text; yet the belief in the miraculous powers of the Master still bears witness to the holy awe of the first disciple and reflects their religious enthusiasm.

Lest the fundamental idea o the Buddha's doctrines be misunderstood, the reader is warned to take the term 'self' in the sense in which the Buddha uses it. The "self" of man translates the word atman which can be and has been understood, even in the Buddhist cannon, in a sense to which the Buddha would never have made any objection. The Buddha denies the existence of a "self" as it was commonly understood in his time; he does not deny man's mentality, his spiritual constitution, the Importance of his personality, in a word, his soul. But he does deny the mysterious ego-entity, the atman, in the sense of a kind of soul monad which by some schools was supposed to reside behind or within man's bodily and physical activity as a distinct being, a kind of thing in itself, and a metaphysical agent assumed to be the soul.




1 Rejoice 1
2 Samsara and Nirvana 2
3 Truth the Saviour 5
  Prince Siddhattha Becomes Buddha  
4 The Bodhisatta's Brith 8
5 The ties of Life 13
6 The three woes 14
7 The Bodhistta's Renunciation 18
8 King Bimbisara 24
9 The Bodhisatta's Search 27
10 Uruvela, the Place of Mortification 32
11 Mara, the Evil One 35
12 Enlightenment 36
13 The First Converts 40
14 Brahma's Request 40
  The foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness  
15 Upaka 44
16 The Sermon at Benares 45
17 The Sangha 52
18 Yasa, the Youth of Benares 54
19 Kassapa 58
20 The Sarmon at Rajagaha 61
21 The King's Gift; 65
22 Sariputta and Moggallan 66
23 Anathapindika 68
24 The Sermon on Charity 71
25 Jetavana 73
26 The Three Characteristics and the Uncreate 77
27 The Buddha's Father 79
28 Yasodhara 81
29 Rahula 83
  Consolidation of The Buddha's Religion  
30 Jivaka, the Physician 86
31 The Buddha's Parents Attain Nirvana 88
32 Women Admitted to the Sangha 89
33 The Bhikkhus' Conduct Toward women 90
34 Visakha 91
35 The Uposatha and Patimokkha 95
36 The Schism 97
37 The Re-establishment of Concord 100
38 The Bhikkhus Rebuked 106
39 Devadatta 107
40 Name and From 109
41 The Goal 115
42 Miracles Forbidden 117
43 The Vanity of Worldliness 119
44 Secrecy and Publicity 121
45 The Annihilation of Suffering 121
46 Avoiding the Ten Evils 123
47 The Preacher's Mission 124
  The Teacher  
48 The Dhammapada 130
49 The two Brahmans 136
50 Guard the Six Quarters 141
51 Simha's Question Concerning Annihilation 142
52 All Existence is Spiritual 148
53 Identity and Non-Identity 149
54 The Buddha Omnipresent 158
55 One Essence, One law, One Aim 159
56 The Lesson Given to Rahula 161
57 The Sermon on Abuse 163
58 The Buddha Replies to the Deva 164
59 Words of Instruction 165
60 Amitabha 168
61 The Teacher Unknown 173
  Parables and Stories  
62 Parables 175
63 The Widow's Two Mites and the Parable of the Three Merchants 175
64 The Man Born Blind 177
65 The lost Son 177
66 The Giddy Fish 178
67 The Cruel Crane Outwitted 179
68 Four Kinds of Merit 182
69 The light of the World 183
70 Luxurious Living 183
71 The Communication of Bliss 184
72 The listless fool 185
73 Rescue in the Desert 186
74 The Sower 190
75 The Outcast 190
76 The Woman at the Well 192
77 The Peacemaker 193
78 The Hungry Dog 194
79 The Despot 196
80 Vasavadatta 197
81 The Marriage Feast in Jambunada 199
82 A Party in search of Thief 201
83 In the Realm of Yamaraja 202
84 The Mustard seed. 204
85 Following the master Over the Stream 208
86 The Sick Bhikhu 209
87 The Patient Elephant 210
  The Last Days  
88 The Conditions of welfare 214
89 Sariputt's Faith 216
90 Pataliputa 218
91 The Mirror of Truth 220
92 Ambapali. The Buddha's Farewell Address 223
93 The Buddha's Farewell Address 226
94 The Buddha Announces his Heated 229
95 Chunda the Smith 231
96 Metteyya 235
97 The Buddha's Final Entering into Nirvana 237
98 The Three Personalities of the Buddha 245
99 The Purpose of Being 248
100 The Praise of all the Buddhas 251
  Table of Reference 253
  Abbreviations in the Table of Reference 262

Sample Pages

Item Code: NAK181 Author: Dr. Paul Carus Cover: Paperback Edition: 2015 Publisher: Publications Division, Government of India ISBN: 9788123018775 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 302 (9 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 390 gms
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