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ished by death in the flames. The Sacred Books are very emphatic on this point. In the “Forty-Two Points of Instruction," it is said: "Bouddha, the Supreme of Beings, manifesting his doctrine, pronounced these words: There is no passion more violent than voluptuousness. Happily there is but one such passion. If there were two, not a man in the whole universe could follow the truth."
“Beware of fixing your eyes upon women! If you find yourself in their company, let it be as though you were not present. If you speak with them, guard well your hearts. Let your conduct be irreproachable. Keep ever saying to yourselves: We Lamas, while we live in this world of corruption, must be like the Water Lily, which immersed in mud contracts no stain."
“The man who walks in the path of holiness must member that the passions are as dry grass near a great fire. He who is jealous of his virtue, should flee on the first approach of the passions."
“The man who, striving after holiness, endeavours to extirpate the roots of his passions, is like one passing the beads of a rosary through his fingers. By taking one bead after another, he easily attains the end; so by conquering evil tendencies, one by one, the soul attains to perfection."
Buddhists are not much addicted to self-tortures, which prevail so extensively in Hindostan. Celibaey and frequent fasts are the chief penances the religious impose upon themselves. But though they rarely follow the example of Bouddha in severe bodily inflictions, they are prone to imitate his habits of profound contemplation. As such times, they say his body remained perfectly motionless, and his senses unaffected by any external object. He then became a recipient of divine revelations, which he communicated to his disciples. Those among his followers who are desirous to obtain similar supernatural gifts, consecrate a large portion of their time to profound meditation Some of the Lamas become hermits, living in the holes of rocks, or in small wooden cells fastened to the sides of mountains. In some instances, these places are so inaccessible, that food can be conveyed to them only by means of a bag let down with a long rope. Some inhabit gloomy and almost impenetrable forests, infested with tigers and serpents. Some of them live in communities in the deserts, or on the sides of mountains, each one in a little cave, or wooden cell. In some of these associations, it is part of their daily ceremonies to scourge themselves with a small whip. They consider this as an expiation for sins, which will be accepted in lieu of sufferings in another stage of existence. Some live on lonely islands, which can be approached only in winter, on the ice. At that inclement season, the devout often carry them tea, butter, and rice, and receive in return blessings and prayers, which are believed to be very efficacious in producing fruitful pastures and numerous flocks.
The Buddhists have in their temples many images of saints, who are believed to have obeyed the following precept of their Sacred Books, and to have obtained the reward it promises : '“Annihilate thyself; for as soon as thou ceasest to be thyself, thou wilt become one with God, and return into his being." Innumerable are the miracles ascribed to these saints, and to others who follow their example. Their garments, and the staffs with which they walk, are supposed to imbibe some mysterious power, and blessed are they who are allowed to touch them. It is a great branch of business in the Lamaseries to make images of the saints, and consecrate them to sell to devotees. Images of Bouddha himself of course rank above all others. Great is the merit of him who causes one to be made, and presents it to a temple. The priesthood have a tradition that Bouddha promised whoever consecrated an image to him should never go to any of the hells, or be born a slave or a woman, or be subject to blindness, deafness, or any deformity. Worshippers implore the intercession of saints to obtain forgiveness or blessings for them; and there are many marvellous accounts of the images bowing their heads, and moving their lips, or eyes, in answer to such
prayers Temples are often built in honour of saints, and their relics deposited in the most sacred part of the building. These are believed to have the same power to work miracles which the saint himself possessed. Therefore, places where the most celebrated relics are preserved, attract crowds of pilgrims. In a temple at Ceylon is a tooth said to have been Bouddha's It is kept in a golden case set with gems, and the case is enclosed within four others, all covered with costly jewels. Long pilgrimages are made to obtain a sight of it, and it is worshipped with profoundest veneration.
Prayers, and pious maxims, printed on small bits of paper, command a ready sale at the Lamaseries. They have no moveable types, but print thern coarsely from wooden blocks. Some of the Lamas obtain a living by transcribing the Sacred Books for purchasers. Some of their manuscript editions are really superb, with rich 13lustrations, and highly ornamented characters Herbs gathered on sacred mountains, and holy water broaght from sacred rivers, or consecrated by the benediction of priests are profitable articles of commerce, because they are supposed to be invested with supernatural power to cure diseases, and keep off Evil Spirits In Japan, the priests sell a form of words, which they assure par chasers will not only defend them against Eril Spirits in this world, but will serve as passports to fehcity in the life to come. Some travellers sssert that they borrow money for religious purposes, and promise sa equivalent in the good things of Paradise. As security, they give the lender a writing, which he is to carry with him to the other world, to prove the amount of his claims All Buddhists retain the old Hindoo belief that nearly a.] departed souls remain for a while in regions of punishment graduated according to the sins they have committed in the body. There they go through a process of purification by fire, water, and other means and are thus prepared ascend to such a degree of Paradise xs is proportioned their merits. Prayers and oblations from the living sa
supposed to be accepted by the Higher Powers, in lieu of these purifying sufferings; therefore, the more prayers and gifts are offered, the shorter is the term of punishment. Priests are supposed to be divinely instructed concerning the most efficacious forms of prayers and ceremonies; and in this way the pious affection of relatives and friends becomes a lucrative source of revenue to the Temples and Lamaseries as it was to the Bramins of Hindostan, from the most ancient times.
Some of the Lamas are rich, others are poor. The offerings of pilgrims are divided among them according to their rank. Some of them manufacture hats, boots, and clothing for the establishment. Some keep cows and sell butter and milk to their brethren. Some spend all their time in collecting donations for the Temples and Lamaseries. The members of these religious communities are generally divided into four classes. The first class devote themselves to mysticism, or precepts of the contemplative life. The second study the Liturgy, and are expounders of religious ceremonies. The third prepare themselves for physicians, principally by the study of botany, as they use only vegetable medicines, concerning which they are said to possess much valuable information. The fourth class are called The Faculty of Prayers. They are expected to be able to recite by heart the prayers in the Sacred Books for all occasions. They are most in demand, and best paid, consequently the most numerous.
The Lamaseries are generally more or less endowed by the government, and there is good reason for it; for in them are concentrated all the intellectual cultivation there is in those countries. The Lamas are the only physicians, astronomers, architects, sculptors, and painters. They occupy themselves very much with the study and composition of religious works. Their commentaries on the Sacred Books are very voluminous. At stated periods, people assemble in the temples to hear them read and explain the precepts of Bouddha, and other great saints. But their principal occupation is the education of youth ;
not merely those devoted to priestly life, but also those intended for worldly professions. All the Lamaseries are schools, where instruction is given gratis, and poor children are fed. In China, Thibet, Birmah, and Japan, it is uncommon to find a man belonging to the Buddhist religion, who is too ignorant to read and write. This is one of the good effects of breaking down the monopoly of privileged classes, so tenaciously preserved in ancient Egypt and Hindostan. In the upper class of seminaries, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, and theology are taught. It is true these studies are mixed up with magical rites, exorcisms to cast out Evil Spirits, and other ideas which indicate the infancy of knowledge; but the literature which everywhere follows in the train of Buddhism, imperfect as it is, deserves the credit of waking up nations previously slumbering in profoundest ignorance. When Turner visited Thibet in 1783, he found their teachers acquainted with the satellites of Jupiter, the ring of Saturn, and the use of mercury as a medicine.
The discipline in these schools is very strict. The pupils sit in an open enclosure enduring the cold in winter and the heat in summer, while they listen to professors seated under a canopy, expounding the Sacred Books. Men with whips are in attendance, to punish the slightest infraction of the rules. If the students fail to recite the lessons or prayers given them to learn, they are severely whipped, or made to pass a cold night out of doors, with little or no clothing. They themselves say it is impossible to learn the prayers well, without being punished in the process They told the French missionaries that all the Lamas who could not recite prayers perfectly, or cure diseases, or predict the future correctly, were those who in youth had not been well beaten by their masters.
The inmates of the Lamaseries are generally very bene volent to the poor, and extremely hospitable and fraternal toward travellers and strangers. M. Huc, a Jesuit missionary, speaks thus of his visit to the celebrated Lamarry of Kounboum, in Tartary: “The reception given us re