holds good; the Bodhisattvas represent the ideal of spiritual activity, the Arhats of inactivity. It must be admitted that the Lotus, as a whole, breathes a less monastic and ascetic 1 spirit; it does not go the length to speak of ascetism and mortification in such scornful terms as theBhagavad-gita2 does, but at the same time it never extols it. There are in the book many indications that the art of preaching was made much of and highly developed, and it may be supposed that a greater proficiency in hermeneutics combined with superior mental activity has enabled the Mahayana to supplant its rival, the Hïnayana, and to extend its spiritual conquests once from the snows of Siberia to the luxuriant islands of the Indian Archipelago.
After having touched upon such points in the text of the Saddharmapundarïka as seemed to require more special notice, it behoves me to say a few words about the translation and its resources. In the first place, I must declare that I cannot speak in too warm terms of the benefit I have derived from the French translation by the illustrious Burnouf. I have taken that work throughout for my model, without having been able to reach its excellency. The material discrepancies between his translation are partlydue to my having followed other MSS., partly to another interpretation, especially of frequently corrupt and difficult Gathas. Ifsome reader not acquainted with the peculiar difficulties of those Gathas should wonder at the occurrence of numerous discrepancies, I would repeat the words of the preface to the Chinese version from a. d. 601, and request him «not to have any suspicion about these differences». Let him compare the fragment from Kumarajïva's rendering with the corresponding passages in the French and English translations, and he will observe that the difference between the work of the learned Buddhist of the fourth century and the two European versions is far more considerable than between the latter.
The base of my translation has been an old manuscript on palm leaves, belonging to Dr. D. Wright's collection, in the University Library of Cambridge. The manuscript is dated Newar, era 159 0=a.d. 1039), and was written in the reign of the king Kamadeva(P), in the bright half of the month Vaigakha, on a Thursday.3 It is one of the most ancient MSS. existing in Europe, and therefore I thought that it was advisable to follow its readings
writes Vasubandhu instead of Vasumitra; his index affords the means of correcting the mistake; of. Vassiljev in Taranatha, p. 298.
1 See chap. xm, 28, where the eighth commandment of the Dahlia, forbidding the use of ointment, is slighted.
- See there xvn, 5 seqq., and cf. 14 seqq., where we are taught what the true tap as should be.
» Samvat 159 Vai9akhasukle (illegible the Tithi) Gurudine, Kamadevasya vijayarajye likhitam iti. There seem to be wanting two syllables before karna.