New PDF release: Milinda's Questions vol.1
By translated by I. B. Horner
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Extra resources for Milinda's Questions vol.1
Devadatta is a more problematical figure. He is not a symbol. He was a cousin of the Buddha. His charm and his gifts on the one side, and his treachery and soaring ambition on the other have always made a deep impression to which Miln. forms no exception. Was he not, the King asks, allowed to go forth into the monastic life by the Buddha, but then only to try his best to create a schism, a result of which was to bring untold torments upon himself (Miln. ) ? And was he not one of the five people in historical times (etarahi, of the present times, perhaps meaning in this Buddha-era as opposed to atite and ohutapubbam, in the past, once upon a time before Gotama was the Buddha) to have been swallowed up by the earth (Miln.
Why then were they allowed ? , p. 465. See also Winternitz, Hist. Ind. , ii. 174 ff. , p. 484. 3 See above, p. xxvii. See also W. Rahula, Hist, of Buddhism in XXX11 TRANSLATOR S INTRODUCTION The same tendency towards creating a Buddha-cult can be seen in the dilemma on the Veneration of the Bodily Relics (Miln. ). Veneration of this nature is plainly shown to be not a proper occupation for monks, but one to be left to the rest of mankind and to devas. Monks are thus set apart as those whose main business it is to tend the inner flame;1 had they abdicated this high calling and become obsessed for example with the Master's bowl2 and robe instead of making use, as the Lord himself did, of the thirty-seven links in enlightenment (Miln.
465, summarizing P. Demieville. versions were based on it. 2 Three Chinese TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION xliii for himself than of his increasing it by reflecting on it or adverting (his mind) to it over and over again, dvajjite dvajjite, and then sharing it according to his choice of recipients. We are put in mind of the Mahayanic " transference of merit/5 perhaps wrongly however, since " skill," kusala, is a concept superior in every way to merit, punna. Again the assumption, implied in the aspirations made by the monk and the novice, that, after successive births they will attain nibbana (Miln.
Milinda's Questions vol.1 by translated by I. B. Horner