Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": AFTER THE ILLUMINATION THE BUDDHA PROCLAIMS

'I AM THE HOLY ONE IN THIS WORLD, I AM THE HIGHEST TEACHER. . . '


('Mahavagga,' I, 7-9)

Now Upaka, a man belonging to. the Ajivaka sect (i.e. the sect of naked ascetics), saw the Blessed One travelling on the road, between Gayd and the Bodhi tree; and when he saw him, he said to the Blessed One: 'Your countenance, friend, is serene; your complexion is pure and bright. In whose name, friend, have you retired from the world? Who is your teacher? Whose doctrine do you profess?'

When Upaka the Ajivaka had spoken thus, the Blessed One addressed him in the following stanzas: 'I have overcome all foes; I am all-wise; I am free from stains in every way; I have left everything; and have obtained emancipation by the destruction of desire. Having myself gained knowledge, whom should I call my master? I have no teacher; no one is equal to me; in the world of men and of gods no being is like me. I am the holy One in this world, I am the highest teacher, I alone am the Absolute Sambuddha; I have gained coolness (by the extinction of all passion) and have obtained Nirvana. To found the Kingdom of Truth I go to the city of the Kasis (Benares), I will beat the drum of the Immortal in the darkness of this world.'

(Upaka replied): 'You profess then, friend, to be the holy, absolute Jina.1

(Buddha said): 'Like me are all Jinas who have reached extinction of the Asavas;2 I have overcome all states of sinfulness; therefore, Upaka, am I the Jina.'

When he had spoken thus, Upaka, the Ajivaka replied: 'It may be so, friend': shook his head, took another road, and went away.


Notes

1 Jina, or the victorious One, is one of the many appellations common to the founders of Buddhism and Jainism.

2 Asava,-sensuality, individuality, delusion, and ignorance.


Translation and notes by T. W. -Rhys Davids and Hermann Oldenberg, Vinaya Texts, part I, in Sacred Books of the East, XIII, (Oxford, 1881), pp. 90-1

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