Press enter after choosing selection

The Founder Of Buddhism

The Founder Of Buddhism image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Seven conturies before the Christian era, a prinoo of ouo of the roya] familioa of India, having exhausted, in histtventy-ninth year, all tho pleasures of the world, and having in him one of the deepeat, most comprehensive, and most oreative of human iotellects, suddonly abandooed in disgust his palace, his family, his treasures, and his State ; took the name of Gotama, which meana "he who kills the senses ;" became a religious mondioant ; walked about in a shroud taken from the dead body of a futnale slave ; taught, preaehed, and gatherecl about him a body of cnthueiaatio disciples, bound together by toe most efficiënt of all ecclesiastioal organations ; dictated or inepired works wLiuh, as now publisbcd by tho Chinase goTernment in ronr languages, oceapy eight hundrcd vnlumes ; and died at the age of' eighty, the founder of the Buddhist religión, Compared witb this man, Mahomet was an iguorant and ferocious barbariau ; and tJio proudest namea in Western philosophy lose a little of their lustre when placed by the side of this thiukor, who grappled with the greatcst pioblems of existence with the mightiost force of conception and reaaoning. Ab a philosopber, he anticipated both the idoaüsm of Berkeley and the positivista of Comte ; as a political thinker he anticipated the noblest truth of our "Deolaration of," and twenty-five hundred years ago taucht. agaiDSt the easte system ot India, the doctrino of the equality of men ; and in that región ot iofl.ience, higher thnn that in wliich either plulosophy or statesmanship works, he foundcd a religión which is now professcd by two fifths of the human race, and which thus exoeeds, in the number of its votaries, that of any other religión in the world. Buddhism has boon oorrupted by a fantastic mythology, but its sential principio, dérived from its foundtrs disgust of cxistence, is, that lifu is not woilh living, and that the extinotion of lifo is the bigiiost re ward of virtue. To pafs, in the next world, through various pennl or purifying transtnigratioDS, until you reaeh the bliss of Nirwana, or mere nothingnee9 aod Donentity, that is the Buddhist re ligion. We have said that it was professod by two fifibs of the human race, but its fundamental principie, that life is not wortb living, is believed, f not proíessed, by a largo mnjori'y af mankiüd. Not to ppeak of the 'nundredfl oL wailingbook8 nbieh misanthropic genius has oouiributed to all modern literature, not to remind the reader that the BuddWst Byron is the most popular Britieh poet of the ceutury, that porson muet have been singularly blessed with cheerful compnnioue who has Dot met foliowen of Gotami among the nominal believers in Christ. The infection of the doctrine as tin interprotation of human experieuce is so greaf, that comparatively few have altogother escaped its influence. In basing iiis religión on thisdiseaseof human nature. Ootarna showed profounder sagacity tban that evinced by any other fouudtr of a false religión ; and in the East this disease prcsented its most despairing phase, for their wearinces of life was assbciated both with the satiety of the rioh and the wretchedness of the poor. But whenoe comea this disgust of life ? We answer, from the comparativo absence of life. No man foels it who feels the abounding reality of spiritual existence glowiug within him ; for rightly siogs the poet : 'Whatever.craiy sorrotv saith, Au hfe that brunthes with human brcdth Hos evei trnly lODged for death. " 'Tfs life, whereof onr norvoi are scant, O lire. not dcuth, for which we pant : More Ufe, and (ulier, that we want I"


Old News
Michigan Argus