The Date of Buddhas Death, as Determined By a Record of Asoka.

BY J.F. Fleet, I.C.S.(Retd.), Ph.D., C.I.E.
Journal of The Royal Asiatic Society
p. 1-26

p. 1 There is a certain rock edict of Asoka, regarding the interpretation and application of which no final result has as yet been arrived at. That this has been the case, is due chiefly to an unfortunate initial mistake, which introduced a supposed word, taken to mean "two and a half," into the reading of a passage of primary importance which mentions a certain period of years. It was subsequently fully admitted that a misreading had been made. But the effect of that misreading remained. And, like similar mistakes in other matters, the initial mistake made here left an influence which neither the scholar who made it, nor subsequent inquirers, could shake off. Within the limits of space available in this Journal, it is not practicable to handle the edict as fully as could be wished. I hope, however, to be able to shew, with sufficient clearness, what the purport of the record really is, and the extent to which we are indebted to previous inquiries for assistance in arriving at its true meaning. For some of the readers of this Journal, the chief interest of the matter will probably lie in its bearing on the question, p. 2 not yet settled, of the date of the death of Buddha. But it involves also other points of leading interest, in connection with Asoka. The edict in question has been found, in somewhat varying versions which illustrate two redactions of it, in Northern India at Sahasram, Rupnath, and Bairat, and in Mysore at Brahmagiri, Siddapura, and Jatinga-Ramesvara. The records at the last three places include also a second edict, which has not yet been found in Northern India. With that, however, we are not here concerned. Of the edict with which we are concerned, the Bairat, Siddapura, and Jatinga-Ramesvara versions are so fragmentary as to be of but little use. Of the remaining versions, those at Rupnath and Brahmagiri are the best preserved and the most complete. As will be seen, the Brahmagiri record is of extreme importance in more respects than one, in addition to giving us the place, Suvarnagiri, which I shall identify further on, where Asoka was in religious retirement when he issued the edict; and it is very fortunate that we have the facsimiles of it, and of the Siddapura and Jatinga-Ramesvara records, published with Dr. Buhler's article in the Epigraphia Indica, vol. iii, 1894-95, pp. 134 to 142, which were made from the excellent inked estampages supplied by Dr. Hultzsch, the Government Epigraphist; if we had not those facsimiles, we might still have been without an accurate knowledge of the contents of those records, and perhaps without a recognition of the point which settles one of the important questions decided by the edict. But the Sahasram record, though considerably damaged, is of extreme value in connection with at any rate one important passage. The matter is decided by the three texts at Sahasram, Rupnath, and Brahmagiri. And it is necessary to consider only them on this occasion. In respect of the Bairat, Siddapura, and Jatinga-Ramesvara texts, it is here sufficient to say that they do not contain anything militating, in any way, against the results established by the other three texts. It is to be premised that the edict is a lecture on the p. 3 good results of displaying energy in matters of religion. The whole text of it is more or less of interest. But it is sufficient for present purposes to give two extracts from it. Before, however, going any further, it must be stated that, in the earliest discussions of the contents of this edict, doubts were expressed as to whether it should be understood as a Buddhist or as a Jain manifesto, and as to whether it was issued by Asoka or by some other king. But it is not necessary to revert to those questions, except in so far as the varying opinions, as to the sectarian nature of the record, have borne upon some of the proposals made regarding the interpretation of certain words in it. It is quite certain that the edict was issued by Asoka. And, whatever may be the religion which Asoka professed originally, it is quite certain that he was converted to Buddhism, and that this edict is a Buddhist proclamation. This is made clear by the so-called Bhabra edict, which, addressed to the Magadha Samgha or community of Buddhist monks and nuns of Magadha, speaks, in the most explicit terms, of the respect paid, and the goodwill displayed, by "the king Piyadasi," that is Asoka as He of Gracious Mien, to "the Buddha, the Faith (Dharma), and the Order (Samgha)." Nor is it necessary to review certain disquisitions which have been given with a view to bringing the supposed purport of the edict, particularly in the matter of two stages in the religious career of Asoka, into harmony with the assertions, or supposed assertions, of the Southern tradition as represented by the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa. Those disquisitions were wide of the mark; the tradition and the record having, in reality, no chronological details in common, except in respect of the number of years that elapsed from the death of Buddha to the abhisheka or anointment of Asoka to the sovereignty. And Dr. Buhler, at a later time, in cancelling the misreading on which he had acted, practically withdrew (see IA, xxii, p. 300) at any rate "one half of the historical deductions,"-- though he somewhat inconsiderately did not specify exactly which p. 4 half, -- which he himself had given at great length (IA, vi, pp. 151 to 154, and vii, pp. 148 to 160) in his original examinations of the Sahasram and Rupnath records. We are concerned with only the readings and interpretations of certain words in two passages in the edict. And, in giving the texts of those two passages, I of course follow, as closely as possible, the latest published readings of each version of the edict. But I supplement those readings by anything which I myself can gather from those reproductions of the originals which are real facsimiles, or can suggest with confidence in any other way. It will be convenient to deal first with a passage which stands in the Sahasram record near the end, and in the other two records at the end, of the edict. Of this passage, we have the following texts. In all essential details, I adhere exactly to the decipherments of the individual syllables made by Dr. Buhler (IA, xxii, 1893, p. 303, and EI, iii, 1894-95, p. 138) and M. Senart (IA, xx, pp. 155, 156, and JA, 1892, i, p. 487). But I differ from those scholars in a detail of analysis in the Rupnath record, regarding which reference may be made to also page 13 below. We must not take sata-vivasa as a compound. It must be taken as two separate words. The word sata, = sata, the base, means 'hundreds, centuries;' just like the nominative plural sata, = satani, of the Sahasram record. And, in conformity with a common method of expression in Hindu dates, in translating which we have to supply the word 'of' in order to obtain a grammatical rendering, the two words sata and sata are in apposition, not with only the word duve, 'two,' and the numerical symbol for 200, but with the words and the numerical symbols which mean 256; though, of course, the intended purport is, not 256 centuries, but two centuries and fifty-six. years. The texts are:-- Sahasram, lines 6,7:--Iyam [cha savane (read savane)] vivuthena duve sa-pamnalati sata vivutha ti 200 50 6. Rupnath, lines 5, 6:- Vyuthena, savane kate 200 50 6 sata vivasa ta (or ti). p. 5 Brahmagiri, line 8: --Iyam cha sava[ne] sav[a]p[i]te vyuthena 200 50 6. In the words iyam cha savane, savane, "and this same precept, " of the Sahasram and Brahmagiri versions, and in the simple savane, "the precept" or "(this same) precept, " of the Rupnath version, reference is made to an earlier passage in the edict, of which the general tenor is:-- "And to this same purpose this precept has been inculcated: Let both the lowly, and those who are exalted, exert themselves!;"(1) because, as the preceding context explains, even a lowly man, who exerts himself, may attain heaven, high though it is. The passage with which are dealing says, in the Rupnath version that that precept was made or composed, and in the Brahmagiri version that it was caused to be heard, announced, preached, or inculcated, by someone who is mentioned in the Rupnath version by the mord vyutha, and in the Brahmagiri version by the word vyutha. In the sahasram version, there is a reference of evidently the same kind to the precept, and to the person, who is mentioned therein by the word vivutha; but the word meaning 'made; composed,' or 'inculcated,' was omitted, and has to be understood. And with these statements there are connected, in the Rupnath and Brahmagiri versions some numerical symbols, and in the Sahasram version both numerical symbols and words, which mean 'two hundred and fifty-six.'(2) Of this passa,ae there have been two main lines of interpretation, each with its separate branches. Dr. Buhler, who first brought the contents of the edict to public notice, in 1877, maintained, from first to last, that the words and numerical symbols are a date, and that the passage means that the edict was promulgated when 256 complete years had elapsed, and in the course of the 257th ------------------------------ 1. It has not always been recognised that this precept is complete as given in translation above. But, that that is distinctly marked by the word ti, =iti, which stands in four of the versions in which the passage is extant, has been pointed out by Dr. Buhler in EI, iii, p. 142, 8. 2. We need not trouble ourselves on this occasion with the exact analysis and disposal of the word sa-pamnalati, `fifty-six.' p. 6 year, after the death of Buddha. Originally (IA, vi, pp. 150, 159 b),while deriving the vivasa of the Rupnath record from vivas, 'to change an abode, depart from; to abide, dwell, live; to pass, spend (time),' he connected the vivutha of the Sahasram record, and the vyutha of the Rupnath record, with vivrit, 'to turn round, revolve; to turn away, depart; to go down, set (as the sun).' Subsequently (IA, vii, p. 145 b) , he accepted the correct derivation, pointed out by Professor Pischel (see page 20 below), of also vivutha and vyutha from vivas. But he was still able to retain for vivuthena and vyuthena, and to adopt for the vyuthena of the Brahmagiri record, his original rendering "by the Departed," in the figurative sense of "the Deceased," as an appellation of Buddha. In the Sahasram record, he took vivutha, as the Pali nominative plural neuter, equivalent originally to vivrittani but subsequently to vyushitani, 'passed.' In the Rupnath record, he read sata-vivasa as a compound, and took it as an ablative dependent upon the number 256. Finding in sata a substitute for the Pali satthu, a corruption of the Sanskrit sastri, which does occur freely as an appellation of Buddha as "the Teacher,"(1) he took sata-vivasa as equivalent to satthu-vivasa, sastri-vivasat; and he rendered it as meaning "since the departure," in the figurative sense of the death, "of the Teacher," that is of Buddha. And thus he arrived at the following translations:-- Sahasram: -- "And this sermon (is) by the Departed. "Two hundred (years) exceeded by fifty-six, 256, have "passed since" (IA, vi, 1877, p. 156 b). Rupnath:-- "This sermon has been preached by the "Departed. 256 (years have elapsed) since the departure of "the Teacher" (IA, vi, 1877, p. 157a). Brahmagiri:-- "Aand this sermon has been preached by "the Departed, 256 (years ago)" (EI, iii, 1894-95, p.141). ------------------------- 1. For instance, in the Suttanipata, verse 31, "be thou our Teacher, O great Sage!," verse 545, "thou art Buddha, thou art the Teacher" (ed. Fausboll, pp. 5, 98), and in the Dipavamsa, 1, 17, 35; 2, 20 (ed. Oldenberg, pp. 14, 16, 22), and in the Mahavamsa (Turnour, p. 3, line 12, p. 4, line 13, p.7, line 6). p. 7 In agreement with Dr. Buhler there was, in the first place, General Sir Alexander Cunningham. He did not attempt any independent examination of the difficult expressions in the edict. But he had detected and deciphered, before anyone else, the numerical symbols in the Sahasram record (Inscrs. of Asoka, 1877, p. 2, No. 8) .(1) and he, also, recognised in them a date, reckoned from the nirvana of Buddha. In his interpretation and application of the passage, Dr. Buhler had the full support of Professor Max Muller, who in 1881 wrote:-- "After carefully weighing the "objections raised by Mr. Rhys Davids and Professor "Pischel against Dr. Buhler's arguments, I cannot think "that they have shaken Dr. Buhler's position. I fully "admit the difficulties in the phraseology of these inscriptions: but I ask, Who could have written these inscriptions, " if not Asoka? And how, if written by Asoka, can the "date which they contain mean anything but 256 years "after Buddha's Nirvana?" (Sacred Books of the East, ---------------------- 1. I would like to suggest to certain European scholars that, instead of citing Sir A. Cunningham's volume on the records of Asoka, and my own volume on the records of the Early (or Imperial) Gupta Kings and their Successors, as "CII, vol. i," and "CII, vol. iii, " meaning thereby vols. i, and iii, of the "Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum,"-- a method of referring to them which does not indicate much, if anything, of value,-- it would be more useful to cite them, by distinctive titles, as Inscriptions of Asoka (or Asoka Inscriptions) and Gupta Inscriptions, or as Inscrs. of Asoka (or Asoka Inscrs.) and Gupta Inscrs., or, if an absolute abbreviation is desired, as "C.AI," and "F.GI." These two works are the first and third volumes, nominally, of a series which has never gone any further, and, it is feared, is not likely to do so. And it has been a matter for regret that they were ever numbered as volumes of such a series. Even the intended second volume of that inchoate series has never appeared, though, it is believed, the preparation of it had been undertaken by someone before the time when the preparation of the volume on the Gupta Inscriptions devolved upon me as Epigraphist to the Government of India, 1883 to 1886. It was cotemplated that that second volume should contain the "Inscriptions of the Indo-Scythians, and of the Satraps of Surashtra" (see Inscrs. of Asoka, Preface, p.1). It was understood by me that all the materials for it, then known, had been collected; and, in fact, most of the intended Plates seem to have been actually printed off (see JRAS, 1894, p. 175). And consequently, having plenty of travelling and other work to do in connection with my own volume when I was in Northern India, I did not lay myself out to obtain fresh ink-impressions and estampages of the records of the other series, though I did secure a few such materials, in the cases both of them and of the Asoka records, as opportunity served. I have often, since then, regretted the omission; especially because a few of the materials then extant do not exist, except at the bottom of the sea, in the wreck of the P. and O. steamship "Indus," on the north-east coast of Ceylon (see ibid.). p. 8 vol. x, 1881, Dhammapada, Introd. p. 41, and second edition, 1898, Introd. p. 49). And more recently he received the full support of Professor Kern, who in 1896 wrote:-- "We believe also "that the figures 256, notwithstanding all objections, are "really intended as a date of the Lord's Parinirvana" (Manual of Indian Buddhism, p. 115). And he received also partial support from Professor Rhys Davids (Academy, 14th July, 1877, p. 37, and Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, 1877, p. 57 ff.; see also page 14 below), and from Professor Pischel (Academy, 11th August, 1877, p. 145; see also pages 18, 20, below), and from M. Boyer (JA, 1898, ii, p. 486; see also page 15 below). The other main line of interpretation starts from the point that the passage does not present any word meaning `years;' and for the most part it takes both the words vivutha and vivasa as nominatives plural, in apposition with the number 256. The separate branches of this line of interpretation have been as follows:-- Professor H. Oldenberg, on the possibility of vivutha, vyutha, and vivasa, being derived from the root vas, 'to shine, become bright' (class 6, uchchhati), with the prefix vi, thought that the passage might perhaps mean:-- "This is the teaching "of him who is there illumined; 256 beings have appeared "in the world illumined." But he was more disposed to take the second part of the passage as meaning "256 beings "have departed (into the realm of liberation, into Nirvana)," and as indicating that that number of Buddhas had, up to then, appeared in the course of world-periods. And so he rendered the whole passage (somewhat freely in respect of its second part) as probably meaning:-- "This teaching was "preached by the Departed; the number of the Departed, "who have taught on earth, is 256" (ZDMG, xxxv, 1881, p. 475).(1) ----------------------- 1. Being not acquainted with German, for my knowledge of the exact purport of this article by Professor H. Oldenberg, referred to again further on in connection with the other extract with which we have to deal, I am indebted to Mr. Thomas, who has very kindly supplied me with a translation of it. p. 9 M. Senart, by whom this line of interpretation has been most prominently represented, and who arrived at his conclusions independently of Professor Oldenberg, took a somewhat different view. His process (Inscrs. de Piya., ii, 1886, pp. 182-189, and IA, xx,, 1891, pp. 160-162) may be epitomised thus. He took the verb vivas in its ordinary meaning of 'to be absent, to depart from one's home or country.' From that he deduced for vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha, the meaning of 'a messenger.' With the idea thus obtained, he compared the missionaries who in the time of Asoka, according to the Mahavamsa (Turnour, p. 71, Wijesinha, p. 46, and see Dipavamsa, Oldenberg, p. 159), the Thera Moggaliputta sent out to various countries to propagate the religion of Buddha. And he thus arrived at the meaning of 'messenger, missionary, as denoting the persons who were chargred by Asoka with the duty of putting the edict in circulation and spreading it abroad. Like Dr. Buhler, he read the sata-vivasa of the Rupnath version as a compound. But, like Professor Pischel and Professor Oldenberg, he took the sata of this compound, and the sata of the Sahasram version as representing respectively the base and the nominative plural of sattva, in the sense of `a living being, a man.' He took the vivasa of sata-vivasa of the Rupnath version, and the vivutha of the Sahasram version, not as ablatives singular, but as nominatives plural. And he thus arrived at translations which may be rendered as follows:- Sahasram:- "It is by the missionary that this teaching " (is spread abroad). Two hundred and fifty-six men have "gone forth on missions" (Inscrs. de Piya., ii, 1886, p. 196, and IA, xx, 1891, p. 165). Rupnath:--"It is through the missionary that my "teaching is spread abroad. There have been 256 settings " out of missionaries" (Inscrs. de Piya., ii, 1886, p. 196, and IA, xx, 1891, p. 165). Brahmagiri:- "This teaching is promulgated by the `missionary. 256" (JA, 1892, i, p, 488). Mr. Rice, in bringing to notice the Mysore records, sought p. 10 to open out a new branch of this line of interpretation, by rendering the passage in the Brahmagiri record as meaning:-- "And this exhortation has been delivered by "the vyutha (or? society) 256 times" (Report dated February, 1892, p.5). If that were really the meaning, we could only have wound up the inquiry by commiserating the individual, or the society, for having had to reiterate so often the same so short address. But we need not refer to that proposal again. As has already been pointed out by M. Senart (JA, 1892, i, p. 485), Mr. Rice's rendering was based upon nothing but the pure mistake of taking, as representing the Sanskrit suffix sas, such and such a number of times,' the se of the words se hevam, "even thus," which introduce the second edict in the Mysore records. And the rendering has been judiciously abandoned by Mr. Rice in handling the record again on a recent occasion, when he has presented the passage as meaning: -- "And this exhortation ws delivered "by the Vyutha (or the Departed) 256 (? years ago);" to which he has attached footnotes to the effect that "the Departed" means Buddha, and, in respect of the number 256, that "no one has succeeded in discovering exactly what "these figures refer to" (Ep. Carn., xi, 1903, translations P. 93). And, finally M. Sylvain Levi took up the matter from another point of view in the JA, 1896, i, pp. 460-474. In the first place, he took certain words which stand at the end of the second edict of the Brahmagiri record, not as being Padena likhitam lipikarena, and as meaning, according to Dr. Buhler's rendering, "written by Pada the scribe," but as being padena likhitam lipikarena, and as meaning "written by the scribe in the pada-fashion, separating all "the words" (loc. cit., p. 466); and he explained that the text sent out from the chancellor's office at Suvamnagiri to that at Isila bore that indication in order to put the local writer on his guard against any fancy for pedantry. He took the words vivuthena, vyuthena, and vyuthena as denoting any of the couriers or messengers by whom the edict was circulated from place to place (ibid., p. 469 f.). Following p. 11 the reading of sata-vivasa as a compound, he took sata as representing the Sanskrit smrita, in the sense of `enunciated, mentioned,' and interpreted the ablative vivasa, and the corresponding vivutha of the Sahasram version, as denoting the despatch or missive, the edict itself, with which the messengers were entrusted, and rendered the phrases as meaning "according to the aforesaid missive" (ibid., p. 472). And, noting a habit which both the Buddhists and the Jains had, of guaranteeing the integrity of their texts by recording the number of syllables (aksharas) which they contained (ibid., p. 472 f.), and finding an approximation to the number 256 in certain parts of each version of the edict, he explained the number 256 as indicating, not a date, but "simply the official notation of the number of aksharas "contained in the edict, in the form which it had received "in the royal chancellor's office of Pataliputra" (ibid, p. 474). In respect of my own interpretation of this passage I have to say, in the first place, that I unhesitatingly endorse the view, originally propounded by Dr. Buhler, that the number 256 is a date. It is true that the passage does not include any word for `years.' And it would probably be difficult to find many such instances, in which an omitted word for 'years' is not replaced by some word meaning 'time,' in the epigraphic records of India; though M. Boyer has apparently found two such instances, referable according to the present understanding to the first century B.C., in the epigraphic records of Ceylon (JA, 1898, ii, pp. 466, 467). But the passage does at any rate not present anything which excludes the understanding that a date is meant. The vivutha of the Sahasram record, and the vivasa of the Rupnath record, may be taken as ablatives singular, masculine or neuter, dependent upon the number 256, quite as well as nominatives plural, masculine or neuter, in apposition with that number; while, in the Brahmagiri record there is no word at all, to give any indication as to how the number 256 is to be applied. And this latter fact is particularly instructive. For, p. 12 though an omission of a word meaning `years' is easily intelligible and can be matched, and though it is quite easy to comprehend how a simple statement of figures could be at once recognised as a date even without any word to indicate the starting-point of the reckoning, it is at least very difficult to understand, if `persons' of some kind or another were intended, how the text could come to be left in such a form as to give not the slightest clue as to the nature of those persons, or to understand, if any such detail was intended as the marking of the number of `syllables,' why there is no similar entry at the end of also the second edict in the Mysore records, especially as it is there that there stand the words which, according to one view, record a special feature in the verbal construction of the original text. It is probably to Buddhist and Jain literature, rather than to any epigraphic records, that me must turn for similar instances of an omission of a word meaning `years.' And, while it is not worth while to spend time over a special search for such cases,-- inasmuch as the record has to be dealt with on its own merits, and irrespective of the question whether exact analogies can be found or not,-- I will quote one instance from Buddhist literature, quite to the point, which came under my observation accidentally, in casually looking into the contents of a work which I had seen described as being of importance for the ecclesiastical history of Ceylon. The work in question is the Sasanavamsa or Sasanavamsappadipika, composed by a Burmese scholar named Pannasami who finished it not very long ago; to be exact, in 1861. Pannasami has recorded the date of the completion of his work, in the common Burmese era commencing A.D. 638, in the following verse (ed. Mrs. Bode, 1897, text p. 170):-- Dvi-sate cha sahasse cha tevis-adhike gate(1) punnayam Migasirassa nittham gata va sabbaso. And the translation is: -- " (This Sasanavamsappadipika) verily attained completion in all respects on the full-moon -------------------- 1. The metre in faulty in this pada. Pali authors, however, seem to have never troubled themselves about irregularities of metre. p. 13 day of (the month) Migasira, when there had gone by two hundred and a thousand and twenty-three." Here we have an unmistakable instance, quite to the point, of omission of a word for 'years' or 'time' in a passage recording a date.(1) To that I have only to add the following remarks. The natural appearance of the passage with which we are concerned, is distinctly that of a date. Though the other interpretations which have been proposed by MM. Senart and Sylvain Levi, have been supported by substantial arguments, they do not present any meaning that can be recognised as following naturally, without straining. And they are distinctly wrong in taking the sata of the Sahasram record as equivalent to satta, sattani, the nominative plural, and the sata of the Rupnath version as equivalent to satta, the base, of satta, =sattva, `being, existence; a living or sentient being.' The word satta, =sattva, is one in respect of which the people who used the language or orthography of the Asoka edicts, could not afford to follow the practice of reducing double consonants to single ones, or, at any rate, to use generally the word so reduced; because, unless in any such phrase as sava-sata-hitaye, sava-satanam hitaye, "for the welfare of all sentient beings," the result, sata, would have been so liable to be confused with sata, = sata, `hundred,' and sata, =satta, =saptan, 'seven' and sata, = smrita, 'remembered, mentioned; thoughtful.' And, as has already been intimated (page 4 above), both the sata of the Sahasram record and the sata of the Rupnath record mean 'hundreds, centuries:' in conformity with a common method of expression in Hindu dates, in translating which we have to supply the word 'of' in order to obtain a grammatical rendering, they stand in apposition, not with only the word duve, 'two,' and the numerical symbol for 200, but with the words and ---------------------- 1. I may now add, in revising the proofs of my article, another literary instance which, also, has come to my notice casually. It is a passage in a Jain pattavali, which places the destruction of Valabhi and other occurrences such and such numbers (of years) after the death of Mahavira-Vardhamana by the words:-- sri-Virat 845 Valabhi-bhangah 826 kvachit 886 brahmadvipikah 882 chaitya- sthitih; see IA, xi, 1882, p. 252 b. p. 14 the numerical symbols which mean 256; but of course the intended purport is, not 256 centuries, but two centuries and fifty-six years. It is, in fact, an inevitable conclusion that the number 256 is a date. And, following Dr. Buhler in the second detail also, I fully agree with him that that date was reckoned from the death of Buddha. But I arrive at this result in a different way. Now, in the first place, the passage mentions the making or composing, and the inculcation, of a religious precept by, plainly, a religious teacher, whom it specifies by the words vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha; and it places some event in the career of that teacher, indicated by the ablatives vivutha and vivasa, 256 years before the actual time at which the edict was issued by Asoka. The allusion can only be to one or other of the two great ancient Hindu teachers, Buddha and Mahavira-Vardhamana.(1) And,-- even setting aside the facts, that, if tradition is true, Mahavira-Vardhamana died at least 258 years before the abhisheka or anointment of Asoka to the sovereignty, and that this edict was certainly not issued until long after the anointment of Asoka,-- it is certain, for a reason already mentioned on page 3 above, that, whatever may be the religion which Asoka originally professed, it was to Buddhism that he was converted. The words vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha, therefore, must denote Buddha. And the word vivasa must mark some event, used as the starting-point of a chronological reckoning, in the career of Buddha. Now, Professor Rhys Davids propounded the view that, if the edict is really a Buddhist and not a Jain proclamation, -------------------------------- 1. The validity of my general argument would not be destroyed, even if hereafter there should be established something which, I believe, is held to have been demolished long ago; namely, that Buddha and Vardhamana were originally one and the same person, and were differentiated by the divergence of rival sects, with the inevitable oriental concomitant of the invention of separative details of the most circumstantial kind, perhaps before, perhaps only after, the time of Asoka. However, I do not make any assertion in that direction; I have not studied the point. I only hint at a possibility, which must not be altogether ignored even now. p. 15 it is to be understood that the starting-point of the reckoning of the 256 years was, not the death of Buddha, but his vivasa in the sense of his nekkhamma, abhinikkhamana, or abhinishkramana, -- "the Great Renunciation,"-- when he left his home to become an ascetic (Academy, 14th July, 1877, p. 37, and ACMC, p. 58). And this same view has been adopted by M. Boyer (JA, 1898, ii, p. 486). But Professor Rhys Davids himself did not regard with any favour (ACMC, p. 60),-- and apparently quite rightly, -- the idea, entertained by someone else, that the Jains had an era dating from the abhinishkramana of Mahavira- Vardhamana, an event quite as important to the Jains as the same event in the life of Buddha could be to the Buddhists. And, even irrespective of the point that the actual departure from home would be denoted by the word vivasana more correctly than by vivasa, whatever may be the case in the Buddhist literature in general,-- whatever may be the statements which can be found there, to surround the abhinishkramana of Buddha with so great a halo of romance as to justify our speaking of it as "the Great Renunciation,"-- there is nothing in the Dipavamsa, or in the Mahavamsa, to indicate that the Poranatthakatha, the Atthakatha-Mahavamsa or Sihalatthakatha-Mahavamsa of the Mahavihara monastery, the early work on which the Dipavamsa and partially the Mahavamsa were based (Oldenberg, Dipavamsa, Introd. p. 2 ff.),-- a work of quite possibly the time of Asoka himself or nearly so,-- attached any importance at all, as an epoch-making event, to the abhinishkramana of Buddha. In connection with the Mahavamsa, we must bear in mind a point, to which, it would appear, no attention has as yet been paid, but which is of importance because, in consequence of it, while we may criticise the Mahavamsa by the Dipavamsa, we must not criticise the Dipavamsa by the Mahavamsa. Mahanaman, the author of the earlier portion, really known as the Padyapadanuvamsa or Padyapadoruvamsa, of the Mahavamsa, had opportunities, in consequence of the intervening visit of Buddhaghosha to Ceylon from Magadha, and of his own p. 16 visit to Magadha which is proved by his inscription at BodhGaya,(1) of introducing into his narrative additional items of --------------- 1. I refer to one or other of two records edited by me in Gupta Inscriptions, 1888, No. 71, p. 274, and No. 72, p. 278 (see also IA, xv, 1886, pp. 356, 359). The inscription No. 71 is dated in the year 269, in the month Chaitra; it mentions, in a line of Buddhist disciples of Lanka (Ceylon), Bhava, Rahula, Upasena (I.), Mahanaman (I.) , Upasena (II.), and Mahanaman (II.), a resident of Amradvipa, and born in the island of Lanka; and it records that, in the specified year, the second Mahanaman founded a Buddhist temple or monastery at the Bodhimanda that is at Bodh-Gaya. The inscription No. 72 is not dated; it records the presentation of a Buddhist image by the Sthavira Mahanaman, a resident of Amradvipa. When I edited these records, I took the Sthavira Mahanaman of the inscription No. 72 to be identical with the second Mahanaman of No. 71. I interpreted the date in No. 71, the year 269, the month Chaitra, as a date of the Gupta era, falling in A.D. 588. And I said in respect of No. 71:- " Its extreme interest "lies in the fact that, as the Mahanaman, whose record it is, can hardly be any "Other than the well-known person of that name who wrote the more ancient "part of the Pali Mahavamsa or History of Ceylon, its date shews either that "the details of the Ceylonese chronology, as hitherto accepted, are not as reliable "as they have been supposed to be, or else that a wrong starting-point has been "selected in working out those details; and it furnishes a definite point from "which the chronology may now be adjusted backwards" (Gupta Inscrs., 1888, Introd. p. 16; see also id., texts, p. 275 f., and IA, xv, 1886, p. 357). What I have said on the present occasion, I have said with a full knowledge of what Mr. Vincent Smith has written (IA, xxxi, 1902, p. 192 ff.) with a view to upsetting both the identification proposed by me and the remarks made by me in connection with it, and also a different identification proposed by M. Sylvain Levi with the result of interpreting the date of the record as a date of the Saka era, falling in A.D. 347 (JA, 1900, i, pp. 401-411). M. Levi's proposal, in connection with the Saka era, is altogether unsustainable. And, for my part, I have to withdraw an alternative suggestion made by me, that the date of the record might be a date of the Kalachuri or Chedi era, falling in A.D. 518 (Gupta Inscrs., Index, pp. 320, 324). My original explanation of the date, as a date of the Gupta era, falling in A.D. 588, is the correct one. I endorse Mr. Smith's conclusion (IA, xxxi, 1902, p. 193) that the undated inscription No. 72, of the Sthavira Mahanaman, is some fifty years earlier than the dated inscription No. 71. And it is, no doubt, a record of the first Mahanaman of the inscription No. 71, whom Mr. Smith has styled "the spiritual grandfather" (loc. cit., p. 193) of the second Mahanaman of that record, the one to whom the date in the year 269 belongs. For the rest, Mr. Smith's conclusions are wrong. They rest primarily upon a belief that the Ceylonese chronology is substantially accurate from B.C. 161 onwards (loc. cit., p. 195, line 17 ff.). That, however, is a quite erroneous belief, which is traceable back to another initial mistake, or rather an initial unsustainable assertion, made by Mr. George Tumour (see, e.g., JASB, vi, 1837, p. 721), and which can be easily exploded. The suggestions which I put forward in 1886 and 1888 in respect of the Ceylonese chronology, are quite correct. Tumour selected, for working it out, a wrong starting-point, B.C. 543, which is not asserted by, or supported by anything contained in, either the Dipavamsa or the earlier part of the Mahavamsa, but was simply invented in (as far as I can see my way clear at present) the twelfth or thirteenth century A.D. And we are gradually obtaining items of information from various sources, which shew that the details in the Ceylonese chronicles are not accurate in respect even of names, much less of dates. But it is possible that the author Mahanaman should be identified with the Sthavira Mahanaman (roughly about A.D. 538) of the Bodh-Gaya undated p. 17 tradition and romance which were not available to the author of the earlier work, the Dipavamsa; and he unquestionably availed himself of those opportunities, in completing the alleged history of the period before Asoka, and in filling in some of the asserted details of the life of Asoka himself. And yet even the Mahavamsa merely says:-- "The Bodhi- satta was five years older than Bimbisara; and, when he was twenty-nine years of age, the Bodhisatta went forth" (nikkhami) ; namely by supplying what is understood, "on his divine mission" (Mahavamsa, Turnour, p. 10, Wijesinha, p. 8), or, let us rather say, "to acquire bodhi or sambodhi, true knowledge." While the Dipavamsa, 3, 47, does not even specify the age of Buddha when he left his home, but simply says:-- "He, Siddhattha, the leader of the world, son of Suddhodana, having begotten Rahulabhadda, went forth for (the purpose of acquiring true) knowledge" (bodhaya abhinikkhami; Oldenberg, text, p. 29). There is nothing to suggest that the Buddhists ever recognised a reckoning dating from the abhinishkramana of Buddha, when he left his father's regal home, and went forth to acquire that true knowledge which was to qualify him to be a teacher and the founder of a faith. Nor can I detect anything to indicate that an event in his life, which would be much more likely to have served as an epoch-making event, was ever applied as such; namely, his first public appearance as a teacher, when, at the age of thirty-five according to tradition, he expounded his religion to the king Bimbisara (Dipavamsa, 3, 57, 58; Mahavamsa, Turnour, p. 10, Wijesinha, p. 8). On the other hand, there are indisputable evidences, in many directions,-- in India itself, and in Ceylon, Tibet, China, Burma, and Siam, --that there was a custom, from -------------------------- inscription No. 72, rather than with the second Mahanaman (A.D. 588) of the dated inscription No. 71. This, however, is a point which will have to be thought out on some other occasion, when I shall have more to say about the circumstances in which Mahanaman wrote the Padyapadanuvamsa or Padyapadoruvamsa, and about the mistake of taking him to be a maternal uncle of king Dhatusena who is supposed to have reigned A.D. 459 to 477 or 463 to 479. p. 18 an early time, of determining chronology by placing events such and such a number of years after the death of Buddha. And, even prima facie, we need not hesitate for a moment about accepting that event as the starting-point of the 256 years mentioned in the edict. But, from what point of view, and with what meaning, does the edict present the words vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha, to denote the great founder of the Buddhist religion, instead of exhibiting his name Buddha itself, already well established, as we know from the so-called Bhabra edict? And how did it come to present the ablatives vivutha of the Sahasram record and vivasa of the Rupnath record, to denote his death, instead of exhibiting something answering to the familiar nirvana or parinirvana, well established for at any rate not much later times, or some participial form answering to the nibbuta or parinibbuta of the Pali books? To the understanding that the words vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha denote Buddha, objections have been urged on the basis that these words, and the word vivasa, are not to be found in Buddhist literature, but do occur in Jain literature. Thus, Professor Pischel (Academy, 11th August, 1877, p. 145) agreed with Dr. Buhler that the words vivutha and vyutha (the form vyutha was not then known) -- might be taken as meaning "the Departed" in the sense of "the Deceased," though Dr. Buhler had arrived at that understanding by a false etymology; and he apparently acquiesced in the view, -- at any rate, he did not oppose it,-- that the number 256 is a date. But, on the other hand, he held that the record is a Jain record, probably issued by Sampadi-Samprati, an alleged grandson of Asoka according to the Jains. He expressed the opinion that the word vivutha is a name of Mahavira- Vardhamana, And, in favour of that view, he hazarded the conjecture that some such word as vivasa must occur in a certain passage, in the Jain Kalpasutra, which mentions the death of Mahavira-Vardhamana. Professor Rhys Davids, however, was able to shew at once (ACMC, p. 60) that no such word occurs there. And, turning to the text, as edited by Professor Jacobi, we find (ADMG, vii, p. 19 1878, p. 67) that the word actually used is parinibbuda, equivalent to the parinibbuta of the Buddhist Pali writers, So, again, Professor J.P. Minayeff, taking the same view that the edict is a Jain record, quoted (Recherches sur le Bouddhisme, Annales du Musee Guimet, iv, 1894, p. 78, note 1) a verse, from the Parisishtaparvan of Hemachandra, as placing the death of the Jain teacher Jambu a certain number of years after the death of Mahavira-Vardhamana by the words sri - Vira - moksha- vivasat, which might be rendered "after the departure into liberation of the holy Vira." But, turning to Professor Jacobi's edition of the Parisishtaparvan (Bibliotheca Indica, 1891, p. 161, verse 61), we find that the actual word in the text is divasat, "after the day of the liberation of the holy Vira." Thus, two attempts at any rate, to shew that the words with which we are concerned are to be found in Jain literature, have failed. And even if other attempts in that direction should be successful, what would they establish? At any rate, not that the expressions are not Buddhist also, We should think that, if any particular words are exclusively Jain, they would be the names Jina, 'the victorious one, the conqueror, the vanquisher,' and Mahavira, 'the great hero.' Yet these appellations are constantly applied to Buddha in the older books.(l) And even the modern Buddhist author Pannasami has freely used the expressions Jinasasana and Jinachakka to denote "the doctrine of Buddha" and " the dispensation of Buddha" (Sasanavamsa, ed. Mrs. Bode, e.g., pp. 7, 16, 27, 28, 39). As a matter of fact, derivatives from that verb vivas with which we are concerned, do occur in Buddhist literature. For the present, indeed, having no glossary for reference except that published by Dr. Fausboll of the Suttanipata, ---------------- 1. For instance, Jina, in the Suttanipata, verses 379, 697, 996 (ed. Fausboll, pp. 67, 131, 182), and in the Dipavamsa, 1, 30, 80; 4, 10 (ed. Oldenberg, pp. 15, 20, 31), and in the Mahavamsa (Tumour, p. 2, Line 12, p. 3, line 6, p. 9, line 13, "our Vanquisher was a son of the great king Suddhodana and of Maya"); and Mahavira, in the Suttanipata, verses 543, 562 (pp. 98 106), and in the Dipavamsa, 1, 49; 2, 52; 3, 58 (pp. 16, 24, 30), and in the Mahavamsa (p. 2, line 3). p. 20 I can trace only the following two instances, in one of the true etymological meanings of the verb; namely, in the Suttanipata, verse 710, where me have tato ratya vivasane (ed. Fausboll, p. 132) , translated by the editor himself "then when night is passing away" (SBE, x, Suttanipata, p. 127, verse 32), and in the same work namassamano vivasemi rattim, "worshipping I spend the night" (text p. 208, verse 1142, translation p. 201, verse 19). But we may fairly quote also the following instances of the use, in the same work, of the closely similar verb vipravas, 'to set out on a journey, to go or dwell abroad, to dwell away;' namely, vippavasasi, 'thou dost stay away,' vippavasami, 'I stay away,' and avippavasa, 'a not staying away' (text p. 207 f., verses 1138, 1140, 1142, translation p. 200 f., verses 15, 17, 19). And, if a conjecture may be hazarded on my own side, it is that we shall obtain plenty of instances hereafter of the use of the verb vivas in Buddhist texts,. and some of them in accordance with the exact meaning in which, as we shall see, the derivatives presented in the edict were used. Meanwhile, what are the exact etymological meanings of the words vivutha, vyutha, vyutha, and vivasa? And what special characteristic of Buddha was there, to account for the use of such terms in connection with him? The form vyutha, with the long u and the dental th, is a variant of, no doubt, vyutha, with the short u and the lingual or cerebral th. And, as such, it is to be accounted for by the influences which have given us such forms as, in the rock edict No. 4, vadhite (Kalsi, line 11) against vadhite (Girnar, line 7), and in rock edict No. 1, pana (Kalsi, line 3) against prana (Girnar, line 9), and in rock edict No. 2, Tambapamni (Kalsi, line 4) against Tambapamni (Girnar, line 2-3), and, in rock edict No. 13, apparently diyadha (Shahbazgarhi, line 1) against diyadha (Kalsi, line 35). As regards the other forms, vivutha and vyutha, Professor Pischel has convincingly explained (Academy, 11th August, 1877, p. 145) that they represent the Pali forms vivuttha and vyuttha of respectively vyushita and vyushta, the Sanskrit past p. 21 participles with ta of the root vas, `to dwell, etc.' (class 1, vasati, nivase), with the separative, distributive, or privative prefix vi. He has also told us that the word sata, in the compound sata-vivasa as was then the understanding, cannot represent, as Dr. Buhler thought it does, the Pali satthu and the Sanskrit sastri, 'a teacher.' In this latter point, we quite accept his decision. But, for reasons already stated (page 13 above), we cannot follow him in his endorsement of Dr. Buhler's reading of sata-vivasa as a compound, even though coupled with his own substitution of "since his departure from life," instead of Dr. Buhler's "since the departure of the Teacher." Nor need we take, and in fact we are restrained from taking, for the words with which we are concerned, any figurative meaning in the direction of "deceased' and 'death,' for which no authority has been produced. Of that verb vivas which has just been indicated, the actual meanings, as given in Sir Monier Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary, new edition, 1899, and as fully endorsed by the St. Petersburg Dictionary and the quotations given therein, are:-- [1] to change an abode, depart from; [2] with brahmacharyam, to enter upon an apprenticeship, become a pupil; [3] to abide, dwell, live; [4] to pass, spend (time). It is sufficient to take for our purposes the first of these meanings, from which we have for vyushita and vyushta the sense of 'one who has departed from home.' And we are constrained, by a passage in the Rupnath record itself, to take the words in their natural meaning, and in that particular one. In the Rupnath record, the passage which we are considering is immediately preceded by two sentences, of which one explains the point. The first of these two sentences tells us that the purport of the edict had been engraved upon mountains "both in distant places and here,"' and directs --------------------- 1 The facsimiles distinctly shew:-- valata hadha cha. As will be seen immediately, there are several writer's mistakes in this part of the record. And we must correct the test into:-- palate hidha cha; in which palata is the local form of the Pali parato, = the Sanskrit paratas, `farther, far off.' p. 22 that it should be engraved on stone pillars wherever there may be such pillars. And it is to be incidentally remarked that the first of these clauses is instructive. The whole of this sentence, except for the words palata hidha cha, stands, with some slight differences, in also the Sahasram record,. after the date; and the sentence which we have to notice in the next paragraph, may have stood after it and have become illegible, or may have been omitted. But the Brahmagiri record, as also the other two Mysore records at Siddapura and Jatinga-Ramesvara, does not present either of the two sentences. And it is a plain inference that those three places were some of the "distant places," at which the edict had been published and engraved before the time when it was published and engraved at Sahasram and Rupnath. The second sentence runs thus: -- Etina cha vayajanena yavataka tupaka ahale savara vivasetavi[ya] ti. There are several palpable writer's mistakes here. We must correct the text into:-- Etina cha viyamjanena yavatake tuphakam ahale samvara, vivasetaviye ti. And the meaning is then plain enough: --"And by this same suggestion, intimation, (it is directed that) to whatsoever extent (there may be) an employing, a deputation, of you, (to that extent you) should with active exertion, energetically, depart from home;" namely, to travel abroad in order either to engrave the edict in other places also, or in a general way to propagate the teaching of it.(1) --------------------------- 1. M. Senart went nearer than Dr. Buhler to the meaning of this passage, But it is not possible to follow him in reading savata, for the Pali sabbato, the Sanskrit sarvatas, `from all sides, in every direction, everywhere.' The original distinctly has savara; and Dr. Buhler recognised that it indicated samvara, though he took it as, apparently, a nominative, and translated it by "(learning to) subdue his senses." In samvara, we have the ablative, used adverbially. Sarvara is given in Childers Pali Dictionary as meaning `closing, restraint.' It is there explained that `restraint' is of five kinds. The fifth restraint is viriya-samvara, `the restraint which enables a man to make an active exertion. And that is the sense which I take. I have taken what seems to be here the plain purport of ahala from the meaning `employing, use,' which is given to ahara in Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary on the authority of the Katyayana-Srautasutra. There is a particular use of the word ahara,-- not ret explained, but perhaps to be explained in much the same p. 23 With that use of the verb vivas before us, in the same record, we are constrained to take something at least closely approximating to that same natural sense in our explanation of the derivatives vivutha, vyutha, vyutha, and vivasa. And we find at once the meaning that we require, by a consideration of the main characteristic of the life of Buddha. The leading feature of the life of Buddha was that, from the time of his leaving his home, or at least from the time when he had attained that true knowledge for the purpose of acquiring which he left his home, he had no more any settled abode; he was thenceforth always a traveller, a pilgrim, a wanderer upon the face of the earth. To this point attention has already been drawn by Dr. Fausboll, on p. 14 f. of his introduction to his translation of the Suttanipata (SBE, x, 1881 and 1898), where he has said:-- "What then is Buddha? First he is a Visionary, "in the good sense of the word; his knowledge is intuitive, "`Seeing misery,' he says, 'in the philosophical views, "without adopting any of them, searching for truth, I saw "inward peace.'..... Secondly he is an Ascetic, "a Muni, one that forsakes the world and wanders from ,the house to the houseless state; because from house-life "arises defilement." Sometimes, indeed, Buddha was a sojourner (viharati, viharitva), as in the Brahman village Ekanala at Dakkhinagiri in the land of Magadha, in the park of Anathapindika in the Jetavana woods at Savatthi, and on the bank of the river Sundarika. in the Kosala country (Suttanipata, ed. Fausboll, Pali Text Society, pp. 12, 17, 79), and for as long as it pleased him (yathabhirantam) at Ambalatthika, at Kotigama, and in Ambapali's grove (Mahaparinibbanasutta, ed. Childers, JRAS, N.S., vii, pp. 57, 66, 72). And sometimes he dwelt ---------------------------- way, --in between the mention of arambha, `exertions,' and ingita, `commotions,' -- in the Suttanipata, verses 747, 748, and the prose preceding them. It does not seem appropriate, even if practicable, to follow Dr. Buhler (IA, vi, 157, note) and M. Senart (Inscrs. de Piya., ii, 194, and IA, xx, 164, 16), in finding in this passage of the edict a pun based on a secondary allusion to boiled rice, a viaticum, and condiments. p. 24 (vasi) for even a whole year at a place, as at Rajagaha during the rainy season and the winter and the summer (Vinayapitaka, ed. Oldenberg, i, p. 79). But the feature of his life was wandering from place to place. In describing his own origin, from among the people of Kosala just beside Himavanta, he said to king Bimbisara: - "They are Adichchas by clan, Sakiyas by birth; from that family I have wandered out (pabbajito), not longing for sensual pleasures" (Suttanipata, p. 73, verse 423, and see translation, SBE, x, p. 68, verse 19). And to the tempter Mara he said:-- "Having made my thought subject to me, and my attention firm, I shall roam (vicharissam) from land to land, training disciples extensively " (id., p. 77, verse 444, and see translation, p. 70, verse 20). And so we find, sometimes that, in the regular course of his wanderings (anupubbena), he was journeying on his journey (charikam charamano) to Uruvela, to Rajagaha, and to Baranasi (Vinayapitaka, ed. Oldenberg, i, pp. 24, 210, 289); and sometimes that, having sojourned for as long as it pleased him, he set out afresh on his journey (eharikam pakkami) from Uruvela to Gayasisa, and from Gayasisa, to Rajagaha, and thence to Kapilavatthu (id., pp. 34, 35, 82). But better than anywhere else is the nature of his life exhibited, with the motive for it, in the beautiful opening verses of the Pabbajjasutta subdivision of the Mahavagga section of the Suttanipata, of which I reproduce Dr. Fausboll's translation (SBE, x, 1898, Suttanipata, p. 66), taking only the liberty of substituting for his "ascetic" the word "wandering," more in accordance with the term pabbajja, = pravrajya, `a going about, migration, a roaming, wandering about, ' of the original text (ed. Fausboll, p. 71), and in agreement with his own translation of at any rate the verse, quoted above, which describes the extraction of Buddha:-- "(1) I will praise a wandering life such as the clearly-seeing "(Buddha) led, such as he thinking (over it), approved of as " a wandering life.-- (2) `This house-life is pain, the seat of "impurity,' and 'a wandering life is an open-air life, ' so "considering he embraced a wandering life.-- (3) Leading p. 25 "a wandering life, he avoided with his body sinful deeds, "and having (also) abandoned sin in words, he cleansed his "life." And so the poem goes on, narrating the meeting of Buddha and Bimbisara, the pilgrim and the king:-- "(4) Buddha went to Rajagaha; he entered Giribbaja of the Magadhss for alms, with a profusion of excellent signs.-- (5) Bimbisara standing in his palace saw him;" and so on. Buddha was essentially a pabbajita, a paribbajaka, a wandering ascetic teacher. And he was par excellence, in the eyes of the Buddhists, "the Wanderer" of his own time and of many centuries thereafter.(1) The existence of a verse in the edict which we are considering, has already been suggested by Mr. Thomas (see this Journal, 1903, p. 833). I find in the record another touch of poetry, in the selection of the words vivutha, vyutha, and vyutha, in preference to any commonplace expression, to denote Buddha as "he who left his home and became a Wanderer." And in harmony with that idea there was used, to indicate his death, the ablative vivasa, "after (his) wandering," in the sense of "after the end of all the wanderings of his life." The ablative vivutha of the Sahasram record might, of course, be interpreted as the ablative of the neuter verbal noun vivutha, with the same meaning as vivasa. But it seems more proper to take its base, vivutha, in exactly the same sense ill which it was used for the instrumental vivuthena in the same passage, so that its meaning is "after the Wanderer," in the sense of "after the death of the Wanderer." With this use of the appellation we may compare, in epigraphic records, such expressions as those which specify such and such a number of years elapsed Vikramat, "after Vikrama" (e.g., Professor --------------------------- 1 I should hare liked to include in my remarks something of what Professor Rhys Davids has said, in his recently published Buddhist India, about the teaching "Wanderers" of ancient India, as contrasted with the "Hermits " who lived in fixed abodes in the forests occupying themselves in meditation and the performance of sacrificial rites or in the practice of austerities, and about the high esteem in which the "Wanderers" were held by the people at large, and the part that they played in the development of Buddhism. But it was only after my article had gone to the printers, that I became aware of his hook. The recognition of Buddha as "the Wanderer" presented itself to me independently, some time ago, as a natural result of my own inquiries. p. 26 Kielhorn's List of the Inscriptions of Northern India, EI, v, Appendix, p. 11, No. 73, p. 29, No. 202), and in literature such expressions as Vikkamau kalammi, "in the time after Vikkama" (IA, xix, p, 36, No. 60), and such and such a number of years sri-Virat, "after the holy Vira" (IA, xx, P. 345, line 8 ff. from the bottom) . And, with these explanations, I translate thus the texts which we have been considering:- Sahasram:- "And this same precept (was composed) by the Wanderer; (of) centuries, two (hundred') and fifty-six (years have elapsed) since the Wanderer; (or in figures)(1) 200 (and) 50 (and) 6." Rupnath:- "(This same) precept was composed by the Wanderer; (of) centuries, 200 (and) 50 (and) 6 (years have elapsed) since (his) wanderings." Brahmagiri: -- "And this same precept was inculcatcd by the Wanderer; 200 (and) 50 (and) 6 (years have elapsed since then)." ------------------- 1 For the insertion of these words, compare the familiar ankato=pi of later records.