They are mostly told to show the occasion on which some memorable act of the Buddha took place, or some memorable saying was uttered, and are as exact as to place as they are indistinct as to time.
And as the Mahavastu was a standard work of a particular sect, or rather school, called the Maha-sanghikas, it has thus preserved for us the theory of the Buddha as held outside the followers of the canon, by those whose views developed, in after centuries, into the Mahayana or modern form of Buddhism in India.
Wisdom Tree, under which the Buddha had attained wisdom) to Ceylon in the 3rd century s.c. The Bodhi Vamsa quotes verses from the Mahavamsa, but draws a great deal of its material from other sources; and it has occasionally preserved details of the older tradition not found in any other sources known to us.
To left and right, and at the back, dormitories are excavated opening on to this hall, and in the centre of the back, facing the entrance, an image of the Buddha usually stands in a niche.
It is a striking example of the way in which such legends grow, that it is only the latest of these authorities, Hsiian Tsang, who says that, though ostensibly approaching the Buddha with a view to reconciliation, Devadatta had concealed poison in his nail with the object of murdering the Buddha.
The Buddha found it (as Plato also found it) 1 in the influence exercised upon one life by a desire felt in the previous life.
The Buddha is represented, on various occasions during his long career, to have been so much moved by some event, or speech, or action, that he gave vent, as it were, to his pent-up feelings in a short, ecstatic utterance, couched, for the most part, in one or two lines of poetry.
Thus more than human honour is paid to Zoroaster and Buddha and even to the founders of systems not strictly religious, e.g.
As the newer school did not venture so far as to claim as Bodhisats the disciples stated in the older books to have been the contemporaries of Gotama (they being precisely the persons known as Arahats), they attempted to give the appearance of age to the Bodhisat theory by representing the Buddha as being surrounded, not only by his human companions the Arahats, but also by fabulous beings, whom they represented as the Bodhisats existing at that time.
In 1560 a supposed tooth of Buddha was brought to Goa; the raja of Pegu offered ioo,000 for the relic, and as Portuguese India was virtually bankrupt the government wished to accept the offer; but the archbishop intervened and the relic was destroyed.