Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 22.djvu/14

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x GAINA SUTRAS.

have grown out of, or branched off from the other. This k priori opinion has prejudiced the discernment of many critics, and still does so. In the following pages I shall try to destroy this prejudice, and to vindicate that authority and credit of the sacred books of the Cainas to which they are entitled. We begin our discussion with an inquiry about Mah&vira, the founder or, at least, the last prophet of the Gaina church. It will be seen that enough is known of him to invalidate the suspicion that he is a sort of mystical person, invented or set up by a younger sect some centuries after the pretended age of their assumed founder.

The Gainas, both 5vet4mbaras and Digambaras, state that Mah&vira was the son of king Siddh&rtha of Ku»*/a- pura or Kunrfagrima. They would have us believe that Ku/*</agrdma was a large town, and Siddh&rtha a powerful monarch. But they have misrepresented the matter in overrating the real state of things, just as the Buddhists did with regard to Kapilavastu and Suddhodana. For Ku*/*/agr£ma is called in the A&lr&hga Sutra asawnivesa, a term which the commentator interprets as denoting a halting-place of caravans or processions. It must therefore have been an insignificant place, of which tradition has only recorded that it lay in Videha (A£&r£nga Sutra II, J 5> § J 7)« Yet by combining occasional hints in the Baud- dha and Gaina scriptures we can, with sufficient accuracy, point out where the birthplace of Mah&vira was situated ; for in the Mahivagga of the Buddhists 1 we read that Buddha, while sojourning at Ko/igg&ma, was visited by the courtezan Ambapctfi and the Li^Aavis of the neigh- bouring capital Ves&li. From Korigg&ma he went to where the Aatikas 2 (lived). There he lodged in the Aatika Brick- hall 2 , in the neighbourhood of which place the courtezan

See Oldenberg's edition, pp. 231, 232; the translation, p. 104 seq., of the 

second part, Sacred Books of the East, vol. xvii. " The passages in which the iviitikas occur seem to have been misunderstood by the commentator and the modern translators. Rhys Davids in his transla- tion of the Mah&parinibbana-Sutta (Sacred Books of the East, vol. xi) says in a note, p. 24 : 'At first Nadika is (twice) spoken of in the plural number ; but then,