Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 22.djvu/21

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xvii
INTRODUCTION.

the Gaina creed. Lastly, the Buddhists are correct in assuming the town P£p4 as the scene of N&taputta's death.

Comparing this outline of MahAvira's life with that of Buddha's, we can detect little or nothing in the former which can be suspected as having been formed after the latter by tradition. The general resemblance between the lives of both is due to their being lives of ascetics, which from the nature of the things must present some uniformity, which certainly will appear greater to the mind of a European historian of our times than to that of an ancient Hindu. Some names of Mah&vira's relations are similar to those of Buddha's : the former's wife was Ya^odi, the latters Ya^odhari ; the former's elder brother was Nandivardhana, the latter's step-brother Nanda; Buddha's name as a prince was Siddh&rtha, which was the name of Mah&vlra's father. But if the similarity of these names proves anything, it proves no more than that names of this description were much used then among the Kshatriyas, as surely they were at all times[1]. Nor is it to be wondered at that two Kshatriyas should have founded sects in opposition, or at least in disregard to the authority of the Brihmans. For, as I shall try to prove in the sequel, the Kshatriyas were the most likely of all to become what the Br&hmans would call 'untrue ascetics.'

We shall now put side by side the principal events of Buddha's and Mah&vira's lives, in order to demonstrate their difference. Buddha was born in Kapilavastu, Mah4vtra in a village near VaLr&li; Buddha's mother died after his birth, Mah&vira's parents lived to see him a grown-up man; Buddha turned ascetic during the lifetime and against the will of his father, Mah&vira did so after the death of his parents and with the consent of those in power; Buddha led a life of austerities for six years,

Mahivfra for twelve; Buddha thought these years wasted time, and that all his penances were useless for attaining his end, Mah&vtra was convinced of the necessity of his


  1. See Petersburg Dictionary, ss. vv.
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