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THE

HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

OF THE ,,MIDDLE
By Shoson
I.

Miyamoto

First Stage Aryan Pioneering

Seen culturally

and historically,

can be determined

WAY"

and the Cradle


an expansion

in the pioneering

of Buddhist

Art

process of three stages

and colonialization

of India by the

Aryan people.
The first stage is the pioneering
invasion

into the regions around

period at the beginning

the five rivers (Punjab)

reaches

of the Indus River. This region

though

the Kashmir

Plateau

is contiguous

along the upper

with Central

with its purple mountains

one finds Taxila


invaders,

but it also

promoting
culture

(Takshasila),

in particular,

always

been

Central

sociality

of Ancient

and the co-existence,

India,

of the Aryans,

celebrated

heaven,

and

Gandhara, where

as well as commerce.
passageway

international

of politics,

for hostile
being

for

economics and

Asia and India.

So, in the first stage, the representative


culture

the

came to have a free

the exchange,

linking

a center of culture

had

Asia,

and crystal waters

along the upper streams of the Indus River, and through


Gandhara,

of the Aryan

was Taxila.

we have-the

earth,

and

city symbolizing
As examples

of the pioneering

hymns of the nomadic

Mother

Nature;

the historicopeoples who

and we can also learn

great deal from the excavated culture of the pre-Aryan areas of the
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappd. Again, consecutive to this stage, there follows
the Buddhist
a great

culture

empire

about Gandhara.
a famous
Purusapura

center

of the age of Kanishka,

passing

through

Taxila, which
of learning,

(Peshawar)

India

and

which saw the building


Central

of

Asia and centering

up to that time had been the capital and


also came, under

Kanishka's

rule, and in

which he later made his capital, and where carved


-996-

(2)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

inscriptions

of this

the

famous

"Great

(1)

Gods, the Kushana,"

can still find today


substantiate
during

of the Iranianians,

were opened;

Buddhism

Asia, Buddhism

sovereingty

was there

which

continued

with

its always

and

of Northern

of

the

who was

dispatched
along
of the

Later

Bodhisattva

Yiieh

Chin

of the western

Han

the

part

themselves

"the

that

recorded
Chang

Wu

the statue

after

Buddha

entered

who

Han, nor
Rome, had

Nirvana,

have

of the Maitreya

was erected, the monks of India then brought

300 years

and

Early

to distant

in his
Ch'ien,

Sun

of the

vinaya, and men finally crossed the river. The erection


about

Bodhi-

old m.en of the land

after

the

who set out from

neither

who was dispatched

and he also notes

among

that

and

fulfilling

of the Maitreya

(in 402), and

( )

of

of Central

to China, Korea,

to Asia and

Fa Hsien,

new

development

countries

journey

to the statue

Kashmir.

by the

and developed,

varoius

source.

Country"

the routes

come to this land,


down

Buddhist

the

indigenous

in 399, paid his respects

in Darel

more than

of the Greek colonies,

produced

eastwardly

becoming

of its fountainhead

"Accounts

king, we

to equal Gandhara

and with the vigorous

beginning

and Japan in succession,

handed

of the oriental

Son of

nor the period which saw the co-existence


(2)
Asian culture. By the Graeco-

fields in Buddhism

Kan-Ying

of Kings,

with Central

Art which

traveled

majesty

of his

Gandhara-Buddhist

sattva

King

not even the culture

and the fusion of Buddhism

Ch'ang-an

Supreme

the

stone-images

(S. Miyamoto)

this fact. There seems to have been nothing

the thought

promise

King,

indicate

the reign of Kanishka,

Mahayana

BEARINGS

the sutras and

of the statue was

and can be calculated

back to the period of King P'ing of the Chou People. Because of this, it
is said that
from

statue
and

this

statue."

of the
"after

the propagation

this

And

Maitreya
statue

Hsuan

of the Great Teaching


Tsang

Bodhisttva
came

into

recorded

was

a work

existence,

the

(Mahayana)

began

( ,

of the Arhat

Madhyantika,

transmission

of

that

the

the

doc-

(1)
The Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, Ancient India, Chap. XXII., "The
Scythian and Parthian Invaders," by E. J. Rapson, p. 582, Cambridge, 1922.
(2)

Sir Charles

Eliot, Hinduism

and Buddhism,
-995-

Vol. III, p. 213.

THE

HISTORICO-SOCIAL

trine has been always

BEARINGS

towards the East.".

(S. Miyamoto)

(3)

This account later became the

canonical authority for Chinese records, and the famous expression of


"The Great Doctrine moving gradually to the east," and the Buddha's
Doctrine

moves

excavations

in a eastwardly

and research

in East and

direction,"

West, Series of Oriental

have contributed

were also thought

up. The

in recent times of Dr. Guiseppe Tucci, published

greatly

Rome, and other IsMEO publications,

to the understanding

of the original

Buddhist art

of those days.
Such a "history

of the propagation

with the

"history

expanded

throughout

and Vietnam,

of world

history

of the

cultural

Asian

great

significance

exchange

expansion

from

the viewpoint

of Indian

culture

with

core, and

it may be said that its relative

importance

that

of the

compared

to the

of the

in a new sense. Its essence is the

less

than

together

of Early Buddhism," which further

Burma, Tailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia

has a very

history

of Mahayana Buddhism,"

of the promulgation

history

Buddhism

at its

is no greater

nor

Aryan pioneering

and

colonization.
II.

The Aryan Middle Kingdom

and the "Middle Way":

Prayaga,

the Symbol of the Middle Kingdom


The
" Aryan

second
Middle

stage is the
Kingdom"

period

which

(Mashyadesa

Laws of Manu (Manavadharma-sastra,


considered

to be the territory

north, the

Vindhya

Prayaga

(Allahabad)

(I. 4. 14-16), the


towards

saw the

Kuru-Panchala.

River;

of the south, Vinasana


(3)

ont he east. And according


sacred

to the

on the

and was called Videha. In more readily


the Sarasvati
beautiful

the

having

a name meaning

goddess

Indian

Desert, one crosses over to the present


-994-

west, and

started

out

did not cross

opened and Aryanized

understandable

River, regarded

on the

atapatha-brahmana

fire, Agni-vaisvanara,

later, this land was gradually

from the region where

In

(Himalaya)

the east from the Middle Kingdom, but ultimately

the Sadanira

of the

II. 21-22), this Middle Kingdom is

limited to the Himavat

Mountains

god of the

at

construction

terms, going east


as very sacred, and

of speech, disappears
Allahabad,

into the

the point where

(4)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

the Jumna and the


of the present

Ganges

capital

of Indraprstha,

BEARINGS

(Garnga) Rivers flow together.

of the Republic

the capital

Homeland.

The building

of India, New Delhi, in the vicinity

of the Kuru Country along the upper reaches

of the Jumna, may have been due to a yearning


Aryan

(S. Miyamoto)

Knowing

that

Mathura

for the antiquity

(Madhura),

of the

the birthplace

the symbol of heroism, Krsna, and the home of the Thera Upagupta,
religious

teacher

of King Asoka, and Agra (Agra, Agravana)

of
the

the location

of the Tai Mahal Temple, one of the seven wonders of the world, together
form the strategic
how the cultural

center facing

the Jumna River, we can now understand

life of the Aryan Middle Kingdom, occupying the territory

of Kuru Panchara,

has been enlarged

and

nourished

by the twin rivers

of the Jumna and Ganges. This is also clear in the case-of the Nile River
in Egypt, and the Hwang
Indian

rivers,

Panchala.
In the

Ho and Yangtze

Jumna is the great artery

Now, what is noteworthy


Jumna

culture

of the Aryan fatherland,

Rivers in China. Of the two

of Kuru and

Ganges is that of

about Kuru and Panchala?

life of Kuru, one may discover


while in the Ganges

culture

the prototype

of Panchara

there

(3)
To begin with, studies were made on the "peaples nation and the thought
of the Middle," as "philosophical
considerations
on the Middle," then a map
was made of the Aryan Middle Kingdom and the Buddhist Middle Kingdom,
which classified the common zone of the two Middle Kingdoms, and the area
which had deen newly opened up as the Buddhist Middle Kingdom. Konpon
Chu to Ku (Fundamental Middle and Voidness, in Jap.) (Daiichi Shobo, 1943),
pp. 367-375, and appended map. And in the doctorate dissertation, Chudo Shiso
oyobi sono hattatsu
(The Thought of the Middle Way and Its Development,
in Jap.) (Hozokan, 1946), it was clarified what sparked the new culture of
the Aryan invaders and the Middle Way of the Buddha, and it elucidated in
the historical
development
the intellectual
construction
of the concept of
the Middle. Moreover, the historical
formulation
was made clear of the
process in which the new universalism
sprang up from the Aryan nationalistic
thought: the three stages of the Aryan Middle Kingdom, the Upanisads and
Buddhism. Daijo Bukkyo no Seiritsushiteki
Kenkyu (Historical
Studies on the
Formulation
of Mahayana Buddhism, in lap.), ed. by the present writer, II.
1 "The Aryan and Buddhist Cultural Sphere" (Sanseido, 1954),p. 14.
-993-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL
is the
rates

inception

Aryan

motherland

the Aryan

Malla

is Kuru

and

and Videha,

broadens

culture,

from

which

a still

newer

four castes

and

is the
Ganges

comes

Jumna,

and

what

Jumna.

part

of the
has

(catuvannim

of India,

concept

suddhim,

other

hand,

vanno

zone of
Kosala,

by the

rivers

of

the

Upanisad

movements

towards

of the purity

cattaro

the

of India which

And

early

of the

of Sakiya,

watered

Range.
the

commemo-

in particular

Background

Himalaya

inherently

cultural

what

the whole

Natural

(5)

cooperation

symbolizes

On the

throughout

the great

next,

words,

concerted

river

base

Buddhistic

Yn other
and

the central

the

(S. Miyamoto)

spirit

ranges

and forms

out through

Ganges

Universalism.

congenial

Homeland

the Paflchara

the

of Aryan

the affectionate,

BEARINGS

and

equality
(4)

samasama)

of all

of the third

period. Thus, the cradle of Aryan Universalism, which went so far as to


envelop the co-existence of white and black, rather than the confrontation
of caucasian

and negroid,

background

In the first place,


that

occurred

after

they had

adopted this natural

of India.

point

the Jumna

on, flow under

and

Ganges

flow together,

the name of Ganges,

gradually

and from

gathering

in

the waters of the Gunti, Gogra and Gandak, and the so-called five Rivers
(panca-nadi)

flow together

and become

the

where all this occurs is in the neighborhood


Kingdom.

The

motivating

grand and magnificent


Natural setting woven

section,

Great

Ganges

of Pataliputra

so to speak,

which

the point

of the Magadha
produced

out the

culture sufficient to give content to the Indian


out of the Great Himalaya Range and the Great

Ganges, may be said to have begun rotating

with Magadha

as its central

axis.
The Aryan people subjugated

the dark indigenious

slaves of them. As the victors they were successful


management,
up the

secured a labor

system of four caste

people

in their control and

force served by the black


which is the

(4)
Majjhima-Nikaya
(M.N.) 93, Assalayana,
Vol. II, pp. 88-89 and p. 84.
-992-

central

and made

slaves, and set

social organization

of

Vol. II, p. 148; M. N. 84, Madhura

(6)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

the, Aryans.
was

truly

The

Aryan

Middle

BEARINGS

Kingdom,

the life aphere of people

(S. Miyamoto)

constructed

in

( ),

this

which

manner
they

s.

had

won for the first time in the long history of their life. Here they produced.
the Aryan

culture

Brahmanas.

which is the splendour

And this is even more evident, for they named this area "The

Sacred Land of the Aryans"


that of the people's
congenial

lives. Again,

their

So much

There,

then

the

The Middle Kingdom

India,

of their

became

Kingdom,"

region

place which

of

the

peoPle

the

second

stretches

Region"

to the cold climate.

of the Punjab, which during;

in comparison

out straight

three

Region".
stages

Consequently,
in the history

Region

and the

Eastern

Region was more attuned

Kingdom

newness

was non-brahmanistic;

Region"

of the opening

in conformity

with.

of Aryan pioneering

be the "Northern
Kingdom"

Region"

Brahmanistic,

(udicya-

(madhya-desa)

(pracya desa). The ancient


were

"Middle

Then, since

towards the "Western

be the "Middle

the third would be the "East Region"

of North

with the

Peaks, the direction

the first would

Middle

)"

and lodged.

up by the Aryan invasions

of the Himalaya

would

which suited the white Aryans

life. The region

been opened

of "the

and colonialization",

home

was the native place of these people, and meant

became the "Eastern

the framework
desa),

ideal place

"Northern

the mountains

frontier

intention

the tropics yet compatible

cultural

had
the

dwelling

as they next advanced on to open up new territory.

this northern
along

"original

was this the

first period

and secure

for a long time, as the ancestral

of the Aryan nation was deeply engraved

who were weak towards


the sphere

(priya) which had come to pervade their daily

after and desired

spirits.

This sacred land, indeed, was,

groups who realized for the first time the

it was also the peaceful

towards a formation

the

(Arya-varta).

cooperative

spirit of affection

they had sought


for

and brilliance of the Vedas and

andd

Northern

while the newer

to the newly risen royalty and rich. Its


and broadly

speaking,

it was also non-

aryanistic.
However, because the "Southern
Range which

served as a natural

Region"
obstacle,

- 991-

had the Vindhya


the pioneering

Mountain

of the warm.

THE

HISTORICO-SOCIAL

zone became

retrogressive.

that

is the

Avanti

southern

region,

relation

both

Buddhism
sion"

(S. Miyamoto)

(7)

Of course, it says in the Buddhist

Southern

Region

being fertile,

to King

BEARINGS

was

Asoka

(dakkhi.na-patha);

aryanized

and to Pince

much

scriptures

however,

this

faster. It has

some

Mihinda,

who transmitted

to Ceylon, and in the period of "Ten Points Vinaya Transgres-

by the

Vajjiputtaka,

approximately

100 years

after the Buddha's

demise, the ones who formed the orthodox school were the Buddhist monks
of this region.

Later,

(daksina-patha)

ref eyed to the region

of the Deccan Plateau, and was the

region

the Godavari

and the Kistna

between

the region
extensive

of Andhra
relations

Area."

The

banks

of this

usually

River,

and Maharastra,

with Nagarjuna,

remains

River,

called

(Krsna)

Region"
River, and

the Kings of Satavahana,


and

and

Aryan

the

frontier

Nagarjunikonda
opening

pioneering

out by moving from the northwest

is a conspicuous line between


Kingdom

"Southern

who had

of all

lie along

the

of the Southern

to a later period.

In this way, the

Accordingly,

the

were called the "Kings of the Southern

of Amaravati

Kistna

Region belongs
carried

what was

the

meaning

has been

the contrast
of

the

to the southeast,

were

so that there

of the Aoryans and non-Aryans.

"middle

taken to signify

and colonization

()"

the fertile

in

the

agricultural

covering the middle of the Himalaya Range to the north,

Aryan

Middle

living zone

the region of the

Punjab to the Northwest, and the Vindhya mountains range to the south. The
Southern

region

was

regressive,

and since what was unopened

the eyes of the Aryans

eastern

region,

frontier

was always stretched out moving toward the eastern area. However,

in the pioneering,

were directed

cultural

with a different intellect


opening.

in the living

exchange and cultural trans-

and culture, it can be said to be another

It might be more correct to think that one can find, both

culture

fluidity, imitation,

and the

because not only did they proceed to enlarge the area,

but as there also was contact, confrontation,


formation

eastward,

was the

and

cultural

progress,

of "Aryan Middle Kingdom,"

thought,

advancement,

enlargement,

and originality.

Consequently,

in the period

while there were designations

for the living

- 990-

(8)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

e xperience
( )

that

of
had

there

advance
Kingdom

of the

exchange

Eastern

and

the

was

Way"

ought

culture

period

and

royalty

of the

Second

of

and

thought

individuals

the

primitiveness.

been

Middle

opened

way was

and
because

( ),"

yet,

had

not

clearly

defined

the Middle way

to the

in

and

been

so

deeds

said

known,
original

and

and

to be

and

had

of

fostered

and

posture

original

have

the

of the

construction

the

being

too, the

Upani-

speculations

takes

of culture

it

always

Buddha's

of
has

opened
"Enligh-

enlightemment

way

which

not been
(5)

had

taught.

not

This

enlightenment.

of the frontiers
East,

free

as

of the

the

the

Brahma-

thought

to be "An individual

also

the

to

Kingdom

live,
It

far

of this,

is said

new and

In this way, the direction


was

and

and

the
to

with

Kingdom

However,

will

and

and developing.

of new

desires.

of creation

of seed, maturation

of thought

when

tenacious

merits

Way"

a completely

time

from the Middle

Middle

period

forward

Kingdom

Middle

Stage.

abundant

(),"

The

teachers

first

the

boundaries,
of the

Third

the

of

intention

unexplored

without

for

sentiment

the "original

tenment

of the

substantiated

supported

its

born

the

the

the

fermenting

the

Way

necessary

period

a process

period

and

Middle

the confrontation

Middle

after

the transitional

Six teachers
was

and

between

stage,

from

"from

it was

period

was a long

it was

period

of

born,

continuing

resulting

Region

to be placed

sadic

stage

Flower,

The

nistic

Buddha

This

constructed

of Lotus

( ).

to be

experience

thought,

Northern

Regions,

concept

concept

the east of the third

stage.
new

older

this

arduous

towards

(S. Miyamoto)

( ), the

For

of

the

Sutra

shedding

Middle

born.

second

until

of the

As with

Kingdom

been

opening

lasted

newer

Middle

yet

be a period

and

which

the

not

BEARINGS

the

of the Aryan
process

Middle

of development

( ) from the middle country

( )

is

Country
towards

elucidated

in

(6)

the

state

of development

Now, what

about

the

of the
"Middle

pioneer's
Country"

culture.
of the

Chinese?

As indicated

(5)
Samyutta-Nikaya
(S.N.) XII, 58 Sambuddha, Vol. III, p. 66; S. N. VIII, 7
Pavarana, Vol. I, p. 191; M. N. 108 Gopaka-moggallana,
Vol. III, pp. 8, 18.
-989-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL
by

the

names

South

of

( )

the

middle,

merely

the

the

and

Barbarians

the

and

West

took the position


broad

view

of the

Middle

ceremonies,

victors.

After
accounts

adopt

the

they

China

all,

these

they

were

of different

ideals

anew further

the

we see that

there
served

not

were

co-existence

flexibility

to the

with
was

( ),

number
the

other

Aryans

life

the

in

of rituals.
of the

peoples

there

What

in

China

four directions.

for the

of much

the

position

that

with the other

extent

in freedom.

to these

to enrich

concerned
less

East

special

a great

greatly

Much

(9)

opposition

History,

and

revolutions

occupied

the

hostile

ideas.

of harmony

( ),

onesidely

Country,

that

North

(S. Miyamoto)

diametrical

of Indian

and

did not have

to seek

the

( ),

of being

period

their

of

it is an interesting

In the

and

BEARINGS

attempt
peoples,

and,
toil
and.

self-examination

there

was,

however,.
(7)

was the building


as the founding

of "a strong

the

commoner

both

legs-this

autonomy

kingdom,"

(dhurva madhyama dis),

home country in the land of their invasions.

(X. 10. 12) has a verse


mouth of Purusa

middle

that the priestly

(Original
Vaisya

clearly

When the English

were born from the

Man), the warrior Ksatriya from both its arms,

from

of the priority

Brahmins

The Rg-Veda,

both

eyes and the labor-slave

ref ects the social order

which

Sudras from
preserved

the

of the sturdy conquerors.

ruled India, its capital, naturally,

was Calcutta on.

(6)
With a grasp of the developmental
process from the Middle Kingdom to
the Middle Way during the transition of the second and third stages of Aryan
pioneering and colonization, and making a map of the confrontation
of thought
from the first in India, the standpoint
of the Middle Way of the Buddha,
which occupies a position between the left and right wings, was clarified.
Bukkyo no Konpon Shinri (The Fundamental
Truth in Buddhism, in Jap.), ed.
by the present writer, Chap. I, "Buddhist Reality:
The Middle way and
Nirvana"
(Sanseido, 1956.), pp. 55-92. And, "The Logic of Relativity as the
Common Ground for the Development of the Middle way," in Buddhism and
Culture, The Commemoration Volume of Dr. Daisetz
T. Suzuki's Ninetieth
Birthday,
Kyoto: Otani University 1960) pp. 67-69.
(7)
Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, edited by K. A. Nilakanta Sastri (Banaras: Motilal Banarsidass, 1952), Chap. I, 1, ,Empire
of Magadha," by H. C.
Raychaudhuri,
p. 9.
-988-

(10)

the

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

Ganges

However,
capital

River

which

had

BEARINGS

been invaded

at the time of winning

to the homeland

(S. Miyamoto)

by the English

its independence,

of the Aryan

Middle

and French.

free India moved its

Kingdom.

That is to say,

just as if to restore the capital of Kuru, Indraprastha, they built the capital
in New Delhi, not too far from their old capital. For there, the original
purity of the blood and culture of the Aryan people dwells, and the original
intention

to erect

a domain

reason, for the consecrated


Middle

Country

However,

has

tradition

influenced

was

the

national

on the day of the formation

the former President,

Rajendra

engraved.

And

not

with

out

of the very ancient and sacred Aryan

Prasad

image

of the new India.

the new Indian independence,


(1884-1963),

made clear another

great significance to those at home and abroad, by solemnizing at the site of


the ceremony, the "Wheel of the Truth" (Dharmacakra) of the Asoka stone
pillar which now symbolized the initial turn of the Wheel of the Truth
by the Buddha and the Great Wheel of the Truth of Asoka, and adopting
that

Dharmacakra

for the National

Flag of India.

India has been possessed of the original


Aryans,
aspect

along
should

intention

with the oneness and equality


be that of an India worthy

The cremation

ceremony

of Mahatma

Because independent

to found a nation of the

of India,

its contemporary

of pride as a cultured
Mohandas

Karamchand

nation.
Gandhi

(1869-1948), the hero of Indian Independence,


that of Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru (1889-1964), as well as that of the late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur
Shastri

(on January

25, 1966), who gave his life in service of his mother

country

during

recent

between

India and Pakistan-all

of Prayaga,

the

dangerous

which symbolizes

these heroes who had rendered


into the sacred waters
Ganges.

of the

were performed

peace negotiations

at the sacred

the Aryan Middle Kingdom.


service to their motherland

of the eternal

In this way, the tradition

on and is commemorated

climax

in the

Jumna,

sacred

-987-

The ashes of
were streamed

and dissolved into the Great

of the Aryan

Prayaga.

ground

Middle

land of many

Kingdom
prideful

lives
deeds,

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL
III.

The

Non-dualistic

Middle-way
The
Middle

period
Kingdom,

BEARINGS

Mysticism

Pragmatism

of the

Upanisads

and

the third
(8)

of the

(S. Miyamoto)
Upanisads

(11)

and

The

of Buddhism.
occurs

stage

between

period

the

period

of the Buddhist

of the Aryan
Middle

King-

glom (Majjhima-janapada), and fulfilled the function of being a transitional


intermediary for the intellectual culture. For example, there is the "period
of the Ancient Upanisads" as represented in the Chandogya and the Brhad4ranyaka.
The Aryan frontier in this period had reached Videha, and its principal area continued on to Sakiya, Kosala, Malla and Videha in the same
latitude as Kuru-Paflchala, the ancient home of the Aryans, and situated
on the drainage basin of Gunti, Gogra, Rapti, and the Gandak. As for
the colonies of the white Aryans, the clime of the regions of the rivers
of the upper reaches of the Ganges along the foot of the Himalaya
mountains seems to have agreed with them.
In the new universalism which appears for the first time in the
Upanisads, the profile appears of new thought, such as the cultivated path,
the free spirit, the broad and rich culture, and the concept of oneness and
equality, which answered the needs of the period. At that time, the advocacy
of the supremacy of rituals alone, by the Brahmins, did not meet the
times, and something which might serve a useful purpose to the society
of the period was needed. Outstanding in this respect were the thinkers
of the royalty, the owners of the new thought rich in common sense, and
the rise of the wealthy class who set into motion the economy. The New
Age had not been influenced by colonization by power alone, or the desire
of conquest, or the onesided and flat egoism of the Aryans.
The Brahmins of Kuru-Paflchala had understood the Brahman section(8)
The Boundaries of the Buddhist Middle Kingdom were: to the east the
great forest of the Kajangala village; to the southeast, the Sallavati River:
to the south, the village of Setakannika;
to the west, the Brahmanic village
of Thuna; and to the north, the Usiraddhaja
Mountains. Vinaya, Mahavagga
V, Cammakkhandhakam
pancamam 13, 12, Vol. I, p. 197.
-986-

(12)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

ally as words,
later,
the

new

of the atman

frontiers,

who

jnavalkya's teachings
manifest his sagacity
knowledge
Asvapati

(S. Miyamoto)

vital life force, eyes, ears, consciousness

concepts

Videha

BEARINGS

was

appeared:
able

and the mind;

there was King Janaka of

to achieve

enlightenment

by Ya-

on the omnipresence of the Brahman, and thus made


as a thinker of the kingly class. Again, there is the

of the self (universal

self, atmavaisvanara)

of the Kekaya Clan in Northern

in all men by King

India, and the esoteric doctrine

(in Brhad. Up. I. 15-20) that the atman formed from the consciousness
in the state of deep sleep as reached by King Ajatasatru is the primaeval
reality

(satyasya satyam),

King Pravahana
man)

which

gives

Jaivali of Panchala

and transmigration

and the five fires

birth to all things.

held the new theory

(samsara),

(in Chand.

And further,

i. e., the theory

Up. V. 3-10).

liberation

of the royal

education

of the new period. Among these,

(kar-

of the two paths

All these

class were the driving

of action

new concept

of

force for the enlightened

it says in the

Brhad.

Up.

I. 4. 14, that:
Truly, dharma

itself is satya. Therefore,

is said to speak dharma,

the man who speaks satya

and the one who speaks

dharma

is said

to speak satya. For, both of these are one and the same.
How much

did the mystical

tradition

of the great

forest texts

and

philosophy, together with the new concepts of liberations such as the


oneness of the Brahman and the self (Brahmatmaikyam)
influence and
persuade the young thinkers who next appear? Whether it be Shakyamuni
the Buddha or Mahavira Jina the Great Hero, they were guided by these
new concepts
to produce

of liberation,

opening

a new period. There

up their own paths,

are the achievements

while being bred in this mystical non-dualistic


voured to convert

finally towards

and proceeding

of the Buddha who,

philosophy,

had also endea-

a type of mysticism open to the masses,

since the former mysticism had been closed to them. And that brought about
an advance

of a step or two towards

life, tied up the philosophy


the social period,

the truth

and religion

and brought

out the
-985-

and reality

for everyday

with the ethics and


enlightenment

science of

in everyday

acti-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

(13)

vities. While the earliest person to give a contemporaneousness


was the Buddha,
with a modern

he may also be said to have the first to make religion

character.

The Buddha, enlightened


dualism

between

medical

treatment,

Fourfold
tion

dharma

Truth

of the

analytical

and

of religious

systematized

the

Middle

and

Way realism

them in the

them.

the

manifest

the

primitiveness

there

was

born

of

humanistic

there

new

period,

banner

concept

transformed
the

function

the

Middle

philosophy

is the bond

and

for the realization


non-dualism

of Buddhism

and the Ganges

of the

are harmoniously

experience

of the Upanisads,

process,

of

the

cism to common
there

desire

is the

and maturation,

But we must not overlook

distinctions.

lines

performed

or the

and realiza-

and the Middle Way


linked and continued

and after, and there is also a clearcut distinction between

some revolutionary

realism

construc-

(duhkha-samudaya),

stages are respectively

origination,

which connect

and

of the

to him the power of synthesis. The concept of the Aryan

of Buddhism-these

on both before

mated

reality

and the concepts of extinguishing

of the Buddha, the mystical

the Middle

It is as if the Himalaya

was

of the

which has the twofold

which are the

Middle Kingdom, the non-dualism

to it the scientific method of


concept

and cause

of phenomena,

(nirodha-marga),

tion had granted

the

Way

concepts of suffering

In the enlightenment

concept

of the Middle Way of non -

ideals.

Upanisads
blended.

to the principle

and satya, applied

and

observations

and the way

to religion

sense.
which

The concept of an Aryan Middle Kingdom


of

particular

its "middle

of

from

( )

fully

matured

distinction

way,

-984-

next

the

which

period.
there

in

adherence
moving

the

therein

Upanisads

was subliand

And then,
is

the

as the movement

one finds

was

and
in

a principle,

Buddhism,

as well

a close
which

into

to the
of

Again,

liberation

experience

of mediation

caused

life experience,

()."

non-dualistic

Way

In this

as well as similarities
the fact that there were

three

towards

in the

fruition

from

of experience

which

of

mysti-

stages

that

and

idea,

opening

up a

(14)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL
IV.

The

Third

social
In

the

Kingdom
the

Bearings

third

from

Aryans,

setting

of the stage,

formed

watered

in

peaks.

together,

and an Indian

region

the self-awakening

The

Middle

Way.

the

of the

expansion

of the

( )"

the

Historico-

of management

Great

Ganges

heaven,

sky, earth,

becomes distinctly

and control of that singular

came to be regarded

surpassed,

India

and

River

included
thread

as something

manifest.

numerous
by India's

of colonization

cities appeared
which

Already

made

black indigenious
natural

setting

and pioneering

it was instead

possible

people

from

who had

time

lived

there

on end, came to be

the white Aryan wavering

therefore

of the period up to that


were enlarged,
at an accelerated

setthi),

great
rate,

who had become the

on the scene as the newly

also, they seemed to have something

class, the leading


affluent

carried

increased

clans (fresthi,

arisen

economically,

out, as cultural

communities

surpassing

figures in this new period. In this way, the

period itself tolerated liberally


men and religious mendicants.
religious

shot forth

held the power of money and finance. And in the fields

and politics,

became

abundantly

intercourse

and powerful

mass class which

society

the

that all are equal was born, and a new social

of the economy, appeared

the warrior

joined and

in each region, and both the volume and scope of foreign

as the wealthy

of thought

the

called the White

insignificant;

in such a concept of Mother Nature,

maintainers

in

and man are linked

people

point did not answer the needs of the time.


The areas of farming and animal husbandry
trade

and

buds.

Af to the
surrounded

area,

apPearing

concept that the self and others are born together harmoniously,
its realistical

Middle

of the Five Rivers, and the Himalayas great

In this period,

desire to subjugate

in the

period

from

(S. Miyamoto)

Pioneering

is further

by the upper reaches

mountain

Aryans

the

there

natural

center

of

of Eastern
of Coexistence

stage,

by the

"scope

Stage

BEARINGS

(Sahgha)

and the charity

undertakings

of donations

was

also flourished. Now the

the existence of non-productive cultural


And the existence of a great number of
also, was due to
-983-

such

historico-social

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

(15)

bearing. Even the field was opened that women, regardless of their social
standing, could participate freely in social activities. In particular, the
great massive existence of religious mendidants (paribbajaka, parivrajaka). who were free to make pilgrimages to the various lands, has some
connection with the sannyasin of the four periods of life (asrama: brahmacarin, grhastha, vanapsastha, and sannyasin) of the Aryan Middle
Kingdom, and may have become, moreover, a lubricate for the life of
coexistence, so great that we do not know how much it contributed just
to liberalize thought. Shakyamuni surely must have been among these
free, liberal thinkers, but it must be said that his thought and deeds have
long remained, while those of most of the others of his time have long
vanished with the passage of time. Crossing the Ganges from the foot of
the Himalayas, and then coming down to the south only as far as Buddhagaya, he would have continued his great trip, climbing at least 800
kilometers. The first place he preached, after attaining Satori at Gaya, was
Sarnath, outside the city of Benares (Baranasi), another 200 kilometers
to the north. And, later, since he spent the latter part of his life, 45
years, in making further religious travels and pilgrimages, how high did
his footprints really climb after all? As might be expected, at the end
he went north in order to be close to his homeland. However, he fell ill
on that trip, and entered Nirvana at Kusinara (Kusinagara), before reaching his destination. In this way, the Buddha truly endeavoured to bring
about the social edification of coexistence in the Middle Way with the
objective that all men can become the Buddha, by means of the footsteps
of his entire life, and he may be said to have spent his entire life in
(9)

accordance

with

the

With reference

law

(9)

of birth
Dharmata-yukti,

naturalness

to the ultimate

stood in the pioneering


matter

of

(jati)

(dharmata

truth

for human beings, the Buddha

spirit of the Aryans,


nor family
,

(gotta),

and held that it was not a

but conduct

ultimate

sophy and Culture, East and West (Honolulu:


1962), pp. 105-6, 196-7.
-982-

).

reality

(carana,
or

University

kamma).

naturalness, philo-

of Hawaii

Press,

(16)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

In the equality of the four castes, depending on this "conduct," what is


the Brahmanistic of the Middle Kingdom (madhya-desa) and the Northern
Region (udicya-desa), and the nobility and wealthy of the Eastern Region
(pracya-desa), were combined effectively, and anew universalism rose its
(10)

head. In the religious


many

community

men of Brahmin,

understand

that several

noble

(sangha)

of Shakyamuni,

and wealthy

backgrounds,

there

and I further

scores of names of those who entered the order

were listed as being from the sudra labor class. Furthermore.


speaking,

those who entered

the Order having

regionally

come from the country of

Kosala which is also placed within the area of the home village
kyamuni,

who

had

were

many

relatives

of Sha-

and

ollowed next by those from Magadha,

friends, were most numerous,


(11)f
Vesali, and so forth., From such a

point, there are some who criticize Buddhism for leaning towards the
right as a religious community, but since the original community of
Shakyamuni

always

had

contact

with

the masses by going out into the

streets to beg once a day, and even went so far as to enter


of the masses when invited

to give sermons on Buddhism,

the

homes.

from our view-

point of the, position of the lay-buddhists, there were few who leaned to,
the left or right; nearly all were down the middle way. As for the
condition

of Buddhism

general headquarters
for his distribution
international

during

the period

of King Asoka, the base and

for Asoka's pilgrimages to the Holy Buddhist Lands,


of Dharma Edicts throughout
the Empire, for the

dispatching

of missionary envoys of the world, was Pataliputra,

the capital of Magadha Kingdom, which became a world center for politics,
economics

and culture,

and

moreover,

somewhat

more of a cosmopolitan

gave to the Buddhism

nature.

And further,

of Asoka

Asoka pioneered

(10) Age of the Nandas and Mauryas, Chap. X, "Language and Literature,"
by S. J. Chatterji and V. Raghavan, p. 310. The three regions of the North,
the Middle Kingdom and the East are classified by a linguistic examination
of the Aryans.
(11) Chizen Aaknuma, Genshi Bukkyo no Kenkyu (Studies on Primitive Buddhism,in ,Jap.),
"The Four Classifications
in Shakyamuni's
Religious Community.." Hajinkakushobo,
1939, pp. 392-393.
-981-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

the way to the Buddhism


(Peshawar)

from ancient

Central

and Northern

(S. Miyamoto)

(17)

of Kanishka, who held his capital in Purusapura

of Gandhara,

change

BEARINGS

the famous

times,

area of international

and who desired

India and Central

racial

cultural

equality

Asia.

The image of the period during which the Aryan pioneering


along

the drainage

Himalayas
into

and is fused

(ekarasa)

and

wonder

with

the

River. Moreover,
the

sames

(unprecedented,

Great

alty

nation

of the Ganges,

reason

that there

Indian

taste

coming

Shakyamuni

( ),

equality

salty taste of the religious

for the

one flavor
was

great

who had not known the


was drawn by the fasci-

as distant

is some connection

The

Ocean, becoming

(lonarasa)

as far

by the

the fact that the Ganges flows

abbhuta) for the Aryans

ocean up to that time. Since even

the Buddha.

advanced

basin of the Great Ganges, has been sketched

and Ganges

ex-

throughout

Magadha,

it stands to

with the wish that all men become


four castes and the same flavor and

community

(sangha)

became the new slogans

forthis period. Of the five rivers, it is said that the Ganges in particular
has great happiness
by performing

and prosperity;

ablutions

and washing

in its waters

has continued

away of sin and vice


to the present

from

ancient

times. Again, at the time when Buddhism was transmitted to the


(12)
Chinese Middle Kingdom, the legend that Shih Tao-an (312-385) became
conscious
Clan

immediately

( ),"

and

of the
even

spirit

before

of this "Great
the

passage

had

Ocean of the Sakya


been

translated

into

(12) In the Kosoden (Biographies of High Priests), Chap. 5, Part 2, "Interpretors and Commentators,"
Section on Shih Tao-an, it says:"At
the time of
the Wei and Tsin Dynasties, a priest generally was named by his teacher,
and the surnames were not the same. But Tao-an thinks that the Great Master
is the origin and base and that there is no teacher more worthy of respect
than Shakyamuni.
And that is why he has everyone receive the name of
Shakyamuni.
And later, when they acquired the Ekottara Agama, in that, it
says that four rivers enter the ocean, and do not retain the name of the
original river. So when the four castes become priests, all should be called
sons of Shakya. This idea already agreed with the sutras and since then it
has become a permanent practice."
(TT. L. 353).
-980-

(18)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

the Chinese
this spirit
reveals

Buddhist
to the

Scriptures,

world,

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

had already

anticipated

is but one example

and advocated

and testimony

that

Truth.

itself in both the East and West in the past and present.

In this way, it came to be taught


rious virtues
(13)

dhamma)

(eight

unprecendented

that just as there


Dharmas,

in the Great Ocean, into which the great

so, too, there


required

are eight

virtues

are eight myste-

or attha acchariya

in the Sangha.

River Ganges flows,

Now what is especially

here are the fourth and the sixth of these unprecedented

When the five rivers,

the Gaiiga, Yamuna,

abbhuta

Aciravati,

flow into the Great River, losing their individual

dharmas.

Sarabhu, and Mahi,

names and become theca

one taste of the great ocean, so, too, the members of the Sangha, by virtue
of the Dharma
Ksatriya,

and the Vinaya, lose the original

Brahmana,

Vaisya,

and son of the Buddha

name of their four castes,

and Sudra, and all become the same priest

(the fourth

unprecedented

Dharma).

Again, just.

as the Five Rivers flow into the Great Ocean and become one flavor and.
the same salty taste, the Sanngha also becomes the same taste of liberation
by virtue of the Dharma and the Vinaya (the sixth unprecedented
In addition,

anther

metaphor

has been given of the five rivers,

Dharma).
the Ganges

always flowing to the East, heading toward the Great Ocean, there tending
toward

it, declining,

and returning

Path and the Four Noble


and return

Truths

to enter it, so too the Eightfold


always

to enter it (nibbana-pona,

tend towards

nibbana-ninna,

When the image of the equality of humanity


(in the third

stage of pioneering),

Noble

the place

Nirvana, decline,
(14)
nibbana-pabbhara).

had come to be writ large

(Magadha

and the Ganges)

(13) Anguttara-Nikaya
(A. N.), Atthaka-nipata 2, Mahavagga, 19 paharada, Vol.
IV, pp. 198-199, 202; 20. Uposatha, pp. 206-207; Udana, 5 Sonatherassa-vagga,
pp. 53, 55. Kogen Mizuno, Nanden Daizokyo Sosakuin (General Index to theSouthern Tripitaka),
Part II (Nihon Gakujitsu Shinkokai, 1961), p. 10. Akira
Hirakawa, Genshi Bukkyo no Kenkyu (Studies on Early Buddhism, in Jap.),
"The Prototype of the Religious Community System," (Shunjusha,
1964), pp.
15-16.
(14) S. N., XLV Magga-samyutta,
Samudda, Vol. V, pp. 38-40.

4 Ganga-peyyala,

-979-

91-96

Pacina,

97-102

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

and the man (Shakyamuni


culture
Then

by King

became Asiatic

In the

period

Central

and

"metaphor

North

of

th

India

metaphor
Ganges

that
and

but the

Asia

the

flow

Five

into

the f our rivers,

same flavor

)this "four

rivers

the

the

indicate

the

from
to the

"metaphor

constructed.

etc.,

form

ultimate

The

the

Great

in metaphors,

Ganga, Sindhu, VaksU, and Sita, flow

Ocean

same

also

Jumna,

is perhaps

that "Great
of

Ganges and the Indus

Ganges,

was

from one lake (Anavatapta,


as

and

Asian Empire extending

( )."

Ocean,
(15)

one that

was thus born.

to King Kanishka,

Asia was built, in addition

India

the

Great

(19)

after having been only Indian.

( )"

Rivers,

the

out in four directions


the

to Central
of

its eternality,

Asoka, relayed

since a great

e five river

(S. Miyamoto)

grew to become one; and the Magadha

in its entirety

of Kanishka,

the four river of

lose

Buddha)

of the new period, which indicated


it was inherited

Buddhism

of

BEARINGS

flavor"

of

the

also

Anotatta),
Sakya

arouses

the boundaries

our

of Central

India, and it is said that the Vaksu corresponds

and do not

Clan"

interest.


The

and Northern

to the Oxus River which

flows into the Aral Ocean, and the Seta to either the Yaxartes

(Sir-Daria)

or the Yarkand

the sphere

of Kanishka

River

(Tarim River). These clearly symbolised

(16)
Buddhism.
Considered

from today's

viewpoint,

world

geography

(15) Ekottara-Agama,
Vol. II, Sukha-duhkam (Chapter on Sorrow and Pleasure), 29, No. 9. "When the four rivers (Ganga, Sindhu, Vaksu, Sita) have
entered the great ocean, they lose their original names, and only the name
of the ocean is mentioned. This is also like the four castes. What are the
four? The ksatriya, the brahmana, the vaisya and the sudra. In the abode
of the Tathagata,
they shave their beards and the hair of their head. Wearing the three robes of the Dharmas, the leave home to become recluses and
to study the way. And they do not return to their original caste name again.
They are said to be priests and sons of Shakya. Why is this? The reason is
that

the

people

in the

religious

community

great ocean, and the Four Noble Truths


II. 658 c).

of the Tathagata

are like this

are like the four great rivers."

(TT.

(16) On the cultural spheres of the Aryans and Buddhists, cf. Miyamoto, ed.,
Daijo Bukkyo......, Ibid., Chap. I, Sect. 1, "Bukkyo Sekaikan no Kakudai" (The
Enlargement
of the Buddhist World-view, in Jap.), p. 22.
-978-

(20)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

has expanded,

and the sphere of Buddhist

and, therefore,
kyamuni's

BEARINGS

its world-view

equality

(S. Miyamoto)

culture

has likewise

has also become newly

broaded;

sketched.

In Sha-

of the four castes, there is the forward-looking

posture

of the pioneer, and there is the long-cherished

desire to link the past with

the present. It took on a clearly international

character

and by King Kanishka,


India. Accordingly,
have the Buddha
the world-view
remainder

in the stanza
nature,"

of the world

the work-slaves
the problem.

"All sentient

which

of India

castes of primitive

is transcended
to become

Buddhism,

(sudra)

and do not know Nirvana,


the theory

the so-called

nature,

which brings

in the original

outcastes

in the causal

they are probably

of

having

no-nature

This a-gotra

are the focus of


Because they are

relations

of karma

world continue forever,

close to the

materialistic

religion.

Again, in
advo-

which flourished in North


(agotra,

is thought

cultural
(17)
to mind either the sudras or the candala. Again,

is clearly a Brahministic

vow of Amida Buddha, both the person who has commited

from the objects of salvation.

these, the difference of being caught


convenanted

of the four

(panca-adhisamaya-gotrani)

the five grave sins and the person who slanders


excluded

exception

of society, such as

men without

and the Vijnanavada,

that

to lack the Buddha-nature.


expression

In the equality

of the present

of the five types of natures

the fifth

of

was a desire for the

called them icchantika.

or the present-day

cated by the Sarvastivada


India,

and there

Buddhist.

desire that the pleasure

and secular Lokayata

beings without

and the lowly class (candala)

The Nirvana-sutra

the borders

is found in the Mahaparinirvana-sutra,

said to be men who do not believe


retribution,

with King Asoka,

it became Asianized, transcending

by religious

ethics,

the Correct Dharma

Even if there be, throughout


by the social framework

the common

element

desired

are

all of

or of being
here was

(17) See this writer's "Gyo no shutaisei to Bussho chudo" (The Subjecthood
of Action,: Buddha-nature
and the Middle Way), in Commemoration of 1150
years since the Founding
of Koyasan, in Mikkyogaku Mikkyoshi Ronbunshu
(Collection
of Essays on the Study and History of Esoteric Buddhism), pp.
15-16, 1965.
-977-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

the emancipation,
the framework

conversion

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

and transferrence,

(21)

and the aim to broaden

of salvation.

Such being the case, the four-caste


taste of five rivers

of Magadha

equality went beyond the one salty

Buddhism, and the one salty taste of the

four riers of Kanishka Buddhism, and advanced to the "all sentient beings
without exception have the Buddha-nature."
of the Nirvana-sutra, as well
as "The sentient beings of the ten directions become correctly enlightened"
of the Larger
China

and

stepping

Japan,

over

beings

can

emphasized

the

become

moreover,
the

Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra

the

national

bounds
the

great
Iand,

"one

towards

Buddha

without

and

all

was

that

In

the

constructed

exception

and further

can become

a position

( )."

catchphrase
all

(Dai-Muryoju-kyo),

become

the Buddha",

even

"non-sentient

medieval

that

Tendai

"the

the

in

grass

Sect,

and

Buddha".

trees,

(18)

)
The
the

line

of demarcation

freedom

of becoming

penetrated
that

to the

"even

religious
the

evil

Buddha,

nature

Buddha"
of the

of

of Shakyamuni,

lived

the

while

Middle

while

principle

and Shinran

beings

that

"all

has

progressed

steadfastly

and

Pataliputra,

Symbol

made

of the
in

men

non-

Buddha-

the

task

can become

along

can become
and the

Way

engaged

who

advocated

Nichiren

impermanency

in the

to expand

of self-power,

non-sentient

to the

thesemen,

broadening

Honen

Buddha,"
that

tends

the

of

the

Highway

Buddha-nature.

V.
The
extended

and

All

moreover,

the

penetrating

Buddha-nature,

standpoint

ineffectiveness

become

out of the doctrine

( ).

cultivating

of the

can

and Dogen,

of the

Buddhist

the Buddha;

concept
men

principle

existence

in the

The

Great

front

Ganges

line

to the

of Aryan

village

pioneering

of Kajangala,

in the
the

of the

Buddhist

eastern

New Period
period

boundary

may have

of the

"Bud-

(18) This writer, "Somoku Kokudo Shikkai Jobutsu no Bussho Ronteki Igi to
Sakusha" ("The Significance
and Authorship
of the Theory of the Buddhanature, that grass and trees, the national land can all become the Buddha," in
Jap.) in Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp, 261-291, 1961.
-976-

(22)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

dhist Central

BEARINGS

Kingdom" (Majjhima-janapada).

(S. Miyamoto)

Then, the central

land for

the new politics, economics and culture of that time seems to have already
been changing

to the Magadha

Kingdom. In that case, where

should we

place the cultural and social diametrical opposite points of such countries
as the Magadha Kingdom of the frontier, and within the Aryan Kingdom,
Sakiya,

the home of Shakyamuni,

First

of all, as for cultural

were bordering

countries

Middle Kingdom,
had

acquired

ryan

elements,

from

it has also been

Kosala

Sakiya

was a newly arisen nation

was

the Aryan

situated

Middle

to the

are part

southeast

they might have had some connection.

practice

and the Siva faith.

geographic

of a region

point of difference,

which

is included

rivers

of the Jumna

the Aryan Middle


and the

fourth

rivers of the Gogra (Sarabhu,


its upper reaches;
fifth tributary

Kingdom
tributary,

Sarayu)

while Magadha,
(Sadanira,

these much farther

(Ganga),

(whose point of confluence is


the Gogra River, i. e. the two

and Rapti (Aciravati),


becomes larger

Hiran.navati,

River, which

continuing

and the Ganges

on the contrary,

of the Ganges which


Gandak

along the Sone (Sona)


extends from

(Yamuna)

both Sakiya

in the area of the

the two great

the mainstream

and

Now, these non(19)A


to Vratya, said to be-

of the Gunti (Gomati) River, the third tributary

near Benares),

which

Kingdom.

are held to be related

said that

as a cultural

water

the Aryan

sphere from ancient,

upper reaches
which

and Kosala

from the Brahmin culture of the Aryan Central Kingdom.

with the Arhat religious


and

of Magadha

elements of Magadha

Secondly,

both

Kosala?

of the same latitude as Kuru-Panchala,

non-Aryan

separated

Aryan outcastes
And

resemblances,

and were within the Aryan cultural

times, while the Kingdom


remotely

and the neighboring

forms

which form

not only lies along


as it gathers

Mahi),

the western

in thee

but further

lies

boundary,

and

to the south. Its geographical

features

(19) Nalinaksha Dutt, Early History of the Spread of Buddhist and the Buddhist Schools (London: Luzac, 1925), pp. 32-39, 182-184. B. P. Sinha, The Declineof the Kingdom of Magadha (cir. 455-1000 A. D.), ibid., pp. xix-xx. Age of
the Nandas and Mauryas, ibid., pp. 9-10.
- 975-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

would

appear

to be like the

BEARINGS

heart-section

(S. Miyamoto)

of Central

(23)

India.

Then, it is

just as if the motive power for new Indian developments to come had
been strongly fomenting and stored there. As for this Pataliputra (Pataliputta, Pataligama,
the Buddha,
of Vesali

King Ajatasattu

(Vaisali)

kara to construct

(20)

Palibhothra

of Megasthenes),

(Ajatasatru)

and commissioned

organized the Republic of Vajji

two ministers,

(Rajgir,

to have

(21)
Asoka, who

years

after

largest
King

the

that

demise

built,

King

of

internationalistic
Asoka

Lord

Range

and

Mahi)

since

futuristic
(22)

and all join together

In the

first section

happenings

under
alliance

collect

which

of the

Girivrajapura).

Buddha,

nation

with

point where the five rivers

Sarabhu

the

foreseen

the

Sunidha

and Vassa-

a castle there, and it seems, he moved to this new city

from the old capital of Raiagaha


been

in the latter years of

would

the

plans,

underground

It would appear
to the

construct

beginning
Pataliputra

(Panca-nadi:

the

ascended

world's

of history,

because
crossing

Ganges, Yamnua, Aciravati,


waters

of the

Himalaya

to form the Great Ganges.

Buddha's
then

by the democratic

the

218,

his capital,

of the Mahaparinibbana-suttanta,

Ajatasatru,

throne

last years,
King

movements

it notes

of Magadha,
in politics,

which

records

the circumstances
resisted

economics

the

strong

and society

of the Republic of Vajji on the opposite bank of the Ganges, constructed


a castle in the Village of Pataligama-(nagara),

the ferry point outside the

Capital

constructing

Rajagaha,

and

there,

besides

newly

his political

(20) Nundo Lal Dey, The Geographical


Dictionary of Ancient and Mediaeval
India (London, Luzac, 1927), pp. 151-154. Egaku Maeda, Genshi Bukkyo Seitent
no Seiritsushiteki
Kenkyu (Historical
Studies on the Formation of Early Buddhist Canon, in Jap.), pp. 150-152. Sankibo Busshorin, 1959.
(21) Hajime Nakamnra, Toyoshiso no Ayumi (Footsteps of Oriental Thought, in
Jap.) p. 86, Kaname-shobo, 1954.
(22) Gangs, Yamuna, Aciravati, Sarabhu, Mahi: S. N. XIII. 3, Vol. 2, p. 135;
A. N. VII. 62, Vol. 4, p. 101; Milindanha,
pp. 70, 80, 114. Ganges, Yamuna,
Aciravati, Sarabhu, Mahi, Sindhu, Sarassati, Vetravatl, Vitamsa, Candabhaga:
Cha Agon (Majjhima-agama)
"Seken Fuku-kyo" (TT. I. 428b). "There are the
streams of the five rivers (Gangs, Yamuna, Sarabhu, Aciravati,
Mahi)."
-974-

(24)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

{offices, strove with

BEARINGS

all his might to construct

(S. Miyamoto)

the new capital of Patali-

putta: not only did he build quarters for his warriors and ministers in
the capital (Agga-nagara),
but many saintly men (Ariya) came to dwell
there;

even

merchants

district

of foreign

gathered,

and

it became

the

chief

producing

trade-the
outline of prosperous Pataliputra
is thus
(23)
in the form of a prophecy. In addition to the foregoing, there

described

was the imperial


passed should
place where

command

that

the

gate

through

which

be made the Gate of Gotama (Gotama-dvara)


he crossed

the

river,

be made the ferry

Shakyamuni
and that the

place of Gotama

(Gotama-tittha);
however, only the naming of the Gotama Gate is recorded
in the Scriptures. For, in this paragraph,
the village of Pataligama, the
ferry place of the Ganges, may have flourished
and the

transitional

actively

undertaken,

Nothing
combining
Kingdom

as this important

capital

construction

area of the Great Ganges

the Himalayas,

of the Dharma."

Yet even more

left his homeland which is enveloped


the

the

being the, cultural

origin which became the world's largest capital of "The

of the pure Himalayas,


crossing

which

as the capital Pataliputra,

was
(24)
may have been after the last yejrs of the Buddha.

is so wondrous

during

the Five Rivers and facing

and geographical
Buddha

period

Great

purposefully

Ganges

strange

is the fact that the

in the mysterious atmosphere

going southward

for 800 kilometers,

finally, later going beyond the geographical

point of Pataliputra,
further going south, coming up to the vicinity of
Gaya, to seek out the place of religious practice for Satori. Born and raised
in an Aryan

environment,

the

Buddha

while young to an Aryan education.

had sufficiently

applied

himself

Why did he have to undertake

(23) E. J. Thomas, The Life of Buddha as Legend


Kegan Paul, Trench, Truber, 1927)", pp. 144-157.

and History

his

(London:

(24) Daichido-ron
(Mahaprajna-paramita-upadesa-sastra),
Vol. II: "After the
Buddha entered Nirvana, King Ajatasatru,
abandoned Rajagrha, because the
number of people was gradually diminishing,
and built again a small town
nearby. One yojana in length and breadth,
its name was Pataliputra;
it
seems, moveover, that it became the largest of all the towns." (TT. XXV. 78).
-973-

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

own religious

practice,

even selecting

of a new enlightenment?
his final training
farther

BEARINGS

than the capital

at Gaya

Rajagaha

Enlightenment

dhammesu),

which
which

The Middle-Way
symbolized

and receiving

vision

the Correct

Vinaya Mahavagga

Principles

I. 1), and

itself was, indeed, the illu-

of Compassion

by the Himalayas

born into a royal

the education

and the Ganges

and training

absoluteness

been born

symbolized

and the

pure

of a prince

possessed
which

more, he may have also possessed


to be called the mystical
Sacred

allegory

Ganges

of

the

Just

herbs

The

mystical

mountains

alone have.

What is

himself of Prajna wisdom, which ought

as the

flows without

three

when he was 29 years

Range capped with everlasting

wisdom revealed

the Aranyaka-Upanisads.

of an Aryan royal

of two things:

by the Himalaya

sacredness

and Wisdom

family at the foot of the Himalayas,

up until he left home for a life of religion

of age, must have

the

in him

had been heard"

and for the first time, attained

(pathama-abhisambuddha

The Buddha,

snow;

and there

never before

of the Middle way.

VI.

family

backdrop, for the sake

is placed to the deep south,

became the Buddha. Now this enlightenment


mination

(25)

sat down under the Bodhi tree, as,

of Magadha,

and wisdom arose "of the Dharma


(pubbe ananusuttesu

a non-aryan

Shakyamunii

ground,

(S. Miyamoto)

generative

ceasing

and

the

to the philosophical

two

night

and, infinite

sages of
figure

of

and day, and as in the

trees

( )

in

the

(25)

Chapter on Medical Herbs

(Osadhi-parivarta)

of the Saddharma-Pundarika

(The Lotus of the True Law), the compassionate motherhood of the Great
Ganges

which

is bound

things are raised

in the

of Ganges was a foreign


mountains.
(25) Kern
"Osadhi,"

Because

up with

the

monsoon-like

upbringing

that all

watering

of one rain, for him, the Great River

element as he had been born and raised in the

of the fact

that

he left the mountain

country,

his

and Nanjo, Saddharmapunciarika


(St. Petersburg,
1908), Chap. V,
pp. 125-131; SBE XXI The Lotus of the True Law (Oxford: Claren-

don Press, 1909), pp. 126-129; The Lotus of the Wonderful


Soothill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1930), pp. 124-128.
-972-

Law, by W. E.

(26)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

homeland,

and

traveled

to study at Magadha

the Great Ganges, and there


able to clarify
lopment.
all

men can become

theory

new

period

step?

of

jecthood
).

of

Then,

united

the

to the

in the preceding
of the third

the

the

the other

together,

in the

appeared
of

(the

others,

of race,

worked

culture

of the first and

points out the differences

the early buds of the

the self

self

of

his

self

and

and

the

way

the

was

the

Middle

the

as

one

other)

called
self

put life

Way

are

the
equal

of non-duality

well

was

into both

of the
in each

standpoint

( )

other

which

for

groups could look for peace

Aryan

period, what are the characteristics

stage which

subjecthood

that

self and the other are

self with

and the various cooperative

of "selflessness,"
other

but

First of all, there

respect

that

and all of these are included

Now, compared

second stages

he was finally
and their deve-

which was not swayed by the questions

of class, or of ideology,
assitance;

austerities,

of all things

embraces

Way of Co-existence. That was the forward-looking

theory

and-prosperity.

Kingdom, which

religious

and

(paratma-samata)-any

and progressive

(S. Miyamoto)

symbolizes that the four castes are equal, that

the Buddha,

of the Middle

mutual

practiced

his views on the becoming

The Great Ganges

identical

BEARINGS

the

as

for

the

sub-

(
the

teaching

self

of self

and

and

the

other

( ).

Next, on such questions


suffering

in life,

resigned

themselves

their

past lives

and

as the individual

defects

in social

god (issaranimmana-hetu-vada).
during the new period, there
the

or causal

relations,

appaccaya-vada).

the

beings,

people

had

i. e., the

Shakyamuni

or the discretion

of

of an omnipotent

Of course, in the frontier of Magadha


had also been prevalent the nihilism which

self to nothingness,
(26)

environment,

of human

up to this time, and felt that it was the result

(pubbekata-hetu-vada),

abandons

destiny

whether

doctrine

it be the gods, the Buddha

of no-cause-no-conditions

did not believe

in such a fatalistic

(26) A. N. III. 61, Vol. I, p. 173, Vibhahga, pp. 367-368;


issaranimmana-hetu-vada,
ahetu-appaccaya-vada.
-971-

(ahetutheory

pubbekata-hetu-vada,

of previous
Above

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

karma and the doctrine

of the volition of the creating

all, he steadfastly

resisted

(S. Miyamoto)

such nihilism.

(27)

deity.

Now, while the cause

(hetu) forms the basis of scientific investigation and is the essential study
of the existence of the individual self, there is a tendency for it to become
the

treatment

Moreover,
falling

there

into

Opposed

of egocentricism
is the

a compulsion

to this, the

holds

of becoming

for asserting

and advocated

to the great numbers

fast

to one cause alone.

a closed theory, or even of

the

one who converted

self, and constructed


reality

danger

which

supremacy

of the absolute.

the oneness of the individual

the theory

of "the other"

of becoming

(para),

which

gave

was none other than

Shakyamuni.
The fact that a new field was opened, of respect for the
"other" and reliance upon the "other," became of great advantage for the
social

struction

appearance

of the new period. Particularly,

of the

standpoint

of "depending

in causality

(hetu), the

on" or "relation"

(paccaya,

pratyaya) which meant also the social reliance and trust, was completely
revolutionary. Against the tendency to lock oneself up in the standpoint,
viewpoint

and assertion

to be opened
against

only of the self, a new window

by means

the one-cause

of the reliance

of the original

the rich and magnanimous

democratic

of the way of being of a plurality.


contribution

and trust

cause of the self, there was invented


theory which led to the resuscitation

By means of that, a great theoretical

was also made to the organization

and development

new social cooperative.

What is more, against

was fulfilled

of the causal study of plurality

by means

the scientific method


siteness
point,

which

of phenomena.
it is quite

(paticca-samuppada,
"relational
arising"

of "relations"

opened, and clarified the multifarious

that

new expressions

of the

the one-cause, a great duty

In such a wide, forward

natural

of society came

in the other. Then,

compo-

looking Buddhist
of dependent

in

stand-

origination

pratitya-samutpada),
as "dependent becoming," and
(asmin sati idam bhavati; asya utpadad idam utpa -

dyate).
In such a theory
suffering,

selflessness

which links together


and

dependent
-970-

in one chain impermanency,

origination,

there

is vividly

and

(28)

THE HISTORICO-SOCIAL

BEARINGS

(S. Miyamoto)

graphically
described the aspect of becoming befitting the culture of
the new period which is symbolized by the Great Ganges. And Shakyamuni,
(27)
moreover, originated the theory of the Middle Way which revolves and
rounds out mutually
(Moksa=Nirvana,
-Moksa), giving

the free liberation

that is, Moksa-Nirvana,


Moksa=Nirvana,
and Nirvana
also to Buddhism another face as a religion of salvation,

and causing the birth


inheriting
free

Nirvana
numbers,

of Buddhism

the liberation

Satori

substantiate

That is, while

which is the individual

and

not only did he newly open the peace of

in the

here-and-now

the happiness

of great

spirit of mankind and


(28)
peaceful calm to the soul, while pioneering a new phase of religion in
Buddhism, which is also both a culture and a philosophy. Now its origin
was
)

but he also

as a "world religion."

(moksa, vimoksa),

in the Upanisads,

and

(moksa) and the peace of nirvana

gave repose to the eternal

the satori or "the middle way of compassion and wisdom


symbolized

by

the

Great

and the Great Compassion

Wisdom

(maha-prajna)

(Maha-karuna)

of

the

Himalayas,

of the Ganges.

(27) The three formalities


on liberation and Nirvana, in Miyamoto, Bukkyo no
Shinjitsu, Chudo to Nehan (Reality for Buddhism, the Middle Way and Nirvana), pp. 117-122. Miyamoto, "Studies on Moksa and Nirvana, with Special
Reference to the studies of Modern Scholars of the World (In Jap., Waseda
University:
Bulletin of Graduate Division of Literature,
1960), pp. 1-40.
(28) Miyamoto, "Bukkyo no Ningen Keisei" ("Human Nature in Buddhism," in
Jap.), Waseda University,
Philosophy Club, Philosophia,
Vol. 44, October
1962, pp. 1-22.
-969-