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   WHOEVER put this Sutta together must have been deeply imbued with the spirit of subtle irony that plays no less a part in the Suttas than it does in so many of the Gâtakas. I have already called attention to the great importance for the right understanding of early Buddhist teaching of a constant appreciation of this sort of subtle humour{1}. It has been hitherto, so far as I am aware, entirely overlooked--that is, in the Suttas; everyone recognises it in the Gâtaka tales. The humour is not at all intended to raise a laugh, scarcely even a smile. And the aroma of it, pervading the whole of an exposition--none the less delightful because of the very serious earnestness of the narrator, all the while, as regards the ethical point at issue--is apt to be lost sight of precisely because of that earnestness. And just as a joke may be explained, but the point of it spoilt in the process, so in the attempt to write about this irony, much more delicate than any joke, one runs great danger of smothering it under the explanatory words.

   The attempt, nevertheless, must be made. And it is most easy, perhaps, to do so by an example which no one will dispute. In the Râgovâda Gâtaka{2} we are told of the two kings, reigning over the famous lands of Benares and Kosala, who simultaneously determined to examine into their own faults! No courtier would tell them of any. So they each went, and went in vain, to the people in the city, outside the palace on a similar quest. Finding no fault-finders there, they each went on to the city gate, and then to the surrounding suburbs, all in vain. So they each made over the kingdom to their respective ministers, and with a single attendant as charioteer, sallied forth into the world,

{1. See, for instance, the notes above on p. 33; and the remarks, in the Introduction to the Ambattha, on the Aggañña Sutta.

2. No. 1 in vol. ii of the Pâli text in Prof. Fausböll's edition, and of the Cambridge translation edited by Prof. Cowell.}

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to find some one to tell them of their faults. Bent on this, so serious, quest, the two came face to face in a low cart-track with precipitous sides. Each calls on the other to make way for a king. Both are kings! How to settle the point? 'I have it,' says one charioteer: 'Let the younger give way.' The kings turn out to be exactly of an age. 'Then let the lord of the lesser realm go back.' Their kingdoms are exactly equal in size. And so on, in succession, are found to be the strength of their two armies, the amount of their treasure, the glory of their renown, the fame of their realms, the distinction of their caste, and tribe, and family. Then at last comes the solution. The king of Kosala overcomes evil by evil. Of the other, the king of Benares, it is said:

'Anger he conquers by calmness,
And by goodness the wicked,
The stingy he conquers by gifts,
And by truth the speaker of lies{1}.'

And on this being proclaimed, the king of Kosala and his charioteer alighted from their chariot. And they took out the horses, and removed their chariot, and made way for the king of Benares.

   There is not a word in the whole story, here told in abstract{2}, to suggest that it is not all sober history. But of course the whole story is invented. The two kings are brought on to the stage merely to carry on their broad shoulders the moral of the tale, and the dry humour of the predicament in which they find themselves is there to attract attention to, to add emphasis to, the lesson taught.

   What is the especial point in this fun--a kind of fun quite unknown in the West? It is the piquancy of the contrast between the mock seriousness of the extravagant, even impossible details, and the real serious earnestness of the ethical tone. The fun of the extravagance can be matched, easily enough, in European, and especially in American humour. The piquancy of this contrast is Indian, and especially Buddhist. Even the theosophic myth-makers of the Vedas had a sense of the humour in the incongruities, the half realities of their myths. One feels it occasionally even in the Brâhmanas. In the Upanishads it is very marked. The Liturgy of the Dogs, the Fable of the Senses, the War of the Devas and Asuras, and several other such episodes

{1. This verse is quoted in the Dhammapada (verse 223).

2. The full version can also be seen in my 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' pp. xxii-xxvi.}

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have this mixture of unreality and earnestness, and it finds its perhaps most touching expression in the legend of Nakiketas. And the Buddhists, in their Gâtaka stories, often adopted and developed old Indian tales of a similar sort.

   But why should we think that this sort of humour is confined to the Gâtakas? We have a Gâtaka story of the Great King of Glory, certainly based on the Sutta of the same name, for it expressly quotes it, and embodies the numerous details which lead up to the sublime lesson at the end of it{1}. And those details are at least as extravagant as the details in the Râgovâda Gâtaka. Allowing for all the earnestness undeniably animating both the story-teller and the hearers, it is clear that they enjoyed, all the time, the dry humour of the exaggeration and grotesqueness of the details of the story as it went along. Now the details are given only in the Sutta; and omitted, as well known, in the Gâtaka. They build up a gorgeous fairy tale in which the ancient mythology of the sun-myth is brought into play in order to show how the greatest possible majesty and glory of the greatest and best of all possible kings is, after all, but vanity. And the details, here also, in the Sutta, are enlivened by an intentional exaggeration, a designed dry humour, similar to that in the Râgovâda Gâtaka, above referred to.

   A similar state of things is found in the Aggañña Sutta, as pointed out above in the Introduction to the Ambattha; in the Kevatta Sutta, translated below; and in many other Suttas. In all of them there is the same exaggeration, the same dry humour, the same restrained art of the story-teller. It is impossible not to see that to the early tellers and hearers of these legends, always striking, often with a special beauty of their own, the unreality of the whole thing was just as evident, and was meant to be as evident, as it is now to us. They knew quite well that the lesson taught was the principal matter, the main point compared with which all others were quite subservient. And it made no difference that, for instance, the Great King of Glory was expressly identified with the Buddha in a former birth. They accepted it all; and entered none the less into the spirit of the legend as legend, because they enjoyed both the lesson and the manner of the telling of it.

   And so, I would submit, stands the case also with our present Sutta. The whole legend is obviously invented ad hoc. Its details are not meant to be taken seriously as

{1. Both Gâtaka and Sutta are translated in full in my 'Buddbist Suttas' (vol. xi of the S. B. E., pp. 238-289).}

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historical fact. The forced twist given to the meaning of the words vidhâ and parikkhâro is not serious. The words could not be used in the new sense assigned. What we have is a sort of pun, a play upon the words, a piece of dialectic smartness, delightful to the hearers then, and unfortunately quite impossible to be rendered adequately, in English prose, for readers now.

   And it is quite open to question whether this does not apply as much to the whole Sutta as to the legend of King Wide-realm. The Brahman Kûtadanta (pointed-tooth) is mentioned nowhere else, and is very likely meant to be rather the hero of a tale than an historical character. In that case we should have before us a novelette, an historical romance, in which the Very Reverend Sir Goldstick Sharptooth, lord of the manor of Khânumata,--cruel enough, no doubt, and very keen on being sure that his 'soul' should be as comfortable in the next world as he was, now, in this,--makes up his mind to secure that most desirable end by the murder of a number of his fellow creatures, in honour of a god, or as he would put it, by celebrating a sacrifice.

   In order to make certain that not one of the technical details--for to the accurate performance of all these the god was supposed to attach great weight--should be done wrong, the intending sacrificer is ironically represented as doing the very last thing any Brahman of position, under similar circumstances, would think of doing. He goes to the Samana Gotama for advice about the modes of the ritual to be performed at the sacrifice; and about the requisite utensils, the altar-furniture, to be used in making it.

   The Buddha's answer is to tell him a wonderful legend of a King Wide-realm, and of the sacrifice he offered--truly the most extraordinary sacrifice imaginable. All its marvellous details, each one settled, be it noted, on the advice of a Brahman, are described with a deliberate extravagance none the less delicious because of the evident earnestness of the moral to be inferred.

   The Brahman of our Sutta wants to know the three modes in which the ritual is to be performed. The three 'modes' are declared in the legend (§ 15) to be simply three conditions of mind, or rather one condition of mind at three different times, the harbouring of no regret, either before or during or after the sacrifice, at the expenditure involved. And the material accessories required, the altar-furniture, the priest's outfit, what is that? It is the hearty co-operation with the king of four divisions of his people, the nobles, the officials, the Brahmans, and the householders. That

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makes four articles of furniture. And eight personal qualifications of the king himself. That makes other eight. And four personal qualifications of his advising Brahman make up the total of the sixteen articles required. No living thing, either animal or vegetable, is injured. All the labour is voluntary. And all the world co-operates in adding its share to the largesse of food, on strict vegetarian principles, in which, alone, the sacrifice consists. It is offered on behalf, not only of the king himself, but of all the good. And the king desires to propitiate, not any god, but living men. And the muttering of mystic verses over each article used and over mangled and bleeding bodies of unhappy victims, verses on which all the magic efficacy of a sacrifice had been supposed to depend, is quietly ignored.

   It is all ironical, of course--just the very contrary, in every respect, of a typical Vedic sacrifice. And the evident unreality of the legend may be one explanation of the curious fact that the authors of the Gâtaka book (notwithstanding that King Wide-realm's Chaplain is actually identified in the Sutta with the Buddha himself in a previous birth) have not included this professedly Gâtaka story in their collection. This is the only case, so far discovered, in which a similar omission has been made.

   Having thus laughed the Brahman ideal of sacrifice out of court with the gentle irony of a sarcastic travesty, the author or authors of the Sutta go on to say what they think a sacrifice ought to be. Far from exalting King Wide-realm's procedure, they put his sacrifice at the very bottom of a long list of sacrifices each better than the other, and leading up to the sweetest and highest of all, which is the attainment of Arahatship.

   Here again, except in the last paragraph, there is nothing exclusively Buddhistic. That a sacrifice of the heart is better than a sacrifice of bullocks, the ethical more worthy than any physical sacrifice, is simply the sensible, rational, human view of the matter. The whole long history of the development of Indian thought, as carried on chiefly by Brahmans (however much it may have owed in the earliest period to the nobles and others), shows that they, the more enlightened and cultured of the Brahmans, were not only as fully alive to this truth as any Buddhist, but that they took it all along for granted. Even in the Vedas themselves there is already the germ of this view in the mental attitude as regards Aditi and Varuna. And in the pre-Buddhistic Khândogya, in the mystic identification of the sacrifice with man{1}, we find

{1. Khândogya Upanishad III, 16 and 17.}

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certain moral states placed on an equality with certain parts of the sacrificial procedure. And among these moral states, ahimsâ, the habit of causing no injury to any living thing, is especially mentioned. This comes very near to the Hebrew prophet's: 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice{1}.' The more characteristically Indian point of view is, no doubt, in the words of the old saying long afterwards taken up into the Mahâbhârata, that it is truth (not mercy) that outweighs a thousand sacrifices{2}. But there is a very great probability that the ahimsâ doctrine, foreshadowed in the Upanishad, and afterwards so extravagantly taken up by the Niganthas, the Gains of the Buddha's time, was also a part of the earlier Gain doctrine, and therefore not only in germ, but as a developed teaching, pre-Buddhistic. Though the Buddhists did not accept this extreme position, there would seem therefore to be no valid reason for doubting the accuracy of the Buddhist tradition that their view of sacrifice was based on a very ancient belief which was, in fact, common ground to the wise, whether inside or outside the ranks of the Brahmans.

   Our Sutta is, then, merely the oldest extant expression, in so thorough and uncompromising a way, of an ancient and widely held trend of opinion. On this question, as on the question of caste or social privileges, the early Buddhists took up, and pushed to its logical conclusions, a rational view held also by others. And on this question of sacrifice their party won. The Vedic sacrifices, of animals, had practically been given up when the long struggle between Brahmanism and Buddhism reached its close. Isolated instances of such sacrifices are known even down to the Muhammadan invasion. But the battle was really won by the Buddhists and their allies. And the combined ridicule and earnestness of our Sutta will have had its share in bringing about the victory.

   That they did win is a suggestive fact. How could they have done so if the Indians of that time had been, as is so often asserted of them by European writers, more deeply addicted to all manner of ritual than any other nation under heaven, more superstitious, more averse to change in religious ceremonial? There seems to me no reason to believe that they were very different, in these respects, from

{1. Hosea vi. 6; quoted Matt. ix. 13, and xii. 7. See also Micah vi. 6-8. Prov. xv. 8, and xxi. 13, are, of course, later.

2. Mahâbhârata I, 3095 nearly = XIII, 1544. Compare XIII, 6073.}

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Greeks or Romans of the same period. On the contrary there was a well marked lay feeling, a wide-spread antagonism to the priests, a real sense of humour, a strong fund of common sense. Above all there was then the most complete and unquestioned freedom of thought and expression in religious matters that the world had yet witnessed. To regard the Indian peoples through Brahman spectacles, to judge them from the tone prevalent in the Srauta and Grihya Sûtras, it would seem impossible that this victory could have been won. But it was won. And our views of Indian history must be modified accordingly.

   There is a curious expression in the stock phrase describing the learned Brahman, so often found in the Pitakas, which I have left untranslated in this Sutta, being uncertain as to the meaning in which it was used at the time when our Sutta was composed. It will be instructive, in more ways than one, to collect and consider the other passages in which the word occurs.

   Lokâyata is explained by Wilson as 'the system of atheistical philosophy taught by Kârvâka{1},' and by the Petersburg Dictionary as 'Materialism.' Now the description of the good Brahman as put, in the Buddhist Suttas, into the mouth of Brahmans theinselves{2}, mentions Lokâyata as one branch of his learning. The whole paragraph is complimentary. And though the exact connotation of one or two of the other terms is doubtful, they are all descriptive of just those things which a Brahman would have been rightly proud to be judged a master of. It is evident, therefore, that the Dictionary interpretations of the word are quite out of place in this connection.

   Yet they are each of them, at least for a later period, well authenticated. Kumârila Bhatta, in his Vârttika (verse 10), charges the Mîmâmsâ system with having been, for the most part, converted into a Lokâyata system, and claims for his own book the merit of bringing it back to theistic lines{3}. Now of course the Mîmâmsists would indignantly deny this. Kumârila, who seems to have been a good deal of a bigot, is here merely hurling at adversaries, who claimed to be as orthodox as himself, a term of abuse. But it is clear that he uses that term in the sense of 'atheistic.' The exact phrase

{1. He gives as his authority the Amara Kosa; but the Kosa merely mentions the word, in a list, without any explanation.

2. Anguttara I, 163, and other passages.

3. The passage is quoted in Muir's 'Sanskrit Texts,' III, 95.}

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would be nâstika, as opposed to his own âstika-patha: that is, the system or the man who says 'there is not,' an infidel. This is somewhat wider than atheist; it comes however, in Kumârila's mouth, to much the same thing.

   Sankarâkârya uses the word Lokâyata several times{1}, and always in the same specific sense as the view of those who look upon the soul as identical with the body, as existing only so long as the body exists, not continuing, after death, in a new condition and separate from the body. A very similar, if not indeed the very same view is also controverted in the Brahma-gâlla Sutta (above, p. 46); and is constantly referred to throughout the Pitakas under the stock phrase tam gîvam tam sarîram{2}. But it is never called Lokâyata in the Pitakas. It seems to be the view that there is a soul; but that it is diffused through the body, and dies with it; and is not a separate unity, within the body but not of it, which flies away from the body after death. It is not necessary to suppose that either Sankara or the Buddhists had in their minds any book setting forth a philosophy based on this single proposition, or any actual school using such a book as a manual. It may have been so. But the expressions used point rather to an opinion held by certain thinkers, in union with other opinions, and not expounded in any special treatise. Nor do either the Buddhists or Sankara pretend to set out that opinion in full. They are dealing with it only so far as is necessary to enforce their own contrary positions. And though 'materialist,' as a rough and ready translation of Sankara's Lokâyatika, gives a good idea, to a European reader, of the sort of feeling conveyed to Sankara's Indian readers, yet it is not quite exact. European 'materialists' (and one or two may be discovered by careful search) do not hold the view which Sankara describes to his Lokâyatikas.

   Buddhaghosa in our passage has: Lokâya tam vukkati vitanda-vâda-sattham,' the Lokâyata is a text-book of the Vitandas (Sophists){3}.' This does not help us much; but previously, p. 91, he explains Lokakkhâyikâ as follows: 'Foolish talk according to the Lokâyata, that is the Vitanda, such as: "By whom was this world created? By

{1. For instance in his commentary on the Brahma-Sûtra, I, 1, 2; II, 2, 2; III, 3, 53.

2. For instance in the Mahâli and Gâliya Suttas, both translated below.

3. Sum. I, 247. The Vitandas are quoted and refuted in the Attha Sâlinî, pp. 3, 90, 92, 241 (where the word is wrongly spelt).}

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such a one. A crow is white from the whiteness of its bones; cranes are red from the redness of their blood."'

   Other Pâli comments on the word are the Abhidhâna Padîpikâ (verse 112), which says simply, probably following Buddhaghosa: Vitanda-sattham viññeyyam yam tam lokâyatam. The date of this work is the middle of the twelfth century A.D. Much clearer is Aggavamsa in the Sadda-nîti, which is a generation older. He says{1}:

   Loko ti bâla-loko; ettha âyatanti ussâhanti vâyamanti vâdassâdenâti lokâyatam. Ayatati vâ tena loko, na yatati na îhati vâ, lokâyatam. Tam hi gandham nissâya sattâ puñña-kiriyâya kittam na uppâdenti. Lokâyatam nâma: sabbam ukkhittham sabbam anukkhittham seto kâko kâlo bako iminâ va iminâ va kâranenâti evam-âdi-niratthaka-karana-patisamyuttam titthiya-sattham, yam loke Vitanda-sattham vukkati, yam sandhâya Bodhisatto asamadhuro Vidhura-pandito:

   Na seve Lokâyatikam, n'etam puññâya vaddhanam ti âha.

   'Loko means the common world. Lokâyata means: "on that they âyatanti;" that is, they exert themselves about it, strive about it, through the pleasure they take in discussion. Or perhaps it means: "the world does not yatati by it;" that is, does not depend on it, move on by it. For living beings do not stir up their hearts to right-doing by reason of that book{2}. Now the Lokâyata is the book of the unbelievers (of the Titthiyas) full of such useless disputations as the following: "All is impure; all is not impure; the crow is white, the crane is black; and for this reason or for that"--the book known in the world as the Vitanda-sattha, of which the Bodisat, the incomparable leader, Vidhura the pandit, said:

   "Follow not the Lokâyata, that works not for progress in merit."'

{1. Quoted sub voce in Subhûti's 'Abhidhânappadîpikâ Sûki,' p. 310. According to the Sâsana Vamsa Dîpikâ (Dr. Mabel Bode's edition, p. 74), he lived at Arimaddana in Burma in 1127 A.D. See also Sâsana Vamsa Dîpo, verse 1238; Gandha Vamsa, pp. 63, 67; Forchammer, 'Jardine Prize Essay,' p. 34; J. P. T. S., 1882, p. 103.

2. With this attempt at derivation may be compared Nîlakantha on the passage quoted below from the Mahâbhârata (as given in B. R.), Loka evâyatante te lokayatikâ. Also Prof. Cowell's suggestion (Sarvad. S., p. 2) that Lokayâta may be analysed etymologically as 'prevalent in the world.' The exact meaning of âyata is really very doubtful."'}

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   The verse quoted--certainly a very old one--is in the Vidhûra Gâtaka{1}, and the commentator there says: 'This means: Follow not Lokâyata disputation, Vitanda chatter, concerned with useless matters which neither give paradise nor lead men on into the Path.'

   Sankara says: 'There is thus, according to them, no soul, separate from the body, and capable of going to the heavenly world or obtaining release{2}: The unknown author of the Gâtaka commentary, who certainly wrote however in the fifth century, gives the allied proposition as his own conclusion from the uselessness of their discussions, not as the opinion of the Lokâyatikas themselves. It would be an easy transition from the one expression to the other. And the difference is suggestive, especially in the light of other passages in both Sanskrit and Pâli books.

   For while the Mahâbhârata has precisely the same use of the word as the Pitakas, later works use it in a manner approximating more and more nearly to that of Sankara. The passage in the Mahâbhârata is at I, 2889 ( = Hari Vamsa 14O68), where, at the end of a list of the accomplishments of learned Brahmans, they are said to be 'masters of the Lokâyata. Being mentioned, as in our passage, at the end of the list, it is plain that this branch of learning is meant to be taken as of minor importance. But it is not yet considered unfavourably, much less opprobiously. And the Petersburg Dictionary, from which I take most of these references, points out that the word may possibly, in this passage, have some other meaning than 'Materialism.'

   The Râmâyana goes further. There the word is also in a list, but the Laukâyatikâ are blamed as 'clever in useless things{3}.' So in the Saddharma Pundarîka the good Mahâyânist does not serve or court or wait upon (among other low people) 'the Lokâyatikas who know by heart the Lokâyata mantras (mystic verses){4}.' The date of

{1. Fausböll's edition. VI, 286. No less than four bas reliefs, illustrating this Gâtaka, have been found at the Bharhut Tope. See my 'Buddhist Birth Stories.' p. cii. On the greater age of the verses, as compared with the prose, of the Gâtakas, see ibid. lxxviii.

2. Loc. cit. See Deussen, 'Vedânta-system,' 310; and Thibaut, 'Vedânta-Sutras,' II, 269.

3. Gorresio's edition, II, 109, 29. Both these passages from the epics are from later portions of them.

4. Chapter XIII, at the beginning. Burnouf (p. 168) reads tantras (instead of mantras), no doubt wrongly, and has a curious blunder in his note on the passage (p. 409). He says Lokâyata means in Pâli 'fabulous history, romance'; and quotes, as his authority, the passage given above from the Abhidhâna Padîpikâ, in which Lokâyatam is simply explained as vitanda-sattham. This last expression cannot possibly mean anything of that sort.}

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this may be a century or two after Christ. And in the Gain book, entitled the Bhagavatî, which Weber puts at about the same time, the Lokâyatikas occur in a similar list of blameworthy persons{1}.

   In the Milinda, which is probably somewhat earlier, the word is mentioned twice. One passage ascribes a knowledge of the Lokâyata (in a sentence expanded from the very clause in our Sutta) to the hero of the story, Nâgasena{2}. Here the Milinda is quite at the old standpoint. The other passage is in a parenthesis{3} in which the sub-hero, the king, is described as 'fond of wordy disputations, and in the habit of wrangling against the quibbles of Lokâyatas and Vitandas.' This may possibly be a gloss which has crept into the text. But in any case it is evidence that, at the time when it was written, the later view of the meaning of the word had become prevalent.

   In the long list of various sorts of hermits given in the Harsha Karita the Lokâyatikas come among others who would be classed by Vedântists as heretics{4}. We cannot, unfortunately, draw any certain conclusion as to whether or not there were actually any Lokâyatikas living in Bâna's time. In expanding previous descriptions of the concourse of hermits in the forest, he may be merely including in his list all the sorts of such people he had ever heard or read of.

   Lastly, the Lokâyata system is, in various works of the fourteenth century and later, appropriately fathered on Kârvâka, a mythical character in the Mahâbhârata, an ogre, who appears in the garb of a Brahman{5}. It is not certain whether this is due to the ingenuity of a friend or a foe. In either case, like the fathering of the later Sânkhya on the ancient sage Kapila; or the fathering of the collection of fables, made by Planudes in the fourteenth century A.D., upon Aesop the story-teller of the fifth century B.C., it has been eminently successful, has deceived many, and is still widely accepted.

   Pending the discovery of other texts, and especially of

{1. Weber, Ueber ein fragment der Bhagavatî, II, 248.

2. My Milinda, I, 7.

3. Ibid. I, 17.

4. Cowell's Translation, p. 236.

5. Madhusûdana Sarasvatî, Prabodhakandrodaya, Sarva-darsana-samgraha.}

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such as are not only the testimony of opponents, the best working hypothesis to explain the above facts seems to be that about 500 B.C. the word Lokâyata was used in a complimentary way as the name of a branch of Brahman learning, and probably meant Nature-lore--wise sayings, riddles, rhymes, and theories handed down by tradition as to cosmogony, the elements, the stars, the weather, scraps of astronomy, of elementary physics, even of anatomy, and knowledge of the nature of precious stones, and of birds and beasts and plants. To be a master of such lore was then considered by no means unbecoming to a learned Brahman, though it ranked, of course, below his other studies. At that time there was no school so called, and no special handbook of such knowledge. But portions of it trenched so closely upon, were so often useful as metaphor in discussing the higher and more especially priestly wisdom, that we find sayings that may well have belonged to it preserved in the pre-Buddhistic literature. Such passages, for instance, as Bri. Âr. Up. III, 8, 3, Khând. Up. IV, 17, 1, and VI, 2-7, on the worlds and on cosmogony; Khând. III. on the colour of the rays of the sun; Bri. Âr. Up. II, 1, 5-7, and III, 7, 3-7, on the elements; Ait. Âr. III, 2, 1, 4, and others, on the parts of the body; and many others of a similar kind on these and other subjects might be cited as examples.

   The amount then existing of such lore was too small to make a fair proficiency in it incompatible with other knowledge. As the amount of it grew larger, and several branches of natural science were regularly studied, a too exclusive acquaintance with Lokâyata became looked upon with disfavour. Even before the Christian era masters of the dark sayings, the mysteries, of such mundane lore were marked with sophists and casuists. This feeling is increasingly vouched for in the early centuries of our era. In the fifth century we hear of a book, presumably on the riddles and mysteries of the craft, as it is called 'a book of quibbles.' Various branches of mundane science had been by that time fairly well worked out. Lokâyata was still the name for the old Nature-lore, on the same level as folk-lore, and in contradistinction, not only to theosophy on the one hand, but to such science as there was on the other.

   In the first half of the eighth century Kumârila uses the word as a mere term of abuse, and in the sense of infidel, of his equally orthodox opponents, the Mîmâmsists. And shortly afterwards Sankara, in setting forth his theory of the soul, controverts a curious opinion which he ascribes to Lokâyatikas,--possibly wrongly, as the very same opinion

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was controverted ages before in the Pitakas, and not there called Lokâyata, though the word was in use in Pitaka times.

   Finally in the fourteenth century the great theologian Sâyana-Mâdhava has a longish chapter in which he ascribes to the Lokâyatikas the most extreme forms of the let-us-eat-and-drink-for-to-morrow-we-die view of life; of Pyrrhonism in philosophy, and of atheism in theology. The Lokâyata had no doubt, at that time, long ceased to exist. His very able description has all the appearance of being drawn from his own imagination; and is chiefly based on certain infidel doggrel verses which cannot possibly have formed a part of the Lokâyata studied by the Brahmans of old{1}. It is the ideal of what will happen to the man of some intellect, but morally so depraved that he will not accept the theosophist position.

   Throughout the whole story we have no evidence of any one who called himself a Lokâyatika, or his own knowledge Lokâyata. After the early use of the word in some such sense as Nature-lore, folk-lore, there is a tone of unreality over all the statements we have. And of the real existence of a school of thought, or of a system of philosophy that called itself by the name there is no trace. In the middle period the riddles and quibbles of the Nature-lorists are despised. In the last period the words Lokâyata, Lokâyatika, become mere hobby horses, pegs on which certain writers can hang the views that they impute to their adversaries, and give them, in doing so, an odious name.

{1. Sarva-darsana-samgraha, Chapter I, translated by Prof. Cowell in the version published in 1882.}

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