Other technical terms which the Buddhists borrowed from the Brâhmans and the gradual growth of which we can watch in the Brâhmanas and Upanishads are Arahâ the Sk. Arhat (the worshipful) Samana ascetic the Sk. Sramana (the performer of penance) and even Buddha (prati-buddha sarvavid1 the awakened and omniscient)—all titles of honour given to the Buddha himself2. Other terms of the same kind which presuppose the existence of the Brahmanic literature in which they were first created matured and defined are Attâ life self the Sk. âtmâ breath life soul person; Nibbâna annihilation of human passion Sk. nirvâna. It has long been known that this word occurs in the Mahâbhârata as for instance XIV. 543 Vihâya sarvasankalpân buddhyâ sârîramânasân sanair nirvânam âpnoti nirindhana ivânalah ‘Leaving behind in thought all bodily and mental desires he slowly obtains Nirvâna like a fire without wood.’ But it was thought possible that the technical term Nirvâna might here and elsewhere have been borrowed from the Buddhists. That this was not the case we see first of all from passages in the Upanishads where the origin of the metaphor is quite clear as when a lamp gone out is called nirvâna. Secondly the word actually occurs in the Maitreyopanishad probably the simplest text of the Maitrâyana-brâhmana-upanishad and there it means the absorption in the highest being beyond which there is neither being nor not-being (S. B. E. vol. xv. p. xlvi. l 19). As this Upanishad is an old one it follows that the term Nirvâna like nirvriti was borrowed by the Bauddhas from the Brâhmanas. Nirutti grammar is the Sk. nirukti etymology the Vedânga the Nirukta. In the sense of etymology it occurs Khând. Up. VIII. 3 3. Pabbagita a Buddhist monk; the Sk. pravragita gone away from home.
Technical Terms Borrowed by the Buddhists.
Another class of words occurring in the Northern Buddhist texts shows still more clearly the posteriority of Buddhism to Brahmanism. It was Childers who pointed out first that when the Northern Buddhists tried to render certain Buddhist terms in their own Sanskrit they had so completely forgotten the true original Sanskrit form that they invented a new and mistaken Sanskrit rendering. Thus the Pâli uposatho the Buddhist fast-day is clearly the Sanskrit upavasatha the day preceding certain sacrifices. Childers says that upavasatha does not belong to classical Sanskrit. We know now that it occurs frequently in the Brâhmanas (Satap. Br. I. 1 1 7). But Northern Buddhists not knowing the etymology of the word (though they constantly use upavâsa fasting) and having forgotten its true form upavasatha rendered the Pâli uposatha by uposhadha a word without any authority or etymology. Other words belonging to this class are iddhipâdo pâtimokkho upâdiseso patisambhida phâsu opapâtiko; see Childers s.v. opapâtiko.
That marut the name of the storm-gods in the Veda should in Pâli have become maru a general name of devas or gods is likewise an indication both of the continuity between Buddhism and Brahmanism and of the distance which divides the two.
From the book: