The word “religion”is most inappropriate to apply to Buddhism which is not a religion,but a moral philosophy, as I have shown later on. But by common usage the word has been applied to all groups of people who profess a special moral doctrine,and is so employed by statisticians. The Sinhalese Buddhists have never yet had any conception of what Europeans imply in the etymological construction of the Latin root of this term. In their cre*I there is no such thing as a “binding” in the Christian sense ” a submission to or merging of self in a Divine Being. Agama is their vernacular word to express their relation to Buddhism and the BUDDHA. It is pure Samskrt, and means “approach, or coming” ; and as “Buddha” is enlightenment, the compound word by which they indicate Buddhism ” Bud’a'hagama” would be properly rendered as “an approach or coming to enlightenment,” or possibly as a following of the Doctrine of S!KYAMUNI.
The missionaries,findingAgama ready to their hand, adopted it as the equivalent for ” religion” ; and Christianityis written by them Christiandgama, whereas it should be Christianibantfhana,for barujhana is the etymological equivalent for “religion”. The name Vibhajjavadt” one who analyses “is another name given to a Buddhist, and Adbayuraa”!is a third. With this explanation, I continue to employ under protest the familiar word when speaking of Buddhist philosophy, for the convenience of the ordinary reader.