And the god Mara, mounting his elephant, which was a hundred and fifty leagues high, and had the name "Girded-with-mountains," caused a thousand arms to appear on his body, and with these he grasped a variety of weapons. Also in the remainder of that army, no two persons carried the same weapon; and diverse also in their appearance and countenances, the host swept on like a flood to overwhelm the Great Being. -from "The Attainment of Buddhaship" The preeminent American educator of the 19th century, CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926) believed that a sound liberal education could be achieved not through textbooks but by exploring firsthand the great books and great ideas of Western civilization. (Eliot knew a good education when he saw one: during his time as president of Harvard University, from 1869 till 1909, he transformed the school from a regional college to the preeminent educational institution in the United States.) In this 1910 collection-part of his 50-volume Harvard Classics, his dream library at the foundation of enlightened scholarship-Eliot gathers the great writings of the world's dominant religions. As the faithful read them, examine: . the letters of Paul to the Corinthians, from the Bible .
hymns of the Christian Church . the story of the Buddha . Buddhist doctrine on the ego, karma, purity, and the attainment of nirvana . the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita . and chapters from the Koran.