' The first question considered at a pro re nata meeting is the action of the moderator in calling the meeting.
About the same time Francesco Maurolico, or Maurolycus, the eminent mathematician of Messina, in his Theore y nata de Lumine et Umbra, written in 1521, fully investigated the optical problems connected with vision and the passage of rays of light through small apertures with and without lenses, and made great advances in this direction over his predecessors.
The latter have only as yet been traced, and that doubtfully, as far back as the 5th century after Christ; the former are almost certainly the same as the Niganthas, who are referred to in numerous passages of the Buddhist Pali Pitakas, and must therefore be at least as old as the 6th century B.C. In many of these passages the Niganthas are mentioned as contemporaneous with the Buddha; and details enough are given concerning their leader Nigantha Nata-putta (that is, the Nigantha of the Jnatrika clan) to enable us to identify him, without any doubt, as the same person as the Vaddhamana Maha-vira of the Jain books.
Unfortunately the account of the teachings of Nigantha Nata-putta given in the Buddhist scriptures are, like those of the Buddha's teachings given in the Brahmanical literature, very meagre.
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