|BY MINGUN SAYADAW
Chronicle of Twenty-four Buddhas
Edited and Translated by
Volume One, Part Two
|1||Buddha Dipankara||15||Buddha Dhammadassi|
|2||Buddha Kondanna||16||Buddha Siddhattha|
|3||Buddha Mangala||17||Buddha Tissa|
|4||Buddha Sumana||18||Buddha Phussa|
|5||Buddha Revata||19||Buddha Vipassi|
|6||Buddha Sobhita||20||Buddha Sikhi|
|7||Buddha Anomadassi||21||Buddha Vessabhu|
|8||Buddha Paduma||22||Buddha Kakusandha|
|9||Buddha Narada||23||Buddha Konagamana|
|10||Buddha Padumuttara||24||Buddha Kassapa|
(The author discusses briefly the Myanma word Buddhavan derived from the Pali Buddhavamsa. Then he goes on to say as follows:) The definition of Buddhavamsa is this: ito hettha kappasatasahassadhikesu catusu asankhyeyyesu uppannanam pancavisatiya Buddhanam uppannakappadi paricchedavasena pavenivittharakatha Buddhavamso nama.
From this definition the meaning of Buddhavamsa should be understood as "a description and exposition of the lineage of the twenty-five Buddhas, who had come into being over the past four asankheyya and one hundred thousand aeons, with their thirty-two particulars such as the crores concerned, their names, clans, families. is Buddhavamsa
Though the chronicle of all these Buddhas with their particulars such as the aeons, etc. is called Buddhavamsa, when each individual or them is spoken of, the same term Buddhavamsa is applicable to the life-story of each Buddha. (For example) though the word Sangha is a term for the whole Order or Noble Ones, each and every one of them can also be called Sangha.
Therefore it should be understood that in this section called Dipankara Buddhavamsa, the life story (with the aeon to which he belonged, etc.) of Buddha Dipankara will be dealt with.
In the Buddhavamsa Text, the account of Buddha Dipankara does not contain in detail the events that took place at the time of his conception and birth. Only this much is mentioned about him in the Sumedhakatha, Story of Sumedha.
[The Bodhisatta Sumedha the Hermit says:] "When I have thus become accomplished in asceticism [Jhanas and Abhinnas] there appeared Buddha Dipankara, Lord of the whole world.
"Being totally absorbed in the bliss of Jhana, I have not seen the wondrous phenomena that took place on the four occasions of his conception, birth, Enlightenment and delivery of the First Sermon."
Thus the Buddhavamsa Text refers only briefly to the appearance of Buddha Dipankara in the story of Sumeda. It is only in the Buddhavamsa Cornmentary that we find the full story of Buddha Dipankara with details of events in serial order starting from the episode of his rebirth in the abode of Tusita Gods.
Four asankhyeyya and one hundred thousand aeons before the present Bhadda Kappa1there appeared in one Saramanda Kappa the three Buddhas -- Tanhankara, Medhankara and Saranankara -- one arter another. After that came an Antara Kappa, an aeon of decrease with the human life-span of one hundred thousand years. Then in the city of Rammavati reigned King Sudeva. During his reign Buddhisatta Dipankara was enjoying life in the celestial abode of Tusita after his fulfilment of the Perfections. Deities from the ten-thousand world-system approached him with a request, in compliance with which the Bodhisatta took conception in the womb of Sumedha, Queen of Sudeva, on the full-moon day of Asalha [June-July] when the moon was in conjunction with the planet of Uttarasalha. Having been tended upon by a great retinue and after ten full months the Bodhisatta was born.
At the moments of his conception and birth there appeared thirty-two portentous phenomena such as trembling of the thousand world systems, etc.
(These thirty-two phenomena usually take place on the four occasions of every Bodhisatta's conception, birth, Enlightenment and teaching of the First Sermon. These phenomena common to all
Bodhisattas will be described when we come to the Chronicle of Buddha Gotama. In the Buddhavamsa Commentary, however, these thirty-two phenomena and their subsequent happenings are elaborately told in the chapter on Bodhisatta Dipankara's conception.)
Thereafter Prince Dipankara was bruught up in luxury, and when he came of age, he ascended the throne.
As a king he lived in three golden palaces -- Hamsa Palace (Hamsa Pasada), Heron Palace (Konca Pasada) and Peacock Palace (Mayura Pasada) - by rotation for ten thousand years. There were about three hundred thousand well ornamented female attendants. His Chief Consort was Paduma and his son Prince Usabhakkhandha.
Enjoying a divine-like kingly life in the three palaces, Prince Dipankara went out to the royal garden to enjoy himself; on the way saw an old man, a sick man and a dead man who were Deva messengers. Overcome by religious emotion (samvega) he returned from the garden and entered the city. When he wanted to go out again to the garden for the fourth time, he summoned his elephant-keeper and said: "Today I will visit the royal garden for sightseeing. Get the elephants ready." "Very well, Your Majesty," said the royal elephant-keeper and had eighty-four thousand elephants prepared. Dressed in a costume offered by Deva Vissakamma and accompanied by eighty-four thousand elephants and a large army of troops, he entered the garden, riding the state elephant. Having descended from the elephant's back he roamed sightseeing all over the garden, sat on a cool and pleasant stone slab and aspired to go forth from the world. Then Maha Brahma, an Arahat of Suddhavasa abode, brought the eight requisites and appeared at a place where he could be seen. Seeing the eight requisites the Bodhisatta asked what they were; when told that they were the paraphernalia of a monk, he took off his royal attire and handed it over to the royal treasurer, cut of his hair with his sword and threw it up into the sky.
Then Sakka, king of Devas took the hair knot in a golden receptacle and enshrined it in a cetiya called Makuta; it is three yojanas in size and built of emerald stones on Mount Meru.
The Bodhisatta then put on the robes offered by the Brahma and threw up into the sky his old raiment which was received and enshrined by the Bramha in a cetiya (called Dussa), twelve yojanas in size, in the Suddhavasa Brahma abode.
A crore of people who had heard of the prince's donning of the robe followed his example and became monks themselves.
Together with these monks who had thus followed in his footsteps, Bodhisatta Dipankara practised austerity called dukkaracariya. On the full-moon clay of Vesakha on which he was to become a Buddha. He entered a town for alms-food. It was the day that townsfolk happened to be making pure milk-food for propitiating gods; nevertheless, the food was offered to the Bodhisatta and his one crore of followers.
Having taken the milk-food, the Bodhisatta spent the daytime in sala grove of the neighbourhood and in the evening, leaving behind all his followers, headed alone for the great Bodhi Tree.
Enlightenment and Teaching of the Dhammacakka Discourse
On the way the Bodhisatta accepted eight handfuls of grass from an heretic, Sunanda by name, and no sooner had he spread out the grass at the foot of the Bodhi tree than the Aparajita Pallanka, Unconquered Seat," fifty-three cubits in size, appeared.
Sitting cross-legged on the "Unconquered Seat", under the Bodhi tree (pipphala, ) the Bodhisatta put forth energy of four levels2 and overcame Mara and his army; he gained Pubbenivasa Nana (Wisdom that enables one to know the series of previous existences) in the first watch of the night; Dibbacakkhu Nana (Wisdom that helps one see even the most subtle form from a far distance like a divine eye) in the middle watch; and contemplated in the last watch the doctrine of Paticcasamuppada, "Dependent Origination", in the forward order, revolving of the wheel of samsara and in the backward order, stopping of it; thereafter he entered upon the Fourth Jhana through Anapana Meditation; emerging from it and reflecting on the five aggregates, he discerned the fifty characteristics concerning rise and fall of these aggregates and developed Vipassana Insight, up to the stage of Gotrabhu Nana3 . As soon as the sun rose, this Vipassana development led to the penetration of the Path and Fruition of Arahatship, of all the attributes of a Buddha and to the incomparable Buddhahood which is supreme in the three worlds.
After attaining Buddhahood the Buddha passed seven days at each of the seven sites around the Bodhi Tree enjoying the bliss of Fruition (Phala-samapatti). Having granted the Brahma' s request for his teaching, the Buddha delivered the First Sermon, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, at Sunandarama and one hundred crores of humans, Devas and Brahmas realized the Four Truths.
At the time of his Enlightenment and that of his teaching the Dhammacakkappavatta Sutta, thirty-two portentous phenomena occurred.
These phenomena (on the four occasions) when Bodhisatta Dipankara was conceived, born, attained Buddhahood and taught the First Sermon occured unknown or unseen by Sumedha the Hermit as he was absorbed in the bliss of Jhanas. (This has been stated above.)
The Buddha's journey
After teaching the First Sermon; Buddha Dipankara set out on a journey for the benefit of humans, Devas and Brahmas; while staying at Sudassana Monastery in Rammavati at the invitation of the citizens, the Buddha went out to accept the alms-food offered by them; while he was partaking of the food there took place a violent earthquake as a result of Sumedha's contemplation of the Perfections; the people present on that occasion were frightened and asked the Buddha about the cause of the earthquake; on hearing from the Buddha that there was nothing to fear as the cause was Sumedha's contemplation of the Paramis they visited and acclaimed him, who thereafter entered the forest. All this has been told in the story of Sumedha. What remains to be told is the following:
When the citizens of Rammavati had finished their offering of alms-food to Buddha Dipankara and his four hundred thousand bhikkhus, they paid obeisance to the Buddha with flowers, scents, etc. and assembled to listen to his sermon.
Dipankara Buddha then addressed the assembly:
With this discourse given to the people the Buddha established some of them in the Three Refuges, some in the Five Precepts, some in the Sotapatti-phala (Fruition of the 'Stream-Winner'), in the Sakadagamiphala (Fruition of the 'once Returner' in the Anagami phala (Frution of the non-Returner) . Some in the Arahatta-phala (Frution of Arahatship). Some in the threefold knowledge, in the Sixfold Higher Knowledge, or in the eight attainments4; the Buddha then left the city of Rammavati and entered Sudassana Monastery.
Three occasions of the Buddha's teaching
Having spent forty-nine days in the neighbourhood of the Bodhi Tree after his Enlightenment, Buddha Dipankara delivered the First Sermon of Dhammacakka at Sunandarama at the request of Maha Brahma and administered the Dhamma, Elixir of Immortality to one hundred crores of Devas and men.
(This was the first Dhammabhisamaya.)
Next, knowing that his son Prince Usabhakkhandha had become intellectually mature, Buddha Dipankara gave a sermon and administered the Dhamma, Elixir of Immortality, to ninety crores of Devas and men headed by the prince (just like our Buddha taught his son Rahula the Cula Rahulovada Sutta that led him to Fruition of Arahatship).
(This is the second Dhammabhisamaya.)
Finally, after defeating the heretics near the sirisa tree at the city-gate of Rammavati and displaying the Twin Miracle of water an fire the Buddha taught the Abhidhamma, sitting on the stone slab of Pandukambala at the foot of parichattaka tree in Tavatimsa Abode, and administered the Dhamma, Elixir of Immortality, to ninety crores of Devas and men headed by the Deva who in his previous existence had been the Buddha's mother Sumedha Devi.
(This is the third Dhammabhisamya.)
Three occasions of the Disciples' meeting
There were three occasions of meeting of Buddha Dipankara's Disciples, one of them being Sunandarama where Arahats numbering about one hundred thousand crores from all regions specially met for the first time.
(This was the first sannipata.)
Next, the Disciples' meeting took place on Mount Nirada. Once while wandering from place to place with four hundred thousand bhikkhus, Buddha Dipankara arrived at the delightful Mount Narada which was full of marvellous features.
The mountain was occupied by a divine yakkha named Naradeva and people brought annually even human beings as sacrificial offenng in this honour.
Seeing that the people were endowed with the merits of their past deeds to rely upon, the Buddha ascended the mountain alone leaving behind his bhikkhus. Thereupon the yakkha became furious and caused the trembling of the mountain to scare the Buddha away. On seeing the Buddha serene and undisturbed although he had used all his might to frighten the Buddha, it occurred to him thus: "Ths great monk is indeed wonderful! Powerful indeed is he! The evil consequences of what I have done will come back to me. There is no refuge for me other than this great monk. Like a man who slips and falls onto the ground has to rely on the same ground to get up, I will now take refuge in this very monk."
With this thought he bowed before the Buddha touching with his head the Buddha's feet, the soles of which were adorned with one hundred and eight signs; he also begged the Buddha's pardon and took refuge in him. Then the Buddha gave him Danakatha, Silakatha, etc. in serial order at the end of which Naradeva and his retinue of ten thousand yakkhas were established in Sotapattiphala.
On the day Naradeva thus became a Sotapanna, people from all over Jambudipa brought a man from each village to make sacrificial offering to the yakkha. They also brought with them large quantities of sesamum, rice, beans of various kinds, butter, ghee, honey, molasses, etc. Naradeva handed back all these food-stuffs to the people and entrusted the men, originally meant for sacrifice, to the Buddha.
Then the Buddha ordained these men by the "Ehi bhikkhu" formula and helped them all achieve Arahatship within seven days: on the full-moon day of Magha (January-February), staying in the middle of one hundred crores of Arahats, the Buddha gave instructions of Patimokkha at the Disciples' meeting of four features.
An "Ehi bhikkhu' monk does not need to seek the bowl, robes, etc. to become a recluse; on being invited by the Buddha "Come, O monk", his appearance of a lay man vanishes, and he assumnes the appearance of a monk of sixty years' standing in the Order.
The four features of a Disciples' meeting are:
The above-mentioned story of the divine yakkha Naradeva comes from the Buddhavamsa Commentary
In the Buddhavamsa Text, however, just this simple narration is given: "Again, when Buddha Dipankara had gone into quietude on the top of Narada Mountain, there gathered one hundred crores of Arahats who were free from defilements."
(This was the second sannipata.)
Once Buddha Dipankara observed vassa (rains retreat) on Mount Sudassana. When the vassa was over, people of Jambudipa came to the mountain to celebrate their annual mountain-top festival. They then happened to encounter the Buddha, listened to his sermon and, were so delighted with it that they became monks. When the Buddha taught them again on the Maha Pavarana Day (the full moon of Assayuja (September-October) the newcomers won Arahatship through the stages of Vipassana Insight and of the Path as a result of their contemplation of conditioned things in the three planes of existence. The Buddha held Pavarana ceremony5 with ninety thousand crores of Arahats.
(This was the third sannipata.)
The ordinary sermons given by Buddha Dipankara led to realization of the Four Truths (attainment of Liberation) by thousands of beings, by countless individuals.
At that time, the thoroughly purified Teaching of the Buddha spread far and wide; it was understood by innumerable beings -- humans, Devas and Brahmas; it was full and complete with exhortation on noble Sila and such virtues.
Buddha Dipankara, the Knower of the Three Realms, was always attended upon by four hundred thousand Arahat-Disciples, who have immensely powerful with the sixfold Abhinna.
During the Dispensation of Buddha Dipankara, those who died as learners (sekkhas) while trying for Arahatship in vain become the scorn of all.
The teaching of Buddha Dipankara spread throughout the whole world and remained glorious for ever with Arahats who had extirpated their foe, namely defilements, and who were not disturbed by various sense-objects and thus free of impurities and asavas.
Particulars of Buddha Dipankara
Buddha Dipankara's birth place was the city of Rammavati.
His father was King Sudeva and his mother Queen Sumedha.
His two Chief Disciples were Sumangala Thera and Tissa Thera.
His attendant was Sagata Thera.
His two female Chief Disciples were Nanda Theri and Sunanda Theri His Bodhi Tree was a pipphala tree.
His male supporters were Tapussa and Bhallika. His female supporters were Sirima and Sona.
His height was eighty cubits. He was a splendour like a pillar of blazing light and a great sala tree in full bloom.
(The advantage of giving these particulars is this: Had they not been given, he might have been mistaken for a Deva, Mara, a demon, or a Brahma. One could think, it is not strange at all that the wonderful events should occur to such a divine being. This would have led to the wrong notion that it was not worthwhile to listen to his Teaching. Then there would have been no possibility of realization of the Truth (attainment of Liberation). On the other hand, the particulars would give rise to the right belief that "Powerful thus is indeed a human being." With this belief beings would listen to his Teaching and could understand the Truth (or could attain Liberation). Hence such details.)
Buddha Dipankara's rays spread by themselves (i.e. without his exercising of power) to all the directions reaching twelve yojanas. His life-span was one hundred thousand years.
(This much is given in the Pali Text.)
There are also some more particulars in the Commentaries which are not contained in the Text but which, the Commentaries state, much be told.
While leading a lay man's life, Buddha Dipankara had three palaces: Hamsa, Konca, and Mayura.
He had three hundred thousand female attendants. His Chief Consort was Paduma Devi, his son Usabhakkhandha. The duration of his reign was ten thousand years.
When he renounced the world he went forth on an elephant. When he became Buddha he lived at Nandarama (Nanda Park).
Living throughout such a long period, Buddha Dipankara saved large numbers of beings (from suffering).
Having made the three divisions of the True Dhamma such as Learning (Pariyatti), Practice (Patipatti) and Penetration (Pativedha) shine forth throughout the world, and having liberated beings Buddha Dipankara and his Disciples realized flnal Peace the way a mass of fire went out after blazing with bright flames.
Contemplation on impermanence, etc.(samvega)
The glory of that Buddha Dipankara, his assemblage of four hundred thousand Arahats, etc. who were all his Disciples, the signs on both his feet - all had ceased to exist. Impermanent are all conditioned things! They are indeed unsubstantial!
Erection of a cetiya
In this way Buddha Dipankara who had penetrated all the Four Noble Truths without exception attained Pannibbana at Nandarama Park. In the same Park was erected a cetiya, thirty yojanas in height and dedicated to Buddha Dipankara. It was of powdered red orpiment mixed with oil and butter, and in it were enshrined a Buddha Dipankara's relics which were in an indestructible and undispersed mass, a natural phenomenon common to all long-lived Buddhas. People of Jambudipa came together and completed the cetiya with decorations of seven kinds of gems.
Here ends Dipankara Buddhavamsa.
1. Bhadda Kappa: see p 12, and for kappa in general, see pp 4 ff. Vol 1, Part 1, Anudipani.
2. Energy of four levels: the levels where one would be reduced to (i) skin, (ii) sinews, (iii) bones and (iv) where ones flesh and blood would dry up. See also Vol 1, Part 1, Anudrpani, pp 238-239.
3. Gotrabhu Nana: the wisdom that helps one cut off the heritages of kama- consciousness and evolve the lineage of the Rupa-class of exalted consciousness.
4. Eight attainments: eight samapatti-attainments of four Rupa Jhanas and Arupa Jhanas.
5. Formal ceremony concluding the rains-retreat in which each bhikkhu invites criticism from his brethren in respect of what has been seen, heard or suspected about his conduct.
After Buddha Vessabhu's attainment of Parinibbana, when the aeon in which he appeared had come to an end, twenty-nine sunna kappas, aeons of no Buddhas, elapsed and there emerged the present Bhadda-kappa of five Buddhas. In this kappa had appeared four Buddhas - Kakusandha, Konagamana, Kassapa and Gotama. The Buddha yet to come definitely is Metteyya.
The chronicle of Buddha Kakusandha, the first of these five Buddhas, is as follows. The Bhadda-kappa comprises sixty-four antara-kappas; (in the eighth antara-kappa according to the Maha Rajavamsa or in the first antara-kappa according to the Hmannan Rajavamsa,) when the human life-span decreased from asankhyeyya to forty thousand years, Kakusandha Bodhisatta, on complete fulfilment of the Perfections, was reborn in Tusita. Having complied with the request made by Devas and Brahmas for becoming a Buddha he descended to the human world and was conceived in the womb of a Brahmin woman, Visakha by name, wife of the Purohita Aggidatta who was advisor to King Khemankara of the city of Khemavati. When ten months had elapsed the Bodhisatta was born in Khemavati Park.
As has been mentioned above the series of Buddhas from Dipankara down to Vessabhu belonged to royal families, but Kakusandha Buddha was born in a Brahmin family.
In the society which is composed of four classes of people: aristocrats, brahmins, traders and lowly ones, never is a Buddha conceived in his final existence in the womb of a woman of the latter two classes.
As for aristocrats and Brahmins, sometimes aristocrats enjoy superiority and at other times brahmins do. At a time when people show the highest honour to aristocrats, Bodhisattas are born in their class, for they are considered the best. At other times when people show the greatest honour to the Brahmins, Bodhisattas are born in their families, for they are then supposed to be the foremost.
In this way Buddhas hailed only from aristocratic and brahmanical families; since recognition of the former as the most superior is more frequent, Buddhas are generally aristocrats by birth; and because it is only sometimes that Brahmins gain superiority, Buddhas of Brahmanical birth are fewer. Thus the greater number of aristocratic Buddhas and the smaller number of Brahmin Buddhas should be understood.
Royal household life
When the youthful Bodhisatta Kakusandha came of age, he lived in three mansions, namely, Kama, Kamavanna and Kimasuddhi, being entertained and served by his brahmin wife, Rocini by name, who had thirty thousand brahmin maids, and enjoying a divine-like household life for four thousand years.
When he had seen the four omens and when Rocini had given birth to a son named Uttara, Brahmin Kakusandha renounced the world riding a chariot drawn by a thoroughbred and became a recluse. Following his example forty-thousand men became recluses themselves.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With those forty thousand recluses, Bodhisatta Kakusandha practised dukkaracariya for eight months. On the full moon of Vesakha, the day he would become a Buddha, he partook of the milk-rice offered by the daughter of a Brahmin, Vajirinda, of the market-town of Vajirinda and spent the daytime in the local acacia grove. In the evening he went alone to the Maha Bodhi and accepted on the way eight handfuls of grass from Subhadda, a watchman of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the sirisa Maha Bodhi Tree (which was as big and fair as the aforesaid patali Maha Bodhi) measuring twenty-six cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallanka he concentrated his energy of four levels and attained Buddhahood the way mentioned previously.
Three occasions of the
After his attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Kakusandha stayed in the neighbourhood of the sirisa Maha Bodhi Tree forty-nine days. Having accepted with the request made by the Brahma for teaching he contemplated as to whom he should teach first and saw his companions in renunciation and went to their residence, Isipatana Deer Park, near the town of Makila; when in their midst he delivered the Dhammacakka sermon as previous Buddhas had done numerous Devas and Brahmas came to listen to it respectfully. At that time forty thousand crores of Devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammabhisamaya.)
At a later time Buddha Kakusandha displayed the Twin Miracle near a sala tree close to the city-gate of Kannakujja and taught Dhamma; thirty-thousand crores of Devas and humans penetrated the Four Noble Truths and gained Emancipation.
(This was the second Dhammabhisamaya.)
Still at a later time another Dhammabhisamaya took place in the following manner. At a Deva shrine not too far away from the town of Khemavati lived a divine ogre named Naradeva. At the time of propitiation he received in his visible frame honour done to him by people; he was, however, in the habit of catching human beings who through a difficult road approached a big pond in the middle of a huge forest to fetch various species of lotus. If there were no people there he went back to his great forest-abode and caught those who happened to be there and devoured them.
In fact, the road through the forest was notorious for its difficult terrain. At one time, at both ends of the forest, people were discussing among themselves how to get through the wilderness. At that time, after emerging from his Maha Karunasamapatti early in the morning Buddha Kakusandha surveyed the world and saw that ogre Naradeva and those people in his vision of wisdom; so he went through space and, while the people were looking up, displayed various forms of miracle; then he descended into Naradeva's mansion and took a seat on the ogre's splendid couch.
Naradeva became delighted the moment he saw the Buddha coming on his aerial journey and emitting rays of six colours from his body, for he thought to himself: "The Buddha is coming here out of compassion for me." With his attendant ogres he went to the Himalayas and brought back aquatic and terrestrial flowers of various hues and scents with which he honoured the Buddha; singing in praise of him who was remaining on the couch, Naradeva stood with his clasped hands touching his forehead in salutation.
On seeing the Buddha's miracles, the people's minds became serene and they all came to the Buddha and, encircling him paid obeisance to him. By explaining to the ogre how wholesome deeds are related to wholesome results, Buddha Kakusandha made the ogre inspired and by giving a talk on abodes of intense suffering, he made him frightened; thereafter the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths. At that time countless Devas and humans penetrated the Truths and gained Emancipation.
(This was the third Dhammabhisamaya.)
Single meeting of the Disciples (sannipata)
There was only one meeting of Buddha Kakusandha's Disciples. And it took place like this. In the Isipatana Deer Park near the city of Kannakujja on the full moon of Magha, amidst forty thousand Arahats who had been his companions in renunciation. Kakusandha Buddha recited the Ovada Patimokkha.
Future Buddha Gotama as King Khema received prophecy from Buddha Kakusandha
Meanwhile our Future Buddha Gotama was King Khema; having made grand offering of bowls and robes to the Sangha headed by the Buddha and also having offered them such medicinal materials as minerals for preparing eye-ointment etc. and herbs including liquorice among others; he became so immensely pleased with the Dhamma taught by the Buddha that he renounced the world and became a monk in the Buddha's presence. With reference to him, the Buddha prophesied: "This monk Khema will indeed become a Buddha named Gotama in this very Bhadda Kappa."
Having heard the Buddha's prophecy, the Bodhisatta Khema became overjoyed and determined to fulfil the ten Perfections even more energetically.
Particulars or Buddha Kakusandha
Buddha Kakusandha's birthplace was Khemavati City; his father was Brahmin Aggidatta, Purohita to King Khemankara, and his mother Visakha, a brahmin lady.
He lived a household life for four thousand years; his three palaces were Kama, Kamavanna and Kamasuddhi.
His wife was Rocini, a Brahmin lady, who had thirty thousand attendants; his son was Uttara.
The vehicle he used in renunciation after seeing the four omens was a chariot drawn by a thoroughbred; he practised dukkaracariya for eight months.
His two Chief Disciples were Vidhura Thera and Sanjiva Thera; his attendant was Buddhija Thera.
His two female Chief Disciples were Sama Theri and Campa Theri; his Bodhi Tree was a sirisa.
His noble supporters were the wealthy men Accuta and Sumana; his noble female supporters were Nanda Upasika and Sunanda Upasika.
Buddha Kakusandha's height was forty cubits; the rays from his body spread around up to ten yojanas.
The human life-span in his time was forty thousand years; he lived for four-fifths of the life-span, rescuing such beings as humans, Devas and Brahmas from samsaric waters to place them on Nibbanic shores.
In the world of humans and Devas he opened the 'shop of Dhamma' for the virtuous, male and female alike, and bravely roared a lion's roar: " am an Omniscient Buddha indeed; The defilements and mental intoxicants with their latent tendencies have all been rooted out from me." After that, with his disciples of the Sangha Buddha Kakusandha attained Parinibbana and became extinct.
The Buddha who was endowed with a voice of eight qualities' voice such as clearness, sweetness, legibilty, pleasantness, firmness, fullness, depth and echo and his two Chief and other Disciples who were possessed of morality that was unbreached, untorn, unmottled free at all times - they had all disappeared. Unsubstantial and futile indeed are all conditioned things!
In this manner Buddha Kakusandha attained Parinibbana in Khema Park. In that very Park, as has been said before, a cetiya was erected over the relics of Buddha Kakusandha; it was exactly one yojana high.
Here ends Kakusandha Buddhavamsa.
After Buddha Kakusandhas attainment of Parinibbana, in the present Bhadda Kappa, the life-span of human beings gradually decreased from forty thousand years to ten years and increased up to asankhyeyya. When it reached thirty thousand years on its next decline, Bodhisatta Konagamana, on his complete fulfilment of the Perfections was reborn in Tusita. Having complied with the request made by Devas and Brahmas for becoming a Buddha, he descended to the human world and was conceived in the womb of a Brahmin lady named Uttara, wife of Yannadatta Brahmin, in the city of Sobhavati. When ten months had elapsed he was born in Subhavati Park.
At the time of the boy's birth, there fell a heavy shower of gold over the whole of Jambudipa and taking the significance of this event, "coming down of gold from the sky", framed readers of omens and his relatives named him Kanakagamana (Kanaka means 'gold', agamana 'coming'; hence Kanakagamana "the boy for whom gold has come (down)." Owing to its antiquity, the original name Kanakagamana has taken the corrupt farm of Konagamana. Or by means of derivation, the first syllable ka is changed into ko, na into na and the final ka elided.
Royal household life
When the boy Konagamana came of age, he lived in three palatial mansions of Tusita, Santusita and Santuttha, being entertained and served by his wife Rucigatta, a Brahmin lady, and her host of sixteen thousand Brahmin women and enjoying a divine- like household life for three thousand years.
When Konangamana Brahmin had seen the four omens while living a household life and when his wife Rucigatta had given birth to a son named Satthavaha, he renounced the world, riding an elephant. Thirty thousand men, following his example, also renounced the world.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With his thirty thousand recluses Konagamana practised dukkaracariya; on the full moan of Vesakha, the day on which be would become a Buddha, he partook of the milk-rice offered by Aggisona, daughter of Aggisona, and spent the daytime in the local grove of acacia. In the evening he went alone to the Mahabodhi and on the way accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Jatatinduka, a watchman of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the (udumbara ) Maha Bodhi Tree there arose the Aparajjita Pallanka measuring twenty cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallahka he concentrated his energy of four levels and, as has been said previously, attained Buddhahood.
Three occasions of the
After his attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Konagamana stayed in the neighborhood of the Maha Bodhi Tree for forty nine days. Having accepted the Brahmas request for his teaching he contemplated as to whom he should teach first, and saw the thirty thousand recluses who were his companions in renunciation and immediately went through space to their residence, Isipatana Deer Park, near the city of Sudassana. Staying in the middle of those recluses, when he delivered the Dhammacakka sermon which was taught traditionally by previous Buddhas, several Devas and Brahmas came to listen. At that time thirty thousand crores of Devas and men attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammabhisamaya.)
At a later time when Buddha Konagamana displayed the Twin Miracle of water and fire near the sala tree close to the city-gate of Sundara, and eradicated the wrong views and taught Dhamma, twenty thousand crores of Devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition -
(This was the second Dhammabhisamaya.)
After displaying the Twin Miracle when Buddha Konagamana went up to Tavatimsa and staying on the stone-slab placed at the foot of the paricchattaka tree and taught the seven books of Abhidhamma to Devas and Brahmas who had assembled there from the ten- thousand world-system. At that time ten thousand crores of them attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammabhisamaya.)
Single occasion of the Disciples' meeting(sannipata)
The only meeting of Buddha Konagamana's Disciples took place like this. When staying in a park named Surindadeva near the city of Sundaravati, the Buddha taught Dhamma to Princes Bhiyyosa and Uttara who were to become his Chief Disciples, together with thirty thousand strong retainers and called them, "Come, monks", they became Ehi bhikkhus and attained Arahatship. In the middle of those thirty thousand Arahats on the full moon of Magha Buddha Konagamana recited the Ovada Patimokkha.
(This was how the only sannipata took place.)
Future Buddha Gotama as King Pabbata received prophecy from Buddha Konagamana
Meanwhile our Future Buddha Gotama was King Pabbata in the city of Mithila; he was a powerful ruler associated with strong allies. Hearing that Buddha Konagamana had come to his city, he welcomed the Buddha with his retinue and army, invited him respectfully and performed a ceremony of grand alms-giving. He also requested the Buddha to observe vassa in his city and looked after the Buddha and his Sangha for the three months of the rainy season. Besides, he offered the Sangha headed by the Buddha, cotton cloth, silk cloth, woolen cloth, golden sandals and many other things made in Pattunna country and Cina country. The Buddha then prophesied of him: "In this very Bhadda Kappa this King Pabbata will indeed become a Buddha named Gotama."
Having heard the Buddha's prophecy the Bodhisatta King Pabbata was so pleased that he firmly resolved to fulfil the Ten Perfections even more energetically.
Since he was a man who had been seeking Omniscience he made a great offering of gifts to Buddha Konagamana, renounced his magnificent kingship and became a monk in the presence of the Buddha.
Particulars or Buddha Kakusandha
Buddha Konagamana's birthplace was Sobhavati City ruled over by King Sobha; his father was Brahmin Yannadatta and his mother Uttara, a Brahmin lady.
He reigned for three thousand years; he lived in three palatial mansions: Tusita, Santusita and Santuttha.
His wife was Rucigatta, a Brahmin lady having a retinue of sixteen thousand Brahmin women; his son was Satthavaha.
He renounced the world riding an elephant after seeing the four omens; he practised dukkaracariya for six months.
His two Chief Disciples were Bhiyyosa Thera and Uttara Thera; his attendant was Sotthija Thera.
His two female Chief Disciples were Samudda Theri and Uttara Theri; his Bodhi Tree was an udumbara.
His noble supporters were the wealthy men Ugga and Somadeva; his female supporters were Sivala Upasika and Sama Upasika.
Buddha Konagamana's height was thirty cubits; he was adorned with the rays of six colours like the pure gold in the goldsmith's crucible.
The life-span during Buddha Konagamana's time was thirty thousand years. For four-fifths of the life-span he lived, rescuing beings - humans, Devas and Brahmas - from the waters of samsara to place them on the shores of Nibbana.
In order that beings could stay and worship on the cetiya platform of Insight Wisdom (Vipassana Nana Panna), Buddha Konagamana constructed the cetiya of thirty-seven constituents of Enlightenment' (Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma), that was adorned with the banner of the Four Noble Truths, and made the 'bouquet of Dhamma', after which with his Sangha Disciples he attained Parinibbana and became extinct.
Buddha Konagamana's Disciples who had accomplished in the exercise of supernatural powers and Buddha Konagamana who had expounded supramundane Dhamma - all of them had vanished. Unsubstantial and futile are all conditioned things!
In this way Buddha Konagamana who had penetrated the Four Noble Truths and others Dhammas that should be known attained Parinibbana in the pleasance named Pabbata. As has been mentioned before, his relics dispersed in accordance with his resolve, reached everywhere in Jambudipa and were paid homage by beings - humans, Devas and Brahmas.
Here ends Konagamana Buddhavamsa.
After Buddha Konagamana's attainment of Parinibbana in this very Bhadda Kappa, the life-span of human beings gradually decreased from thirty thousand years down to ten years and increased up to asankhyeyya, when it reached twenty thousand years on its next decline Bodhisatta Kassapa was reborn in Tusita. Having complied with the request made by Devas and Brahmas for becoming a Buddha he descended to the human world and was conceived in the womb of Dhanavati, a Brahmin lady and wife of Brahmadatta Brahmin in the city of Baranasi ruled over by King Kiki. When ten months had elapsed the Bodhisatta was born in Isipatana Deer Park.
On his naming day learned readers of omens and his relatives named him Kassapa, for he was a descendant of the clan of that name.
Royal household life
When the boy Kassapa came of age he lived in three mansions, Hamsa, Yasa and Sirinanda, being entertained and served by his wife Sunanda, a Brahmin lady, who had forty eight thousand women as attendants and enjoying a divine-like household life for two thousand years.
When he had seen the four omens while living a household life and when his wife Sunanda had given birth to a son named Vinjitasena, he was stirred with religious emotion and he thought to himself; "I shall renounce the world even today."
No sooner had he thought than the Bodhisatta's mansion rotated like a potter's wheel and flew up to the sky and, like the moon coming out in the company of stars in autumn and producing a very delightful light, the mansion moved on with hundreds of people accompanying it as though adorning the vault of heavens, as though exhibiting its glory, as though attracting spectators and captivating their hearts and as though lending splendour to the tree-tops. Finally it came down to the ground with the nigrodha Bodhi Tree in its centre.
Then the Bodhisatta got down from the mansion; standing on the ground, he accepted the robes offered by the Brahma and put them on. The Bodhisatta's wife and female attendants also got down from the mansion and went to a distance of forty usabhas (half a gavuta) where they erected temporary shelters like barracks of an army. Following the Bodhisatta's example, all the men who had come along with him renounced the world.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With the recluses who had followed his example, Bodhisatta Kassapa pratised dukkaracariya; on the full moon of Vesakha, the day on which he would become a Buddha, he partook of the milk-rice offered by his wife Sunanda and spent the daytime in the local grove of acasia. In the evening he proceeded alone to the Maha Bodhi and on the way accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Soma, a watchmen of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the Maha Bodhi Tree, there arose the Aparajita Pallanka measuring fifteen cubit feet. Sitting cross-legged on the pallanka, he concentrated his energy of four factors and as has been said before he attained Buddhahood.
Five occasions of the Buddha's
After his attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Kassapa stayed in the vicinity of Maha Bodhi Tree for forty-nine days. Having complied with the Brahma's request for teaching he contemplated as to whom he should teach first and saw the crore of recluses, his companions in renunciation who were endowed with the merits of their past deeds leading to the Path and Fruition and immediately went through space to their residence, Isipatana Deer Park, near the city of Baranasi. Staying in the middle of the recluses when the Buddha delivered the Dhammacakka sermon following the tradition of previous Buddhas, several Devas and Brahmas came to listen respectfully. At that time two crores of Devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammabhisamaya.)
At a later time when Buddha Kassapa taught Dhamma while touring from town to town, from village to village, and from market-town to market-town, ten thousand crores of Devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the second Dhammabhisamaya.)
Still at a later time when Buddha Kassapa displayed the Twin Miracle of water and fire and taught Dhamma near the asana tree close to the gate of Sundara city and five thousand crores of Devas and humans penetrated the Four Noble Truths and gained Emancipation.
(This was the third Dhammabhisamaya.)
Having displayed the Twin Miracle of water and fire, when Buddha Kassapa, in the celestial assembly hall, named Sudhamma in Tavatimsa, taught Abhidhamma of seven books in order to benefit Devas and Brahmas who had assembled there respectfully to listen to the Dhamma which was especially intouch for the Deva, who had been his mother. At that time three thousand crores of Devas and Brahmas penetrated the Four Noble Truths and gained Emancipation. was the fourth Dhammabhisamaya.)
There was once an ogre who was powerful like the one named Naradeva of Buddha Kakusandha' s lifetime. He was well known by the same name of Naradeva. Assuming the appearance of a king ruling in a city outside Jambudipa and also assuming the king's voice, behaviour and other characteristics, he killed the king and devoured him; then he ruled over the whole kingdom slaying man people for food. He also indulged into debauchery pleasures with women.
When intelligent queens, maids of honour and members of retinue discovered that "This man is not our master, not our king. He is indeed a yakkha," he felt awkward, killed and devoured them all and moved on to another city where he made himself king in the aforesaid manner.
Killing and devouring people in this way, Naradeva arrived at Sundara City. Having heard of his reign of terror, the citizens became scared of the danger of death and fled from their city. Seeing the tumultous situation of the people, Buddha Kassapa went and stood before the yakkha. When he saw the Buddha standing in front of him, he defied the Buddha by roaring thunderously; unable to frighten the Buddha he approach him for refuge. He also put forward some questions which the Buddha answered to his satisfaction. When the Buddha admonished him and gave a sermon innumerable Devas and humans, who had assembled there respectfully to listen to it, penetrated the Four Noble Truths and gained Emancipation.
(This was the fifth Dhanimabhisamaya.)
The single occasion of the
The meeting of Buddha Kassapa's Disciple-Arahats took place just once like this. In the city of Baranasi, when Tissa, son of the Purohita, saw the thirty-two marks of a superman on the body of Bodhisatta Kassapa, he remembered his father's word that "only those who would become Buddhas can have such marks"; as he had not one iota of doubt about it, he thought to himself: "This Kassapa will become a Buddha through supreme renunciation. I shall work hard to be free from suffering of samsaraafter becoming a monk in the presence of that Buddha Kassapa". Accordingly he went to the Himalayas and became an ascetic even before Bodhisatta Kassapa renounced the world. The ascetics of his company were twenty thousand in number.
Later on when he heard that "Kassapa after renouncing the world, has now become a Buddha", he left the Himalayas with his company of twenty thousand ascetics, and requested for monkhood in the presence of the Buddha. Being pronounced then by the Buddha, "Come, monks", Tissa the ascetic with his twenty thousand companions became "Ehi bhikkhus" and attained Arahatship. In the assembly of these twenty thousand monks on the full moon of Magha, Buddha Kassapa recited the Ovada Patimokkha.
(This was the only sannipata.)
Future Buddha Gotama as Jotipala the Youth received prophecy from Buddha Kassapa
Meanwhile our Future Buddha Gotama was famous as Jotipala the Youth; he recited the Veda texts continuously, learned various hymns by heart, reached perfection in the Vedas and was accomplished in treatises on prognostication that explain physical marks of a superman, etc., treatises on legends that narrate ancient tales and all arts and crafts that had been handed down by generation after generation of teachers. No less accomplished, but fully well-versed and skilful was he in terrestrial science and celestrial science.
Jotipala was an intimate friend of Ghatikara the Potter, who being a noble supporter of Buddha Kassapa was greatly devoted to the Three Gems and famous as an Anagami devotee. Ghatikara the Potter took him to Buddha Kassapa.
After listening to the Buddha's Dhamma, Jotipala became a monk in the Buddha's presence. Highly energetic, clever in performing duties big and small, and not negligent in any matter associated with the three trainings of morality, concentration, and wisdom, he shouldered responsibilities in the Buddha's Dispensation.
Having learned the Teachings (Pariyatti) of the Buddha comprising nine divisions, he glorified the Buddha's Dispensation. Discerning Jotipala's aforesaid marvellous qualities, Buddha Kassapa prophesied of him: "This Jotipala bhikkhu will indeed become a Buddha named Gotama even in this Bhadda Kappa."
On hearing the Buddha's prophecy the noble bhikkhu Jotipala became overjoyed and resolved to fulfil the ten perfections even more energetically.
On account of his only wish which was attainment of Omniscience, our Bodhisatta who would become the inconceivable Lord of the three worlds he kept himself far away from all demeritorious deeds that are to be avoided throughout samsara, repeated existences, and put efforts unflinchingly to perform meritorious deeds, which ordinary people can hardly do, in absolute fulfilment of the Ten Perfections.
From the above-quoted Buddhavamsa Text, it seems that Ghatikara the Potter brought his friend, Jotipila the Youth to Kassapa Buddha without difficulty. In reality, however, he did not succeed easily in so doing. He had to persuade him again and again and finally used force by dragging him along by his hair. This is mentioned in the Ghatikara Sutta, Raja Vagga of the Majjima Pannasa. The detailed story of Ghatikara and that of Jotipala should be known from that Sutta.
Particulars of Buddha Kassapa
Buddha Kassapa's birthplace was Baranasi City where King Kiki reigned; his father was Brahmin Brahmadatta and his mother Dhanavati, a Brabmin lady.
He lived household life for two thousand years; his three mansions were Hamsa, Yasa and Sirinanda.
His wife was Sunanda, a Brahmin lady who had forty-eight thousand Brahmin women as attendants; his son was Vijitasena.
The vehicle in which he renounced the world was a mansion; he practised dukkaracariya for seven days.
His two Chief Disciples were Tissa Thera and Bharadvaja Thera; his attendant was Sabbamitta Thera.
His two female Chief Disciples were Anula Theri and Uruvela Theri; his Bodhi Tree was a nigrodha.
His noble supporters were Sumangala and Ghatikara the Potter; his female supporters were Vijitasena Upasika and Bhadda Upasika.
Buddha Kassapa's height was twenty cubits; he was glorious like forceful lightning and the full moon surrounded by planets and stars.
The life-span in his time was twenty thousand; he lived for four-fifths of the life-span rescuing numerous beings from samasric waters to place them on the shores of Nibbana.
Buddha Kassapa created the big pond of Pariyatti Dhamma for several beings - humans, Devas and Brahmas and gave the 'unguent of Catu Parisuddhi Sila' for them to beautify their minds, made them put on the garments of Hiriand Ottappa, distributed among them the flowers of thirty seven Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma, and placed the spotless mirror of Sotapatti Magga Nana so that they could see clearly for themselves distinguishing between faulty things and faultless things, between acts of merit and acts of unwholesomeness. He placed the mirror as though he were inviting those who were wandering in search of Nibbana near the aforesaid pond, "Behold (yourselves in) all kinds of adornment."
By providing those who listened to his admonishment with the raiments of the five precepts, ten precepts and the four Catu parisuddhi Sila so that they could fight against their enemy of defilement; by making them fasten their coats of mail of the four mundane and five supramundane jhanas; by making them wear the leather robe of Sati and Sampajanna; by supplying them with the full military equipment of sublime energy of four levels by giving them the shield of four Satipatthanas so that they could defend themselves from various enemy—defilements; (by making his army of Disciples) wield the lances of very sharp Vipassana Nana and gave them the sword of Magga Panna the swords that had been sharpened on the whet stone of viriya; by handing to them the supramundane precepts so that they could eradicate their inclinations to associate with defilements; by giving them various dressing articles of three Vijjas and six Abhinnanas having fashioned the crowning flower of supramundane Fruitions so that they could adorn and beautify themselves with; and by making a big cluster of the flowers of nine supramundane Dhammas and together with it he gave them the white umbrella of Arahattaphala so that they could protect themselves against the sun of demerits, Buddha Kassapa created the great bloom of the eightfold Magga leading happily to the haven of Nibbana. That Buddha Kassapa and his numerous Disciple-Arahats attained Parinibbana and came to the end of his final exitstence.
That Buddha Kassapa, the embodiment of unmeasured qualities, whom others could hardly approach; the gem of Dhamma taught by that Buddha, the Dhamma that was in a position to extend its bold invitation saying, "Come, have a look and try it as a practice."; the gem of Sangha, the Order of Disciples who were most excellent, for they had well practised that Gem of Dhamma - all this had vanished. Unsubstantial and futile indeed are all conditioned things!
In this way Buddha Kassapa, Conqueror of the five Maras, Teacher of humans and Devas, attained Parinibbana in a great park called Setavya near Setavya City, in the country of Kasi. People of Jambudipa unanimously held a meeting and for worship erected a cetiya with bricks each brick to lay externally cost a crore (of money) and each brick to lay internally five millions; (as has been said above) the cetiya was one yojana high.
Our Bodhisatta had thus received the prophecy predicting his Buddhahood from the former twenty-four Buddhas beginning with Dipankara and ending with Kassapa and this has been composed briefly in the 'Dhammarasi Pyo' (vv. 7, 8 and 9). (The author then gives pertinent extracts from the 'pyo' which we leave untranslated.)
This page at Nibbana.com was last modified:
To be continued
BACK TO MAIN PAGE