Showing posts with label Sutta Pitaka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sutta Pitaka. Show all posts

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Khuddaka Nikaya - Cariyapitaka

Khuddaka Nikaya - Cariyapitaka

Download English Tipitaka - Khuddaka Nikaya

The Cariyapitaka (cariyāpiṭaka; where cariya is Pali for "conduct" or "proper conduct" and pitaka is usually translated as "basket"; abbrev. Cp) is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka's Khuddaka Nikaya, usually as the last of fifteen books. It is a short verse work that includes thirty-five accounts of the Buddha's former lives (similar to Jataka tales) when he as a bodhisattva exhibited behaviors known as "perfections," prerequisites to buddhahood. This canonical text, along with the Apadana and Buddhavamsa, is believed to be a late addition to the Pali Canon and has been described as "hagiographical."


In the first story (Cp. I), the Buddha says he will illustrate his practice of the perfections (Pali, pāramitā or pārami) by stories of his past lives in this current age. The text contains 35 such stories, spanning 356 to 371 verses.

The body of the Cariyapitaka is broken into three divisions (vagga), with titles correlated to the first three of the ten Theravada pāramitā:

Division I (dāna pāramitā): 10 stories for the perfection of offering (dāna)
Division II (sīla pāramitā): 10 stories for the perfection of conduct (sīla)
Division III (nekkhamma pāramitā): 15 stories distributed among five other perfections, as follows:
renunciation (nekkhamma pāramitā): five stories
resolute determination (adhiṭṭhāna pāramitā): one story
truth (sacca pāramitā): six stories
loving-kindness (mettā pāramitā): two stories
equanimity (upekkhā pāramitā): one story

The three remaining Theravada perfections — wisdom (paññā), energy (viriya), patience (khanti) — are mentioned in a closing stanza but no related Cariyapitaka stories have come down to us. Horner suggests that these latter three perfections are "implicit in the collection," referenced in both story titles and contexts.


"The collection of the ways of conduct", in Minor Anthologies of the Pali Canon, volume III, 1st edition, tr B. C. Law, 1938
"Basket of conduct", in Minor Anthologies III (along with "Chronicle of Buddhas (Buddhavamsa)"), 2nd edition, tr I. B. Horner, 1975, Pali Text Society, Bristol

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Hatthakalavaka of Uposatha Habit

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Hatthakalavaka of Uposatha Habit

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(a) The past aspiration of the Uposatha-habituate

The Future-Hatthakalavaka was born into a worthy family in the City of Hamsavati during the time of Padumuttara Buddha. On one occasion when he was listening to the Buddha's sermon he saw a lay disciple being designated the foremost among those lay disciples who were accomplished in the practice of the four ways of kind treatment to others*. He emulated that man, and making an extraordinary offering, he aspired to that title. The Buddha prophesied that his aspiration would be fulfilled.

(b) The last existence as Prince Alavaka.

That worthy man fared in the good destinations for the entire one hundred thousand world-cycles. During the time of Gotama Buddha he was born as Prince Alavaka, son of King Alavaka in the city of Alavi.

(In this connection, the background events beginning with the sporting expedition of King Alavaka, to the establishment in the Uposatha precepts of Prince Alavaka, his attainment of Anagami phala, and his following of five hundred lay disciples established in the Uposatha precept, have been described fully in The Great Chronicle, Volume Four. The reader is advised to refer to the relevant pages therein.)

(c) Hatthakalavaka being designated as the Foremost lay disciples.

One day Hatthakalavaka the Uposatha- habituate visited the Bhagava accompanied by five hundred lay disciples. After making obeisance to the Bhagava he sat in a suitable place. When the Bhagava saw the big following of very sedate manners that came with Hatthakalavaka, he said, "Alavaka, you have a big following; what sort of kind treatment do you extend to them?" And Hatthakalavaka replied,

"Venerable Sir,

(1) I practise charity towards those persons who would be delighted by my act of charity.

(2) I use pleasant words to those who would be delighted by pleasant words,

(3) I give necessary assistance to those who are in need of such assistance and who would be delighted by my assistance,

(4)And I treat those as my equals in respect of those who would be delighted by such treatment.

With reference to that conversation between the Bhagava and Hatthakalavaka, on another occasion, during the Bhagava's residence at the Jetavana monastery, when he was conferring titles to outstanding lay disciples, he declared:

"Bhikkhus, among my lay disciples who kindly treat their followers in four ways, Hatthakalavaka is the foremost."

(Here ends the story of Hatthakalavaka the Uposatha-Habituate.)

(Here ends the story of Hatthakalavaka)

* Four ways of kind treatment to others: Sangaha - Vatthu: Liberality, kindly speech, beneficial actions, impartiality (A. IV, 32: VIII 24).

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The story of Citta, the Householder

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The story of Citta, the Householder

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(Both Anathapindika and Citta are termed as gahapati, the English rendering being 'Householders'. In Myanmar renderings, Anathapindika is usually termed as 'thuthay' whereas Citta is usually rendered as 'thukywe' Both these Myanmar terms are synonymous)

(a) The past aspiration of the Householder.

The Future-Citta, the Householder, was born into a worthy family in the city of Hamsavati during the time of Padumuttara Buddha. On one occasion, while listening to the Buddha's discourse, he saw a certain disciple being named by the Buddha as the foremost in expounding the Doctrine The worthy man aspired to that distinction. After making an extraordinary offering, he expressed his wish that at some future existence he be designated by a Buddha as the foremost disciple in expounding the Doctrine

In his existence as son of a hunter.

That worthy man fared in the deva realm and the human realm for a hundred thousand world-cycles. During the time of Kassapa Buddha he was born as a son of a hunter. When he came of age he took up the vocation of hunter. One rainy day, he went to the forest to hunt, carrying a spear While searching for game he saw a bhikkhu sitting, with his head covered with his robe of dirt-rags, on a rock platform inside a natural cavern. He thought that must be a bhikkhu meditating. He hurried home and had two pots cooked simultaneously, one in which rice was boiled, the other, meat.

When the rice and the meat had been cooked he saw two bhikkhus coming to his house for alms-food. He invited them into his house, took their alms-bowls, and requested them to accept his offering of alms-food, out of compassion for him. Having had the two offerees seated, he left his family to see to the service of alms-food while he hurried back to the forest to offer the alms-food to the meditating bhikkhu. He carried the rice and the meat in a pot properly covered up with banana leaves. On the way he gathered various kinds of flowers and packed them in some leaves. He went to the bhikkhu in the cavern, filled his alms-bowl with the alms-food, offered it and the flowers to the bhikkhu reverentially.

Then he sat in a suitable place and said to the bhikkhu, "Just as this offering of delicious food and flowers makes me very glad, may I, in the future existences in the course of samsara be blessed with all kinds of gifts; may flowers of five hues shower down on me!" The bhikkhu saw that the donor was destined to gain sufficient merit leading to wining of magga phala and taught him in detail the method of contemplating the thirty-two aspects of parts of the body.

That son of the hunter lived a life full of good deeds and at his death he was reborn in the deva realm. There he was blessed with showers of flowers that rained down on him up to knee-deep.

(b) Discipleship in his last existence.

That worthy man fared in the fortunate destinations through out the world-cycle that intervened the appearance of the two Buddhas, and during the time of Gotama Buddha he was reborn as the son of the Rich Man in the town of Macchikasanda in the Province of Magadha. At the time of his birth flowers of five hues rained down over the whole town up to knee-deep. His parents said, "Our son has brought his own name. For he has delighted the mind of the whole town by being blessed with the wondrous floral tribute of five colours. Let us call him 'Citta'."

When young Citta came of age he got married and at the death of his father he succeeded to the office of the Rich Man of Macchikasanda. At that time the Venerable Mahanama, one of the Group of Five Ascetics came to Macchikasanda. Citta, the Householder was full of reverential adoration for the Venerable Mahanama for his serenity. He took the alms-bowl of the Venerable one, and invited him to his house for offering alms-food. After the Venerable one had finished his meal, Citta the Householder took him to his orchard, had a monastery built for him and requested him to reside there as well as to accept daily alms-food from his house. The Venerable Mahanama consented out of compassion, and seeing that the householder was destined to acquire sufficient merit leading to attainment of magga phala, used to discourse to him extensively on the six internal sense-bases and the six external sense-bases i.e., sense-objects. This subject was taught to Citta because he was a person of middling intelligence, majjhumpuggala.

As Citta the Householder had in his past existences cultivated Insight into the impermanence, woefulness (dukkha) and unsubstantiality of mind and matter which are conditioned phenomena, his present efforts at Insight-meditation led him to the Enlightenment stage of Never-Returner (Anagami). (It is not mentioned in the scriptures by which method of meditation be attained Anagami phala. However, considering his training, it might be assumed that he won Path Knowledge by meditating on the Sense-bases.)

[ Incidentally, the difference in the attainments between Citta and Anathapindika should be noted here. Anithapindika the Householder, donor of the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi was a Stream-Enterer who delighted in charity, Dana bhirata. Citta the Householder, donor of the Ambataka monastery in Macchikasanda, was a Never-Returner who delighted in charity as well as in the Dhamma-Dana bhirata, Dhammabhirata. ]

Householder Citta's delight in charity and in the Dhamma:

A few instances:

A few instances of Citta's natural delight in charity and in the Dhamma are mentioned here as recorded in the Citta Samyutta.

The first Isidatta Sutta.

At one time many bhikkhus were living at the Ambataka monastery donated by Citta the Householder in Macchikasanda. One day Citta went to the monastery and after making obeisance to the bhikkhu elders invited them to an offering of food at his home the next day. When the bhikkhu elders got seated at the prepared seats the next day Citta the Householder made obeisance, sat in a suitable place, and said to the Venerable Thera, the senior most bhikkhu present there. "Venerable Sir, 'Diversity of Elements', 'Diversity of Elements', Dhatu Nanattam it has been said. To what extent are there the diversity of Elements as taught by the Bhagava"

The Venerable Thera knew the answer but he was diffident to give a reply to the question, and the Venerable Thera remained silent. For a third time too the Venerable One kept his silence.

Then the Venerable Isidatta, the junior most bhikkhu among the bhikkhus present, thought, "bhikkhu elder Thera does not answer the question, nor ask another bhikkhu to answer. The Samgha by not answering to Citta's question, makes Citta appear as harassing. I shall save the situation by answering the Householder's question." He went near the Venerable Thera and said "Venerable Sir, may I be allowed to answer the question put by Citta." And the Venerable Thera gave him permission to do so. Then the Venerable Isidatta returned to his seat and said to Citta the Householder: "Householder, you asked the question, 'Venerable Thera, 'Diversity of Elements.' Diversity of Elements', it has been said. To what extent are there the Diversity of Elements?"

"Yes, Venerable Sir, that is so" replied Citta. "Householder, as taught by the Bhagava there are various Elements such as:

Eye-element, (Cakkhu Dhatu) Element of visual object, (Rupa Dhatu), Eye-consciousness element; (Cakkhu Vinnana Dhatu); Ear-element (Sota Dhatu), Element of sound (Sadda Dhatu), Ear-consciousness element (Sota Vinnana Dhatu), .. . p... Mind- Element (Mano Dhatu), Element of phenomena (dhamma Dhatu), Mind-consciousness element (Mano Vinnana Dhatu). Householder, these are the various Elements, Nanatta Dhatu as taught by the Bhagava."

Citta the Householder was satisfied with the answer given by the Venerable Isidatta and personally attended on the Venerable One at the food offering. When, after finishing the meal, the bhikkhus returned to monastery, the Venerable Thera said to the Venerable Isidatta, "Friend Isidatta, you perceived the problem well, I have no such perception. Therefore, friend Isidatta, when similar questions are asked of us, you may do the answering."

The second Isidatta sutta.

On another occasion when Citta the Householder was making an offering of food to the Samgha at his place before serving the food he put this question to the Venerable Thera: "Is the world permanent or is it impermanent?" The question is characteristic of wrong views, and implies the arising or otherwise of such view. As in the previous case, the Venerable Thera did not answer although he knew it. When he kept his silence for three repeated questionings by the Householder the Venerable Isidatta obtained the elder Thera's permission to answer and replied to the questioner: "When there is the erroneous concept regarding the present body or the five aggregates, Sakkaya ditthi, wrong views arise; when there is no erroneous concept regarding the five aggregates wrong views do not arise."

Citta the Householder pursued the problem with questions as to how the erroneous concept regarding the present body of five aggregates arise, and how that concept does not arise. The Venerable Isidatta gave analytical answers to the satisfaction of the Householder (For the complete set of questions and answers the reader may see 'The Second Isidatta sutta, 1 — Citta Samyuta, Salayatana Samyuta.)

After that a conversation between Citta and the Venerable Isidatta took place as follows:

(Citta) "From which place do you come, Venerable Sir?"

(Isidatta) "I come from Avanti country."

(Citta) "Venerable Sir, in Avanti county there is a friend of mine, whom I have never met, by the name of Isidatta who had turned bhikkhu. Have you met him, Venerable Sir?"

(Isidatta) "Yes, I have, Householder"

(Citta:) "Venerable Sir, where is that bhikkhu now?"

The Venerable Isidatta did not give a reply

(Citta) "Venerable Sir, are you my friend whom I had never seen?"

(Isidatta:) "Yes, Householder"

(Citta:) "Venerable Sir, may the Venerable Isidatta be pleased to stay in Macchikasanda. The Ambataka monastery is pleasant to live in. I will see to all the four requisites (robes, alms-food, dwelling, medicines)."

(Isidatta) "Householder, you speak well (You say what is good.)" (The Venerable Isidatta said so merely to express his appreciation of the donation, but he did not say so with the intention of accepting the donation in any of the four requisites.)

Citta the Householder was delighted with the answer given by the Venerable Isidatta and personally attended on the Venerable one in making offering of alms-food. When the bhikkhus got back to the monastery, the Venerable Thera said to the Venerable Isidatta in the same words as he did previously (on the occasion of the First Isidatta Sutta.)

Then the Venerable Isidatta considered that after revealing his identify as an unseen friend of Citta the Householder before turning bhikkhu, it would not be proper for him to stay in the monastery donated by the Householder. So after tidying up his living quarters and the monastery he took his alms-bowl and great robe and left the monastery for good, never to return to the town of Macchikasanda.

At one time many bhikkhus are living at the Ambataka monastery donated by Citta the Householder in Macchikasanda. Then Citta the Householder went to the monastery and after paying respects to the Samgha he invited them to his farmyard the next day where his cows were kept. On the following day the Samgha came to his farmyard and sat in the seats prepared for them. Then the Householder personally offered milk-rice to the Samgha.

He was served the milk-rice in a gold vessel by his servants at the same time the Samgha were being served. For he was accompanying the Samgha after the meal to the monastery, he gave orders to his servants to make offerings of remaining milk-rice to suitable offerees. Then he accompanied the Samgha to their monastery.

It was scorching hot when the Samgha left the Householder farmyard. Walking in the hot sun a rich meal was a rather inconvenient thing for the Samgha. Then the Venerable Mahaka, the juniormost bhikkhu, said to the Venerable Thera, the seniormost bhikkhu, "Venerable Thera, would a cool breeze in an overcast-sky with slight rain drops he convenient for everyone?" And the Venerable Thera replied, "Friend Mahaka, a cool breeze in an overcast sky with slight rain drops would be convenient for everyone." Thereupon the Venerable Mahaka, by his powers, changed the weather, letting the cool breeze blow in an overcast sky with slight rain drops.

Citta the Householder noted this event as a marvellous power possessed by the junior bhikkhu. When they got to the monastery the Venerable Mahaka said to the Venerable Thera, "Venerable Thera, is that enough?" And the Venerable Thera replied, "Friend Mahaka, that is enough, Friend Mahaka, that is something done well, friend Mahaka, that deserves reverence." After this recognition of the Venerable Mahaka's powers, all the bhikkhus returned to their respective dwelling places (within the monastery complex)

Then, Citta the Householder requested the Venerable Mahaka to display his miraculous powers. The Venerable One said, "In that case, Householder, spread your cloak at the door-step to my monastery. Put a pile of grass from the bundle of grass on the cloak." The Householder did as was required of him. Then the Venerable Mahaka entered the monastery, bolted the door from inside and sent out flames through the keyhole and through the edges of the door. The flames burned up the grass but the cloak remained unburnt. Then, Citta the Householder picked up his cloak and, awe-struck and gooseflash forming on his skin, he sat in a suitable place.

Thereafter, the Venerable Mahaka came out of the monastery said to Citta the Householder, "Householder, is that enough?" Citta replied, "Venerable Mahaka, that is enough. Venerable Mahaka, that is something accomplished. Venerable Mahaka, that deserves reverence. "Venerable Mahaka, may the Venerable Mahaka be pleased to stay in Macchikasanda. The Ambataka monastery is pleasant to live in. I will see to the four requisites (robes, alms-food, dwelling, medicines)"

The Venerable Mahaka said, "Householder, you say what is good."

However, Venerable Mahaka considered that it would not be proper for him to stay at the Ambataka monastery. So after tidying up his living quarters and the monastery, he took his alms-bowl and big robe and left the place for good.

[ In the above two suttas, Citta the Householder had great reverence and admiration for the Venerable Isidatta and the Venerable Mahaka in donating his monastic complex to the two bhikkhus. However, from the point of view of the bhikkhus, the four requisites they had been donated with were flawed because they amounted to rewards for their actions — Isidatta for expounding the Dhamma, and Mahaka for displaying miraculous power. Hence, out of regard for the bhikkhu rules of conduct, they left the place for good (The Commentary and the Sub-Commentary are silent on this point. ]

We have chosen these three suttas, the two Isidatta suttas and the Mahakapatihariya as examples of how Citta the Householder cherished the Dhamma The reader is earnestly advised to go through the suttas in the Citta Samyutta, Salayatana Samyutta .]

One day the two Chief Disciples accompanied by a thousand bhikkhu disciples paid a visit to the Ambataka monastery. (At that time the Venerable Sudhamma was the Abbot of the monastery.) Citta the Householder, donor of the monastery, made magnificent preparations to honour the visiting Samgha (without consulting the Venerable Sudhamma). The Venerable Sudhamma took exception to it and remarked, "There is one thing missing in this lavish array of offerings and that is sesamum cake." This was an innuendo to belittle Citta the Householder whose family in the earlier generation consisted of a seller of sesamum cakes.

Citta made a suitably rude response in vulgar language to the sarcastic remark of the Abbot who was touched to the quick and took the matter to the Bhagava. After listening to the Bhagava's admonition, the Abbot Venerable Suddhamma made amends to Citta the Householder. Then, staying at the Ambataka monastery, and practising the Dhamma, the Venerable Sudhamma gained Insight and attained Arahatship (This is as mentioned in the Commentary on the Anguttara Nikaya For details see the Commentary on the Dhammapada, Book One, and Vinaya Culavagga, 4- Patisaraniya kamma.)

Citta's Pilgrimage to the Buddha.

(The following account is taken from the Commentary on the Dhammapada.)

When the Venerable Sudhamma attained Arahatship Citta the Householder reflected thus "I have become a Never-Returner. But my stages of Enlightenment from Sotapatti phala to Anagami phala had been attained without even meeting with the Bhagava. It behoves me to go and see the Buddha now." He had five hundred carts fully laden with provisions such as sesamum, rice, ghee, molasses, honey, clothing, etc., for the long journey to Savatthi. He made a public invitation to the populace in Macchikasanda that anyone, bhikkhu, bhikkhuni, lay disciple or lay female disciple, might, if they wished, join him on a pilgrimage to the Buddha and that he would see to every need of the pilgrims. And in response to his invitation, there were five hundred bhikkhus, five hundred bhikkhunis, five hundred lay disciples and five hundred lay female disciples who joined him on the pilgrimage.

The two thousand pilgrims who joined Citta the Householder plus the one thousand of his entourage, totalling three thousand, were well provided for the thirty-yojana journey. However, at every yojana of his camping on the way devas welcomed them with temporary shelter and celestial food such as gruel, eatables, cooked rice and beverages and every one of the three thousand pilgrims was attended on to his satisfaction.

By travelling a yojana a day, meeting with the devas' hospitality at every step, the pilgrims reached Savatthi after a month. The provisions carried along in five hundred carts remained intact. They even had surfeit of provisions offered by the devas and human beings along the way which they donated to other persons

On the day when the pilgrims were due to arrive in Savatthi the Buddha said to the Venerable Ananda. "Ananda, this evening Citta the Householder accompanied by five hundred lay disciples will be paying homage to me."

Ananda asked, "Venerable Sir, are there miracles to happen then?"

"Yes, Ananda, there will be miracles"

"In what manner will they happen, Venerable Sir?"

"Ananda, when he comes to me, there will rain a thick floral tribute of five hues that will rise to knee-deep over an area of eight karisas."( 1 karisa: a measure of land equivalent to 1.75 acres. )

This dialogue between Buddha and the Venerable Ananda aroused the curiosity of the citizens of Savatthi. People passed on the exciting news of Citta's arrival, saying, "A person of great past merit by the name of Citta, a householder, is coming to town. Miracles are going to happen! He is arriving today! We will not miss the opportunity of seeing such a great person." They awaited on both sides of the road the visitor and his friends were coming by, ready with presents.

When the pilgrim party got near the Jetavana monastery the five hundred bhikkhus of the party came first. Citta told the five hundred lay female disciples to stay behind, and follow later and went to the Bhagava accompanied by five hundred lay disciples. (It should be noted that disciples paying homage to the Buddha were not an unruly crowd but well-disciplined; whether sitting or standing, they left a passage way for the Buddha to come to his raised platform, and they would remain motionless and silent on either side of the aisle.)

Citta the Householder now approached the aisle between a huge gathering of devotees. Whichever direction the Ariya disciple who had been established in the Fruition of the three lower Paths glanced, the people murmured, "That is Citta the Householder!" He made a thrilling object in that big gathering. Sutta the Householder drew close to the Bhagava and he was enveloped by the six Buddha-rays. He stroke the Bhagava ankles with great reverence and vigour and then the floral tribute of five colours described earlier rained. People cheered enthusiastically loud and long.

Citta the Householder spent one whole month in close attendance on the Buddha During that time he made a special request to the Buddha and the Samgha not to go out for alms-food, but to accept his offerings at the monastery. All the pilgrims that had accompanied him also were taken care of in every aspect. In this month-long stay at the Jetavana monastery none of his original provisions needed to be used to feed everyone, for devas and men made all sorts of gifts to Citta the Householder.

At the end of one month Citta the Householder made obeisance to the Buddha and said "Venerable Sir, I came with the intention of making offerings of my own property to the Bhagava. I spent one month on the way and another month here in the Jetavana monastery. Still I have had no opportunity to offer my own property, for I have been blessed with all sorts of gifts from devas and men. It would seem that even if I were to stay here a year, I still may not have the chance to make offerings of my own property It is my wish to deposit all my property I have brought here in this monastery for the benefit of the Samgha. May the Bhagava be pleased to show me the place to do so.

The Buddha asked the Venerable Ananda to find a suitable place for depositing Citta's provisions; there the five-hundred cart-loads of provisions were deposited and offered to the Samgha: Then Citta the Householder returned to Macchikasanda with the five hundred empty carts, people and devas, seeing the empty carts, remarked in mild rebuke "O, Citta, had you done such deeds in the past as would lead to your going about with empty carts?" Then they loaded his empty carts to the full with seven kinds of treasures. Citta also received sufficient gifts of all kinds with which he catered to the needs of the pilgrims till he reached Macchikasanda in ease and comfort

The Venerable Ananda paid his obeisance to the Bhagava and said:

"Venerable Sir, Citta the Householder took one month coming to Savatthi, and spent another month at the Jetavana monastery. During this period he had made great offerings with gifts received from devas and men. He had emptied his five hundred carts of all provisions he had brought, and he was returning to his place with empty carts." However, people and devas who saw the empty carts said to them in mild rebuke "Citta, you had done such deeds in the past as would lead to your going about with empty carts7" And they are said to have filled Citta's five hundred carts with seven kinds of treasures. And Citta is said to get home comfortably, looking after the needs of his companions with gifts received from devas and men.

"Venerable Sir, may I be allowed to ask a question: Does Citta meet with such abundance of honour and tribute only because he was on a pilgrimage to the Buddha? Would he meet the same kind of honour and tribute if he were to go elsewhere?"

The Bhagava said to the Venerable Ananda: "Ananda, Citta the Householder will receive the same kind of honour and tributes whether he comes to me or goes elsewhere. This is indeed so, Ananda because Citta the Householder had been one who had firm conviction about Kamma and its consequences both in the mundane aspect and the Supramundane aspect. Further, he had been fully convinced about the Supramundane benefits that the Triple Gem are capable of. For a person of such nature honour and tribute lines his path wherever he goes.''

The Bhagava further uttered this verse: (translation in prose):

"(Ananda,) the Ariya disciple who is endowed with conviction (regarding the mundane and the Supramundane aspects) of one's own actions and morality, and is possessed of following and wealth, is held in reverence (by men and devas) wherever he goes" (Dh, V 303).

At the end of the discourse many hearers attained Path-Knowledge such as Stream-Entry, etc.

(c) Citta designated as the foremost lay disciple.

From that time onwards Citta the Householder went about accompanied by five hundred Ariya lay disciples. On another occasion when the Buddha conferred distinguished titles to lay disciples according to their merit, he declared with reference to the discourses made by Citta as recorded in the Cula vagga of Salayatana samyutta:

"Bhikkhus, among my lay disciples who are exponents of the Dhamma, Citta the Householder is the foremost"

(The proficiency of Citta in expounding the Dhamma may be gleaned from Salyatana vagga Samyutta, 7- Citta samyutta, 1- Samyojana Samyutta, and 5- Pathana kamabhu sutta)

The Gilanadassana Sutta, an example of Householder Citta's discourse given even on his deathbed.

As became an Anagami ariya who was the foremost expounder of the Dhamma among lay disciples, Citta the Householder gave a discourse even on his deathbed. This story is given in Gilanadassana Samyutta in Citta Samyutta.

Once Citta the Householder was terminally ill. Then many devas who were guardians of the Householder's premises, guardians of the forest, guardians of certain trees and guardians who had power over herbs and deified trees, (because of huge proportions), assembled before him and said to him, "Householder, now make a wish saying, 'May I be reborn as the Universal Monarch when I die". Citta the Householder replied to them, "Being a universal Monarch is impermanent in nature, unstable in nature. It is something that one must leave behind at last."

His relatives and friends by his bedside thought he was uttering those strange words in a fit of delirium and said to him, "Lord, be careful. Do not talk absent-mindedly"

Citta the Householder said to them, "You say, 'Lord be careful. Do not talk absent-mindedly. With respect to what words of mine do you say so?" And the relatives and friends said, "Lord, you were saying, Being a Universal Monarch is impermanent in nature, unstable in nature. It is something that one must leave behind at last."'

Citta the Householder then said to them, "O men, devas who are guardians of my premises, guardians of the forest, guardians of trees, guardians who have power over herbs and defied trees, came and said to me, 'Householder, now make a wish saying, May I be reborn as the universal Monarch when I die' So I told them, "Being a Universal Monarch is impermanent in nature, unstable in nature It is something one must leave behind at last' I was' not saying these words absent-mindedly"

Thereupon Citta's friend and relatives said to him, "Lord, what advantages did these devas see in advising you to wish for rebirth as Universal Monarch?"

Citta replied: "O men, those devas thought, that this Householder Citta has morality, has clean conduct, if he would wish for it he could easily have his wish fulfilled. One who is righteous can see benefits accruing to the righteous.' This was the advantage they saw in advising me to wish for rebirth as a Universal Monarch I replied to them, "Being a Universal Monarch is impermanent in nature, unstable in nature. It is something one must leave behind at last.' I was not saying these words absent-mindedly"

The friends and relatives of Citta the Householder then asked him, "In that case, Lord, give us some admonition" And Citta made his last discourse thus:

"In that case, friend and relatives, you should practise with the resolve, 'We will have perfect confidence in the Buddha, reflecting that:

1. The Buddha is called Araham because he is worthy of homage by the greatest of men, devas and brahmas;

2. The Buddha is called Sammasambuddha because he knows all things fundamentally and truly by his own perfect wisdom;

3. The Buddha is called Vijjacaranasampanna because he is endowed with supreme Knowledge and perfect practice of morality;

4. The Buddha is called Sugata because he speaks only what is beneficial and true,

5. The Buddha is called Lokavidubecause he knows all the three worlds;

6. The Buddha is called Annuttropurisa dammasarathi because he is incomparable in taming those who deserve to be tamed;

7. The Buddha is called Satthadeva manussana because he is the Teacher of devas and men;

8. The Buddha is called Buddha because he makes known the Four Ariya Truths;

9. The Buddha is called Bhagavabecause he is endowed with the six great qualities of glory.

'We will have perfect confidence in the Dhamma reflecting that:

1. The Teaching of the Bhagavi, the Dhamma, is well expounded;

2. Its Truths are personally appreciable;

3. It is not delayed in its results;

4. It can stand investigation;

5. It is worthy of being perpetually borne in mind;

6. Its Truths can be realized by the Ariyas individually by their own effort and practice.

We will have perfect confidence in the Samgha reflecting that:

1. The eight categories of Ariya disciples of the Bhagava, the Samgha, are endowed with the noble practice,

2. They are endowed with straightforward uprightness;

3. They are endowed with right conduct;

4. They are endowed with the correctness in practice deserving reverence;

(Being thus endowed with these four attributes-)

5. The eight categories of ariya disciples of the Bhagava consisting of four pairs are worthy of receiving offerings brought even from afar,

6. They are worthy of receiving offerings specially set aside for guests.

7. They are worthy of receiving offerings made for the sake of acquiring great merit for the hereafter;

8. They are worthy of receiving obeisance;

9. They are the incomparable fertile field for all to sow the seed of merit;

And also you should practice with the resolve, "We shall always lay everything we have to be at the disposal of donees who have morality and who conduct themselves well.'

Citta the Householder then made his friends and relatives to be established in the routine of paying reverence to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha and in charity. With those last words he expired.

(The scriptures do not specifically say in which realm Citta the Householder was reborn, but since he is an Anagami he is presumed to be reborn in one of the fifteen Brahma realms of the Fine Material Sphere outside of the Non-material Sphere, most probably in the Pure Abodes Suddha vasa Brahma realm)

(Here ends the story of Citta the Householder.)

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of the Rich Man Anathapindika

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of the Rich Man Anathapindika

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(a) The past aspiration of the rich man.

The Future-Anathapindika. was born into a wealthy family in the city of Hamsavati during the time of Padumuttara Buddha. When he was attending to a sermon by the Buddha he saw a lay disciple being designated as the foremost lay disciple among those who delight in charity. He had a strong desire to become such a distinguished disciple and after making an extra-ordinary offering to the Buddha he expressed his aspiration before the Buddha.

(b) His last existence as a Rich Man.

That worthy man fared in fortunate destinations for the whole hundred thousand world-cycles and during the time of Gotama Buddha he was born as the son of Sumana, the Rich Man of Savatthi. His name given by his parents was Sudattha.

How he came to be known as 'Anathapindika'

Sudattha in time became the head of a family. He earned the reputation of 'one who gives food to the destitute' which in Pali means. (Anatha, (destitutes) + pindika (rice-giver), hence Anathapindika.) For more details about this remarkable man, consult The Great Chronicle, Volume Three. Here only a brief sketch will be given as described in the Commentary on the Anguttara Nikaya.)

One day Anathapindika got to Rajagaha on a trading trip where he visited his friend the Rich Man of Rajagaha. There he learned the great news that the Buddha had arisen in the world. He could not wait till the city gates of Rajagaha were open in the next morning, such was his zeal to meet the Buddha. So he left the city at dawn with the devas helping him to have the gate open for his passage. He saw the Buddha, got the benefit of a discourse by the Buddha, and was established in the Fruition of Stream Entry-Knowledge. On the next day he made a great offering to the Buddha and the Samgha and got the Buddha's consent to come to Savatthi. He returned to Savatthi. On the way he made arrangements with his friends providing them with one lakh of money at each place to have a monastery built for the temporary residence of the Buddha and his company of bhikkhus, at intervals of one yojana. The distance between Rhjagaha and Savatthi being forty-five Yojanas, he spent forty five lakhs on the forty-five temporary transit monasteries. At Savatthi he acquired a wide park, the pleasure garden of Prince Jeta for a sum of money measured in the number of gold coins spread over the entire piece of property with their rims touching one another. It amounted to eighteen crores. On that piece of land he built a (golden) monastery costing another eighteen crores. At the formal dedication ceremony of the Jetavana monastery (meaning monastery built on Jeta's garden') which lasted for three months (some say five months, some even nine months), a lavish feast was thrown where guests were provided with every need both in the mornings and in the daytime It cost him a further eighteen crores

(c) Anathapindika the foremost giver.

The Jetavana monastery alone accounted for fifty-four crores. The regular donations to the Buddha and the Samgha consisted of the following offerings:

five hundred bhikkhus were offered with alms-food every day by the ticket system. (Salaka bhatta — drawing lots)
five hundred bhikkhus were offered with alms-food once during the waxing period, of the month and once during the waning period.
five hundred bhikkhus were offered with rice gruel every day by the ticket system.
five hundred bhikkhus were offered with rice gruel once during the waxing period of the month and once during the waning period.
daily offerings of alms-food were made to,

a) five hundred bhikkhus who had arrived in Savatthi recently and who had not acquainted themselves with the daily route for collecting alms-food,

b) five hundred bhikkhus who were about to go on a journey;

c) five hundred bhikkhus who were sick;

d) five hundred bhikkhus who tended the sick bhikkhus;

there was always seating place for five hundred bhikkhus at any time at Anathapindika's house.

Hence, on another occasion when the Buddha, while residing at the Jetavana monastery was conferring titles to lay disciples according to their merit, he declared. "Bhikkhus, among my lay disciples who delight in giving, Sudattha, the householder, known as Anathapindika is the foremost"

The Anathapindikovada sutta, the favourite discourse of Anathapindika.

(Here we shall give a condensed account of the Anathapindikovada sutta which Anathapindika liked very much. A full account of this discourse is contained in Uparipannasa.)

During the Buddha's residence at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, Anathapindika, the Householder, was sick in pain, and gravely ill. Then Anathapindika the householder, called an attendant and said to him, "O man, go to the Bhagava and approach him prostrating yourself at his feet carrying my words. Say to the Bhagava, 'Venerable Sir, Anathapindika, the householder, is sick in pain, and gravely ill. He pays homage with his head at the feet of the Bhagava' (Further,) go to the Venerable Sariputta, and approach him, prostrating yourself at his feet, carrying my words. Say to the Venerable Sariputta, 'Venerable Sir, Anathapindika the householder, is sick in pain, and gravely ill. He pays homage with his feet at the feet of the Venerable Sariputta ' And also say thus. 'Venerable Sir, may the Venerable Sariputta, out of compassion, come to the house of Anathapindika.

(When Anathapindika was in good health, he usually paid a visit to the Buddha at least once a day, and twice or three if he could manage it. But now that he was on his death bed he was sending an attendant as messenger.)

"Very well, Sir, "replied the attendant to Anathapindika, and went to the Bhagava. He paid homage to the Bhagava prostrating himself at his feet, and said to the Bhagava as instructed by his master. Then it was nearly sundown. He next went to the Venerable Sariputta, approached him prostrating himself at his feet, and said to the Venerable one as instructed by his master, requesting the Venerable one to come to Anathapindika's house. The Venerable Sariputta signified his acceptance by remaining silent.

Then, the Venerable Sariputta, re-robing himself carrying his alms-bowl and great robe, went to the house of Anathapindika the householder, accompanied by the Venerable Ananda as his attendant (in place of another bhikkhu which was the custom); and there, after taking the seat prepared for him, asked Anathapindika, the householder "Householder, are you feeling well? Are you feeling better? Is your pain decreasing and not increasing? Does it appear to be decreasing and not increasing?"

Anathapindika, the householder, replied to the Venerable Sariputta how he was feeling unwell, how he was not feeling any better, how his pain was increasing and not decreasing, and how it appeared to be increasing and not decreasing, giving four examples.

The Venerable Sariputta knew that the illness of the Householder was not controllable but that it would end only with this death. So he considered it important not to talk about anything but to give a discourse that would be of benefit to him. He gave the following discourse in a comprehensive manner. Since there is no possibility of checking an ailment which will end only with the death of the sufferer who, being under the influence of craving, conceit and wrong view, is attached to the six sense-doors, the six sense-objects, the six kinds of consciousness, the six kinds of contact, the six kinds of sensation, etc.) He said, "Householder, you should practise thus;

'I will have no attachment, by way of either Craving or Conceit or Wrong view, for the eye, which is corporeality with sensitivity of seeing, then the consciousness which is dependent on the eye (through a subtle fondness nikanti tanha for the eye) will not arise in me! Householder, you should practise the Threefold Training in this way.

(Herein. "You should practise thus 'I will have no attachment to the eye' is said to exhort the Householder to view the eye as impermanent, woeful (dukkha) and unsubstantial. This is so because if one views the eye as impermanent, Conceit cannot have any foothold, i.e., it cannot arise, if one views the eye as woeful (dukkha) . Craving attachment to the eye as 'my eye' cannot arise; if one views that eye as unsubstantial, the Wrong View of a personal identity or the ego as 'my Self cannot arise. Hence to be free of the misconceptions through Conceit, Craving and Wrong View, one should repeatedly view the eye as impermanent, woeful (dukkha) and unsubstantial.

The three misconceptions of Conceit, Craving and Wrong View are crude mental States. Even when those misconceptions may disappear there is a subtle fondness (nikanti) for the eye that tends to persist in one. The Venerable Sariputta exhorts the Householder to have his consciousness to be free of this subtle fondness

The same applies to the five other sense bases such as ear, nose, etc. and also to sense-objects, etc.)

Having exhorted Anathapindika to train himself to be free of attachment to the eye through Conceit, Craving and Wrong View, and also to have no lingering fondness for the eye, the Venerable Sariputta further exhorted him as follows,

"That beings so, Householder, you should practise thus 'I will have no attachment for the ear .. . p.. the nose . . . p. ., the tongue .. . p . for the mind, the mind-base; (not even a subtle fondness for the mind)' (1)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus; 'I will have no attachment for visual objects .. . p... sounds . . . p .. odours . . . p... tangible objects ... p... mind-objects (not even a subtle fondness for mind-objects).' (2)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for eye-consciousness ... p ... ear-consciousness ... p... nose consciousness ... p . body-consciousness ... p ... mind consciousness (not even a subtle fondness for mind-consciousness.) (3)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus" 'I will have no attachment for eye-contact ... p ... ear-contact ... p... nose-contact ... tongue-contact ... p ... body-contact ... p ... mind-contact (not even a subtle fondness mind-contact) ' (4)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for sensation arising out of eye-contact ... p... sensation arising out of ear-contact sensation arising out of nose-contact ... p ...sensation arising out of tongue-contact ... p ... sensation arising out of body-contact ... p ... sensation arising out of mind-contact (not even a subtle fondness for sensation arising out of mind-contact).' (5)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for the Element of solidity ... p ... the Element of cohesion ... p ... the Element of heat ... p ... the Element of motion ... p .. the Element of Space ... p ... the Element of consciousness (not even a subtle fondness for the element of consciousness.)' (6)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for corporeality ... p ... sensation ... p... perception ... p ... volitional activities consciousness (not even subtle fondness for consciousness).' (7)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for the Jhana of infinity of Space ... the Jhana of infinity of consciousness ... p ... the Jhana of Nothingness ... p ... the Jhana of Neither-consciousness-nor-non consciousness (not even a subtle fondness for the Jhana of Neither-consciousness-nor-non-consciousness).' (8)

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus. 'I will have no attachment for the present world; then the consciousness which is dependent on the present world (through a subtle fondness for the present world) will not arise in me.' Householder, you should practise the Threefold Training in this way.

"That being so, Householder, you should practise thus: 'I will have no attachment for the hereafter; then the consciousness which is dependent on the hereafter (through a subtle fondness for the hereafter will not arise in me. Householder, you should practise the Threefold Training in this way.

(From the first to eight rounds of exposition the sentient world is being referred to. In the last (ninth) round, 'the present world' refers to volitional activities related to dwelling, food and raiment and other possessions; 'the hereafter' means all forms of existence beyond the human existence. The Venerable Sariputta, by mentioning the hereafter, hints that the Householder should not crave for grand mansions, gorgeous food and raiment, etc., in any of the celestial world.)

Thus the Venerable Sariputta give a comprehensive discourse in nine turns (on the same theme). It may be noted that the three roots, Craving, Conceit and Wrong View, are completely eliminated out on attainment of Arahatta phala. Of the three, Wrong View is eradicated when Stream-Entry Knowledge in gained. The Venerable Sariputta repeatedly exhorted Anathapindika to practise so that no attachment to anything arises in the mind through any of these misconceptions. This connotes that Arahattaphala should be the goal. This theme he impressed on the Householder by nine different factors, viz. Sense-doors, Sense-objects, Consciousness, Contact, Sensation, Dhatu Elements, Khandha aggregates, Jhana of the Non-material Sphere, and all things knowable, sabba dhamma. The voidness, the emptiness, the unreality of these phenomena is comprehended when one attains Arahattaphala.)

When the discourse had ended, Anathapindika the Householder wept bitterly. Then the Venerable Ananda said to Anathapindika, the Householder: "Householder, are you attached to your possessions? Householder, are you wavering about the meritorious deeds?"

"Venerable Sir," replied Anathapindika, "I am not attached to my possessions. Nor am I wavering. I have indeed for a long time attended upon the Bhagava. I have also attended upon the bhikkhus who are worthy of respect. But, I have never heard such words of the Dhamma before.

"Householder, the laity who wear white cloths cannot understand clearly this word of the Dhamma. (For lay persons it is not easy to follow the exhortation to break away from the dear ones such as wife and children, and various other possessions such as valued attendants, fertile fields, etc..) Householder, this word of the Dhamma can be understood only by bhikkhus (Only bhikkhu can appreciate such admonition )"

"Venerable Sariputta, I beg of you. Let this word of the Dhamma be made clear to the laity who wear white cloths. Venerable Sir, there are many worthy men whose understanding is not clouded by the dust of defilements. For them it is a great loss in not being able to see the Supramundane for not having heard the Dhamma. There are likely to be people who will be able to fully understand the Dhamma and win Arahatship only if you expound the Dhamma to them."

("I have never heard such words of the Dhamma before." These words spoken by Anathapindika needs to be explained. It is not that the Householder was never before admonished by the Buddha using words of the same profound meaning. But the Doctrine leading to Arahattaphala expounded by means of such a comprehensive arrangement involving nine different turns (or rounds) as the six sense-doors, the six sense-objects, the six kinds of Consciousness, the six Elements, the Aggregates, the four jhanas of the Non-material Sphere, the present world and the hereafter, through all manner of knowing them, i.e., seeing, hearing, attaining, cognizing, has never been discoursed to him before.

Explained in another way: Charity and the delight in giving away is the hallmark of Anathapindika's character. Never would he pay a visit to the Buddha or to bhikkhus worthy of respect empty-handed: in the mornings he would take gruel and eatables to them, in the afternoons, ghee, honey or molasses, etc.. Even on some rare occasions when he had no offering to make to them he would take his attendants along, carrying fine sand with them which he let them spread about the monastic compound. At the monastery he would make his offering, observe the precepts, and then go home. His noble behaviour was reputed to be one worthy of a Buddha-to-be. The Buddha, during the twenty-four years of association with Anathapindika, mostly praised him for his charity. "I had practised charity over four incalculable period and a hundred thousand world-cycles. You are following my footsteps." The great disciples like the Venerable Sariputta usually discoursed to Anathapindika on the benefits of giving in charity. That is why the Venerable Ananda said to him. "Householder, the laity who wear white clothes cannot understand clearly this word of the Dhamma" with reference to the present discourse by the Venerable Sariputta.

This should not be taken to mean that the Buddha never discoursed to Anathapindika on the cultivating of Insight leading to Path-Knowledge and its Fruition. In fact the Householder had heard the need for Insight-development. Only that he had never listened to such an elaborate discussion running to nine turns (round) as in the present discourse. As the Sub-Commentary on Anathathapindikovada sutta has pointed out: "As a matter of fact, the Bhagava had discoursed to him (Anathapindika) on the subject of Insight development as the straight course to the attainment of the Ariya Path.")

Anathapindika passes away and is reborn in the Tusita Deva Realm.

After admonishing Anathapindika the Householder, the Venerable Sariputta and Ananda departed. Not long after they had left, Anathapindika passed away and was reborn in the Tusita deva realm.

Then, around the middle watch of the night the deva Anathapindika approached the Buddha, made obeisance to the Bagava in verse thus:

(Herein, before mentioning the verses the reason for the deva Anathapindika's visit to the Buddha should be noted. Being reborn in the Tusita deva realm, Anathapindika found out, was a great thing full of sense pleasure. His body, three gavutas long, was shining like a mass of gold. His mansion, pleasure gardens, the Wish Tree where he could get anything by mere wishing, etc. were indeed alluring. The deva reviews his past existence and saw that his devotion to the Triple Gem had been the causes of this resplendent fresh existence. He considered his new deva life. It was full of ease and comfort which could easily make him drowned in sense pleasures, forgetting the Good Doctrine. "I must now go to the human world and sing in praise of the Jetavana monastery (my past deed of merit), the Samgha, the Buddha, the Ariya Path, the Venerable Sariputta; only on returning from the human world will I start enjoying this freshly acquired life". Thus be decided.)

Four Stanzas address to the Bahagava

1. "(Venerable Sir,) this Jetavana monastery as the resort by day and by night, of the Samgha (Comprising bhikkhus who are Arahats as well as those training themselves for Arahatship.) It is the residence of the Bhagava, King of the Dhamma (That is why) it is source of delight to me.

(The Jetavana monastery was a monastic complex comprising the Buddha's Private (Scented) chamber, the square Pinnacled monastery, a number of monastic dwellings with exquisite ornate designs with fruit trees, flowering trees and shrubbery and restful seats. It was a religious premise of rare elegance, a visitor's delight. However, the real attraction of the Jetavana monastery lay in its residents, the taint-free ariyas such as the Buddha and his noble disciples. And it was that spiritual beauty of the place rather than the sensual attraction that appealed to an ariya like Anathapindika.)

2. "It is through action (i.e., volitional activities associated with magga), Knowledge (i.e., Right View and Right Thinking), Dhamma (i.e., Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration), and virtuous living based on morality (i.e., Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood) that beings are purified; they are not purified through lineage or wealth.

(In this stanza Anathapindika extols the Ariya Path of eight constituents.)

3. "That being so, the wise person, discerning his own welfare (culminating in Nibbana), should contemplate with right perception the impermanence, the woefulness and the unsubstantiality of five aggregates (i.e., this body) which are the object of Clinging. Contemplating thus, that person is purified through realising the Four Ariya Truths.

(This body, the mind-body complex which one clings to as oneself, when brought to its ultimate analysis by means of Insight-development, is revealed as to its true nature. As Insight fully develops into Path-Knowledge, The Truth of Dukkha or woefulness of repeated existences, is seen through by the frill understanding of phenomena. The Truth of the origin of dukkha is seen through and discarded. The Truth of cessation dukkha is realized by direct experience. The Truth of the Path is penetratingly understood by developing it. Then the yogi is free from of the defilements and purity is achieved. In this stanza Anathapindika extols the development of Insight and the realization of the Path-Knowledge)

4. A certain bhikkhu reaches the other shore (that is Nibbana). In this respect he is equal to Sariputta. But Sariputta with his knowledge, morality and calm (pacification of asava) panna, sila, upasama, is the noblest among those bhikkhus who reach the other shore (that is Nibbana)"

(In this stanza Anathapindika extols the virtues of the Venerable Sariputta.)

The deva Anathapindika addressed those four stanzas to the Buddha. The Buddha listened to them without making any interruption, thus showing his approval. Then the deva Anathapindika gladly thinking, "The Teacher is pleased with these words, of mine," made obeisance to Bhagava and vanished there and then.

Then, when the night passed and morning came, the Buddha addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Bhikkhus, last night, about the middle watch of the night, a certain deva approached me, made obeisance to me, and stood in a suitable place. Then he addressed to me with these stanzas. The Buddha recited to the bhikkhus the verses spoken by the deva Anathapindika.

(Here, the Buddha did not mention the name of Anathapindika because he wanted the intuition of Ananda to be brought to the fore.)

Accordingly, as soon as the Buddha had spoken, the Venerable Ananda, without hesitating a moment, said, "Venerable Sir, that deva must have been the deva Anathapidika. Venerable Sir, Anathapindika the Householder had much devotion to the Venerable Sariputta."

"Well said, Ananda, well said. Ananda, you do have the right intuition, Ananda, that deva is indeed the deva Anathapindika." Thus said the Buddha.

(Here ends the story of Anathapindika the Householder.)

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of the Brothers Tapussa and Bhallika

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of the Brothers Tapussa and Bhallika

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(a) The past aspirations of the two lay male disciples.

(I shall describe the story of the brothers Tapussa and Bhallika based on the Commentary on the Anguttara Nikaya and the Commentary on the Theragatha, the Ekaka nipata.)

The Future-Tapussa and Future-Bhallika were born into a worthy family in the city of Hamsavati during the time of Padumuttara Buddha. When they were attending to a discourse by the Buddha, they saw two disciples designated as the foremost disciples in being the first of the Buddha's disciples who were established in the Three Refuges. The two brothers aspired to that distinction and after making an extraordinary offering, wished for that goal. (Anguttara Commentary)

Other past existences in the intervening period.

The two brothers lived a life full of meritorious deeds and after passing away from that memorable existence they never fell to the miserable states of apaya but were reborn only in the deva world and the human world. The Future-Bhallika was reborn, thirty-one world- cycles previous to the present world-cycle, in a period which was devoid of any Buddha, as a man who offered all kinds of fruit to a Paccekabuddha named Sumana. For that good deed he fared only in the good destinations. During the time of Sikhi Buddha he was born into a brahmin family in the city of Arunavati. He heard the news that the two merchant brothers, Ujita and Ojita, had opportunity of offering first alms-food to Sikhi Buddha who had arisen from the seventh seven-day abiding in the attainment in Cessation and who was about to begin his eight seven-day abiding in the attainment of Cessation He went to see Sikhi Buddha together with his friend, (the Future-Tapussa), and after paying homage to the Buddha, requested him to accept their alms-food offering the next day. On the next day they made an extra-ordinary offering to the Buddha and said, "Venerable Sir, for this good deed, let both of us get the opportunity of making the first alms-food to the Buddha in the future.

The two friends fared in various existences during which they performed meritorious deeds together, resulting in rebirth at the fortunate destinations. During the time of Kassapa Buddha they were born into the family of a cattle merchant. For a long period of life lasting many years they offered milk-food to the Samgha. (These events are described in the Commentary on the Theragattha.)

(b) Discipleship in their last existence.

The two friends fared in the fortunate destinations for the infinite years that constituted the interim period between the two Buddhas. During the time of Gotama Buddha before the Buddha won Perfect Enlightenment, they were reborn as two sons of a travelling merchant who carried on their trade using a big caravan for carrying the goods from place to place. Their native town was called Asitancana (the Commentary on Theragattharefers to it as Pokkharavati). The elder brother was named Tapussa; the younger, Bhallika.

They became householders and carried on trading together using a caravan of five hundred bullock carts. It was at that time Gotama Buddha had won Perfect Enlightenment, had passed seven times seven days of abiding in the attainment of Cessation, and was about to enter into the eighth seven-days period of abiding in the attainment of Cessation at the foot of a 'Linlun' tree, (the Sapium baccatum).

The caravan of the two merchant brothers were then not far from the tree. At that time the deva who had been mother to the merchant brothers in the immediately previous existence saw the dire need of the Buddha for sustenance who, after staying for forty-nine days (having last taken Sujata's milk-rice in forty-nine morsels), must eat that day for his survival. She thought her two sons should very well provide the food just in time. So she made the bullocks unable to go using her powers.

The two brothers inspected the bullocks, the carts, and all relevant conditions that made the carts immobile. They were at their wit's end to find the reason. The deva mother of the previous existence, seeing them disheartened, possessed a man in the caravan and said to them, "Dear sons, you are not harassed by any demon or peta or naga but it is me, a deva of the terrestrial realm, who was your mother in your last existence, who have done this. (Now, sons,) the Buddha who is endowed with Ten Powers, is staying at the foot of a 'Linlun' tree. Go and offer alms-food to the Buddha which will be the first food he takes after attainment of Buddhahood"

The two brothers were delighted by the deva's word. And thinking that if they were to cook alms-food it would take too much time, they took some of their choicest preserved food, put it in a gold salver, and going near the Buddha, said, "Venerable Sir, may you out of compassion, accept this victual." The Buddha reviewed the situation and considered what course the previous Buddha followed in such a case. The four Great Deva Kings then came to the Buddha and offered an alms-bowl each, which was of granite having the colour of the green gram. The Buddha considered the great benefit that would accrue to the four devas, and so accepted all the four bowls, and (placing them one a top the other,) willed that the four bowls become one, and accordingly, the four granite bowls became a single alms-bowl with four rims.

The two brothers put their alms-food into the Buddha's alms-bowl. (The Buddha ate the food.) After the Buddha finished eating it the brothers offered water for drinking and washing. Then they made obeisance to the Buddha and sat in a suitable place. The Buddha gave them a discourse at the end of which both the two brothers were established in the 'Two Refuges' (The story of the establishment of the two brothers in the Two Refuges (dve vacika saranagamana) has been described in the Great Chronicle, Volume Two.)

After having established in the Two Refuges, before departing the two brothers said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, may the Bhagava, out of compassion, bestow on us something which we may revere every day" The Buddha passed his right hand on the head and gave them eight hairs as relics. The brothers put the hairs in a gold casket and took them home. Back at their town they put up a shrine at the entrance of the town of Asitancana where the eight relics from the living Buddha were enshrined. On uposatha (sabbath) days the shrine used to emit Buddha-rays.

(c) The two brothers designated as foremost lay disciples.

On another occasion when the Buddha was residing at the Jetavana monastery and conferred titles of distinction on lay disciples accordingly to their merit, he declared "Bhikkhus, among my lay disciples who have taken refuge earliest in the Buddha and the Dhamma the merchant brothers Tapussa and Bhallika are the foremost."

The attainment of Path-Knowledge.

Tapussa and Bhallika were the earliest of the Buddha's lay disciples who took refuge in the Buddha and the Dhamma. Later the Buddha made his first discourse, the Dhammacakka at the Migadavana forest near Baranasi. After that he went and resided in Rajagaha. The two brothers got to Rajagaha on a trading trip They visited the Buddha, made obeisance and sat in a suitable place. The Buddha gave discourse to them at the end of which the elder brother Tapussa was established in Stream-Entry Knowledge and its Fruition. The younger brother turned bhikkhu and in due course attained Arahatship endowed with the six Supernormal Powers. (Commentary on the Theragattha, Book 1).

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Patacara Theri

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Patacara Theri

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(a) Her past aspiration.

The future Patacara Theri was born into a rich man's family in the city of Hansavati during the time of Padumuttara Buddha. On one occasion while she was attending to a sermon by the Buddha she saw a bhikkhuni being designated as the foremost bhikkhuni among those who were most learned in the Vinaya Rules. She aspired to that honour in her own time and after making an extraordinary offering to the Buddha, expressed her desire for the honour of being designated as the foremost bhikkhu in the matter of Vinaya learning. Padumuttara Buddha prophesied that her wish would be fulfilled.

In her existence as one of the seven daughters of King Kiki

After filling her whole life with meritorious deeds, the Rich man's daughter passed away and was reborn in the deva world and then the human world and the deva world in turns. During the time of Kassapa Buddha she was born as the third of the seven illustrious daughters of King Kiki (of Baranasi) about whom we have said earlier on, her name was Bhikkhuni; she and the six sisters remained spinsters, lived a life of chastity for the whole life span of twenty thousand years and donated a big monastic complex together.

(b) Taking up the life of a Bhikkhuni in her last existence.

The king's daughter, after passing away from that existence, was reborn in the deva world. For the innumerable years of the intervening period between the two Buddhas she enjoyed celestial pleasures. During the time of Gotama Buddha she was reborn as the daughter of the rich man of Savatthi.

When she came of age she fell in love with a servant of her fathers' household. When her parents arranged for her betrothal with the son of another rich man, she warned her lover on the day before the day of betrothal that unless he was prepared to elope her forthwith, their love affair would be ended. The man was true to her. He eloped with her, taking whatever little savings he had set aside, the two lovers ran away stealthily and took shelter at a small village three or four yojanas away from Savatthi.

In due course the rich mans daughter became pregnant and said to her husband 'My Lord, this is a desolate place for us to give birth to my child. Let us go back to my fathers house. The husband was a timid man. He dared not face the consequences of returning to his master's house and procrastinated. The wife then decided that her husband was not going to send her back to her house and chose the absence of her husband to step away alone towards her father's house.

When the husband came back from his short trip and learnt that his wife had gone back to her parents' house he felt pity for her 'She has to suffer because of me,' he repented and he went after her without delay. He caught up with her on the way but by then she had delivered the child. Then they agreed between them that since the purpose of her returning to her parents was for safe delivery of her child, and now that the child had been delivered safely there "'is no point in going there. So they went back to their small village.

Another child arrived. The wife asked her husband to take her to her parents place. The husband procrastinated as before, and getting impatient, she went alone. On the way she delivered her second child safely when her husband caught up with her. At that time there came heavy rains on all the four quarters. The wife asked her husband to put up some shelter from the rains for the night. He made a rickety shelter from whatever faggots he could find. He then went in search of some tufts of grass to build an embankment around the little hut. He started pulling out grass from a mound, not noticing it as such.

The cobra that lay inside the mound got annoyed and struck the man who fell dead on the spot. The wife who was kept waiting in the rickety hut, after awaiting the whole night, thought that her husband had deserted her. She went to look for him and found him lying dead near the mound 'Oh, me! my husband met his death all on account of me!" She wailed. And holding the bigger child by the hand and putting the infant on her waist, she took the road to Savatthi. In front of her she had to cross a shallow stream (which seemed deep). She thought she might not be able to cross it with both the children together. So she left the elder boy on this side of the stream and after crossing it, placed the infant on the other side, wrapped up snugly. She waded the stream back to the elder boy. Just as she got half-way in the stream a kite swooped down on the infant baby taking it for its prey. The mother became excited and tried to shoo away the kite but her throwing up the hands in the air was mistaken as beckoning to him by the elder child who now ran into the stream. He slipped and was carried away by the swift current. Before the mother could get to her infant child the kite had got it and was lost. She wailed her fate in half a stanza thus:

'Both my two sons are dead and gone!

And my husband too had died on the way!'

Wailing in those desperate words, she proceeded along her way to Savatthi.

When she arrived in Savatthi, she was unable to find her parents' place. It was partly due to her intense grief but there was a substantial reason for her failure to recognize her own childhood home. For as she asked the people where the Rich Man's house which used to be somewhere there had gone, they answered, "What use is there if you find the house." It has been destroyed by last nights' gale. All the inmates of the house died inside the house that fell down. They all were cremated on a single pyre. And that is the place of their burial," the people showed her the thin smoke from the burnt up pyre.

"What, what did you say?" Those were the only words she could say and she collapsed. When she came round, she was not in her own wits. She could not care about decency with no cloths on, her hands raised in the air wildly, she went near the burnt-up pyre and wailed:

"Both my two sons are dead and gone!

And my husband too has died on the way!

My mother, my father and my brother, (Having perished together,)

Have been cremated on a single pyre"

The meaning of the word 'Patacara

The Rich Man's daughter went about the city naked. When other people tried to cover up her body she tore off the clothes. Thus wherever she went she was surrounded by astonished crowds. She came to be referred to as 'The naked woman' Patacara (Or in another sense of the Pali word, 'the shameless woman') As she went absentmindedly wailing in that tragic stanza people would say "Hey go away, mad woman!" Some would throw dirt and refuse on her head, some would throw stones at her.

Patacara finds peace

The Buddha saw Patacara roaming about aimlessly while he was making a discourse to an audience at the Jetavana monastery. Seeing that her faculties had now ripened, the Buddha willed that Patacara come to him at the monastery . People tried to prevent her coming to the monastery but the Buddha said to them. 'Don't try to stop her. When she came nearer the Buddha said to her, 'Patacara be mindful.'

As soon as she heard the Buddha's words, thanks to the Buddha's powers, Patacara regained her senses. Knowing her nakedness she sat down on her closed knees and remained with her body bent, and trying her best to cover up her naked body with her hands. Someone then threw down to her a piece of garment which she took up, cloaked herself in, and drew near the Buddha. In worshipping posture, she related the tragic story thus:

"Venerable Sir, may you be my refuge! My younger son was swooped away by a kite. My elder son was drowned in the current of a stream. My husband died on the way. My parents and my brothers were killed in the house that collapsed and they were cremated on a single pyre."

The Buddha said to her:

"Patacara, do not vacillate. You have now come to one in whom you can take refuge. Just as you have shed tears for the loss of your sons, husband, mother, father and brother, so also had you shed much tears, even greater than the waters of the four great oceans, throughout the beginningless round of existences."

The Bhagava also spoke in verse as follows:

"Patacara, the waters of the four great oceans are little when compared to the amount of tears shed by one person on account of the grief suffered for loss of his or her beloved ones. Now, my daughter, why are you so negligent? Be careful."

On hearing the Buddha's discourse containing the perspective of Samsara, grief abated in the mind of Patacara . The Bhagava, knowing that Patacara had been able to control her sorrow, discoursed further thus:

"Patacara, neither son nor husband can protect one on the journey through after life, nor are they one's refuge. That being so, even though sons or husband may be living, they are as good as non-existent for a wayfarer in samsara. Therefore a wise person should purify his morality and get himself or herself established on the Noble Practice leading to Nibbana."

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

"Patacara, when one falls victim to Death neither one's sons nor parents nor close relations can protect one, one's kith and kin have no power to give protection " - Dhammapada V-288

"Knowing this lack of protection against Death, the wise person restrained by morality should make haste to clear the Ariya Path that leads to Nibbana"

At the end of the discourse Patacara burnt up the infinite defilements by means of Stream Entry Knowledge and was established in Sotapatti Magga.

After becoming a Stream-Enterer, Patacara requested the Buddha that she be admitted into the Order of bhikkhuni. The Buddha caused her to be taken to the bhikkhunis and be admitted as a bhikkhuni.

How Patacara attained Arahatship

One day bhikkhuni Patacara was washing her feet. As she poured down the water on her feet the water flowed to a short distance and then stopped there. When a second cup was poured the water flowed to a place slightly farther away than the first stream and then stopped. When a third cup was poured the water flowed to a place slightly farther away than the second stream. Patacara, already a Stream Enterer, meditated on this phenomenon of the three streams of water, and applied it to the three periods of life thus:

"Just as the first stream of water stopped at a short place, sentient beings are liable to die during their first period of life.

Just as the second stream flowed slightly farther than the first stream and stopped, so also sentient beings are liable to die during their middle age.

And just as the third stream flowed farther than the second stream and stopped, so also sentient being are liable to die in their last period of life."

She reflected further that just as all the three streams must end up and disappear so also living beings must give up their tenure of life and perish. Thus the impermanence of things gave her insight into all conditioned phenomena. From that insight into impermanence, the characteristic of the woefulness (dukkha) of all conditioned phenomena dawned on her conditioned mind, and hence the insubstantiality, the emptiness of all and conditioned phenomena also was then perceived.

Pondering deeply on the three characteristics, she went into her monastic dwelling for a suitable change in the temperature. There she placed the lighted lamp at its usual place and, wishing to extinguish it, she pulled down the wick into oil with a pointed needle.

Just at that moment the Buddha while sitting in his private chamber sent Buddha-rays to Patacara making himself visible to her and said:

"Patacara, you are thinking rightly all sentient beings are subject to death. Therefore it is in vain to be living for a hundred years without the right perception of the five aggregates of their arising and dissolution, whereas it is really worthwhile to live even for a day with a full understanding of the five aggregates"

The Buddha put this point in verse as follows:

"Patacara even if one were to live a hundred years without perceiving (with Insight) the arising and perishing of conditioned phenomena (i.e. , mind and body), yet more worthwhile indeed is a single day's life of one who perceives the arising and perishing of mind and body." Dhammapada, V - 13)

At the end of the discourse Patacara attained arahatship together with the four Discriminative Knowledges.

After attaining Arahatship Patacara learnt the Vinaya from the Buddha extensively and made wise judgments on matters concerning the Vinaya. Therefore on another occasion when the Buddha honoured distinguished bhikkhunis in a congregation at the Jetavana monastery he declared:

'Bhikkhus among my bhikkhunis disciples who are wise (adept) in the Vinaya, Bhikkhuni Patacara is the foremost.'

(Here ends the story of Patacara Theri)

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Uppalavanna Theri

Khuddaka Nikaya - Buddhavamsa - The Story of Uppalavanna Theri

The Great Chronicle of The Buddhas
by Mingun Sayadaw

Edited and Translated by
U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin
Yangon, Myanmar

(a) The past aspiration of the Theri

The Future-Uppalavanna Theri was born into a worthy family in the city of Hamsavati during the time of Padumutara Buddha. On one occasion she listened to a discourse by the Buddha in the midst of a big audience, where she saw the Buddha name a Bhikkhuni as the foremost Bhikkhuni among those endowed with supernormal powers. She

aspired to become such a great bhikkhuni in the future and she made an extraordinary offering to the Buddha and the Samgha for seven days. At the end of seven days she placed seven bunches of lotus flowers at the feet of the Buddha as her tribute and expressed her aspiration for the title of the foremost Bhikkhuni among those endowed with supernormal powers. Padumuttara Buddha prophesied that her aspiration would be fulfilled.

Offering of Lotus Flowers to a Paccekabuddha.

After passing away from that existence which was marked by a lifelong dedication to the Buddha and the Samgha, she was reborn in the Tavatimsa deva realm. Next she was reborn in the human world when she offered lotus flowers and alms-food to a Paccekabuddha.

In her existence as the daughter of a rich man

Ninety-one world-cycles previous to the present world-cycle there arose Vipassi Buddha during which period the Future-Uppalavanna Theri was born into a Rich Man's family in Baranasi. She invited the Buddha and the Samgha to her place, made an extraordinary offering, and making a gift of lotus flowers to Vipassi Buddha, she mentally wished for personal charm in her future existences.

In her existence as a daughter of King Kiki

After passing away from that existence which too was marked by meritorious deeds, the rich man's daughter was reborn as a deva, and she alternated between deva and human existence. During the time of Kassapa Buddha. in the present world-cycle, she became the second of the seven daughters of King kiki in Baranasi by the name of Princess Samanagutta. In that existence she, like her second eldest sister, the future Khema Theri remained a spinster for life which lasted twenty- thousand years. They donated a monastic complex for the Samgha. At her death she was reborn in the deva realm again.

In her existence as Ummadanti

After passing away from the deva realm she was born into a worthy family in the human world. During that existence she donated a gold-coloured piece of cloth to an Arahat, bhikkhu disciple of Kassapa Buddha (For details see Ummadanti Jataka)

She passed away from that existence to be reborn as Ummadanti, the exquisitely beautiful daughter of a rich Brahmin named Tiritivaccha in Aritthapura in the Province of Sivi (For details see Ummadani Jataka, pannasa nipata).

In her existence as a watch woman in the field.

Her next existence was as the daughter of a farmer in a small village. Early one morning, as she went to the farm house she found in a pond on her way a freshly blooming lotus-flower. She went into the pond and plucked it. At the farm house she gathered some ears of rice and roasted the rice into pop corn which she counted up to five hundred. She put the pop corn in a lotus leaf gathered from the pond.

At that moment a Paccekabuddha, after rising from his dwelling in the attainment of cessation, came by way of the air and stood not far away from the farmer's daughter. The girl saw him, Went to the farm house to get the pop corn and the lotus flowers, and then she put the pop corn into the Paccekabuddha's alms-bowel, covered it with the lotus flower, and offered it to the Paccekabuddha.

After the Paccekabuddha had gone awhile, she thought, a Paccekabuddha has no use with a flower; perhaps I should get it back and wear it."She made a few steps towards the Paccekabuddha on his way and then asked back the lotus flower. But then she pondered. "Well, if the Paccekabuddha did not want my gift of the flower he would have refused to accept it at the beginning. Now that he allowed me to put it on his alms-bowl he must have liked it as a gift." So thinking, she placed the flower back to the alms-bowl again. (For this wavering act her future existences, as we shall see, were marked by mixed fortunes.)

Having thus made a gift; again, of the lotus flower, and admitting her fault for taking it back earlier, she expressed her wish, "Venerable Sir, for offering this pop corn my I be blessed with five hundred sons in my future existence, the number of pop-corn flowers that make up my gift.

Further, for my gift of the lotus flower may lotus flowers rise up from the earth to receive every step I make in my future existence!"

(According to the life history of Uppalavana, while the farmer's daughter was making her offerings to the Paccekabuddha, five hundred farm workers watching the field offered some honey to the Paccekabuddha and made their wish that in their future existence they be reborn as the sons (five hundred of them all) of the young lady.)

The Paccekabuddha then rose to the sky even while the girl was watching him and returned to Gandamadana mountain. There he placed the lotus flowers at the entrance to Nandamula Cave for use by all Paccekabuddhas as a door-mat at the foot of the flight of steps.

In the existence as Queen Padumadevi

As the result of that good deed when the girl passed away from that existence she was reborn, by instantaneous full-grown birth, as a deva. There in her own existence a lotus flower arose from the earth at her foot at every step she made. When she passed away from the deva existence she was reborn in the human world from a lotus flower in a big lake of lotus flowers at the foot of a mountain. A recluse made his dwelling nearby. Early one morning he went to the lake to wash his face and saw a lotus flower in bud which was already bigger than other buds but while the other buds had opened up their petals into full bloom this bud remained in bud. He thought it strange and so went into the water and plucked it.

In his hand the big bud opened up its petals and inside there he saw a female child lying. He felt a curious sense of paternal love for the child. He took her to the hermitage along with the lotus flower, and put her on a small cot. Thanks to the past merits of the girl, milk oozed out from the big thumb of the recluse with which he nursed her. When the first lotus flower that she lay on became withered a new lotus flower was placed underneath her.

When the young girl could walk and romp about there arose from the earth a lotus flower under her feet wherever she went. She had a saffron-coloured complexion. Her personal charm was super-human and would nearly equal that of a celestial maiden. Since she was gotten from the lotus her foster father, the good recluse, named her Padumavati (Miss Lotus). When the recluse went out in search of fruit she was left-alone at the hermitage.

Padumavatr becomes a Queen

When Padumavati came of age, one day during the absence of the recluse, out on fruit gathering, a hunter who happened to come to the hermitage saw her and thought, "There is no human being on earth as beautiful as this girl. I must find out what she is." And so he awaited the return of the recluse. When the recluse was seen coming the girl went out to meet him, took the yoke (laden with fruits) and the water pot from him, got her foster father seated, and attended on him lovingly.

The hunter was now sure that the girl was in fact a human being, and after paying homage to the recluse sat there. The recluse gave him fruits and water, then asked him, "Are you going to stay in the forest or, are you going back to your home?"

The hunter said, "I have no business in the future, Sir, I am going back to my home."

"Could you keep this experience of your meeting with the girl to yourself without letting anyone know about it?"

"If you would rather not let others know about this, Sir, why should I tell others?" But he said this merely to please his kind host. On his return after paying respect to the recluse, he carefully carved out the trees and arranged some branches along his way to the hermitage so as to recognize his path.

And back at the city, he went to see the king who asked the purpose of his visit. He said, "Great King, I am your humble servant, a hunter. I come to report to you the presence of a most remarkable woman in the forest at the foot of the mountain who would surely be an asset for Your Majesty." He explained the circumstance of his discovery to the king. The king was deeply interested. He marched for the foot of the mountain without losing time. Having encamped at a place not far away from the hermitage, he awaited till the recluse had finished his meal and went to see the recluse accompanied by a few courtiers. The recluse was then sitting in his hermitage where the king greeted him, exchanged courteous words and sat in a suitable place.

The king made offering to the recluse articles used by recluse. And then as a 'feeler' he said, "Venerable Sir, what is the use of living here? Let us go to the city." "I am not going, Great King, said the recluse. "You may go" To which the king said, "Very well, Venerable Sir, but I am given to understand that there is a woman in your company. It is not proper for a woman to be living in the company of a recluse. I would request that the woman be allowed to go with me.

To this direct request made by the king the recluse replied, "It is not easy for one to please many people. How could my daughter fit in with the court life with its many queens and ladies in waiting?"

The king allayed the fears of the recluse, saying, "Venerable Sir, if I (am allowed to marry her and) have given my love to her I will make her my Chief Queen."

Thereupon the recluse called to his child, as he usually addressed her since childhood, Padumavati, my little girl!" Young Padumavati promptly responded, she came out of the hermitage and, saluting her father, stood before him, who said, "Dear girl, you have come of age. From the moment the king has cast his eyes on you, you should not stay here any longer. Go along with the king, my little girl."

"Very well, dear father," she said, weeping, and still standing.

The King of Baranasi wishing to prove his sincerity, showered Padumavati with gold, silver and jewellery and anointed her as his Chief Queen there and then.

Queen Padumavati dominates the King's heart and becomes a victim of Court Intrigue.

At the court of Baranasi the King's heart was captivated by the Chief Queen so much so that since her arrival there all the other queens and ladies-in-waiting were totally neglected by the King. The women folk felt bitter about it and they tried to undermine the King's affection for the Chief Queen, saying, "Great King, Padumavati is not a human being. Where on earth have you ever seen a human being whose every step is received by a lotus flower arising from the earth? She is a demon, for sure. She is dangerous. She ought to be banished forthwith." The King did not say anything.

At another time when the king was called away by duty to suppress a rising at the remote part of the kingdom he had to leave behind Padumavati at the palace, knowing that she was pregnant. The women folk at court seized this opportunity to strike. They bribed Padumavati's attendant into a wicked plot. She was instructed to remove the infant when the Chief Queen gave birth to her child and replace it with a piece of wood smeared with blood.

When Padumavati delivered the child Prince Maha Paduma was the real offspring that she gave birth to as he was the only child conceived in her womb. The other sons, four hundred and ninety-nine of them, arose from the drops of her blood splattered about at child birth. The attendant duly carried out her instruction and informed the news of the Chief Queen's delivery to the other queens. The five hundred women folk at the court stole one child each while their mother was still asleep after her labour. Then they ordered five hundred wooden caskets made by turners to put each child. They placed them inside the caskets, and put seals on each.

When Queen Padumavati woke up and asked her assistant about her child, the latter frowned and retorted, "Where did you ever get a child'? This is what you have delivered," and produced the piece of wood smeared with blood. The Queen was very unhappy and asked her to put it away quickly. The woman quickly complied as if eager to safeguard the Queen's honour by splitting up the piece of wood and throwing it into the fireplace in the kitchen.

The King returned from his expedition and was camping outside the city awaiting the auspicious time according to astrological calculation. The women folk went to greet the king there and pressed their case for banishing Queen Padumavati. "Great King, you did not believe our word about the Chief Queen But now ask the assistant of Queen Padumavati who had given birth to a block of wood!" The King, without investigating about the matter, believed that Padumavati was a demon and ordered her banishment.

Padumavati's star was now on the wane. As she was banished from the palace no lotus flowers appeared underneath her feet. Her good looks left her. She took the road, feeling forlorn. When an old woman saw her she had an instinctive affection for her and said. "Where are you going, my daughter?" Padumavati replied, "O mother, I am looking for some place for shelter" The old woman said, "In that case: my daughter, come with me to my house," and taking her home, fed her and put her up there.

The Court intrigue comes to light

When Padumavati was staying at the old woman's house the women folk at the court said to the king in one voice "O Great King, when you were on your military expedition we had invoked the guardian spirit of the Ganga river for your success and promised him to make offerings on your victorious return. So let the king and all of us go to the Ganga river, make offerings to the river spirit and have fun bathing in the river."; the king gladly consented and they all went to the river.

The five hundred women of the court secretly carried the caskets with babies in them and went into the water with their garments on, underneath which were the hidden caskets. Once in the river, they floated down the caskets in the river. The five hundred caskets collected together in the current, floated down together, and were caught in fishermen's net cast at down-stream. After the king had finished bathing in the river the fishermen raised up their net from the water and to their great surprise found the five hundred caskets, which they presented to the king. The king asked them "What do the caskets contain'?" And they answered, "We do not know what is inside them, Great King, we only believed them to be something strange." When the five hundred caskets were opened under the king's orders, the first one to be opened happened to contain Prince Mahapaduma.

The past merit of the five hundred princelings was such that from the day of their confinement in the caskets, milk flowed from their thumbs to nourish them. Sakka also cleared the doubts in the king's mind by inscribing inside the caskets the message.

"These babies are born of Queen Padumavati and are the sons of the King of Baranasi. They have been put inside the caskets by the five hundred queens and their accomplices who bore a grudge against the Chief Queen and have been thrown into the river. Let the king of Baranasi know these facts.

The king, being thus enlightened, took up Prince Mahapaduma, and ordered, O men, harness the chariots and dress up the horses quickly! I shall now go into the city and show my love to some women folk." So saying, he rode post haste into the city, entered his palace, and ordered the royal elephant fitted out for a tour of the land with (a velvet bag of) a thousand ticals tied at the neck of the elephant, and ordered the proclamation read aloud to all the people announcing that whoever has seen Queen Padumavati may take the king's award of one thousand ticals.

Padumavati, on hearing the proclamation, said to the old women, "Mother, take that one thousand from the neck of the royal elephant!" The old women said, "O daughter, I dare not do it " Padumavati urged her twice, thrice to do so. Then the old lady said, "O daughter, what should I say in taking the award? Just say, mother, 'I have seen Queen Padumavati?" The old lady then made herself bold to claim the award. The king's men asked her, "Have you actually seen Queen Padumavati" "I have not seen her myself, " she said, "but my daughter has."

"Where is your daughter now?" the men asked. And they were let to her house by the old lady. They recognized their queen and prostrated themselves before her. The old lady, seeing only now the real identity of the young woman, affectionately chided her "This noble lady has been so reckless. Notwithstanding her eminent position as the Chief Queen she had chosen to live unattended in such a lowly place,"

The king's men then made an enclosure of white cloth around the humble house she was staying, posted guards around it, and reported their discovery of the Chief Queen to the king. The king sent a golden palanquin to her. Padumavati however insisted that she deserved more ceremony on returning to the palace. She had a canopied walk decorated with gold stars set up all along her way to the palace with exquisite carpets. She also demanded that her regal paraphernalia be sent to her. "I am walking there," she said, "Let my greatness be seen by all the citizens." The king ordered every wish of the Chief Queen complied with. Then Queen Padumavati outfitted with full regalia, announced. "I am now going to the palace." Thereupon every step she made was greeted by a lotus flower which arose from the earth through the exquisite carpets. Thus letting all the people witness her greatness, she entered the palace. After that she gave the rich carpets to the old lady as taken of the gratitude she owed to her.

The Magnanimity of Queen Padumavati

The king summoned the five hundred women folk at court and said to Queen Padumavati, "My Queen, I give these five hundred women as slaves to you " The Queen said, "O King let the whole city know about this giving of the five hundred ladies to me." The king had the fact of this assignment of the five hundred women to Queen Padumavati proclaimed throughout the city by the beat of the gong. Having been satisfied with the public knowledge of the assignment, Queen Padumavati said to the king, "Great King, do I have the authority of emancipating my own slaves?" To which the king replied, "O Queen, you have the right to do whatever you wish with them." "In that case, O King," she said, "Let those men who had made the proclamation of the assignment made another round of the proclamation to the effect that all the five hundred slaves assigned to Queen Padumavati are hereby granted their freedom by the Queen." Then the Queen entrusted the 499 princelings to the care of the emancipated women, she took charge of looking after Prince Mahapaduma.

The five hundred Princess become Paccekabuddhas.

When the five hundred princelings were of playing age the King provided all sort of things in the royal gardens for the boys to play with. When they were of sixteen years of age, one day while they were playing in the royal lakes, where the paduma lotus were growing in profusion they observed the opening up of the lotus flowers as well as the withering away and dropping off of old flowers which, thanks to their acquisition of sufficient merit, struck their young hearts as a phenomenon worth reflecting on And this was how they reflected.

"Even these lotus flowers dependent only on temperature and nutrient are subject to ageing, how could our bodies, dependent on four factors (kamma, mind, temperature and nutrient) escape the same fate (i.e., we are likewise subject to ageing and death.)"

They reflected deeply on that phenomena (of impermanence of conditioned existence), gained insight into the nature of mind and body, and won Enlightenment on their own, without being taught by any other one. This is called Paccekabodhi Nana leading to the four Ariya Path-Knowledge. In other words, they became Paccekabuddhas. Then rising from their original seats, they each sat cross-legged on a lotus flower by means of their supernormal powers.

Late in the evening the attendants of the princelings reminded them, "O Lords, it is time to go home." The five Paccekabuddhas did not say anything. So the men went to the palace and reported the matter to the king - how the princess remained silent, all of them sitting on the lotus flowers. The king merely said, "Let my sons remain as they wish."

The five hundred Paccekabuddhas were placed under guard during the whole night, as they remained sitting on the flowers. It now dawned. And the attendants went near them and said to them, "O princes, it is time to go home" Then the princess who were Paccekabuddhas said, "We are no more princes; we are called Paccekabuddhas." The men were sceptical, and said, "You say in an irresponsible way. Paccekabuddhas are not like you. They have only two finger-breadths of hair and moustache or beard, they have recluse's paraphernalia on them. But you have your princely garb on, with long hair and moustaches, and with regal paraphernalia on you. How could you say you are Paccekabuddhas?" (The attendants were describing the Paccekabuddha as they knew it to be.) Thereupon the princes passed their hands on their heads, and lo! their appearance turned into Paccekabuddhas fully equipped with the eight essential pieces of equipment of a bhikkhu (Paccekabuddha). And while the people were looking at them they rose to the air and went in the direction of Gandamadana mountain.

The Future-Uppalavanna Theri in her existence as a farm hand.

Queen Padumavati, after enjoying deep satisfaction on regaining her five hundred sons, was now shocked for her sudden loss of the beloved youths. She did not survive the shock. After passing away from that existence she was reborn as a woman into a family of labourers in a village near a city gate in Rajagaha. She got married, and went to live with her husband's family. One day while she was carrying some gruel for her husband who was working in the field she saw eight of the five hundred Paccekabuddhas travelling by way of the air. She went quickly to her husband and said, "O Lord, look at those Paccekabuddhas! Let us invite them to an offering of alms food." But the husband who was a simpleton did not know what a Paccekabuddha meant. He said to her, "Dear wife, they are called flying bhikkhus (lit, 'bhikkhu-birds') They are also found in other places (at other times also, Sri Lankan version) flying about. They are not Paccekabuddhas they are just (strange) birds."

As the couple were discussing thus, the eight Paccekabuddhas descended to the ground not far away from them. The wife offered her share of the meal for the day to the eight Paccekabuddhas and invited them for the next days offerings. The Paccekabuddhas said, "Very well, lay female supporter, let your offerings be for eight donees only. And let your accommodation be for eight invitees only. When you see many other Paccekabuddhas besides ourselves your devotion will grow even greater." And the woman (who in her previous existence had been the mother of the Paccekabuddhas,) prepared eight seats and offerings for eight Paccekabuddhas.

The eight invitees said to the remaining Paccekabuddhas, "Do not go elsewhere today for alms-food, but bestow welfare to your mother of previous existence " Those other Paccekabuddhas agreed, and all the five hundred of them went through the sky to their former mothers' place. The mother in her past existence who had got an inkling of seeing all the five hundred sons, now Paccekabuddhas, did not have any worry about the insufficiency of her offerings. She invited all the five hundred into her house and offered eight seats. When the eight had taken their seats the ninth Paccekabuddha created through his supernormal powers another eight seats and sat there, and so on to the last of the five hundred who got seats, the house having been expanded through their supernormal powers.

The farm labourer, the mother in the previous existence, who had prepared alms food for eight donees went on serving it to all the five hundred as much as needed by them. Then she brought eight stalks of lotus flowers, and placing them before the original eight invitees, offered them, saying, "Venerable Sirs, for this act of merit, may I be born with a complexion like the colour of the inside of the pollen chamber of this brown lotus." The five hundred Paccekabuddhas said complimentary words for her good deed, and went back to Gandamadana mountain by way of the sky.

(b) Taking up the life of a Bhikkhuni in her last existence

The farm hand lived a life full of meritorious deeds and at the end of her life span was reborn in the deva world. During the time of Gotama Buddha she was born into the family of a rich man in Savatthi. She was born with a complexion like the inner side of the pollen chamber of the brown lotus and hence was named Uppalavanna. When she came of age all the worthy families - Rich men and Princes of the whole of the Southern Island Continent asked her father to give Uppalavanna in marriage to their sons.

The Rich man was in a quandary. He did not know how to reply to the great many proposals of all those worthy men. He did not wish to disappoint them. So, as a possible way of escape from the insoluble problem, he asked his daughter, Dear daughter, would you become a Bhikkhuni." Now, Uppalavanna, being the bearer of the last burden of sentient existence, was extremely delighted to hear those words, just as rarefied scented oil refined a hundred times over were poured down her head. "Yes, father, I would become a Bhikkhuni," she replied gladly.

The Rich man sent her daughter Uppalavanna to the bhikkhunis' monastery after paying great honour to her. Uppalavanna became a bhikkhuni. Not soon after she got her turn at the monastery to tidy up and light up the outside of the Sima, the congregation hall. There she observed the flame arising in a lamp which she used as her subject of meditation. She concentrated on the element of Heat in that flame, and achieved concentration (Jhana). Basing that concentration as object of insight meditation, (through contemplating the three characteristics of physical and mental phenomena she gained insight into conditioned phenomena) and soon attained Arahatship. As the result of her past aspiration to be outstanding in supernormal powers, she became endowed with facility in jhanic practice which is the essential asset in bringing into effect supernormal powers.

Uppalavanna Theri was the Foremost Bhikkhuni

On the day when Uppalavanna Theri displayed her miraculous powers during the year of the Buddha's seventh year of Enlightenment. Before doing so, she first said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, may the Bhagava allow me to display my miraculous powers," (For details of this bold undertaking on her part, see the great Chronicle Volume Three) Referring to this, the Buddha, on another occasion when outstanding Bhikkhunis were honoured at a congregation, declared,

"Bhikkhus, among my bhikkhuni disciples endowed with supernormal powers, bhikkhuni Uppalavanna is the foremost

(Here ends the story of Uppalavanna Theri)