by U Lu Pe Win | 216,848 words
This is the English translation of the commentary on the Apadana (Atthakatha), also known as the Visuddhajana-Vilasini. The Buddhist stories known as apadanas refer to biographies of Buddhas, Buddhist monks and nuns. They are found in the Pali Canon (Khuddaka Nikaya), which is the primary canon of Theravada Buddhism. Alternative titles: Visuddhaja...
1.78. In the kappa, however, when the Dasabala Dīpaṅkara arose, in that kappa, other three Buddhas also appeared. In their presence there was no prophecy for the Bodhisat. That is why, they were not shown here. In the commentary aṭṭhakathā, however, this statement was made about all Buddhas also beginning from Taṇhaṅkara; thus:-
"Taṇhaṅkara, Medhaṅkara and then also Saraṇaṅkara as well as the omniscient Buddha Dīpaṅkara, Koṇḍañña, the most excellent of men, Maṅgala and Sumaña, Revata and Sobhita, the sage, Anomadassī, Paduma, Nārada and Padumuttara; Sumedha and Sujāta as well as Piyadassī, of great reputation, Atthadassī, Dhammadassī and Siddhattha, the leader of the world; Tissa and the Omniscient Buddha Phussa. Vipassī, Sikhī and Vessabhū; Kakusandha, Koṇāgamana and also the leader Kassapa; these were the omniscient Buddhas, who were free from lust (rāga) and well-composed, who arose like unto the sun of hundred rays, the dispellers of dense darkness. Having lit themselves like unto a mass of fire, they, along with their disciples, passed away and entered the immortal bliss (nibbāna).
1.79. There, our Bodhisat, having made his aspiration in the presence of twenty four Buddhas, beginning with Dīpaṅkara, had spent a long period of one hundred thousand kappas beyond four innumerable world cycles. There was no other Buddha, except this omniscient Buddha on the near side, however, of the glorious Buddha Kassapa. Thus, the Bodhisat obtained prophecy in the presence of twenty four Buddhas, beginning with Dīpaṅkara.
Hence this statement:
"His ardent aspiration became accomplished due to the combination of eight conditions, (dhamma): (1) humanhood (2) sex perfection (3) causal circumstance (4) seeing the Master (5) monkhood (6) personal attainment of virtue (7) aspiration and (8) harbouring desire."
Having combined these eight condition (dhamma), and with the ardent aspiration made at the feet of Buddha Dīpaṅkara, making effort, saying: "Now, I shall investigate hither and thither the deeds usually done by previous Buddhas, he, then, saw, on investigation, that it was the perfection in charity, first of all. Thus, the deeds (dhamma) done by the previous Buddhas beginning with perfection in charity was discovered. Fulfilling those perfections the Bodhisat went on till he came to his existence of king Vessantara. Having come (to that destination) also, whatever benefits of the Bodhisats, who made ardent aspirations there, were, all of them deserved praise:
"In this way, men, guided to go by bodhi (enlightenment), endowed with all characteristics, in going their rounds of repeated rebirths for a long period of time even to the extent of hundreds of crores of aeons (kappa), were not reborn in the avīci hell; similarly also, in the group of purgatories situated in the space between single worlds (lokantara) They did not become very thirsty petas, who suffered from hunger and , nor did they become titans, (Kālakañjaka). They did not become small living creatures; even if they ill-fated. When born among men, they did not become congenitally blind; They had no ear-deficiency not did they become dumb. They never had to become women, did they become those of double . Men guided by bodhi, escaped (anantarika) retributions; their sphere of activities everywhere being pure and clean. They did not follow wrong views;they understood the workings action (kamma). Even when they enjoyed the bliss of heaven they were not reborn in the Assñña brahmā world where physical forms only exist. There does not exist circumstantial cause in the divine Suddhavāsa Brahmā worlds. Good people are prone toward renunciation; they are detached from existences, great and small (bhavābhava); they practise all practices beneficial for the world and fulfil all perfections".
1.80. Our Bodhisat came only after reaping those benefits. While he was fulfilling the perfections, at the time when he was the brahmin Akitti, at the time when he was the brahmin Saṅkha, at the time when he was king Dhanañjaya, at the time when he was king Mahāsudassana, at the time when he was Mahāgovinda, at the time when he was the great king Nimi, at the time when he was prince Candakumāra, at the time when he was the banker Visayha, the time when he was king Sivi, at the time when he was king Vessantara, there was, namely, no limit in the fulfilling the perfection in giving charity. His unlimited fulfilment of the perfection in charity is certainly evident, of course, in the birth-story of the wise hare (sasapaṇḍitajātaka):
"Seeing the seeker of alms-food approaching me, I completely sacrificed my own body. There is no charity similar to mine. This is my perfection in the giving of charity."
In this way there occurred the height of perfection, the fulfilment of offering charity (dāna pāramitā) to the Bodhisat making an entire sacrifice of himself. In that self-same manner, at the time of his becoming dragon (Nāga) king Sīlava. at the time of his becoming dragon (Naga) king Campeyya, at the time of his becoming dragon (Nāga) king Bhūridatta, at the time of his becoming elephant king Chaddanta, at the time of his becoming prince Jayaddisa, at the time of his becoming young prince Alīnasattu, there was no limit in fulfilling the perfection in moral precept (sīlapāramī). His unlimited fulfilment of perfection in precepts, however, is certainly evident, of course, in the birth-story (jataka) It of :-
Though being pierced (vijjhayanta) by stakes (sūla), though aimed at as target by javelins, I do not feel angry with sons of villagers; this is my perfection in precepts.
While in this way, he was performing complete sacrifice of himself, there arose, namely, the highest height of perfection in his fulfilling the perfection in precepts (sīlapāramitā). Similarly also, at the time when he was the young man Somana, when he was the young man Hatthipāla, when he was the wise man Ayoghara, he gave up the great sovereignty. There was no limit in his fulfilling of perfection renunciation. His unlimited fulfilment of perfection in renunciation, however, is certainly evident, of course, in the birth story (Jātaka), of Cūlasutasoma:-
"I discarded the great sovereignty, which had come into my hands, like a lump of saliva. There was no clinging attachment (laggana) consequent upon my sacrifice. This is my perfection in renunciation."
While in this way, he was rejecting king ship without any hitch, there arose the (height) of perfection in his fulfilling the perfection in renunciation (nekkhammapāramī). Similarly also, at the time when he was the wise minister Vidhūra, when he was the wise man mahāgovinda, when he was the wise man Kuddāla (or Kudvāla), when he was the wise man Araka, when he was the wandering ascetic Bodhi and when he was the wise man mahosadha, there was no limit in his fulfilling of the perfection in learning. His unlimited fulfilment of perfection in learning, however, is certainly evident, of course, in the birth-story (Jātaka) of Sattubhasta, at the time when he was the wise man Senaka:
Investigating by means of my learning, I set the brahmin free from suffering. There is nothing to me equal to learning. That is my perfection in learning.
While he was showing the snake which had gone into the sack (there arose the height of perfection in his fulfilling the perfection in learning (paññapāramitā). Similarly, there was no limit in his fulfilling the perfection in exertion etc. His unlimited fulfilment of perfection in exertion, however, is certainly evident, of course, in the birth-story (jātaka) of Mahājanaka:
"Entirely also, every human-being got killed amid a large expanse of water, whose bank was invisible. There was no difference to my mind. This is my perfection in exertion."
While he was crossing the great ocean in this way, there arose the height of perfection in his fulfilment of the perfection in exertion (vīriya pāramitā). In the birth-story (Jātaka) of Khantivādī:
As he was enduring great suffering as if without any motive (cetanā) in this way, there arose the highest height in his fulfilment of perfection in patience. In the birthstory (Jātaka) of Mahāsutasoma:
"I had the one hundred and one monarchs of warrior (khattiya) class set free, sacrificing my life, in preserving my truthful statement. This is my perfection in truth.
While he was thus preserving truth, sacrificing his life, in this way, there arose the height in the perfection in truth. In the life-story (Jātaka) of Mūgapakkha (on the side of being dumb).
"Not because detestable to me were my mother and father neither was the great regal glory also not detestable, Omniscience was dear to me. Therefore, indeed, I made my self-resolution."
While he was making that self resolution, sacrificing even his life in this way, there arose the highest height of perfection in the perfection in self-determination. In the life story (Jātaka), of Suvaṇṇasāma:
While he was practising loving kindness without any regard for his own life in this way, there arose the height of perfection in the perfection in loving kindness. In the life story (Jātaka) of Lomahaṃsa:
"I made my bed to lie down in a cemetery comparing myself with bones of a corpse. Having reached' 'rounds of the ox' (gamaṇḍala) they showed me many forms (rūpam)"
While he was not going beyond equanimity in spite of the provocation of pleasure and pain by the village boys with spittle (niṭṭhubhana) etc., as well as with offerings of flower-garlands and perfumes, etc., in this way, there arose, however, the height of perfection in fulfilling the perfection in equanimity. Here, this is in brief. Extensively, however, the matter should be construed from the Cariya Paṭaka. Having thus fulfilled the perfections, he stood in the 'body' of king Vessantara:
"The earth, unintentionally, without comprehending pleasure and pain, quaked seven times. That also happened on account of the strength of my charity."
Having thus done great meritorious deeds that caused the quaking of the great earth, etc., and passing away thence at the end of his life-span, he was reborn in the Tusita heavenly mansion. Thus, (passed) the period commencing from the foot of the Buddha Dīpaṅkara up to this rebirth in the heavenly city of Tusita. So much of the episode should be understood as Remote Preface, by name.
Here ends the discourse on remote-preface.