Apadana commentary (Atthakatha)

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...

Birth of Prince Siddhartha, the Future Gotama Buddha

2. While, however, Bodhisatta was still living in the celestial city of Tusita, there arose what is called Buddhati-tidings (Buddhakolāhala). Indeed, there used to arise in the world three great tidings (kolāhala); the tidings of the end of the world, the tidings of the appearance of a Buddha, the tidings of a world king. Therein, this is the tidings of the end of the world: "With the lapse of a hundred thousand years, there will be an upheaval of kappa"; thus the devas of the sensual heaven (kāmāvacara deva) Lokabyūhā, by name, with their heads loose (mutta), with dishevelled hair (vikiṇṇa) wearing weeping faces, wiping their tears with their hands, dressed in red lower-garments, bearing unsightly appearances and expression, wandering about the streets of human-beings, would inform in this light: "Oh my dear friends! With the lapse of a hundred thousand years hence, there will be upheaval of kappa; this world will come to ruin; the mighty ocean also will dry up; this great earth also, as well as Sineru, the monarch of mountains, will get burnt up and destroyed; there will be ruination of the world up to the brahmā heavens. My dear friends! Do develop loving kindness, sympathy, joy and equanimity. Serve and support your mother and father. Do be respectful to elders in;the family. This is tidings of the end of the world. The guardian divinites of the world would go about proclaiming aloud: "My dear friends! With appear in the world" They do so when such a phenomenon was to happen a thousand years later. This is the tidings of the appearance of a Buddha. Should a universal monarch appear with the lapse of a hundred years, divine beings would go about proclaiming aloud: "My dear friends! With the lapse of a hundred years hence, a world-king will appear in the world." This is tidings of the appearance of a world-king. These are the three great tidings (kolāhala).

2.1. The celestial-beings of the entire one hundred thousand universes (cakkavāḷa) on hearing the tidings of the appearance of Buddha, out on the three tidings unitedly assembled together and made their request after approaching Him, when they came to know that such a one would become Buddha. They made the request also, they did so, as and when the fore omens (pubba-nimitta) had arisen. At that time, however, all of them in each universe (cakkavāḷa) including the four great kings, Sakka, Suyāma, Santussita, Sunimmita, Vasavatti and Brahmā, met together in a certain universe (cakkavāḷa) went to the presence of the Bodhisat in the Tusita heaven and made their request. "My dear friend! By your fulfilling the ten perfections, you did not do so with the aspiration of attaining the glory of Sakka, nor the glories of Māra, Brahmā and world-king, You did fulfil them, however, owing to your aspiring to become an omniscient Buddha, for the purpose of ferrying worldings out of the world. My dear friend! Now is the time for you to become Buddha. Time it is, my dear friend! for your Buddhahood.

2.2. Thereupon, the Great Being without giving His promise to the heavenly beings, scrutinizingly reflected the five great reflections, namely, with respect to time, island, place, family, mother and span of life. Therein, He, first of all, scrutinised the time, investigating whether it was indeed timely or untimely. Therein, the time of increasing life-span over and above a hundred thousand years is not timely. Why? In such a time, indeed, birth, old age and death are not obvious. There is, namely, no preaching of Dhamma of the Buddhas, which is free from the three characteristics (lakkhaṇa). When people are preached about impermanence, misery and absence of self, they would opine that the preaching was neither worthy of hearing (sotabba) nor evocative of pious faith (saddhātabha). Subsequently, there is going to be no realisation of Dhamma. When no such realisation exists, the dispensation does not become such, as would lead to salvation. Therefore, such a time, as that, is untimely. The time of decreasing life-span which is less than a hundred years is also untimely. Why? In such a time as that, the living creatures are filled with forms of depravity (kilesā). The admonition given to people with excessive depravity (kilesa), does not remain as such. it disappears quickly like streaks made by a stick in water. Therefore, such a time as that, also, is untimely. Such a time, however, is below the numerical figure beginning from a hundred thousand years and above the numerical figure starting from a hundred years is the proper time. The life-span at that time, was hundred years. Thereupon the Great Being saw the time to be ripe for His appearance.

2.3. Thereafter, scrutinisingly reflecting upon the island, He looked all over the four islands along with their surroundings and saw the proper island saying:- "Buddhas never come to life in the three other islands; they do so in the Jambu island(Jambu dipa i.e. India/Bharat) only."

2.4. Thereafter, on looking out for the proper place, thinking: "Jambu island (India/Bharat), namely, is large; its size is ten thousand leagues (yojana) all round. In which place, indeed, do Buddhas come into being?, He saw the middle region (majjhuma-desa). The middle region, namely, is such that on its east direction, there is a district (nigama) known as Gajaṅgala; on its west stands the great sal tree; beyond that is the bordering big district, on the hither side, at the middle; on the south-east direction, the river named, Sallāvatī; beyond that is the bordering big district, on the hither side, at the middle; on the south direction, the district known as Setakaṇṇika, beyond that is the bordering big district, on the hither side at the middle; in the west direction, the district, known as Thūna; beyond that is the bordering big district, on the hither side at the middle; in the north, the mountain known as Usīrañja; beyond that is the bordering big district, on the hither side at the centre." Thus is the indication, (upadesa), stated in the Vinaya piṭaka. It is three hundred leagues (yojana) in length; two and a half in breadth, nine hundred leagues (yojana) in circumference. In this region, Buddhas, silent buddhas, chief disciples, eighty major disciples (mahāsāvaka) world-kings, and other warrior-kings (khattiya) brahmins, as well as wealthy householders, of great wealth and possessing great power, spring into existence. Here, this is the city known by the name of Kapilavatthu. He arrived at the conclusion: "There, I ought to be reborn".

2.5. Thereafter, reflecting upon the family, saying: "Buddhas are not reborn either in a merchant's family or in the family of inferior social grade (sudda). As agreed upon by people in the world, however, Buddhas are reborn either in the princely warrior's (khattiya) family or in the brahmin family. Now, however, the khattiya family is authorised by the people of the world, I shall be reborn in that family; my father will be the king, Suddhodana, by name;" thus, He saw the family.

2.6. Thereafter, on reflecting over mother, saying: "The mother of Buddha, is never given to greed, never addicted to alcoholic drinks; for a hundred thousand aeons (kappa) however, there had been fulfilling of perfections;beginning from her birth-day she has been all along with unbroken five precepts only. This queen Mahāmāyā, by name, is such a one also. My mother will be this queen. How long will, however, be her life span? "Seven days beyond the ten months;" thus, He saw His mother-to-be.

2.7. Having thus reflected over these five scrutinising reflections, He gave his promise doing favour to the heavenly beings, who came and informed Him that the time was ripe for His becoming Buddha, and having sent those heavenly-beings away saying: 'you should all go', He entered the pleasant park, Nandanavana, in the city of Tusita heaven, surrounded by tusita devas. In all the heavenly worlds, there does exist, indeed, a pleasant park (nandanavana). There, in that pleasant park, the divinities go about reminding Him of the occasions, when good deeds were done formerly saying: 'Passing away from here, go to good existence! Departing hence, proceed to good abode!' He, being thus reminded of His good deeds by the divinities and still being surrounded by them there, passed away and while wandering about took conception in the womb of the queen, Mahāmāyā.

2.8. For the purpose of clarifying that incident this is the discourse in its proper sequence:- It is said that at that time, in the city of Kapilavatthu, there was proclaimed the festival of Āsāḷhī nakkhatta; the big body of people enjoyed the festival. The queen, Mahāmāyā also, enjoying the pleasures of the festivities, composed of the splendour of flower-garlands and perfumes, but devoid of alcoholic drinks, beginning from the seventh day before the full moon, got up early in the morning on the seventh day, bathed herself with scented water, gave a great charity, spending four hundred thousand, dressed herself richly with all ornaments, ate her excellent meal, took upon herself the observance of resolutely, the elements of prayer, entered her graceful royal chamber, which was well decorated, lay herself down on her graceful bed, fell off to sleep and dreamt this dream:- It seemed that the four great divine kings lifted her along with her bed, took her to the Himalayas, placed her on the surface of the red arsenic stone slab (manosilā), which is sixty leagues (yojana) in extent, under the great Sal tree, seven yojanas in height, and stood on one side. Thereafter their queens came, led the queen to Anotatta lake, gave her a bath too wash away human impurities, dressed her up in celestial clothes, besmeared her with fragrance, let her wear flowers in her hair, and thereafter let her lie down on the celestial be, prepared with its head toward the east in a golden mansion, inside a silver mountain, which lay not far away. At that time, the Bodhisat was an excellent white elephant. not far from there, there was a gold mountain. It roamed about there and descending from there, it went up the silver mountain, came from the north direction, caught hold of a white lotus flower with its trunk of the colour of a piece of silver rope, cried the cry of a heron, entered the gold mansion, circumambulated it's mother's bed three times, had her right side split open and became like entering her womb. In this way, the Bodhisat took conception under the Uttarasaḷhanakkhatta.

2.9. When she woke up the next day, the queen informed the king about that dream. The king sent for brahmin scholars about sixty four in number, prepared seats of great value on the ground, made auspicious and worthy of hospitality, by smearing closely with green cow-dung, scattering parched grains as greetings, etc., and to the brahmins, who were seated thereon, his majesty offered excellent milk broth properly prepared with ghee, honey and sugar, put inside gold and silver bowls to their full capacity, covering them with gold and silver lids as well. They were also made to be satisfied with other such gifts to them as new clothes, brown cows, etc. Thereafter, the dream was made known to those brahmins, who had been satiated with all kinds of sensual delights, and the question: "What will happen" was asked. The brahmins answered "Oh Great King! Please do not worry. Pregnancy has come into being in the womb of your majesty's queen. That pregnancy is, indeed, that of a male, not that of a female. A son will be born to your majesty. Should he lead a household life, he will become a world-king. If he renounces the household life and becomes a recluse, he will become a Buddha, who will lift the veil in the world.

2.10. At the very moment when the Bodhisat took conception in the womb of His mother, simultaneously with this event, the entire ten thousand world-element (lokadhātu) shook, trembled and quaked spontaneously. Thirty two foreboding omens (pubbanimitta) made themselves apparent:- immeasurable light pervaded all over the ten thousand universes (cakkavāḷa). As if desirous of seeing that glory of His, the blind got back their eyesight; the deaf heard sound; the dumb could articulate by themselves; the hump-backed became straight-bodied; the lame could go again on foot; all living creatures, who had gone behind the bars, got released from prisons, bondages, etc.; fire in all purgatories became extinguished; in the sphere of petas, hunger and thirst came to a top there arose no danger to animals; ailment of all living-beings became wiped out. All creatures became sweet speakers; horses laughed with lovely manner; elephants trumpeted; all musical instruments emitted their individual resounding music; trinkets that ornament the hands, etc., of human beings rattled without knocking against each other; all the directions were clear and pleasant; soft and cool winds blew arousing happiness to living creatures;unseasonal rain showered; from the earth water spouted up (ubbhijjitvā) and flowed out (vissandi); birds avoided flying up into the sky; rivers stopped flowing; the great ocean supplied fresh water; everywhere, in their proper order, water-surfaces were covered up with lotus flowers of five colours; all kinds of dry-land flowers and aquatic flowers blossomed; on the trunks of trees, trunk-lotuses, on their branches, branch lotuses, on climbing creepers, climbercreeper lotuses bloomed and flowered; solid stone slabs broke, became a hundred layers on above the other and lotus flowers known as lotus stalks, daṇḍa paduma, came out; in the sky, there sprang up lotus plants known as hanging-down (olambaka); all around, showers of flowers rained down;in the sky, heavenly musical instruments played their music; the entire ten thousand world-elements revolved like a released spherical garland, stampeded (uppiḷetvā) like a bunch of strung garland, and like a deftly decorated garland-seat, it became a single floweredgarland, a vibrating fan of a yak's tail, perfumed all round with incense of flowers and sweet scents, with its attainment of paramount beauty.

2.11. When the Bodhisat had thus taken conception, four young divinities, armed with swords, kept watch over the Bodhisat as well as the mother of the Bodhisat beginning from the time of the taking of conception by the Bodhisat, in order to prevent any calamity coming to both of them. There arose no mental attachment, on the part of Bodhisat's mother, towards men. She was at the height of her prosperity and reputation, over and above being happy and free from physical fatigue. She could see the Bodhisat also, who had come into her womb, like a wound yellow-thread round a particularly placid gem-jewel. Just because, also, the womb had been occupied by Bodhisat, the same was known to be like the chamber of a shrine; it was not possible for any other living creature to take up his residence there or enjoy benefit fully; therefore, the mother of Bodhisat expired seven days after birth of Bodhisat and was reborn in the heavenly city of Tusita, moreover, just as other ladies would give birth to their children sitting as well as lying down, after a period of less than, as well as, beyond ten months, it was not so on the part of Bodhisat's mother. She, however, properly carried the Bodhisat for ten months and gave birth to her son standing . This is the way, general practice (dhammatā), of Bodhisat's mother.

2.12. Queen Mahāmayā also, became thoroughly mature in her pregnancy when she had carried the Bodhisat in her womb for ten months as if she was carrying oil in a bowl, and being desirous of going to the house of her relatives informed the great king Suddhodana thus: "Your majesty! I want to go to Devas city, which belong to my family." The king consented saying: 'very well', had the road levelled even between Kapilavatthu and Devadaha, had the same decorated with banana trees, jars filled with water, flags and festoons, etc., had his queen seated in a gold palanquin which was made to be lifted by a thousand ministers and sent her off with a great retinue. There was then an auspicious Sal grove, named Lumbini forest of the residents of both the cities in between the two cities, . On that occasion there was the entire blossoming of Sal trees beginning from their bases up to the topmost branches in unison. Swarms of bees of five colours and flocks of birds of various species wandered about among the branches and flowers singing variedly with sweet sounds. The entire Lumbini grove then resembled the heavenly Cittalatā garden. It was like a well displayed shopping-centre of a very powerful monarch. Seeing that Lumbini park, there arose a desire in the queen to sport herself in the Sal grove. The ministers took the queen and entered the Sal grove. She went towards the base of the auspicious Sal tree and became desirous of seizing the branch of the sal tree. The Sal branch went toward the vicinity of the queen's hand by bending itself down like a well-wetted cane-top. She stretched her hand and caught hold of it herself. Then and there the queen's birth-pain (i.e. the winds resulting from kamma) were felt to be in motion. Thereupon, a screen was set up around her and the great body of people made their departure. She gave delivery to her child, while still standing, having seized the Sal branch. At that very moment four pure-minded great brahmās arrived there bringing with them a gold net. They took proper delivery of the Bodhisat in that gold net, stood in front of the mother, and said: "Oh queen! Please be in your own elements; a powerful son has been given birth to by you."

2.13. In the case of other babies, coming out from the wombs of their mothers, they do so, smeared with disgustful impurities it was not so in the case of the Bodhisat. He (however,) came out from His mother's womb, shining like a gem thrown down on Kāsika pure white cloth, in a standing state even, stretching his two hands and two legs also, pure, clean, and unsmeared with any impurity whatsoever, on account of having been in His mother's womb, like the preacher of dhamma descending from the preacher's platform and like the man who came down a ladder. In spite of being so, for the purpose of doing honour to the Bodhisat as well as the mother of the Bodhisat, two showers of water came out of the sky and refreshed both the mother and the baby by giving shower-baths to their bodies.

2.14. Thereafter, from the hands of the Brahmās, who were standing after their taking delivery of the baby in a gold net, the four heavenly great kings got hold of Him in a couch-size antelope-skin cloth (ajinappaveṇi) for the purpose of giving Him happiness, providing comfortable contact and conventional auspiciousness. From their hands, human beings took over on pillows of very fine cloth (Dukūla). When the baby was released from the hands of humanbeings and put down on the ground, He looked in the east direction. The thousands of universes

(cakkavāḷa) became a single entity. Divinities and human-beings there, honouring Him with perfumes, garlands, etc., said thus: "Oh Mighty Man! here, in this world, there is no one equal to you. Where can there be your superior?" In this way, He looked successively in the ten directions namely the four directions, the four corners, nether (heṭṭhā) and the other (upari) and not finding anybody equal to Himself, walked seven steps saying: "This is the north direction", with the Mahā Brahmā holding over Him a white umbrella, Suyāma holding yak's-tail fan (vāḷabījanī) and with other celestial beings as well, holding in their hands the remaining regalia, following Him. Thereafter, standing at the seventh step, roared the roar of a lion, emitting bold words;thus: "I am the topmost of the world", etc.

2.15. The Bodhisat spoke out words the very moment He came out from His mother's womb in His three individual existences: in His own existence as Mahosadha, in His own existence as Vessantara and in this existence of His. It is said that in His existence as Mahosadha, at the very moment of His coming out of His mother's womb, Sakka, the king of Devas, came and put in His hand the essence of Sandal wood and went away. He made a grip of it in His fisted hand and came out. Thereupon His mother asked Him: "My dear son! What have you taken and come?" "Medicine, Mother!" Thus, because of the fact that He had taken in his hand the medicine and come, He was named "Medicine male child"(soadha dāraka). they took that medicine and deposited it in a vessel. It verily became medicinal cure for successful treatment of all kinds of diseases, which had afflicted all comers, one and all, who were blind, deaf, etc. Thereafter, consequent upon the arising of the statement: "Great is this medicine! Mighty is this medicine", there arose his name as 'Mahosadha' even. In His existence as Vessantara, as soon as He came out of His mother's womb, He stretched out His right hand making this verbal request: "mother! is there, indeed, anything at home? I shall give charity", and did so. Thereupon, His mother had a purse containing a thousand coins placed on the palm of her son's hand which she previously put on her own palm saying: "My son! You have been born in the family of the wealthy". In this existence of His, He roared this roar of the lion. In this way, the Bodhisat let out well-articulated words, the very moment He came out of His mother's womb. Just as what had happened at the moment of His taking conception, similarly also, there became apparent thirty-two foreboding omens (pubbanimittāni) at the moment of His birth, as well. As and when, however, our Buddha-to-be (bodhisatta) was born in the Lumbinī forest, at that very time, the princess mother-to-be of Rāhula, the thera-to-be Ānanda, the minister-to-be Channa, the minister-to-be Kāḷudavī, the royal-horse Kaṇṭhaka, the great Bodhi tree, the four golden jars of treasure also sprang into existence. Amongst them, one jar of treasure was of the size of a bull's cry (gāvuta); the next one was of the size of half a league (yojana); the third was of the size of three gāvutas and the fourth of the size of a league (yojana). Their depth was down to the lowest level of the earth. These seven have been known as born-together (satta Sahajātā).

2.16. Residents of both the cities took the Bodhisat and departed for the city of Kapilavatthu only. On that very day, the congregation of devas in the heavenly abode of Tāvatimsa, became full of joy and gladness saying: "A son has been born to the great king Suddhodana in the city of Kapilavatthu; this young prince will become Buddha seated at the base of the Bodhi tree," and sported themselves by bringing about waving of their garments and doing other acts of felicitations. On that occasion, the hermit, named Kāladevala, the gainer of eight kinds of Jhāna (aṭṭhasamāpatti), friend of the royal family of the great king Suddhodana, having finished taking his meal, went to Tāvatimsa heaven to spend the day there, and was seated there. When he saw those heavenly beings sporting themselves in that wise he asked: "Who do you all sport yourselves thus with a delightful heart; tell me about this matter". The divinities replied: "Friend! A son has been born to the great king Suddhodana; he will become Buddha, seated at the terrace of the Bodhi tree and turn the wheel of dhamma; we shall have the opportunity of witnessing His endless grace of Buddha and listening to His Dhamma over such circumstance as this, we all are joyful." The hermit, having heard their words, quickly descended from the heavenly world, entered the royal palace, took his seat on the place prepared for him and said: "Great King! I am told that a son has been born to you; Shall I see Him?" The king had the welldressed and ornamented young prince brought and made Him pay homage to the hermit. The feet of the Bodhisat completely turned round and established themselves on the braided hair of the hermit. For the Bodhisat, indeed, there was not, anyone, who was worthy of being worshipped by such an individual as Himself. If, indeed, unconsciously, they placed the head of the Bodhisat at the feet of the hermit, his head would split into seven pieces. The hermit, saying to himself: "It is not befitting for me to ruin myself", rose up from his seat and raised his clasped hands in adoration to the Bodhisat. The king, seeing that wonder paid his homage to his own son.

2.17. The hermit could remember eighty aeons (kappa): the past forty aeons (kappa) and the future forty aeons (kappa). Seeing the Bodhisat being endowed with excellent characteristics, he mused over and reflected saying to himself: "Will He, indeed, become Buddha or not?"he came to know that He would undoubtedly become Buddha and saying to himself: "This one is a wonderful young man", he made a smile. Thereafter, reflecting: "Shall I get the chance of seeing this wonderful young man becoming Buddha, or, indeed, not?", he saw that he would not get such a chance, since he would pass away in-between and be reborn in the formless world of Brahmās, where even a hundred Buddhas nay a thousand Buddhas would not be able to go and enlighten him; and so he, saying to himself: "I shall not get the chance of seeing such a wonderful young man becoming Buddha,"wept.

2.18. People saw it and asked: "Our lord just now laughed and later sat weeping; what, indeed, is the matter, Venerable Sir? Is any harm happening to the son of our sovereign? He replied: "In this matter, there is no danger to Him; He will become Buddha without any doubt." On being asked why was that the venerable one wept, the hermit replied: "I weep because of my own regret over the idea that there will be a great loss, indeed, to me since I shall not get the chance of seeing such a young man as this one becoming Buddha". Thereafter, that hermit, reflecting thus: "How is it, indeed" Will any one of my relatives get the opportunity of seeing this child becoming Buddha?", saw his own nephew, the young man Nālaka?" He was told that her son was at home. Because she was asked to send for her son, she did so and the hermit told the young man who came to his presence thus: "My dear! A son has been born in the family of the great king Suddhodana; this son is a nascent of Buddha; on the expiry of thirty five years He will become Buddha; you will get the chance of seeing Him; renounce the world to become a recluse on this very day."Although the young man was born in the family of wealth to the tune of eighty seven crores, he said to himself that his uncle would not have urged him to renounce without any advantage; that very moment, sent for robes as well as earthen begging bowl from within the market, shaved off his hair and beard, clothed himself in yellow garments, paid homage with five fold earth-touching postures (pañcapatiṭṭhita) raising his clasped hands and facing towards the direction of Bodhisatta saying: 'My renunciation and becoming a recluse is dedicated to Him, who is the most excellent person in the world', put his bowl into its bag, hung it down at the top of his shoulder, entered the Himalayas and performed the deeds (dhamma) of a monk. He approached the Tathāgata, who had eventually attained the absolutely perfect enlightenment, requested the Buddha to preach him the practice (paṭipadā) of nālaka, again entered the Himalayas, arrived at the stage of an arahat, accomplished the highest form of practice, lived his life-span of seven months only and passed away completely into immortal bliss, by means of the element of Nibbāna, leaving no trace of upādi behind, while still standing near a gold mountain.

2.19. On the fifth day after His birth, the Bodhisatta, indeed, had His head washed and the people of the royal house said to themselves: "We will perform the naming ceremony." They, therefore, smeared the royal mansion with perfumes of four kinds of natural origin, scattered clusters of flowers with lāja as the fifth, made preparations for catering unadulterated (asambhinna) milk-rice, invited one hundred and eight brahmins who were proficient in the three vedas, made them seated in the royal mansion, let them enjoy good meals, made great offerings of honour and let them examine and summarise the signs (lakkhaṇāni) saying: "What, indeed, will happen?"

Amongst them,

"Rāma, Dhaja, Lakkhaṇa as well as Manti Yañña, Subhoja, Suyāma and Sudatta; these, then, were eight brahmins. They displayed the mantra, which had six sections."

These eight brahmins only were scrutinisers of signs (lakkhaṇa). The dream also, dreamt on the day of conception was examined as well, by them even. Seven, of them, raised two fingers and predicted two-fold events: "Whoever is endowed with these signs (lakkhaṇa) will become worldking if he were to lead a household life; should he renounce the world and become a recluse, he will be Buddha." So saying, they informed all the glorious wealth of the world-king. The youngest of all of them, however, the young brahmin, known by the name of his clan koṇḷañña, having looked at the glory of the excellent signs (lakkhaṇa) of the Bodhisat, raised a single finger only and made a definite prediction saying: "There does not exist any appropriate action to be done by this one in the midst of household life. Sure and certain, this child will become Buddha, the remover of veils, the eye-opener. This young brahmin, indeed, was one, who had made aspiration, a creature in his final existence, and who therefore superseded the seven other brahmins in wisdom, and thus saw a single destiny only, known as definite Buddhahood, for the Bodhisat, who happened to be endowed with such signs (lakkhaṇa). Consequently, he predicted accordingly raising one single finger only. Then, in getting hold of His name, the brahmins named Him Siddhattha, because of the fact that He would work for the accomplishment of benefit of the whole world.

2.20 Then, indeed, those brahmins went back to their own homes and addressed their sons thus:- "Dear sons! We are old; we may or we may not witness the attainment of omniscience by the son of the great king Suddhodana, when that young prince attains omniscience, you should become monks in His dispensation (sāsana):" Those seven people lived as long as their life-spans lasted and passed away according to their own deeds. The young brahmin Koṇḍañña alone, however, happened to be free from any ailment. When the Great Being grow up, he made the great renunciation, became a recluse, went to Uruvela in due course, made up his mind saying: "This piece of ground is, indeed, delightful; this, indeed, is a proper place to make strenuous effort for a young man desirous of doing deep meditation." While he was taking up his residence there, he heard that the Great Being had renounced the world and become a recluse, approached the sons of those seven brahmins and said thus: "Prince Siddhattha, they say, has renounced the world and become a recluse; He is sure to become Buddha; if your fathers are free from ailment they should renounce the world today and become recluses; if you all also are willing to do so, come! We all would follow that Great Sage in His renunciation." All of them were not able to be of one single desire. Amongst them three people did not renounce the world. The other four, however renounced the world making the brahmin Kaṇḍañña their leader. Those five individuals became known as the group of five theras (pañcavaggiva therā).

2.21 At that time, however, king Suddhodana asked: "Having seen what, will my son become a monk? The reply was: "The four foreboding omens'. When asked which and which, the reply was: the aged old, the (ailing) sick, the dead and the monk. The king said: "Starting from now, do not allow such form of people as would constitute omens approach my son's presence; there is no business for my son to become Buddha; I am desirous of seeing my son playing the role of world-king exercising supreme sovereignty over four great islands together with two thousand islands surrounding them and touring about in the sky-space surrounded by an assembling retinue completely covering an area of thirty six leagues (yojana)". Having said so, , the king appointed and stationed watchful guards at a distance of a bulls-cry (gāvuta) everywhere, in the four directions for the purpose of preventing the coming of these four kinds of omens within sight of the young prince. On that very day, in the families of eighty thousand relatives, who had come together and assembled at the auspicious place of naming ceremony, each and every one gave birth to a son and they all said to themselves:- "Let this child become Buddha or sovereign; we all give each son of ours respectively; should He become Buddha, He will wander about surrounded by congregation of monks of the princely (khattiya) clan;Should He become a universal monarch, He would tour about surround by and leading a retinue of young men of Khaītiya clan only. The king also appointed wet nurses who were free from all faults and who possessed the best beauty to attend upon the Bodhisat. The Bodhisat grew up with a large number of attendants around Him and also with great grace and splendour.

2.22. Then, one day, there was namely, the royal ploughing ceremony (vappamaṅgala), for the king. On that day, people decorated their city like a celestial city. All slaves and servants put on new garments, decorated themselves with perfumes and garlands, etc., and assembled in the royal household. In the occupation of royal ploughing, , a thousand ploughs were usually employed. On that day, however, there were (799) eight hundred ploughs less by one, ploughs together with bullocks along with their reins and ropes made of silver; even the driving canes were glittering with gold since they were made of gold. The king in setting out, surrounded by a large retinue went to the ceremony, taking with him his son also. At the site of the ploughing ceremony there was a Eugenia tree with large leaves and dense shade. Under that tree was prepared the bed for the child-prince; above it, a canopy decorated with golden stars was fastened; a screen-wall was put round it; a watch was stationed and let the child-prince was laid to sleep on the bed. The king dressed and decorated himself with all kinds of dress and decorations and went to the place of ploughing surrounded by his retinue of ministers. There the king took hold of the gold plough; the 799 ministers took hold of the silver ploughs; cultivators took hold of the remaining ploughs. They all took hold of the ploughs and did the ploughing from hither and thither. The king, however, either went from hither side to thither side or came back from thither side to hither side. There was great achievement in one place. The wet nurses, who were seated surrounding the Bodhisat came outside from within the screen with the intention of seeing the royal achievement. The baby-Bodhisat on the other hand in looking about here and there, since He did not see anyone, whom soever, rapidly rose up, got seated crosslegged, occupied Himself in out-breathing and in-breathing, and caused the first Jhāna to arise in Him. The wet nurses, in their going for their food, hard and soft, lingered a little. The shade of other trees had turned the other way round. The shade of that Eugenia tree, however, stood, having become circular all round the tree itself. The wet nurses, saying to themselves "Our Lord's son is all alone", quickly lifted up the screen and as they entered, they saw the Bodhisat seated cross-legged on His bed as well as that astonishing wonder. They, therefore, went and informed the king: "Your Majesty! The baby-prince is thus seated; the shade of other trees had turned the other way round; the shade of the Eugenia tree, however, stood encircling the tree itself." The kind came over in a hurry, saw the surprising miracle and worshipped his son saying: "My dear son! This is my second adoration to you".

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