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...

Commentary on the stanza beginning with addhā-pasamsā (certainly praise)

103. The origin of this stanza beginning with: Addhā pasamsāma is but the same as the origin of the stanza beginning with Cātuddisa from the start up to the sitting down of silent buddhas on their prepared seats in the open-air of the sky. However, this is the difference -- just as the king became frightened thrice at night, it is not so with this;neither was therefore him the offering of sacrificial gifts. That king, having had the silent buddhas seated on their prepared seats in the open air of the sky, asked thus: “Who are you?” They replied: “O great king! We are, namely, those who nourish themselves with sinlessness”. The king enquired: “Venerable Sirs! What is the meaning of this expression: anavajjabhojī (fed on sinlessness)?” Their answer was: “O great king! We eat unchanged whatever is obtained whether good or bad”. Having heard it, this idea occurred to the king: “What if I wore to ascertain whether they are like this or not”. The king entertained them on that day with porridge of broken rice to be eaten together with sour gruel. The silent buddhas ate it unchanged as if it were ambrosia (the water of immortality). The king said to himself thus: “These silent buddhas, are unchanged for one day because of their promise; I shall come to know tomorrow again”, and invited them for the next-day meal. On the second day also, he did even likewise. They also ate thoroughly in that manner even. The king then, saying to himself; “I shall test them after offering good food”, invited them again also, made great respectful offering for two days, and entertained them with excellent and extremely variegated hard and soft food. The silent buddhas also ate unchanged thoroughly in that very manner, blessed the king by uttering auspicious words for him and took their departure. Not long after their departure, the king thought thus:- “These silent buddhas are sinless eaters; excellent indeed it will be, if I also were to become a sinless eater”, abdicated the great sovereignty, took upon himself the monkhood, began to develop spiritual insight, became a silent buddha, and recited this stanza, to make clear his own object of contemplation in the midst of silent buddhas at the foot of the fragrant Mañjūsaka tree. From the point of view of worldly meaning that stanza is but clear. Altogether, however, sahāyasampadam here, is to be understood as: the proper attainment of being endowed with such a mass of virtuous precepts and so on as possessed by the adepts, post-learners (asekha), such a companion alone is said to be sahāyasampadā, being well provided with companion.

103.1. This, however, is the interpretation here:- Whatever has been said that this is goodfortune of companionship that good fortune of companionship, addhā pasamsāma (we certainly praise) it is said thus: we speak in praise of but one-sidedly. How? Should be served excellently and equally. Why? When practised excellently with one's own precepts and so on, such unarisen qualities as precepts, etc., arise. The arisen ones also arrive at increase, growth and prosperity. The gains of one, who practised equally, because of being common mutually, with the dispelling of worry, do not diminish. However, when excellent and equal companions are not obtained, a young man of good family, who wants welfare, having abandoned such wrong mode of life as hypocrisy (kuhana) and so on, eating such eatable that has arisen with righteousness (dhammena) and equality (samena), not causing the courtesy (ananaya) of repulsion to arise there also, should become a sinless , and should wander alone like the horn of a rhinoceros. I also wandering in this way, had achieved this glory.

The Commentary on the stanza, beginning with Addhāpasamsā (certainly praise) has ended.

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