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 biography of the thera Mahāmoggallāna

The biography of the venerable thera Moggallāna begins with Anomadassī Bhagavā. This thera also, having done service towards former (or previous) Buddhas, accumulating meritorious deeds done with a view to escape from rounds of rebirths, in existences, there and thither, at the time of the Glorious One Anomadassī, etc., up to here, has been but said in the story of generalissimo of dhamma, the thera Sāriputta. The thera, indeed, on the seventh day, beginning from the day of his becoming monk, doing his monk's duties relying on the Kallavāla village in the magadha kingdom when he was descending down to sleepy drowsiness, he was made to repent by the Master saying: “O Moggallāna! Let not your exertion come to nothing (or emptiness)”, and so on; then, having got rid of sleeping drowsiness, listening even to the element of mental (exercise or) contemplation on elements (dhātu), as being told by the Glorious One, achieved the three higher noble paths by means of successive development of spiritual insight, and attained the top of disciple's knowledge in the characteristic of top fruition (phala).

375. Having thus attained the state of second (chief) disciple, the venerable thera mahā Moggallāna, remembering his own former deeds in order to make manifest the deeds of his previous practice, by way of mental delight, uttered this stanza, beginning with Anomadassī Bhagavā. There, to Him, there was seeing and looking at nothing low and inferior; thus, He was Anomadassī; there was no seeing made contented or satisfied of the witnessing divine and human beings for the whole day, for the whole month, for the whole year, for the entire hundred thousand years also, because of His body being indeed, well adorned with thirty-two characteristic signs of a great personage; thus, or being in the habit of seeing Nibbāna, which is not low or inferior; thus, or the name gained as “Anomadassī, the Excellent Seer”. Due to the cause of being possessed of glory etc., He is Bhagavā, the Glorious One. Lokajeṭṭho, the eldest in the world, the main chief and eldest of the whole world of living creatures. Narāsabho (the BullMan) the Bull of men, because of his being similar to a big bull, He is Āsabha (Big Bull; that Eldest of the world, Bull-man, the Glorious One Anomadassī; devasaṅghapurakkhato (made in front of crowd of celestial beings) surrounded by collection of celestial creatures, lived in the Himavanta; thus, is the connection.

376. When I made the aspiration for the second time for the second discipleship, then, I was born to be a dragon king, known by the name of Varuṇa; thus, is the meaning; therefore, it has been stated: “At that time, I was a dragon king, known by the name of Varuṇa”. Kāmarūpī (be-formed as desired) had the habit of creating the desired form of my choice; vikubbāmi (I make) I make the performance of various kinds of magical power; mahodadhinivāsahaṃ (I am the dweller in the big ocean) amidst such dragons as sprouting mañherika dragon, ground-going (bhūmigata) dragon, standing or stationed on hill (pabbataṭṭha) dragon, river-carrier (gaṅgāvāheyya) dragon, ocean-dweller (sāmuddikā) dragon (nāga), I am of ocean-dweller type; I lived in the sea of big ocean; I took up my abode there;thus, is the meaning.

377. Saṅganiyam gaṇam hitvā (having forsaken the crowd of society) being without and forsaking the collection of dragons, which constituted my own retinue which had become my permanent environment; tūriyam paṭṭhapesahaṃ (I had music provided) I put up music, I made music to be released; thus, is the meaning. Sambuddham parivāretvā (having surrounded the Self-enlightened Omniscient Buddha) attending upon the Omniscient Buddha Anomadassī from all sides;accharā (nymphs) dragon-maids; vādesum (sounded) they produced sounds of music with celestial musical instruments, singing songs and so on, at that time they let out in proportion to their gains or to what they had got; thus, is the meaning.

378. Vajjamānesu tūresu (when music was released) when human and dragon musical instruments of five kinds were let out;devā turāni vajjayum (divinities released their music) divinities of the divine world of four great kings released theirs and sounded their celestial musical instruments; thus, is the meaning; Ubhinnam saddam sutvāna (having heard both sounds) having heard the drum-sound of both beings, divine and human; sampabujjhatha (well awake) in spite of being revered by the three worlds (loka) Buddha knew and listened to it; thus, is the meaning.

379. Nimantetvāna sambuddam (having invited the Omniscient Buddha) having surrounded and invited the Omniscient Buddha, together with His disciples to the next-day meal; sakabhavanam (his own mansion) I went towards my own mansion; āsanam paññāpetvā (having prepared seats) having gone, I prepared and got ready the night-resting place, place of day sojourn, privy, hall (or pandal), sleeping and sitting places; thus, is the meaning; kālamārocayim ahaṃ (I informed the time) having thus made previous arrangements I informed and made known clearly the time thus: “Venerable Sir! It is time; the meal is ready.”

380. Khīṇāsavasahassehi (with a thousand cankerless arahats) at that time, that Glorious One, the Patron of the world, surrounded by a thousand arahats, lighting up all directions, upāgami (came towards) arrived at my mansion; thus, is the meaning.

381. In order to show the Glorious One's act of eating his meal after having entered his own mansion, he uttered this stanza, starting with Upaviṭṭham Mahāvīra. It is but easily understood.

386. Okkākakulasambhavo (born of Okkāka family) born in the royal family that had gone to or come down from generation after generation of King Okkāka; or born in the family of well-known king in the entire island of Jambu; gotama (by clan) there will become in the world of human beings, a Master, Gotama by name, by way of clan.

388. So pacchā pabbajitvāna (he later became monk) that dragon king afterwards in his final existence;kusalamūlena (due to root of merit) on account of accumulation of merit;codito (urged) being instigated, became a monk in the dispensation (sāsana), will become the second chief disciple of the Glorious One Gotama.

389. Āraddhavīriyo (started exertion) possessor of exertion in such postures as standing, sitting, etc.; pahitatto (self-sent) despatch-minded towards Nibbāna; iddhiyā pāramim gato (gone to perfection in magical power) gone and attained the extreme and of perfection such magical powers as: performance of magical power according to self-resolution, the magical power arising out of action and reaction and so on thus: “O Bhikkhus! Among my disciples of bhikkhus, possessors of magical powers, this one, namely, mahāmoggallāna, is chief or topmost”;Sabbāsave (all cankers) here, ā, is; from all sides, sava, is: because of flowing, turning out to be, thus, ‘Āsavā (cankers)’ in the name obtained thus in the matter (dhamma), of sensual desire, existence, heresy and ignorance, all, everything; pariññāya (knowing all round) having known, understood from all sides and forsaken; anāsavo (free from cankers) devoid of depravity; nibbāyissati (will enter nibbāna) will enter nibbāna by the complete cessation of depravity (kileska), and aggregate, (Khandha); thus, is the connection.

390. Having spoken thus about the prophecy he had obtained due to his own merit, the thera again recited this stanza to make manifest his evil conduct, starting with pāpamittopanissāya. There, pāpamitte (bad friends) evil inferior friends; upanissāya (depending on) having made reliance on and become closely clung to them or connected with them; thus, is the meaning.

390.1. There, this is the gradual discourse:- At one time the heretics assembled and consulted each other thus:- “Friend! Do you know due to what cause the gain and fame of the Monk Gotama had become great and current?” “We do not know; You, however, do not know”. “Yes, we know. Depending on a bhikkhu, Moggallāna, by name, it had sprung up. Indeed, he went to the celestial world, asked what the divine beings had done, came back, and spoke to the human-beings about them, thus: ‘Having done, namely, this, they gained achievement of this form.’ Having asked about the deed that caused birth in hell (or purgatory) he came back and preached it to the human beings thus: ‘Having done, namely, this, they suffer misery of this form.’ Human beings heard this teaching, brought to him great gain and fame. If we could kill him, that gain and fame will arise to us; there is this means”, they all were of one desire and saying to themselves: “Having done and any everything, we shall kill him”, made their own devotees do the undertaking, obtained a thousand kahāpanas, sent for robbers, killers of men, and gave that thousand to them with this instruction: “The disciple of Monk Gotama, the thera Mahāmoggallāna, by name, dwells in the black-stone hill (Kālasilā); you all go there and kill him”. The robbers, due to their gain of wealth (or money) consented saying: “We shall murder the thera”; went away and surrounded his dwelling place. The thera, knowing the condition of his being surrounded by them, went out through the hole of hill-cavity and made his departure. The robbers, not seeing the thera that day, again on a certain day went to his residence and surrounded it. The thera came to know of it, broke the part of the roof of residence and escaped from their danger. In this way, in the first as well as in the middle month, they were unable to capture the thera. When the last month arrived however, the thera did not go out knowing the lingering condition of the consequences of the deed done by himself. The robbers, beating him, broke his bones making them into pieces of rice-grain size. Them, they threw him on to the top of a bush, thinking that he was dead.

390.2. The thera, saying to himself that he would pass away completely into nibbāna after seeing and adoring the Master, wrapped up his body with the wrapper of jhāna, went to the presence of the Master, through the sky, paid homage to the Master, and said: “Venerable Sir! I am passing away completely into nibbāna.” Buddha asked: “Moggallāna! Are you going to pass away completely into nibbāna? Having gone where, will you enter nibbāna completely?” The thera replied: “Venerable Sir! having gone to the black-stone hill (or place)”. Buddha said: “Well then, indeed, O Moggallāna, you should go after preaching dhamma to me; indeed, I do not see, now, such a disciple as you”. That thera saying: “Venerable Sir! I shall do so”, paid homage to the master, rose up to the sky, performed different varieties of magical powers on the day of complete entry into nibbāna like unto the thera Sāriputta, preached the dhamma, adored the master, went to the black stone place (Kālasilā), and passed away completely to nibbāna. This (discourse or) talk spread all over Jambudīpa thus: “It is said that robbers killed the thera”.

390.3. King Ajatasattu despatched the spies (or wandering men) too seek and capture the robbers. When those robbers were drinking liquor at the liquor shop and became drunk, one struck the back of another, and fell down the latter. Threatening the former, the latter said thus; “You badly misled fellow! Why did you strike my back and fell me down? Look here! Guilty (or wicked) robber! But what? It was you by whom the thera Mahāmoggallāna was first beaten”. “How is that, you know the fact that the first blow was given by me?” retorted the former. Having heard them saying thus: “Struck by us, beaten by us”, those spies captured all those robbers and reported the matter to the king. The king sent for those robbers and asked: “Was the thera murdered by you all?” The answer was: “Yes, Your Majesty!” The king asked again thus: “By whom were you instigated?” The answer was: “Your Majesty! We were instigated by the naked monks”. The king had the five hundred naked monks arrested, made them, together with the five hundred robbers, dig and buried deep up to level of their navels in the royal courtyard, covered them up with straw and set fire to them. Then, having come to know the state of their being burnt, had them ploughed across by means of iron ploughshares and made them break into broken bits. On that occasion bhikkhus raised a talk in their ceremonial hall of dhamma thus: “The thera Mahāmoggallāna arrived at death not appropriate to himself”. The Master came over and asked thus: “Over what talk, O Bhikkhus! are you all now assembled here?”, and on being told that they were talking over such and such a matter, Buddha made His answer thus: “O Bhikkhus! It is only in this existence of Moggallāna that his death is not commensurate with his position; it is, however, quite suitable to the deed done by him formerly”. When asked thus: “Venerable Sir! What, however, was his former deed?” Buddha spoke about it in extenso.

391. O Monks! Long ago, in Benares, a certain son of a family, supported his parents doing such things as pounding and cooking and so on all by himself. Then, his parents said: “Dear Son! You tire yourself doing work all alone both in the forest and at home; we shall bring a girl for you”. Although declined by him saying: “Dear Mother and Father! As long as you both live, so long I shall attend upon you by means of my own hands”, his parents made that request of theirs repeatedly and brought in a young wife for their son. For a few days only, she attended upon them and later, not desiring the sight of them even, she grumbled thus:- “I am unable to live in one and the same place with your parents”. When her husband did not take her word, she caught hold of broken bits of rice-gruel and scattered them here and there when her husband had gone out of their house. When her husband came home and asked her why their home was in such a mess as that, she replied: “This act is that of these blind old people; they go about making the whole house dirty; I can no more live in one and the same place together with them”. On account of being thus told again and again by her, even such a creature as one who had fulfilled his perfections, got broken from his parents. He, saying: “Let it be, I shall come to know what ought to be done to them”, fed his parents and had them ride on a conveyance (or cart) saying: “Dear Mother and Father! At such and such a place, namely, your relatives are welcomely awaiting your coming to them; let us go there”. As he went away taking his parents along, he gave the reins of the bullocks into the hands of his father when they reached the mid-forest, saying thus: “Dear Father! Please take hold of the reins, the oxen will go with the sign of the goading stick; in this place robbers live; I shall get down from the cart and come along on foot”. So saying, he descended from the cart and as he went along he made the sound to turn out and made the sound of the rising up of robbers. His parents heard the sound, came under the impression that robbers had arisen and said thus:- “Dear Son! Robbers had risen; we are old; You might look after your very self only”. While his parents were thus crying he made sound of robbers, pounded them, killed them, threw them away in the forest and returned home.

392. The Master, having spoken about his former deed, continued saying thus: "O Monks! Moggallāna, having done this much deed, because cooked in purgatory for many a hundred thousand years, and met his death even thus being pounded and reduced to pieces and powder for a hundred existences in consequence of the remaining portion of maturity, to that extent; in this way, death was obtained by Moggallāna in accordance to his own deed. The five hundred heretics also, together with the five hundred robbers, having offended the inoffensive son of mine underwent death but appropriately even. Indeed, the offender towards the inoffensive people, but has to come to distressing destruction, complete with ten circumstances".

Having thus connected the sequence, Buddha recited these stanzas preaching the dhamma, thus:-

“Whoever offends with weapon towards the inoffensive weaponless people, that offender has to go down, but quickly to one or other of the ten consequences. Severe suffering, destitution, amputation of but bodily limbs, even also violent ailment, reaching the state of being demented; either accusation from the king or severe scandal, total elimination even of relatives, ruination of prosperous wealth. Moreover, ordinary fire and incendiary fire would burn his houses; on the dissolution of his body that man of bad wisdom has to be re born in purgatory.”

393. Pavivekamanuyutto (devoted to solitude), yoked to, connected with, harnessed to and devoted to being one and all alone and in seclusion, characteristically, samādhibbhāvanā rato (delighted in developing concentration) adhered to and delighted in such development as the first jhāna and so on also; Sabbāsave pariññāya (knowing all round all the cankers) having known and forsaken all kinds of depravity (kilesa); anāsavo (free from cankers) I dwell devoid of depravity; thus, is the connection.

394. Now, in order to show the fruition of his former conduct by way of his own accumulation of good deeds of merit, he uttered this stanza starting with: Varaṇimpi sugambhīram.

394.1. There, this is the gradual discourse:- Buddhena codito (being urged by Buddha) on being argued and asked by the Omniscient Buddha; bhikkhusaṅghassa pekkhato (while being looked at by the congregation of bhikkhus) while the great group of bhikkhus were seeing; Migāramātupāsādam pādaṇguṭṭhena kampayim (I shook the palatial mansion of Migara's mother with my foot toe) with my own foot-toe I shook the great palace adorned with a thousand pillars built by the great devotee Visākhā in the East Ashram (Pubbārāma). At one time, while the Glorious One was residing in the thus aforesaid palace in the East Ashram (Pubbārāma), many younger bhikkhus, sat themselves down on the upper storey of the palace, and began to talk about animal talks, without regard for the Master even;having heard about the matter, the Glorious One, being desirous of making them remorseful, by becoming shareholders of His teaching of dhamma, addressed the venerable thera Mahāmoggallāna thus: "O Moggallāna! Do you notice the young bhikkhus engaged in beastly talk?" Having heard what the Buddha said, be came to find out the motive of the Master, entered properly upon the fourth jhāna, after concentrating upon the water-object (kasiṇa), based upon his higher knowledge, rose up and struck the pinnacle on the palace-top with his self-resolution thus: "Let there be water at the site where the palace is established"; the palace bent over and stood on one side. Again also he struck; the structure stood by means of another side. Those bhikkhus became afraid, repented, came out from the palace over the danger of the palace falling down, and stood near the Glorious One. The master after observing their inner inclinations, preached the dhamma. Having heard that preaching, some of them became established in the fruition of the first stage of sanctification, some in the second, some in the third stage of holiness (anāgāmi-phala), and some became established in the fruition of arahantship. This meaning of that should be understood by the discourse: Pāsādakampana Sutta.

394.2. Vejayantapāsādam (the palace of victory) that palace of victory (Vejayanta Pāsāda), is the mansion which received such a name as "Veyayanta, Victory" because of its being born due to victory (or conquest); it sprang up when Sakka, king of divine beings, stood at the centre of his city after having conquered the titan (asura), in the battle field of celestial beings and titans; this palace is well adorned with many a thousand turrets and pinnacles, a hundred yojanas in height, in the Tāvatiṃsa heaven. With reference to it, Buddha said: "Vejayantapāsādam, palace of victory". It, also, this thera made to shake with his foot-toe. Indeed, on one occasion, Sakka, king of divine-beings, approached the Glorious One who was residing in the East Ashram (Pubbārāmā), and asked Him about emancipation after proper destruction of craving (taṇhā). The Glorious One answered his questions. That king of divinebeings, having heard that answer, became in his own elements or self-willed and glad, worshipped Him, circumambulated Him and went back to his own celestial world. Then the venerable Mahāmoggallāna thought thus:- "This Sakka approached the Glorious One and asked such questions had been answered also by the Glorious One; how is it, indeed! has he gone back after having known the truth or without knowing it? What if I were to go to the divine world and find out that matter?" There and then, the thera went to the Tāvatiṃsa mansion and asked Sakka, the king of divine-beings, about that matter. Sakka, being forgetful due to divine bliss made slippery statement. The thera shook with his foot-toe the palace of victory, (Vejayantapāsāda), in order to bring about his remorse.

Therefore, it has been stated thus:-

“Such a thera shook with his foot-toe, the victory palace (Vejayantapāsāda), supported by the strength of his magical power, he made also the divine-beings remorseful.”

394.3. This meaning of the stanza, however, ought to be made clear by means of Cūlataṇhādaṅkhayavimutti-sutta. The characteristic of shaking has but been spoken of already (heṭṭhā). "Sakkam so paripucchati, he asked Sakka all round," according as having been said even; statement has been made with reference to the thera's question on emancipation after proper destruction (or exhaustion) of craving (taṇhā); therefore the thera said: "Perhaps! my friend knows, about emancipations after extinction of craving (taṇhā)?". Sakka answered to his question. This is stated regarding answering question while the shaking of the palace was being done by the thera, Sakka, with a remorseful heart forsook this forgetfulness of his;made his mind wise to answer the question correctly. The thera then preached, indeed, in the very manner as preached by Buddha. Therefore, the thera said:- "When question was asked like that". There, Sakkaṃ so paripucchati (he asked Sakka all-round) the thera Mahāmoggallāna asked Sakka, the king of divine beings, the condition of his having properly grasped the (fact that) emancipation (is gained) after proper destruction of craving (taṇhā) as preached by the Master. This presenttense verb is indeed said in the sense of the past; Apāvuso jānāsi, Perhaps! My friend! Do you know? My friend! Perhaps! you know? What do you know?;taṇhakkhava vimuttiyo (destruction (or exhaustion) of craving, (taṇhā) and escapes) that extinction of craving, and emancipation, preached to you by the Master! likewise, the thera asked: "What do you know?" He asked about the teaching of either the Sutta bout the proper extinction of taṇhā and emancipation or the destruction of craving and escapes.

394.4. Brahmānaṃ (of the brahmās) of the great brahmās; Sudhammāyābhito sabham (in the Assembly Hall of Sudhamma) this, however, is the Sudhamma hall of Brahmā world, not the one in Tāvatiṃsa mansion. There is, namely no divine world without Sudhamma-hall. "Friends! Is that view (diṭṭhi), which was formerly yours still with you now? namely, there does not exist anybody, whether monk or brahmin, who is capable of coming over to this world of brahmā? Previous to the coming or arrival of the Master here, whatever there was your view (diṭṭhi), how is it? Today also, now also, has not that view gone away? Passasi vītivattantam brahmaloke pabbassaram (do you see the outshining over and above the brilliance in Brahmā world?, Do you see the space (okāsa) or (light?) of the Glorious One, with His disciples, seated after having well entered upon the element of heat, surrounded by such disciples as mahākappina, Mahākassapa, and so on, outshining in the Brahmā world? Thus, is the meaning. indeed, on one occasion, the Glorious One came to know the mind of Brahmā, who was holding an audience having held a meeting in the Assembly hall of Sudhamma in the Brahmā-world, and who was thinking: "Is there, indeed, anyone, whether monk or brahmin, of such high magical power as would enable him to come over here", went there, sat Himself down in the air above the Brahmā, entered properly upon the element of heat (tejodhātu), reflected upon the coming of such disciples of His as Mahāmoggallāna and so on, above Brahmā's head, releasing His rays of light. With the thinking of the Buddha, they also went there, paid homage to the Master, came to know the inner intention of Buddha, entered properly upon the element of heat (tejodhātu), sat themselves down in their respective directions and released their rays of light. The whole Brahmā-world became one solid ray of light. The Master came to know of the favourable condition of Brahmā's mind, preached the dhamma making the four noble truths manifestly clear. At the end of the preaching, many a thousand brahmās became established in the right noble paths and their fruitions (maggaphala). He recited this stanza containing: Ajjapite āvuso sā diṭṭhi, in order to argue and ask regarding it. This meaning should, however, be brought to light by means of Bakabrahmāsutta. Indeed!

This has been stated:-

“At one time the Glorious One was residing at Jeta grove in the monastery of Anāthapiṇḍika. At that time, indeed!, however, there arose such an evil view to a certain brahmā, as: "There is neither any monk nor brahmin who would come here". Then, indeed, the Glorious One came to know what was revolving in that brahmā's mind by means of his own mind, disappeared from the Jetavana monastery in such short moment as would be taken by a strong man either in stretching out his folded arm or folding back his outstretched arm, and become apparent in the Brahmā-world. Then, indeed, the Glorious One sat himself down cross- legged in the air above that brahmā, after having entered properly upon heat-element. then, indeed, this idea occurred to the venerable Mahāmoggallāna: "Where, indeed, is the Glorious One staying now?" The venerable Mahāmoggallāna saw, indeed, with his divine eyes, the Glorious One seated cross-legged, in the air, above that Brahmā, having entered upon the element of heat, (tejodhātu). Having seen Him, the thera disappeared himself from the Jetavana and made himself apparent in that Brahmā-world in such a split second as would be taken by a strong man for stretching out his folded arm or for folding back his out- stretched arm. Then, indeed, the venerable Mahā moggallāna, relying on the east direction, sat himself cross-legged in the air, above that brahmā, lower than that of the seat of the Glorious One after having entered upon the heat element.”

“Then, indeed, this idea occurred to the venerable Mahākassapa: "Where, indeed, is the Glorious One staying at the present moment?" The venerable Mahākassapa saw, indeed, the Glorious One, with his divine eyes, clearly pure, superior to human eyes, the Glorious One, seated cross-legged in the air, above that brahmā, having entered upon the heat- element (tejodhātu). Having seen Him, just as, namely, a strong man........... exactly in the same way, the thera disappeared himself from the Jetavana monastery and made himself apparent in the brahmaloka. then, indeed, the venerable Mahākassapa, relying on the south side or direction, sat himself cross-legged in the air above that brahmā, lower than that of the seat of the Glorious One, after having entered upon the heat element.”

“Then, indeed, this idea occurred to the venerable Mahākappina: "Where, indeed, is the Glorious One staying at the present moment?" The venerable Mahākappina saw, indeed, the Glorious One, with his divine eyes, clearly pure, superior to human eyes, seated cross- legged, in the air, above that brahmā, after having entered upon the heat-element (tejodhātu). Having seen Him, just as, namely, a strong man.............., exactly in the same way, the thera disappeared himself from the Jetavana monastery and made himself apparent in that brahmā world. Then, indeed, the venerable Mahākappina, relying on the west direction, sat himself cross-legged in the air, above that brahmā, but lower than that seat of the glorious One, after having entered upon the heat-element (tejodhātu).”

“Then, indeed, this idea occurred to the venerable Anuruddha: "Where indeed, is the Glorious One staying at the present moment?" The venerable Anuruddha saw, indeed, the glorious One, with his divine eyes, clearly pure, superior to human eyes, seated cross-legged, in the air, above that brahmā, after having entered upon the heat-element (tejodhātu). Having seen Him, just as, namely, a strong man........., exactly in the same manner, the thera disappeared himself from the Jetavana monastery and made himself apparent in that brahmā-world. Then, indeed, the venerable Anuruddha, relying on the north direction, sat himself cross-legged, in the air, above that brahmā, but lower than that seat of the Glorious One, after having entered upon the heat-element (tejodhātu).”

394.5. then, indeed, the venerable Mahāmoggallāna addressed that brahmā by means of a stanza:-

“Now also, O Friend! Does that view of yours, which had formerly been your view, exist? Do you see the outstanding rays of light in the brahmā world?”

The brahmā replied thus:-

“Friend! That view of mine which I had before, does not exist with me (now); I see the outshining ray of light in the brahmā-world. I realise now that the talk is faulty, namely, I am permanent and eternal.”

“Then, indeed, having made that brahmā, remorseful, just as, namely, a strong man,.......... exactly in the same way, the Glorious One disappeared Himself from that brahmāworld, and made Himself apparent at Jeta grove. Then, indeed, that brahmā addressed a certain brahmā councillor, (brahmā pārisajja), thus:- "Come, you, my friend! Go near where the venerable Mahā- moggallāna is; having approached him, tell Mahāmoggallāna thus:- "Friend Moggallāna! Are there other disciples of that Glorious One who are thus of high magical powers and thus of great influence similar also to the venerable Moggallāna, kassapa, Kappina and Anuruddha?" That brahmā councillor, indeed, replied to that brahmā saying: "Very well, my friend!", went toward where the venerable Mahāmoggallāna was and said to the venerable Mahāmoggallāna: "Are there, indeed, my friend! other disciples also of that Glorious One who are thus of high magical powers and thus of great influence, similar also to the venerable Moggallāna, Kassapa, Kappina and Anuruddha?”

Then, indeed, the venerable Mahāmoggallāna addressed in reply to that brahmā councillor, by means of a stanza:-

“Many disciples of Buddha are cankerless (khīṇāsava), arahants, who are learned in three kinds of transcendental knowledge, had attained magical powers, and become experts in fathoming the thoughts of others.”

Then, indeed, that brahmā councillor became pleased with the statement of the Venerable mahāmoggallāna, congratulated him and went back towards where that brahmā was; having approached him, the brahmā councillor said this to him:- ‘Friend! The Venerable Mahāmoggallāna said thus:-

“There are many disciples of Buddha, who are canker-free (khīṇāsava), arahants, who are learned in the three kinds of transcendental knowledge, had reached the height of magical power and become experts in delving deep into the minds of others.”

394.6. That brahmā councillor said this and that brahmā also became self-willed (attamanā), and fully appreciated the statement of that brahmā councillor.

It has been said regarding this thus: "This meaning, however, should be brought to light by means of Bakabrahmāsutta, the discourse on the brahmā Baka".

394.7. Mahāneruno Kūṭam (the peak of the great Neru) with the peak-head, he spoke of the whole mountain-king of Sineru even; Vimokkhena apassayi (saw by means of emancipation) he saw by means of being dependent on the emancipation by jhāna, and by means of higher knowledge; thus, is what is meant; Vana (forest) is the jambu island; indeed, that jambu island is spoken of as "Vana, forest", because of its being abundant in forests; therefore he said: "Jambumaṇḍassa issaro, ruler of eugenia essence"; Pubbavidehānam (the east island) the place also of the east island itself is the east island (pubbavideha); thus, is the meaning. Ye ca bhūmisayā narā (whatever people who lie on the ground) human-beings who are islanders of West (Aparagoyāna) and North (uttarakuru), are known as those who sleep on the ground; since, indeed, they have no home or house they are said to be "bhūmisayā, those who sleep on the ground!; he saw all of them also; thus, is the connection. This meaning, however, should be brought to light by means of the taming of Nandopananda. It is said that on one occasion, the banker-householder Anāthapiṇḍika, having heard the preaching of dhamma of the Glorious One, invited Him saying: "Venerable Sir! Tomorrow, kindly take your meal at my house together with five hundred bhikkhus and made his departure. On that day also, while the Glorious One was surveying the ten thousand world-elements, early in the morning, the dragon king, named Nandopānanda came into the focus of His knowledge-facade. Reflecting thus::This dragon king comes into the focus of my knowledge-facade; what, indeed, is going to happen?", the glorious One saw the dragon's chance of going into refuge (saraṇāgamana), pondering over thus: "This heretic dragon has no pious faith in the three Gems; who, indeed, would effectively release this dragon from it's heresy?", saw the thera mahāmoggallāna. Thereafter, when the night passed into dawn, the Glorious One did His bodily ablutions, and addressed the Venerable Ānanda thus:- O Ānanda! Inform the five hundred bhikkhus that very day, the dragons prepared the banqueting hall for Nandopānanda. That dragon-king was seated on the bejewelled celestial throne, surrounded by dragon-assembly, as well as by three kinds of dancing-king saw Him, proceeded to go facing towards the divine world of Tāvatiṃsa, accompanied by five hundred bhikkhus through the sky above his very mansion.

394.8. On that occasion, indeed, however, there was arisen such an evil heretical view to the dragon king as: "Indeed, these, namely, bald-headed monks enter into and come out also the mansion (or abode) of the thirty three (Tāvatiṃsa) divine-beings, by air over our mansion; from now on, I am not going to allow their going scattering down their feet-dust on our heads". Over this evil thought, the dragon-king rose up from his seat, went to the foot of Sineru, abandoned its normal body, threw round sineru its coils seven times over made its hood above sineru, rendered the Tāvatiṃsa abode invisible by its spread-out hood.

394.9. Then, indeed, the venerable Raṭṭhapāla said this to the glorious One: "Venerable Sir! Standing here, formerly, I used to see the Sineru hill; I used to see the environs of Sineru; I used to see Tāvatiṃsa, I used to see Vejayanta (the Victory palace); I used to see the flag above the palace of victory (Vejayanta); Venerable Sir! What, indeed, is the cause, what is the reason (or source) in this, that now, I do see neither Sineru,...... nor the flag above the palace of victory?" Buddha replied: "O Raṭṭhapāla! this dragon king, named Nandopānanda, being angry with you, had surrounded Sineru seven times by means of its long body turned into coils and stood after creating darkness, having covered the peak with his hood". Raṭṭhapāla said: "Venerable Sir! May I tame it?' The Glorious One did not allow the thera to do so. Then, indeed, the Venerable Bhaddiya, the Venerable Rāhula; thus, one by one, in succession, all the bhikkhus also rose up. The Glorious One did not allow them all.

394.10. Finally at last, the thera Mahāmoggallāna said: "Venerable Sir! May I tame it?" The Glorious One gave His consent saying: "Moggallāna! You should tame it". The thera discarded his normal human body, created the likeness of a massively majestic nāga, rounded up Nandopānanda fourteen times, with coils of his long body, placed his own hood above that nāga's hood and firmly pressed the dragon down against Sineru. The dragon-king sent forth fumes; the thera also issued fumes, saying: "Not in your body only is there fume, I have it also in my body". The fume of the dragon-king did not sicken the thera; but the thera's fume sickened the dragon-king. thereafter the dragon-king made itself aflame; the thera also, saying, "It is not in your body only, there is fire, my body also has it" and set fire ablaze. The heat of the dragonking did not burn the thera, but the thera's heat burnt the dragon-king. The dragon-king thought to himself: "This thera pressed me down against Sineru, sent out fumes and flames also", asked properly: "Friend! who are you?" The reply was; "O Nanda! I am, indeed, Moggallāna". The dragon-king requested thus: "Venerable Sir'. Please stand in your own state of bhikkhu".

394.11. The thera discarded that dragon body, entered the dragon-king's body through its right ear-hole and made his exit through its left ear-hole; having entered through the left ear-hole he made his exit through the right ear-hole. Thereafter, the dragon-king opened its mouth; the thera entered through its mouth and walked to and fro from east to west and west to east inside its stomach. The Glorious One said: "O Moggallāna'. Mind yourself; the dragon is highly powerful". The thera said! "Venerable Sir! In me, indeed!, the fourfold foundations of magical power, have been developed, made in abundance, rendered to be my vehicle, laid as basic foundation, made???unraisable, thoroughly experienced and easily well-begun; Venerable Sir! Leave alone this Nandopānanda, I would tame a hundred as well as a thousand dragon-kings, of Nandopānanda type,"and so on.

394.12. The dragon-king thought to itself thus: "Entering, so far, was not noticed by me; at the time of his exit, now, I shall throw him in between my tusk-teeth and eat him up", and having thought so, it said: "Venerable Sir! Please come out; please do not beseech me walking to and fro, now and then inside my belly". The thera made his exit and stood outside. The dragonking saw him and saying to itself: "This is he", released its nose-breath. The thera entered upon the fourth jhāna; the wind that came from the dragon's nose was not able to shake or shiver his hair-holes (or pores) even. It is said that the rest of the bhikkhus would be capable of doing or making all kinds of miracles starting from the beginning; having reached this place, however, no other bhikkhu would be able to enter upon jhāna, after having quick careful-attention in this manner;thus, to them, the Glorious One did not allow to tame the dragon king.

394.13. The dragon king considered thus:- "I was not able to make even the hair-holes (or pores) of this monk shake by my nose-breath (or breeze); that samaṇa is of high magical powers. The thera abandoned his own form, created the form of a garuḷa bird and pursued (or chased) the dragon-king showing the speed (or breeze) of the Garuḷa bird. The dragon-king forsook its own appearance, created the appearance of a lad and bowed down in adoration at the feet of the thera saying: "Venerable Sir! I take refuge in you". the thera, saying: "O Nanda! The Master had arrived; come with me; let us go to Him", tamed the dragon king, made it devoid of poison, took it and went to the presence of the glorious One. The dragon-king paid his homage to the Glorious One and said "Venerable Sir! I take my refuge in you". The Glorious One said: "Oh Dragonking! may you be happy"; and went to the residence of Anāthapiṇḍika.

394.14. Anāthapiṇḍika asked thus: "Venerable Sir! What is the cause of Your coming late in the day?' Buddha replied: "There was a battle between Moggallāna and Nandopānanda as well". Anāthapiṇḍika enquired thus: "Venerable Sir! whose victory was it, however? And whose defeat?" And whose defeat?' Buddha replied: "The victory was of Moggallāna; the defeat was Nanda's".

Anāthapiṇḍika said to Buddha thus: "Venerable Sir! I shall do honour to the thera, myself, at a single stretch in succession with seven-day meal; let the Glorious One give His consent (or approval), and made a great offering to five hundred bhikkhus headed by Buddha for seven days. Therefore, has it been said: "It ought to be brought to light with the taming of Nandopānanda".

394.15. Indeed, on one occasion, while the Glorious One was residing in the palatial mansion of the great lady-devotee visākhā, adorned properly with well executed thousand chambers, at Pubbārāma,........ He made divine-beings also to become remorseful. Therefore, it has been said thus:-

“Having arrived at perfection in magical powers, I would shake with my left toe even the earth, profoundly deep and abundantly difficult to assault.”

There, iddhiyā pāramim gato (gone to perfection in magical power) had gone and attained the extreme end in such magical power as working transformation by magic and so on.

395. Asmimānam (‘I am’ conceit) I am endowed with knowledge, precept and concentration, etc., which constitute I am-pride; na passāmi (I do not see) I do not find; thus, is the meaning. Bringing into light even that matter, he said thus: "Māno mayham na vijjati, there does not exist pride in me". Sāmaṇere upādāya (taking the novices closely) making the novices the beginning the entire congregation of bhikkhus; garucittam (respect-minded) I make my mind respectful, and possess much reverence; thus, is the meaning.

396. Apa imeyya ito kappe (immeasurable aeons from now) from this kappa of our rising up, at the head of a hundred thousand aeons (kappa), over and above one innumerable measureless period; thus, is the meaning. Yam kammamabhinīharim (whatever deed I applied to) I fulfilled the prosperity of merit, the basic foundation of chief discipleship; tāham bhūmimanupatto (I have accordingly arrived at that foundation) I have attained Nibbāna, reckoned as extinction of cankers (āsava), having arrived at that ground of disciple; thus, is the meaning.

397. Me sacchikatā (visualised by me) the four such kinds of analytical knowledge as: the analytical knowledge of the meaning and so on, the eight such kinds of emancipation as the first stage of holiness (sotāpatti-magga) and so on, the six such kinds of higher knowledge as magical power (iddhividdha) have been made to be seen with my own eyes. Buddhassa sāsanam (Buddha's dispensation) that which is reckoned as admonition and advice of the Glorious One; katam (done) have been carried out by me, have been completely carried out by way of being accomplished in precept and proper practice; thus, is the meaning.

397.1. Itthaṃ thus, in the serial order said already, (heṭṭhā), by this variety; in this way, he obtained prophecy twice in the presence of one buddha Anomadassī alone, when he was then a banker; passing away from there, he was reborn in the dragon mansion belonging to the ocean, made offering to that self-same Glorious One, because of His long span of life, invited Him, fed Him, and made a great offering in His honour. At that time also the Glorious One uttered the prophesy. Sudam is an indeclinable particle to serve as a word-filler. Āyasmā, venerable, is an endearing utterance, the word of respect and reverence; abhāsittham (uttered) the thera mahāmoggallāna spoke these stanzas of his biography; iti (thus) is an indeclinable particle to mean complete end.

The Commentary on the biography of Mahāmoggallāna thera has ended.

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