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 Mahākassapa
3-3,1. Stanzas starting with Padumuttarassa Bhagavato (of the Glorious One, Padumuttara) and so on, constitute the biography of venerable thera mahākassapa. This one also, having done devoted service and attended upon former buddhas, accumulation the acquisition of such merits as were conducive towards freedom from rounds of re-births, in this and that existence, became a wealthy house-holder, worth eighty crores, known as Vedeha in the city of Haṃsavatī, at the time of the Glorious One Padumuttara. He became a devotee, devoted to the Buddha, devoted to the dhamma and devoted to the clergy (saṅgha) and living thus, he had his good meal even early in the morning on a certain fast day, observed with self-resolution the fast of pure precepts, took hold of such offerings as perfumes, flowers and so on, went to the monastery. offered them to the Master, in His honour, paid homage to him and sat himself down on one side.
3-3.2. At that moment also, the Master placed His third disciple the thera, named, Mahānisabha at the stop place namely: "O Monks! such a one as this Nisabha is chief among my disciple-bhikkhus whose creed is austerity (dhūta). The devotee heard about it, became pleasantly pious, paid his homage to the Master, when the big body of people rose up at the end of the preaching of truth (dhamma), and went away, and invited the Master thus:- "Venerable Sir! Tomorrow, please agree to accept my alms-food." Buddha said: "O devotee! Great, indeed, is the congregation of bhikkhus". The devotee asked: "Venerable sir! How many of them?" The reply was sixty-eight hundred thousand. The devotee made his request thus: "Venerable Sir!
Without leaving out even a single novice (sāmaṇera) in the monastery, let every resident disciple take my meal". The Master gave His consent. The devotee, having come to know of Buddha's approval, went home, made ready a big charity and had the master informed about the meal-time on the next day. The Master took His bowl and robe, surrounded Himself with the congregation of bhikkhus, went to the devotee's house, sat Himself down on the seat prepared for Him, accepted such meal-offering as rice-gruel and so on at the end of libation dedication, and performed the function of the meal. The devotee also sat himself down near the Master.
3-3,3. During that interval, the thera mahānisabha, wandering about for alms-food, entered upon that very road. The devotee saw the thera, rose up from his seat, went to the thera, paid him homage, and said: "Venerable Sir! Please give me your begging-bowl". The thera replied: "O devotee! it will not be proper". The devotee took hold of the thera's bowl, filled it with alms-food and offered it to the thera. Thereafter, the devotee followed the thera, receded, took his seat in the presence of the master, and said thus:- "Venerable Sir! The thera Mahānisabha did not desire to enter here though he was told that the master is seated in this house; is there, indeed, to him any quality over and above your qualities? To Buddhas, there is no such thing as jealousy in praising others; therefore, the master said thus: "O devotee! We sit ourselves down in a house awaiting our alms-meal; that bhikkhu does not sit himself down in this way and look out for alms-meal; we live in the monastery within a village, whereas he lives in a forest only; we live under a roof, whereas he lives in open air only". The Glorious One spoke of the qualities of that thera as if filling up the big ocean saying: "This and that also are his qualities".
3-3,4. The devotee also, who was naturally already like a burning lamp soaked with oil, became pleasantly pious all the more and thought thus: "What use is there to me with the achievement of nibbāna's knowledge now? Would it not be better for me that I should aspire to become in future in the presence of a buddha the chief disciple topmost in the practice of austerity (dhūta)? That devotee invited the master once again also, gave a great charitable offering for seven days in that self-same manner, on the seventh day, offered a set of three robes each to the large concourse of bhikkhus headed by Buddha, lay himself down at the base of the master's feet and said thus: "Venerable Sir! When I was giving this charity for seven days, there have been brought about my bodily (or physical) loving kindness, verbal loving kindness and mental loving kindness; by this (or with this) act of merit I do not desire another such attainment as the divine glory or the glory of Sakka, Māra and Brahmā; may this deed of mine, however, be such as to serve towards becoming topmost amongst those who bear the responsibility of the thirteen kinds of austere practice and towards the attainment of the position reached by the thera Mahānisabha in the presence of a Buddha in future". The Master said to Himself: "A great position has been wished for by this devotee; will he accomplish or not?", looked ahead, saw the potentiality of his accomplishment and said thus: "By you the endearing position has been wished for; at the end of a hundred thousand aeons (kappa), yet to come, there will appear a Buddha, named Gotama; you will become his third foremost disciple known by the name of the thera Mahākassapa". Thus, He prophesied. Having heard that prophecy, the devotee said to himself: "There is no such thing as two kinds of preaching (or declaration) of Buddhas", and came to consider that attainment by himself as if it would be possible to achieve the next day. That devotee offered charity as long as his span of life lasted, took upon himself the observance of, and did keep precepts, performed many kinds of meritorious deeds, and was reborn in heaven after his death.
3-3.5. Beginning from that rebirth, he kept on enjoying the prosperity in the worlds of divine and human-beings, and was reborn in a certain all-round old, ruined brahmin family after having passed away from the divine world when the Omniscient Buddha Vipassī was dwelling near the safe and secure deer-park in the city of Bandhunatī, ninety one aeons (kappa) ago. On that occasion also, the Glorious One Vipassī preached the truth (dhamma) in the seventh year; there was a large uproar. In the entire jambudīpa, divinities announced thus: "The master will preach the truth (dhamma)". The brahmin heard that announcement. There was to him but a single lower garment; likewise to the brahmin lady, his wife. As regards upper garment", however, there was but a single one for the two, husband and wife. In the whole city, he was well-known as: "Brahmin of one single garment". That brahmin would go wearing that upper garment himself, leaving his wife at home whenever thera was a meeting of brahmins that took place over some business or other; when there was a meeting of brahmin ladies, he would himself stay at home; his wife, the brahmin lady would put on that upper garment and go to the meeting. On that day, however, that brahmin said to his wife asking her thus: "My dear! Will you listen to the dhamma at night or in the day time?; what do you say?" She replied: "My lord! I am not able to go and listen to the preaching at night; I shall listen in the day time". She left her husband at home, put on that upper garment, went to the monastery together with lady-devotees, paid her homage to the Master, sat herself down on one side, listened to the preaching of dhamma, and came away along with lay-devotees. Then, her husband the brahmin left her at home, put on that upper garment, and went to the monastery.
3-3,6. on that occasion also, the master, seated in the midst of the assembled audience, on the decorated preaching seat, caught hold of his variegated fan and preached the truth (dhamma) in such a manner that resembled the making of heavenly river to flow down or the churning of the ocean after making Sineru a churning stick. When the brahmin, seated at the extreme end of the audience, was listening to the preaching of truth (dhamma), there arose zest (pīti) of five forms, filling his whole body even, in the first watch of the night. He collected his upper garment and intended to offer to the Dasabala. Later, there arose in him ill-will, showing a thousand disadvantages. he, saying to himself: "There is but a single garment for you and your wife, the brahmin lady; there is no such thing as any other upper garment; I am unable to wander about outside without putting on my upper garment", became not desirous of offering in every way also. Then, to him, when the first watch had gone out and in the middle watch of the night, likewise even, zest arose. He thought over in that self-same manner and became undesirous of offering it, in that self-same way. Then when the middle watch had gone past and in the last watch of the night also there arose zest (pāti) to him. At that time, he conquered his ill-will, collected his upper garment, and placed it at the base of Buddha's feet. Thereafter, he folded his left arm, clapped it with his right hand-palm and roared (or shouted) three times, thus: "Conquered by me; Overcome by me!"
3-3,7. On that occasion, king Bandhuma was listening to the preaching of dhamma, having been seated inside a screen at the back of the preaching seat. To kings, namely, the voice: "I have conquered" is not welcome to their hearts. The king gave orders to his man thus: "Look here! Go and ask this one what was it that he had said." The brahmin, being asked by the man who came to him, replied thus: "Having mounted on such transports as elephant, conveyance and so on, caught hold of swords, shields and so on, the king's soldiers conquered the other army completely; that conquest is not wonderful; I, however, having conquered my mental ill-will, like unto breaking the head of a horned bull which came to me from behind, with a club and making it flee, and offered my upper garment to Dasabala; that conquest of my ill-will by me is wonderful". That king's messenger came back and informed the king about that occurrence. The king became pleased with that brahmin, saying: "My friend! We all do not know Dasabala, appropriately; the brahmin knows it;" sent a pair of garments to him. Seeing it the brahmin considered: "The king did not give me anything when I was seated in silence first of all; but, he gave me when I spoke of the qualities of the master; this gift had arisen depending upon the qualities of the Master; it is therefore but fit for the Master only", and offered that pair of garments also to Dasabala. The king asked: "What did the brahmin do?" and having heard that that pair of garments also had been offered to the Tathāgata, he sent another two pairs of garments to the brahmin. He offered them also to the Master. Again, the king sent another four pairs and in this way up to thirty pairs of garments. Then, the brahmin said to himself: "This pair of garments gets increasing and increasing and it has become as if it is a forest of garments", took two pairs of garments, one for himself and one for his wife, the brahmin lady and offered thirty pairs to the Tathāgata. From then on, that brahmin became an intimate of the Master.
3-3,8. Then, the king, having seen him listening to the dhamma, in the presence of the master, in the cold season, gave him the red velvet which he, the king himself put on and which was worth a hundred thousand and said to the brahmin thus: "From now on, please listen to the preaching of dhamma after having put on this upper garment". The brahmin considered: "What use is there to me with this velvet to be kept close to me on this putrid body?" made a canopy above the couch of the Tathāgata, inside His fragrant chamber and went away. Then, one day, the king went to the monastery early in the morning, and sat himself down near the Master inside the fragrant chamber. At that moment, the six-coloured rays of Buddha struck against the velvet making the latter become exceedingly graceful. The king, on looking up, came to know very well of it and said: "Venerable Sir! This velvet is ours; it was given by us to the one-garment brahmin". Buddha replied: "O great king! By you the brahmin was honoured and we have been honoured with the offering of it by the brahmin". The king was pleased saying: "The brahmin knew what was befitting but not we". Whatever were of benefit to human-beings, the king made them all eight times eight, gave offering known as all-standing or existing, and established the brahmin in the position of his private chaplain. The brahmin also said to himself: "Eight times eight, namely, is sixty-four", set up sixty four lots of meals, gave charitable offering throughout his life, kept moral precepts and passing away thence, was reborn in heaven.
3-3,9. Again, passing away thence, in this aeon, (kappa), in between the Buddhas, the Glorious One Koṇāgamana and the Glorious One Kassapa, was reborn in the family of a householder in Benares. In the wade of his growing up, he, leading a household life, wandered about on foot in the forest, one day. On that very occasion, a silent buddha, performing his robewashing deed at the river-bank, began to put it by, after collection the robe, when the favourable sir! Why do you collect and put it by?" the answer was that the favourable breeze was not adequate. He offered his upper garment saying: "Venerable Sir! Do with this", and made this wish: "Let there not be any diminishing (or adversity) to me in whatever place I am reborn".
3-3.10. at his home also, his sister was quarrelling with his wife, when a silent Buddha, entered for alms-food. Then his sister offered alms-food to the silent buddha and placed her wish in relation to that wife saying: "May I all-round avoid such-like fool at a distance of a hundred yojanas". The wife heard the utterance of wish as she stood in the precincts of her house, caught hold of the begging bowl, saying to herself: "Let not this silent buddha eat the meal offered by her", discarded the meal, filled the bowl with mud and gave it back. The other saw it and said: "O fool! You might abuse me or strike me; but, it is not proper to offer mud after throwing away my alms-meal from the begging bowl of such a silent buddha as one who had fulfilled perfections for two incalculable periods of aeons. Then there arose, in that wife, discerning wisdom. She said: "Venerable Sir! Please stand waiting"; threw away the mud, washed the begging bowl, rubbed out the inside with scented powder, filled it with excellent meal-food as well as four kinds of sweet and honey, placed into the hands of the silent buddha, the begging bowl, shining with the lotus-cavity-coloured ghee, sprinkled over its contents, and made her wish thus: "Just as this alms-food has become gracefully lighted, in the same way, may my body become gracefully lighted, in the same way, may my body become gracefully lighted." The silent buddha said well-done by way of thanks-giving and proceeded into the sky. Both of these two wife and husband, lived on as long as their lives lasted and passing away thence, were reborn in heaven. Again passing away thence, the devotee was reborn in the family endowed with eighty crores of wealth in Benares at the time of the Omniscient buddha Kassapa; the other also, like him even, was reborn as the daughter of a banker. When he came of age they brought to him that self-same banker's daughter. Due to the influence of the undesirable consequence of her former evil deed, at the very moment she entered the house of her parents-in-law, that whole house, beginning from inside the threshold became bad smelling, like unto the pit of excrement, which had been shaken up. The young man enquired: "Whose is this smell?" and having heard that the bad smell was that of the banker's daughter, sent her back to her parents' home even, saying: "Take her out". She had to suffer being turned out of the house in seven places.
3-3.11. By that time, the Dasabala kassapa, passed away completely into Nibbāna. For Him, people started setting up a shrine, a yojana high, with gold bricks worth a hundred thousand, When that shrine was being built, that banker's daughter considered thus: "I had to recede at seven places; what is the use of my life?", had her own treasure of ornaments broken and gold-bricks made of them: the extent of her jewellery was a cubit (ratana) in length, twelve finger-breadth span across and four fingers in height. thereafter, taking with her a lump of yellow orpiment and arsenic as well eight handfuls of white lotus flowers, she went to the site of shrinebuilding. At that very juncture also, a row of bricks, being laid round, happened to meet with shortage for reaching perfection. The banker's daughter said to the architect-builder thus:- "Please place this gold brick of mine here". The builder replied; "My dear! you have come at the right time, well in good time: you yourself lay your brick". She climbed up mixed the yellow orpiment and arsenic lump with oil, made her piece of brick well laid with that adhesive binder, offered in honour, reverentially, with eight handfuls of white lotus flowers above it, paid her homage to the shrine, made her wish, saying: "At every place, wherever I may be reborn, let the sweet smell of sandal-wood issue as breeze from my body and may the sweet smell of white lotus issue from my mouth", worshipped the shrine, circumambulated it and went home.
3-3,12. At that very moment, there arose awareness regarding her to the banker's son, whose home she was first brought into. in the city also, there was proclaimed a festival. He asked his attendants: "Where is the banker's daughter who was brought here?" the reply was: "Lord! She is in her parents' home" the banker's son said: "Bring her, I shall enjoy myself at the festival". They went and stood paying her their respects. When asked by her: "Dears! What is the cause of your coming?", they all intimated here that matter as had occurred. She replied thus "My dears! The shrine has been honoured by me with my treasure of ornaments; I have no jewellery". They went and informed about it to the banker's son. The banker's son said: "Bring her; she will get her ornaments". They brought her. Along with her entrance into the house, the sweet smell of sandalwood as well as the sweet scent of white lotus permeated the whole house. The banker's son asked her thus: "My dear! Your body at first emitted bad smell; now, however, sweet smell of sandal-wood issues from your body and the sweet scent of white lotus flower is emitted from your mouth. What is this?" She informed her husband the deed done by herself starting from the beginning. The banker's son was pleased saying: "Indeed! Buddha's dispensation (sāsana) is salutary (or profitable)", had the gold shrine of a yojana, covered over with velvet sheath and adorned the same with gold lotuses of the size of a chariot wheel here and there. Their hangings were twelve hands (or cubits).
3-3,13. He lived on there till the end of his life-span, passed away thence, was reborn in heaven and again passing away thence, was reborn in a certain minister's family at a place a yojana in extent from Benares; his wife, however, having passed away from the divine world was reborn in a king's family to become the eldest royal daughter. When they came of age, a festival was proclaimed in the residential village of the young man. He said to his mother thus: "Dear Mother! Please give me my garment; I shall sport in the festival". She took out a washed garment and gave it to her son. Her son said: "Dear Mother! This garment is thick". She took out another garment and gave it to him. He rejected it also. Then his mother told him thus: "My dear son! We were born in such a house that there has been not that sort of merit as to obtain properly more delicate than this for us". The son said: "Well then, indeed!, dear mother! I am going to the place where it can be obtained". The mother replied: "My son! I wish that you world properly gain the sovereignty of the city of Benares even today, just now". He paid his homage to his mother telling her that he was going. His mother let her son go. He, however, left his house, according to his merit, went to Benares, and lay himself down on the auspicious stone-slab in the royal garden, after putting on his upper garment to cover his head also. That day happened to be the seventh day of the death of the king of Benares.
3-3,14. The ministers, having done what ought to be carried out to the bodily remains of the king, sat themselves down in the royal court-yard and consulted together thus: "To the king there is only one single daughter; there is no son; a kingless kingdom will come to ruin; who is worthy of becoming king?" They said to each other:- "You are worthy;you are worthy." The private chaplain (purohita) suggested thus: "It is not proper to look for many; we shall release the state carriage to run of its own accord (phussaratha)". They had four Sindh horses, of the colour of kumuda lotus flower, harnessed, placed in; that state-chariot the five kinds of regalia together with the white umbrella, let the chariot go and caused to support it with music from behind. The chariot went out of the city by the east gate and proceeded facing towards the royal garden. Some said thus: "It goes facing towards the garden as usual by continuous experience, let us turn it back". The private chaplain (purohita) advised to the contrary. The chariot went on, circumambulated the young man, and stood, having stopped, to be ready for him to ride on. The private chaplain (purohia) removed the border of his upper garment, examined the foot-soles of the sleeping young man, said to himself: "Leave alone this island; on the four great islands and two thousand smaller islands, this one is suitable to rule over", and made music upheld three times.
3-3,15. Thereupon, the young man opened his face, looked about and asked: "On what business have you all come here?" The ministers replied: "Lord! Sovereignty has come to you". The young man asked: "Where is your king?" Their reply was that their king had gone away to heavenly abode. The young man enquired: "How many days have passed by?" The reply was that it was seven days previously. The young man enquired further: "Is there not either a son or a daughter?" The reply was: "Lord! there is; daughter; but there is no son". The young man then said: "Well then, indeed! I shall carry out the sovereignty". The ministers, then and there had a coronation pandal made, dressed up and decorated the king's daughter with all kinds of ornaments, brought her to the garden, and carried out the coronation of the young man. Then when he had been anointed king, they brought to him a garment worth a hundred thousand. He asked: "Dears! What is this? They replied: "Your Majesty! It is the garment to put on". The king asked: "O dears! Is it not thick?" The reply was: "Your Majesty! There does not exist, amongst garments worn by human-beings, any such garment that is more soft than this". The king remarked saying: "I think your king was not possessed of merit; bring the ceremonial goldvessel; I shall get the garment". He had the ceremonial vessel of gold brought, rose up, washed his hands, rinsed his mouth, took water with his hand and sprinkled the same in the east direction. The solid earth broke itself and eight world trees (kapparukkha) sprang up. Again, after having got hold of water and sprinkled about in the four directions, in this way; namely: south, West and North. There arose altogether thirty-two world trees (kapparukkha) making eight each, in all the directions. That king put on one celestial clothing as his lower garment, another one as his upper garment, passed orders thus: "In the dominion of king Nanda let none of the spinning and weaving ladies weave yarn; thus, make my proclamation by beating round the royal drum", had the umbrella raised over him, dressed and decorated himself properly, mounted the back of the excellent royal elephant, entered the city, went up the royal palace and enjoyed great glory prosperously.
3-3,16. Thus, as time passed on, the queen, having looked at the king's glory, showed signs of her sympathy thus:- "Wonderful, indeed, is austerity, comprising control over senses!" When asked: "O queen! What is this?", she replied thus: "Your Majesty! Extremely enormous is your glorious prosperity; this is the resulting fruit of the good deed done in the past, having believing faith in Buddha; now, you do not perform merit for you to depend upon in future". When questioned: "When shall we offer? There are no people who possessed good moral precepts". The queen replied: "Your Majesty! The Jambu island is not void of arahants; Your Majesty! you rather release charitable offering; I shall get arahants for the offering". On the next day, the king had the charity to be offered ready at the east city gate. The queen, even early in the morning, established herself in the observance of fast of pure precepts, lay herself down, flat on her chest, facing towards east above her palace and said thus: "Should arahants exist in this direction, let them come here tomorrow, and take our alms-food". There were no arahants in that direction; they gave away that offering to destitute beggars.
3-3,17. On the next day, the king had the offering kept ready at the south city-gate; likewise, he did not get worthy recipients; on the next day also, it happened likewise even, at the west city-gate also. On the day, however, when offering was kept ready at the north city-gate, when the queen made her invitation likewise even, the eldest of the five hundred silent buddhas, who were the sons of Padumavatī, living in Himavanta, addressed his younger brothers thus: "O brothers! king Nanda invited you all; please respond to his invitation". They agreed, washed their face at the Anotatta lake, on the next day, went through the sky, and descended at the north citygate. People saw them, and went and informed the king thus: "Your Majesty! Five hundred silent buddhas have come". The king went with his queen, paid their homage, requested the silent buddhas to ascend their palace, where their majesties offered charitable offerings to them, and at the end of meal-eating, the king fell himself down at the base of the senior most silent buddha's feet, the queen fell herself down at the feet-base of the junior-most silent buddha, made them promise by saying to them: "Venerable Sirs! Our lords will not have to tire yourselves with your requirements; due to our merit, we also do not have to see adversity; please give us your promise to live here throughout our lives", properly made available for them, in the garden, five hundred leaf-huts, five hundred cloister walks, and thus all residential abodes with all kinds of characteristics, and let them live there.
3-3,18. As time passed in that manner, when the king's border area revolted, the king made his departure having instructed his queen thus: "I am going to bring peace to my border towns; you please do not neglect by having forgetfulness in the silent buddhas". Before the return of that king even, the life-span of the silent buddhas became exhausted. The silent buddha, Mahāpaduma enjoyed the sport of jhāna throughout the three watches of the night and passed away completely by means of the Nibbāna element, while still standing, hanging on to the balustrade board, at sun-rise. In the self-same ruse, the remaining silent buddhas also; thus, all the silent buddhas did but pass away completely into nibbāna. On the next day, the queen prepared sitting places for the silent buddhas, scattered flowers, made the places fragrant with perfumes, seated herself while looking out for their coming, and not seeing them come, sent her men saying: "My dears! You might go; find out what discomfort there is for our lords". They went, opened the door of Mahāpaduma's leaf-hut; not seeing him there, went to the cloister, saw him standing depending upon the balustrade board and said thus: "Venerable Sir! It is time"; after paying their homage to him. What will the body of the silent buddha who had completely entered Nibbāna speak? They said to themselves: "Methinks he is asleep", felt the backs of his feet with their hands, came to know the state of his having passed away completely into nibbāna, not only by the coldness but also by the stiffness of his feet; went to the presence of the second silent buddha, came to know but likewise; again to the third; and in this way, they came to know that all the silent buddhas also had passed away completely into nibbāna and went back to the royal family. When asked: "My dear! Where are the silent buddhas?", they replied: "O Queen! They had passed away completely into nibbāna". The queen wept, cried, went out of her palace, proceeded to that place with citizens, performed sacred festivity, (sādhukīlita), did bodily business by cremation of bodies of the silent buddhas, removed their relics and had them deposited in a shrine.
3-3,19. The king came back after having brought about peace in his border towns, asked his queen who came forward to meet him thus: "My dear! What is it? I hope you are not negligent toward the silent buddhas; are our lords free from illness?" She replied: "Your majesty! They had passed away into nibbāna completely". Having heard about it, the king considered thus: "Death occurs to wise people of this type; whence is the escape for us?" He did not enter the city, but proceeded to the garden even, sent for his eldest son, handed over the sovereignty to him, and himself renounced it to become a monk. The queen also, saying to herself: "When the king had become monk, what shall I do?", likewise became a renounced recluse in the garden, even. They two, also developed jhāna and having passed away thence, were reborn in the brahmā-world.
3-3,20. When they were living there in the brahmā world, our Master arose in the world, and arrived at Rājagaha in due course as He kept turning the wheel of excellent dhamma. When the Master was properly dwelling there, this lad Pippali was reborn in the womb of the wife of Kapila brahmin in the village of the brahmin Mahātittha. This Bhaddākapilānī was reborn in the womb of the wife of the brahmin who belonged to Kosiya clan in Sāgala city within the kingdom of Madda. When they gradually grew up and attained properly to the age of twenty in the case of the lad Pippali and sixteen in the case of Bhaddā, the parents looked at their son, exceedingly put pressure to bear upon him thus: "Dear Son! You have come of age; it is proper for you to establish our family lineage". The lad replied thus: "Please do not speak such a speech as this to my hearing; as long as you hold on yourselves, so long I shall support and look after you; with the lapse of both of you, I shall renounce and become a monk. They let pass a few days and spoke to him again. He, however, rejected their request again. From then on, the mother incessantly kept on speaking about it even.
3-3,21. The lad, saying to himself: "I shall make my mother understand", gave a thousand nikkha-measure of red-shining gold, asked for a lady-like sculpture to be made by gold-smiths, dressed that gold lady figure in red garments when such work as beating, knocking, cleaning and polishing and so on had ended, adorned it with flowers of gold, and all kinds of adornments and said: "Dear Mother! Obtaining such an object of vision as this gold figure, I shall live at home; otherwise, I shall not do so". The wise brahmin lady considered thus:- "My son is possessed of merit, who had offered charity; he must have made his aspiration, in doing good deeds formerly he did not do the same alone; surely, together with this one, my son, there must be his partner in good-deeds a properly proportioned gold-complexioned young lady". She sent for eight brahmins, satisfied them with all propriety, had the gold figure mounted on a chariot and despatched them saying: "My dears! you all go; wherever you see a young lady like this in any family equal to our birth, clan, prosperity and so on, there, give this very gold figure making it to be a pledge".
3-3,22. They said in compliance: "This work, namely, is ours"; went out from her house and saying to themselves: "Where shall we get her? The kingdom of Madda, namely, is ladies' harem; let us go to the kingdom of Madda", and went all over the city, in the kingdom of Madda. There, they placed that gold figure at the bathing bank and stood themselves on one side. Then, the wet-nurse of Bhaddā bathed Bhaddā, dressed her up and decorated her and went to the bathing bank to bathe herself. On having seen the gold figure, "Why was this one, without being chaperoned, come here and stood herself? "She struck the side of the gold-figure's back and came to know about its being inanimate, but she said remarking thus: "Our lord's daughter, mine, thus she raised the perception; however, this gold figure is not an equal to my lord's daughter's home receptionist". Thereupon, those brahmins asked her thus: "We are told that your lord's daughter is like this; is that so?" She replied: "My lord's daughter is a hundred times and a thousand times much more beautiful than this gold statue; like that, indeed, 'without any lighted lamp', when she is seated in a chamber twelve cubits cross, she dispels darkness, with the rays of light from her body. Saying: "Well then, indeed, let us go to the presence of her parents", mounted the gold statue on the chariot, followed that wet nurse, stood at the house-door of Kosiya clans-man and informed their arrived.
3-3,23. The Brahmin held conversation with them and asked them thus: "Whence have you come?" They replied thus: "We have come, due to, namely, this cause from the house of the brahmin Kapila, of Mahātittha village, in Magadha kingdom." He took the present saying: "Good, dears! That brahmin is of equal birth, clan and wealth with us; we shall give our girl". They sent message to Kapila brahmin, thus: "We have got a girl named Bhaddā; Do please know what ought to be done". Having heard that message, they informed about it to the lad Pippali thus: "The girl has been obtained". The lad Pippali said to himself: "I thought that they would not get; but they sent me such message that they had got; I shall send a letter that I do not desire her", went to seclusion, and wrote a letter thus: "Let Bhaddā get a husband, commensurate with her own birth, clan and wealth; I shall renounce and become monk; do not become disappointed afterwards". Bhaddā also having heard thus: "I am told that to so and so are my parents are desirous of giving me, went to seclusion, and wrote a letter thus: "Let the lord's son get a girl, commensurate with his own birth, clan and wealth; I shall renounce the world; do not get disappointed afterwards". The two letters also came together in the middle of the journey. They asked one another thus: "Whose is this letter?" The reply was: "It has been sent by the lad Pippali to Bhaddā". When asked about the other letter thus: Those is this letter?" On the answer being made thus: "This has been sent by Bhaddā to the lad Pippali", they all read the two letters also, tore them away and threw them into the forest saying: "Look at the deed done by the young", wrote another letter each, similar to theirs, and sent from this as well as hence. Thus, although the identical letters of both the young man and the young lady said that they were but averse to worldly satisfaction even, which they did not desire, yet there was the union of those two.
3-3,24. On that very day, the lad Pappali also, made Bhaddā catch hold of a rope of flowers. Buddha also placed them in the middle of their sleeping place (or bed). When both of them had eaten their evening meal, they began to get on to their bed. Between the two, the lad mounted his bed from its right side; Bhaddā, having mounted her bed from its left side, said thus: "On whosoever side, flowers fade, his lustful mind has arisen; thus, let us come to know clearly; this flower-rope should not be adhered to". They, however, spent the whole night without even falling off to sleep for fear of mutually touching one another's body. In the day time, however, they did not do even to the extent of smiling to or laughing at one another. As long as their parents were alive, so long they did not administer their estate because they did not associate with worldly dainties; but when they died, they looked after its. The lad's prosperity was great. After shampooing his body one day, even the gold power that should be thrown away, one ought to get to the extent of twelve coconut-shell measure according to the Magadha standard shell; there were sixty large lakes bound by (or harnessed with) machines; his field of occupation was twelve yojanas in extent; he had fourteen villages of the size of Anurādhapura; he had an army of fourteen elephants, and army of fourteen horses and an army of fourteen chariots.
3-3,25. One day, having ridden on a decorated horse, and surrounded by a large retinue of people, he went to his field of cultivation-occupation, stood himself at an extremity of his field, saw such birds as crows and so on eating such small living creatures as earth-worms mixed with clods of earth, after having pulled them out from the cut off (or ploughed up) places by means of plough-shares and made enquiry thus: "Dears! What are these birds eating?" The reply was: "Lord! They are eating earth-worms". The lad Pippali asked thus: "Whose is the evil-deed done by these birds were mine, what will this my wealth of eighty-seven crores do to me? What will my field of occupation extending twelve yojanas do to me? What will the lakes harnessed with machines do to me? What will the fourteen villages do to me? I shall hand over all these to Bhaddā; the daughter of Kapila (Kapilānī), and renounce the world."
3-3,26. Bhaddā, the daughter of Brahmin Kapila, at that moment, was seated surrounded by her nurses, having spread inside her house-compound the contents of three jars of sesame seeds; she saw crows eating sesame insects and asked: "My dears! What are these crows eating?"The answer was: "Lady! They are eating insects". She enquired thus: "Whose demerit is it?" Their reply was" "The demerit is yours, lady!" She considered thus: "My garment of four cubits barely befits to get just to the extent of coconut-rice; if, however, this demerit done by these crows were mind, I shall not be able to raise my head from the rounds of rebirths even with a thousand existences; as soon as my husband, the lord's son comes back, I shall hand over everything to him, renounce the world and become a bhikkhunī.
3-3,27. The lad came back, had his bath, ascended his palatial mansion and sat himself down on a throne-like seat of much value. Then his attendants brought to him his meal worthy of a world-king. Two of them also ate their meal and when their attendants went out, they went to seclusion and sat themselves down at a suitably comfortable place. Thereafter, the lad said to Bhaddā asking thus:- "My dear! When you came over to this house, how much wealth did you bring?" She replied thus: "My lord! Fifty five thousand cartloads'. The lad said thus: "I hand over to you alone, all that and all such kinds of wealth as amounting to eighty-seven crores, sixty machine-bound lakes, and so on of my prosperity." When asked thus: "My lord! Where, however, are you going?" The lad replied that he would become a monk. The young lady replied thus: "My lord! I also was seated looking out for your coming back; I am also becoming a bhikkhunī. The three kinds of existences stood near them like unto burning leaf-lodgings. They said to themselves that they would renounce the world, had robes dyed yellow with yellow essence and earthen-begging-bowls also, brought from inside the house-market, mutually shaved off their hair, renounced the world, saying "Whatever, in this world, there are arahants, to them we do dedicate this our renunciation". Having thus become recluses, they put their bowls into their knapsacks (or bags), hung them at their shoulders and descended from their palatial height. In their house, no one among their slaves and servants know about this matter.
3-3.28. Then, they went out of the brahmin village, and when they were going through the gate of their slave-village, the residents of that slave-village recognised them by way of their deportment and charming behaviour. Their slaves fell themselves down at their feet, weeping, and said to them, asking: "Oh Lord and Lady! Why do you make us helpless?"They replied thus: "We have renounced ourselves because we considered, O friends! the three kinds of existences to be like unto burning leaf-lodgings;if we are to set you free from serfdom one by one among you all, even a hundred years would not suffice; you yourselves, having washed your heads, become a free man each, yourselves and lead your lives". They then made their departure while their slaves were still weeping.
3-3.29. Going onward in front, the thera turned back and observing, considered thus: "This Bhaddā Kapilanī, the lady worth the entire Jambu island, comes in my wake, behind me; there exists, indeed, however, this reason-raising consideration: if anyone, whosoever, were to think thus: "These individuals, recluses though they are, do not make themselves able without woman, they do an inappropriate act'; in this way anyone can become a filler of purgatory after mentally offending with evil deed; it is proper for me to go, having forsaken this one". Having thus roused up his mind, he saw as he went in front a two-forked path and stood at the head of the junction. Bhaddā also came, paid her homage to him and stood herself. Then he said to her thus:- "My dear!. The big crowd of people (or public) having seen a woman like you coming along behind me might offend us mentally saying to themselves: 'These individuals, in spite of their being recluses could not manage to be without one another; would become fillers of purgatory; out of these two forked paths, you should take one; I shall go by another path". She replied: "Yes! my lord! Woman is an impediment to recluses; they would point out our defect saying: 'Though they are recluses, they do not become without woman', made circumambulation three times, venerated him with five kinds of establishments (pañcapatiṭṭhita), at four places, raised her clasped hands, resplendent with the placing together of her ten nails, paid her homage saying: "Our intimate friendship, made for such a period as measuring a hundred thousand world-cycles (kappa), gets broken now, today; you are but, namely, right hand; the right path is suitable to you; We, woman, namely, are left hands congenitally; the left road is suitable to us", and continued her journey. At the time when they both became two separate travellers, this great earth quaked resounding itself as if telling thus: "Although I am able to bear such mountain as universe hill, (cakkavaḷa), Sineru mountain and so on, I am unable to bear the weight of your qualities". In the sky, there occurred sounds resembling those of lightning. The universe hill, (cakkavaḷa-pabbata), made an echoing sound.
3-3.30. The Omniscient Buddha also, who was seated in the chamber at the great monastery of Veḷuvana, heard the sound of the earth-quake, and on investigation as to why, indeed, the earth quaked, found out and observed thus: "The lad pipali and Bhaddā Kapilānī also, in dedication to me, had renounced the world having forsaken immeasurable prosperity; at the place of their separation, due to the strength of qualities of both, this earth-quake had occurred; it is proper for me also to assist these two". Subsequently, Buddha went out from his fragrant chamber, took his bowl and robe all by himself, covered a journey in advance of three gāvutas without letting any of the eighty major theras know, and sat Himself down cross-legged at the foot of the Nigrodha banyan tree of many sons (bahuputta) in between Rājagaha and Nālandā. In getting seated, however, he did not sit Himself down like unto a certain nondescript rag-raiment wearer (paṃsukūlika), but having taken the guise of Buddha, He sat Himself down, releasing the radiant rays of Buddha eighty cubits in extent. Thus, at that moment, the radiant rays of Buddha, of such sizes as umbrella of leaves, cart-wheels, pinnacled houses and so on, profusely spread about, ran about from here and there also, and made themselves into a single massive mass of light within that forest, behaving like unto the rising time of a thousand moons and a thousand suns. The forest area shone brilliantly with the glory of His thirty two characteristics of a great personage, like unto the sky with its numerous shining stars, and resembling water area with well-blooming lotus flowers and water-lilies. The trunk of the Nigrodha banyan tree is white by nature; its leaves are bluish green; ripe fruits are red. On that day, however, the whole Nigrodha tree was but gold-coloured.
3-3.31. The thera Mahākassapa, (Pippali?), having seen it, said to himself: "This must be our Master; in dedication to this Master, I have renounced the world"; went bending himself down, beginning from the site of seeing Him, paid his homage at three places, and said thus:- "Venerable Sir! The Glorious One is my Master; I am your disciple;Venerable Sir! The Glorious One is my master; I am your disciple". Then the Glorious One said to him thus: "O Kassapa! (Pippali!?) If you would make this humble obedience to the great earth, that earth also would not be able to bear it; the humble obedience made by you, due to your knowledge of the greatness of quality in this way of the Tathāgata, however, is not able to shake my bodily hair even; o Kassapa! Do sit down; I shall give you heritage". Then the Glorious One conferred upon him full-fledged ordination by means of three kinds of advice. Having conferred thus also, the Glorious One went off from the foot of Nigrodha tree of many sons (bahuputta) and entered upon His journey making the thera His follower-attendant-monk. The body of the Master was variegated with the thirty-two characteristics of a great personage; the body of mahākassapa (Pippali) was adorned with seven characteristics of a great personage. He went following the Master one footstep after another as if he was fastened behind a gold boat. The Master, having travelled a short journey, descended from the road and showed the sign of sitting down at the foot of a certain tree. The thera, having come to know that the Master was desirous of sitting down, made his own double robe of ragged cloth (paṭapilotika) folded four-folds and prepared the seat.
3-3.32. The Master sat Himself down there, and rubbing the robe thoroughly with his hands, said thus: "O Kassapa! This double-robe of yours is, indeed, soft". He came to know thus: "The Master spoke of the state of softness of my double robe; it must be he is desirous of putting it on ", and told the Master thus: "Venerable Sir! Let the Glorious One put on my double garment". Buddha asked: "O Kassapa! (Pippali!?) what will you wear as upper garment?" The reply was: "Venerable Sir! I shall put on your lower garment". Buddha said thus: "O Kassapa! (Pippali!?) How is it, however, that you could wear this ragged raiment (paṃsukūla), which, is an old piece of monk's wear? On the day of wearing of this ragged raiment, indeed, by me, the great earth, bounded all round by water, quaked; it is not possible for one of meagre quality to wear, namely, this old robe worn by Buddha; this is fitted to be put on by a genuine rag-raiment (paṃsukūla) wearer, who is capable of fulfilling proper practice of attainment, by but a properly bale person"; after having said so, Buddha exchanged robe together with the thera.
3-3.33. Having thus exchanged robes, the Glorious One put on the thera's robe; the thera put on the robe of the Master. At that moment, though without volition (acetanā), this great earth quaked having made water as its all-round boundary, as if saying thus: "Venerable Sir! You have done a difficult deed! There never was, namely, before, any occasion when Buddha ever exchanged his own upper robe, which He used to put on, with that of a disciple; I am not capable of bearing the weight of your qualities". The thera also, saying to himself: "the robe worn by Buddha has been gained by me; what is there, now, to be done by me over and above this?", did not get himself elevated, took upon himself the observance of thirteen qualities of austere practice (dhūta), and had to be a common monk (puthujjana), just to the extent of seven days only. On the eighth day, he attained arahantship together with analytical knowledge. Then the Master praised him thus: "O monks! Kassapa approaches the families like unto the moon; he is ever a junior with his body but removed, his mind removed, he does not encroach upon families"; and so on; subsequently, seated in the midst of collection of noble ones (ariya), Buddha established him at the topmost place of holders of austerity view thus:- "O Monks! Among my disciples of bhikkhus who are devoted to austere practice (dhūta), this one, namely, this great Kassapa, is the chief".
398. the Venerable Mahākassapa, having been conferred the top position by the Glorious One thus, attained the state of one of the great major disciples and having remembered his own previous deeds, he uttered the stanza, starting with: "Padumuttarassa Bhagavato", in order to make manifest the deeds done formerly by way of being delighted in mind. There, Padumuttarassa, of Padumuttara, it is said that beginning from the time that glorious One came out of his mother's womb, at the time when He threw down his feet, under his feet of every step He made in walking, lotuses bearing a hundred thousand petals sprang up, after splitting open the earth: therefore, that name became His. When a hundred and hundred good deeds were done, by each and every one among whole body of living beings, because of His Having done good deeds a hundred times of that good deed, of the Glorious One; thus, is the meaning. Lokajeṭṭhassa tādino, of such-like eldest of the world, He is known as Tādino, of such like, because He had attained the state of not being shaken by things desired or not, and offering the main chief of the world of living-beings. Nibbūte lokanāthamhi, when the world-patron had entered nibbāna, when the glorious One, who had become proper refuge of the world of living-beings, had passed away entirely into nibbāna by the entire cessation of His khandha (aggregates); and gone invisible; thus, is the meaning; pūjam kubbanti satthuno (made offerings to the Master), they made offerings of honour, promoting the sacred festival to the Glorious One, who had gained the name, as "Satthā, Master", due to his instructions to this human world together with the divine world; thus, is the connection.
399. Aggim cinanti janatā (collection of people heap up the fire) crowds of people in gathering fire for purpose of cremation, made heaps from all sides, were glad, satisfied, joyous in many became contented and made offerings of honour; thus, is the connection. Tesu saṃvega jhātesu, when they became remorseful, when those collections of people had gained repentance and received terror; me, my; pīti (joy) zest or laughter; uda pajjatha (arose) became apparent; thus, is the meaning.
400. Ñātimitte samānetvā (properly bringing together relatives and friends) having brought together myself my relatives and companions, having made them into a group; Mahāvīro (the great hero) the glorious One, paninibbuto. (passed away completely into nibbāna) went to become invisible; abravim (I spoke) I told; thus, is the connection. Handa pūjam karomase, Come! Let us make offering, Handa is an indeclinable particle, in the meaning of relinquishing (or handing over as donation); by that means, we all came together and made offering of honour;thus, is the meaning; it is an indeclinable particle
401. Sādhū ti te paṭissutvā (they replied very well!) they let my relatives and friends hear in return as sādhu (very well) as excellent and good, accepted my word properly; me (my) mine; bhiyyo, more beyond one; hāsam (laugh) joy or zest; janimsu (produced) caused to arise; thus, is the meaning.
402. Thereafter, in order to show the accumulation of merit or good deeds done by himself, he uttered this stanza, starting with buddhasmim lokanāthamhi. Uggatam (going up) a hundred hands (or cubits) in height and a hundred and fifty hands (or cubits) broad; vimānam nabhasi (mansion in the sky) which went up the sky and which was worthy, sukatam (well made) done with good characteristic; katvā (having done) having made, also; puñña sañcayam (accumulation of merit) heap of good deeds; kahāsim (I made) I had done; thus, is the connection.
403. Katvāna agghiyam tattha (having done the worthy one there) in that place of offering to the shrine;tālapantāhi (with rows of palm trees) with a series of toddy-palms;cittitam (variegated) made delightful and worthy; katvāna (having made) having done, also; sakam cittam (one's own mind) having made my own mind pleasantly pious; cetiyam pūjayuttamam (the shrine best offering) I offered in honour to the shrine where were enshrined the most excellent relics of buddha; thus, is the connection.
404. in order to show the greatness (mahima) of that shrine, he uttered this stanza starting with Aggikkhandho va. There, aggikkhandho va (like a mass of fire) shining in the sky like a mass of fire, resembling a fire-heap, that shrine shone with seven sorts of gems; phullito (bloomed) in the sky resembling the Sal-tree-king, blooming with flowers;indalaṭṭhi va (like the stick of Inda) resembling Indra's bow also;catuddisa (four quarters) in the four directions; abhāsati (it lights) it shone; thus, is the connection.
405. Tattha cittam pasādetvā (making my mind pleasantly pious) having made my mind pleasantly pious in that shining relic-chamber, made myself mentally delighted and with that pleasingly pious mind; bahuṃ (much) many a kind; kusalaṃ (merit) good deed;katvāna (having done) "in the relic-chamber as well as in Buddha's dispensation, so much good-deeds have been done by me", thus, saritvāna (having remembered) thus, having recollected my good deeds in this manner, tidasam (thirty-three) died and upapajjim, I was reborn in the Tāvatiṃsa mansion, as if awakened from sleep; thus, is the connection.
406. In order to show the prosperity gained by him in the divine world where he sprang up, he recited this stanza starting with Sahassa yutta. There, hayavāhim (drawn by horses) the divine-chariot, yoked with a thousand Sindh horses and stood by; bhavanam (abode) my mansion was sam ubbiddham (well high) properly in height with seven storeys; thus, is the meaning.
407. In that mansion, ahum (there were) sabbasovaṇṇamayā (made wholly of gold) a thousand pinnacle-roofed structures entirely made of gold; thus, is the meaning. Sakatejena (with one's own power) by means of my own influence, all the ten directions pabhāsayam (giving light) producing lights, jalanti (burn) shone brilliantly; thus, is the connection.
408. In that mansion which made itself manifest to me, santi (there were) there did exist; niyyūhā (turrets) also other decorated halls. what happened? Lohitaṅgamayā (made of red gem) made of ruby at that time, those turrets (or pinnacles) also, ābhāya (with light) shone up the four directions with rays of light; thus, is the connection.
410. Sabbe deve (all divinities) the divine-beings in all the six celestial worlds; abhibhomi (I out-became) I overwhelmed. If asked whose fruit? This result was of the meritorious deed done by me; thus, is the meaning.
411. Thereafter, in order to show the human prosperity, he uttered this stanza starting with Saṭṭhikappasahassāni. There, from this world-cycle (kappa), below, sixty thousand world cycles (kappa), ahead, caturanto (four ended) consisted of four great islands; vijitāvī (having conquered) having won victory over all enemies, I, having become a world-king, named Ubbida;pathavim āvasim (ruled the earth) performed sovereignty, held sway; thus, is the connection.
412-4. Tath'eva bhaddake kappe in that self-same excellent (bhadda) world (kappa) in the kappa known as Bhaddaka, properly adorned with five Buddhas; timsakkhattum (thirty times) for thirty births I was the main ruler in the four islands, replete with, endowed with such seven sorts of gems as: the wheel-gem and so on; sakakammābhiraddho (having begun doing my own work) loyally devoted to the ten royal duties (rājadhamma) which constitute my own work, amhi, I became a world-king; thus, is the connection. In order to show the glorious prosperity enjoyed by himself when he was a world-king, he uttered this stanza, starting with: "Tattha pi bhavanammayham", and so on. Tattha (there) in that kingdom of that world-king; mayham bhavanam (my abode) my palace; indalaṭṭhi va uggatam (went up like the bow of Inda) went up into the sky, stood shining like unto creepers of lightning and high with such sorts of height as seven storeys and so on; āyāmato (from length) in length as well as in height, it was twenty-four yojanas, in breadth-twelve yojanas; thus, is the connection. The city was known as Rammana, because of the fact that the minds of all people adhered to it; thus, is the meaning; the city was endowed with walls and gates which were firm and either twelve hands (or cubits) or thirty hands (or cubits) high; thus, he showed.
415.20. Tadāḍḍhakam (that half) thence half, i.e. one thousand two hundred and fifty yojanas; thus, is the meaning. Paddhittā paṇṇavīsati (thrown about were twenty markets) twenty thrown-open selling shops continuously bounded the limits of the street;thus, is the meaning. Brāhmañña kulasambhūto (well become of the brahmin family) well-born in the family of brahmins; the rest should be easily understood because of the manner aforesaid (or said already).
The Commentary on the biography of the thera Mahākassapa has ended.