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 Biography of the thera Sāgata

Stanzas beginning with Sobhito nāma nāmena constitute the biography of the Venerable thera Sāgata. This one also, having done devoted service toward former Buddhas, accumulating meritorious deeds conducive towards escape from rounds of rebirth (vaṭṭa) in this and that existence, was reborn in a brahmin family at that time of the Glorious One Padumuttara; having attained proficiency in all kinds of science, became known by the name of Sobhita; he was an expert in the three vedas together with nighaṇḍu and Keṭubha, along with their alphabetical divisions, as well as the fifth book of Itihāsa, foot by foot, together with their explanations and conversant with worldly characteristics of a great personage. One day, he met the Glorious One Padumuttara shining with the glory of thirty two characteristics of a great man, going by the garden gate, became exceedingly pious-minded and made his praise by many a means and by many a eulogy of quality. Hearing his praise, the Glorious One gave him prophecy thus: "He will become a disciple named Sāgata in the dispensation of the Glorious One Gotama in future". He thenceforth did meritorious deeds, stood as long as his span of life lasted and after having passed away thence, was reborn in the divine world. Having enjoyed both kinds of prosperity amongst divine and human-beings for a hundred thousand aeons (kappa), he was reborn in a house of a family when this Buddha arose. His parents developed delight saying: Sujāta (a well-born), had come and named him Sāgata. He was piously pleased with the dispensation, became a monk, developed clear insight (vipassanā) and attained arahatship.

17. Having thus attained arahatship according as he had the load of meritorious deeds, he remembered his own former deeds, became delighted and recited a stanza starting with Sobhito nāma nāmena, in order to make manifest the deeds done by him formerly. There, at that time when the load of merit came to full perfection, he became a brahmin known by the name of Sobhita; thus, is the connection.

21. Vipathā uddharitvāna (having pulled out from the wrong path) having dragged out and removed from opposite path, had journey (or wrong path); patham ācikkhase (you intimate the path) Venerable Omniscient Buddha! You inform, preach, show, analyse and make manifest the path, the good man's journey for the pursuance and achievement of nibbāna; thus, is the meaning. The rest is but clear in meaning.

The commentary on the biography of the thera Sāgata has ended.

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