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 Bhisadāyaka

Stanzas starting with Vessabhū nāma nāmena constitute the biography of the venerable thera Bhisadāyaka. This one also having done devoted service toward former Buddhas, accumulating meritorious deeds, conducive toward escape from the rounds of repeated rebirths (vaṭṭa) in this and that existence, was reborn in the womb of an elephant in the Himavanta and lived there at the time of the Glorious One Vessavhū. On that occasion, the Glorious One Vessabhū, being desirous of solitude, went to Himavanta. On having met that Glorious One, that elephant became pious-minded took hold of lotus stalks and roots and catered the Glorious One. On account of that act of merit, he passed away from the life of elephant, sprang up in the divine world, there enjoyed the prosperity of six stages of sensual divine world, came to human existence, enjoyed such prosperity as that of world-king and was reborn in a certain wealthy family when this Buddha arose; because of the strength of his former propensity 9vāsanā, proclivity) he happened to be of pleasingly pious faith in the master, became a monk and not long afterwards even, attained arahatship. He was well known as Bhisadāyaka thera, by the name of his good deed done by him formerly.

29. On having recollected his former deed he uttered a stanza starting with Vessabhū nāma nāmena in order to show the deed done by him formerly. There, vessabhū (Buddha Vessabhū), He outgoes and go beyond merchant; in other words, overcomes and overwhelms merchants, mercantile work or sensual (lust (rāga), and so on or such performances as meritorious acts and so on or material (vaṭṭhu) sensual pleasures and sensual pleasures of depravity (kilesa); thus, Vessabhū (the conqueror over the afore said merchants etc.), that Glorious One known by the name of Vessabhū. Isinam tatiyo ahū (was the third of ascetics), he seeks and goes in quest of meritorious deeds); thus, isi (sage); "Vipassī, Sikhī, Vessabhū, because of having been said thus, He became the third ascetic (or sage), the third Glorious One; thus, is the meaning. Kāhanam vanamoggayha (having plunged into the forest), having dived, He entered the forest reckoned as kānana (woody area); thus, is the meaning.

30. Bhisamulālam gaṇhitvā (having caught hold of lotus along with stalk and root), it crushes, harasses, destroys the hunger of bipeds and quadrupeds, thus bhisa (lotus-food); what is that? The lotus-eatable (padumakanda), the eatable-lotus and eatable-root (eatable-lotus) having taken that eatable-lotus (bhisamūḷālam); thus, is the meaning.

31. Karena ca parāmaṭṭho (felt by means of the hand) that charity offered by me; Vessabhūvara Buddhinā (by the excellent Buddha Vessabhu) there was proper touch done and contact made by means of palm-surface of the hand by the most excellent Buddha Vessabhū. Sukhāham nābhijānāmi, samam tena kutottari? (I do not remember such happiness as was equal to it);where can (or how can) there be any matter better than that?) Equal to that happiness, I do not remember as to where (or whence) the happiness is that is superior to, over and above of, and exceeding that happiness; thus, is the meaning. The rest is easily comprehensible, following the method.

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

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