Guide to Tipitaka

Canonical Pâli Buddhist Literature of the Theravâda School

by U Ko Lay | 48,543 words

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Part IV - Raja Vagga

(1) Ghatikara Sutfa

This discourse, given by the Buddha while journeying in Kosala, recounts the story of high devotion of Ghatikara, the potter, who looked after his blind parents and who at the same time attended upon Kassapa Buddha with utter reverence There was also the account of how Ghatikara forcibly pulled along his friend, young Jotipala, to where Kassapa Buddha was, to pay respect After hearing the dhamma discourses, young Jotipala left the household life to be admitted into the Order by Kassapa Buddha This interesting ancient episode that had happened in Kassapa Buddha's fame may aeons ago was re- counted to the Venerable Ananda by Gotama Buddha standing on the very spot where once stood, a long, long time ago, the house of Ghatikara, the potter The Buddha concluded his story by revealing that young Jotipala was none other than the present Gotama Buddha

(2) Rafthapala Sutta

Ratthapala, the son of a wealthy brahmin obtained his parents' permission with great difficulty to become a bhikkhu under the guidance of the Buddha After twelve years of strenuous endeavour, when he became a full-fledged Arahat, he visited his parents' home. His parents attempted to entice him with wealth and wife back to household life but to no avail He taught his parents the law of imper- menance, anicca, he said he saw nothing alluring in the wealth and the wife

(3) Maghadeva Sutta

This discourse was given at_the Royal mango grove at Mithila The Buddha told the Venerable Ananda about the noble tradition laid down by the righteous King Maghadeva When his hair began to turn white, he gave up the household life leaving his dominions to his eldest son. This tradition was handed down from king to son for gene- rations and generations, over thousands and thousands of years until the reign of King NimL

King Nimi had a son by the name of KaMrajanaka who did not go forth from home life into homelessness when the time came like his predecessors Kalarajanaka terminated the noble practice laid down by the tradition He thus became the last person of that tradition

The Buddha revealed that he was the King Maghadeva of that ancient time laying down the noble tradition The Buddha said that noble tradition did not lead to calm, to higher knowledge It only led to the realm of Brahmas But the noble practice which he was lead- ing now as a Buddha certainly led to the disillusionment with the five khandhas, the abandonment of attachment and the cessation of dukkha, to calm, higher knowledge, penetrative insight and realization of Nibbana The Buddha then exhorted, "Ananda, continue to follow this good practice which I have laid down Let you not be the person with whom my tradition ends."

(4) Madhura Sutta

This discourse was given by the Venerable Mahakaccana at Madhura. He refuted the brahmins' claim that only brahmins were noble and superior, and that others were inferior. He explained to King Madhura that it was one's morality, not birth that established one's nobility. Anyone whether Brahmin, Khattiya, Vessa or Sudda, committing a wrong deed would be born again in the states of woe, any doing a good deed would be born again in a happy realm After this discourse by the Venerable Mahakaccana, King Madhura, former- ly of another faith, took refuge m the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha.

(5) Bodhirajakumara Sutta

This discourse was given by the Buddha at Susumaragira in the country of Bhagga in connection with the statement made by Prince Bodhi that "sukha, happiness, cannot be attained through sukha; sukha can be attained only through dukkha" The Buddha said he had also once thought in a similar manner, and recounted the whole story of his renunciaton, his struggles with wrong practices, frantic search for the Truth, and ultimate enlightenment When asked by the prince how long would it take a bhikkhu to achieve, in this very lifetime, the supreme goal of the holy life, Arahatship, the Buddha stipulated five attributes for the aspiring bhikkhu. If he was equipped with five attributes faith, good health, integrity (not being deceitful), unrelenting zeal, and sufficient intellect to understand the phenomena of 'arising and passing away', and having the Tathagata as his instructor and guide, a bhikkhu would achieve the Arahatship within seven years at most Under the most favourable circumstances he could become accomplished within half a day

(6) Angulimala Sutta

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Savatthi, describes how Angulimala, the notorious robber and murderer, was tamed by the Buddha, and how he took refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha Although he had the name of Ahimsaka, Non-violence, he was formerly cruel and murderous and was called Angulimala by peo- ple Being tamed now by the Budddha, he ceased hurting anyone, and started living a life true to his name He had become an Arahat

(7) Piyajatika Sutta

A householder of Savatthi whose son had died went to see the Buddha who told him that dear beloved ones formed a source of sor- row as they brought pain and grief The householder was displeased with what the Buddha said. Gamblers playing with dice just close by the Buddha's monastery told him differently They said that loved ones surely brought joy and happiness. King Pasenadi concurred with the gamblers but his Queen Mallika maintained that only what the Buddha said must be true She justified her faith in the Buddha by giving many illustrations of the Buddha's penetrating and illumina- ting wisdom King Pasenadi was finally won over to her view.

(8) Bahitika Sutta

This discourse was given at Savatthi by the Venerable Ananda to King Pasenadi on the bank of the River Aciravati. He dealt with unwholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were blameworthy and wholesome deeds, words and thoughts which were praiseworthy. King Pasenadi was pleased with the discourse and made a gift of cloth from the country of Bahiti to the Venerable Ananda.


(9) Dhammacetiya Sutta

King Pasenadi of Kosala once came to see the Buddha Entering the dwelling where the Buddha was staying, he fell on his forehead at the feet of the Buddha. When asked by the Buddha why he was showing such extreme humbleness and respect to the body of the Buddha, the king launched eloquently on a eulogy of the Buddha, praising his virtues The Buddha told his bhikkhus that the words uttered by the king constituted a memorial in honour of the Dhamma and urged them to learn this memorial and recite it frequently

(10) Kappakatthala Sutta

This discourse, given by the Buddha at Urunna, contains ans- wers to King Pasenadi Kosala's questions about four classes of peo- ple and their destinations after death, about SabbannutaNana, and about the great Brahma  

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