Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “sufferings of shariputra, pilindavatsa and lavanabhadrika” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Appendix 1 - The sufferings of Śāriputra, Pilindavatsa and Lavaṇabhadrika

Note: This appendix is extracted from chapter XXXVII part 2 (The concept of suffering):

“There are saints who, without being attached to them, nevertheless undergo suffering. Thus Chö-li-fou (Śāriputra) suffered from sicknesses of wind and heat, Pi-ling-k’ie-p’o-ts’o (Pilindavatsa) suffered from eye disease, and Lo-p’o-na-po-t’i (Lavaṇabhadrika) [Note by Kumārajīva: ‘the foremost of the children who bawl a lot’: Rāvaṇabhadrika?] suffered from hemorrhoids. Why do you say that they have no suffering? ”

Śāriputra’s fever (kāyaḍāha):

According to the Vinayas, Śāriputra suffered from kāyaḍāha ‘fever’ (Pāli Vin., I, p. 214), a wind sickness (Dharmagupta Vin., T 1428, k. 42, p. 867b29–c19) of hot blood (Sarv. Vin., T 1435, k. 26, p. 190c24–191a8), of dhātuvaiṣamya ‘unbalanced humors’ (Mūlasarv. Vin., Gilgit Man., III, part 1, p. 239, l. 18–240, l. 22), of wind and hot blood (Mūlasarv. Vin, T 1440, k. 4, p. 528c18–23). He was cured by fibers and roots (bisa) of the lotus plant (muḷālikā), lotus sap (bisakṣīra) or also by wheat broth and wheat juice. Another time when he was suffering from stomach wind (udaravāta), he was cured by garlic (laśuna): cf. Pāli Vin, II, p. 140.

Pilindavatsa’s eye disease:

Pilindavatsa’s eye disease has already been noted above, p. 121F, but actually this arhat also suffered from migraines (sīsabhitāpa), a wind ailment (vātābhāda), rheumatism of the legs (aṅgavāta), articular rheumatism (pabbavāta), etc: Cf. Pāli Vin., I, p. 204–206.

Lavaṇabhadrika’s hemorrhoids:

The Turfan manuscripts, confirmed by the Mahāvyut., no. 1061, have transmitted to us the correct name of this arhat: Lavaṇabhadrika and not Lāvaṇyabhadrika as Hofinger proposes. The previous lives and last lifetime of this disciple are summarized in the Anavataptagāthā (ed. Bechert, p. 184–187; transl. Hofinger, p. 272–274; Fo wou po ti tseu, T 199, p. 200a22–b21; Mūlasarv. Vin., T 1448, k. 17, p. 89c11–90a11). The similarity of the stories of the previous lives of this arhat found in the Anavataptagāthā and in the Apadāna, II, p. 489–491 allow the identification of the Lavaṇabhadrika of the Sanskrit sources with the Lakuṇṭabhaddiya ‘the good dwarf’ of the Pāli sources; Saṃyutta, II, p. 279; Anguttara, I, p. 23 (where the Buddha proclaimed him to be foremost among those with gentle voices (aggaṃ mañjussarānaṃ); Udana, p. 76; Theragātha, p. 49, v. 466–472.

According to the Commentary of the Dhammapada, III, 453–454, the Buddha spoke two well-known stanzas in regard to Lakuṇṭaka (Dhammapada, v. 294–295; Gāndhārī Dharmapada, p. 120, v. 12; Udānavarga, p. 377, v. 24; p. 494–495, v. 61–62; Nettippakaraṇa, p. 165):

Mātaraṃ pitaraṃ hantvā rājāno dve ca khattiye |
raṭṭhaṃ sānucaraṃ hantvā anīgho yāti brāhmano ||
Mātaraṃ pitaraṃ hantvā rājāno dve ca sotthiye
veyyagghapañcamaṃ hantvā anīgho yāti brāhmaṇo ||

Transl. –

Having killed his mother (disturbing emotions) and his father (pride) and the two warriors (the view of eternalism and the view of nihilism), having destroyed the kingdom (the twelve bases of consciousness) along with its inhabitants (joy and desire), the brahmin proceeds without confusion.

Having killed his mother and father, two learned kings and a tiger, (the five obstacles to dhyāna, the fifth of which, the tiger, is doubt), without confusion the brahmin goes forth.

These stanzas are specimens of intentional language (abhisaṃdhi, abhiprāya, saṃdhābhāṣya): cf. Abhidharmasamuccaya. ed. Pradhan, p. 106–107. They have taxed the ingenuity of interpreters: see the note of Bhikkhu Nānamoli, Nettippakaraṇa, tr., p. 218, and the detailed study of F. Bernhard, Zur Textgeschichte und Interpretation der Strophen: Dhammapada 294, 295, Festschrift für Wilhelm Eilers, 1968, p. 511–526.

In an appendix Sur le moine Lo-siun-yu, Lin Li-kouang (L’Aide-Mémoire de la Vraie Loi, 1949, p. 278–290) has grouped, under the general theme of a deformed monk, a whole series of arhats of various names among whom Lavaṇabhadrika appears as well as the bhikṣu Lo p’in tchou or Lo p’in tcheou mentioned above (p. 931–932F and note) by the Traité.