Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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

This page describes “story of shaivala, son of amrita (aunt of the buddha)” 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 6 - The story of Śaivala, son of Amṛtā (aunt of the Buddha)

Note: This appendix was extracted from Chapter XXXIX part 2.5 (The knowledge of the aspirations of beings):

“By aspiration (adhimukti) is meant trusting joy (prasāda), inclinations (ruci). [Beings] love generosity (dāna) as did Che-po-lo (Śaivala), [a note in red says that he was the son of Kan-lou (Amṛtā), aunt of the Buddha]”.

Notes on Śaivala:

Śaivala, Sivali in Pāli, was proclaimed by the Buddha (Anguttara, I, p. 24) to be the foremost of those who receive (aggaṃ lābhīnam) and his generosity equaled his wealth.

In the Anavataptagāthā (ed. Bechert, p. 142), he explains the ‘fabric’ of his actions:

Abhāvaṃ jyeṣṭhaputro ‘ham Kṛkirājño yaśvinaḥ |
prathamaṃ ca mayā chattraṃ jinastāpaṃ pratiṣṭham ||

tat karma kuśalaṃ kṛtvā yatra yatropapannavān |
devabhūto manuśyad ca kurtapuṇyo virocitaḥ ||

bhavāmy āḍhyo mahābhāgas tāsu tāsūpattiṣu |
mahādānapatiś cāhaṃ bhavāmi dhanadhānyavān ||

Transl. –

I was the eldest son of the glorious king Kṛkin (of Benares), and the first parasol was planted by me on the stūpa of the Victorious (Kāśyapa).

Having done this good deed, everywhere that I was born, as god or as man, I gained merit and I was famous.

I was rich, opulent in all these existences. I was a great master of generosity, loaded with wealth and rice.

Notes on Amṛtā:

See above, p. 227F, where it is said that Amṛtā, daughter of Saṃhahanu and sister of Śuddhoddhana, had a son named Che p’o lo (Śaivala, and not Dānapāla as I [Lamotte] have erroneously restored it). For the geneology of the Buddha, see the notes above, p. 226–227F, and A. Bareau, La légende de la jeunesse du Budha dans les Vinayapiṭaka anciens, Oriens Extremus, IX, 1962, p. 8–11.

According to the Pāli sources (Udāna, p. 15–18; Comm. on Anguttara, I, p. 243–248, of Dahammapada, IV, p. 192–194, tr. Rhys Davids, Brethren, p.60–62, and Jātaka, I, p. 407–409), Sīvali was the son of Suppavāsā, princess of the Koliyas, who carried him in her womb for seven years. At his birth, the baby was able to speak. Sāriputta spoke with him and, with the approval of his mother, proceeded to ordain him. During the ceremony of his tonsure at each snip of the scissors, the child attained a new fruit of the religious life, becoming successively srotaāpanna, sakṛdāgāmin, anāgāmin and finally arhat.