The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words

This page describes No Similes to illustrate Perfections contained within the book called the Great Chronicle of Buddhas (maha-buddha-vamsa), a large compilation of stories revolving around the Buddhas and Buddhist disciples. This page is part of the series known as rare Appearance of a Buddha. This great chronicle of Buddhas was compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw who had a thorough understanding of the thousands and thousands of Buddhist teachings (suttas).

Part 7 - No Similes to illustrate Perfections

The future Buddha’s existences during the period of four asaṅkhyeyyas and a hundred thousand aeons, between the life of Sumedha the Hermit and that of Vessantara. were more than the drops of water in the great ocean. The number of Perfections that had been fulfilled without interruption of a single existence was so great that its sum total cannot be estimated. There is practically nothing to compare with these Perfections. This is extolled in the Jinālaṅkāra:

Mahāsamudde jolabinduto 'pi, Tad antare jāti anappakā’va.
Nirantataṃ puritapāraminaṃ, Kathaṃ pamāṇaṃ upamā kuhiṃ va?

The births during the period between the life of Sumedha and that of Vessantara were more than the drops of water in the great Ocean. Who should know the measure of Perfections fulfilled without interruption? Where is the simile to illustrate them with?

Besides, in the Sutta Patheyya Commentary and its Sub-Commentary and the Jinālaṅkāra Sub-Commentary, where virtues of a hundred kinds of meritorious deeds (satapuññalakkhaṇa) are dealt with, it states:

Having grouped on one side, all the meritorious deeds, such as dāna, etc., done by an inestimable number of beings in the infinite universe, during the period between the moment Sumedha resolved to achieve the goal of Buddhahood at the feet of Buddha Dīpaṅkarā and the moment Prince Vessantara gave away his wife, Queen Maddī, and having grouped, on the other side, all the meritorious deeds done by the future Buddha alone, during the same length of time, the meritorious deeds in the former group would not come to even one hundredth nor one thousandth of those in the latter.

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