The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes Paduma Buddhavamsa 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 the chronicle of twenty-four Buddhas. 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).

Buddha Chronicle 8: Paduma Buddhavaṃsa

After the Parinibbāna of Buddha Anomadassī, the human life span decreased from a hundred thousand years to ten years and then it increased again to asaṅkhyeyyas and decreased again. When the life span was a hundred thousand years, future Buddha Paduma, on complete fulfilment of the Perfections, was reborn life in the celestial abode of Tusitā which was a common practice of Bodhisattas. Having agreed to the the entreaty of other devas and Brahmās, he descended to the human world to be conceived in the womb of Asama, Chief Queen of King Asama. When ten months had elapsed, the Bodhisatta was born in the grove of Campaka trees.

At the Bodhisatta’s birth, a rain of Paduma lotuses fell from the sky over the whole of Jambudīpa, reaching the surrounding seas. On his naming day, therefore, learned omenreaders and relatives named him Mahāpaduma.

Royal Household Life

When the Bodhisatta Mahāpaduma came of age, living in three palaces, namely, Nanduttara, Vasuttara and Yasuttara, and being entertained and waited upon by thirty-three thousand female attendants under his Chief Consort Uttara Devi, he thus lived a divine-like royal household life for ten thousand years.


While he was thus living, Princess Uttara gave birth to a son, named Ramma. After seeing the four omens, he went forth in celestial raiment, riding a chariot drawn by thoroughbred horses and became a recluse. A crore of men joined him and became recluses too. With these recluses, the Bodhisatta practised dukkaracariyā for eight months.


After striving thus for eight months, on the day he was to become a Buddha, the Bodhisatta ate the milk-rice offered by Dhaññavati, daughter of a wealthy man, named Sudhaññavati, of the city of Dhannavati. Having spent his time at mid-day in the local sāla grove, he went alone, in the evening, to the place where the Mahābodhi tree stood. On the way, he accepted eight handfuls of grass given by Titthaka the heretic. The moment he spread the grass under the great Sona Bodhi tree, there appeared the Aparājita seat of thirty-three cubits in size. Sitting cross-legged and mobilizing his resources of fourfold energy, the Bodhisatta dispelled Mara’s forces and attained the state of a Buddha, the Omniscient and Fully Self-Enlightened One, Lord of the three worlds.

Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teaching (Dhammābhisamaya)

After His attainment of Buddhahood, the Enlightened One, Paduma, spent forty-nine days in the neighbourhood of the Mahābodhi tree. Having accepted a Brahmā’s request for His Teaching, He contemplated as to whom He should teach first and He saw His fellow recluses, numbering a crore. Using His psychic vision, He found that they were staying in Dhanañjaya garden, near Dhaññavatī city, and taking His bowl and robe, He appeared immediately in the garden.

On seeing the Buddha coming from a distance, the recluses, with faithful hearts, welcomed Him. Taking His bowl and robe, preparing His seat, after paying respects, they took their seats around Him. Being thus surrounded, Buddha Paduma, like the past Buddhas, taught the Dhammacakka sermon amidst the audience of devas, humans and Brahmās. In that occasion, a hundred crores of devas, humans and Brahmās attained the unique Dhamma of Path and Fruition.

(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)

At another time, Buddha Paduma, in an assembly of His relatives, helped His younger brothers, Princes Sāla and Upasāla (His future Chief Disciples) and their retinues became monks and gave a sermon to ninety crores of devas and humans who attained the unique Path and Fruition.

(This was the second Dhammābhisamaya.)

Still at another time, Buddha Paduma instructed the Venerable Ramma in Dhamma. In this occasion eighty crores of beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, attained realization of the Four Noble Truths and were liberated.

(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)

Three Occasions of The Disciples’ Meeting (Sannipāta)

There were three occasions of the meetings of Buddha Paduma’s disciples. In the first occasion, a king by the name of Subhāvitatta became an ehi-bhikkhu together with his retinue of a hundred crores. In that meeting, the Buddha recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.

(This was the first sannipāta.)

At a later time, Buddha Paduma observed vassa, relying upon Usabhavati as His resort for food. Then the Buddha taught the citizens who visited Him. Many of them developed their faith in Him and became monks. On the full-moon day of Assayuja, Buddha Paduma performed Visuddhi Pavāraṇā{GL_NOTE::} with the monks of Usabhavati and others, numbering three hundred thousand arahats in all. (Visuddhi Pavāraṇā means the Pavāraṇā attended by arahats only.)

(This was the second sannipāta.)

When the lay men in the city, who remained as householders, heard the benefits of kaṭhina-robe offering, they offered a piece of kaṭhina cloth to the Sangha. Then members of Sangha formally dedicated it, by reciting the formal procedure (kammavaca), to Thera Sala who was privileged to stay on the Buddha’s right hand side as Dhamma-senāpati (General of Dhamma). Monks then prepared to sew the robe collectively, so that the sewing might be finished in the same day. As it was an act of the Order, the Buddha Himself helped them by putting the thread through the eye of a needle. When the sewing was done, the Buddha and His three hundred thousand monks set out on a journey. After that, the Buddha observed vassa in a forest that was like Gosinga grove of sala trees.

While the Buddha was sojourning with His retinue, people visited Him. Having listened to His sermon, their faith in Him increased and on being called by Him, “Ehi Bhikkhu”, they became monks then and there. Then surrounded by two hundred thousand monks, the Buddha performed Pavāraṇā.

(This was the third sannipāta.)

(The second and third sannipāta have been narrated as mentioned in the Commentary. According to the Pāli Text, however, the meeting of three hundred thousand, where the sewing of the kaṭhina robe for the Chief Disciple Sala took place, it seems, should be taken as the second sannipāta. Although the Commentator knew this, he described the event somewhat differently from the Text. Since such a deviation was done in line with older Commentators, who are believed to have grasped what was meant by the Buddha, and since the meetings where Pavāraṇā was performed or Ovāda Pāṭimokkha was given, are shown as the meetings of disciples in the previous and later Buddhavaṃsa, the Commentary’s order is followed in this work.)

Future Buddha Gotama, as Lion-king, received The Prophecy from Buddha Paduma

While Buddha Paduma was staying in that forest grove, our Bodhisatta was king of lions. Seeing the Buddha in Nirodha-samāpatti (attainment of cessation), the lion-king developed faith in Him, did obeisance by circumambulating Him. Exalted with joy, he roared three times and remained there for seven days without losing his ecstasy which was derived from the sight of the Buddha. Without going in search of food, he stayed near the Buddha respectfully, at the risk of starvation.

When seven days had elapsed, on emerging from nirodha-samāpatti, Buddha Paduma saw the lion and made a wish: “May this lion have faith in the Order of monks also”. At the same time, He resolved to have the Order near Him: “May the monks come here!” Immediately several crores of monks arrived on the spot. The Bodhisatta developed faith in the Order also. After surveying and knowing the Bodhisatta’s mind, Buddha Paduma made a prophetic declaration: “In future, this lion-king will become a Buddha, Gotama by name.” Having heard the Buddha’s prophecy, the Bodhisatta became even more devotionally inclined and resolutely determined to fulfil the Ten Perfections more energetically.

Particulars of Buddha Paduma

Buddha Paduma’s birthplace was Campaka City. His father was King Asama and His mother was Queen Asamā.

He reigned for ten thousand years. His three palaces were Nanduttara, Vasuttara and Yasuttara.

His Chief Consort was Uttarā who had thirty-three thousand maids of honour. His son was Prince Ramma.

His vehicle used for renunciation, after seeing the four omens, was a chariot drawn by thoroughbred horses. He practised dukkaracariyā for eight months.

His two male Chief Disciples were Sāla Thera and Upasāla Thera. His attendant was Varuṇa Thera.

His two female Chief Disciples were Rādhā Therī and Surādhā Therī.

His Bodhi tree was a Mahāsoṇa tree.

His noble male lay attendants were the wealthy Bhiyya and Asama. His noble lay female attendants were Ruci Upāsikā and Nandarāmā Upāsikā.

Buddha Paduma’s height was fifty-eight cubits. The rays that emitted from His body diffused as far as He wished.

The light of the moon, the sun, jewels, fire and rubies disappeared on encountering the body light of the Buddha.

The life span, during the lifetime of Buddha Paduma, was a hundred thousand years and living for the four-fifths of this life span, He conveyed beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, from the sea of saṃsāra to the land of Nibbāna, Having caused the beings of mature faculties to realize the Four Noble Truths, even in His lifetime, leaving out none, and having taught other beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, so that they might realise the Four Noble Truths, together with His arahat-disciples, Buddha Paduma attained Parinibbāna.

Just as a snake sheds its old skin, as a tree discards its old leaves, as a bright fire becomes extinct after consuming up all its fuel, so the Buddha attained Parinibbāna, giving up all conditioned things (sankhāra), internal and external.

In this way, Buddha Paduma, Conqueror of the five evils (Māras) attained Parinibbāna in the park known as Dhammārāma. In accordance with His resolve, His relics dispersed, the way mentioned before, all over Jambudīpa and were honoured by devas, humans and Brahmās.

Here ends Paduma Buddhavaṃsa

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