by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Dhammadassi 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).
After Buddha Atthadassī had attained Parinibbāna in that aeon (which was a vara kappa as it was a period in which three Buddhas appeared but which should be called Mandakappa because it was full of pleasing, spotless, special attributes) the life span of human beings decreased gradually from a hundred thousand years to ten years and then it again increased to asaṅkhyeyyas. When the life span reached one hundred thousand years on its next decrease, future Buddha Dhammadassī was reborn in Tusitā on complete fulfilment of the Perfections which was a common practice of Bodhisattas. Having accepted the requests made by devas and Brahmās to becoming a Buddha, he descended to the human world to be conceived in the womb of Queen Sunandā, consort of King Sarana, in the city of Sarana. Ten months thereafter the Bodhisatta was born in Sarana royal park.
Since his birth, unrighteous rules and codes applied in lawsuits had all automatically disappeared from Law Books, while righteous ones had remained. Therefore, when the prince was to be named, he was given the name of Dhammadassī by learned omen-reading men, and his relatives.
Royal Household Life
When Bodhisatta Dhammadassī came of age, he lived in three palaces, namely, Araja, Viraja and Sudassana. Being entertained and served by forty-three thousand female attendants headed by Princess Vicikoli, he thus enjoyed a divine-like royal household life for eight thousand years.
After he had seen the four omens and after his Princess Vicikoli had given birth to a son, named Puññavaḍḍhana, Bodhisatta Dhammadassī, gentle like a celestial being and experiencing a divine-life, woke up one midnight. Sitting on his bed, he saw various loathsome conditions of female attendants who were asleep. With his mind greatly disturbed, he decided to renounce the world. No sooner had he decided, Sudassana Palace, which was occupied by him and his fourfold army, rose to the sky and travelled like a second sun, as if a flying celestial mansion, and descended near the Bimbijāla Mahābodhi tree.
The Bodhisatta then put on the lotus-robes offered by a Brahmā and getting off the palace, he stood not far from it. The palace then travelled through the sky again and landed on the ground encompassing the Bodhi tree. Female courtiers and their followers got down from the palace and stayed at a distance of half a gāvuta. From among these people, male folk donned the yellow robes, joining the Bodhisatta in renunciation. Those who did so numbered about one hundred thousand crores.
Attainment of Buddhahood
After practising dukkaracariyā for seven days, Bodhisatta Dhammadassī ate the milk-rice offered by Princess Vicikoli on the full moon day of Vesākha, the day of his Enlightenment, and spent the daytime in the local badara (plum) grove. In the evening, he went alone to the Mahābodhi tree. On the way, he accepted eight handfuls of grass from Sirivaddha, the watch-man of the barley-field. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the (Bimbijāla) Bodhi Tree, there appeared the Aparājita Pallanka, measuring fifty-three cubits. Sitting cross-legged on that pallanka, he attained Buddhahood, in the same manner as previous Buddha.
Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teaching (Dhammābhisamaya)
After His attainment of Buddhahood, the Buddha stayed in the neighbourhood of the Mahābodhi tree for forty nine days. Having accepted a Brahmā’s request for His Teaching, He contemplated as to whom He should teach first. He saw the hundred thousand crores of monks, who had renounced the world along with Him, had done meritorious deeds in the past that would lead to the Path and Fruition. By His psychic power, He immediately appeared at the Deer Park, (called Isipatana, because it was a place where flying ascetics, masters of mundane jhānas, normally alighted) which was eighteen yojanas from the Mahābodhi tree.
On seeing the Buddha from a distance, the one hundred thousand crores of the recluses welcomed Him by performing various duties faithfully and finally taking their seats around Him. Then the Buddha taught the Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta, which was also taught by previous Buddhas, to these recluses and all the devas and humans who had come to listen to Him. By the end of the discourse, one hundred thousand crores of beings attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)
Once, thereafter, in the town of Tagara, King Sañjaya, having seen the disadvantages of sensual pleasures and the advantages of renunciation, became an ascetic. Following his example, ninety crores of men also became ascetics. All of them achieved the Five Higher Knowledges, and the Eight Attainments. Seeing them endowed with meritorious deeds leading to the Path and Fruition, the Buddha appeared at Anaya’s hermitage. He stood in the sky and taught a sermon that suited their inclinations and dispositions. Thus, the Buddha helped them attained the knowledge of the Path known as the Eye of Dhamma (Dhammacakkhu).
(This was the second Dhammābhisamaya.)
Still at another time, the King of Devas, wishing to listen to a sermon, approached the Buddha with His retinue. When the Buddha taught them a sermon, eighty crores of them attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)
Three Occasions of The Disciples’ Meeting (Sannipāta)
There are three meetings of Buddha Dhammadassī’s disciples. The first meeting took place at Sarana City, where Buddha Dhammadassī caused His half-brothers, Prince Paduma and Prince Phussa, and their retinues to become monks and observed vassa in that city. During the vassa and in the midst of a hundred crores of monks who had become arahats, the Buddha performed Visuddhi Pavāraṇā.
(This was the first sannipāta.)
(This was the second sannipāta.)
Still at another time, Buddha Dhammadassī explained the advantages of the thirteen dhutaṅgas and proclaimed Harita, a great Disciple and arahat, to be the foremost among those who practised dhutaṅgas. Then, at the meeting of eighty crores of monks, He recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the third sannipāta.)
Future Buddha Gotama, as Sakka, received Prophecy from Buddha Dhammadassī
At that time, our Bodhisatta was Sakka, King of Devas. Being accompanied by devas of two divine abodes, Cātumahārājika and Tāvatiṃsa, he visited the Buddha and honoured Him with celestial flowers, etc., and various sounds of celestial music. Then the Buddha made a prophetic declaration: “This Sakka will indeed become a Buddha, Gotama by name, in future.”
Having heard Buddha Dhammadassī’s prophecy, Sakka the Bodhisatta, became extremely pleased and resolved to fulfil the Perfections even more energetically.
Particulars of Buddha Dhammadassī
Buddha Dhammadassī’s birthplace was Sarana City. His father was King Sarana and His mother was Queen Sunandā.
He reigned for eight thousand years. His three palaces were Araja, Viraja and Sudassana.
His Chief Consort was Vicikoli who had forty-three thousand maids of honour. His son was Puññavaddhana.
The vehicle He used in renunciation, after seeing the four omens, was a palace. He practised dukkaracariyā for seven days.
Buddha Dhammadassī, who had as His equals only peerless Buddhas, was eighty cubits tall. He was glorious with power in the ten-thousand world-system.
Buddha Dhammadassī was majestic like the sāla tree in full bloom or like the lightning or the sun at midday that brighten the sky.
Buddha Dhammadassī, who was endowed with unparallel might and the five eyes, lived the whole life span of His time which was one hundred thousand years.
Having displayed His power and knowledge and purified His Teaching so that it had no stain, the Buddha attained Parinibbāna with His arahat-disciples and disappeared (like the moon had vanished after shining in the sky.)
Here ends Dhammadassī-Buddhavaṃsa