by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Siddhattha 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 the aeon in which Buddha Dhammadassī appeared had come to an end, there elapsed, one after another, one thousand seven hundred and six aeons. Then ninety-four aeons ago, from now, there appeared one and the only Buddha, Siddhattha by name.
The chronicle of Buddha Siddhattha goes like this. At that time, ninety-four aeons ago, when the life span of human beings decreased from asaṅkhyeyyas to a hundred thousand years. Bodhisatta Siddhattha, on complete fulfilment of the Perfections, was reborn in Tusitā, a common practice of Bodhisattas. Having accepted the request made by devas and Brahmās, he descended to the human world to be conceived in the womb of Queen Suphassa, Chief Consort of King Udena, in the city of Vebhara. When ten months had elapsed, the Bodhisatta was born in Vīriya Park.
On his naming day, learned readers of omens, and his relatives, named him Siddhattha because, at the time of his birth, everybody’s endeavours, big or small, were accomplished and desirable results achieved.
Royal Household Life
When Bodhisatta Siddhattha came of age, he lived in three palaces, namely, Koka, Suppala and Kokanada. Being served and entertained by forty-eight thousand female attendants headed by Princess Somanasā, he thus enjoyed a divine-like royal household life for ten thousand years.
When Bodhisatta Siddhattha had seen the four omens and when Princess Somanasā had given birth to a son, named Anupama, he went forth riding a golden palanquin on the fullmoon day of Āsahli and became a recluse in Vīriya Park. A hundred thousand crores of men joined him and also became recluses.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With the hundred thousand crores of recluses, Bodhisatta Siddhattha practised dukkaracariyā for ten months. On the full-moon day of Vesākha, the day of his Enlightenment, he partook milk-rice offered by a brahmin girl, named Sunetta, of Asadisa village and spent the daytime in the local badara-grove. In the evening, he went alone to the Kanilāra Mahābodhi tree and accepted, on the way, eight handfuls of grass from Varuṇa, a watchman of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass under the Bodhi tree there appeared the Aparājita Pallanka, measuring forty cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallanka, he attained Buddhahood, in the same manner as previous Buddhas.
Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teachings (Dhammābhisamaya)
After His attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Siddhattha stayed in the neighbourhood of the Mahābodhi tree for forty-nine days. Agreeing to the entreaties made by Brahmās, He contemplated as to whom He should teach first. Then He discerned the hundred thousand crores of recluses who, with Him, had renounced the world and who were endowed with the merits of their past deeds, which would lead them to the Path and Fruition. Thinking: “I shall teach them first”, He contemplated as to their whereabouts and saw that they were still living in the Deer Park, which was eighteen yojanas from the Mahābodhi tree. By His psychic power, He immediately appeared at the Deer Park.
The hundred thousand crores of recluses, seeing the Buddha approaching them, welcomed Him with faithful heart, attending upon Him (in the way as described in the previous Buddhas), and finally, taking their appropriate seats, surrounding the Buddha. Then the Buddha taught the Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta (which was also taught by all previous Buddhas) to them, including devas and humans who had come to listen to Him. At that time, one hundred thousand crores of beings attained the Path an Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)
At another time, at the invitation of King Bhīmaratha of Bhimaratha city, Buddha Siddhattha visited that city and, staying at the royal pavilion, which was erected on a grand scale in the city-centre, He spoke in a voice that was like that of the King of karavīka birds or like that of the King of Brahmās, as it was sweet, pleasing to the ear and appealing to the hearts of the wise. Thus, letting the Dhamma reached the ten quarters, He beat the drum of deathlessness. At that time, ninety crores of beings attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the second Dhammābhisamaya.)
Still at another time, Buddha Siddhattha visited His home-town of Vebhara, where, in the assembly of His relatives headed by His father King Udena, He narrated to them the Buddhavaṃsa. At that time, ninety crores of beings attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)
Three Occasions of The Disciples’ Meeting (Sannipāta)
There were three meetings of Buddha Siddhattha’s arahat-disciples. The first meeting took place at the city of Amarā, which was beautiful and pleasing to the eye, like the divine city of Tāvatiṃsa. There, in the city, two brothers, who were also His two future Chief Disciples, Prince Sambala and Prince Sumitta, reigned together like Licchavi Princes during the lifetime of our Buddha. Seeing that the two Princes were endowed with the merits of their past deeds, which would lead to the Path and Fruition, Buddha Siddhattha instantly appeared in the centre of Amarā City. There, He descended to the surface of the earth, impressing it with the soles of His feet which were even and adorned with one hundred and eight marks. He thus showed His foot-prints (pada-cetiya), which were worthy of respect and then He went to Amarā Park where He stayed in glory, like a golden statue on a stone slab.
The two royal brothers, seeing the footprints (pada-cetiya), together with their retinues traced them along till they came near the Buddha. They paid obeisance to Him and sat down around Him. When the Buddha preached them a sermon that suited their inclinations and dispositions, they developed faith in Him and after becoming monks, they attained arahantship. In the midst of this one hundred crores of monks, the Buddha recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the first sannipāta.)
(This was the second sannipāta.)
Still at another time, in the midst of eighty crores of monks who had assembled at Sudassana Monastery, the Buddha recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the third sannipāta.)
Future Buddha Gotama, as Hermit Maṅgala, received Prophecy from Buddha Siddhattha
Meanwhile, our future Buddha was reborn in the city of Sūrasena as a brahmin, named Maṅgala who was accomplished in the Vedas in their original texts as well as in their branches of literature. He gave away all his possessions worth several crores to the poor and the destitute and since he took delight in seclusion, he became an ascetic. Developing jhānas and abhiññās, he achieved effective powers by virtues of which nobody could torture him. While he was thus staying, he heard the news, “Buddha Siddhattha had appeared in the world.” He therefore approached the Buddha and adoringly paid respect to him. Hearing the Buddha’s Teaching, the ascetic became so pleased that he brought fruits from the rose-apple tree of Jambudīpa with his psychic power and at Surasena Monastery, where he accommodated the Buddha, he offered the fruits as food to the Buddha who was accompanied by ninety crores of His disciples. Having partaken of the fruits, Buddha Siddhattha declared prophetically: “This Maṅgala, the ascetic, will indeed become a Buddha, Gotama by name, in the ninety-fourth aeon from now.”
Having heard the Buddha’s prophecy, the Bodhisatta, Maṅgala the ascetic, was overjoyed and firmly resolved to fulfil the ten perfections even more energetically.
Particulars of Buddha Siddhattha
The birthplace of Buddha Siddhattha was Vebhāra City. His father was King Udena and His mother was Queen Suphassa.
He reigned for ten thousand years. His three palaces were Koka, Suppala and Kokanada.
His Chief Consort was Somanasā who had forty-eight thousand maids of honour, His son was Prince Anupama.
The vehicle He used in renouncing the world was a palanquin. He practised dukkaracariyā for ten months.
Buddha Siddhattha’s height was sixty cubits. He shone forth in the ten-thousand world-system like a column of jewels erected for worship.
Resembling the unequalled former Buddhas, peerless and unrivalled and endowed with the five ‘eyes’, Buddha Siddhattha lived for a hundred thousand years.
Having displayed extensively His physical rays and as well as His intellectual brilliance, having caused the flowering of the Path and Fruition in His disciples, and having glorified them with attainments, both mundane and supramundane, Buddha Siddhattha attained Parinibbāna with all of them, and came to the end of His final existence.
In this way, Buddha Siddhattha, noble monarch of all monks, attained Parinibbāna in Anoma Park, near Kancanavelu city. In that very park, a four yojanas high cetiya of jewels was erected, in the way as mentioned for previous Buddhas, and dedicated to Him.
Here ends Siddhattha Buddhavaṃsa.