by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Tissa 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).
When the aeon in which Buddha Siddhattha appeared had come to an end, there immediately followed a kappa, a void one, in which no Buddha appeared. When that kappa was over and in the ninety-second aeon ago, from the present, two Buddhas, namely, Tissa and Phussa, appeared. (It was a Manda-kappa.)
The chronicle of Buddha Tissa was as follows: In that ninety-second kappa ago, the human life span declined from asaṅkhyeyyas to a hundred thousand years. The future Buddha Tissa was then reborn in Tusitā, on complete fulfilment of the Perfections. Having complied with the request made by devas and Brahmās to becoming a Buddha, he descended to the human world to be conceived in the womb of Queen Paduma, Chief Consort of King Janasandha, in the city of Khemaka. When ten months had elapsed, the Bodhisatta was born in Anoma Park.
On his naming day, learned readers of omens and his relatives named the Bodhisatta, Prince Tissa. (There are two kinds of name: anatthā and rūḷhi. The name given after a particular event or in a particular meaning is anvattha. The name given not after a particular event or in a particular meaning but given for convenience sake is rūḷhi. Here the name Tissa given to the Bodhisatta is of the rūḷhi kind.)
Royal Household Life
When the Bodhisatta, Prince Tissa, came of age, he lived in three palaces, namely, Guhasela, Narisaya and Nisabha. Being entertained and served by thirty thousand female attendants, headed by Princess Subhadda, he thus lived a divine-like royal household life for seven thousand years.
When the Bodhisatta had seen the four omens and when Princess Subhadda had given birth to a son, named Ānanda, he went forth riding a thoroughbred horse, named Sonuttara, and became a recluse. A crore of men were inspired by his renunciation and joined him, to become recluses by themselves too.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With this crore of recluses, Bodhisatta Tissa practised dukkaracariyā for eight months. On the full moon day of Vesākha, the day of his Enlightenment, he partook the milk-rice offered by Vira, daughter of a wealthy person of Vira market-town, and spent the daytime in the local salaḷa grove. In the evening, he went alone to the Mahābodhi tree. On the way, he accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Vijitasañgāmaka, a watchman of barley (wheat) field. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the (asana) Mahābodhi tree, there appeared the Aparājita Pallanka, which measured forty cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallanka, he attained Buddhahood in the same manner as previous Buddhas. Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teaching (Dhammābhisamaya)
After His attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Tissa stayed in the neighbourhood of the Mahābodhi tree for forty-nine days. Having complied with a Brahmā’s request for His Teaching, He contemplated as to whom He should teach first and He saw that His future Chief Disciples, Princes Brahmadeva and Udaya, who were residents of Yasavatī, and who, together with their retinues, were endowed with previous meritorious deeds, which led to the Path and Fruition. By His psychic power, He immediately appeared in the Deer Park near Yasavati. He then sent the gardener for the two princes. On their arrival with their retinues (as had been described in former Buddhas), Buddha Tissa then taught the Dhammacakka-pavattana-Sutta to devas and humans, who had followed the two Princes and their men, to listen to the Teaching. The Buddha did so, proclaiming all over the tenthousand world-system in a voice similar to that of the King of Brahmās which was distinct, far-reaching and sweet. Then a hundred thousand beings, such as humans, devas and Brahmās, attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)
At another time, when a crore of recluses, who had been His companions in renunciation (and who had parted with him as he was moving to the Mahābodhi tree), on hearing that He had taught the Dhammacakka-pavattana Sutta, travelled to the Deer Park near Yasavati. (On arriving there) they paid homage to the Buddha and took their seats around Him. When the Buddha taught the Dhamma to these monks and all others who had went to listen to Him, ninety crores of beings headed by the crore of monks attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was second Dhammābhisamaya.)
Still at another time, when devas and humans discussed what constituted auspiciousness (maṅgala) leading to prosperity in the world but could not get the answer acceptable to all and when they put forwards the same question to the Buddha, He taught them the discourse on maṅgala. By the end of this discourse, sixty crores of Brahmās and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)
Three Occasion of The Disciples’ Meeting (Sannipāta)
There were three meetings of Buddha Tissa’s disciples. The first took place at Yasavati, where the Buddha, being accompanied by a hundred thousand arahats who were bhikkhus at the beginning of the vassa and attained arahantship during the same vassa, performed the Visuddhi Pavāraṇā on the full-moon day of Assayuja.
(This was the first sannipāta.)
At another time, when the Buddha was going on a journey and arrived at the city of Narivahana. Prince Narivahana, son of King Sujātā of that city, with his hosts of followers, welcomed the Buddha and invited Him and His Sangha to the ceremony of an unparalleled alms-giving which was held for seven days. Having relinquished his princely right over the kingdom to his son, he sought monkhood together with his followers in the presence of the Buddha. Buddha Tissa then called upon them “Come, O monks,” and they all became ehibhikkhus. When the news of Nārivāhana’s renunciation spread, people from all quarters came and followed his example. Then, in the midst of the bhikkhus, numbering nine millions, Buddha Tissa recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the second sannipāta.)
Still at another time, in the city of Khemavati (Khemaka), at the assembly of the Buddha Tissa’s relatives, after listening to the chronicle of Buddhas narrated by Him, eight million people became bhikkhus in His presence and attained arahantship. Surrounded by these bhikkhus, Buddha Tissa recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the third sannipāta.)
Future Buddha Gotama, as Hermit Sujātā, received Prophecy from Buddha Tissa
Meanwhile our Bodhisatta was King Sujātā in the city of Yasavati. His prosperous city, his wealth worth several crores and members of his retinue, who were always willingly attending upon him, he abandoned them all with no attachment whatsoever, as though they were blades of grass and stalks of reeds. With his heart filled with fear of suffering in rebirth, etc., he renounced the world and became an ascetic (even before Buddha Tissa’s appearance) and acquired great psychic power and fame. On hearing that “Buddha Tissa has appeared”, his whole body was pervaded with the five kinds of ecstasy. Most respectfully, he approached the Buddha and paid obeisance to Him, thinking: “I will honour the Buddha with such flowers as Salaḷa, Pāricchattaka and others”. So he went to the celestial abode by means of his psychic power and entered the garden of Cittalata, there, he filled a basket, measuring a gāvuta, with such celestial flowers and brought it across the sky and finally honoured the Buddha with these immensely fragrant flowers.
Besides, in the middle of the assembly of four classes of people, the Bodhisatta stood, holding over the Buddha’s head a Paduma sunshade, which was an umbrella made of very sweet smelling pollens, with a rod of ruby, and a pinnacle of leaves of red ruby. In this way, he thus honoured the Buddha. Then the Buddha prophesied concerning the Bodhisatta, Sujātā the ascetic: “In the ninety-second aeon from the present one, this Sujātā the ascetic will become a Buddha, Gotama by name.”
On hearing the Buddha’s prophecy, Bodhisatta, Sujātā the ascetic, was filled with devotional faith and resolved to fulfil the Ten Perfections even more energetically.
Particulars of Buddha Tissa
Buddha Tissa’s birthplace was Khemaka City. His father was King Janasandha and His mother was Queen Paduma.
He reigned for seven thousand years. His three palaces were Guhāsela, Nārisaya and Nisabha.
His Chief Consort was Subhaddā who had thirty thousand maids of honour. His son was Prince Ānanda.
After seeing the four omens, he renounced the world riding a thoroughbred horse, named Sonuttara. He practised dukkaracariyā for eight months.
Buddha Tissa was ten cubits tall. He was matchless and unequalled. He appeared like a mountain in the Himalayas, to those who saw Him.
The life span of Buddha Tissa, who was endowed with incomparable psychic power, was neither too short not too long. Buddha Tissa, the Possessor of the five ‘eyes’, lived in the world for a hundred thousand years.
Buddha Tissa, who had dispelled the darkness of ignorance (avijjā), after enjoying a great fame which surpassed the fame of those highly noble and admirable personages, attained Parinibbāna with His many arahat-disciples, just as a mass of fire that had become extinct after burning very brightly.
In this way, Buddha Tissa, Conqueror of the five Māras, attained Parinibbānain Nanda Park, near Sunandavati City. In that very Park, a three yojanas high cetiya was erected, in the same way as mentioned in previous Buddhas, and dedicated to Buddha Tissa.
Here ends Tissa Buddhavaṃsa.