by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Sikhi 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 end of the aeon in which Buddha Vipassī appeared, no Buddhas appeared in the world for fifty-nine aeons as these were suñña-kappas. There was no light of Dhamma. In fact, total darkness of ignorance (avijjā) prevailed and only Māra, the Evil One and Māra, the defilements reigned supreme in the world without any oppositions. It was to their whim and fancy that beings were bound to follow.
The chronicle of the Buddha Sikhī, the first of the two is as follows: In that thirty-first kappa, when the life span of human beings decreased from asaṅkhyeyyas and reached seventy thousand years, on complete fulfilment of the Perfections, Bodhisatta Sikhī was reborn in Tusitā. Having agreed to the request made by devas and Brahmās to becoming a Buddha, he descended to the human world to be conceived in the womb of Pabhāvatī, Consort of King Aruna of Arunavatī City. When ten months had elapsed, the Bodhisatta was born in Nisabha Park.
On his naming day, learned readers of omens and his relatives named him, “Sikhī”, because a band on his head, which was like flesh on the forehead (uṇhīsa), stood out like the crest of a peacock.
Royal Household Life
When he came of age, Prince Sikhī lived in three palaces, namely, Sucandaka, Giri and Vāsabhā. Being entertained and served by twenty-four thousand female attendants headed by Princess Sabbakāmā, he thus enjoyed a divine-like royal household life for seven thousand years.
When Bodhisatta Prince Sikhī had seen the four omens while enjoying royal household life and when Princess Sabbakāmā had given birth to a son, named Atula, he renounced the world riding an elephant. Seven million men also renounced the world, following his example.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With these seven million recluses, Bodhisatta Sikhī practised dukkaracariyā for eight months. On the full-moon day, the day of his Enlightenment, he left these recluses. He partook the milk-rice offered by Piyadassī, daughter of a wealthy man, resident of the market town of Sudassana, and spent the daytime in the local grove of young acacias. In the evening, he proceeded alone to the Mahābodhi tree and accepted, on the way, eight handfuls of grass offered by an ascetic named Anomadassī. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the pundarīka Mahābodhi tree, there appeared the Aparājita Pallanka, measuring thirty-two cubits.
The size of that pundarīka Bodhi tree was the same as that of the pātali Bodhi tree of Buddha Vipassī. Its trunk was fifty cubits high and its main branches were also exactly fifty cubits high, on the day the Bodhisatta approached it. It stood as though it was covered by fragrant flowers of divine origin. It seemed to have been covered not only by flowers but also by fruits. They were hanging from here and there: young fruits on one side of the tree and the medium-sized fruits on another side. Those ripe enough were all very tasty as if celestial nutriments was put in them. In fact, they all possessed wonderful colour, flavour and taste. Likewise, all fruit-trees and flower-trees in the ten-thousand world-system bore fruits and flowers on that very day.
Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teaching (Dhammābhisamaya)
After the attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Sikhī stayed in the neighbourhood of the pundarīka 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 the seven millions fellow bhikkhus who were endowed with the merits of their past deeds, which could lead to the Path and Fruition. He then, by His psychic power, immediately appeared in Migājina Park, their residence near the city of Arunavatī. Sitting gracefully in the midst of these seven million recluses, Buddha Sikhī taught the Dhammacakka sermon, which was also taught by previous Buddhas, to devas and humans who had come to listen. Then a hundred thousand crores of devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)
At a later time, also near the city of Aruṇavatī, the Buddha taught Dhamma to His future Chief Disciples, Prince Abhibhu and Prince Sambhava and their retinues, and administered the Elixir of Immortality to ninety thousand devas and humans.
(This was the second Dhammābhisamaya.)
Buddha displayed the Twin Miracle and gave a discourse in order to suppress the arrogance of heretics and to free beings from the bondage of defilements. At that time, eighty thousand crores of devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)
Three Occasions of The Disciples' Meeting (Sannipāta)
There were three meetings of Buddha Sikhī’s arahat-disciples. At the first meeting, in the midst of a hundred thousand arahats, who were Princes Abhibhu’s and Sambhava’s companions during their renunciation, Buddha Sikhī recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the first sannipāta.)
At a later time, in the midst of eighty thousand monks who had put on the robes at the meeting of His relatives at Arunavati City, Buddha Sikhī recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was the second sannipāta.)
(This was the third sannipāta.)
Future Buddha Gotama, as King Arindama, received Prophecy from Buddha Sikhī
Meanwhile, our Bodhisatta was King Arindama, in the city of Paribhutta. When Buddha Sikhī visited the city with His retinue, the King welcomed Him. He paid homage to the Buddha respectfully and invited Him to the palace where he performed grand alms-giving befitting his status of kingship, high birth, of wealth and faith (in the Buddha).
He opened his warehouse of clothing and offered to the Sangha, headed by the Buddha, several kotis of garments, which worth a great deal of money. (In common parlance, a koti means twenty sets of clothing. Here, however, it should be understood that ten pieces make one koti. Aṅguttara Commentary III, p. 270.)
Moreover, he offered the Buddha his state elephant who was possessed of strength, beauty, (auspicious) marks and speed and who was adorned with golden nets and flowers. (Having assessed the value of the elephant together with his adornments,) he also offered the Sangha, headed by the Buddha, objects that were permissible to monks. (The cost of these objects was equal to the assessed total value of the elephant.)
Then, with reference to the Bodhisatta Arindama, Buddha Sikhī declared prophetically: “In the thirtieth aeon from the present one, this King Arindama will indeed become a Buddha, Gotama by name.”
Particulars of Buddha Sikhī
Buddha Sikhī’s birthplace was Arunavatī City. His father was King Aruna and His mother was Queen Pabhāvatī.
He reigned for seven thousand years. His three palaces were Sucandaka, Giri and Vāsabhā.
His Chief Consort was Sabbakāmā who had twenty-four thousand maids of honour. His son was Prince Atula.
He renounced the world riding an elephant after seeing the four omens. He practised dukkaracariyā for eight months.
Buddha Sikhī was seventy cubits tall. He was like a golden column, created as an object of worship. He was beautiful with thirty-two marks of an extra-ordinary being.
Buddha Sikhī’s normal physical rays shone everywhere, day and night, uninterruptedly as far as thirty yojanas. (They could illuminate several worldsystems, if He so desired.)
The life span during Buddha Sikhī’s time was seven thousand years Existing for four-fifths of this life span, He conveyed beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, from saṃsāric waters and placed them on Nibbānic shores.
Causing the ‘rain of Dhamma’, Buddha Sikhī had all beings ‘drenched with the pure water of Dhamma’, let them reach Nibbāna, which was the end of repeated suffering, and together with His arahat-disciples attained Parinibbāna.
The Buddha’s physical frame, which possessed the eighty minor signs, such as red finger and toe nails and adorned with thirty-two marks of an extra-ordinary being, had completely vanished. Unsubstantial and futile are all conditioned things!
Buddha Sikhī attained Parinibbāna in the park, named Assa, near Sīlavati City. The Buddha’s relics remained in a mass without dispersing. People of Jambudīpa constructed, for their honouring, a memorial cetiya of seven kinds of jewels and three yojanas high.
Here ends Sikhī Buddhavaṃsa.