by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Konagamana 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 Kakusandha’s attainment of Parinibbāna, in the present bhadda-kappa, the life span of human beings gradually decreased from forty thousand years to ten years and increased to asaṅkhyeyya. When it reached thirty thousand years on its next decline, Bodhisatta Koṇāgamana, on his complete fulfilment of the Perfections was reborn in Tusitā. 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 a brahmin lady named Uttarā, wife of Yaññadatta Brahmin, in the city of Sobhavati. When ten months had elapsed, he was born in Subhavatī Park.
At the time of the boy’s birth, there fell a heavy shower of gold over the whole of Jambudīpa and taking the significance of this event, “coming down of gold from the sky”, learned readers of omens and his relatives named him Kanakagāmana (Kanaka means 'gold', āgamana ‘coming’;hence Kanakagāmana “the boy for whom gold has come (down).” Owing to its antiquity, the original name Kanakagāmana has taken the corrupt form of Konāgamana. Or by means of derivation, the first syllable ka is changed into ko, na into ṇa and the final ka elided.
Royal Household Life
When the boy Koṇāgamana came of age, he lived in three palatial mansions, namely, Tusitā, Santusita and Santuṭṭha. Being entertained and served by his wife Rucigatta, a brahmin lady, and her host of sixteen thousand brahmin female attendants, he thus enjoyed a divine-like household life for three thousand years.
When Brahmin Konāgamana had seen the four omens while living a household life and when his wife Rucigatta had given birth to a son, named Satthavāha, he renounced the world riding an elephant. Thirty thousand men, following his example, also renounced the world.
Attainment of Buddhahood
With his thirty thousand recluses, Koṇāgamana practised dukkaracariyā. On the full moon of Vesākha, the day in which he would become a Buddha, he partook the milk-rice offered by Aggisona, daughter of Aggisona, and spent the daytime in the local grove of acacia. In the evening, he went alone to the Mahābodhi tree. On the way, he accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Jaṭatinduka, a watchman of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the (Udumbara) Mahābodhi tree, there appeared the Aparājita Pallanka of twenty cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallanka, he concentrated his energy of four levels in the same manner as previous Buddhas, and attained Buddhahood.
Three Occasions of The Buddha’s Teaching (Dhammābhisamaya)
After His attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Koṇāgamana 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, and He saw the thirty thousand recluses who were His companions in renunciation. By His psychic power, He immediately appeared at their residence, Isipatana Deer Park, near the city of Sudassana. Sitting in the middle of these recluses, He taught the Dhammacakka sermon, which was also taught by previous Buddhas, and which devas and Brahmās went to listen. By the end of this discourse, thirty thousand crores of devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the first Dhammābhisamaya.)
At a later time, when Buddha Konāgamana displayed the Twin Miracle of water and fire near the sāla tree, close to the city gate of Sundara, and eradicated wrong views and taught Dhamma, twenty thousand crores of devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the second Dhammābhisamaya.)
After displaying the Twin Miracle, Buddha Koṇāgamana went to Tāvatiṃsa and staying on the stone-slab placed at the foot of the Pāricchattaka tree, He taught Abhidhamma to devas and Brahmās who had assembled there from the ten-thousand world-systems. At that time, ten thousand crores of them attained the Path and Fruition.
(This was the third Dhammābhisamaya.)
Single Occasion of The Disciples' Meeting (Sannipāta)
The only meeting of Buddha Koṇāgamana’s disciples took place when the Buddha was staying in a park, named Surindadeva, near the city of Sundaravati. He taught Dhamma to Princes Bhiyyosa and Uttara, who were to become His Chief Disciples, together with thirty thousand strong retainers and called upon them, “Come, monks”. They became ehibhikkhus and attained arahantship. In the middle of these thirty thousand arahats, on the full moon of Māgha, Buddha Konāgamana recited the Ovāda Pāṭimokkha.
(This was how the only sannipāta took place.)
Future Buddha Gotama, as King Pabbata, received Prophecy from Buddha Koṇāgamana
Meanwhile, our future Buddha Gotama was King Pabbata, in the city of Mithilā. He was a powerful ruler associated with strong allies. Hearing that Buddha Koṇāgamana had arrived in his city, he welcomed Him with his retinue and army, invited Him respectfully and performed a ceremony of grand alms-giving. He also requested the Buddha to observe vassa in his city and he would look after Him and His Sangha for the three months of the rainy season. Besides, he offered the Sangha, headed by the Buddha, cotton cloth, silk cloth, woollen cloth, golden sandals and many other things made in Pattunna country and Cina country. The Buddha then prophesied of him: “In this very bhadda-kappa, this King Pabbata will indeed become a Buddha, named Gotama.”
Having heard the Buddha’s prophecy, the Bodhisatta, King Pabbata, was so pleased that he firmly resolved to fulfil the Ten Perfections even more energetically.
Since he was a man, who had been seeking Omniscience, he made a great offering of gifts to Buddha Koṇāgamana, renounced his magnificent kingship and became a monk in the presence of the Buddha.
Particulars of Buddha Koṇāgamana
Buddha Koṇāgamana’s birthplace was Sobhavati City, which was ruled by King Sobha. His father was Brahmin Yaññadatta and His mother was Uttarā, a brahmin lady.
He lived a household life for three thousand years. He lived in three palatial mansions, namely, Tusitā, Santusita and Santuṭṭha.
His wife was Rucigattā, a brahmin lady having a retinue of sixteen thousand female brahmin attendants. His son was Satthavāha.
He renounced the world riding an elephant after seeing the four omens. He practised dukkaracariyā for six months.
Buddha Koṇāgamana’s height was thirty cubits. He was adorned with the rays of six colours like the pure gold in the goldsmith’s crucible.
The life span during Buddha Koṇāgamana’s time was thirty thousand years. For four-fifth of this life span He lived, rescuing beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, from the waters of saṃsāra and placed them on the shores of Nibbāna.
In order that beings could stay and worship on the cetiya platform of Insight Wisdom (Vipassanā ñāṇa paññā), Buddha Konāgamana constructed the ‘cetiya of thirty-seven constituents of Enlightenment’ (Bodhipakkhiyā dhammā), that was adorned with the banner of the Four Noble Truths, and made the ‘bouquet of Dhamma’, after which, with His arahat-disciples, He attained Parinibbāna.
Buddha Koṇāgamana’s disciples, who were accomplished in the exercise of supernatural powers, and Buddha Koṇāgamana, who had expounded supramundane Dhamma,all of them had passed away. Unsubstantial and futile are all conditioned things!
In this way, Buddha Koṇāgamana, who had penetrated the Four Noble Truths and other Dhammas that should be known, attained Parinibbāna in the pleasance named Pabbata. His relics dispersed in accordance with His resolve, reaching everywhere in Jambudīpa and were paid homage by beings such as devas, humans and Brahmās.
Here ends Koṇāgamana Buddhavaṃsa.