by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Pu, Di, A 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 Attainment of Buddhahood. 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).
Having won his victory over Vasavatti Mara also known as Devaputta Māra, before sunset on the full moon of Vesākha, in the year 103 Mahā Era, the Bodhisatta realised the three knowledges (vijjās), in succession, as follows: knowledge of past existences (pubbenivās’ānussati-ñāṇa) in the first watch of that night; divine power of sight (dibbacakkhu-ñāṇa) in the middle watch of the night and knowledge of extinction of moral intoxicants (āsvakkhaya-ñaṇa) in the last watch of the night, and attained Buddhahood in the very last watch of the night of the Vesākha full moon. To describe the said events in detail:
How Pubbenivās’ānussati Abhiññā (Pu) was realized
The physical and mental processes which had taken place in the past: Nibbāna which becomes known from these physical and mental processes, one’s personal names, clan names etc., which are merely conventional terms——all this (belonging to the past) is called ‘Pubbenivāsa’ in Pāli. The psychic power (abhiññā) accompanying the remembrance of pubbenivāsa is called Pubbenivās’ānussati-abhiññā, Knowledge of former existences. The Buddha taught it as the first Vijjā ñāṇa. This first Vijjā ñāṇa has been abbreviated as Pu by ancient scholars taking the initial syllabus of the word Pubbenivās’ānussati-abhiññā. The following is an account in detail as to how the first Vijjā ñāṇa was realized by the Bodhisatta:
When the noble Bodhisatta was remaining on the Invincible Throne, delighted and happy after being thus victorious over Vasavatti Mara, many devas and Brahmās dwelling in the ten thousand world-systems including the earth-bound spirits, Bhumma devas, went to the Bodhisatta simultaneously and assembled, shouting and exclaiming: “Come, Friends, devas and Brahmās, the victory of the noble Bodhisatta and the defeat of Mara have been made clear. Let us hold together an auspicious celebration in honour of the victory of the noble Bodhisatta and the coming attainment of his Buddhahood.”
At that time, the sun-disc, fifty yojanas in size, magnificent with a thousand rays, was about to disappear like a gold wheel of a cart being held by the rim and dipped into the whirlpool of the great ocean. The moon chariot, forty yojanas in size, giving out cool, shining beams of light, brightening up the entire Universe, was just rising up slowly from the milky ocean in the east, as if the silvery wheel of a cart being thrown into the sky (by someone) holding it by the rim. (Try to visualise the universe as a large golden palace.) In the middle of this golden palace, the Bodhisatta looked very graceful, the golden colour of his body made the high ground around the Mahābodhi tree and all the animate and inanimate objects in the surrounding area appeared as if being immersed in the stream of liquid gold. The Bodhisatta, so graceful in this manner, sitting cross-legged on the Invincible Throne at the foot of the Mahābodhi tree which may be likened to an umbrella of Indanila precious stones, was reflecting on the Dhamma. (The detail regarding the reflection on the Dhamma by the Bodhisatta will be given afterward.)