The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words

This page describes Making the Joyful, Solemn Utterance (Udana) 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).

Part 14 - Making the Joyful, Solemn Utterance (Udāna)

The Bodhisatta, who had thus attained Omniscience and became endowed with all the attributes and glories of Buddhahood, reflected thus:

“I have been emancipated indeed from the enormous suffering of saṃsāra. I have achieved indeed the most exalted state of perfectly Self-Enlightened One, teacher of the three worlds. I have achieved indeed a great victory. I am one who can liberate all the sentient beings from the fetters of the three worlds by preaching the Dhamma.”

When He thus reflected, there arose repeatedly in the mind continuum of the Buddha very exceedingly exulting joy (pīti). With the tempo of the joy thus appearing repeatedly, the Buddha uttered forth, as was the established practice with all the Omniscient Buddha after achieving Buddhahood, the following two verses of intense joy:

(1) Anekajātisaṃsarāṃ, sandhāvissaṃ anibbisaṃ
gahakāram gavesanto, dukkhā jāti punappunnaṃ

Unable to cut off the root of repeated existences in saṃsāra, taking conception in four ways[1] is a great misery, for a body from rebirth is followed and oppressed inexorably by ageing, sickness and death, it is no happiness at all but toilsome and distressing. Therefore, as a Bodhisatta, searching the diligent builder of this house of ‘Khandha’, and not finding him because I had then not yet acquired the great sabbaññutā-ñāṇa which discerns clearly the real culprit, namely, Craving, the carpenter, as the cause of dukkha, I had to wander restlessly, revolving with the wheel of saṃsāra although I had no liking for and was in constant fear of the generator (mill) of dukkha, comprising the five aggregates.

(2) Gahatāraka diṭṭhosi, puna gehaṃ na kāhasi
sabbā te phāsuka bhagga, gahakutaṃ visankhataṃ
visaṅkharamgataṃcitta, tanhanaṃ khayamajjhaga

You! Craving, the carpenter, the wicked cause of suffering, diligently building up the house of five aggregates which are enmeshed in dukkha! Now, having become a Buddha and being endowed with sabbaññutā-ñāṇa, I clearly discern you, Craving the house builder! You shall not build again the house of five aggregates intertwined with dukkha, because, your legs, your hands and your life have been cut off four times with the axe of the magga-ñāṇa and you are like an uprooted stump. All the rafters of defilements firmly fixed in your decorated house of aggregates have now been broken to pieces without leaving even a slight trace of past tendencies and inherent inclinations. Ignorance (avijjā), the king post of the house, which keeps the Four Truths and Nibbāna hidden from view and which keeps them far, far away has been pulverised. My mind, which is free from dirtlike defilements, has reached Nibbāna, the palace of peace, out of the scope of sankhāra and all suffering of saṃsāra. I, the Supreme Buddha of the three worlds, have realised the fourth (arahatta) magga-phala, extinction of one hundred and eight forms of craving[2] to the delight and encomium of the devas and Brahmās of the ten thousand world-systems.

N.B. There are two kinds of udānas, namely, manasa-udāna, which is uttered only mentally and vacasa-udāna, which is uttered verbally. The udānas-gāthā beginning with ‘Anekajātisaṃsāraṃ etc.,’ was recited by the Buddha only mentally and thus should be deemed as manasa-udāna. The udānas in the Udāna Pāli Text beginning with ‘Yadā have pātu bhavanti dhammā,’ etc., were uttered verbally by the Buddha. So these udānas in the Udāna Pāli Text should be regarded as vacasa-udānas.

(The categories of Dhamma mentioned in this Chapter on the attainment of Buddhahood, namely, the Paṭiccasamuppāda, the four Paṭisambhidā-ñāṇas, the six Āsādhārana-ñāṇas, the Dasa-bala-ñāṇas, the Cuddasa-buddha-ñāṇa, the eighteen Āveṇika-gunas, and the four Vesārajja-ñāṇas, will be described neither too briefly nor too elaborately in the Chapter on the Dhamma Jewel, Dhamma-ratana.)

Footnotes and references:


Conception in four ways: Four yonis, four ways of being born, namely, andaja (oviparous); jalābuja (viviparous); sansedaja (moisture-sprung); opapatika (spontaneous). (P.E.D)


One hundred and eight forms of craving: craving (taṇhā), is the chief root of suffering and is the cause of ever continuing cycle of rebirths. It is synonymous with greed (lobha or rāga). Basically, it is of three aspects; sensual craving, (kāma-tanhā);craving for rebirth, especially in higher realms, (bhava-taṇhā); craving for annihilation (of self), (vibhava-tanhā). Corresponding to the six sense objects, each of these aspects of taṇhā multiplies into six forms of craving, viz. craving for visible objects, for sounds, odours, tastes, bodily impressions, mental impressions (rūpa-tanhā, sadda-taṇhā, gandha-taṇhā, rasa-taṇhā, phoṭṭhabbha-taṇhā, dhamma-tanha), thus totalling eighteen forms of craving. Again, taking into consideration three periods of time, as present, past and future, which apply to each of these eighteen forms of taṇhā, one can distinguish fifty four different forms of craving. Finally, these fifty-four forms of craving can arise in the mind continuum of one’s own or of others; thus one hundred and eight forms of craving are enumerable in all.

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