by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Hemavata Sutta (the story of Satagiri Deva and Hemavata Deva) 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 great chronicle of Buddhas was compiled by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw who had a thorough understanding of the thousands and thousands of Buddhist teachings (suttas).
The Buddha delivered the sermon of Dhammacakka just before sunset on the full-moon day of the month of Āsāḷha, in the year 103 Mahā Era. At midnight, He taught the Hemavata Sutta (or Sātāgiri Sutta). The reason, in detail, for teaching the said Sutta was as follows:
In this Bhadda-kappa with the human life span running into 20,000 years, Buddha Kassapa appeared, and He entered Parinibbāna after living for 16,000 years (which was four-fifths of an Āyu-kappa). The cremation of His remains was carried out with great reverence. The corporeal relics of the Buddha did not break up into pieces but remained as a big solid mass of gold. This was the usual happening with all long-lived Buddhas.
As for short-lived Buddhas, they attained Parinibbāna even before many people had the opportunity of seeing Him severally. And so, being considerate and merciful and being desirous that “the many people living in such and such towns and villages should gain merit by worshipping the relics, even after I attain Parinibbāna” made a resolution thus: “Let my relics break up to pieces and be scattered.” This being the case, the relics of the short-lived Buddhas, like those of our Buddha, broken into pieces and were scattered like gold dusts.
The people built a large stupa, one yojana in height and also one yojana in circumference, and enshrined the one and only relic of Buddha Kassapa in it. Each side of it, in one direction measured one gāvuta in length and each side had a large entry gate so that the intervening distance between one gate and the next was one gāvuta.
King Kilī of Bārāṇasī donated one gate;his son, Prince Pathavindhara, donated another; the officials, led by the army general, donated the third; and the public, led by a rich man, donated the last. The bricks used for building the large stupa were only of gold and precious stones; and each brick was worth a hundred thousand. In building the stupa, realgar was used for cement and fragrant butter oil was used for water.
After the large stupa had thus been built, two friends of good families renounced the world and entered monkhood in the presence of senior disciples who had followed the Buddha in His lifetime. (It is to be noted especially that, in the Dispensation of long-lived Buddhas, only such senior Disciples were qualified to perform novitiation of sāmaṇeras and ordination of bhikkhus and to give guidance to them. Those who became disciples only after Parinibbāna of the Buddha were not qualified to undertake such tasks.)
Then the said two monk-friends of good family asked the senior disciples: “Sir, what are, in fact, the tasks of monks to be undertaken in the Dispensation of the Buddha?” Thereupon the senior sāvakas addressed them in reply: “Monks, there are in fact two duties for monks to fulfill in the Dispensation of the Buddha, namely, (1) Vāsā-dhura, the practice of Vipassanā-kammaṭṭhāna (Insight Meditation); and (2) Pariyattī-dhura, the learning or teaching of the scriptures. Of these two: (1) the monk of good family stays with his preceptors for five years, attending to their needs, learning and mastering the Code of Conduct (Pāṭimokkha) and two or three sections (bhāṇavaras) of Suttas and taking proper training in Vipassanā Meditation and also cutting off attachment to his company of fellow monks, as well as to his male and female supporters. And, after entering a big forest, away from people, he practises meditation for the realization of arahatship. This is the monastic duty, the practice of Vipassanā Meditation, called Vāsā-dhura. (2) He should, according to his ability, learn and become skilled in one Nikāya of the Piṭaka, or two Nikāyas of the Piṭaka, or three Nikāyas of the Piṭaka, or four Nikāyas of the Piṭaka, or five Nikāyas of the Piṭaka and should strive for the development of correct and pure Pariyatti-sāsana to the letter and the spirit. This duty of the monk, to learn or teach, is called Pariyatti-dhura.” Thereupon saying, “Of the two duties that monks should fulfil, vāsā-dhura is superior and more praiseworthy,” the two monk friends nevertheless agreed: “We are still young. We should fulfil vāsā-dhura only when we grow older. Before we become old, we shall practise for the fulfilment and completion of the duty of learning or teaching of the scriptures called Pariyatti-dhura.” Intelligent by nature, they became well-versed in all three Piṭakas within a short period of time and were also very skilled in making decisions on questions of the Vinaya. By virtue of their knowledge of the scriptures, the two monkfriends became renowned in the sāsana and they came to have always a large retinue and plenty of gifts and offerings. Each of them had as many as five hundred monk followers.
The two Theras remained giving genuine exhortation (ovāda) to the four classes of people who came to their presence. This being the case, the three Sāsanas prospered and shone as if the Buddha had reappeared.
The Dispute between A Dhammavādī Monk and An Adhammavādī Monk
At that time, there lived two monks, a dhammavādī (Dhamma Speaker) and adhammavādī (Non-Dhamma Speaker), in a monastery near a village. Of the two, the adhammavādī monk was cruel and harsh by speech. One day, when the dhammavādī monk came to know clearly about the other monk’s offence against some Disciplinary rule (Vinaya Sikkhāpada), he rebuked the latter thus: “My friend, your conduct is unbecoming of the sāsana!” Thereupon the adhammavādī monk, in order to disrupt the original trend of speech, retorted by saying: “My friend, what do you see of me? What do you hear of me? Don't make any rash accusation!” The dhammavādī monk replied: “My friend, the noble Vinayadhara theras, upholders of the Discipline, will know better.”
The adhammavādī monk, thinking: “If the Vinayadhara theras are to decide this matter according to the Vinaya, I will certainly have no support to resort to in the sāsana,” and he went instantly to the two Vinayadhara theras. He approached them with certain requisites as presents in order to beguile and persuade them to favour him. He respectfully made obeisance and offered what he had brought to them and tried to receive their guidance. He pretended to be one who had due respects for them and desirous of staying near them at their service.
One day the adhammavādī monk went to the meeting place of the Vinayadhara theras and after making obeisance to them remained standing obstinately even though the Theras permitted him to leave. The Theras asked him: “Friend, do you have anything special to tell us?”; and he replied: “Yes, Sirs, there is. I have had a dispute with another monk over a breach of precept. If he, the said complainant (codaka) monk, comes to you and reports this matter, please do not decide according to what is deemed suitable.” When the Theras replied: “In the matter that has been brought before the Sangha, it is not fit and proper not to give a decision according to what is deemed right,” he begged them, saying: “Venerable Sirs, if such a decision is made, there will be no support for me to resort to in the sāsana. Let this misdeed be my own. (I shall bear its consequences in saṃsāra.) Just do not come to a decision in that matter, please!”
Being persistently (and unavoidably) pressed by the adhammavādī monk, the Vinayadhara theras finally gave in and said: “All right, monk!” After obtaining the consent of the Vinayadhara theras, the adhammavādī monk went back to the village monastery;and, thinking: “I have done everything I wanted to do with the Vinayadhara theras,” he became more domineering, repressive, contemptuous, harsh and adamant in dealing with the dhammavādī monk.
The dhammavādī monk, thinking: “This adhammavādī monk has in fact no fear indeed!” instantly departed from the monastery and went to the thousand monks who were the followers of the Vinayadhara theras and addressed them: “Brethren, should not the matter coming up to the Sangha be decided in accordance with the Vinaya rules? Or without allowing the matter to come up to the Sangha, should not the complainant (codaka) monk and the accused (cuditaka) monk be made to admit their own faults and have their dispute amicably settled? But now, these Vinayadhara theras neither decide the matter by themselves nor allow it to be amicably settled by us through their compromise. What does this mean?” On hearing the words of the dhammavādī monk and thinking: “There must have been some irregular thing already known to the Vinayadhara theras,” the thousand monk-disciples of the Vinayadhara theras did not give any reply but remained silent.
Taking advantage of this, the adhammavādī monk said in repressive terms: “My friend, you have said previously that the Vinayadhara theras would know. Well, you had better report that matter now to them.” He then departed after saying harshly: “From now on, you are totally ruined! Don't you come back to the village monastery where we dwell.”
Thereafter the dhammavādī monk went to the Vinayadhara theras and bewailed loudly: “Venerable Sirs, thinking, ‘This adhammavādī attends to our needs and pleases us,’ you have no consideration for the sāsana of the Buddha but have consideration only for an individual; (you have no regard for the sāsana but have regard only for an individual;) you give no protection to the sāsana but give protection only to a shameless immoral individual (alajjī dussīla puggala). Sirs, from today onwards you ought not decide any matter coming under the Vinaya. Only on this day does Buddha Kassapa attain Parinibbāna indeed!” He then departed from the Vinayadharas, and wept grumbling: “The sāsana of Buddha Kassapa has in fact been irreparably ruined!”
Thereupon the two Vinayadhara theras were deeply agitated and became remorseful (kukkucca), saying: “Showing regard and giving protection only to the shameless immoral individual, we happened to have thrown away the solid jewel of the sāsana into the deep waters of a chasm.” Injured and oppressed in mind and heart by remorse (kukkucca), they were not reborn in any higher deva-world upon their death. Of the two theras, one was reborn as a devayakkha by the name of Hemavata on Mount Hemavata of the Himavanta and the other was reborn also as a devayakkha by the name of Sātāgiri on Mount Sata in Majjhima-Desa (the Middle Country). The thousand monk followers of these two theras were not reborn in any higher celestial abode either. Since they had followed the same practice as that of the two theras, they were reborn as followers, 500 to each of the two devayakkhas. The donors of the four requisites of the Vinayadhara theras were, however, took rebirth on some higher planes of deva existence.
Both Hemavata and Sātāgiri were devas of great power and glory and included in the list of twenty-eight deva generals. It was the custom of the devas to hold meetings to make decisions in judicial proceedings eight times each month at the pavilion called Nāgavatī (or Bhagalavatī, according to Ceylonese version), on the flat realgar rock-surface in the Himavanta Forests. These two devayakkhas usually participated in the meetings.
Sātāgiri Deva and Hemavata Deva, seeing each other in the said big meetings of devas and remembering their past lives in the human world, asked each other regarding the place of their (present) existence thus: “Friend, in which place have you been reborn? As for you, friend, what is your place of rebirth?” And they were afflicted with great anguish when recounting their fate: “Friend, we have in fact been irreparably ruined! Even though we had practised the Dhamma of monasticism for the whole period of twenty thousand years during the sāsana of Buddha Kassapa in the past, we were reborn as devayakkhas because of a shameless immoral and wicked friend. Our donors of the four requisites have, however, been reborn in the higher deva-world of sensual pleasures.”
The Mutual Promises
Thereafter, Sātāgiri Deva told Hemavata Deva: “My friend Hemavata, the Himavanta where you are living is said to be a marvellous and extraordinary place. So, in case you see and hear anything strange and irregular, kindly come and let me know.” Hemavata Deva also told Sātāgiri Deva: “My friend Sātāgiri, Majjhima Desa, where you are living, the region where noble personages appear or live, is said to be a marvellous and extraordinary country. In case you see and hear anything strange and irregular, please come and inform me.” In this manner the two friends, Sātāgiri Deva and Hemavata Deva, had made a mutual promise and lived without being able to discard their lives as devayakkhas; even one asaṅkhyeyya of Buddhantara-kappa (a vast period of world-system between the appearance of one Buddha and that of another) had passed in the meantime. During this period the great earth had also risen as much as one yojana and three gāvutas.
At that time, our Bodhisatta had been practising and developing the Ten Pārāmis during the whole period of four asaṅkhyeyyas and a hundred thousand aeons, from the time he received from Buddha Dīpaṅkarā the Definite Prophecy about his attainment of Buddhahood to the time of his life as King Vessantara. He was then reborn in Tusitā devaworld and lived through the full life span of a deva. At the request made by the devas who had come from the ten thousand world-systems, he gave his assent to them to become a Buddha, after making the Five Great Investigations. He next took conception in the lotuslike womb of Mahāmāyā Devī in this human world, causing the ten thousand worldsystems to tremble while the thirty-two great omens were appearing.
These two friends, Sātāgiri Deva and Hemavata Deva, were aware of the appearance of the thirty-two great omens at the time when the Bodhisatta took conception; but it so happened that they did not take notice of them. They failed to reflect and know: “These great omens appear on account of the Bodhisatta being conceived.” The thirty-two great omens distinctly appeared also on the occasion of the Bodhisatta’s birth, on the occasion of his renunciation of the world and on the occasion of his attainment of Buddhahood. Although they were aware of the appearance of these great omens, they did not ponder and realize: “These great omens appear on account of these events.”
When the Buddha summoned the Pañcavaggī monks and taught the Sermon of Dhammacakka, which is of three phases and twelve aspects, there was the distinct occurrence of a severe earthquake as well as that of the marvellous and extraordinary thirty-two great omens. This was first taken notice of only by Sātāgiri of the two devas, and, knowing that the Buddha was then teaching the Sermon of Dhammacakka, the primary cause of the omens, he went to the presence of the Buddha together with his retinue of five hundred devayakkhas and listened to the teaching of Dhammacakka. But he was unable to attain any significant Path and Fruition.
The reason was: Sātāgiri Deva, while listening to the Sermon of Dhammacakka, remembered his friend, Hemavata Deva, and surveyed the audience, wondering: “Has my friend Hemavata Deva come to this Dhamma assembly? Or, has he not come?” Not finding Hemavata, his mind became distracted: “How could my friend Hemavata be so late! He might not be able to listen to the Buddha’s teaching of Dhammacakka, which is so much wonderful and splendid in letter and in spirit!” For this very reason, he was unable to realise any important Path and Fruition.
The Buddha had not yet concluded the teaching of the Sermon of Dhammacakka even by sunset. Thereupon, intending, “I will go and bring my friend Hemavata to listen to the Dhamma-Sermon,” he created vehicles of elephants, horses, garudas, etc. and travelled through the air (in the sky) in the direction where Himavata and his retinue of five hundred devayakkhas were.
The Meeting of The Two Devas in The Sky
Even though the thirty-two great omens appeared on the occasions of the Bodhisatta’s conception, birth, renunciation, attainment of Buddhahood and Parinibbāna, they did not last long but disappeared in a moment. At the time when the Buddha taught the Sermon of Dhammacakka, however, not only the thirty-two great omens were of awesome, marvellous and extraordinary nature but they did not disappear in a moment. In fact, they remained for quite a long time before disappearing. Seeing the marvellous and extraordinary appearance of the thirty-two great omens while inside the Himavanta Forests, Hemavata Deva also intended thus: “Ever since my birth in this forest, this great mountain has never been so marvellously and extraordinarily delightful and perfect. It has so happened now. Therefore, (in accordance with our promise) I will go and bring my friend, Sātāgiri, right away, to luxuriate in these marvellous flowers of the Himavanta Forests.” And, as in the case of Sātāgiri, he also created vehicles of elephants, horses, garudas, etc. and made an aerial journey in the direction of Majjhima Desa, accompanied by his retinue of five hundred devayakkhas.
The two devas met each other in the sky above Rājagaha City. When asked by the other as to the reason for his visit, Hemavata said: “My friend, Sātāgiri, ever since I became a deva in the Himavanta Forests, this great Hemavata mountain has never had such delightful appearance with trees blossoming unseasonally. So, I have come to call on you, with the intention of enjoying these marvellous flowers of the Himavanta Forests together with you.”
When Sātāgiri Deva asked Hemavata Deva again: “My friend, Hemavata, do you know why these flowers blossom unseasonally and so marvellously?” the latter replied: “I do not know, my friend, Sātāgiri.” Sātāgiri then told Hemavata: “My friend, Hemavata Deva, this marvellous and extraordinary feature has happened not only in this Himavanta. In fact, the same has happened even (everywhere) in the ten thousand world-systems. My friend, Hemavata, a Buddha has appeared in the three worlds (of devas, humans and Brahmās). The Buddha is at present teaching the Sermon of Dhammacakka in the Dear Park called Isipatana, near Bārāṇasī City. Because of the teaching of the Dhammacakka Sermon by the Buddha, the thirty-two marvellous, unprecedented and extraordinary great omens have distinctly appeared all over the world.”
In this manner Sātāgiri Deva told his friend, Hemavata Deva, that the Buddha had definitely appeared and, being desirous of taking him to the Buddha, he addressed him thus:
“My friend, Hemavata, today is in fact the full-moon uposatha of the fifteenth lunar day! Tonight is in fact a very pleasant night in which the whole Jambudīpa appears as if it were most beautifully decorated by the bodily light of the devas and Brahmās (who have come from the ten thousand world-systems to listen to the Sermon, for it is the day the Buddha teaches the Dhammacakka), by the shining colours of their attire and celestial mansions, by the light of the moon, the stars and the lunar mansions and also by the bodily light of Visuddhi Deva and the Buddha himself. My friend Hemavata, do not be confused with doubt whether he is the Buddha or not. Come! Let us even now go and worship the Buddha of Gotama family, who is endowed with undiminishing qualities, who possesses such special epithets as Buddha, Bhagavā, etc. and who is the Teacher of devas, humans and Brahmās.”
On hearing the words of Sātagiri Deva, Hemavata Deva pondered and intended thus: “This Sātāgiri boldly asserts that the personage, whom he has met and seen, is a genuine Omniscient Buddha, saying: ‘Let us even now go and worship the Buddha of Gotama family, who is endowed with undiminishing qualities, who possesses such special epithets as Buddha, Bhagavā, etc.’ (Anoma nāmaṃ Satthāraṃ, etc.). Omniscient Buddhas are in fact rare and hardly accessible in the world. Only those persons, such as Pūraṇa Kassapa and others, claimed themselves to be Omniscient Buddhas and ruined many people by imparting wrong knowledge to them. If the monk Gotama, whom Sātāgiri has seen, is a genuine Omniscient Buddha, he ought to be one genuinely endowed with tādiguṇa, the quality of being undisturbed or unshaken by the favourable and unfavourable conditions of the world. Therefore, I will first find out whether he is or is not one endowed with tādiguṇa which is possessed only by Buddhas.”
And, desiring to question about tādilakkhaṇa (Signs of Tādi), he recited this verse:
“My friend Sātāgiri, what is He like? Is the mind of the Buddha, whom you have seen, naturally and entirely free from love and hate for all beings and steady as befitting one endowed with tādiguṇa? What is He like? Is Buddha Gotama, whom you have seen, capable of freeing Himself from or overcoming kāma-vitakka (sensual thought), vyāpāda-vitakka (malevolent thought), and vihiṃsā-vitakka (violent thought) which are apt to generate love and hate for desirable objects and undesirable objects respectively?”
Thereupon Sātāgiri Deva, having been absolutely convinced that the Buddha was certainly a Sabbaññū Buddha and being desirous of replying to the questions put by Hemavata Deva regarding the entire set of attributes of the Sabbaññū Buddha, answered by reciting this verse:
“My friend Hemavata, the mind of the Buddha, whom I have seen, is naturally and entirely free from love and hate for all beings, as befitting one endowed with tādiguṇa. (Even at the time when the pāramīs were being practised and developed for attainment of Buddhahood, the Bodhisatta was endowed with tādiguṇa, not to speak of His tādiguṇa at present when Buddhahood has been attained! In His life as Chaddanta Elephant King, he entertained no animosity towards the hunter Sonuttara who deliberately killed him, but, instead, he cut off his tusks himself and gave them to him in charity. In His life as the Monkey King also, he had no hatred even for the hostile brahmin who struck his head with a stone in order to kill him, but, instead, he showed the brahmin the wayout (from the forest) without anger. In His life as Vidhura the Wise also, he had no hatred for the ogre Puṇṇaka who dragged him by the two legs and very cruelly threw him upside down or headlong into the ravine at the foot of Kāḷa Mountain which measured sixty yojanas;he even preached the Dhamma to him.” [That was why Sātāgiri Deva boldly gave the answer: “The mind of the Buddha whom I have seen is naturally and entirely free from love and hate for all beings, as befitting one endowed with tādiguṇa.” (“Mano c'assa supaṇihito, etc.”)] My friend Hemavata, the Buddha whom I have seen is capable of freeing Himself from or overcoming kāma-vitakka, vyāpāda-vitakka and vihiṃsā-vitakka which are apt to generate love and hate for desirable objects and undesirable objects respectively.”
Thus, when Hemavata put the question, first with regard to manodvāra (‘mind-door’ or thought), whether or not the Buddha was fully endowed with tādiguṇa, he got the affirmative reply from Sātāgiri. Being desirous of questioning again, in order to be more certain whether or not there was, in the Buddha, purity of the three dvāras (‘doors’ or actions) at present, or in other words, after hearing the affirmative reply given by Sātāgiri Deva to the question, first put briefly, whether or not the Buddha was endowed with tādiguṇa with regard to the three dvāras, and being desirous of questioning again in detail in order to make the answer firmer, Hemavata Deva asked again by reciting this verse:
My friend Sātāgiri, what is He like? The Buddha, whom you have seen, is He one who is free from taking another’s property without being given by the owner physically or verbally? What is He like? Is He one who completely abstains from the evil act of killing beings? What is He like? Is He free from attachment to the five objects of sensual pleasures and far from unmindfulness (which consists of sexual conduct, and unchastity)? What is He like? Is He one who has discarded the five hindrances but who has not allowed attainment of jhānas to become extinct.
(The Buddha abstains from adinnādāna and other forms of wrongdoing not only in this life of His Buddhahood but also during the whole long period in the past he abstain from these evils. By virtue of His meritorious act of abstinence from such evils is he endowed with such marks of a Great Man (Mahāpurisa Lakkhaṇas). The whole world also spoke in praise of the Buddha thus: “Monk Gotama abstains from the crime of theft, etc.”) Hence Sātāgiri Deva, being desirous of replying in clear and bold terms, recited this verse:
Na so adinnaṃ ādiyati;
atho pāṇesu saññato.
Atho ārā pamādamhā;
Buddho jhānaṃ na riñcati.
My friend Hemavata, the Buddha, whom I have seen, is one who is free from taking of another’s property without being given by the owner physically or verbally. He is one who completely abstains from the evil act of killing beings. He is free from attachment to the five objects of sensual pleasures and far from unmindfulness (i.e. acts of sexual misconduct and unchastity). He is also one who has discarded the five hindrances and who has not allowed attainment of jhānas to become extinct.
After thus hearing the affirmative reply as regards the purity of deeds (kāya-dvāra) and being desirous of questioning whether or nor there was purity of speech (vacī-dvāra), Hemavata Deva asked by reciting this verse:
My friend Sātāgiri, what is He like? Is the Buddha you have seen, one who does not speak lies? What is He like? Is He one who does not speak harsh words that tend to make beings upset and depressed? What is He like? Is He one who does not speak words that mischievously destroy friendship between two persons? Is He one who does not indulge in frivolous talks which are unsubstantial and worthless like undeveloped paddy?
(The Buddha abstained from verbal misconduct not only in this life of Buddhahood but also during the whole long period in the past he abstain from telling lies and from other verbal misdeeds. By virtue of His meritorious act of abstinence from misbehaviour in words, he is endowed with such signs of a Great Man as a single hair grown in each pore, the hair between the two eyebrows (uṇṇaloma) and others. The whole world also spoke in praise of the Buddha: “Monk Gotama abstains from misconduct such as telling lies,” and so on.) Hence, Sātāgiri Deva, being desirous of replying in clear and bold terms recited this verse:
Musā ca so no bhaṇati;
atho na khīṇabyappatho.
Atho vebhūtiyaṃ nāha;
mantā atthaṃ subhāsati.
My friend Hemavata, it is true that the Buddha, whom I have seen, is one who does not tell lies. It is also true that He is one who does not speak harsh and nasty words. It is also true that He does not speak mischievous words. He speaks only words which are discreet and beneficial.
Hemavata Deva, after hearing the positive reply as regards the purity of speech and being desirous of questioning whether or not the Buddha had, at present, the purity of consciousness; whether or not He had overcome ignorance and whether or not He was endowed with the five eyes, asked by reciting this verse:
My friend Sāgāri, what is He like? Is the Buddha, whom you have seen, truly one free from abhijjhā, covetousness for five material objects of sensual pleasures? What is He like? Is the mind of the Buddha, whom you have seen, free from vyāpāda, unhealthy mental condition agitated by hate? What is He like? Is the Buddha, whom you have seen, truly one who has overcome the fourfold moha (ignorance), which is the basic cause of micchā-diṭṭhi (wrong view)? What is He like? Is He truly one who is endowed with the Eye of Wisdom penetrating all the Dhammas without any hindrance?
(Bearing in mind that, “One is not yet a Buddha merely on account of the purity of the three sense-doors but one becomes a genuine Buddha only if He is endowed with sabbaññutā-ñāṇa, Omniscience or the Five Eyes,” he asked: Is He truly one who is endowed with the Eye of Wisdom, penetrating all the Dhammas without any hindrance? (“Kacci Dhammesu Cakkhumā?”)
(Even before realising arahatta-phala and while still at the moment of His attainment of anāgāmī-magga, the Buddha became free from defilement of craving for sensual objects and also free from defilement of ill-will, an unhealthy mental state since He had already discarded kāma-rāga-kilesa and vyāpāda-kilesa. Even at the moment of His attainment of sotāpatti-magga, He was already one who had overcome ignorance since He had already discarded sacca-paṭicchādaka moha, ignorance-covering which conceals the four truths, which is the cause of micchā-diṭṭhi (wrong view). He had already earned the title ‘Buddha’ and realised Insight-Knowledge as well, since He had even discerned the Four Truths unaided and with Self-born Knowledge (sayambhū-ñāṇa). Hence, Sātāgiri Deva, being desirous of boldly proclaiming the fact that the Buddha possessed purity in respect of His consciousness and having attained Omniscience, was a genuine Buddha, replied by reciting this verse:
Na so rajjati kāmesu;
atho cittaṃ anāvilam.
Buddho Dhammesu Cakkhumā.
My friend Hemavata, the Buddha, whom I have seen, is truly one free from abhijjhā, covetousness for material objects of sensual pleasures. The mind of the Buddha, whom I have seen, is also free from vyāpāda. The Buddha, whom I have seen, is truly one who has overcome the entire fourfold moha (ignorance), which is the basic cause of micchā-diṭṭhi (wrong view). Since He has penetratingly discerned all the Dhammas with sayambhū-ñāṇa (Self-born Knowledge), He has earned the title ‘Buddha’ and has also been endowed with the Five Eyes.
In this manner Hemavata Deva was greatly delighted and rejoiced in hearing and knowing that the Buddha possessed purity in respect of the three sense-doors and was a genuine Sabbaññū-Buddha. Being himself one endowed with auspiciousness of great learning (bāhusacca-maṅgala) in his past life during Buddha Kassapa’s Dispensation and being therefore a fluent, learned and effective speaker with very pure knowledge and wisdom, and desiring again to hear further marvellous and extraordinary qualities of the Buddha, he asked by reciting this verse:
Kacci vijjāya sampanno;
Kaccissa āsava khīṇā;
kacci n'alibi punabbhavo.
My friend Sātāgiri, is the Buddha, whom you have seen, truly one endowed with the eye of knowledge (vijjā) which all the Buddhas should be endowed with? What is He like? Is He truly one who possessed the fifteenfold pure conduct, resembling good legs used for walking up to Nibbāna? What is He like? Is the Buddha, whom you have seen, already devoid of the four āsavas? What is He like? Is the Buddha, whom you have seen, free from the possibility of appearing in a new existence (being reborn)?
Thereupon, Sātāgiri Deva, since he had profound and decided faith in the Buddha’s genuine Omniscient Buddhahood and a desire to affirm that the Buddha was fully endowed with all the qualities questioned by Hemavata Deva, answered by reciting this verse:
My friend Hemavata, the Buddha, whom I have seen, is truly one endowed with the eye of vijjā which all the Buddhas should be endowed with. He is also truly one who possessed the fifteenfold pure conduct, resembling good legs used for walking to Nibbāna. The Buddha, whom I have seen, is already devoid of the four āsavas. The Buddha, whom I have seen, is free from the possibility of appearing in a new existence.
Hemavata Deva then became free from doubt about the Buddha, thinking thus: “The Buddha, whom Sātāgiri has now seen, is a genuine Buddha, Perfectly Self-Enlightened (Sammāsambuddha) and supreme in the three worlds.” Even while still remaining in the sky, therefore, he recited this verse in order to praise the Buddha and delight Sātāgiri Deva:
Sampaññāṃ munino cittaṃ;
kammunā vyappathena ca.
dhammato nam pasaṃsasi.
My friend Sātāgiri, the mind of the Buddha, whom you have seen, is endowed with tādiguṇa. He is endowed with purity of deed, purity of word and purity of thought. My friend Sātāgiri, you have rightfully spoken in praise of the Buddha who is endowed with the three vijjās, the eight vijjās and the fifteen caraṇas.
Thereupon, Sātāgiri Deva, also with the intention of gladdening Hemavata Deva once again, recited this verse meaning: “My friend Hemavata, what you have said is perfectly true. Now you, my friend, know the qualities of the Buddha fully well and are greatly delighted:”
Sampaññāṃ munino cittaṃ;
kammunā vyappathena ca.
My friend Hemavata, the mind of the Buddha whom I have seen is endowed with tādiguṇa. He is endowed with purity of deed, purity of word and purity of thought. My friend Hemavata, you have rightfully rejoiced in the Buddha who is endowed with the three vijjās, the eight vijjās and the fifteen caraṇas.
And so saying and intending to urge Hemavata Deva to go along with him to the Buddha, Sātāgiri Deva asked by this verse:
Sampaññāṃ munino cittaṃ;
kammunā vyappathena ca.
handa passāma Gotamaṃ.
My friend Hemavata, the mind of the Buddha, whom I have seen, is endowed with Tādiguṇa. He is endowed with purity of deed, purity of word and purity of thought. Let us even now go and respectfully behold the Buddha, who is endowed with the three vijjās, the eight vijjās and the fifteen caraṇas.
Thereupon, Hemavata Deva, as one who had acquired the power of great learning since his previous existence, wished to speak in praise of the qualities of the Buddha which appealed to him and to invite Sātāgiri to go along with him and behold the Buddha. Thus, he recited the following verses:
Come, Sātāgiri, let us go. Let us behold the Buddha of Gotama lineage whose calves are round and graceful like those of an antelope (eṇī) living in the upper reaches of the forest; whose limbs and other parts of the body, big and small, are appropriately long in five features, short in four, small in four, tall in six, and round where they should be round; who is diligent and capable of resisting and fighting the dangers from within and without the body; who takes only one meal (a day) just to sustain His body; who has done away with excessive craving (loluppa-taṇhā) with regard to food; who is in full possession of the four magga-ñāṇas, knowledge of the four Paths; and who usually remains absorbed in jhāna in a secluded forest.
My friend Sātāgiri, let us go to the presence of the Buddha, who, like Kesara Lion King, cannot be easily approached by ordinary persons; who can forbear the vicissitudes of the world; who is fearless; who is the one and only (Buddha) appearing in a universe; who, like Chaddanta Elephant King, is endowed with great physical and intellectual power; and who is free from any desire and passion for all the material objects of sensual pleasures. Let us ask Him about the Dhamma of Nibbāna, which will surely deliver us from the round of suffering in the three planes of existence, the snare of the King of Death.
In this way Hemavata urged Sātāgiri Deva King and the retinue of one thousand devayakkhas to go along with him and worship the Buddha and listen to the Sermons.
Lady Kāḷī became A Sotāpanna
It was the day in which the grand festival of the month of Āsaḷha was being celebrated. At that time, like a divine damsel enjoying divine luxury in the divine city of Tāvatiṃsa, which was adorned with ornaments everywhere, a lady, by the name of Kāḷī, residing in the town of Kuraraghara near Rājagaha City, having gone up to the upper terrace of her parents' mansion and having opened the lion-propped window, was just standing and letting herself to be aired, to ease the pains of her impending labour from pregnancy.
(Lady Kāḷī hailed from Rājagaha City. On coming of age, she was married in Kuraraghara Town. When she was carrying the would-be Soṇakuṭikaṇṇa Thera in her womb, she went back to her parents' home for confinement. She went up to the terrace of the mansion and while having an airing to alleviate her suffering from the coming childbirth, she overheard the attributes of the Buddha being spoken of by the two devayakkhas.)
Overhearing the whole conversation between the two devayakkhas generals, relating to the attributes of the Buddha, Lady Kāḷī became attentive to them and thought: “The Buddhas are indeed thus endowed with marvellous and extraordinary qualities!” and so thinking she was overwhelmed with joy and delight. Even while standing at that very place in the state of joy, and removing the hindrances by means of that joy, she practised Vipassanā Meditation and thereby realised the Fruition of Sotāpatti. Lady Kāḷī, being the first sotāpanna and Noble Female Disciple (ariya-sāvika) established amongst women was, as it were, the eldest sister of womankind. On that very night, she gave birth to a son (who later on became Soṇakuṭikaṇṇa Thera). After staying in her parents' house for as long as she liked, she returned to her Kuraraghara home.
Thus, without even encountering and beholding the Buddha in the past and just by overhearing, she came to have absolute faith in the attributes of the Buddha and be established in sotāpatti-phala,like one who effortlessly takes the meal already prepared and laid out for an individual. On this very account, when the Buddha was later sitting in the midst of the Sangha, holding a convocation to confer titles of pre-eminence to the female devotees (upāsikās), He declared: “Dear monks, Lady Kāḷī of Kuraraghara Town is the the most noble and excellent of all my upāsikās who have absolute faith in the Triple Gem just by overhearing!” and designated her foremost among those having faith by overhearing (Anussava-pasāda).
The Two Deva Generals went to The Buddha
Sātāgiri Deva and Hemavata Deva, accompanied by their one thousand devayakkhas followers, reached the Deer Park at Isipatana in Bārāṇasī City at that very midnight. And, approaching and making obeisance to the Buddha, who had not changed His posture but who was still sitting cross-legged as He did at the time when He taught the Sermon of Dhammacakka, they recited this verse to extol the Buddha and to request permission to question Him:
To the Buddha of Gotama lineage, who preaches the Dhamma of the Four Noble Truths, both briefly and in detail; who is fully endowed with the knowledge of all the Dhammas in six ways, namely, Higher Intellect (abhiññā), Analysis (pariññā), Abandonment (pahāna), Meditation (bhāvanā), Realisation of Nibbāna (sacchikiriya), and Attainment of jhānas (samāpatti); who has awakened from the slumber of ignorance (moha); and who has freed Himself from the five enmities, such as taking life (pāṇātipātā), etc., may we have Your permission to question You on what we do not know?
After asking for permission, Hemavata Deva, who has greater power and wisdom between the two, questioned on what were unknown to him, by reciting the following verse:
Glorious Buddha, when what clearly come into existence, do the two worlds, namely, satta-loka (the world of sentient beings) and saṅkhāra-loka (the world of conditioned things), come into existence? In what do all beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, intimately associate themselves with taṇhā-diṭṭhi (craving and wrong view), thinking ‘I’ and ‘mine’. After what are satta-loka and saṅkhāra-loka so called? When what clearly appears do all beings, such as devas, humans and Brahmās, become miserable?
Thereupon the Buddha, intending to answer the question put by Hemavata Deva on the strength of the six ajjhattikāyatanas (internal organs of sense, namely, eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) and of the six bāhirāyatanas (external objects of sense, namely, form, sound, smell, taste, contact and idea formed in the mind), replied (by reciting this verse):
Chasu loko samuppanno;
chasu kubbati santhavaṃ.
Channam eva upādāya;
chasu loko vihaññati.
Hemavata Deva, when the six ajjhattikāyatanas (internal organs) and the six bāhirāyatanas (external objects) evidently come into existence, the two worlds, satta-loka and saṅkhāra-loka, come into existence. (In terms of Absolute Reality (Paramattha Dhamma), Satta-loka meaning the aggregate of beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, is just a compound of these twelve āyatanas (bases), namely, the six internal: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind, and the six external: form, sound, smell, taste, contact and idea, formed in the mind. Without these twelve āyatanas, there can be no such thing as a being, whether human, deva and Brahmā. In terms of Paramattha Dhamma, saṅkhāra-loka meaning such things as farm, land, gold, silver, paddy, etc., only consists of six external āyatanas. Without these six, there can be no saṅkhāra-loka of things inanimate. Hence the Buddha’s answer: “Chasu loko samuppanno——When the six internal and six external āyatanas come into existence, the two worlds, the world of sentient beings and the world of conditioned things inanimate, come into existence.”)
Hemavata Deva, in the six internal and the six external āyatanas do all beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, intimately associate themselves with craving and wrong view through the notion of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ (All beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, who, in close friendship with craving and wrong view, take ‘I’, ‘another’, ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘farm’, ‘land’, etc. to be ‘I’ and ‘mine’, are a composition of the same six internal and six external āyatanas in terms of Paramattha Dhamma. This is true. Taking the eye to be ‘I’ and ‘mine’, beings make friends with craving and wrong view; taking the ear to be ‘I’ and ‘mine’, they make friends with craving and wrong view; likewise they do with regard to the nose, the tongue, the body, the mind and also with regard to the form, the sound, the smell, the taste, the touch such as hardness or softness, heat or cold, etc., and the idea conceived in the mind. Hence the Buddha’s answer, “Chasu kubbati santhavam—in the six internal and the six external āyatanas do all beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, intimately associate themselves with craving and wrong view through the notion of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’)
Hemavata Deva, after the six internal and the six external āyatanas are satttaloka and saṅkhāra-loka so called. (With reference to the aforesaid twelve āyatanas, the names, such as ‘devas’, ‘humans’, ‘Brahmās’, ‘beings’ (= sattaloka) and the names, such as ‘farm’, ‘land’, ‘rice’, ‘paddy’, etc., (= saṅkhāraloka) came into existence clearly. It is to be so understood.)
Hemavata Deva, when the six internal and the six external āyatanas clearly appear (or, on account of these āyatanas) all beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, become miserable. (According to the Ādittapariyaya Sutta, the Sermon on the Ways of Burning, the twelve bases are ablaze with the eleven fires of rāga, dosa, moha, etc. From the point of view of the Paramattha Dhamma, the satta-loka, consisting of beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, is also just these twelve āyatanas, six internal and six external. The āyatanas are also perpetually and severally ablaze with the eleven fires. Because there are āyatanas, there is burning; because there is burning, there is misery. If there were no āyatanas, there would have been no burning; if there were no burning, there would have been no misery. That is why the Buddha answered thus: “Chasu loko vihaññati—When the six internal and the six external āyatanas clearly appear (or, on account of these āyatanas) all beings, i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, become miserable.”)
End of Question and Answer on vatta (round of suffering)
Thereafter Hemavata Deva, being unable to remember clearly the answer given in brief by the Buddha (such as Chasu loko samuppanno, etc.), which centres around the twelve āyatanas, to the question put by him on the round of suffering, and being desirous of knowing the enumeration of the āyatanas as well as their opposites, as contained in the
(round of suffering and cessation of the round of suffering, respectively):
Glorious Buddha, (if, according to the answer, ‘Chasu loko vihaññati’) beings i.e., devas, humans and Brahmās, become miserable from the existence of the six āyatanas (or, on account of the six āyatanas), what are these six, the cause of misery for beings? (By this is Dukkha-sacca (the Truth of Suffering) is directly asked; by asking Dukkha-sacca, Samudaya-sacca (the Truth of the Cause of Suffering) is also asked.
What is the factor that brings about release from saṃsāra vaṭṭa (the round of suffering)? In what manner (or, what extraordinary Dhamma,) can release from saṃsāra vaṭṭa be realised? May Venerable Buddha, who has thus been asked about release from saṃsāra vaṭṭa, favour us with the answer. (By the latter half of this verse is Magga-sacca (the Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering) is directly asked; and by asking Magga-sacca, Nirodha-sacca (the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering i.e. Nibbāna), is also asked as “one draws the whole bower by snatching one single creeper.”)
When Hemavata Deva asked the Four Noble Truths, mentioning Dukkha-sacca and Magga-sacca explicitly, and Samudaya-sacca and Nirodha-sacca implicitly, the Buddha delivered the following verse in order to answer in the way He was asked by Hemavata Deva:
Devotee Hemavata Deva, I, the Buddha, have clearly shown the five kāmaguṇas (sensual pleasures) of form, sound, smell, taste and contact with mind as the sixth in the world. (By the word ‘mind’ in the first half of this verse is manāyatana (the mind-organ) directly taught; and by teaching manāyatana, dhammāyatana (the mind-object) is also taught. By the five kāmaguṇas of form, sound, smell, taste and contact are the five āyatanas (objects) directly taught, namely, form-object, sound-object, smell-object, taste-object and contact-object; and by teaching these five sense objects, their five recipients are also taught, namely, eye, ear, nose, tongue and body. Therefore, by the first half of this verse, the six internals (ajjhittikāyatanas) and the six externals (bāhirāyatanas), totalling twelve in all, are taught;these āyatanas may be referred to as upādānas (graspings), which form the suffering of the satta-loka.
Devotee Hemavata Deva, craving and desire (taṇhā-chanda) for the aggregate of these twelve āyatanas, the round of suffering and the Truth of suffering, must be completely eliminated and destroyed. (For their elimination and destruction, they should first be distinguished either as aggregates, or as bases, or as elements, or briefly, as mind and matter. They should be meditated on for Insight (Vipassanā), by putting them to the test of the three characteristics. Their elimination and destruction eventually comes by means of Insight which culminates in the Path of arahatship). By eliminating and destroying them, one becomes free from the round of suffering. (By the second half of the verse, the question on vivaṭṭa is answered, and the Magga-sacca is also shown. Samudaya-sacca and Nirodha-sacca are deemed as answered as they have been briefly stated as in the previous question in verse. In other words, by the first half of the verse is shown Dukkha-sacca: by the term chanda-rāga in the second half of the verse is shown Samudaya-sacca. From the word virājetvā is derived virāga which is Nibbāna, cessation of craving as well as the Nirodha-sacca. By the word ‘thus’ (evaṃ) is shown Magga-sacca, for it means the course of practice in the Eightfold Path leading to freedom from the suffering of saṃsāra. In this way, the Four Truths are proclaimed by the Buddha in this verse.)
The Buddha thus showed the excellent Wayout (Niyyāna), which is the Eightfold Path as a means of escape from saṃsāra vatta. And again, as He desired to conclude His answer on the Niyyāna Dhamma in the ‘Natural language’, He recited the following verse:
Devotee Hemavata Deva, I have truthfully taught you this means of the Eightfold Path, which can bring about escape from the (conditioned) world of three elements (tedhātuka (saṅkhāra) loka), such as kāma-dhātu (the element of sensual pleasures), rūpa-dhātu (the element of materiality), and arūpa-dhātu (the element of immateriality). Since there can be escape from ‘saṃsāra-vaṭṭa-dukkha’, only by way of this Eightfold Path and since there is no other way of escape (even though you might ask a thousand times), I will only say to you that this Eightfold Path is the only excellent Dhamma for escape from saṃsāra-vaṭṭa. (That is to say: I will never teach you otherwise). (Or,) Since there can be emancipation from saṃsāra-vaṭṭa-dukkha only through the Eightfold Path and since there is no other way of emancipation, I will only speak of the Eightfold Path as the only excellent Dhamma for emancipation from saṃsāra-vaṭṭa to enable you, who have already realised the lower Path and Fruition, to realise the higher ones. (That is to say: never will I teach you otherwise).
The Devayakkhas became established as Sotāpannas
In this manner, the Buddha concluded the Dhamma Sermon perfectly well that was building up with arahatta-phala as its pinnacle. At the end of this Sermon, the two devas, Sātāgiri and Hemavata, became established in the sotāpatti-phala along with their retinue of a thousand devayakkhas. (That is to say, they all became sotāpanna-ariyas, ‘Noble Streamenterers’.)
End of the Question and Answer on vaṭṭa (round of suffering) and vivaṭṭa (cessation of round of suffering)
Thereafter Hemavata Deva, being one who had, by nature, due respect and devotion for the Dhamma and being now established as a noble sotāpanna, was not content with the Buddha’s wonderful Dhamma which was perfect in letter and in spirit. Therefore, desirous of knowing the two causes, namely, Sekkha-bhūmi dhamma (the cause of becoming lower ariyas) and Asekkha-bhūmi dhamma (the cause of becoming arahats), he addressed the Buddha by reciting the following verse:
Glorious Buddha, who, being endowed with virtue of conduct in this world, is able to cross over the rough expanse of waters of the four floods? Who, being endowed with virtue of conduct in this world, is able to cross over the wide and deep ocean of saṃsāra? Who can remain safe and sound without being drowned in the fathomless ocean of saṃsāra with nothing below to stand on and nothing above to hang on to? (Sekkha-bhūmi was questioned by the first half of this verse and asekkha-bhūmi by the latter half).
Thereupon the Buddha recited the following verse as He desired to answer on sekkhabhūmi put in the first half of the questioning verse:
Devotee Hemavata Deva, a monk, who is endowed with morality at all times (without breach of precepts but with care to observe them even at the risk of his life); who is also endowed with mundane and supramundane knowledge; who is also steadfast with upacāra-samādhi (Neighbourhood Concentration) and appanā-samādhi (Attainment Concentration); who by means of vipassanā-ñāṇa (Insight Wisdom) repeatedly meditates on the mental and physical aggregates known as niyakajjhatta, by applying the three characteristics; who also possesses mindfulness (sati) which enables him to take up incessantly the threefold training (sikkhā) (i.e. sīla, samādhi and paññā); he, who is thus endowed with these threefold sikkhā of sīla, samādhi and paññā, is able to cross over the rough expanse of waters of the four floods, which is hard for ordinary persons to do so.
After the Buddha had thus given the answer on of sekkha-bhūmi, He now recited the following verse in order to give an answer on asekkha-bhūmi:
so gambhīre na sīdati.
Devotee Hemavata Deva, a monk, who has accomplished complete abstinence from all the perceptions accompanied by craving for material objects of sensual pleasures; who has also broken and discarded the long thong of the ten attachments by means of the four Paths; in whom the three types of craving and the three states of existence, all collectively called nandī, have completely dried up; who is the arahat, fully endowed with these qualities, is one not drowned in the vast and fathomless ocean of saṃsāra with nothing below to stand on and nothing above to hang on to. (He has now reached, with utmost ease, the highland of Sa-upadisesa Nibbāna as his craving is exhausted and on the highland of Anupadisesa Nibbāna on account of the cessation of existence. Thus his landing is of utmost ease and comfort, and he is one who is not drowned.)
End of Question and Answer on Sekkhabhūmi and Asekkhabhūmi
The Two Devayakkhas singing Eulogies.
Thereafter Hemavata Deva eyed his friend Sātāgiri Deva as well as the retinue of the thousand devayakkhas with delight and satisfaction, and sang the following five verses eulogizing the Buddha. Along with his friend Sātāgiri Deva and the retinue of the thousand devayakkhas, he make obeisance to the Buddha with due respect and devotion and returned home.
The five verses of eulogy and veneration were:
O honourable fellow devas, behold with your own clear eyes the Buddha of Gotama family, who is endowed with analytical wisdom with regard to such deep things as khandha, etc.; who thoroughly sees the significance of the questions presented by those of subtle intelligence; who is devoid of the most minute particle of the sevenfold evil of greed, hate, delusion, conceit, wrong view, bad conduct and defilement; who has no attachment for the twofold sensuality and threefold existence; who has full deliverance from the bonds of desire and passion for all sense objects such as khandha, āyatana, etc.; who is able to walk up and down on the divine road of the eight attainments; and who has sought noble qualities such as observance of the Code of Moral Precepts.
O honourable fellow devas, behold with your own clear eyes the Buddha of Gotama family, who has extraordinary epithets through undiminished attributes, such as Sammāsambuddha (the Perfectly Self-Enlightened One), etc.; who thoroughly sees the significance of the questions presented by those of subtle intelligence; who disseminate extraordinary knowledge by giving instruction in a sweet and pleasant voice so that others may be moral and knowledgeable; who has no clinging with passion and wrong view such as ‘I’ and ‘mine’, to the various sensual objects craved for through passion and wrong view; who analytically knows all; who is endowed with the knowledge of the Perfections that forms the foundation of Omniscience;who is able to walk up and down on the divine road of the eight attainments;and who has sought noble qualities such as observance of the Code of Moral Precepts (Sīlakkhandha).
O honourable fellow devas, as we have had the good fortune of beholding the Buddha with our eyes that culminated in the attainment of the Path and Fruition; the Buddha who has crossed over the rough waters of the fourfold flood and who has the fourfold influx (āsava) gone off. Our sight of the Buddha, our opportune beholding of His person, has happened today indeed! Such arrival of the dawn, such a daybreak leaving behind all gloom and blemishes has taken place indeed! Getting up from deep slumber, being wide awake from a sleep without greed, hate and bewilderment, has now been occasioned indeed!
Venerable Buddha of sun-bright glory, all these divine ogres, who are endowed with supernatural powers, derived from their past meritorious deeds; who possess plenty of excellent gains and retinue; whose number is one thousand, with their bodies infused with the spirit of the great supramundane refuge, approach together with us to seek protection, believing you to be a shelter. You are our supreme teacher beyond compare, who helps and advises us, giving instruction so that we are able to build the first exquisitely decorated palace of the Noble Ones.
Venerable Buddha of sun-bright glory, (from today onwards) those of us will move from one divine village to another, from one divine mountain to another, to proclaim like town-criers, exhorting people to walk the Path to Nibbāna and singing in praise of their respective glories of the three Gems; we shall proclaim making obeisance to the state of the Buddha with our clasped hands placed on our heads and our joyous devotion meant for the genuine Buddha, chief of the three worlds and full of immeasurable attributes and also to the state of the Dhamma, the good wayout from the round of suffering, of the Teaching which is tenfold, its constituents being the [four] Paths, the [four] Fruitions, Nibbāna and the mass of Dhamma units.