The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes Establishment of Rahula in Arahatship through the Cula-Rahulovada Sutta 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 Buddha’s Fourteenth Vassa at Savatthi. 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 2 - Establishment of Rāhula in Arahatship through the Cūla-Rāhulovāda Sutta

The Buddha was still staying at Jetavana, Sāvatthi, observing the fourteenth vassa in that city. At that time, Rāhula had completed twenty years of age and had become a newly ordained monk, and had not completed a vassa as a bhikkhu.

One day, at daybreak, when the Buddha surveyed the world of beings, a thought arose in Him: “The fifteen factors leading to arahatship (Vimutti-paripācaiñya-dhamma) have now ripened in Rāhula. What if I were to exhort and guide him so that he would take a step further to the attainment of the Path and Fruition of Arahatship!” Herein the the fifteen factors leading to arahatship are:

(1) dissociation from faithless persons,

(2) association with faithful persons,

(3) reflection on discourses causing faith (three factors with reference to saddhā),

(4) dissociation from lazy-persons,

(5) association with energetic persons,

(6) reflection on discourses causing energy (three factors with reference to vīriya),

(7) dissociation from unmindful persons,

(8) association with mindful persons,

(9) reflection on discourses causing the foundation of mindfulness (three factors with reference to sati),

(10) dissociation from persons of unconcentrated mind,

(11) association with persons of concentrated mind,

(12) reflection on discourses dealing causing jhāna and vimohhka (emancipation) (three factors with reference to samādhi),

(13) dissociation from unwise persons,

(14) association with wise persons, and

(15) reflection on profound discourses (three factors with reference to paññā).

Besides, the five faculties (indriya), namely, faith (saddhā), energy (vīriya), mindfulness (sati), concentration (samādhi) and wisdom (paññā); the five perceptions of weariness (nibbedhabhāgiya-saññā), namely, the perception of impermanence (anicca-saññā), the perception of suffering (dukkha-saññā), the perception of non-soul (anatta-saññā), the perception of abandonment (pahānasaññā), and the perception of freedom from lust (virāga-saññā);the five factors as contained in the Sutta given to Meghiya, namely, association with good friends, having morality, listening to and reflection on the ten kinds of speech, having developed energy, and having wisdom as to the arising and falling nature of things (udayabbaya-saññā); these also make the fifteen factors of Vimutti.)

Having conceived this idea the Buddha entered Sāvatthi City in the morning for alms and after finishing His meal, He departed from the alms-resort and said to Rāhula: “Bring a mat to sit on, Rāhula, and let us go to the Andha grove to spend the day there.” “Very well, Exalted Buddha,” he answered and followed the Buddha closely carrying the mat.

At that time, several thousands of devas and Brahmās (who had resolved to have certain spiritual attainments together with Palita, the Nāga King, who was to become Rāhula, in the presence of the Buddha Padumuttara a hundred thousand aeons ago) also followed the Buddha in close succession with the belief that “the Exalted One would exhort and teach Rāhula so that he would take a step further to the attainment of the Path and Fruition of Arahatship.”

(Herein these several thousands of devas and Brahmās, who had resolved spiritually a hundred thousand aeons ago, had been waiting, asked among themselves: “When will the Exalted One’s exhortation and guidance take place so that Rāhula would attain arahatship as a further step?” When the Buddha thought of exhorting and guiding Rāhula, as his faculties, such as faith, etc., had finally grown, these several thousands of celestial beings, who had been longing all the time for that opportune moment of the Buddha’s thinking, for they had shared the desire for spiritual growth, assembled only in the Andha grove knowing that conditions were thus becoming favourable to them as well.)

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