The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990

This page describes Introduction (story of Mara near Pancasala) 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 story of Māra. 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 1 - Introduction (story of Māra near Pañcasālā)

(Out of the Buddha’s many events that took place during the Pacchima Bodhi, the last twenty-five years, only a few notable one will be written from this chapter onwards.)

Once, the Buddha was staying near Pañcasālā village which He made His resort for aims, for He had discerned the past meritorious deeds of the five hundred young women of the village——the deeds that were potential for their attainment of sotāpatti-magga. On a festive day, the women went to the riverside, bathed, dressed up well and were on their way back to the village.

As Buddha was entering the village for alms-food, Māra, the Evil One, then possessed all the villagers there so as to cause the Buddha being deprived of food, not even a spoonful of rice. Compelled to leave the village with His bowl washed as before, He stood at the village gate. There Māra asked the Buddha: “O Monk, have you received any alms-food?” When the Buddha replied: “Hey Māra, you have done something so that I receive nothing, have not you?” Māra said: “In that case, Venerable Sir, enter the village again for food.” (It was not with honesty that Māra said so. In fact, he did so with an ulterior motive, he would like to possess the villagers again to make more jest at the Monk by clapping hands in front of Him. The Buddha knew Māra’s intention and did not enter the village again out of compassion for him. The Buddha was aware that “should Māra do hurt Me in this manner according to his plan, his head would split into seven pieces.”)

The moment the Evil One spoke to the Buddha, the five hundred young women arrived at the village gate, showing their respect to the Buddha and they stood at an appropriate place. Māra then asked the Buddha: “Venerable Sir, if you have no food will you not suffer hunger greatly?”

“Hey Māra!” addressed the Buddha, “Even if we have no food collected, I will spend the time in zest (pīti) and bliss (sukha) accompanied by jhāna as Mahā Brahmas, residents of Abhassara Abode and He uttered the following Dhamma-verse thereafter:

Susukhaṃ vata jīvāma, yesaṃ no natthi kiñcanaṃ
Pītibhakkhā bhavissāma, devā ābhassarā yathā

Hey wicked Māra! There is not the slightest degree of worrying things, such as passion, hatred, etc., in us. We shall live long free from suffering and in great happiness. Like Brahmās of Ābhassara Abode, we shall certainly have (for this day) bliss as our food by engaging in the jhāna of zest.

At the end of the teaching, the five hundred young women were established in the sotāpatti-phala.

     ——Sukkha vagga, Dhammapada——

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