The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes Introduction (the Buddha’s height Measured by a Brahmin) 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 Height Measured by a Brahmin. 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 (the Buddha’s height Measured by a Brahmin)

On one occasion, a certain brahmin citizen of Rājagaha heard that it was impossible to measure the height of Buddha Gotama. So when the Buddha went into Rājagaha City and made His rounds for alms, he took a sixty-cubit long bamboo pole and stood outside the city-gate. When the Buddha drew near the city-gate, he went up to Him with the pole. The pole reached just the Buddha’s knee.

The next day, the brahmin joined two sixty-cubit long poles and came again near the Buddha. The joined poles did not stand higher than the waist of the Buddha who asked him what he was doing. The brahmin replied that he was measuring His height.

Then the Buddha said:

“Brahmin, even though you may join all the bamboos in the universe, you will not be able to measure My height. Certainly, I have not developed the perfections for four asaṅkhyeyyas and a hundred thousand aeons to enable somebody to measure My height. (I have developed them to the extent that nobody can measure My height.) Brahmin, the Buddha is a personage who is peerless and immeasurable.”

So saying, the Buddha spoke the following verse as contained in the Dhammapada:

Te tādise pūjayato
nibbute akutobhaye
na sakkā punnaṃ saṅkhātuṃ
imettām api kenaci

The merit acquired by one who pays homage with saddhā to those Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas and other Noble Ones, who have calmed the heat of defilements, who have no source whatever from which grief and fear derive, who are endowed with virtues excellent and visible, are incalculable to any one in the three worlds of devas, humans and Brahmās saying: “This merit is beneficial this much, this merit is profitable this much.”

At the end of the verse, eighty-four thousand beings became sotāpanna-ariyas, having the opportunity of blissfully enjoying the elixir of Nibbāna.

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