The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes The Buddha’s Sojourn at the Ambalatthika Garden 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 Declared the Seven Factors of Non-Decline for Rulers. 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 9 - The Buddha’s Sojourn at the Ambalaṭṭhikā Garden

Then the Buddha, after staying at Rājagaha for as long as He wished, said to Venerable Ānanda: “Come, Ānanda, let us go to the Ambalaṭṭhikā garden (Mango Grove).”

“Very well, Sir,” Ānanda assented.

(Note: The Buddha addressed Ānanda from among many bhikkhus surrounding Him because Ānanda was always in close attendance.)

Having expressed his assent to the Buddha, Ānanda signalled to the bhikkhus: “Friends, make ready with your alms-bowl and great robe. The Bhagavā intends to go to the Ambalaṭṭhikā garden.”

Then the Buddha, accompanied by many bhikkhus, went to the Ambalaṭṭhikā garden where He stayed at the King’s rest house.

While there also, considering His approaching death, the Buddha discoursed to the bhikkhus on the same theme, i.e.,:

“Such is sīla (morality); such is samādhi (concentration); such is paññā (wisdom). Concentration that is developed through morality is highly efficacious and productive. Wisdom that is developed through concentration is highly efficacious and productive. The mind that is developed through wisdom is thoroughly liberated without any remnant from the moral taints or pervasive defilements (āsavas), namely kammāsava (the taint of sense-desire), bhavāsava (the taint of hankering after continued existence), and avijjāsava (the taint of ignorance of the Four Ariya Truths).”

Herein, in the passage, “Such is sīla, this is samādhi, such is paññā,” morality (sīla) refers to mundane morality, i.e. the Fourfold Purity (catupārisudhi sīla); samādhi means mundane concentration at the threshold of perfect concentration (upacāra-samādhi) and perfect concentration (appanā-samādhi) itself. Paññā means mundane Insight (vipassanā-paññā). All these three factors are the necessary conditions for magga-ñāṇa.

Concentration developed through morality” means supramundane concentration pertaining to magga and phala, magga concentration and phala concentration. Concentration of magga is highly efficacious because it leads to the fruition of the Ariya’s Knowledge (Ariya-phala). (Phala means direct result.) It is also highly productive because it has the superb consequence (ānisaṇsa) of liberation or pacification. (Ānisaṇsa means indirect result or consequence.) The same interpretation should be understood for similar statement that follow. Concentration of phala produces the direct result of abandoning the burning defilements through tranquillity (patippassaddhi-pahāna), and gives the indirect result or consequence of the peace of cessation or extinction of defilements.

Wisdom developed through concentration” means supramundane Knowledge (magga-ñāṇa and phala-ñāṇa). Its direct result and indirect result or consequence should be construed as in the case of concentration.

The mind developed through wisdom”, “wisdom” means mundane Insight (vipassanā-paññā) and wisdom associated with jhāna;mind here means supramundane consciousness of magga-phala. Magga consciousness completely eradicates defilements as abandoning through destruction (samuccheda pahāna). Phala-consciousness thoroughly liberates one from the moral taints as abandoning through tranquillity (paṭipatssaddhi-pahāna).

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