The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes The Buddha’s Sojourn at Nalanda and the mango grove of Pavarika 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 10 - The Buddha’s Sojourn at Nāḷanda and the mango grove of Pāvārika

Then the Buddha, after staying at the Ambalatthikā garden for as long as He wished, said to Venerable Ānanda: “Come, Ānanda, let us go to the town of Nāḷanda.”

“Very well, Sir,” Ānanda assented, and called upon the bhikkhus to accompany the Buddha.

Venerable Sāriputta’s Brave Utterance

Then the Buddha, accompanied by many bhikkhus, went to the town of Nāḷanda and stayed at the mango grove of Pāvārika, the rich man.

At that time, the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Buddha, and after making obeisance to Him, entered into a stirring and remarkable dialogue with Him:

Sāriputta: Venerable Sir, as regards Perfect Enlightenment, I am convinced that there has never been nor there is, nor will there be any samaṇa or brāhmana who can excel the Bhagavā.

Buddha: You say solemnly and with certitude, like the brave sound of a lions roar, that as regards Perfect Enlightenment, you are convinced that there has never been nor there is, nor will there be any samaṇa or brāhmana who can excel the Bhagavā.

“How is it Sāriputta, do you know definitely in your mind the minds of those Homage-Worthy, Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas of the past so that you can assert, such was their practice of morality, such was their practice of concentration (samādhi), such was their wisdom (paññā), such was their manner of abiding (in the sustained attainment of Cessation), such was their emancipation?”

“I have no such knowledge, Venerable Sir.”

“How is it, Sāriputta, do you know definitely in your mind, the minds of those Homage-Worthy, Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas of the future, so that you can assert, such will be their practice of morality, such will be their practice of concentration (samādhi), such will be their wisdom (paññā), such will be their manner of abiding (in the sustained attainment of Cessation), such will be their emancipation?”

“I have no such knowledge, Venerable Sir.”

“How is it, Sāriputta, do you know definitely in your mind, the mind of Myself, the present Buddha, the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened, so that you can assert, ‘Such is the practice of sīla (morality) of the Bhagavā, such is the strength of the concentration of the Bhagavā, such is the wisdom (paññā) of the Bhagavā, such is the manner of the Bhagava’s abiding (in the sustained attainment of Cessation), such is the emancipation of the Bhagavā?”

“I have no such knowledge, Venerable Sir.”

“Sāriputta, if you do not have the cetopariya-ñāṇa, the faculty of reading another person’s mind, by which you can know definitely the minds of the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas of the past, the future and the present, how can you say solemnly and with certitude, and sounding like a lion’s roar, that as regards Perfect Self-Enlightenment, you are convinced that there has never been, nor will there be any samaṇas or brāhmanas who can excel the Bhagava?”

“Venerable Sir, I do not have the cetopariya-ñāṇa, the faculty of reading another person’s mind by which I can know definitely the minds of the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas of the past, the future and the present. But I do have the dhammanvaya-ñāṇa, the knowledge by inference from personal experience.

“Venerable Sir, if I may give an example, let us say that there is a remote border town with its solid walls built on firm foundation which has only one arched gateway, and that there is a gate-keeper, wise, prudent and intelligent, who would keep out strangers and would admit only person known to him. When he makes his rounds along the roadway that encircles the town, he sees no breaks, no holes in the walls, not even one that would allow a cat to pass through it. Then he will come to the conclusion (rightly) ‘that all big living things that enter or leave the town do so only by that single gateway.’

“In the same way, Venerable Sir, I am possessed of the dhammanvaya-ñāṇa, the knowledge by inference from personal experience. Venerable Sir, (thus I know that) all the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas, who had arisen in the past, had abandoned the Five Hindrances that defile the mind and weaken the intellect; had well established their minds in the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness; had correctly cultivated the Seven Factors of Enlightenment; and had attained Supreme Perfect Self-Enlightenment.

(Perfect Self-Enlightenment (Sammāsambodhi-ñāṇa), is a term encompassing the arahattamagga-ñāṇa and the Omniscience (Sabbaññutā-ñāṇa), which pertain to the Buddhas only).

“Venerable Sir, (thus I know that) all the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened Buddhas who will arise in the future will abandon the Five Hindrances (nīvaraṇa) that defile the mind and weaken the intellect; will well establish their minds in the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna), will correctly cultivate the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bojjhaṅgaṃ) and will attain Supreme Perfect Self-Enlightenment.

“Venerable Sir, (thus I know that) the Homage-Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened Bhagavā also, who has arisen in the world, has abandoned the Five Hindrances; has well established the Bhagava’s mind in the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness; has correctly cultivated the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and has attained Supreme Perfect Self-Enlightenment.

“Venerable Sir, all these conclusions I make are due to the dhammanavaya-ñāṇa, Knowledge by inference from personal experience which I am possessed of.”

(This was the stirring and remarkable dialogue that took place between the Venerable Sāriputta and the Buddha).

During the sojourn at the mango grove of Pāvārika the rich man in the town of Nāḷanda, 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).”

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: