by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes The Daily Routine of 2.4 Million Crores of Absorptions 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).
Summary: On the Daily Routine of the Buddha in dwelling in the 2.4 million crores of Sustained Absorptions.
According to some teachers (Keci vāda):
The Buddha, as of daily routine, dwelled in the absorptions of Great Compassion numbering 12 million crores of times, and the Arahatta-phala Absorptions numbering the same; thus dwelled in a total of 2.4 million crores known as Deva-sikavaḷañjana samāpatti. (Another explanation:) With the Buddhas, the return to life-continuum thought-moment (bhavaṅga-citta) is very swift. Entering into and dwelling in a certain type of absorption as from one to another is an accomplished feat. To enter into absorption and to emerge from absorption, the Buddha needs just two or three thought-moments. That being so, it is routine for the Buddha to dwell in: 5 types of fine-material absorptions, 4 types of nonmaterial absorptions, appamaññā-samāpatti, nirodha-samāpatti and arahatta-phalasamāpatti, thus making a daily total of twelve types of samāpatti. One hundred thousand crores of times for each of these twelve samāpattis were entered into every morning, and the same number of absorptions repeated every afternoon, thus a daily routine of 2.4 million crores of absorptions took place every day. (This is according to some teachers).
According to other teachers (Apare vāda):
It was customary for the Buddha to dwell in the Absorption of Cessation (Nirodha samāpatti) every day. Entering into the Absorption of Cessation is to be preceded by insight meditation. With the Buddhas, the subject of contemplation to develop insightmeditation leading to the Absorption of Cessation is Paṭiccasamuppāda (Refer to Chapter 16 on Mahāvajira Vipassanā). This meditation procedure involves contemplating the twelve factors of Paṭiccasamuppāda in the forward order beginning from avijjā (ignorance), each for a hundred thousand crores of times. Thus 1.2 million crores of times are devoted to the twelve factors of Dependent Origination or Paṭiccasamuppāda. Then contemplating the same twelve factors in the reverse order involves another 1.2 million crores of times. The entering into the Absorption of Cessation, with Paṭiccasamuppāda as the subject of contemplation, is therefore 1.2 million crores of times each for the forward and the reverse order of Dependent Origination, thereby taking up 2.4 million crores of times. (This is what other teachers say.)
Since the 2.4 million crores of times are devoted daily to the absorptions by the Buddha, what significance is there about these absorptions on the day of Enlightenment and on the day of passing away? The significance, as pointed out in the sub-Commentary on Matravagga, Dīgha Nikāya, is that on these particular days the absorptions are built up on a more rigorous, mental discipline that requires contemplating seven aspects of physical phenomena (rūpa-sattaka) and seven aspects of mental phenomena (nāma-sattaka) in the preliminary insight-meditation.