The Great Chronicle of Buddhas

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

This page describes Maha Kotthita Mahathera 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 forty-one Arahat-Mahatheras and their Respective Etadagga titles. 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).

(a) Aspiration expressed in The Past

The future Venerable Koṭṭhita was born into a wealthy family in the royal city of Haṃsāvatī during the time of Buddha Padumuttara. While he was listening to the Buddha’s discourse, he witnessed a bhikkhu being named by the Buddha as the foremost bhikkhu among those who attained the fourfold Analytical Knowledge. He was very enthusiastic to become such a great bhikkhu in future. As with all future great theras, he made a great offering and, after which, he expressed his aspiration before the Buddha. The Buddha made the prognostication that his aspiration would be fulfilled in future, before leaving for His monastery.

(b) Ascetic Life adopted in His Final Existence

The future Venerable Koṭṭhita lived a life filled with good deeds, passed away and was reborn in the deva realm and subsequently, either in the human realm or the deva realm. At the time of Buddha Gotama, he was reborn into a brahmin family in Sāvatthi, and was named Koṭṭhita. When he came of age, he mastered the three Vedas. One day, on hearing the Buddha’s discourse, he became so devoted to the Buddha that he joined the Order of Bhikkhus. Since then, he meditated for Insight and attained arahatship and was endowed with the fourfold Analytical Knowledge.

(c) Etadagga Title achieved

After attainment of arahatship, the Venerable Koṭṭhita, as an adept at the fourfold Analytical Knowledge, usually posed his question on these forms of Knowledge. Thus, with reference to the Mahāvedalla Sutta (Majjhima Nikāya, Mūlapaṇṇāsa) the Buddha declared:

Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave mama sāvakānam bhikkhūham paṭisambhidāpattānaṃ yadidaṃ Mahā Koṭṭhito.”

Bhikkhus, among my bhikkhu-disciples who attain the fourfold Analytical Knowledge, Bhikkhu Koṭṭhita is the foremost (etadagga).”

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