by Ven. Mingun Sayadaw | 1990 | 1,044,401 words
This page describes Brief History of the Royal Lineage of the Bodhisatta 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 Story of Sataketu Deva, The Future Buddha. 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).
[Reference: The Story of Kāḷadevila the Hermit]
In connection with the Bodhisatta’s investigation into his family (kula olokana), a history of Sakyan kings should be noted in brief as follows. Such a note means recognition of the attribute of the Bodhisatta’s high birth (jātimahatta-guṇa).
In the first intermediate (antara) period of incalculably long aeon of evolution (vivaṭṭatthāyī asaṅkhyeyya-kappa), the first king of the people, in the beginning of the world, was our Bodhisatta. He was originally named Manu.
The Bodhisatta Manu was more handsome, more pleasant to look at, more respectable, glorious and virtuous than other inhabitants of the world of the earliest age.
In that primeval age, people were of very pure morality at first. Later on, there appeared people who committed crimes, such as theft, etc. In order to be able to live free from these dangers and in peace, other earliest men of the world discussed among themselves and decided unanimously to elect someone who would govern them justly.
They also agreed that Bodhisatta Manu was the best to govern, for he was endowed with all the required qualifications. Then they approached him and made a request that he be their righteous ruler.
As Manu fulfilled his administrative duties, the people who were under his administration honoured him by paying their taxes, a kind of fee for his ruling performance, which amounted to one tenth of their crops.
The Acquisition of Three Epithets (Mahāsammata, Khattiya and Rājā)
The people unanimously recognized the Bodhisatta, showing no objection at all, as one who would govern them with righteousness, for which honour in the form of taxes was due. Therefore, he acquired the epithet Mahāsammata.
He saw to it that there were no disputes, quarrels, etc. over ownership of farmlands. (If there be any) the noble Manu had the power to decide and pass his judgement. This earned him the epithet Khattiya.
As he endeared himself to the people by observing upright kingly duties towards them, he won the third: Rājā.
In this bhadda-kappa, it was Bodhisatta Manu who was the first among monarchs to gain these three titles: Mahāsammata, Khattiya and Rājā.
As the sun possesses a thousand rays and gives beings light, sight and forms, so Bodhisatta Manu, like the eye of these primeval people and endowed with of many noble attributes, came out shiningly, as if he were their second sun, and was also designated by lineage Ādiccavaṃsa (Descendant of the Sun).
(Herein, with reference to the Mahāsammata of the primeval time, and also with reference to the present and fourth antara-kappa of the sixty-four divisions of Vivattatthāyī state of asaṅkhyeyya aeons, forming one-fourth of this bhadda-kappa, learned authors write differently. Thus, in “The Glass Palace Chronicle” compiled by well-versed monks and ministers who met and discussed for three years in the “Glass Palace” during the reign of King Bagyidaw, the fourth founder of the city of Ratanapura, and in the Kappa Vinicchaya Pāṭha Nissaya, written in settlement of controversies, by the Mohtā Thathanabaing Sayadaw, entitled “Sujātābhisirīdhajadhipatipavara Mahādhamma-Rajādhirājaguru”, at the request of King Mindon, the Convenor of the Fifth Council, it has been decided, giving ample strong evidence from the Texts, Commentaries and Sub-Commentaries, that there was only one Bodhisatta Mahāsammata and that the present Antara-kappa is the fourth one.
(Particularly in the Kappavinicchaya there are special sections (visesa kaṇḍa) which systematically contain questions and answers (codanā and sodanā) giving decisions on such topics of controversies as the eleven antara-kappas, eleven Mahāsammatas, the twelfth anttara-kappa, the nineteenth anttara-kappa, and the rest with discussions so elaborate and with evidence so strong that doubtful persons, both monks and laymen, are likely to become free of doubts.
Lineage of Manu the Mahāsammata:
(In enumerating the kings in succession (rājakkama) such as Mahāsammata, etc. some commentaries and treatises are slightly different: these are the Commentary on the Ambaṭṭha Sutta of the Sutta Silakkhandha Vagga and its new Tika, the Commentary on them Cetīya Jātaka of the Aṭṭhaka Nipāta the Jātaka Aṭṭhakathā, the Mahāvaṃsa, Dīpavaṃsa, and Rājavaṃsas. What is shown below is based chiefly on the Mahāvaṃsa and the Mahāsutakārī Maghadeva Laṅkā.
(1) First, Manu the Mahāsammata,
(2) his son King Roca,
(3) his son King Vara-roca,
(4) his son King Kaḷyāna,
(5) his son King Vara-Kaḷyāna,
(6) his son King Uposatha,
(7) his son King Mandhātu (Bodhisatta),
(8) his son King Vara,
(9) his son King Upavara,
(10) his son King Cetīya,
(11) his son King Mucala,
(12) his son King Mahāmucala,
(13) his son King Mucalinda,
(14) his son King Sāgara,
(15) his son King Sāgara-deva,
(16) his son King Bharata,
(17) his son King Aṅgira,
(18) his son King Ruci,
(19) his son King Suruci (also called Mahāruci),
(20) his son King Patāpa,
(21) his son King Mahāpatāpa,
(22) his son King Panāda,
(23) his son King Mahāpanāda,
(24) his son King Sudassana,
(25) his son King Mahāsudassana,
(26) his son King Neru,
(27) his son King Mahā Neru, and
(28) his son King Accima
(a) These twenty-eight kings were of long lives of asaṅkhyeyya years. The twenty-seven kings after Mahāsammata were his descendants. Some of these twenty-eight kings reigned in Kusavatī City, others in Rājagaha and still others in Mithilā.
(b) King Accima, son of the last of the twenty-eight kings, founded Kusavati City again and reigned there; his descendants were exactly one hundred. (The Dīpavaṃsa says that they lived in Kapilavatthu.)
[Then the author gives an extract from the Mahā Sutakārī Māgha-Deva Laṅkā enumerating the kings listed in (a) and (b) and this makes one hundred and twenty-eight kings.]
(c) Of the hundred kings descended from King Accima, the last was named King Arindama. His son founded the city of Ayujjhapura and reigned. He and his descendants in that city numbered fifty-six.
[Here comes another extract from the same Laṅkā that enumerates the kings in (c), (d), (e), and (f) amounting to 84,152.]
(g) The last of these thirty-six kings was named Kambalavaṃsa. He founded Ekacakkhu and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were thirty-two.
(h) The last of these thirty-two kings was named Purindeva (Surindeva or Munindeva in other versions). His son founded Vajiramutti and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were twenty-eight.
(i) The last of these twenty-eight kings was named Sādhina. His son founded Mathura and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were twenty-two.
[Another extract comes here from the same Laṅkā combining the paragraphs (g) to (k) and making one hundred and seventeen kings in all.]
(l) The last of these one hundred and seventeen kings was named Brahma Deva. His son also reigned in Ekacakkhu. He and his descendants in that city were fifteen.
(n) The last of these fourteen kings was named Hatthi-Deva. His son founded Kannagocchi and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were nine.
[Another extract is taken from the Laṅkā combining the above five paragraphs and giving the total number of kings which is fifty-seven.]
(q) The last of these fifty-seven kings mentioned in the above five paragraphs was named Nāga-deva. His son founded Mithilā and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were twenty-five.
(r) The last of these twenty-five kings was named Samuddadatta. His son reigned back in Rājagaha. He and his descendants in that city were twenty-five.
(s) The last of these twenty-five kings was named Tidhaṅkara. His son founded Takkasila and reigned; he and his descendants in that city were twelve.
(t) The last of these twelve kings was named Tālissara. His son founded Kusināra and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were also twelve.
(u) The last of these twelve kings was named Purinda. His son founded Tāmalitthiya and reigned. He and his descendants in that city were twelve.
[Another extract from the same Laṅkā counting up the kings in the above five paragraphs and gives eighty-three as the total number of kings thereof.]
(v) Of these eighty-three kings in the above five paragraphs, the last was named Sāgara-Deva. His son was Māgha-Deva (Magghadeva). He and his descendants reigned in Mithilā until their number became eighty-four thousand.
(w) The last of these eighty-four thousand kings was named Nimi, the Bodhisatta. His son was named Kaḷārajanaka, whose son was named Samaṅkara, whose son was named Asoca (or Asoka). Their descendants totalling 84,003 again founded Bārāṇasī and reigned there.
(x) The last of these 84,003 kings was named Sīhappati.
Lineage of king Sīhappati:
(1) King Sīhappati’s son was King Vijitasena,
(2) Vijitasena’s son was King Dhammasena,
(3) Dhammasena’s son was King Nāgasena,
(4) Nāgasena’ s son was King Samiddha,
(5) Samiddha’s son was King Disampati,
(6) Disampati’s son was King Reṇu,
(7) Reṇu’s son was King Kusa,
(8) Kusa’s son was King Mahākusa,
(9) Mahākusa’s son was King Navaraṭṭha,
(10) Navaraṭṭha’s son was King Dasaraṭṭha,
(11) Dasaraṭṭha’s son was King Rāma,
(12) Rāma’s son was King Vilāraṭṭha,
(13) Vilāraṭṭha’s son was King Cittaraṃsi,
(14) Cittaraṃsī’s son was King Ambaraṃsī,
(15) Ambaraṃsī’s son was King Sujātā, and
(16) Sujātā’s son was King Okkāka.
These sixteen kings continued to reign in Bārāṇasī.
There were 252,556 descendants from Mahāsammata, the Bodhisatta of the earliest aeon, down to King Okkāka.
[The author here gives the final extract from the Māgha-Deva Laṅkā, which sums up the 84,003 kings contained in (w), the sixteen kings contained in (x) and those counted elsewhere, and arrives at the total number of 252,556 beginning with the Mahāsammata and ending with King Okkāka].
(Herein, since the exposition of the Ambaṭṭha Sutta in the Sīlakkandha Atthakathā and that of the Muni Sutta in the Sutta Nipāta Aṭṭhakathā state that “after the eighty-four thousand kings belonging to the lineage of Māgha-Deva, there occurred three successive rulers, all bearing the name Okkāka” and that “the third Okkāka had five queens, each with five hundred lady attendants”, it should be taken that the Sakyan princes were the descendants of Okkāka III, and that the last of the 252,556 kings was this very person, Okkāka III.)
The Story of King Okkāka
(The King was called Okkāka because when he spoke there emanated from his mouth the light as if from a shooting star, so explains the exposition of the Ambaṭṭha Sutta. It is note-worthy that in Myanmar history as well, such remarkable men as King Kyansittha, King Manūhā (of Thaton) emitted from their mouths the brilliant light of insignia or of a shooting star or some other particular rays of light.
(It should not be taken for certain that King Okkāka’s city was Bārāṇasī. As the commentary on the Ambaṭṭha Sutta again says that his daughter Princess Piyā and King Rāma of Bārāṇasī joined in marriage, Okkāka’s (the third Okkāka's) could be any city but Bārāṇasī).
When Queen Hatthā died after giving birth to her children, King Okkāka III made a young, pleasant princess of great beauty his chief queen: a son named Jantu was born of her. On the fifth day after his birth, he was dressed in pretty ornaments and was shown to the King. The King was so delighted that he granted a boon to the queen, saying: “Take anything you like!”
After discussing with her relatives, the Queen asked that the little son Jantu be made king. The King refused to comply and scolded her: “You wicked one, down with you! You just want harm to my sons!” On every favourable occasion the Queen tried to please the King and said: “Your Majesty, a monarch should not turn what he has said (a promise) into a lie. You should keep your word.” So saying she repeatedly demanded that kingship be bestowed upon her son.
The King was then compelled to summon his older sons, Ukkāmukha and others and said with great sorrow:
“Dear sons, I happened to have given Jantu’s mother a boon on seeing your little brother. Now Jantu’s mother has a burning desire to have her son made heir to the throne. Leaving aside my state elephant, state horse, and state chariot, take as many elephants, horses and chariots as you want and go and stay away from this city until I die. Come back after my death and take over the kingdom.”
After saying thus, the King sent his sons away together with eight ministers.
Ukkāmukha and other elder brothers felt painful and wept bitterly. They also did obeisance to their royal father and said: “Dear father, please forgive our faults if any.” They also asked court ladies for forgiveness. The five sisters requested the King, saying: “Dear father, let us go along with our brothers,” and together they went out of the city. They were taken along the journey by their brothers who, being accompanied by the eight ministers and troops of fourfold army departed from the city. A large number of men followed the princes, thinking: “These senior royal sons will definitely come back and
reign on the death of their father. We shall start attending upon them even now.”
The size of the following grew from one yojana on the first day to two yojanas on the second day, and three yojanas on the third. This caused them to discuss among themselves: “The strength of our troops is so great. If we only wish to fight and occupy the countries around here with such power, no kings or states would dare to put up resistance. But what is the use of taking other kingdoms by force and through violence. There is indeed no profit at all! This Jambudipa is huge and immense. We shall find a new city in a free forest region.” After agreeing thus, they all headed for the Himalaya and searched for a site to build a city.
The Founding of Kapilavatthu
At that time, our future Buddha was a wealthy brahmin, born of a family which possessed highly substantial riches and named Kapila. Renouncing his wealth, he went forth as an ascetic and was staying in a leaf-hut that be built near a lake of clear waters, in a teak forest by the side of a Himalayan mountain.
Learned in the science of earth (the study of signs of the soil), called Bhāmijāla, Kapila the Hermit and future Buddha knew the advantages and disadvantages that were in store throughout the region of eighty cubits underground and eighty cubits aboveground. Around the site on which Kapila’s leaf-hut was built, the grass, trees and bushes grew, turning in the right direction, with their trunk-like sprouts stemmed from them facing to the east. Besides, when beasts of prey, such as lions and tigers, gave chase to deer and pigs which were their food, or when snakes and cats gave chase to frogs and rats respectively and reached that spot, they could not pursue and catch, instead they all turned back running away, for they were threatened and shown hostility by their own respective preys. Seeing all this, Kapila came to note that “This is the best of all sites where enemies are conquered.”
When the princes led by Ukkāmukha was searching for a suitable site for their proposed city, they came to the hermit’s leaf-hut.
Asked by the hermit about their purpose, they told him of their plan. Knowing of the matter, Kapila the Hermit and future Buddha took pity on them and said:
“Princes, the city founded on this site of my hermitage would be the best of all cities throughout Jambudīpa. Among men born in this city, one will emerge able enough to overwhelm all others, numbering even hundreds or thousands. Therefore, construct a new city on this land of my hermitage. Build a palace on this spot of my residence. If I were to tell you of its pre-eminence, even a low-born son deriving support from this land will become somebody praised for his power of a Universal Monarch.”
When the princes asked: “Venerable Hermit, is not this place still used and occupied by you?” Kapila replied: “Do not bother yourselves, thinking that this place is still in use by me. Build a hermitage for me somewhere on an outlying spot, and set up a city with your residences here as I have pointed out to you. And name the city Kapilavatthu.”
As has been directed by Kapila the Hermit, the four princes headed by Ukkāmukha, and their ministers and troops established a city together with royal palaces and mansions; they also named the city Kapilavatthu and settled there.
The Beginning of The Sakyas
While they were thus settling at Kapilavatthu, the princes grew old enough to get married. Then the ministers deliberated among themselves saying: “Sirs, these princes have come of age. If they were near their father King Okkāka III, he would have made these princes and princesses marry. Now the responsibility has come upon us.” After their deliberations they consulted the princes.
The princes said: “O ministers, there are no princesses here who are equal to us by birth. Nor are there princes of matching class for our sisters. If those of unequal birth marry one another, their offsprings will become impure either from their paternal side or from their maternal side. This will thus bring them a destructive mixture of castes (jātisambheda). Accordingly, let us put the eldest sister of us, nine children, in the place of our mother and let the remaining ones of us, four brothers and four sisters, join in marriage so as to avoid such corruption of lineage.” Thus agreeing among themselves they selected their eldest sister Princess Piyā to be their mother and married their sisters, making four pairs of husband and wife lest their birth should get impure.
In course of time, each of the four couples of Okkāka’s sons and daughters thrived with issue. When the King heard of the founding of Kapilavatthu by his children, led by Prince Ukkamukha, of their marriages not with members of a different family but among themselves and of the prosperity of these brother-and-sister couples born of same parents, the King was so delighted that he spoke out in praise of his children in the midst of his ministers and others:
Able indeed are my sons and daughters, O men!
“Paramā sakyā vata bho kumārā”
Lofty and able indeed are my sons and daughters.
As the king used the expression ‘sakyā vata——able indeed’, in praising them, it was after this very expression sakyā meaning 'able' that the name Sakyā, or Sākiya was given to the descendants of the brothers and sisters led by Ukkamukha and it has come to be known well.
The Founding of Koliya
At one time thereafter, the eldest sister, who was most senior to the brother and sister householders, was afflicted with leprosy. There appeared on her body some boils like the flowers of sālimuggala or parijāta.
Thereupon the princely brothers considered and discussed among themselves thus: “If we were to stay and eat with our sister, who has been stricken with such a horrible skin disease, we would be infected too.” One day, they pretended to go for amusement in the garden taking their eldest sister Piyā in a chariot. When they came to a forest glade, they had a square ditch dug huge enough to move therein indifferent postures of lying, sitting, standing and walking. In the underground chamber of the ditch, they stored all kinds of food and drink and placed their sister in it. They also covered the square ditch with wooden planks to protect her from dangers and made grooves along the edges of the planks which served as a roof covered with earth, before they went home to Kapilavatthu.
At about the same time, the King of Bārāṇasī, named Rāma, was suffering from leprosy too and his female attendants and other courtiers and retinue became disgusted and horrified. He was, therefore, alarmed and entered a forest after handing over his kingdom to his eldest son. He made a shelter of leaves for himself. Because of his eating fruit and roots, his skin disease soon vanished and he assumed golden complexion. While roaming from place to place, he came across a tree with a gigantic trunk with a hollow in it. He created a large room, sixteen cubits in size, in that tree. He had the main door for entrance, windows and a ladder fixed. It was like a small palace chamber where he had already lived.
At night, Rāma made a fire in a huge pan and noted the cries of deer, boars and the like by their direction before he slept. In the morning, he went in that direction to find pieces of the flesh of deer, boars, etc. They were leftovers from the food of lions, leopards, tigers and so on.
He simply collected and cooked them for his food and lived in this manner.
One day, a tiger, getting the odour of the princess’s body that came out from her underground dwelling, which was not far from Rāma’s place, scratched the wooden roof and tried to burst open it. The princess was so frightened that she screamed aloud. It was nearing daybreak and Rāma was then sitting after making a fire in the pan. On hearing the scream and knowing that “this indeed is a women's”, he rushed to the ditch as the day broke and asked: “Who is it that is living in this underground dwelling?” and when he heard the reply: “I am a woman,” he asked further: “What is your lineage?” “Sir, I am a daughter of King Okkāka.” “Come out,” said the King. “Sir, I am not able to come out.” “Why?” “Sir, I have leprosy.” The King then asked all about the matter and knowing that the princess did not come out because she was proud of her aristocratic birth, the King let her know of his being a potentate himself by saying: “I too belong to the ruling class.” He took out the princess from the underground chamber by means of a ladder and brought her to his place. He gave her the same medicinal drugs that he had taken himself. The princess took them and her affliction abated. She became golden in complexion. By mutual consent, the two lived together as husband and wife.
In due course the King’s consort, Piyā, gave birth sixteen times to twin sons and thus had thirty-two boys in all When they grew up, their father King Rāma sent them away for princely education.
One day, a hunter from the King’s native Bārāṇasī, while coming to that forest near the Himalaya in search of treasures, encountered Rāma. Recognizing him, the hunter said: “Lord, I know you very well.” The King, therefore, enquired all about his kingdom and while he was doing so, the thirty-two sons returned. Seeing the boys, the hunter asked: “Great King, who are these boys?” “They are my sons,” said the King. After asking a further question, he came to know of their maternal relatives and thought: “I have now got some information to give the ruler of Bārāṇasī as my gift.” So thinking, he returned to the city and told the whole story.
The present King of Bārāṇasī, who was Rāma’s own son, was delighted and in order to bring back his father, visited him, accompanied by his fourfold army. He saluted his father very respectfully and made a request: “Dear father, kindly accept kingship of Bārāṇasī.” “Dear son,” replied Rāma, “I have no more desire to become King of Bārāṇasī. I will not return to the city. Instead, remove this tree and build residences and a new city for me here, at this very place of the great kola tree.” At his command, his son, King of Bārāṇasī founded the new city.
As the new city was founded after removing the kola tree on his father’s site, it was named Koliya. Since it was founded on the route frequented by tigers, it was also called Vyagghapajja. Having thus given the city both names, the son, King of Bārāṇasī, paid respect to his father, King Rāma and returned home.
As King Rāma and his consort Piyā were residing in the new city of Koliya, Piyā one day told his sons who had now attained manhood:
“Dear sons, your uncles, Sakyan princes, were reigning in the city of Kapilavatthu. The daughters of your uncles dressed themselves and had there hair-dos in this manner; their gait and deportment is like this. When they approach bathing places to bathe, catch hold of the princess you like and bring them over here.”
In accordance with the mother’s instructions, the Princes went to the bathing places of the daughters of their uncles, Sakyan princes, at Kapilavatthu and after observing them and choosing from among them, each brought a princess of his liking, after identifying himself and taking her at the moment she let her hair to dry.
On hearing the matter, the Sakyan princes said among themselves: “Dear folks, let it be so. These Koliya Princes are scions of our elder sister, thus they are our nephews, our close relatives.” So saying thus they did not blame them; as they were pleased, they just kept silent.
From the marriages between the Sakkas and the Kalians, the lineage came down without any break to the lifetime of the Buddha.
In this way, the growth of the Sakyan descendants took place in purity and worthiness, as they mixed with their own relatives. Since there was no interruption from the time of King Okkāka, the founding head of the Sakyans, down to the time of Prince Siddhattha, the future Buddha, they went down in history with good reputation as “Asambhinna-Khattiya (unbroken aristocratic)” lineage.
The Founding of Devadaha
The Sakyan princes living in Kapilavatthu used to go to a big, pleasant and beautiful lake in order to amuse themselves in water. Because it was the lake of royal sports, it came to be known as Devadaha (‘Deva’ implying Sakyan princes as recognized lords and ‘daha’ meaning a lake for watery games).
Later on, those Sakyan princes, who came to the lake for amusements, did not return to Kapilavatthu but built royal lodges near the lake. In due course, the area prospered and became a city by itself, earning the name Devadaha after the lake.
The Sakyans residing in that city were also named Devadaha Sakyans after the city. (Based on the exposition of the Devadaha Sutta, Uparipaṇṇāsa Aṭṭhakathā).
The Descendants of Ukkāmukha The Sakyan King
The rulers belonging to Kapilavatthu are as follows:
(1) Its founder, King Ukkāmukha
(when the King spoke a brilliant light. sign of authority, came out from his mouth like his father King Okkāka),
(2) his son King Nipuṇa,
(3) his son King Candimā,
(4) his son King Candamukha,
(5) his son King Sivi,
(6) his son King Siñjaya,
(7) his son King Vessantara, the Bodhisatta,
(8) his son King Jāli.
(9) his son King Sīhavahana,
(10) his son King Sihassara.
The last of these eighty-two thousand and ten Kings, Jeyyasena, had a son and daughter, Sīhahanu and Yasodharā respectively.
From the marriage of Prince Sīhahanu, son of King Jeyyasena of Kapilavatthu, and Princess Kañcana, daughter of Ukkāsakka of Devadaha, were five sons and two daughters, totalling seven children were born.
The five sons were
(Mention is made according to the exposition of Sammāparibbājaniya Sutta, Suttanipāta Aṭṭhakathā, Vol. 2.)
The two daughters were
From the marriage of Prince Añjana, son of King Ukkāsakka of Devadaha, and Princess Yasodharā, daughter of King Jeyyasena of Kapilavatthu, were two sons and two daughters, totalling four children. (Herein, the name of King Añjana is also mentioned as Mahā Suppabuddha.) The two sons were Prince Suppabuddha and Prince Dandapāni.
The daughters were
Prince Suddhodāna, son of Sīhahanu, was married to the two daughters of King Añjana: Princess Siri Mahā Māyā and Princess Pajāpati Gotamī. The elder sister, Siri Mahā Māyā, gave birth to Prince Siddhattha and the younger sister, Pajāpati Gotamī, gave birth to Princess Rūpanadā and Prince Nanda.
On the authority of this brief statement, there were ten kings descended from King Ukkāmukha, founder of Kapilavatthu.
There were eighty-two thousand kings descended from King Sīnassara, down to Jeyyasena.
Then came King Jeyyasena’s son King Sīhahanu.
(1) his son King Suddhodāna, and
(2) his son Prince Siddhattha, the future Buddha.
Summing up all these three groups, there were 82,013 rulers, all being asabhinna Sakyan Kings and reigning in the city of Kapilavatthu. (This is a condensation of the series of kings in Kapilavatthu.)
If the number 82,013 of this line from King Ukkāmukha to Prince Siddhattha the Bodhisatta is added to the aforesaid number 252,556 of the rulers from the primeval Mahāsammata to Okkāka, the result will be 334,569.
[Here the author gives an extract from the Mahā Sutakārī Māgha-Deva Laṅkā Second Part (1) Section on history, vv.32-33.]
From the marriage of Prince Suppabuddha, son of King Añjana, and Princess Amittā, daughter of King Sīhahanu, were born Princess Bhadda Kañcanā or Yasodharā and Prince Devadatta.
From the marriage of Prince Siddhattha, the future Buddha, son of King Suddhodāna of Kapilavatthu and Queen Siri Mahā Māyā, and Princess Bhadda-Kañcanā or Yasodharā, daughter of King Suppabuddha of Devadaha and Queen Amitta, was born Prince Rāhula.
(Prince Siddhattha, the future Buddha, had only one son, Prince Rāhula. In the minor Chronicles there is some fabrication that Siddhattha’s lesser wives gave birth to other sons. But there is no trace of such a statement in all other works of Buddhist-literature. Let us all, therefore, hold that there was only one son and that one son was none other than Rāhula.)
The Abolishing of The Era by King Añjana, Grandfather of The Buddha
King Añjana of Devadaha, the Buddha’s grandfather (and Siri Mahā Māyā’s father) abolished Goza Era, which was current in his time. He abrogated 8649 years, the new moon, Saturday, of the month of Phagguna (February-March) inclusive, (i.e. as required by astrology he did away with that era); and for its replacement he introduced another era commencing from the first waxing moon, Sunday, of the month of Citta (March-April), (He founded a new era to be used from that time onwards.) That era is referred to as Mahā Era in later times.
Such an account of abrogation of an era is a worldly tradition preserved in historical works. There is neither occurrence of repellation of an era nor use of such a term as Sakkaraj and such an expression as Koza or (ioza) in the books approved in Buddhist
Councils. All this is stated only in secular treatises of astrology and history. These ways of calculation and expression contained in those mundane astrological and historical works have been borrowed by successive learned scholars throughout the Bagan Period, Pinya Period, and so on in Myanmar for the benefit of convenience in recording the number of years and the date of an event.
Orthography of Sakkarāj, Sakarāj and Koza, Goza
Much has been written about the orthography of Sakkarāj, Sakarāj and Koza, Goza by Monywe Zetawun Sayadaw in his Samanta-cakkhu Dīpanī Vol. 2. The Sayadaw’s opinion in this connection is seen as follows:
Many ways of writing these terms have been met with. They are useful only for recording and calculating years. Any incorrect spelling in no way affect supramundane matters; any correct spelling would not help gain release from saṃsāra as it is no sense object in acquiring insight and right view. For these reasons, it is rational to hold that each form of orthography has its own merit.
Such a decisive statement is very satisfactory.
In short, Sakkarāj is so called because, as a system of chronological notation to be reckoned from a certain date, it is founded by kings who are able to protect the people; Sakarāj is so called because such a founding was accomplished by a Saka king. Koza or Goza signifies a period of time marked by the movements of the sun and the moon. (Sakkarāj comes from Sakkaraj, ‘sakka’ meaning ‘able’ and ‘rājā’, ‘king’; hence Sakkarāj, an era founded by a king who is able to give protection to his subjects. Sakarāj derives from Sakarājā, ‘Saka’ being the name of a people and ‘rājā’, ‘king’; hence Sakarājā an era introduced by a Saka king. As for Koza and Goza, ‘ko’ is a term for the sun and ‘go’ a word for both the sun and the moon; ‘za’ is used in the sense of ‘going about’. The time spent in making a complete round of the Zodiac by the sun and the moon is called a year of Koza or Goza. It is also written as Gocar.)
The Terms Kali-yug and Sakkarāj
In the expression saying “such and such year Kali-yug Sakkarāj” by putting Kali-yug as an adjective before Sakkarāj, Kali-yug and Sakkarāj are different in meaning. The expression means “the year of a certain era, in the length of time began with Kali-yug.” This will be explained briefly:
Of the pair of evolution and devolution aeons called Antara-kappa, an evolution aeon consists of four ages: Kata-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvāpara-yuga and Kali-yuga. There are waxing and waning periods of these four yugas. When these periods complete sixty times, an evolution aeon comes to an end. The same is true of a devolving aeon, say mundane treatises. Of the four yugas, the first one, Kata-yuga, has 1,728,000 years. Then comes Treta-yuga which has 1,296,000 years. It is followed by Dvāpara-yuga of 864,000 years. Finally follows Kali-yuga of 432,000 years. (Note that, if the years of the Kali-yuga are double, the result is the years of the Dvāpara-yuga; if tripled, the years of the Treta-yuga; if quadrupled, the years of the Kata-yuga.) The total number of these four yugas is 4,320,000.
During the Kata-yuga years, all four quarters of beings (the whole lot of people) observe righteousness as though living things stand on four legs. During the Treta-yuga, three quarters of them observe righteousness as though they stand on three legs, one quarter does not. During the Dvāpara-yuga (one half or) two quarters do so and (the other half or) the other two quarters do not. During the Kali-yuga only one quarter does so and three quarters do not.
Two thousand five hundred and seventy years after the commencement of Kali-yuga, there appeared Gotama who comprehended the Dhamma.
If one desires to know the present sāsana year and the present Kali-yuga, take the present year (Myanmar Era) and add 1,182 years; the answer is the year of the past Sāsana Era.
To get the Kali-yuga year take the present sāsana year and add 2,570; the total is the present Kali-yuga year.
In short, when one writes “in the year so and so Kali-yuga Sakkarāj”, one’s idea is the year so and so of Sakkarāj in the age of Kali-yuga. The Kali-yuga lasts 432,000 years as has been said before. Sakkarāj is the calculation of years as determined by royal promulgation.
Footnotes and references:
He reigned from 1819 to 1839.
Bagyidaw’s younger nephew and Tharrawaddy’s younger son, the second last king of the Konbaung Dynasty, his reigning years being 1853-78.
An army consisting of four divisions: elephants. chariols. horses and foot soldiers.