The Mahavastu (great story)

by J. J. Jones | 1949 | 305,330 words | ISBN-10: 086013041X

This page describes ghatikara and jyotipala which is Chapter XXXI of the English translation of the Mahavastu (“great story”), dating to the 2nd-century BC. This work belongs to the Mahasanghika school of early Buddhism and contains narrative stories of the Buddha’s former lives, such as Apadanas, Jatakas and more..

Chapter XXXI - Ghatikāra and Jyotipāla

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was touring in Kośala, accompanied by a large crowd of five-hundred monks. He came on a visit to Mārakaraṇḍa,[1] a town of Kośala, and sojourned there in a forest grove.

One evening the Exalted One emerged from his seclusion and left his sojourning-place. He looked up, he looked to the ten quarters, and he looked down. With his gaze on the level ground he smiled, and walked on a long way.

Now the venerable Ānanda saw him doing all this,[2] and when he had seen it he repaired to where the large body of monks was, and said to them, “Behold, the Buddha, the Exalted One, emerged from his seclusion in the evening, and left his sojourning-place. He looked up, he looked to the ten quarters, and he looked down. And now with his gaze on the level ground he is taking a long walk, with a smile on his face. Now brethren, Tathāgatas, Arhans, and Buddhas do not smile without reason or cause. What if, brethren, we were now to go to the Exalted One and ask him the meaning of this? As the Exalted One will explain it, so will we believe.”

“So be it, O venerable one,” assented the monks.

Then the venerable Ānanda with those monks went to the Exalted One, and, after bowing at his feet, stood to one side. As he thus stood on one side the venerable Ānanda (318) said to the Exalted One, “Behold, I saw the Exalted One emerging from his seclusion at evening and leaving his sojourning-place. He looked up; he looked down; he looked to the ten quarters, and then with his gaze fixed on the level ground he walked a long way, with a smile on his face. Now, Ta.thāgatas, Arhans, and Buddhas do not smile without cause or reason. Lord, what is the reason, what is the cause of thy smiling?”

When this had been said, the Exalted One replied to the venerable Ānanda, “You see that plot of ground, Ānanda?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“That plot of ground, Ānanda, was the site of the exalted Kāśyapa’s retreat.[3]

“You see that plot of ground, Ānanda?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“That plot of ground, Ānanda, was the site of the exalted Kāśyapa’s hut.

“You see that plot of ground, Ānanda?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“That plot of ground, Ānanda, was the site of the exalted Kāśyapa’s cloister.[4]

“You see that plot of ground, Ānanda?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“On that plot of ground, Ānanda, were the seats of the three Tathāgatas, Arhans and Buddhas, the exalted Krakucchanda, the exalted Kanakamuni, and the exalted Kāśyapa.”

Then the venerable Ānanda, amazed, astonished, stirred and thrilled, went in a very great hurry to that plot of ground and folded his robe in four. Raising his joined hands to the Exalted One he said to him, “Let the Exalted One sit here[5] as on an appointed seat. Then will this plot of ground have been made use of by four Tathāgatas, Arhans, and Buddhas, by the exalted Krakucchanda, by the exalted Kanakamuni, by the exalted Kāśyapa, and now by thee. Let the Exalted One, therefore, sit down as on an appointed seat.”

And the venerable Ānanda, having bowed at the feet of the Exalted One (319) sat down on one side. The monks, too, having bowed at the feet of the Exalted One sat down on one side. To Ānanda thus seated on one side the Exalted One said, “Would you like, Ānanda, to hear from the Tathāgata an instructive tale relating to a former existence of his which is connected with this town of Mārakaraṇḍa?”

When this had been said, the venerable Ānanda replied, “Now is the time, Lord, now is the occasion, Sugata, to tell this tale which will be profitable to the monks. For the monks, having heard it from the lips of the Exalted One, having grasped it from the lips of the Exalted One, will hold it for truth.”

Then the Exalted One said to the venerable Ānanda:—

Once upon a time, Ānanda, in the time of the exalted Kāśyapa, this town of Mārakaraṇḍa was a brāhman village called Veruḍiṅga.[6] Now in this brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga there lived a potter named Ghaṭikāra,[7] who was a servant of the exalted Kāśyapa. Ghaṭikāra the potter had a young brāhman friend named Jyotipāla, companion and playmate[8] of his youth, dear to him and beloved, who was the son of a brāhman of good birth.[9]

Now, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa happened to be touring in Kośala along with a great company of seven thousand monks. He came on a visit to the brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga in Kośala, and stayed there in the forest grove. Ghaṭikāra the potter heard that the exalted Kāśyapa while touring in Kośala had come on a visit to the brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga and was staying there in a certain forest grove. He went then to the young brāhman Jyotipāla and said to him, “I have heard, my dear[10] Jyotipāla, that the exalted Kāśyapa in the course of his tour of Kośala, along with his company of seven thousand monks, has come on a visit to the brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga, (320) and is staying there in a certain forest grove. My dear Jyotipāla, what if we were to go to the exalted Kāśyapa and see, adore, and honour him?”

When this had been said, the young brāhman Jyotipāla replied to Ghaṭikāra the potter, “Look here, Ghaṭikāra, what have I to do with these shaveling ascetics that I should go and see them and do them honour?” Twice and thrice, Ānanda, did Ghaṭikāra the potter speak thus to the young brāhman Jyotipāla [and each time the latter replied][11] “What have I to do with these shaveling ascetics that I should go and see them and do them honour?”

Then, Ānanda, Ghaṭikāra the potter considered what means there might be by which the young brāhman Jyotipāla should be induced to go to the exalted Kāśyapa, to see and honour him. And this is what he thought of.

Not far from that forest grove is a lotus-pond called Sumukā. “What if I and the young brāhman Jyotipāla,” thought he, “were to go and bathe our heads in the lotus-pond Sumukā?” So he went to him and said, “My dear Jyotipāla, let us go and bathe our heads in the lotus-pond Sumukā.”

When this had been said, the young brāhman Jyotipāla replied to Ghaṭikāra the potter, “Well then, Ghaṭikāra, let it be as you wish.”[12]

Then, Ānanda, Ghaṭikāra the potter, taking his bathing-mantle, and accompanied by the young brāhman Jyotipāla, went to the lotus-pond to bathe. After bathing, the young brāhman Jyotipāla stood on the bank tidying his hair. And Ghaṭikāra the potter said to the young brāhman Jyotipāla, “My dear Jyotipāla, the exalted Kāśyapa is actually in the forest grove here. What if we were to go, my dear Jyotipāla, to the exalted Kāśyapa to see and honour him?”

When this had been said, the young brāhman Jyotipāla (321) answered, “Look here, Ghaṭikāra, what have I to do with these ascetics that I should go and see them and do them honour?”

Then, Ānanda, Ghaṭikāra the potter seized the young brāhman Jyotipāla by the neck, and said to him, “My dear Jyotipāla, the exalted Kāśyapa is actually in the forest-grove here. Let us go to the exalted Kāśyapa to see him and to do him honour.” But the young brāhman Jyotipāla pushed him off and went his way.

Ghaṭikāra the potter hurried after him, and, seizing him by his braided hair, said to him, “My dear Jyotipāla, the exalted Kāśyapa is actually staying in the forest grove here. Let us go to the exalted Kāśyapa to see him and do him honour.”

Then, venerable Ānanda, Jyotipāla thought, “It cannot be without reason that Ghaṭikāra the potter should seize me by the hair as I come from washing my head, although I resist him, and although he is of low birth.” So he said, “Well then, Ghaṭikāra, let it be as you wish.”

Thus, Ānanda, Ghaṭikāra the potter along with the young brāhman Jyotipāla went to the exalted Kāśyapa, and, having bowed at his feet, stood to one side. And as he thus stood on one side, Ghaṭikāra the potter said to the exalted Kāśyapa, “Lord, this young brāhman Jyotipāla was the friend of my boyhood and my playmate. He is dear to me and beloved. He is the son of a brāhman of good birth. Teach him, Lord, and instruct him.”

And so, Ānanda, the Exalted One initiated the young brāhman Jyotipāla in the three refuges[13] and in the five precepts.[14] But Jyotipāla said to the exalted Kāśyapa, “Lord, I am not yet prepared to be initiated in all the five precepts, for there is a troublesome and ill-tempered man whom I must put to death.”

When this had been said, the Exalted One asked, “Who, Jyotipāla, is this troublesome and ill-tempered man whom you must put to death?”(322) Jyotipāla replied, “Lord, it is this Ghaṭikāra the potter here. He seized me by the hair just as I was coming from bathing my head. And then he said, ‘Let us go to the exalted Kāśyapa to see him and do him honour’.”

. . .[15]

“Let it be, sir, as Ghaṭikāra the potter wishes. I am now prepared to be initiated in the five precepts.”

Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa exhorted Ghaṭikāra the potter and the young brāhman Joytipāla, instructing, rousing, gladdening, thrilling and inciting them with a discourse on dharma. Then Ghaṭikāra the potter and the young brāhman Jyotipāla bowed at the feet of the exalted Kāśyapa and went their way.

Before they had gone far the young brāhman Jyotipāla said to Ghaṭikāra the potter, “I say, Ghaṭikāra, you know the perfect dharma taught by the exalted Kāśyapa just as well as I do.” Ghaṭikāra answered,[16] “Yes, my dear Jyotipāla. I know the perfect dharma taught by the exalted Kāśyapa just as you do.” Jyotipāla asked, “Why then, Ghaṭikāra, do you not go forth from home into the homeless state with the exalted Kāśyapa?” Ghaṭikāra replied, “My dear Jyotipāla, I have aged parents whose sight is failing, and there is no one else but me to look after them. That is why I do not embrace the religious life with the exalted Kāśyapa.”

Not long afterwards, Ānanda, the young brāhman Jyotipāla, becoming dissatisfied with his home life turned his thoughts to the religious life. He went to Ghaṭikāra the potter and said to him, “Come, my dear Ghaṭikāra, (323) I am going to express to the exalted Kāśyapa my resolve to take up the religious life, and I shall go forth from home into the homeless state.”

So Ghaṭikāra the potter repaired with the young brāhman Jyotipāla to the exalted Kāśyapa, and, having bowed at his feet, stood to one side. And as he thus stood on one side, Ghaṭikāra the potter said to the exalted Kāśyapa, “Lord, this young brāhman Jyotipāla was the friend of my boyhood and my playmate. He is dear to me and beloved, and is the son of a brāhman of good birth. Ordain him, Lord, and admit him to the community.”

Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa addressed his monks, saying, “Monks, ordain and admit the young brāhman Jyotipāla.” And the monks ordained him.

Shortly after the admission of Jyotipāla as monk, the exalted Kāśyapa left Kośala and went touring in Kāśi. And, venerable Ānanda, as the exalted Kāśyapa was touring in Kāśi with his great company of seven thousand monks, he made for and reached the Kāśi city of Benares, and stayed at Ṛṣivadana in the Deer Park. King Kṛkī heard that the exalted Kāśyapa was touring in Kāśi with a great company of seven thousand monks and had made for and reached the Kāśi city of Benares, and was staying at Ṛṣivadana in the Deer Park.

Then, Ānanda, Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, instructed a certain man, saying, “Go, man, to the exalted Kāśyapa and greet him in my name, and say, ‘Kṛkī, king of Kāśi bows at the feet of the exalted Kāśyapa and inquires after his health, well-being, strength, ease, and comfort. He invites him and his company of monks to eat at his house on the morrow, if the exalted Kāśyapa will consent.”

When this had been said, Ānanda,[17] the exalted Kāśyapa replied to the man, “It shall be as Kṛkī (324) king of Kāśi, his son and his court wish.”[18] And when the man had ascertained the Exalted One’s consent, he returned to Benares, went to King Kṛkī and said to him, “Your majesty, I saluted the exalted Kāśyapa in your name. I inquired after his health, well-being, ease, strength, and comfort, and invited him and his company of disciples to a meal to-morrow. The exalted Kāśyapa complies with your wish.”

Then, Ānanda, Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, spent that night preparing a plentiful supply of choice food, solid and soft. And when the night was past he bade a man go to the exalted Kāśyapa and say to him, “Lord, it is time to eat at the house of Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, and we await the Exalted One’s pleasure.”[19] The man, saying “So be it, your majesty,” in obedience to Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, left the city of Benares and went to the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana. And when he had come to the exalted Kāśyapa and bowed at his feet, he said to him, “Lord, it is time to eat at the house of Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, and we await our lord’s pleasure.”

When the exalted Kāśyapa heard the man, he dressed betimes, took his alms-bowl and robe, and, attended and honoured by his monks, set out for the city of Benares.

Now, Ānanda, at that time Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, accompanied by his sons and ministers was standing at the door of his palace, looking out for the approach of the exalted Kāśyapa and his company of disciples. When they were yet a long way off he saw them, and, having seen them, he went to meet the exalted Kāśyapa and his company of disciples. He bowed at their feet and led them in great honour (325) to his palace.

At that time, Ānanda, the palace of Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, had a terrace called Kokanada.[20] It was new, having but recently been completed, and had not been used before by any recluse or brāhman. And Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, said to the exalted Kāśyapa, “Here, at my house, Lord, I have a new terrace called Kokanada, but recently finished and not used yet by any recluse or brāhman. Let the Exalted One be the first to use it, and when he has used it, then we shall afterwards make use of it.”

When this had been said, the exalted Kāśyapa replied to Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, “Be it as you wish.”[21]

So, King Kṛkī arranged seats on the terrace which was called Kokanada, and had solid and soft food served out. And the Exalted One mounted the terrace Kokanada and sat down, he and his disciples each on the seat assigned to him. With his own hands Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, regaled and served the exalted Kāśyapa with solid and soft food, while seven men waited on each member of the company with seven kinds of dishes and with parṇakulaka[22] rice.

When Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, saw that the exalted Kāśyapa had finished his meal, washed his hands and put away his bowl, he took a low stool, and going up to the exalted Kāśyapa, he bowed at his feet and sat down to one side. And as he thus sat down on one side, Ānanda, he said to the exalted Kāśyapa, “May it please the Exalted One to reside at Benares for the rainy season. I, Lord, shall have a retreat made, and in it seven thousand gabled buildings, seven thousand seats, seven thousand paths, and seven thousand horses. And I shall appoint seven thousand park attendants who will individually serve each one of the brotherhood. With a service of this kind they shall wait upon the Exalted One and his company of monks.”

When this had been said, (326) Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa replied to Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, “No, your majesty, it is not possible for me to spend the rainy season among the Vajjis.”[23]

A second and a third time did Kṛkī make the same request and Kāśyapa the same reply.[24]

And, Ānanda, when Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, saw that the exalted Kāśyapa would not consent to stay in Benares for the rainy season he cried and wept. And he asked the exalted Kāśyapa, “Has the Lord any other servant such as me?”

The exalted Kāśyapa replied[25] to Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, “Indeed, your majesty, you are an imperfect servant of mine.” King Kṛkī then asked,” Who, Lord, is a more satisfactory and perfect servant than I?” The exalted Kāśyapa replied,” In your domain, O great king, there is a brāhman village called Veruḍiṅga. There lives a servant of mine, Ghaṭikāra.” King Kṛkī asked, “What manner of wealth has Ghaṭikāra with which he has served the Exalted One and his community?”

The exalted Kāśyapa replied, “Your majesty, Ghaṭikāra the potter has all his life abstained from murder; all his life he has abstained from theft; all his life he has abstained from immorality; all his life he has abstained from false speech; all his life he has abstained from intoxication by strong spirits, rum and wine; all his life he has abstained from dance, music and song; all his life he has abstained from the use of scents, garlands, and cosmetics; all his life he has abstained from lying on high and large beds; all his life he has abstained from taking food at the wrong time;[26] and all his life he has abstained from hoarding gold and silver.

“Ghaṭikāra the potter, your majesty, does not dig up earth himself.[27] But wherever there are heaps of earth thrown up by mice or washed down or (327) scooped out by water, it is there that he takes his earth and makes it into pots. These he sets down on the cross-roads, and those people who want pots pay for them by putting down in their place a measure of kidney-beans, or beans, or rice. They take the pots with them without more ado, and go their way.

“Such, your majesty, is the wealth of Ghaṭikāra the potter wherewith he serves the Tathāgata and his community. And his parents are infirm, aged and blind. There was one occasion, your majesty, when I was staying in the brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga. One morning, I dressed early, took my alms-bowl and robe and went round the brāhman village of Veruḍiṅga begging for alms. And as I was making my way systematically[28] through the village in quest of alms, I came to the house of Ghaṭikāra the potter and stopped there. Now at that time Ghaṭikāra the potter was absent from home, but his parents said to the Tathāgata, ‘Lord, thy servant is gone out, but in the store-loft there is curry and rice-gruel. Let the Exalted One help himself thereto.’ And I, your majesty, accepted the curry and rice-gruel from the kindly folk,[29] ate them and went my way.

“Then Ghaṭikāra the potter returned home, and saw that the curry and rice-gruel in the store-loft had been partaken of. When he saw this he asked his parents. ‘Father,’ said he, ‘who has helped himself to the curry and rice-gruel in the store-loft of Ghaṭikāra?’ His parents replied, ‘Son, it was the exalted Kāśyapa.’

“Then, your majesty, Ghaṭikāra the potter reflected, ‘Now great is my gain and well-won in that the exalted Kāśyapa, even in my absence[30] has shown me exceeding great trust.’ And joy and gladness did not leave him for a fortnight, nor his infirm, aged and blind parents for a week.

(328) “There was another occasion, your majesty, when the Tathāgata had not enough straw to roof his hut in the woods. I bade the monks to go and fetch straw from the house of Ghaṭikāra the potter. And the monks went.

“Now at that time again, your majesty, Ghaṭikāra the potter was away from home. The monks saw no straw there, but they did see the new roof of the potter’s workshop. So they returned to the Tathāgata, bowed at his feet and said to him, ‘Lord, thy servant is absent from home, nor is there any straw there. But his workshop has a new roof.’

“When this had been said, the Tathāgata said to his monks, ‘Go, monks, to the house of Ghaṭikāra the potter, and strip the straw off the new roof of his workshop and bring it here.’ And the monks went to the house of Ghaṭikāra the potter and stripped off the straw on the new roof of his workshop.

“The parents of Ghaṭikāra the potter asked the monks, ‘Who is it that strips off the straw from the new roof of Ghaṭikāra the potter’s workshop?’ The monks answered them, ‘Good folk, since there is not enough straw for the roof of the hut of the exalted Kāśyapa and his monks, this straw is being taken there.’ Ghaṭikāra the potter’s parents then said to the monks, ‘Take it, take it for your own.’

“Then, your majesty, Ghaṭikāra the potter returned home. He saw that the straw had been taken away from the new roof of his workshop, and when he had seen this he questioned his parents. ‘Father,’ said he, ‘who (329) has stripped the straw off the new roof of Ghaṭikāra the potter’s workshop?’ His parents replied, ‘Son, the exalted Kāśyapa had not enough straw for his hut in the woods, and the monks have taken your straw there.’

“Then, your majesty, Ghaṭikāra the potter reflected, ‘Now great is my gain and well-won in that the exalted Kāśyapa even in my absence[31] has again shown me exceeding great trust.’ Joy and gladness did not leave him for a whole month, nor his blind parents for a fortnight.

“I am sure, your majesty, that Ghaṭikāra the potter would not take as much umbrage as you do because the exalted Kāśyapa does not consent to stay for the rainy season in the city of Benares.”

Then, Ānanda, Kṛkī, king of Kāsi, reflected, “Great is my gain and well-won in that such a holy man dwells in my realm. For men are fields wherein one may win merit.”[32] So Kṛkī, the king of Kāśi, sent to Ghaṭikāra the potter seven cartloads of parṇakula rice, fresh water, sesamum oil, salt and cooked food.

Then, Ānanda, Kāśyapa taught, roused, gladdened, and thrilled Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, with a discourse on dharma. And rising from his seat he went his way.

Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa, after finishing his meal on his return from the alms-round, said to his monks, “Sit down together, monks, and cross your legs, as I am doing. I shall not uncross them until the hearts of all the seven thousand monks seated on these couches are completely rid of the āśravas.”

“So be it, Lord,” said the monks in obedience to the exalted Kāśyapa. And they sat down together crossing their legs.

Afterwards, Ānanda, this mental reflection arose in the monk Jyotipāla as he was meditating in solitude and seclusion: (330) “Ah, may I in some future time become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. And after gaining experience of this world, of the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, of Māra, of brāhmans and recluses, and of the offspring of devas and men, then may I here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana near Benares set rolling the wheel of dharma that is twelve-fold and that can not be rolled by recluse, brāhman, deva, Māra or anyone else. Reborn in the world again, together with dharma, may I thus teach the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, as this exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus may devas and men deem me worthy to hearken to and believe in, as they now do the exalted Kāśyapa. May I become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. May the hosts of asuras dwindle; may the hosts of devas wax great.”[33]

Now, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa, becoming aware of such a mental reflection on the part of the monk Jyotipāla, told a certain monk to go to the monk Jyotipāla and say to him, “Your master calls you, venerable Jyotipāla. Come to the Tathāgata.” In obedience to the exalted Kāśyapa that monk went to the monk Jyotipāla and said to him, “Venerable Jyotipāla, your master calls you. Come to the Exalted One.” “So be it, venerable sir,” said the venerable Jyotipāla, and in obedience to the monk, he went to the exalted Kāśyapa, bowed at his feet and sat down to one side.

And as the venerable monk Jyotipāla thus sat down on one side, the exalted Kāśyapa said to him, “Jyotipāla, did not this mental reflection arise in Jyotipāla as he was meditating in solitude and seclusion?:—‘May I in some future time become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, (331) an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. And after gaining experience of this world, of the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Māra, brāhmans, and recluses, and of the offspring of devas and men, then may I here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana near Benares, set rolling the wheel of dharma which is thrice-revolved and twelve-fold[34] and may not be rolled by recluse, brāhman, deva, Māra, Brahmā or any one else. Reborn in the world again, together with dharma, may I thus teach the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in good qualities, as this exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus may I preserve in harmony a community of monks as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus may devas and men deem me worthy to hearken to and believe in, as they now do the exalted Kāśyapa. May I become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. May the hosts of asuras dwindle; may the hosts of devas wax great’.”

When this had been said, Ānanda, the monk Jyotipāla replied to the exalted Kāśyapa, “It was so, Lord.” Then the exalted Kāśyapa said to the monk Jyotipāla, “Therefore, Jyotipāla, give to the community of monks, with the Buddha at their head, this seat of gold and a suit of garments. For when you have performed this meritorious deed,[35] devas and men will deem you worthy to hearken to and believe in.”

So, Ānanda, (332) the monk Jyotipāla gave a golden seat and a suit of garments to the community of monks, with the Buddha at their head. Then the exalted Kāśyapa smiled, and proclaimed of the monk Jyotipāla, “You, O Jyotipāla, in some future time will become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. Having gained experience of this world and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Māra and Brahmā, of the race of brāhmans, recluses, devas and men, here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana, near Benares, you will set rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice-revolved and twelve-fold, and may not be rolled[36] by recluse, brāhman, deva, Māra, or by anyone else. Reborn in the world again, together with dharma, thus will you teach the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus will you preserve in harmony a community of disciples even as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus will devas and men deem you worthy to hearken to and believe in as they do now the exalted Kāśyapa. You will become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the multitude, and for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of asuras will dwindle; the hosts of the devas will wax great.”

Then, Ānanda, when this had been proclaimed of Jyotipāla by the exalted Kāśyapa, the devas of earth cried, “Ho! friends, it has been proclaimed by the exalted Kāśyapa of this monk who is named Jyotipāla, that in some future time he will become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. After gaining experience of this world and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Māra, Brahmā, and of the race of recluses, brāhmans, devas, and men, he will here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana, near Benares, set rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice-revolved and twelvefold, and may not be rolled by recluse, brāhman, deva(333) Māra, Brahmā or by any one else. Reborn in the world again, together with dharma, thus will he teach the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. He will become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of asuras will dwindle; the hosts of devas will wax great.”

This cry of the devas of earth was heard by the Cāturmahārājaka devas, the Trāyastrimśa devas, the Yāma devas, the Tuṣita devas, the Nirmāṇarati devas and the Paranirmitavaśavartin devas. And at that instant they raised a shout that reached the devas in the world of Brahmā, crying, “Ho! friends, it has been proclaimed by the exalted Kāśyapa of this monk who is named Jyotipāla, that in some future time he will become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. After gaining experience of this world and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas including Brahmā’s devas, and of the race of recluses, brāhmans, devas and men, then here in the Deer Park at Ṛṣivadana, near Benares, he will set rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice-revolved and twelve-fold, and may not be rolled by recluse, brāhman, deva, Māra, Brahmā, or by anyone else. Reborn in the world again, together with dharma, thus will he teach the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus will devas and men deem him worthy to hearken to and believe in as they now do the exalted Kāśyapa. He will become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of the asuras will dwindle; the hosts of devas will wax great.”

Then, Ānanda, when that shout had died away, the exalted Kāśyapa taught (334), roused, gladdened and thrilled the monks with a discourse on dharma. “Reason thus, monks,” said he, “not thus. Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide having your own selves as your island[37], not others; having your own selves as your refuge, not others; having the dharma as your island, and not anything else; having the dharma as your refuge and not anything else.”

Then the exalted Kāśyapa, with his body all aflame, burning and glowing, rose up in the air to the height of one palm-tree, and from there he taught, roused, gladdened and thrilled the monks with a discourse on dharma. “Reason thus, not thus, monks,” said he. “Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide having your own selves as your island, and not others; having your own selves as your refuge, and not others; having the dharma as your island, and not anything else; having the dharma as your refuge and not anything else.”

Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa rose from the height of one palm-tree to two, from two to three, from three to four, from four to five, from five to six, and from six to seven. And from that height he taught, roused, gladdened and thrilled the monks with a discourse on dharma. “Reason thus, monks,” said he, “not thus. Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide having your own selves as your island, and not others; having your own selves as your refuge, and not others; having the dharma as your refuge and not anything else.” Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa, descending from the height of seven palm-trees to six, from six to five, four, three, two, and one, sat down on his seat again. There he taught, roused, gladdened, and thrilled the monks with a talk on dharma. “Reason thus, monks,” said he, “not thus. Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide having your own selves as your island and not others; having your own selves as your refuge, and not others; having the dharma as your island, and not anything else; having the dharma as your refuge, and not anything else.”

Then, Ānanda, the exalted Kāśyapa uncrossed his legs (335) and said to his monks, “Monks, I uncross my legs as I have completely rid of the āśravas the hearts of all these seven thousand monks who are seated on these seats, except only the heart of the monk Jyotipāla. And of him ī have proclaimed that he will win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.”

Now, Ānanda, you will perhaps think that the monk named Jyotipāla at that time and on that occasion was somebody else. You must not think so. For it was I who at that time and on that occasion was the monk named Jyotipāla.

Thus did the Exalted One speak, and the venerable Ānanda himself and the seven thousand monks rejoiced in his words.

Here ends the chapter on Jyotipāla in the Māhāvastu-Avadāna.

Partial repetition of the history of Jyotipāla:

Note: A partial repetition of the history of Jyotipāla. Such repetitions are usually in verse, and there are some indications that this passage also was originally metrical.

When the monk Jyotipāla had prepared rice-gruel for the exalted Kāśyapa and his company of disciples, he bought a thousand-pieces’[38] worth of keśara powder and sprinkled it over the exalted Kāśyapa and his company of disciples. He then gave the exalted Kāśyapa a golden seat and a suit of garments, and afterwards made his vow. “Like this exalted Kāśyapa,” said he, “a perfect Buddha, who bears the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, is gifted with his eighty minor characteristics, has a radiant body, is endowed with the eighteen special attributes of a Buddha, strong with the ten powers of a Tathāgata, and confident with the four grounds of confidence, may I, too, in some future time become a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men, as this exalted Kāśyapa now is. Thus may I set rolling the wheel of dharma, that is thrice-revolved, twelve-fold, and incomparable, as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus may I maintain a community of disciples in harmony as the exalted Kāśyapa now does. Thus may devas and men deem me worthy to hearken to and believe in as they do now the exalted Kāśyapa. Thus having myself crossed, may I lead others across; released, may I release others; comforted may ī comfort others; finally released (336) may I give final release to others, as this exalted Kāśyapa now does. May I become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men.”

Then the exalted Kāśyapa proclaimed to Jyotipāla that he would win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. “You, Jyotipāla,” said he, “will become in some future time a Tathāgata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. As soon as that auspicious kalpa comes, you will become endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, with his eighty minor characteristics, and with a radiance round your body. You will be endowed with the eighteen special attributes of a Buddha; you will be strong with the ten powers of a Tathāgata, and confident with the four grounds of confidence. Thus, having yourself crossed, you will lead others across; released, you will release others; comforted, you will comfort others; finally released you will give final release to others, as I do now. You will become all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, for the sake of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men.”

And immediately it was proclaimed by the exalted Kāśyapa that the monk Jyotipāla would win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment, this great earth violently shook, trembled, and quaked six times. And the devas of earth cried out and made their shout heard.... The account of this proclamation by the Exalted One is to be completed in the same way as that of other proclamations.

The Bodhisattva Jyotipāla embraced the religious life under the exalted Kāśyapa, cleaned his retreat, served him with drink, and in turn was instructed by the Buddha.

Jyotipāla[39] the Bodhisattva in his quest for the cessation of existence, gave the Exalted One rice-gruel, a seat of gold, and a suit of garments.

When he had made this gift he made a vow to be a guide of the world, a teacher of devas and men, and a preacher of the noble dharma.

(337) “Thus,” said he, “may the dharma be preached by me, and thus may many beings be established by me in the noble dharma. Thus may devas and men hearken to my voice. May I for the sake of mankind set rolling the wheel of dharma. May I light the torch of dharma; may I beat the bannered drum of dharma; may I raise on high the standard of dharma; may I blow the trumpet of dharma. May I bring the sight of understanding to those who are in the ways of ill, who are fallen on suffering, are tormented by birth and old age, and are subject to death, who see only with the eye of the flesh. May I set free from the round of rebirths (saṃsāra) those who are in the hells of Sanjīva, Kālasūtra, Saṃghāta, Raurava and Avīci, or are scattered in the six realms of existence.[40] May I set free from the round of rebirths (saṃsāra) those who have fully or partially expiated[41] their sins in hell, who are tormented in the states of desolation, who are subject to death, whose bliss is little and misery great. May I live for the welfare of the world, and teach dharma to devas and men. Thus may I convert men as this Light of the world now does”.

When that auspicious kalpa comes, you will he a Buddha, a guide of the world, in Ṛṣivadana, a Śākyan of the city named Kapila. Then will your vow he realised.

After living a flawless, faultless, unspotted, unblemished, perfect holy life Jyotipāla died and was reborn in the deva world called Tuṣita as a deva named Śvetaketu, who was of great power and might. He excelled the other devas in the ten heavenly attributes, namely, heavenly length of life, heavenly complexion, heavenly bliss, heavenly majesty, heavenly fame, heavenly form, heavenly voice, and the heavenly senses of smell, taste, and touch. [And the other devas asked him for orders in all cases where an order was necessary.[42]]

This deva named Śvetaketu was learned, accomplished, confident, skilled, and intelligent, and he pursued the religious life under eighty-four thousand Buddhas, not to speak of ninety-six koṭis of Pratyekabuddhas and illustrious disciples.

(338) Forty thousand Buddhas, guides of the world, passed away, what time the Conqueror lived the holy life in his quest to end existence.

Fifty thousand Buddhas, guides of the world, passed away, and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest to end existence.

Ninety-six koṭis of independent Pratyekabuddhas passed away, and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest to end existence.

Countless koṭis of Arhans of great learning passed away, and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest to end existence.

The association of the Master, the Daśabala, with these in his former lives has thus been related. A few Buddhas have been mentioned, many more are unmentioned of those under whom the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest to make existence cease.

Here ends the proclamation made concerning Jyotipāla in the Mahāvastu-Avadāna.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Called Vehaliṅga (v.l. Vekaliṅga, Vebhaliṅga) in the Pali texts, which may correspond to its earlier name of Veruḍiṅga. (See below p. 267.) The Pali texts, however, do not seem to mention the newer name of Mārakaraṇḍa.

2.

The text repeats the narration of the actions in detail.

3.

The text has āgama, which is obviously to be emended into ārāma.

4.

The text has caṅkramaṣaṣṭi. Ṣaṣti is obviously corrupt as there can be no question of sixty cloisters or terraced walks. Senart suggests bhūmi, “site,” to correspond with the vastu of the other terms. Miss I. B. Horner, in a letter to the translator, makes the more plausible suggestion that the reading should be caṅkramaśālā, “hall for pacing up and down,” corresponding with caṅkamanasālā at V. I.139.

5.

I.e. on the robe.

6.

See above p. 265.

7.

The story of Ghaṭikāra and Jyotipāla is given also in the Ghaṭikāra Sutta at M. 2. 45 fí., while references to them are made in J. 1. 43, Bu. XXV, 10, S. 1.34 f., and Miln. 222.

8.

Literally, “with whom he played at making mud-pies,” sahapāṃśukrīḍanaka.

9.

Ajanya for ājanya, which corresponds to Pali ājañña, the contracted form of ājanīya, Skt. ājāneya. Cf. note p. 185.

10.

Samyag, a form due to faulty Sanskritisation of Pali samma (which some relate to Sanskrit saumya, “my friend”), through confusion with Pali sammā, “perfect” which regularly gives Sanskrit samyag. For other suggested etymologies see Andersen: Pali Reader, s.v.

11.

Lacuna in text.

12.

Sukhī bhava yasyedāni kālam manyase, literally “be lucky in what you think it is time now (to do).” Cf. Pali yassa kālam maññasi, rendered in Pali Dictionary by “good-bye.” But the context and the presence of sukhī bhava in our phrase require some translation like that given above.

13.

I.e., Buddha, dharma and Saṅgha.

14.

Śikṣāpadāni, Pali sikkhāpadāni, five rules or precepts enjoining the śīlas or points of good conduct. (See p. 168.)

15.

There is an evident lacuna here of a passage in which Jyotipāla finishes his account of his friend’s conduct, and the latter, or Kāśyapa, by some means or other mollifies him.

16.

In this interlocution, as on a few other occasions, the introductory phrase evamukte, Ānanda, “when this was said, Ānanda,” is omitted in translation, in order to avoid close repetition of the same words.

17.

There is a lacuna here representing the repetition of the king’s message to Kāśyapa.

18.

Sukhī bhavatu Kṛkī... yasya dāni kālam manyase, a modification of the phrase noted above, p. 269. Note that bhavatu is 3rd and manyase is 2nd person. Literally, “Good luck to Kṛkī in what you think it is time now (to do).” But as the messenger represents the king the change of person does not materially affect the idiom.

19.

Yasya dāni bhagavan kālam manyasi. See p. 269.

20.

For the name compare Kokanada, “Lotus,” the name of the newly built palace of Bodhirājakumāra, to which he invited the Buddha. According to Buddhaghosa, it was so called because it was built in the form of a hanging lotus. (D.P.N.)

21.

Sukhī bhava, etc. See above p. 272.

22.

It cannot be known what particular sort of rice is meant here, as the word is otherwise unknown. But the reading is confirmed by the occurrence of the same word on p. 329, where all the MSS. are agreed as to the reading.

23.

See note p. 219.

24.

Literally “This (pass age) is to be repeated a s econd and a third time, dvitīyaṃ pi tritīyaṃ evameva kartavyam.

25.

Evamukte Ānanda, “when this had been said, Ānanda,” is omitted in the rest of this dialogue.

26.

I.e. “in the afternoon.” The correction of vikāra, which makes no sense, into vikāla, is imperative here, although Senart does not remark on it.

27.

I.e., for fear of harming animal life.

28.

Literally “part by part,” sāvadānam, see p. 250.

29.

Devatāhi.

30.

Literally, “even (when he was) alone,” yāvadeko, but the reading is doubtful.

31.

Yāvadeko, see p. 275.

32.

Puṇyakṣetrāṇi. Cf. D. 3. 5, of the saṅgha or community, anuttaraṃ puñña-kkhettaṃ lokassāti, “for it is the world’s unsurpassed field for (sowing) merit.”

33.

See note p. 37.

34.

The wheel, to which these epithets are applicable, is the symbol of dhamma or the teaching of it. Cf. p. 279 and p. 280, and S. 5. 422.

35.

Reading, on Senart’s suggestion, kṛtapuṇyasyate for kṛtapuṇyāste.

36.

Text here has apravartitam, “that has not been rolled,” but this has been emended into apravartiyam, which is the form used in the corresponding passages above. Similarly aparivartitam on the same page, below, has been emended into aparivartiyam.

37.

Dvīpa. This is dīpa in Pali, indistinguishable from dīpa, “light,” and has so been translated, e.g. by Prof, and Mrs. Rhys Davids in Dial. 2. 108, and by the latter also in her book on Buddhism (Home University Library, 1934). The Commentary on 5. 3. 42, takes attadīpa as synonymous with attasaraṇa, (“refuge”), and the translation by Woodward (K.S. 3. 37) renders “islands unto yourselves.” The dvīpa of the Mahāvastu is not, of course, an argument that dvīpa, “island” is more original than dīp a, “light.”

38.

See note p. 32.

39.

Another repetition, partly verse, and partly prose.

40.

Gatis, see p. 36.

41.

Pakvipakva, see p. 36.

42.

Senart is undoubtedly right in enclosing this passage in brackets, as it is obviously a gloss meant to explain praṣṭavya (praṣṭavyehi), which, however, the glossator mistook for the future participle passive of prach, “to ask,” whereas it is really a Buddhist Sanskrit form for sparśa, and corresponding to Pali phoṭṭhabba, “touch.” The form praṣṭavya occurs also above p. 31 (text).