Maha-kappina, Mahakappina, Mahā-kappina: 1 definition



Maha-kappina means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Maha-kappina in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

One of the most eminent disciples of the Buddha, considered foremost among those who taught the monks (bhikkuovadakanam) (A.i.25). He was older than the Buddha, and was born in a frontier kingdom three hundred yojanas in extent, in the city of Kukkutavati. On the death of his father he became raja under the name of Maha Kappina. His chief wife was Anoja, from Sagala in the Madda kingdom. She had been his companion in good works in past births. Every morning Maha Kappina would send men out of the four gates of the city to stop any scholarly or learned men who might happen to pass along the road, and then to return and tell him of them. He owned five horses: Vala, Puppha, Valavahana, Pupphavahana and Supatta. Supatta he alone rode, the others were used by his messengers. One day, after the Buddhas appearance in the world, traders came from Savatthi to Kukkutavati and, after disposing of their goods, went to see Maha Kappina. He received them and asked them about their country and the teaching (sasana) which they followed. Sire, they replied, we cannot tell you with unwashed mouths. A golden jug of water was brought, and with cleansed mouths and clasped hands they told the king of the appearance of the Buddha. At the word Buddha Kappinas body was suffused with rapture. He made them utter the word three times, giving them one hundred thousand pieces. The men told him also of the Dhamma and the Sangha, and he trebled his gifts and forthwith renounced the world, followed by his ministers. They set forth to find the Buddha, and reached the bank of a river which they crossed by an Act of Truth, saying, If this teacher be a Sammasambuddha, let not even a hoof of these horses be wetted. In this manner they crossed three rivers: the Aravaccha, the Nilavahana (q.v.), and the Candabhaga. The Buddha perceived them with his divine eye, and after he had eaten at Savatthi, went through the air to the banks of the Candabhaga (one hundred and twenty yojanas, says J.iv.180; see also SNA.ii.440) and sat down under the great banyan tree facing the landing stage of the river, sending forth Buddha rays. Kappina and his men saw him and prostrated themselves. The Buddha taught them the Doctrine, and they became arahants and joined the Order, the formula Ehi bhikkhu being their sanction and their ordination. But see Vsm.393, where it says that at the end of the sermon Kappina became only an anagamin and his followers sotapannas.

Anoja and the wives of Kappinas ministers hearing that their husbands had renounced the world and gone to see the Buddha, determined to do likewise. They crossed the river in the same way as Kappina and his retinue, and approached the Buddha as he sat under the banyan tree on the banks of the Candabhaga.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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