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329 LESSON 28 07 2011 Dhatu vibhanga Sutta An Analysis of the Properties FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Let us Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest – Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered Honey to the Buddha
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329 LESSON 28 07 2011 Dhatu
vibhanga Sutta An Analysis of the Properties
 FREE
ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter
to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-
Let

us Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal
Miracles-Objects of Interest – Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered Honey to the Buddha-About The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Properties

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1997–2011

I have
heard that on one occasion, as the Blessed One was wandering among the Magadhans, he entered Rajagaha, went to
the potter Bhaggava, and on arrival said to him, “If
it is no inconvenience for you, Bhaggava, I will stay for one night in your
shed.”

“It’s
no inconvenience for me, lord, but there is a wanderer who has already taken up
residence there. If he gives his permission, you may stay there as you
like.”

Now at
that time a clansman named Pukkusati had left home and
gone forth into homelessness through faith, out of dedication to the Blessed
One. He was the one who had already taken up residence in the potter’s shed. So
the Blessed One approached Ven. Pukkusati and said to him, “If it is no
inconvenience for you, monk, I will stay one night in the shed.”

“The
shed is roomy, my friend. Stay as you like.”

So the
Blessed One, entering the potter’s shed and, setting out a spread of grass to
one side, sat down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and
setting mindfulness to the fore. He spent most of the night sitting [in
meditation]. Ven. Pukkusati also spent most of the night sitting [in meditation].
The thought occurred to the Blessed One, “How inspiring is the way this
clansman behaves! What if I were to question him?” So he said to Ven.
Pukkusati, “Out of dedication to whom, monk, have you gone forth? Who is
your teacher? Of whose Dhamma do you approve?”

“There
is, my friend, Gotama the contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from
a Sakyan clan. Now, this excellent report about the honorable Gotama has been
spread about: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened,
consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the
worlds, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher
of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ I have gone forth out of
dedication to that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is of that
Blessed One’s Dhamma that I approve.”

“But
where, monk, is that Blessed One — worthy & rightly self-awakened — staying
now?”

“There
is, my friend, a city in the northern lands named Savatthi. That is where the
Blessed One — worthy & rightly self-awakened — is staying now.”

“Have
you ever seen that Blessed One before? On seeing him, would you recognize
him?”

“No,
my friend, I have never seen the Blessed One before, nor on seeing him would I
recognize him.”

Then the
thought occurred to the Blessed One: “It is out of dedication to me that
this clansman has gone forth. What if I were to teach him the Dhamma?” So
he said to Ven. Pukkusati, “I will teach you the Dhamma, monk. Listen
& pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As
you say, friend,” replied Ven. Pukkusati.

The
Blessed One said: “A person has six properties, six media of sensory
contact, eighteen considerations, & four determinations. He has been
stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of
construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace. One should not be
negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment,
and train only for calm. This is the summary of the analysis of the six
properties.

“‘A
person has six properties.’ Thus was it said. In
reference to what was it said? These are the six properties: the earth
property, the liquid property, the fire property, the wind property, the space
property, the consciousness property. ‘A person has six properties.’ Thus was
it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘A
person has six media of sensory contact.’ Thus was it said.
In reference to what was it said? These are the six media of sensory contact:
the eye as a medium of sensory contact, the ear… the nose… the tongue…
the body… the intellect as a medium of sensory contact. ‘A person has six
media of sensory contact.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it
said.

“‘A
person has eighteen considerations.’ Thus was it said. In reference to what was
it said? These are the eighteen considerations: On seeing a form with the eye,
one considers a form that can act as a basis for joy, a form that can act as a
basis for sadness, or a form that can act as a basis for equanimity. On hearing
a sound with the ear… On smelling an aroma with the nose… On tasting a
flavor with the tongue… On feeling a tactile sensation with the body… On
cognizing an idea with the intellect, one considers an idea that can act as a
basis for joy, an idea that can act as a basis for sadness, or an idea that can
act as a basis for equanimity. Thus there are six considerations conducive to
joy, six conducive to sadness, & six conducive to equanimity. ‘A person has
eighteen considerations.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it
said.

“‘A
person has four determinations.’ Thus was it said.
In reference to what was it said? These are the four determinations: the
determination for discernment, the determination for truth, the determination
for relinquishment, the determination for calm. ‘A person has four
determinations.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘One
should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to
relinquishment, and train only for calm.’ Thus was it said. In reference to
what was it said? And how is one not negligent of discernment? These are the
six properties: the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, the
wind property, the space property, the consciousness property.

“And
what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or
external. What is the internal earth property? Anything internal, within
oneself, that’s hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body
hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart,
liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents
of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s hard,
solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the
internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth
property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right
discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one
sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes
disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the
mind.

“And
what is the liquid property? The liquid property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal liquid property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s liquid, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood,
sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything
else internal, within oneself, that’s liquid, watery, & sustained: This is
called the internal liquid property. Now both the internal liquid property
& the external liquid property are simply liquid property. And that should
be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: ‘This is not mine,
this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is
present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the liquid
property and makes the liquid property fade from the mind.

“And
what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is
warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten,
drunk, consumed & tasted gets properly digested; or anything else internal,
within oneself, that’s fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the
internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external
fire property are simply fire property. And that should be seen as it actually
is present with right discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is
not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right
discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the fire property and makes the fire
property fade from the mind.

“And
what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds,
winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the
body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s
wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now
both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply
wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right
discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one
sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes
disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the
mind.

“And
what is the space property? The space property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal space property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s space, spatial, & sustained: the holes of the ears, the
nostrils, the mouth, the [passage] whereby what is eaten, drunk, consumed,
& tasted gets swallowed, and where it collects, and whereby it is excreted
from below, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s space, spatial,
& sustained: This is called the internal space property. Now both the
internal space property & the external space property are simply space property.
And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: ‘This
is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it
actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the
space property and makes the space property fade from the mind.

“There
remains only consciousness: pure & bright. What does one cognize with that
consciousness? One cognizes ‘pleasure.’ One cognizes ‘pain.’ One cognizes
‘neither pleasure nor pain.’ In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be
felt as pleasure, there arises a feeling of pleasure. When sensing a feeling of
pleasure, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling of pleasure.’ One discerns
that ‘With the cessation of that very sensory contact that is to be felt as
pleasure, the concomitant feeling — the feeling of pleasure that has arisen in
dependence on the sensory contact that is to be felt as pleasure — ceases, is
stilled.’ In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as pain… In
dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor
pain, there arises a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain. When sensing a
feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling
of neither pleasure nor pain.’ One discerns that ‘With the cessation of that
very sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor pain, the
concomitant feeling — the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain that has arisen
in dependence on the sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor
pain — ceases, is stilled.’

“Just
as when, from the friction & conjunction of two fire sticks, heat is born
and fire appears, and from the separation & disjunction of those very same
fire sticks, the concomitant heat ceases, is stilled; in the same way, in
dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as pleasure, there arises a
feeling of pleasure… In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as
pain… In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as neither
pleasure nor pain, there arises a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain… One
discerns that ‘With the cessation of that very sensory contact that is to be
felt as neither pleasure nor pain, the concomitant feeling… ceases, is
stilled.’

“There
remains only equanimity: pure & bright, pliant, malleable, & luminous.
Just as if a skilled goldsmith or goldsmith’s apprentice were to prepare a
furnace, heat up a crucible, and, taking gold with a pair of tongs, place it in
the crucible: He would blow on it time & again, sprinkle water on it time
& again, examine it time & again, so that the gold would become
refined, well-refined, thoroughly refined, flawless, free from dross, pliant,
malleable, & luminous. Then whatever sort of ornament he had in mind —
whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain — it would serve his
purpose. In the same way, there remains only equanimity: pure & bright,
pliant, malleable, & luminous. One discerns that ‘If I were to direct
equanimity as pure & bright as this toward the dimension of the infinitude
of space, I would develop the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity
of mine — thus supported, thus sustained — would last for a long time. One
discerns that ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure and bright as this toward
the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the dimension of
nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, I would
develop the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity of mine — thus
supported, thus sustained — would last for a long time.’

“One
discerns that ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure & bright as this
towards the dimension of the infinitude of space and to develop the mind along
those lines, that would be fabricated. One discerns that ‘If I were to direct
equanimity as pure and bright as this towards the dimension of the infinitude
of consciousness… the dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception and to develop the mind along those lines, that
would be fabricated.’ One neither fabricates nor mentally fashions for the sake
of becoming or un-becoming. This being the case, one is not sustained by
anything in the world (does not cling to anything in the world). Unsustained,
one is not agitated. Unagitated, one is totally unbound right within. One
discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is
nothing further for this world.’

“Sensing
a feeling of pleasure, one discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not
relished. Sensing a feeling of pain… Sensing a feeling of neither pleasure
nor pain, one discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not relished.
Sensing a feeling of pleasure, one senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a
feeling of pain… Sensing a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one senses
it disjoined from it. When sensing a feeling limited to the body, one discerns
that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.’ When sensing a feeling
limited to life, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to life.’
One discerns that ‘With the break-up of the body, after the termination of
life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.’

“Just
as an oil lamp burns in dependence on oil & wick; and from the termination
of the oil & wick — and from not being provided any other sustenance — it
goes out unnourished; even so, when sensing a feeling limited to the body, one
discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.’ When sensing a
feeling limited to life, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to
life.’ One discerns that ‘With the break-up of the body, after the termination
of life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.’

“Thus
a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for discernment,
for this — the knowledge of the passing away of all suffering & stress — is
the highest noble discernment.

“His
release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive
is false; Unbinding — the undeceptive — is true. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed
with the highest determination for truth, for this — Unbinding, the undeceptive
— is the highest noble truth.

“Whereas
formerly he foolishly had taken on mental acquisitions and brought them to
completion, he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed, made like a
palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for
future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest
determination for relinquishment, for this — the renunciation of all mental
acquisitions — is the highest noble relinquishment.

“Whereas
formerly he foolishly had greed — as well as desire & infatuation — he has
now abandoned them, their root destroyed made like a palmyra stump, deprived of
the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Whereas
formerly he foolishly had malice — as well as ill-will & hatred — he has
now abandoned them… Whereas formerly he foolishly had ignorance — as well as
delusion & confusion — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed made
like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined
for future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest
determination for calm, for this — the calming of passions, aversions, &
delusions — is the highest noble calm. ‘One should not be negligent of
discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train
only for calm.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘He
has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the
currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Thus was
it said. With reference to what was it said? ‘I am’ is a construing. ‘I am
this’ is a construing. ‘I shall be’ is a construing. ‘I shall not be’… ‘I
shall be possessed of form’… ‘I shall not be possessed of form’… ‘I shall
be percipient’… ‘I shall not be percipient’… ‘I shall be neither percipient
nor non-percipient’ is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a
cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to
be a sage at peace.

“Furthermore,
a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is
free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born,
will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being
agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said,
‘He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the
currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Now,
monk, you should remember this, my brief analysis of the six properties.”

Then the
thought occurred to Ven. Pukkusati: “Surely, the Teacher has come to me!
Surely, the One Well-gone has come to me! Surely, the Rightly Self-awakened One
has come to me!” Getting up from his seat, arranging his upper robe over
one shoulder, and bowing down with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, he said,
“A transgression has overcome me, lord, in that I was so foolish, so
muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to assume that it was proper to address the
Blessed One as ‘friend.’ May the Blessed One please accept this confession of
my transgression as such, so that I may achieve restraint in the future.”

“Yes,
monk, a transgression overcame you in that you were so foolish, so
muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to assume that it was proper to address me
as ‘friend.’ But because you see your transgression as such and make amends in
accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a cause of
growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when, seeing a
transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and achieves
restraint in the future.”

“Lord,
may I receive full acceptance (ordination as a monk) from the Blessed
One?”

“And
are your robes & bowl complete?”

“No,
lord, my robes & bowl are not complete.”

“Tathagatas
do not give full acceptance to one whose robes & bowl are not
complete.”

Then
Ven
. Pukkusati, delighting & rejoicing in the Blessed
One’s words, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and, keeping
him on his right, left in search of robes and a bowl. And while he was
searching for robes & a bowl, a runaway cow killed him.

Then a
large number of monks approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed
down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the
Blessed One, “Lord, the clansman Pukkusati, whom the Blessed One
instructed with a brief instruction, has died. What is his destination? What is
his future state?”

“Monks,
the clansman Pukkusati was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the
Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. With the
destruction of the first five fetters, he has arisen spontaneously [in the Pure
Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that
world.”

That is
what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s
words.

: MN
106
.

 

4. Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered
Honey to

the Buddha



4.1 How to reach there

 

Vesali or
Vaishali is located around the village of Basarh in the

Muzaffapur
district of Bihar, 55 km north of Patna across the

Ganges River.
All distances are approximate.

 

4.2 Religious Significance

3, 4, 25

 

Vesali or Vaishali, capital of the Licchavis or Vajjis, was the

headquarters of
the powerful Vajjian confederacy of eight clans, of

whom the
Licchavis and Videhans were the most important. It was

the first
republic in the world modelled on the
Aparihaniya Dhamma

or the seven
conditions leading to welfare, which the Buddha taught

to the Vajjians
when he was dwelling at the Saranda shrine in

Vaishali. Thus
united, they became so powerful that
Ajatasattu of

Magadha had to
resort to treachery by sending the brahmin

Vassakara to sow discord among the
Vajjian princes for three years

in order to
weaken them. By then, they were too disunited to defend

their country
and Ajatasattu conquered them.

 

The Buddha
visited Vaishali several times, spending his 5
th
and 44th

vassas there and many Licchavi
nobles became his disciples. When

Vaishali was
plagued with famine, disease, and evil spirits, the

Buddha was
invited by the Licchavi nobles to help them alleviate the

plagues. Buddha
then preached the
Ratana Sutta (Jewel
Discourse)

and instructed
Ven. Ananda to go round the city walls reciting it as a

Protection.
Thereafter, the Buddha recited it for seven days and all

the plagues
then abated. But the event that elevated the status of

Vaishali to an
important pilgrimage site was the offering of a bowl

of honey by a
band of monkeys to the Blessed One, an incident

mentioned among
the Four Great Miracles in the Buddha’s life.

 

At Vaishali,
the Buddha allowed women to be admitted to the

Sangha after Ven. Ananda successfully pleaded to the
Buddha for

the ordination
of
Maha Pajapati Gotami and
several Sakyan ladies.

The Buddha then
decreed the Eight Chief Rules, in addition to the

Disciplinary
Code observed by monks, which
bhikkhunis or
nuns

“should revere,
reverence, honour and respect for life and which

should not be
transgressed”. Thus the
Bhikkhuni
Sangha
came to

be established
in Vaishali.

 

Once the Buddha
was staying in a mango grove of
Ambapali,
the

chief courtesan
of Vaishali who invited him to a house
dana,

forestalling
the Licchavi nobles who then offered her money in

exchange for
the invitation. But she politely declined their offer for

she valued the dana more and after the meals,
even donated her

mango grove to
the Buddha and
Sangha.
The Buddha spent the last

vassa in Vesali where he
relinquished the will to live at the Capala

shrine. After
the
Mahaparinibbana,
the Licchavis obtained a share

of the Buddha’s
relics from Kusinara and erected a grand
stupa over

the holy relics
in Vaishali.

 

Vaishali is
celebrated to possess the
Buddha’s alms bowl,
which he

donated to them
before his
Parinibbana.
An account of its journey to

various places
is described in the
next section (Part
III, 5).

 

4.3 Historical Background

5, 27, 37, 38

 

After the Mahaparinibbana, the Vajjian confederacy was
defeated

by Ajatasattu,
whose son Udayibhadda slew his father and moved

the capital
from Rajgir to Pataliputta, across the Ganges river from

Vaishali.
According to the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle of Ceylon),

the dynasty of
Udayibhadda was succeeded by three generations of

parricidal
kings, namely: Anuruddha, Munda and Nagadasa who

each slew his
own father to take over the throne. By then, the people

could not
tolerate this dynasty of parricides. In the end, the minister

Sisunaga, son
of a Licchavi prince deposed Nagadasa. Sisunnaga

was succeeded
by his son, Kalasoka, and by then a hundred years

had passed
since the
Mahaparinibbana.

 

At that time in
Vaishali, many shameless
bhikkhus of
the Vajji clan

were practising
the
Ten Points,
which were not in conformity with

the Vinaya or monastic rules. Venerable Yasa of Kosambi, while in

Vaishali
noticed the deviations and strongly protested against them,

resulting in
his expulsion by the Vajji monks. Ven. Yasa, together

with other
monks appealed to
Ven. Revata of
Soreyya, the chief of

the Sangha to settle the dispute.
Thereupon, the
Second Council

was convened at
Valukarama monastery
in Vaishali during the

reign of King Kalasoka and attended by 700 Arahants. Venerable

Sabbakami, the most senior Arahant, questioned by Ven. Revata,

adjudged the
Ten Points as unlawful according to the
Vinaya.

Forty years
after the Second Council, another controversy arose that

would polarize
the
Sangha. According to
the tradition of the

Sammitiya
School recorded by Bhavya, a monk named Bhadra (or

Mahadeva) proposed
Five Heresies questioning the nature of the

Arahant. A
great assembly of ten thousand, consisting of monks and

laity called ‘Mahasangiti’ was convened in Pataliputta
with the

support of the
king and the majority voted in favour of these

heretical views.
This resulted in a schism in the
Sangha and
the

secession of
the
Mahasanghika,
who held a great assembly of theirs

called the Mahasangiti, from which the sect derived
its name and

decided matters
according to their own light. From then on, further

schisms led to
the formation of different sub-sects, and in the course

of time, eleven
sub-sects arose out of the
Theravada while
seven

issued from the
Mahasanghika,
leading to the well-known
Eighteen

Schools of Buddhism.

 

Asoka, the
Mauryan emperor who had his capital in Pataliputta near

Vaishali raised
a
stupa in which he
enshrined some of the Buddha’s

relics and
erected beside it an Asokan column with a lion capital

when he visited
Vaishali during his pilgrimage to the holy places in

249 BC. Fa
Hsien visited Vaishali around 400 AD and mentioned

about the stupas built in its vicinity in
honour of the Buddha.

According to a
story in the Dhammapada Commentary, when
Ven.

Ananda reached the age of 120 years,
he knew that his end was near

and went from
Rajgir to Vaishali, following the Buddha’s example.

Hearing of his
intention, the citizens of Magadha and Vaishali

hurried from
both directions to bid him farewell. To do justice to

both sides,
Ven. Ananda levitated in the air and entered into the

Samadhi of the Fire Element, whereby the
body was consumed by

spontaneous
combustion and reduced to ashes, which fell on both

sides. So the
people of each city taking half the relics returned and

erected stupas over them.

 

Hsüan Tsang who
came in 630 AD, described Vaishali as covering

an area of
26-31 sq km but it was in ruins. He saw the
stupa built by

the Licchavi
princes over their portion of the Buddha’s relics from

Kusinara, the
Asoka
stupa and stone
pillar surmounted by a lion

capital and
nearby the pond dug by a band of monkeys (
Markatahrada)

for the
Buddha’s use. Not far to the south were two more

stupas; one at the site where the
monkeys taking the Buddha’s almsbowl,

climbed up a
tree to gather honey and another at the site where

the monkeys
offered honey to the Blessed One. Hsüan Tsang wrote

that both
within and without, and all around the city of Vaishali, the

sacred
monuments were so numerous that it was difficult to

remember them
all.

 

After Hsüan
Tsang’s visit, the history of Vaishali remained blank for

over twelve
centuries. It lay in ruins, unknown and unheard of until

the late 19th century, when Cunningham identified the ruins at
and

around Basarh in Muzaffapur district of
Bihar with ancient Vaishali.

Today, most of
the principal ruins are located in the village of

Kolhua, about 55 km from Patna.

 

4.4 Objects of Interest in Vaishali

5, 24, 27

 

a) Raj Vishal ka Garh, site of ancient Vesali



Basarh, 35 km
southwest of Muzaffarpur, has been identified as the

site of the
ancient city of Vaishali. The site of the Raj Vishal ka Garh

is believed to
represent the citadel of Vaishali where the 7707 rajas

or
representatives of the Vajjian confederacy used to meet and

discuss the
problems of the day. The ruins consist of a large brick146

covered mound
2.5 m above the surrounding level and 1500 m in

circumference
with a 42.7 m moat surrounding it. Beside it is a

pond, used by
the Licchavi princes to take their bath. It is located

about 3.2
kilometres southwest of the Asokan pillar at Kolhua.

 

b) Relic Stupa of the Licchavis



About a
kilometre to the northwest of the Raj Vishal ka Garh, stands

an open shelter
with a dome-shaped roof. Inside it, are the remains

of a stupa, which was originally a mud
structure 25 feet in diameter

with thin
layers of cloddy clay. It appeared to have undergone

enlargement and
repairs four times, in which burnt bricks were used.

The third
enlargement increased its diameter to 40 feet and the

fourth being in
the form of a buttress supporting the third. The

original mud stupa was a very old one, believed
to be pre-Mauryan.

From its
primitive features and from the fact that a 2’6” trench had

been driven
into its core in olden times it is believed that this
stupa

is none other
than the one
erected by the
Licchavis
over their share

of the relics
of the Buddha. The trench was probably excavated by

Asoka to reach
the relics, some of which according to Hsüan Tsang,

were left in
their original position by Asoka.

 

In the centre
of the original mud
stupa,
lying in the lowest layer of

soil anciently
disturbed by the trench, archaeologists in 1958 found a

relic casket of soapstone (steatite) cracked from the
pressure above.

It contained
one-fourth full of ashy earth, a piece of gold leaf, two

glass beads, a
small conch and a copper punch-marked coin. Based

on the
archaeological, literary and traditional evidence available, the

archaeologists
are of the opinion that this mud
stupa is
the one built

by the
Licchavis and the casket it contained most probably enshrined

a portion of
the
ashes of the Buddha mixed
with a lot of earth

collected at
his cremation. That it should be only
one-fourth full

reminds us of
the statement made by Hsuan Tsang that: “
Asoka,

opening the stupa took away nine-tenths of the relics
leaving only

one-tenth behind. Afterwards there was a king of the country who

wished to open the stupa again but at the moment when he began
to

do so, the earth trembled, and he dared not proceed to open it.”

Presently the
soapstone relic casket can be viewed at Patna Museum.

(Reference: The
Corporeal Relics of the Buddha. Dr. A. S. Altekar,

1956. From a
brochure of the Patna Museum, Patna)

 

c) Asokan Pillar



At Kolhua, 3.2
km northeast of the citadel of Vaishali, stands the

impressive
Asokan Pillar erected by Asoka 2250 years ago. It is a

complete
monolithic pillar of highly polished sandstone surmounted

by a lion
capital. The height is 6.7 m above the ground with a

considerable
portion sunk underground over the years. Though

devoid of
inscription, it appears to be a part of the line of pillars in

the Muzaffarpur
and Champaran districts
Lauriya Areraj, Lauriya

Nandangarh,
Rampurva
that Asoka erected along his pilgrimage

route from
Pataliputta to Lumbini during 249-250 BC. Around the

Asokan Pillar
at Kolhua are the ruins of many smaller brick
stupas.

 

d) Asoka Stupa



Just near the
Asokan pillar are the ruins of the Asoka
Stupa seen by

Hsüan Tsang.
The dome-shaped mound is 4.6 m high and has a

diameter of 20
m. During excavation by Cunningham, a stone casket

containing some
relics of the Buddha was found enshrined beneath

it. This site
is a conducive place to offer
puja followed
by walking or

sitting
meditation at the
stupa.
Most Indian tourist guides mistake

this stupa for the Ananda stupa located at Hajipur. For the
record all

the stupas built by King Asoka were
dedicated to the Buddha, either

as relic or
commemorative
stupas.

 

e) Monkey’s Tank (Markata-hrada)

Near the stone
pillar is a tank (pond) called
Rama-kunda,
identified

by Cunningham
with the ancient monkey’s tank dug by a colony of

monkeys for the
Buddha’s use. It has been enlarged considerably.

 

4.5 Pataliputta (Patna), Venue of the
Third Council

5, 38, 39

 

a) Kumhrar, Site of Asokarama Park

 

The Kumhrar
Park is located 5 km from Patna Railway Station on

Kankarbagh Road
in Patna, Bihar. There one can see a large pool,

where 32
ancient pillars of polished sandstone were found, a

specimen of
which is exhibited at a nearby pavilion. Within the

vicinity of the
park is the site of a
vihara of
Asoka’s time. This park

in Patna is
believed to be the venue of the
Third Buddhist
Council

held in
Pataliputta in the 17
th year
of King Asoka’s reign, in around

250 BC. It was attended by one thousand Arahants and presided by

the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa. At this Council, the Kathavatthu

or Points of
Controversy, one of the seven books of the

Abhidhamma, was compiled wherein the
heretical doctrines were

thoroughly
examined and refuted.

 

The Third
Council marked a turning point for Buddhism, which

prior to this,
was confined mainly to Magadha and neighbouring

states. With
King Asoka of the Mauryan Empire reigning supreme

over the whole
Indian sub-continent as its chief patron, the time was

now ripe for
expansion. Accordingly, it was decided to send

competent Arahants to propagate the Buddha’s
Teachings all over

India as well
as
Sri Lanka in
the south,
Kashmir Gandhara in
the

north, Bengal and Burma in the east and Yonaka and countries in

the west. Each
team was headed by an Elder and consisted of five

monks, the
quorum required to confer higher ordination in remote

regions. The
names of the Elders and the nine places where they

were deputed
are given in the
Mahavamsa38.

 

Although
certain scholars have disputed the authenticity of the

council by
claiming that it is unrecognized and unknown to all

Buddhist
sources outside of the Theravada school, archeology has

confirmed the historicity of these missions. In Stupa No. 2 at Sanchi

near Bhopal,
were found two relic caskets from the 2
nd or
1
st century

BC, inscribed
with the names of some of the missionaries. In this

way the
Buddha’s Teachings spread in the four directions as a result

of the Dhamma
missions after the Third Council shown below.

 

MISSIONARIES PLACES

 

1. Majjhantika
Thera Kasmira & Gandhara
1

2. Mahadeva
Thera Mahimsamandala
2

3. Rakkhita
Thera Vanavasi
3

4. Yonaka
Dhammarakkhita Thera Aparantaka
4

5. Maha
Dhammarakkhita Thera Maharattha
5

6. Maha
Rakkhita Thera Yonaka
6

7. Majjhima
Thera Himavantapadesa
7

8. Sonaka and
Uttara Theras Suvannabhumi
8

9. Mahinda,
Itthiya, Uttiya, Sambala Tambapannidipa
9

and Bhaddasala
Theras

 

1Gandhara comprises the
districts of Peshawar & Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

Kasmira
is modern Kashmir.

 

2Mahimsamandala is
generally taken as modern Mysore.

 

3Vanavasi was composed of
coastal regions such as Kerala and Malabar.

 

4Aparantaka or the ‘western
ends’ comprise the Mumbai (Bombay)

region,
northern Gujarat, Kachchh and Sind.

 

5Mararattha is modern
Maharashtra.

 

6Yonaka (Sanskrit
Yavana) together with the Kambojas means clans of

foreign
race in the northwest frontier included in Asoka’s empire.

 

7Himavantapadesa is
the Himalayan country.

 

8Suvannabhumi or
‘golden land’ is Bago (Pegu) and Mawlamyine

(Moulmein)
district in Mon state of Myanmar (Burma).

 

9Tambapannidipa is
the island of Sri Lanka.

 

b) Prophecy of the Elders of the Second
Council

 

Interestingly,
an account in the
Mahavamsa written
during the sixth

century AD says
that Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa was a Brahmagod

called Tissa in
his previous existence. At the time of the Second

Council, the Arahants, foreseeing danger to the
religion in the

future,
approached him for help as his lifespan in the Brahma realm

was coming to
an end. He consented to be born in the world of men

in order to
prevent the downfall of the Buddha’s religion.

 

Subsequently he
was born as the son of Moggali of Pataliputta, as a

Brahmin named
Tissa. At a young age, he showed great intelligence

by thoroughly
mastering the Vedas. The Venerables Siggava and

Candavajji, who
were assigned to convert him, frequented his house

on their alms
round. For seven years they got nothing, not even a

word asking
them to move on. But on the eighth year, Ven. Siggava

heard someone
in the house saying to him: ‘Go further on.’ When

Tissa’s father
Moggali saw him and asked whether he had received

anything from
his house, Ven. Siggava answered ‘Yes’. Later when

Moggali learnt
what had happened, he scolded the monk for lying

when the latter
came on the second day.

 

Actually, when
Ven. Siggava said that he had received something, it

was true. For
the last seven years no one in the house had offered

him anything,
not even one word. Now someone had said something

to him.
Impressed by his humility and patience, Moggali develop

faith and
became his almsfood supporter (
dayaka).
When Tissa was

sixteen, Ven.
Siggava intentionally sat on his seat in the house.

When the angry
Tissa berated him, Ven. Siggava responded by

asking Tissa a
question about the
Cittayamaka from
the

Abhidhamma. The
latter could not answer and expressed a desire to

learn the
Dhamma converting to Buddhism. After obtaining the

consent of his
parents, he joined the Sangha as Ven. Siggava’s

disciple, who
taught him the Vinaya while Ven. Candavajji taught

the Abhidhamma.
He later attained Arahantship and became an

acknowledged
leader of the monks at Pataliputta. He became known

as Moggaliputta
Tissa and was instrumental in convening the Third

Council and
despatching Dhamma missions to various parts of the

Indian
sub-continent, Sri Lanka and Burma to propagate the Buddha

Sasana.
Subsequent events appear to confirm the
prophecy
of the

Arahants of the Second Council.

 

c) Patna Museum (Closed on Mondays)

 

The museum at
Patna, capital of Bihar where Buddhism originated,

houses one of
the largest collections of ancient Buddhist antiquities

in the world.
The sculptures of stone and bronze on display can be

divided into a
few distinct periods, namely:

 

• Mauryan Sculptures (4th-3rd century BC)

On display here
are Indian stone sculptures of highly polished

sandstone in
magnificent forms of animals such as the lion, bull and

elephant
capitals, fashioned for placing atop Asokan pillars. Besides

these refined
courtly art, an archaic religious art based on the

widespread cult
of tutelary deities are on display featuring the

gigantic Patna
yaksa (
yakkha) and yaksi
(female
yakkha).

 

• Gandhara and Mathura Buddha Images

Prior to the
beginning of the Christian era, the Buddha was never

represented in
human form but only by symbols. The demand for

Buddha images
started when the movement of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion

gained strength
among the Buddhist laity due to Mahayana

influence.
Buddha images came into existence in the first century

AD, when two ancient schools of sculpture emerged
separately –

Gandhara (Afghanistan) in the far
northwest of India and
Mathura

(Muttra) in the
east. In
Gandhara, the
Buddha-image is represented

in Grecian style, almost Apollo-like in physical beauty and even
the

robe is
sculpted with folds characteristic of Greco-Roman sculpture.

The contours
are not rounded off and great pains are taken to model

the human form
to display the physical perfection through sharp,

elegant
features. In
Mathura,
the sculptures are indigenous, in the

Mahapurisa style, large and rounded. A
typical example is
Bhikkhu

Bala’s image of
the
Bodhisatta in
Sarnath. The treatment of the

Buddha’s robe
is schematic and clinging, so no folds are shown and

the body is
revealed as though it were nude. In Patna Museum, one

is able to see
some rare specimens of Buddha and
Bodhisatta images

from Gandhara
that survived destruction by Muslim fanatics when

they conquered
Northern India.

 

• Gupta Period (AD 300-550)

The Gupta
period was the golden age of Indian art and the great

Buddha images
of Mathura, Sarnath, Ajanta and Bihar are

magnificent
specimens from this age. The Buddha images from

Mathura during
this period underwent some modifications by the

Indo-Grecian
art mode. There is a large collection of Buddha-images

from the Gupta
period in this museum for one to admire.

 

• Pala Period (9th—12th century
AD)

 

During the Pala
period, metal images became increasing popular and

elegant bronze
Buddha images were produced in Bihar. For stone

sculptures,
Nalanda in Bihar state was famous for its distinctive

black slate
Buddha images. In Patna Museum, there is a section

showing black
slate and bronze images of the Buddha and some

bronze images
of Tantric deities as the cult of Tantrayana, a

decadent and
perverse form of worship of deities unrelated to the

Buddha’s
Teaching emerged during the Pala Period.

 

5. Journey of the Buddha’s Alms Bowl 8, 16, 38, 42

 

Vaishali is
celebrated to possess the
Buddha’s alms bowl,
which he

donated to the
Licchavis before his
Parinibbana.
According to a

legend by the 5th century AD Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien, it was at a

place twelve yojanas (1 yojana = 12.8 km) southeast of
Kusinara

that Lord
Buddha had donated his alms-bowl to the Licchavis.

Earlier at
Vaishali, he had announced his impending death or

Parinibbana. The Licchavis having become
overwhelmed with

emotions at
this news kept following him and did not want to leave

him. Lord
Buddha then created the illusion of a large and deeply

scarped river
separating them and donating his alms-bowl to them as

a memorial, he
exhorted them to return to their houses. On this they

went back and
erected a stone pillar, on which this account is

engraved
(Fo-Kwo-Ki, Ch. XXIV). A
stupa was
built later to

commemorate
that emotional event.
Kesariya,
55 kilometres

northwest of
Vesali, is believed to be present day location of that

event. At
Kesariya, the Archeological Survey of India has recently

excavated what
is believed to be the tallest
stupa in
the world.

With regard to
the whereabouts of the Buddha’s alms bowl after

Kesariya, two
accounts are available, namely: that of the Chinese

pilgrims who
visited India from the 5
th to
7
th centuries AD and the

other from the
Mahavamsa, a Pali chronicle of Ceylon. From these

accounts,
several bowls have emerged, namely: the
Peshawar
Bowl
,

the Kashgar Bowl, the Kandahar Bowl, the Ceylon Bowl and the

Chinese Bowl, the last according to Marco Polo was taken by

Kublai Khan from Ceylon to China in 1284
AD.

 

5.1 The Peshawar Bowl and the Kashgar Bowl

 

The Chinese
pilgrims’ account of the Buddha’s alms bowl begins in

Peshawar, when Fa Hsien (Fo-Kwo-Ki Ch.
XII) reported seeing the

bowl when he
visited
Gandhara around
401 AD. He related
that

formerly, a
king of the Yue-chi after having conquered Gandhara

wanted to carry
off the alms bowl. He set it on an elephant, but the

elephant fell
under its weight. Then he built a carriage and harnessed

in it eight
elephants, but the car stood fast. The time for moving the

bowl had not
come, so the king repented by building a
stupa and

vihara for ceremonial worship of the
relic. This
vihara had
700

priests who
would bring out the alms bowl every day at lunchtime

for devotees to
make offerings.

Fa Hsien
described that it was of mixed colour but chiefly black,

capable of holding
two pecks or more (‘peck’
is a dry measure of

10 pints or 5.7
litres). The four divisions were clear, each being

about a fifth
inch thick. (
5ote: According
to Vinaya Mv. Kh. I,

when the
merchants
Tapussa and Bhallika offered rice cake and

honey to the Buddha
at the foot of the Rajayattana tree at the end of

the seventh
week after Enlightenment, the Buddha thought: “
Perfect

Ones do not accept in their hands. In what should I receive the
rice

cake and honey? Then the Four Heavenly
Kings of
Catumaharajika,

aware of the
Blessed One’s thought, brought four crystal bowls from

the four
quarters. These four bowls were moulded together to form a

new crystal
bowl with four divisions at the rim.)

 

Fa Hsien says
nothing about how the alms-bowl ended up in

Gandhara. But
the Tibetan historian
Taranatha observes
that: “the

king of the Yueh-chih (Kushana) invaded Magadha and
carried off

the alms bowl
and
Asvaghosa.”
Cunningham is
of the opinion that

it was the
Kushan king
Kanishka (ruled
78-102 AD) who invaded

Magadha and
took the alms-bowl to
Peshawar around
the 1
st or 2nd

century AD.
While in Varanasi, the philosopher Asvaghosa saw the

city conquered
by the Kushan emperor Kanishka. A huge war

indemnity was
demanded and to appease the Buddhist conqueror,

the ruler of Varanasi handed over the alms bowl of
the Buddha as a

symbolic
gesture. Asvaghosa probably accompanied Kanishka back

to Peshawar to
serve as spiritual advisor in his court.

 

Mention is made
here about later accounts that place the location of

Buddha’s alms
bowl at
Kashgar around AD 400.
The biography of

Kumarajiva records a visit of this
Buddhist savant to Kashgar about

AD 400 and
specially mentions that he placed on his head the

Buddha’s alms
bowl (
patra), which is
believed to possess the

miraculous
quality of changing its weight. Another Chinese monk

 

Chih Meng who went to India via Lop Nor
and Khotan in
AD 404

witnessed the
same miracle when handling the Buddha’s alms bowl,

which was shown
to him at Kashgar where he also saw the Buddha’s

spittoon made of stone of variegated
colour (see Ref. 42 & 43).

However, Fa
Hsien who visited Kashgar around AD 400 to attend

the great
five-yearly assembly mentioned only the
spittoon
but not

the alms bowl, which he saw in Peshawar
later. While we thus find

Fa Hsien’s
account of the sacred spittoon in full accord with Chihmeng’s

above-quoted
description, there yet arises the question why

Fa Hsien at
Kashgar did not mention the alms-bowl, which both

Chih Meng and
Kumarajiva, within a few years of his visit, had seen

at Kashgar.

 

There are two
possibilities: (1) Fa-hsien, too, may well have seen the

alms bowl shown
at Kashgar. But as he later at Peshawar saw that

sacred relic in
a specimen which, from the antiquity of the legends

attaching to it
and the magnificence of the enshrining monastery,

must have
appeared to him the only authentic one, he probably chose

to remain
silent about the Kashgar bowl, raising the possibility that

there were two bowls which claimed to be the Buddha’s alms

bowl at that time. (2) The second
possibility is that the same alms

bowl that Fa
Hsien saw in Peshawar was transferred to Kashgar

around the time
of Kumarajiva and Chih Meng. This seems unlikely,

as no monastery
would wish to part with such a sacred object.

In 520 AD, the
Chinese pilgrims
Sun Yung and
Hui Seng visited

Gandhara but
did not mention anything about the alms bowl

indicating that
it had been removed from Gandhara before their visit.

This removal
probably took place before the whole region fell to the

Yethas or
Hepthalites under
Laelih (Kitolo)
around
AD 425-450.

Sun Yung who
crossed the Pamirs at
Tashkurgan into
Wakhan

found the
Hepthalites to be in unbroken power and states that two

generations had
passed since
Laelih,
the persecutor of Buddhism,

had been set up
as the king of Gandhara. The bowl was probably

carried off by
the people of Gandhara who emigrated west and

settled by the
banks of the
Arghanadab River in
ancient
Arachosia

(Afghanistan) where they founded a city
named after their old

country
Gandhara, which still exists today as
Kandahar.

 

5.2 The Kandahar Bowl

 

Mention is made
of the alms bowl again when Hsüan Tsang visited

Gandhara around
AD 640. He saw the ruins of the
stupa of
the
patra

of Buddha and
stated that: “
in traversing
different countries, the

alms bowl has now come to Persia.
Cunningham (Ancient

Geography of
India, 17 note 2) identifies this Persian bowl with the

Kandahar bowl.
He explains Hsüan Tsang’s statement by the fact

that in his
time Kandahar belonged to Persia.

 

The Kandahar
bowl has long been a famous object of worship. It

was seen in a
thick clump of ash and mulberry trees to the east of old

Kandahar in an
obscure little Mahammadan shrine. The trunk of the

tree under
which the bowl stood was studded with hundreds of iron

nails and twigs
representing cures for toothache. In 1878-1880, the

Kandahar bowl
was seen and described by
Dr. Bellew and
Major

Le Messurier (Dr. Bellew’s Indus to the
Tigris, 143; Major Le

Messurier’s
Kandahar in 1879, 223, 225). According to them the

bowl is of hard
compact black porphyry, which rings when struck. It

is round, about
four feet wide and two feet deep, with sides about

four inches
thick. The lip has twenty-four facets each about seven

inches wide.
From the bottom of the bowl scrolls radiate to near the

rim, where, on
the inside, is a Persian inscription and on the outside

are four lines
in
Arabic characters.

 

The capacity of
the bowl is
eighty gallons and
its weight about

three-quarter
ton. Major LeMessurier’s detailed measurements (outer

diameter 4′
2″, inner diameter 3′ 7¼”, inside depth 2′ 3″) so closely

correspond with
General Cunningham’s measurements (4½’ in

diameter and 2½
deep) of a stone bowl at
Bhilsa (Vedisa
near

Sanchi), as to
suggest that like the Bhilsa bowl the Kandahar bowl

may originally
have been a tree pot. Sir
Olaf Caroe the
Governor of

the North West
Frontier Province from 1946 to 1947 reported it to

be at Kabul
Museum. The present status of this bowl is unknown.

The great
difference of size between the
Peshawar bowl (2.5
gals.)

and the Kandahar bowl (80 gals.) means that they
are not the same

bowl. Both
bowls are obviously too big for a human being to use and

may be ruled
out as the Buddha’s alms bowl.

 

5.3 The Ceylon Bowl

 

Another
account of Buddha’s alms bowl is given in the Mahavamsa,

a 6th century AD chronicle of Ceylon written by Ven.
Mahanama.

After Ven.
Mahinda had converted the Ceylonese king Devanampiya

Tissa to
Buddhism, he made known to the king his wish for a
stupa

to be built for
the worship of the Buddha’s relics. According to

Mahavamsa Ch.
XVII, the samanera Sumana was sent to Pataliputta

in India to ask
for the
Buddha’s corporeal relics and alms bowl

from King
Asoka. Thereafter the alms bowl with the corporeal relics

was brought to
Sri Lanka. The relics were enshrined in
stupas at

Anuradhapura
but
the alms-bowl of the Buddha or Pātradhātu

was
kept within the palace itself.

 

During the
reign of
Vattagamini Abhaya (104-88BC)
a young

brahman named
Tissa started a rebellion. This was followed by the

invasion of
seven Tamil warriors who defeated the king and ruled

the country for
fifteen years. Of the seven Tamils, one married a

local princess
and returned home. Another took the alms bowl that

was in
Anuradhapura and also returned to India ‘well contented’.

The fate of the
alms bowl remained unknown for 500 years until the

reign of King Upatissa (365-406 AD) who exhibited it
in public for

the purpose of
warding off misfortune that had struck the country.

According to
Mahavamsa (19.ch. 37. v. 189-198):

He made an image wholly of gold of the departed Buddha, laid the

stone alms bowl of the Master (filled) with water in the hollow of its

hands and placed this figure on a great chariot He took upon himself

and duties of a moral life and made the people also take them on

themselves, he instituted a great almsgiving and established
security

(of life) for all living creatures. Then the bhikkhus who
gathered

there reciting the Ratana-Sutta and pouring out water, walked
about

the street, not far from the royal palace, near the wall, round
which

they walked with their right side towards it in the three
watches of

the night. When morning dawned a great cloud poured rain on the

earth and all who had suffered from disease, held refreshed,
high

festival.

 

From the
beginning of the twelfth century down to the reign

Parakramabahu IV at the very end of 13th century AD, the alms

bowl was always
mentioned together with the
Sacred Tooth Relic

because they
were the symbols of state, the possession of which

were vital to
the kings. After Parakramabahu IV, who reigned about

A.D.1300, no
further mention is made of the alms bowl. Apparently

towards the end
of the 13
th century
AD, it was taken from Ceylon to

China at the
request of the great Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan.

 

5.4 Kublai Khan and the Chinese Bowl

 

According to
Marco Polo, in
1284 AD Kublai
Khan sent a mission

to Ceylon to
negotiate the purchase of the
Sacred Tooth, Hair
and

Bowl Relics. As the Mongols were reputed
to be fierce warriors

(Tibet had
succumbed while the Burmese were defeated in Pagan

earlier in AD
1277), the Ceylonese king was faced with the dilemma

of parting with
the state treasures or earning the displeasure of the

Great Khan. It
is said that in order to please the Chinese Emperor, he

dispatched two
fake tooth relics, which were graciously received by

the Emperor who
established ritual worship of the objects. The

Ceylon alms bowl was taken to China and Marco
Polo (1290) who

saw the bowl
describes as of very
beautiful green
porphyry
(rock

with crystals
embedded) while a Chinese writer
Wang Ta-Yuan

(1349) noted
that it rang like glass when struck.

 

The whole
episode is narrated in the Travels of Marco Polo, Volume

2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa and reproduced below:

1ow it befell that the Great Kaan heard how on that mountain

there was the sepulchre of our first father Adam, and that some
of

his hair and of his teeth, and the dish from which he used to
eat,

were still preserved there. So he thought he would get hold of
them

somehow or another, and despatched a great embassy for the

purpose, in the year of Christ, 1284. The ambassadors,
with a great

company, travelled on by sea and by land until they arrived at
the

island of Seilan (Ceylon), and presented themselves before the
king.

 

And they were so urgent with him that they succeeded in getting two

of the grinder teeth (molars), which were passing great and thick;

and they also got some of the hair, and the dish from which that

personage used to eat, which is of a very beautiful green porphyry.

And when the Great Kaan’s ambassadors had attained the object
for

which they had come they were greatly rejoiced, and returned to

their lord. And when they drew near to the great city of Cambaluc

(Kaanbalik City of the Kaan or
Beijing), where the Great Kaan

was staying, they sent him word that they had brought back that
for

which he had sent them. On learning this, the Great Kaan was

passing glad, and ordered all the ecclesiastics and others to go
forth

to meet these reliques, which he was led to believe were those
of

Adam. And why should I make a long story of it? In sooth, the
whole

population of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and
the

ecclesiastics took them over and carried them to the Great Kaan,

who received them with great joy and reverence. And they find it

written in their Scriptures that the virtue of that dish is such
that if

food for one man be put therein it shall become enough for five

men: and the Great
Kaan averred that he had proved the thing and

found that it was really true.”

 

This account of
Marco Polo provides the last known whereabouts of

the alms bowl.
It is corroborated by a Chinese record entitled ‘
Tao-ichih-

lueh (A Description of the
Barbarian Islands) written in
1349

by Wang Ta-Yuan who mentions the dispatch of
ambassadors to

Ceylon under
the Yuan dynasty on three occasions to negotiate the

purchase of
Buddha’s sacred alms bowl, which was part of Ceylon’s

collection of
relics. However as the transfer of the alms bowl took

place 65 years
earlier, his description of it was
probably based on

what he saw in Beijing rather than in Ceylon itself.

Opposite the altar of the Buddha was placed a great alms bowl

made of a substance that was neither jade nor copper nor iron.
It

was crimson in colour and luminous, and when struck it rang like

glass. So at the
beginning of this dynasty (Yuan) ambassadors were

dispatched on three separate occasions to bring it back. The
bowl

placed before statues of Buddha contained an offering of food or

water. There was one in front of each statue and they were not

considered relics.”

 

Coming to
present times, situated at No.171, Fuchengmennei Street

in Beijing’s
Xicheng District is the
Miaoying Temple. First
built in

1096 during the
Liao Dynasty, it was considerably expanded and

elaborately
redecorated in 1271 during the reign of Emperor Shizu

(Kublai Khan) of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
In order to

strengthen his
relationship with the Lamaist rulers of Tibet and to

gain the
support of Tibetan Buddhists among his Yuan officials,

Kublai Khan
granted imperial permission to build the
White

Dagoba in the temple grounds in
1279. Simultaneously he renovated

and renamed the
temple
‘The Emperor’s Longevity and Peace

Temple’ (Dashengshou Wan’an Si). Significantly the timing
of

these
construction works coincided with the acquisition of the relics

from Ceylon. So
it is very likely that they were done to provide an

imperial shrine for the worship of these
sacred objects.

The temple was
burnt to the ground in 1368, the year the Chinese

under Zhu Yuanzhang drove the Mongols out of
China. Amazingly

only the White
Dagoba remained standing. Zhu Yuanzhang founded

the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and moved his
capital to
5anjing.

In 1420 the
third Ming emperor
Yongle moved
the capital back to

Beijing and in
1457, Emperor
Tianshun rebuilt
the temple, giving it

the present
name
Miaoying Si (Divine
Retribution Temple).

The Tangshan earthquake in 1976 caused
severe damage to the

temple
buildings. The top of the
White Dagoba tilted
to one side,

bricks and
mortar in the neck supporting the cupola crumbled off,

and the main
trunk cracked in several places. Four boxes containing

numerous
Buddhist artifacts hidden inside the roof of the Dagoba

were
discovered, which are now displayed at the Temple. (
Ref:

Miaoying
Monastery in www.china.org.cn/english/features/Beijing

/31155.htm).
Unfortunately nothing is said or known about the

whereabouts of
the Buddha’s
alms bowl and
other relics, which

Kublai Khan brought from Ceylon. They
were
probably lost or

destroyed in the 1368 fire during the
fierce fighting between the

Mongols and Ming forces.

http://thetriplegem.blogspot.com/2011/02/footprints-of-buddha.html

https://picasaweb.google.com/esharaffie/PilgrimageToIndia

 


About The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

   More about the BSP


     BSP’s
Amazing Journey

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or Majority
People’s Party is one of the only five prominent national political parties of
India, which is the largest democracy of the world.

Brief Introduction :

The ideology of the Bahujan Samaj
Party (BSP) is “Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation” of
the “Bahujan Samaj “, which comprises of the Scheduled Castes (SCs),
the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Religious
Minorities such as Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists and account
for over 85 per cent of the country’s total population.

The people belonging to all these
classes have been the victims of the “Manuwadi” system in the country
for thousands of years, under which they have been vanquished, trampled upon
and forced to languish in all spheres of life. In other words, these people
were deprived even of all those human rights, which had been secured for the
upper caste Hindus under the age-old “Manuwadi Social System”.

Among the great persons (Mahapurush)
belonging to “Bahujan Samaj”, who fought courageously and with
commitment against the brutal and oppressive Manuwadi system, for providing a
level playing field to the downtrodden to help move forward in their lives with
“self-respect” and at par with the upper castes Hindus, especially
Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s socio-political campaign later proved to be
very effective in this direction. 

Though the contributions of leaders
of the downtrodden communities like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahuji
Maharaj, Narayana Guru and Periyar E. V. Ramaswami have been immense in the
fight against the obnoxious Manuwadi system, but the struggle of Baba Saheb Dr.
Bhimrao Ambedkar, who was born in Scheduled Caste community, and that of
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji later proved to be greatly effective and pregnant with
far-reaching consequences.

Besides waging a spirited campaign
against the Manuwadi Social System, Dr. Ambedkar instilled consciousness among
not only the SC/STs, but also among those belonging to other backward groups,
which continue to be victimised and trampled under this oppressive and unjust
Manuvadi Social System.

By virtue of his pivotal role in the
framing of the Indian Constitution, these groups were given a number of rights
in the Constitution on a legal basis to lead a life of dignity and
self-respect. But he was fully conscious of the fact that these exploited
sections of the society would not be able to get the full legal rights as long
as the governments would remain dominated by the Manuwadi persons and parties.

That’s why Dr. Ambedkar, during his
lifetime, had counseled the “Bahujan Samaj” that if they wanted to
fully enjoy the benefits of their legal rights, as enshrined in the
Constitution, they would have to bond together all the Bahujan groups on the
basis of unity and fraternity, bring them on a strong political platform and
capture the “Master Key” of political power. This was to be the modus
operandi for the formation of Bahujan Governments at the Centre and in States.
Only such governments could enforce all the constitutional and legal rights of
the “Bahujan Samaj” and provide opportunities to its People to move
forward in all spheres of life besides enabling them to lead a life of
“self-respect”.

Keeping in view this observation and
advice of Dr. Ambedkar, respected Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji founded the Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP), with the help of his associates, on April 14, 1984. For many
years while he enjoyed good health, he prepared the “Bahujan Samaj”
to secure the “master key” of political power, which opens all the
avenues for social and economic development.

However, being a diabetic and host of
other serious ailments, his health did not permit him to lead an active
political life for too long. On December 15, 2001, Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji,
while addressing a mammoth rally of the BSP at the Lakshman Mela Ground in
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the banks of the river Gomti, declared Kumari (Miss)
Mayawati Ji, then the lone Vice-President of the Party, as his only political
heir and successor.

Moreover, on September 15, 2003,
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji’s health suffered a serious setback, and the entire
responsibility of the Party fell on the shoulders of Bahan (Sister) Kumari
Mayawati Ji. Later, on September 18, 2003, the Party, through a consensus and
in keeping with its Constitution, made her its National President.

Being the
National President of a National Party, Kumari Mayawati Ji in her address
sought to assure that “I would like to make aware people of the country
that my Party, the BSP, is committed to not only improving the socio-economic
conditions of people belonging to the “Bahujan Samaj” but also of the
poor among the upper caste Hindus, small and medium farmers, traders and people
engaged in other professions.

But
people of the Manuwadi mindset, even if they are in different fields of life,
are acting under a conspiracy to project the image of the BSP as if it is
confined to championing the cause of SC/STs alone and is opposed to the upper
castes Hindus and other sections of the society. Also, the BSP has nothing to
do with the issues of national interest. However, on the basis of facts, I can
say with firmness and conviction that all such talks are a bunch of lies,
baseless and devoid of facts and are nothing else more than a slanderous
campaign of the status quoits Manuwadi forces. The policies, objectives and
ideology of the BSP are crystal clear and attuned to the welfare of the entire
country and its vast population.

On the basis of its ideology, the BSP
wants to sound the death-knell of the “Manuwadi Social System” based
on the ‘Varna’ (which is an inequality social system) and striving hard and
honestly for the establishment of an egalitarian and “Humanistic Social
System” in which everyone enjoys JUSTICE (social, economic and political)
and EQUALITY (of status and of opportunity) as enshrined in the PREAMBLE of the
Constitution.

Further, our Party Constitution very
clearly states that “the chief aim and objective of the Party shall be to
work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of change with a view to
realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of universal justice,
liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution of India.”

Such a social system is wholly in the
overall interest of the Country and all sections of the society too. If, in
this missionary work of “Social Transformation”, people of the upper
castes (Hindus) shed their Manuwadi mindset and join hands with the Bahujan
Samaj, our Party, with all due respect and affection would embrace them. Such
people will be given suitable positions in the Party organisation in accordance
with their ability, dedication and efficiency, and there would be no
distinction between them and those belonging to the Bahujan Samaj. Also they
will be fielded as Party candidates in the parliamentary and assembly
elections, and if our government is formed, they will also be given ministerial
berths.

These are not hollow talks because
the BSP in the past, during the three successive governments, had implemented
all such promises. In Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati government was formed four
times, and on each occasion, upper castes people were inducted in the Council
of Ministers. Even an upper caste person was appointed to an all-important post
of Advocate General. They were given the Party ticket for Lok Sabha and
Assembly elections and also nominated to the Parliament’s Upper Chamber i.e.
Rajya Sabha and state Legislative Councils.

In addition, upper caste people have
been given high posts in the Party organisation. For example, Mr. Satish
Chandra Mishra was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and also was made national
general secretary of the Party. In similar fashion, other castes of the Upper
Castes (Hindus) were promoted.

Thus, keeping in view all these
facts, it would be injudicious and fallacious to hold that the BSP works for
the welfare of a particular group or section. Yes, the Party does give priority
to those sections, which have been ignored and scorned all along by the
Manuwadi governments in all spheres of life. In addition, the BSP has always
contributed positively to all issues pertaining to the welfare of the Country.
The BSP has always taken an unequivocal stand on issues of the Country’s welfare
and never compromised on the issues related to the interest of the country
whenever the need arose.

Aims and Objectives

The chief aim and objective of the
party shall be to work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of
change with a view to realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of
universal justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the
Constitution of India, to be followed by State in governance, and in particular
summed up in the following extract from the Preamble of the Constitution.

We, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly
resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and
to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and opportunity; and promote among them all
Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and
integrity of the Nation;”

The Party shall regard its ideology as a movement for ending exploitation of
the weaker sections and suppression of the deprived through social and economic
change in keeping with the above stated chief aim, and its political activity
and participation in governance as an instrument of furthering such a movement
and bringing in such a change.

This being the chief aim of the Party, the strategy of the Party in public
affairs will be governed by the following general principles:

1. That all citizens of India being equal before law are entitled to be
treated as equal in true sense and in all matters and all walks of life, and
where equality does not exist it has to be fostered and where equality is
denied it has to be upheld and fought for.

2. That the full, free, uninhibited and unimpeded development of each
individual is a basic human right and State is an instrument for promoting and
realising such development;

3. That the rights of all citizens of India as enshrined in the Constitution
of India and subject to such restrictions as are set out in the Constitution,
have to be upheld at all costs and under all circumstances;

4. That the provisions of the Constitution requiring the State at Center and
in States to promote with special care and protect the socio-economic interests
of the weaker sections of the society denied to them for centuries, have to
upheld and given practical shape in public affairs as a matter of prime most
priority.

5. That economic disparities and the wide gaps between the ‘haves’ and the
‘have nots’ must not be allowed to override the political principle of
“one man, one vote, one vote, one value” adopted by our republic.

6. That unless political empowerment is secured for the economically
deprived masses they will not be able to free themselves from the shackles of
economic and social dependence and exploitation.

In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the aims stated
above the Party will work specially towards the following objectives:

1. The Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the other Backward Castes,
and the minorities, are the most oppressed and exploited people in India.
Keeping in mind their large numbers, such a set of people in India is known as
the Bahujan Samaj. The Party shall organise these masses.

2. The party shall work for these down trodden masses to-
a. to remove their backwardness;
b. to fight against their oppression and exploitation;
c. to improve their status in society and public life;
d. to improve their living conditions in day to day life;

2. The social structure of India is based on inequalities created by caste
system and the movement of the Party shall be geared towards changing the
social system and rebuild it on the basis of equality and human values. All
those who join the party with the commitment to co-operate in this movement of
social change shall be ingratiated into the fold of the Party.

Towards the furtherance of the above noted aims and objectives the
organisational units of Party as designated in this constitution, shall be
empowered to:-
1. purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire, and maintain, moveable or
immovable property for the Party and invest and deal with monies of Party in
such a manner as may from time to time be determined;

2. raise money with or without security for carrying out any of the aims and
objectives of the Party;

3. to do all other lawful things and acts as are incidental or conducive to
the attainment of any of the aforesaid aims and objectives,

Provided that none of these activities will be undertaken without the
express approval of the National President.



 

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