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A generic name, an appellative - but not a proper name - given to one who has attained Enlightenment (na mātarā katam, na pitarā katam – vimokkhantikam etam buddhānam bhagavantānam bodhiyā mūle … paññatti, MNid.458; Ps.i.174) a man superior to all other beings, human and divine, by his knowledge of the Truth (Dhamma).
The texts mention two kinds of Buddha: viz.,
The name given to one who is enlightened by and for himself - i.e., one who has attained to supreme and perfect insight, but who dies without proclaiming the truth to the world - hence the equivalent “Silent Buddha” sometimes found in translations. Pacceka Buddhas practise their pāramī for at least two thousand asankheyya kappas. They are born in any of the three kulas: brāhmana, khattiya, or gahapati only in a vivattamāna kappa, during which Buddhas are also born, but they never meet a Buddha face to face. They cannot instruct others; their realization of the Dhamma is “like a dream seen by a deaf mute.” They attain to all the iddhi, samāpatti and patisanhidā of the Buddhas, but are second to the Buddhas in their spiritual development. They do ordain others; their admonition is only in reference to good and proper conduct (abhisamācārikasikkhā).
Sometimes (e.g., at J. iv.341) it is stated that a Pacceka Buddha’s knowledge and comprehension of ways and means is less than that of a Bodhisatta. They hold their uposatha in the Ratanamālaka, at the foot of the Mañjūsarukkha in Gandhamādana. It is possible to become a Pacceka Buddha while yet a layman, but, in this case, the marks of a layman immediately disappear. Three caves in the Nandamūlakapabbhāra - Suvannaguhā, Maniguhā and Rajataguhā - are the dwelling places of Pacceka Buddhas. Round the Ratanamālaka, q.v. (or Sabbaratanamālaka), seats are always ready to receive the Pacceka Buddhas. When a Pacceka Buddha appears in the world, he immediately seeks the Ratanamālaka, and there takes his appointed seat. Then all the other Pacceka Buddhas in the world assemble there to meet him, and, in reply to a question by the chief of them, he relates the circumstances which led to his enlightenment. Similarly, all the Pacceka Buddhas assemble at the same spot when one of them is about to die. The dying one takes leave of the others, and, after his death, they cremate his body and his relics disappear. These details are given in SnA.i.47, 51, 58, 63; KhpA.178, 199; ApA.i.125; see also s.v. Gandhamādana.
But, according to another account, they die on the mountain called Mahāpapāta (q.v.). There does not seem to be any limit to the number of Pacceka Buddhas who could appear simultaneously. In one instance, five hundred are mentioned as so doing, all sons of Padumavatī (q.v.), at the head of whom was Mahāpaduma. In the Isigili Sutta (M.iii.68ff ) appears a long list of Pacceka Buddhas who dwelt on the Isigili Mountain (q.v.), and after whom the mountain was named.
According to Buddhaghosa (MA.ii.889ff), the names in this list belonged to the five hundred sons of Padumavatī, but the number of the names is far less than five hundred. This discrepancy is explained by saying that as many as twelve bore the same name. Other names are found scattered over different texts, such as the Jātakatthakathā. E.g., Darīmukha (J.iii.240), Sonaka (v.249); see also DhA. iv.120, etc.
The name occurring most frequently in the texts is that of Tagarasikhī (q.v.). Mention is also made of the Pacceka Buddhas going among men for alms and spending the rainy season in dwellings provided by men. E.g., DhA.ii.112f.; iii.91, 368; iv.200. Their patthanā (SnA..51). Their wisdom less than that of a Bodhisatta (J.iv.341).
Among the teachings preserved of the Pacceka Buddhas, the most important is the Khaggavisāna Sutta (q.v.). For the definition of a Pacceka Buddha see Puggalapiññatti (p.14; cf. p.70). There he is described as one who understands the Truth by his own efforts, but does not obtain omniscience nor mastery over the Fruits (phalesu vasībhāvam).and
‘Perfect Enlightenment’, Universal Buddha-hood, is the state attained by a Universal Buddha (sammā-sambuddha), i.e. one by whom the liberating law (dhamma) which had become lost to the world, has again been discovered, realized and clearly proclaimed to the world.
“Now, someone, in things never heard before, understands by himself the truth, and he therein attains omniscience, and gains mastery in the powers. Such a one is called a Universal Buddha, or Enlightened One” (Pug. 29).
The doctrine characteristic of all the Buddhas, and each time rediscovered by them and fully explained to the world, consists in the 4 Truths (sacca) of suffering, its origin, its extinction and the way to its extinction (s. magga). See bodhi.
(Sanskrit nirvāna): lit. ‘extinction’ (nir + Ö va, to cease blowing, to become extinguished); according to the commentaries, ‘freedom from desire’ (nir+ vana). Nibbāna constitutes the highest and ultimate goal of all Buddhist aspirations, i.e. absolute extinction of that life-affirming will manifested as greed, hate and delusion, and convulsively clinging to existence; and therewith also the ultimate and absolute deliverance from all future rebirth, old age, disease and death, from all suffering and misery. Cf. Parinibbāna.
“Extinction of greed, extinction of hate, extinction of delusion: this is called Nibbāna” (S. XXXVIII. 1).
The 2 aspects of Nibbāna are:
(1) The full extinction of defilements (kilesa-parinibbāna), also called sa-upādi-sesa-nibbāna (s. It. 41), i.e. ‘Nibbāna with the groups of existence still remaining’ (s. upādi). This takes place at the attainment of Arahatship, or perfect holiness (s. ariya-puggala).
(2) The full extinction of the groups of existence (khandha-parinibbāna), also called an-upādi-sesa-nibbāna (s. It. 41, A.IV.118), i.e. ‘Nibbāna without the groups remaining’, in other words, the coming to rest, or rather the ‘no-more-continuing’ of this physico-mental process of existence. This takes place at the death of the Arahat. - (App.: Nibbāna).
Sometimes both aspects take place at one and the same moment, i.e. at the death of the Arahat; s. sama-sīsī.
“This, o monks, truly is the peace, this is the highest, namely the end of all constructions, the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth, the fading away of craving, detachment, extinction, Nibbāna” (A. III, 32).
“Enraptured with lust (rāga), enraged with anger (dosa), blinded by delusion (moha), overwhelmed, with mind ensnared, man aims at his own ruin, at the ruin of others, at the ruin of both, and he experiences mental pain and grief. But if lust, anger and delusion are given up, man aims neither at his own ruin, nor at the ruin of others, nor at the ruin of both, and he experiences no mental pain and grief. Thus is Nibbāna visible in this life, immediate, inviting, attractive, and comprehensible to the wise” (A.III.55).
“Just as a rock of one solid mass remains unshaken by the wind, even so neither visible forms, nor sounds, nor odours, nor tastes, nor bodily contacts, neither the desired nor the undesired, can cause such a one to waver. Steadfast is his mind, gained is deliverance” (A.VI.55).
“Verily, there is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed, would not be possible” (Ud.VIII.3).
One cannot too often and too emphatically stress the fact that not only for the actual realization of the goal of Nibbāna, but also for a theoretical understanding of it, it is an indispensable preliminary condition to grasp fully the truth of anattā (q.v.), the egolessness and insubstantiality of all forms of existence. Without such an understanding, one will necessarily misconceive Nibbāna - according to one’s either materialistic or metaphysical leanings - either as annihilation of an ego, or as an eternal state of existence into which an ego or self enters or with which it merges. Hence it is said:
- “Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
- The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
- Nibbāna is, but not the man that enters it;
- The path is, but no traveler on it is seen.”
The Commentaries, however (e.g., SA.i.20; AA.i.65) make mention of four classes of Buddha:
All arahants (khīnāsavā) are called Catusacca Buddhā and all learned men Bahussuta Buddhā. A Pacceka Buddha practises the ten perfections (pāramitā) for two asankheyyas and one hundred thousand kappas, a Sabbañu Buddha practises it for one hundred thousand kappas and four or eight or sixteen asankheyyas, as the case may be (see below).
Seven Sabbaññu Buddhas are mentioned in the earlier books; these are
The nineteenth of the twenty four Buddhas. He was born in the Khema park in Bandhumatī, his father being Bandhumā and his mother Bandhumatī. He belonged to the Kondañña gotta. For eight thousand years he lived as a householder in three palaces: Nanda, Sunanda and Sirimā. His body was eighty cubits in height. His wife was Sutanā (v.l. Sudassanā) and his son Samavattakkhandha. He left the household in a chariot and practised austerities for eight months. Just before his enlightenment, the daughter of Sudassana setthi gave him milk rice, while a yavapālaka named Sujāta gave grass for his seat. His bodhi was a pātali tree. He preached his first sermon in Khemamigadāya to his step brother Khandha and his purohita’s son Tissa; these two later became his chief disciples. His constant attendant was Asoka; Candā and Candamittā were his chief women disciples. His chief lay patrons were Punabbasummitta and Nāga among men, and Sirimā and Uttarā among women. He died in Sumittārāma at the age of eighty thousand, and his relics were enshrined in a thūpa seven leagues in height. The Bodhisatta was a Nāga king named Atula. (Bu.xx.1ff.; BuA.195f.; D.ii.2ff).
Three reasons are given for the name of this Buddha (BuA.195; cf. DA.ii.454; SA.ii.15): (1) Because he could see as well by night as by day; (2) because he had broad eyes; (3) because he could see clearly after investigation. Vipassī held the uposatha only once in seven years (DhA.iii.236), but on such occasions the whole Sangha was present (Sp.i.186). The construction of a Gandhakuti for Vipassī brought Mendaka great glory in the present age. Mendaka’s name at the time was Avaroja (DhA.iii.364f). Aññākondañña was then known as Cūlakāla, and nine times he gave Vipassī Buddha the first fruits of his fields. DhA.i.81f.
Sikhī. The twentieth of the twenty four Buddhas.
The Bodhisatta was Arindama, king of Paribhutta. Abhibhū and Sambhava were his chief disciples among monks, and Akhilā (Makhilā) and Padumā among nuns
(Bu.xxi.; BuA.201ff.; cf. D.ii.7; iii.195f.; J. i.41, 94; DhA.i.69; S. ii.9; Dvy.333).
Sikhī Buddha held the Pātimokkha ceremony only once in six years (DhA.iii.236; cf. Sp.i.191).
For a visit paid by him to the Brahma world see Abhibhū. His name also occurs in the Arunavatī Paritta (q.v.).
Sikhī Sutta. The process by which Sikhī Buddha, like the other Buddhas, reached Enlightenment. S. iii.9.
The twenty-second of the twenty-four Buddhas and the first of the five Buddhas of the present Bhaddakappa.
He was the son of the brahmin Aggidatta, chaplain of Khemankara, king of Khemavatī, and Visākhā.
He was born in the Khema pleasaunce, and lived for four thousand years in the household in three palaces - Ruci, Suruci and Vaddhana (or Rativaddhana).
His wife was Virocamānā (or Rocanī), and he had a son, Uttara.
He left the world riding in a chariot, and practised austerities for only eight months.
Before his Enlightenment, he was given a meal of milk-rice by the daughter of the brahmin Vajirindha of the village Sucirindha, and grass for his seat by the yavapālaka Subhadda.
His bodhi was a Sirīsa-tree, and his first sermon was preached to eighty-four thousand monks in the park near the city of Makila.
He performed the Twin-Miracle under a Sāla-tree at the gates of Kannakujja. Among his converts was a fierce yakkha named Naradeva.
He held only one assembly of his monks.
Kakusandha’s body was forty cubits in height, and he died at the age of forty thousand years in the Khema pleasaunce.
The thūpa erected over his relics was one league high.
The Bodhisatta was at that time a king named Khema. The Buddha’s chief disciples were Vidhura and Sañjīva among monks, and Sama and Campā among nuns. His personal attendant was Buddhija. Accuta and Samana, Nandā and Sunandā were his most eminent lay-supporters (D.ii.7; Bu.xxiii; J.i.42; BuA.209ff). Kakusandha kept the fast-day (uposatha) every year (DhA.iii.236). In Kakusandha’s time a Māra, named Dūsī (a previous birth of Moggallāna), gave a great deal of trouble to the Buddha and his followers, trying greatly the Buddha’s patience (M.i.333ff;Thag.1187). The Samyutta Nikāya (S.ii.190f) mentions that during the time of Kakusandha, the Mount Vepulla of Rājagaha was named Pācīna-vamsa and the inhabitants were called Tivarā.
The monastery built by Accuta on the site where, in the present age, Anāthapindika erected the Jetavanārāma, was half a league in extent, and the ground was bought by golden kacchapas sufficient in number to cover it (J.i.94).
According to the Ceylonese chronicles (Dpv.ii.66; xv.25, 34; xvii.9, 16, etc.; Mhv.xv.57-90), Kakusandha paid a visit to Ceylon. The island was then known as Ojadīpa and its capital was Abhayanagara, where reigned King Abhaya. The Mahāmeghavana was called Mahātittha. The Buddha came, with forty thousand disciples, to rid the island of a pestilence caused by yakkhas and stood on the Devakūta mountain from where, by virtue of his own desire, all inhabitants of the country could see him. The Buddha and his disciples were invited to a meal by the king, and after the meal the Mahātittha garden was presented to the Order; there the Buddha sat, in meditation, in order to consecrate various spots connected with the religion. At the Buddha’s wish, the nun Rucānandā brought to the island a branch of the sacred bodhi-tree. The Buddha gave to the people his own drinking-vessel as an object of worship, and returned to Jambudīpa, leaving behind his disciples Mahādeva and Rucānandā to look after the spiritual welfare of the new converts to the faith.
In Buddhist Sanskrit texts the name of the Buddha is given as Krakucchanda (See especially Divy.254, 418f; Mtu.iii.247, 330).
2. Kakusandha Thera. Author of the Sinhalese Dhātuvamsa, probably a translation from the Pāli. He is generally assigned to the fifteenth century. P.L.C.255.
The twenty-third in the list of the twenty-four Buddhas and the second Buddha to be born in the Bhaddakappa. He was born in the Subhagavatī Park in Sobhavatī, the capital of King Sobha, his father being the brahmin Yaññadatta and his mother Uttarā.
He lived in the household for three thousand years, in three palaces, Tusita, Santusita and Santuttha; his chief wife was Rucigattā and their son was Satthavāha. Konāgamana left the world on an elephant and practised austerities only for six months, at the end of which time he was given milk-rice by the daughter of the brahmin Aggisoma and grass for his seat by the yavapālaka Tinduka. His Bodhi was an Udumbara tree. His first sermon was preached in the Migadāya near Sudassana-nagara, at the foot of a Mahā-sāla tree. He held only one assembly of his disciples, who numbered thirty thousand. His body was thirty cubits in height.
He died in the Pabbatārāma at the age of thirty thousand. His relics were scattered. His chief disciples were Bhīyya and Uttara among monks, and Samuddā and Uttarā among nuns, his constant attendant being Sotthiya. His chief patrons were Ugga and Somadeva among laymen, and Sīvalā and Sāmā among laywomen. The Bodhisatta was a khattiya named Pabbata of Mithilā. He held an almsgiving, heard the Buddha preach and joined the Order. (D.i.7; Bu.xxiv; BuA.213ff; J. i.42f; according to the Jātaka his body was twenty cubits high; Sp.i.190).
The banker Ugga built for the Buddha a Sanghārāma half a league in extent (J.i.94).
On the day of the Buddha’s birth a shower of gold fell all over Jambudīpa, hence he was called Kanakāgamana, Konāgamana being a corrupt form of that word (BuA.213-14)
According to the Ceylon Chronicles (Dpv.ii.67; xv.25, 44, 48; xvii.9, 17, 73; Mhv.xv.91-124), Konāgamana visited their Island (then known as Varadīpa), with thirty thousand disciples, accepted the Mahānoma garden at Vaddhamāna, given by King Samiddha, and preached the doctrine. At the conclusion of his sermon, thirty thousand people realised the Truth. At the Buddha’s wish, the nun Kantakānandā (v.l. Kanakadattā) brought to Ceylon a branch of the Bodhi-tree. The Buddha also preached at the Ratanamāla, the Sudassanamāla and the Nāgamālaka and gave his girdle for the people’s worship. He left Mahāsumba and Kantakānandā to look after the new converts.
In Konāgamana’s time Mount Vepulla was known as Vankaka, and the people living on the mountain were called Rohitassā, their term of life being thirty thousand years (S.ii.191). Konāgamana held the uposatha once a year (DhA.ii.236).
In the Northern books (E.g., Dvy.333; Mtu.i.114; ii.265f, 300, 302, 304, 430; iii.240-7, 330) Konāgamana is called Kanakamuni, Konākamuni, and Kanakaparvata.
A Thūpa, erected on the spot where Konāgamana was born, is thought to have existed down to the time of Asoka, who rebuilt it to double its original size and worshipped it in his twentieth year (Hultszch: Inscrip. of Asoka, p.165).
Hiouen Thsang (Beal., op. cit., ii.19) says he saw thūpas at Konāgamana’s birthplace and also at the spot where he met his father after the Enlightenment.
Fa Hien (Travels, p.36) saw thūpas at the latter place and also at the place of the Buddha’s death.
1. Kassapa Buddha.Also called Kassapa Dasabala to distinguish him from other Kassapas
The twenty-fourth Buddha, the third of the present neon (the Bhaddakappa) and one of the seven Buddhas mentioned in the Canon (D.ii.7).
He was born in Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana,
of brahmin parents, Brahmadatta and Dhanavatī, belonging to the Kassapagotta.
For two thousand years he lived in the household, in three different palaces, Hamsa, Yasa and Sirinanda. (The BuA.217 calls the first two palaces Hamsavā and Yasavā).
He had as chief wife Sunandā, by whom he begot a son, Vijitasena.
Kassapa left the world, traveling in his palace (pāsāda), and practiced austerities for only seven days.
Just before his Enlightenment his wife gave him a meal of milk-rice, and a yavapāla named Soma gave him grass for his seat.
His bodhi was a banyan-tree, and
he preached his first sermon at Isipatana to a crore of monks who had renounced the world in his company.
He performed the Twin-Miracle at the foot of an asana-tree outside Sundaranagara.
He held only one assembly of his disciples; among his most famous conversions was that of a yakkha, Naradeva (q.v.).
His chief disciples were Tissa and Bhāradvāja among monks, and Anulā and Uruvelā among nuns, his constant attendant being Sabbamitta.
Among his patrons, the most eminent were Sumangala and Ghattīkāra, Vijitasenā and Bhaddā.
His body was twenty cubits high, and,
after having lived for twenty thousand years, he died in the Setavya pleasance at Setavyā in Kāsī.
Over his relics was raised a thūpa one league in height, each brick of which was worth one crore.
It is said (MA.i.336ff ) that there was a great difference of opinion as to what should be the size of the thūpa and of what material it should be constructed; when these points were finally settled and the work of building had started, the citizens found they had not enough money to complete it. Then an anāgāmī devotee, named Sorata, went all over Jambudīpa, enlisting the help of the people for the building of the thūpa. He sent the money as he received it, and on hearing that the work was completed, he set out to go and worship the thūpa; but he was seized by robbers and killed in the forest, which later came to be known as the Andhavana.
Upavāna, in a previous birth, became the guardian deity of the cetiya, hence his great majesty in his last life (DA.ii.580; for another story of the building of the shrine see DhA.iii.29).
Among the thirty-seven goddesses noticed by Guttila, when he visited heaven, was one who had offered a scented five-spray at the cetiya (J.ii.256). So did Alāta offer Āneja-flowers and obtain a happy rebirth (J.vi.227).
The cause of Mahā-Kaccāna’s golden complexion was his gift of a golden brick to the building of Kassapa’s shrine (AA.i.116).
At the same cetiya, Anuruddha, who was then a householder in Benares, offered butter and molasses in bowls of brass, which were placed without any interval around the cetiya (AA.i.105).
Among those who attained arahantship under Kassapa is mentioned Gavesī, who, with his five hundred followers, strove always to excel themselves until they attained their goal (A.iii.214ff).
Mahākappina, then a clansman, built, for Kassapa’s monks, a parivena with one thousand cells (AA.i.175).
Bakkula’s admirable health and great longevity were due to the fact that he had given the first fruits of his harvest to Kassapa’s monks (MA.iii.932).
During the time of Kassapa Buddha, the Bodhisatta was a brahmin youth named Jotipāla who, afterwards, coming under the influence of Ghatīkāra, became a monk. (Bu.xxv.; BuA.217ff; D.ii.7; J.i.43, 94; D.iii.196; Mtu.i.303ff, 319). This Ghatīkāra was later born in the Brahma-world and visited Gotama, after his Enlightenment. Gotama then reminded him of this past friendship, which Ghatīkāra seemed too modest to mention (S.i.34f).
The Majjhima Nikāya (M.ii.45f ) gives details of the earnestness with which Ghatīkāra worked for Jotipāla’s conversion when Kassapa was living at Vehalinga. The same sutta bears evidence of the great regard Kassapa had for Ghatīkāra.
The king of Benares at the time of Kassapa was Kikī, and the four gateways of Kassapa’s cetiya were built, one by Kikī, one by his son Pathavindhara, one by his ministers led by his general, and the last by his subjects with the treasurer at their head (SnA.i.194).
It is said that the Buddha’s chief disciple, Tissa, was born on the same day as Kassapa and that they were friends from birth. Tissa left the world earlier and became an ascetic. When he visited the Buddha after his Enlightenment, he was greatly grieved to learn that the Buddha ate meat (āmagandha), and the Buddha preached to him the Āmagandha Sutta, by which he was converted (SnA.i.280ff).
The Ceylon Chronicles (Mhv.Xv.128ff; Sp.i.87; Dpv. xv.55ff; Mbv.129) mention a visit paid by Kassapa to Ceylon in order to stop a war between King Jayanta and his younger brother. The island was then known as Mandadīpa, with Visāla as capital. The Buddha came with twenty thousand disciples and stood on Subhakūta, and the armies seeing him stopped the fight. In gratitude, Jayanta presented to the Buddha the Mahāsāgara garden, in which was afterwards planted a branch of the Bodhi-tree brought over by Sudhammā, in accordance with the Buddha’s wish. The Buddha preached at the Asokamālaka, the Sudassanamālaka and the Somanassamālaka, and gave his rain-cloak as a relic to the new converts, for whose spiritual guidance he left behind his disciples Sabbananda and Sudhammā and their followers. In Kassapa’s time Mt. Vepulla at Rājagaha was known as Supassa and its inhabitants as the Suppiyas (S.ii.192).
But many other places had the same names in the time of Kassapa as they had in the present age - e.g., Videha (J.vi.122), Sāvatthi (J.vi.123), Kimbila (J.vi.121) and Bārānasī. (J.vi.120).
Besides the Āmagandha Sutta mentioned above, various other teachings are mentioned as having been first promulgated by Kassapa and handed on down to the time of Gotama and re-taught by him. Such, for instance, are the questions (pucchā) of Ālavaka and Sabhiya and the stanzas taught to Sutasoma by the brahmin Nanda of Takkasilā (J.v.476f; 453). The Mittavinda Jātaka (No.104) is mentioned as belonging to the days of Kassapa Buddha (J.i.413).
Mention is also made of doctrines which had been taught by Kassapa but forgotten later, and Gotama is asked by those who had heard faint echoes of them to revive them (E.g., MA, i.107, 528;AA.i.423). A sermon attributed to Kassapa, when he once visited Benares with twenty thousand monks, is included in the story of Pandita-Sāmanera (DhA.ii.127ff). It was on this occasion that Kassapa accepted alms from the beggar Mahāduggata in preference to those offered by the king and the nobles.
Kassapa held the uposatha only once in six months (DhA.iii.236).
Between the times of Kassapa and Gotama the surface of the earth grew enough to cover Sūkarakata-lena (MA.ii.677).
The records of Chinese pilgrims contain numerous references to places connected with Kassapa. Hiouien Thsang speaks of a stūpa containing the relics of the whole body of the Buddha, to the north of the town, near Srāvasti, where, according to him, Kassapa was born (Beal., op. cit., ii.13). Mention is also made of a footprint of Kassapa (Ibid.i., Introd. ciii). Stories of Kassapa are also found in the Divyāvadāna (E.g., pp.22f; 344f; 346f; see also Mtu., e.g., i.59, 303f).
The Dhammapada Commentary (iii.250f ) contains a story, which seems to indicate that, near the village of Todeyya, there was a shrine thought to be that of Kassapa and held in high honour by the inhabitants of the village. After the disappearance of Kassapa’s Sāsana, a class of monks called Setavattha-samanavamsa (”white-robed recluses”) tried to resuscitate it, but without success (VibhA.432).
2. Kassapa Thera. The son of an Udicca-brahmin of Sāvatthi, who died when Kassapa was still young. Having heard the Buddha preach at Jetavana, he entered the First Fruit of the Path and, with his mother’s leave, became a monk. Some time later, wishing to accompany the Buddha on a tour after the rains, he went to bid his mother farewell, and her admonition to him on that occasion helped him to win insight and become an arahant (Thag.v.82).
In the time of Padumuttara Buddha he had been a brahmin versed in the Vedas. One day, seeing the Buddha and wishing to pay homage, he cast a handful of sumana-flowers into the air over the Buddha’s head, and the flowers formed a canopy in the sky. In later births he was twenty-five times king, under the name of Cinnamāla (v.l. Cittamāla). (ThagA.ii.177f ).
He is probably identical with Sereyyaka Thera of the Apadāna.
3. Kassapa. A devaputta. He visited the Buddha late one night at Jetavana and uttered several stanzas, admonishing monks to train themselves in their tasks, laying particular stress on the cultivation of Jhāna (S.i.46).
Buddhaghosa says (SA.i.82) that Kassapa had heard the Buddha preach the Abhidhamma in Tāvatimsa. Having heard only a portion of the doctrine and not being sure of the admonition given by the Buddha to the monks regarding the practice of Jhāna-vibhanga, Kassapa thought he could supply the omission. The Buddha, knowing his capabilities, allowed him to give his views, and expressed his approval at the end of Kassapa’s speech.
4. Kassapa. A sage (isi); one of the famous sages of yore, of whom ten are several times mentioned in the books (E.g., D.i.104, 238; M.ii.169, 200; A.iii.224; iv.61; J. vi.99) as having been brahmin sages, who composed and promulgated the mantras and whose compositions are chanted and repeated and rehearsed by the brahmins of the present day. For details see Atthaka.
5. Kassapa (called Kassapa-mānava). The Bodhisatta in the time of Piyadassī Buddha. He was a brahmin versed in the Vedas, and having heard the Buddha preach, built a monastery costing one thousand crores. J. i.38; Bu.xiv.9f; BuA.176.
6. Kassapa.Another name for Akitti (q.v.). J. iv.240, 241; see also Jātakamālā vii.13.
7. Kassapa. A brahmin ascetic, the Bodhisatta, father of Nārada, whose story is given in the Cūla-Nārada Jātaka (q.v.). J. iv.221f.
8. Kassapa. A brahmin ascetic, father of the Bodhisatta in the story of the Kassapamandiya Jātaka. J. iii.38.
9. Kassapa. A great sage, the Bodhisatta, father of Isisinga (J.v.157, 159). The scholiast explains that Kassapa was the gotta or family name.
10. Kassapa. An ascetic, also called Nārada, who lived in a hermitage near Mt. Kosika in Himavā. He saw the Buddha Padumuttara in the forest, invited him into the hermitage, provided a seat and asked for words of advice. He was a former birth of Ekāsanadāyaka Thera. Ap.ii.381.
11. Kassapa.A setthi, probably of Rājagaha, who built the Kassapakārāma, named after him. SA.ii.230.
12. Kassapa.Son of Dhātusena by a morganatic marriage. He slew his father and became king of Ceylon as Kassapa I. (478-96 A.C.). Fearing the revenge of his brother Moggallāna, he erected the fortress at Sīhagiri and dwelt there. Later, repenting of his patricide, he did many meritorious deeds by way of amends (for details see Cv.xxxix.8ff), chief of which was the restoration of the Issarasamanārāma, to which he added buildings named after his daughters, Bodhī and Uppalavannā. In a fight with his brother’s forces his army fled in disorder, and Kassapa cut his throat with a dagger. Cv.xxxviii.80ff.; xxxix.1ff.
13. Kassapa.Son of Upatissa III. of Ceylon. He had sixteen companions as brave as himself and, with their help, several times repulsed the attacks of Silākāla, when the latter revolted against the king. He became known as Girikassapa on account of his prowess. In the last campaign Silākāla was victorious, and Kassapa, with his parents and his loyal followers, fled to Merukandara, but they lost their way and were surrounded by Silākāla. When the royal elephant fell Kassapa cut his own throat. Cv.xli.8-25.
14. Kassapa.Younger brother of Aggabodhi III.; he was made viceroy when Māna was killed (Cv.xliv.123f). When Aggabodhi had recovered the kingdom from the usurper Dāthopatissa, which he did only after various reverses in his fortunes, Kassapa abused his influence and plundered various sacred edifices to provide for his army (Cv.xliv.137f). On Aggabodhi’s death in exile in Rohana, Kassapa defeated Dāthopatissa, who claimed the throne, and became king in his place (Kassapa II. 641-50). He did not, however, wear a crown, the regalia having probably been stolen. As king he repented of his former misdeeds and did various acts of merit (Cv.xliv.147ff; xlv.1ff). He paid special honour to Mahādhammakathī Thera of Nāgasālā and to the Thera of Katandhakāra.
His children all being young at the time of his death, he entrusted the government to his sister’s son, Māna (Cv.xlv.8). According to the chronicles, Mānavamma was the son of Kassapa (Cv.xlvii.2). He also had a son named Mana (Cv.lvii.4).
15. Kassapa (Kassapa III., 717-24 A.C.). A younger brother of Aggabodhi V. (?); Kassapa’s younger brother was Mahinda I (Cv.xlviii.20-26) and his son Aggabodhi (Cv.xlviii.32).
16. Kassapa.One of the three younger brothers of Sena I., the others being Mahinda and Udaya (Cv.l.6). Kassapa was appointed Ādipāda and fought valiantly against the forces of the Pandu king, who was then invading Ceylon, but, finding his efforts of no avail, he fled to Kondivāta (Cv.vv.25ff). He was later killed at Pulatthipura by the orders of the Pandu king (Cv.vv.46). He had four sons, the eldest of whom was named Sena (Cv.vv.47).
17. Kassapa. Son of Kittaggabodhi, ruler of Rohana. When his eldest brother was murdered by his paternal aunt, Kassapa fled to the court of King Sena I., but, later, with Sena’s help, he won his father’s inheritance (Cv.l.54ff). He was probably killed by the Adipāda Kittaggabodhi. Cv.li.96; and Cv.Trs.i.157, n.2.
18. Kassapa.Younger brother of Sena II. and Udaya II. He was Mahādipāda or Yuvarāja under Udaya (Cv.li.91), and later became king as Kassapa IV. (896-913 A.C.) (Cv.lii.1ff). His daughter Sena married Kassapa V. (Cv.li.93)
19. Kassapa.Son of Sena II. The king gave him a special share of his own revenues and a share of the extraordinary revenues of the island (Cv.li.18, 20). Two wives of his are mentioned: Sanghā and Senā (Cv.li.18, 92). He became Yuvarāja under Kassapa IV. and ruled over Dakkhinadesa (Cv.lii.1), and, at the death of the king, he became ruler of Ceylon as Kassapa V. (probably 913-23 A.C.) (Cv.lii.37ff). He is sometimes referred to as the son of the twice-consecrated queen (dvayābhisekajāta), his mother being Sanghā, daughter of Kittaggabodhi (1) and Devā. In inscriptions Kassapa is referred to as Abhaya-Silāmegha-vanna (Cv.Trs.i.165, n.3). He was evidently a learned man, and a Sinhalese Commentary to the Dhammapadatthakathā is attributed to him (Edited byD. B. Jayatilaka, Colombo 1933). He had one wife, Vajirā (Cv.lii.62), a second, Devā (Cv.lii.64), and a third, Rājinī (Cv.lii.67). He had a son, Siddhattha, who died young, and another, who was given the title of Sakkasenāpati. The latter led an expedition to help the Pandu king against the King of Cola, but he died of plague in Cola (Cv.lii.72-8).
20. Kassapa.Son of Sena V. (Cv.liv.69)
21. Kassapa.Son of Mahinda V. (Cv.lv.10). When Mahinda was captured and taken away by the Colas, the people took charge of the young Kassapa and brought him up. When the boy was twelve years old the Cola king sent an army over to Ceylon to seize him; but this plan was frustrated by the official Kitti, of Makkhakudrūsa, and the minister Buddha, of Māragallaka (Cv.lv.24-9). Kassapa ascended the throne as Vikkamabāhu, but refused to be crowned until he should have conquered the Tamils in his kingdom. While preparations were afoot towards this end, he died of a vātaroga. He reigned twelve years (1029-1041 A.C.). (Cv.lvi.1-6; Cv.Trs.i.190, n.3). He is perhaps to be identified with the prince Kassapa who married Lokitā, cousin of Mahinda V., and by whom he had two sons, Moggallāna and Loka. Cv.lvii.28f; Cv.Trs.i.195, n.3.
22. Kassapa.Chief of the Kesadhātus (q.v.). For some time he carried on the government at Rohana, where he defeated the Tamils. He refused to own allegiance to Kitti (afterwards Vijayabāhu I.), and after six months of rule in Khadirangani, full of resentment that his services against the Tamils had not been recognised, he marched against Kitti and was slain in a battle near Kājaragāma. Cv.lvii.65-75.
23. Kassapa. A prince of Jambudīpa who, during the reign of Parakkamabāhu I. of Ceylon, sent costly gifts to the king of Rāmañña; the Rāmañña king forbade the envoys to land and insulted them. This is mentioned as one of the acts which led Parakkamabāhu to send an expedition against Rāmañña. Cv.lxxvi.28f
24. Kassapa Thera. According to the Gandhavamsa (p.61) he was the author of the Anāgatavamsa and also of the Mohavicchedanī, the Vimaticchedanī and the Buddhavamsa. This Buddhavamsa is evidently not the canonical work of the same name. The Sāsanavamsadīpa (Verse 1204, see also 1221) says that a Kassapa, an inhabitant of Cola, was the author of a Vimativinodanī. The Sāsanavamsa (p.33; see also P.L.C.160) calls this a Vinayatīkā and the author an inhabitant of the Tamil country. The Mohavicchedanī is there described as a lakkhanagandha (a treatise on grammar?) and is ascribed to another Kassapa.
25. Kassapa. A Kassapa Thera is mentioned in the Sāsanavamsa (p.50) as having been among those responsible for the establishment of the religion in Yonakarattha. He was an inhabitant of Majjhimadesa.
26. Kassapa. The Sāsanavamsa (p.71) mentions a Kassapa Thera of Arimaddana, in the time of King Narapati. While on tour he reached a country called Pollanka, where the people grew very fond of him and where he became known as Pollanka Thera. Some time later he was crossing to Ceylon and the vessel in which he was refused to move. Lots were drawn, as it was necessary to discover who aboard the vessel was the sinner. The lot fell repeatedly on Kassapa, because, in a former life, he had harassed a dog in the water. He was accordingly thrown overboard, but was rescued by Sakka, in the form of a crocodile. The thera reached Yakkhadīpa (q.v.) and there, as a result of practising compassion, the blind yakkhas gained their sight. Kassapa went later to Sīhaladīpa, whence he returned home with relics and seeds of the Bodhi-tree and models of the Mahācetiya and Lohapāsāda.
27. Kassapa. The name is sometimes used as a shortened form of Kassapagotta (q.v.). (E.g., J. vi.224, 225, etc., in reference to the Ājīvaka Guna). Nārada-tāpasa is also once addressed as Kassapa (J.vi.58).
28. Kassapa.See also Acela Kassapa, Uruvela Kassapa, Kumāra°, Gayā°, Dasabala°, Nadī°, Nārada°, Pūrana°, Mahā° and Lomasa°.
Kassapa was evidently a well-known gotta name (e.g., MA.i.584) and people born in a family bearing that name were often addressed as Kassapa - e.g., Uruvela-Kassapa (AA.i.165) and, again, Nāgita Thera (D.i.151)
E.g., D.ii.5f.; S. ii.5f.; cp. Thag.491; J. ii.147; they are also mentioned at Vin.ii.110, in an old formula against snake bites. Beal. (Catena, p. 159) says these are given in the Chinese Pātimokkha. They are also found in the Sayambhū Purāna (Mitra, Skt. Buddhist Lit. of Nepal, p. 249).
This number is increased in the later books. The Buddhavamsa
The fourteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya (DA.i.17).
The Dīgha-bhānakas excluded it from the canon, but it was accepted by the Majjhima-bhānakas (DA.i.17).
It contains, in verse, the lives of the twenty five Buddhas, of whom Gotama was the last. The name of the Bodhisatta under each Buddha is also given. The last chapter deals with the distribution of Gotama’s relics.
It is said (Bu.i.74) that the Buddhavamsa was preached, at Sāriputta’s request, at the Nigrodhārāma in Kapilavatthu, after the Buddha had performed the miracle of the Ratanacankama. The Commentary on the Buddhavamsa is known as the Madhurattha-vilāsinī (q.v.).
The Gandhavamsa (p.61) speaks of a Buddhavamsa written by an author named Kassapa. This is probably not the same work. Mention is also made (Gv.60) of a Tīkā to the Buddhavamsa, Paramatthadīpāni by name.
contains detailed particulars of twenty five Buddhas, including the last, Gotama, the first twenty four being those who prophesied Gotama’s appearance in the world. They are the predecessors of Vipassī, etc., and are the following:
The same poem, in its twenty seventh chapter, mentions three other Buddhas - Tanhankara, Medhankara and Saranankara - who appeared in the world before Dīpankara.
The Lalitavistara has a list of fifty four Buddhas and the Mahāvastu of more than a hundred. The Cakkavatti Sīhanāda Sutta
Preached to the monks at Mātulā. It is a sermon on the necessity of living in accordance with the Dhamma, with the Dhamma as one s refuge.
The Sutta contains the story of the Cakkavatti Dalhanemi and his eldest son, and the manner in which a Cakka-vatti administers the law, ruling by righteousness, over a people made virtuous by his instruction. But, later, there is a gradual corruption of morals, followed by the decay and destruction of human life with all its attendant comforts. This is followed by a gradual restoration of virtuousness, accompanied by the return of prosperity and longevity.
The Sutta also records the prophecy of the coming of the Buddha Metteyya (D.iii.58ff). It is said (DA.iii.858) that at the end of this discourse twenty thousand monks became arahants and eighty-four thousand others realised the Truth.
(D.iii.75ff ) gives particulars of Metteyya Buddha
The future Buddha Metteyya (Pāli), Maitreya (Sanskrit), Maitri (Sinhala), Mi-ruk (Korean), Mi-Lo (Chinese),
Miroku (Japanese), and Byama-pa (Tibetan), which may be the very same individual as the prophesized returning
Judeo-Christian Messiah and the Islamic rescuer Mahdi… He is the 5th & last Buddha of this universal eon cycle.
According to the Cakkavatti Sīhanāda Sutta, he will be born, when human beings will live to an age of eighty thousand years, in the city of Ketumatī (present Benares), whose king will be the Cakkavattī Sankha. Sankha will live in the fairy palace where once dwelt King Mahāpanadā, but later he will give the palace away and will himself become a follower of Metteyya Buddha (D.iii.75ff).
The Anāgatavamsa (J.P.T.S.1886, pp.42, 46ff., 52; DhSA.415 gives the names of his parents) gives further particulars. Metteyya will be born in a very eminent brahmin family and his personal name will be Ajita. Metteyya is evidently the name of his gotta. For eight thousand years he will live the household life in four palaces Sirivaddha, Vaddhamāna, Siddhattha and Candaka - his chief wife being Candamukhī and his son Brahmavaddhana. Having seen the four signs while on his way to the park, he will be dissatisfied with household life and will spend one week in practicing austerities. Then he will leave home, travelling in his palace and accompanied by a fourfold army, at the head of which will be eighty-four thousand brahmins and eighty four thousand Khattiya maidens. Among his followers will be Isidatta and Pūrana, two brothers, Jātimitta, Vijaya, Suddhika and Suddhanā, Sangha and Sanghā, Saddhara, Sudatta, Yasavatī and Visākhā, each with eighty four thousand companions. Together they will leave the household and arrive on the same day at the Bodhi tree. After the Enlightenment the Buddha will preach in Nāgavana and King Sankha will, later, ordain himself under him. Metteyya’s father will be Subrahmā, chaplain to King Sankha, and his mother Brahmavatī. His chief disciples will be Asoka and Brahmadeva among monks, and Padumā and Sumanā among nuns. Sīha will be his personal attendant and his chief patrons Sumana, Sangha, Yasavatī and Sanghā. His Bodhi will be the Nāga tree. After the Buddha’s death, his teachings will continue for one hundred and eighty thousand years.
According to the Mahāvamsa (Mhv.Xxxii.81f.; see Mil.159), Kākavannatissa and Vihāramahādevī, father and mother of Dutthagāmani, will be Metteyya’s parents, Dutthagāmani himself will be his chief disciple and Saddhātissa his second disciple, while Prince Sāli will be his son.
At the present time the future Buddha is living in the Tusita deva-world (Mhv.Xxxii.73). There is a tradition that Nātha is the name of the future Buddha in the deva world.
The worship of the Bodhisatta Metteyya seems to have been popular in ancient Ceylon, and Dhātusena adorned an image of him with all the equipment of a king and ordained a guard for it within the radius of seven yojanas (Cv.xxxviii.68).
Dappula I. made a statue in honour of the future Buddha fifteen cubits high (Cv.xlv.62). It is believed that Metteyya spends his time in the deva-world, preaching the Dhamma to the assembled gods, and, in emulation of his example, King Kassapa V. used to recite the Abhidhamma in the assemblies of the monks (Cv.lii.47). Parakkamabāhu I. had three statues built in honour of Metteyya (Cv.lxxix.75), while Kittisirirājasīha erected one in the Rajata-vihāra and another in the cave above it (Cv.c.248,259). It is the wish of all Buddhists that they meet Metteyya Buddha, listen to his preaching and attain to Nibbāna under him. See, e.g., J. vi.594; MT. 687; DhSA.430
For a complete description of the next Buddha Metteyya See:
The Coming Buddha, Ariya Metteyya. Sayagyi U Chit Tin:
also published as BPS Wheel 381/383
who will be born in the world during the present kappa. The Anāgatavamsa gives a detailed account of him. Some MSS. of that poem (J.P.T.S. 1886, p. 37) mention the names of ten future Buddhas, all of whom met Gotama who prophesied about them. These are Metteyya, Uttama, Rāma, Pasenadi Kosala, Abhibhū, Dīghasonī, Sankacca, Subha, Todeyya, Nālāgiripalaleyya (sic).
The Mahāpadāna Sutta (D.ii.5f ) which mentions the seven Buddhas gives particulars of each under eleven heads (paricchedā) -
The Commentary (DA.ii.422ff) adds to these other particulars -
In the case of Gotama, the further fact is stated that on the day of his birth there appeared also in the world Rāhulamātā, Ananda, Kanthaka, Nidhikumbhi (Treasure Trove), the Mahābodhi andKāludāyī.
Gotama was conceived under the asterism (nakkhatta) of Uttarāsālha, under which asterism he also made his Renunciation (DA.ii425), preached his first sermon and performed the Twin Miracle. Under the asterism of Visākha he was born, attained Enlightenment and died; under that of Māgha he held his first assembly of arahants and decided to die; under Assayuja he descended from Tāvatimsa.
The Buddhavamsa Commentary says (BuA.2f) that in the Buddhavamsa particulars of each Buddha are given under twenty two heads, the additional heads being the details of the first sermon, the numbers of those attaining realization of truth (abhisamaya) at each assembly, the names of the two chief women disciples, the aura of the Buddha’s body (ramsi), the height of his body, the name of the Bodhisatta (who was to become Gotama Buddha), the prophecy concerning him, his exertions (padhāna) and the details of each Buddha’s death. The Commentary also says that mention must be made of the time each Buddha lived as a householder, the names of the palaces he occupied, the number of his dancing women, the names of his chief wife, and his son, his conveyance, his renunciation, his practice of austerities, his patrons and his monastery.
There are eight particulars in which the Buddhas differ from each other (atthavemattāni). These are length of life in the epoch in which each is born, the height of his body, his social rank (some are born as khattiyas, others as brahmins), the length of his austerities, the aura of his body (thus, in the case of Mangala, his aura spread throughout the ten thousand world systems, while that of Gotama extended only one fathom; - but when he wishes, a Buddha can spread his aura at will, BuA.106); the conveyance in which he makes his renunciation, the tree under which he attains Enlightenment, and the size of the seat (pallanka) under the Bodhi tree.
Only the first five are mentioned in DA.ii.424; also at BuA.105; all eight are given at BuA.246f., which also gives details under each of the eight heads, regarding all the twenty five Buddhas.
In the case of all Buddhas, there are four fixed spots (avijahitatthānāni). These are:
The monastery may vary in size; the site of the city in which it stands may also vary, but not the site of the bed. Sometimes it is to the east of the vihāra, sometimes to the north (DA.ii.424;BuA.247).
Thirty facts are mentioned as being true of all Buddhas (samatimsavidhā dhammatā).
There are also mentioned four dangers from which all Buddhas are immune:
A Buddha is born only in this Cakkavāla out of the ten thousand Cakkavālas which constitute the jātikkhetta (AA.i.251; DA.iii.897). There can appear only one Buddha in the world at a time (D.ii.225; D.iii.114; the reasons for this are given in detail inMil. 236, and quoted in DA.iii.900f). No Buddha can arise until the sāsana of the previous Buddha has completely disappeared from the world. This happens only with the dhātuparinibbāna (see below). When a Bodhisatta takes conception in his mother’s womb in his last life, after leaving Tusita, there is manifested throughout the world a wonderful radiance, and the ten thousand world systems tremble.
Similar earthquakes appear when he is born, when he attains Enlightenment, when he preaches the first sermon, when he decides to die, when he finally does so (D.ii.108f.; cp. DA.iii.897).
The Mahāpādāna Sutta (D.ii.12-15) and the Acchariya-bbhuta-dhamma Sutta (M.iii.119-124) contain accounts of other miracles, which attend the conception and birth of a Buddha. Later books (e.g., J. i.) have greatly enlarged these accounts. They describe how the Bodhisatta, having practised the thirty Pāramī, and made the five great gifts (pañcamahāpariccāgā), and thus reached the pinnacle of the threefold cariyā - ñātattha-cariyā, lokattha-cariyā and buddhi-cariyā - gives the seven mahādānā, as in the case of Vessantara, making the earth tremble seven times, and is born after death in Tusita.
The Bodhisatta, who later became Vipassī Buddha, remained in Tusita during the whole permissible period - fifty seven crores and sixty seven thousand years. But most Bodhisattas leave Tusita before completing the full span of life there. Five signs appear to warn the devaputta that his end is near (see Deva); the gods of the ten thousand worlds gather round him, beseeching him to be born on earth that he may become the Buddha. The Bodhisatta thereupon makes the five investigations (pañcamahāvilokanāni).
Sometimes only one Buddha is born in a kappa, such a kappa being called Sārakappa; sometimes two, Mandakappa; sometimes three, Varakappa; sometimes four, Sāramandakappa; rarely five, Bhaddakappa (BuA.158f). No Buddha is born in the early period of a kappa, when men live longer than one hundred thousand years and are thus not able to recognize the nature of old age and death, and therefore not able to benefit by his preaching. When the life of man is too short, there is no time for exhortation and men are full of kilesa. The suitable age for a Buddha is, therefore, when men live not less than one hundred years and not more than ten thousand. The Bodhisatta must first consider the continent and the country of birth. Buddhas are born only inJambudīpa, and there, too, only in the Majjhimadesa. He must then consider the family; Buddhas are born only in brahmin or khattiya families, whichever is more esteemed during that particular age. Then he must think of the mother: she must be wise and virtuous; and her life must be destined to end seven days after the Buddha’s birth.
Having made these decisions, the Bodhisatta goes to Nandanavana in Tusita, and while wandering about there “falls away” from Tusita and takes conception. He is aware of his death but unaware of his cuti-citta or dying thought. The Commentators seem to have differed as to whether there is awareness of conception. When the Bodhisatta is conceived, his mother has no further wish for indulgence in sexual pleasure. For seven days previously she observes the uposatha vows, but there is no mention of a virgin birth; the birth might be called parthenogenetic (see Mil.123).
On the day of the actual conception, the mother, having bathed in scented water after the celebration of the Asālha festival, and having eaten choice food, takes upon herself the uposathavows and retires to the adorned state bedchamber. As she sleeps, she dreams that the Four Regent Gods raise her with her bed, and, having taken her to the Himālaya, bathe her in LakeAnotatta, robe her in divine clothes, anoint her with perfumes and deck her with heavenly flowers (according to the Nidānakathā, J. i.50, it is their queens who do these things, re the Bodhisatta assuming the form of an elephant, see Dial.ii.116n). Not far away is a silver mountain and on it a golden mansion. There they lay her with her head to the east. The Bodhisatta, assuming the form of a white elephant, enters her room, and after circling right wise three times round her bed, smites her right side with his trunk and enters her womb. She awakes and tells her husband of her dream. Soothsayers are consulted, and they prophesy the birth of a Cakka-vatti or of a Buddha.
The two Suttas mentioned above speak of the circumstances obtaining during the time spent by the child in his mother’s womb. It is said (DA.ii.437) that the Bodhisatta is born when his mother is in the last third of her middle age. This is in order that the birth may be easy for both mother and child. Various miracles attend the birth of the Bodhisatta. The Commentaries expound, at great length, the accounts of these miracles given in the Suttas. Immediately after birth the Bodhisatta stands firmly on his feet, and having taken seven strides to the north, while a white canopy, is held over his head, looks round and utters in fearless voice the lion’s roar: “Aggo ‘ham asmi lokassa, jettho ‘ham asmi lokassa, settho ‘ham asmi lokassa, ayam antimā jāti, natthi dāni punabbhavo” (D.ii.15).
To the later Buddhists, not only these acts of the Bodhisatta, but every item of the miracles accompanying his birth, have their symbolical meaning. See, e.g., DA.ii.439; thus, standing on the earth means the attaining of the four iddhi-pādas; facing north implies the spiritual conquest of multitudes; the seven strides are the seven bojjhangas; the canopy is the umbrella of emancipation; looking round means unveiled knowledge; fearlessness denotes the irrevocable turning of the Wheel of the Law; the mention of the last birth, the arahantship he will attain in this life, etc.
There seems to have been a difference of opinion among the Elders of the Sangha as to what happened when the Bodhisatta took his seven strides northwards. Did he walk on the earth or travel through the air? Did people see him go? Was he clothed? Did he look an infant or an adult? Tipitaka Culābhaya, preaching on the first floor of the Lohapāsāda, settled the question by suggesting a compromise: the Bodhisatta walked on earth, but the onlookers felt he was travelling through the air; he was naked, but the onlookers felt he was gaily adorned; he was an infant, but looked sixteen years old; and after his roar he reverted to infancy! (DA.ii.442)
After birth, the Bodhisatta is presented to the soothsayers for their prognostications and they reassert that two courses alone are open to him either to be a Cakka-vatti or a Buddha. They also discover on his body the thirty two marks of the Great Man (Mahāpurisa) (These are given at D.ii.17 19; also M.ii.136f). The Bodhisatta has also the eighty secondary signs (asīti anubyañjana) such as copper coloured nails glossy and prominent, sinews which are hidden and without knots, etc. (The list is found in Lal. 121 ). The Brahmāyu Sutta (for details seeM.ii.137f) gives other particulars about Gotama, which are evidently characteristic of all Buddhas. Thus, in walking he always starts with the right foot, his steps are neither too long nor too short, only his lower limbs move; when he gazes on anything, he turns right round to do so (nāgavilokana). When entering a house he never bends his body (Cp. DhA.ii.136); when sitting down, accepting water to wash his bowl, eating, washing his hands after eating, or returning thanks, he sits with the greatest propriety, dignity and thoroughness. When preaching, he neither flatters nor denounces his hearers but merely instructs them, rousing, enlightening and heartening them (M.ii.139). His voice possesses eight qualities: it is frank, clear, melodious, pleasant, full, carrying, deep and resonant; it does not travel beyond his audience (for details concerning his voice see DA.ii.452f.; and MA.ii.771f). A passage in the Anguttara (A.iv.308) says that a Buddha preaches in the eight assemblies - of nobles, brahmins, householders, recluses, devas of the Cātummahārājika world, and of Tāvatimsa, of Māras and of Brahmās. In these assemblies he becomes one of them and their language becomes his.
The typical career of a Buddha is illustrated in the life of Gotama. He renounces the world only after the birth of a son. This, the Commentary explains (DA.ii.422), is to prevent him from being taken for other than a human being. He sees the four omens before his Renunciation: an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and a recluse. Some Buddhas see all four on the same day, others, likeVipassī, at long intervals (DA.ii.457). On the night before the Enlightenment, the Bodhisatta dreams five dreams (A.iii.240). After the Enlightenment the Buddha does not preach till asked to do so by Mahā Brahmā. This is on order that the world may pay greater attention to the Buddha and his teaching (DA.ii.467). A Buddha generally travels from the Bodhi tree to Isipatana for his first sermon, through the air, but Gotama went on foot because he wished to meet Upaka on the way (DA.ii.471).
The Buddha’s day is divided into periods, each of which has its distinct duties (DA.i.45f; SnA.i.131f, etc.). He rises early, and having attended to his bodily functions, sits in solitude till the time arrives for the alms round. He then puts on his outer robe and goes for alms, sometimes alone, sometimes with a large following of monks. When he wishes to go alone he keeps the door of his cell shut, which sign is understood by the monks (Ibid., 271). Occasionally he goes long distances for alms, travelling through the air, and then only khīnāsavā are allowed to accompany him (ThagA.ii.65). Sometimes he goes in the ordinary way (pakatiyā), sometimes accompanied by many miracles. After the meal he returns to his cell; this is the pure bhattakicca.
Having washed his feet, he would emerge from his cell, talk to the monks and admonish them. To those who ask for subjects of meditation, he would give them according to their temperament. He would then retire to his cell and, if he so desire, sleep for a while. After that, he looks around the world with his divine eye, seeking whom he may serve, and would then preach to those who come to him for instruction. In the evening he would bathe, and then, during the first watch, attend to monks seeking his advice. The middle watch is spent with devas and others who visit him to question him. The last watch is divided into three parts: the first part is spent in walking about for exercise and meditation; the second is devoted to sleep; and the third to contemplation, during which those who are capable of benefiting by the Buddha’s teaching, through good deeds done by them in the past, come into his vision. Only beings that are veneyyā (capable of benefiting by instruction) and who possess upanissaya, appear before the Buddha’s divine eye (DA.ii.470).
The Buddha gives his visitors permission to ask what they will. This is called Sabbaññupavārana, and only a Buddha is capable of holding to this promise to answer any question (SnA..i.229). Except during the rains, the Buddha spends his time in wandering from place to place, gladdening men and inciting them to lead the good life. This wandering is called cārikā and is of two kinds - turita and aturita. The first is used for a long journey accomplished by him in a very short time, for the benefit of some particular person. Thus Gotama travelled three gāvutas to meet Mahā Kassapa, thirty yojanas to see Alavaka and Angulimāla, forty five yojanas to see Pukusāti, etc. In the case of aturita cārikā progress is slow. The range of a Buddha’s cārikā varies from year to year. Sometimes he would tour the Mahāmandala of nine hundred yojanas, sometimes the Majjhimamandala of nine hundred yojanas, sometimes only the Antomandala of six hundred yojanas. A tour of the Mahāmandala occupies nine months, that of the Majjhimamandala eight, and that of the Antomandala from one to four months. Details of the cārikā and the reasons for them are given at length in DA.i.240 3. When the Buddha cannot go on a journey himself, he sends his chief disciples (SnA..ii.474). The Buddha announces his intention of undertaking a journey two weeks before he starts, so that the monks may get ready (DhA.ii.167).
The Buddha is omniscient, not in the sense that he knows everything, but that he could know anything should he so desire (see MNid.178,179; see also MNidA.223; SnA.i.18.). His ñāña is one of the four illimitables (neither can the Buddha’s body be measured for purposes of comparison with other bodies, MA.ii.790). He converts people in one of three ways:
It is the last method, which the Buddha most often uses (BuA.81) The Buddha’s rivals say that he possesses the power of fascination (āvattanīmāyā); but this is untrue, as sometimes (e.g., in the case of the Kosambi monks) he cannot make even his own disciples obey him. Some beings, however, can be converted only by a Buddha. They are called buddha veneyyā (SnA..i.331). Some are pleased by the Buddha’s looks, others by his voice and words, yet others by his austerities, such as the wearing of simple robes, etc.; and finally, those whose standard of judgment is goodness, reflect that he is without a peer (DhA.iii.113f.).
Though the Buddha’s teaching is never really lost on the listener, he sometimes preaches knowing that it will be of no immediate benefit (see, e.g., Udumbarikasīhanāda Sutta, D.iii.57). It is said that wherever a monk dwells during the Buddha’s time, in the vicinity of the Buddha, he would always have ready a special seat for the Buddha because it is possible that the Buddha would pay him a special visit (DA.i.48). Sometimes the Buddha will send a ray of light from his Gandhakuti to encourage a monk engaged in meditation and, appearing before him in this ray of light, preach to him. Stanzas so preached are called obhāsagāthā (SnA..i.16, 265).
Every Buddha founds an Order; the first pātimokkhuddesagāthā of every Buddha is the same (DA.ii.479). The attainment of arahantship is always the aim of the Buddha’s instruction (DA.iii.732). Beings can obtain the four abhiññā only during the lifetime of a Buddha (AA.i.204). A Buddha has ten powers (balāni) which consist of his perfect comprehension in ten fields of knowledge,
A.v.32f.; M.i.69, etc. At S. ii.27f., ten similar powers are given as consisting of his knowledge of the Paticasamuppāda. The powers of a disciple are distinct from those of a Buddha (Kvu.228); they are seven (see, e.g., D.iii.283) and physical strength equal to that of one hundred thousand crores of elephants (BuA.37). He alone can digest the food of the devas or food which contains the ojā put into it by the devas. No one else can eat with impunity the food which has been set apart for the Buddha (SnA..i.154). Besides these excellences, a Buddha possesses the four assurances (vesārajjāni, given at M.i.71f)), the eighteen Āvenikadhammā*, and the sixteen anuttariyas**.
*Described at Lal. 183, 343, Buddhaghosa also gives (at DA.iii.994) a list of eighteen buddhadhammā, but they are all concerned with the absence of duccarita in the case of the Buddha.
**Given by Sāriputta in the Sampasādāniya Sutta (D.iii.102ff.).
The remembrance of former births a Buddha shares with six classes of purified beings, only in a higher degree. This ability is possessed in ascending scale by titthiyā, pakatisāvakā, mahāsāvakā, aggasāvakā, pacceka buddhā and buddhā (E.g.,Vsm.411).
Every Buddha holds a Mahāsamaya, and only a Buddha is capable of preaching a series of suttas to suit the different temperaments of the mighty assembly gathered there (D.ii.255; DA.ii.682f).
A Buddha is not completely immune from disease (e.g., Gotama). Every Buddha has the power of living for one whole kappa,” but no Buddha does so, his term of life being shortened by reason of climate and the food he takes (DA.ii.413).
The Commentary explains (DA.ii.554f.) that kappa here means Āyukappa, the full span of a man’s life during that particular age. Some, like Mahāsīva Thera, maintained that if the Buddha could live for ten months, overcoming the pains of death, he could as well continue to live to the end of this Bhaddakappa. But a Buddha does not do so because he wishes to die before his body is overcome by the infirmities of old age.
No Buddha, however, dies till the sāsana is firmly established (D.iii.122). There are three parinibbānā in the case of a Buddha: kilesa parinibbāna, khandha parinibbāna and dhātu parinibbāna. The first takes place under the Bodhi tree, the second at the moment of the Buddha’s death, the third long after (DA.iii.899f.; for the history of Gotama’s relics see Gotama). Some Buddhas live longer than others; those that are dighāyuka have only sammukhasāvakā (disciples who hear the Doctrine from the Buddha himself), and at their death their relics are not scattered, only a single thūpa being erected over them (SnA.. 194, 195). Short lived Buddhas hold the uposatha once a fortnight; others (e.g. Kassapa Buddha) may have it once in six months; yet others (e.g. Vipassī) only once in six years (ThagA.ii.62).
After the Buddha’s death, his Doctrine is gradually forgotten. The first Pitaka to be lost is the Abhidhamma, beginning with the Patthāna and ending with the Dhammasangani. Then, the Anguttara Nikāya of the Sutta Pitaka, from the eleventh to the first Nipāta; next the Samyutta Nikāya from the Cakkapeyyāla to the Oghatarana; then the Majjhima, from the Indriyabhāvanā Sutta to the Mūlapariyāya Sutta, and then the Dīgha, from the Dasuttara to the Brahmajāla. Scattered gāthā like the Sabhiyapucchā, and the Ālavakapucchā, last much longer, but they cannot maintain the sāsana. The last Pitaka to disappear is the Vinaya, the last portion being the mātikā of the Ubhatovibhanga (VibhA.432).
When a Buddha dies, his body receives the honours due to a monarch (these are detailed at D.ii.141f). It is said that on the night on which a Buddha attains Enlightenment, and on the night during which he dies, the colour of his skin becomes exceedingly bright (D.ii.134). Here we have the beginning of a legend which later grew into an account of an actual “transfiguration” of the Buddha.
At all times, where a Buddha is present, no other light can shine (SnA..ii.525).
No Buddha is born during the samvattamānakappa, but only during the vivattamānakappa (SnA..i.51). A Bodhisatta who excels in paññā can attain Buddhahood in four asankheyyas; one who exels in saddhā, in eight, and one whose viriya is the chief factor, in sixteen (SnA..i.47f). When once a being has become a Bodhisatta there are eighteen conditions from which he is immune (SnA..i.50). The Buddha is referred to under various epithets. The Anguttara Nikāya gives one such list. There he is called Samana, Brāhmana, Vedagū, Bhisaka, Nimmala, Vimala, Ñānī and Vimutta (C.iv. 340). Buddhaghosa gives seven others: Cakkkumā, Sabbabhūtanukampī, Vihātaka, Mārasenappamaddī, Vusitavā, Vimutto and Angirasa (DA.iii.962f).
The Buddha generally speaks of himself as Tathāgata. This term is explained at great length in the Commentaries - e.g., DA.i.59f. His followers usually address him as Bhagavā, while others call him by his name (Gotama). In the case of Gotama Buddha, we find him also addressed as Sakka (Sn. vs. 345; perhaps the equivalent of Sākya), Brahma (Sn. p.91; SnA.ii.418), Mahāmuni (BuA.38) and Yakkha (M.i.386; also KS.i.262). Countless other epithets occur in the books, especially in the later ones. One very famous formula, used by Buddhists in their ritual, contains nine epithets, the formula being: Bhagavā araham sammāsambuddho, vijjācaranasampanno, sugato, lokavidū, anuttaro, purisadammasārathi, satthā devamanussānam, Buddho Bhagavā (these words are analysed and discussed in Vsm. 198 ff). It is maintained (e.g., DA.i.288) that the Buddha’s praises are limitless (aparimāna). One of his most striking characteristics, mentioned over and over again, is his love of quiet.
E.g., D.i.178f.; he is also fond of solitude (patissallāna), (D.ii.70; A.iv.438f.; S. v.320f., etc.). When he is in retirement it is usually akāla for visiting him (D.ii.270). There are also certain accusations, which are brought against a Buddha by his rivals, for this very love of solitude. “It is said that his insight is ruined by this habit of seclusion. By intercourse with whom does he attain lucidity in wisdom? He is not at his ease in conducting an assembly, not ready in conversation, he is occupied only with the fringe of things. He is like a one eyed cow, walking in a circle” (D.iii.38).
In this his disciples followed his example (D.iii.37). The dwelling place of a Buddha is called Gandhakuti. His footprint is called Padacetiya, and this can be seen only when he so desires it. When once he wishes it to be visible, no one can erase it. He can also so will that only one particular person shall see it (DhA.iii.194). It is also said that his power of love is so great that no evil action can show its results in his presence (SnA..ii.475). A Buddha never asks for praise, but if his praises are uttered in his presence he takes no offence (ThagA.iii.42). When the Buddha is seated in some spot, none has the power of going through the air above him (SnA..i.222). He prefers to accept the invitations of poor men to a meal (DhA.ii.135).
See also Gotama and Bodhisatta. Also the article on Buddha in the N.P.D.
2. Buddha. A king of forty one kappas ago, a previous birth of Vacchapāla (Pāyāsadāyaka) Thera. ThagA.i.160; Ap.i.157.
3. Buddha. A minister of Mahinda V. He was a native of Māragallaka and, in association with Kitti, another minister, vanquished the Cola army at Palutthagiri. He received as reward his native village. Cv.lv.26 31.
4. Buddha. A Kesadhātu, general of Parakkamabāhu I. He inflicted a severe defeat on Mānābharana at Pūnagāmatittha. Cv.lxxii.7.
5. Buddha. See Buddhanāyaka.
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