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07/26/11
327 LESSON 26 07 2011 Vijaya Sutta Sister Vijaya 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 celebrate Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as Reservation Day on 26-07-2011- Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest -Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven
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327  LESSON 26 07 2011 Vijaya Sutta Sister
Vijaya
 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 celebrate Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as
Reservation Day on 26-07-2011- Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal
Miracles-Objects of Interest-
Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven

Vijaya Sutta: Sister Vijaya

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1998–2011

Alternate translation: Bodhi

At
Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Vijaya the nun put on her robes and,
taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had
gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal
she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the
Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara
the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her,
wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her &
addressed her in verse:

You, a beautiful young woman. I, a young man. Come, my
lady, let’s enjoy ourselves to the music of a five-piece band.

Then the
thought occurred to Vijaya the nun: “Now who has recited this verse — a
human being or a non-human one?” Then it occurred to her: “This is
Mara the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear,
horripilation, & terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from
concentration.”

Then,
having understood that “This is Mara the Evil One,” she replied to
him in verses:

Lovely sights, sounds, smells, tastes, & tactile
sensations I leave to you, Mara. I have no need for them. I’m disgusted,
ashamed of this putrid body — disintegrating, dissolving. Sensual craving is
rooted out. Beings who have come to form, & those with a share in the
formless, & the peaceful attainments: their darkness is completely
destroyed.

Then Mara
the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, “Vijaya the nun knows
me” — vanished right there.

 

SN
5.4

 SN
5.7

 Iti
63

 Sn
5.6
; also Sn 4.9 (quoted in The
Mind Like Fire Unbound,
chapter III
).

Four Places of Principal Miracles

 

Buddhist
Pilgrimage

 

2. Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven

3, 16, 25, 26

 

2.1 How to reach there

Sankasia is
located in the village of
Sankisa-Basantapur in
district

of Farrukhabad,
Uttar Pradesh. From Agra, Sankasia is 175km via

the
Firozabad-Shikohabad-Mainpuri-Bewar-Pakhna route

 

2.1 Religious Significance

According to Dhammapada Commentary XIV, 2, after the
Buddha

had completed
the rains-retreat in
Tavatimsa Heaven,
he informed

Sakka Devaraja
of his intention to return to earth. Thereupon, Sakka

created three
ladders; one of gold, one of jewels and one of silver,

the tops of
which rested on the summit of Mt. Sumeru and the feet of

which rested
against the gate of the city of Sankasia. On the right

side was the
golden ladder for
devas,
on the left side was the silver

ladder for Brahma and his train, and in the
middle was the jewelled

ladder for the
Buddha. As the Buddha descended upon the jewelled

ladder, devas and Brahmas honored him by accompanying
him on

each side. With
this retinue the Buddha descended and set foot on

earth at the
gate of the city of Sankasia. Because of this miraculous

event, which
was witnessed by a great multitude, Sankasia became

an important
Buddhist shrine and several
stupas and
viharas were

erected there.

 

2.3 Historical Background

5, 16, 27

 

King Asoka
visited Sankasia as part of his itinerary of pilgrimage in

249 BC.
According to Fa Hsien, Asoka built a shrine over the spot

where the
Buddha set foot on earth. Behind the shrine, he raised a

stone column
18.3 m high with a lion capital on top and on its four

sides, placed
Buddha images.

 

Fa Hsien
reported that there were about a thousand monks and nuns

who all
received their food from the common store, and belonged,

some to the
greater vehicle and some of the lesser one. He spent one

vassa in Sankasia and described the
presence of many Buddhist

structures and
monasteries including a
sangharama containing
600-

700 monks. When
Hsüan Tsang arrived in 636 AD, there were four

sangharamas with about 1000 priests of
the Sammitiya sect. To the

east of the
city 20 li or so, he saw the great
sangharama of
beautiful

construction,
wherein lived 100 monks and religious laymen. He

also saw the
Asoka column 21 m high with carved figures on the

four sides and
around it, and mentioned the presence of some
stupas.

Other than
these accounts of the Chinese pilgrims, the history of

Sankasia
remained blank for the next 1200 years until
Cunningham

identified it
with the village of
Sankisa-Basantapur in
Farrukhabad

District of
Uttar Pradesh. The present site of Sankasia is situated on

a high mound
and there is a chain of other mounds spread outside

the village.
These mounds have yielded numerous silver and copper

punch marked
coins during excavations, mostly tribal coins of the

Panchala kings
and copper coins of the Kushan rulers. Large bricks

measuring 28 cm
by 15 cm bearing Brahmi inscriptions of 2
nd

century BC were
also discovered.

 

2.4 The Pristine Environment of Sankasia

 

Today Sankasia
is the one of the most remote and undeveloped

Buddhist
shrines in India, a far cry from the Buddha’s time when it

was called
‘City of Sankasia’. When India’s
Prime Minister Nehru

was asked by
some Japanese visitors in 1961, which was the poorest

Buddhist shrine
in India, he promptly replied: “Sankasia!” The

situation has
improved slightly since
Ms Mayawati,
a Buddhist

laywoman became
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in May 2007

again after a
brief term in 2002-03. Now the roads are getting better

and a new hotel
is being built to accommodate tourists in Sankasia.

 

The author
first visited Sankasia ten years ago. Impressed by its

pristine environment, he decided to lead
Malaysian pilgrims there

every
pilgrimage despite initial objections from certain members. In

the beginning,
the trip would take the whole day and we would leave

Sankasia by
evening and travel to Kanpur or Lucknow arriving at the

hotel well
after midnight. When the pilgrims’ hostel in the Burmese

Temple was
completed in 2004,
Sayadaw U 5anda invited
us to

stay overnight
there instead of leaving in the evening. It proved to be

very pleasant
as we got the opportunity to know Sayadaw U Nanda

and benefit
from his vast knowledge of the history of Sankasia. Now

more pilgrims
will get to know the rich heritage of Sankasia.

 

2.5 Objects of Interest

5, 16, 27

 

a) Broken Asoka Column with Elephant Capital

The Elephant
Capital that once surmounted the Asoka column is an

important relic
of the 3
rd century
BC. It is kept in a fenced up

pavilion.
Nearby under a tree, is a small shrine with a standing

image of Lord
Buddha, flanked by Brahma and Sakka to depict the

Buddha’s
descent from Heaven.

 

b) Site where the Buddha Descended from Heaven

About 20 metres
to the south of the Asokan pillar is a high mound

composed of
solid brickwork, which was once a Buddhist structure.

This mound is 6
metres high and 49 metres in diameter at its base.

Cunningham
identified it with the position of the three flights of

ladders by
which the Buddha descended from Heaven attended by

Brahma and
Sakka. According to Hsüan Tsang, when the ladders by

which the
Buddha descended from Heaven had disappeared, the

neighbouring
princes built up new triple stairs of bricks and chased

stones
ornamented with jewels on the ancient foundation (three

ladders)
resembling the old ones. There was a
vihara on
the

foundation and
close by its side was a stone column 21m high,

which was
erected by Asoka-raja. After the disappearance of

Buddhism from
India, the
vihara probably
followed the same fate of

many other
Buddhist establishments and fell into ruins. On top of the

foundation now
is a small shrine dedicated to a Hindu goddess

Bisari Devi,
built by a Hindu priest who has taken over the place

sometime ago.
This Hindu shrine on top of a Buddhist structure is a

bone of
contention between the Buddhists and Hindus in Sankasia.

According to
the Press Trust of India News, during the
Pavarana in

November 2001, at least 18 people including three policemen were

injured in
clashes involving people from the two communities

during a
religious procession in Sankasia. The trouble began when

the Hindus
started to attack a group of Buddhists in the
Dhamma

Yatra (religious procession) who
were chanting for the return of the

site to
Buddhists. The Buddhists and Hindus have always been at

loggerheads
over the issue of the possession of Bisari Devi temple.

During the past
three years, the tussle has often assumed violent

overtones.
Because of this incident, the Government has banned the

yearly
procession around the Buddhist pilgrimage site at Sankasia.

When the author
visited Sankasia in November 2003, the brickworks

around the
mound had fallen off due to heavy rains during the last

monsoon,
revealing the bare earth (Plate 31) According to
Sayadaw

U 5anda, the resident monk of the
Burmese
vihara, this event
may

turn out to be
a blessing for Buddhists because there are plans by the

Archaeological
Survey of India (ASI) to carry out excavations of

this ancient
Buddhist site and develop it for more pilgrims to visit

Sankasia. It
will be interesting to see what ancient relics will be

unearthed by
the archaeologist’s spade. For a long time, Sankasia

has been
by-passed by most present-day pilgrims in spite of its

religious
significance and the fact that it was an important shrine to

the great
pilgrims of the past like Asoka, Fa Hsien and Hsüan Tsang.

 

d) Burmese and Sri Lankan Viharas

The first
Buddhist monk to reside in Sankasia was the Late Ven.

Vijaya Soma from Sri Lanka who
established a school there. It is

indeed
heartening to see two Buddhist monasteries now in Sankasia

Four
Places of Principal Miracles
• 133

in spite of its
remote location. The Burmese monastery was opened

in the year
2000 while the Sri Lankan monastery was built a few

years earlier.
Pilgrims visiting Sankasia should visit these

monasteries to
pay their respects to the
bhikkhus,
whose presence

have enhanced
the sanctity of this rural environment. They will be

able to obtain
more information about the history of Sankasia from

the monks who
have lived there for many years.

 

2.6 Buddhist Population around Sankasia

According to Sayadaw U 5anda, the resident monk of the
Burmese

vihara, when Lord Buddha descended
from Heaven at the gate of

Sankasia city
after his 7th Vassa (about 2600 years ago) a group of

Sakyan nobles
came to witness the miracle and settled in Sankasia.

After Vidhadabu attacked Kapilavatthu and
massacred the Sakyans,

many escaped to
India and became immigrants of Sankasia (
5ote

11). Today there are over one quarter million of
their descendants

living in the
districts around Sankasia. Every year during
Pavarana

on the
full-moon day of October a great congregation of local

Buddhists
gather at Sankasia to commemorate this important event.

In the early 5th century AD when Fa Hsien was at Sankasia, he heard

of a dispute
between the Brahmins and the
Sramanas (Bhikkhus)

over land
rights in Sankasia. According to him,
the
latter were losing

the argument.
Then both sides took an oath that if the place did

indeed belong
to the
Sramanas,
there should be some supernatural

proof of it.
When these words had been spoken, the stone lion on top

of the nearby
Asoka pillar gave a great roar. Witnessing this, their

opponents were
frightened, bowed to the decision, and withdrew
.

Eventually the
Brahmins appeared to have succeeded in ousting the

Buddhists from
their lands, because by the time of Hsüan Tsang’s

visit, he
reported: “
There were only
four viharas with about one

thousand monks of the Sammitiya School. There were ten Deva

temples, where sectarians of all beliefs lived. They all honour
and

sacrifice to Mahesvara.”

 

So it is very
likely that at some early period, perhaps before Hsüan

Tsang’s visit,
the Buddhists of Sankasia, many of which were

immigrant
Sakyans deserted their native place and settled in the

surrounding
villages. Many of them join the October full-moon

celebration as
another traditional festival of their ancestors. They are

ignorant of
their historical ties with the Buddhism. Sayadaw U

Nanda, who is
fluent in Hindi, has started a Sunday school to

educate the
younger generation about their roots by teaching them

the history of
their ancestral religion.

 

Note 11: Immigration of Sakyans to India

During
Vidudabha’s attack of Kapilavatthu, many Sakyans fled

south, avoiding
Kosala country, to
Sankasia (in
Uttar Pradesh)

where an
earlier group of their countrymen had settled after

witnessing the
Buddha’s Descent from Heaven. This new group of

refugees
increased the Sakyan population in Sankasia significantly.

However, these
Sakyans were not the only ones who had moved out

of
Kapilavatthu. According to the Mahavamsa viii, 18, soothsayers

had foretold
the future destruction of Kapilavatthu to
Sakka
Pandu
,

a cousin of the
Buddha and son of
Amitodana.
With a group of

followers, he
went to another tract of land on the further side of the

Ganges and
founded a city there and ruled as king. He had seven

sons and one
daughter named
Baddhakaccana. She
later married

the Pandyan
prince
Panduvasdeva who
succeeded his uncle
King

Vijaya to the throne of Sri Lanka.

 

Another famous
Sakyan was
Devi, the first wife
of King Asoka and

mother of Ven. Mahinda and Ven. Sanghamitta. Asoka married

her when he was
the viceroy of Ujjayini (Ujjain). She was a devotee

of the Buddha
and a descendant of a Sakyan family who migrated to

Vedisa after escaping the
destruction of Kapilavatthu by Vidudabha

Awakeness
Practices

All 84,000
Khandas As Found in the Pali Suttas


Traditionally
there are 84,000 Dhamma Doors - 84,000 ways to get Awakened. May be so;
certainly the Buddha taught a large number of practices that lead to get
Awakened. This web page attempts to catalogue those found in the Pali Suttas
(DN, MN, SN, AN, Ud & Sn
 1). There are 3 sections:

The discourses of Buddha are divided into 84,000, as to separate
addresses. The division includes all that was spoken by Buddha.”I received from
Buddha,” said Ananda, “82,000 Khandas, and
 
from the priests 2000; these are 84,000 Khandas maintained by me.” They
are divided into 275,250, as to the stanzas of the original text, and into
361,550, as to the stanzas of the commentary. All the discourses including both
those of Buddha and those of the commentator, are divided  into 2,547 banawanas, containing 737,000
stanzas, and 29,368,000 separate letters.

BUDDHA (EDUCATE)!
DHAMMA (MEDITATE)! SANGHA (ORGANISE)!

WISDOM          IS POWER

 

Awakened
One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss

    

Using such an instrument

The Free ONLINE e-Nālandā Research and
Practice University has been re-organized to function through the following
Schools of Learning :

 

Buddha’s Sangha Practiced His Dhamma Free of cost, hence the
Free- e-Nālandā Research and Practice University follows suit

 

As the Original Nālandā University did not offer any Degree, so
also the Free  e-Nālandā Research and Practice University.

 

The teachings of Buddha are
eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The
religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality
which no other religion can claim to have…Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If
you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an
element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other
religion.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , Indian scholar,
philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches

I.

KAMMA,REBIRTH,AWAKEN-NESS,BUDDHA,THUS COME ONE,DHAMMA

II.

ARHAT ,FOUR HOLY TRUTHS,EIGHTFOLD PATH,TWELVEFOLD CONDITIONED ARISING,BODHISATTA,PARAMITA,SIX PARAMITAS

III.

SIX SPIRITUAL POWERS,SIX PATHS OF REBIRTH,TEN DHARMA REALMS,FIVE SKANDHAS,EIGHTEEN REALMS,FIVE MORAL PRECEPTS

IV.

MEDITATION,MINDFULNESS,FOUR APPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS,LOTUS POSTURE,SAMADHI,CHAN SCHOOL,FOUR JHANAS,FOUR FORMLESS REALMS

V.

FIVE TYPES OF BUDDHIST STUDY AND PRACTICE,MAHAYANA AND HINAYANA COMPARED,PURE LAND,BUDDHA RECITATION,EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES,ONE HUNDRED DHARMAS,EMPTINESS

VI.

DEMON,LINEAGE

With

Level I: Introduction to
Buddhism,Level II: Buddhist Studies,

TO ATTAIN

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Returner,Level V: Non-Returner,Level VI: Arhat

Jambudvipa, i.e, PraBuddha
Bharath scientific thought in

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Philosophy and Comparative
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Literature;and Ecology and Environmental Studies

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