Đàm luận Phật Pháp
- 28 -
(Savatthi, Sravasti, Shravasti)
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đường Lộc Mẫu).
(Trường Bộ 27)
Theo Chú giải, có 8 thánh tích cầnđến chiêm bái:
Động Tâm: Lumbini (Lâm-tì-ni), Bodh Gaya (Bồ đề Đạo tràng), Sarnath (Lộc Uyển), Kusinara (Câu-thi-na)
(Trường bộ, 16; Trường A-hàm, 2)
- Bốn nơi khác: Rajagaha (Vương Xá), Vesali (Tỳ-xá-ly), Savatthi (Xá-vệ), Sankassa
Xá-vệ (Savatthi, Sravasti, Sharvasti) là một trong sáu thành phố lớn thờiĐức Phật, được ghi trong kinh điển: Campà (Chiêm-bà), Ràjagaha (Vương Xá), Sàvatthi (Xá-vệ), Sàketa (Sa-kỳ), Kosambi (Kiều-thương-di, Câu-diệm-bi), Bàrànasi (Ba-la-nại).
Theo Chú giải, trong 25 năm cuối khi còn tại thế, Đức Phật thường ngụ tại 2 tinh xá trong thành Xá-vệ: 19 năm tại tinh xá Kỳ Viên (Jetavana) do ông Cấp Cô Độc (Anathapindika) dâng cúng, và 6 năm tại tinh xá Đông Các (Pubbarama) do bà Tỳ-xá-khư Lộc Mẫu (Visakha Migaramata) dâng cúng.
Trong thờiĐức Phật, Xá-vệ là kinh đô của xứ Kiều-tất-la (Kosala), trong triều vua Ba-tư-nặc (Pasenadi). Vua là một Phật tử thuần thành và hết lòng ủng hộ đạo pháp. Em gái của vua Ba-tư-nặc là một trong những bà vợ của vua Bình-sa (Bimbisara), xứ Ma-kiệt-đà (Magadha). Vì thế, có sự giao hảo tốt giữa 2 quốc gia lớn nhất của Ấn Độ thời bấy giờ.
Theo ông F.L. Woodward, dịch giả kinhđiển Nikaya của hội Pali Text Society, trong 4 bộ thuộc tạng Kinh, có 871 bài kinh do Đức Phật giảng tại Xá-vệ: 844 bài tại Kỳ Viên, 23 bài tại Đông Các, và 4 bài tại các làng lân cận, được phân chia như sau:
ăng chi bộ: 54 bài.
Ngày nay, Xá-vệ thuộc bang Uttar Pradesh, gần thị trấn Balrampur, cách thành phố Lucknow 120 km về phíađông bắc, và cách biên giới Nepal-Ấn Độ khoảng 40 km.
1209 * 709
921 * 721
1203 * 1119
1200 * 900
1200 * 900
1200 * 900
1200 * 900
1200 * 900
1200 * 900
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1024 * 768
1199 * 900
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From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sravasti
Śrāvastī or Sāvatthī, a city of ancient India, was one of the six largest cities in India during Gautama Buddha's lifetime. The city was located in the fertile Gangetic plains in the present day Gonda District of Uttar Pradesh near Balrampur some 120 KM north of Lucknow. Jetavana monastery was a famous monastery close to Savatthi.
Origin of Sravasti
According to the epic mahabharat, Sravasti was a new city created for LAVA/KUSHA (the son of Raghava Rama). Rama divided his Kosala Kingdom into two parts and installed his son Lava at Sravasti and another son Kusha at Kushavati, another town in Kosala. According to the Mahabharata, the origin of Sravasti lies with the legendary king Shravasta. According to Buddhist tradition, the city was called Savatthi because the sage Savattha lived there. Another tradition says there was a caravanserai there, and people meeting there asked each other what they had ("Kim bhandam atthi?"), then replied "Sabbam atthi" (meaning "we have all things", as in everything). And the name of the city was based on the reply.
Sravasti in the Buddha's time
Savatthi was located on the banks of the river Aciravati (now called the Rapti river). It was the capital city of the kingdom of Kosala, and its king was called Pasenadi, who was a disciple of Buddha. It is a beautiful city with vast amounts of agriculture and diversity. Buddhaghosa says that, in the Buddha's day, there were fifty seven thousand families in Savatthi, and that it was the chief city in the country of Kasi Kosala, which was three hundred leagues in extent and had eighty thousand villages. He stated the population of Sávatthi to have been 180 million. The road from Rajagaha to Savatthi passed through Vesali, and the Parayanavagga gives as the resting places between the two cities: Setavya, Kapilavatthu, Kusinara, Pava and Bhoganagara. Further on, there was a road running southwards from Savatthi through Saketa to Kosambi. Between Saketa and Savatthi was located Toranavatthu.
The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Savatthi. His first visit to Savatthi was at the invitation of Anathapindika, whom he met in Rajagaha. The main monasteries in Sravasti were the Jetavana and the Pubbarama. Savatthi also contained the monastery of Rajakarama, built by Pasenadi, opposite Jetavana. Not far from the city was a dark forest called the Andhavana, where some monks and nun went to live. Outside the city gate of Savatthi was a fisherman's village of five hundred families.
The chief patrons of the Buddha in Savatthi were Anathapindika, Visakha, Suppavasa and Pasenadi. When Bandhula left Vesali he came to live in Savatthi.
Woodward states that, of the four Nikayas, 871 suttas are said to have been preached in Savatthi; 844 of which are in Jetavana, 23 in the Pubbarama, and 4 in the suburbs of Savatthi. These suttas are made up of 6 in the Digha Nikaya, 75 in the Majjhima Nikaya, 736 in the Samyutta Nikaya, and 54 in the Anguttara Nikaya. The Commentaries state that the Buddha spent twenty five rainy seasons in Sávatthi, thus leaving only twenty to be spent elsewhere. Of the 25 rainy seasons Buddha lived in Sravasti, he spent 19 in the monastery named Jetavana, and 6 in the monastery called Pubbarama. Thus, Sravasti is the place where Buddha lived the longest amount of time, and it is the place where he gave the largest amount of discourses and instructions.
The Chinese Pilgrim Xuanzang found the old city in ruins, but recorded the sites of various buildings.
Of the ancient Savatthi the city walls are still standing. Within these, the remains of 3 ancient buildings can be visited: Angulimala's stupa, Anathapindika's stupa, and an old temple dedicated to a Jain Tirthankara. Outside of Savatthi is located the stupa where the Twin Miracle (Pali:Yamaka Patihara) took place. The site of Jetavana monastery is the main pilgrim destination, with meditation and chanting mainly done at the Gandhakuti (Buddha's hut) and the Anandabodhi tree. Buddhist monasteries from the following countries have been constructed at Sravasti: Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tibet and China.
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The capital town of Kosala in India and one of the six great Indian cities during the lifetime of the Buddha (D.ii.147).
It was six leagues from Sāketa (Vin.i.253; seven according to others, DhA.i.387), forty five leagues north west of Rājagaha (SA.i.243), thirty leagues from Sankassa (J.iv.265), one hundred and forty seven from Takkasilā (MA.ii.987), one hundred and twenty from Suppāraka (DhA.ii.213), and was on the banks of the Aciravatī (Vin.i.191, 293).
It was thirty leagues from Alavī (SNA.i.220), thirty from Macchīkāsanda (DhA.ii.79), one hundred and twenty from Kukkutavatī (DhA.ii.118), and the same distance from Uggapura (DhA.iii.469) and from Kuraraghara (DhA.iv.106).
The road from Rājagaha to Sāvatthi passed through Vesāli (Vin.ii.159f), and the Parāyanavagga (SN.vss.1011 13) gives the resting places between the two cities - Setavyā, Kapilavatthu, Kusinārā, Pāvā and Bhoganagara. Further on, there was a road running southwards from Sāvatthi through Sāketa to Kosambī. One gāvuta from the city was the Andhavana. Between Sāketa and Sāvatthi was Toranavatthu (S.iv.374).
The city was called Sāvatthi because the sage Savattha lived there. Another tradition says there was a caravanserai there, and people meeting there asked each other what they had "Kim bhandam atthi?" "Sabbam atthi" and the name of the city was based on the reply (SNA.i.300; PSA. 367).
The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Sāvatthi. His first visit there was at the invitation of Anāthapindika. It is said (DhA.i.4) that he spent twenty five rainy seasons in the city nineteen of them in Jetavana and six in the Pubbārāma. Sāvatthi also contained the monastery of Rājakārāma, built by Pasenadi, opposite Jetavana. Outside the city gate of Sāvatthi was a fisherman's village of five hundred families (DhA.iv.40).
Savatthi is the scene of each Buddha's Yamaka pātihāriya (DhA.iii.205; cf. Mtu.iii.115; J.i.88); Gotama Buddha performed this miracle under the Gandamba.
The chief patrons of the Buddha in Sāvatthi were Anāthapindika, Visākhā, Suppavāsā and Pasenadi (DhA.i.330). When Bandhula left Vesāli he came to live in Sāvatthi.
Buddhaghosa says (Sp.iii.614) that, in the Buddha's day, there were fifty seven thousand families in Sāvatthi, and that it was the chief city in the country of Kāsi Kosala, which was three hundred leagues in extent and had eighty thousand villages. The population of Sāvatthi was eighteen crores (SNA.i.371).
Sāvatthi is identified with Sāhet Māhet on the banks of the Rapti (Cunningham, AGI. 469).
Hiouen Thsang found the old city in ruins, but records the sites of various buildings (Beal, op. cit., ii.1 13).
Woodward states (KS.v.xviii ) that, of the four Nikāyas, 871 suttas are said to have been preached in Sāvatthi; 844 of which are in Jetavana, 23 in the Pubbārāma, and 4 in the suburbs. These suttas are made up of 6 in the Digha, 75 in the Majjhima, 736 in the Samyutta, and 54 in the Anguttara. Mrs. Rhys Davids conjectures (M.iv., Introd., p.vi) from this that either the Buddha "mainly resided there or else Sāvatthi was the earliest emporium (library?) for the collection and preservation (however this was done) of the talks." The first alternative is the more likely, as the Commentaries state that the Buddha spent twenty five rainy seasons in Sāvatthi (see earlier), this leaving only twenty to be spent elsewhere.
The Buddhavamsa Commentary (BuA. p.3) gives a list of these places showing that the second, third, fourth, seventeenth and twentieth were spent in Rājagaha, the thirteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth in Cāliyapabbata, and the rest in different places.
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The name given to the monastery erected by Visākhā Migāramātā in the Pubbārāma, to the east of Sāvatthi. It is said (DhA.i.410ff.; SNA.ii.502; UdA.158; DA.iii.860; SA.i.116, etc.) that, one day, when Visākhā had gone to the monastery to hear the Dhamma and afterwards attend on the sick monks and novices, she left in the preaching hall her Mahālatāpasādhana and her servant girl forgot to remove it (this incident is referred to at Vin.iv.161f., as the cause of the institution of a Vinaya rule).
Later, on going to fetch it, she found that Ananda had put it away, and Visākhā, being told of this, decided not to wear it again. She had it valued by goldsmiths, who declared that it was worth nine crores and one hundred thousand. She had the ornament put in a cart and sent round for sale. But there was none in Sāvatthi rich enough to buy it, and Visākhā herself bought it back. With the money thus obtained she built the Migāramātupāsāda at the Buddha's suggestion. The site for the pāsāda on the Pubbārāma cost nine crores, the buildings costing another nine. While the building was being erected, the Buddha went on one of his journeys and, at Visākhā's request; Moggallāna was left to supervise the work with five hundred other monks. Moggallāna made use of his iddhi powers in order to expedite and facilitate the work. The building had two floors with five hundred rooms in each, the whole structure being surmounted by a pinnacle of solid gold, capable of holding sixty water pots. The work was completed in nine months, and the celebration of its dedication was held on the Buddha's return. These celebrations lasted for four months and cost a further nine crores. On the last day, Visākhā gave gifts of cloth to the monks, each novice receiving robes worth one thousand. The building was so richly equipped that one of Visākhā's friends, wishing to spread a small carpet, worth one hundred thousand, wandered all over the building, but could find no place of which it was worthy. Ananda found her weeping in disappointment, and suggested that it should be spread between the foot of the stairs and the spot where the monks washed their feet.
During the last twenty years of his life, when the Buddha was living at Sāvatthi, he divided his time between the Anāthapīndikārāma at Jetavana and the Migāramātupāsāda, spending the day in one place and the night in the other and vice versa (SNA.i.336).
It is, therefore, to be expected that numerous suttas were preached there; chief among these were the Aggañña, the Utthāna, the Ariyapariyesana, and the Pāsādakampana. See also S.i.77, 190 (= Ud.vi.2); iii.100; v. 216, 222f.; A.i.193f.; ii.183f.; iii.344f.; (cp Thag.vss.689 704); iv. 204f., 255, 265, 269; Ud.ii.9; DhA.iv.142f.; iv.176.
It was at Migāramātupāsāda that the Vighāsa Jātaka was preached, and the Buddha gave permission for the Pātimokkha to be recited in his absence. Sp.i.187.
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A park in Sāvatthi, in which was built the Anāthapindikārāma. When the Buddha accepted Anāthapindika's invitation to visit Sāvatthi the latter, seeking a suitable place for the Buddha's residence, discovered this park belonging to Jetakumāra (MA.i.471 says it was in the south of Sāvatthi). When he asked to be allowed to buy it, Jeta's reply was: "Not even if you could cover the whole place with money." Anāthapindika said that he would buy it at that price, and when Jeta answered that he had had no intention of making a bargain, the matter was taken before the Lords of Justice, who decided that if the price mentioned were paid, Anāthapindika had the right of purchase. Anāthapindika had gold brought down in carts and covered Jetavana with pieces laid side by side. (This incident is illustrated in a bas-relief at the Bharhut Tope; see Cunningham - the Stūpa of Bharhut, Pl.lvii., pp.84-6). The money brought in the first journey was found insufficient to cover one small spot near the gateway. So Anāthapindika sent his servants back for more, but Jeta, inspired by Anāthapindika's earnestness, asked to be allowed to give this spot. Anāthapindika agreed and Jeta erected there a gateway, with a room over it. Anāthapindika built in the grounds dwelling rooms, retiring rooms, store rooms and service halls, halls with fireplaces, closets, cloisters, halls for exercise, wells, bathrooms, ponds, open and roofed sheds, etc. (Vin.ii.158f).
It is said (MA.i.50; UdA.56f) that Anāthapindika paid eighteen crores for the purchase of the site, all of which Jeta spent in the construction of the gateway gifted by him. (The gateway was evidently an imposing structure; see J.ii.216).
Jeta gave, besides, many valuable trees for timber. Anāthapindika himself spent fifty-four crores in connection with the purchase of the park and the buildings erected in it.
The ceremony of dedication was one of great splendour. Not only Anāthapindika himself, but his whole family took part: his son with five hundred other youths, his wife with five hundred other noble women, and his daughters Mahā Subhaddā and Cūla Subhaddā with five hundred other maidens. Anāthapindika was attended by five hundred bankers. The festivities in connection with the dedication lasted for nine months (J.i.92ff).
Some of the chief buildings attached to the Jetavana are mentioned in the books by special names, viz., Mahāgandhakuti, Kaverimandalamāla, Kosambakuti and Candanamāla. SNA.ii.403. Other buildings are also mentioned - e.g., the Ambalakotthaka-āsanasālā (J.ii.246). According to Tibetan sources the vihāra was built according to a plan sent by the devas of Tusita and contained sixty large halls and sixty small. The Dulva also gives details of the decorative scheme of the vihāra (Rockhill: op. cit.48 and n.2).
All these were built by Anāthapindika; there was another large building erected by Pasenadi and called the Salalaghara (DA.ii.407). Over the gateway lived a guardian deity to prevent all evildoers from entering (SA.i.239). Just outside the monastery was a rājayatana-tree, the residence of the god Samiddhisumana (Mhv.i.52f; MT 105; but see DhA.i.41, where the guardian of the gateway is called Sumana).
In the grounds there seems to have been a large pond which came to be called the Jetavanapokkharanī. (AA.i.264; here the Buddha often bathed (J.i.329ff.). Is this the Pubbakotthaka referred to at A.iii.345? But see S.v.220; it was near this pond that Devadatta was swallowed up in Avīci (J.iv.158)).
The grounds themselves were thickly covered with trees, giving the appearance of a wooded grove (arañña) (Sp.iii.532). On the outskirts of the monastery was a mango-grove (J.iii.137). In front of the gateway was the Bodhi-tree planted by Anāthapindika, which came later to be called the Anandabodhi (J.iv.228f). Not far from the gateway was a cave which became famous as the Kapallapūvapabbhāra on account of an incident connected with Macchariyakosiya (J.i.348).
Near Jetavana was evidently a monastery of the heretics where Ciñcāmānavikā spent her nights while hatching her conspiracy against the Buddha. (DhA.iii.179; behind Jetavana was a spot where the Ajivakas practised their austerities (J.i.493). Once the heretics bribed Pasenadi to let them make a rival settlement behind Jetavana, but the Buddha frustrated their plans (J.ii.170)).
There seems to have been a playground just outside Jetavana used by the children of the neighbourhood, who, when thirsty, would go into Jetavana to drink (DhA.iii.492). The high road to Sāvatthi passed by the edge of Jetavana, and travellers would enter the park to rest and refresh themselves (J.ii.203, 341; see also vi.70, where two roads are mentioned).
According to the Divyāvadāna (Dvy.395f), the thūpas of Sāriputta and Moggallāna were in the grounds of Jetavana and existed until the time of Asoka. Both Fa Hien (Giles: p.33ff) and Houien Thsang (Beal.ii.7ff) give descriptions of other incidents connected with the Buddha, which took place in the neighbourhood of Jetavana - e.g., the murder of Sundarikā, the calumny of Ciñcā, Devadatta's attempt to poison the Buddha, etc.
The space covered by the four bedposts of the Buddha's Gandhakuti in Jetavana is one of the four avijahitatthānāni; all Buddhas possess the same, though the size of the actual vihāra differs in the case of the various Buddhas. For Vipassī Buddha, the setthi Punabbasumitta built a monastery extending for a whole league, while for Sikhī, the setthi Sirivaddha made one covering three gavutas. The Sanghārāma built by Sotthiya for Vessabhū was half a league in extent, while that erected by Accuta for Kakusandha covered only one gāvuta. Konagamana's monastery, built by the setthi Ugga, extended for half a gāvuta, while Kassapa's built by Sumangala covered sixteen karīsas. Anāthapindika's monastery covered a space of eighteen karīsas (BuA.2, 47; J.i.94; DA.ii.424).
The Buddha spent nineteen rainy seasons in Jetavana (DhA.i.3; BuA.3; AA.i.314). It is said that after the Migāramātupāsāda came into being, the Buddha would dwell alternately in Jetavana and Migāramātupāsāda, often spending the day in one and the night in the other (SNA.i.336).
According to a description given by Fa Hien (Giles, pp.31, 33), the vihāra was originally in seven sections (storeys?) and was filled with all kinds of offerings, embroidered banners, canopies, etc., and the lamps burnt from dusk to dawn.
One day a rat, holding in its mouth a lamp wick, set fire to the banners and canopies, and all the seven sections were entirely destroyed. The vihāra was later rebuilt in two sections. There were two main entrances, one on the east, one on the west, and Fa Hsien found thūpas erected at all the places connected with the Buddha, each with its name inscribed.
The vihāra is almost always referred to as Jetavane Anāthapindikassa ārāma. The Commentaries (MA.ii.50; UdA.56f, etc.) say that this was deliberate (at the Buddha's own suggestion pp.81-131; Beal: op. cit., ii.5 and Rockhill: p.49), in order that the names of both earlier and later owners might be recorded and that people might be reminded of two men, both very generous in the cause of the Religion, so that others might follow their example. The vihāra is sometimes referred to as Jetārāma (E.g., Ap.i.400).
In the district of Saheth-Mabeth, with which the region of Sāvatthi is identified, Saheth is considered to be Jetavana (Arch. Survey of India, 1907-8, pp.81-131).
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Twin Miracles - Yamaka pātihāriya
The miracle of the "double appearances". When the Buddha laid down a rule forbidding the exercise of supernatural powers by monks - following on the miracle performed by Pindola Bhāradvāja - the heretics went about saying that henceforth they would perform no miracles except with the Buddha. Bimbisāra reported this to the Buddha, who at once accepted the challenge, explaining that the rule was for his disciples and did not apply to himself. He, therefore, went to Sāvatthi, the place where all Buddhas perform the Miracle. In reply to Pasenadi, the Buddha said he would perform the miracle at the foot of the Gandamba tree on the full moon day of Asālha [in July]. This was in the seventh year after the Enlightenment (DA.i.57).
The heretics therefore uprooted all mango trees for one league around, but, on the promised day, the Buddha went to the king's garden, accepted the mango offered by Ganda, and caused a marvellous tree to sprout from its seed. The people, discovering what the heretics had done, attacked them, and they had to flee helter-skelter. It was during this flight that Pūrana Kassapa committed suicide. The multitude, assembled to witness the miracle, extended to a distance of thirty six leagues. The Buddha created a jewelled walk in the air by the side of the Gandamba. When the Buddha's disciples knew what was in his mind, several of them offered to perform miracles and so refute the insinuations of the heretics. Among such disciples were Gharanī, Culla Anātthapindika, Cīrā, Cunda, Uppalavannā and Moggallāna.
The Buddha refused their offers and related the Kanhausabha and Nandivisāla Jātakas. Then, standing on the jewelled walk, he proceeded to perform the Yamaka-pātihāriya (Twin Miracle), so called because it consisted in the appearance of phenomena of opposite character in pairs - e.g., producing flames from the upper part of the body and a stream of water from the lower, and then alternatively. Flames of fire and streams of water also proceeded alternatively from the right side of his body and from the left. DA.l.57; DhA.iii.214f. explains how this was done. From every pore of his body rays of six colours darted forth, upwards to the realm of Brahmā and downwards to the edge of the Cakkavāla. The Miracle lasted for a long while, and as the Buddha walked up and down the jewelled terrace he preached to the multitude from time to time. It is said that he performed miracles and preached sermons during sixteen days, according to the various dispositions of those present in the assembly. At the conclusion of the Miracle, the Buddha, following the example of his predecessors, made his way, in three strides, to Tāvatimsa, there to preach the Abhidhamma Pitaka to his mother, now born as a devaputta.
The Twin Miracle is described at DA.i.57, and in very great detail at DhA.iii.204; see also J.iv.263ff. The DhA. version appears to be entirely different from the Jātaka version; the latter is very brief and lacks many details, especially regarding Pindola's miracle and the preaching of the Abhidhamma in Tāvatimsa. The account given in Dvy. (143-66) is again different; the Miracle was evidently repeatedly performed by the Buddha (see, e.g., Candanamālā), and it is often referred to - e.g., J.i.77, 88, 193; Ps.i.125; SNA.i.36; AA.i.71; MA.ii.962; Mil. 349; Vsm.390; PvA.137; Dāthāvamsa i.50. The miracle was also performed by the Buddha's relics; see, .e.g., Mhv.xvii.52f.; Sp.i.88, 92.
It is said (Mil.349) that two hundred millions of beings penetrated to an understanding of the Dhamma at the conclusion of the Miracle.
The Twin Miracle can only be performed by the Buddha. Mil.106.
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A banker (setthi) of Sāvatthi who became famous because of his unparalleled generosity to the Buddha. His first meeting with the Buddha was during the first year after the Enlightenment, in Rājagaha (the story is given in Vin.ii.154ff; SA.i.240ff, etc.), whither Anāthapindika had come on business.
His wife was the sister of the setthi of Rājagaha, and when he arrived he found the setthi preparing a meal for the Buddha and his monks on so splendid a scale that he thought that a wedding was in progress or that the king had been invited. On learning the truth he became eager to visit the Buddha, and did so very early the next morning (Vin.ii.155-6). He was so excited by the thought of the visit that he got up three times during the night. When, at last, he started for Sītavana, the road was quite dark, but a friendly Yakkha, Sīvaka, sped him on with words of encouragement. By force of his piety the darkness vanished.
The Buddha was staying in the Sītavana, and when Anāthapindika reached there spirits opened the door for him. He found the Buddha walking up and down, meditating in the cool air of the early dawn. The Buddha greeted him and talked to him on various aspects of his teaching. Anāthapindika was immediately converted and became a Sotāpanna. He invited the Buddha to a meal the next day, providing everything himself, although the setthi, the Mayor of Rājagaha and King Bimbisāra asked to be allowed to help. After the meal, which he served to the Buddha with his own hand, he invited the Buddha to spend the rainy season at Sāvatthi, and the Buddha accepted, saying "the Tathāgatas, o householder, take pleasure in solitude." "I understand, o Blessed One, I understand," was the reply.
When Anāthapindika had finished his business at Rājagaha he set out towards Sāvatthi, giving orders along the way to his friends and acquaintances to prepare dwellings, parks, rest-houses and gifts all along the road to Sāvatthi in preparation for the Buddha's visit. He had many friends and acquaintances and he was ādeyyavaco (his word was held to be of weight), loc. cit., p.158. But see J.i.92, where it is said that Anāthapindika bore all the expenses of these preparations. Vihāras were built costing l,000 pieces each, a yojana apart from each other.
Understanding the request implied in the Buddha's words when he accepted the invitation, Anāthapindika looked out for a quiet spot near Sāvatthi where the Buddha and the monks might dwell, and his eye fell on the park of Jetakumāra. He bought the park at great expense and erected therein the famous Jetavanārāma. As a result of this and of his numerous other benefactions in the cause of the Sāsana, Anāthapindika came to be recognised as the chief of alms-givers (A.i.25).
Anāthapindika's personal name was Sudatta, but he was always called Anāthapindika (AA.i.208; MA.i.50) (feeder of the destitute) because of his munificence; he was, however, very pleased when the Buddha addressed him by his own name (Vin.ii.156). He spent eighteen crores on the purchase of Jetavana and a like sum on the construction of the vihāra; another eighteen crores were spent in the festival of dedication. He fed one hundred monks in his house daily in addition to meals provided for guests, people of the village, invalids, etc. Five hundred seats were always ready in his house for any guests who might come (AA.i.208-9. He fed 1,000 monks daily says DhA.i.128; but see J.iii.119, where a monk, who had come from far away and had missed the meal hour, had to starve.).
Anāthapindika's father was the setthi Sumana (AA. loc. cit). The name of Anāthapindika's brother was Subhūti.
Anāthapindika married a lady called Puññalakkhanā (J.ii.410; J.iii.435, she was the sister of the setthi of Rājagaha. SA.i.240); he had a son Kāla and three daughters, Mahā-Subhaddā, Cūla-Subhaddā and Sumanā. (Besides Kāla, Anāthapindika had another son, who joined the Order under Subhūti Thera; AA.ii.865). Mention is also made of a daughter-in law, Sujātā by name, daughter of Dhanañjaya and the youngest sister of Visākhā. She was very haughty and ill-treated the servants (J.ii.347).
The son, in spite of his father's efforts, showed no piety until he was finally bribed to go to the vihāra and listen to the Buddha's preaching (see Kāla). The daughters, on the other hand, were most dutiful and helped their father in ministering to the monks. The two elder ones attained to the First Fruit of the Path, married, and went to live with the families of their husbands. Sumanā obtained the Second Fruit of the Path, but remained unmarried. Overwhelmed with disappointment because of her failure in finding a husband, she refused to eat and died; she was reborn in Tusita (DhA.i.128f).
The Bhadraghata Jātaka (J.ii.431) tells us of a nephew of Anāthapindika who squandered his inheritance of forty crores. His uncle gave him first one thousand and then another five hundred with which to trade. This also he squandered. Anāthapindika then gave him two garments. On applying for further help the man was taken by the neck and pushed out of doors. A little later he was found dead by a side wall.
The books also mention a girl, Punnā, who was a slave in Anāthapindika's household. On one occasion when the Buddha was starting on one of his periodical tours from Jetavana, the king, Anāthapindika, and other eminent patrons failed to stop him; Punnā, however, succeeded, and in recognition of this service Anāthapindika adopted her as his daughter (MA.i.347-8). On uposatha days his whole household kept the fast; on all occasions they kept the pañcasīla inviolate (J.iii.257).
A story is told of one of his labourers who had forgotten the day and gone to work; but remembering later, he insisted on keeping the fast and died of starvation. He was reborn as a deva (MA.i.540-1).
Anāthapindika had a business village in Kāsi and the superintendent of the village had orders to feed any monks who came there (Vin.iv.162f). One of his servants bore the inauspicious name of Kālakanni (curse); he and the banker had been playmates as children, and Kālakanni, having fallen on evil days, entered the banker's service. The latter's friends protested against his having a man with so unfortunate a name in his household, but he refused to listen to them. One day when Anāthapindika was away from home on business, burglars came to rob his house, but Kālakanni with great presence of mind drove them away (J.i.364f).
A similar story is related of another friend of his who was also in his service (J.i.441).
All his servants, however, were not so intelligent. A slave woman of his, seeing that a fly had settled on her mother, hit her with a pestle in order to drive it away, and killed her (J.i.248f).
A slave girl of his borrowed an ornament from his wife and went with her companions to the pleasure garden. There she became friendly with a man who evidently desired to rob her of her ornaments. On discovering his intentions, she pushed him into a well and killed him with a stone (J.iii.435).
The story of Anāthapindika's cowherd, Nanda, is given elsewhere.
All the banker's friends were not virtuous; one of them kept a tavern (J.i.251). As a result of Anāthapindika's selfless generosity he was gradually reduced to poverty. But he continued his gifts even when he had only bird-seed and sour gruel. The devata who dwelt over his gate appeared before him one night and warned him of his approaching penury; it is said that every time the Buddha or his monks came to the house she had to leave her abode over the gate and that this was inconvenient to her and caused her to be jealous. Anāthapindika paid no attention to her warnings and asked her to leave the house. She left with her children, but could find no other lodging and sought counsel from various gods, including Sakka. Sakka advised her to recover for Anāthapindika the eighteen crores that debtors owed him, another eighteen that lay in the bottom of the sea, and yet eighteen more lying unclaimed. She did so and was readmitted (DhA.iii.10ff; J.i.227ff).
Anāthapindika went regularly to see the Buddha twice a day, sometimes with many friends (J.i.95ff.; he went three times says J.i.226), and always taking with him alms for the young novices. But we are told that he never asked a question of the Buddha lest he should weary him. He did not wish the Buddha to feel obliged to preach to him in return for his munificence (DhA.i.3). But the Buddha of his own accord preached to him on various occasions; several such sermons are mentioned in the Anguttara Nikāya:
The Buddha preached the Velāma Sutta to encourage Anāthapindika when he had been reduced to poverty and felt disappointed that he could no longer provide luxuries for the monks (A.iv.392ff). On another occasion the Buddha tells Anāthapindika that the Sotāpanna is a happy man because he is free from various fears: fear of being born in hell, among beasts, in the realm of Peta or in some other unhappy state; he is assured of reaching Enlightenment (A.iv.405f, also S.v.387f).
Elsewhere the Buddha tells Anāthapindika that it is not every rich man who knows how to indulge in the pleasures of sense legitimately and profitably (A.v.177ff).
There is, however, at least one sutta preached as a result of a question put by Anāthapindika himself regarding gifts and those who are worthy to receive them (A.i.62-3); and we also find him consulting the Buddha regarding the marriage of his daughter, Cola Subhaddā (DhA.iii.466).
Anāthapindika died before the Buddha. As he lay grievously ill he sent a special message to Sāriputta asking him to come (again, probably, because he did not want to trouble the Buddha). Sāriputta went with Ananda and preached to him the Anāthapindikovāda Sutta (M.iii.258f.; see also S.v.380-7, which contain accounts of incidents connected with this visit). His pains left him as he concentrated his mind on the virtuous life he had led and the many acts of piety he had done. Later he fed the Elders with food from his own cooking-pot, but quite soon afterwards he died and was born in the Tusita heaven. That same night he visited the Buddha at Jetavana and uttered a song of praise of Jetavana and of Sāriputta who lived there, admonishing others to follow the Buddha's teaching. In heaven he will live as long as Visākhā and Sakka (DA.iii.740).
Various incidents connected with Anāthapindika are to be found in the Jātakas. On one occasion his services were requisitioned to hold an inquiry on a bhikkhuni who had become pregnant (J.i.148).
Once when the Buddha went on tour from Jetavana, Anāthapindika was perturbed because there was no one left for him to worship; at the Buddha's suggestion, an offshoot from the Bodhi tree at Gaya was planted at the entrance to Jetavana (J.iv.229).
Once a brahmin, hearing of Anāthapindika's luck, comes to him in order to find out where this luck lay so that he may obtain it. The brahmin discovers that it lay in the comb of a white cock belonging to Anāthapindika; he asks for the cock and it is given to him, but the luck flies away elsewhere, settling first in a pillow, then in a jewel, a club, and, finally, in the head of Anāthapindika's wife. The brahmin's desire is thus frustrated (J.ii.410f).
On two occasions he was waylaid by rogues. Once they tried to make him drink drugged toddy. He was at first shocked by their impertinence, but, later, wishing to reform them, frightened them away (J.i.268).
On the other occasion, the robbers lay in wait for him as he returned from one of his villages; by hurrying back he escaped them (J.ii.413). Whenever Anāthapindika visited the Buddha, he was in the habit of relating to the Buddha various things which had come under his notice, and the Buddha would relate to him stories from the past containing similar incidents. Among the Jātakas so preached are: Apannaka, Khadirahgāra, Rohinī, Vārunī, Punnapāti, Kālakanni, Akataññū, Verī, Kusanāli, Siri, Bhadraghata, Visayha, Hiri, Sirikālakannī and Sulasā.
Anāthapindika was not only a shrewd business man but also a keen debater. The Anguttara Nikāya (A.v.185-9) records a visit he paid to the Paribbājakas when he could think of nothing better to do. A lively debate ensues regarding their views and the views of the Buddha as expounded by Anāthapindika. The latter silences his opponents. When the incident is reported to the Buddha, he speaks in high praise of Anāthapindika and expresses his admiration of the way in which he handled the discussion.
During the time of Padumattara Buddha Anāthapindika had been a householder of Hamsavatī. One day he heard the Buddha speak of a lay-disciple of his as being the chief of alms-givers. The householder resolved to be so designated himself in some future life and did many good deeds to that end. His wish was fulfilled in this present life. Anāthapindika is sometimes referred to as Mahā Anāthapindika to distinguish him from Cūla Anāthapindika.
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A robber who was converted by the Buddha in the twentieth year of his ministry, and who, later, became an arahant. His story appears both in the Majjhima Cy., 743ff., and in the Thag. Cy., ii.57ff. The two accounts differ in certain details; I have summarised the two versions.
He was the son of the brahmin Bhaggava, chaplain to the king of Kosala, his mother being Mantānī. He was born under the thieves' constellation, and on the night of his birth all the armour in the town shone, including that belonging to the king. Because this omen did no harm to anyone the babe was named Ahimsaka. The Thag. Cy. says he was first called Himsaka and then Ahimsaka. See also Ps. of the Brethren, 323, n.3.
At Takkasilā he became a favourite at the teacher's house, but his jealous fellow-students poisoned his teacher's mind, and the latter, bent on his destruction, asked as his honorarium a thousand human right-hand fingers. Thereupon Ahimsaka waylaid travellers in the Jālinī forest in Kosala and killed them, taking a finger from each. The finger-bones thus obtained he made into a garland to hang round his neck, hence the name Angulimāla.
As a result of his deeds whole villages were deserted, and the king ordered a detachment of men to seize the bandit, whose name nobody knew. But Angulimāla's mother, guessing the truth, started off to warn him. By now he lacked but one finger to complete his thousand, and seeing his mother coming he determined to kill her. But the Buddha, seeing his upanissaya, went himself to the wood, travelling thirty yojanas, (DA.i.240; J.iv.180) and intercepted Angulimāla on his way to slay his mother. Angulimāla was converted by the Buddha's power and received the "ehi bhikkhu pabbajjā" (Thag.868-70) while the populace were yelling at the king's palace for the robber's life. Later, the Buddha presented him before King Pasenadi when the latter came to Jetavana, and Pasenadi, filled with wonder, offered to provide the monk with all requisites. Angulimāla, however, had taken on the dhutangas and refused the king's offer.
When he entered Sāvatthi for alms, he was attacked by the mob, but on the admonition of the Buddha, endured their wrath as penance for his former misdeeds.
According to the Dhammapadatthakatha (iii.169) he appears to have died soon after he joined the Order.
There is a story of how he eased a woman's labour pains by an act of truth. The words he used in this saccakiriyā (yato aham sabbaññutabuddhassa ariyassa ariyāya jātiyā jāto) have come to be regarded as a paritta to ward off all dangers and constitute the Angulimāla Paritta. The water that washed the stone on which he sat in the woman's house came to be regarded as a panacea (M.ii.103-4; MA.747f).
In the Angulimāla Sutta he is addressed by Pasenādi as Gagga Mantānīputta, his father being a Gagga. The story is evidently a popular one and occurs also in the Avadāna Sataka (No.27).
At the Kosala king's Asadisadāna, an untamed elephant, none other being available, was used to bear the parasol over Angulimāla. The elephant remained perfectly still - such was Angulimāla's power (DhA.iii.185; also DA.ii.654).
The conversion of Angulimāla is often referred to as a most compassionate and wonderful act of the Buddha's, e.g. in the Sutasoma Jātaka, (J.v.456f.; see also J.iv.180; SnA.ii.440; DhA.i.124) which was preached concerning him. The story of Angulimāla is quoted as that of a man in whose case a beneficent kamma arose and destroyed former evil kamma (AA.i.369).
It was on his account that the rule not to ordain a captured robber was enacted (Vin.i.74).
For his identification with Kalmāsapāda see J.P.T.S., 1909, pp. 240ff.
* * *
The chief among the female lay disciples of the Buddha and declared by him to be foremost among those who ministered to the Order (dāyikānam aggā) (A.i.26; she is considered the ideal lay woman - e.g., A.iv.348). Her father was Dhanañjaya, son of Mendaka, and her mother Sumanā. She was born in the city of Bhaddiya in Anga. When she was seven years old, the Buddha visited Bhaddiya with a large company of monks, out of compassion for the brahmin Sela and others. Mendaka gave Visākhā five hundred companions, five hundred slaves, and five hundred chariots, that she might visit the Buddha. She stopped the chariots some distance away and approached the Buddha on foot. He preached to her and she became a sotāpanna. For the next fortnight Mendaka invited the Buddha and his monks daily to his house, where he fed them.
Later, when, at Pasenadi's request, Bimbisāra sent Dhanañjaya to live in Kosala, Visākhā accompanied her parents and lived in Sāketa. The messengers, sent by Migāra of Sāvatthi to find a suitable bride for his son Punnavaddhana, saw Visākhā on her way to the lake to bathe on a feast day. At that moment there was a great shower. Visākhā's companions ran for shelter, but Visākhā herself, walking at her usual pace, came to the place where the messengers, already greatly impressed, were awaiting her. When they asked her why she did not run to seek shelter and so preserve her clothes, she answered that she had plenty of clothes in the house, but that if she ran she might damage a limb which would be a great loss. "Unmarried girls," she said, "are like goods awaiting sale, they must not be disfigured." The messengers offered her a bouquet of flowers (mālāgulam), which she accepted as a proposal of marriage, and then went on to her father's house. The messengers followed and laid Punnavaddhana's suit before Dhanañjaya. The proposal was accepted and confirmed by an exchange of letters.
When Pasenadi heard of it, he offered to accompany Punnavaddhana to Sāketa, as a mark of signal favour. Dhanañjaya welcomed the king and his retinue, Migāra, Punnavaddhana and their followers, with all honour, attending personally to all the details of hospitality. He persuaded the king to stay with him during the rains, providing all that was necessary. According to the DhA. account (loc. cit.) Visākhā superintended all the arrangements.
Five hundred goldsmiths were engaged to make the Mahālatāpasādhana (ornament), for the bride; three months passed, but it was still unfinished. The supply of firewood ran out, and orders were given that the wood of dilapidated houses should be used. This wood lasted for a fortnight, and then the storehouses containing cloths were opened, the cloths soaked in oil and used for cooking the food. The ornament was finished in four months. In the time of Kassapa Buddha she gave bowls and robes to twenty thousand monks, also thread and needles and sewing materials; as a result of this, she received her parure in this life (DhA.i.395).
Dhanañjaya gave his daughter, as dowry, five hundred carts full of money, five hundred with vessels of gold, five hundred each of silver, copper, various silks, ghee, rice husked and winnowed; also ploughs, ploughshares, and other farm implements, five hundred carts with three slave-women in each, everything being provided for them. The cattle given by him filled an enclosure three quarters of a league in length and eight rods across, standing shoulder to shoulder, and in addition to these, sixty thousand bulls and sixty thousand milk cows escaped from their stalls and joined the herd already gifted to her. In her birth as Sanghadāsi, she gave the five products of the cow to twenty thousand monks, begging them to eat; hence the escaping of the cattle for her benefit (DhA.i.397). Visākhā's relations continued to send her costly gifts even after her marriage. The Udāna (ii.9) contains a story of a dispute she had with the customs officers regarding the duty they levied on one of her presents. She visited Pasenadi several times, trying to get the matter settled; but he had no time to give to the matter, and, in the end, she sought consolation from the Buddha.
When the time came for Visākhā to leave, Dhanañjaya gave her ten admonitions, which Migāra overheard from the next room. These admonitions were:
These riddles were later explained by Visākhā to her father in law (DhA.i.403f.).
On the following day Dhanañjaya appointed eight householders to be sponsors to his daughter and to enquire into any charges which might be brought against her. When she left, Dhanañjaya allowed any inhabitants of his fourteen tributary villages to accompany her if they so wished. As a result the villages were left empty; but Migāra, fearing that he should have to feed them, drove most of them back. Visākhā entered Sāvatthi standing in her chariot, so that all might see her glory. The citizens showered gifts on her, but these she distributed among the people.
Migāra was a follower of the Niganthas, and, soon after Visākhā's arrival in his house, he sent for them and told her to minister to them. But Visākhā, repulsed by their nudity, refused to pay them homage. The Niganthas urged that she should be sent away, but Migāra bided his time. One day, as Migāra was eating, while Visākhā stood fanning him, a monk was seen standing outside his house. Visākhā stood aside, that Migāra might see him, but as Migāra continued to eat without noticing the monk, she said to the latter, "Pass on, Sir, my father in law eats stale fare." Migāra was angry and threatened to send her away, but, at her request, the matter was referred to her sponsors. They enquired into the several charges brought against her and adjudged her not guilty. Visākhā then gave orders that preparations should be made for her return to her parents. But Migāra begged her forgiveness which she granted, on condition that he would invite to the house the Buddha and his monks. This he did, but, owing to the influence of the Niganthas, he left Visākhā to entertain them, and only consented to hear the Buddha's sermon at the end of the meal from behind a curtain. At the conclusion of this sermon, however, he became a sotāpanna. His gratitude towards Visākhā was boundless; henceforth she was to be considered as his mother and to receive all the honour due to a mother; from this time onwards she was called Migāramātā. In DhA.i.406 we are told that in order to confirm this declaration, Migāra sucked the breast of Visākhā. This account adds that she had also a son named Migāra; thus there was a double reason for the name. AA.i.313 says that Migāra was her eldest son.
Migāra got made for her everyday use an ornament called ghanamatthaka, at a cost of one hundred thousand. (Some time after, Visākhā sold the Mahālatāpasādhana and built the Migāramātupāsada.) On the day of the presentation of this ornament, Migāra held for her a special festival in her honour, and she was made to bathe in sixteen pots of perfumed water. This account of Visākhā is summarized from DhA.i.384ff.; AA.i.219ff. contains a similar account but with far less detail. The DhA. account contains numerous other particulars, some of which are given below.
Visākhā had ten sons and ten daughters, each of whom had a similar number of children, and so on down to the fourth generation. Before her death, at the age of one hundred and twenty, she had eighty four thousand and twenty direct lineal descendants, all living. (But see Ud.viii.8, which speaks of the death of a grand daughter and of Visākhā's great grief; this evidently refers to Dattā). She herself kept, all her life, the appearance of a girl of sixteen. She had the strength of five elephants, and it is said that once she took the trunk of an elephant, which was sent to test her, between her two fingers and forced him back on his haunches (DhA.i.409). Visākhā owned such a great reputation for bringing good fortune that the people of Sāvatthi always invited her to their houses on festivals and holidays (Ibid.).
Visākhā fed five hundred monks daily at her house. (Thus, e.g., J.iv.144; two thousand, according to DhA.i.128; later she appointed her grand daughter, probably Dattā, to officiate for her.) In the afternoon she visited the Buddha, and, after listening to his sermon, would go round the monastery inquiring into the needs of the monks and nuns (*1). In these rounds she was sometimes accompanied by Suppiyā (*2). Visākhā begged for, and was granted, eight boons by the Buddha: that as long as she lived she be allowed to give robes to the members of the Order for the rainy season; food for monks coming into Sāvatthi (*3); food for those going out; food for the sick; food for those who wait on the sick; medicine for the sick; a constant supply of rice gruel for any needing it; and bathing robes for the nuns (*4).
With the construction of the Mīgāramātupāsāda in the Pubbārāma Visākhā's ambitions were fulfilled, and it is said (DhA.i.416f) that when the monastery was completed and the festival of opening in progress, as the evening drew on she walked round the monastery accompanied by her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren, and in five stanzas sang her joy, saying, "Now is entirely fulfilled the prayer which I prayed in times of yore." (The wishes mentioned in these stanzas as having been fulfilled differ from the eight boons mentioned above). The monks heard her sing and told the Buddha; he related to them how, in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Visākhā had been the friend of the principal women benefactors of that Buddha. In the time of Kassapa Buddha she was Sanghadāsī, youngest of the seven daughters of Kiki, and for long after her marriage she gave alms and performed other good works with her sisters. (AA.i.219).
According to the Vihāravimānavatthu (Vv.iv.6; VvA.189,191), Visākhā was born, after death, among the Nimmānaratidevā as the consort of the deva king Sunimmita.
Buddhaghosa says (DA.iii.740) that Visākhā, like Sakka and Anāthapindika, will enjoy one hundred and thirty one kappas of happiness in the Brahma-worlds before she finally passes away into Nibbāna.
Among Visākhā's relations are also mentioned, in addition to her two sons Migajāla and Migāra, a sister Sujātā, who became Anāthapindika’s daughter in law (A.iv.91; AA.ii.724; J.ii.347); a grandson, Salha; a granddaughter, Dattā, who died (DhA.iii.278): and Uggaha, called Mendakanattā. Mention is also made of a grandson of hers on whose behalf she interceded with the Buddha when the monks refused to ordain him during the rainy season. (Vin.i.153)
The books contain numerous Suttas preached by the Buddha to Visākhā during her frequent visits to him, chief among such Suttas being the famous discourse on the keeping of the uposatha, (A.i.205ff.; cf.iv.255; DhA.iii.58f) the discourse of the eight qualities which win for women power in this world and power and happiness in the next, (A.iv.269) and eight qualities which win for a woman birth among the Manāpakāyika devas. (A.iv.267)
(*1) Because she wished the Sangha well she was appointed on the committee set up to enquire into the charge of misbehaviour brought against the mother of Kumārakassapa; Visākhā's experience as the mother of several children stood her in good stead.
(*2) For an incident connected with one of these visits, see Suppiyā. DhA. (i.100f.) says that once five hundred young men of good family entrusted the care of their wives to Visākhā. On one occasion, when accompanying her to the monastery, they became drunk and committed improprieties in the presence of the Buddha. The Buddha frightened them by emitting a dark blue ray of light, thus restoring them to their senses. This was the occasion of the preaching of the Kumbha Jātaka; see also J.v.11f.
(*3) Probably on account of this boon the monks who had been to see Khadiravaniya Revata visited Visākhā immediately after their return to Sāvatthi; but see the Pītha Jātaka.
(*4) This list of boons and Visākhā’s reasons for begging them are given at Vin.i.290ff. According to the Suruci Jātaka, she obtained the boons owing to her virtue in the past as well - e.g., in her birth as Sumedhā (J.iv.315ff.); see also Vin.i.296, where the Buddha accepts a face towel as a special gift from Visākhā but would not accept an earthenware foot scrubber (Vin.ii.129f.).
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King of Kosala and contemporary of the Buddha. He was the son of Mahā Kosala, and was educated at Takkasilā where, among his companions, were the Licchavi Mahāli and the Malla prince Bandhula. On his return home his father was so pleased with his proficiency in the various arts that he forthwith made him king. (DhA.i.338; for his genealogy see Beal: Records ii.2, n. 3).
As ruler, Pasenadi gave himself wholeheartedly to his administrative duties (*2) and valued the companionship of wise and good men (*3). Quite early in the Buddha's ministry, (*4) Pasenadi became his follower and close friend, and his devotion to the Buddha lasted till his death.
But Pasenadi's conversion did not prevent him from extending his favour, with true Indian toleration, to the members of other religious orders. Mention is even made of a great animal sacrifice which he once prepared, but which he abandoned on the advice of the Buddha, whom he sought at Mallika's suggestion (*5). He frequently visited the Buddha and discussed various matters with him (*6). The whole of the Third Samyutta (Kosala Saipyutta), consisting of twenty five anecdotes, each with a moral bias, is devoted to him. The topics discussed are many and varied. The Buddha and Pasenadi were equals in age, and their talks were, therefore, intimate and frank (*7).
On one occasion we find the Buddha telling him to eat less and teaching his nephew Sudassana (or Uttara) a verse on the advantages of moderation, to be repeated to the king whenever he sat down to a meal. This advice was followed and the king became slim.
S.i.81; DhA.iii.264f.; iv.6f.; the Samyutta Commentary (SA.i.136) states that the bowl out of which he ate (paribhogapāti) was the size of a cartwheel. Pasenadi was always conscious of his own dignity - e.g., the incident with Chattapāni; but see Vin.iv.157f., which probably refers to the same story.
Pasenadi's chief consort was Mallikā, daughter of a garland maker (see Mallikā for details of her marriage with the king). He loved her dearly and trusted her judgment in all things. When in difficulty he consulted her, realizing that her wisdom was greater than his own (E.g., in the Asadisadāna). There is an account given (S.i.74) of Pasenadi seeking a confession from her that she loved him more than her own soul (attā) as a confirmation of their mutual trust. But the queen was pious and saw into the reality of things, and declared that nothing was dearer to her than her own soul. Piqued by this answer, Pasenadi sought the Buddha, who comforted him by explaining the true import of Mallikā's words. On another occasion, Pasenadi expressed to the Buddha his disappointment that Mallikā should have borne him a daughter instead of a son; but the Buddha pointed out to him that there was much, after all, to be said for daughters (S.i.83).
Mallikā predeceased Pasenadi (A.iii.57); he had also other wives, one of them being the sister of Bimbisāra, (*14) and another Ubbirī. The Kannakatthala Sutta (M.ii.125) mentions two others who were sisters: Somā and Sakulā. (*16)
It is stated that Pasenadi wished to associate himself with the Buddha's family so that their relationship might be even closer. For seven days he had given alms to the Buddha and one thousand monks, and on the seventh day he asked the Buddha to take his meals regularly at the palace with five hundred monks; but the Buddha refused the request and appointed Ananda to take his place. Ananda came daily with five hundred others, but the king was too busy to look after them, and the monks, feeling neglected, failed to come any more, only Ananda keeping to his undertaking. When the king became aware of this he was greatly upset, and determined to win the confidence of the monks by marrying a kinswoman of the Buddha. He therefore sent messages to the Sākiyan chiefs, who were his vassals, asking for the hand of one of their daughters. The Sākiyans discussed the proposition in their Mote-Hall, and held it beneath the dignity of their clan to accede to it. But, unwilling to incur the wrath of their overlord, they sent him Vāsabhakhattiyā, daughter of Mahānāma and of a slave woman, Nāgamundā. By her, Pasenadi had a son Vidūdabha. When the latter visited Kapilavatthu, he heard by chance of the fraud that had been practised on his father and vowed vengeance. When he came to the throne, he invaded the Sākiyan territory and killed a large number of the clan without distinction of age or sex (DhA.i.339ff.; J.i.133f.; iv.144ff). It is said that when Pasenadi heard of the antecedents of Vāsabhakhattiyā, he withdrew the royal honours, which had been bestowed on her and her son and reduced them to the condition of slaves. But the Buddha, hearing of this, related to Pasenadi the Katthahārika Jātaka, and made him restore the royal honours to the mother and her son.
Mention is made of another son of Pasenadi, named Brahmadatta, who entered the Order and became an arahant.
ThagA.i.460; the Dulva says that Jeta, owner of Jetavana, was also Pasenadi's son (Rockhill, p.48).
Pasenadi's sister, Kosaladevī, was married to Bimbisāra. Mahākosala gave her a village in Kāsi as part of her dowry, for her bath money. When Ajātasattu killed Bimbisāra, Kosaladevī died of grief, and Pasenadi confiscated the Kāsi village, saying that no patricide should own a village which was his by right of inheritance. Angered at this, Ajātasattu declared war upon his aged uncle. At first, victory lay with Ajātasattu, but Pasenadi had spies who reported to him a plan of attack suggested by the Thera Dhanuggaha Tissa, in the course of a conversation with his colleague Mantidatta, and in the fourth campaign Pasenadi took Ajātasattu prisoner, and refused to release him until he renounced his claim to the throne. Upon his renunciation, Pasenadi not only gave him his daughter Vajirā in marriage, but conferred on her, as a wedding gift, the very village in dispute (J.ii.237, 403; iv.342f).
Three years later, Vidūdabha revolted against his father. In this he was helped by the commander in chief, Dīghakārāyana, nephew of Bandhula. Bandhula, chief of the Mallas, disgusted with the treachery of his own people, had sought refuge with his former classmate, Pasenadi, in Sāvatthi. Bandhula's wife, Mallikā, bore him thirty two sons, brave and learned. Pasenadi, having listened to the tales of his corrupt ministers, contrived to have Bandhula and all his sons killed while they were away quelling a frontier rebellion. Bandhula's wife was a devout follower of the Buddha's faith, and showed no resentment against the king for this act of treachery. This moved the king's heart, and he made all possible amends. But Dīghakārāyana never forgave him, and once when Pasenadi was on a visit to the Buddha at Medatalumpa (Ulumpa), leaving the royal insignia with his commander in chief, Dīghakārāyana took advantage of this opportunity, withdrew the king's bodyguard, leaving behind only one single horse and one woman servant, hurried back to the capital and crowned Vidūdabha king. When Pasenadi heard of this, he hurried on to Rājagaha to enlist Ajātasattu's support; but as it was late, the city gates were closed. Exhausted by his journey, he lay down in a hall outside the city, where he died during the night.
When Ajātasattu heard the news, he performed the funeral rites over the king's body with great pomp. He wished to march at once against Vidūdabha, but desisted on the advice of his ministers (M.ii.118; MA.ii.753ff.; DhA.i.353ff.; J.iv.150ff).
Pasenadi had a sister, Sumanā, who was present at his first interview with the Buddha and decided to enter the Order, but she delayed doing so as she then had to nurse their aged grandmother. Pasenadi was very fond of his grandmother, and was filled with grief when she died in her one hundred and twentieth year. After her death, Sumanā became a nun and attained arahantship (ThigA.22; S.i.97; A.iii.32). The old lady's possessions were given over to the monks, the Buddha giving special permission for them to be accepted (Vin.ii.169).
Among the king's most valued possessions was the elephant Seta (A.iii.345); he had two other elephants, Bhadderaka (or Pāveyyaka) (DhA.iv.25) and Pundarīka (Ibid., ii.1). Mention is also made (J.iii.134f ) of a pet heron which lived in the palace and conveyed messages. Tradition says (SA.i.115; J.i.382ff ) that Pasenadi had in his possession the octagonal gem which Sakka had given to Kusa. He valued it greatly, using it as his turban jewel, and was greatly upset when it was reported lost; it was, however, recovered with the help and advice of Ananda. The Jātaka Commentary records that Pasenadi built a monastery in front of Jetavana. It was called the Rājakārāma, and the Buddha sometimes stayed there (J.ii.15). According to Hiouen Thsang, Pasenadi also built a monastery for Pajāpati Gotamī (Beal, Records ii.2).
Pasenadi's chaplain, Aggidatta had originally been Mahākosala's chaplain. Pasenadi therefore paid him great respect. This inconvenienced Aggidatta, and he gave his wealth to the poor and renounced the world.
DhA.iii.241ff.; SNA. (580) says that Bāvarī was Mahākosala's chaplain and Pasenadi studied under him. When Pasenadi came to the throne, Bāvarī declared his wish to leave the world. The king tried to prevent him but failed; he did, however, persuade Bāvarī to live in the royal park. Bāvarī, after staying there for some time, found life in a city uncongenial. The king thereupon detailed two of his ministers to establish a suitable hermitage for Bāvarī.
Pasenadi's minister, Santati, who was once allowed to reign for a week in the king's place as reward for having quelled a frontier dispute, gave his wealth to the poor and renounced the world like Aggidatta (DhA.iii.28ff). The king was always ready to pay honour to those who had won the praise of the Buddha, as in the case of Kānā (Ibid., ii.150ff), Culla Eka Sātaka (Ibid., iii.2ff ) or Angulimālā (M.ii.100); on the other hand, he did not hesitate to show his disapproval of those who disregarded the Buddha's teaching - e.g., Upananda (S.i.153f).
Pasenadi liked to be the foremost in gifts to the Buddha and his Order. This was why he held the Asadisadāna under the guidance and inspiration of Mallikā; but he was hurt when the Buddha's sermon of thanksgiving did not seem to him commensurate with the vast amount (fourteen crores) which he had spent. The Buddha then explained to him that this lack of enthusiasm was out of consideration for the king's minister Kāla. When the king learned that Kāla disapproved of the lavish way in which money had been spent at the almsgiving, he banished him from the court, while he allowed the minister Junha, who had furthered the almsgiving, to rule over the kingdom for seven days (DhA.iii.188ff).
Pasenadi seems to have enjoyed discussions on topics connected with the Dhamma. Reference has already been made to the Kosala Samyutta, which records several conversations which he held with the Buddha when visiting him in Sāvatthi; even when Pasenadi was engaged in affairs of state in other parts of the kingdom, he would visit the Buddha and engage him in conversation if he was anywhere in the neighbourhood. Two such conversations are recorded in the Dhammacetiya Sutta (q.v.) and the Kannakatthala Sutta (q.v.). If the Buddha was not available, he would seek a disciple. Thus the Bāhitika Sutta (q.v.) records a discussion between Pasenadi and Ananda on the banks of the Aciravatī. Once when Pasenadi was in Toranavatthu, midway between Sāketa and Sāvatthi, he heard that Khemā Therī was there, and went at once to visit and talk to her (S.iv.374ff). Rhys Davids thinks (Buddhist India, p.10) that Pasenadi was evidently an official title (*38) and that the king's personal name was Agnidatta. He bases this surmise on the fact that in the Divyāvadāna (p. 620) the king who gave Ukkatthā to Pokkarasādi is called Agnidatta, while in the Digha Nikāya (i.87) he is called Pasenadi, and that Pasenadi is used, as a designation for several kings (*39). The evidence is, however, insufficient for any definite conclusion to be drawn.
According to the Anāgatavamsa (J.P.T.S. 1886, p. 37), Pasenadi is a Bodhisatta. He will be the fourth future Buddha.
The Sutta Vibhanga (Vin.iv.298) mentions a Cittāgāra (? Art Gallery) which belonged to him.
(*2) E.g., S.i.74, 100; the Commentary (SA i.109f.) adds that the king tried to put down bribery and corruption in his court, but his attempt does not appear to have been very successful.
(*3) Thus he showed his favour to Pokkharasādi and Cankī, by giving them, respectively, the villages of Ukkatthā and Opasāda free of all taxes. It is said that his alms halls were always open to everyone desiring food or drink (Ud.ii.6). Even after becoming the Buddha's follower, he did not omit to salute holy men of other persuasions (Ud.vi.2).
(*4) According to Tibetan sources, Pasenadi's conversion was in the second year of the Buddha's ministry (Rockhill, p.49). We find the king referring to the Buddha, at their first meeting, as being young in years (S.i.69). Their first meeting and conversation, which ended in Pasenadi's declaring himself an adherent of the Buddha, are recorded in the Dahara Sutta.
(*5) S.i.75; for details see the Mahāsupina and Lohakumbhi Jātakas. It is said (SA.i.111) that the king fell in love with a woman while riding round the city; on discovering that she was married, he ordered her husband to go, before sunset, and fetch clay and lilies from a pond one hundred leagues away. When the man had gone, the king ordered the gatekeepers to shut the gates early and not on any account to open them. The husband returned in the evening, and finding the gates shut, went to Jetavana, to seek protection from the king's wrath. The king spent a sleepless night owing to his passion and had bad dreams. When the brahmins were consulted they advised a great animal sacrifice. The story is also found at DhA.ii.1ff., with several variations in detail.
(*6) It is said that he went three times a day to wait on the Buddha, sometimes with only a small bodyguard. Some robbers, knowing this, arranged an ambush in the Andhavana. But the king discovered the plot, of which he made short work.
(*7) Pasenadi was extremely attached to the Buddha, and the books describe how, when he saw the Buddha, he bowed his head at the Buddha's feet, covering them with kisses and stroking them (M.ii.120). The Chinese records say (Beal,xliv) that when the Buddha went to Tāvatimsa, Pasenadi made an image of the Buddha in sandalwood, to which he paid honour. He was very jealous of the Buddha's reputation, and put down with a firm hand any attempt on the part of heretics to bring discredit on him - e.g., in the case of Sundarī Nandā. In the Aggañña Sutta (D.iii.83f.), the Buddha explains why Pasenadi honours him. For Pasenadi's own explanation as to why people honoured the Buddha even more than the king, see M.ii.123; see also A.v.65 ff. Pasenadi was also jealous of the reputation of the Order, and if anything arose which seemed likely to bring discredit on it, he took prompt steps to have the matter remedied - e.g., in the case of Kundadhāna and Kumāra Kassapa's mother. Pasenadi's palace overlooked the Aciravati, and when he once saw some monks sporting in the river in an unseemingly way, he made sure that the Buddha knew of it (Vin.iv.112). The story of the blind man and the elephant shows that he was anxious to justify the Buddha's teaching as against that of other sects (SNA.ii.529).
(*14) DhA.i.385; Pasenadi's relations with Bimbisāra were very cordial. Bimbisāra had five millionaires in his kingdom - Jotiya, Jatila, Mendaka, Punnaka and Kākavaliya - while Pasenadi had none. Pasenadi therefore visited Bimbisāra and asked for one to be transferred to him. Bimbisāra gave him Dhanañjaya, Mendaka's son, and Pasenadi settled him in Sāketa (DhA.i.385ff).
(*16) In the Samyutta Nikāya (v. 351), the king's chamberlains, Isidatta and Purāna, speak of his harem. When he went riding in the park he took with him his favourite and lovely wives on elephants, one before and one behind. They were sweetly scented - "like caskets of scent" - and their hands were soft to the touch.
(*38) The UdA. (104) explains Pasenadi as "paccantam parasenam jinātī ti = Pasenadi." According to Tibetan sources he was so called because the whole country was illuminated at the time of his birth (Rockhill, p.16).
(*39) E.g., in Dvy. 369, for a king of Magadha and again in the Kathāsaritsāgara i.268, 298.
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