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The Coming Buddha, Ariya Metteyya

Sayagyi U Chit Tin

The Bodhisatta Metteyya

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahatto Sammasambuddhassa

      Uttamo Metteyyo Ramo Pasenadi Kosalo ca
      Abhibhu Dighasoni ca Candani ca Subo Todeyyabrahmano
      Nalagiri Palaleyyo bodhisatta anukkamena
      Sambodhim labhanti anagate.
    (Buddha Gotama predicted as follows:)

      In the future (ten) Bodhisattas will attain full awakening
      in the following order: the most honourable (Ariya) Metteyya,
      (King) Rama, (King) Pasenadi of Kosala, (the Deva) Abhibhu,
      (the Asura Deva) Dighasoni, (the Brahman) Candani, (the young
      man) Subha, the Brahman Todeyya, (the elephant) Nalagiri,
      and (the elephant) Palaleya.[11]


The most important aspiration for any individual is to aim for the true liberation of attaining Nibbana. When a person is able to make this resolve in the presence of a Teaching Buddha and get a sure prediction from him, he or she becomes one who is intent on Awakening, a Bodhisatta.[12] There are three types of Bodhisattas:

  1. those who aspire to become Awakened as a disciple of a Teaching Buddha:

    1. ordinary disciples (savaka),

    2. eighty leading disciples (maha-savaka), and

    3. two chief disciples (agga-savaka);


  2. those who aspire to become Awakened through their own efforts but who will not teach others the way to Awakening (pacceka-bodhisatta), and


  3. those who aspire to become Awakened through their own efforts and who will teach others the way to Awakening (maha-bodhisatta).[13]

In this paper, we will concentrate on the last type of Bodhisatta, with particular reference to the next Buddha, Metteyya.[14]

It is natural that interest in the coming Buddha has grown as the years go by. When Buddha Gotama was available, most of the people's efforts went to practising his Teachings and attaining Awakening. Immediately after his demise, his Teachings were collected, and, since that time, great care has gone into maintaining their purity in order that they may remain effective.

The number of those who attain Nibbana are less as time goes by, and so people began to think more in terms of meeting the next Buddha and achieving Awakening under him.[15] It is important that the practice of the Buddha's Teachings not be neglected, however. It is not wishful thinking that enables us to encounter a Buddha, but rather developing the ten perfections and advancing as far as possible in the practice of a Buddha's Teachings whenever possible. This is particularly important today as the Buddha's Teachings are on the decline and it becomes easier and easier to go down to the four lower planes of existence. If this should happen, it is very unlikely that a person would meet the next Buddha.

A Teaching Buddha is the greatest of all beings, and the preparation for achieving this state of being a Supreme Awakened One (Sammasambuddha) takes longer than the preparation to attain Awakening as a disciple or a Pacceka-Buddha.

In the commentaries on the Pali canon, the preparation of a Maha-bodhisatta is given in detail. This Great Being (Mahasatta) will develop the ten perfections (parami) longer and to a higher degree than the lesser types of Bodhisattas. A person who becomes Awakened as an ordinary disciple of a Teaching Buddha must work on the ten perfections for ten to one hundred thousand aeons.[16] Leading disciples must prepare one hundred thousand aeons. Chief disciples work for one incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons. To become a Pacceka Buddha requires two incalculable aeons. But a man working to become a Teaching Buddha develops the perfections on three levels, making thirty perfections in all.[17] The three levels of perfections mean the sacrifice of external possessions for the ordinary level, the sacrifice of any of one's limbs for the middle level, and the sacrifice of one's life for the highest level.[18]

Several other interpretations for the three levels are given,[19] and some of these are of interest for meditators today. The three levels can be understood to mean: (1) rejoicing in other people's merits, (2) encouraging other people to practise the Teachings, (3) practising one-self. Or, they can be taken to mean that acquiring merit and knowledge on the first level leads to life in happy states, on the second level it leads to attaining Nibbana oneself, and on the third level it leads to aiding others to attain both of these types of happiness.

The Great Bodhisatta achieves the three levels of the perfection of giving (dana) by giving (1) his belongings, children, and wife; (2) his limbs; and (3) his life. He will not transgress virtue (sila) on account of these three. He fulfils renunciation (nekkhamma) by giving up these three after cutting off all attachment to them. By rooting out all craving for these three, he is able to discriminate between what is beneficial or harmful to beings--thus perfecting wisdom (panna). The three levels of energy (viriya) are reached by striving to relinquish these three. Through patience (khanti) he endures obstacles to his belongings, limbs, and life. He will not abandon truthfulness (sacca) on account of these three. His resolution (adhitthana) is unshakeable even if these three are destroyed. He maintains loving kindness (metta) towards others even though they destroy these three. He perfects equanimity (upekkha) by remaining neutral whether others are helpful or harmful to any of these three.[20]

Great Bodhisattas are of three types:[21] (1) those in whom wisdom (panna) is predominant, (2) those in whom faith (saddha) is predominant, and (3) those in whom energy (viriya) is predominant. For the first type, the preparation requires four incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons. The second type works for eight incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons. The Bodhisatta Metteyya is the third type, those who work for sixteen incalculable and one hundred thousand aeons.[22] These three types are also explained as being due to the degree of the quality of the energy they put forth, or again, as being determined by the degree they develop the mental factors which bring emancipation to maturity (vimuttiparipacaniya dhamma).

These three types of Great Bodhisattas are determined by how much they have developed the perfections when they make the aspiration to become a Teaching Buddha. At the time they aspire to become a Teaching Buddha, they will already have prepared to attain final Nibbana, Arahatship.[23] They will be at the point that they could become Arahats (1) through a condensed teaching of less than three lines (ugghatitannu), (2) through an elaborated teaching of less than four lines (vipancitannu), or (3) through further training amounting to hearing four lines (neyya). According to the commentary on the Anagatavamsa,[24] Those in whom wisdom is predominant, which was the case for the Bodhisatta who became Buddha Gotama, would be able to understand a condensed teaching of less than three lines. Those in whom faith is predominant would understand a teaching of less than four lines. Those in whom energy is predominant, as was the case for Bodhisatta Metteyya, would understand on hearing four lines. This might seem to suggest that the future Buddha Gotama was more advanced that the future Buddha Metteyya when he made his resolve to become a Buddha. But the difference may be related to the fact that a Bodhisatta for whom energy is predominant develops the perfections four times as long as a Bodhisatta for whom wisdom is predominant.

There are many conditions associated with making the resolve to become a Teaching Buddha.[25] The aspiration (abhinihara) is: "Crossed over I would cause (others) to cross over, released I would cause (others) to be released, tamed I would cause (others) to be tamed, calmed I would cause (others) to be calmed, comforted I would cause (others) to be comforted, completely quenched I would cause (others) to be completely quenched, Awakened I would cause (others) to be Awakened, purified I would cause (others) to be purified."

There are eight qualifications for the man who is to become a Great Bodhisatta:[26]


  1. He must be a human being (manusatta), as this is the plane in which Buddhas arise. This is the plane in which beings can have the three root causes of being free of greed, hatred, and confusion.


  2. He must be a male (lingasampatti), for only a man can become a Buddha.


  3. He must have achieved the necessary conditions supporting Buddha-hood, in other words, the cause (hetu), which means that at the time of the aspiration he was prepared to attain Arahatship.


  4. He must see the Teacher (sattharadassana), as the aspiration can only be successful if made in the presence of a living Buddha. Only a Teaching Buddha can see the capability of the person making the aspiration and what will work out in the future.


  5. He must have gone forth (pabbajja) either as a bhikkhu or as an ascetic who believes in the doctrines of volitional actions and the moral effectiveness of action.


  6. He must have achieved the noble qualities (gunasampatti) which come with highly developed control over the mind. Only then will he be able to investigate the ten perfections that he will need to develop.


  7. He must possess great dedication (adhikara). He will be so devoted he would give his life for a Buddha.


  8. And he must have a strong desire (chandata), a wholesome desire, if he is to develop the mental factors which make for Buddhahood.

The aspiration has one of four conditions (paccaya): the man is inspired because (1) he sees a Teaching Buddha, or (2) he hears of the great power of a Teaching Buddha, or (3) he hears the Doctrine of a Teaching Buddha being taught and the powers of a Buddha explained, or (4) he is a man of lofty temperament and noble disposition. Bodhisatta Metteyya comes under the second condition, as we shall see.

The aspiration has four causes (hetu):

  1. The Great Bodhisatta has already fulfilled his duties under former Buddhas and acquired the supporting conditions (upanissaya) for fulfilling his task. These supporting conditions create a clear distinction between the Great Bodhisatta and the beings intent on becoming Awakened as disciples or Pacceka Buddhas. Great Bodhisattas are endowed with lucid faculties and lucid knowledge, while the others do not. He practises for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, welfare, and happiness of Devas and men. The others practise mainly for their own welfare. He applies skilfulness to his practise through his ability to create opportunities to benefit others and through his skill in distinguishing what is and what is not possible.


  2. He is by nature compassionate, ready to give his own body and life to alleviate the suffering of others.


  3. He is willing to struggle and strive for a long time, despite the great hardships he will encounter.


  4. He relies on good friends who restrain him from evil and establish him in what is good.

Finally, the aspiration is based on four powers (Bala): (1) internal power (ajjhattika-bala), (2) external power (bahira-bala), (3) the power of the supporting conditions (upanissaya-bala), and (4) the power of effort (payoga-bala). The internal power is the longing or undeviating inclination for supreme Awakening based on his personal ideals and reverence for the Dhamma. The external power is this same longing based on consideration of others. Through developing the supporting conditions, he has the power of this longing. And the power of effort means he is endowed with the appropriate effort for attaining supreme Awakening. His effort will be thorough and he will persevere in his work.

The Great Bodhisattas are confirmed in their aspiration by many Buddhas. A sixteenth-century Pali text from Thailand[27] says that Bodhisatta Metteyya received his prediction of future Buddhahood from Buddha Mahutta. This would presumably be the first prediction for him. This text also gives details of the period during which the Bodhisatta who became Buddha Gotama made a mental resolve to become a Teaching Buddha. This is shown to be his preparation for the life in which he received his first sure prediction. Bodhisatta Metteyya is mentioned as being associated with him in two of these lives: as his leading disciple when he was a religious teacher[28] and as his chaplain (named Sirigutta) when he was King Atideva.[29]

The story of one occasion when Bodhisatta Metteyya made an aspiration and when the perfection which is strongest for him is illustrated is told in Pali texts which were written down after the compilation of the canon.[30] The story of Bodhisatta Metteyya's aspiration was told to the leading disciple Ven. Sariputta when he was residing near Savatthi in the Pubbarama, the monastery offered by the laywoman Visakha.

Long ago, Bodhisatta Metteyya was the Wheelturning Monarch Sankha in the city of Indapatta in the Kuru country. This large city resembled a city of the Devas. Wheel-turning Monarchs reign over the whole earth and have seven great treasures: a great wheel, an elephant, horse, gem, wife, householder, and adviser. Sankha lived in a seven-storey palace made of the seven kinds of gems. This palace rose up out of the earth through the power of his merit. Sankha led others to follow the path leading to rebirth in the higher planes of existence, and he administered justice with impartiality.

After Sankha became a Wheel-turning Monarch, there arose the Buddha Sirimata. Whenever a Bodhisatta is to be born in his last life, there is a Buddha proclamation a thousand years before.[31] Brahmas of the Pure Abodes (Suddhavasa) travel throughout the world of men and proclaim: "A thousand years from now, a Buddha will arise in the world." King Sankha must have heard of this proclamation, for one day, as he sat on his golden throne under the royal white umbrella, he said, "A long time ago there was a proclamation that a Buddha would be born. I will turn over the place of Wheel-turning Monarch to whoever knows of the Triple Gem, to whoever points out to me the gems of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, as well as the Dispensation. I will go to see the Supreme Buddha."

Buddha Sirimata was residing at that time only sixteen leagues from Sankha's capital city. Among the samaneras (novices) in the Sangha, there was a boy who came from a poor family. His mother was a slave, so the samanera went to the city to seek wealth in order to set his mother free. When the people saw him, they thought he was a Yakkha, or ogre, so they threw sticks at him. Afraid, he went to the palace and stood before the king. "Who are you, young man?" the king asked. "I am called a samanera, O great king," the samanera answered.

"Why do you call yourself a samanera?"

"Because, O great king, I do no evil, I have established myself in moral conduct, and thus I lead the holy life. Therefore I am called a samanera."

"Who gave you that name?"

"My teacher, O great king."

"What is your teacher called, young man?"

"My teacher is called a bhikkhu, O great king."

"Who gave your teacher the name 'bhikkhu,' young man?"

"O great king, my teacher's name was given by the priceless gem of the Sangha."

Full of joy, King Sankha rose from his throne and prostrated himself at the feet of the samanera. And he asked, "Who gave the name to the Sangha?" "O great king, the Noble Supreme Buddha Sirimata gave the name to the Sangha."

Hearing the word "Buddha," which is so difficult to hear in many hundreds of thousands of aeons, King Sankha fainted from joy. When he regained consciousness, he asked, "Venerable sir, where does the Noble Supreme Buddha Sirimata reside at present?"

And the samanera told him the Buddha was in a monastery called Pubbarama, sixteen leagues away. King Sankha turned over the power of Wheel-turning Monarch to the samanera. He gave up his kingdom and a great number of relatives. Filled with joy at the thought of seeing the Buddha, he started walking to the north towards the Pubbarama. The first day, the soles of his feet split open, for they were very tender due to his luxurious upbringing. On the second day, his feet began to bleed. He was unable to walk on the third day, so he went on his hands and knees. On the fourth day, his hands and feet bled, so he determined to continue on his chest. The joy of the possibility of seeing the Buddha enabled him to overcome his great suffering and pain.

Buddha Sirimata surveyed the world with his All-knowing Knowledge and seeing the power of the effort (viriya-bala) of the king, the Buddha thought, "This Wheel-turning Monarch Sankha is surely a seed, a Buddha-sprout (Buddankura-bijo). He undertakes great pain because of me. Indeed, I should go to him." By his psychic powers, the Buddha hid his great splendour and went disguised as a young man in a chariot. He went to where Sankha was and blocked his path in order to test the power of his effort.

"You there!" Buddha Sirimata said to King Sankha, "go back on your chest! I am going down this road in my chariot." But King Sankha refused, saying he was on his way to see the Buddha. The Buddha in disguise invited the king to get into his chariot, saying that is where he was going. On the way, the Deva maiden Sujata came down from the Tavatimsa heaven, and taking the form of a young girl, offered food. The Buddha had it given to Sankha. Then Sakka, in the form of a young man, came down from the Tavatimsa heaven and gave water. As a result of the divine food and water, all King Sankha's ailments disappeared.

When they arrived at Pubbarama, the Buddha sat on his seat in the monastery, assuming his true appearance with the rays of six colours shining forth. When the king went in and saw the Buddha, he again lost consciousness. After a while, he came to himself, approached the Buddha, and paid his respects.

"Venerable sir," he requested, "protector of the world, refuge of the world, teach me one (point of the) doctrine which may calm me when I have heard it." "Very well," the Buddha said, "listen." The Buddha reviewed the Doctrine of Nibbana and taught the king a discourse concerning Nibbana. This aroused reverence for the Doctrine in the king, but after hearing only a little of the Doctrine, he requested the Buddha, "Please stop, Blessed One. Do not teach me any more." He said this because he thought to himself that he would not have a gift worthy of what the Buddha taught him if he heard any more.

"Indeed, venerable sir," the king said, "of all the doctrines taught, the Blessed One has pointed out Nibbana, which is the highest. So, of all the parts of my body, I will pay homage to your Doctrine with my head." He began to sever his neck with his fingernails and said, "Venerable Buddha Sirimata, you go[32] to the deathless first; through the gift of my head, I will afterwards go to Nibbana. Having said just these few words, I pay homage to the doctrine of Nibbana. Now, may this be the means for (my attaining) omniscience." And saying this, he finished severing his head with his fingernails.

King Sankha's predominant characteristic was his great energy (viriya). This is shown through his overcoming the difficulties in going to see Buddha Sirimata. His effort was so strong, the Buddha realized that he was a Great Bodhisatta. Other perfections are also illustrated in this story. He gives away his position of Wheel-turning Monarch. Even before hearing of the Buddha, he set the example of leading a moral life leading to higher rebirths. As a just king, he would show his wisdom, patience, truthfulness, loving kindness, and equanimity. Once he hears of the Buddha, he renounces his kingdom and family, giving up the highest position that can be attained by a human being. And great resolution worked together with his energy.

The final action of King Sankha is the gift of his head to the Buddha. This may seem strange, but it is explained in the text by the fact that the Buddha had taught him one aspect of the Doctrine concerning Nibbana, the highest goal. King Sankha cannot find any other gift worthy of Nibbana, so he resolves to offer his own head. In the Pali commentaries,[33] 23 it is said that only giving their own limbs or their life makes Great Bodhisattas exalt when they give. Joy arises when they give such gifts and they experience no contrariety of mind. So we can see that such gifts are beyond ordinary people, and we need not feel that we should make such sacrifices ourselves.

During the time of Buddha Gotama, the Great Bodhisatta who is to be the next Buddha was a bhikkhu named Ajita.[34] According to the commentary on the Anagatavamsa, Ajita was the son of King Ajatasattu and Queen Kancanadevi.[35] Prince Ajita had five hundred attendants, and when he reached the age of sixteen, the king asked his son to inherit the Buddha's heritage. The Prince agreed, so the king took him to the Veuvana Monastery in great pomp and splendour along with his five hundred attendants. Prince Ajita was ordained as a novice, and because of his serenity, calmness, and wisdom he was much respected. Later he was ordained as a bhikkhu. The Buddha took him when he went from Rajagaha to Kapilavatthu to reside in the Nirodharama Monastery.

While they were residing at that monastery, Maha-Pajapati-Gotami came one day with two special cloths to be presented to the Buddha for use as robes. She had planted the cotton seeds herself and did all the necessary work up to the time the robes were finished. The account of the gift of the cloths is found in the Majjhima-nikaya.[36] There, the Buddha refused three times to accept the robes offered by Maha-Pajapati-Gotami and suggested that she offer them to the Sangha with the Buddha at its head. Ven. Ananda approached the Buddha, suggesting he should accept the cloths. The Buddha then gave the discourse on the analysis of offerings.

No other details are given in the Pali canon or Ashin Buddhaghosa's commentary on this discourse. In the commentary on the Anagatavamsa, it is said that the Buddha accepted one robe for himself and instructed his step-mother to offer the second one to the Sangha. But not one of the eighty leading disciples came forward to accept that robe. Eventually, Ven. Ajita thought to himself that the Buddha had told his step-mother to give the robe to the Sangha for her benefit, so he bravely got up like a king of the lions in the midst of the Sangha and accepted the robe. There was some disappointment and much talk about how an unknown bhikkhu could accept the robe when none of the leading disciples had taken it. Realizing the situation and in order to dispel any doubts, the Buddha said, "Do not say this bhikkhu is an ordinary bhikkhu. He is a Bodhisatta who will be the coming Buddha Metteyya." Then the Buddha took the bowl that had been given to him shortly after his Awakening by the world's four Guardian Devas and threw it into the air. None of the eighty leading disciples could retrieve it, but Ven. Ajita understood that the Buddha intended for him to show his psychic powers, so he brought back the bowl. Then Ven. Ajita took the cloth he had accepted and put it in the Buddha's Perfumed Chamber as a canopy under the ceiling, making the aspiration that this act of generosity might result in his having a canopy made of seven gems and with hangings made of gold, silver, coral, and pearls measuring twelve leagues when he becomes a Buddha.[37] The Buddha smiled after this and Ven. Ananda asked why he had smiled. The Buddha replied, "Ananda, the bhikkhu Ajita will become the Buddha Ari Metteyya in this Auspicious Aeon." Then he remained silent, enjoying the fruits of Arahatship. The first chief disciple, Ven. Sariputta, who knew the assembled bhikkhus wished to hear more information, requested the Buddha give a discourse about the coming Buddha. And the Buddha gave the account in the Anagatavamsa.

The prediction concerning Metteyya is found in the Pali canon,[38] but the details concerning the future Buddha will be given in a separate talk. The Dasavatthu goes on to say that from the time of the sure prediction, the Bodhisatta taught a large number of bhikkhus, explaining the whole canon and causing them to increase in insight and to attain the knowledge of adaptable patience. At the end of that life, he was reborn in a Deva world. But there is a reference to at least one other human life as he should have a life in which he is generous in the way the Bodhisatta Vessantara was.[39] After that life, he should be reborn in the Tusita Deva world, where all Great Bodhisattas reside before their final birth. According to the Culavamsa, the Bodhisatta would have other human births.[40]

When Ashin Buddhaghosa went from India to Ceylon to consult the commentaries on the Pali canon, he was given two verses to comment on as a test. The result was the Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification). The Devas, in order to convince the people of his greatness, hid the text twice so that Ashin Buddhaghosa had to copy it twice. When the copies were compared with the original, no deviations were found. The Sangha then exclaimed, "Without a doubt this is Metteyya!" The Visuddhimagga is especially important for those practising the Buddha's Teachings. Sayagyi U Ba Khin considered this work the most important single work explaining true Buddhist meditation. In another Pali text that is not part of the canon, there is a description of Metteyya in the Tusita world.[41] He is said to go to the Culamani shrine in the Tavatimsa Deva world to pay respects to the hair cut off by the Bodhisatta Siddhattha when he made the great renunciation and to relics brought there by the Deva king Sakka after the death of Buddha Gotama. The Bodhisatta Metteyya is described as being surrounded by a host of Devas and Devis. Four Devi maidens in particular are described as having beautiful complexions, halos, ornaments, and clothes, one of a shining colour, one red, one dark gold, and the fourth, golden. The main point of this text is that beings who wish to encounter the coming Buddha and attain Awakening under him should act accordingly. Bhikkhus should not create a schism in the Sangha. The five heinous actions which inevitably lead to rebirth in the lower worlds should be avoided. In addition to not creating a schism, these include not killing one's father, one's mother, or an Arahat. The fifth point, not drawing the blood of a Buddha, of course, is no longer possible. Other actions to be avoided are destroying pagodas (thupas) or breaking Bodhi trees. Bodhisattas should not be killed. One should not be stingy or tell lies. In one of the texts about Buddha Gotama's description of the ten future Buddhas,[42] the following positive actions are said to be necessary if those who encounter this Buddha Dispensation wish to meet Buddha Metteyya: they must give gifts (dana), observe morality (sila), and develop mental control - that is to say, meditation (bhavana).

Those of us today who are practising the Teachings of the Buddha should try to advance as far as possible. Some people may be able to become Ariyas here and now. People who have not developed the perfections required for such attainments or who have made an aspiration under a former Buddha to meet Buddha Metteyya will need to make a maximum effort in order not to miss this opportunity or in order to gain the maximum benefits. We should not just assume that we are meant to defer Awakening until we meet the next Buddha. Ashin Buddhaghosa gives the example of Elder Maha-Sangharakkhita who needed a reminder in order not to miss his opportunity to attain Arahatship, for he had mistakenly thought he should wait until the next Buddha.[43] Meditators who become Ariyas aside from Arahats may eventually go to the Brahma worlds of the Pure Abodes (Suddhavasa), and there they may live long enough to meet the coming Buddha.[44] So we should all make our best effort in this life.



  1. These verses begin the printed Burmese texts consulted: Dipeyin Sayadaw, Anagatavamsa (Rangoon: Icchasaya Pitaka Printing Press); Maung Ba Pe, Anagatavan kyam: (Rangoon: Tuin:ok Bha:ma:, 1907); and the anonymous Anagatavan kyam: (Rangoon: Kawimyakmhan, 1924). In this translation, we include in brackets the information the authors supply in their word-by-word translation of the Pali into Burmese. The wording is very close to that found in a Burmese manuscript quoted by Minayeff (JPTS, 1883, p. 37), in Dbu, (p. 334), and in a Burmese nissaya (word-by-word translation), dated 1842, of the Anagatavamsa in the Museum fur Indische Kunst, Berlin (Hs-Birm 3) (see No. 88 [p. 117] in Heinz Bechert, Daw Khin Khin Su, Daw Tin Tin Myint, Burmese Manuscripts, part 1, Verzeichnis der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland, Band XXIII, 1 (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1979). Dbu has the following variants for names: Dighajanghi for Dighasoni and Sona for Candani; the lines quoted by Minayeff (and cited in Dbk, p. 17) give Samkacca for Candani; Hs-Birm 3 has Samcicca for Candani, all three texts have Palileyyo for Palaleyo.

  2. Only a Teaching Buddha has the ability to see if the aspiration will be fulfilled. See Treatise, p. 263 under "(4) The Sight of the Master."

  3. See Treatise, p. 303. These are also mentioned in the introduction to Th-a.

  4. His name is also given as Ari Metteyya.

  5. See Ven. H. Saddhitissa's introduction to Dbk, p. 33.

  6. See Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Dhamma Texts, pp. 53f.; CSM, p. 88; and The Path of Purification (Vism), XIII 16. In CSM, the ordinary disciple is not mentioned and the time given for the Pacceka Buddha is two incalculables and one hundred thousand aeons. The figures we have given are based on how far back the various Bodhisattas can recollect given in Vism.

  7. See Treatise, pp. 312-314; CSM, 23, 89, 162. They are also mentioned at Dh-a I 84 and Ja I 25. The Jataka stories illustrating the highest perfections in the case of Buddha Gotama are given in CSM (pp. 89-92).

  8. See CSM, pp. 89, 162, and Treatise, p. 313.

  9. See Treatise, pp. 312f.

  10. See Treatise, pp. 313f.

  11. See Treatise, pp. 325f.

  12. This is mentioned in Dvp, p. 133.

  13. CSM, p. 130f. (in the discussion of "cause").

  14. In an unpublished passage. This is mentioned by Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa in his Mahabuddhavan (Yangon: Sasana Council, 1977), pp. 6-10 (he quotes as his source: Ashin Thilawuntha [Silavamsa], Parami-kan-pyo).

  15. See Treatise, pp. 267-270.

  16. See CSM, pp. 132-134.

  17. Jinakalamali (Epochs of the Conqueror).

  18. Epochs, pp. 5f.

  19. Epochs, pp. 8f.

  20. Dbk (see also pp. 391-413 of the next text), and Dbu.

  21. There does not seem to be any information as to when this Buddha lived. He would have lived before the twenty- four Buddhas under whom the Bodhisatta who became Buddha Gotama made his resolutions.

  22. See Illus., p. 131.

  23. Reading yatha with the Martini ed. (p. 395 and variant reading p. 306) for yava in the Pali Text Society ed. (p. 127).

  24. See CSM, p. 215.

  25. Dbk, p. 54.

  26. We base the following account on the information in Dipeyin Sayadaw's Anagatavamsa. See also: Dbk, p. 54; Sylvain Levi, "Maitreya le consolateur," Etudes d'orientalisme publiees par le Musee Guimet a la memoire de Raymonde Linossier (1932), Vol. II, p. 366 (his information is based on a Pali text from Thailand, Pathamasambodhi); and George Coedes, "Une vie indochinoise du Bouddha: la Pathamasambodhi," Melanges d'indianiste a la memoire de Louis Renou (1968), pp. 217-227. According to Dvp, Chapter 31 (Pali, pp. 125-127, French, pp. 132-134), Ajita was from a prosperous family in Sankassa. This text says that Bodhisatta Metteyya had already fulfilled the perfections for sixteen incalculables and a hundred thousand aeons when he was born as a human during the time of Buddha Gotama. His family lived at the gate of the city Sankassa (Sankhassa in the French ed.). It was here that the Buddha descended from the Tavatimsa Deva world after teaching the Abhidhamma. On this occasion he asked Ven. Sariputta a question which none of the other disciples were able to answer in order to show that the chief disciple understood the Doctrine better than any of the other disciples (see Buddhist Legends, III, 54-56). When the Great Bodhisatta heard Ven. Sariputta's answer, he was very pleased. Seeing the pleasing appearance of the Buddha and hearing him teach the Doctrine, Ajita was drawn to become a bhikkhu. (The French translation of this passage is slightly inaccurate.)

  27. Suttanta No. 142 (MLS, III 300-305).

  28. The account in the Pathamasambodhi differs somewhat (see Sylvain Levi, "Maitreya," p. 366). In this account, Ajita is still a novice, the newest member of the Sangha. He is given both of the robes and uses the second one by tearing it up to make garlands to hang from the border of the canopy. After having done all this, Ajita makes a vow to become a Teaching Buddha and Buddha Gotama then gives his sure prediction. The details concerning the robe and the sure prediction are also found in Dvp (Pali, p. 126).

  29. D, No. 26 (DB, III, 72-74; TS, pp. 364-368).

  30. Sayagyi U Ba Khin interpreted this passage to mean that the generosity would consist mainly of the gift of the Dhamma (see above, p. vii).

  31. See Vol. I, 22-25 (Ch. XXXVII, verses 215-246). This passage is quoted by Ven. Nanamoli in the introduction of his translation, The Path of Purification (pp. xxi-xxii).

  32. Sih, Chapter III (Pali, pp. 8-12; French, second pagination, pp. 10-14).

  33. Dbu, p. 344.

  34. See The Path of Purification, Chapter I,135.

  35. See DB II, 39-41 (D, No. 14). Those who attain the third stage of Awakening (Non-returners) can live in the Pure Abodes (Suddhavasa) of the Brahma worlds long enough to encounter more than one Buddha. Buddha Gotama recounts meeting Brahmas in the Pure Abodes who confirm for him events that he recalls from the time of former Buddhas (see D, n . 14 [DB, II 4-41, especially pp. 39-41] ).

Published by the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, IMC-UK, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0PE, England,
Tel: +44 1380 850 238, Fax: +44 1380 850 833.
Registered Charity No 280134.

This publication is one of several marking the tenth anniversary of Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin's
coming out of Burma to continue their work in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
by teaching the Buddha-Dhama in the West. 

The gift of the Dhamma surpasses all other gifts. 

Dedicated to our much revered teacher the late Sayagyi U Ba Khin (Thray Sitthu)
to mark the 89th anniversary of his birth in March 1899.


Source: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, IMC-UK, http://ubakhin.com/

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updated: 01-09-2001