Bv 23 Konagamana

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Chronicle of Twenty-four Buddhas

Edited and Translated by

Professor U Ko Lay and U Tin Lwin

Yangon, Myanmar

23. KONAGAMANA BUDDHAVAMSA

After Buddha Kakusandhas attainment of Parinibbana, in the present Bhadda Kappa, the life-span of human beings gradually decreased from forty thousand years to ten years and increased up to asankhyeyya. When it reached thirty thousand years on its next decline, Bodhisatta Konagamana, on his complete fulfilment of the Perfections was reborn in Tusita. Having complied with the request made by Devas and Brahmas for becoming a Buddha, he descended to the human world and was conceived in the womb of a Brahmin lady named Uttara, wife of Yannadatta Brahmin, in the city of Sobhavati. When ten months had elapsed he was born in Subhavati Park.

At the time of the boy's birth, there fell a heavy shower of gold over the whole of Jambudipa and taking the significance of this event, "coming down of gold from the sky", framed readers of omens and his relatives named him Kanakagamana (Kanaka means 'gold', agamana 'coming'; hence Kanakagamana "the boy for whom gold has come (down)." Owing to its antiquity, the original name Kanakagamana has taken the corrupt farm of Konagamana. Or by means of derivation, the first syllable ka is changed into ko, na into na and the final ka elided.

Royal household life

When the boy Konagamana came of age, he lived in three palatial mansions of Tusita, Santusita and Santuttha, being entertained and served by his wife Rucigatta, a Brahmin lady, and her host of sixteen thousand Brahmin women and enjoying a divine like household life for three thousand years.

Renunciation

When Konangamana Brahmin had seen the four omens while living a household life and when his wife Rucigatta had given birth to a son named Satthavaha, he renounced the world, riding an elephant. Thirty thousand men, following his example, also renounced the world.

Attainment of Buddhahood

With his thirty thousand recluses Konagamana practised dukkaracariya; on the full moan of Vesakha, the day on which be would become a Buddha, he partook of the milk-rice offered by Aggisona, daughter of Aggisona, and spent the daytime in the local grove of acacia. In the evening he went alone to the Mahabodhi and on the way accepted eight handfuls of grass offered by Jatatinduka, a watchman of barley fields. As soon as he spread the grass at the foot of the (udumbara ) Maha Bodhi Tree there arose the Aparajjita Pallanka measuring twenty cubits. Sitting cross-legged on the pallahka he concentrated his energy of four levels and, as has been said previously, attained Buddhahood.

Three occasions of the Buddha's teaching

(Dhammabhisamaya)

After his attainment of Buddhahood, Buddha Konagamana stayed in the neighborhood of the Maha Bodhi Tree for forty nine days. Having accepted the Brahmas request for his teaching he contemplated as to whom he should teach first, and saw the thirty thousand recluses who were his companions in renunciation and immediately went through space to their residence, Isipatana Deer Park, near the city of Sudassana. Staying in the middle of those recluses, when he delivered the Dhammacakka sermon which was taught traditionally by previous Buddhas, several Devas and Brahmas came to listen. At that time thirty thousand crores of Devas and men attained the Path and Fruition.

(This was the first Dhammabhisamaya.)

At a later time when Buddha Konagamana displayed the Twin Miracle of water and fire near the sala tree close to the city-gate of Sundara, and eradicated the wrong views and taught Dhamma, twenty thousand crores of Devas and humans attained the Path and Fruition -

(This was the second Dhammabhisamaya.)

After displaying the Twin Miracle when Buddha Konagamana went up to Tavatimsa and staying on the stone-slab placed at the foot of the paricchattaka tree and taught the seven books of Abhidhamma to Devas and Brahmas who had assembled there from the ten- thousand world-system. At that time ten thousand crores of them attained the Path and Fruition.

(This was the third Dhammabhisamaya.)

Single occasion of the Disciples' meeting(sannipata)

The only meeting of Buddha Konagamana's Disciples took place like this. When staying in a park named Surindadeva near the city of Sundaravati, the Buddha taught Dhamma to Princes Bhiyyosa and Uttara who were to become his Chief Disciples, together with thirty thousand strong retainers and called them, "Come, monks", they became Ehi bhikkhus and attained Arahatship. In the middle of those thirty thousand Arahats on the full moon of Magha Buddha Konagamana recited the Ovada Patimokkha.

(This was how the only sannipata took place.)

Future Buddha Gotama as King Pabbata received prophecy from Buddha Konagamana

Meanwhile our Future Buddha Gotama was King Pabbata in the city of Mithila; he was a powerful ruler associated with strong allies. Hearing that Buddha Konagamana had come to his city, he welcomed the Buddha with his retinue and army, invited him respectfully and performed a ceremony of grand alms-giving. He also requested the Buddha to observe vassa in his city and looked after the Buddha and his Sangha for the three months of the rainy season. Besides, he offered the Sangha headed by the Buddha, cotton cloth, silk cloth, woolen cloth, golden sandals and many other things made in Pattunna country and Cina country. The Buddha then prophesied of him: "In this very Bhadda Kappa this King Pabbata will indeed become a Buddha named Gotama."

Having heard the Buddha's prophecy the Bodhisatta King Pabbata was so pleased that he firmly resolved to fulfil the Ten Perfections even more energetically.

Since he was a man who had been seeking Omniscience he made a great offering of gifts to Buddha Konagamana, renounced his magnificent kingship and became a monk in the presence of the Buddha.

Buddha Konagamana's birthplace was Sobhavati City ruled over by King Sobha; his father was Brahmin Yannadatta and his mother Uttara, a Brahmin lady.

He reigned for three thousand years; he lived in three palatial mansions: Tusita, Santusita and Santuttha.

His wife was Rucigatta, a Brahmin lady having a retinue of sixteen thousand Brahmin women; his son was Satthavaha.

He renounced the world riding an elephant after seeing the four omens; he practised dukkaracariya for six months.

His two Chief Disciples were Bhiyyosa Thera and Uttara Thera; his attendant was Sotthija Thera.

His two female Chief Disciples were Samudda Theri and Uttara Theri; his Bodhi Tree was an udumbara.

His noble supporters were the wealthy men Ugga and Somadeva; his female supporters were Sivala Upasika and Sama Upasika.

Buddha Konagamana's height was thirty cubits; he was adorned with the rays of six colours like the pure gold in the goldsmith's crucible. The life-span during Buddha Konagamana's time was thirty thousand years. For four-fifths of the life-span he lived, rescuing beings - humans, Devas and Brahmas - from the waters of samsara to place them on the shores of Nibbana.

In order that beings could stay and worship on the cetiya platform of Insight Wisdom (Vipassana Nana Panna), Buddha Konagamana constructed the cetiya of thirty-seven constituents of Enlightenment' (Bodhipakkhiya Dhamma), that was adorned with the banner of the Four Noble Truths, and made the 'bouquet of Dhamma', after which with his Sangha Disciples he attained Parinibbana and became extinct.

Samvega

Buddha Konagamana's Disciples who had accomplished in the exercise of supernatural powers and Buddha Konagamana who had expounded supramundane Dhamma all of them had vanished. Unsubstantial and futile are all conditioned things!

Cetiya

In this way Buddha Konagamana who had penetrated the Four Noble Truths and others Dhammas that should be known attained Parinibbana in the pleasance named Pabbata. As has been mentioned before, his relics dispersed in accordance with his resolve, reached everywhere in Jambudipa and were paid homage by beings humans, Devas and Brahmas.

Here ends Konagamana Buddhavamsa.