Jennings, J.G., The Vedāntic Buddhism of the Buddha

Motilal BanarsidassRep. 197 [original London, 1947]

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CHAPTER I

KAPILAVATTHU: BIRTH, YOUTH, AND EARLY DOUBTS

(i) BIRTH AND EARLY YOUTH


Jātaka Commentary, Introduction Footnote (Nidna-kath), Record of the

Less-distant Past (Avidre-nidna), Footnote YN, 49ff. Footnote


              § 1. [JN, p- 49-] ... Footnote [At certain periods] men do not understand the [individual] existence, decay, and death of beings (sattāānam jātijarā-maranni);7 and the triple pearls of the doctrine (dhamma-desanā) of the Buddhas is not taught, and when the Buddhas speak of transience, of sorrow, and of the absence of a permanent self (anicca-dukkhaṃ.-anattā ti) Footnote men will not listen or believe, but say[#004]'What do they talk of?' At such periods there is no comprehension and instruction would be without result .(a-niyyanikam sasanam hoti) Footnote ... [At other periods] the teaching of the Dhamma (Law) is effective....

              § ii. UN, p. 49.] ... Footnote ‘The Indian continent (Jambudipo) is large, ten thousand leagues in extent (dasa yojana-sahassa-parintanam). Now in which country do the Buddhas appear?' . . . The Middle land (Majjhimar-deso)s is thus defined in the Vinaya Footnote (Vinaya vutto padeso): 'On the east the township (nigamo) Kajangala, and beyond it Mahslas ... ; on the south-east the river Salalavati to. . . ; on the south, I. the township Setannika ... ;on the west Footnote the Brahman village, § iii. Thuna ... ; and on the north the Usiraddhaja mountain.... In this country the Buddhas,14-the solitary Buddhas's (Pacceka-buddha), the Chief Disciples, the eighty great disciples,16 the world-monarch,17 and other leaders, great men of the martial caste, of the Brahman caste,18 and wealthy, householders19 are born. Herein is the city of Kapila-vatthu (Kapilavatthukam nama nagaram).....[#005]

              §3. [JN,-p. So.] ... Footnote At that time in the city of Kapilavatthu the "Midsummer-full-moon-festival (asalhi-nakkhattam) was announced,, and the people celebrated the festival. Commencing from the seventh day before the full moon the lady Mah-Mya (Mah-My devi) Footnote took part in the `festivities, which were free from intoxicants and rich with garlands and perfumes. On the seventh day, having risen very early and bathed in perfumed water, she distributed a great largesse.... Elegantly attired she ate of choice food, and took the holy-day-vows (uposath-angani), and having entered the richly adorned inner state-chamber she lay down upon her state-couch, and 'falling asleep she dreamed this- dream. Footnote

              § 4. The Four Great Kings (cattaro maha-rajano) having raised her and her couch carried her to Himavanta, and having placed her upon the Manosl tableland, sixty leagues in extent, under a great Sal-tree, seven leagues in height, they stood [respectfully] aside. Then their consorts came and led her to the Anotatta lake, and having caused her to bathe in order to remove all human taint they dressed her in divine attire and anointed her with perfumes and decked her with divine flowers. Not far thence was the Silver Hill (Rajata-pabbato), in which there was a golden palace. There they prepared a divine couch facing the east11 and laid her upon it. Then the Bodhi-satta having. assumed the form of a noble white elephant Footnote and having gone to the Golden Hill (Suvanna pabbato) not far from there, ' descended thence and ascended the Silver Hill. Approaching from the north side he took a white lotus in his silver-coloured trunk, and having trumpeted he entered the golden palace, and, having moved thrice round his mother's couch keeping his right side13 towards her he touched her right side and, as it were, entered her womb. Thus he had his conception at the end of the Midsummer-full-moon-[#006] festival. Awaking the next day the lady narrated her dream to the-Raja Footnote . . . . Footnote

              § 5. [JN, p. 52.] The lady Mahamaya, having carried the Bodhi-satta for ten months in her womb, like oil in a vessel, being near her time and desiring to visit her parents' home, said to Suddhodana the Raja (maharajassa) Footnote 'I wish, lord (deva), to go to the city of my family, Devadaha. The Raja assented, saying 'It is well' . . Footnote and dispatched the lady with a great suite. Now between the two cities there is a pleasure park of Sal-trees, called the Lumbini Grove8 (Lumbini-vanam nama), belonging to the inhabitants of both towns. . . Footnote The lady on seeing it desired to disport herself in the Sal-tree park and her attendants bearing her entered the grove. Having reached the foot of a noble Sal-tree she wished to take hold of one of its branches. . . . Footnote She stretched out her hand and took hold of the branch; and at that moment her pains began. Then they placed a hempen screen around her and the crowd withdrew. Thus grasping the branch of the Sal-tree, and standing, she was delivered. . . Footnote [JN, p. 54.1 Then the inhabitants of both towns took the Bodhisatta and carried him to Kapilavatthu. . .. Footnote [#007]

              § 6. [JN, p. 55-] On the fifth Footnote day they bathed the Bodhisatta's head, saying ‘We will perform the ceremony of choosing his name. Footnote They perfumed the Raja's house and decked it with flowers ... and prepared rice cooked in milk.5 They then invited one hundred and eight Brahmans, experts in the three Vedas Footnote (tin Footnote nam vedanam parage), and seating them in the Raja's house, fed them delicately, and paid them great respect. Then they asked them.to observe the signs Footnote ,and declare what the child's future would lie ... Footnote [JN, p. 56.] Then the Brahmans went home.... Footnote But the young Brahman Kondañña; full of vigour . . . Footnote leaving all that he possessed, made the great retirement (maha-'bhinikkhamanam abhinikkhamitva); and coming at length to Uruvel14 he thought: 'How pleasant is this place! How suitable for the exertions of a clansman Footnote (kola puttassa) intent on effort. So he abode there; and when at length he heard that the Great 'Being (Maha-satta) had retired from the world he went to the sons of the [#008] seven] Brahmans. . , Footnote But all of these did not agree. Three of them did not renounce the world; the other four retired from the world and made Kondañña the Brahman their head. [JN, p. 57.] These five were afterwards called the company of the Five Elders (pañca-vaggiya-ther).... Footnote                    ,

              § 7. [And on the seventh day the lady Maha-my died. Footnote The Raja appointed nurses for the Bodhisatta.... Footnote Thus the Bodhisatta was brought up.. . . Footnote

              Now one day the Raja celebrated what is called the Sowing Festival Footnote (vappamangalam nama). On that day they used to adorn the city like a palace of the gods. All the slaves and labourers (sabbe dsa-kammakarddyo), in new clothes and wearing perfumed garlands, used to assemble at the. Raja's house. . . Footnote The plough for the Raja's use was adorned with red gold; also the horns of the oxen, the reins, and the goads. The Raja with a large retinue left his house taking his son with him. Footnote In the field there was a rose-apple tree (jambu-rukkho) with full foliage -giving a deep shade. Under it the Rija caused the babe's (kumarassa) couch to be laid, and over the couch he caused a canopy to be spread. . . . Leaving guardians there, the Raja, in splendid robes, with the councillors, went to the ploughing. On these occasions the Raja takes a golden plough, the councillors take one hundred and eight silver ploughs less one, and the farmers (kasak) take the remaining ploughs. Grasping them they plough up and down. The Raja ploughs from one side of the field to the other and back again. On this occasion the Raja ploughed with great success. [009] And the nurses sat attending to the Bodhisatta . . .. behind a hempen curtain.... Footnote

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 (ii) DOUBTS

              § 8. [JN, p. 58.] In due course the Bodhisatta came to be sixteen years of age; and the Rja caused three mansions Footnote (pasade) to be made for him, suitable for the three seasons.... Footnote And the lady Footnote [who was afterwards].the mother of Rahula became his consort Footnote (devi agga-mahesi). Whilst he thus enjoyed much prosperity these words were said in the assembly of his kinsmen (ñti-samghassa): `Siddhattha's Footnote life is devoted to pleasure; not one [practical] art (sippam) does he learn. If war broke out what could he do? Footnote ... Footnote

              §9. One day the Bodhisata wishing to go to the garden-house [#010] (uyyana-bhmi) informed his driver and said 'Make ready the chariot’ .... Footnote JN, P. 59.] The gods (devata) , . . Footnote showed. him a decrepit old man wasted by age, broken-toothed, grey-haired,. owed and bent-bodied, holding a staff and trembling.... Footnote 'Fie on earthly existence(jativa)', he cried,.'in which to him who is born decay wilt be known!' Then with agitated heart he turned back and re-entered his mansion (pasadam).... Footnote Again one day the Bodhisatta going in the same way towards his garden-house saw a diseased man ... Footnote and with agitated heart he turned back and re-entered the mansion.... Further, one day the Bodhisatta going towards his garden-house saw a dead man ... and deeply moved he turned back and re-entered the mansion.... Again on another day going towards his garden-house he saw one who had retired (pabbajitam)9 [from worldly life], duly robed and covered.... Footnote That day the Bodhisatta taking pleasure in [the thought of] retirement (pabbajadya) from the worldly life went on to the garden-house.... Footnote The reciters of the Digha Footnote (Digha bhnaka), however, state that he saw the Four Omens Footnote on the same day, as he was going [to-the garden]. Footnote [#011]


              § 10. Sutta Piaka, Anguttara-Nikaya, Footnote Tika-nipata (the Threes), Sutta 38. (PTS, i, p: 1^5.)                  .

              ... Footnote (2] With such power (iddhiya), mendicant brothers (bhik-khave), with such excessive luxury, was I endowed. Then this [thought] came to me : 'An ordinary uninstructed man, himself subjected to old ages (jars-dhammo) ... to disease... to death, and not having passed beyond Footnote [them] ... when he sees (an old man ... a diseased man ... ) a dead man, is alarmed [at the fate of mortals], abashed and repelled, being alarmed for himself. I too am subjected (to old age ... to disease ... ) to death, and should I . . . be repelled ... That does not befit me.' As I thus thought all intoxications (with youth. . .with health ... ) with life utterly left me.


              § 11. Majjhima-Nikaya, Sutta 26 (Ariyapariyesana-S).

[PTS, i, p. 163.) Thus, mendicant brothers (bhikkhave), before my enlightenment I, being not yet enlightened ... Footnote being myself subjected to earthly-existence Footnote (jati-dhammo) . . .to decay [#012] disease, . . . death ... (maranadhammo) ... grief ... and defilement, Footnote sought what was subjected to (earthly-existence ... decay ... disease ... death ... grief ... ) defilement. Then there came to me this thought: ‘Why do I being myself, subjected to earthly-existence , to decay ... disease ... death . . .-grief ... defilement '         . seek what is subjected to earthly,-existence ... decay ... disease ... death ... grief ... defilement? What if not perceiving the wretchedness,              of what is subjected to earthly-existence, I were to seek the supreme peace. of union (yoga-kkhemam), Footnote Nirvana (nibbnam) Footnote which is not subjected Footnote to earthly-existence (a yatam)1o ... perceiving the wretched-ness of what is subjected to decay . . . disease ... death ... grief . . . (and) defilement I were to seek the supreme peace of union; Nirvana (nibbanam), which is not subjected to decay. . . disease... death... grief ... and) defilement.? Footnote [#013]