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Old 12-07-2005, 03:56 PM
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Default 41. The Buddha preaching to Khema, Queen of King Bimbisara

41. The Buddha preaching to Khema, Queen of King Bimbisara

The daughter of King Maddaraja of Sagala State, by the name of Khema, was one of the queens of King Bimbisara. She was very pretty and being proud of her own beauty, had no wish to go to the Buddha, who was in the habit of preaching that "beauty is but skin deep". But she heard that Veluvana Park had been greatly improved and was looking so picturesque and pleasant that even gods were attracted by it. She therefore had a strong wish to visit it and went to the park where the Buddha was then in residence. King Bimbisara had told the attendants to see that the Queen should not come back without paying her respects to the Buddha. She dared not disobey the King and approached the Buddha before she left the Park. The Blessed One, with his superhuman power created a scene in which a woman, more handsome than the queen, was fanning him. The woman then becoming older ad older, fell down through infirmity and began to moan. The queen was very much startled by the sight. The Buddha then preached a sermon to her, and she became and Arahant and was admitted into the Holy Order of Nuns.

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Default 42. The Buddha preaching the sermon of peace from the air to prevent war be

42. The Buddha preaching the sermon of peace from the air to prevent war between Kapila and Koliya

Rohini river lying between Kapilavatthu and Koliya was the main source of water supply for these two cities to irrigate their lands for growing crops. At one time, when the crops became dry, the farmers from both cities went to draw water from the river when there was very little water and just enough left for them to take once only. A quarrel arose over it and there was an exchange of hot words touching the fair name of the Sakya clan. The Ministers including the one in charge of agriculture became so angry that they decided to settle this matter by battle and both sides sallied forth for a fight.

The Buddha saw, with they eye of a Buddha, that there would be much blood-shed if the relatives of both sides engaged in battle. He, therefore, went alone and sat cross-legged in the air midway between the armed forces of both sides. When they saw the Blessed One in the air, the armed forces of both sides, who were all kinsmen, laid down their arms and paid homage to Him. the Buddha then admonished them by preaching a sermon of peace saying, "Are you going to destroy your priceless lives for the sake of a little bit of worthless water?"

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Default 43. The Buddha preaching to Kisa Gotami asking for medicine for her dead so

43. The Buddha preaching to Kisa Gotami asking for medicine for her dead son

Kisa Gotami was he wife of a wealthy man of Savatthi worth 40 crores. She had an only son who died when he was just able to run about. She had never seen any death and, thinking that her son was only ill, did not cremate him. In her distress she took him in her arms and went about asking for medicine.

One wise man thought that no one but the Buddha would know of any, and sent her to Him. Kisa Gotami showed her dead son and asked the Buddha to give the medicine that would cure her boy. The Buddha answered: "I shall cure your boy if you get some mustard seeds from a house where no one has died". Carrying her dead son, she wondered from door to door. But she could not find any house where no death had occurred. At last she began to learn the truth, "No house is free from death". She went to a wood, laid her child there and returned to the Buddha, who comforted her by preaching to her the truth. She was established in the first holy stage of the Aryan Path, and was admitted into the Order of Nuns. She eventually became and Arahant.

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Default 44. The Buddha taming Alavaka, the demon-god, with a sermon on loving-kindn

44. The Buddha taming Alavaka, the demon-god, with a sermon on loving-kindness

There stood a giant banyan tree at a distance of a little more than three miles from Alavi city. Alavaka, the demon-god had his dwelling in that tree. One night Alavaka was attending a meeting of goods at the Himalayas, when the Buddha entered his dwelling in order to tame this cruel monster. The door-keeper of the dwelling, a deity, paying homage to the Buddha, said, "May I go and seek permission from Alavaka for you to enter his dwelling?" So saying, he went to the meeting of gods to get the permission.

At that moment, Alavaka who had to keep his anger in check became furious when he heard form other gods about the arrival of the Buddha at his dwelling. He left the meeting at once and jumped on to the dizzy heights of Kelasa Mountain, and shouted out this challenge: "Alavaka am I!" Then throughout the night he flung all sorts of weapons at the Blessed One who was not hurt at all because of his infinite power of loving-kindness. Then Alavaka approached the Buddha who tamed him peacefully with a sermon on Loving-Kindness.

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Default 45. A general, a fresh convert to Buddhism, offering meals to the Buddha

45. A general, a fresh convert to Buddhism, offering meals to the Buddha

A General called "Siha" of Vesali was an important lay devotee of the teacher known as Nigantha Nataputta. He heard of the virtues of the three gems namely, the Buddha, the Doctrine and the Order from a gathering of Licchavi princes. Accordingly he asked his teacher to allow him to go to the Buddha, but was not allowed to go. He asked for permission for the second time but it was again refused. On the third occasion, however, without asking for permission he proceeded to where the Buddha was, with many followers in five hundred chariots.

When he came to where the Buddha was he asked the Buddha several questions on points which were not clear to him and was thoroughly satisfied with the answers given. He then said, "I take my refuge, Lord, in the Buddha, the Doctrine and the Order. May the Lord receive me as a disciple who, form this day forth while his life lasts, has taken his refuge in them?". After that the General requested the Buddha to visit his house on the morrow together with his retinue of monks to partake of food. He then, out of a very generous heat, served them with and excellent meal the next morning at his house.

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Default 46. Devadattas plan to get more alms by winning over Ajatasattu

46. Devadattas plan to get more alms by winning over Ajatasattu

Soon after he had ordained as a monk, Venerable Devadatta practised meditation and attained superhuman power and even the six higher psychic powers. Because he possessed these powers he wanted to become a rival and take the Buddhas place as the leader. Being eager for gain and honour he thought he would achieve his purpose by winning over Prince Ajatasattu, still a youth but with sure prospects of accession to the throne. Devadatta assumed the form of a lad with a girdle of snakes, and terrified Adjatasattu by appearing in his lap. He then comforted the Prince saying, "Oh, Prince, dont get alarmed. I am the person known as Venerable Devadatta." He then assumed is proper form as a monk with the bowl and robes, and stood in front of the prince. Ajatasattu marveling at the wonder paid him great honour, and sent him 500 dishes daily. Devadatta secured more than enough alms according to his original plan.

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Default 47. Prince Ajatasattu ordering that the soles of his fathers feet be cut o

47. Prince Ajatasattu ordering that the soles of his fathers feet be cut open with a knife

Venerable Devadatta instigated Prince Ajatasattu to kill his father King Bimbisara as he thought that, if the Prince became King in succession to his father, he would be able to take the place of the Buddha. The Prince was of the view that whatever his teacher Devadatta said was good, and was on his way to carry out his plan to murder his father. His father questioned him and the Prince admitted that he plotted to kill him because he wanted to become King. King Bimbisara gave up the throne in his favour.

After that, Venerable Devadatta told him that he would be able to rule without any risk of losing the throne only if his father was no longer alive. Prince Ajatasattu was impressed with this suggestion. But he did not wish to kill his father straightway. So he caused his father to be cast in prison. At first, the Princes mother, the Queen was permitted to visit the King in person and he could take his meals. But, finally, the Queen was not permitted to visit the King any more, and the King kept himself fit by walking up and down inside the prison. Ajatasattu, however, ordered that the soles of the Kings feet be cut open with a knife that he could not walk.

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Default 48. King Ajatasattu asking his mother whether his father loved him

48. King Ajatasattu asking his mother whether his father loved him

King Bimbisara died soon after the soles of his feet had been cut open with a knife. At the same time a son had been born to King Ajatasattu. The courtiers brought two messages: one, about the death of his father and the other about the birth of his son. The first presented him the message about the birth of his son. Love sprang in his heart upon his new-born son, right from the very marrow of his bones. He then began to have sympathy for his father, placing himself in the position of his father with regard to himself when he was a baby.

He, therefore, gave the order:-"Set free my father at once". But the countries presented to him the message of his fathers death, and he regretted very much for his hasty action. He, therefore, went to his mother and asked her, "Mother, did my father love me when I was a baby?" The Queen Mother then said, "What a question you have asked?" When you were young burst inside his mouth and pus came out; even then instead of spitting the matter out he swallowed it lest it would cause you pain by taking the finger out". When she said this, both the mother and the son wept together.

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Default 49. The blessed one taming Nalagiri elephant which was sent to crush him

49. The blessed one taming Nalagiri elephant which was sent to crush him

After the death of King Bimbisara, Devadatta made several attempts to kill the Buddha, but he was not successful. So he went to the elephant-keepers and said to them. "Venerable Theras like us who are recognized by the King can use our influence to get you promotion in your service. Therefore, you had better carry out my instructions. If the Venerable Gotama should pass this way, set the full grown male elephant, Nalagiri, upon Him".

Nalagiri was a very ferocious elephant which used to gore men to death. The Blessed One, with his retinue of holy monks, was coming into the city of Rajagaha on his alms-round, when the elephant-keepers, desirous of gaining promotion in service, set the full-grown elephant in the direction of the Buddha. The Blessed One stood where he was and sent out his thought of loving-kindness towards the elephants Nalagiri, which was running towards him to crush him down. When the elephant came near the Buddha, it stood quietly before Him listening to the words of advice uttered by him.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:02 PM
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Default 50. King Ajatasattu coming out to pay his respects to the Buddha and his di

50. King Ajatasattu coming out to pay his respects to the Buddha and his disciples

After the death of his father, King Bimbisara, King Ajatasattu could not sleep well and used to wake up with a start. He wanted to go to the Buddha so as to get some mental relief, but he dared not go because he had done the most heinous act of parricide. On the night of the courtiers as follows:- "Whom shall I approach on such a pleasant night in order to have a clear and peaceful mind?"

The countries made several suggestions to him but he did not accept any of them. He took the suggestion of the Physician Jivaka, and left the city with a city with a procession of five hundred female elephants, fully bedecked and caparisoned, and mounted by five hundred women disguised in the dress of soldiers; and accompanied by torch-bearers to show the way. When he arrived at the Mango Park of Jivaka, he saw the Blessed One and over one thousand holy monks so quiet and peaceful that the sight at once filled his mind with peace and hope.

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Default 51. Venerable Kumara Kassapa explaining to the Governor of Payasi the exist

51. Venerable Kumara Kassapa explaining to the Governor of Payasi the existence of a future world

The Governor of Payasi was of the wrong belief that there was no future world, that there were no such beings as higher and lower gods produced without any apparent cause, that there was no such thing as Hell and that there were no effects of good or bad deeds done. According to his view "if a man dies he is not reborn". Venerable Kumara Kassapa was an Arahant who could preach well. The Governor of Payasi with a great crowd of men came to the Arahant and stated to him his religious views.

Venerable Kumara Kassapa pointed out to him the sun and the moon and asked him, "Are the sun and the moon you see over there in this or another world? Are the beings living there human or celestial?" The Governor could not answer that the sun and the moon were in this world; nor could he say that their inhabitants were human beings. He had, therefore, to admit that "those planets are in another world land their inhabitants are celestial beings". He was converted from his wrong faith by being asked questions of this nature.

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Default 52. Parinibbana (death) of the Buddha In the Sala grove of Kusinara State

52. Parinibbana (death) of the Buddha In the Sala grove of Kusinara State

From His 35th year, the date of His Enlightenment, the Buddhas successful ministry lasted 45 years. When He attained His 80th year the Buddha had an attack of dysentery and lay down on a couch with its head to the north between twin sal-trees in the Sala Grove of Kusinara State. Men, higher and lower gods and monks were gathered, in large numbers, near the Blessed One in respectful adoration.

Though he was very weak and weary, the Buddha was still addressing those present with words of exhortation. After addressing them the whole night Blessed One spoke His last words, when it was nearing dawn, as follows:- "Behold, O disciples, I exhort you. Subject to decay are all conditioned things. Strive on with heedfulness". The Buddha then attained the Ecstasies and arrived at the cessation of perception and sensation, and finally the Blessed One passed away; and there was an earthquake to mark His death.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:06 PM
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Default 53. Dona, the professor, distributing the sacred relics Of the Buddha to th

53. Dona, the professor, distributing the sacred relics Of the Buddha to the rules of eight states

Just before the Buddha passed away, he made a resolute wish that, "the bones of my body may be left over as relics in small bits" so that posterity may reverence them. Ajatasattu and other rulers heard of the Buddhas death and came out with their own armies to fight for the possession of the sacred relics of the Buddha, if they should fail to get them by peaceful means. Dona the Brahmin was a virtuous professor who happened to have been a teacher of those rulers.

There was a great excitement and disorder amongst the crowds present who were preparing to loot the relics. Now Professor Dona got up on an eminence and shouted at the crowd in an authoritative tone, when the din was silenced. Then he spoke to the crowd beginning with the words, "Listen to me, your teacher. Our Lord, the Buddha, used to preach on forbearance". Then as agreed by the rulers of the eight states, the Professor distributed the sacred relics to them. They took the relics away and placed them inside pagodas and shrines and revered them as objects of worship.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:07 PM
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Default 54. The First Buddhist Council

54. The First Buddhist Council

About seven days after the Buddha had passed away, the Venerable Mahakassapa heard of His death, while he was resting on his way from Pava to Kusinara together with 500 Theras. All the junior Theras were plunged in deep grief and were weeping and lamenting. But a monk named Subhadda, who had entered the Order in his old age, was the only one that rejoiced over His death. "Grieve not, brothers," said he, "weep not, we are now delivered of that Great Ascetic. He constantly worried us, saying This is proper, this is not proper. Now we are free to do what we like.

These unexpected words that fell from the lips of a disciple alarmed the Venerable Mahakassapa who became very concerned about the future of the Buddhas religious system, but kept quiet. When the Buddhas relics had been distributed, the Venerable Mahakassapa consulted the other Theras and suggested to them to hold a Council of leading Arahants to collect, classify and rehearse the teachings of the Buddha in order to protect and fortify the Sasana against such attacks as might be expected from monks of the type of Subhadda. They all welcomed the suggestion. King Ajatasattu was informed of the intention of the Samgha, and with his help the First Buddhist council was held at Rajagaha with 500 Arahants.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:09 PM
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Default 55. Venerable Yasas efforts to hold the second Buddhist council for the of

55. Venerable Yasas efforts to hold the second Buddhist council for the offense of monks collecting money

About 100 years after the death of the Buddha, monks of the Vajji clan did certain acts which were not becoming of monks. They begged for money, even an anna (a nickel) or two, from lay devotees who came to the monastery on Uposatha days to keep their precepts. The Venerable Yasa then said that it was not fit for monks to handle money. For that reason, they imposed a Vinaya Act on the Venerable Yasa by which it was made obligatory for the person who said so to tender an apology to lay devotees for alleged interference with their charitable motives.

The Venerable Yasa went to the lay devotees and explained the true purport of the Buddhas teachings; and when the lay devotes understood it they showed no further respect to monks who begged for alms in cash. The Venerable Yasa approached the distinguished Arahants and asked them to adjudge the matter, and they pronounced that it was not lawful according to the Vinaya for monks to handle money. After which, 700 distinguished Arahants were chosen and the Second Buddhist Council was held to protect the Doctrine.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:11 PM
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Default 56. King Asoka offering meal to young novice Nigrodha who sat upon the thro

56. King Asoka offering meal to young novice Nigrodha who sat upon the throne

King Asoka regularly fed the Brahmin priests, in accordance with the custom of the royal household, before his conversion to Buddhism. But he was not pleased with their demeanour at meal-time, as they were neither clean nor calm. The King thought to himself, "Charity on such a lavish scale should be given in proper quarters". Latter, one day he saw a serene-looking young novice, quietly walking along the street with restrained senses.

The King was so impressed with the deportment that the novice was invited to the palace at once and requested to occupy a suitable seat; and the novice went up the throne and sat on it. The King then served him with and excellent meal and asked him to give an exposition of the Doctrine which his Teacher used to preach. The young novice Nigrodha delivered an instructive discourse on the following stanza of the Dhammapada:-

"Heedfulness is the path to Deathlessness. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful do not die, the heedless are like unto the dead".

The word of the Buddha appealed to him and he became a Buddhist and staunch supporter of the religion.

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Default 57. The third Buddhist council being held with the venerable Moggaliputta T

57. The third Buddhist council being held with the venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera

King Dhammasoka understood the essence of Buddhism, and gave great support to the cause of Buddhism by erecting rock-edicts in all parts of his territory enjoining upon the subjects to follow the Doctrine in their daily lives. With his royal patronage Buddhism flourished, and the Sasana gradually grew in importance and numbers. Tempted by worldly gain, many undesirables of alien sects joined the Order and polluted the Sasana by their corrupt lives and heretical views which they taught.

Good monks could not live together with these sham monks and there was trouble. The King consulted the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa to protect the Sasana. The King tested the monks and disrobed the undesirables to purify the Sasana. The third Buddhist Council was then held by 1000 Arahants, with the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa as the presiding Thera.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default 58. King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with

58. King Vattagamani Abhaya being accompanied by monks in marching out with his army to the battle-front

King Vattagamani Abhaya was a staunch supporter and defender of the Buddhist religion in the island of Lanka (Ceylon). One day when he was about to go out to fight the Tamil Kings, the King went to the monastery and said to the Mahathers, "Venerable Sirs, I shall have to go across the Ganga (the river) to promote the cause of Buddhism, and wise the Theras to accompany me on my journeys so that I can pay my respects to them at all times."

The Mahatheras selected 500 monks who were in their prime of life and sent them to accompany the King. King Vattagamani carried on battle while at the same time attanding to the personal needs of the Theras in his company with regard to their food, medicine,etc. The spare used by the King contained a sacred relic of the Buddha embedded in it at its end. His motto runs thus:-"I have been doing my best to make Buddhism last long and not for my own personal gain.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default 59. The Tipitaka being committed to writing on Ola (palm) leaves during the

59. The Tipitaka being committed to writing on Ola (palm) leaves during the reign of King Vattagamani Abhaya

From the time of Buddhas life down to the time of King Vattagamanis reign, the Tipitaka forming the teachings of the Blessed One were handed down from generation to generation of monks by word of mouth, by being learnt by heart. During the region of King Vattagamani, however, trouble was given by Brahmana Tissa, who rose up in arms and there was also inference from Kings who were disbelievers in the Buddhist religion. The monks could not get enough food for their meals and had to make extraordinary efforts to retain in memory whatever parts of the Buddhist scriptures the had already learnt by heart.

This was a matter for anxiety as, if the monks in future could not commit the Tipitaka scriptures to memory and recite them, the scriptures might disappear altogether. They therefore sought the assistance of King Vattagamani and held the Fourth Buddhist Council by committing the Tipitaka to writing on ola (palm) leaves.

The expression "Writing committed to palm leaves" has come into usage with reference to this first act of the letters of the alphabet being written down on ola (palm) leaves.

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:18 PM
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Default 60. Anawratha of Bagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

60. Anawratha of Bagan conveying the Buddhist scriptures

King Anawratha of Bagan conveyed the Buddhist Scriptures from Thaton to Pagan for the benefit of all beings. He then removed the frontal bone, sacred relic of the Buddha, from Kaung-hmu-daw pagoda at Prome built by King Dutta-baung and took it also to Pagan. On arrival there he built a pagoda on the sand-bank of the Irrawaddy river near Pagan and enshrined the frontal bone of the Buddha there. When the third terrace of this pagoda was constructed, he brought a replica of the Buddhas tooth from Sri Lanka and enshrined it also in this pagoda. Before the construction of this pagoda was completed King Anawratha died.

When Kyanzittha became King of Pagan in succession to Anawratha, he continued to build this pagoda as advised by the Venerable Arahan. This pagoda was known as Shwezigon (Golden Sandbank) pagoda because it stands upon a stripof sand bank. King Anawratha started its construction in 393 Bur. E. (1033 C.E.) and Kyanzittha continued to build it and hoisted a golden hti (crown) on it in 452 Bur.E. (1192 C.E.).

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