Der letzte der fünfundzwanzig Buddhas. Gotama ist sein Familienname.
Die Details in diesem Artikel sind im allgemeinen von den älteren Theravādins anerkannt und in ihren Schriften enthalten, hauptsächlich in den Pāli Kommentaren, speziell im Nidānakathā der Jātakas und im Buddhavamsa Kommentar.
Biographische Details finden sich auch im Mahā Vagga und Culla Vagga aus dem Vinaya Pitaka, im Buddhavamsa und in verschiedenen verstreuten Passagen in den Nikayas aus dem Sutta Pitaka. Referenzen zu diesen sind angegeben soweit sie brauchbar sind. Auseinandersetzungen bestehen in Bezug der vielen erwähnten Aussagen; für eine Diskussion der verschiedenen Ansichten wird auf die Werke verwiesen, z.B. von Oldenberg, Rhys Davids (beide, Professor und Mrs. Rhys Davids), Kern, E. J. Thomas und andere Schüler.
Gotama war ein Sākiyer (die Sākiyer waren offensichtlich Untertanen des Kosala Königs; Buddha bezeichnet sich selbst als Kosaler, M.89), Sohn von Suddhodana (alle Pāli Kommentare und Sanskrit Werke präsentieren Buddha als den Sohn eines Königs, Nachfolger von einer langen Reihe von berühmten Vorfahren), Hauptregent von Kapilavatthu und von Mahā Māyā, Suddhodanas Hauptgemahlin.
Vor seiner Empfängnis befand er sich im Tusita Himmel auf die rechte Zeit für seine letzte Wiedergeburt wartend. Dann, nachdem er die "fünf Prüfungen" (pañcavilokanāni) unternommen hatte (siehe Jat.Einl.), verließ er seine Kameraden und und nahm im Schoße der Fürstin Mahā Māyā seine Wiedergeburt. (Nach dem Lalitavistara setzte er den Bodhisattwa Maitreya als Nachfolger-König von Tusita ein). Verschiedene Wunder und wunderbare Ereignisse begleiteten seine Empfängnis und Geburt. (Aufgezeichnet im Acchariyabbhutadhamma Sutta, M.123; auch D.14. Ein detaillierterer Bericht findet sich in Jat.Einl.; beide, Lai. und Mtu.ii.14ff unterscheiden sich in Details über die Empfängnis und Geburt).
Es kam zur Empfängnis am Vollmondtag im Monat Āsālha (Juni/Juli) obwohl Māyā keinen Körperkontakt mit ihrem Ehemann hatte. Sie hatte einen wunderbaren Traum in welchem der Bodhisattwa als ein weißer Elefant seitlich in ihren Bauch eintrat.
Als der Traum den Brahmanen erzählt wurde, weissagten sie die Geburt eines Sohnes, der entweder ein großer Weltherscher oder ein Buddha werden wird. Die Erde bebte und zweiunddreißig Zeichen erschienen, als Vorbote für die Geburt eines großen Wesens. Das erste dieser Zeichen war ein grenzenlos helles Licht, jede Stelle der zehntausend Welten durchflutend; jeder konnte seine Herrlichkeit erblicken und sogar die Feuer in der Hölle erloschen.
Zehn Monate nach der Empfängnis, im Monat Visākha, wünschte Māyā ihre Eltern in Devadaha zu sehen. Auf dem Weg von Kapilavatthu dorthin, passierten sie den wunderschönen Park Lumbini, in welchem sie spazieren ging; sie ging unter einen großen Sāla-Baum und hielt sich an einem Zweig fest. Die Geburtswehen setzten ein und als ihre Begleiter fertig waren, einen Vorhang um sie aufzurichten, gebar sie das Kind noch während sie stand. Es war der Vollmondtag im Visākha; vier Mahābrahmas empfingen das Kind in einem goldenen Netz und Wasser strömte vom Himmel um ihn zu waschen. Der Junge stand auf der Erde, machte sieben Schritte gegen Norden und äußerte den Löwenruf, "Ich bin der Erste in der Welt." Am selben Tag entstanden, bzw.. wurden geboren, mit ihm zusammen sieben Wesen: der Bodhi-Baum, Rāhulas Mutter (Rāhulamātā, seine zukünftige Frau), die vier Schatzbehälter (beschrieben in DA.i.284), sein Elefant, sein Pferd Kanthaka, sein Wagenlenker Channa, und Kāludāyī. Das Neugeborene wurde noch am selben Tag nach Kapilavatthu zurückgebracht und seine Mutter starb sieben Tage später.
Der Weise (isi) Asita (oder Kāladevala), im Himālaya meditierend, hörte von den Tāvatimsa Göttern von der Geburt eines Buddha, besuchte Suddhodana noch an demselben Tag und sieht das Kind, welches sie beide verehren. Asita weint weil er die Buddhaschaft des Jungen nicht mehr erleben würde, gibt aber Anweisungen an seinen Neffen Nālaka (v.l. Naradatta) sich auf den großen Tag vorzubereiten. Am fünften Tag nach der Geburt findet die Namensgebungsfeier statt. Einhundert und acht Brahmanen sind zu der Feier im Palast eingeladen; acht von ihnen - Rāma, Dhaja, Lakkhana, Manti, Kondañña, Bhoja, Suyāma und Sudatta - sind Deuter von Körpermerkmalen und alle, außer Kondañña prophezeien zwei Möglichkeiten für den Jungen; aber Kondañña, der jüngste, sagte ziemlich bestimmt, dass er ein Buddha werden wird. Der bei der Zeremonie gegebene Name wird nicht erwähnt, aber von anderen Überlieferungen kann darauf geschlossen werden, dass es Siddhattha war.
Unter den Ereignissen erzählt von Buddhas Kindheit ist die Erreichung seiner ersten Vertiefung (jhāna) unter einem Jambu-Baum. Eines Tages bringt man ihn zu einer Pflugzeremonie, bei der der König Suddhodana selbst mit einem goldenen Pflug zusammen mit den Farmern pflügt. Die Kindermädchen, abgelenkt durch die Festlichkeiten, ließen den Jungen allein unter dem Jambu-Baum. Als sie zurückkamen fanden sie ihn im Lotus sitz in tiefer Trance, der Schatten des Baumes unbewegt um ihn von der Sonne zu schützen. Der König wird informiert und dieser bezeugte ihm seine Verehrung das zweite Mal. J.i.57f; MA.i.466f; auf diesen Vorfall wird im Mahā Saccaka Sutta (M.36) verwiesen; der entsprechende Vorfall erzählt in Mtu. (ii.45f.) findet in einem Park statt und die Details sind völlig anders. Das Lai. hat zwei Versionen, eine in Prosa und eine in Versen und beide ähneln dem Mtu.; aber in diesen wird Buddha viel älter dargestellt. Das Divy (391) und die Tibetische Version (z.B., Rockhill, p.22) legen den Vorfall in eine viel spätere Zeit von Buddhas Leben. Andere Vorfälle finden sich in Lai. und Mtu.
Wie erzählt wird, lebte der Bodhisattwa neunundzwanzig Jahre lang ein Leben in großem Luxus und Bequemlichkeit. Er besaß für die drei Jahreszeiten drei Paläste - Ramma, Suramma und Subha. Erwähnt wird sein luxeriöses Leben in A.iii.39; also in M.75; weitere Details in AA.i.378f.; Jat.Einl. Siehe auch Mtu.ii.115; vergl. Vin.i.15; D.14.
Als der Bodhisattwa sechzehn Jahre alt war, sandte Suddhodana Boten an die Sākyer mit der Anfrage seinem Sohn eine ihrer Töchter zur Frau zu geben; aber die Sākyans weigerten sich, sie sagten, der junge Mann ist zwar gut aussehend, könne aber keine Kunst, wie sollte er eine Frau ernähren können? Als der Prinz davon hörte, ließ er die Sākyer zusammenrufen und vollführte verschiedene Meisterleistungen, hauptsächlich mit Pfeil und Bogen. (Die Leistungen mit dem Bogen sind im Sarabhaṅga Jātaka beschrieben, Jat.522). Die Sākyer waren so beeindruckt, dass ihm jeder eine Tochter sandte von welchen er die Tochter von Suppabuddha zu seiner Hauptfrau macht, die später als Rāhulamātā bekannt wird. Sie hatte auch noch andere Namen: Bhaddakaccā (oder Kaccānā), Yasodharā. Bimbā, Bimbasundarī und Gopā. Siehe Rāhulamātā.
Gotama ist neunundzwanzig als die Ereignisse stattfanden die zu seiner Weltflucht führten. Den Prophezeiungen der acht Brahmanen folgend, ließ sein Vater Vorkehrungen treffen, dass sein Sohn keinen Kranken, Toten oder Alten zu sehen bekam. Aber die Götter entschieden, dass die Zeit für ihn gekommen war nach der Erleuchtung zu streben und erzeugten in ihm den Wunsch in den Park zu gehen. Auf seinem Weg zeigten ihm die Götter einen extrem alten gebrechlichen Mann und der Bodhisatta kehrt zurück erfüllt mit dem Wunsch das Hausleben zu verlassen. Der König hört davon und versucht ihn mit noch mehr Luxus abzulenken, aber an zwei anderen Tagen geht Gotama in den Park und er sieht einen sehr kranken Mann und einen Toten. (Nach anderen Berichten, z.B. der Dīghabhānakas, geschahen die vier Ereignisse an einem Tag, J.i.59)
An dem Vollmondtag im Āsālha, dem Tag der Weltentsagung, sieht Gotama einen Mönch und hört von seinem Wagenlenker von den Vorzügen eines Asketenlebens. Feeling very happy, he goes to the park to enjoy himself. Sakka sends Vissakamma himself to bathe und adorn him, und as Gotama returns to the city in all his majesty, he receives news of the birth of his son. Foreseeing in this news a bond, he decides to call the babe Rāhula (q.v.). Kisā Gotamī (q.v.) sees Gotama on the way to the palace und, filled mit longing for him, sings to him a song containing the word nibbuta. The significance of the word (=extinguished, at peace) thrills him, und he sends to Kisā his priceless gold necklace which she, however, accepts as a token of love. Gotama enters the palace und sleeps. He wakes in the middle of the night to find his female musicians sleeping in attitudes which fill him mit disgust und mit loathing for the worldly life, und he decides to leave it. (In some versions the Renunciation takes place seven days after the birth of Rāhula, J.i.62). He orders Channa to saddle Kanthaka, und enters his wife's room for a last look at her und their son.
He leaves the city on his horse Kanthaka, mit Channa clinging to its tail. The devas muffle the sound of the horse's hoofs und of his neighing und open the city gates for Gotama to pass. Māra appears before Gotama und seeks to stay him mit a promise that he shall be universal monarch within seven days. On his offer being refused, Māra threatens to shadow him always. Outside the city, at the spot where later was erected the Kanthakanivattana-cetiya, Gotama turns his horse round to take a last look at Kapilavatthu. It is said that the earth actually turned, to make it easy for him to do so. Then, accompanied by the gods, he rides thirty leagues through three kingdoms - those of the Sākyans, the Koliyans und the Mallas - und his horse crosses the river Anomā in one leap. On the other side, he gives all his ornaments to Channa, und mit his sword cuts off hair und beard, throwing them up into the air, where Sakka takes them und enshrines them in the Cūlāmani-cetiya in Tāvatimsa. The Brahmā Ghatikāra offers Gotama the eight requisites of a monk, which he accepts und adopts. He then sends Channa und Kanthaka back to his father, but Kanthaka, broken-hearted, dies on the spot und is reborn as Kanthaka-devaputta.
The account given here is taken mainly from the Nidānakathā (J.i.59ff) und evidently embodies later tradition; cp. D.ii.21ff. From passages found in the Pitakas (z.B., A.i.145; M.i.163, 240; M.ii.212f.) it would appear that the events leading up to the Renunciation were not so dramatic as given here, the process being more gradual. I do not, however, agree mit Thomas (op. cit., 58) that, according to these accounts, the Bodhisatta left the world when "quite a boy." I think the word dahara is used merely to indicate "the prime of youth," und not necessarily "boyhood." The description of the Renunciation in the Lal. is very much more elaborate und adds numerous incidents, no account of which is found in the Pāli.
From Anomā the Bodhisatta goes to the mango-grove of Anupiya, und after spending seven days there walks to Rājagaha (a distance of thirty leagues) in one day, und there starts his alms rounds. Bimbisāra's men, noticing him, report the matter to the König, who sends messengers to enquire who this ascetic is. The men follow Gotama to the foot of the Pandavapabbata, where he eats his meal, und they then go und report to the König. Bimbisāra visits Gotama, und, pleased mit his hearing, offers him the sovereignty. On learning the nature of Gotama's quest, he wins from him a promise to visit Rājagaha first after the Enlightenment.
This incident is also erwähnt in the Pabbajjā Sutta (SN.vv.405-24), but there it is the König who first sees Gotama. It is significant that, when asked his identity, Gotama does not say he is a König's son. The Pali version of tile sutta contains nothing of Gotama's promise to visit Rājagaha, but the Mtu. version (ii.198-200), which places the visit later, has two verses, one of which contains the request und the other the acceptance; und the SNA. (ii.385f.), too, mentions the promise und tells that Bimbisāra was informed of the prophecy concerning Gotama. There is another version of the Mtu. (ii.117-20) which says that Gotama went straight to Vaisāli after leaving home, joining ālāra, und later visited Uddaka at Rājagaha. Here no mention is made of Bimbisāra. We are told in the Mhv. (ii.25ff) that Bimbisāra und Gotama (Siddhattha) had been playmates, Bimbisāra being the younger by fünf years. Bimbisāra's father (Bhātī) und Suddhodana were friends.
Journeying from Rājagaha, Gotama in due course becomes a disciple of ālāra-Kālāma. Having learnt und practised all that ālāra has to teach, he finds it unsatisfying und joins Uddaka-Rāmaputta; but Uddaka's doctrine leaves him still unconvinced und he abandons it. He then goes to Senānīgāma in Uruvelā und there, during six years, practises all manner of severe austerities, such as no man had previously undertaken. Once he falls fainting und a deva informs Suddhodana that Gotama is dead. But Suddhodana, relying on the prophecy of Kāladevala, refuses to believe the news. Gotama's Mutter, now born as a devaputta in Tāvatimsa, comes to him to encourage him. At Uruvelā, the Pañcavaggiya monks are his companions, but now, having realised the folly of extreme asceticism, he decides to abandon it, und starts again to take normal food; thereupon the Pañcavaggiyas, disappointed, leave him und go to Isipatana.
J.i.66f. The Therīgāthā Commentary (p.2) mentions another teacher of Gotama, named Bhaggava, whom Gotama visited before ālāra. Lal. (330 ) contains a very elaborate account of Gotama's visits to teachers; he goes first to two brahmin women, Sākī und Padmā, then to Raivata und Rajaka, son of Trimandika, und finally (as far as this chapter is concerned) to ālāra at Vaisāli. A poem containing an account of the meeting of Gotama mit Bimbisāra is inserted into this account. The next chapter tells of Uddaka. An account of Gotama's visits to teachers und of the details of his austerities is also given in the Mahā Saccaka Sutta, already referred to (M.i.240ff); the Mahā Sīhanāda Sutta (M.i.77ff) contains a long und detailed account of his extreme asceticisms. See also M.i.163ff; ii.93f.
Gotama's desire for normal food is satisfied by an offering brought by Sujātā to the Ajapāla banyan tree under which he is seated. She had made a vow to the tree, und her wish having been granted, she takes her slave-girl, Punnā, und goes to the tree prepared to fulfil her promise. They take Gotama to be the Tree-god, come in person to accept her offering of milk-rice; the offering is made in a golden bowl und he takes it joyfully. Five dreams he had the night before convince Gotama that he will that day become the Buddha. (The dreams are, recounted in A.iii.240 und in Mtu.ii.136f). It is the full-moon day of Visākha; he bathes at Suppatittha in the Nerañjarā, eats the food und launches the bowl up stream, where it sinks to the abode of the Nāga König, Kāla (Mahākāla).
Gotama spends the rest of the day in a sāla-grove und, in the evening, goes to the foot of the Bodhi-tree, accompanied by various divinities; there the grass-cutter Sotthiya gives him eight handfuls of grass; these, after investigation, Gotama spreads on the eastern side of the tree, where it becomes a seat fourteen hands long, on which he sits cross-legged, determined not to rise before attaining Enlightenment.
J.i.69. The Pitakas know nothing of Sujātā's offering or of Sotthiya's gift. Lal. (334-7 [267-70]) mentions ten girls in all who provide him mit food during his austerities. Divy (392) mentions two, Nandā und Nandabalā.
Māra, lord of the world of passion, is determined to prevent this fulfilment, und attacks Gotama mit all the strength at his command. His army extends twelve leagues to the front, right, und left of him, to the end of the Cakkavāla behind him, und nine leagues into the sky above him. Māra himself carries numerous weapons und rides the elephant Girimekhala, one hundert und fifty leagues in height. At the sight of him all the divinities gathered at the Bodhi-tree to do honour to Gotama - the great Brahmā, Sakka, the Nāga-König Mahākāla - disappear in a flash, und Gotama is left alone mit the ten pāramī, long practised by him, as his sole protection. All Māra's attempts to frighten him by means of storms und terrifying apparitions fail, und, in the end, Māra hurls at him the Cakkāvudha. It remains as a canopy poised over Gotama. The very earth bears witness to Gotama's fitness to be the Enlightened One, und Girimekhala kneels before him. Māra is vanquished und flees headlong mit his vast army. The various divinities who had fled at the approach of Māra now return to Gotama und exult in his triumph.
The whole story of the contest mit Māra is, obviously, a mythological development. It is significant that in the Majjhima passages referred to earlier there is no mention of Māra, of a temptation, or even of a Bodhi-tree; but see D.ii.4 und Thomas (op. cit., n.1). According to the Kālingabodhi Jātaka, which, very probably, embodies an old tradition, the bodhi-tree was worshipped even in the Buddha's life-time. The Māra legend is, however, to be found in the Canonical Padhāna Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta. This perhaps contains the first suggestion of the legend. For a discussion see Māra.
Gotama spends that night in deep meditation. In the first watch he gains remembrance of his former existences; in the middle watch he attains the divine eye (dibbacakkhu); in the last watch he revolves in his mind the Chain of Causation (paticcasamuppāda). As he masters this, the earth trembles und, mit the dawn, comes Enlightenment. He is now the supreme Buddha, und he breaks forth into a paean of joy (udāna).
There is great doubt as to which were these Udāna verses. The Nidānakathā und the Commentaries generally quote two verses (153, 154) included in the Dhammapada collection (anekajāti samsāram, etc.). The Vinaya (i.2) quotes three different verses (as does also DhsA.17), und says that one verse was repeated at the end of each watch, all the watches being occupied mit meditation on the paticcasamuppāda. Mtu. (ii.286) gives a completely different Udāna, und in another place (ii.416) mentions a different verse as the first Udāna. The Tibetan Vinaya is, again, quite different (Rockhill, p.33). For a discussion see Thomas, op. cit., 75ff.
For the first week the Buddha remains under the Bodhi-tree, meditating on the Paticcasamuppāda; the second week he spends at the Ajapālanigrodha, where the "Huhuhka" Brahmin accosts him (Mara now comes again und asks the Buddha to die at once; D.ii.112) und where Mara's daughters, Tanhā, Aratī und Rāgā, appear before the Buddha und make a last attempt to shake his resolution (J.i.78; S.i.124; Lal.490 (378)); the third week he spends under the hood of the nāga-König Mucalinda (Vin.i.3); the fourth week is spent in meditation under the Rājāyatana tree*; at the end of this period takes place the conversion of Tapussa und Bhallika. They take refuge in the Buddha und the Dhamma, though the Buddha does not give them any instruction.
*This is the Vinaya account (Vin.i.1ff); but the Jātaka (i.77ff, extends this period to seven weeks, the additional weeks being inserted between the first und second. The Buddha spends one week each at the Animisa-cetiya, the Ratanacankama und the Ratanaghara, und this last is where he thinks out the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
Doubts now assail the Buddha as to whether he shall proclaim to the world his doctrine, so recondite, so hard to understand. The Brahma Sahampati (according to J.i.81, mit the gods of the tausend worlds, including Sakka, Suyāma, Santusita, Sunimmita, Vasavatti, etc.) appears before him und assures him there are many prepared to listen to him und to profit by his teaching, und so entreats him to teach the Dhamma. The Buddha accedes to his request und, after consideration, decides to teach the Dhamma first to the Pañcavaggiyas at Isipatana. On the way to Benares he meets the ājīvaka Upaka und tells him that he (the Buddha) is Jina. On his arrival at Isipatana the Pañcavaggiyas are, at first, reluctant to acknowledge his claim to be the Tathāgata, but they let themselves be won over und, on the full-moon day of āsālha, the Buddha preaches to them the sermon which came to be known as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. (Vin.i.4ff; M.i.118ff; cp. D.ii.36ff. Regarding the claim of this sutta to be the Buddha's first sermon, see Thomas, op. cit., p.86; see also Pañcavaggiyā). At the end of the sermon Kondañña becomes a sotāpanna und they all become monks.
This sermon is followed fünf days later by the Anattalakkhana Sutta, at the conclusion of which all fünf become arahants. The following day the Buddha meets Yasa, whom he converts. Yasa's father, who comes seeking him, is the first to take the threefold formula of Refuge.
Yasa becomes an arahant und is ordained. The Buddha accepts a meal at his house, und Yasa's Mutter und one of his former wives are the first two lay-women to become the Buddha's disciples. Then four friends of Yasa und, afterwards, fifty more, enter the Order und become arahants. There are now sixty arahants besides the Buddha, und they are sent in different directions to preach the Dhamma. They return mit many candidates for admission to the Order, und the Buddha, who up till now had ordained men mit the "ehi bhikkhu" formula, now allows the monks themselves to perform the ceremony of ordination (Vin.i.15ff; J.i.81f).
After spending the rainy season at Benares (about this time Māra twice tries to tempt the Buddha, once after he had sent the disciples out to preach und once after the Retreat, S.i.105, 111; Vin.i.21, 22), the Buddha returns to Senānigāma in Uruvela, on the way converting und ordaining the thirty Bhaddavaggiyā. At Uruvela, after a long und protracted exercise of magical powers, consisting in all of three tausend fünf hundert miracles, the Buddha wins over the three Kassapa brothers, the Tebhātika Jatilā, mit their tausend followers, und ordains them. They become arahants after listening to the ādittapariyāya Sutta preached at Gayāsīsa; mit these followers he visits Rājagaha, where König Seniya Bimbisāra comes to see him at the Latthivanuyyāna. The following day the Buddha und the monks visit the palace, preceded by Sakka disguised as a youth und singing the praises of the Buddha. After the meal, the König gifts Veluvana to the Buddha und the Order. The Buddha stays for two months at Rājagaha (BuA.4), und it is during this time that Sāriputta und Moggallāna join the Order, through the instrumentality of Assaji (Vin.i.23ff). It was probably during this year, at the beginning of the rainy season, that the Buddha visited Vesāli at the request of the Licchavis, conveyed through Mahāli. The city was suffering from pestilence und famine. The Buddha went, preached the Ratana Sutta und dispelled all dangers (DhA.iii.436ff).
The number of converts now rapidly increases und the people of Magadha, alarmed by the prospect of childlessness, widow-hood, etc., blame the Buddha und his monks. The Buddha, however, refutes their charges (Vin.i.42f).
The account of the first zwanzig years of the Buddha's ministry is summarised from various sources, chiefly from Thomas's admirable account in his Life und Legend of the Buddha (pp.97ff). The necessary references are to be found under the names erwähnt.
On the full-moon day of Phagguna (February-March) the Buddha, accompanied by zwanzig tausend monks, sets out for Kapilavatthu at the express request of his father, conveyed through Kāludāyī. (This visit is not erwähnt in the Canon; but see Thag.527-36; AA.i.107, 167; J.i.87; DhA.i.96f; ThagA.i.997ff).
By slow stages he arrives at the city, where he stays at the Nigrodhārāma, und, in order to convince his proud kinsmen of his power, performs the Yamakapātihārjya und then relates the Vessantara Jātaka. The next day, receiving no invitation to a meal, the Buddha begs in the streets of the city; this deeply grieves Suddhodana, but later, learning that it is the custom of all Buddhas, he becomes a sotāpanna und conducts the Buddha und his monks to meal at the palace. There all the women of the palace, excepting only Rāhulamātā, come und do reverence to the Buddha. Mahā Pajāpatī becomes a sotāpanna und Suddhodana a sakadāgāmi. The Buddha visits Rāhulamātā in her own apartments und utters her praises in the Candakinnara Jātaka. The following day the Buddha persuades his half-brother, Nanda, to come to the monastery, where he ordains him und, on the seventh day, he does the same mit Rāhula. This is too great a blow for Suddhodana, und at his request the Buddha rules that no person shall be ordained without the consent of his parents. The next day the Buddha preaches to Suddhodana, who becomes an anāgāmī. During the Buddha's visit to Kapilavatthu, eighty tausend Sākyans join the Order, one from each family. With these he returns to Rājagaha, stopping on the way at Anupiya, where Anuruddha, Bhaddiya, Ananda, Bhagu, Kimbila und Devadatta, together mit their barber, Upāli, visit him und seek ordination.
On his return to Rājagaha the Buddha resides in the Sītavana. (J.i.92, the story is also told in the Vinaya ii.154, but no date is indicated). There Sudatta, later known as Anāthapindika, visits him, is converted, und invites him to Sāvatthi. The Buddha accepts the invitation und journeys through Vesāli to Sāvatthi, there to pass the rainy season. (Vin.ii.158; but see BuA.3, where the Buddha is erwähnt as having spent the vassa in Rājagaha). Anāthapindika gifts Jetavana, provided mit every necessity, for the residence of the Buddha und his monks. Probably to this period belongs the conversion of Migāra, father-in-law of Visākhā, und the construction, by Visākhā, of the Pubbārāma at Sāvatthi. The vassa of the fourth year the Buddha spends at Veluvana, where he converts Uggasena. (DhA.iv.59f). In the fifth year Suddhodana dies, having realised arahant-ship, und the Buddha flies through the air, from the Kūtāgārasālā in Vesāli where he was staying, to preach to his father on his death-bed. According to one account it is at this time that the quarrel breaks out between the Sākyans und the Koliyans regarding the irrigation of the river Rohinī. (AA.i.186; SNA.i.357; ThigA.141; details of the quarrel are given in J.v.412ff). The Buddha persuades them to make peace, und takes up his abode in the Nigrodhārāma. Mahā Pajāpatī Gotamī, mit other Sākiyan women, visits him there und asks that women may be allowed to join the Order. Three times the request is made, three times refused, the Buddha then returning to Vesāli. The women cut off their hair, don yellow robes und follow him thither. Ananda intercedes on their behalf und their request is granted. (Vin.ii.253ff; A.iv.274f.; for details see Mahā Pajāpati).
In the sixth year the Buddha again performs the Yamakapātihāriya, this time at the foot of the Gandamba tree in Sāvatthi. Prior to this, the Buddha had forbidden any display of magic powers, but makes an exception in his own case (DhA.iii.199f.; J.iv.265, etc.).
He spends the vassa at Mankulapabbata. After the performance of the miracle he follows the custom of all Buddhas und ascends to Tāvatimsa in three strides to preach the Abhidhamma to his Mutter who is born there as a deva, und there he keeps the seventh vassa. The multitude, gathered at Sāvatthi at the Yamakapātihāriya, refuse to go away until they have seen him. For three months, therefore, Moggallāna expounds to them the Dhamma, while Culla Anāthapindika provides them mit food. During the preaching of the Abhidhamma, Sāriputta visits the Buddha daily und learns from him all that has been recited the previous day. At the end of the vassa, the Buddha descends a jewelled staircase und comes to earth at Sankassa, thirty leagues from Sāvatthi. (For details see Devorohana). It was about this time, when the Buddha's fame was at its height, that the notorious Ciñcā-mānavikā was persuaded by members of some hostile sect to bring a vile accusation against the Buddha. A similar story, told in connection mit a paribbājikā named Sundarī, probably refers to a later date.
The eighth year the Buddha spends in the country of the Bhaggas und there, while residing in Bhesakalāvana near Sumsumāragiri, he meets Nakulapitā und his wife, who had been his parents in fünf hundert former births (A.A.i.217).
The same is told of another old couple in Sāketa. See the Sāketa Jātaka. The Buddha evidently stayed again at Sumsumāragiri many years later. It was during his second visit that Bodhirājakumāra (q.v.) invited him to a meal at his new palace in order that the Buddha might consecrate the building by his presence.
In the ninth year the Buddha is at Kosambī. While on a visit to the Kuru country he is offered in marriage Māgandiyā, the beautiful Tochter of the brahmin Māgandiyā. The refusal of the offer, accompanied by insulting remarks about physical beauty, arouses the enmity of Māgandiyā who, thenceforward, cherishes hatred against the Buddha.
SN., pp.163ff; SNA.ii.542ff; DhA.i.199ff Thomas (op. cit., 109) assigns the Māgandiyā incident to the ninth year. I am not sure if this is correct, for the Commentaries say the Buddha was then living at Sāvatthi.
In the tenth year there arises among the monks at Kosambī a schism which threatens the very existence of the Order. The Buddha, failing in his attempts to reconcile the disputants, retires in disgust to the Pārileyyaka forest, passing on his way through Bālakalonakāragāma und Pācīnavamsadāya. In the forest he is protected und waited upon by a friendly elephant who has left the herd. The Buddha spends the rainy season there und returns to Sāvatthi. By this time the Kosambī monks have recovered their senses und ask the Buddha's pardon. This is granted und the dispute settled. (Vin.i.337ff; J.iii.486f; DhA.i.44ff; but see Ud.iv.5; s.v. Pārileyyaka).
In the eleventh year the Buddha resides at the brahmin village of Ekanālā und converts Kasi-Bhāradvāja (SN., p.12f.; S.i.172f). The twelfth year he spends at Verañjā, keeping the vassa there at the request of the brahmin Verañja. But Verañja forgets his obligations; there is a famine, und fünf hundert horse-merchants supply the monks mit food. Moggallāna's offer to obtain food by means of magic power is discouraged (Vin.iii.1ff; J.iii.494f; DhA.ii.153). The thirteenth Retreat is kept at Cālikapabbata, where Meghiya is the Buddha's personal attendant (A.iv.354; Ud.iv.1). The fourteenth year is spent at Sāvatthi, und there Rāhula receives the upasampadā ordination.
In the fifteenth year the Buddha revisits Kapilavatthu, und there his father-in-law, Suppabuddha, in a drunken fit, refuses to let the Buddha pass through the streets. Seven days later he is swallowed up by the earth at the foot of his palace (DhA.iii.44).
The chief event of the sixteenth year, which the Buddha spent at ālavī, is the conversion of the yakkha ālavaka. In the seventeenth year the Buddha is back at Sāvatthi, but he visits ālavī again out of compassion for a poor farmer who becomes a sotāpanna after hearing him preach (DhA.iii.262ff). He spends the rainy season at Rājagaha. In the next year he again comes to ālavī from Jetavana for the sake of a poor weaver's Tochter. She had heard him preach, three years earlier, on the desirability of meditating upon death. She alone gave heed to his admonition und, when the Buddha knows of her imminent death, he journeys thirty leagues to preach to her und establish her in the sotāpattiphala (DhA.iii.170ff).
The Retreat of this year und also that of the nineteenth are spent at Cālikapabbata. In the twentieth year takes place the miraculous conversion of the robber Angulimāla. He becomes an arahant und dies shortly after. It is in the same year that Ananda is appointed permanent attendant on the Buddha, a position which he holds to the end of the Buddha's life, zwanzig-fünf years later (For details see Ananda). The twentieth Retreat is spent at Rājagaha.
With our present knowledge it is impossible to evolve any kind of chronology for the remaining zwanzig-fünf years of the Buddha's life. The Commentaries state that they were spent at Sāvatthi in the monasteries of Jetavana und Pubbārāma. (z.B., BuA.3; SNA. p.336f, says that when the Buddha was at Sāvatthi, he spent the day at the Migāramātupāsāda in the Pubbārāma, und the night at Jetavana or vice versa).
This, probably, only implies that the Retreats were kept there und that they were made the head quarters of the Buddha. From there, during the dry season, he went every year on tour in various districts. Among the places visited by him during these tours are the following:
Aggālavacetiya, Anotatta, Andhakavinda, Ambapālivana, Ambalatthikā, Ambasandā, Assapura, āpana, Icchānangala, Ukkatthā (Subhagavana), Ukkācelā, Ugganagara, Ujuññā (Kannakatthaka deer-park), Uttara in Koliya, Uttarakā, Uttarakuru, Uruvelakappa, Ulumpa, Ekanālā, Opasāda, Kakkarapatta, Kajangalā (Mukheluvana), Kammāssadhamma, Kalandakanivāpa (near Benares), Kimbilā, Kītāgiri, Kundadhānavana (near Kundakoli), Kesaputta, Kotigāma, Kosambī (Ghositārāma und Badarikārāma), Khānumata, Khomadussa, Gosingasālavana, Candalakappa, Campā (Gaggarā), Cātuma, Cetiyagiri in Vesāli, Jīvakambavana (in Rājagaha), Tapodārāma, Tindukkhānu (paribbājakārāma), Todeyya, Thullakotthita, Dakkhināgiri, Dandakappa, Devadaha, Desaka in the Sumbha country, Nagaraka, Nagaravinda, Nādikā (Giñjakāvasatha), Nālandā (Pāvārika mango-grove), Nālakapāna (Palāsavana), Pankadhā, Pañcasalā, Pātikārāma, Beluva, the Brahma world, Bhaddavatī, Bhaddiya (Jātiyāvana), Bhaganagara (Anandacetiya), Maninālakacetiya, Mana-sākata, Mātulā, Mithilā (Makhādeva mango-grove), Medatalumpa, Moranivāpa, Rammaka's hermitage, Latthivana, Videha, Vedhañña-ambavana, Venāgapura, Verañjā, Veludvāra, Vesāli (also various shrines there, Udenacetiya, Gotamacetiya, Cāpalacetiya, Bahuputta-kacetiya, Sattambacetiya, Sārandadacetiya), Sakkara, Sajjanela, Salalāgāraka in Sāvatthi, Sāketa (Añjanavana), Sāmagāma, Sālavatikā, Sālā, Simsapāvana, Silāvatī, Sītavana, Sūkarakhatalena, Setavyā, Hatthigāma, Halidavassana und the region of the Himālaya.
There is a more or less continuous account of the last year of the Buddha's life. This is contained in three suttas: the Mahā Parinibbāna, the Mahā Sudassana und the Janavasabha. These are not separate discourses but are intimately connected mit each other. The only event prior to the incidents recounted in these suttas, which can be fixed mit any certainty, is the death of the Buddha's pious patron und supporter, Bimbisāra, which took place eight years before the Buddha's Parinibbāna (Mhv.ii.32). It was at this time that Devadatta tried to obtain for himself a post of supremacy in the Order, und, failing in this effort, became the open enemy of the Buddha. Devadatta's desire to deprive the Buddha of the leadership of the Sangha seems to have been conceived by him, according to the Vinaya account (Vin.ii.184), almost immediately after he joined the Order, und the Buddha was warned of this by the devaputta Kakudha. This account lends point to the statement contained especially in the Northern books, that even in their lay life Devadatta had always been Gotama's rival.
Enlisting the support of Ajātasattu, he tried in many ways to kill the Buddha. Royal archers were bribed to shoot the Buddha, but they were won over by his personality und confessed their intentions. Then Devadatta hurled a great rock down Gijjhakūta on to the Buddha as he was walking in the shade of the hill; the hurtling rock was stopped by two peaks, but splinters struck the Buddha's foot und caused blood to flow; he suffered great pain und had to be taken to the Maddakucchi garden, where his injuries were dressed by the physician Jīvaka (S.i.27). The monks wished to provide a guard, but the Buddha reminded them that no man had the power to deprive a Tathāgata of his life.
Devadatta next bribed the royal elephant keepers to let loose a fierce elephant, Nālāgiri, intoxicated mit toddy, on the road along which the Buddha would go, begging for alms. The Buddha was warned of this but disregarded the warning, und when the elephant appeared, Ananda, against the strict orders of the Buddha, threw himself in its path, und only by an exercise of iddhi-power, including the folding up of the earth, could the Buddha come ahead of him. As the elephant approached, the Buddha addressed it, pervading it mit his boundless love, until it became quite gentle. (This incident, mit great wealth of detail, is related in several places - z.B., in J.v.333ff).
These attempts to encompass the Buddha's death having failed, Devadatta, mit three others, decides to create a schism in the Order und asks the Buddha that fünf rules should be laid down, whereby the monks would be compelled to lead a far more austere life than hitherto. When this request is refused, Devadatta persuades fünf hundert recently ordained monks to leave Vesāli mit him und take up their residence at Gayāsīsa, where he would set up an organisation similar to that of the Buddha. But, at the Buddha's request, Sāriputta und Moggallāna visit the renegade monks; Sāriputta preaches to them und they are persuaded to return. When Devadatta discovers this, he vomits hot blood und lies ill for nine months. When his end approaches, he wishes to see the Buddha, but he dies on the way to Jetavana - whither he is being conveyed in a litter - und is born in Avīci.
From Gijjhakūta, near Rājagaha, the Buddha starts on his last journey. Just before his departure he is visited by Vassākāra, und the talk is of the Vajjians; the Buddha preaches to Vassākāra und the monks on the conditions that lead to prosperity. The Buddha proceeds mit a large concourse of monks to Ambalatthikā und thence to Nālandā, where Sāriputta utters his lion-roar (sīhanāda) regarding his faith in the Buddha. The Buddha then goes to Pātaligāma, where he talks to the villagers on the evil consequences of immorality und the advantages of morality. He utters a prophecy regarding the future greatness of Pātaliputta und then, leaving by the Gotamadvāra, he crosses the river Ganges at Gotamatittha. He proceeds to Kotigāma und thence to Ñātika, where he gives to Ananda the formula of the Dhammādāsa, whereby the rebirth of disciples could be ascertained. From Ñātika he goes to Vesāli, staying in the park of the courtesan Ambapāli. The following day he accepts a meal from Ambapāli, refusing a similar offer from the Licchavis; Ambapāli makes a gift of her park to the Buddha und his monks. The Buddha journeys on to Beluva, where he spends the rainy season, his monks remaining in Vesāli. At Beluva he falls dangerously ill but, mit great determination, fights against his sickness. He tells Ananda that his mission is finished, that when he is dead the Order must maintain itself, taking the Dhamma alone as its refuge, und he concludes by propounding the four subjects of mindfulness (D.ii.100). The next day he begs in Vesāli und, mit Ananda, visits the Cāpāla-cetiya. There he gives to Ananda the opportunity of asking him to live until the end of the kappa, but Ananda fails to take the hint. Soon afterwards Māra visits the Buddha und obtains the assurance that the Buddha's nibbāna will take place in three months. There is an earthquake, und, in answer to Ananda's questions, the Buddha explains to him the eight causes of earthquakes. This is followed by lists of the eight assemblies, the eight stages of mastery und the eight stages of release. The Buddha then repeats to Ananda his conversation mit Māra, und Ananda now makes his request to the Buddha to prolong his life, but is told that it is now too late; several opportunities he has had, of which he has failed to avail himself. The monks are assembled in Vesāli, in the Service Hall, und the Buddha exhorts them to practise the doctrines he has taught, in order that the religious life may last long. He then announces his impending death.
According to the Commentaries (z.B., DA.ii.549), after the rainy season spent at Beluva, the Buddha goes back to Jetavana, where he is visited by Sāriputta, who is preparing for his own Parinibbāna at Nālakagāma. From Jetavana the Buddha went to Rājagaha, where Mahā-Moggallāna died. Thence he proceeded to Ukkācelā, where he spoke in praise of the two chief disciples. From Ukkācelā he proceeded to Vesāli und thence to Bhandagāma. Rāhula, too, predeceased the Buddha (DA.ii.549).
The next day, returning from Vesāli, he looks round at the city for the last time und goes on to Bhandagāma; there he preaches on the four things the comprehension of which destroys rebirth-noble conduct, earnestness in meditation, wisdom und freedom.
He then passes through the villages of Hatthigāma, Ambagāma und Jambugama, und stays at Bhoganagara at the Ananda-cetiya. There he addresses the monks on the Four Great Authorities (Mahāpadesā), by reference to which the true doctrine may be determined (Cf. A.ii.167ff). From Bhoganagara the Buddha goes to Pāvā und stays in the mango-grove of Cunda, the smith. Cunda serves him mit a meal which includes sūkaramaddava. (There is much dispute concerning this word. See Thomas, op. cit., 149, n.3). The Buddha alone partakes of the sūkaramaddava, the remains being buried. This is the Buddha's last meal; sharp sickness arises in him, mit flow of blood und violent, deadly pains, but the Buddha controls them und sets out for Kusinārā. On the way he has to sit down at the foot of a tree. Ananda fetches him water to drink from the stream Kakutthā, over which fünf hundert carts had just passed; but, through the power of the Buddha, the water is quite clear. Here the Buddha is visited by Pukkusa, the Mallan, who is converted und presents the Buddha mit a pair of gold-coloured robes. The Buddha puts them on und Ananda notices the marvellous brightness und clearness of the Buddha's body. The Buddha tells him that the body of a Buddha takes on this hue on the night before his Enlightenment und on the night of his passing away, und that he will die that night at Kusinārā. He goes to the Kākutthā, bathes und drinks there und rests in a mango-grove. There he instructs Ananda that steps must be taken to dispel any remorse that Cunda may feel regarding the meal he gave to the Buddha.
From Kakutthā the Buddha crosses the Hiraññavatī to the Upavattana sāla-grove in Kusinārā. There Ananda prepares for him a bed mit the head to the north. All the trees break forth into blossom und flowers cover the body of the Buddha. Divine mandārava-flowers und sandalwood powder fall from the sky, und divine music und singing sound through the air. But the Buddha says that the greater honour to him would be to follow his teachings.
The gods of the ten tausend world systems assemble to pay their last homage to the Buddha, und Upavāna, who stands fanning him, is asked to move away as he obstructs their view.
Ananda asks for instruction on several points, including how the funeral rites should be performed; he then goes out und abandons himself to a fit of weeping; the Buddha sends for him, consoles him und speaks his praises. Ananda tries to persuade the Buddha not to die in a mud-und-wattle village, such as is Kusinārā, but the Buddha tells him how it was once the mighty Kusāvatī, capital of Mahāsudassana.
The Mallas of Kusināra are informed that the Buddha will pass away in the third watch of the night, und they come mit their families to pay their respects. The ascetic Subhadda comes to see the Buddha und is refused admission by Ananda, but the Buddha, overhearing, calls him in und converts him. Several minor rules of discipline are delivered, including the order for the excommunication of Channa. The Buddha finally asks the assembled monks to speak out any doubts they may have. All are silent und Ananda expresses his astonishment, but the Buddha tells him it is natural that the monks should have no doubts. Then, addressing the monks for the last time, he admonishes them in these words: "Decay is inherent in all component things; work out your salvation mit diligence." These were the Buddha's last words. Passing backwards und forwards through various stages of trance, he attains Parinibbāna. There is a great earthquake und terrifying thunder, und the Brahmā Sahampati, Sakka König of the gods, Anuruddha und Ananda utter stanzas, each proclaiming the feeling uppermost in his mind. It is the full-moon day of the month of Visākha und the Buddha is in his eightieth year.
The next day Ananda informs the Mallas of Kusinārā of the Buddha's death, und for seven days they hold a great celebration. On the seventh day, following Ananda's instructions, they prepare the body for cremation, taking it in procession by the eastern gate to the Makutabandhana shrine, thus altering their proposed route, in order to satisfy the wishes of the gods, as communicated to them by Anuruddha. The whole town is covered knee-deep mit mandārava-flowers, which fall from the sky. When, however, four of the chief Mallas try to light the pyre, their attempt is unsuccessful und they must wait until Mahā Kassapa, coming mit a company of fünf hundert monks, has saluted it. The Commentaries (z.B., DA.ii.603) add that Mahā Kassapa greatly desired that the Buddha's feet should rest on his head when he worshipped the pyre. The wish was granted: the feet appeared through the pyre, und when Kassapa had worshipped them, the pyre closed together. The pyre burns completely away, leaving no cinders nor soot. Streams of water fall from the sky to extinguish it und the Mallas pour on it scented water. They then place a fence of spears around it und continue their celebrations for seven days. At the end of that period there appear several claimants for the Buddha's relics: Ajātasattu, the Licchavis of Vesāli, the Sākiyans of Kapilavatthu, the Bulis of Allakappa, the Koliyas of Rāmagāma, a brahmin of Vethadīpa und the Mallas of Pāvā. But the Mallas of Kusinārā refusing to share the relics mit the others, there is danger of war. Then the brahmin Dona counsels concord und divides the relics into eight equal parts for the eight claimants. Dona takes for himself the measuring vessel und the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, who arrive late, carry off the ashes. Thūpas were built over these remains und feasts held in honour of the Buddha.
The concluding passage of the Mahā-Parinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.167) states that the Buddha's relics were eight measures, seven of which were honoured in Jambudīpa und the remaining one in the Nāga realm in Rāmagāma. One tooth was in heaven, one in Gandhāra, a third in Kālinga (later taken to Ceylon), und a fourth in the Nāga world. Ajātasattu's share was deposited in a thūpa und forgotten. It was later discovered by Asoka (mit the help of Sakka) und distributed among his eighty-four tausend monasteries. Asoka also recorded the finding of all the other relics except those deposited in Rāmagāma. These were later deposited in the Mahācetiya at Anurādhapura (Mhv.xxxi.17ff). Other relics are also erwähnt, such as the Buddha's collar-bone, his alms bowl, etc. (Mhv.xvii.9ff; Mhv.i.37, etc.).
It is said (z.B., DA.iii.899) that just before the Buddha's Sāsana disappears completely from the world, all the relics will gather together at the Mahācetiya, und travelling from there to Nāgadīpa und the Ratanacetiya, assemble at the Mahābodhi, together mit the relics from other parts. There they will reform the Buddha's golden hued body, emitting the six-coloured aura. The body will then catch fire und completely disappear, amid the lamentations of the ten tausend world-systems.
The Ceylon Chronicles (Mhv.i.12ff; Dpv.i.45ff; ii.1ff etc.) record that the Buddha visited the Island on three separate occasions.
(The Burmese claim that the Buddha visited their land und went to the Lohitacandana Vihāra, presented by the brothers Mahāpunna und Cūlapunna of Vānijagāma (Ind. Antiq.xxii., und Sās.36f.).
The first was while he was dwelling at Uruvelā, awaiting the moment for the conversion of the Tebhātika Jatilas, in the ninth month after the Enlightenment, on the full-moon day of Phussa (Dec.-Jan.). He came to the Mahānāga garden, und stood in the air over an assembly of yakkhas then being held. He struck terror into their hearts und, at his suggestion, they left Ceylon und went in a body to Giridīpa, hard by. The Buddha gave a handful of his hair to the deva Mahāsumana of the Sumanakūta mountain, who built a thūpa which was later enlarged into the Mahiyangana Thūpa. The Buddha again visited Ceylon in the fifth year, on the new-moon day of Citta (March-April), to check an imminent battle between two Nāga chiefs in Nāgadīpa; the combatants were Mahodara und Cūlodara, uncle und nephew, und the object of the quarrel was a gem-set throne. The Buddha appeared before them, accompanied by the deva Samiddhi-Sumana, carrying a Rājayatana tree from Jetavana, settled their quarrel und received, as a gift, the throne, the cause of the trouble. He left behind him both the throne und the Rājayatana tree for the worship of the Nāgās und accepted an invitation from the Nāga König, Maniakkhika of Kalyāni, to pay another visit to Ceylon. Three years later Maniakkhika repeated the invitation und the Buddha came to Kalyāni mit fünf hundert monks, on the second day of Vesākha. Having preached to the Nāgas, he went to Sumanakūta, on the summit of which mountain he left the imprint of his foot (Legend has it that other footprints were left by the Buddha, on the bank of the river Nammadā, on the Saccabaddha mountain und in Yonakapura). He then stayed at Dīghavāpī und from there visited Mahāmeghavana, where he consecrated various spots by virtue of his presence, und proceeded to the site of the later Silācetiya. From there he returned to Jetavana.
Very little information as to the personality of the Buddha is available. We are told that he was golden-hued (z.B., Sp.iii.689), that his voice had the eight qualities of the Brahmassāra (z.B., D.ii.211; M.ii.166f. It is said that while an ordinary person spoke one word, Ananda could speak eight; but the Buddha could speak sixteen to the eight of Ananda, MA.i.283) - fluency, intelligibility, sweetness, audibility, continuity, distinctness, depth und resonance - that he had a fascinating personality - he was described by his opponents as seductive (z.B., M.i.269, 275) - that he was handsome, perfect alike in complexion und stature und noble of presence (z.B., M.ii.167). He had a unique reputation as a teacher und trainer of the human heart. He was endowed mit the thirty-two marks of the Mahāpurisa. (For details of these, see Buddha). There is a legend that Mahā Kassapa, though slightly shorter, resembled the Buddha in appearance.
Attempts made, however, to measure the Buddha always failed; two such attempts are generally erwähnt - one by a brahmin of Rājagaha und the other by Rāhu, chief of the Asuras (DA.i.284f). The Buddha had the physical strength of many millions of elephants (z.B., VibhA.397), but his strength quickly ebbed away after his last meal und he had to stop at zwanzig-fünf places while travelling three gāvutas from Pāvā to Kusināra (DA.ii.573).
Mention is often made of the Buddha's love of quiet und peace, und even the heretics respected his wishes in this matter, silencing their discussions at his approach (z.B., D.i.178f; iii.39; even his disciples had a similar reputation, z.B., D.iii.37). Examples are given of the Buddha refusing to allow noisy monks to live near him. (z.B., M.i.456; see also M.ii.122, where a monk was jogged by his neighbour because he coughed when the Buddha was speaking). He loved solitude und often spent long periods away from the haunts of men, allowing only one monk to bring him his meals. z.B., S.v.12, 320; but this very love of solitude was sometimes brought against him. By intercourse mit whom does he attain to lucidity in wisdom? they asked. His insight, they said, was ruined by his habit of seclusion (D.iii.38).
According to one account (A.i.181), it was his practice to spend part of the day in seclusion, but he was always ready to see anyone who urgently desired his spiritual counsel (z.B., A.iv.438).
In the Mahā Govinda Sutta (D.ii.222f ) Sakka is represented as having uttered "eight true praises" of the Buddha. Perhaps the most predominant characteristics of the Buddha were his boundless love und his eagerness to help all who sought him. His fondness for children is seen in such stories as those of the two Sopākas, of Kumāra-Kassapa, of Cūla Panthaka und Dabba-Mallaputta und also of the novices Pandita und Sukha. His kindness to animals appears, for instance, in the introductory story of the Maccha Jātaka und his interference on behalf of Udena's aged elephant, Bhaddavatikā (q.v.). The Buddha was extremely devoted to his disciples und encouraged them in every way in their difficult life. The Theragāthā und the Therīgāthā are full of stories indicating that he watched, mit great care, the spiritual growth und development of his disciples, understood their problems und was ready mit timely interference to help them to win their aims. Such incidents as those erwähnt in the Bhaddāli Sutta (M.i.445), the introduction to the Tittha Jātaka und the Kañcakkhandha Jātaka, seem to indicate that he took a personal und abiding interest in all who came under him. It was his unvarying custom to greet mit a smile all those who visited him, inquiring after their welfare und thus putting them at their ease (Vin.i.313). When anyone sought permission to question him, he made no conditions as to the topic of discussion. This is called sabbaññupavārana. z.B., M.i.230. When the Buddha himself asked a question of any of his interrogators, they could not remain silent, but were bound to answer; a yakkha called Vajirapāni was always present to frighten those who did not wish to do so (z.B., M.i.231).
The Buddha was not over-anxious to get converts, und when his visitors declared themselves his followers he would urge them to take time to consider the matter - z.B., in the case of Acela Kassapa und Upāligahapati.
When he was staying in a monastery, he paid daily visits to the sick ward to talk to the inmates und to comfort them (See, z.B., Kutāgārasālā). The charming story of Pūtigata-Tissa shows that he sometimes attended on the sick himself, thus setting an example to his followers. In return for his devotion, his disciples adored him, but even among those who immediately surrounded him there were a few who refused to obey him implicitly - z.B., Lāludāyī, the companions of Assaji und Punabbasuka, the Chabbaggiyas, the Sattarasavaggiyas und others, not to mention Devadatta und his associates.
The Buddha seems to have shown a special regard for Sāriputta, Ananda und Mahā Kassapa among the monks, und for Anāthapindika, Mallikā, Visakhā, Bimbisāra und Pasenadi among the laity. He seems to have been secretly amused by the very human qualities of Pasenadi und by his failure to appreciate the real superiority of Mallikā, his wife.
The Buddha always declared that he was among the happy ones of this earth, that he was far happier, for instance, than Bimbisāra (z.B., M.i.94), und he remained unmoved by opposition or abuse. z.B., in the case of the organised conspiracy of Māgandiyā (DhA.iv.1f.).
The Milindapañha (p.134) mentions several illnesses of the Buddha: the injury to his foot has already been referred to; once when the humours of his body were disturbed Jīvaka administered a purge (Vin.i.279); on another occasion he suffered from some stomach trouble which was cured by hot water, or, according to some, by hot gruel (Vin.i.210f.; Thag.185). The Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.iv.232; ThagA.i.311f) mentions another disorder of the humours cured by hot water obtained from the brahmin Devahita, through Upavāna. The Commentaries mention that he suffered, in his old age, from constant backache, owing to the severe austerities practised by him during the six years preceding his Enlightenment, und the unsuitable meals taken during that period were responsible for a dyspepsia which persisted throughout the rest of his life (SA.i.200), culminating in his last serious illness of dysentery. MA.i.465; DA.iii.974; see also D.iii.209, when he was preaching to the Mallas of Pāvā.
The Apadāna (Ap.i.299f) contains a set of verses called Pubbakammapiloti; these verses mention certain acts done by the Buddha in the past, which resulted in his having to suffer in various ways in his last birth. He was once a drunkard named Munāli und he abused the Pacceka Buddha Surabhi. On another occasion he was a learned brahmin, teacher of fünf hundert pupils. One day, seeing the Pacceka Buddha Isigana, he spoke ill of him to his pupils, calling him "sensualist." The result of this act was the calumny against him by Sundarikā in this life.
In another life he reviled a disciple of a Buddha, named Nanda; for this he suffered in hell for twelve tausend years und, in his last life, was disgraced by Ciñcā. Once, greedy for wealth, he killed his step-brothers, hurling them down a precipice; as a result, Devadatta attempted to kill him by hurling down a rock. Once, as a boy, while playing on the highway, he saw a Pacceka Buddha und threw a stone at him, und as a result, was shot at by Devadatta's hired archers. In another life he was a mahout, und seeing a Pacceka Buddha on the road, drove his elephant against him; hence the attack by Nālāgiri. Once, as a König, he sentenced seventy persons to death, the reward for which he reaped when a splinter pierced his foot. Because once, as a fisherman's son, he took delight in watching fish being caught, he suffered from a grievous headache when Vidūdabha slaughtered the Sākiyans. In der Zeit von Phussa Buddha he asked the monks to eat barley instead of rice und, as a result, had to eat barley for three months at Verañja. (According to the Dhammapada Commentary [iii.257], the Buddha actually had to starve one day at Pañcasālā, because none of the inhabitants were willing to give him alms.) Because he once killed a wrestler, he suffered from cramp in the back. Once, when a physician, he caused discomfort to a merchant by purging him, hence his last illness of dysentery. As Jotipāla, he spoke disparagingly of the Enlightenment of Kassapa Buddha, und in consequence had to spend six years following various paths before becoming the Buddha. He was one of the most short-lived Buddhas, but because of those six years his Sāsana will last longer (Sp.i.190f).
The Buddha was generally addressed by his own disciples as Bhagavā. He spoke of himself as Tathāgata, while non-Buddhists referred to him as Gotama or Mahāsamana. Other names used are Mahāmuni, Sākyamuni, Jina, Sakka (z.B., Sn.vs.345) und Brahma (Sn.vs.91; SnA.ii.418), also Yakkha (q.v.).
The Anguttara Nikāya (A.i.23ff) gives a list of the Buddha's most eminent disciples, both among members of the Order und among the laity. Each one in the list is erwähnt as having possessed pre-eminence in some particular respect.
Among those who visited the Buddha for discussion or had interviews mit him or received instruction und guidance direct from him, the following may be included in addition to those already erwähnt (this list does not pretend to be complete; some of the names have already been erwähnt in this monograph in various connections):
Ankura, Aggidatta, Acela-Kassapa, Ajātasattu, Ajita the Paribbājaka, Ajita the Licchavi general, Attadattha, Anitthigandhakumāra, Anurāddha, Anuruddha, Annabhāra, Abhaya-rājakumāra, Abhayā, Abhiñjaka, Abhibhūta, Abhirūpa-Nandā, Ambattha, the monk Arittha, Ariya the fisherman, Asama, Asibandhaputta, Assaji, Assalāyana, ākotaka, āmagandha, the yakkhas ālavaka und Indaka, Ugga of Vesāli, Ugga the minister, Uggata-Sarīra, Uggaha, Ujjaya, Unnābha, Uttara-devaputta, Uttara the Nāga König, Uttara, pupil of Pārasariya, Uttiya, Udaya und Udāyi the brahmins, Uttara, pupil of Brahmāyu, Uttarā, Tochter of Punna, Uttarā the aged nun, Upavāna, Upasālha, Upasena, Upāligahapati, Ubbirī, Eraka, Esakārī, Kakudha, Kandaraka, Kapila the fisherman, Kappa, Kappatakura, Kalārakkhattiya, Kassapa the deva, Kāna, Kānamātā, Kātiyāna, Kāpathika, Kāmada, Kāranapāli, the Kālāmas, Kāligodhā, Kimbila, Kisāgotami, Kukkutamitta the hunter, Kundadhāna, Kundaliya, Kulla, Kūtadanta, Keniya the Jatila, Kevaddha, Kesi the horse trainer, Kokanadā, the two daughters of Pajjuna, Kokālika, Khadiravaniya-Revata, Khānu-Kondañña, Khema the deva, Khemā, Ganaka-Moggallāna, Gavampati, Guttā, Gotama Thera, Cankī, Candana, Candābha, Candimā (Candimasa), Citta-Hatthasārīputta, Cunda, Cunda-Samanuddesa, Cundī, Culla-Dhanuggaha, Culla-Subhaddhā, Chattapānī, Janapada-Kalyāni-Nandā, Janavasabha, Jantu, Jambuka, Jambukhādaka, Jānussoni, Jāliya, Jīvaka-Komārabhacca, Jenta, Jotikagahapati, Tāyana, Tālaputa, Tikanna, Timbaruka, Tissa, cousin of the Buddha, Tissa, friend of Metteyya, Tissa of Roruva, Tudu-brahmā, Thulla-Tissa, Dandapanī, Dāmalī, Dāsaka, Dīgha the deva, Dīghajānu, Dīghata-passī, Dīghanakha, Dīghalatthi, Dīghāvu, Dummukha, Dona, Dhammadinna, Dhammārāma, the Dhammika-upāsaka, Dhammika the brahmin, Nanda Thera, Nanda the herdsman, Nandana, Nandiya-paribbājaka, Nandiya the Sākiyan, Nandivisāla, Nāgita, Nālakatāpasa, Nālijangha, Nigamavāsi-Tissa, Nigrodha, Ninka, Nīta, Nhātakamunī, Paccanīkasāta, Pañcasikha, Pañcālacanda, Patācārā, Pasenadi, König of Kosala, Pahārāda the asura, Pātaliya, Pārāpariya, Pingala-Kaccha, Pingiyānī, Pilinda-Vaccha, Pilotika, Punna, Punna-Koliyaputta, Punna-Mantānīputta, Punnā, Punniya, Pessa the elephant trainer, Pokkharasāti, Potthapāda, Pothila, Potaliya, Phagguna, Baka-brahmā, Bahuputtikā, Bāvarī und his sixteen disciples, Bāhiya-Dārucīriya, Bāhuna, Bilālapādaka, Belatthakāni, Bojjhā, Brahmāyu, Bhagu, Bhaggava, Bhadda, Bhaddā-Kundakakesī, Bhaddāli, Bhaddiya the Licchavi, several Bhāra-dvājas (Akkosaka*, Aggika*, Asurinda*, Ahimsaka*, Kāsi*, Jatā*, Navakammika*, Bilangika*, Suddhika*, Sundarika*), Bhāradvāja, husband of Dhanañjāni, Bhāradvāja, friend of Vāsettha, Bhuñjati, Bhumiya, Bhesika the barber, Macchari-Kosiya, Manibhadda, Mandissa, Mahā-kappina, Mahā-Kassapa, Mahā-kotthita, Mahā-Cunda, Mahā-dhana, Mahā-nāma, Mahā-Moggallāna, Mahāli (Otthaddha), the two Māgandiyas - one the brahmin und one the paribbājaka, Māgha, Mānava-Gāmiya, Mānatthaddha, Mātuposaka, Mālunkyaputta, Miga-jāla, Migasira, Mendaka of Bhaddiya, Moliya-Phagguna, Moliya-Sīvaka, Yasoja, Ratthapāla, Rādha, Rāhula, Rāsiya, Rūpānandā, Roja the Malla, Rohinī, Rohitassa, Lakuntaka-Bhaddiya, the goddess Lājā, Lomasakangiya, Lohicca, Vakkali, Vangisa, Vajjiyamāhita, Vaddha the Licchavi, Vaddhamāna, Vappa, Varadhara, Vassakāra, Vārana, Vāsettha-upāsaka, Vāsettha, friend of Bhāradvāja, Visākha Pañcalaputta, Visākhā, Vīrā, Vekhanasa, Vendu, Vatambari, Sakuludāyi, Sakka, Sankicca, the two Sangāravas, Sangharakkhita (Bhāgineyya°), Saccaka, Sajjha, Satullapa-devas, Sanankumāra, Santati, Sandha, Sandhāna, Samiddhi, Sarabha, Sarabhaṅga, Sātāgira, Sātāli, Sāti, Sānu, Sikhā-Moggallāna, Sigāla, Sirimā, Siva, Sīvali, Sīha the general, Sukhā, Suciloma, Sujātā, Tochter-in-law of Anāthapindika, Sudatta, Sunakkhatta, Sunīta, Sundara-Samudda, Sundarī-Nandā, the leper Suppabuddha, Suppa-vāsā, Subha Todeyyaputta, the two nuns named Subhā, Subhūti, the novice Sumana, Sumanā, sister of Pasenadi, Subrahmā, Surādha, Suriya, Susima, Seniya, Seri, Sela, Sona-Kutikanna, Sona-Kolivisa, Sonadanda, Sonā, the two Sopākas, Hatthaka ālavaka, Hatthaka-devaputta und Hemavata.
See also Buddha und Bodhisatta.