LIFE OF THE BUDDHA
1. The State of Sakka
1.1 During one hundred years before the Buddhist Era the region called Jambdpa in ancient times which is presently the locations of Nepal, India and some parts of Pakistan used to be inhabited by a people by the name of Ariyaka or Aryan for thousands of years. The Jambdpa was bordered in the North by the Himalayan range, in the South by the Indian Ocean. Its borders extended in the East to the forest of Mahavan in the state of Assam, whereas in the West to the basin of Indus River. However, the parts on the Ganges basin and of other rivers emptying its water at the Ganges estuary called Maddhayamapadesa, literally the 'Middle or Central Country', were far more prosperous than the rest, which were called Paccanta Janapada, the external country. Most of the people at the times professed Brahmanism, with the Yoga discipline winning contemporary popularity to a certain, although lesser, extent. All in all, the public temperament being then focussed on spiritual knowledge and psychical feats.
1.2 North of the Jambdpa there was a small state by the name of Sakka, generally called Sakka Janapada, situated in the basin of Rohin River. At present it is in the country of Nepal. It was a prosperous state which abounded with teak and was also rich in vegetation. Located on the foothills of the Himalayan, it was governed by a form of administration based on unity and harmony, with its chieftains by the name of Sakya lineage. This ruler, or we may call him king, of this clan or state was called Suddhodana, with the capital city called Kapilavatlhu. As such, he was chief of all the Sakyan nobles. His state, including his capital city, was noted for its progress and prosperity in a variety of arts and knowledge, of that time. All the Sakyan leaders made it a rule to give priority to agriculture, with a large portion of their time devoted to its improvement and development, and with all the Sakyan leaders directly overseeing the farming activities. The people were then blessed with happiness and peace.
2. Birth of the Buddha
2.1 Eighty-one years before the Buddhist Era, Suddhodana's queen, Mahmy Dev, was pregnant for the first time. At the approach of delivery, which was close to ten month' she decided as was the then custom of married women, to give birth to the child in Devadaha her own hometown. Thus on the fullmoon day of the Veskha lunar month, she left Kapilavatthu in the morning together with her retinue. It was almost noon when she arrived at a grove called Lumbin, midway between Kapilavatthu and Devadaha. Here she stopped to have a rest under the shade of a Sla tree where she was suddenly in labour and before long gave birth, while standing and holding an overhanging branch of the Sala tree, an infant boy. Her labour was without any difficulty whatever. When this was made known to King Suddhodana, he had his queen, together with the infant son, return to the city of Kapilavatthu.
Five days after that, the king arranged a naming ceremony for his son in which the name 'Siddhattha' (literally 'having the wish fulfilled') was chosen as token of his wish (for a son) having been fulfilled. During the ceremony 108 distinguished Brahmins were invited to have a meal in the palace and also to determine the characteristics and destiny of the royal infant. Of the 108 Brahmins, all but one, having seen all the major and minor characteristics of a great man on the royal infant, predicted that should the infant choose the secular life when he grew up, he would be a Universal King or ruler of the world, but in case he should prefer a religious life instead, he would certainly become the greatest religious founder of the world. However, there was, as mentioned above, only one as the exception since he appeared to have an exceptional pre-cognitive power. He was called Kondañña, who prophesied confidently, and thus unconditionally, that the infant was to lead a religious life and as such to become the foremost religious teacher of the world.
Seven days after giving birth to her infant son, queen Mahmy passed away. King Suddhodana then placed Siddhattha his infant son under the care of Mahpajpati, the queen's younger sister or the infant son's aunt, who later became his second queen.
When Siddhattha grew up and reached his childhood, the king, following
the royal tradition of the times, had his son educated, under the most famous teacher
available by the name of
Visvmitla, in all the martial and administrative arts and disciplines befitting one, whom he intended was to become a world-ruler, as predicted by the 107 Brahmins. At the age of 15, Siddhattha was able to absorb whatever had been taught him by his able teacher. In a display of his prowess in archery amidst his relatives, he was regarded as unequalled. Even in other arts and branches of knowledge he came out the top of other competitors, --to the rapt amazement of all who witnessed the events.
2.3 At the age of 16 Siddhattha was married, through his royal father's arrangement, to Bimb Yasodhar, the princess daughter of Devadaha city. The marriage was arranged and performed in the city of Kapilavatthu, in the midst of witnesses who were relatives of both sides.
2.4 After the marriage he was nominated as heir to the throne of Kapilavatthu. Then his father had three palatial residences built for the prince's comfort and pleasure, one for each season, in all of which he was kept surrounded by whatever entertainments and pleasures he wished for. This until 13 years later, when he was 29 and his princess consort was pregnant.
3. The Great Renunciation
3.1 It was also in this year that he became convinced of the nature of the world (or the secular life) and, with such a disillusionment, was often pre-occupied with the manner by which he would be delivered from its bondage. Finally, he came to a conclusion that renunciation, or a homeless life, was to be a respite by which he would be freed of the bonds or cocoon of the worldly life. With that resolution he had waited for an opening for some time until one night when, at the first watch (i.e. during the first three hours) he was informed of the birth of his infant son. Whereupon he exclaimed, on the spur of the moment, "Rhula jta bandhana jta", which meant, "A noose is born, a tie is born." It was because of this exclamation that the infant son was called Rahula, the noose.
He arrived, that night, at the final decision. Pretending to start the rites called Asvamdha, wherein a ceremonial horse was to be released, letting it roam freely into other territories, he ordered his personal attendant to harness the white stallion by the name of Kanthaka for himself. At the second watch of the night (i.e. between 9 p.m. to 12 o'clock by midnight) he entered his chamber, gazed at his wife and child while they were sleeping. Then turned back and hurried to where Channa, his attendant, had prepared the stallion waiting for him, they sped out of the city under that pretex, the prince with the "Great Renunciation" as his ulterior, ultimate aim.
3.2 That night both proceeded Southward to the state of Magadha, and at dawn reached the river called Anom, which bordered the states of Sakka and Malla. Crossing over to the other side, the prince stood on the shore while ordering Channa to take back the horse, together with its decorations. He then cut off the tuff of his hair with his sword and, solemnly taking the vow of monkhood, dressed himself in the form of a recluse called 'Bhikkhu'. Channa having left, he proceeded alone, from that time onwards, heading for the state of Magadha in his quest for the Dhamma of Deliverance from spiritual Defilements.
3.3 Arriving in Magadha, the first of all sought admission into the denominations of two famous hermits or Yogis at the time viz. lra and Uddaka. there he had stayed for instructions from both hermits until he finally achieved the fulfilment of their teachings i.e. the eight Sampatti (Attainments). However, having realized that even such Attainments were not yet the full-final goal of his quest, he departed, going on alone until he reached the district of Uruvel, with river Nerañjar meandering its way not far off, together with a village wherefrom the almsfood could be obtained. Seeing the favourable conditions the pleasant, lush green surroundings, he decided to stay there and then started the traditional practice of selfmortification in a variety of ways and degrees unexcelled by others before him. Nevertheless, the way or Dhamma of Deliverance still eluded him.
While undertaking the rigid, highly austere practices, the prince-monk was attended upon by five Brahmins viz. Kondañña, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahnma and Assaji, who were among the Brahmins invited by King Suddhodana to predict the future of his royal infant a few days after his birth. Of course, having learnt about the princemonkís renunciation, they were encouraged by the faith of their own prediction and, forming the group of five called Pañcavaggya, followed his example and attended upon him in the hope that, should he attain the Dhamma of Deliverance, they would be able to be his disciples and share with him that Dhamma. Thus, while the princemonk was experimenting upon the rigorous practices of self-mortification, he was faithfully watched and reverently looked after by tense five Ascetics.
3.4 It had been six arduous year from the time of his Great Renunciation to that of his great, unexcelled self-mortification, when he finally realized that, having followed out its course and left no stones unturned, he had every reason to conclude that such a practice was not one to lead him to Enlightenment. With such decision, he stopped his fast and started to partake of food once again. This came as a shock to the Five Ascetics, who naively concluded that he had reversed to self-indulgence, being thereby a failure. Thus they departed, to dwell in the deer-park of Isipatana, in the city of Benares. Mean-while the prince-monk, blessed with more seclusion and more strength of the body due to the partaking of food to a moderate degree, diverted his exertion process, sublimating it steadily and progressively towards spiritual efforts. The successful culmination of his long quest came on the fullmoon day of Vesakha lunar (sixth) month when, in the cool, opalescent morning, he seated himself under the shade of an Assattha tree some distance from Nerañjar river. At that moment a young girl by the name of Sujt, daughter of the wealthy village headman of the district of Uruvel Sennigama, had a dish of rice gruel meticulously prepared. She placed it on a golden tray, intending to offer it as obligation to a tree-god in accordance with the tradition of her religious belief. Carrying the tray to the Assattha tree, she saw the great recluse seating himself there in meditative silence, looking radiant and dignified like a celestial being himself. Concluding that he was the tree-god, she was deeply impressed and, placing the golden tray before him, expressed and, placing the golden tray before him, impressed her wish to offer him the tray along with the rice gruel thereon. After the girl had left, the prince-monk accepted the offer and proceeded to the landing place nearby. He took a bath in the river before partaking of the rice gruel. Thereafter he floated the tray down the river and retired for the rest of the day in the Sla grove by the riverside.
4. The Enlightenment of the Buddha
4.1 Late in the afternoon, the great recluse crossed the Nerañjar to another Assattha tree on the Western bend of the river, with its sandy shoreline jutting out into the water. The scene was a delightful one with lush, emerald-green forest all around. On the way he received a bundle of cut grass offered by a grass-cutter named Sotthiya, He made a seat out of it under the shade of the Assattha tree by the riverside. On this 'throne' he seated himself cross-legged, facing East and making a solemn resolution to the effect that even if the flesh and blood of his body should run dry, with only the skin, sinews and bones left, he would never suspend his efforts and rise from this 'throne'. This as long as there still remained what could be attained by manís efforts, exertion and endurance.
It was about sunset when his dedicated efforts were crowned with the complete Annihilation of all Spiritual Defilements, which was followed in the first watch of the night by the Insight into Recollection of Past Lives, then in the second watch by the Insight into the Clairvoyant Eye seeing into the births and deaths of sentient beings, and finally in the third watch by the Insight into the Four Noble Truths, with resulted in his being rightfully called the All-Enlightened Buddha, All these came to the full-final, irreversible process of Buddhahood to greet the dawn of the day following the Veskha fullmoon night, forty-six years before the start of the Buddhhist Era.
4.2 Thenceforward the Buddha seated Himself for seven weeks in various places, experiencing the bliss of Deliverance and revising and checking His own Achievement and Insights until He was absolutely certain of His Enlightenment. The seven locations during the seven weeks that followed were as follows:
In the first week, He was still seated under the shade of the same tree, contemplating the various aspects (the normal and reverse processes) of the Paticcasamuppda (Dependent or Conditioned Origination).
second week was spent while He was standing in the open, some distance on the North-east
of that tree and facing it, gazed at it without closing His eyes. The place later called
that, He spent the third week midway between the mentioned Assattha tree
and the Animmissacetya,
walking meditation back on forth. The place was later called
During the fourth week He proceeded towards the Northwest of the Bodhi (Assattha) tree, seating Himself at a proper place while contemplating the Abhidhamma. The place was later named Ratanagharacetiya.
The fifth week was spent on the East of the Bodhi tree while He was seated under the shade of a banyan tree called Ajapalanigrodha. It was during this period that He answered the question put to Him by a Brahmin named Huhugjati, who asked Him about what should make a Brahmin of a man.
The sixth week was spent on the Southeast of the Bodhi tree, where He seated Himself under the shade of a tree called Muccalinda, experiencing the bliss of His Deliverance. There had been a chill drizzle all the time during this week and the serpent king, seeing this, offered Him protection from the humid and rainy weather by curling himself around the Buddhaís body and spreading the hood over the Buddhaís head. It was during this week that the Buddha uttered an exclamation, praising, among other things, seclusion and non-violence (through loving ñ kindness) as sources of happiness.
In the seventh week the Buddha move to the south of the Bodhi tree, where He sat experiencing the bliss of Deliverance once again. During this period there came two merchants by the names of Tapussa and Bhallika coming from the district of Ukkala to that place. Seeing the Buddha they were impressed and offered Him part of their Sattu Rice, which was their provision for the long journey. The Buddha accepted their offering and partook of it. Both merchants declared themselves Upasakas i.e. male lay disciples, taking refuge in the Buddha and Dhamma, there being no Order of Sangha yet. They were then the first, and the only, disciples with the Double Gem as their Refuge.
4.3 The seven mentioned places were later regarded as being of significance to Buddhism, and Buddhists. They were called Satta Mahasathana, Seven Great Places, being ones of the Buddha Cetiyas, memorial places in Buddhism.
After the seven weeds, the Buddha returned to the Ajapalanigrodha, banyan tree. This time He did not intend to, experience the bliss of Deliverance but spent the time contemplating the Dhamma of His discovery and realized how difficult and subtle it was for other people to grasp its meaning and reality. For some moments He was inclined towards desisting Himself from making it known to others. But due to His compassion, when He clairvoyantly surveyed further, He was able to know there were after all a number of people who could understand His Dhamma. He then thought first of all of His former teachers the hermits Alara and Uddaka, but knew clairvoyantly that they had already passed away. Next He recalled how the Five Ascetics had faithfully attended upon Him and that they were in a position to realise the truth of His teaching. With such a thought in mind He set forth on His journey, heading for the deer-park of Isipatana, in the city of Benares.
5. The Buddhaís First Sermon
5.1 Late in the afternoon of the day before the Asalha (eighth lunar month) fullmoon, the Buddha reached His destination, where He knew the Five Ascetics were dwelling. Now the Five Ascetics seeing Him coming from a distance, agreed among themselves that they would not get up to welcome Him, nor to pay homage to Him, nor to receive His bowl and robes. They would only lay a seat for Him so He could seat Himself thereon if He so wished. Upon His arrival they addressed Him reluctantly and disrespectfully. Even when He informed them of His success, they refused to believe and protested, reminding Him of what they thought was His utter failure in the past. It was not until He reminded them in return, asking them if He used to declare Himself like that before, that they were somewhat convinced and ready to listen. That night the Buddha stayed within the park with the Five Ascetics.
5.2 On the following day, which was the fullmoon day of the Asalha lunar month, the Buddha preached the First Sermon, the Dhammacakkappakattana Sutta, to the Five Ascetics. At the end of the sermon Kondañña brahmin, one of the Five Ascetics, achieved the Eye of Dhamma, being a Noble Disciple (Ariya savaka) of the first grade called Sotapanna (Stream-winner) and at the same time the first witness of the Buddha's Enlightenment. Whereupon the Buddha uttered an exclamation, saying, "Aññasi Aññasi ....Kondañña" Hence the appellation 'Aññakondañña' added to his name from that time on. He requested for ordination and was admitted personally, by the Buddha Himself, which method was to be later ëEhií ordination, from the Buddhaís formal words of admittance beginning with Ehi i.e. Come. He was therefore the first Bhikkhu in Buddhism. After that time the Buddha gave the remaining four Ascetics sundry instructions until they all won the Eye of Dhamma and were likewise ordained as Bhikkhus in the same manner as Kondñña. It was on the fifth day after the fullmoon that the Buddha preached His second sermon called Anattalakkhana Sutta (Discourse on Selflessness) to the Five Ascetics. His sermon culminated in all of them attaining the Arahathood, highest grade of the Noble Disciples, There were born in the world at that time six Arahants, including the Buddha Himself.
5.3 The rainy season year still saw the Buddha and the Five Ascetics staying in the deer-park of Isipatana. In the small hours of one night, while the Buddha was engaged in walking meditation, there was something dramatic occuring in the city of Benares. A youth by the name of Yasa, son of a wealthy man, happened to wake up from his sleep at that time of the night and as a result to see his concubines in the chamber sleeping in various careless and indecent postures. It happened to him in a flash how they looked like corpes instead of lovely maidens they used to be. Suddenly disillusioned, the youth put on his sandals and went out of his residence, complaining to himself, ìHow troublesome it is here! How doleful it is!î He was still complaining while walking all the way to where the Buddha was staying. Hearing his complaints, the Buddha responded, saying as if to no one in particular, ìThis place is not troublesome; nor is it doleful, Do come this way," The youth, hearing the Buddhaís words approached the Buddha and, having taken off his sandals, seated himself before the Buddha. In response to his temperament the Buddha preached to him the sermon on the Five Progressively Important Themes ending up with the Four Noble Truths. At the end of the sermon Yasa was enlightened into the Noble Fruition, becoming thereby a Streamwinner, first stage of the Noble Disciple.
It was in the morning when at his home the youth was missed. Of course, there was a commotion. Search parties were formed, with the youthís father leading one of them. His group were led to where the Buddha was until, seeing his sonís sandals, he remembered them and knew his son should be nearby. Entering the place he saw the Buddha but did not yet see his son. The Buddha then preached to him the sermon on the same theme as He had done the youth Yasa, with the result that the father, like has son, was impressed and became another Stream-winner, being thereby the first male lay disciple. During this time the youth (unseen by his father through the Buddhaís camouflaging psychic powers), listening once again to the same sermon, arrived at a deeper realization and finally became another i.e. the seventh Arahant in the world. He requested the Buddha for ordination, which the Buddha granted him in the similar, Ehi manner as He had done the Five Ascetics. An Upasaka (male lay disciple) now, the youthís father (then able to see Yasa through the Buddhaís release of His camouflage powers), invited the Buddha together with some other Arahant disciples to have their meal at his home, where the Buddha, preaching the same sermon, enlightened both the youthís mother and his former wife, transforming them into Streamwinners. Both declared themselves Upasikas (female lay disciples, being thereby the first two of their kind.
5.4 A few days later, four of Venerable Yasaís friends in Benares viz. Vimala, Subahu, Punnaji and Gavampati, having learnt of their friend's renunciation, came to see the Buddha, who preached to them until they all attained the Arahathood, highest grade of the Noble Disciples. They were ordained by the Buddha Himself, in the same Ehi manner as before. There ocurred in the world at that time 11 Arahants.
Some time later another fifty of Venerable Yasaís friends having learnt about what had happened came to ask for ordination as before. The Buddha preached to them and, having enlightened them, granted ordination in the same manner. There were at that time sixty one Arahants altogether.
6. The Dhamma Missionary Work
6.1 At the end of the rainy period the Buddha, seeing there were already enough Arahant disciples for the Dhamma missionary work in foreign lands, called them together and informed them of His intention, saying to the effect that they all had already been delivered from the bonds that were human and that were celestial, They should therefore wander forth to various lands, each going oneís own way. This meant two of them should not go together. Their wanderings were to be intended for the benefit and happiness of as many people as possible. s such they were to preach the Dhamma in its literal and spiritual meanings, proclaiming thereby the religious life that was beautiful and perfect in all respects. Since there were some beings with a small amount of dust in their eyes. Even He Himself, so He told them, would also go to the district of Uruvela for the same purposes.
6.2 The Arahant Disciples having departed each one on his own chosen way, the Buddha proceeded to the district of Uruvela people. On His way He stopped for a rest in a cotton farm. There were at the moment a group of thirty youths called Bhaddavaggiya. All except one brought their own wives for a sporting excursion there. The one without a wife had brought a prostitute instead. Now, while the youths were momentarily off guard, the prostitute stealthily made off with their valuables. Realizing the fact some time later, the youths, hurriedly hunting the thief, came across the Buddha while He was taking a rest. They asked Him if He had seen the woman they were looking for. In return the Buddha asked them philosophically if they should look for the woman or for themselves. This came as a surprise to the youths, who were somehow struck by the metaphysical, thought-provoking nature of the Buddhaís pregnant question. They replied, saying they preferred to look for ëthemselvesí, as suggested by the Buddha. Seeing they were ready for instruction, the Buddha preached to them the Five Themes of Progressive Importance or Anupubbikatha as before. When at the end of the sermon they all attained Arahathood, He granted them the Ehi form of ordination and sent them forth to preach the Dhamma in distant lands.
6.3 It was in the afternoon of that day when the Buddha left the cotton farm and arrived at the district of Uruvela on the shore of river Nerañjara. There dwelt a large number of matted-haired hermits numbering one thousand. The leaders were three brothers named Uruvela Kassapa, Nadi Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa, with the retinue of five hundred, three hundred and two hundred hermits respectively. The eldest brother Uruvela Kassapaís hermitage was situated upstream, whereas those of the two younger ones respectively downstream. These hermits were highly revered by the townspeople, who regarded them as the holy ones.
Upon His arrival the Buddha went straight to Uruvela Kassapaís hermitage, asking for permission to stay overnight there. The hermit was not pleased but later allowed Him to spend the night within the fire-shed where He knew there were some deadly, venomous snakes waiting. But the Buddha readily accepted the challenge and passed the time therein without any harm befalling to Him. In the small hours of the night the matted-haired hermits, who had learnt of the 'stranger recluse' who dared to stay within their forbidden shed gathered to the place, assuming He would have been killed by then. They were amazed to see Him silently engaged in walking meditation as if nothing had happened. This was the first display of the Buddhaís superior psychic powers to be followed by a series of such displays no less dramatic and, to those hermits, incredible but true. Finally, convinced that he was no match for the Buddha, Uruvela Kassapa admitted defeat and floated all the fire-worshipping paraphernalia down the river and asked for ordination, which the Buddha granted them Himself i.e. through the Ehi manner.
Now Uruvela's two younger brothers, Nadi and Gaya Kassapa, seeing their elder brother's paraphernalia floating down the river, thought that some danger would have befallen him. They hurried to Uruvela and, having learned about the fact, did the same thing and together with all their retinue hermits asked for ordination. All were admitted similarly. After a time the Buddha proceeded to the district of Gayasisa together with all the former matted-haired hermits. There He delivered to them, possibly in conformity to their tendency and temperament, a Sermon on Fire, elaborating how many fires within their own minds there were, and how those fires can be extinguished. At the end of the sermon they all attained Arahathood.
6.4 Having stayed in the district of Gayasisa for some time, the Buddha led the one thousand matted-haired hermits, now His Arahant Disciples, to the city of Rajagaha capital of the state of Magadha. They took lodging within the Latthi Grove, near King Bimbisaraís palace. No sooner had He arrived than the news was spread from mouth to mouth, that there now arrived in Magadha a son of the Sakyans who, having renounced the world and attained Enlightenment, undertook to come there in order to preach to the people His sublime and Transcendental Dhamma. When the news reached King Bimbisara, he proceeded, together with his courtiers and other people totalling twelve Nahuta ( 1 Nahuta = 10,000), to see the Buddha. But the Buddha, seeing a great number of people was still doubtful, not knowing whether they were Uruvelaís disciples or vice versa. Uruvela informed the people publicly of how he and the other fire-worshipping hermits had abandoned their former belief and practices. This having been done and the audiences having been made ready to listen, the Buddha delivered to them a sermon on the Five Themes of Progressive Importance. After the sermon most of the people were able to win the Eye of Dhamma, becoming Stream-winners, whereas the rest were impressed and took a solemn vow declaring themselves lay disciples, taking the Triple Gem as their Refuge for lives.
6.5 The king then invited the Buddha, together with the Bhikkhus, to a meal in his palace on the following day. He took pains to attend upon all the Bhikkhus himself. After the meal he offered his Bamboo Grove, which was a secluded place with serene atmosphere suitable for those aspiring for spiritual exertion, to the Bhikkhus with the Buddha as their chief and leader. He poured the water from his urn as token of the offering of an immovable thing. The Grove had been thence forward a delightful place of seclusion for both the Buddha and His Bhikkhus. It was the first ëmonasteryí in Buddhism.
6.6 In the Bamboo Grove the Buddha and His former fire-worshipping Bhikkhus had been staying until the first day of the waxing moon of the third month i.e. the Magha lunar month. There were during the period 250 monks of the Paribajaka (mendicants) type headed by two youths called Upatissa and Kolita. They all obtained the Eye of Dhamma (becoming Stream-winners), having been relayed the instruction by Venerable Assaji, one of the Five Ascetics earlier mentioned. All were later ordained through the Ehi-method by the Buddha Himself and, with the exception of their two leaders Upatissa and Kolita, won through to Arahatship when they were some time later given another instruction by the Buddha.
6.7 It was seven days after that when Venerable Kolita, having been further instructed by the Buddha, was able to attain Arahatship. Then on the fifteenth day of the waxing moon, the fullmoon day of Magha lunar month, Venerable Upatissa, while attending the Buddha fanning Him in the cave called Sukarakht near the Vulture Peak, was also listening to the sermon the Buddha delivered to a mendicant named Dighanakha. Contemplating uninterruptedly the meaning of the sermons, he attained the Arahatship thereby.
So it was that all the former 250 mendicants had won through to the highest grade of Noble Disciples on this day. It is worth noting that Venerable Upatissa was later nominated the Buddhaís Right Hand Disciple, being foremost in Wisdom, and generally known by the name of SrÓputta. Venerable Kolita, later to be known as Moggallna, was nominated the Buddhaís Left Hand Counterpart, being foremost in psychic powers.
6.8 In the afternoon of the same day, after the Buddha had returned from the Sukarakhat cave to the Bamboo Grove, there was an assemble without prior appointment of 1,250 Arahants, 1000 of them being the former matted-haired hermits, whereas the remaining 250 being the former mendicants. They were all heading towards the Grove for the purpose of seeing the Buddha. This was something of a miracle in that the assemble consisted of four significant facts viz. firstly, the Bhikkhus therein were all Ehi-ordained, being admitted into the Order personally i.e. by the Buddha Himself; secondly, they were all Arahant disciples; thirdly, they all came there without prior appointment and incidentally at the same time; and fourthly, the occasion was on the fullnoon day of the Magha month, during which the moon was supposed to pass, in the course of its orbit, a cluster of stars called Magh. This was at that time considered by other religious traditions high auspicious for performing religious rites. Considering this fourfold coincidence, the Buddha delivered to the Bhikkhus a special sermon called Ovadapatimokkha, the epitome of His doctrine. This was the occasion occuring only once in the time of the Buddha.
7. The Buddha's Return To Kapilavatthu
7.1 Thenceforward, with the 1,250 Arahants being sent forth on their mission of disseminating the Buddha's Message, the news flashed in all directions, and soon reached the city of Kapilavatthu, the Buddha's hometown, that the Sakyan recluse had been enlightened, becoming thereby the Buddha, and was preaching His Message in the state of Magadha with great success. Of course, king Suddhodana was delighted to know this. He managed to send his envoys, one group after another, inviting the Buddha to come back to His hometown. For nine times had the king tried to do so and for all those times never was there any of the envoys returning, since they all were ordained. It was then in the second year after the Buddhaís Enlightenment that the king sent once again a senior courtier by the name of Kaludayi as his representative and for the same purpose. As before, Kaludyi and his men were all ordained and attained Arahatship. But being resourceful the courtier managed to find a way by which he was able to persuade the Buddha to response to the king's invitation.
it was during the summer period of the new year that the Buddha, together with a number of His Bhikkhu followers, includes Kaludayi, set out from the City of Rajagaha. He walked covering