THE BUDDHA~ GREAT TEACHER OF GODS AND MEN ~
T H E B U D D H A~ GREAT TEACHER OF GODS AND MEN ~
C O N T E N T S
FOREWORD BY THE CHIEF MONK
INTRODUCTIONThe BuddhaPre-Requisites of a BuddhaAttainment of BodhisattasCultivation of the Ten Perfections (Dasa Paramita)Development of the Three-Fold Knowledge and Enlightenment by Buddha
GotamaThirty-Two Auspicious Marks on the Buddhas BodySix Kinds of Incomparable Knowledge of the Buddha (Asadharana Nana)Ten Kinds of Supernormal Powers of the Buddhas Enlightenment (Dasa Bala)Nine Great Virtues of the BuddhaMission of the BuddhaThe Dhamma or Teachings of the BuddhasEight Characteristics which Differentiate One Buddha from the Other
THE TWENTY-EIGHT BUDDHASHomage to the Twenty-Eight Buddhas and Its SignificanceDifficulty of Becoming a BuddhaMaha Kappa (Kappa) or World CycleAn Asankheyya or Incalculable (Infinite) PeriodThe Era Prior to the Mano-Pandhana Kala (Era Prior to Mental Aspiration)The Three Stages of Aspiration Periods in Buddha Gotamas Quest forBuddhahoodPast Kammic Results of Buddha GotamaThe Future Buddha
AN INTRODUCTORY BRIEF OF THE TWENTY-FOUR BUDDHAS1. Dipankara 2. Konda 3. Mangala 4. Sumana 5. Revata 6. Sobhita 7. Anomadassi 8. Paduma 9. Nrada 10. Padumuttara 11. Sumedha12. Sujta 13. Piyadassi 14. Attadassi 15. Dhammadassi 16. Siddhattha 17. Tissa 18. Phussa 19. Vipassi 20. Sikhi 21. Vessabh 22. Kakusandha 23. Kongamana 24. Kassapa
APPENDICESList of Maha Bodhi Trees of Twenty-Eight Buddhas
Dhammapada Verses Buddha Magga (The Buddha)Sayings about the Buddha . . .
FOREWORD BY CHIEF MONK
In conjunction with . our Temple is launching The Buddha Great Teacher of Godsand Men published by Mahindarama Dhamma Publication for free distribution to theBuddhist community.
Most of us are unaware of what a difficult and formidable task it is to become a Buddha.Thus this gift of Dhamma will endeavour to show how Buddhahood was attained byBuddha Gotama (being the Buddha of this life span) how He had gone through fulfillingthe ten perfections in the three stages of aspiration periods which He took a long timeto become a Buddha and the significance of the 28 Buddhas who have lived in differentlife spans and taught the Dhamma to many people.
The printing of this Dhamma publication also marks a historic milestone of theinstallation of 28 Buddhas at the . Temple in Sri Lanka which will be officially launchedon October 2005. Briefly, the Temple is more than 200 years and in appallingconditions and in dire need of major repairs and repainting. Donations are forthcomingand we hope to start the repairs and repainting works soon.
I wish to express my special thanks to Professor , University for his precious timeand noble effort in editing this gift of Dhamma that mapped out the path to Nibbana bythe various Buddhas that is interesting and enlightening yet simple and easy tounderstand. Therefore, if we wish to plant the Bodhi seed now, it is possible by learning,practising and realising the Truth or the Dhamma taught by the Buddhas.
Finally, I wish to also extend my grateful thanks and sincere appreciation to all sponsorsof this publication and also to all sponsors of the 28 Buddhas statutes. Your generosityhas gained immeasurable merits which shall be dedicated to all beings, May they bewell and happy.
May the Triple Gem Bless You and Your Family with Good Health, Peace and Happinessalways!
Venerable E. Indaratana Maha TheraChief Monk of Mahindarama Buddhist Temple / Temple
T H E B U D D H A~ GREAT TEACHER OF GODS AND MEN ~
I N T R O D U C T I O N
THE BUDDHAThe Buddha means The Fully Enlightened-One. Buddha Gotama was a great man andthe incomparable Teacher of Gods and men.
In the Anguttara Nikaya, it quoted the Buddha as :
"There is one person born into the world,Who is unique, without par, without counterpart,Incomparable, unequalled, matchless, unrivaled,The noblest among bipeds. Who is that one person? He is a Tathagata (Buddha) who is an Arahant,A Fully Enlightened One."
PRE-REQUISITES OF A BUDDHAOne must fulfill eight conditions to attain Buddhahood :
1. He must be born as a human being.2. He must be a male.3. He must be qualified to attain Arahantship and be prepared to renounce it in favour
of becoming a Bodhisatta or Buddha-to-be instead and remain in samsara for thebenefit of Gods and mankind.
4. He must aspire in the presence of a Supreme or living Buddha.5. He must have had renounced everything (all his worldly possessions) and be an
ascetic during the dispensation of a Buddha. 6. He must possess psychic powers.7. He must be selfless as to even sacrifice his life for the Buddha.8. He must also have the enduring fortitude and energy to uphold and practise the ten
perfections or virtues (Paramitas) until successfully and completely accomplished.
ATTAINMENT OF BODHISATTAS Bodhi means wisdom or enlightenment : satta means sentient being. Therefore, aBodhisatta is someone committed to wisdom or enlightenment.
A Bodhisatta is a being who aspires for Samma Sambodhi which is the supremeenlightenment of a Buddha. A Fully Enlightened One who attains this bodhi is calledSamma Sambuddha.
A being who is enlightened independent of a teacher and passes away withoutproclaiming the truth to the world is called a Pacceka Buddha. His example of supreme
renunciation and virtuous living inspire others even though He has not the gift toenlighten others.
An ordinary person is transformed into a Bodhisatta in three progressive steps whichinvolve :
Thinking of becoming a Buddha for the welfare and liberation of all beings. Making certain vows and A living Buddhas prediction of the Bodhisattas future greatness.
CULTIVATION OF THE TEN PEFFECTIONS (DASA PARAMITA) A Bodhisatta or Buddha-to-be must successful and completely accomplished the tenperfections (paramitas) to gain Sainthood (Arahanta) or Buddhahood Enlightenment :
Generosity - Dana - Contribution in manyways for the welfare of others.
Morality - Sila - Development of moralconduct.
Renunciation - Nekkhamma - Renunciation of sensual pleasure tomaintain contentment.
Wisdom - Panna - Development of understanding to gainwisdom.
Effort - Viriya - Cultivation of physical and mental energy tomaintain purity and service.
Patience - Khanti - Cultivation of patience, non-violence andpeaceful attitudes.
Truth - Sacca - Cultivation of truthfulness or gentle speech.
Determination - Adhitthana - Determination or development ofwill power.
Compassion - Metta - Radiation of loving-kindness orgoodwill.
Equanimity - Upekkha - Cultivation of equanimity orimpartiality.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE THREE-FOLD KNOWLEDGE AND ENLIGHTENMENT BY BUDDHA GOTAMA
In seeking the truth and to find a way to end all pain and suffering in the world, theBodhisatta or Buddha-to-be sat under a Bodhi tree and made a strong determination tofind a way to end all sorrow. When the Buddha-to-be went into deep meditation, He wasable to see things as they truly were and found the cause of all sorrows :
During the First Watch of the Night (Pubbe Nivasanussati Nana)During the first watch of the night, He developed the mind of that supernormalknowledge which enabled Him to remember His past lives.
In the Middle Watch of the Night (Cutupapata Nana)In the middle watch of the night, He gained clairvoyance, the knowledge tounderstand the death and rebirth of living beings.
In the Last Watch of the Night (Asavakkhaya Nana)In the last watch of the night, He developed the supernormal knowledge withregard to destruction of all mental defilements and comprehending everythingas they truly are, attained Perfect Enlightenment Samma Sambodhi.
As the morning star appeared in the eastern sky, the Buddha-to-be became a Buddha, aFully-Enlightened One and was named Buddha Gotama.
THIRTY-TWO AUSPICIOUS MARKS ON THE BUDDHAS BODY
There are thirty-two auspicious body marks to distinguish a Buddha :
His feet have level tread. On the soles of His feet are wheels with a thousand spokes, complete with felloe
and hub. He has projecting heels. He has long fingers and toes. He has soft and tender hands and feet. His hands and feet are net-like. He has high-raised ankles. His legs are like an antelopes. Standing and without bending, He can touch and rub His knees with either hand. His male organs are enclosed in a sheath. His complexion is bright, the colour of gold. His skin is delicate and so smooth that no dust can adhere to His body. His body-hairs are separate, one to each pore. His bodily hairs grow upwards, each one bluish-black like collyrium, curling in rings
to the right. His body is divinely straight. He has the seven convex surfaces. The front part of His body is like a lions. There is no hollow between His shoulders.
He is proportioned like a banyan tree; the height of His body is the same as thespan of His outstretched arms.
His chest is evenly rounded. He has a perfect sense of taste. He has jaws like a lions. He has forty teeth. His teeth are even. There are no spaces between His teeth. His canine teeth are very bright. His tongue is very long. He has a Brahma-like voice like that of the karavika-bird. His eyes are deep blue. He has eyelashes like a cows. The hair between His eyes are white and soft like cotton-down and His head is like a royal turban.
SIX KINDS OF INCOMPARABLE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BUDDHA (ASADHARANA NANA)
Indriya Paro Pariyatti NanaThe Buddhas senses a