[3. Mahākassapa]

When the World-Chief had passed away1
the people, with exalted minds,
intoxicated with delight
did pūjā for the Neutral One,
the Teacher, who was the World’s Best,
Blessed One, Padumuttara. (1) [399, 400a-b]

When their religious emotion2
was born, great joy3 arose in me.
Gathering my family and friends
I spoke these words [to all of them]:
“the Great Hero has passed away;4
surely we should do a pūjā!” (2) [400c-d, 401]

They agreed saying, “Excellent!”
which made me smile even more.
“We’ll make a meritorious pyre
over the Buddha, the World-Chief.”5 (3) [402]

We made a well-made festoon work
which was one hundred hands in height,
and we raised up into the sky
a mansion fifty hands higher.6 (4) [403]

Having made that festoon work there,
decorated with rows of stripes,
bringing pleasure to [my] own mind
I worshipped that excellent shrine. (5) [404]

Like a blazing column of fire,
like a regal sal tree in bloom,
like Indra’s post up in the sky
it shined in the four directions. (6) [405]

After making [my] mind pleased there7
and doing much that was wholesome,
recalling karma from the past
I was born with the thirty [gods].8 (7) [406]

I possessed a divine chariot
yoked with one thousand [fine] horses.
That tall residence of mine [there]
was seven stories [tall] in height. (8) [407]

It had one thousand gabled cells;
all [of them were] made out of gold.
It blazed by means of its own power
lighting up every direction. (9) [408]

There were also other doorways
[all] made of rubies [at that time].
With their light they too illumined
the four directions entirely. (10) [409]

Those well-constructed gabled cells
produced by [my past] good karma9
and [all] the gemstone [doors] then shined
in ten directions on all sides. (11) [410]

When they were thus [all] shining forth
there was a massive effulgence.
I surpassed all the [other] gods;
that is the fruit of good karma. (12) [411]

Sixty thousand aeons ago
I was the king10 named Ubbiddha.
Victorious on [all] four sides
I took the earth as residence. (13) [412]

In that most auspicious aeon
for fully thirty times I was
a wheel-turning king with great strength
deriving from my own karma. (14) [413]

Possessor of the seven jewels
I‘m lord of the four continents.
And in that place my residence
was as tall as the tree of Indra.11 (15) [413-414]

It was twenty-four [leagues]12 in length,
[and] in width [it measured] twelve [leagues].
[My] city was named Rammaka;
it had strong ramparts and gateways. (16) [414-415]

It was five hundred [leagues] in length,
in width two hundred fifty [leagues].13
It was crowded with groups of men
just like the thirty-three gods’ city. (17) [415]

Like needles in a needle-case14
there were twenty [different] bazaars15
[where] they gather, one another;
[the city] was [very] crowded. (18) [416]

Of such a sort was my city,
with elephants, horses, chariots
and [very] crowded with people:
Rammaka, excellent city. (19) [417]

Having lived there and having left
I returned to the world of gods.
In this, my final existence,
I’m born in an accomplished clan.16 (20) [418]

Born into a brahmin family
I had a massive heap of gems.
Eight hundred million17 [worth of] gold18
abandoned, I went forth renouncing. (21) [419]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. [420]

Being in Best Buddha’s presence
was a very good thing for me.
The three knowledges are attained;
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! [421]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (22) [422]

Thus indeed Venerable Mahākassapa Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Mahākassapa Thera is finished.

  1. parinibbute, lit., “when he had fully gone out” “when he reached nirvana”.

  2. saṃvega.

  3. pīti.

  4. lit., “reached nirvana”

  5. the locatives allow for a double entendre, what is given, and/or: ”we will make a heap of merit with respect to the Buddha, the World-Chief.”

  6. lit., “one hundred and fifty hands high”

  7. taking the PTS alternate reading tattha for tesu, which also follows BJTS

  8. tidasaŋ, i.e., the thirty-three gods, in Tāvatiṃsa heaven

  9. puññakammābhinibbattā, lit., “produced by meritorious karma”

  10. lit., “kṣatriya”

  11. indalaṭṭhi

  12. following the cty, which understands the numbers to refer to yojanas

  13. lit “half of that,” i.e., 250

  14. following BJTS in reading cchighare and cchi for sucighare and suci (PTS).

  15. following the cty in reading āpaṇa for paṇṇu.

  16. lit., “there was an accomplished clan for me”.

  17. lit., “eighty koṭis

  18. following BJTS Sinhala gloss, which takes ’bhiraññassa as ran.