Kaccchchāna Chapter, the Fifty-Fourth

[528. {531.}1 Mahākaccchchāna2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
Lust-less,3 Unconquered Vanquisher,4
the Leader came into being,
one hundred thousand aeons hence. (1) [5663]

The Hero, with Lotus-Leaf Eyes,5
with a Mouth as Pure as the Moon,6
Shining like a Mountain of Gold,7
Bright as the Sun when it’s Blazing,8 (2) [5664]

Transporting Beings’ Eyes [and] Minds,9
Adorned with the Excellent Marks,10
Traveled the Roads of All Sayings,11
Honored by People and the Gods,12 (3) [5665]

Sambuddha, waking beings up,13
Eloquent One,14 Sweet-Sounding One,15
Compassion’s Continuous Nest,16
Confident among Multitudes,
is preaching the sweet Teaching [there],
taking up the Four Noble Truths.17
He is lifting up those with breath,
when they’re sunk in delusion’s muck. (4-5) [5666-5667]

Being an ascetic, alone,
[my] home was Himalaya then.
I saw the Victor, traveling18
the world of humans through the sky. (6) [5668]

Having gone into his presence,
I [then] heard [him] preaching Dhamma
[and] praising the great virtue of
one of that Hero’s followers: (7) [5669]

“Whereby19 this [monk] Kaccchchāyana20
provides lengthy21 explanations
of what’s been said by me22 in brief,
he gladdens multitudes, and me.
I see no other follower
[or] anyone [preaching] this way.
Thus he’s top, in that foremost place;23
so should you consider24 [him], monks.” (8-9) [5670-5671]

At that time, being astonished,
having heard that lovely speaking,
going to the Himalayas,
bringing back a heap of flowers,
having worshipped25 the World’s-Refuge,26
I aspired [to attain] that place.
At that time, discerning my wish,
the Refuge-less One27 prophesied: (10-11) [5672-5673]

“All of you, look at this great sage,28
skin the color of polished gold,
hair growing upward, broad-shouldered,29
standing steadfast,30 hands together,31
with eyes which are full of laughter,
at home in praising the Buddha,32
grasping the Teaching superbly,33
resembling sprinkled ambrosia.34 (12-13) [5673-5674]35

Hearing [of] Kaccchchāna’s virtue,
he stands [there] wishing for that place.
When very far in the future,
the Sage So Great is Gotama,
Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
[this one] will be that Teacher’s follower;
his name will be Kaccchchāna [then]. (14-15) [5675-5676]

Very learned, with great knowledge,
clever at conclusions,36 a sage,
he will attain that [wished-for] place,
as this has been foretold37 by me.” (16) [5677]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I did that karma back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (17) [5678]

I transmigrate in [just] two states:
that of a god, or of a man.
I don’t go to other rebirths:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (18) [5679]

[When human] I‘m born in two clans:
the kṣatriyan or the brahmin.
I don’t get born in lesser clans:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (19) [5680]

Now, in [my] final existence,
I was born in Ujjain city,38
sharp, a master of the Vedas,
the son of Tiriṭivacchcha,39
who was the brahmin counsellor40
of the [king], Pajjota CChaṇḍa;41
my mother’s CChandapaduma;42
[I’m] Kaccchchāna, with superb skin. (20-21) [5681-5682]

Dispatched by the earth’s protector43
to [go and] invite the Buddha,
having seen the Heap of Virtue,
Leader, Door to Freedom City,44
and having heard his flawless speech
which cleanses the muck of rebirth,
I attained deathless peacefulness,
with five hundred [associates]. (22-23) [5683-5684]

Clever at conclusions by birth,
very wealthy and good-looking,
I was placed in that foremost place
of the Well-Gone-One, the Wise One.45 (24) [5685]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (25) [5686]

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! (26) [5687]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (27) [5688]

Thus indeed Venerable Mahākaccchchāna Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Mahākaccchchāna Thera is finished.

  1. Apadāna numbers provided in {fancy brackets} correspond to the BJTS edition, which contains more individual poems than does the PTS edition dictating the main numbering of this translation.

  2. “The Great Golden One” = Kaccchchāyana, a historical monk, one of the chief followers of the Buddha. See DPPN II: 468ff. Cf. also #33, above, another apadāna with varying details which is ascribed to this famous monk.

  3. anejo

  4. ajitañjayo

  5. kamalapattakkho

  6. sasaṅkavimalānano

  7. kanakācchalasaṅkāso, following BJTS Sinhala gloss kanakaparvatayak men babalannā

  8. reading ravi-ditti-samappabho with BJTS for PTS ravidittihiruppabho (“with Sunlight like the Sun when it’s Blazing”)

  9. sattanettamanohārī

  10. varalakkhaṇabhūsito

  11. sabbavākyapathātīto, lit., “he for whom the roads of all sayings are in the past”

  12. manujāmarasakkato

  13. bodhayan satte

  14. vāgīso

  15. madhurassaro

  16. karuṇāniḍḍhasantāno. BJTS reads karuṇānibaddhasantāno (“Continuously Fixed on [stable, bound down to] Compassion”), and notes alt. reading °nibandha for niḍḍha, as does PTS; BJTS Sinh.gloss karuṇāven bändunu sit attā vū (“being one whose mind/heart is bound to compassion”). However, the extra syllable in these readings breaks the meter, and PTS alts. also include other attempts at making sense of niḍḍha (or niddha ?) in the received Pāli. Niḍḍha (nest, seat, abode, from ni + sad, “seat”) not only works best in terms of meter, it also brings out a bird-related reading of the entire birth, likening the Buddha to a song-bird.

  17. cchatusaccchchupasaṅhitaŋ

  18. lit., “going”

  19. yathā, “just as” “to the extent that” “in the way that”

  20. i.e., the Kaccchchāyana who was a chief follower of Padumuttara Buddha’s, after whom the (present protagonist) Kaccchchāyana models himself during a previous life.

  21. lit., “spread out” “having length”

  22. i.e., Padumuttara Buddha, the speaker of this verse

  23. tadagge es’ aggo, lit., “he’s top in the top point [of the category, “explains the Teaching at length”]

  24. dhāretha, lit., “carry” “recall” “remember” “regard”

  25. lit., “done pūjā

  26. lokasaraṇaŋ

  27. saraṇañjaho, he by whom refuge is abandoned, playing on the epithet “World-Refuge” in the first foot: the Buddha is the refuge for others, but has (relies on, needs) no refuge himself.

  28. isivaraŋ, lit., “excellent sage”

  29. lit., “fat-shoulders”. BJTS reads pīṇ° but understands the adjective in the same way: “having shoulders whihc are full (covered with meat)

  30. acchalaŋ

  31. that is, doing añjali, “hands pressed together”

  32. Buddhavaṇṇagatāsayaŋ

  33. dhammapaṭiggahavaraŋ, “with an excellent grasp of the Dhamma

  34. amatāsittasannibhaŋ

  35. here BJTS uses [5673] to number two verses

  36. adhippāyavidū

  37. or “prophesied,” vyākato

  38. ujjeniye pure

  39. BJTS reads tiriṭavacchchassa

  40. purohitadijā°

  41. “Fierce Luster.” BJTS Sinh. gloss Sanskritizes the name as “CChaṇḍapradyota”

  42. “Sandalwood [and] Pink Lotus”

  43. bhūmipālena, “by the king”

  44. mokkha-pura-dvāraŋ

  45. mahāmate (fr. mahāmati)