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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa
Introduction to 2.1.5: Sevitabbasuttaṃ
(What one should Associate with)
The statement of the Buddha which King Milinda quoted to Bhante Nāgasena: “ …… vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatī’ti – “…… the true Dhamma will now stand for five-hundred years” (see 2.1.1) was later modified. The commentaries mention that the duration of the sāsana got extended through the efforts of those Venerable Bhikkhus who inaugurated the First Dhammasaṃgīti to the period of five-thousand years. Burmese tradition further divides these five-thousand years into the periodical occurrences of two-thousand-five-hundred years each. (see 3.1.1).
After the demise of the Buddha it had been the Venerable Mahā Kassapa who made it his obligation to assure that the teaching, the discipline and the words of the Buddha remained in their original purity. The Venerable Mahā Kassapa had been praised by the Buddha at various situations for his equanimity, his detachment and his keeping up his practices, being entitled foremost amongst those endowed with maintaining strenuous practices seriously (Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave mama sāvakānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ dhutavadānaṃ* yadidaṃ Mahā Kassapo) and now felt it his duty to act on behalf of his Dhamma-father to maintain the purity of the teaching. He had overheard the declaration of Subaddha. Therefore Mahā Kassapa determined to select five-hundred fully matured monks for a council which was to be held in an undisturbed area situated outside Rājagaha at a new monastery built by king Ajātasattu. This Paṭhamadhammasaṃgīti, the first Council of Dhamma, was later known as the Pañcasatika, because five-hundred fully enlightened Arahants had participated in it. After necessary preceding preparation where the Bhikkhus took care to maintain different monasteries, they informed King Ajātasattu that they needed a place where during the remaining monsoon season they could perform their rehearsal. The King proceeded speedily to build their monastery similar to a splendid hall for Devas near the Vebhāra rock at the entrance of the cave Sattapaṇṇi: - sīghaṃ vebhāraselassa, passe kāresi maṇḍapaṃ; sattapaṇṇiguhādvāre, rammaṃ devasabhopamaṃ. There he erected one high seat on the southern side, for the questioner on the Dhamma, and spread out sufficient mats for the number of Bhikkhus and placed another high seat facing towards the east, worthy of the Sugata himself, where the expounder of the Vinaya and the Dhamma came to sit: - Sabbathā maṇḍayitvā taṃ, attharāpesi* tattha so; bhikkhūnaṃ gaṇanāyeva, anagghattharaṇāni ca. Nissāya dakkhiṇaṃ bhāgaṃ, uttarāmukhamuttamaṃ; therāsanaṃ supaññattaṃ, āsi tattha mahārahaṃ. Tasmiṃ maṇḍapamajjhasmiṃ, puratthamukhamuttamaṃ; dhammāsanaṃ supaññattaṃ, ahosi sugatārahaṃ. (Mahāvaṃsapāḷi)
Before the Dhammasaṅgīti could start the Venerable Ānanda, who was known for being well versed in everything concerning the Dhamma but had not reached the necessary state of liberation was requested to stir up all efforts to be able to join the Dhammasaṅgīti as an Arahant: te therā theramānanda-mānandakaramabravuṃ. Sve sannipāto ānanda, sekhena* gamanaṃ tahiṃ; na yuttante sadatthe tvaṃ, appamatto* tato bhava. Iccevaṃ codito thero, katvāna vīriyaṃ samaṃ; iriyāpathato muttaṃ, arahattamapāpuṇi.
The Venerable Ānanda then joined the meeting and sat down on his prepared seat, after he had fulfilled the necessary precondition reaching the state of Arahant while reclining (iriyāpathato: iriya + a + pathato - outside the four postures of standing, sitting, walking or lying) where the other selected Arahants were waiting for him, demonstrating his attainments: Therorahattapattiṃ so, ñāpetuṃ tehi nāgamā; kuhiṃ ānandatthero’ti, vuccamāne tu kehici. Nimmujjitvā pathaviyā, gantvā jotipathena* vā; nisīdi thero ānando, attano ṭhapitāsane. The First Council then started on the second day of the second month of the rainy season: Vassānaṃ dutiye māse, dutiye divase pana; rucire maṇḍape tasmiṃ, therā sannipatiṃsu te. (continued at 2.1.6)
Pāli lesson (with audio) 2.1.5
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*dhutavadānaṃ: following punctilious the ascetic practice attharāpesi: aor. to spread out, cover
*sekhena: for someone still in training, not an arahant
*appamatto: heedful, diligent, ardently
*nimmujjitvā pathaviyā, gantvā jotipathena: having arisen out from the earth or having gone the path of light. (Describtion to show that he has attained arahantship).
Last modified: Monday, 14 December 2015, 8:31 AM