Lord Buddha Is Called Gopala and MahaGovinda- The Wise Cowherder

Home
The Perfect Dharma
Lord Buddha Is God
The Triple Gem
Heart Sutra
The Bodhi Tree - The Tree of Wisdom
Lord Buddha Puja
Buddha Pictures
India's Glorious Kings
Golden Light Sutra
10 Perfections - 10 Jatakas
BUDDHA IS THE MAHAPURUSHA
Avalokiteshwar and Hanuman
Goddess Tara
Nibbana is Shivam
Lord Buddha is Narasimha - The Lion Amongst Men!
Lord Buddha Is Called Gopala and MahaGovinda- The Wise Cowherder
Buddha as Vishnu
Lord Buddha Is Lord Rama - Dasaratha Jataka
Kanha - Ghata Jataka
Bhagwad Gita - A Buddhist Sutra?
BuddhaTube
Buddhism and Hinduism
Buddhism and Christianity
Buddhist Hindu Calendar
Contact Me

ta-139.jpg
The Wise Cowherder helps us to cross the shore to Nirvana

Bhikkhus, it will be for their well fare and good for a long time that some will think to listen and take faith in me...Lord Buddha is none other than Gopala! (Don't forget to listen to the beautiful Bhajans)

Yes Buddha is EVERY GOD.

Buddha in Digha Nikaya also states he is MahaGovinda!

Majjhima Nikaya 34

Culagopalaka Sutta

The Minor Discourse in the Cowherd


I heard thus.

At one time the Blessed One lived in the country of the Vajjis, in Ukkacela on the bank of river Ganges. From there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus.

Bhikkhus, in the past, there was a foolish cowherd, in Magadha. At the end of the rains, in Autumn he did not reflect the hither bank, nor the thither bank and even without a ford made his herd cross the river to go to the other bank. That herd in the middle of the river got caught in a whirlpool of the stream and came to destruction. What is the reason: As the foolish cowherd of Magadha at the end of the rains, in Autumn without reflecting the hither bank or the thither bank and without a ford would make his herd cross to the other bank of river Ganges. Likewise if someone listens and takes faith in such recluses and brahmins, not clever of this world, or the other world, not clever about the domain of death, or the domain of non-death, not clever about the sphere of death, or the sphere of non- death, it would be for their undoing and unpleasantness for a long time.*1) .

Bhikkhus, in the past, there was a wise cowherd, in Magadha. At the end of the rainy months in Autumn reflecting the hither bank and the thither bank, and from a ford he made his herd cross river Ganges to the other bank. First he sent the bulls, the leaders of the herd, the forefathers of the herd, they cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Then he sent the powerful, tamed bulls, they too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Then he sent the young bulls and cows, they too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank . Then he sent the young calves and weaklings, they too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. 

It happened that even the young ones, those recently born, that had to follow the calling of the mother, cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Bhikkhus, the wise cowherd of Magadha, at the end of the Autumn rains, reflecting the hither bank and the thither bank, and from a ford made his herd cross to the other bank of river Ganges. Likewise if someone, listens and takes faith in such recluses and brahmins, clever in this world, clever in the other world, clever about the domains of death, clever about the domains of non-death, clever about the sphere of death and clever about the sphere of non-death, it would be for their well being for a long time.(*1)

Bhikkhus, the bulls, the leaders the forefathers of the herd would cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reach the other bank. Likewise the perfected bhikkhus, with desires destroyed, the holy life lived, done what should be done, put the weight down, come to the highest good, and destroyed the bindings ‘to be’ and released knowing rightfully, they too have cut the stream of death and have safely reached the other bank.. The powerful and tamed bulls, cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Likewise the bhikkhus, who have destroyed the five bindings to the sensual world, born spontaneously,(*2) would not proceed from there, would extinguish in that same birth. 

They would not fall from there, cutting the stream of death would safely reach the other shore. The young bulls and cows, would cut the stream of the Ganges, and safely reach the other bank Likewise the bhikkhus, who have destroyed the three lower fetters and lessened greed hate and delusion, would come once more to this world, to make an end of unpleasantness. They too have cut the stream of death and have safely reached the other shore.

 

ta-142.jpg

The young ones, born recently, and had to follow the calling of the mother, they too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Likewise those abiding in the Teaching through faith too cut the stream of death and safely reach the other shore.

The young calves and weaklings, too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Likewise the bhikkhus who have destroyed the three lower bonds enter the stream of the Teaching, not falling from there, are intent on extinction. 

They too have cut the stream of death and have safely reached the other shore. The young ones, born recently, and had to follow the calling of the mother, they too cut the stream of the Ganges and safely reached the other bank. Likewise those abiding in the Teaching through faith too cut the stream of death and safely reach the other shore. Bhikkhus, as for me I am clever in this world, clever in the other world, clever in the domain of death, clever in the domain of non-death, clever in the sphere of death and clever in the sphere of non-death. Bhikkhus, it will be for their well fare and good for a long time that some will think to listen and take faith in me. Then the Blessed One further said thus:

The one who knows has declared this world and the other world, 
What could be attained by death and what could not be attained by death. 
The rightfully enlightened one has realised the whole world, 
The door is open to deathlessness, to attain appeasement and nibbana
The Evil One’s stream is cut, destroyed and made useless 
Bhikkhus, you that have attained appeasement and highest good rejoice!

 

Pictures from ISKCON

krishnal.jpg

 

Mahagovinda Sutta
The Great Steward
A Past Life Of Gotama

For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma

THUS HAVE I HEARD 1
Once the Lord was staying at Rajagaha, on Vultures Peak. And when the night was nearly over, Pancasikha of the gandhabbas,2 lighting up the entire Vultures Peak with a splendid radiance,3 approached the Lord, saluted him, stood to one side and said : “Lord, I wish to report to you what I have personally seen and observed when I was in the presence of the Thirty-Three Gods.” “Tell me then, Pancasikha,” said the Lord.

“Lord, in earlier days, long ago, on the fast-day of the fifteenth at the end of the Rains the Thirty-Three Gods assembled and rejoiced that the devas hosts were growing, the asuras hosts declining (as Digha Nigha 18, verse 12). Then Sakka uttered the verse :

“The Gods of Thirty-Three rejoice, their leader too,
Praising the Tathagata, and Dhamma's truth,
Seeing new-come Devas, fair and glorious
Who've lived the holy life, now well reborn.
Outshining all the rest in fame and splendour,
The mighty Sage's pupils singled out.
Seeing this, the Thirty-Three rejoice, their leader too,
Praising the Tathagata, and Dhamma's truth.”

At this, Lord, the Thirty-Three Gods rejoiced still more, saying : “The Devas hosts are growing, the asuras hosts are declining!”

[Pancasikha continued:] “Then Sakka, seeing their satisfaction, said to the Thirty-Three Gods : “Would you like, gentlemen, to hear eight truthful statements in praise of the Lord?” and on receiving their assent, he declared :

“What do you think, my lords of the Thirty-Three? As regards the way in which the Lord has striven for the welfare of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans - we can find no teacher endowed with such qualities, whether we consider the past or the present, other than the Lord.”

“Well-proclaimed, truly, is this Lord's Teaching, visible here and now, timeless, inviting inspection, leading onward, to be realised by the wise each one for himself - and we can find no proclaimer of such an onward-leading doctrine, either in the past or in the present, other than the Lord.”

“The Lord has well explained what is right and what is wrong, what is blameworthy and what is blameless, what is to be followed and what is not to be followed, what is base and what is noble, what is foul, fair and mixed in quality. And we can find none who is a proclaimer of such things ... other than the Lord.”

“Again, the Lord has well explained to his disciples the path leading to Nibbana,4 and they coalesce, Nibbana and the path, just as the waters of the Ganges and the Yamuna coalesce and flow on together. And we can find no proclaimer of the path leading to Nibbana ... other than the Lord.”

“And the Lord has gained companions, both learners5 and those who, having lived the life, have abolished the corruptions,6 and the Lord dwells together with them, all rejoicing in the one thing. And we can find no such teacher ... other than the Lord.”

“The gifts given to the Lord are well-bestowed, his fame is well established, so much so that, I think, the Khattiyas will continue to be attached to him, yet the Lord takes his food-offering without conceit. And we can find no teacher who does this other than the Lord.”

“And the Lord acts as he speaks, and speaks as he acts. And we can find no teacher who does likewise, in every detail of doctrine other than the Lord.”

“The Lord has transcended doubt,7 passed beyond all “how” and “why,” he has accomplished his aim in regard to his goal and the supreme holy life. And we can find no teacher who has done the like, whether we consider the past or the present, other than the Lord.”

“And when Sakka had thus proclaimed these eight truthful statements in praise of the Lord, the Thirty-Three Gods were even more pleased, overjoyed and filled with delight and happiness at what they had heard in the Lord's praise.”

Read the complete sutta http://www.purifymind.com/Suttas16.htm

Then certain Gods exclaimed : "Oh, if only four fully enlightened Buddhas were to arise in the world and teach Dhamma just like the Blessed Lord! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit and happiness of devas and humans!” And some said : “Never mind four fully-enlightened Buddhas - three would suffice!” and others said : “Never mind three -two would suffice!”

At this Sakka said : “It is impossible, gentleman, it cannot happen that two fulIy-enlightened Buddhas should arise simultaneously in a single world-system. That cannot be. May this Blessed Lord continue to live long, for many years to come, free from sickness and disease! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world it would be for the benefit and happiness of Devas and humans!”

Then the Thirty-Three Gods consulted and deliberated together about the matter concerning which they had assembled in the Sudhamma Hall, and the Four Great Kings were advised and admonished on this matter as they stood by their seats unmoving:

The Kings, instructed, marked the words they spoke, standing calm, serene, beside their seats.

A great radiance was seen, heralding the approach of Brahma. All took their proper seats (as Digha Nikaya18, verses 15-17), each hoping Brahma would sit on his couch.

Then Brahma Sanankumara, having descended from his heaven, and seeing their pleasure, uttered these verses :

“The Gods of Thirty-Three rejoice, their leader too ... (as above).

Brahma Sanankumara’s voice had eight qualities (as Digha Nikaya18, verse 19).

Then the Thirty-Three Gods said to Brahma Sanankumara : “It is well, Brahma! We rejoice at what we have heard. Sakka, lord of the devas, has also declared eight truthful statements to us about the Lord, at which we also rejoice.” Then Brahma said to Sakka : “It is well, Lord of the Devas. And we too would like to hear those eight truthful statements about the Lord.” “Very well, Great Brahma,” said Sakka, and he repeated those eight statements:

“What do you think, Lord Brahma ... ?” And Brahma Sanankumara was pleased, overjoyed and filled with delight and happiness at what he had heard in the Lord's praise.

Brahma Sanankumara assumed a grosser form and appeared in the shape of Pancasikha (as Sutta 18, verse 18).8 And sitting thus cross-legged, he said to the Thirty-Three Gods : “For how long has the Blessed Lord been one of mighty wisdom?”

“Once upon a time there was a King called Disampati. His chaplain was a Brahmin called the Steward.9 The King's son was a youth called Renu, and the Steward's son was called Jotipala. Prince Renu and Jotipala, together with six other Khattiyas, formed a band of eight friends. In the course of time the Steward died, and King Disampati mourned him, saying : “Alas, at the very moment when we had entrusted all our responsibilities to the Steward, and were abandoning ourselves to the pleasures of the five senses, the Steward has passed away!”

Hearing this, Prince Renu said : “Sir, do not mourn the Steward's death overmuch! His son Jotipala10 is cleverer than his father was and has a better eye for what is advantageous. You should let Jotipala manage all the business you entrusted to his father.” “Is that so, my boy?” “'Yes, Sir.”

Then the King called a man and said : “Come here, my good man, go to the youth Jotipala,” and say : “May the Reverend Jotipala be well! King Disampati sends for you, he would like to see you.” “'Very good, Your Majesty,” said the man, and delivered the message. On receiving the message, Jotipala said : “Very good, Sir,” and went to see the King. On entering the royal presence, he exchanged courtesies with the King, then sat down to one side. The King said : “We wish the Reverend Jotipala to manage our affairs. Do not refuse. I will install you in your father's place and consecrate11 you as Steward.” “'Very good, Lord,” replied Jotipala.

So King Disampati appointed Jotipala as steward in his father's place. And once installed, Jotipala carried out the business his father had carried out, not doing any business his father had not done. He accomplished all the tasks his father had accomplished, and no others. And people said : “This Brahmin is truly a steward! Indeed he is a great steward!” And that is how the young Brahmin Jotipala came to be known as the Great Steward.

And one day the Great Steward went to the group of six nobles and said : “King Disampati is aged, decrepit, stricken with age. His life is near its end and he cannot last much longer. Who can tell how long people will live? When King Disampati dies, the king-makers12 are bound to anoint Prince Renu as King. You should go, gentlemen, to Prince Renu,” and say: “We are the beloved, dear and favoured friends of the Lord Renu, sharing his joys and his sorrows. Our Lord King Disampati is aged. When he dies, the king-makers are bound to anoint the Lord Renu as King. If the Lord Renu should gain the kingship, let him share it with us.”

“Very good, Sir,” said the six nobles, and they went to Prince Renu and spoke to him as the Great Steward had proposed. “Well, gentlemen, who, apart from myself, ought to prosper but you? If, gentlemen, I gain the kingship, I will share it with you.”

In due course King Disampati died, and the king-makers anointed Prince Renu King in his place. And having been made King, Renu abandoned himself to the pleasures of the five senses. Then the Great Steward went to the six nobles and said : “Gentlemen, now King Disampati is dead the Lord Renu, who has been anointed in his place, has abandoned himself to the pleasures of the five senses. Who knows what will come of this? The sense-pleasures are intoxicating. You should go to him,” and say: “King Disampati is dead and the Lord Renu has been anointed King. Do you remember your word, Lord?”

They did so, and the King said: “Gentlemen, I remember my word. Who is there who can divide this mighty realm of earth, so broad in the north and so [narrow] like the front of a cart13 in the south, into seven equal parts?” “'Who indeed, Lord, if not the Great Steward?”

So King Renu sent a man to the Great Steward to say : “My lord, the King sends for you.” The man went, and the Great Steward came to the King, exchanged courtesies with him, and sat down to one side. Then the King said: “My Lord Steward, go and divide this mighty realm of earth, so broad in the north and so narrow like the front of a cart in the south, into seven equal parts.” “Very good, Sir,” said the Great Steward, and he did so.

And King Renu's country was in the centre :

“Dantapura to the Kalingas, Potaka to the Assakas,
Mahissati to the Avantis, Roruka to the Soviras.
Mithila to the Videhas, Campa to the Angas goes,
Benares to the Kasi, thus did the Steward dispose.”

The six nobles were delighted with their respective gains and at the success of the plan : “What we wanted, desired, aimed at and strove for, we have got!”

Sattabhu, Brahmadatta, Vessabhu and Bharata,
Renu and two Dhataratthas, these are the seven Bharat kings.14

End Of First Recitation-Section

Then the six nobles came to the Great Steward and said : “Reverend Steward, just as you were a beloved, dear and faithful friend to King Renu, so you have been to us. Please manage our affairs for us! We trust you will not refuse.” So he administered the realms of seven anointed kings,15 and he also taught the mantras to seven distinguished Brahmins and seven hundred advanced pupils.16

In course of time good reports were spread about concerning the Great Steward : “The Great Steward can see Brahma with his own eyes, talks with him face to face and consults with him!” And he thought: “Now this good report is being spread about concerning me, that I can see Brahma with my own eyes, but it is not true. However, I have heard it said by aged and respectable Brahmins, the teachers of teachers, that anyone who withdraws into meditation for the four months of the Rains, developing the absorption on compassion, can see Brahma with his own eyes, talk with him face to face and consult with him. Suppose I were to do this!”

So the Great Steward went to King Renu and told him of the report, and of his wish to go into retreat and develop the absorption on compassion. “And nobody is to come near me except to bring me food.” “Reverend Steward, do as you think fit.”

The six nobles likewise replied: “Reverend Steward, do as you think fit.”

He went to the seven Brahmins and the seven hundred pupils and told them of his intentions, adding : “So, gentlemen, you carry on with reciting the mantras you have heard and learnt, and teach them to each other.” “Reverend Steward, do as you think fit,” they replied.

Then he went to his forty equal-ranking wives, and they said : “Reverend Steward, do as you think fit.”

So the Great Steward erected a new lodging to the east of the city and withdrew there for the four months of the Rains, developing the absorption on compassion, and nobody came near him except to bring him food. But at the end of four months he felt nothing but dissatisfaction and weariness as he thought : “I heard it said ... that anyone who withdraws into meditation for the four months of the Rains, developing the absorption on compassion, can see Brahma with his own eyes ... But I cannot see Brahma with my own eyes, and cannot talk, discuss or consult with him!”

Now Brahma Sanankumara read his thoughts and, as swiftly as a strong man might stretch out his flexed arm or flex it again, he disappeared from the Brahma world and appeared before the Great Steward. And the Great Steward felt fear and trembling, and his hair stood on end at such a sight as he had never seen before. And thus fearful, trembling, with hair standing on end, he addressed Brahma Sanankumara in these verses :

“0 splendid vision, glorious and divine,
Who are you, Lord? I fain would know your name.”

“In highest heaven I am known by all :
Brahma Sanankumara - know me thus.”

“A seat, and water for the feet, and cakes
Are fitting for a Brahma. Let the Lord
Decide what hospitality he would.” 17

“We accept the gift that's offered : now declare
What it is you wish from us - a boon
Of profit in this very life, or in the next.
Say, Lord Steward, what it is you'd have.”

Then the Great Steward thought : “Brahma Sanankumara offers me a boon. What shall I choose benefits in this life, or in that to come?” Then he thought: “I am an expert in matters of advantage in this life, and others consult me about this. Suppose I were to ask Brahma Sanankumara for something of benefit in the life to come?” And he addressed Brahma in these verses :

“I ask Brahma Sanankumara this,
Doubting, him who has no doubts I ask
(For others too I ask): By doing what
Can mortals reach the deathless Brahma world?”

“That man who spurns all possessive thoughts,
Alone, intent, compassion-filled,
Aloof from stench, free from lust -
Established thus, and training thus,
Can mortals reach the deathless Brahma world.” 18

“I understand” “Spurning possessive thoughts.” This means that one renounces one’s possessions, small or great, leaves one's relatives, few or many, and, shaving off hair and beard, goes forth from the household life into homelessness. This is how I understand “Spurning possessive thoughts.” 1 understand “Alone, intent.” That means that one goes off on one's own and chooses a lodging in the forest, at the foot of a tree, in a mountain glen, in a rocky cave, a charnel-ground, in the jungle or on a heap of grass in the open ... I understand “Compassion-filled.” That means that one dwells suffusing one quarter with a mind filled with compassion, then a second, then a third and a fourth quarter. Thus one abides suffusing the whole world, up, down and across, everywhere, all around, with a mind filled with compassion, expanded, immeasurable, free from hatred and ill-will. That is how I understand “Compassion-filled.” But the Lord's words about “Aloof from stench” I do not understand :

“What do you mean, Brahma, by “stench” among men?
Pray lighten my ignorance, 0 wise one, on this.
What hindrance causes man to stink and fester,
Heading for hell, from Brahma-realm cut off?

Anger, lying, fraud and cheating,
Avarice, pride and jealousy,
Coveting, doubt and harming others,
Greed and hate, stupor and delusion :
The loathsome stench that these give off
Heads man for hell, from Brahma-realm cut off.”

“As I understand the Lord's words about the stench, these things are not easy to overcome if one lives the household life. I will therefore go forth from the household life into the homeless state.” “Reverend Steward, do as you think fit.”

So the Great Steward went to King Renu and said : “My Lord, please appoint another minister,19 to manage your affairs. I wish to go forth from the household life into homelessness. After what Brahma has told me about the stench of the world, which cannot easily be overcome by one living the household life, I am going forth into homelessness :

“King Renu, lord of this realm, I declare,
You yourself must rule, I'll counsel you no more!”

“If anything you lack, I'll make it good,
If any hurt you, my royal arms shall guard you.
You my father, I your son, Steward, stay!”

“I lack nothing, none there is who harms me ;
No human voice I heard - at home I cannot stay.”

“Non-human” - what's he like who calls, that you
at once abandon home and all of us?

“Before I went on this retreat I thought of sacrifice,
Lighting the sacred fire, strewing kusa-grass.
But now - eternal Brahma from Brahma-realm's appeared.
I asked, he answered : I now can stay no more.”

“Reverend Steward, in your words I trust.
Such words once heard, you had no other course.
We will follow: Steward, be our Master.
Like a beryl-gem, clear, of finest water,
So purified, we'll follow in your wake.

If the Reverend Steward goes forth from the household life into homelessness, 1 will do the same. Wherever you go, we will follow.”

Then the Great Steward went to the six nobles and said to them : “My lords, please appoint another minister to manage your affairs. I wish to go forth from the household life into homelessness.” And the six nobles went aside and consulted together: “These Brahmins are greedy for money. Perhaps we can win the Great Steward round with money.” So they came back to him and said : “Sir, there is plenty of wealth in these seven kingdoms. Take as much as you like.” “'Enough, gentlemen, I have received plenty of wealth from my lords already. That is the very thing that I am renouncing in order to go forth from the household life into homelessness, as I have explained.”

Then the six nobles went aside again and consulted together : “These Brahmins are greedy for women. Perhaps we can win the Great Steward round with women.” So they came to him and said : “Sir, there are plenty of women in these seven kingdoms. Take your pick!” “Enough, gentlemen, I already have forty equal wives, and I am leaving them in order to go forth from the household life into homelessness, as I have explained.”

“If the Reverend Steward goes forth from the household life into homelessness, we will do likewise. Wherever you go, we will follow :

If you renounce those lusts that bind most men,20
Exert yourselves, be strong and patiently endure!
This is the path that's straight, the peerless path,
The path of truth, guarded by the good, to Brahma's realm.”

“And so, Lord Steward, just wait seven years, and then we too will go forth into homelessness. Wherever you go, we will follow.”

“Gentlemen, seven years is far too long, I cannot wait for seven years! Who can tell how long people will live? We have to go on into the next world, we must learn by means of wisdom,21 we must do what is right and live the holy life, for nothing that is born is immortal. Now I am going forth as I have explained.”

“Well, Reverend Steward, just wait six years, ... five years, … four years, … three years, … two years, … one year, and then we too will go forth into homelessness. Wherever you go, we will follow.”

“Gentlemen, one year is far too long ...” “Then wait seven months ...”

“Gentlemen, seven months is far too long ...” “Then wait six months, … five months, … four months, … three months, ... two months, …. one month, …. half a month …”

“Gentlemen, half a month is far too long …” “Then, Reverend Steward, just wait seven days while we make over our kingdoms to our sons and brothers. At the end of seven days we will go forth into homelessness. Wherever you go, we will follow.” “Seven is not long, gentlemen. I agree, my lords, to seven days.”

Then the Great Steward went to the seven Brahmins and their seven hundred advanced pupils, and said to them : “Now, Your Reverences, you must seek another teacher to teach you the mantras. I mean to go forth from the household life into homelessness. After what Brahma has told me about the stench of the world, which cannot be easily overcome by one living the household life, I am going forth into homelessness.” “Reverend Steward, do not do so! There is little power and profit in the homeless life, and much power and profit in the life of a Brahmin!” 22 “Do not say such things, gentlemen! Besides, who has greater power and profit than I have? I have been like a king to kings, like Brahma to the Brahmins, like a deity to householders, and I am giving all this up in order to go forth from the household life into homelessness, as I have explained.” “If the Reverend Steward goes forth from the household life into homelessness, we will do likewise. Wherever you go, we will follow.”

Then the Great Steward went to his forty equal wives and said : “Whichever of you ladies wishes to may go back to her own family and seek another husband. I mean to go forth into homelessness.” “You alone are the kinsman we could wish for, the only husband we want If the Reverend Steward goes forth into homelessness, we will do likewise. Wherever you go, we will follow.”

And so the Great Steward, at the end of the seven days, shaved off his hair and beard, donned yellow robes and went forth from the household life into homelessness. And with him went the seven anointed Khattiya kings, the seven wealthy and distinguished Brahmins with their seven hundred advanced pupils, his forty equal wives, several thousand Khattiyas, several thousand Brahmins, several thousand householders, even some harem-women.

And so, followed by this company, the Great Steward wandered through villages, towns and royal cities. And whenever he came to a village or town, he was like a king to kings, like Brahma to the Brahmins, like a deity to householders. And in those days, whenever anyone sneezed or stumbled, they used to say : “Praise be to the Great Steward! Praise be to the Minister of Seven!”

And the Great Steward dwelt suffusing one quarter with a mind filled with loving-kindness, then a second, then a third and a fourth quarter. He dwelt suffusing the whole world, up, down and across, everywhere, all around, with a mind filled with compassion, ... with a mind filled with sympathetic joy, ... with a mind filled with equanimity, ... free from hatred and ill-will. And thus he taught his disciples the way to union with the Brahma-world.

And all those who had at that time been the Great Steward's pupils and had fully mastered his teaching, were after death at the breaking-up of the body reborn in a happy sphere, in the Brahma-world. And those who had not fully mastered his teaching were reborn either among the Paranimmita-Vasavatti devas, among the Nimmanarati devas, among the Tusita devas, among the Yama devas, among the devas of the Thirty-Three Gods, or among the devas of the Four Great Kings. And the very lowest realm that any of them attained was that of the gandhabbas. Thus the going-forth of all those people was not fruitless or barren, but productive of fruit and profit.

“Do you remember this, Lord?” “I do, Pancasikha. At that time I was the Brahmin, the Great Steward, and I taught those disciples the path to union with the Brahma-world.”

“However, Pancasikha, that holy life does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to super-knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana, but only to birth in the Brahma-world, whereas my holy life leads unfailingly to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to super-knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is the Noble Eightfold Path, namely Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.”

“And, Pancasikha, those of my disciples who have fully mastered my teaching have by their own super-knowledge realised, by the destruction of the corruptions in this very life, the uncorrupted freedom of heart and mind. And of those who have not fully mastered it, some by the destruction of the five lower fetters will be reborn spontaneously, attaining thence to Nibbana without returning to this world; some by the destruction of three fetters and the reduction of greed, hatred and delusion will become Once-Returners, who will return once more to this world before making an end of suffering; and some by the destruction of three fetters will become Stream-Winners, incapable of falling into states of woe, assured of enlightenment. Thus the going-forth of all these people was not fruitless or barren, but productive of fruit and profit.”

Thus the Lord spoke, and Pancasikha of the gandhabbas was delighted and rejoiced at the Lord's words. And, having saluted him, he passed him by on the right and vanished from the spot.

Enter supporting content here