Asoka and the Missions Home Page[Requesting the Nuns and the Bodhi Tree]
[from XV. The Acceptance of the Great Monastery]
[The Great Cloud Monastery and Queen Anulā]
1-37b ≠ Mhv. 1-26b
“Hatthisālā pi sambādhā,” Mhv: sambādho.01 iti tattha samāgatā,
“The elephant stall is crowded,” said those who had assembled there,
te Nandanavane ramme, dakkhiṇadvārato bahi, 
and outside the southern gate, in the delightful Joy Grove,
Rājuyyāne ghanacchāye sītale nīlasaddale,
in the King's garden, which was well-covered, cool and grassy,
paññāpesuṁ āsanāni Therānaṁ sādarā narā. 
the people reverentially prepared seats for the Elders.
Nikkhamma dakkhiṇadvārā, Thero tattha nisīdiya, Mhv: nisīdi ca.02
Having left by the southern gate, the Elder sat down there,
Āsīvisopamaṁ suttaṁ abhāsi Dhammakovido. 
and the one skilled in Dhamma related the Simile of the Poisonous Snake. Probably SN 35. Sut. 238, although there are others that include a relevant simile. It was also taught by Majjhantika in Kasmīra-Gandhāra, see above XII v. 30.03
Tesu pāṇasahassan-tu paṭhamaṁ Phalam-ajjhaguṁ
In that place one thousand breathing beings entered into the first (Path and) Fruit I.e. they became Stream-Enterers (Sotāpanna).04
tato divasato, tattha dutiye divase pi vā 
on that day, and there on the second day also
aḍḍhateyyasahassānaṁ Dhammābhisamayo ahu.
two and a half thousand penetrated the Dhamma.
Mahākulīnā cāgamma itthiyo bahukā hi taṁ, Mhv: tahiṁ.05 
Many women from the great families came there,
vanditvāna nisīdiṁsu, uyyānaṁ pūrayantiyo.
and after worshipping, sat down, filling the garden.
Bālapaṇḍitasuttantaṁ tāsaṁ Thero adesayi, 
The Elder taught the Discourse on the Fools and the Wise, MN 129; it relates the deeds done by fools and by wise men and their respective rewards.06
sahassa-itthiyo tāsu paṭhamaṁ Phalam-ajjhaguṁ.
and one thousand of those women entered into the first (Path and) Fruit.
Evaṁ tattheva uyyāne sāyaṇhasamayo ahu, 
And so there in that garden the evening time set in,
tato Therā nikkhamiṁsu: ‘’Yāma taṁ pabbataṁ.” iti
and therefore the Elders departed, saying: “We go to the mountain.”
Vudikkhiya manussā te: “Therā nikkhamma tāvade,” 
Having seen (them going) men said: “The Elders have left straight away,”
gantvā nivedayuṁ Rañño, sīghaṁ Rājā upāgami,
and after going and informing the King, the King went quickly,
upāgammā 'bravī Theraṁ vanditvā Dharaṇīpati: 
and after going and worshipping the Elder, the Lord of the Planet said:
“Bhante, idāni sāyaṇhe dūro va pabbato ito,
“Venerable Sir, it is far from here to the mountain in the evening,
idheva Nandanuyyāne nivāso phāsuko.” iti 
live comfortably right here in the Joy Wood.”
“Purassa accāsannattā asāruppan,”-ti bhāsite,
“(It is) unsuitable, being too near to the city,” he said,
vaco sutvāna Therassa idaṁ vacanam-abravi: 
and having heard that word, he uttered this statement to the Elder:
“Mahāmeghavanuyyānaṁ nāccāsannaṁ na dūrakaṁ,
“The Great Cloud Grove is neither too near nor too far,
rammaṁ chāyūdakūpetaṁ, nivāso tattha rocatu.
delightful, endowed with shade and water, be pleased to reside there.
Nivattitabbaṁ Bhante!” ti Thero tattha nivattayi. 
You should turn back, venerable Sir!” and the Elder turned back.
Tasmiṁ nivattaṭhānamhi Kadambanadiyantike,
In that place where they turned back, on the banks of the Kadamba river, Which lay to the east of the city.07
Nivattacetiyaṁ nāma kataṁ vuccati cetiyaṁ. 
the Shrine said to be called the Turning Shrine was built.
Taṁ Nandanaṁ dakkhiṇena sayaṁ There Mhv: Theraṁ; singular.08 Rathesabho,
Mahāmeghavanuyyāne Mhv: -vanuyyānaṁ; of the Great Cloud Grove.09 Pācīnadvārakaṁ nayi. 
The Best of Charioteers led the Elders to the south of the Joy (Wood), (through) the Eastern Gate in the Great Cloud Grove.
Tattha Rājaghare ramme, mañcapīṭhāni sādhunī Mhv: sādhukaṁ.10
sādhukaṁ Mhv: sādhūni.11 santharāpetvā: ‘’Vasathettha sukhaṁ.” iti 
There, near the delightful Palace, after spreading properly good beds and chairs he said: “Dwell comfortably here.”
Rājā, There 'bhivādetvā, amaccaparivārito,
The King, after worshipping the Elders, surrounded by his ministers,
puraṁ pāvisi, Therā tu taṁ rattiṁ tattha te vasuṁ. 
entered the city, but the Elders dwelt for the night right there.
Pabhāte yeva pupphāni gahetvā, Dharaṇīpati
Having gathered flowers in the morning, the Lord of the Planet
There upecca vanditvā pūjetvā kusumehi ca, 
after approaching the Elders and worshipping (them) with the blossoms,
pucchi: “Kin?”-ti Mhv: Kacci.12 “Sukhaṁ vutthaṁ? Uyyānaṁ phāsukaṁ?” ti ca
asked: “How?” and “(Did you) live happily? (Was the) garden comfortable?”
“Sukhaṁ vutthaṁ Mahārāja uyyānaṁ yatiphāsukaṁ.” 
“(We did) live happily, Great King, the garden is comfortable for strivers.”
“Ārāmo kappako Mhv: kappate.13 Bhante Saṅghassā?” ti apucchi so.
He asked: “Is a monastery suitable for the Community, venerable Sir?”
‘’Kappate,” iti vatvāna, kappākappesu kovido 
After saying: “(It is) suitable,” the Elder skilled in what was suitable and unsuitable spoke about the receiving of the Bamboo Grove Monastery. By the Buddha from King Bimbisāra; see The Great Chapter, section 40, elsewhere on this website.14
Taṁ sutvā abhihaṭṭho so tuṭṭho āsi Mahīpati. 
Having heard (that), the Lord of the World was happy and very joyful. Not listed with this meaning in PED; here it = abhi, very, and haṭṭha, joyful.15
Therānaṁ vandanatthāya Devī pi Anulā gatā
In order to worship the Elders, Queen Anulā came
saddhiṁ pañcasatitthīhi, sutvāna Dhammadesanaṁ 
together with five-hundred women, and after listening to the Dhamma teaching
tāya cittappasādāya, dutiyaṁ Phalam-ajjhagā.
with faithful minds, they entered the second (Path and) Fruit. They became Once-Returners (Sakadāgāmī).16
Tadā sā Anulādevī ahu kāmā pabbajituṁ Irregular cadence.17 
Then Queen Anulā had a desire to go forth
saddhiṁ pañcasatitthīhi, idam-āha Mahīpatiṁ:
together with the five hundred women, and said this to the Lord of the World:
“Ajjeva pabbajissāma, sace icchasi, Bhūmipa.” 
“Today itself we will go forth, if it is your wish, Lord of the Earth.”
Sutvāna tassā vacanaṁ, Rājā Theraṁ avoca so:
Having heard her statement, the King said to the Elder:
“Bhante pi Anulādevī icchamānā pabbajituṁ Irregular cadence.18 
“Venerable Sir, Queen Anulā desires to go forth
saha pañcasatitthīhi, pabbājetha idāni vo.”
together with five hundred women, please give them the going-forth.”
“Na kappati Mahārāja pabbājetuṁ thiyo hi no. 
“It is not suitable, Great King, for us to give the going-forth to women. Mahinda says this because he believes the dual ordination is necessary, whereby a bhikkhuṇī needs to be ordained by other nuns, and then have the ceremony confirmed by the monks. This is sometimes disputed, as the Buddha never revoked the original ordination by monks only. 19
Atthi Pāṭaliputtasmiṁ bhikkhuṇī me kaniṭṭhakā,
There is in Pāṭaliputta Mentioned in Mahāparinibbānasutta (DN 16, elsewhere on this website) as Pāṭaligāma. So called because of the Trumpet Flowers (Pāṭali) that were growing there when it was founded; it is also known as Pupphapura and Kusumapura (both meaning Flower City).20 a nun who is my younger sister,
Saṅghamittā ti nāmena pākaṭā Mhv: vissutā.21 sā bahussutā, 
Saṅghamittā by name, who is famous and very learned,
Narinda Samaṇindassa Mahābodhidumindato
dakkhiṇasākham-ādāya, tathā bhikkhuṇiyo varā, 
Lord of Men, having brought the southern branch from the Great Bodhi Tree of the Lord of Ascetics, It means: a sapling, uparopa.22 and then also noble nuns,
Laṅkādīpe ExtMhv puts this and the next three lines in square brackets and refers vaguely to the Introduction in a note. I have been unable to find anything in the Introduction to explain it though.23 pure Rāja Buddhānaṁ pi sayambhunaṁ
tiṇṇannañ-ca Bodhirukkho patiṭṭhāpiya Rājino 
to the city in the Island of Laṅkā, King, (as) the Bodhi Trees of the three self-made Buddhas These are the three Buddhas preceding Gotama in this aeon: Kakusandha, Konāgamana and Kassapa; all the Buddhas have different Bodhi Trees, in their cases they were: Acacia Sirissa, Udumbara (Glamorous Fig Tree) and Nigrodha (Banyan Tree).24 were planted by the Kings
ajja pana Dumo Bodhi Gotamassa yasassino,
(so) today the Bodhi Tree The Assattha or Fig Tree (Ficus Religiosa).25 of the famous Gotama,
raṁsivissajjanākāro, patiṭṭhāpeyya Bhūmipa. 
which has a resplendent halo, should be planted, Lord of the Earth.
“Āgacchatū,” ti pesehi Rañño no Pitu santikaṁ,
Send a message into the presence of the King, our Father, saying: “Let her come,”
pabbājessati sā Therī āgatā itthiyo imā.” 
and that Elder Nun, having come, will give the going-forth to these women.”
“Sādhū!” ti vatvā gaṇhitvā Rājā bhiṅkāram-uttamaṁ:
After saying: “Well said!” and taking the noble water-jug, the King
“Mahāmeghavanuyyānaṁ dammi Saṅghass' imaṁ,” iti 
saying: “I give this Great Cloud Grove to the Community,”
Mahindatherassa kare dakkhiṇodakam-okiri. Mhv: ākiri.26
sprinkled water over the right hand of the Elder Mahinda. This is a way of making a formal donation by pouring water; it was also done this way by King Bimbisāra when he donated the Bamboo Wood.27
Mahiyā patite toye saheva vacanena sā 
As the water fell on the Earth with that statement
Vasundharā imā ceva cattārinahutādhikā,
the Earths, in excess of four myriads,
dviyojanasatā saṅkhyā, sahassabahalā pi vā 
for two hundred leagues in extent, or a thousand thick,
pavedhayitvā sāmantā, sandhārakajalantikā.
bearing waters to their edge, shook It appears that the absolutive is used in a finite sense here.28 on all sides.
Disvāna taṁ acchariyaṁ, bhīto ubbiggasaṅkito, 
Having seen that wonder, fearful, frightened and apprehensive,
“Kasmā kampati bhūmī?” ti Bhūmipālo apucchi taṁ.
the Guardian of the Earth asked: “Why does the earth tremble?”
“Mā bhāyasi, Mahārāja, Dasabalassa Sāsanaṁ 
“Do not be afraid, Great King, the Dispensation of the One of Ten Powers
ṭhassati idha, teneva Medinī 'yaṁ pakampati.
will be established here, and because of that this Earth trembles.
Vihāraṭṭhānaṁ paṭhamaṁ idaṁ ṭhānaṁ bhavissati.”
The first monastic dwelling place will be in this place.” I.e. the Mahāvihāra, or Great Monastery, which became the seat of Theravāda orthodoxy. The emphasis is changed somewhat from the Mahāvaṁsa version; there, as soon as he had given the Grove the Dispensation is said to be established; whereas here it will be established only when the monastery has been built.29
Taṁ sutvā vacanaṁ, bhīyo saddho āsi Mahīpati, 
Having heard that statement, the Lord of the World had great faith,
Therassa upanāmesi jātipupphāni gandhinī. Mhv: jātimā.30
and offered sweet-smelling jasmine flowers to the Elder.
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Asoka and the Missions Home Page[Requesting the Nuns and the Bodhi Tree]
last updated: August 2012