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Why the Buddha Suffered
[5. Pierced by a Rock]
Pañcamapañhe, silāvedho ti āhatacitto silaṁ pavijjhi.
In the fifth enquiry, (called) pierced by a rock, (we hear about how) being angry Mahāniddesa-aṭṭhakathā: āhatacittatan-ti kodhena pahatacittabhāvaṁ; āhatacittataṁ means being in a state overcome by anger.1 (Devadatta) threw a rock.
Atīte kira Bodhisatto ca kaniṭṭhabhātā ca ekapituputtā ahesuṁ.
In the past, it seems, the Buddha-to-be was the youngest brother of the children of one Father. This implies that the Father had children by more than one wife.2
Te pitu accayena, SHB, PTS add: dhane; (on account of) wealth (and the servants).3 dāse paṭicca kalahaṁ karontā
When the Father passed away, Lit: at the end of the Father.4 making a commotion on account of the servants
aññam-aññaṁ viruddhā ahesuṁ.
the (brothers) became opposed to each other.
Bodhisatto, attano balavabhāvena
The Buddha-to-be, who was himself endowed with (great) strength,
after overcoming his younger brother,
tassupari pāsāṇaṁ pavijjhesi. SHB: tassa parisā naṁ pavijjhesi; threw him (and) his company.5
threw a stone down on top of him (and killed him).
So tena kammavipākena,
Through that deed and its result,
Narakādīsu anekavassasahassāni dukkham-anubhavitvā,
after undergoing suffering in the Naraka hell and so on for countless thousands of years,
imasmiṁ pacchimattabhāve Buddho jāto.
he became a Buddha in this his last state of existence.
Devadatto Rāhulakumārassa mātulo pubbe,
Formerly Devadatta, prince Rāhula's uncle, He was Prince Siddhattha's wife's brother; he was also the Buddha's cousin, a Father's Brother's son. 6
Serivāṇijakāle Bodhisattena saddhiṁ vāṇijo ahosi.
was a merchant together with the Buddha-to-be in the time of the Seri merchant (story). The reference is to the famous Serivāṇijajātaka, Jā 3, which was the occasion for Devadatta to form an animosity for the Buddha-to-be that was to last up and till his last life. What follows is based on that story.7
Te ekaṁ Paṭṭanagāmaṁ patvā:
Having reached the Paṭṭana village Not listed in DPPN, but in the Jātaka they are said to have been in the Andha country (modern-day Andhra Pradesh).8 they said:
“Tvaṁ ekavīthiṁ gaṇhāhi, aham-pi ekavīthiṁ gaṇhāmī,” ti dve pi paviṭṭhā.
“You take one street, and I will take one street,” and they entered by two (ways).
Tesu Devadattassa paviṭṭhavīthiyaṁ
In the street by which Devadatta entered
jiṇṇaseṭṭhibhariyā ca nattā ca dve yeva ahesuṁ.
there were two (people): an elderly merchant's wife and her grand-daughter.
Tesaṁ mahantaṁ suvaṇṇathālakaṁ malaggahitaṁ
They had a large golden plate that had become stained
bhājanantare ṭhapitaṁ hoti,
that was set aside inside an earthenware vessel,
taṁ suvaṇṇathālakabhāvaṁ ajānantī,
and not knowing it was a golden plate,
“Imaṁ thālakaṁ gahetvā piḷandhanaṁ dethā” ti āha.
she said: “Take this plate, and give a trinket.” The trinket is for the grand-daughter.9
So taṁ gahetvā sūciyā lekhaṁ kaḍḍhitvā
Having taken it and scratched it with a needle
he knew it was a golden plate,
“Thokaṁ datvā gaṇhissāmī” ti cintetvā gato.
and after considering: “I will take (it later) after giving but a little”, he went away.
Atha Bodhisattaṁ dvārasamīpaṁ āgataṁ disvā:
Then after seeing the Buddha-to-be approach her door (she said):
“Nattā, Ayye, mayhaṁ SHB, PTS read: disvāna nattā: ayyo, mayhaṁ...; the grand-daughter said: Noble Sir (give) to me...10 kacchapuṭaṁ piḷandhanaṁ dethā.” ti
“Give my grand-daughter, noble Sir, a trinket (from) your basket.”
Sā taṁ pakkosāpetvā nisīdāpetvā taṁ thālakaṁ datvā:
After summoning and making him sit down, and giving him the plate, she said:
“Imaṁ gahetvā mayhaṁ nattāya kacchapuṭaṁ piḷandhanaṁ dethā.” ti
“Take this and give a trinket to my grand-daughter from your basket.”
Bodhisatto taṁ gahetvā suvaṇṇathālakabhāvaṁ ñatvā:
The Buddha-to-be, after taking it and knowing it to be a golden plate
“Tena vañcitā” ti ñatvā attano pasibbakāya,
understood: “She is deceived about it,” and from his purse,
ṭhapita-aṭṭhakahāpaṇe, avasesabhaṇḍañ-ca datvā,
after setting aside eight pennies, and giving the rest of his goods, He set aside eight pennies for his boat ride, and gave the rest of his money and goods.11
kacchapuṭaṁ piḷandhanaṁ kumārikāya
he (also) gave a trinket from his basket to the young girl
hatthe piḷandhāpetvā agamāsi.
and after ornamenting her hands, he went away.
So vāṇijo punāgantvā pucchi,
The (first) merchant having returned asked (her for the plate),
“Tāta, tvaṁ na gaṇhittha,
(but she said): “Son, I cannot give it,
mayhaṁ putto idañ-cidañ-ca datvā taṁ gahetvā gato.” ti
having given this and that to my child he took it and went away.”
So taṁ sutvā va, hadayena phalitena viya, dhāvitvā anubandhi.
Having heard that, like someone with a broken heart, he ran along (after him).
Bodhisatto nāvaṁ āruyha pakkhandi.
The Buddha-to-be had jumped onto a boat.
So: “Tiṭṭha, mā palāyi, mā palāyī!” ti vatvā,
After saying: “Stop, don't go, don't go!” But the Buddha-to-be had already gone.12
“Nibbattanibbattabhave taṁ nāsetuṁ samattho bhaveyyan!”-ti patthanaṁ akāsi.
he made a wish: “May I be able to destroy him in whatever state he re-arises!”
So patthanāvasena, anekesu jātisatasahassesu aññam-aññaṁ viheṭhetvā,
Because of that wish, after harassing one another in countless hundreds of thousands of lives,
imasmiṁ attabhāve Sakyakule nibbattitvā, SHB, PTS: nibbattetvā; causative, made to arise, which is not the case, he choose to arise.13
and arising in the Sakya family in this existence,
kamena Bhagavati sabbaññutaṁ patvā,
and after the Gracious One by and by attained omniscience,
while living near Rājagaha, The Sakyans actually went forth in Anupiya in the Malla state (see Vinaya Cullavagga VII for the story), only after that did they go to Rājagaha, around 250 kilometres away.14
Anuruddhādīhi saddhiṁ Bhagavato santikaṁ gantvā pabbajitvā,
(Devadatta), after approaching and going forth in the presence of the Gracious One together with Anuruddha and so on,
jhānalābhī hutvā, pākaṭo Bhagavantaṁ varaṁ yāci:
and attaining the absorptions, being famous, begged the Gracious One for a boon, saying:
“Bhante, sabbo Bhikkhusaṅgho piṇḍapātikādīni terasa dhutaṅgāni samādiyatu,
“Venerable Sir, let the whole of the Community of monks undertake the thirteen austerities, From the Vinaya account (Cullavagga, VII, near the end of the second bhāṇavāra) it appears that he did not ask the Buddha for the monks to undertake the thirteen austerities, but to abide by five rules: they should dwell all their lives in the forest, live entirely on alms obtained by begging, wear only robes made of discarded rags, dwell at the foot of a tree and abstain completely from fish and flesh (this last one is not part of the thirteen austerities). The Buddha refused to make these compulsory.15
sakalo Bhikkhusaṅgho mama bhāro hotū.” ti
let the whole of my Devadatta seems already to be claiming leadership of the Community.16 Community of monks bear them.”
Bhagavā na anujāni.
(But) the Gracious One didn't give permission.
Devadatto, veraṁ bandhitvā, parihīnajjhāno.
Devadatta, overcome Lit: bound with.17 with hatred, lost the absorptions.
Desiring to murder the Gracious One,
ekadivasaṁ Vebhārapabbatapāde ṭhitassa Bhagavato,
one day while the Gracious One was standing at the foot of Mt. Vebhāra, According to other accounts he was on the slopes of Vulture's Peak (Gijjhakūta).18
upari ṭhito pabbatakūṭaṁ paviddhesi.
while standing on the top of the mountain he threw (a rock).
Bhagavato ānubhāvena aparo pabbatakūṭo
Through the power of the Gracious One another mountain Which miraculously sprang up.19
taṁ patamānaṁ sampaṭicchi,
caught it as it fell,
te saṅghaṭṭanena uṭṭhitā papaṭikā āgantvā
(but) after approaching a splinter broke off and by striking him
Bhagavato pādapiṭṭhiyaṁ pahari.
gave a blow on the toes on the Gracious One's foot.
Therefore it is said:
Vemātubhātaraṁ pubbe dhanahetu haniṁ SHB, PTS: bhaṇiṁ; quarreled (with)?20 ahaṁ,
In the (distant) past I killed my half-brother In Pāḷi it is more specific: one with a different Mother but the same Father.21 for the sake of wealth,
Pakkhipiṁ giriduggasmiṁ, silāya ca apiṁsayiṁ; 
I threw him in an inaccessible mountain, and crushed him with a rock;
Tena kammavipākena Devadatto silaṁ khipi,
Through that deed and its result Devadatta threw a rock (at me),
Aṅguṭṭhaṁ piṁsayī pāde mama pāsāṇasakkharā. ti 
Which crushed the big toe on my foot with a shard which was made of stone.
The Connection with Past Deeds Home PageNext Section
last updated: February 2012