Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ
The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[Catutthabhāṇavāraṁ]
[The Fourth Chapter for Recitation]

[31: Pukkusa-Mallaputtakathā] This section doesn't appear in the Udāna, or elsewhere as far as I can see.01
[The Story concerning Pukkusa Mallaputta]

Tena kho pana samayena Pukkuso Mallaputto Āḷārassa Kālāmassa sāvako,
Now at that time Pukkasa Mallaputta, a disciple of Āḷāra Kālāma,

Kusinārāya Pāvaṁ addhānamaggapaṭipanno hoti.
was travelling along the highway from Pāvā to Kusinārā.

Addasā kho Pukkuso Mallaputto Bhagavantaṁ aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle nisinnaṁ.
Pukkasa Mallaputta saw the Gracious One sitting at the root of a certain tree.

Disvā yena Bhagavā tenupasaṅkami,
And having seen (him) he approached the Gracious One,

upasaṅkamitvā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā, ekam-antaṁ nisīdi.
and after approaching and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ nisinno kho Pukkuso Mallaputto Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
While sitting on one side Pukkasa Mallaputta said this to the Gracious One:

“Acchariyaṁ Bhante abbhutaṁ Bhante,
“It is wonderful, reverend Sir, it is marvellous, reverend Sir,

santena vata Bhante pabbajitā vihārena viharanti.
that those who have gone forth, reverend Sir, live such a peaceful living.

Bhūtapubbaṁ Bhante Āḷāro Kālāmo addhānamaggapaṭipanno maggā okkamma,
Formerly, reverend Sir, Āḷāra Kālāma Āḷāra Kālāma had been one of the Gotama's early teachers, who taught him the attainment of the sphere of nothingness (ākiñcaññāyatana). The Bodhisatta wasn't satisfied with this though, and sought out another teacher, Udaka Rāmaputta. Nothing more is known about Āḷāra, but he was evidently an adept at absorption (jhāna), as the following story shows.02 descended from the highway he was travelling along,

avidūre aññatarasmiṁ rukkhamūle divāvihāraṁ nisīdi.
and was dwelling for the day sat not far away at the root of a certain tree.

Atha kho Bhante pañcamattāni sakaṭasatāni
Then, reverend Sir, about five hundred wagons

Āḷāraṁ Kālāmaṁ nissāya nissāya atikkamiṁsu.
passed by very close to Āḷāra Kālāma.

Atha kho Bhante aññataro puriso
Then, reverend Sir, a certain man

tassa sakaṭasatthassa piṭṭhito piṭṭhito āgacchanto
who was traveling along behind those wagons

yena Āḷāro Kālāmo tenupasaṅkami,
approached Āḷāra Kālāma,

upasaṅkamitvā Āḷāraṁ Kālāmaṁ etad-avoca:
and after approaching he said this to Āḷāra Kālāma:

‘Api Bhante pañcamattāni sakaṭasatāni atikkantāni addasā?’ ti
‘Did you not see, reverend Sir, about five hundred wagons pass by?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso addasan’-ti
‘I did not see, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante saddaṁ assosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, did you not hear the sound?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso saddaṁ assosin’-ti
‘I did not hear the sound, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante sutto ahosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, were you sleeping?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso sutto ahosin’-ti
‘I was not sleeping, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante saññī ahosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, were you conscious?’

‘Evam-āvuso.’ ti
‘Yes, friend.’

‘So tvaṁ Bhante saññī samāno jāgaro,
‘So you, reverend Sir, though conscious and awake,

pañcamattāni sakaṭasatāni nissāya nissāya atikkantāni
when about five hundred wagons passed by very close

neva addasa na pana saddaṁ assosi!
neither saw (them) nor heard a sound!

Apissu te Bhante saṅghāṭi rajena okiṇṇā!’ ti
Why, reverend Sir, even your double-robe is covered with dust!’

‘Evam-āvuso’ ti
‘Yes, friend.’

Atha kho Bhante tassa purisassa etad-ahosi:
Then this occurred to that man:

‘Acchariyaṁ vata bho abbhutaṁ vata bho,
‘Surely it is wonderful, surely it is marvellous,

santena vata bho pabbajitā vihārena viharanti.
that those who have indeed gone forth live such a peaceful living.

Yatra hi nāma saññī samāno jāgaro,
Because though conscious and awake,

pañcamattāni sakaṭasatāni nissāya nissāya atikkantāni
when about five hundred wagons passed by very close

neva dakkhiti na pana saddaṁ sossatī’ ti
he did not see (them) or hear a sound!’ Comm: neva dakkhitī ti na addasa. Yatra saddayuttattā panetaṁ anāgatavasena vuttaṁ; he did not see, he didn't see. He used the future (tense) because of the connection with yatra. However, it appears dakkhiti is also used as a present tense verb. See PED *Dassati p. 316 where examples are given.03

Āḷāre Kālāme uḷāraṁ pasādaṁ pavedetvā, pakkāmī.” ti
And having gained great confidence in Āḷāra Kālāma, he left.”

 

“Taṁ kiṁ maññasi Pukkusa,
“Now what do you think, Pukkusa,

katamaṁ nu kho dukkarataraṁ vā durabhisambhavataraṁ vā:
which is the more difficult to do or the more difficult to come by:

yo vā saññī samāno jāgaro,
that someone though conscious and awake,

pañcamattāni sakaṭasatāni nissāya nissāya atikkantāni
when about five hundred wagons passed by very close

neva passeyya na pana saddaṁ suṇeyya,
should neither see (them) nor hear a sound,

yo vā saññī samāno jāgaro Deve vassante Deve gaḷagaḷāyante
or that someone, though conscious and awake, when the Divinities rain down, when the Divinities throw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashes, and the thunder crashes forth,

neva passeyya na pana saddaṁ suṇeyyā?” ti
should neither see (it) nor hear a sound?”

“Kiṁ hi Bhante karissanti pañca vā sakaṭasatāni,
“Why, reverend Sir, what to make of five-hundred wagons,

cha vā sakaṭasatāni, satta vā sakaṭasatāni, aṭṭha vā sakaṭasatāni,
six-hundred wagons, seven-hundred wagons, eight-hundred wagons,

nava vā sakaṭasatāni, sakaṭasahassaṁ vā, sakaṭasatasahassaṁ vā?
nine-hundred wagons, one thousand wagons, or one-hundred thousand wagons?

Atha kho etad-eva dukkaratarañ-ceva durabhisambhavatarañ-ca:
This is the more difficult to do or the more difficult to come by:

yo saññī samāno jāgaro deve vassante deve gaḷagaḷāyante
that someone, though conscious and awake, when the Divinities rain down, when the Divinities throw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashes, and the thunder crashes forth,

neva passeyya na pana saddaṁ suṇeyyā.” ti
should neither see (it) nor hear a sound.”

 

“Ekam-idāhaṁ Pukkusa samayaṁ Ātumāyaṁ viharāmi Bhūsāgāre.
“One day, Pukkusa, I was living near Ātumā at the Decorated House.

Tena kho pana samayena Deve vassante Deve gaḷagaḷāyante
Now at that time the Divinities rained down, the Divinities threw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashed, and the thunder crashed forth,

avidūre Bhūsāgārassa dve kassakā bhātaro hatā cattāro ca balivaddā.
and not far away from the Decorated House two brothers who were farmers died, along with four oxen.

Atha kho Pukkusa Ātumāya mahājanakāyo nikkhamitvā,
Then, Pukkusa, a great crowd of people having departed from Ātumā,

yena te dve kassakā bhātaro hatā cattāro ca balivaddā tenupasaṅkami.
went to the place where the brothers who were farmers and the four oxen had died.

Tena kho panāhaṁ Pukkusa samayena Bhūsāgārā nikkhamitvā,
Then, Pukkusa, at that time, after leaving the Decorated House,

Bhūsāgāradvāre abbhokāse caṅkamāmi.
I was walking in the open air near the gate to the Decorated House.

Atha kho Pukkusa aññataro puriso tamhā mahājanakāyā yenāhaṁ tenupasaṅkami,
Then, Pukkusa, a certain man from that crowd approached me,

upasaṅkamitvā maṁ abhivādetvā ekam-antaṁ aṭṭhāsi.
and after approaching and worshipping me, he stood on one side.

Ekam-antaṁ ṭhitaṁ kho ahaṁ Pukkusa taṁ purisaṁ etad-avocaṁ:
While standing there, Pukkusa, I said to that man:

‘Kin-nu kho so āvuso mahājanakāyo sannipatito?’ ti
‘Why, friend, has that great crowd of people assembled?’

‘Idāni Bhante Deve vassante Deve gaḷagaḷāyante,
‘Just now, reverend Sir, the Divinities rained down, the Divinities threw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu, asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashed, and the thunder crashed forth,

dve kassakā bhātaro hatā cattāro ca balivaddā,
and two brothers who were farmers died, along with four oxen,

ettha so mahājanakāyo sannipatito.
and that great crowd of people assembled here.

Tvaṁ pana Bhante kva ahosī’ ti?
But where were you, reverend Sir?’

‘Idheva kho ahaṁ āvuso ahosin.-’ti
‘I was right here, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante addasā?’ ti BJT: na addasā ti; which would mean: did you not see (it)?04
‘But, reverend Sir, did you see (it)?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso addasan.’-ti
‘I did not see, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante saddaṁ assosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, did you hear the sound?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso saddaṁ assosin.’-ti
‘I did not hear the sound, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante sutto ahosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, were you sleeping?’

‘Na kho ahaṁ āvuso sutto ahosin.’-ti
‘I was not sleeping, friend.’

‘Kim-pana Bhante saññī ahosī?’ ti
‘But, reverend Sir, were you conscious?’

‘Evam-āvuso.’ ti
‘Yes, friend.’

‘So tvaṁ Bhante saññī samāno jāgaro Deve vassante Deve gaḷagaḷāyante
‘So, reverend Sir, though conscious and awake when the Divinities rained down, when the Divinities threw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu, asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashed, and the thunder crashed forth,

neva addasa na pana saddaṁ assosī!’ ti
you neither saw (it), nor heard a sound!’

‘Evam-āvuso.’ ti
‘Yes, friend.’

Atha kho Pukkusa tassa purisassa etad-ahosi:
Then, Pukkusa, this occurred to that man:

‘Acchariyaṁ vata bho abbhutaṁ vata bho,
‘Surely it is wonderful, surely it is marvellous,

santena vata bho pabbajitā vihārena viharanti.
that those who have indeed gone forth live such a peaceful living.

Yatra hi nāma saññī samāno jāgaro Deve vassante Deve gaḷagaḷāyante
Because though conscious and awake when the Divinities rained down, when the Divinities threw it down,

vijjutāsu niccharantīsu asaniyā phalantiyā,
and the lightning flashed, and the thunder crashed forth,

neva dakkhiti na pana saddaṁ sossatī’ ti
he did not see (it) or hear a sound!’

Mayi uḷāraṁ pasādaṁ pavedetvā,
And after gaining great confidence in me,

maṁ abhivādetvā, padakkhiṇaṁ katvā, pakkāmī.” ti
worshipping and circumamblating me, he left.”

 

Evaṁ vutte Pukkuso Mallaputto Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
After this was said, Pukkusa Mallaputta said this to the Gracious One:

“Esāhaṁ Bhante yo me Āḷāre Kālāme pasādo,
“That faith, reverend Sir, I have in Āḷāra Kālāma,

taṁ mahāvāte vā opuṇāmi, sīghasotāya vā nadiyā pavāhemi:
I clear away as with a great wind, I wash (it) away as with a fast-flowing river:

Abhikkantaṁ Bhante! Abhikkantaṁ Bhante!
Excellent, reverend Sir! Excellent, reverend Sir!

Seyyathā pi Bhante nikkujjitaṁ vā ukkujjeyya,
Just as, reverend Sir, one might set upright what has been overturned,

paṭicchannaṁ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṁ ācikkheyya,
or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost,

andhakāre vā telapajjotaṁ dhāreyya cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhinti,
or bear an oil lamp in the darkness so that one who has eyes can see forms,

evam-evaṁ Bhagavatā anekapariyāyena Dhammo pakāsito.
just so has the Teaching been made clear by the Gracious One in more than one way.

Esāhaṁ Bhante Bhagavantaṁ saraṇaṁ gacchāmi,
I go to the Gracious One, reverend Sir, for refuge,

Dhammañ-ca Bhikkhusaṅghañ-ca.
and to the Teaching, and to the Community of monks.

Upāsakaṁ maṁ Bhagavā dhāretu
Please bear it in mind, Gracious One, that I am a lay disciple

ajjatagge pāṇupetaṁ saraṇaṁ gatan.”-ti
who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I am furnished with life.”

 

Atha kho Pukkuso Mallaputto aññataraṁ purisaṁ āmantesi:
Then Pukkusa Mallaputta addressed a certain man, (saying):

“Iṅgha me tvaṁ bhaṇe siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ āharā.” ti
“Come, my man, bring me a pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear.”

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho so puriso Pukkusassa Mallaputtassa paṭissutvā,
“Very well, reverend Sir,” said that man, and after replying to Pukkusa Mallaputta,

taṁ siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ āhari.
he brought a pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear.

Atha kho Pukkuso Mallaputto
Then Pukkusa Mallaputta

taṁ siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ Bhagavato upanāmesi:
offered that pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear, to the Gracious One, (saying):

“Idaṁ Bhante siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ
* “Please accept, reverend Sir, this pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear

taṁ me Bhagavā paṭiggaṇhātu anukampaṁ upādāyā.” ti
out of compassion for me, Gracious One.”

“Tena hi Pukkusa ekena maṁ acchādehi ekena Ānandan.”-ti
“Then, Pukkusa, clothe me with one, and Ānanda with the other.” This is curious as Ānanda had made it a condition of his serving as attendant to the Buddha that he would not receive robes from him. The Commentary, quite embarrassed, has a weak explanation of the event, saying that his service to the Buddha had now come to an end.05

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho Pukkuso Mallaputto Bhagavato paṭissutvā,
“Very well, reverend Sir,” said Pukkusa Mallaputta, and after replying to the Gracious One

ekena Bhagavantaṁ acchādesi ekena āyasmantaṁ Ānandaṁ.
he clothed the Gracious One with one, and Ānanda with the other.

Atha kho Bhagavā Pukkusaṁ Mallaputtaṁ Dhammiyā kathāya sandassesi
* Then the Gracious One instructed Pukkusa Mallaputta

samādapesi samuttejesi sampahaṁsesi.
roused, enthused, and cheered (him) with a talk about the Teaching.

Atha kho Pukkuso Mallaputto,
Then Pukkusa Mallaputta,

Bhagavatā Dhammiyā kathāya sandassito samādapito samuttejito sampahaṁsito
having been instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered by the Gracious One with a talk about the Teaching,

uṭṭhāyāsanā Bhagavantaṁ abhivādetvā padakkhiṇaṁ katvā, pakkāmi.
after rising from his seat, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, departed.

 

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando acirapakkante Pukkuse Mallaputte,
Then, venerable Ānanda, not long after Pukkusa Mallaputta had departed,

taṁ siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ Bhagavato kāyaṁ upanāmesi,
offered that pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear, to the Gracious One,

taṁ Bhagavato kāyaṁ upanāmitaṁ vītaccikaṁ viya khāyati.
and when placed on the Gracious One's body they appeared to have lost their gleam.

Atha kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavantaṁ etad-avoca:
Then venerable Ānanda said this to the Gracious One:

“Acchariyaṁ Bhante abbhutaṁ Bhante
“It is wonderful, reverend Sir, it is marvellous, reverend Sir,

yāva parisuddho Bhante Tathāgatassa chavivaṇṇo pariyodāto!
how pure and clean is the Realised One's skin-colour, reverend Sir!

Idaṁ Bhante siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugamaṭṭhaṁ dhāraṇīyaṁ
This pair of polished gold-coloured (robes), ready to wear, reverend Sir,

Bhagavato kāyaṁ upanāmitaṁ vītaccikaṁ viya khāyatī!” ti
when placed on the Gracious One's body have lost their gleam!”

“Evam-etaṁ Ānanda dvīsu kho Ānanda kālesu
“Just so, Ānanda, on two occasions, Ānanda,

ativiya Tathāgatassa kāyo parisuddho hoti chavivaṇṇo pariyodāto.
the Realised One's skin-colour becomes exceedingly pure and clean.

Katamesu dvīsu?
On which two occasions?

Yañ-ca Ānanda rattiṁ Tathāgato anuttaraṁ Sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambujjhati,
That night, Ānanda, the Realised One perfectly awakens to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening,

yañ-ca Tathāgato rattiṁ anupādisesāya nibbānadhātuyā parinibbāyati.
and that night the Realised One is Finally Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining.

Imesu kho Ānanda dvīsu kālesu
On these two occasions

ativiya Tathāgatassa kāyo parisuddho hoti chavivaṇṇo pariyodāto.
the Realised One's skin-colour is exceedingly pure and clean.

Ajja kho pan' Ānanda rattiyā pacchime yāme,
Today, Ānanda, during the last watch of the night,

Kusinārāyaṁ Upavattane Mallānaṁ Sālavane,
near to Kusinārā, in the Mallas' Sal Wood at Upavattana,

antarena yamakasālānaṁ Tathāgatassa Parinibbānaṁ bhavissati.
between a pair of Sal trees will be the Realised One's Final Emancipation.

“Āyām' Ānanda yena Kakutthā nadī tenupasaṅkamissāmā.” ti
“Come Ānanda let us approach River Kakutthā.”

“Evaṁ Bhante,” ti kho āyasmā Ānando Bhagavato paccassosi.
“Very well, reverend Sir,” venerable Ānanda replied to the Gracious One.

“Siṅgīvaṇṇaṁ yugaṁ maṭṭhaṁ Pukkuso abhihārayi,
“A pair of polished gold-coloured (robes) was offered by Pukkusa,

Tena acchādito Satthā hemavaṇṇo asobhathā” ti.
Once clothed with it the Teacher's golden (skin) colour shone forth.” Comm: Siṅgīvaṇṇan-ti gāthā Saṅgītikāle ṭhapitā; gold-coloured, this verse was placed (here) at the time of the (First) Council.06