[from V. The Third Recital]

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[Holding the Third Council]
627-645 = Mhv. 266-282

At that time the Master of the World sent two yakkhas and he assembled all the rest of the monks on the earth.

On the seventh day he went to his own delightful monastery and called an assembly of the entire Community of monks. With the Elder Moggali seated on one side behind a curtain, he called the schismatic monks one by one to his presence and the Lord of the World asked: “Venerable Sir, what was the Fortunate One’s doctrine?”

They explained their own view, beginning with eternalism and so on. The King then had all those holding wrong views disrobed, and those he had disrobed were sixty-thousand in all.

He also asked the monks who knew Dhamma: “What was the Fortunate One’s doctrine?” They said: “The doctrine of analysis;” Vibhajjavāda, which eventually developed into the Theravāda we know today.01 and the Lord of the Earth asked the Elder: “Did the Perfectly Awakened One teach the doctrine of analysis?” “Yes,” he said.

The King heard him say: “Yes,” and gained faith and said: “Since the Community is now purified, therefore the Community should hold the Observance, venerable Sir.” After saying this, the Lord of the Earth gave over protection of the Community to the Elder, before he re-entered his lovely city. After the Community came back into harmony, it held the Observance.

The Elder, out of the innumerable monks in the Community who were mature, had the six psychic powers, knew the Three Baskets, and had developed the analytic knowledges, chose a thousand monks to make the compilation of the True Dhamma, and they made it in the Asokārāma. I.e. Asoka’s own monastery.02

Just as the Elder Mahākassapa and the Elder Yasa At the First and Second Recital respectively.03 had made the Dhamma Recital, so did the Elder Tissa Moggaliputta Tissa.04 do likewise.

The Elder Tissa related the Objects of Controversy Kathāvatthu, now the fifth book of the Theravāda Abhidhamma collection.05 in the Recital pavilion, which crushed the disputants. With a thousand monks, and being under the protection of King Asoka, did he complete this Dhamma recital in nine months. The First Recital took one month to prepare and three months to recite; the so-called Sixth Council in Burma in 1956, in which the Tipiṭaka, the commentaries and sub-commentaries were all recited took two years to complete.06

In the seventeenth year of the King’s reign, the Seer, who was seventy-two, concluded the Recital with a Great Invitation. It is not clear if this was a special Invitation for correction at the end of the Recital, or part of the normal yearly Invitation at the conclusion of the Rains Retreat.07 While gods and men were giving their applause at the close of the Recital the great earth itself shook.

Upāli and Dāsaka, Soṇaka, Siggava and then Tissa Moggaliputta, these victorious five brought the unbroken Discipline lineage down in what is the glorious Rose-Apple Island as far as the Third Council.

Having abandoned the excellent, pleasing Brahma mansion, for the benefit of the Dispensation, he I.e. Moggaliputta Tissa.08 was one who came to this loathsome world of men, and did his duties for the Dispensation. Who then would be heedless in regard to the duties to the Dispensation?

Written for the Faith and Invigoration of Good People
The Fifth Chapter in the Great Lineage called
The Third Recital