Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

IV. [The First Two Councils]

1. The congregation of Bhikkhus, seven hundred thousand (in number), assembled, holy men who having subdued their passions and having become pure, had all attained the summit of perfection.

2. They all, having made enquiry and determined which were the most worthy, elected by vote of the congregation five hundred Theras. [134]

3. Kassapa was the chief propounder of the Dhutaṅga precepts according to the doctrine of the Jina; Ānanda was the first of those learned (in the Suttas), wise Upāli was chief in the Vinaya –

4. Anuruddha in the (supernatural) visions, Vaṅgīsa in promptly comprehending, Puṇṇa among the preachers of the Dhamma, Kumārakassapa among the students of various tales, –

5. Kaccāna in establishing distinctions, Koṭṭhita in analytical knowledge. There were, besides, many other great Theras who were original depositaries (of Buddha’s doctrine).

6. By these and other saintly Theras who had fulfilled their duties, to the number of five hundred, was the collection of the Dhamma and of the Vinaya made; because it was collected by the Theras, it is called the doctrine of the Theras (theravāda).

7. The Bhikkhus composed the collection of Dhamma and Vinaya by consulting Upāli about the Vinaya, and by asking the (Thera) called Ānanda regarding the Dhamma.

8. Thera Mahākassapa and the great teacher Anuruddha, Thera Upāli of powerful memory, and the learned Ānanda –

9. as well as many other distinguished disciples, who had been praised by the master, who possessed analytical knowledge, firmness, the six (supernatural) faculties and the great (magical) powers, who had attained the mystic trance proceeding from self-concentration, who had completely mastered the true faith, –

10. all these five hundred Theras bore in their minds the nine-fold doctrine of the Jina, having acquired it from the best of Buddhas.

11. They who had heard and received from Bhagavat himself the whole Dhamma and Vinaya taught by the Buddha, –

12. they who knew the Dhamma, who knew the Vinaya, who all were acquainted with the Āgamas, who were unconquerable, immovable, similar to their master, ever worshipful, –

13. they who had received the perfect doctrine, first (among religions), from the first (among teachers), who were Theras and original depositaries (of the Faith), made this first collection. Hence this whole doctrine of the Theras is also called the first (or primitive) doctrine.

14. Assembled in [135] the beautiful Sattapaṇṇa cave, the five hundred Theras, the teachers, arranged the nine-fold doctrine of the Teacher.

15. The nine-fold doctrine of the Teacher (comprises) Sutta, Geyya, Veyyākaraṇa, Gāthā, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Jātaka, Abbhuta, Vedalla.

16. The Theras who arranged this true imperishable doctrine, according to Vaggas, Paññāsakas, Saṁyuttas, and Nipātas, These are the sections into which the Dīgha-, Majjhima-, Saṁyuttaka-, (Ed. note: sic) and Aṅguttara-Nikāya are divided. composed the collection of the Āgamas which is known by the name of the Suttas.

17. As long as the true doctrines remain, as long as the collection does not perish, so long – a long time – will the teaching of the Master last.

18. The immovable, firm, insubvertible earth quaked on the appearance of the Collection of the Vinaya and of the Dhamma, which is worthy of the Faith.

19. Nobody, may a Samaṇa come, or a Brāhmaṇa of great learning, skilled in disputation and hair-splitting, can subvert it; firm it stands like Sineru.

20. Neither a deity nor Māra nor Brahmā nor any earthly beings can find in it even the smallest ill spoken sentence.

21. Thus the collection of the Dhamma and of the Vinaya is complete in every part, well arranged and well protected by the omniscience of the Teacher.

22-23. And those five hundred Theras, chief among whom was Mahākassapa, as they knew the doubts of the people, composed the imperishable collection of the Vinaya and of the Dhamma, which is an incarnation of the Faith like the highest Buddha, the collection of the Dhamma.

24. The doctrine of the Theras, which is founded on true reasons, which is free from heresies, full of true meaning, and supports the true faith, will exist as long as the Faith.

25. As long as holy disciples of Buddha’s faith exist, all of them will recognize the first Council of the Dhamma.

26. The five hundred pre-eminent Theras, noble by birth (?), laid the first firm, original, fundamental base (of the Faith).

Here ends the Council of Mahākassapa.

[136] 27. Sixteen years had elapsed after the protector of the world had entered Nibbāna; it was the twenty-fourth year of Ajātasattu’s (reign), and the sixteenth of Vijaya’s; –

28. learned Upāli had just completed sixty years, (then) Dāsaka received the Upasampadā ordination from Thera Upāli.

29. The entire sacred Dhamma texts which the most excellent Buddha had set forth, the whole of the nine-fold speeches of the Jina, Upāli recited.

30. Upāli received from Buddha and (afterwards) recited the entire, complete, and whole nine-fold doctrine contained in the Suttas.

31. Buddha spoke regarding the learned Upāli in the assembly (of the Bhikkhus): “Upāli is the first chief of the Vinaya in my church.”

32. The great teacher, being thus installed in the midst of the Assembly, recited the three Piṭakas to a thousand (pupils), chief among whom was Dāsaka.

33. Upāli taught five hundred Theras whose passions had been extinguished, who were pure, holy, and speakers of truth, the (texts of the) faith.

34. After the Sambuddha had attained Parinibbāna, the great teacher Thera Upāli taught then the Vinaya full thirty years.

35. Upāli taught the clever Dāsaka the whole nine-fold doctrine of the Teacher, eighty-four thousand (divisions).

36. Dāsaka, having learned all the Piṭakas from Thera Upāli, taught it just as his teacher in the Faith (had done).

37. The great teacher (Upāli) entered Nibbāna, after having appointed his pupil, the clever Thera Dāsaka, (to be chief) of the Vinaya.

38. Prince Udaya reigned sixteen years; when Udayabhadda had completed six (years), Thera Upāli attained Nibbāna.

39. Sonaka, a respectable merchant who came from Kāsi, received the first ordination according to the doctrine of the Teacher at Giribbaja (Rājagaha) in the Veḷuvana (monastery).

40. Dāsaka, the leader of the school, dwelt at Giribbaja in the Magadha country, and in his seven and thirtieth year gave Sonaka the first ordination.

41. (When) clever Dāsaka had completed forty-five years, and Nāgadāsa had reigned ten years, and king Paṇḍu-(vāsa) twenty, then Sonaka received the Upasampadā ordination [137] from Thera Dāsaka.

42. Thera Dāsaka taught Sonaka also the nine-fold (doctrine); he, having learned it from his teacher, (again) taught it (to others).

43. Dāsaka in his turn, having made his pupil Thera Sonaka chief of the Vinaya, attained Nibbāna in his sixty-fourth year.

44. The Thera called Sonaka had just completed forty years; Kālāsoka had then reigned ten years and half a month in addition; –

45. Pakuṇḍaka was a robber during seventeen years; (of this period) eleven years and six months more had passed, –

46. when Thera Sonaka, the chief of the school, admitted Siggava and Candavajjī to the Upasampadā ordination.

47. At that time, when Bhagavat had been dead a hundred years, the Vajjiputtas of Vesālī proclaimed at Vesālī the ten indulgences: the practice of (keeping) salt in a horn is permissible; the two inch alternative is permissible; the practice of (taking food after the regular meal when going to) the village is permissible; the practice of (holding Uposatha in different) residences (within the same boundary) is permissible; the practice of (obtaining) the consent (of the Fraternity not before, but after an act) is permissible; the practice of (acting according to) example is permissible; the practice of (drinking) milk-whey is permissible; the practice of (drinking) toddy is permissible; sitting (on seats covered with clothes) without fringes is permissible; (the possession of) gold and silver is permissible.

48. When Sambuddha had entered Parinibbāna ten times ten years, the Vajjiputtas proclaimed at Vesālī these ten indulgences.

49. They proclaimed (the allowableness of) impermissible practices which all had been forbidden by the Tathāgata. Sabbakāmī, and Sāḷha, and Revata, (and) Khujjasobhita, –

50. and Yasa, Sambhūta of Sāṇa, these Theras who had formerly seen the Tathāgata, the pupils of Thera Ānanda; –

51. Sumana and Vāsabhagāmi, who had formerly seen the Tathāgata, these two most excellent pupils of Anuruddha; –

52. these (and other) Bhikkhus, seven hundred in number, came to Vesālī [138] and expressed their assent to the discipline as it had been established in the doctrine of the Buddha.

53. All these who had obtained a (supernatural) insight, who were expert in reaching meditation, who were quit of their load, and saved, assembled together.

Here ends the History of the Second Council.