Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

XIV. [Mahāvihāra and the Cetiyapabbata]

1. Having heard the speech of the Thera, the king was still more delighted. Not accepting the Campaka flowers (offered to him by the gardener), he presented them to the Thera.

2. The Thera threw down the Campaka flowers on the ground; then the earth quaked again; this was the eighth earthquake.

3. Witnessing this miracle, the royal retinue and the people of the kingdom shouted and waved their garments.

4. (The king asked:) “What is the reason, o great hero, of the eighth earthquake? Explain it, o great sage, we listen to your speech.”

5-6. “The relics of Tathāgata’s body consist of eight Doṇa-measures, men possessed of magical power will convey hither one Doṇa, o great king, and deposit it at this very spot, and erect (here) a resplendent Thūpa which will be the means whereby hearts will be touched and many people will be converted.”

7. The whole crowd that had assembled, the royal retinue and the people of the kingdom shouted at the quaking of the great earth.

8. (The Thera) resided (during the next night) in the Tissārāma, and when the night had passed, he put on [180] his under garment and wrapped himself in his robe; –

9. then he took his alms-bowl and entered the town, the capital. Going about in quest of alms he came to the gate of the palace.

10. He entered the royal palace and sat down on a seat; there he took his meal and cleansed the bowl with his hand.

11-12. Having finished his meal and gladdened (the king by preaching the Dhamma), he left the palace and the town by the southern gate. He then preached in the Nandana garden the most excellent Aggikkhandha Suttanta. Ed. note: AN 7.72. There one thousand men attained sanctification.

13. Having preached the true Faith and having delivered many created beings (from their sinful condition), the Thera rose from his seat and resided again (during the next night) in the Tissārāma.

14. Having resided there during the night, when the night had passed, he put on his under garment and wrapped himself in his robe; –

15. then be took his alms-bowl and entered the town, the capital. Going about in quest of alms he came to the gate of the palace.

16. He entered the royal palace and sat down on a seat; there be took his meal and cleansed his bowl with his hand.

17-18. Having finished his meal and gladdened (the king by preaching the Dhamma), he left the town, the capital. When he had rested at noon in the most excellent Nandana garden, he preached there the beautiful Suttanta of the Āsivisa parable. Ed. note: AN 4.110. At the end (of this sermon) one thousand men attained sanctification; (this was) the fifth case of the attainment of sanctification (which occurred in Laṅkā).

19. Having preached the true Faith and awakened created beings, be rose from his seat and went to the Tissārāma.

20. The king was greatly delighted at the eight-fold (?) earthquake; glad, rejoicing and satisfied the king thus addressed the Theras:

21. “The monastery has been firmly established, an excellent resting-place for the Fraternity. (Your) Abhiññāpādaka meditation, Ed. note: It rather means, with the abhiññā as a basis… venerable Sir, (has caused) this great earthquake.”

22. (The Thera replied:) “By this alone, o king, the rest-house for the Fraternity has not yet been firmly established; the Tathāgata [181] has instituted (the ceremony) called the determination of boundaries.

23-24. Having defined on all sides by the eight classes of landmarks the boundaries within which all Bhikkhus are considered as one section, and (having decreed about) not parting with the three robes, See the rules about the definition of boundaries and about the “ticivarena avipavāsa”, Mahāvagga, II, 6-12. all the sections (of the Fraternity) assemble and vote on their affairs. A place enclosed by boundaries which have been fixed in that way, is called one community. (Then) the monastery is well established, and the rest-house duly founded.”

25. (The king answered:) “My sons and wives together with my ministers and my retinue, all have become your lay pupils and have taken for all their life their refuge (in the Faith).

26. I ask you, great hero, do what I say; let the whole multitude (of the town’s people) reside on the ground included by the boundaries.

27. Here always they will find a defence through the protecting power (?) of charity and compassion.” (Mahinda said:) “Determine you the limits, o king, as you like; –

28. the limit being given, the Fraternity will settle the boundaries.” Mahāpaduma and Kuñjara, the two state-elephants, –

29. were first harnessed to a golden plough in Koṭṭhamālaka. The great army consisting of four hosts (proceeded), and together with the Theras the king, –

30. the destroyer of his enemies, made a furrow with the golden plough. (During this progress there were seen) adorned full vases, beautiful flags of different colours, –

31. triumphal arches decorated with various flowers and flags, garlands (?), and many burning lights (?). (Thus the king) ploughed with the golden plough.

32. For the sake of the conversion of many people, the prince together with the Theras, turning his right hand towards the city, walked around it and came to the bank of the river.

33. Drawing (?) the furrow which indicated the line of the great boundary, on the ground with the golden plough, he then (?) arrived (again) at Koṭṭhamālaka.

34. The two ends of the furrow having been united in the presence of [182] a great crowd, the earth quaked; this was the first earthquake.

35. Witnessing that miracle, the whole royal retinue together with the people of the kingdom joyfully said to each other: “There will be a monastery within the boundary.”

36. The ruler Devānampiya indicated to the Theras how far they had fixed the marks of the boundary line, of the enclosure, (and spoke thus:)

37-38. “As the preparatory ceremonies for fixing the boundary and the enclosure have been performed, may the Thera now out of compassion for me settle the limits, in order to establish firmly the Vihāra which will be suitable for the Fraternity of Bhikkhus.” Having heard what the king said, Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, –

39. thus addressed the fraternity of Bhikkhus: “O Bhikkhus, let us fix the boundary.” Under the constellation of Uttarāsāḷhā the whole Fraternity assembled.

40. Having determined the extent of the sacred enclosure, (Mahinda) who was gifted with (supernatural) vision, fixed the boundary within which the Bhikkhus were to be considered as one section. Having firmly established the most excellent Tissārāma monastery, –

41. he resided (during the next night) in the Tissārāma, and when the night had passed, he put on his under garment and wrapped himself in his robe; –

42. then he took his alms-bowl and entered the town, the capital. Going about in quest of alms, he came to the gate of the palace.

43. He entered the royal palace and sat down on a seat; there he took his meal and cleansed the bowl with his hand.

44. Having finished his meal and gladdened the king (by preaching the Dhamma), he left the town, the capital. When he had rested at noon in the Nandana pleasure garden, –

45. he then preached the Āsivisūpama Suttanta, the Anamataggiya Sutta, and the incomparable Cariyā Piṭaka; Āsivisūpama = AN 4.110; Anamataggiya Sutta is presumably Anamataggasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 15; Cariyā Piṭaka is the final book in Khuddaka Nikāya.

46. he also repeatedly propounded the Gomayapiṇḍaovāda and the Dhammacakkappavattana SN 22.96 & SN 56.11. in that same place, in the Mahānandana garden.

47-48. These Suttantas he preached during (those) seven days, and (in this time) Thera Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, delivered eight thousand and five [183] hundred people from the fetters (of sin). Having resided in the Tissārāma together with his companions something less then a month, –

49. he thus addressed all the towns-men on the full-moon day of Āsāḷhā, when the time of Vassa had approached: “The time of Vassa is near.”

Here ends the acceptance of the Mahāvihāra.

50. Having arranged his sleeping-place, Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, took his alms-bowl and his robe, and left the Tissārāma.

51. He put on his under garment and wrapped himself in his robe; then he took his alms-bowl and entered the town, the capital.

52. Going about in quest of alms, he came to the gate of the palace. He entered the royal palace, and (there the Theras) sat down on the becoming seats.

53. There (Mahinda) took his meal and cleansed the bowl with his hand; (then) he preached the Mahāsamaya Suttanta DN 20. in order to exhort (the king).

54. Having exhorted the king, Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, rose from his seat and departed without taking leave.

55. The great teacher left the town by the eastern gate, and sending back all people he proceeded to the (Missaka) mountain.

56. The ministers were filled with anxiousness, and announced to the king: “All the great Theras, Sire, have gone to the Missaka mountain.”

57. The king, frightened at this news, ordered the horses quickly to be put to the chariot. The prince taking the queens with him, quickly ascended the chariot.

58. Thera Mahinda together with his companions had proceeded to the foot of the mountain. There was a lake called Nāgacatukka, situated amidst the rocks; after bathing at that place and drinking (the water of that lake), he ascended the summit of the mountain.

59. The prince who profusely perspired in consequence of his great haste, saw from afar the Thera, standing on the summit of the mountain.

60. Leaving the queens in the chariot, the prince descended from the chariot, approached the Theras, saluted, and addressed them thus:

61. “Why, great hero, have you left the delightful kingdom, myself, and the [184] people, and retired to this mountain?”

62. (Mahinda replied:) “Here we shall spend three full months, the Vassa which Tathāgata has allowed to begin earlier or later”. See Mahāvagga, III, 2, 2.

63. (The king replied:) “I do everything that is required for the comfort of the Bhikkhu fraternity; have compassion on me, and instruct me.”

64. “The Bhikkhus have been permitted by Buddha to begin the Vassa in a village as well as in the forest, (provided they) dwell in a room with shut doors.”

65. “I have understood what you have said, the whole sense with its reasons; this very day I shall erect a residence suitable for the Vassa.”

66. The illustrious monarch who had reached the full perfection attainable by a layman, looked out (for a place), and dedicated (it) to the Theras, (saying:) “Reside here out of compassion; –

67. well, venerable Thera, take possession of these rock-cut cells (and of this) Ārāma. In order to establish firmly the Vihāra, fix the boundary, great Sage.”

68-69. The son of the king’s sister, renowned by the name of Mahāriṭṭha, and also fifty-five illustrious noblemen approached the king, saluted him, and said: “We all desire to receive the Pabbajjā ordination from that man endowed with highest wisdom; –

70-71. we will embrace a life of holiness; give us your consent, Sire.” Hearing what they all had said, the delighted king, the ruler of the earth, approached the Theras, and thus addressed (Mahinda); “(There are) fifty-five chiefs with Mahāriṭṭha at their head; confer on them personally the Pabbajjā ordination, great hero; I give my consent.”

72. Hearing the king’s speech, Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, thus addressed the Bhikkhu fraternity: “Let us fix the boundary, o Bhikkhus.”

73. (The Theras), in order to establish firmly the Vihāra, consecrated the boundary within which all bhikkhus were to be considered as one section, and the enclosure (?), and proclaimed the decree about not parting with the three robes.

74. Having fixed the [185] inner and the outer boundary at the Tumba enclosure, Mahinda, the enlightener of the island, proclaimed the (extent of) the great boundary.

75. The (Thera) who was gifted with (supernatural) vision, consecrated the whole enclosure and the boundary, and firmly established the second monastery which was situated on the Tissapabbata.

76. After having consecrated the boundary on the mountain precisely on the full-moon day of the mouth Āsāḷhā, on the Uposatha day, under the constellation of Uttarāsāḷha, –

77. he conferred the Pabbajjā ordination on Mahāriṭṭha who was the first person (who received it) in this second enclosure; at the same time he conferred the Upasampadā ordination on this prince who belonged to the royal family of Tambapaṇṇi.

78. At the same time (those) fifty-five (other noblemen received) the Pabbajjā and Upasampadā ordinations. In the first Ārāma thirty-two consecrated enclosures were established; –

79. thirty-two in the second Ārāma, in the monastery of the Tissa mountain. The other small Ārāmas contained one enclosure each.

80. The Ārāma and the monastery being founded on that most excellent mountain, sixty-two persons, who were all Arahats, entered on the Vassa residence; this was the first time (that this event occurred in Laṅkā).

Here ends the acceptance of the Cetiya mountain.