Ja 378 Darīmukhajātaka
The Story about (the Paccekabuddha) Darīmukha (6s)

In the present the monks talk about the Bodhisatta’s Great Renunication. The Buddha tells a story in which he had previously renounced a kingdom owing to the instruction of his conatal, who had become a Paccekabuddha.

The Bodhisatta = the king (of Benares) (rājā).

Keywords: Renunciation, Friendship.

“Pleasures of sense.” {3.238} This tale was told by the Teacher while dwelling in Jetavana, concerning the Great Renunciation. The incident that led to the story has been told before. [Nidānakathā p. 61-65. I give an abbreviated version of it here.]

...the future Buddha, making light of the kingdom of the world, thus within his reach – casting it away as one would saliva – left the city with great honour on the full-moon day of Āsāḷhi, when the moon was in the Uttarāsāḷha lunar mansion (i.e. on the [last day of the lunar month in] July)...

For then, they say, Devas in front of him carried sixty thousand torches, and behind him too, and on his right hand, and on his left...

Advancing in this pomp and glory, the Bodhisatta, in that one night, passed beyond three kingdoms, and arrived, at the end of thirty leagues, at the bank of the river called Anomā...

Now the Bodhisatta, stopping at the river side, asked Channa, “What is this river called?”

“Its name, my lord, is Anomā.”

“And so also our renunciation of the world shall be called Anomā (Illustrious),” said he; and signalling to his horse, by pressing it with his heel, the horse sprang over the river, five or six hundred yards in breadth, and stood on the opposite bank.

The Bodhisatta, getting down from the horse’s back, stood on the sandy beach, extending there like a sheet of silver, and said to Channa, “Good Channa, do you now go back, taking my ornaments and Kanthaka. I am going to become an ascetic.”

“But I also, my lord, will become an ascetic.”

“You cannot be allowed to renounce the world, you must go back,” he said. Three times he refused this request of Channa’s; and he delivered over to him both the ornaments and Kanthaka.

Then he thought: “These locks of mine are not suited for a mendicant. Now it is not right for any one else to cut the hair of a future Buddha, so I will cut them off myself with my sword.” Then, taking his sword in his right hand, and holding the plaited tresses, together with the diadem on them, with his left, he cut them off. So his hair was thus reduced to two inches in length, and curling from the right, it lay close to his head. It remained that length as long as he lived, and the beard the same. There was no need at all to shave either hair or beard any more.

The Bodhisatta, saying to himself, “If I am to become a Buddha, let it stand in the air; if not, let it fall to the ground;” threw the hair and diadem together as he held them towards the sky...

Again the Bodhisatta thought: “This my raiment of Benares muslin is not suitable for a mendicant.” Now the Deva Ghaṭikāra, who had formerly been his friend in the time of Kassapa, the One with Ten Powers, was led by his friendship, which had not grown old in that long interval, to think, “Today my friend is accomplishing the Great Renunciation, I will go and provide him with the requisites of a mendicant.”

273. “The three robes, and the alms bowl,
Razor, needle, and girdle,
And a water strainer – these eight
Are the wealth of the monk devout.”

Taking these eight requisites of a mendicant, he gave them to him. The Bodhisatta dressed himself in the outward signs of an Arahat, and adopted the sacred garb of Renunciation; and he enjoined upon Channa to go and, in his name, assure his parents of his safety. And Channa did homage to the Bodhisatta reverently, and departed.

In the past the Magadha king reigned in Rājagaha. The Bodhisatta was born of his chief queen, and they called him prince Brahmadatta. On the day of his birth, the family priest also had a son: his face was very beautiful, so they called him Darīmukha. “Cave-mouth”: perhaps “very beautiful” should be “very wide”. Both grew up in the king’s court dear friends together, and in the sixteenth year they went to Taxila and learned all the arts.

Then, meaning to acquire all practical usages and understand country observances, they wandered through towns, villages and all the land. So they reached Benares, and staying in a temple they went into the city next day for alms. In one of the houses in the city the people of the house had cooked rice-porridge and prepared seats to feed brahmins and give them portions. These people seeing the two youths begging, thought: “The brahmins have come,” and making them come in laid a white cloth on the Bodhisatta’s seat and a red rug on Darīmukha’s. Darīmukha observed the omen and understood that his friend should be king in Benares and himself commander of the army. They ate and took their portions, and then with a blessing left and went to the king’s garden.

The Bodhisatta lay on the royal stone-seat. Darīmukha sat stroking his feet. The king of Benares had been dead seven days. The family priest had performed funeral rites and sent out the [3.157] festal carriage for seven days as there was no heir to the throne. This ceremony of the carriage will be explained in the Mahājanakajātaka [Ja 539]. [There it is described like this: ...having decorated the city and yoked four lotus-coloured horses to the festive chariot and spread a coverlet over them and fixed the five ensigns of royalty, they surrounded them with an army of four hosts. Now musical instruments are sounded in front of a chariot which contains a rider, but behind one which contains none; so the family priest, having bid them sound the musical instruments behind, and having sprinkled the strap of the carriage and the goad with a golden ewer, bade the chariot proceed to him who has merit sufficient to rule the kingdom.]

This carriage left the city and reached the gate of the garden, {3.239} accompanied by an army of the four divisions and by the music of hundreds of instruments. Darīmukha, hearing the music, thought: “This carriage is coming for my friend, he will be king today and give me the commander’s place, but why should I be a layman? I will go away and become an ascetic,” so without a word to the Bodhisatta he went on one side and stood concealed. The ascetic stayed the carriage at the gate of the garden, and entering saw the Bodhisatta lying on the royal seat: observing the auspicious marks on his feet, he thought: “He has merit and is worthy to be king even of the four continents with two thousand islands around them, but what is his courage?” So he made all the instruments sound their loudest. The Bodhisatta woke and taking the cloth from his face he saw the multitude: then covering his face again he lay down for a little, and rising when the carriage stopped sat cross-legged on the seat. The ascetic resting on his knee said: “Lord, the kingdom falls to you.” “Why, is there no heir?” “No, lord.” “Then it is well,” and so he accepted, and they anointed him there in the garden. In his great glory he forgot Darīmukha.

He mounted the carriage and drove amid the multitude in solemn form round the city: then stopping at the palace-gate he arranged the places of the courtiers and went up to the terrace. At that instant Darīmukha seeing the garden now empty came and sat on the royal seat in the garden. A withered leaf fell before him. In it he came to see the principles of decay and death, grasped the three marks of existence, and making the earth re-echo with joy he entered on Paccekabodhi. At that instant the characteristics of a householder vanished from him, a bowl and robes created by Supernormal Powers fell from the sky and clave to his body, at once he had the eight requisites and the perfect behaviour of a centenarian monk, {3.240} and by his Supernormal Powers he flew into the air and went to the cave Nandamūla This is specially the abode of paccekabuddhas. in the Himālayas.

The Bodhisatta ruled his kingdom with righteousness, but the greatness of his glory infatuated him and for forty years he forgot Darīmukha. In the fortieth year he remembered him, and saying: “I have a friend named Darīmukha; where is he now?” he longed to see him. Thenceforth even in the harem and in the assembly he would say, “Where is my friend Darīmukha? I will give great honour to the man who tells me of his abode.” Another ten years passed while he remembered Darīmukha from time to time.

Darīmukha, though now a Paccekabuddha, after fifty years reflected and knew that his friend remembered him: and thinking: “He is now old and increased with sons and daughters, I will go and preach the Dhamma to him and ordain him,” he went by his Supernormal Powers through [3.158] the air, and lighting in the garden he sat like a golden image on the stone seat. The gardener seeing him came up and asked, “Sir, whence come you?” “From the cave Nandamūlaka.” “Who are you?” “Friend, I am Darīmukha the Pacceka.” “Sir, do you know our king?” “Yes, he was my friend in my layman days.” “Sir, the king longs to see you, I will tell him of your coming.” “Go and do so.”

He went and told the king that Darīmukha was come and sitting on the stone-seat. The king said: “So my friend is come, I shall see him,” so he mounted his carriage and with a great retinue went to the garden and saluting the Paccekabuddha with kindly greeting he sat on one side. The Paccekabuddha said: “Brahmadatta, do you rule your kingdom with righteousness, never follow evil courses or oppress the people for money, and do good deeds with generosity?” {3.241} and after kindly greeting him, he said: “Brahmadatta, you are old, it is time for you to renounce pleasures, and be ordained,” so he preached the Dhamma and spoke the first verse:

1. “Pleasures of sense are but morass and mire:
The triply-rooted terror them I call.
Vapour and dust I have proclaimed them, sire:
Having gone forth you should forsake them all.” {3.242}

Hearing this, the king explaining that he was bound by desires spoke the second verse:

2. “Infatuate, bound and deeply stained am I,
Brahmin, with pleasures: fearful they may be,
But I love life, and cannot them deny:
Good works I undertake continually.” {3.243}

Then Darīmukha, though the Bodhisatta said: “I cannot be ordained,” did not reject him and exhorted him yet again:

3. “He who rejects the counsel of his friend,
Who pities him, and would avert his doom,
Thinking this world is better, finds no end,
Foolish, of long rebirths within the womb.

4. That fearful place of punishment is his,
Full of all filth, held evil by the good:
The greedy their desires can ne’er dismiss,
The flesh imprisons all the carnal brood.” {3.244}

So Darīmukha the Paccekabuddha showing the misery rising from conception and sustenance, to show next the misery of birth spoke a verse and a half:

5. “Covered with blood and with gross foulness stained,
All mortal beings issue from the birth:
Whate’er they touch thereafter is ordained
To bring them pain and sorrow on the earth.

6a. I speak what I have seen, not what I hear
From others: I remember times of old.” [3.159] {3.245}

Now the Teacher after Fully Awakening said: “So the Paccekabuddha helped the king with good words,” and at the end spoke the remaining half-verse:

6b. “Darīmukha did to Sumedha’s If Sumedha is a proper name, this must be taken from another story: but it may mean merely “wise.” ear
Wisdom in many a verse sweet unfold.”

The Paccekabuddha, showing the misery of desires, making his words understood, said: “O king, be ordained or not, but anyhow I have told the wretchedness of desires and the blessings of ordination, be you zealous,” and so like a golden royal goose he rose in the air, and treading on clouds he reached the Nandamūlaka cave. The Great Being made on his head the salutations resplendent with the ten finger-nails put together and bowing down stood till {3.246} Darīmukha passed out of sight: then he sent for his eldest son and gave him the kingdom: and leaving desires, while a great multitude was weeping and lamenting, he went to the Himālayas and building a hut of leaves he was ordained as an ascetic: then in no long time he gained the Super Knowledges and Attainments and at his life’s end he went to Brahmā’s Realm.

The lesson ended, the Teacher declared the Truths: then many attained the First Path and the rest: and he identified the Jātaka, “At that time the king was myself.”