Dīpavaṁsa
[The Chronicle of the Island]

VII. The Council of the True Faith

1. Mahāsamāgamo hoti Jambudīpasamantato,
bhikkhū asīti koṭiyo bhikkhunī channavuti sahassiyo,
bhikkhū ca bhikkhuniyo ca chaḷabhiññā bahūtarā. |

1. There was a great assemblage from all parts of Jambudīpa, eighty koṭis of Bhikkhus, ninety-six thousand Bhikkhunis, the greater part of the Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis possessing the six (supernatural) faculties.

2. bhikkhū iddhānubhāvena samaṁ katvā mahītalaṁ
lokavivaraṇaṁ katvā dassesuṁ pūjiye mahe. |

2. The Bhikkhus, by the greatness of their magical power levelling the surface of the earth, producing (the miracle called) the world-show, made visible the (84000 consecration-) festivals, worthy of veneration.

3. Asokārāme ṭhito rājā Jambudīpaṁ avekkhati,
bhikkhuiddhānubhāvena Asoko sabbattha passati. |
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3. The king standing on [155] the Asokārāma, looked over (the whole of) Jambudīpa; by the Bhikkhus’ magical power Asoka saw everything.

4. addasa vihāraṁ sabbaṁ sabbattha mahiyaṁ kataṁ
dhajaṁ ubhopiyaṁ pupphaṁ toraṇañ ca mālagghiyaṁ sabbattha mahiyā kataṁ A, s° mahiyaṁ k° B, s° mahi[ya]laṁgataṁ (ya is crossed [out?]), s° mahilaṁkataṁ N, sabbatthāpi mahītalaṁ Z. – dhajaṁ ussāpitaṁ? |

4. He saw all the Vihāras built all over the earth, the raised (?) flags, the flowers and arches and garlands, –

5. kadalī puṇṇaghaṭañ c’ eva nānāpupphasamohitaṁ,
addasa dīpamaṇḍalaṁ vibhūsan taṁ catuddisaṁ. °samāhitaṁ A. |

5. the plantains, the filled jars adorned with various flowers; he saw the whole extent of the great continent, the pomp all over the four quarters.

6. pamodito haṭṭhamano pekkhanto vattate mahe
samāgate bhikkhusaṅghe bhikkhunī ca samāgate ca samāgatā? |

7. mahādānañ ca paññattaṁ dīyamāne vanibbake
caturāsītisahassāni vihāre disvāna pūjite |

6-7. Delighted, glad, looking at the festivals which were being celebrated, at the assembled fraternities of Bhikkhus and the assembled Bhikkhunis and the beggars receiving rich alms which were prepared for them, seeing all the eighty-four thousand Vihāras, which were honoured (by festivals of consecration), –

8. Asoko ’pi attamano bhikkhusaṅghaṁ pavedayi:
ahañ ca bhante dāyādo satthu buddhassa sāsane. |

8. Asoka joyfully made known to the fraternity of Bhikkhus: “I am, venerable Sirs, a relative of the religion of the teacher Buddha.

9. bahu mayhaṁ pariccāgo sāsane sāravādino; sāravādino A B G2, ravādino G1, gārav° Z, varav° N. gāravā dino (= dinno)? |

9. Great liberality has been shown by me out of reverence (?) for the Fraternity.

10. channavutikoṭiyo ca vissajjetvā mahādhanaṁ
caturāsītisahassāni ārāmā kāritā mayā |

11. pūjāya dhammakkhandhassa buddhaseṭṭhassa desite;
cattāri satasahassāni devasikaṁ pavattayi, pavattayiṁ. |

10-11. By expending ninety-six koṭis, a great treasure, eighty-four thousand monasteries have been erected by me in honour of the (84000) sections of the Truth taught by the most excellent Buddha. 1 have daily made offerings of four lacs: –

12. ekañ ca cetiyaṁ pūjaṁ ekaṁ Nigrodhasavhayaṁ
ekañ ca dhammakathikānaṁ ekaṁ gilānapaccayaṁ;
dīyati devasikaṁ niccaṁ Mahāgaṅgā va odanaṁ. cetiyapūjaṁ A B G2. |

12. one Cetiya offering, one to the (Bhikkhu) called Nigrodha, one to the preachers of the Religion, one for the requirements of the sick; boiled rice is distributed constantly every day, just as the Mahāgaṅgā (gives her water).

13. añño koci pariccāgo bhiyyo mayhaṁ na vijjati,
saddhā mayhaṁ daḷhatarā, tasmā dāyādo sāsane. |

13. I cannot find any other greater act of liberality. My faith is most firm; I am, therefore, a relation Ed. note: dāyāda, it more correctly means: one who inherits, or benefits from, (the Faith). of the Faith.”

14. sutvāna vacanaṁ rañño Asokadhammassa bhāsitaṁ
paṇḍito sutasampanno nipuṇatthavinicchayo |

15. saṅghassa tesu vihāraṁ anuggahatthāya sāsanaṁ
anāgate ca addhāne pavattiṁ sutvā vicakkhaṇo saṅghassa thero suvihāro A B G2, saṅghassa theraṁ tasuvihāraṁ G1, [saṅghassa] tesu [vihāraṁ] N, saṅghassa tāni vihāraṁ Z. saṅghassa phāsuvihāraṁ? As to the construction, comp. vv. 55. 57. – Instead of “sutvā” I should prefer “ñatvā”, which looks very similar in Burmese characters. |

16. byākāsi Moggaliputto Asokadhammapucchitaṁ:
paccayadāyako nāma sāsane paribāhiro, |

14-16. After having heard the word spoken by king Asokadhamma, learned Moggaliputta who was well versed in the Scriptures, a clever decider of cases, answered the question of Asokadhamma, in order to secure a comfortable existence to the Fraternity, for the sake of the propagation of the Doctrine, and because he, the wise one, had learnt the future destiny (of the Faith): “The donor of the requisites (for the Bhikkhus) remains a stranger to the Faith, –

17. yassa puttaṁ vā dhītaraṁ vā urasmiñ jātam anvayaṁ
pabbājesi cajetvāna so ve dāyādo sāsane. pabbājeti Z. – dāyādasāsane N G1. – yo saputtaṁ vā … pabbājesi cajitvāna? As to the preterite tense “pabbājesi”, comp. Mahāvaṁsa, p. 36, 1, 7, and the Thūpavaṁsa: “paccayadāyako nāma tvaṁ mahārāja, yo pana attano puttañ ca dhītarañ ca pabbājesi ayaṁ sāsanassa dāyādo nāmā ’ti.” |
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17. but that man who gives up his son or daughter, the issue of his body, and causes them to receive the Pabbajjā ordination, becomes really a relation of the Faith.”

18. sutvāna vacanaṁ rājā Asokadhammo mahīpati
Mahindakumāraṁ puttaṁ Saṅghamittañ ca dhītaraṁ |

19. ubho amantayi rājā: dāyādo homi sāsane.
sutvāna pituno vākyaṁ ubho puttādhivāsayuṁ: |

18-19. King [156] Asokadhamma, the ruler of the earth, having heard this speech, addressed both prince Mahinda, his son, and his daughter Saṅghamittā: “I presently shall be a relation of the Faith.” Both children hearing what their father had said, agreed, (saying:) –

20. suṭṭhu deva sampaṭicchāma karoma vacanaṁ tava,
pabbājehi ca no khippaṁ, dāyādo hohi sāsane. paṭicchāma Y. |

20. “Well, Sire, we agree, we will do what you have said; make us quickly receive the Pabbajjā ordination, become a relative of the Faith.”

21. paripuṇṇavīsativasso Mahindo Asokatrajo
Saṅghamittā ca jātiyā vassaṁ aṭṭhārasaṁ bhave. |

21. Mahinda, Asoka’s son, had completed twenty years, and Saṅghamittā might be eighteen years of age.

22. chavassamhi Asokassa ubho pabbajitā pajā,
tath’ eva upasampanno Mahindo dīpajotako, |

22. When Asoka had completed six years, both his children received the Pabbajjā ordination, and Mahinda, the enlightener of the Island, received at once the Upasampadā ordination; –

23. Saṅghamittā tadā yeva sikkhāyo ’va samādiyi.
ahū Moggaliputto va theravādo mahāgaṇī. theravāde B. |

23. at the same time Saṅghamittā began to exercise herself in the Sikkhā precepts. He (Mahinda) was like Moggaliputta a great teacher of the doctrine of the Theras.

24. catupaññāsavassamhi Asokadhammo abhisitto,
Asokassābhisittato chasaṭṭhi Moggalisavhayo,
tato Mahindo pabbajito Moggaliputtassa santike. Asokābhisitte chavasse saṭṭhi M°? |

24. Fifty-four years (after Moggaliputta’s Upasampadā) Asokadhamma was crowned; (six years?) after Asoka’s coronation, when Moggaliputta had completed sixty (?) years, Mahinda received the Pabbajjā ordination from Moggaliputta.

25. pabbājesi Mahādevo, Majjhanto upasampade.
ime te nāyakā tīṇi Mahindassānukampakā. upasampado Z. |

25. Mahādeva conferred the Pabbajjā ordination on him and Majjhanta the Upasampadā; See Mahāvaṁsa, p. 37, l. 2. these were the chiefs who acted compassionately towards Mahinda in (those) three ways.

26. Moggaliputto upajjhāyo Mahindaṁ dīpajotakaṁ
vācesi piṭakaṁ sabbaṁ atthaṁ dhammañ ca kevalaṁ. |

26. Moggaliputta, his Upajjhāya, taught Mahinda, the enlightener of the Island, all the Piṭakas, their whole meaning, and the Doctrine.

27. Asokassa dasavassamhi Mahindo catuvassiko
sabbaṁ sutapariyattiṁ gaṇipācariyo ahū. sutapariyattiṁ A G1, suttapariyattiṁ Z, sutapariyatti B G2 N. – gaṇi° B G, gaṇī° A, gani° C R, ganī° M, gaṇhi N. gaṇī ācariyo? “pācariya” does not mean “a pupil” as Childers says, but “the teacher’s teacher”. |

27. Ten years after Asoka’s coronation Mahinda had completed four years (after his Upasampadā), and had become a teacher of the whole scripture as handed down, and he had many pupils.

28. sudesitaṁ suvibhattaṁ ubhosaṅgahasuttakaṁ
Mahindo theravādakaṁ uggahetvāna dhārayi. |

28. Mahinda studied and retained in his mind the well propounded, well divided Sutta (collection) as it had been settled at the two convocations, the doctrine of the Theras.

29. vinīto Moggaliputto Mahindaṁ Asokaatrajaṁ
tisso vijjā chaḷabhiññā caturo paṭisambhidā. chaḷabhiñña M2 n; the other MSS. omit these words. chaḷ abhiññā. – catasso? |

29. Moggaliputta instructed Mahinda, the son of Asoka, in the three sciences, (the doctrine regarding) the six (supernatural) faculties, the four analytical doctrines.

30. Tisso Moggaliputto ca Mahindaṁ saddhivihārikaṁ
āgamapiṭakaṁ sabbaṁ sikkhāpesi nirantaraṁ. |

30. And Tissa Moggaliputta continuously taught Mahinda, his pupil, the whole Piṭaka of the Āgamas [157] (i.e. the Sutta-Piṭaka).

31. tīṇi vassamhi Nigrodho, catuvassamhi bhātaro,
chavassamhi pabbajito Mahindo Asokatrajo. |

31. When (Asoka) had completed three years, (the story of) Nigrodha (happened), after the fourth year (he put his) brothers (to death), after his sixth year Mahinda, the son of Asoka, received the Pabbajjā ordination.

32. Kontiputtā ubho therā Tisso cāpi Sumittako
aṭṭhavassamhi ’sokassa parinibbiṁsu mahiddhikā. Comp. Mahāvaṁsa, p. 38. |

32. Both sons of Kontī, the Theras Tissa and Sumitta, who possessed the great (magical) faculties, attained Parinibbāna after Asoka’s eighth year.

33. ime kumārā pabbajitā ubho therā ca nibbutā. | [52]

33. Those royal children received the Pabbajjā ordination, and both Theras attained Nibbāna.

34. upāsakattaṁ desiṁsu khattiyā brāhmaṇā bahū,
mahālābho ca sakkāro uppajji buddhasāsane, desayiṁsu Z. |

34. Many Khattiyas and Brahmans declared their intention of becoming lay disciples, and great gain and honour accrued to the faith of Buddha; –

35. pahīṇalābhasakkārā titthiyā puthuladdhikā.
paṇḍaraṅgā jaṭilā ca nigaṇṭhācelakādikā |

35. the schismatics and heretics lost both gain and honour. Paṇḍaraṅgas and Jaṭilas, Nigaṇṭhas, Acelakas, and others –

36. aṭṭhaṁsu satta vassāni, ahosi vagguposatho.
ariyā pesalā lajjī na pavisanti uposathaṁ. |

36. resided (in the Buddhist Vihāras) during seven years; the Uposatha ceremonies were performed by incomplete congregations; saintly, clever, and modest men did not appear at the Uposatha ceremonies.

37. sampatte ca vassasate vassañ chattiṁsa satāni ca
saṭṭhi bhikkhusahassāni Asokārāme vasiṁsu te. ca vassasate G1 N Z, dve vassasate A B G2. – vassa N, vassaṁ Y. – chattiṁsatāni A B G2, chattiṁsa satāni G1 N Z. |

37. When a hundred years and (another) hundred and thirty-six had elapsed (after the Parinibbāna of the Buddha), sixty thousand Bhikkhus dwelt in the Asokārāma.

38. ājīvakā aññaladdhikā nānā dūsenti sāsanaṁ,
sabbe kāsāvavasanā dūsenti jinasāsanaṁ. |

38. Ājīvakas and sectarians of different descriptions ruined the Doctrine; all of them wearing the yellow robe injured the doctrine of the Jina.

39. bhikkhusahassaparivuto chaḷabhiñño mahiddhiko
Moggaliputto gaṇapāmokkho akāsi dhammasaṅgahaṁ. |

39. Surrounded by one thousand Bhikkhus, Moggaliputta, the chief of the school, who possessed the six (supernatural) powers and the great (magical) faculties, convened a Council.

40. Moggaliputto mahāpañño paravādappamaddano
theravādaṁ daḷhaṁ katvā saṅgahaṁ tatiyaṁ kato. |

40. Wise Moggaliputta, the destroyer of the schismatic doctrines, firmly established the Theravāda and held the third Council.

41. madditvā nānāvādāni nīharitvā alajjino bahū
sāsanaṁ jotayitvāna kathāvatthuṁ pakāsayi. |

41. Having destroyed the different (heretical) doctrines and subdued many shameless people and restored splendour to the (true) faith, he proclaimed (the treatise called) Kathāvatthu.

42. tassa Moggaliputtassa Mahindo saddhivihāriko
upajjhāyassa santike saddhammaṁ pariyāpuṇi. |

42. From that Moggaliputta Mahinda, who was the pupil of that teacher, learnt the true religion.

43. nikāye pañca vācesi satta c’ eva pakaraṇe,
ubhatovibhaṅgaṁ vinayaṁ parivārañ ca khandhakaṁ
uggahi vīro nipuṇo upajjhāyassa santike ’ti. dhīro N, vīro Y. |

43. (Moggaliputta) taught him the five Nikāyas and the seven sections (of the Abhidhamma); he the hero, the clever one learnt from his teacher the two Vibhaṅgas of the Vinaya, the Parivāra, and the Khandhaka. [158]

 

44. Nikkhante dutiye vassasate vassāni chattiṁsati
puna bhedo ajāyatha theravādānam uttamo. vassāni ca chattiṁsati? |

44. When the second century and thirty-six years more had elapsed (since the Buddha’s death), again a most dreadful schism arose in the Theravāda.

45. Pāṭaliputtanagaramhi rajjaṁ kāresi khattiyo
Dhammāsoko mahārājā pasanno buddhasāsane. |

45. In the city of Pāṭaliputta ruled prince Dhammāsoka, a great king, who was a believer in the faith of Buddha.

46. mahādānaṁ pavattesi saṅghe guṇavaruttame,
cattāri satasahassāni ekāhen’ eva nissaji. |

46. He bestowed great gifts on the Saṅgha, the best and most excellent of congregations; in one day he expended four lacs.

47. cetiyassa yajā ekaṁ dhammassa savanassa ca
gilānānañ ca paccayaṁ ekaṁ saṅghassa nissaji. yajā ekaṁ N, yajājakaṁ G1, ca ekaṁ A B G2, ca ekassa Z. pūjaṁ ekaṁ? – savanassa ca N, cassa ca G1, ca tatheva ca A Z, ca tatheva kā B G2. |

47. One he gave in honour of the Cetiyas, another for the preaching of the Dhamma, one for the requirements of the sick, one to the Saṅgha.

48. titthiyā lābhaṁ disvāna sakkārañ ca mahārahaṁ
saṭṭhimattasahassāni theyyasaṁvāsakā ahū. ahuṁ N. |

48. Infidels, sixty thousand in number, seeing this gain and these great honours, furtively attached themselves (to the Saṅgha).

49. Asokārāmavihāramhi pātimokkho paricchiji,
kārāpento pātimokkhaṁ amacco ariyānaṁ aghātayi. paricchajī A, °ccaji B Z, °cchijji N, °cchiji G1. |
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49. The Pātimokkha ceremonies in the monastery of the Asokārāma were interrupted; a minister who ordered the Pātimokkha ceremonies to be performed, killed (some) of the Saints.

50. titthiye niggahatthāya bahū buddhassa sāvakā
saṭṭhimattasahassāni jinaputtā samāgatā. |

50. In order to destroy the infidels, many disciples of Buddha, sixty thousand sons of the Jina assembled.

51. ekasmiṁ sannipātamhi thero Moggaliatrajo
satthukappo mahānāgo paṭhavyā n’ atthi īdiso. etasmiṁ A B G2. |

51. At that convocation the son of Moggali was the president, a great chief, similar to the Teacher; he had not his like on earth.

52. ariyānaṁ ghātitaṁ kammaṁ rājā theraṁ apucchatha,
pāṭihīraṁ karitvāna rañño kaṅkhaṁ vinodayi. |

52. The king asked the Thera about the case of the slaughter of the Saints; having performed a miracle, he satisfied the desire of the king.

53. therassa santike rājā uggahetvāna sāsanaṁ
theyyasaṁvāsabhikkhuno nāseti liṅganāsanaṁ. °bhikkhunaṁ G2, °bhikkhūnaṁ B. – nāsesi A B G2. |

53. Having received the Doctrine from the Thera, the king destroyed the Bhikkhu emblems of those who had furtively attached themselves (to the Saṅgha).

54. titthiyā sakavādena pabbajitvā anādarā
buddhavacanaṁ bhindiṁsu visuddhakañcanaṁ iva. °kañcanaṁ riva N, °kañcanam iva Y. |

54. The reckless infidels, performing the Pabbajjā rite according to their own doctrine, injured the faith of the Buddha just as (men mix) pure gold (with baser metals).

55. sabbe pi te bhinnavādā vilomā theravādato,
tesañ ca niggahatthāya, sakavādavirocanaṁ, |

55. They all were sectarian, opposed to the Theravāda; and in order to annihilate them and to make his own doctrine resplendent, –

56. desesi thero abhidhammaṁ kathāvatthuppakaraṇaṁ.
niggaho īdiso n’ atthi paravādappamaddanaṁ. |

56. the Thera set forth the treatise belonging to the Abhidhamma, which is called Kathāvatthu. A similar punishment, a similar destruction of an opposite doctrine never occurred.

57. desetvā thero abhidhammaṁ kathāvatthuppakaraṇaṁ
sakavādasodhanatthāya, sāsanaṁ dīghakālikaṁ, |

58. arahantānaṁ sahassaṁ uccinitvāna nāyako
varaṁ varaṁ gahetvāna akāsi dhammasaṅgahaṁ. |

57-58. After having promulgated the treatise called Kathāvatthu which belongs to the Abhidhamma, the presiding Thera, in order to purify his own doctrine and (to establish) the Faith for a long time, selected one thousand Arahats, choosing the best ones, and [159] held a Council.

59. Asokārāmavihāramhi Dhammarājena kārite
navamāsehi niṭṭhāsi tatiyo saṅgaho ayan ti. |

59. In the monastery of the Asokārāma which had been built by king Dhammāsoka, this third convocation was finished in the space of nine months.

saddhammasaṅgahaṁ navamāsaṁ niṭṭhitaṁ.
Here ends the Council of the true Faith which lasted nine months.

bhāṇavāraṁ sattamaṁ.
[The Seventh Section for Recitation.]