Saturday, 26 March 2011

Views expresses by Kings


The Buddha was praised by people of various walks of life, among them kings are very special before long from the beginning of His missionary activities the Buddha was able to convince all the major kings in JambudIpa of His new teaching. Therefore, the four major kings of JambudIpa at that time, namely king Pasenajit of Kosala, king Bimbisāra and king Ajātasattu of Magadha, king Udena of Avanti and king CaNDapajjota of Vatsa became devout supporters of the Buddha. There were other minor kings who followed the example of the powerful kings in becoming the adherents of the Buddha.

First shall we examine the views of King Bimbisāra on the Buddha. Bimbisāra was the pioneer king to establish kingdoms in JambudIpa before that many political units were Republics under the major kingdoms few monarchs emerged in India for the first time. Having ordained three Jatila brothers and their 1000 disciples approaching towards the city of Rajagaha, the Buddha was seated at a banyan tree named suppatiTThitaceti. King Bimbisāra having heard the Buddha’s arrival came to see Him and attained the stage of sotapaNNa then he revealed to the Buddha five wishes he had from his childhood.

1.  åho vata maM rajje abhisiJceyyuM (Indeed, it would be better if I would be coroneted in the king).
2.   Tassa ca me vijitaM arahaM sammA sambuddho okkameyyAti (It would be better if the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One would descend that my kingdom).
3.   TaJcAhaM bhagavantaM payirUpAseyyaM (it would be better if I associate with that Exalted One).
4.  ßo ca me bhagavA dhammaM deseyyAti (It would be better if that Blessed One would preach me doctrine).
5.   TassacAhaM bhagavato dhammaM ajAneyyAti (It would be better if I know the doctrine of that Blessed One).

Except the coronation all his other wishes were relate to the Buddha, having realized all his wishes he declared unshaken emotion and discipleship of the Buddha.

The successor of king Bimbisāra in Magadha was his son Ajātasattu and in his early period as a king he was notorious as known from Pāli sources. By the association of Devadatta he was said to have changed his character and being intoxicated by desire for political power and he planned to kill his father king Bimbisāra. Later when he knew the graveness of what he did to his father he repented much and approached the Buddha in hope of consolation. In the meeting the Buddha preached the SAmaJJaphalasutta to the king and said further.

 “ßacAyaM bhikkhave rAjA pitaraM dhammikaM dhammarAjAnaM jIvitA na voropessatha, imasmiM yeva Asane virajaM vItamalaM dhammacakkhuM uppajjissathAti.

=O monks, if this king would not have killed the father king who was righteous, in this seat itself the eye of dhamma that is free from stain and defilements who have arisen in him.”

Since his realization of truth of the Buddha he changed to be devout Buddhist. He respectfully sponsored the Cremation of the Buddha and the first Buddhist council as well.

King Pasenadi Kosala was the king of Kosala kingdom, the largest political territory at that time of the Buddha. The ∂hammacetiyasutta of MN gives six reasons as said by king Kosala explaining why he is pleasant to the Buddha. When once king Kosala was going to a village he was pleasant to see the environment that was beautiful, pleasant, silent free from cries, free from population, away from men and suitable to meditate, he thought “it’s is good if I can associate the Buddha in a place like this

=îmAni kho tAni rukkhamUlAni pAsAdikAni, pAsAdaniya appasaddAni, appanigghosAni, vijanavAtAni, manuussarAhaseyyukAni paTisallAna sAruppAni. YatthaM mayaM tam bhagavantaM payirupAsAma arahantaM sammA sambuddhaM.

Then having addressed his minister Dīghakaranaya the king went to temple, the king came to know that the Buddha was living at Sakyan village named Medatalupa. Because it was not very far the king decided to visit the Buddha that day itself. The monks there instructed him to go silently towards the lodging of the Buddha, clear the throat outside and then knock the door when the Buddha opened the door the king kneeled before the Buddha, worshipped kissing His feet saying that I am king Kosala.

The Buddha questioned why he was respecting the Buddha so much, the following are the six reasons given by king Kosala.

1.ña kho panAhaM bhante ito bahiddhA aJJaM evaM paripuNNM parisuddhaM brahmacariyaM samanupassAmi. ayampi kho bhante bhagavatA dhammanvayo hoti. sammA sambuddho bhagavA, svAkkhAto bhagavatA dhammo supaTipanno sanghoti.   

=O Venerable Sir! I do not indeed see form here another similar complete and pure noble life. This also is one reason why my mind exists according to what is said by the Buddha, the Exalted One is fully enlightened, the doctrine is well preached by the Buddha, the community is well established.”

2.ña kho panAhaM bhante ito bahiddhA aJJaM evam samaggaM parisaM samanupassAmi.

=O Venerable Sir! Indeed I don’t see any other peaceful community like this out from here.

3.åddhA ime AyasmantA tassa bhagavato sAsane uLAraM pubbenAparaM visesaM saJjAnanti. tathA ime Ayasmanto haTThapahaTThA udaggudaggA, abhiratharApA, piNitindriyA appossuka pannalomA paradavuttA migabhAtena cetasAviharati.

=Definitely these venerable Ones, the greatness and the specialty of the order from beginning and end therefore, this venerable community lives with a mind like of a deer, pleased, enjoyed, with pleasant appearance, with contended faculties, less tiredness, free from fear and depending on what is given by others

4. As the fourth reason the king says he is pleasant on the discipline of the order and the way of disciplining of the order by the Buddha. According to his idea he gets very tired to make silent his gatherings with all the royal powers but the Buddha does it with only by advices. One day king Kosala happened to sit at the end of the gathering to listen to the dhamma, he saw in front of him one monk wanted to sneeze but not to disturb the silence he closed his mouth with palm still sound came, the monk near him signed with his elbow not to make any sound. King was pleased to observe the self discipline of monks.

5. As the fifth reason the king produces a declaration of Arahants who earlier were other religious men.

µayaM hi pubbe assamaNAva samANA samaNamhati paTijAnimhA. AbrahmaNAva samANA brahmanomhiti paTijAnimhA. arahantova samANA arahantomhi paTijAnimhA. IdAni kho amhA samaNA, idhAnikhomhA brahmaNA, idAnikhomhA arahantoti.

=Formerly, we being non-ascetics acknowledged to be ascetic, ignoble ones acknowledged as noble ones and non-worthy ones acknowledged as worthy ones. Now we are indeed recluses, noble ones and worthy ones.”

Kosala referring to this statement says that much sayings of Arahants who were formerly well known as teachers of other faith increased the respect for the Buddha in them.

6.åcchariyaM vata bho, abbhUtaM vata bho ime îsidatta PurANA thapathayo mama bhattA mama yAnA. ahaM nesaM jIvitassa padAtA. yasassa AhattA. atha ca pana no tathA mayA nipaccakAraM karonti, yathA bhagavati. addhA ime Ayasmanto tassa bhagavato sAsane ulAraM pubbenAparaM visesaM saJjananti.

=Wonderful indeed and astonishing, these carpenters Isidatta and PurāNā are fed by me, traveling given by me. I am the giver of their (way of) life. I am the taker of their fame. Then indeed they don’t respect as they do to the Buddha, definitely these ones know the greatness and specialty at the beginning and end of the Buddha’s dispensation.”

These evidences show the genuine pleasant feelings king Kosala towards the Buddha and His dispensation. According to KosalasaMyutta of SN this king used to visit the Buddha very often and associate the Buddha in friendly way. Because of their pleasantness towards the Buddha many kings in the time of Buddha wanted the Buddha to live in their kingdoms. 

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