[22. Upavāna]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
Who Had Crossed Over Everything,
the Sambuddha went fully out1
like a fire finished burning. (1) [865]

Many people came together
venerating the Thus-Gone-One.
They made a well-made pyre2 [for him]
[then] lifted [his] body [on it]. (2) [866]

Doing the needful with the corpse
they gathered [all] the relics there.
[Then] all the people, with [their] kings,
constructed the Buddha’s stupa. (3) [867]

The first [casket]3 was made of gold,
the second was made of gemstone.
The third was made out of silver,
the fourth was made of crystal. (4) [868]

The fifth [stupa] which was built there
was made of rubies fixed in glass.
The sixth was made of all the gems
with a [large] cat’s-eye4 on the top. (5) [869]

There was a railing made of gold;
[its] legs were made out of gemstones.
That stupa, all [encased] in gold,
[rose up] in height a [full] league tall. (6) [870]

The gods then got together there
and counseled one another [thus]:
“we shall construct a stupa too
for the World-Chief, the Neutral One. (7) [871]

[But] there are no single relics;
the body is in one lump [now].
We’ll enlarge this very stupa
of the Buddha, using [fine] gold.” (8) [872]

The gods, using the seven gems,
raised it another league [taller].
That stupa, which was two leagues tall,
dispelled the darkness [with its shine]. (9) [873]

The snake-gods5 then assembled there
and counseled one another [thus]:
“The people and also the gods
constructed the Buddha’s stupa. (10) [874]

Do not let us be negligent;
heedful, [and] with the lesser gods,
we too shall enlarge [this] stupa
of the World-Chief, the Neutral One.” (11) [875]

Gathering themselves together
they covered the Buddha’s stupa
with the two types of blue sapphire6
and with the jotirasa gem.7 (12) [876]

At that point Buddha’s cchetiya
was made entirely of gems.
In height it welled up three8 leagues [tall]
lighting up [the whole universe]. (13) [877]

[Then] garuḷas9 got together
and counseled one another [thus]:
“The men and gods and snake-gods too
constructed the Buddha’s stupa. (14) [878]

Do not let us be negligent;
heedful, [and] with the lesser gods,
we too shall enlarge [this] stupa
of the World-Chief, the Neutral One.” (15) [879]

That stupa made only of gems
they gilded on the top [right then].
They too increased by one [whole] league
the height of the Buddha’s stupa. (16) [880]

Then rising up four leagues [in height]
that Buddha-stupa shined [so] bright.
It illumined all directions
just like the risen raying sun. (17) [881]

[Then] kumbhaṇḍas got together
and counseled one another thus:
“The people and also the gods
the snake-gods and the garuḷas [882]

themselves built a superb stupa
for [him], the Best of the Buddhas.
Do not let us be negligent;
heedful, [and] with the lesser gods, [883]

we too shall enlarge [this] stupa
of the World-Chief, the Neutral One.
We’ll cover the entire extent
of the Buddha’s stupa with gems.” [884]

They too increased by one [whole] league
the height of the Buddha’s stupa.
[Now] rising up five leagues [in height]
that Buddha-stupa shined forth [bright]. [885]

Then spirits10 got together there
and counseled one another [thus]:
“The people, gods, and snake-gods too,
the garūḷas and kumbhaṇḍas (18)11 [886]

themselves built a superb stupa
for the World-Chief, the Neutral One.
Do not let us be negligent;
heedful, [and] with the lesser gods, (19) [887]

we too shall enlarge [this] stupa
of the World-Chief, the Neutral One.
We’ll cover the entire extent
of Buddha’s stupa with crystal.” (20) [888]

They too increased by one [whole] league
the height of the Buddha’s stupa.
[Now] rising up six12 leagues [in height]
that Buddha-stupa shined forth [bright]. (21) [889]

Then assembled the music-nymphs13
[who] counseled one another [thus]:
“Those born of Manu, and the gods,
snake-gods, kumbhaṇḍas, guyhakas*14 (22) [890]

all constructed Buddha’s stupa;
we’ve done nothing in that regard.
We too shall enlarge [this] stupa
of the World-Chief, the Neutral One.” (23) [891]

They constructed seven railings
[and] made the legs [for it as well].
Then that stupa the music-nymphs
made fully [encased] in [fine] gold. (24) [892]

[Now] rising seven leagues [in height]
that Buddha-stupa shined forth [bright].
One could not tell the day from night;
there always was [its strong] bright light. (25) [893]

Its brilliance actually out-shined
the moon and the sun and the stars.
By day that lamp was blazing forth
for a hundred leagues [all] around. (26) [894]

At that time, whichever people
were worshipping that stupa [there]
did not have to climb15 that stupa;
they were [just] held up in the air. (27) [895]

Their flags or wreaths of flowers [there]
were offered up [into the air]
by spirit16 Abhisammata
who had been placed [there] by the gods. (28) [896]

They could not see the spirit17 [there];
they see the wreaths [just] flying by.
Seeing them go by in this way,
all of them go on to good states. (29) [897]

People with faith in Buddha’s words,
and pleased in the dispensation,
wishing to see the miracle
are worshipping that stupa [there]. (30) [898]

At that time I was a speaker
[and I] lived in Haṃsavatī.
Seeing those delighted people
this [good] thought then occurred to me: (31) [899]

“He is lofty, the Blessed One,
who has a relic-womb18 like this;
these people are very happy
doing their rites with devotion. (32) [900]

I too shall do a ritual
for the World-Chief, the Neutral One,
and in the future, I shall be
one of the heirs to19 his doctrines.” (33) [901]

I had my upper garment washed
by one whose job was washing clothes
[and] having stuck it on bamboo
I raised a flag up in the sky. (34) [902]

Grabbing it, Abhisammata
raised up my flag into the sky.
Seeing it20 flutter in the wind,
among those folks I smiled a lot. (35) [903]

Bringing pleasure to [my] mind there
I [then] approached a [Buddhist] monk.
Worshipping that monk I inquired
what that flag’s result would become. (36) [904]

He told me of religious joy,
generating [great] bliss for me.
“You always will experience
the fruit of [your gift of] that flag.” (37) [905]

[He said], “The army, with four parts —
tusker, soldier, chariot, horse —
will wait on you permanently;
that is the fruit of a flag-gift. (38) [906]

Sixty thousand instruments21 [and]
well-decorated kettle-drums22
will attend you permanently;
that is the fruit of a flag-gift. (39) [907]

And women [too, all] well-made-up
numbering eighty-six thousand,
with varied clothes and ornaments,
wearing earrings bearing gemstones, (40) [908]

with long eyelashes, lovely smiles23
and slim waists, pleasant to look at24
will wait upon you constantly:
that is the fruit of a flag-gift. (41) [909]

You’ll delight in the world of gods
for thirty thousand aeons [hence].
Eighty times as the king of gods
you will exercise divine rule. (42) [910]

A thousand times you’re going to be
a king who turns the wheel [of law],
[and you will have] much local rule
innumerable by counting. (43) [911]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (44) [912]

Falling down from the world of gods,
incited by [your] wholesome roots,
[and] bound up with your good karma
you will be Brahma’s kinsman [then]. (45) [913]

Discarding eight hundred million
[and] many slaves [and] workers [too],
you will renounce in the teaching
of Gotama the Blessed One. (46) [914]

Satisfying the Sambuddha,
Gotama, the Bull of Śākyas,
you’ll be known as Upavāna
a follower of the Teacher.” (47) [915]

Karma done a hundred thousand
[aeons hence] showed me [its] fruit here:
well-liberated, arrow-quick,
I have destroyed my defilements. (48) [916]

When I was a wheel-turning king,
lord over the four continents,
for three leagues in all directions
flags were always seen by me [then]. (49) [917]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I did that [good] karma then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth;
that is the fruit of a flag-gift. (50) [918]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (51) [919]

Thus indeed Venerable Upavāna Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Upavāna Thera is finished.


  1. parinibbuto.

  2. cchitaka, heap, shrine

  3. the text does not stipulate the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth what, and the cty. sees no need to explain. Relic finds as at Pipphrawa, as well as the context (in which there is clearly a single stupa) would suggest that these were reliquaries inside reliquaries inside reliquaries, each encasing the former ones like Russian nesting dolls, until the whole thing was covered with gold.

  4. masāragallassa, masāragalla = Sinh. maesirigala

  5. nāgā

  6. lit., “with Indanīla and mahānīla” = “Indra Blue” and “Great Blue”

  7. see above, n. to [839]

  8. BJTS reads thirty leagues

  9. PTS omits the garuḷas, and as a result the height of the stupa increases from five to seven leagues, skipping six. BJTS includes the garuḷas, which makes the numbering sequence complete. In PTS this is the kumbhaṇḍas rather than the garuḷas, but otherwise the text is the same.

  10. yakkhā

  11. PTS omits kumbhaṇḍas from this list, conflating them with garuḷas; I follow BJTS in the last two feet.

  12. PTS reads five, in keeping with its elision of the garuḷas

  13. gandhabbā

  14. BJTS and PTS alt. reads garuḷā for guyhakā

  15. an allusion to the practice that seems to have been current at the early post-Aśokan stupas, namely climbing the railing attached to the sides of the stupa in order to circumambulate and place offerings upon its dome.

  16. yakkha

  17. yakkha

  18. i.e., stupa.

  19. lit., “in”.

  20. lit., “the flag”.

  21. turiya, musical instruments

  22. bheri

  23. hasulā = ? Cf. RD hasula, s.v., which following Kern treats this as a corrupted reading of bhamuka, “eyebrows” or “thick eyebrows”, often found in combination with the term for “long eyelashes” (aḷārapamha).

  24. RD gives “good hips,” referring to this text. I don’t see the warrant, and take the term susaññā from saññā, sense, perception, as does BJTS