[534. {537.}1 Mahākoṭṭhika2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
the Sage, Knower of Every World,
the One who had [Five] Eyes, arose
a hundred thousand aeons hence. (1) [5881]3
The Admonisher,4 Instructor,5
Crosser-Over6 of all that breathe,
Skilled at Preaching,7 [he], the Buddha,
caused many folks to cross [the flood]. (2) [5882]

Merciful,8 Compassionate One,9
Well-Wisher10 of all that breathe, he
established in the five precepts
all the rivals who had arrived. (3) [5883]

In this way he was Unconfused11
and Very Well-Known12 by rivals,
Ornamented13 by arahants
who were masters [and] neutral ones. (4) [5884]

The [body of the] Sage So Great
rose up fifty-eight cubits14 [tall];
he was Valuable Like Gold,15
Bearing the Thirty-Two Great Marks. (5) [5885]

[People’s] lifespan at that time was
[fully] one hundred thousand years.
Remaining [in the world] so long,
he ferried many folks across. (6) [5886]

I then [lived] in Haṃsavatī,
brahmin master of the Vedas.
Approaching Beings’ Best Hardwood,16
I heard the preaching of Dhamma. (7) [5887]

Then [Buddha] placed a follower,
who pastured in developed thought,17
skilled in meaning and the Teaching,
etymology and preaching,
a hero, in that foremost place.
After hearing that, I was thrilled;
then for a week I fed [him], the
Best Victor,18 with [his] followers. (8-9) [5888-5889]

Having covered with [new] cloth [robes]
the Wisdom-Sea19 with [his] students,
bowing down in front of [his] feet,
I aspired [to attain] that place. (10) [5890]

Afterward the World-Chief said [this]:
“Look at that excellent brahmin,
[now] bent down in front of my feet,
with lotus-belly radiance.20 (11) [5891]

This one’s aspiring to the place
of the monk of the Best Buddha.
Through that faith, generosity,
and [his] hearing of the Teaching,
he’ll transmigrate from birth to birth,
being happy in every place;
very far into the future,
he’ll receive that delightful [place]. (12-13) [5892-5893]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (14) [5894]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
the one whose name is Koṭṭhita
will be the Teacher’s follower.” (15) [5895]

After hearing that I was thrilled,
[and] then for as long as [I] lived,
mindful, loving-hearted [and] wise,
I waited on21 [him], the Victor. (16) [5896]

Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (17) [5897]

Three hundred times [the lord of gods,]
I exercised divine rule [there],
and [then] five hundred times I was
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. (18) [5898]

[There was also] much local rule,
innumerable by counting.
Through the power of that karma,
I was happy in every place. (19) [5899]

I transmigrate in [just] two states:
that of a god, or of a man.
I don’t go to other rebirths:
that’s the fruit of good practice.22 (20) [5900]

I am born in the two [high] clans,
kṣatriyan and also brahmin.
I don’t get born in lesser clans:
that’s the fruit of good practice. (21) [5901]

When [my] last rebirth was attained
I was a kinsman of Brahmā,23
reborn [then] in a brahmin clan24
in Śrāvasti, very wealthy. (22) [5902]

Mother was named CChandavatī;
my father Assalāyana.
When with all intelligence the
Buddha instructed my father,
being pleased with25 the Well-Gone-One,
I went forth into homelessness.
Moggallāna26 was my teacher;
Sāri’s child27 was my preceptor. (23-24) [5903-5904]

When my hair was being cut off,
views were cut off [too], with their roots.
[While] living in the saffron robes,
I attained [my] arahantship. (25) [5905]

Because my thought was developed
[well] in meaning and the Teaching,
etymology and preaching,
the World-Chief placed me in that place.28 (26) [5906]

Questioned by Upatissa,29 I
explained30 with no[thing] indistinct.
Thus in analytical modes,
I’m foremost in the religion.31 (27) [5907]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (28) [5908]

Being in Best Buddha’s presence
was a very good thing for me.
The three knowledges are attained;
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (29) [5909]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (30) [5910]

Thus indeed Venerable Mahākoṭṭhika Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Mahākoṭṭhika Thera is finished.


  1. Apadāna numbers provided in {fancy brackets} correspond to the BJTS edition, which contains more individual poems than does the PTS edition dictating the main numbering of this translation.

  2. BJTS reads Koṭṭhita

  3. this and the following five verses also appear, verbatim, as the first six verses of Dabbamalla’s apadāna (#531 {534}, above; [5769]-[5774])

  4. ovādako

  5. viññāpako

  6. tārako

  7. desanākusalo

  8. anukampako

  9. kāruṇiko

  10. hitesi

  11. nirākulaŋ

  12. suñññataŋ, or “empty [of ill-will],” which is BJTS Sinhala gloss reading; I construe the epithet as su + ñata

  13. vicchittaŋ

  14. ratanāna-aṭṭha-paññāsaŋ uggato. A ratana (Sinh. riyan) is figured as twelve-fingers (aṅgula), according to Sinh-Eng Dictionary about eighteen inches. The claim here then is that Padumuttara Buddha was 1044 inches (or 87 feet) tall.

  15. kañcchanagghiyasaṅkāso, lit., “like a gold valuable thing” or “like a gold festoon work”

  16. reading sattasāraggaṃ with BJTS for PTS sattapāraṅgaŋ (“going beyond [or crossing, surmounting] beings”)

  17. pabhinnamatigoccharaŋ, lit., "he whose pasturage was developed thought”

  18. jinavaraŋ

  19. reading buddhisāgaraṃ with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS buddhasāgaraŋ (“Ocean of Buddhas” or “Buddha-Ocean”)

  20. kamalodarasappabhaŋ

  21. paricchariŋ, “waited on” “attended to”

  22. succhiṇṇassa idaŋ phalaŋ

  23. i.e., a brahmin

  24. vippakule

  25. lit., in”

  26. i.e., Mahāmoggallāna (Therāpadāna #2)

  27. i.e., Sāriputta (Therāpadāna #1), reading sārisambhavo with BJTS for PTS Sari°

  28. lit., “in that foremost place”

  29. i.e., Sāriputta (Thera-apadāna #1)

  30. viyākāsiŋ, elsewhere “prophesied”

  31. lit., “in the dispensation of the Sambuddha”