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On account of his former sinful conduct (in having murdered his brothers), he was known by the name of Asóka. Subsequently, on account of his pious character, he was distinguished by the name of Dhammásóka.4 (By the power of 5a miracle) he saw all the viháras situated in every direction throughout the ocean-bound Jambudípa resplendent with these offerings. Having thus beheld these viháras, exceedingly overjoyed, he inquired of the priesthood: "Lords! in the religion of the deity of felicitous advent, whose act of pious bounty has been the greatest?" The théra, the son of Moggali, answered the sovereign's inquiry: "Even in the lifetime of the deity of happy advent, a donor of offerings equal to thee did not exist." Hearing this announcement, the king, greatly pleased, again thus inquired of him : 6“ Can a person circumstanced as I am become a relation of the religion of Buddha?" The théra perceiving the perfection in piety of Mahinda the son, and of Sanghamittá the daughter, of the king, and foreseeing also that it would be a circumstance tending to the advancement of the faith, this supporter of the cause of religion thereupon thus addressed the monarch: Ruler of men! a greater donor and benefactor to the faith even than thou art can be called only a benefactor; but he who causes a son or daughter to be ordained a minister of our religion, that person will become not' a 'benefactor,' but a relation' of the faiths."
Thereupon the sovereign, desirous of becoming the "relation of the faith," thus inquired of Mahinda and Sanghamittá, who were present:
My children! it is declared that admission into the priesthood is an act of great merit. What (do ye decide), will ye be ordained?" Hearing this appeal of their father, they thus addressed their parent: "Lord, if thou desirest it, this very day will we be ordained. The act of ordination is one profitable equally to us and to thee." Even from the period of the ordination of the sub-king and of the Aggibrahma, he and she had been desirous of entering the priesthood. The king, who had resolved to confer the office of sub-king on Mahinda, attached still more importance to his admission into the priesthood. He with the utmost pomp celebrated the ordination of his beloved son Mahinda, distinguished by his wisdom and his personal beauty, and of his daughter Sanghamittá. At that period this Mahinda, the delight of the monarch, was twenty, and the royal daughter Sanghamittá was eighteen years old. His ordination and (elevation to) the upasampadá took place on the same day. Her 10ordination and qualification (for upasampadá not being eligible thereto at her age) also took place on the same day. The théra named Moggali was the preceptor, "upajjháya," of the prince. The théra Mahádéva "initiated him into the first order of priesthood. The théra Majjhantika performed the "kammavácá." In that very hall of upasampadá ordination this Mahinda, who had attained the requisites for the priesthood, acquired the sanctification ofarhat." The priestess Dhammapálá became the upajjháya, and priestess Ayupalí the instructress, of Sanghamittá. In due course she overcame the dominion of sin (by 12the attainment of arhat). Both these illuminators of the religion were ordained in the sixth
3" Candásóka ( the wicked Asóka ').”
5" the aforesaid."
"Can one like me be regarded as." 8" also."
"robing and ordination."
10.66 robing and training (for she was not admissible to ordination, being under
12" becoming an."
year of the reign of Dhammásóka, the benefactor of Lanká. The great Mahinda, the illuminator of this land, in three years learnt from his preceptor the "pitakattaya."
As the moon and sun at all times illumine the firmament, so the priestess (Sanghamittá) and Mahinda shone forth the light of the religion of Buddha.
Previously to this period a certain pilgrim, departing from Páṭaliputta, and while wandering in a wilderness, formed a connection with a young female kuntakinnarí (a fabulous animal). By her connection with him she brought forth two children: the elder was called Tissa and the younger Sumitta. In due course of time, these two having entered into the priesthood under the tuition of the théra Mahá Varuná, and having acquired the six perfections of religious knowledge, attained the sanctification of "arhat." Tissa, the elder, was suffering from an ulcer in his foot, occasioned by the puncture of a thorn. The younger having inquired (what would alleviate him), he replied, "A palm-full of clarified butter, to be used as medicine "; but he (Tissa) interdicted his want being made known to the king; its being supplied from the allowances granted by the king to infirm priests; or that for the sake of clarified butter he should proceed in search of it (at an unorthodox time) in the afternoon. "If in thy (orthodox forenoon) pilgrimage to beg the (daily) alms thou shouldst receive some clarified butter, that thou mayst bring." Thus the exalted théra Tissa instructed the théra Sumitta. A palm-full of clarified butter not being procurable by him in his alms-pilgrimage, a disease was engendered which could not be subdued by a hundred caldrons of clarified butter. By this very disease the théra was brought to the close of his existence. Preaching to others on non-procrastination," he prepared his mind for "nibbuti." Seated, poised in the air, pursuant to his own wish, he consumed his corporeal substance by the power of flames engendered within himself, and attained" nibbuti." From the corpse of the théra flames issuing, it was converted into fleshless ashes; but they did not consume any of the bones in the whole of his corpse.
The sovereign, hearing of the demise of this théra Tissa, attended by his royal retinue, repaired to the temple built by himself. The king, causing these relics to be collected, and placing them on his state elephant, and having celebrated a festival of relics, he inquired of what malady he died. Having heard the particulars, from the affliction created in him, he caused to be constructed at (each of the four) gates of the city a reservoir made of white chunam, and filled it with 'medicinal beverage, saying, "Let there not be a scarcity of medicines to be provided daily for the priesthood."
The théra Sumitta attained "nibbuti" while in the act of performing "chankman," (taking his walk of meditation) in the "cankamana " hall. The world at large, in consequence of this event, became greatly devoted to the religion of Buddha. These two théras, descended from the kuntikinnarí, attained "nibbuti" in the eighth year of the reign of Asóka.
2" poison of a worm." 4.66 even though it was permissible to do so for."
"Flames issued from the body of the théra and consumed all his flesh without eaving any ashes; but the bones they consumed not."
"he was filled with amazeinent and."
7" drugs and medicaments."
866 walking in meditation."
Thenceforward, the advantages accruing to the priesthood were great. By every possible means the devoted populace kept up these advantages.
The heretics who had been deprived of the maintenance (formerly bestowed on them by the king), in order that they might obtain those advantages, assuming the yellow robes (without ordination), were living in the community of the priesthood. These persons, whenever (they set up) a doctrine of their own they propounded it to be the doctrine of Buddha. If there was any act of their own (to be performed), they performed it according to their own wishes (without reference to the orthodox rules).
Thereupon the théra, son of Moggali, of increasing piety and faith, observing this dreadful excrescence on religion, like unto a boil, and having, by examining into futurity, ascertained by his profound foresight the period at which the excision of this (excrescence would take place); transferring his fraternity of numerous disciples to the charge of the théra Mahinda, he sojourned for seven years in solitude, indulging in pious meditation, at the Ahóganga mountain (beyond the Ganges) towards the source of the river.
In consequence of the numerical preponderance and the schisms of these heretics, the Buddhist priests were incapable of regulating their conduct according to the rules of the orthodox faith. From this very cause, in all the Buddhistical temples in Jambudípa, the priests were incapable of observing the rites of "upósatha" and "pavárana" for a period of seven years (as none but orthodox ministers could be admitted to those rites).
The superlatively-gifted great king Dhammásóka, hearing of this (suspension of religious observances for seven years), despatched a minister to the chief temple Asókáráma, with these orders: "Having repaired thither, do thou, adjusting this matter, cause the ceremony of upósatha' to be performed by the priesthood at my temple.
This ignorant minister having repaired thither and assembled the priests, thus shouted out the commands of the sovereign: "Perform ye the ceremony of upósatha.' The priesthood thus replied to the imbecile minister: "We will not perform the ceremony of upósatha with the heretics." The minister, exclaiming "I will have the 'upósatha' performed," with his own sword decapitated several of the théras in the order in which they sat. The théra Tissa, the younger brother of the king, perceiving this proceeding, rushing close to him (the minister), placed himself on the seat (of the thera last slaughtered). The minister recognising that théra, repairing (to the palace,) reported the whole of the occurrence to the king. Hearing this event, the king, deeply afflicted, and in the utmost perturbation, instantly repairing (to the temple), inquired of the priesthood: " By the deed thus done, on whom will the sin fall?" Among them, a portion of the ill-informed declared, "The sin is thine": another portion announced, "Both of you": the well informed pronounced, Unto thee there is none."
by reason of the people who rejoiced after these events having maintained charitable gifts."
3 set up their own doctrines as the doctrine of Buddha, and performed other rites and ceremonies (such as brahamanical sacrifices, &c.) as it pleased them." 4" obstinacy." 5.66 666 restraining them according to law." proclaimed." "made haste and." nearest to him (the minister)." "When the king heard the whole story he was seized with great consternation, and in great anguish of mind hastened to the temple, and."
This great king having heard these (conflicting) opinions (exclaimed), "Is there, or is there not, any priest of sufficient authority (among you) who, alleviating my doubt, can restore me to the comforts of religion?" The priesthood replied to the sovereign: "O, warrior king! the théra Tissa, the son of Moggali, is such a person." The king instantly conceived a great veneration for him. On that very day, in order that the théra might be brought on his invitation, he despatched four théras, each attended by one thousand priests; in like manner, four ministers, each attended by a thousand followers. On the message being delivered by these persons, (the théra) did not accept the invitation.
Hearing this result to the mission, he despatched eight théras and eight ministers, each with a retinue of one thousand followers. As in the former instance, he again declined coming. The king inquired, 1" What can the cause be that the thera does not come?" The priests informed him what could procure the attendance of that théra, thus: "Illustrious monarch, on sending him this message, Lord! vouchsafe to extend thy aid to restore me to the faith,' the théra will come.”
Again, another time the king, adopting that very message, sent sixteen théras and sixteen ministers, each with a retinue of a thousand persons. He thus instructed (the mission): "The théra 4on account of his great age will not be disposed to mount a conveyance; do ye therefore transport the théra in a vessel by the river." They having repaired thither, delivered their message. He in the very act of hearing the message, rose. They conveyed the théra in a vessel. The king (on his approach) went out to meet him. The monarch (proceeding into the river) till the water reached his knees, with the profoundest respect, offered the support of his right shoulder to the disembarking théra. The benevolent théra, worthy of every offering, out of compassion, accepting the proffered right arm of the sovereign, disembarked from the vessel. The king, conducting the théra to the pleasure garden Rativaddhana, bathing his feet and anointing them, caused him to be seated. The sovereign, with the view of trying the supernatural power of the théra, said to him: "Lord, I am desirous of witnessing a miracle." On being asked "What (miracle)?" he replied, “An earthquake." (The théra) again asked, "The earthquake thou wishest to see ; is it to be of the whole earth or of a limited space?" Inquiring which is the most miraculous, and learning that "an earthquake confined to a limited space was the most miraculous," he declared that he was desirous of witnessing that.
The théra―within a boundary the four sides of which were a yójana in extent having placed (on each side) a chariot, a horse, a man, and a vessel filled with water, by his supernatural power he caused the half of those things, together with the ground within the boundary, to quake (the other half, placed beyond the boundary, not being affected). He manifested this miracle to him who was there seated.
The king inquired of the théra whether a sin had or had not been committed, on account of the sacrilegious murder of the priests, by his 3own minister. The théra propounding to the king the játaka called
1" How can the théra be induced to come ? 2" help me to defend the faith."
416 although well stricken in years." A sick or infirm priest is permitted to travel in a conveyance, but the king thought that the great elder, who was a strict disciplinarian, would not take advantage of this privilege.
"No sooner did he hear the message than he rose."
666 accrued to him also.”
tittira," consoled him by declaring, "Excepting there be wilful intention, there can be no sin." Sojourning in that delightful royal pleasure garden for seven days, he made the sovereign conversant with the inestimable doctrines of the supreme Buddha.
The king within those seven days having sent two yakkhas, caused all the priests in Jambudípa to be assembled. On the seventh day, going to the splendid temple built by himself, he directed the whole priesthood, without any omission, to assemble. Seated together with the théra within the curtain, and calling up to him, one by one, the heretic priests: "Lord," inquired the sovereign," Of what religion was the deity of felicitous advent?" Each, according to his own faith, propounded the "sassata," and other creeds (as the religion of Buddha). The king caused all those heretic priests to be expelled from the priesthood. The whole of the priests thus degrated were sixty thousand. He then asked the orthodox priests, " Of what religion is the deity of happy advent?" They replied," The religion of investigated (truth)." The sovereign then addressed the théra: "Lord! was the supreme Buddha himself of that vibhajja' faith?" The théra having replied Yes," and the king having heard that answer, overjoyed. "Lord," he exclaimed, 3" if by any act the priesthood can recover their own purity, by that act let the priesthood (now) perform the 'upósatha.' Having thus addressed the théra, and conferring the royal protection on the priesthood, he re-entered the celebrated capital. The priesthood, restored to unanimity of communion, then held the "upósatha."
The théra, from many asankhya of priests, selected a thousand priests of sanctified character-possessing the six perfections of religious knowledge, and versed in the "tépitaka," and perfect in the four sacerdotal qualifications-for the purpose of holding a convocation. By them the convocation on religion was held. According as the théras Mahákassapa and Yasa had performed the convocations (in their time), in like manner the théra Tissa (performed) this one. In that hall of convocation the théra Tissa preached a discourse illustrative of the means of suppressing doubts on points of faith.
Thus, under the auspices of king Asóka, this convocation on religion was brought to a close in nine months by these priests.
In the seventeenth year of the reign of this king, this all-perfect minister of religion, aged seventy-two years, 5conducted in the utmost perfection this great convocation on religion, and the "paváranan."
At the conclusion of the convocation, on account of the re-establishment of religion, the great earth, as if shouting its" sádhu! quaked. The instrument of this mission having left his supreme residence in the Brahmalóka world, and descended to this impure human world for the advancement of religion,-who, capable of advancing the cause of religion, would demur?
The fifth chapter in the Mahávansa, entitled "The Third Convocation on Religion," composed alike to delight and afflict religious men.
1" made him to understand that except."
2 I would render it "analysis.' I do not think the question put by the king to the heretics is correctly rendered. "What did Buddha teach ?" or "What was he a teacher of?" would convey the meaning of the question more clearly.
3 inasmuch as the priesthood has recovered its purity let it now perform the upósatha.
4" recited the (treatise named) Katha-vatthu-p-pakarana,' with a view." This treatise now forms the third book of the Abhidhamina Piṭaka.
"at the end of the great Paváraṇa.' The Pavárana is the confession of the priesthood at the conclusion of the vassa season.