Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations

By Reginald A. Ray | Go to book overview

life was oriented around the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra itself. At that time, this ṛṣi taught the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra to the bodhisattva in return for which the bodhisattva acted as his devoted servant for a thousand years. This seer was none other than Devadatta, whom the Buddha terms his kalyāṇamitra (Sps 158.25- 26 [Kn., 246]), or "spiritual friend"--in effect, his teacher. It was through training under Devadatta as his teacher, the Buddha tells us, that he was able to perfect the qualities 55 by which he eventually became a buddha (Sps 158.26ff. [Kn., 246]). In future times, the Buddha continues, Devadatta will be greatly revered and honored and shall become no less than the greatly revered tathāgata Devarāja, who shall lead innumerable beings to enlightenment. After he has passed away, the dharma of this Buddha shall remain for twenty intermediate kalpas. Moreover, his relics will not be divided but will be kept together in a single, gigantic stūpa, worshiped by gods and humans. So holy will be this stūpa that those who circumambulate it may hope for realization as an arhant, a pratyekabuddha, or a buddha. Finally, in the future, a great blessing shall come to those who hear about Devadatta: for those hearing this chapter of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra and gaining from it shall be liberated from rebirth in the three lower realms. 56 For at least one Buddhist tradition, then, Devadatta is clearly neither a vinaya-breaker nor the archenemy of the Buddha but is a simple bhikṣu in good standing, present in an assembly in which the Buddha is preaching the Mahāyāna of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra. Moreover, he is identified as having been in a previous lifetime a forest saint devoted to the principal Mahāyāna text of this tradition, one who made possible the present Buddha and his central Mahāyāna teaching. Does this textual image of Devadatta, though written down much later, retain a tradition relating to this saint that antedates or is contemporaneous with his vilification in the various vinayas? This question, particularly in light of the Mahāyāna associations of Devadatta in the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra, is intriguing.


Notes
1.
For information on Piṇḍolabhāradvāja, see Watters 1898; Kumagusu 1899; Kern 1901-3, 1:152; Lévi and Chavannes 1916; De Visser 1922-23; Przyluski 1923, 75-88, 191-92, 208-11, 264-66, and passim; Shan Shih Buddhist Institute 1961; Strong 1979 and 1983, 83-87, 260-61, and passim; for bibliographical information on the sixteen and eighteen arhants, see Strong 1979, 52, n. 6, and the notes to this chapter, below.
2.
The Manorathapūraṇś typifies him in this same way (Mrp 1: 196). See also Da 399 (St., 260). Piṇḍolabhāradvāja's previous lives are discussed in Vms 3.1, 183-84 ( Hofinger 1954, 212-15).
3.
Translated into Chinese in 445 C.E. Following De Visser's summary ( 1923, 74).
4.
Suttanipāta commentary (Sn-c 2:570) and Jātaka (J 4:263), summarized by Strong 1979, 60, n. 44.
5.
In the An + ̄guttaranikāya commentary ( Strong 1979, 69). The motif of lion-roaring has two different faces in the tradition. On the one hand, as here, it is uttered by the saint who has broken through to realization. On the other, it is a mark of those who defeat heretics (LC., 112).
6.
Translated by Lévi and Chavannes ( 1916, 94ff.).

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Buddhist Saints in India: A Study in Buddhist Values and Orientations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • Conventions xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 10
  • 1 - The Buddhist Saints and the Two-Tiered Model of Buddhism 15
  • Notes 36
  • 2 - Buddha Śākyamuni as a Saint 44
  • Notes 68
  • 3 - Saints of the Theragāthā and Therīgāthā 79
  • Notes 99
  • 4 - Some Orthodox Saints in Buddhism 105
  • Conclusion 136
  • Notes 141
  • 5 - Saints Criticized and Condemned 151
  • Notes 173
  • 6 - Cults of Arhants 179
  • Notes 205
  • 7 - The Solitary Saint, the Pratyekabuddha 213
  • Notes 241
  • 8 - Bodhisattva Saints of the Forest in Mahāyāna Sūtras 251
  • Appendix: the Minor Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā Sūtra on Forest Bhikṣus 275
  • Appendix: the Minor Rāṣṭrapālaparipṛcchā Sūtra on Forest Bhikṣus 280
  • 9 - Ascetic Traditions of Buddhist Saints 293
  • Notes 318
  • 10 - The Buddhist Saints and the Stūpa 324
  • Notes 352
  • 11 - The Cult of Saints and Buddhist Doctrines of Absence and Presence 358
  • Notes 386
  • 12 - The Buddhist Saints and the Process of Monasticization 396
  • Notes 423
  • Conclusion: Toward a Threefold Model of Buddhism 433
  • Notes 447
  • Bibliography 448
  • Index 469
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