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Sutta Name Nikaya Vagga Academic PTS PSA Plae Keywords Notes
Mahaasudassana Diigha Mahaa Vagga DN.17 D.ii.169ff., DA.ii.631f. 13/473 Kusinara Told by the Buddha on his deathbed when Ananda asks Buddha not to die in Kusinara because it is not an important town, the Buddha reveals that in fact long ago, the town was once an important city called Kusaavatii, the royal city of King Mahaasudassana. Mahasudassana possessed the seven treasures of a Universal Monarch, he was handsome, long-lived, free from disease and beloved by all classes of people. He had lotus ponds made all over his kingdom, food and clothing being placed on the edges for any who might require them. With the money people brought to the king Vissakamma, under Sakka’s orders, built the Dhammapaasaada Palace, filled with all splendour and luxury. The king possessed a gabled hall called Mahaavyuuha where he spent the hot part of the day. Having realized that his power and glory were the result of past good deeds, Mahasudassana practised generosity, self-conquest and self-control. He developed the four jhanas, suffusing all quarters with his divine abidings (brahmavihaara).
The four divine abidings are enumerated as: loving kindness (mettaa); 2. compassion (karu.naa); 3. sympathetic joy (muditaa), and; 4. equanimity (upekkhaa) at D.ii.196.
The Mahasudassana had 84,000 cities (the capital of which was Kusaavatii); 84,000 palaces (the main one of which was the Dhammapaasaada); 84,000 gabled houses (the main one of which was Mahaavyuuha); 84,000 state elephants (the main one of which was Uposatha); 84,000 horses (led by Valaahaka); 84,000 chariots (the main one of which was Vejayanta); and 84,000 wives (led by Subhaddaa). One day the king realized that his death was approaching and, when Subhaddaa visited him and tried to distract him with pleasures, he stopped her, telling her to speak to him of impermanence and the need to renounce desire. While she was still talking to him, he died and was reborn in the Brahma-world. For 84,000 years he had been prince, a viceroy and a king respectively. Later for 48,000 years he was a devout layman in the Dhammapaasaada. Mahasudassana is identified with the Buddha. In the time of Kassapa Buddha, Sudassana had been a forester. He met a monk in the forest and built a hut for him. He also requested the monk to receive alms every day at his house or at least to eat there. The monk agreed and Sudassana made his hut comfortable in every way, constructing walks, bathing places, gardens etc. outside. He also gave innumerable gifts of various kinds and descriptions.


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Last modified on: Sunday, 9 January 2000.