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Cúng dường Vật Thực Đầu Tiên Lên Đức-Phật

Sau khi Đức-Phật Gotama an hưởng pháp vị an-lạc giải thoát Niết-bàn suốt 7 tuần lễ gồm có 49 ngày đêm xong, Đức-Thế-Tôn ngự đến ngồi dưới một cội cây. Khi ấy, hai anh em lái buôn tên Tapussa và Bhallika dẫn đoàn xe bò 500 chiếc đi ngang qua, một thiên-nữ trong kiếp quá-khứ đã từng là mẹ của hai anh em lái buôn hiện ra, báo cho hai anh em lái buôn biết rằng:

– Này hai con! Đức-Phật đã xuất hiện trên thế gian rồi, Đức-Phật an hưởng pháp vị an-lạc suốt 7 tuần lễ gồm có 49 ngày qua, chưa độ vật thực.

Vậy, hai con là người đầu tiên đem vật thực đến cúng dường lên Đức-Phật.

Nghe thiên-nữ báo tin như vậy, hai anh em vô cùng hoan hỷ đem vật thực ngon lành đến đảnh lễ, rồi cúng dường lên Đức-Phật Gotama.

Đức-Phật Gotama thọ nhận vật thực của hai anh em lái buôn đầu tiên. Sau khi Đức-Phật Gotama độ vật thực và độ nước xong, hai anh em đảnh lễ Đức-Phật, kính xin thọ phép quy-y Nhị-bảo rằng:

“Ete mayaṃ Bhante, Bhagavantaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi, Dhammañca, upāsake no Bhagavā dhāretu. Ajjatagge pāṇupete saraṇaṃ gate.” (1)

– Kính bạch Đức-Thế-Tôn, chúng con thành kính xin quy y nơi Đức-Thế-Tôn và xin quy y nơi Đức-Pháp-bảo.

Kính xin Đức-Thế-Tôn công nhận hai chúng con là người cận-sự-nam (upāsaka) đã quy y Nhị-bảo kể từ hôm nay cho đến trọn đời.

Hai anh em Tapussa và Bhallika cũng là hai cận-sự- nam (upāsaka) đã quy y Nhị-bảo đầu tiên trong giáo- pháp của Đức-Phật Gotama.

Hai anh em Tapussa và Bhallika kính xin Đức-Phật ban cho báu-vật để tôn thờ. Đức-Phật Gotama ban 8 sợi tóc gọi là 8 sợi xá-lợi tóc cho hai anh em lái buôn thỉnh về tôn thờ (nay 8 sợi xá-lợi tóc được tôn thờ trong ngôi bảo tháp lớn Shwê-đa-gôn tại thủ đô nước Myanmar).page196image2958243648 page196image2958243936

1 Vinayapiṭakapāḷi, Mahāvagga, Rājāyatanakathā.

 

II. Thông tin ẸNG từ cuốn Đại Phật Sử tập 6B

1.  TAPUSSA and BHALLIKA

  • Their Past Aspirations

T

 

(I shall describe the story of the brothers, Tapussa and Bhallika, based on the Commentary on the A~guttara Nikǎya and the Commentary on the Theragǎthǎ, the Ekaka nipǎta.)

he future Tapussa and future Bhallika were reborn into a worthy family in the city of HaÑsǎvatī, during the time of Buddha Padumuttara. When they were listening to a discourse by the Buddha, they saw two disciples being named as the foremost in being the first of the Buddha’s disciples who were established in the Three Refuges. The two brothers aspired to that distinction and after making an extraordinary offering to the Buddha, they

wished for that goal. (A~guttara Commentary)

Other Past Existences in The Intervening Period

The two brothers lived a life full of meritorious deeds and, after passing away from that memorable existence, they were never reborn into the miserable states of apǎya but, instead, in the deva-world or the human world only. The future Bhallika was reborn, thirty- one world-cycles ago in a period which was devoid of any Buddhas, as a man who offered all kinds of fruits to a Paccekabuddha named Sumana. for that good deed, he was reborn only in the good destinations. During the time of Buddha Sikhī, he was reborn into a brahmin family in the city of Arunavatī. He heard the news that two merchant brothers, Ujita and Ojita, had opportunity of offering first alms-food to Buddha Sikhī who had appeared from the seventh seven-day abiding in the attainment in Cessation and who was about to begin his eighth seven-day abiding in the attainment of Cessation. He went to visit Buddha Sikhī together with his friend, (the future Tapussa), and after paying homage to the Buddha, requested Him to accept their alms-food offering the next day. On the next day, they made an extra-ordinary offering to the Buddha and said: ‚Venerable Sir, for this good deed, let both of us have the opportunity of making the first alms-food to a Buddha in the future.‛

The two friends were reborn in various existences, during which they performed meritorious deeds together, resulting in rebirth at the fortunate destinations. During the time of Buddha Kassapa, they were born into the family of a cattle merchant. for a long period of life, lasting many years, they offered milk-food to the Sangha. (These events are described in the Commentary on the Theragǎthǎ.)

(b)   Discipleship in Their Last Existence

The two friends were reborn into the fortunate destinations for the infinite years which constituted the interim period between the two Buddhas. During the time of Buddha Gotama, before the Buddha attained Perfect Enlightenment, they were reborn as two sons to a travelling merchant who carried his goods, using a big caravan, from place to place. Their native town was called Asitañcana (the Commentary on Theragǎtǎ refers to it as Pokkharavatī). The elder brother was named Tapussa and the younger, Bhallika.

They became householders and carried on the trading together, using a caravan of five hundred bullock carts. At that time, Buddha Gotama had attained Perfect Enlightenment and had passed seven times the seven-days of abiding in the attainment of Cessation, and was about to enter into the eighth seven-days period of abiding in the attainment of Cessation at the foot of a ‘Linlun’ tree, (the Sapium baccatum).

The caravan of the two merchant brothers were then not far from that tree. At that

 

moment, the deva, who had been the mother to the merchant brothers in the immediately previous existence, saw the dire need of the Buddha for sustenance, who, after staying for forty-nine days (having last taken Sujǎtǎ’s milk-rice in forty-nine morsels), must eat that day for His survival. She thought that her two sons should be able to provide the food just in time. So, using her psychic powers, she made the bullocks unable to move.

The two brothers inspected the bullocks, the carts, and all relevant conditions which made the carts immobile. They were at their wit’s ends to find the reason. Their deva mother, seeing them disheartened, possessed a man in the caravan and said to them: ‚Dear sons, you are not harassed by any demon or peta or nǎga but it is me, a deva of the terrestrial realm, who was your mother in your last existence, who is doing this. (Now, sons,) the Buddha, who is endowed with Ten Powers, is staying at the foot of a ‘Linlun’ tree. Go and offer alms-food to the Buddha which will be the first food He takes after attainment of Buddhahood.‛

The two brothers were delighted by the deva’s word. And thinking that if they were to cook alms-food it would take too much time, therefore they took some of their choicest preserved food, put them in a gold salver, and, going near the Buddha, said: ‚Venerable Sir, may you, out of compassion, accept this victuals.‛ The Buddha reviewed the situation and considered what action the previous Buddha did in such a case. The four Great Deva Kings then visited the Buddha and each offered an alms-bowl, which was made of granite and having the colour of the green gram. The Buddha considered the great benefit that would accrue to the four devas, and so accepted all the four bowls, and (placing them one a top the other,) willed that the four bowls became one, and accordingly, the four granite bowls became a single alms-bowl with four rims.

The two brothers then put their alms-food into the Buddha’s alms-bowl. (The Buddha ate the food.) After the Buddha had finished eating, the brothers offered water for drinking and washing. Then they made obeisance to the Buddha and sat in a suitable place. The Buddha gave them a discourse, at the end of which, both brothers were established in the Two Refuges. (The story of the establishment of the two brothers in the Two Refuges (dve vǎcika saraụagamaụa) has been described in Chapter 8.).

After having established in the Two Refuges, before departing, the two brothers requested from the Buddha: ‚Venerable Sir, may the Bhagavǎ, out of compassion, bestow on us something which we may revere every day.‛ The Buddha passed His right hand over His head and gave them eight hairs as relics. The brothers put the hairs in a gold casket and took them home. Back at their town, they erected a shrine at the entrance of the town of Asitañcana where the eight relic-hairs from the living Buddha were enshrined. On uposatha days, the shrine emitted Buddha-rays.

(c)   The Two Brothers being designated as foremost Lay Disciples

On one occasion, when the Buddha was residing at the Jetavana monastery and acknowledging distinguished lay disciples accordingly to their merits, He declared:

Bhikkhus, among My lay disciples who have taken refuge earliest in the Buddha and the Dhamma, the merchant brothers, Tapussa and Bhallika, are the foremost.‛

The Attainment of Path-Knowledge

Tapussa and Bhallika were the earliest of the Buddha’s lay disciples who took refuge in the Buddha and the Dhamma. Later, the Buddha made His first discourse, the Dhammacakka, at the Migadǎvana forest near Bereave. After that, He went and resided in Rǎjagaha. The two brothers also arrived at Rǎjagaha on a trading journey. They visited the Buddha, made obeisance and sat in a suitable place. The Buddha gave discourse to them, at the end of which, the elder brother Tapussa was established in Stream-Entry Knowledge and its fruition. The younger brother became a bhikkhu and in due time attained arahatship and was endowed with the Six Supernormal Powers. (Commentary on the Theragǎthǎ, Book I).

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