ĐẠI TRƯỞNG LÃO KAṄKHĀ REVATA – đệ nhất về tu thiền

ĐẠI TRƯỞNG LÃO KAṄKHĀ REVATA – đệ nhất về tu thiền

ĐẠI TRƯỞNG LÃO KAṄKHĀ REVATA

Nguyện vọng quá khứ

Cách đây một trăm ngàn đại kiếp, trong thời kỳ của Đức Phật Padumuttara, trưởng lão Kaṅkhā Revata cùng những người khác đến

tịnh xá, giống như những vị trưởng lão đương lai xưa kia. Và trong khi đang đứng ở mé ngoài của thính chúng và nghe pháp, vị ấy trông thấy Đức Phật ban danh hiệu etadagga cho một vị tỳ khưu nọ là đệ nhất trong những vị tỳ khưu tu thiền. Khi nghĩ rằng: “ Ta cũng nên trở thành người giống như vị tỳ khưu này,” bèn thỉnh Đức Phật vào lúc Ngài thuyết pháp xong và tổ chức đại thí đến Đức Phật. Trong bảy ngày, giống như những Thinh văn bồ tát khác, vị ấy phát nguyện như vầy: “ Bạch Đức Thế Tôn, do kết quả của việc phước adhikāra này, con không mong cầu bất cứ loại hạnh phúc nào khác ngoài danh hiệu etadagga trong số những người chuyên tâm hành thiền trong thời kỳ giáo pháp của một vị Phật đương lai, như vị tỳ khưu đã được ban danh hiệu cách đây bảy ngày.”

Khi Đức Phật Padumuttara dò xét về tương lai, Ngài thấy rằng nguyện vọng của vị thiện nam kia sẽ được thành tựu và Ngài đã tiên tri thọ ký cho vị ấy trước khi Ngài ra đi: “ Vào cuối một trăm ngàn đại kiếp, Đức Phật Gotama sẽ xuất hiện. Trong thời kỳ giáo pháp của vị Phật ấy, con sẽ trở thành người giữ danh hiệu etadagga trong những người chuyên tâm hành thiền!”

Đời sống xuất gia trong kiếp chót

Sau khi thực hành các việc phước đến hết cuộc đời, vị thiện nam luân hồi trong cõi chư thiên và nhân loại và đến thời kỳ Đức Phật của chúng ta, vị ấy tái sanh vào gia đình của một vị trưởng giả ở thành Sāvatthi, tên là Revata. Vào một buổi chiều, con trai của vị trưởng giả, Revata tháp tùng đoàn người đến Jetavana tịnh xá. Trong khi đang đứng ở mé ngoài của hội chúng và nghe Đức Phật thuyết pháp, chàng trai khởi sanh niềm tin và xuất gia làm tỳ khưu, thực hành các phận sự của Sa-môn. Sau khi nhân được đề mục thiền quán từ Đức Phật, và khi đang tu tập pháp thiền chỉ vị ấy đắc được tầng thiền hiệp thế. Lấy những tầng thiền ấy làm nền tảng, vị ấy chuyên tâm vào thiền Minh sát và chứng đắc đạo quả A-la-hán.

Sự hoạch đắc danh hiệu etadagga

Trưởng lão Revata có khả năng nhập vào nhiều loại định mà Đức Phật đã sử dụng cả ngày lẫn đêm. Sau đó, trong một cuộc hội họp chư Tăng, Đức Phật công bố trưởng lão Kaṅkhā-Revata là tối thắng (etadagga) trong lãnh vực thiền, tán thán như sau:

Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave mama sāvakānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ jhāyīnaṁ yadidaṁ Kaṅkhā-Revato.

Này các tỳ khưu, trong số những đệ tử của Như Lai mà có

thói quen nhập định, thì tỳ khưu Kaṅkhā-Revata là đệ nhất.

Bài mô tả về tên Kaṅkhā-Revata

Một hôm, Đức Phật đang du hành từ Sāvatthi đến Rājagaha và trên đường Revata đi vào có một cái láng mà trong đó làm mật đường. Khi thấy rằng mật đường có pha trộn bột nhào và cám (như là một công đoạn cần thiết để làm đông đặc mật đường), vị ấy khởi tâm hoài nghi không biết có được phép làm mật đường đông cứng bằng hai phụ gia không, vì hai phụ gia kia thuộc dạng thô (āmisa). Nói rằng: “ Mật đường chứa phụ gia thô thì không hợp pháp vì nó chứa bột nhào và cám. Dùng mật đường như vậy sau giờ ngọ là phạm luật.” Vị ấy và các đệ tử không lấy mật đường đã được làm thành khối như vậy.

Các tỳ khưu tin theo lời của trưởng lão cũng không dùng nó. Những vị khác trình vấn đề ấy lên Đức Phật, Ngài hỏi rằng: “ Này các tỳ khưu, tại sao người ta bỏ bột nhào và cám vào trong mật đường?” “ Để làm cho nó cứng lại, bạch Thế Tôn,” các tỳ khưu trả lời. “ Này các tỳ khưu, nếu bột nhào và cám được bỏ vào mật đường để làm đông cứng, thời bột nhào và cám được bỏ vào mật đường như vậy chỉ được xem là mật đường thôi. Này các tỳ khưu, Như Lai cho phép các con thọ dụng mật đường bất cứ khi nào các con thích,” và Đức Phật ban hành điều luật (anuññāta-sikkhāpada).

Trên đường du hành, Revata trông thấy những hạt đậu xanh (mugga) lên mầm trong những đống phân người và nói rằng: “ Đậu xanh không thích hợp để ăn, vì đậu nấu cũng có thể lên mầm.” Vị ấy khởi tâm hoài nghi như vậy và cùng với tùy tùng, vị ấy không dùng đậu xanh. Các tỳ khưu tin vào vị ấy cũng tránh không ăn đậu xanh. Vấn đề được trình lên Đức Phật, Ngài ban hành một điều luật khác cho phép ăn loại đậu như vậy bất cứ khi nào vị tỳ khưu thích. (Những bài mô tả này được nêu ra trong bộ Bhesajja-khandhaka của phẩm Vinaya Mahā-Vagga.)

Theo cách này, Revata nghi ngờ ngay cả những vật mà được phép dùng, vì vị ấy có nhiều hoài nghi liên quan đến tạng Luật, nên vị ấy có tên gọi là Kankhā-Revata, ‘Revata, người hay hoài nghi.’

Những bài kinh liên quan đến Kankhā-Revata có thể được tìm thấy trong bộ Apadāna và Chú giải, Chú giải Theragāthā, v.v…

 Trưởng lão tăng kệ – Tiểu bộ kinh

Trong thời đức Phật hiện tại ngài sanh vào trong một gia đình giàu có ở Sàvatthi. Khi ngài đứng vào vòng ngoài của những người đứng nghe bậc Ðạo Sư thuyết pháp, ngài khởi lòng tin và xuất gia. Ngài chứng quả A-la-hán nhờ hành thiền, ngài trở thành lão luyện trong thiền định và bậc Ðạo Sư tuyên bố ngài là hành thiền đệ nhất.

Sự nghiệp đã thành tựu, ngài nghĩ đến sự nghi ngờ lấn chiếm tâm tư, và nay nghi ngờ đã được đoạn tận, ngài tán thán sức mạnh và trí tuệ của bậc Ðạo Sư, nhờ vậy nay tâm tư ngài được định tĩnh và kiên trì. Ngài nói:

3. Hãy thấy trí tuệ này

Của những bậc Như Lai,

Như lửa cháy nửa đêm,

Cho ánh sáng, cho mắt,

Họ nhiếp phục nghi ngờ

Cho những ai đi đến.


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Thera 1.3: Kankhā-Revata

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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Theragatha >> Thera(3):Kankha-Revata (Revata the Doubter)

Adapted from the Archaic Translation by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
Commentary (Atthakatha) By Acariya Dhammapala
Note: ‘C’ in Pali text is pronounced as ‘ch’ as in ‘China’.


Chapter I.
 Single Verses

=3. Kankhā-Revata (Revata the Doubter)=

He was reborn in the days of our Exalted One(Buddha) in a wealthy family of Sāvatthī. And as he stood in the outermost ring of those who went after dinner to hear Him-of-the-Ten-Powers preach, he believed, and upon that entered the Monk’s order. And he attained arahantship(enlightenment) by way of practising jhāna; and so proficient in jhāna did he become, that the Lord(Buddha) pronounced him chief of the bhikkhus(monks) who practised it.

[1] [8] His task accomplished thus, this great Monk reflected on the unlikely to change tendency of his mind to doubt,[2] now wholly overcome, and praised the might and wisdom of the Exalted One(Buddha), by which his mind was now calm and firm, saying:


[3] Paññaɱ [2] imaɱ passa tathāgatānaɱ||
Aggi yathā pajjalito nisīthe||
Ālokadā cakkhudadā bhavanti||
Ye āgatānaɱ vinayanti kaŋkhaɱ’ ti.|| ||

Itthaɱ sudaɱ āyasmā kaŋkhārevato thero gāthaɱ abhāsitthā’ ti.|| ||


[3] See how great the wisdom is of Them
Who Tathagatha (who go beyond like Buddha)![3] As fire at midnight hour,
Givers of light, givers of sight are they
To those that pass, subduing all their doubt.


Thus verily did the venerable Monk Kankhā-Revata utter his saying(gatha). 


[1] Ang. Nik., i. 24.

[2] This tendency is mentioned in the Apadāna. The soubriquet it earned may have been maintained undeservedly to distinguish Revātā from the more distinguished Mahā-Thera Revata, co-Dire¢tor of the Council of Vesālī (Vinaya Texts, ii. 317; cf. 67).

[3] Tathāigatā. For a full exposition of this famous term, the Comy, refers to the Udāna and Iti-Vuttaka Commentaries Cf. J. H. Moore, Sayings of Buddha, p. 131; Sir R. Chalmers, JRAS, 1898, 108. 


1.1-3[3] Commentary on the stanza of

Kaṇkhā Revata Thera

The stanza, starting with: “Paññaṃ imaṃ passa,” constitute the stanza of the venerable Thera KaṇkhāRevata. What is the origin? This Thera also, at the time of the Blessed One Padumuttara was reborn in the family of a brahmin of great wealth in the city of Haṃsavatī. One day on the occasion of the teaching of truth (dhamma) by Buddha, he went together with the big crowd of people, as aforesaid (heṭṭhāvutta) to the monastery, stationed himself at the all-round end of the audience, and as he kept on listening to the truth (dhamma) he noticed the Master, placing a bhikkhu(monk) at the foremost position of those who take special delight in jhāna, thought to himself thus: – “It is fittingly proper for me also to become in future such a monk as this.” At the end of the teaching, he invited the Master, made a great reverential offering by himself as aforesaid, and said thus to the Blessed One:– “Venerable Sir! By means of this devoted deed, I do not aspire for any other prosperity; however, just like that bhikkhu(monk) who was placed at the foremost position of those who had gained jhāna, seven days ago from now, so also may I become chief among those who gain jhāna in future in the dispensation of a Buddha.” Thus, he made his aspiration. The Master looked into the future, and on having found out the materialisation (of his aspiration), prophesied thus, and took His departure:– “In future at the end of a hundred thousand aeons (kappa) Buddha named Gotama will appear; in His dispensation, you will become chief of those who gained jhāna.”

Having done good deeds as long as his life-span lasted, he wandered about his rounds of repeated rebirths among gods and men for a hundred thousand aeons (kappa), and was reborn in an abundantly wealthy family in the city of Sāvathi at the time of our Glorious One. He went to the monastery, after meal, along with a large crowd of people for the purpose of listening to the truth (dhamma) stationed himself at the entire end of the audience, listened to the teaching of truth (dhamma) of Dasabala, properly gained pious faith, became a monk, obtained the upasampadā ordination, had mental exercise (kammaṭṭhāna) prescribed for him, performed the all-round performance (parikamma) of jhāna, became a gainer of jhāna, made his jhāna his basis, and attained Arahantship. Entering himself upon such sort of proper attainment of meditation (samāpatti) as should be generally entered upon personally by Dasabala, day and night, he became familiarly powerful, (ciṇṇavasī) in the jhānas. Thereupon the Master placed him at the foremost position of those who possessed heights of jhāna attainment thus: – “O monks! This one is the chief of my disciple-bhikkhus who possess jhāna, this one, namely Kaṇkhā Revata. This has been said also in the Apadāna, thus:–

There arose the leader Conqueror, named

Padumuttare, possessor on insight in all

dhamma, a hundred thousand aeons (kappa)

ago from now.

He was lion-jawed, brahmā-voiced, swan-

drum sounded (nissano), one who walked with

graceful gait of an elephant, with rays of

light outshining the moon and sun.

The Protector greatly wise, highly heroic,

possessed of great power of jhāna, supremely

strong, was the dispeller of deep darkness.

That chief of the three worlds led out of

saṃsāra (vinayaṃ) many lead-able people,

sometimes; the self-awakened sage who knew

the desire of creatures taught the truth

(dhamma).

The conqueror gladdened the mass of men

praising the all-round mindful monk who

was meditative (jhāyiṃ) took delight in

jhāna, heroic, tranquil and undisturbed.

At that time, I was in Haṃsavatī, a brahmin

who had reached the further shore of the sea

of vedas; having listened to the truth (dhamma)

I got gladdened and specially prayed for that

position. Then the Conqueror, the clear leader

made His prophecy amidst the clergy saying:

“O brahmin! You should be glad; you will gain

your desired object, that would please your

mind.

“A hundred thousand aeons (kappa) hence, there

would become in the world a Master, named

Gotama, by clan, well-born in the family of

Okkāka.

“You will be the disciple of the Master,

known by the name of Revata, His bosom son

created spiritually by dhamma, the heir in

His teachings (dhammesu).”

On account of that deed, done well, with

volitional self-determination also (ceta-

nāpaṇidhi) I went myself to Tāvatiṃsa after

giving up my human body. Now that I had

come to my last existence, I was born in

the city of Koliya, in a family of warrior

prince endowed with prosperity, richness and

abundant wealth. When Buddha taught the

truth (dhamma) in Kapilavatthu, then I became

piously pleased with Sugata and I became a

monk to lead a houseless life.

There had been to me many a doubt in this

and that aeon after aeon (kappa). All those

doubts Buddha dispelled after teaching me

the nost excellent truth (dhamma)

Therefore, I became one who had crossed

over the sea of saṃsāra, and I lived taking

delight in the bliss of jhyāna, then; on

having seen me then, Buddha said this to

me.

Whatever doubts are here or there, either

regarding one’s own knowledge or regarding

the knowledge of others, they who are devoted

to jhāna and ardent, do away with them all

as they conduct themselves in their chaste

lives (brahmacariya).

The deed done in the hundred thousand (aeons),

shows its fruition to me here. I burnt all

my depravity (kilesa) like unto the momentum

of well-released arrow.

Thereafter, on having seen (me) taking delight

in jhāna, Buddha, the highly wise, the sage

who had gone to the end of the world, recognised

me as chief of bhikkhus(monks) who practised jhāna.

My many a depravity had been burnt, all existences

had been well eliminated. I live canker-free

like an elephant which had cut off its fetters.

Indeed it was my good-going to the presence of

my Buddha. Threefold knowledge (vijjā) had

accordingly been attained by me; Buddha’s

instruction had been carried out.

Visualised by me are the fourfold analytical

knowledge (paṭisambhidā) the eightfold emancipa-

tion (vimokkha) and six sorts of higher-knowledge;

Buddha’s instruction (sāsana) had been carried

out.

This great Thera, however, after having done his duties, likewise, now reflected upon the state of being free from doubt in all respects by now though formerly for a long period his own mind was beset with dubiousness and said to himself thus:– “Wonderful, indeed, is the potency of my Master’s teaching, by means of which at present I am thus free from doubt and internally I have become clam-minded. There arose in him much esteem for Buddha and the Thera recited this stanza starting with:– “Paññaṃ imaṃ passa (look at this wisdom)” praising the wisdom (paññā) of the Blessed One.

      

3.   There, the expression paññā is to be construed thus:– he knows the characteristics; he makes known with characteristics; thus, is also paññā (wisdom). He knows the manners (or characteristics) as to how He should teach to the lead-able creatures beginning with good deed as well as beginning with aggregates (khandha) of truths (dhamma) in such characteristics as inclination, bias, conduct, emancipation and so on; He properly penetrates according as is natural; he makes known by means of those characteristics also; thus, is the meaning. Here, indeed, the wisdom (ñāṇa) of teaching of the Master is meant; therefore, he said thus: “Imaṃ (this) “Indeed, it has been stated as: “imaṃ (this),” after having taken what stood near as if face to face from the point of view of getting hold of the method by the accomplished strength of teaching in himself. Whatever wisdom of the teaching of the Master is taken up by the foremost or by the disciples by way of method, that wisdom of proper penetration is but taken up by the foremost in his own sphere from the point of view of method. Therefore, the venerable Commander-in-chief of dhamma said thus:– “Venerable Sir! Perhaps also, the general conclusion of the dhamma has been understood by me.” The expression:– “passa (see),” is to be construed thus:– having attained astonishment he addresses indefinitely (or he does so), even to his own mind; just as in making solemn utterance, the Blessed One said: “Look at this world having been overcome in many ways by ignorance, delighting in what had become, had not all-round escaped from existence.” The expression Tathāgatānaṃ is to be construed thus:– Because of such meaning as the coming likewise and so on, of those who have come likewise (tathāgata), (He) had come likewise; thus, indeed is tathāgata; had gone likewise; thus, is tathāgata; had come to the symbol of truth; thus, is tathāgata; specially self-enlightened in the nature (dhamma) of truth (tathā) from the point of view of reality (yathāva); thus, is tathāgata; because of having been done likewise, he is tathāgata; because of the meaning of overwhelming he is tathāgata; thus, is this manner under eight circumstances, the Blessed One is Tathāgata. He had come by means of that manner, He is Tathāgata; He had gone by means of that manner; thus, He is Tathāgata; He had gone to the symbol of truth; thus, He is Tathāgata; He had come to realities; thus, He is Tathāgata; of such kind; thus, He is Tathāgata; had occurred likewise; thus, He is Tathāgata; had come with realities; thus, He is Tathāgata; by the state of having gone likewise; He is, thus, Tathāgata; thus, in this manner also, under eight circumstances, the Blessed One is Tathāgata; this, here, is the abbreviation. In extent, however, it should be understood but by means of such method as had been said in the commentary on Udāna as well as in the commentary of Itivuttaka of the Paramatthadīpanī.

Now, in order to show the distinctively unique character of His wisdom, it has been stated as “Aggiyathā (like fire, and so on)” The expression yathā indicates the state of that illustration; the expression: pajjalito is the indication of conjunction with what should be compared to (upameyya); the expression nisithe (at mid-night) is the showing of the doing of what should be done. Below, is the meaning:– Just as, namely, when an army comprising four divisions happens to be present in the darkness of night at mid night, the fire lit ablaze at a high-level place stands dispelling the darkness at that place, in the self-same way, see this wisdom of the Tathāgatas reckoned as the wisdom of teaching, dispelling the darkness of doubt of creatures amenable to discipline and being led out (veneyya) in their entirety. Since, by the beauty of instruction the Tathāgatas give light made of wisdom (ñāṇa) to the living-beings; thus, ālokadā (giver of light). They give eye made even of wisdom (paññā); thus, cakkhudadā, giver of eye. In order to point out both of that also after having made but the proximate cause of dispelling doubt, he said thus:– “Ye āgatānaṃ vinayanti kaṇkhaṃ, they who dispel the doubt of those who had come.” Ye means Tathāgatas; āgatānaṃ means of the creatures amenable to discipline and being led out (vaneyya) who had approached their own presence; kaṇkhaṃ means (doubt on such sixteen bases as occurrence of method beginning with “Did I indeed become in the past period of time?” and on such eight bases as occurrence of method beginning with: “He doubts in Buddha, he doubts in dhamma;” vinayanti means they dispel and destroy totally by the power of teaching. Doubt reckoned as scrupulous remorse pertaining to disciplinary rules (vinaya) however, are dispelled but by that very vinaya.

The other method: – Just as the fire of keener flame, lit ablaze at the middle portion of night being resplendent with the blaze dispels darkness just by giving light to those who had stationed themselves on a high seat and becomes giver of light making manifest the level and unlevel (or even and uneven) ground; to those who had kept themselves standing in close vicinity, however, making that nature of ground well obvious and since the flame of light makes what ought to be done by eyes it is, namely, the giver of eye; in the self-same way even, the Tathagatas, having dispelled the darkness of delusion of those who had stationed themselves far away, from their own body of truth (dhamma) and who had not done devoted duties, by means of their brilliant light of wisdom (paññā), and making manifest such evenness and the unevenness as the unevenness  of the body and so on, become givers of light; making spiritual insight (dhammacakkhu) of those who had kept standing mear, however, and of those who had dome their devoted duties, to arise, they become givers of eye. Look at the superiority of knowledge (ñāṇa), and wisdom (paññā) of these Tathāgatas, who discipline and dispel by properly provoking the noble path (ariyamagga), the doubt of those who are bountiful in doubt who resemble myself, and who had come to their own sphere of words and who had becoming as such; thus, is the unterpretation. In this manner, this stanza is also the prophecy or explanation (byākaraṇa) of the Arahantship (aññā) of the Thera by making manifest of his having crossed the sea of doubt. Indeed, this Thera at the time when he was but an average ordinary bhikkhu(puthujjana) was rather remorsefully scrupulous even over fittingly acceptable offerings to him (kappiya), and because of his being bountiful in doubt, he was clearly known as “Kaṇkhārevata (doubtful Revata);” later at the time when he became canker-free Arahant also, he, but likewise, continued to be called accordingly. Therefore, Buddha said thus: “The venerable KaṇkhāRevata uttered the stanza as desired.” That meaning has but been said.

The Commentary on the stanza

of the Thera Kaṇkhā Revata

is complete.

******

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