Trưởng lão Koṭṭhika tương lai sanh vào một gia đình giàu có ở kinh thành Haṃsavatī, thời của Đức Phật Padumuttara. Trong khi nghe Đức Phật thuyết pháp, vị ấy chứng kiến một vị tỳ khưu được Đức Phật vinh danh là vị tỳ khưu Tối thắng trong những vị chứng đắcTứ vô ngại giải. Người con trai của vị trưởng giả bị nung nấu bởi ước muốn trở thành vị tỳ khưu vĩ đại như thế trong tương lai. Cũng như các trường hợp của những vị đại trưởng lão tương lai khác, vị ấy tổ chức đại thí và bày tỏ ước nguyện của mình trước Đức Phật. Và Đức Phật đã nói lời tiên tri cho vị ấy trước khi ra đi trở về tịnh xá.
Trưởng lão Koṭṭhika tương lai, sau khi làm các việc phước cho đến cuối đời, khi mạng chung được tái sanh vào cõi chư thiên và trở lại trong hai cõi chư thiên và nhân loại. Vào thời của Đức Phật Gotama, vị ấy sanh vào một gia đình Bà-la-môn ở trong kinh thành Sāvatthi, tên là Koṭṭhika. Đến tuổi trưởng thành, vị ấy thông thuộc ba tạng Phệ đà. Một hôm nọ, khi đang nghe thời pháp của Đức Phật, vị ấy khởi tâm tịnh tín mạnh mẽ nơi Đức Phật đến nỗi vị ấy xin xuất gia làm tỳ khưu. Kể từ đó vị ấy chuyên tâm thực hành thiền quán và chứng đắc đạo quả A-la-hán, có Tứ Vô ngại giải tuệ.
Sau khi chứng đắc đạo quả A-la-hán, trưởng lão Koṭṭhika vốn thông thạo Tứ vô ngại giải tuệ thường hay đặt câu hỏi của vị ấy về những hình thức trí tuệ này. Như vậy, liên quan đến bài kinh Mahāvedalla (Majjhima Nikāya, Mūlapaṇṇāsa), Đức Phật đã công bố:
Etadaggaṃ bhikkhave mama sāvakānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ paṭisambhidāpattānaṃ yadidaṃ Mahā Koṭṭhiko.Này các tỳ khưu, trong số các tỳ khưu đệ tử của Như Lai mà chứng đắc Tứ vô ngại giải tuệ, thì tỳ khưu Koṭṭhikalà Đệ nhất.
Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, in a very wealthy clan of brahmins(priests) , he was named Koṭṭhita. When he was come of age he had learned the three Vedas, and perfected himself in the accomplishments of a brahmin(priest). He heard the Lord(Buddha) preach the Path(Dhamma), found faith, and entered the Monk’s order. Practising insight from the day of his initiation into monkhood he attained arahantship(enlightenment), together with thorough mastery of the form and meaning of the Path(Dhamma). As proficient  in this he used to question the great Theras and Him-of-the-Ten-Powers about them. Hence it came that he was held chief of those who were thus proficient. Then the Lord(Buddha), having shown his attainments in the Vedalla-Sutta, ranked him chief of those who wore proficient in insight.
He, on a later occasion, conscious of the bliss of emancipation(nirvana), broke forth in this verse:
 Upasanto uparato mantabhāṇī anuddhato||
Dhunāti pāpake dhamme dumapattaɱ va māluto’ ti.|| ||
Itthaɱ sudaɱ āyasmā mahākoṭṭhito thero gāthaɱ abhāsitthā’ ti.|| ||
 whosoever, serene and calm, dead to the world,
Can utter wise phrases, with wisdom uninflated.
Unruffled – he did shake off naughty things
As they were forest leaves by wind-god blown.
Thus verily did the venerable Monk Mahn-Kotthita utter his saying(gatha).
 Imasmiŋ Buddhuppāde. Lit., not ‘age,’ but arising, advent. The period, however, includes the whole, i.e., the last life, of the great tcacher; hence only ‘age’ seemed to fit. The phrase alternates with kālo, samayo, ‘time.’
 Pronounced Kott’hita. The name is also recorded as Koṭṭhika and Koṭika. The Thera is evidently the one included among the ‘Great Elders’ in Vinaya and Suttanta, the interlocutor in several Suttas – e.g., Majjhima Nikāya, i. 292; Saŋyutta Nik., ii. 112; Ang. Nik., i. 24, etc. See Vinaya Texts, ii. 112, 317; iii. 359.
 On this technical phrase, see Sisters, p. 17, n. 1.
 A title of the Buddha, frequent in scholastic works. It was at first applied equally to Arahants(enlightened ones). Cf. Ang., ii. 63; Saŋy, ii. 28. The powers are enumerated in Majjh., i. 69-71.
 Ang., i. 23; Majjh., i. 232.
 Manta or mantras, an allusion to his brahmin(priest) or Vedic training. The next two phrases are a rendering of the one word anuddhato, which the Commentary connects with uddhacca, excitement.
 Māluto, wind, may possibly have ceased to suggest the Vedic Māruts, ur wind-gods, at this date. Cf. Sisters, p. 150.
1.1-2 Commentary on the stanza of
Stanzas starting with Upasanto constitute the stanzas of Mahākoṭṭhika. What is the origin of that Thera? This Thera also, at the time of the Blessed One Padumuttara, was reborn in a family of great wealth in the city of Haṃsavatī. After having attained the age of intelligence, with the lapse of his parents, he had his estate set up and while leading a household life, he, one day saw, at the time of te Blessed One Padumuttara was teaching the dhamma, the residents of the city of Haṃsavatī, with sweet-scents and flower garlands in their hands, going, descending, converging and sloping towards that place where Buddha, Dhamma and Saṇgha were, he also went towards the same together with the great crowd of people. On having seen the Master placing a bihkkhu at the foremost position of those who had attained analytical knowledge (paṭisambhidā) he thought to himself thus: “It is said that this one is foremost of those who had attained analytical knowledge; it will be wonderful, indeed, should I also become foremost among those who had attained analytical knowledge; like this one in the dispensation of a Buddha.” When the audience rose up at the all-round end of the teaching of dhamma by the Master, he approached the Blessed One and invited Him thus:–”Venerable sir! Please receive my alms-food tomorrow.” The Master made His approval. He paid his homage to the Glorious One, circumambulated Him, went back to his own residence, had sitting accommodation set up for Buddha and His clergy of monks, adorned the same with sweet-scented ropes, flower-garland ropes and so on, food hard and soft prepared the whole night, and with the lapse of that night, he has the Blessed One together with His retinue of a hundred thousand bhikkhus(monks) fed in his own residence with sweet scented barley (sāli-rice-meal) accompanied by different delicious soup and curry and thought to himself at the all-round end of the meal thus:–”Great, indeed, is the ranking position which I aspired for; it does not, indeed, befit me, however, to pray for that position after offering charity, just for one day only; I shall show my desire for it after I have offered charity for seven days in succession, continuously.” In that self-same manner, he gave great charitable offering for seven days and at the all-round end of meal-catering, he had his store-house of textiles or clothes (dussa) opened, placed the piece of delicately fine cloth, sufficiently enough for the most excellent set fo three robes at the base of Buddha’s feet, offered a set of three robes each to the hundred thousand bhikkhus(monks), approached the Tathāgata and said thus:– “Venerable Sir! There was that bhikkhu(monk) who was placed at the foremost position by you, seven days ago; I, also, should like to become, like that bhikkhu(monk) foremost of those who had attained analytical knowledge after having become a monk in the dispensation of a Buddha who would arise in future.” He lay himself down at the bse of the Master’s feet and made the said aspiration. On having found out the condition of the materialisation of his aspiration, the Master made His prophecy thus:– “In time to come at the top end of a hundred thousand aeons (kappa) from now, Buddha, named Gotama, will appear; in His dispensation, your aspiration will materialise. This has been said also in the Apadāna, thus:–
“The Conqueror, named Padumuttara, the
sage, possessor of insight (cakkhu)
arose in the world, a hundred thousand
aeons (kappa) ago from now.
Adviser, clever in instruction, the
(guiding star of all living-beings);
Buddha clever in teaching made many
a man cross (the sea of saṃsāra).
They sympathiser, the merciful and
seeker of welfare for all creatures;
He properly placed all heretics, who
had reached Him, in the five moral precepts.
Thus, He was free from disturbance,
being totally absent from (or empty of)
heretics; he variegated with Arahants,
who were masters of their own power and
of such a type as would be unperturbed
by various vicissitudes of life (tādi).
The great Sage is fifty eight cubits
in height; He resembles costly gold and
is possessed of thirty two excellent characteris-
At all times there exists a span of life
lasting a hundred thousand years, living
on till the end of that life-span, He let-
cross many a man.
At that time, I was, in Haṃsavatī; a
brahmin well-versed in vedas; having
approached the chief of the whold world,
I listened to the teaching of dhamma.
On that occasion, that Hero, placed a
disciple, whose pasture (gocara) was
growing (pabhinna) love (mati), who was
clever in such sort of analytical knowledge
as meaning (attha) text (dhamma) etymology
(nirutti), and ready reply (paṭibhāṇa) in
the foremost position (etadagga); on having
heard about it, I then had the excellent
Conqueror, together with disciples fed
with food for seven days.
After having had the ocean of awakened
knowledge, along with disciples covered
with clothings I fell myself down at the
base of His feet and prayed for that position.
Thereafter, the chief of the world said:–
Look at this most excellent man, bending
at the base of my feet, who has the rays
of lotus flower, the essence of water.
This one aspires for the position of a
bhikkhu of the best Buddha by means of
that pious faith, sacrifice and the
listening to the good dhamma; having be-
come happy everywhere, and having wandered
about his rounds of repeated rebirths
in major and minor existences, this one
will gain his heart’s desire in time to
A hundred thousand aeons (kappa), hence,
there will appear a Master in the world,
born of the family of Okkāka, by clan
named Gotama. He will become a disciple
of the Master, known by the name of Koṭṭhita,
an heir to all His dhanna, the bosom son
created by truth (dhamma).
Having heard of it, I became glad; being
mindful, wise and well-composed, as well
as fond-hearted, I all-round attended upon
the Conqueror then as long as my life-span
As a result of that deed, and volitional
self-determination (cetanā paṇidhi) I gave
up my human body and went to Tāvatiṃsa.
For three hundred times I exercised divine
sovereignty; I was world-king also for five
The, splendour of regional rulership could
not be calculated numerically. By means
of the conveyance of that deed I was happy
I wandered about my rounds of repeated
rebirths in such two existences as that of
a divine-being and later a human being.
I do not go to another course; this is the
first (phala) of good performance of accom-
I am born in two families; in that of the
warrior-prince and then that of a brahmin.
I am not born in a low family; this is the
fruit of good performance or accomplishment
(suciṇṇa). When (my) last birth well-arrived
I was a kinsman of brahman; I was born again
in a wealthy brahmin (vippa) family in
My mother was Candavatī, by name; my father
was Assalāyana. When Buddha disciplined my
father for entire purity, then, I became
pious over Sugata and I became a monk to
Lead a houseless life, Moggallāna was my
teacher, and the son of Sārī was my preceptor
or spiritual head (upajjhā).
When my hair was being cut (or shaved), heretical
view came to have been cut off along with its
root; as and when I don the yellow robe, I
attained Arahantship. Because I developed my
knowledge of the meaning (attha), test (dhamma)
etymology (nirutti) and ready reply (paṭibhāṇa),
the chief of the world, therefore, placed me at
this foremost position (etadagga).
On having been asked by Upatissa I answered
about what has not been seen together or
unseeable (asandiṭṭha) nibbāna. On that account
I became chief among those possessed of analyti-
cal knowledge (paṭisambhidā) in the dispensation
of self-awakened Buddha. My depravity (kilesa)
had been burnt, all existences had been well
destroyed (samūhatā); like an elephant which
had cut off its bondage, I live free from
Indeed it was my good going to the presence
of Buddha; threefold knowledge (vijjā) had
been accordingly attained; Buddha’s instruction
(sāsana) had been carried out.
Visualised by me are the four kinds
of analytical knowledge, these eight-
fold emancipation (vimokkha) also, and
six sorts of higher-knowledge (abhiññā)
as well; Buddha’s instruction (sāsana)
had been carried out.
Having thus made a good storage of proper load of merit and knowledge (ñāṇa) in this and that existence, he wandered about his rounds of repeated rebirths, now and then, among gods and men and was reborn in a highly wealthy brahmin family at Sāvatthi, when this Buddha arose. They gave him the name Koṭṭhita. On having come of age, he learnt the three vedas, became proficient in the lore or science of brahmins, one day went to the presence of the Master, listened to the truth (dhamma) gained pious faith, became a monk and doing the work of developing clear insight (vipassanā) ever since the time he was ordained a bhikku(monk), attained Arahantship along with analytical knowledge (paṭisambhidā), became powerfully familiar with all the four kinds of analytical knowledge, approached great Theras well-known and popular, in putting questions to them, as well as, in posing questions to Dasabala, whom also he approached, he always asked questions on the four kinds of analytical knowledge even. In this manner, this Thera, because of his having done devotedly in that respect, as well as because of his familiarity and mastary (ciṇṇavasī) he became chief of those who had attained analytical knowledge (paṭisambhidā). Thereafter, the Master, having made an anecdote of Mahāvedalla Sutta and placed him at the foremost position of those who had attained analytical knowledge thus:– “O monks! This one is the chief of my disciple bhikkhus(monks), who had attained analytical knowledge, this one, namely, Mahā-Koṭṭhita. On a subsequent occasion, as and when he was himself properly enjoying the bliss of emancipation, that venerable Thera Mahākoṭṭhika uttered this desirable stanza by way of solemn utterance:–
of wise words shakes away evil deeds like
unto the wind shaking away the leaf of a
There, upasanta is to be construed as:– calm and quiet under the circumstances of being closely and clearly associated with tranquility of controlling faculties over six places inclusive of mind. Uparato is to be understood as abstaining from the doing of all evil and be clearly joyful. Mantabāṇa is to be construed thus:–manta is said to be knowledge of wisdom (paññā); having, however, ascertained by means of that knowledge, he speaks; thus, mantabhāṇī (speaker of knowledge, wise speaker); he speaks but without answering such a condition as speaking at the proper time and so on; thus, is the meaning. Alternatively he speaks by way of reciting manta (knowledge); thus, mantabhāṇī (repeater of wise words); he speaks but well-spoken statement, endowed with four characteristics by way of his own speech without any ill-spoken statement; thus, is the meaning. Not unbalanced, since he is not self-exalted by way of having such qualities as good-birth and so on; thus, anuddhato, well-balance, In other words, because of the allayment of three kinds of bad bodily conduct, subsequently becoming clam due to proper abstinence; by displeasure in and abandonment of three kinds of bad mental conduct, he is an abstainer (uparata); because of being an all-round measured speaker, for the sake of the non-occurrence of four kinds of bad verbal conduct, he is a wise speaker (mantabhāṇī; because of not becoming exalted for the provocation of symptoms of three kinds of bad conduct, he is well-balanced (anuddhata). Thus, however, having become well-established in pure moral precepts by being well-established in pure moral precepts by the abandonment of three kinds of bad conduct, having become well-composed by the abandonment of being exalted, having made that self-same concentration (samādhi) as proximate cause, developed clear insight (vipassanā) he shakes off evil deeds, dhunāti pāpake dhamme by means of successive stages of noble path (magga): in its sinful sense, he shakes off all the evil self-depraved (sankilesa) deeds (dhamma) also, he abandons by way of completely cutting off (samuccheda). In what manner? Dumapattaṃ va māluto, (like unto, namely, the windy breeze shaking off the yellow dry leaf of a growing tree); it pulls out disconnecting it from its binding twig; in this way, he pulls out from his own continuity (santāna) the evil deeds (dhamma) as he has stationed himself in the proper attainment (paṭipatti) according as has been said. Thus, this stanza also of the Thera is that of the prophecy (or explanation) of Arahantship (aññā) with the indicated location of Arahantship (aññā); thus, it should be understood.
Here also, it shows the purity of practical means (payoga) with the statement of abandonment of bad bodily and verbal conduct; (it shows) the purity of inclination (or intention) with (or by) the statement of abandonment of bad mental conduct. In this manner, it shows the abandonment of hindrances of one who is pure in practical means and intention for the condition of that one purpose by means of this statement of absence of being exalted, namely; “anuddhato (unexalted).” Among then, the prosperity of moral precepts has been made manifest by purity of practical means; by means of purity of intention, there is acquisition of helpful (or beneficial) deeds (dhamma) of the development (bhāvanā), of quietude of heart (samatha): there is development (bhāvanā) of concentration (samādhi) by means of this, namely:– “dhunāti pāpake dhamme, (he shakes off evil deeds),” the development (bhāvanā) of wisdom (paññā) has been made manifest. In this manner, there are three kinds of disciplinary training (sikkhā) comprising super-moral precept training (adhisīlasikhā) and so on, the instruction (or dispensation) which is excellent in three aspects; three kinds of abandonment comprising, momentary (tadaṇga) abandonment and so on; there is the entering upon the proper attainment (paṭipatti) the middle, along with the all-round avoidance of the two extremes; there is also the means of one’s own going beyond the state of purgatory and so on; the interpretation should be made after extracting according as is fittingly worthy. By means of this method, in the rest of the stanzas also, the interpretation of meaning should be understood according as the expressions are fittingly worthy. However, here and there, we shall comment on what has not been commented upon previously but to the extent of meaning only. This expression, namely, “Iṭṭhaṃ sudaṃ āyasmā Mahākoṭṭhiko (the venerable Mahākoṭṭhika is desired”), is the statement of reverence just as it is of Mahāmoggalāna.
The Commentary on the stanza
of the thera Mahākoṭṭhika
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