The Legend and Cult of Upagupta, 1-2



Provisions for the Buddha's Absence


p. 23 praediction by S`akya-muni concerning Upa-gupta

[Divya-avadana, pp. 348-9 (English transl., Strong 1983b, p. 174)] "When the Blessed One ... had converted the naga Apalala, the potter, the outcaste woman, and Gopali, he reached the city of Mathura {/math/ 'to stir, whirl, churn' + /ura/ 'ewe'}. There he said to the Venerable Ananda : "... right here in Mathura, one hundred years after my parinirvan.a,

there will be a perfumer

{Cf. the flowered water depicted as issuing from the back of Yaca-tecuhtli (AP"Y").}

named Gupta {'hidden, concealed, kept secret, secret'}. He will have a son named Upagupta {'hidden, concealed'}, a Buddha without the marks ["of a Great Man"] ... {viz., "without marks" so as to conceal identity; whereas "with marks" would disclose an identity}. Through his teaching, many monks will ... experience arhatship -- ["so many that"] they will fill up a cave eighteen cubits long and twelve cubits wide with

tally sticks [s`alaka] four inches in length {each}. ... .

{Cf. the "bundle of sticks" which is the emblem of Aztec god Yaca-techutli (AP"Y").}

... on the horizon ... is the mountain called Uru[-]mun.d.a {/uru/ 'wide, broad, spatious; wide space' + /mun.d.a/ 'shaven-headed; shaven head' : /uru-mun.d.a/ 'shaven-scalp in broad tonsure'}. There ..., a monk {abbot} called S`an.aka[-]vasin ... will initiate Upagupta ... . Moreover ..., in Mathura, there will be two guild masters, the brothers Nat.a {'actor, dancer, mime'} and Bhat.a {'humpback' -- mimes and hunchbacks serving as comedians and jesters}. They will build a monastery on Mount Urumun.d.a; it will be known as as the Nat.a[-]bhat.ika and will be the best of all my forest hermitages".

Strong 1983b= John S. Strong : The Legend of King As`oka. Princeton.


pp. 23-4 vyakaran.a

p. 23

"Predictions (vyakaran.a) ... abound in Buddhist avadana literature. ...

p. 24

Such predictions often cover vast periods of time ... giving ... a glimpse of what, in the Sarvasti[-]vadin view of things, already exists in the future."

p. 24 sites of conversions by S`akya-muni (according to T. 2042, 50:102b : English transl., Soper 1949-50, pt. 1, p. 276)




naga Apalala


the potter




[p. 301, n. 7 Go-pala Naga]

Soper 1949-50 = Alexander C. Soper : "Aspects of Light Symbolism in Gandharan Sculpture". Parts 1-3. ARTIBUS ASIAE 12.252-83, 314-30; 13.63-85.

p. 25 how the same persons were converted (according to the Mula-sarva-asti-Vada Vinaya -- T. 1448, 24:37c-39c : French transl. Przyluski 1914, pp. 495-507)

"(1) Accompanied by his disciple Ananda, the Buddha goes from Hastinapura to Rohitaka {Andersonia rohitaka is (because protective to the YAKr.t 'hepat-, liver') also known as YAKr.d-vairin (M-WS-ED"Y") : cf. /YACa-tecuhtli/ as name of god of long-distance traveling merchants} via several other towns ... .

(2) At Rohitaka {Andersonia rohitaka, a tree (having flowers "bright orange-red in color" -- cf. the color of "Red Horn" [for adoptive-kinship rites], Siouxian aequivalent to [AP"L-NGM"] Yaca-tecuhtli) whose bark is useful against obesity and against gout (HCI"TU")}, he stays one night in the palace of

the yaks.a Hasti[-]BALa {hasta 'hand'}.

{The allusions may be to '5 fingers of hand' for '5 waters' (Panj-ab) + BAL-uc-istan.}

There, ... He summons, therefore, the yaks.a Vajra[-]pan.i, and together they fly off through the air, cross [the atmosphaire over?] the Indus {Sindhu} River, and [, having landed,] go on a great tour of what is now Afghanistan ..., during which they convert ... Apalala, the potter, Go[-]pala, and the can.d.ala woman. Then they return to Rohitaka. Actually, this whole expedition appears to have taken place overnight while the Buddha was

in meditation;

{undertaking with colleagues a mutually-shared dream? If so, then mutually-shared dreams may have been an Afghan specialty.}

he is said to have entered samadhi before summoning Vajrapan.i and to have "returned" to his room before the third watch of the night. ...

(3) From Rohitaka, the Buddha and Ananda the continue on their journey. They proceed first to Adi[-]rajya and Bhadrasva {Bhadra-as`va} and then to Mathura, where the prediction about Upagupta is made." [p. 301, n. 14 "From Mathura, the Buddha goes on to Otala

{Tamil / 'elephant-rope tree (Sterculia villosa)' -- proverbial of honorable behaviour : for, (Qu"ABERS") "restraining ropes are no more than polite suggestions which the elephants honor."},

{Related may be /H.aglah/ 'hobble' (AP"HM"); this word may be cognate with Old Norse /hagal/ 'hailstone'.}

Vairambha and Ayudhya".]

Przyluski 1914 = Jean Przyluski : "Le Nord-ouest de l'Inde dans le Vinaya des Mulasarvastivadin ...". JOURNAL ASIATIQUE 4.493-568.

M-WS-ED"Y" = Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, "Y".



Qu"ABERS" = "Animal Behavior ... the Elephant Rope Story".


p. 301, n. 11 Vajra-pan.i

"Vajra[-]pan.i, the "thunderbolt-wielder" {litterally, 'electric-potential miser' (i.e., capacitor of electric-potential-charge in thundre-clouds)}, is a being ... distinct from [Indra].

{Most likely, /Vajra-pan.i/ is an epithet of Vaidik god Parjanya = Pergamos, who came to the aid of (DCM, s.v. "Pergamus") Euru-pulos's son Gurnos, also known as (Servius on Vergilius : Eclogue 6:72 -- DCM, s.v. "Grynus") Grunos son of Euru-pulos.}

... he is often portrayed as a sort of bodyguard or henchman of the Buddha. See Lamotte 1966-74; Foucher 1905-18, 2:48-69 ... ." {Perhaps Vajra-pan.i's electricity-source is employed to enable S`akya-muni's light-emitting-diode (LED) type of body with its luminance : (infra, p. 29) "his luminescence visible through the stone.""}

{So, would S`akya-muni likely be the very same person as Gurnos/Grunos? /Grunos/ is (according to Hesukhios) 'griffin', while /grune/ is (according to Theognis) 'frankincense' (G-EL); but /jurn.i/ hath the meaning 'glowing' (S-ED) : could this imply that a "buddha" is, in fact, a glowing apparitional entity to be witnessed in a peculiar religious dream? [written Apr 29 2016]}

Lamotte 1966-74 = Etienne Lamotte : "Vajrapan.i en Inde". In :- Me'langes de sinologie offerts a` Monsieur Paul Demie'ville. Vol. 1, pp. 113-59.

Foucher 1905-18 = Alfred Foucher : L'art gre'co-buddhique du Gandhara. 2 voll. Paris.

G-EL = Henry George Liddell & Robert Scott : A Greek-English Lexicon

S-ED = Monier-Williams : Sanskrit-English Dictionary.

{I myself have witnessed (decades ago, in a state insane-asylum at C., GA) a glowing entity in a peculiar religious dream : it was a dream about a concourse of religions wherein each religion had its own display-booth.}

p. 25 comments by European professors about this dream-journey

"[European (German and French)] Scholars studying this narrative have often assumed that it ... must have been made up by ... Northweatern monks seeking to claim ... their communities had actually been visited {what, in a dream? why go out of one's way to claim specifically that?} ... in person {is a dream-visitation ever "in person"??}."

{Unlikely to have been simply "made up"! More likely, it may have been intended as a public advertisement (by way of furnishing a description of a sample) for actual training in mutually-shared dreaming, as being at that time available in specific cities in Afghanistan.}

p. 26 naga Apa-lala {/apa/ 'away, off' + /lala/ 'persuasion, coaxing; a secret matter' (cognate with Strong's 3815 /la->el/ 'for [a] god'}

(according to the Mula-sarva-asti-Vada Vinaya -- T. 1448, 24:40b-c : French transl. Przyluski 1914, pp. 510-2) "when the Buddha and Vajrapan.i arrive at Apalala's palace, Apalala flies up into the air and showers them with hailstones ... . The Buddha ... quickly enters into the samadhi of loving-kindness, and

the hailstones ... are transformed into

{'Hailstones' are /mat.aci/; /mat.a/ is Prakr.ta for /mr.ta/, /mr.tacela/ are garments of the dead (abandoned at a cremation, and often gathered thence and donned as garb by ascetics, who thereby assume fictive kinship with the dead).}

and a cloud of sweetsmelling perfumes. ...

{sent by Gupta the perfumer, father of Upa-gupta}

Then ... the Buddha ... orders Vajrapan.i to attack. The latter ... with a few massive blows of his thunderbolt, ... destroys the whole mountaintop, crumbling it into Apalala's lake and forcing him to come out of the water. ... the Buddha enters the samadhi of fire and fills the entire region with a mass of flames, leaving only a small space in front of him ... free from the conflagration. Apalala ... is forced to come here. ... Apalala ... agrees to stop harming the people of the region."

(according to T. 1507, 25:51c-52a : French transl. Przyluski 1914, pp. 559-62) "Apalala had previously been a Brahmin who managed to put an end to a terrible drought, making it rain by magical means. ... He was then reborn as Apalala. ... . ... the Buddha and Vajrapan.i are assisted by the monk Panthaka {a name referring perhaps to an aequivalent to the Latin /PONTifex/, rather than to later Pas`tun immigrants from Afghanistan}, who renders himself invisible and

magically blocks up Apalala's eyes, ears, nose, and mouth." {Was this action contemporary with the activity of monkeys on mt Uru-mun.d.a?}

{The implication is that a coaxing away from aberrant behaviour may require no more than ceasing from sensing and talking about such behaviour. This is a proverbial situation similar to that of the 3 Monkeys : "Hear no evil; see no evil; speak no evil!"}

pp. 28-30 naga Go-pala & the Cave of the Buddha's Shadow

p. 28

According to Hsu:an-tsang, Go[-]pala {'Cow-Protector'} was formerly a cowherd (as his name implies) who was once reprimanded by a king ... . ... He then committed suicide by throwing himself over a cliff and was reborn as the naga king Gopala, and he dwelt in a cave in that very same cliff near the town of Nagara[-]hara. [p. 302, n. 35 "The site of the cave, in present-day Afghanistan, has perhaps been identified (see Cospani 1945 ...)."]

"According to the Buddhanusmr.ti samadhi sutra, he dwelt there along with a host of other naga[-]s and five raks.asi[-]s".

[p. 302, n. 36 "In Avk. 2:338, Gopala is said to dwell on a rocky hill near Hingu[-]vardhana".] {/hingu/ 'Ferula (Asa Foetida)' + /vardhana/ 'growing, thriving'}

(according to T. 643, 15:679b-81a : French transl. Przyluski 1914, pp. 565-67 :) "the king of Nagarahara called upon the Buddha for help. The Buddha soon arrived together with Vajrapan.i and five great disciples ... . ... Vajrapan.i then attacked Gopala with his fiery bolt and forced

p. 29

him to take refuge in the coolness of

the Buddha's shadow, while Mahamaudgalyayana, transforming himself into a great garud.a bird,

{Is the buddha somehow aequivalent to Vis.n.u as rider aboard the flying bird Garutman?}

obliged the others to ... swear never to molest living beings again."

{in a fashion similar to the Vajra-yana requirement of oaths from converted local deities}

"the Avadana[-]kalpalata [2:339 : French transl. Le'vi 1915a, p. 82] states ... that the Buddha then "arranged it so as to always be near [Gopala's] abode."

... the common tradition reported by Hsu:an-tsang is that he agreed to leave behind his "shadow" or "reflection," {the latter term being a more apt translation} which, because of its power, would stay Gopala".

"the assertion of the Buddhanusmr.ti samadhi sutra [T. 643, 15:681a : French transl. Przyluski 1914, p. 568] ... is that ... the Buddha ... bodily

penetrates into the solid rock and stays seated there, his luminescence visible through the stone."

{Cf. how crystal-ball-gazing may sometimes manifest "lifesized figures." (PY, p. 289)}

p. 30

(quoted from Grousset 1971, pp. 102-3 :) "the shadow of the Blessed One appeared majestically upon the wall, brilliantly white ... . A dazzling splendour illuminated his divine countenance."

Cospani 1945 = E. Cospani : "The Cave of the Shadow of the Buddha at Nagarahara". J OF THE ASIATIC SOC OF BENGAL (Letters) 11:49-52.

Le'vi 1915a = Sylvain Le'vi : "Le catalogue ge'ographique des yaks.a dans la Mahamayuri". JOURNAL ASIATIQUE 5:19-138.

PY = L. R. Chawdhri : Practicals of Yantras. 2nd edn. Sagar Publ, New Delhi, 1990.

Grousset 1971 = Rene' Grousset (transl. by J. A. Underwood) : In the Footsteps of the Buddha. NY : Orion Pr (imprint of Grossman Publ).

p. 32 kumbha-kara ('pot-maker')

(GilgitMss. 3, pt. 1:xviii) ""What kinds of pots do you make on your wheel? he asked. ...

"I, too, make dry ones," said the Buddha. "... but I also make ivory ones. ... Not only ivory ones, the Buddha went one, "but also pots made of gold, silver, cat's-eye, and crystal.""

pp. 34-7 Kunti (/kunta/ 'spear, lance', cf. Hell. /kontos/ 'pike') (Kunti daughter of S`ura may be named for this

p. 34

(quoted from GilgMss. 3, pt. 1:xviii-1; cf. T. 1448, 24:41a-b : French transl. Przyluski 1914, pp. 515-7) "Then the Blessed One reached the town of Kunti[-]nagara. There dwelt a wrathful and fierce named Kunti, who ate all the children born to the Brahmin householders of the town. ...

p. 35

At that moment, the Kunti ... showed herself ... . ...

"Bhadanta, I will agree to stop [i.e., cease from devouring children] if these householders will build a monastery for my sake.""

p. 36

As for "Kunti ... Her story ... is strongly reminiscent of that of another ... ogress, Hariti ... ." (according to the Mula-sarva-asti-Vada Vinaya -- T. 1451, 24:361 sq : French transl. Pe'ri 1917, pp. 3-14 :) "The demoness Hariti was the mother of five hundred young yaks.a[-]s and was in the habit of devouring the children of the people of Raja[-]gr.ha. ... the Buddha ... responded by going to Hariti's abode and hiding the youngest of her sons in his begging bowl. When Hariti returned and found her youngest missing, she frantically searched for him ... from the lowest hell to the highest heaven ... . ... she finally was told by the god Vais`ravan.a {i.e., Kubera} to go and ask the Buddha for help. ... her child-eating ways ... she promises to stop ... . ... The Buddha's answer is ... every day, throughout Jambu[-]dvipa, his disciples, the monks, will make food offerings to her at the end of their own meal. In exchange for this, she is to agree to ... protect all the Buddhist monasteries of Jambu[-]dvipa both day and night ...; and ... she will respond to the pleas of childless parents by helping them have offspring. ...

p. 37

The laity should make sure, therefore, that the monks always have enough food ... to give some to Hariti".

Pe'ri 1917 = Noe:l Pe'ri : "Hariti la me`re-de-de'mons". BULLETIN DE L'ECOLE FRANC,AISE D'EXTRE^ME-ORIENT 17:1-102.

pp. 39-40 marks (features, signs) of a maha-purus.a ('great person')

p. 39

"The Buddha ... was not the only person endowed with the physiognomic features of a Mahapurus.a. Cakra[-]vartin {'Wheel-Turning'} kings, too, were said to possess all thirty-two of the signs; and,

{A samyak-sam-buddha is a vira combining the status of a cakra-vartin with that of a prati-eka-buddha.}

at least in the Sarvastivadin tradition, various lesser individuals (mostly members of the S`akya clan ...) were thought to have a certain number of them. According to the Sarvastivada Vinaya, the Buddha's half brother, Nanda, had thirty of the marks and was just four inches shorter than the Buddha. [T. 1435, 23:130b-c (French transl. Lamotte 1949-80, 1:128 n.)] ...

Likewise, Deva[-]datta, the Buddha's cousin, is said to have had thirty of the marks". [T. 2087, 51:900a : Engl. transl., Beal 1884, 2:8]

{Is this "Deva-datta" an aequivalent to "Datta" the brother of Datta-atreya?}

p. 40

"Thus, the future Gautama [S`akya-muni Buddha], after making his vow for Buddhahood in the time of the past Buddha Vipas`yi, embarked upon a career of accumulating the marks".

pp. 40-1 "foremost" (in a particular category) among disciples of a buddha

p. 40

"in addition to being an ['unmarked'] Buddha, Upagupta will also be, according to the Buddha's prediction in the Divyavadana, the foremost of all

p. 41

["the Buddha's"] disciples who are preachers." He will convert and lead to arhatship so many persons that [Div., p. 349] they will fill a cave eighteen cubits long and twelve cubits wide with their little four-inch-long tally sticks (s`alaka). ... In the Mulasarvastivada Vinaya ... [p. 304, n. 79 : GilgMss. 3, pt. 1:3; T. 1448, 24:42a : French transl. Przyluski 1914, p. 519], this prediction states not that Upagupta will be the foremost (agra) of all the Buddha's disciples who are preachers, but that he will be the last of them (pascimata)."

p. 41 list (in Anguttara Nikaya 1:19-23 : Engl. transl. Woodward & Hare 1932-6, 1:16-25) of disciples of S`akya-muni, all of whom were prae-eminent in a particular ability


foremost in __

elder Sari-putta (S`ari-putra)

"monks of great wisdom"

bhikkuni Uppala-van.n.a

"nuns with magical powers"

layman Anatha-pin.d.ika


laywoman Su-jata

"those who first took refuge"

pp. 41-2 beginning (according to T. 1425, 22:548b : Engl. transl. Beal 1883, pp. xxi-xii) of separation amongst diverse schools of Vinaya

p. 41

"up until Upagupta, the Buddha's teachings were perfectly preserved and no divisions occurred in the Sangha.

pp. 41-2

After him, however, the various Vinaya[-]s were formed, and five disciples of Upagupta founded five distinct schools."



Monk and Monkey : Upa-gupta's Past [Lives]


pp. 44-5 (GilgMss. 3, pt. 1:4-7) the 3 slopes of mt Uru-mun.d.a

p. 44

"on the three slopes of Mount Urumun.d.a, there dwelt five hundred pratyekabuddha[-]s on one side [of the mountain], five hundred Brahmanical ascetics on another, and five hundred monkeys on a third. ...

{As for} those pratyekabuddha[-]s ..., performing the miracle of

p. 45

glittering simultaneously with burning flames and showers of water, they entered into the state of Nirvan.a without remainder ... then disappeared. ...

{There are "angels of water and of fire to surround the city with walls of fire and water" (JE"CNA"); for (HP, p. 251),"above, opposites exist harmoniously : the fire mixes with the water and makes it luminous."}

This time ..., the monkey showed them the pratyekabuddha[-]s' meditation position. ... The ascetics thus began sitting in the cross-legged posture, and soon ... they gave rise to ... the thirty-seven wings of enlightenment, and realized pratyekabodhi."

JE"CNA" = "Conjuring by Names of Angels".

HP = L. Caruana : The Hidden Passion.

{Cf. how Ya<qob "was wrestled by an angel composed of fire and water" ("PFRET"), evidently from the 2nd heaven, Raqiya< : (M"7H") "angels "composed of fire and water" once dwelled here, but are usually found in the 6th Heaven." Doth this Raqiya<inhabiting Nuwriy<el [from Strong's 5216 /niyr/ 'lamp', Skt. /aloka/] category of "angel" (mal>ak) repraesent the prati-eka-buddha? If so, their nairvan.ik abode might be the double-mountainrange Loka-Aloka connecting with the Mahat and with the A-vyakta.}

"PFRET" = "Prayer for Rain (English Translation)".

M"7H" = "The Seven Heavens". &

p. 49 red-hot ploughshare

(Sn., p. 15 : Engl. transl. Norman 1984, p. 13) "As soon as Kasi[-]bharadvaja disposes ..., it immediately "hisses and bubbles" (ciccit.ayati cit.icit.ayati) and steams and smokes, as though it were a red hot ploughshare suddenly immersed in a stream."

{According to Herodotos (4:1-6), among the ancestors of the clans of Skuthai, "there fell from heaven a yoke, an axe (σάγαρις), a plough-share, and a cup, all of gold. The two elder failed in taking them up; for they burnt when they approached them." (DG&RG, s.v. "Scythia")}

Norman 1984 = K. R. Norman (transl.) : The Group of Discourses (Sutta-nipāta). PALI TEXT SOC, Transl Series, 44-45. London : Routledge & Kegan Paul.

DG&RG = William Smith : Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 1854.

{Were the rules of Vinaya derived from the mythology of the SKUTHai = C^UD (Veps + Votyak)? These Skuthai are stated by Herodotos to have conquered (and therewith terminated) the Assurian empire; having reached the Persian gulf, they could easily have voyaged by ship to Bharata-vars.a (wherein they may have founded the state of CEDi).}

pp. 51-2 feeding of wild animals by bhiks.u-s

p. 51

"I-ching, in his description of Sarvastivadin monastic practices in India in the seventh century, agrees that it is highly improper to save leftovers. ... "Remaining food," I-ching states [Takakusu 1896b, pp. 24-6], must be given to "those who may legally eat such." ...

p. 52

I-ching ... ges on to specify that those who may legally eat leftovers are ... birds, and other animals; ... Upagupta was a monkey. [p. 48 : "the pratyekabuddha[-]s, after they have eaten, give the monkey their leftovers, the "scraps from their begging bowl" (patra[-]s`"]

Takakusu 1896b = Junjiro Takakusu : A Record of Buddhistic Religion as Practiced in India and the Malay Archipelago (A.D. 671-695), by I-ching. Oxford : Clarendon Pr.

pp. 53-4 former incarnations of Upa-gupta according to the Dama-muka-nidana Sutra

p. 53

"Upagupta was in a previous life a learned Brahmin ascetic, a master who knew everything past, present, and future. Encountering the Buddha's Teaching, ... he ... decides not to become a monk at that time. Eventually, however, he is reborn as Upagupta and does join the Sangha, where he attains ... mastery of the six magical powers (abhijn~a)." [p. 305, n. 33 "T. 202, 4:442b (... Eng. trans. of Mongolian, Frye 1981:211). Much the same story is preserved in T. 2145, 55:52b-53a".]

"The Damamukanidana sutra, however, also recounts the episode of Upagupta's previous life as a monkey, which it pictures as taking place on a peak called R.s.i Mountain, located near Benares. The story is basically the same as ...

p. 54

already considered, except that it is accompanied now by asn additional tale of a still-earlier previous life. The narrator of this tale [of the yet-earlier praevious life] is not the Buddha in his journey through the Northwest, but Upagupta himself ... . ...

Ninety-one kalpa[-]s ago ..., at the time of Buddha Vipas`yi, some bhiks.u[-]s lived on

R.s.i Mountain.

{This name /R.s.i/ may be cognate with Old English /aers/, Hell. /orsos/ 'arse' : the allusion would likely be to the mandrill, whose rump/buttocks are multi-colored, being red, pink, blue, scarlet, and purple.}

Once upon a time, one of them who had already attained enlightenment was walking up the mountain very briskly.

Another, younger monk, ... remarked ..., "You walk just like a monkey!" Because of this ..., the younger monk had ... rebirth as a monkey for five hundred lifetimes.

[p. 305, n. 34 "This is not the only ... rebirth as a monkey for ... simian characteristics. For references, see Malalasekhara [1938] ..., 2:846-7; and Durt 1980:98."]

Upagupta then reveals the identity of the young monk : it was none other than himself in one of his previous lives."

Frye 1981= Stanley Frye (transl.) : The Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish (mdo bzans blun) or the Ocean of Narratives (u:liger-u:n dala). Dharmsala.

Malalasekhara 1938 = G. P. Malalasekhara : Dictionary of Pali Proper Names.

Durt 1980 = Durt 1980 : Hubert Durt : "Mahalla/Mahallaka et la crise de la communaute' apre`s le parinirvan.a du Buddha". In :- Indianisme et bouddhisme. pp. 79-99. London.

p. 54 another (or the same?) application of the time-interval of 91-kalpa-s

"The Maha[-]vastu ... says, "... the S`akyan Valiant Man ["i.e., Gautama"] became a perfect Buddha in the ninety-first kalpa. ... .

... in the Buddhanusmr.ti[-]samadhi sutra, ... a king is puzzled upon learning from a sage named Asita that a Buddha named S`akyamuni has arrived ...; according to to his diviners, the Buddha S`akyamuni was not supposed to come for another nine kalpa[-]s. But then a voice from heaven reassures the king, declaring, "... The Buddha S`akyamuni, due to his perfection of zeal ["virya"], has moved ahead nine kalpa[-]s!""

pp. 54-5 various lifetimes when Maitreya and S`akya-muni were incarnated together

p. 54

"the oldest version of this tale, in the Avadana[-]s`ataka, recounts how ..., at the time of the Buddha Pus.ya, there were two bodhisattva[-]s ..., S`akyamuni and Maitreya. [p. 306, n. 38 : "Avs`., p. 251 (Fr. trans., Feer 1891:412-14). ... Jan Nattier (1988:36) has argued that the whole Maitreya myth has its origins among Sarvastivadins."] ... They differed primarily in that Maitreya was ready for Buddhahood, but S`akyamuni was not. The beings Maitreya was due to convert, however, were not yet ready for him, while the beings that S`akyamuni was due to convert were already fully ripe. ... the Buddha

p. 55

Pus.ya climbs a mountain, where he sits down in a cave made of gems and enters into the samadhi of the element of fire (tejodhatu). [p. 306, n. 41 : "For a similar tale, see Ratnamalav., p. 365; and Feer 1901:296-90".] The bodhisattva S`akyamuni ... finds him in his cave. Seeing him in flames more dazzling than a thousand suns ..., he falls into an ecstatic devotional trance. For seven days and seven nights he stands on one foot, contemplating the figure of the Buddha Pus.ya ... . Because of the ... one-pointedness of his devotion, S`akyamuni is able in this single week to pass over nine kalpa[-]s of merit making on his quest for Buddhahood and so move ahead of Maitreya."

Another lifetime : "in the Divyavadana ..., King Candraprabha (S`akyamuni in a past life) is temporarily hindered by a well-intentioned but misguided divinity from

fulfilling the perfection of generosity by cutting off his head and giving it to a passing brahmin. He tells the divinity to stand aside; he will not be stayed from his bodhisattva course, he declares --

{Cf. the Green Knight's willingly allowing himself to be beheaded. (SG&GK)}

unlike Maitreya, who, at that very spot, was once prevented from giving away his head after having practiced the Path for forty kalpa[-]s."

{Cf. Gawain, who did not succeeed in giving away his head to the Green Knight (SG&GK).}

Yet another lifetime : "in ... an even more famous jataka, the future Buddha Maitreya comes across a mother tigress and her hungry cubs. He goes off in search of food for her, only to find upon his return that his companion, the future Buddha Gautama, had already sacrificed himself by feeding his body to the ... beast in his fervor and rush to make merit." [p. 306, n. 47 "Suvarn.a[-]bhasottara[-]sutra, pp. 208-12 (Eng. trans., Emmerick 1970:87-88); JM., pp. 1-6 (Eng. trans., Speyer [1895] ...); and T. 202, 4:352b-53b (... Eng. trans. of Mongolian, Frye 1981:13-16)."] {This vaipulya-sutra is partially derived from the Hari Vams`a, according to RPG.}

Feer 1891= Le'on Feer : Avadana-c,ataka : cent le'gendes (bouddhiques). Paris : E. Leroux. ANNALES DU MUSÉE GUIMET, tome 18. (Earlier edn. entitled Le Livre des cent légendes (Avadâna-Çataka). Paris : Impr. nationale, 1881.) (Largely extracted from JOURNAL ASIATIQUE, No. 11, 1879.)

Nattier 1988 = Jan Nattier : "The Meanings of the Maitreya Myth". In :- Alan Sponberg & Helen Hardacre (edd.) : Maitreya the Future Buddha. Cambridge Univ Pr. p. 23-47.

Feer 1901 = Le'on Feer : "Le Karma-c,ataka". JOURNAL ASIATIQUE 17:53-486.

SG&GK = Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. (brief summary version); (litteral translation); (allitterative translation).

Emmerick 1970 = Ronald Eric Emmerick : The Sutra of Golden Light. London :  Luzac.

Speyer 1895 = Jacob Samuel Speyer : The Jatakamala or Garland of Birth-Stories of Aryas`ura. London : Henry Frowde.

RPG = Catherine Ludvik : Recontextualizing the Praises of a Goddess : From the Harivaṃśa to Yijing's Chinese Translation of the Sutra of Golden Light. Kyoto : Scuola italiana di studi sull'Asia orientale, 2006.


John S. Strong : The Legend and Cult of Upagupta : Sanskrit Buddhism in North India and Southeast Asia. Princeton Univ Pr, 1992.