Posted by: lrrp | April 15, 2008

Kassapa Sutta (Udana 1.6) : About Maha Kassapa

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Rajagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. Now at that time Ven. Maha Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, afflicted, in pain, and seriously ill. Then, at a later time, he recovered from his illness. When he had recovered from the illness, the thought occurred to him: “What if I were to go into Rajagaha for alms?”

Now at that time 500 devatas were eager for the chance to give alms to Ven. Maha Kassapa. But Ven. Maha Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatas, early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Rajagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers. The Blessed One saw that Ven. Maha Kassapa had gone into Rajagaha for alms along the streets of the poor, the streets of the indigent, the streets of the weavers.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Maintaining no others,
unknown,
trained, established
in what is essential,
effluents1 ended,
anger disgorged:
He’s what I call
a brahman.

————————————————————————————–
Kassapa Sutta (Udana 3.7) : About Maha Kassapa

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Rajagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. Now at that time Ven. Maha Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, sitting for seven days in a single position, having attained a certain level of concentration. Then, with the passage of seven days, he emerged from that concentration. On emerging from it, the thought occurred to him: “What if I were to go into Rajagaha for alms?”

Now at that time 500 devatas were eager for the chance to give alms to Ven. Maha Kassapa. But Ven. Maha Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatas, early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Rajagaha for alms.

Now at that time Sakka, the king of the devas, wanted to give alms to Ven. Maha Kassapa. So, disguising himself as a weaver, he was working a loom, while Sujata, an asura-maiden, filled the shuttle. Then, as Ven. Maha Kassapa was going on an uninterrupted round for alms in Rajagaha, he arrived at Sakka’s home. Sakka saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, came out of house to meet him. Taking the bowl from his hand, he entered the house, took cooked rice from the pot, filled the bowl, and gave it back to Ven. Maha Kassapa. And that gift of alms included many kinds of curry, many kinds of sauces.

The thought occurred to Ven. Maha Kassapa, “Now, who is this being with such supranormal power & might?” Then the thought occurred to him, “This is Sakka, king of the devas, isn’t it?” On realizing this, he said to Sakka, “Is this your doing, Kosiya?1 Don’t ever do anything like this again.”

“We, too, need merit, Ven. Kassapa. We, too, have use for merit.”

Then, bowing down to Ven. Maha Kassapa and circumambulating him three times, Sakka rose up into the air and, while up in the sky, exclaimed three times:

“O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!”
“O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!”
“O the alms, the foremost alms, well-established in Kassapa!”

The Blessed One heard this with his divine hearing-property, surpassing that of the human. On realizing the significance of that, he on that occasion exclaimed:

The monk going for alms,
supporting himself and no other:
The devas adore one who is Such,
calmed & ever mindful.


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