Vipassī Buddha

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Vipassī Buddha
Sanskrit Vipaśyīn Buddha
Pāli Vipassī Buddha
Japanese Bibashi Butsu
Information
Venerated by

Theravāda
Mahāyāna

Vajrayāna
Attributes Pure Buddha
Preceded by Phussa Buddha
Succeeded by Sikhī Buddha
Buddhism portal

In Buddhist tradition, Vipassī (Pāli) is the twenty-second of twenty-eight Buddhas described in Chapter 27 of the Buddhavamsa.[1] The Buddhavamsa is a Buddhist text which describes the life of Gautama Buddha and the twenty-seven Buddhas who preceded him. It is the fourteenth book of the Khuddaka Nikāya, which in turn is part of the Sutta Piṭaka. The Sutta Piṭaka is one of three pitakas (main sections) which together constitute the Tripiṭaka, or Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism.[2]

The third to the last Buddha of the Alamkarakalpa, Vipassī was preceded by Phussa Buddha and succeeded by Sikhī Buddha.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The Pali word Vipassī has the Sanskrit form Vipaśyin. Vi (good) and passī (saw) together mean "having seen clearly". The word belongs to the same family as the term vipassanā (contemplation). This Buddha was so named because he had big eyes, clear vision both day and night, and his insight into perpetual complicated circumstances and very deep theories.

Biography[edit]

According to the Buddhavamsa, as well as traditional Buddhist legend and mythology, Vipassī lived 90 kalpas — many millions of years — before the present time.[4][5] In Vipassī's time, the longevity of humans was 84,000 years.

Vipassī was born in Bandhumatī in Khema Park, in present-day India.[6] His family was of the Kshatriya varna, which constituted the ruling and military elite of the Vedic period. His father was Bandhumā the warrior-chief, and his mother was Bandhumatī. His wife was Sutanu, and he had a son named Samavattakkhandha.[6]

Vipassī lived as a householder for 8,000 years in the palaces of Nanda, Sunanda and Sirimā. Upon renouncing his worldly life, he rode out of the palace in a chariot.[6] Vipassī practiced asceticism for eight months before attaining enlightenment under an Ajapāla nigrodha tree.[5] Just prior to achieving buddhahood, he accepted a bowl of milk rice offered by Sudassana-setthi's daughter, and grass for his seat by a guard named Sujâta.

Sources differ as to how long Vipassī lived. He was reported to have died in Sumitta Park, at the age of either 80,000[6] or 100,000 years.[5] His relics were kept in a stupa which was seven yojanas in height, which is roughly equal to 56 miles (90 km).[6]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Vipassī was 80 cubits tall, which is roughly equal to 121 feet (37 m), and his body radiated light for a distance of seven yojanas.[6]

Teachings[edit]

Vipassī preached his first sermon in the Khamamigadâya to 6,800,000 disciples, his second sermon to 100,000 disciples, and his third sermon to 80,000 disciples.[5]

His two foremost male disciples were Khanda and Tissa and his two foremost female disciples were Candâ and Candamittâ. Asoka was his personal assistant. His good donors were Punabbasummitta and Naga in the lay people, Sirimâ and Uttarâ in the lay women. Mendaki (then called Avaroja) built the Gandhakuti (scented pavilion) for him. He did the uposatha once every seven years, and the sangha observed the discipline perfectly.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Morris, R, ed. (1882). "XXVII: List of the Buddhas". The Buddhavamsa. London: Pali Text Society. pp. 66–7. 
  2. ^ Lancaster, LR (2005). "Buddhist books and texts: canon and canonization". Encyclopedia of religion (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. p. 1252. ISBN 978 00-286-5733-2. 
  3. ^ Buddhist Text Translation Society (2007). "The Sixth Patriarchs Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra". The Collected Lectures of Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua. Ukiah, California: Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ Beal, S (1875). "Chapter III: Exciting to religious sentiment". The romantic legend of Sâkya Buddha: from the Chinese-Sanscrit. London: Trubner & Company, Ludgate Hill. pp. 10–17. 
  5. ^ a b c d Davids, TWR; Davids, R (1878). "The successive bodhisats in the times of the previous Buddhas". Buddhist birth-stories; Jataka tales. The commentarial introduction entitled Nidana-Katha; the story of the lineage. London: George Routledge & Sons. pp. 115–44. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Horner, IB (1975). "The nineteenth chronicle: that of the Lord Vipassin". The Minor Anthologies Of The Pali Canon: Part III: Chronicle Of Buddhas (Buddhavamsa) and Basket Of Conduct (Cariyapitaka). Oxford: Pali Text Society. pp. 74–7. ISBN 086013072X. 
Buddhist titles
Preceded by
Phussa Buddha
Seven Buddhas of the Past Succeeded by
Sikhī Buddha