A Pacceka Buddha, chief of five hundred Pacceka Buddhas, all sons of
Padumavatī. He alone was born of his mother's
womb, the others being samsedajā. After Padumavatī's rivals (for the earlier
part of their story see Uppalavannā) had
placed the children in caskets which they launched down stream, they announced
to the king that Padumavatī was a non human and had given birth to a log of
wood. He expelled her from the palace, and as she wandered about in the streets,
deprived of all her glory, an old woman had pity on her, took her home, and
looked after her. The king was bathing in the river when the caskets containing
the children got entangled in his nets, and, having taken them out and unlocked
them, he found the babes inside, together with a letter from
Sakka saying that they were the children of
Padumavatī. The king hastened back to his palace and issued a proclamation that
anyone finding Padumavatī would receive one thousand as reward. On Padumavatī's
suggestion, the old woman, her protector, offered to find her, and Padumavatī
then revealed herself. She was conducted back to the palace in all glory, and
her five hundred rivals were given to her as slaves. She had them freed, and
appointed them as nurses to look after her children, except Paduma (called
Mahāpaduma), whom she nursed herself. When Mahāpaduma and his brothers reached
the age of sixteen, they went one day to the park, where they were impressed by
the appearance of old and faded lotus among the fresh ones growing in the pond,
and developing this topic of thought, they became Pacceka Buddhas and went to
Nandamūla cave. Padumavatī died of grief at the loss of all her sons and was
reborn in a labourer's family. She married, and, one day, while taking gruel to
her husband, she saw eight Pacceka Buddhas (her sons in a previous birth)
travelling through the air and descending near to where she stood. She gave them
the food intended for her husband and invited them for the next day. The next
day all the five hundred came to do honour to their mother and to accept her
entertainment. She fed them all and offered flowers to them (ThigA.185ff).
Afterwards Mahāpaduma and his brothers were entertained by
Nanda, king of Benares, and his queen (who in
their last birth were Mahā Kassapa and
They stayed in the royal park during the rains, and, one day, when the king
was away, the queen visited them and found them dead. ThagA.ii.140f.; SA.ii.142;
A prince of Kumudanagara.
Sona Thera - who harboured enmity against
Piyadassī Buddha, just as
Devadatta did against
Gotama - persuaded Paduma to kill his father, and devised various
schemes for killing the Buddha, all of which failed. In the end he sent his
elephant Donamukha, drunk with toddy, to attack
the Buddha, who, however, subdued the animal. BuA.174; cp.
A Pacceka Buddha. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a monk, but was later
reborn as a Treasurer of Benares, in which life he committed adultery and was
reborn in hell. Later, he became the daughter of a treasurer and was given in
marriage. But, owing to her former misdeeds, her husband did not care for her
and went with another woman to the fair. One day, however, she begged her
husband to take her, and he told her to make preparations. This she did, and on
the day of the feast, hearing that her husband had already gone to the park, she
followed him with her servants, taking the food and drink she had prepared. On
the way she met a Pacceka Buddha, descended from her carriage, filled his bowl
with food, placing a lotus on the top, and then offered him a handful of lotus.
When her gift was accepted, she made a vow that she should be born in a lotus
and be of a lotus colour, should become a man and attain the deliverance of
Nibbāna. Her body instantly became beautiful, and her husband, who suddenly
remembered her, sent for her, and from then on loved her exceedingly. After
death she was born in a lotus in the deva world and was called Mahāpaduma.
In his next birth, at the suggestion of Sakka, he was born in a lotus in the
park of the king of Benares, whose queen was childless. She saw the lotus in the
pond, and conceiving a great affection for it, picked it and found the child
within as if in a casket. She adopted the child and brought him up in great
One day, while playing outside the palace gates, he saw a Pacceka Buddha and
warned him not to enter the palace as they pressed all who entered to eat and
drink. The Pacceka Buddha turned away, and the boy was filled with remorse at
the idea that the Pacceka Buddha should be offended, and went to his lodging,
riding on an elephant, to ask his forgiveness. On the way he descended from the
elephant and went on foot. Arrived near the dwelling of the Pacceka Buddha, he
dismissed his attendants and went on alone. He found the Pacceka Buddha's cell
empty, and, sitting down, developed insight and became a Pacceka Buddha. When
his attendants came for him, he declared his attainment.
His verse is included in the Khaggavisāna
Sutta. Sn.vs.39; SnA.i.76ff.
4. Mahāpaduma. An elephant, belonging to Devānampiyatissa, which, with
Kuñjara, drew the plough that marked the boundaries of the Mahāvihāra. Mbv.134.
5. Mahāpaduma Thera. Preacher of Jātakas (Jātakabhānaka). When Ilanāga
was in Rohana, after fleeing from the capital, he heard the
Kapi Jātaka from
Mahāpaduma, who lived in Tulādhāra vihāra, and was
greatly pleased. Mhv.xxxv.30.
6. Mahāpaduma. One of the chief Theras present at the Foundation
Ceremony of the Mahā Thūpa. MT. 524. See also Paduma.
7. Mahāpaduma Thera.
Of Ceylon. Famous for his knowledge of the Vinaya. He was a pupil of Upatissa
and colleague of Mahāsumma (Sp.i.263).
Mahāpaduma's opinions are often quoted in the Samantapāsādikā. i. 184, 283;
ii.368, 471; iii.536, 538, 588, 596, 609, 644, 651, 683, 715; iv.819, 827, etc.
Once, when Vasabha's queen was ill, a woman of the court was sent to
Mahāpaduma for a remedy, he being evidently skilled in medicine. The Thera would
not prescribe, but explained to his fellow monks what should be done in the case
of such an illness. The remedy was applied in the case of the queen and she
recovered. Later, she visited the Thera, and offered him three robes and a
medicine chest containing three hundred kahāpanas; this she placed at his feet,
requesting that he should offer flowers in her name. The Elder accepted the gift
and spent the money on offerings of flowers. Sp.ii.471.
8. Mahāpaduma. The Bodhisatta. See the