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  • Kassapa

1. Kassapa Buddha.Also called Kassapa Dasabala to distinguish him from other Kassapas.

The twenty-fourth Buddha, the third of the present neon (the Bhaddakappa) and one of the seven Buddhas mentioned in the Canon (D.ii.7).

  • He was born in Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana,

  • of brahmin parents, Brahmadatta and Dhanavatī, belonging to the Kassapagotta.

  • For two thousand years he lived in the household, in three different palaces, Hamsa, Yasa and Sirinanda. (The BuA.217 calls the first two palaces Hamsavā and Yasavā).

  • He had as chief wife Sunandā, by whom he begot a son, Vijitasena.

  • Kassapa left the world, traveling in his palace (pāsāda), and practiced austerities for only seven days.

  • Just before his Enlightenment his wife gave him a meal of milk-rice, and a yavapāla named Soma gave him grass for his seat.

  • His bodhi was a banyan-tree, and

  • he preached his first sermon at Isipatana to a crore of monks who had renounced the world in his company.

  • He performed the Twin-Miracle at the foot of an asana-tree outside Sundaranagara.

  • He held only one assembly of his disciples; among his most famous conversions was that of a yakkha, Naradeva (q.v.).

  • His chief disciples were Tissa and Bhāradvāja among monks, and Anulā and Uruvelā among nuns, his constant attendant being Sabbamitta.

  • Among his patrons, the most eminent were Sumangala and Ghattīkāra, Vijitasenā and Bhaddā.

  • His body was twenty cubits high, and,

  • after having lived for twenty thousand years, he died in the Setavya pleasance at Setavyā in Kāsī.

  • Over his relics was raised a thūpa one league in height, each brick of which was worth one crore.

It is said (MA.i.336ff ) that there was a great difference of opinion as to what should be the size of the thūpa and of what material it should be constructed; when these points were finally settled and the work of building had started, the citizens found they had not enough money to complete it. Then an anāgāmī devotee, named Sorata, went all over Jambudīpa, enlisting the help of the people for the building of the thūpa. He sent the money as he received it, and on hearing that the work was completed, he set out to go and worship the thūpa; but he was seized by robbers and killed in the forest, which later came to be known as the Andhavana.

Upavāna, in a previous birth, became the guardian deity of the cetiya, hence his great majesty in his last life (DA.ii.580; for another story of the building of the shrine see DhA.iii.29).

Among the thirty-seven goddesses noticed by Guttila, when he visited heaven, was one who had offered a scented five-spray at the cetiya (J.ii.256). So did Alāta offer Āneja-flowers and obtain a happy rebirth (J.vi.227).

The cause of Mahā-Kaccāna's golden complexion was his gift of a golden brick to the building of Kassapa's shrine (AA.i.116).

At the same cetiya, Anuruddha, who was then a householder in Benares, offered butter and molasses in bowls of brass, which were placed without any interval around the cetiya (AA.i.105).

Among those who attained arahantship under Kassapa is mentioned Gavesī, who, with his five hundred followers, strove always to excel themselves until they attained their goal (A.iii.214ff).

Mahākappina, then a clansman, built, for Kassapa's monks, a parivena with one thousand cells (AA.i.175).

Bakkula's admirable health and great longevity were due to the fact that he had given the first fruits of his harvest to Kassapa's monks (MA.iii.932).

During the time of Kassapa Buddha, the Bodhisatta was a brahmin youth named Jotipāla who, afterwards, coming under the influence of Ghatīkāra, became a monk. (Bu.xxv.; BuA.217ff; D.ii.7; J. i.43, 94; D.iii.196; Mtu.i.303ff, 319). This Ghatīkāra was later born in the Brahma-world and visited Gotama, after his Enlightenment. Gotama then reminded him of this past friendship, which Ghatīkāra seemed too modest to mention (S.i.34f).

The Majjhima Nikāya (M.ii.45f ) gives details of the earnestness with which Ghatīkāra worked for Jotipāla's conversion when Kassapa was living at Vehalinga. The same sutta bears evidence of the great regard Kassapa had for Ghatīkāra.

The king of Benares at the time of Kassapa was Kikī, and the four gateways of Kassapa's cetiya were built, one by Kikī, one by his son Pathavindhara, one by his ministers led by his general, and the last by his subjects with the treasurer at their head (SnA.i.194).

It is said that the Buddha's chief disciple, Tissa, was born on the same day as Kassapa and that they were friends from birth. Tissa left the world earlier and became an ascetic. When he visited the Buddha after his Enlightenment, he was greatly grieved to learn that the Buddha ate meat (āmagandha), and the Buddha preached to him the Āmagandha Sutta, by which he was converted (SnA.i.280ff).

The Ceylon Chronicles (Mhv.Xv.128ff; Sp.i.87; Dpv. xv.55ff; Mbv.129) mention a visit paid by Kassapa to Ceylon in order to stop a war between King Jayanta and his younger brother. The island was then known as Mandadīpa, with Visāla as capital. The Buddha came with twenty thousand disciples and stood on Subhakūta, and the armies seeing him stopped the fight. In gratitude, Jayanta presented to the Buddha the Mahāsāgara garden, in which was afterwards planted a branch of the Bodhi-tree brought over by Sudhammā, in accordance with the Buddha's wish. The Buddha preached at the Asokamālaka, the Sudassanamālaka and the Somanassamālaka, and gave his rain-cloak as a relic to the new converts, for whose spiritual guidance he left behind his disciples Sabbananda and Sudhammā and their followers. In Kassapa's time Mt. Vepulla at Rājagaha was known as Supassa and its inhabitants as the Suppiyas (S.ii.192).

But many other places had the same names in the time of Kassapa as they had in the present age - e.g., Videha (J.vi.122), Sāvatthi (J.vi.123), Kimbila (J.vi.121) and Bārānasī. (J.vi.120).

Besides the Āmagandha Sutta mentioned above, various other teachings are mentioned as having been first promulgated by Kassapa and handed on down to the time of Gotama and re-taught by him. Such, for instance, are the questions (pucchā) of Ālavaka and Sabhiya and the stanzas taught to Sutasoma by the brahmin Nanda of Takkasilā (J.v.476f; 453). The Mittavinda Jātaka (No.104) is mentioned as belonging to the days of Kassapa Buddha (J.i.413).

Mention is also made of doctrines which had been taught by Kassapa but forgotten later, and Gotama is asked by those who had heard faint echoes of them to revive them (E.g., MA, i.107, 528; AA.i.423). A sermon attributed to Kassapa, when he once visited Benares with twenty thousand monks, is included in the story of Pandita-Sāmanera (DhA.ii.127ff). It was on this occasion that Kassapa accepted alms from the beggar Mahāduggata in preference to those offered by the king and the nobles.

Kassapa held the uposatha only once in six months (DhA.iii.236).

Between the times of Kassapa and Gotama the surface of the earth grew enough to cover Sūkarakata-lena (MA.ii.677).

The records of Chinese pilgrims contain numerous references to places connected with Kassapa. Hiouien Thsang speaks of a stūpa containing the relics of the whole body of the Buddha, to the north of the town, near Srāvasti, where, according to him, Kassapa was born (Beal., op. cit., ii.13). Mention is also made of a footprint of Kassapa (Ibid.i., Introd. ciii). Stories of Kassapa are also found in the Divyāvadāna (E.g., pp.22f; 344f; 346f; see also Mtu., e.g., i.59, 303f).

The Dhammapada Commentary (iii.250f ) contains a story, which seems to indicate that, near the village of Todeyya, there was a shrine thought to be that of Kassapa and held in high honour by the inhabitants of the village. After the disappearance of Kassapa's Sāsana, a class of monks called Setavattha-samanavamsa ("white-robed recluses") tried to resuscitate it, but without success (VibhA.432).

2. Kassapa Thera. The son of an Udicca-brahmin of Sāvatthi, who died when Kassapa was still young. Having heard the Buddha preach at Jetavana, he entered the First Fruit of the Path and, with his mother's leave, became a monk. Some time later, wishing to accompany the Buddha on a tour after the rains, he went to bid his mother farewell, and her admonition to him on that occasion helped him to win insight and become an arahant (Thag.v.82).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha he had been a brahmin versed in the Vedas. One day, seeing the Buddha and wishing to pay homage, he cast a handful of sumana-flowers into the air over the Buddha's head, and the flowers formed a canopy in the sky. In later births he was twenty-five times king, under the name of Cinnamāla (v.l. Cittamāla). (ThagA.ii.177f ).

He is probably identical with Sereyyaka Thera of the Apadāna.

3. Kassapa. A devaputta. He visited the Buddha late one night at Jetavana and uttered several stanzas, admonishing monks to train themselves in their tasks, laying particular stress on the cultivation of Jhāna (S.i.46).

Buddhaghosa says (SA.i.82) that Kassapa had heard the Buddha preach the Abhidhamma in Tāvatimsa. Having heard only a portion of the doctrine and not being sure of the admonition given by the Buddha to the monks regarding the practice of Jhāna-vibhanga, Kassapa thought he could supply the omission. The Buddha, knowing his capabilities, allowed him to give his views, and expressed his approval at the end of Kassapa's speech.

4. Kassapa. A sage (isi); one of the famous sages of yore, of whom ten are several times mentioned in the books (E.g., D.i.104, 238; M.ii.169, 200; A.iii.224; iv.61; J. vi.99) as having been brahmin sages, who composed and promulgated the mantras and whose compositions are chanted and repeated and rehearsed by the brahmins of the present day. For details see Atthaka.

5. Kassapa (called Kassapa-mānava). The Bodhisatta in the time of Piyadassī Buddha. He was a brahmin versed in the Vedas, and having heard the Buddha preach, built a monastery costing one thousand crores. J. i.38; Bu.xiv.9f; BuA.176.

6. Kassapa.Another name for Akitti (q.v.). J. iv.240, 241; see also Jātakamālā vii.13.

7. Kassapa. A brahmin ascetic, the Bodhisatta, father of Nārada, whose story is given in the Cūla-Nārada Jātaka (q.v.). J. iv.221f.

8. Kassapa. A brahmin ascetic, father of the Bodhisatta in the story of the Kassapamandiya Jātaka. J. iii.38.

9. Kassapa. A great sage, the Bodhisatta, father of Isisinga (J.v.157, 159). The scholiast explains that Kassapa was the gotta or family name.

10. Kassapa. An ascetic, also called Nārada, who lived in a hermitage near Mt. Kosika in Himavā. He saw the Buddha Padumuttara in the forest, invited him into the hermitage, provided a seat and asked for words of advice. He was a former birth of Ekāsanadāyaka Thera. Ap.ii.381.

11. Kassapa.A setthi, probably of Rājagaha, who built the Kassapakārāma, named after him. SA.ii.230.

12. Kassapa.Son of Dhātusena by a morganatic marriage. He slew his father and became king of Ceylon as Kassapa I. (478-96 A.C.). Fearing the revenge of his brother Moggallāna, he erected the fortress at Sīhagiri and dwelt there. Later, repenting of his patricide, he did many meritorious deeds by way of amends (for details see Cv.xxxix.8ff), chief of which was the restoration of the Issarasamanārāma, to which he added buildings named after his daughters, Bodhī and Uppalavannā. In a fight with his brother's forces his army fled in disorder, and Kassapa cut his throat with a dagger. Cv.xxxviii.80ff.; xxxix.1ff.

13. Kassapa.Son of Upatissa III. of Ceylon. He had sixteen companions as brave as himself and, with their help, several times repulsed the attacks of Silākāla, when the latter revolted against the king. He became known as Girikassapa on account of his prowess. In the last campaign Silākāla was victorious, and Kassapa, with his parents and his loyal followers, fled to Merukandara, but they lost their way and were surrounded by Silākāla. When the royal elephant fell Kassapa cut his own throat. Cv.xli.8-25.

14. Kassapa.Younger brother of Aggabodhi III.; he was made viceroy when Māna was killed (Cv.xliv.123f). When Aggabodhi had recovered the kingdom from the usurper Dāthopatissa, which he did only after various reverses in his fortunes, Kassapa abused his influence and plundered various sacred edifices to provide for his army (Cv.xliv.137f). On Aggabodhi's death in exile in Rohana, Kassapa defeated Dāthopatissa, who claimed the throne, and became king in his place (Kassapa II. 641-50). He did not, however, wear a crown, the regalia having probably been stolen. As king he repented of his former misdeeds and did various acts of merit (Cv.xliv.147ff; xlv.1ff). He paid special honour to Mahādhammakathī Thera of Nāgasālā and to the Thera of Katandhakāra.

His children all being young at the time of his death, he entrusted the government to his sister's son, Māna (Cv.xlv.8). According to the chronicles, Mānavamma was the son of Kassapa (Cv.xlvii.2). He also had a son named Mana (Cv.lvii.4).

15. Kassapa (Kassapa III., 717-24 A.C.). A younger brother of Aggabodhi V. (?); Kassapa's younger brother was Mahinda I (Cv.xlviii.20-26) and his son Aggabodhi (Cv.xlviii.32).

16. Kassapa.One of the three younger brothers of Sena I., the others being Mahinda and Udaya (Cv.l.6). Kassapa was appointed Ādipāda and fought valiantly against the forces of the Pandu king, who was then invading Ceylon, but, finding his efforts of no avail, he fled to Kondivāta (Cv.vv.25ff). He was later killed at Pulatthipura by the orders of the Pandu king (Cv.vv.46). He had four sons, the eldest of whom was named Sena (Cv.vv.47).

17. Kassapa. Son of Kittaggabodhi, ruler of Rohana. When his eldest brother was murdered by his paternal aunt, Kassapa fled to the court of King Sena I., but, later, with Sena's help, he won his father's inheritance (Cv.l.54ff). He was probably killed by the Adipāda Kittaggabodhi. Cv.li.96; and Cv.Trs.i.157, n.2.

18. Kassapa.Younger brother of Sena II. and Udaya II. He was Mahādipāda or Yuvarāja under Udaya (Cv.li.91), and later became king as Kassapa IV. (896-913 A.C.) (Cv.lii.1ff). His daughter Sena married Kassapa V. (Cv.li.93)

19. Kassapa.Son of Sena II. The king gave him a special share of his own revenues and a share of the extraordinary revenues of the island (Cv.li.18, 20). Two wives of his are mentioned: Sanghā and Senā (Cv.li.18, 92). He became Yuvarāja under Kassapa IV. and ruled over Dakkhinadesa (Cv.lii.1), and, at the death of the king, he became ruler of Ceylon as Kassapa V. (probably 913-23 A.C.) (Cv.lii.37ff). He is sometimes referred to as the son of the twice-consecrated queen (dvayābhisekajāta), his mother being Sanghā, daughter of Kittaggabodhi (1) and Devā. In inscriptions Kassapa is referred to as Abhaya-Silāmegha-vanna (Cv.Trs.i.165, n.3). He was evidently a learned man, and a Sinhalese Commentary to the Dhammapadatthakathā is attributed to him (Edited by D. B. Jayatilaka, Colombo 1933). He had one wife, Vajirā (Cv.lii.62), a second, Devā (Cv.lii.64), and a third, Rājinī (Cv.lii.67). He had a son, Siddhattha, who died young, and another, who was given the title of Sakkasenāpati. The latter led an expedition to help the Pandu king against the King of Cola, but he died of plague in Cola (Cv.lii.72-8).

20. Kassapa.Son of Sena V. (Cv.liv.69)

21. Kassapa.Son of Mahinda V. (Cv.lv.10). When Mahinda was captured and taken away by the Colas, the people took charge of the young Kassapa and brought him up. When the boy was twelve years old the Cola king sent an army over to Ceylon to seize him; but this plan was frustrated by the official Kitti, of Makkhakudrūsa, and the minister Buddha, of Māragallaka (Cv.lv.24-9). Kassapa ascended the throne as Vikkamabāhu, but refused to be crowned until he should have conquered the Tamils in his kingdom. While preparations were afoot towards this end, he died of a vātaroga. He reigned twelve years (1029-1041 A.C.). (Cv.lvi.1-6; Cv.Trs.i.190, n.3). He is perhaps to be identified with the prince Kassapa who married Lokitā, cousin of Mahinda V., and by whom he had two sons, Moggallāna and Loka. Cv.lvii.28f; Cv.Trs.i.195, n.3.

22. Kassapa.Chief of the Kesadhātus (q.v.). For some time he carried on the government at Rohana, where he defeated the Tamils. He refused to own allegiance to Kitti (afterwards Vijayabāhu I.), and after six months of rule in Khadirangani, full of resentment that his services against the Tamils had not been recognised, he marched against Kitti and was slain in a battle near Kājaragāma. Cv.lvii.65-75.

23. Kassapa. A prince of Jambudīpa who, during the reign of Parakkamabāhu I. of Ceylon, sent costly gifts to the king of Rāmañña; the Rāmañña king forbade the envoys to land and insulted them. This is mentioned as one of the acts which led Parakkamabāhu to send an expedition against Rāmañña. Cv.lxxvi.28f

24. Kassapa Thera. According to the Gandhavamsa (p.61) he was the author of the Anāgatavamsa and also of the Mohavicchedanī, the Vimaticchedanī and the Buddhavamsa. This Buddhavamsa is evidently not the canonical work of the same name. The Sāsanavamsadīpa (Verse 1204, see also 1221) says that a Kassapa, an inhabitant of Cola, was the author of a Vimativinodanī. The Sāsanavamsa (p.33; see also P.L.C.160) calls this a Vinayatīkā and the author an inhabitant of the Tamil country. The Mohavicchedanī is there described as a lakkhanagandha (a treatise on grammar?) and is ascribed to another Kassapa.

25. Kassapa. A Kassapa Thera is mentioned in the Sāsanavamsa (p.50) as having been among those responsible for the establishment of the religion in Yonakarattha. He was an inhabitant of Majjhimadesa.

26. Kassapa. The Sāsanavamsa (p.71) mentions a Kassapa Thera of Arimaddana, in the time of King Narapati. While on tour he reached a country called Pollanka, where the people grew very fond of him and where he became known as Pollanka Thera. Some time later he was crossing to Ceylon and the vessel in which he was refused to move. Lots were drawn, as it was necessary to discover who aboard the vessel was the sinner. The lot fell repeatedly on Kassapa, because, in a former life, he had harassed a dog in the water. He was accordingly thrown overboard, but was rescued by Sakka, in the form of a crocodile. The thera reached Yakkhadīpa (q.v.) and there, as a result of practising compassion, the blind yakkhas gained their sight. Kassapa went later to Sīhaladīpa, whence he returned home with relics and seeds of the Bodhi-tree and models of the Mahācetiya and Lohapāsāda.

27. Kassapa. The name is sometimes used as a shortened form of Kassapagotta (q.v.). (E.g., J. vi.224, 225, etc., in reference to the Ājīvaka Guna). Nārada-tāpasa is also once addressed as Kassapa (J.vi.58).

28. Kassapa.See also Acela Kassapa, Uruvela Kassapa, Kumāra°, Gayā°, Dasabala°, Nadī°, Nārada°, Pūrana°, Mahā° and Lomasa°.

Kassapa was evidently a well-known gotta name (e.g., MA.i.584) and people born in a family bearing that name were often addressed as Kassapa - e.g., Uruvela-Kassapa (AA.i.165) and, again, Nāgita Thera (D.i.151).

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