The Lineage (II). The Life of Jotipāla

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The Majjhima Nikāya MN 45 gives details of the seriousness with which Ghaṭīkāra worked for the conversion of Jotipāla when the Buddha Kassapa lived in Vehaliṅga. The same sutta shows evidence of the great consideration that Kassapa had for Ghaṭīkāra.

In the time of the Buddha Kassapa, Ghaṭīkāra was a potter of Vehaliṅga, taking care of his blind parents. He was a very pious and devout follower of the Buddha, ministering to him better than anyone, and the Buddha Kassapa accepted his invitation in preference to that of the King of Benares. It is said that when the Buddha needed something, he would go to the house of Ghaṭīkāra and take it, whether or not he was in his house, so great was his confidence in the piety of Ghaṭīkāra. Once, when Ghaṭīkāra was absent, the people, at the suggestion of the Buddha, took the straw from his house to roof Tathagata’s cabin. For three months, the house of Ghaṭīkāra remained open to heaven, but it did not rain on her, so great was her faith.

The Bodhisatta (the future Gotama), who at the time of Ghaṭīkāra was a young brahmin named Jotipāla, was a friend of Ghaṭīkāra, but had no faith in the Buddha Kassapa, and Ghaṭīkāra, having failed to persuade him to visit the Buddha Kassapa, final took it by force, taking him by the hair.

Jotipāla converted and joined the Order, but Ghaṭīkāra, being the only support of his parents, could not renounce the world. Kikī, King of Benares, after having heard about his virtues of Buddha Kassapa, sent him five hundred carts of the most select rice among other things, but Ghaṭīkāra gave him back the gifts, saying he had a lot for himself. MN.ii.46 ff. SN.i.35 f.dh

According to Saṃyutta Nikāya, SN.i.35 f. Ghaṭīkāra, as deva, visited the Gotama Buddha sometime after Enlightenment and the Buddha reminded him of their ancient friendship.Ghaṭīkāra, on that occasion, speaks of several others who had been his friends in Vehaliṅga-Upaka, Phalaganda, Pukkusāti, Bhaddiya, Khaṇḍadeva, Bāhuraggi and Piṅgiya. They had listened to the teachings of the Buddha and, after death, they were born in the world Avihā, where he himself was. In this context, the Buddha addresses him as Bhaggava.

In turn, the Bodhisatta was born as a Brahmin of Vehaliṅga at the time of the Buddha Kassapa of the name Jotipāla. Ghaṭīkāra was his friend and invited him to accompany him to the Buddha, but Jotipāla refused to go, saying that he was a «weak prisoner» and could not be of any use to him. But Ghaṭīkāra was very insistent, and one day, after they had bathed together in the river, he took Jotipāla by the hair and made one last call. This boldness on the part of an inferior made Jotipāla realize his extreme seriousness and agreed to go. After listening to the Buddha preach, Jotipāla became a monk. MN.ii.46; Si34

Medium length discourses

MN.81 Speech on Ghaṭīkāra

Thus I have heard: At one point the Lord was walking on a tour among the Kosalanos along with a great Order of monks. Then the Lord, turning away from the road, smiled (when he came to) a certain place. Then it occurred to the venerable Ānanda:

«What is the cause, what is the reason, why the Lord is smiling? Not without reason do the Tathāgatas smile. «

Then the venerable Ānanda, having put the tunic on one shoulder, having greeted the Lord with palms together, spoke thus to the Lord: «Now, venerable sir, what is the cause, what is the reason that the Lord is smiling ? Not without reason do the Tathāgatas smile. «

«Once upon a time, Ānanda, in this district there was a populated town called Vebhaḷiṅga, prosperous and rich and full of people. And, Ānanda, Lord Kassapa, perfected, fully Awakened, lived depending on the municipality of the village of Vebhaḷiṅga. At that time, Ānanda, the monastery of Lord Kassapa … was here. At that time, Ānanda, Lord Kassapa … instructed an Order of monks while sitting here. «

Then the venerable Ānanda, having left an outer cloak folded in four, thus said to the Lord: «Well, reverend sir, may the Lord sit down. This same piece of land (then) will have been used by two perfected, fully awake. «Then the Lord sat in a designated seat. While sitting, the Lord spoke thus to venerable Ānanda:

«There was once, Ānanda, in this district (as above) … Lord Kassapa … instructed an Order of monks while sitting here. And, Ānanda, in the municipality of Vebhaḷiṅga, the potter’s name Ghaṭīkāra was a follower, the main follower of Lord Kassapa … And, Ānanda, a young Brahmin named Jotipāla was a friend, a dear friend, of the potter Ghaṭīkāra. Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra addressed the young brahman Jotipāla, saying: ‘Let’s go, dear Jotipāla, we will approach Lord Kassapa … to see him. A vision of this Lord, perfected, fully Awakened, would be much appreciated by me. « When this was said, Ānanda, the young Brahmin Jotipāla spoke to the potter Ghaṭīkāra thus: «Yes, dear Ghaṭīkāra, but what good is seeing this little boy in prison?

And a second time … And a third time, Ānanda, Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, spoke thus to the young Brahmin Jotipāla: ‘Let’s go, dear Jotipāla, we will approach Lord Kassapa …’ … ‘Yes, dear Ghaṭīkāra, but what is the use? see this little fellow inmate?

«Well, dear Jotipāla, taking a scraper from behind and bath powder, we will go to the river to bathe.» Ānanda, the young brahman Jotipāla responded to the potter Ghaṭīkāra in sign of assent, saying: «Yes, dear.»

Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra and the young brahmin Jotipāla, taking a scraper from behind and bath dust, went to the river to bathe. Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra spoke thus to the young Brahmin Jotipāla: ‘This, dear Jotipāla, is near the monastery of Lord Kassapa … Let us go, dear Jotipāla, we will approach Lord Kassapa … to see him. A vision of this Lord, perfected, fully Awakened, would be much appreciated by me. « When this was said, Ānanda, the young brahman Jotipāla spoke to the potter Ghaṭīkāra thus: «Yes, dear Ghaṭīkāra, but what is the use of seeing this little boy in prison?

And a second time … And a third time, Ānanda, Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, spoke thus to the young brahman Jotipāla: ‘This, dear Jotipāla, is near the monastery of Lord Kassapa … A view of this Lord, perfected, fully I «Awakened It would be very appreciated by me. « And a third time, Ānanda, the young Brahmin Jotipāla spoke to the potter Ghaṭīkāra thus: «Yes, dear Ghaṭīkāra, but what is the use of seeing this little boy in prison?

Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra, having seized the brahman Jotipāla by the belt, said thus: ‘This, dear Jotipāla, is near the monastery of Lord Kassapa … Come, dear Jotipāla, we will approach Mr. Kassapa to see him. A vision of this Lord, perfected, fully Awakened, would be much appreciated by me. « Then, Ānanda, the young brahman Jotipāla, unbuttoning his waistband, spoke to the potter Ghaṭīkāra thus: «Yes, dear Ghaṭīkāra, but what is the use of seeing this little boy in prison? Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra, having seized the young brahman Jotipāla by the hair – he had made an ablution of his head – spoke thus: «This, dear Jotipāla, is near the monastery of Lord Kassapa … Let us see … A view of this Lord, perfected, fully Awakened,

Then, Ānanda, it occurred to the young brahman Jotipāla: ‘In fact, it is wonderful, in fact, it is wonderful, that this potter Ghaṭīkāra, being of low birth, grabs me by the hair, even if I have performed an ablution of my head’. and I should think: ‘In fact, this surely can not be insignificant’. He spoke thus to the potter Ghaṭīkāra: ‘Is it really necessary, dear Ghaṭīkāra?’‘It is really necessary, dear Jotipāla, surely a vision of this Lord, perfected, fully Awakened, would be much appreciated by me. «

‘Well, dear Ghaṭīkāra, let go of my hair; I will go with pleasure. ‘

Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra and the young brahmin Jotipāla approached Lord Kassapa … When they approached, Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, greeted Lord Kassapa … and sat at a respectful distance. But the young Brahman Jotipāla exchanged greetings with Lord Kassapa … and having conversed in a friendly and courteous manner, he sat at a respectful distance. And Ānanda, while the potter Ghaṭīkāra was sitting at a respectful distance, spoke thus to Lord Kassapa … «Venerable sir, this youthful brahman Jotipāla is my friend, my dear friend. Let the Lord teach you Dhamma. ‘ Then, Ānanda, Lord Kassapa … rejoiced, awakened, incited, delighted the potter Ghaṭīkāra and the young Brahmin Jotipāla, with a talk about the dhamma. Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra and the young brahmin Jotipāla, happy, excited, excited, delighted with Lord Kassapa’s conversation about the dhamma, rejoicing in what Lord Kassapa … had said, giving thanks and rising from their seats, waving Mr. Kassapa … they kept their correct side towards him.

Then, Ānanda, the young Brahmin Jotipāla spoke thus to the potter Ghaṭīkāra: «How is it that you, dear Ghaṭīkāra, upon hearing this dhamma, do not leave home to lack of shelter?»

‘But, dear Jotipāla, do you not know that I take care of my blind and elderly parents?’

‘Well, dear Ghaṭīkāra, I will leave my home and I will be homeless’.

Then, Ānanda, the potter Ghaṭīkāra and the young brahmin Jotipāla approached Lord Kassapa …; having approached and greeted Lord Kassapa … they sat at a respectful distance.And, Ānanda, when Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, was sitting at a respectful distance, he spoke thus to Lord Kassapa …: «Venerable sir, this young brahman Jotipāla is my friend, my dear friend.May the Lord let it out. « Ānanda, Jotipāla, the young Brahmin, received the march in the presence of Lord Kassapa …, he received ordination. Then, Ānanda, not long after the young Brahmin Jotipāla had received the ordination, half a month after his ordination, Lord Kassapa …, having remained in Vebhaḷiṅga for as long as he considered adequate, he left on tour for Benares; walking on tour, in due time came to Benares.

While there, Ānanda, Mr. Kassapa … stayed near Benares in Isipatana, in the deer park.Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, heard that Lord Kassapa … had arrived in Benares and was staying near Benares in Isipatana, in the deer park. Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the King of Kāsi, after having had many charming vehicles harnessed, having ridden a lovely vehicle, departed to Benares with many lovely vehicles and with great royal pomp to see Lord Kassapa … Meanwhile the ground was possible for a vehicle in which he was riding in the vehicle, after having dismounted from it, he approached Lord Kassapa … on foot; having approached and greeted Lord Kassapa … he sat at a respectful distance. Ānanda, like Kikī, the king of Kāsi, was sitting at a respectful distance, Lord Kassapa … with a talk about the Dhamma, Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, woke up … delighted by Lord Kassapa … with a talk about the Dhamma, he spoke thus to Lord Kassapa …

‘Venerable sir, may the Lord agree to eat with me the next day along with the Order of the monks’. Ānanda, Lord Kassapa consented to be silent. Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, having understood the consent of Lord Kassapa, rising from his seat and greeting Lord Kassapa, departed keeping his right side towards him. Then, Ānanda, towards the end of that night, when Kikī, the king of Kāsi, had eaten sumptuous foods, solid and soft, in his own abode: dried yellow rices, various curries, the removed black grains, and various condiments, had the time announced to Lord Kassapa, saying: ‘It is time, revered sir, the food is ready’.

Then, Ānanda, Lord Kassapa, having dressed in the morning, taking his bowl and his robe, approached the abode of Kikī, the king of Kāsi, came and sat in the designated seat together with the Order of the monks . Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, with his own hand served and satisfied with sumptuous, solid and soft foods, the Order of the monks with the Awakened at the head. Then, Ānanda, when Lord Kassapa had eaten and had withdrawn his hand from the bowl, Kikī, the King of Kāsi, taking a seat, sat at a respectful distance. While sitting at a respectful distance, Kikī, the king of Kāsi spoke thus to Lord Kassapa: «Venerable sir, may the Lord consent (accept) my rains-residence in Benares; there will be adequate support for the Order. ‘

‘No, sir, I have (already) consented to accept a residence for the rainy season’. And a second time … And a third time, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, spoke thus to Lord Kassapa … «Venerable sir, may the Lord consent (accept) my residence for the rainy season in Benares;there will be adequate support for the Order. ‘

‘No, sir, I have (already) consented to accept a residence for the rainy season’.

Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi thought: ‘Lord Kassapa … does not consent to (accept) my residence for the rainy season in Benares,’ and he was depressed and distressed. Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, spoke thus to Lord Kassapa … ‘Then, have you revered him, sir, some other follower than me?’

‘There is, sir, a village called Vebhaḷiṅga. There is a potter named Ghaṭīkāra; He is my follower, the main defender. But you, sir, think: Mr. Kassapa … does not consent to (accept) my residence for the rainy season in Benares, and is depressed and distressed. This is not the case with the potter Ghaṭīkāra and it can not be like that either. Because, sir, the potter Ghaṭīkāra has gone to the Awakened one in search of refuge, he has gone to the Dhamma as a refuge, he has gone to the Order in search of refuge. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, my lord, is restricted from attacking creatures, restricted from taking what has not been given, restricted from the evil enjoyment of sensory pleasures, restricted from lying speech, restricted from the occasions of laziness engendered by beverages strong and spirits. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, my lord, possesses an unwavering confidence in the Awakened … in the dhamma … the Order, he is possessed of moral habits that are dear to the ariyas. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, sir, does not doubt about the anguish … the rising of the anguish … the cessation of the anguish, does not doubt the course that leads to the arrest of the anguish. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, sire, is a man of one meal, virtuous, charming in character. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, sir, is the one who has set aside the jewels and forged gold, which has no gold or silver. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, sir, does not dig the earth with a shovel or with his own hand; he voluntarily makes a pot from the floor of a bank that is crumbling or scratching by rats and dogs, and he says: «Whoever likes it, if you deposit here fragments of husked rice, fragments of beans, chickpea fragments, you can take what you want «. Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, Lord elder parents Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, my lord, by the destruction of the five shackles that are attached to this lower bank, is of spontaneous revolt, reaches the final nibbāna there, is not obligated to return from that world .

There was a time when I, my lord, stayed in the village of Vebhaḷiṅga. Then I, my lord, dressed myself in the morning, taking my bowl and tunic, and approached the parents of the potter Ghaṭīkāra; having approached me, I spoke thus to the parents of the potter Ghaṭīkāra: «Now, where has this potter gone?» «Revered sir, his supporter is gone, saying: Now, having taken conjey from the pot, having taken curry from the cauldron, enjoy them. « Then, my lord, having removed the pot from the pot, having removed the curry from the cauldron, I enjoyed it, and getting up from my seat I left. Then, my lord, Ghaṭīkāra the potter came to his parents;having approached, he spoke thus to his parents: «Who is it that, having taken the mash from the pot, having removed the curry from the cauldron and having enjoyed it, it goes away?» «It is Lord Kassapa … dear, who, having taken conjey … he’s leaving. «Then, stallion, it occurred to Ghaṭīkāra, the potter:» In fact, it is a gain for me, in fact, I am well convinced that Mr. Kassapa … has so much confidence in me. «, My lord, joy and happiness Ghaṭīkāra did not leave the potter for half a month or his parents for seven days.

There was a time when I, sire, was staying in the municipality of Vebhaḷiṅga. Then I, my lord, have dressed in the morning … (as above) … I spoke thus with the parents of the potter Ghaṭīkāra: «Now, where has this potter gone?» «Revered sir, his supporter is gone, saying : Now, having removed the boiled rice from the pan, having removed the curry from the cauldron, enjoy it. «Then, my lord, having removed the boiled rice from the pan, having removed the curry from the cauldron, I enjoyed it, and getting up from my seat I left. Then, my lord, the potter Ghaṭīkāra approached his parents … (as above, reading, taking rice cooked from the pan, taking curry from the cauldron) … Then, my lord, joy and happiness did not leave the potter Ghaṭīkāra for half a month or his parents for seven days.

There was a time when I, sire, was staying in the municipality of Vebhaḷiṅga. At that moment the cabin dripped. Then, sir, I addressed the monks and said, «Go, monks, and find out if there is grass in the abode of Ghaṭīkāra, the potter.» When this was said, sir, the monks said to me thus: «There is no herb, revered sir, in the abode of Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, but his house has a thatched roof. «Go, monks, and dispose of the grass of the house of the potter Ghaṭīkāra. «Then, sir, these monks stripped the grass from the house of Ghaṭīkāra, the potter.Then, my lord, the parents of Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, spoke thus to the monks: «Who are the ones who are tearing the grass from the house?» «Sister,» said the monks, «Mr. Kassapa’s hut is dripping « «Take it, revered gentlemen, take it, my honorable friends.» Then, my lord, Ghaṭīkāra, the potter, approached his parents; having approached, he spoke thus to his parents: «Who are the ones who have stripped the grass of the house?» «Monks, dear; Mr. Kassapa’s cabin … it’s leaking. «Then, sire, it occurred to Ghaṭīkāra, the potter:» In fact, it is a gain for me, in fact, I am well convinced that Mr. Kassapa … has so much confidence in me «.So, my lord, joy and happiness did not leave the potter Ghaṭīkāra for half a month or his parents for seven days. Then, sir, for three whole months that house was standing with its roof open to heaven, but it did not rain on it. Such one, sir, is Ghaṭīkāra the potter.

«It is a gain, revered sir, well received, revered sir, by Ghaṭīkāra, the potter in whom the Lord has so much confidence.»

Then, Ānanda, Kikī, the king of Kāsi, sent as many as five hundred carts laden with husked rice to the potter Ghaṭīkāra, dry yellow rice and suitable curries. Then, Ānanda, the men of these kings, having approached the potter Ghaṭīkāra, spoke thus: ‘These five hundred carts of husked rice, revered sir, have been sent to you by Kikī, the king of Kāsi, with dry yellow rices and suitable curries . Accept them, venerable sir. «The king is very busy, there is still much to be done. I am quite satisfied since this is for me of the king. «

It may be, Ānanda, that this occurs to you: «Now, at that time, the young brahman Jotipāla was someone else.» But this, Ānanda, should not be thought of in this way. I, at that time, was Jotipāla the young Brahmin. «

Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, the venerable Ānanda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.

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