A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, by Fa-hsien

Chapter XXI

The Three Predecessors of Sakyamuni in the Buddhaship.

Fifty le to the west of the city bring (the traveller) to a town named Too-wei,1 the birthplace of Kasyapa Buddha.1 At the place where he and his father met,2 and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Over the entire relic of the whole body of him, the Kasyapa Tathagata,3 a great tope was also erected.

Going on south-east from the city of Sravasti for twelve yojanas, (the travellers) came to a town named Na-pei-kea,4 the birthplace of Krakuchanda Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and at that where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected. Going north from here less than a yojana, they came to a town which had been the birthplace of Kanakamuni Buddha. At the place where he and his father met, and where he attained to pari-nirvana, topes were erected.

1 Identified, as Beal says, by Cunningham with Tadwa, a village nine miles to the west of Sahara-mahat. The birthplace of Kasyapa Buddha is generally thought to have been Benares. According to a calculation of Remusat, from his birth to A.D. 1832 there were 1,992,859 years!

2 It seems to be necessary to have a meeting between every Buddha and his father. One at least is ascribed to Sakyamuni and his father (real or supposed) Suddhodana.

3 This is the highest epithet given to every supreme Buddha; in Chinese {.} {.}, meaning, as Eitel, p. 147 says, “/Sic profectus sum/.” It is equivalent to “Rightful Buddha, the true successor in the Supreme Buddha Line.” Hardy concludes his account of the Kasyapa Buddha (M. B., p. 97) with the following sentence:—“After his body was burnt, the bones still remained in their usual position, presenting the appearance of a perfect skeleton; and the whole of the inhabitants of Jambudvipa, assembling together, erected a dagoba over his relics one yojana in height!”

4 Na-pei-kea or Nabhiga is not mentioned elsewhere. Eitel says this Buddha was born at the city of Gan-ho ({.} {.} {.}) and Hardy gives his birthplace as Mekhala. It may be possible, by means of Sanskrit, to reconcile these statements.

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Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 21:53