Monday, April 23, 2007

The Flying Buddha

On the fifth year of his Enlightenment, when the Buddha was dwelling in Kutagarasala in Vaishali, he saw his father on the death-bed by his divine eyes. He felt the urgency of preaching his doctrine to his father for his spiritual evolution, as he was just about to attain the arahatahood. Furthermore, a war had broken out between the Sakiyans of Kapilavatthu and the Koliyans of Kolanagara (also called Vyaghapajja) over the water-dispute of the Rohini river – which demarcated the territories of the two kingdoms. As the Khattiyas of the two neighbouring kingdoms earlier enjoyed pleasant relationship; and intermarried and dined with each other, the Buddha wanted to protect the two countries as well.

The Buddha therefore, flew to Kapilavatthu to visit his father, and preached him to become an arahanta. Soon, Suddhodana became an arahanta and died.

After the death of Suddhodana, he became the peace mediator for the Sakiyans and the Koliyans. He thus averted the bloody feud between the two neighbouring tribes. Both the tribes then encouraged their men to join the Sangha as a token of gratitude for his mediation; and each extended hospitality by inviting him as its guest. The Buddha accepted both the invitations and dwelt alternately in Kapilavatthu and Koliyanagara.

See Samyutta Nikaya iv.341; Majjhima Nikaya i.387; Theragatha Atthakatha i.318.

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