Dabba Sutta

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Dabba Sutta

Postby clw_uk » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:23 pm

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said, "When Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned. Just as when ghee or oil is burned and consumed, neither ashes nor soot can be discerned, in the same way, when Dabba Mallaputta rose up into the air and, sitting cross-legged in the sky, in space, entered the fire property and then emerged from it and was totally unbound, his body burned and was consumed so that neither ashes nor soot could be discerned."

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Just as the destination of a glowing fire
struck with a [blacksmith's] iron hammer,
gradually growing calm,
is not known:

Even so, there's no destination to describe
for those who are rightly released
— having crossed over the flood
of sensuality's bond —
for those who have attained
unwavering bliss.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Is there any commentary about what exactly happened to Dabba Mallaputta? What is "entered the fire property and then emerged from it"?

Did he somehow choose to spontaneously combust? and if so why?
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Re: Dabba Sutta

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:42 pm

Venerable Ānanda apparently had a similar spontaneous cremation:

The DPPN says:

The Pāli Canon makes no mention of Ānanda’s death. Fa Hsien (Giles trans. 44. The story also occurs in DhA.ii.99ff., with several variations in detail), however, relates what was probably an old tradition. When Ānanda was on his way from Magadha to Vesāli, there to die, Ajātasattu heard that he was coming, and, with his retinue, followed him up to the Rohini River. The chiefs of Vesali also heard the news and went out to meet him, and both parties reached the river banks. Ānanda, not wishing to incur the displeasure of either party, entered into the state of tejokasina in the middle of the river and his body went up in flames. His remains were divided into two portions, one for each party, and they built cetiyas for their enshrinement (See also Rockhill, op. cit., 165f).
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