Prince Bodhirajakumara and His Kokanada Palace

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Prince Bodhirajakumara and His Kokanada Palace

Postby yawares » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Dear Members,

I watched this amazing story(in Thai)@ Youtube, I liked it very much. And it
took me almost 2 hours to gather all informations to post this story with
details.

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Prince Bodhirajakumara [Wisdom Library]

Bodhi was the son of Udena, king of Kosambi, and his mother was the daughter of
Candappajjota. Bodhi was skilled in the art of managing elephants (see also
M.ii.94), which art he learned from his father, a master in this direction. It
is said (M.ii.97) that, while Bodhi was yet in his mother's womb, she visited
the Buddha at the Ghositarama in Kosambi and declared that whatever child was
born to her it would accept the Buddha, his teaching and the Order, as its
abiding refuge. Later, after Bodhi's birth, his nurse took him to the Buddha at
Bhesakalavana and made a similar declaration. When, therefore, Bodhi
acknowledged the Buddha as his teacher, at the conclusion of the Bodhirajakumara
Sutta, he was seeking the Buddha's refuge for the third time.
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[by Daw Mya Tin]: Once, Prince Bodhi built magnificent palace 'Kokanada' for
himself. When the palace was finished he invited the Buddha for alms-food. For
this special occasion, he had the building decorated and perfumed with four
kinds of scents and incense. Also, a long length of cloth was spread on the
floor, starting from the threshold to the interior of the room. Then, because he
had no children, the prince made a solemn asseveration that if he were to have
any children the Buddha should step on the cloth. When the Buddha came, Prince
Bodhi respectfully requested the Buddha three times to enter the room. But the
Buddha, instead of moving, only looked at Ananda. Ananda understood him and so
asked Prince Bodhi to remove the cloth from the door-step. Then only, the Buddha
entered the palace. The prince then offered delicious and choice food to the
Buddha. After the meal, the prince asked the Buddha why he did not step on the
cloth. The Buddha in turn asked the prince whether he had not spread the cloth
making a solemn asseveration that if he were to be blessed with a child, the
Buddha would step on it; and the prince replied in the affirmative. To him, the
Buddha said that he and his wife were not going to have any children because of
their past evil deeds. The Buddha then related their past story.

In one of their past existences, the prince and his wife were the sole survivors
of a shipwreck. They were stranded on a deserted island, and there they lived by
eating birds' eggs, fledglings and birds, without any feeling of remorse at any
time. For that evil deed, they would not be blessed with any children. If they
had felt even a slight remorse for their deed at any stage of their lives, they
could have a child or two in this existence. Then turning to the prince, the
Buddha said, "One who loves himself should guard himself in all stages of life,
or at least, during one stage in his life."
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[Wisdom Library]: The Palace Kokanada

Note: According to Buddhaghosa (MA.ii.739), the palace was called
Kokanada(lotus), because it was built in the form of a hanging lotus.

Some accounts* of the building of Prince Bodhi's palace add that as it was being
completed, Bodhi conceived the idea of killing the architect or of blinding him
so that he could never design a similar palace for anyone else. He confided this
idea to Sanjikaputta, who warned the architect. The latter, therefore, obtained
special timber(very dry and very light) from Prince Bodhi, saying it was for the
palace, and made out of it a wooden bird large enough to hold himself and his
family. When it was ready, he made it fly out of the window, and he and his
family escaped to the Himalaya country, where he founded a kingdom and came to
be known as King Katthavahana.

* E.g., DhA.iii.134ff.; in J. iii.157 it is stated briefly that Prince Bodhi did
actually blind the architect. In a previous birth he put out the eyes of one
thousand warriors.
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Prince Bodhirajakumara's past life (Dhonasakha Jataka)

Once a prince of Benares, named Brahmadatta, learned the arts from the
Bodhisatta, then a teacher at Takkasila. The teacher (Parasariya), having
observed his character, warned him against harshness and counselled him to be
gentle. In due course, Brahmadatta became king, and on the advice of his
chaplain, Pingiya, went out at the head of a large army and captured alive one
thousand kings. And Pingiya also suggested that a sacrifice be offered, to take
the form of blinding the captive kings and letting their blood flow round the
rampart. This was done; but when Brahmadatta went to bathe, a Yakkha tore out
his right eye, and, as he lay down, a sharp pointed bone, dropped by a
vulture,blinded his left eye. He died in agony and was born in hell.

**Note: The story was related in reference to Bodhirajakumara who blinded the
architect of his palace (Kokanada), so he could never build another palace as
grand and magnificent as Kokanada!

Prince Bodhi is identified with Brahmadatta and Devadatta with Pingiya
(J.iii.157.161).
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Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 157: If one knows that one is dear to oneself, one should protect oneself
well. During any of the three watches (of life) the wise man should be on
guard(against evil).

At the end of the discourse, Bodhirajakumara attained Sotapatti Fruition.

***********************

Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares
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