King Asoka/Past Lives/Bodhi Tree/Bodhi Temple

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King Asoka/Past Lives/Bodhi Tree/Bodhi Temple

Post by yawares » Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:14 pm

Dear Members,

I read about King Asoka and Prince Vitasoka Thai Version/Thai Book long time ago(King Asoka threatened to kill Prince Vitasoka in 7 days, but later changed his mind.But Prince Vitasoka didn't want to be in the palace anymore, he went to see his favorite Thera and asked to be ordained as a bhikkhu and years later attained Arahatship), I can't find that Thai book I post this Burmese Version which is very nice indeed.

King Asoka And His Arahant Brother(Vitasoka) ... yanmar.pdf" onclick=";return false;

Moggaliputta-Tissa Thera, popularly known in Myanmar as Shin Upagote,
depicted in image as an Arahant holding a bronze bowl for alms collection,
was the Presiding Chairman of the Third Buddhist Council during the time of
King Asoka. He was the prince Tissa Kumara(or Vitasoka), the younger brother of King
Asoka. He was ordained as Monk early in his life and soon attained the

Page 2 of 4 Dhamma Dana Maung Paw, California

He was well known as the one who had tamed the enemy of Buddhism, the
great God Mara . When King Asoka was preparing to hold a great festival in
honor of the religion, and the monks, realizing that God Mara would do
everything in his power to destroy the festival, King Asoka sent for Tissa
Thera )Shin Upagote_. Thera Tissa by his great miraculous powers, not only
defeated God Mara in a great struggle, but also converted him to Buddhism
Some Burmese believe that Shin Upagote still lives in a floating brazen palace
in the southern ocean, and that he can be invoked to come by a special prayer,
and that his mere invisible presence will prevent storms and floods. Myanmar
believes that he can be invoked when danger in the form of some physical
violence threatens. To this day, Burmese in various part of the delta regions,
celebrate festivals in honor of Shin Upagote.

Shin Upagote Light-floating Festival in Shwegyin
Shin Upagote Festival - Shwekyin, Bago Division
Dances by day and, on the eve of 1st Waning day of Thidingyut, light floats
dedicated to Shin Upagutta are put onto Shwekyin canal. The festival is
normally celebrated in late October in the 1st waning of Thadingyut.

Shin Upaote Festival in Yangon
Shin Upagote Festival - Sin-Oh-dan, Yangon
Sin-Oh-Dan Chinese temple sponsors the floating ceremony, dedicated to shin
Upagutta on Yangon river. The festival usually is celebrated in the late or
early November. All participants at the procession must all have observed
vegetarians for a minimum of 9 days.

The Fame of Moggaliputta Tissa
The Third Buddhist Council
Page 3 of 4 Dhamma Dana Maung Paw, California

There reigned in the newly founded city of Patna (Pataliputra), a Mauryan
king named Chandragupta. King Bindurasa was his son, and he had sixteen
wives who bore him One hundred and One sons. Of them Asoka was the most
. His mother was Subhadrangi, also known as "Dharma",
Sumana or Susima, who was his eldest stepbrother, Tissa, also called
Vitasoka or Vigatasoka, was his younger uterine brother

Tradition has it that Asoka won his throne through shedding the blood of all
his father's sons save his own brother, Tissa Kumara(Vitasoka) who eventually was
ordained and achieved Arahantship

In the reign of King Dhammasoka, he gave great support to the cause of
Buddhism, encouraged the subjects to follow the Doctrine in their daily lives.
With his royal patronage, Buddhism flourished, and the Sasana gradually
grew in importance and numbers. Tempted by worldly gain, many
undesirables of alien sects joined the Order and polluted the Sasana by their
corrupt lives and heretical views which they taught.

Then, the king was told that Arahant Tissa would be able to unified the
sasana. The King sent word to the Arahant, but he would not come. Failing
twice, the third time he sent a messenger inviting him to come to protect the
Sasana. The Venerable Thera accepted the invitation and arrived at
Pataliputra. The King received him with due honor and accommodated him
in Asokarama, built by the King himself. For seven days the King stayed with
him, and studied the Dhamma sitting at his feet.

Good monks could not live together with these sham monks and there was
trouble. The King consulted the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa to protect the
Sasana. The Bhikkhus were then tested with regard to their views, and the
undesirables were eliminated from the Noble Order, The pure Bhikkhus that
remained performed the Uposatha for the first time after seven Years. The
Arahant Moggaliputta Tissa availed himself of this opportunity to hold the
third Council in order to protect the Dhamma and the Sasana. One
Thousand Arahants participated in the Council which was held at
Asokarama, in Pataliputra (Patna) in the 18th year of King Asoka's reign,
about Two hundred, and Thirty Six years after the Parinibbana of the
Buddha. The Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa was the presiding Thera, and it
was he who was responsible for the composition of the Kathavatthu-Pakarana,
one of the seven books of the Abhidhamma, at this august Assembly.

In the previous Second Buddhist Council, only matters pertaining to the
precepts (i.e. Vinaya) were discussed and no controversy about the Dhamma
was noted. In the third Buddhist Council, convened in 326 B.C (about 235
Page 4 of 4 Dhamma Dana Maung Paw, California years after the death of Gotam Buddha),
the Third Council discussed the differences of opinion in both the Vinaya and the Dharma.
Buddhism had entered into a period of great flourishing and splendor. It was
recorded that the Tripitaka existed with distorted and misled interpretations
were totally revised.

:heart: Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya :heart:
Last edited by yawares on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: King Asoka / His Past Lives' Merits

Post by yawares » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:42 pm

Dear Members,

My dear friend Dr.Han Tun gave me the book "KING ASOKA AND BUDDHISM"..I read it days/nights... I found some amazing stories about King Asoka's past lives..please let me share with you all.

The Gift of Honey and the Gift of Dirt
[King Asoka book]

The Gift of Honey

The tale of Aśoka’s act of merit in a past life that resulted in
his being reborn as a great king is told in slightly different
terms in the Mahāvaṃsa and the Aśokāvadāna. The Sri Lankan
chronicle’s version of the story recounts the monarch’s gift of

Once in time past, there were three brothers, traders in honey;
one used to sell the honey, two would go to get it. Now a certain
paccekabuddha was sick from a wound; and another paccekabuddha,
who, for his sake, wished for honey, came even then to
the city on his alms round. A maiden who was going for water
to the riverbank, saw him. When she found out that he was
looking for honey, she pointed with outstretched hand and said:
“Yonder is a honey store, sir, go there”.

The paccekabuddha went there and the trader, with believing
heart, gave him a bowlful of honey, so that it ran over the edge.
And as he saw the honey filling the bowl and flowing over the
edge and streaming down to the ground, he, full of faith, made
a wish: “May I, for this gift, come by undivided sovereignty
over Jambudīpa, and may my command reach forth a yojana
upward into the air and a yojana downward under the earth.”
He then said to his brothers: “To a man of such and such a
kind I have made an offering of honey; agree thereto since the
honey is also yours.”… Wishing to share in his merit-making, his
brothers gave their sanction. Then the maid who had pointed
out the store wished that she might in the future become the
royal spouse of the trader.

The story then goes on to identify the main characters
involved: Aśoka was the merchant who gave the honey, his
brothers who approved the gift became the novice Nigrodha
and the Sri Lankan king Devānampiya Tissa, and the maiden
who pointed out the honey store became Aśoka’s chief queen

the Gift of Dirt

A somewhat similar story is told in the Aśokāvadāna:
One morning, when the Blessed One was dwelling at Kalandakanivāpa
in the Veṇuvana near Rājagṛha, he put on his robes,
took his bowl and entered the city for alms…. Soon he came to
the main road where two little boys were playing at building
houses in the dirt. One of them was the son of a very prominent
family and was named Jaya, while the other was the son of
a somewhat less prominent family and was named Vijaya. Both
of them saw the Buddha whose appearance is very pleasing, his
body adorned with the thirty-two marks of the Great Man. And
young Jaya, thinking to himself “I will give him some ground
meal,” threw a handful of dirt into the Buddha’s begging bowl.
Vijaya approved of this by making an añjali…. After presenting
this offering to the Blessed One, Jaya then proceeded to make
the following resolute wish: “By this root of good merit, I would
become king, and, after placing the earth under a single umbrella
of sovereignty, I would pay homage to the Blessed Buddha.”

The text then goes on to make clear the identification between
Jaya and King Aśoka and also between his friend Vijaya and
Aśoka’s subsequent prime minister Rādhagupta.
How are we to interpret the differences between the two
versions of this story? In the one, the offering that is made is
of honey needed for a sick pratyekabuddha. In the other, the
gift is of dirt, an impure substance, unneeded and perhaps
unwanted by the Buddha. In the one, the giver is accompanied
by a woman who is to become his queen and by his two
brothers. In the other, the boy is joined by his companion who
is to become his prime minister.

According to the Dasavatthuppakarana,
it then goes on to relate a different
story of Aśoka as a king in a past life who made a vast
number of statues of the Tathāgata at the time of the previous
Buddha Pusya.

The Dasavatthuppakarana, however, does not stop there.
Soon after his gift of honey, the merchant passes away and is
reborn as a god in one of the heavens. Then, after some time
there, he dies and is reborn as a young boy playing in the dust
of the road in Rājagṛha at the time of the Buddha. And here the
text relates the episode of the gift of dirt much as it is found
in the Sanskrit tradition, except without the negative implications.
Indeed, this time the dirt is put to a practical use: the
Buddha asks Ananda to mix it with water and make a sort of
plaster out of it to use to repair some cracks in the monastery
walls. In time, then, it may be said that Aśoka’s gift of dirt,
though still recalled, came to be reinterpreted and placed in a
more positive light than it had previously held.

The legend associated with the emperor goes that his birth
had been predicted by Buddha, in the story of 'The Gift of Dust'.

In the
Aśokāvadāna Aśoka is said to be physically ugly, to have rough
skin, and to be disliked by his father and the women of his
harem. Significantly, the text attributes this ugliness and
harshness specifically to the dubious nature of Aśoka’s act of
merit in a past life — to his gift of dirt. Thus later, when Aśoka
meets the Elder Upagupta and notices that the Elder’s skin is
soft and smooth while his own is coarse, rough, and unpleasant
to the touch, Upagupta does not mince words in explaining
the karmic reasons for this: “That is because the gift I gave
to the Buddha was very pure and pleasing;
I did not offer the Tathagata a gift of dirt like you!”

One of the legends in the text describes an incident the previous birth of Ashoka, when he was named Jaya. It states that Jaya met Gautama Buddha as a young boy, and gifted him a bowl of dirt, dreaming that the dirt is food. The Buddha then predicted that several years after his parinirvana, the boy would be born as a chakravarti king ruling from Pataliputra.

The Ashokavadana states that Ashoka's father Bindusara did not like him, because he was ugly. Ashoka killed his step-brother and the legitimate heir by tricking him into entering a pit with live coals, and became the king. He became notorious for his bad temper, and had 500 of his ministers killed because he believed that they were not loyal enough. He also had the women in his harem burnt to death when some of them insulted him. He built an elaborate torture chamber, termed as the "hell on earth".Once he encountered a Buddhist monk, who is not troubled by any of the sufferings. Impressed by the monk, Ashoka converted to Buddhism, became a pious man and built 84,000 stupas.

According to the text, Ashoka started gifting away his empire's resources to the sangha during his last days. His ministers denied him the access to the state treasury amidst fears that he would empty it. Ashoka then gifted away all of his personal possessions and died in peace.

yawares/tidathep :anjali: :heart:

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Re: King Asoka / His Past Lives' Merits

Post by yawares » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:56 pm

Dear Members....King Asoka..continue!!!

The Mahdvatsa too retains some traces of this doublesidedness
of Aśoka, but to a much lesser degree. Generally
speaking, its attitude towards Aśoka is unambiguously positive,
and the few times it seems to undermine his glory it does
so, as we shall see, not out of a wariness about the institution
of kingship but out of a desire to glorify more greatly a Sri
Lankan monarch by comparison. Suffice it to say, then, that
the Mahāvaṃsa views Aśoka’s kingship positively, while the
Aśokāvadāna views it ambiguously, and that one of the ways this
difference is expressed is in the different offerings — honey
and dirt — made by Aśoka in his past life.

The same variance can also be seen in the differences in
the persons who, in each story, seek to share in Aśoka’s meritorious
act. In the North Indian text, it is Aśoka’s future prime
minister, Rādhagupta, who seconds his gift of dirt. This is significant,
for in the Aśoka legend, it is the king’s ministers who
are generally portrayed as the prime advocates of realpolitik,

the ones who consistently emphasize Kautilyan policies. Thus,
in the Aśokāvadāna, it is Rādhagupta who schemes to destroy
Aśoka’s rivals to the throne and enables him to usurp the kingship.
26 Elsewhere, in the same text, it is his minister Yasas who
objects to Aśoka’s prostrating himself publicly in front of Buddhist
monks because some of them may be low caste individuals
and he fears this would demean the royal dignity. And, at

the end of Aśoka’s life, it is once again his ministers, this time
as a group, who restrain him from making gifts to the monks
when these threaten to deplete the state funds, arguing that
“the power of kings lies in their state treasury.”
As a minister,
then Rādhagupta’s association with Aśoka in his gift of dirt
serves to emphasize the power-conscious Kautilyan aspect of
his kingship.

In the Mahāvaṃsa’s gift of honey, however, Aśoka is associated
not with a future minister but with a future monk
(Nigrodha), a future king of Sri Lanka (Devānampiya Tissa),
and his own future queen (Asamdhimittā).
Each of these karmic
companions serves in his or her own way to reinforce the
text’s positive image of Aśoka. The association with Nigrodha
the charismatic and enlightened novice who is to bring about
Aśoka’s conversion — looks forward to his close and devoted
relationship to the Buddhist Saṅgha as a whole
. The connection
with the future Devānampiya Tissa, his Sri Lankan namesake,
hints at his later intimacy with Sri Lanka, while the karmic
tie with Asaṃdhimittā, whom the Pali tradition consistently
portrays as a perfect wife, reinforces Aśoka’s own claim
to be a perfect king: a gem of a queen for a gem of a ruler.

By way of contrast, it might be added here, Asamdhimittā
does not figure at all in the Aśokāvadāna. Instead, there, place
is given to the wicked Tisyaraksitā, who turns out to be as evil
as Asamdhimittā is meritorious
. Through her malignant conniving,
Tisyaraksitā manages to obtain from Aśoka a boon: he
grants her his kingship for a period of seven days. Then, in
possession of his royal seal, she secretly uses her new-found
authority to order the torture and blinding of Aśoka’s virtuous
son Kunāla, who had previously angered her by refusing her
incestuous sexual advances. In the story, however, her cruel

ways serve to beget more cruelty, for when Aśoka eventually
finds out what she has done, his punishment of her is hardly
exemplary either; despite repeated pleas for clemency on the
part of Kunāla, the one who was offended, and despite the fact
that Kunāla, by an act of truth, miraculously regains his eyesight,
Aśoka still has Tisyaraksitā executed after threatening,
in his own words, to “tear out her eyes, rip open her body with
sharp rakes, impale her alive on a spit, cut off her nose with a
saw, cut out her tongue with a razor.” The cruel queen here,
then, merely stimulates the cruel side of the king.

:jumping: I hate to be near people who have too much power..they tend to be corrupted big time...destination Niraya/Apaya. :pig:

I rather be with a nice ascetic :heart: in a cute hermitage under a huge mango tree near a lake with a canoe...and Sakka gives me a magic computer with mp3 songs I can listen/dance far from the hermitage( ascetic doesn't like loud music..always close the door of his computer hermitage...but ascetic loves movies with big big screen).

:heart: yawares/sirikanya :heart:

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Re: King Asoka / His Past Lives/The Bodhi Tree

Post by yawares » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:51 pm

Dear Members,

King Asoka and the Bodhi Tree
[King Asoka Book/From Wikipedia]

the story is told of Tisyaraksitā’s (Pali: Tissarakkhā’s) use of
black magic against the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgaya. She is jealous
of the favours and attentions that Aśoka is extending to the
tree and resolves to take action against it, mistakenly believing
the “Bodhi” referred to by the king to be a new rival mistress.
The tale is most vivid in the Aśokāvadāna:

Now Aśoka’s chief queen was named Tiṣyarakṣitā, and she
thought: “Although the king pursues his pleasure with me, he
sends all the best jewels to Bodhi’s place!” She therefore asked
a Mātanga woman to bring about the destruction of “Bodhi, her
rival.” The sorceress said she would do it, but first demanded
some money. When she had been paid, she muttered some mantras
and tied a thread around the Bodhi Tree; soon it began to

The king’s men quickly informed Aśoka of this fact. “Your
majesty,” one of them said, “the Bodhi Tree is drying up.”…
The news made Aśoka collapse on the ground in a faint. His
attendants splashed some water in his face, and when he had
somewhat regained consciousness, he said, sobbing: “When I
looked at the king of trees, I knew that even now I was looking
at the Self-existent Master. If the tree of the Lord comes to die,
I too shall surely expire!”

Now Tisyaraksitā saw the king afflicted with sorrow and
said: “My Lord, if Bodhi should happen to die, I will bring about
your pleasure!”

“Bodhi is not a woman,” said the king, “but a tree; it is where
the Blessed One attained complete unsurpassed enlightenment.”

Tisyaraksitā now realized her mistake. She summoned the
Mātanga woman and asked whether it was possible to restore
the Bodhi Tree to its previous healthy condition.
“If there is still some life left in it,” said the sorceress, “I shall be
able to revive it.” She then untied the thread, dug up the ground
all around the tree, and watered it with a thousand pitchers of
milk a day. After some time, it grew to be as it was before. The
king’s men quickly told Aśoka: “Rejoice, your majesty, the tree
has returned to its previous state!”

The Ashokavadana states that Ashoka's father Bindusara did not like him, because he was ugly. Ashoka killed his step-brother and the legitimate heir by tricking him into entering a pit with live coals, and became the king. He became notorious for his bad temper, and had 500 of his ministers killed because he believed that they were not loyal enough. He also had the women in his harem burnt to death when some of them insulted him. He built an elaborate torture chamber, termed as the "hell on earth".

yawares: In a Thai book..even King Asoka did great things for the Buddha, but because of his horrible deeds he was reborn as a boa!
I'm not sure how true it is..I can't find any fact about his reincarnation in tipitaka/dhammapada. :thinking:

yawares/sirikanya :reading:

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Re: King Asoka/Past Lives/Bodhi Tree/Bodhi Temple

Post by yawares » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:00 pm

Dear Members,

This Uposatha Day is the right time to end the story of King Asoka. I must admit that I hate King Asoka's cruel behaviors..he killed his brothers/harem women etc. Oh I pray I'll never be near any king/harem...I hate people with too much power..I hate kings with many queens/harem..I know why The Gautama Buddha abandoned kingship in many jatakas...power is the big root of evil !!!

Constructions credited to Ashoka
[King Asoka And Buddhism Book]

Mahabodhi Temple, constructed by Ashoka the Great, approximately 250 BCE; restoration by the British and India post independence
The British restoration was done by under guidance from Ven.Weligama Sri Sumangala[citation needed]

Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India

Dhamek Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India

Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar, India

Barabar Caves, Bihar, India

Nalanda University (Vishwaviddyalaya), (some portions like Sariputta Stupa), Bihar, India

Taxila University (Vishwaviddyalaya), (some portions like Dharmarajika Stupa and Kunala Stupa), Taxila, Pakistan

Bhir Mound, (reconstructed), Taxila, Pakistan

Bharhut stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India

Deorkothar Stupa, Madhya Pradesh, India

Butkara Stupa, Swat, Pakistan

Sannati Stupa, Karnataka, India: The only known sculptural depiction of Ashoka
Ashoka Chakra

Indian FLAG

The Ashoka Chakra, "the wheel of Righteousness" (Dharma in Sanskrit or Dhamma in Pali)"
The Ashoka Chakra (the wheel of Ashoka) is a depiction of the Dharmachakra (see Dharmacakra) or Dhammachakka in Pali, the Wheel of Dharma (Sanskrit: Chakra means wheel). The wheel has 24 spokes which represent the 12 Laws of Dependent Origination and the 12 Laws of Dependent Termination. The Ashoka Chakra has been widely inscribed on many relics of the Mauryan Emperor, most prominent among which is the Lion Capital of Sarnath and The Ashoka Pillar. The most visible use of the Ashoka Chakra today is at the centre of the National flag of the Republic of India (adopted on 22 July 1947), where it is rendered in a Navy-blue color on a White background, by replacing the symbol of Charkha (Spinning wheel) of the pre-independence versions of the flag. The Ashoka Chakra can also been seen on the base of Lion Capital of Ashoka which has been adopted as the National Emblem of India.

The Ashoka Chakra was built by Ashoka during his reign. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which also means "cycle" or "self-repeating process." The process it signifies is the cycle of time- as in how the world changes with time.

A few days before India became independent on August 1947, the specially formed Constituent Assembly decided that the flag of India must be acceptable to all parties and communities.[29] A flag with three colours, Saffron, White and Green with the Ashoka Chakra was selected.

:heart: But I love love Prince/Thera Vitasoka :heart:
yawares/tidathep :heart:

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