Remembering Acchariya Abbhuta Sutta: “Wonderful And Marvelous” Qualities of the Buddha on Buddha’s Day of Miracles

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    Buddha Weekly The birth of the Buddha Buddhism
    Buddha’s wonderful birth. 

     

    Saturday February 24, 2024 we celebrate Buddha’s Day of Miracles. Although it celebrates the 15 Days of Miracles Buddha performed on one occassion, his entire life was a marvelous spectrum of miracles. One early Sutta described the Wonderful and Marvelous Qualities of the Buddha, starting from his miraculous birth and describing all of his wondrous qualities.

    [Full translated Sutta below.]

    This sutra is a wonderful “recap” of some of the early miracles and wonders of the Buddha. His life began as a miracle: “Mindful and fully aware the Bodhisattva passed away from the Tushita heaven and descended into his mother’s womb.”

    Celebrate the miracles and wonders of Shakyamuni Buddha and the Dharma on Saturday February 24. May all beings benefit!

    Buddha Weekly Buddha in Tushita Heaven Buddhism
    Buddha in Tushita heaven.

     

    Acchariya Abbhuta Sutta

    Wonderful And Marvelous

    Thus have I heard:
    On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s Park.

    Now a number of Bhikkhus were sitting in the assembly hall, where they had met together on returning from their alms-round, after their meal, when this discussion arose among them: “It is wonderful, friends, it is marvelous, how mighty and powerful is the Tathágata! For he is able to know about the Buddhas of the past—who attained to final Nibbána, cut the tangle of proliferation, broke the cycle, ended the round, and surmounted all suffering—that for those Blessed Ones their birth was thus, their names were thus, their clans were thus, their virtue was thus, their state of concentration was thus, their wisdom was thus, their abiding in attainments was thus, their deliverance was thus.”

    When this was said, the venerable Ánanda told the Bhikkhus: “Friends, Tathágatas are wonderful and have superb qualities. Tathágatas are marvelous and have splendid qualities.”

    However, their discussion was interrupted; for the Blessed One rose from meditation when it was evening, went to the assembly hall, and sat down on a seat made ready. Then he addressed the Bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, for what discussion are you sitting together here now? And what was your discussion that was interrupted?”

    “Here, Venerable Sir, we were sitting in the assembly hall, where we had met together on returning from our alms-round, after our meal, when this discussion arose among us: ‘It is wonderful, friends, it is marvelous…their deliverance was thus.”

    When this was said, Venerable Sir, the Venerable Ánanda said to us: ‘Friends, Tathágatas are wonderful and have superb qualities. Tathágatas are marvelous and have splendid qualities.’ This was our discussion, Venerable Sir, that was interrupted when the Blessed One arrived.”

    Then the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ánanda: “That being so, Ánanda, explain more fully the Tathágatas wonderful and marvelous qualities.”

     

    Buddha Weekly Buddhas birth walked seven steps Buddhism
    According to Sutra Baby Buddha took seven steps to each of the directions immediately after his miraculous birth.

    “I heard and learned this, Venerable Sir, from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘Mindful and fully aware, Ánanda, the Bodhisattva appeared in the Tushita heaven.’ That mindful and fully aware the Bodhisattva appeared in the Tushita Heaven – This I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.‘

    I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: Mindful and fully aware the Bodhisattva remained in the Tushita Heaven.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘For the whole of his life-span the Bodhisattva remained in the Tushita heaven.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘Mindful and fully aware the Bodhisattva passed away from the Tushita heaven and descended into his mother’s womb.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva passed away from the Tushita heaven and descended into his mother’s womb, then a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared in the world with its gods, its Maras, and its Brahmas, in this generation with its recluses and Brahmans, with its princes and its people. And even in those abysmal world interspaces of vacancy, gloom, and utter darkness, where the moon and the sun, mighty and powerful as they are, cannot make the their light prevail—there too a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared. And the beings born there perceived each other by that light: “So other beings, indeed, have appeared here.” And this ten-thousand-fold world system shook and quaked and trembled, and there too a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

     

    Buddha Weekly Buddha Teaching the monks Buddhism
    Buddha teaching the monks.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb, four young deities came to guard him at the four quarters so that no humans or non-humans or anyone at all could harm the Bodhisattva or his mother.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb, she became intrinsically virtuous, refraining from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, from misconduct in sensual pleasures, from false speech, and from wines, liquors, and intoxicants, which are the basis of negligence.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb, no sensual thought arose in her concerning men, and she was inaccessible to any man having a lustful mind.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb, she obtained the five cords of sensual pleasure, and furnished and endowed with them, she enjoyed herself with them.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘when the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb, no kind of affliction arose in her; she was blissful and free from bodily fatigue. She saw the Bodhisattva within her womb with all his limbs, lacking no faculty. Suppose a blue, yellow, red, white, or brown thread were strung through a fine beryl gem of purest water, eight-faceted, well cut, and a man with good sight were to take it in his hand and review it thus: “This is a fine beryl gem of purest water, eight-faceted, well cut, and through it is strung a blue, yellow, red, white, or brown thread;” so too when the Bodhisattva had descended into his mother’s womb…she saw the Bodhisattva within her womb with all his limbs, lacking no faculty.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘Seven days after the birth of the Bodhisattva, his mother died and reappeared in the Tushita heaven.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘other women give birth after carrying the child in the womb for nine or ten months, but not so the Bodhisattvas mother. The Bodhisattvas mother gave birth after carrying him in her womb for exactly ten months.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘other women give birth seated or lying down, but not so the Bodhisattvas mother. The Bodhisattvas mother gave birth to him standing up.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, first gods received him, then human beings. This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mothers womb, he did not touch the earth. The four young gods received him and set him before his mother saying: “Rejoice, oh Queen, a son of great power has been born to you.” This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, he came forth unsullied, un-smeared by water or humors or blood or any kind of impurity, clean and unsullied. Suppose there were a gem placed on Kasi cloth, then the gem would not smear the cloth or the cloth the gem. Why is that, because of the purity of both! So too when the Bodhisattva came forth…clean and unsullied.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, two jets of water appeared to pour from the sky, one cool and one warm, for bathing the Bodhisattva and his mother.’ This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: “As soon as the Bodhisattva was born, he stood firmly with his feet on the ground; then he took seven steps north, and with a white parasol held over him, he surveyed each quarter and uttered the words of the Leader of the Herd: “I am the highest in the world; I am the best in the world; I am the foremost in the world. This is my last birth; now there is no renewal of being for me. This too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.

    “I heard and learned this from the Blessed One’s own lips: ‘When the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, then a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared in the world with its gods, its Maras, and its Brahmas, in this generation with its recluses and Brahmins, with its princes and its people. And even in those abysmal world inter-spaces of vacancy, gloom, and utter darkness, where the moon and the sun, mighty and powerful as they are, cannot make their light prevail – there too a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared. And the beings born there perceived each other by that light: “So other beings, indeed, have appeared here.” And this ten-thousand-fold world system shook and quaked and trembled, and there too a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared.’ That when the Bodhisattva came forth from his mother’s womb, then a great immeasurable light surpassing the splendor of the gods appeared… this too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.”

    “That being so, Ánanda, remember this too as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Tathágata: Here Ánanda, for the Tathágata feelings are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; perceptions are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; thoughts are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear. Remember this too, Ánanda, as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Tathágata.”

    “Venerable sir, since for the Blessed One feelings are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; Perceptions are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear; Thoughts are known as they arise, as they are present, as they disappear – this too I remember as a wonderful and marvelous quality of the Blessed One.”

    That is what the venerable Ánanda said. The Teacher approved. The Bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the venerable Ánanda’s words.

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    Lee Kane

    Author | Buddha Weekly

    Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
    Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.

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