The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The Fifth Chapter for Recitation]

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[37: Kusinārā's History] For this section cf. the opening of Mahāsudassanasuttaṁ (DN 17). According to Yang-Gyu An (p. 167) in the other versions of this discourse the whole of Mahāsudassanasuttaṁ is included at this point.01

After this was said, venerable Ānanda addressed the Gracious One, (saying): “Reverend Sir, may the Gracious One not attain Final Emancipation in this small town, this barren town, this branch town. There are, reverend Sir, other great towns, such as: Campā, Rājagaha, Sāvatthī, Sāketa, Kosambī, Bārāṇasī These are all major cities of their various countries. Campā in Aṅgā, Rājagaha in Magadhā, Sāvatthī in Northern Kosala, Sāketa in Southern Kosala, Kosambī in Vaṁsā, Bārāṇasī in Kāsī. 2 - let the Gracious One attain Final Emancipation there. There are many wealthy Nobles there, wealthy brahmins, wealthy householders, who are devoted to the Realised One, and will worshipfully (dispose of) the Realised One's body.”

“Do not say that, Ānanda, do not say that, Ānanda: ‘(This) small town, this barren town, this branch town’. Formerly, Ānanda, there was a King by the name of Mahāsudassana, a Righteous Monarch, a Righteous King, who was victorious over the four quarters, one who had established a stable country, endowed with the seven jewels. Gold, silver, pearls, jewels, lapis lazuli, diamonds, and coral.03

This Kusinārā, was then named Kusāvatī, and was King Mahāsudassana's capital city. Stretching for twelve leagues from East to West, and seven leagues from North to South, the capital city Kusāvatī was prosperous, Ānanda, successful, populous, full of people, with much food, just as, Ānanda, the capital city of the Divinities named Āḷakamandā is prosperous, successful, populous, full of people, with much food, so the capital city Kusāvatī was prosperous, Ānanda, successful, populous, full of people, with much food.

The capital city Kusāvatī was never separated from the ten sounds, by day or by night, that is to say: the sound of elephants, the sound of horses, the sound of chariots, the sound of drums, the sound of tabours, the sound of lutes, the sound of songs, the sound of cymbals, the sound of hand bells, (and with) ‘eat, drink, chew!’ as the tenth sound.