Tiṁsa Buddhadhammatā
Thirty Things that Invariably Happen with the Buddhas


(from the end of the Buddhavaṁsa commentary) From BvA 28, Buddhapakiṇṇakakathā, A Miscellany about the Buddhas. The text follows the Burmese Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana edition, as found on the CSCD, Igatpuri (1999). PTS has some small variations, which are unimportant, except in one instance noted below.1


Sabbabuddhānaṁ samattiṁsavidhā dhammatā, seyyathidaṁ:
The thirty things that invariably happen with all Buddhas, are as follows:

Pacchimabhavikabodhisattassa sampajānassa mātukucchi-okkamanaṁ
At the moment of descent into his mother’s womb the Buddha-to-be has full awareness that this is his final rebirth [1]

Mātukucchiyaṁ pallaṅkena nisīditvā, bahimukholokanaṁ
After sitting cross legged in his Mother’s womb, looking towards the front [2]

Ṭhitāya Bodhisattamātuyā vijāyanaṁ
The delivery of the Buddha-to-be’s Mother while standing [3]

Araññe yeva Mātukucchito nikkhamanaṁ
Exiting his Mother’s womb only in a forest wilderness [4]

Kañcanapaṭṭesu patiṭṭhitapādānaṁ, uttarābhimukhānaṁ, sattapadavītihārānaṁ gantvā, catuddisaṁ oloketvā, sīhanādanadanaṁ
With his feet placed on golden cloth, while facing the north, after taking seven strides, and looking to the four directions, the roaring of a lion’s roar The lion’s roar are the verses he spoke just after birth: I am the greatest in the world, I am the elder in the world, I am the best in the world. This is my last birth, there is no more rebirth for me (DN 14).2 [5]

Cattāri nimittāni disvā, jātamattaputtānaṁ, Mahāsattānaṁ mahābhinikkhamanaṁ
After seeing the four signs, That is, the sign of sickness, old-age, death and a renunciant at peace. They are sometimes referred to as the devadūta, the messenger’s from the gods, as they were made by the gods so that the Awakening Being would make his renunciation.3 and as soon as a son is born, Gotama Buddha renounced the world the day his son Rāhula was born.4 the great renunciation of the Great Brings [6]

Arahaddhajam-ādāya pabbajitvā, sabbaheṭṭhimena paricchedena, sattāhaṁ padhānacariyā
After going forth wearing the flag of the Worthy Ones This means the yellow robe, traditionally worn by ascetics, in their quest for Awakening.5 and so forth, with the cutting off of all low (states), striving for seven days (at least) Siddhattha practiced for six years, but that is because of an unwholesome deed he did in the past (see Why the Buddha Suffered elsewhere on this website). The minimum time an Awakening Being must practice, as stated here, is seven days.6 [7]

Sambodhiṁ pāpuṇanadivase pāyāsabhojanaṁ
The eating of milk-rice meal on the day he attains Complete Awakening The meal was given to Siddhattha by Sujāta, traditionally held to be the Mother of Yasa. She later became one of his first lay women disciples (upāsikā), and along with Yasa’s former wife, her daughter-in-law, she was one of the first women to attain Stream-Entry.7 [8]

Tiṇasanthāre nisīditvā sabbaññutañāṇādhigamo
Reaching omniscience That is, attained Awakening; the grass was given to Siddhattha by Sotthiya.8 after sitting on a spread of grass, [9]

The preparation of his meditation using the subject of in-breathing and out-breathing [10]

The crushing of Māra’s army At the foot of the Bodhi Tree, following which he develops his concentration and insight.9 [11]

Bodhipallaṅke yeva tisso vijjā ādiṁ katvā, asādhāraṇañāṇādiguṇapaṭilābho
After gaining the three knowledges and so on while sitting cross-legged at the Bodhi (Tree), acquiring the virtue of the knowledges not shared (with others) This goes further than simply attaining Awakening, and implies the six special knowledges available only to a Sammāsambuddha: knowledge of others’ faculties, underlying tendencies, the double-miracle, the great compassion, omniscience and unobstructed knowledge (see Paṭisambhidāmagga 68 ff).10 and so on [12]

Sattasattāhaṁ Bodhisamīpe yeva vītināmanaṁ
Spending seven times seven days in the vicinity of the Bodhi Tree Immediately after the Awakening. The Buddha spent seven days looking gratefully at the Bodhi Tree (this is known as the unblinking worship, animisapūjā), and seven weeks in the broad vicinity of the Bodhi Tree, before walking to Isipatana, near Bārāṇasī.11 [13]

Mahābrahmuno Dhammadesanatthāya āyācanaṁ
The request for him to preach the Dhamma being made by Mahā Brahmā At the end of the seventh week.12 [14]

Isipatane Migadāye Dhammacakkappavattanaṁ
The Rolling of the Dhamma-Wheel in the Deer Park at Isipatana Taught to the five ascetics, and a large assembly of gods. This is the preaching of the Dhammacakkapavattanasuttaṁ, the Discourse which set the Dhamma-Wheel Rolling, seventeen versions of which still survive.13 [15]

Māghapuṇṇamāya caturaṅgikasannipāte Pātimokkhuddeso
The recitation of the (Ovāda) Pātimokkha to the assembly endowed with four qualities This was in the first year of the Awakening. The qualities are: they all had the same preceptor, the Buddha himself; they were all Worthy Ones (Arahanta); they arrived spontaneously at the gathering; and the Buddha gave the Ovādapātimokkha: Not doing any bad deeds, undertaking wholesome deeds, and purifying one’s mind - this is the teaching of the Buddhas.14 on the full moon day of Māgha Normally falling in January.15 [16]

Jetavanaṭṭhāne nibaddhavāso
Regularly residing in Jeta’s Wood The Buddha eventually made Sāvatthi, and particularly Jeta’s Wood his base. 16 [17]

Sāvatthinagaradvāre yamakapāṭihāriyakaraṇaṁ,
The performance of the twin miracle Performed to confute the heretics, it consisted of emitting fire and water from his body.17 at the gate of the city of Sāvatthi Which was the capital of Kosala.18 [18]

Tāvatiṁsabhavane Abhidhammadesanā
The preaching of the Abhidhamma in the Realm of the Thirty-Three Traditionally said to have been in the seventh Rains Retreat. Tāvatiṁsa is held to be two worlds above our own.19 [19]

Saṅkassanagaradvāre devalokato otaraṇaṁ
The descent from the world of the gods This means at the end of the Rains Retreat teaching the Abhidhamma.20 to the gate of city of Saṅkassa One of the more westerly cities in the Middle Country.21 [20]

Satataṁ phalasamāpattisamāpajjanaṁ
The entering into fruition-attainment This is the ability to produce the supermundane consciousness that arises when attaining awakening.22 regularly [21]

Dvīsu vāresu veneyyajanāvalokanaṁ
The looking for the people who are capable of being led (to Awakening) on two occasions In the PTS edition this reads: Dvīsu jhānesu, in two absorptions; if that reading is correct I do not understand the reference at all; if the adopted reading is correct, then it possibly means, the occasion after Mahā Brahmā had requested him to teach, when he looked for someone to give the first teaching to; and in the mornings, when he would look around the world to see who could be brought to Awakening that day.23 [22]

Uppanne vatthumhi sikkhāpadapaññāpanaṁ
The declaration of the precepts only when an occasion arises That is, he doesn’t produce a disciplinary code in the abstract, like a constitution, but through precedent, as in English common law.24 [23]

Uppannāya aṭṭhuppattiyā Jātakakathanaṁ
The narration of the Birth-Stories when an occasion for relating their meaning has arisen [24]

Ñātisamāgame Buddhavaṁsakathanaṁ
The narration of the Lineage of the Buddhas in an assembly of his relatives The book that this is a commentary on. This was directly after performing the double-miracle, and at the urging of Ven. Sāriputta, at the head of five-hundred Worthy Ones. 25 [25]

Āgantukehi bhikkhūhi paṭisanthārakaraṇaṁ
The giving of a kind reception to incoming monks [26]

Nimantitānaṁ Vuṭṭhavassānaṁ anāpucchā agamanaṁ
Not departing at the end of the Rains Retreat without asking those who invited him [27]

Divase divase purebhattapacchābhattapaṭhamamajjhimapacchimayāmakiccakaraṇaṁ
Day by day performing his duties before the meal, after the meal, and in the first, middle and last watch of the night [28]

Parinibbānadivase maṁsarasabhojanaṁ
The eating of a meal consisting of flesh on the day he attains Final Emancipation [29]

Catuvīsatikoṭisatasahassasamāpattiyo samāpajjitvā, parinibbānan-ti
After attaining the twenty-four hundred thousand thousand million (2,400,000,000,000,000) attainments, the attainment of Final Emancipation [30]

Imā samattiṁsa Sabbabuddhānaṁ dhammatā ti.
Altogether these are the thirty things that invariably happen with all Buddhas.