The Perfection of Patience - Analysis of the Elements III

We read in the Commentary:

“The jewel of the non-learner is twofold:

the jewel of the Buddha and the jewel of the disciple.

Of the non-learner jewels, the value of the jewels of even hundred thousand disciples

does not equal the value of the jewel of the Buddha.

Therefore, the jewel of the Buddha is accounted the foremost.


The Buddha jewel is twofold:

the jewel of the Silent Buddha (Paccheka Buddha)

and the jewel of the Fully Enlightened One.

As to the Buddha jewel,

the value of the jewels of hundred thousand Solitary Buddhas

does not equal the value of the jewel of the Fully Enlightened One.

Therefore, the jewel of the Fully Enlightened One is accounted the foremost.


Thus, as it is well known,

there is no jewel equal to the jewel of the Buddha,

not in this world nor in the worlds of devas.


King Bimbisara who was a sotapanna thought,

‘Nothing else is more precious than the Triple Gem’.

Therefore he asked the merchants who were citizens of Takkasila,

‘Are the three Jewels of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha

known in your country?’


The merchants from Takkasila said,

‘In our country one has never heard of them.

Where could they be seen?’


That was the reason that King Bimbisara gave the order

to make a sheet of gold of four cubits long,

a span in breadth and a thickness which was just right: not too thin, not too thick.

He washed his head in the early morning,

he observed the Uposatha (vigil day),

took breakfast and then he had inscriptions engraved on the sheet of gold.

He had inscriptions made relating the excellent qualities of the Buddha,

the development of the ten perfections,

the excellent qualities of the Dhamma,

the thirtyseven factors of enlightenment,

the four satipatthanas, the eightfold Path,

the excellent qualities of the Sangha and Mindfulness of Breathing.”

  The excellent qualities of the Sangha at that time were the qualities of the ariyans who were contented with the four requisites, who could subdue the hindrances, attain jhana, acquire supernatural powers, and become “great men” (maha- purisa). King Bimbisara considered that he would have a present made superior to anything else: the excellent qualities of the Triple Gem which he had inscribed on the golden sheet.

Topic 282