The Perfection of Determination - Conduct of Wise Temiya I

Now I wish to speak about the life of the Bodhisatta during which he developed the highest degree of the perfection of determination, the paramatthaparami (ultimate perfection) of aditthana.
We read in the Commentary to the “Basket of Conduct” (III. 6, Conduct of Wise Temiya) that the Buddha related one of his past lives:

“When I was the son of the king of Kasi,

I was named Muga-Pakkha (meaning deaf and cripple),

but people called me Temiya.

My father and mother and other people called me Muga-Pakkha

because they considered me dumb and cripple.

As the Bodhisatta (born) in that life,

I caused great rapture and joy to the king and the ministers

and therefore I received the name Temiya.”

  Thus, he had two names, Temiya and Muga-Pakkha, because of  different reasons. We read:

“During that life king Kasiraja ruled in Varanasi.

He had sixteen thousand wives,

but not one of them conceived either son or daughter.

The citizens were worried, saying, ‘Our king has no son to keep up his lineage’,

and they begged the king to pray for a son.

All those wives worshipped the moon, but they obtained no children.

Now his chief queen Candadeví, the daughter of the king of the Maddas,

was leading a virtuous life and the king asked her also to pray for a son.

On the day of the full moon she observed the Uposatha vows

and while she reflected on her virtuous life she made an act of truth,

saying, ‘If I have never transgressed sila,

may by this assertion of truth a son be borne to me.’


At that time the Bodhisatta was conceived in the womb of queen Candadevi.

When the Bodhisatta was born,

also five hundred young nobles were born in the ministers’ houses.

The king ordered that these young nobles would be the retinue of the royal prince.

He sent five hundred wetnurses and five hundred princely dresses

to the five hundred young nobles.

Moreover, he arranged for sixty-four wetnurses to take care of the Bodhisatta.


When the young prince was one month old the wetnurses brought him to the

and the king placed him on his hip.

Now at that time four robbers were brought before him to be sentenced.

One of them was sentenced by the king to receive a thousand strokes from whips barbed with thorns,

another to be imprisoned in chains,

the third to be smitten with a spear and the fourth to be impaled.

When the Bodhisatta heard the verdict spoken by his father,

he became disenchanted, because he was afraid of committing grievous acts

which would result in rebirth in hell.


The next day the wetnurses laid him on a bed under a white umbrella,

and after a short sleep he opened his eyes and saw the white umbrella.

He pondered, ‘From whence have I come into this palace?’

By his recollection of former lives

he remembered that he had once come from a heavenly plane

and then, while he recollected the life previous to that one,

he remembered that he had suffered in the ‘Ussada Hell’.

When he recollected his life before that one,

he remembered that he had been the king in this very city.

The following thoughts occurred to him: ‘I do not need the kingdom.

How can I escape from this house of robbers?’


Then a goddess who dwelt in the umbrella and who had in a previous life
been his mother,

was seeking his benefit and she advised him to pretend to be dumb, cripple and deaf,

so that he could escape from becoming the king.



Topic 284