The Three Kinds of Full Understanding - The right cause brings the right result

The Sammasambuddha had accumulated the perfections for four 

incalculable periods and hundred thousand aeons. From the time the

Buddha Dipankara proclaimed him to be a Sammasambuddha in the

future, he developed all the perfections from life to life. He came to see

and listened to twenty-four former Buddhas during his past lives before he

attained Buddhahood. In his last life, while sitting under the Bodhi tree, he

penetrated the Four Noble Truths and attained successively the stages of

enlightenment of the sotapanna, the sakadagami, the anagami and finally

the stage of the arahat, and thereby became the Sammasambuddha with

Incomparable wisdom. He attained Buddhahood in the vigil of the last night

of the full moon, in the month of Vesakha.


The Buddha's chief disciples were the Venerable Sariputta who was pre-

eminent in wisdom and the Venerable Moggallana who was pre-eminent

in supernatural powers. They had developed panna during one incalculable

period of time and hundred thousand aeons. In his last life Sariputta 

attained the stage of the Sotapanna after he had listened to the Dhamma

which Assaji explained to him. When Sariputta explained to Moggallana the

Dhamma he had heard from Assaji, Moggallana attained the stage of the

Sotapanna. Later on they both became Arahats. The Disciples who were

pre-eminent in different ways, such as Kassapa, Ananda, Upali and

Anuruddha, had cultivated panna for hundred thousand aeons. In the

Buddha's time there were many people who had cultivated panna to the

degree that they could penetrate the Four Noble Truths and attain

enlightenment. The time just before the Buddha had passed away was the

most favourable time for the development of panna. The period from his

parinibbana until the present time is not all that long, but still, the present

time is less favourable for the realisation of the Noble Truths. For the

realisation of the Noble Truths the right conditions have to be present,

which are study and understanding of the Dhamma and the right way of

practice. Only the right cause, the development of panna, can bring

the right result.



Topic 240