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Gandhamādana

A mountain range beyond the seven ranges of:

  1. Cullakāḷa
  2. Mahākāḷa
  3. Nāgapaliveṭhana
  4. Candagabbha
  5. Suriyagabbha
  6. Suvaṇṇapassa
  7. Himavā

It is one of the five mountain ranges that encircle Anotatta. It is crowned with a tableland, is green in colour (muggavaṇṇa), and covered with various medicinal plants. It shines from afar “like a glowing fire on a new-moon night.”

In the range is an inclined slope (pabbhāra) named Nandamūlaka containing three caves, Suvaṇṇa-, Maṇi- and Rajata-guhā, which are the abodes of Pacceka Buddhas.

At the entrance to Maṇiguhā is a tree named Mañjūsaka, one league in height and in girth; on this tree bloom all the flowers that grow both on land and in water, and especially do they bloom on the occasions of the Pacceka Buddhas’ visits; round the tree is the Sabbara-tanamāla.

There the Sammajjanakavāta sweeps the ground, the Samakaranavāta levels the sand, and the Siñcanakavāta sprinkles water from Anotatta.

The Sugandhakaranavāta brings all the perfumes of Himavā, the Ocinakavāta plucks flowers, and the Santharanakavāta spreads them.

In the māla seats are always ready for the Pacceka Buddhas, who on fast days and on their own birthdays assemble there. When a new Pacceka Buddha arises in the world, he goes first to Gandhamādana and other Pacceka Buddhas, who may be in the world, assemble there to greet him, and they all sit rapt in samādhi. Then the senior among them asks the newcomer to describe how he came to be a Pacceka Buddha (SNA.i.52, 66 f; ii.437; AA.ii.759; UdA.300, etc; MA.ii.585).

The Pacceka Buddhas who live on Gandhamādana will often enter into samādhi for seven days, and at the end of that period seek alms from someone on whom they wish to bestow a special favour, that he may thereby obtain merit (e.g., DhA.iii.368 f; iv.121, 199 f; J.iv.16). These Buddhas will sometimes leave the mountain, and, having admonished those whom they wish to help, return again (e.g., J.iii.453).

Besides Pacceka Buddhas, others are also mentioned as having resided in Gandhamādana — e.g., Nārada (J.iv.393), Nalinikā (J.v.186), Bahusodarī (J.vi.83); also the deva king Nāgadatta (ThagA.i.138), and Vessantara, with his family, after he renounced his kingdom (J.vi.528 f ) It is also said that kinnarā (J.iv.438) and nāgā (Rockhill, 169) lived on the slopes of Gandhamādana. It was among the places visited by Khadiravaniya Revata (AA.i.139).

It is not explicitly mentioned that all Pacceka Buddhas die in Gandhamādana, but the inference seems to be such. Thus, once, five hundred Pacceka Buddhas led by Mahāpaduma died there, and their bodies were cremated (ThagA.ii.141).

The Jātaka Commentary (vi.79) explains Gandhamādana as “gandhena mada-karo pabbato.”

The fragrant tree Bhujaka grows only in heaven and in Gandhamādana (VvA.162).

It is said that the Buddha Metteya will retire for a while to Gandhamādanā, after spending his first rainy season (Anāgatavaṃsa v.81).

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