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Koṇāgamana Buddha

The twenty-third in the list of the twenty-four Buddhas and the second Buddha to be born in the current fortunate aeon (bhaddakappa).

According to the Ceylon Chronicles (Dpv.ii.67; xv.25, 44, 48; xvii.9, 17, 73; Mhv.xv.91‑124), Koṇāgamana visited their Island (then known as Varadīpa), with thirty thousand disciples, accepted the Mahānoma garden at Vaḍḍhamāna, given by King Samiddha, and taught the doctrine. At the conclusion of his discourse, thirty thousand people realised the Truth. At the Buddha’s wish, the nun Kantakānandā (v.l. Kanakadattā) brought to Sri Lanka a branch of the Bodhi-tree. The Buddha also taught at the Ratanamāla, the Sudassanamāla and the Nāgamālaka and gave his girdle for the people’s worship. He left Mahāsumba and Kantakānandā to look after the new converts.

In Koṇāgamana’s time Mount Vepulla was known as Vaṅkaka, and the people living on the mountain were called Rohitassā, their term of life being thirty thousand years (S.ii.191). Koṇāgamana held the uposatha once a year (DhA.ii.236).

In the Northern books (e.g., Dvy.333; Mtu.i.114; ii.265 f, 300, 302, 304, 430; iii.240‑7, 330) Koṇāgamana is called Kanakamuni, Konākamuni, and Kanakaparvata. A thūpa, erected on the spot where Koṇāgamana was born, is thought to have existed down to the time of Asoka, who rebuilt it to double its original size and worshipped it in his twentieth year (Hultszch: Inscrip. of Asoka, p.165). Hiouen Thsang (Beal, op.cit., ii.19) says he saw thūpas at Koṇāgamana’s birthplace and also at the spot where he met his father after the Enlightenment. Fa Hien (Travels, p.36) saw thūpas at the latter place and also at the place of the Buddha’s death.


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