potters, philosophers, and kings

mike dickman cloudhand at OATH.COM
Sun Nov 9 23:51:05 UTC 1997

Rhys-Davids (who I am not citing as an EXPERT), in his 'Dialogues of the
Buddha', Vol II, quotes the following (Digha Nikaaya XVI, 5 passim):

'As they treat the remains of a king of kings, so, Aananda, should they
treat the remains of the Tathaagata. At the four crossroads a cairn should
be errected to the Tathaagata...
'(...) The men, Aananda, worthy of a cairn, are four in number. Which are
the four?
'A King of Kings (cakkavatti) is worthy of a cairn.
'A Tathaagata, an Able Awakebed One, is worthy of a cairn. One awakened for
himself alone (paccekabuddha) is worthy of a cairn, and a true hearer of
the Tathaagata is worthy of a cairn.
'And on account of what circumstance, Aananda, is a Tathaagata, and Able
Awakened One (or a Paccekabuddha, etc.) worthy of a cairn?
'At the thought, Aaandanda, 'This is cairn of the Awakened One (...
Paccekabuddha, etc.), the hearts of many shall be made calm and happy; and
since they had calmed and satisfied their hearts, they will be reborn after
death, when the body has dissolved, in the happy realms of heaven. It is on
account of this circumstance, Aananda, that a Tathaagata, an Able Awakened
One (or a Paccekabuddha, etc.) is worthy of a cairn.'

This is not to deny the potter's shed theory, but simply to point to this
other 'heap of stones at a crossroads' as possibly even more primordial ...

It is worth noting in passing - (and just for the fun) - that the top story
of a pagoda (dagoba) generally contains as its single image a mirror
reflecting nothing but (barely changing) space.


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