Anurddha and the Mallas in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta

Dean Anderson eastwestcultural at YAHOO.COM
Mon Dec 11 22:50:55 UTC 2006

--- ù©ú·ç <mirek at MS19.HINET.NET> wrote:

> Dear members:
> In the 6. chapter (6.14, 6.15) of the
> Mahaparinibbana Sutta, there is an
> interesting scene, when the Mallas wish to take the
> Buddha's body south
> of the town, not entering the town and not being
> able to move it, they
> ask Anuruddha for the reason.
> He then tells them that the deities wish the
> Buddha's body be taken to
> the north of the town, then through the northern
> gate into the center of
> town, then again by the east gate to the eastern
> side of the town, where
> it should be cremated in the Makuta-bandhana shrine.
> I wonder why the northern and eastern side of the
> town. Is it "only" to
> emphasize the difference of the Buddha from other
> important people (who
> are to be cremated on the southern side and whose
> body should not be
> carried into the town)? Or could there be any other
> reason?

The different directions are ruled by deities called
Dikpalas. South is ruled by Yama the god of death.
Those who are destined for rebirth are under his
influence. The East is ruled by Indra and the North by
Kuvera and are considered auspicious. Perhaps these
directions were chosen because the Buddha was freed
from rebirth.

Dean Anderson

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