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Kassapa Buddha

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Kassapa Buddha is the twenty-fourth Buddha of the Pali tradition; and one of the seven Buddhas mentioned in Pali canons.

Besides, he is also reckoned as the third Buddha of the present aeon (Bhadda Kappa).

Kassapa was born in the Deer Park of the Isipatana when king Kiki was ruling Varanasi.

He was the son of Brahmadatta and Dhanavati and belonged to the Kassapa gotta (clan).

His chief wife was Sunanda; and son Vijitasena.

He led the house-hold life for two thousand years and lived in the palaces called Hamsa, Yasa and Sirinanda.

Then he renounced the worldly life.

His wife offered him the milk-rice; and Soma gave him the grass for his seat just before his Enlightenment.

Yana was his Bodhi tree.

He gave his first sermon in Isipatana to one crore monks; and showed his twin miracles on the foot of an asana tree outside Sundaranagara.

Many legends are associated with him; and the story of the conversion of the Yakkha Naradeva is particularly interesting.

Tissa and Bharadvaja were his chief monks; and Anula and Uruvela were his most prominent followers among the nuns.

His attendant was Sabbamitta.

It is said that the golden complexion of Maha Kacchana was due to his offering of a golden brick to the Kassapa’s shrine.

Kassapa Buddha lived for twenty thousand years and died in Setavya Park in Kashi.

During the time of Kassapa Buddha the Bodhisatta lived as a brahmin youth by the name Jotipala.

Faxian (Fahsien) and Xuangzang (Huan Tsang) also refer to the physical existence of the Kassapa’s shrines.

The Sanskrit Buddhist texts like the Divyavadana 333 f.; Mahavastu i. 114 refer Kassapa as Kashyapa.


Dipavamsa xv.55 ff.;
Mahavamsa xv.128 ff.;
Digha Nikaya ii.7;
Majjhima Nikaya ii.45 f.;
Buddhavamsa xxv;
Buddhavamsa Atthakatha 217 ff.;
Dhammapada Atthakatha ii.236.

In Buddhist tradition, Kassapa (Pāli) is the name of a Buddha, the third of the five Buddhas of the present kalpa (the Bhaddakappa or 'Fortunate Aeon'), and the sixth of the six Buddhas prior to the historical Buddha mentioned in the earlier parts of the Pali Canon (D.ii.7).

In the Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, this Buddha is known as Kāśyapa.


Kassapa was born in India.

His parents were the Brahmins Brahmadatta and Dhanavatī, of the Kashyap Gotra.

According to legend, his body was twenty cubits high, and he lived for two thousand years in three different palaces.

They are Hamsa, Yasa, and Sirinanda.

(The BuA.217 calls the first two palaces Hamsavā and Yasavā).

His chief wife was Sunandā, who bore him a son named Vijitasena.

Kassapa gave up his worldly life traveling in his palace (pāsāda).

He practiced austerities for only seven days. Just before attaining enlightenment, he accepted a meal of milk-rice from his wife and grass for his seat from a yavapālaka named Soma.

His bodhi (the tree under which he attained enlightenment) was a banyan tree, and he preached his first sermon at Isipatana to an assembly of monks who had renounced the world in his company.

Kassapa performed the Twin Miracle at the foot of an asana tree outside Sundar Nagar, India.

He held only one assembly of his disciples; among his most famous conversions was that of Nāradeva, a Yaksha.

His chief disciples among monks were Tissa and Bhāradvāja, and among nuns were Anulā and Uruvelā, his constant attendant being Sabbamitta.

Among his patrons, the most eminent were Sumangala and Ghattīkāra, Vijitasenā, and Bhaddā.

Kassapa died at the age of forty thousand years, in the city of Kashi, in the Kasi Kingdom (now known as Varanasi, in the modern-day Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Over his relics was raised a thūpa one league in height, each brick of which was worth one crore (ten million) rupees.

The Stupa of Kassapa Buddha

There was initially a great difference of opinion on what should be the size of the stupa and of what material it should be built.

Construction of the stupa was begun after these issues were finally settled.

But then the citizens found they lacked sufficient funds to complete the stupa.

An anāgāmī devotee named Sorata traveled throughout Jambudipa, requesting money from the people for the completion of the stupa.

He sent the money as he received it, and on hearing that the work was completed, he set out to go and worship the stupa.

However, he was seized by robbers and murdered in the forest, which later came to be known as the Andhavana.

Upavāna, in a previous birth, became the guardian deity of the stupa, hence his great majesty in his last life (DA.ii.580; for another story of the building of the shrine see DhA.iii.29).

Among the thirty-seven goddesses noticed by Guttila when he visited heaven was one who had offered a scented five-spray at the stupa (J.ii.256). Alāta offered āneja-flowers and obtained a happy rebirth (

The cause of Mahā-Kaccāna's golden complexion was his gift of a golden brick to the building of Kassapa's shrine (AA.i.116).

At the same stupa, Anuruddha, who was then a householder in Benares, offered butter and molasses in bowls of brass, which were placed without any interval around the stupa (AA.i.105).

Manushi Buddhas

In addition to Kassapa Buddha, the other four Buddhas of the present kalpa; Manushi Buddhas):