Points of Controversy

18.1. Of the Buddha and this World

Controverted Point: That it is not right to say “The Exalted Buddha lived in the world of mankind.”

Theravādin: But are there not shrines, parks, settlements, villages, towns, kingdoms, countries mentioned by the Buddha? And was he not born at Lumbini, enlightened under the Bodhi tree? Was not the Dhamma-wheel set rolling by him at Benares? Did he not renounce the will to live at the Capala shrine? Did he not complete existence at Kusinārā?

Moreover, was it not said by the Exalted One:

Bhikkhus, I was once staying at Ukkaṭṭha in the Subhaga Wood by the King’s Sal Tree…” “…I was once staying at Uruvelā by the Goatherds’ Banyan before I was enlightened…” “… I was once staying at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Wood at the Squirrels’ Feeding-ground…” “… I was once staying at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Wood, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park…” “… I was once staying at Vesālī in the Great Wood at the Gable House Hall…”

Surely then the Exalted Buddha lived among men.

Vetulyakas: But did not the Exalted One, “born in the world, enlightened in the world, live, having overcome the world, undefiled by the world.”

Hence it is surely not right to say “The Exalted Buddha lived in the world of mankind.”