Kakusandha Buddha is the first Buddha of the present Kalpa, Bhadrakalpa. He is the fourth Buddha among seven Buddhas of Antiquity (saptatathagata). Seven Buddhas bridges between the past Kalpa, Vyuhakalpa (Glorious Aeon) and present Kalpa, Bhadrakalpa (Auspicious Aeon). First Buddha among Seven Buddhas of Antiquity is Vipassi Buddha. He is the 998th Buddha of Vyuhakalpa. The Seventh one is Gautama Buddha.
Kakusandha Buddha is called as Khorvadjig in Tibetan and in Sanskrit, he is called as Krakucchanda. In Vietnamese, he is called as Phat Cau Luu Ton and in Japanese is Kurusom. His history is mentioned in chapter 22 of the Buddhists Scripture, Buddhavamsa. This scripture is also important because it has included the life of not only Gautam Buddha, but also all other Buddhas who have lived on this earth in the past.
Life of Kakusandha Buddha
Kakusandha Buddha was born in Khem Avanti, which is now known as Gotihawa. It is located about 4 km southeast of KapilVastu, in Kapilvastu District, in the Lumbini Zone of southern Nepal. His father was Aggidatta and his mother was Visakha. His father was a Brahmin Chaplain of the King Khemankara of Khemavati. His wife was Virochamana and his son was Uttara. It was believed that Kakusandha's body was of sixty foot in heights.
Legends say that he has accepted some milk-rice from Suchirindha, a daughter of the Brahmin Vajirindha and he accepted grass for his seat from Yavapalaka Subhadda, before attaining enlightenment. He attained enlightenment under a Sirisa tree. His main disciples were Vidhura and Sanjiva among the monks, and among the nuns, they were Sama and Champang. His main lay-supporters were Acchuta and Samana among the men and among the women, they were Nanda and Sunanda. His personal attendant was Buddhija. Later, Acchuta built a monastery for kakusandha Buddha.
It is believed that Kakusandha lived for four thousand years in three palaces, named- Ruci, Suruci, and Vaddhana (or Rativaddhana). At the age of four thousand, he formally announced detachment with the world and he died at the age of forty thousand years in Khem Avanti. The stupa, erected over his relics, was one league high.
Kakusandha Buddha also forecasted about the Gautama Buddha. During Kakusandha Buddha's life, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born as a King Khema. He presented Kakusandha Buddha alms with robes and medicines. He forecasted King Kema would become the Gautama Buddha in the future.
To mark his birth place, Asoka, the great, has installed a stone pillar and inscribed his visit in the pillar. Later on, there was made a stupa. With these architectural monuments, it is generally accepted that the birthplace of Kakusandha is in Gothihawa.
An encounter of Buddha's teaching
After enlightenment, Kakusandha Buddha stayed in the Sirisa Maha Bodhi tree for forty-nine days. He then went to Isipatana Deer Park, near the town of Makila where he delivered his first discourse to the assembly of eighty-four thousand monks in a park.
Later, when Kakusandha was preaching the knowledge under a Sal tree close to the city gate of Kannakujja, he displayed Twin miracle. He at the same time taught Dhamma to thirty thousand crores of Devas and humans as well.
Legends say that Naradev, an ogre was giving trouble to the people residing at the Khemavati. He would catch people who go through the middle of the huge forest to fetch various species of lotus. If there was no human passing by in the forest, then he would go to nearby and catch the people and then devour them.
At one time, people were discussing how to get through the forest. At that moment, Kakusandha Buddha heard the people's concern and then surveyed the place. He saw orge Naradeva who was giving pain to the innocent human beings. So he traveled through space displaying various forms of the miracle, then he landed into Naradev's mansion and took a seat on the ogre's splendid couch. Seeing this Naradeva became delighted and with his companion, he went to the Himalayas and brought back aquatic and terrestrial flowers. He paid homage to the Buddha with those beautiful flowers. The people were excited and they came to the Buddha and encircle him. Then the Buddha explained that every deed is related to the outcome, then after he taught the Four Noble Truths. At that moment. Devas and humans came there to listen to the Kakusandha Buddha to learn about the truths.
Antique Buddha Statues of Kakusandha Buddha
The Buddha Statue established inside of Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar is believed to be Statue of Kakusangha Buddha.
Shwedagon Pagoda, another sacred Buddhists pilgrimage site located in Myanmar has a religious importance. The pagoda is 99 m tall and is situated on Singuttara Hill to the west of Kandawgyi Lake. It is believed that this Pagoda contains relics of the four previous Buddhas of the present Kalpa. These are the staff of Kakusandha, water filter of Konagamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight strands of hair from the head of Gautama. On the premises, we can find stupas of Four Buddhas of present Kalpa, Bhadrakalpa. At the eastern directional shrine, there is a statue of Kakushandha Buddha, the first Buddha of the present Kalpa. At the southern directional shrine, there is a statue of the second Buddha of the present Kalpa, Konagamana Buddha. At the western directional shrine, there is the third one of Kassapa Buddha and finally, at the northern directional shrine, there is the fourth one of Gautama Buddha.