The Story of Udāyī and the Buddha's Return to Kapilavastu

I’m currently working on editing a translation of EA 24.5, which is a lengthy combination of stories ranging from the Buddha’s thinking about who first to teach after his enlightenment to his return to Kapilavastu after converted the Kāśyapa brothers and their disciples.

My question relates to the last story. I’ve discovered that there’s a Pali version of events in the commentaries (the Pali Proper Names dictionary lists A.i.25; Thag.527-36; J.i.54, 86f; AA.i.107, 117; ThagA.i.497ff; UdA.168; DA.ii.425 for the story involving Kāludāyī). Does anyone know of a good translation of this story? Lacking that, point me to the most complete version’s Pali original?


I recently finished my initial translation, which is called “Miraculous Transformations” in the uddana for its chapter (or, more literally, “Conversions by Miraculous Ability”). It’s a long story about the Buddha’s early career from just after his awakening up to the ordination of Ananda and the other Sakya disciples like Aniruddha. I translated it because parts of it are parallel to the stories told in MN 26 only to discover that it’s actually more properly parallel with the first story section of the Theravada Vinaya’s Khandhaka.

Generally speaking, EA 24.5 follows Kd 1 until after the conversion of the Kasyapa brothers. At that point, the two texts diverge. Kd 1 embarks on stories involving Bimbisara and Sariputra while EA 24.5 instead tells the story of Udayi delivering the message to Suddhodana that the Buddha is coming home and Suddhodana ordering the Sakya clans to deliver recruits to the sangha.

It’s notable that the point of departure between the two texts is where the Buddha teaches his 1,000 new disciples after converting the Kasyapa brothers. The Theravada Vinaya has the fire sermon where EA 24.5 describes the Buddha’s teaching more generally. The only Mahayanist type of content in EA 24.5 is a passage in which the Buddha says a Tathagata has five things to do after appearing in the world. Teaching the bodhisattva practice and giving a bodhisattva prediction of future Buddhahood are the last two items. Otherwise, the rest is the sort of thing we expect to see in Pali parallels.

If anyone knows of Pali parallels that I’m missing in the table below, please feel free to point them out. I suspect the missing stories exist somewhere in the Pali tradition.

Ekottarika Story Subsection Pali Parallels
Who to Teach First Kd 1.6.1-6, MN 26.22-25
Seven Days at the Bodhi Tree Kd 1.1
Encounter with Upaka Kd 1.6.7-9, MN 26.25
Converting the Five Monks Kd 1.6.10-16, MN 26.26-28
Turning the Dharma Wheel Kd 1.6.19-31, SN 56.11
Taming the Naga Kd 1.15.1-8
Converting Uruvilva Kasyapa Kd 1.20.7-19
Miraculous Gifts Kd 1.20.7-11
The Ceremonial Fire Kd 1.20.12-14, 1.19
The Gods Visit the Bhagavan Kd 1.16-18
Washing Tattered Robes Kd 1.20.16-19
Walking on Water Kd 1.20.16-19
Converting the Other Two Kasyapas Kd 1.20.20-23
Three Ways of Teaching ?
Returning to Kapilavastu ? Commentaries ?
Teaching Suddhodana ?
Ananda, et al Go Forth ?

@cdpatton Greetings friend,

I’m interested in your “Miraculous Transformations” translation of EA 24.5, particularly the Buddha’s return to Kapilavastu (but i’m interested in the entirety). I tried clicking on what appears to be a link for it here, but nothing.

What’s prompting my interest is the question of any textual tradition basis for Ambedhkarite Buddhists “remembrance” of the Buddha’s return to Kapilavastu on the Kartik Amavasya (the just passed Kattike New Moon), coinciding with Deewali.

I apologize; this is the trouble with changing URLs on a website. A little reorganization, and links go dead all over the internet. The correct URL for EA 24.5 is now: EA 24.5.


@cdpatton Thank you! The new link worked just fine.

No specific time or date noted for the Buddha’s return to Kapilavastu here, but it seems to be implied to be in the first year of teaching, after the first Vassa.

I don’t know if you’re interested in feedback with regards the translation, or if you were only looking for missing Pāli text parallels? For the latter, have you found them already? – certainly such with regards the story of the Return to Kapilavastu.


You are welcome to message or email me with any feedback you might have. I didn’t receive any when I originally posted this question. I was hoping someone knowledgeable about Pali lore in commentaries and such might know of parallel stories.