After he had contemplated in this manner, he entered directly into the rock on the top of the mountain, just as if he were sinking into soft mud. After he had entered, the mountain closed shut behind him.
Later on, when the normal lifespan of people reaches 84,000 years and their normal height reaches eighty feet, itreya Buddha will appear. The Buddha's body will be one hundred and sixty feet tall and the Buddha's face will itself extend twenty-four feet while his nimbus will span ten meters. At this time, when beings hear that Maitreya Buddha has appeared, an immeasurable number of people will follow the Buddha in leaving the home life. When the Buddha is in the midst of the great assembly and first speaks Dharma, ninety- nine kotis of people will gain the way of arhatship and will be replete with the six superknowledges. On the second day, ninety-six kotis of people will gain the way of arhatship. On the third day ninety-three kotis of people will gain the way of Arhatship. From this time onward he will bring an innumerable number of people to deliverance. Then, after a long time, the people will become lazy and reluctant to cultivate.
When Maitreya sees that the people in the assembly are like this, he will use his toe to split open Mt. Grdhrakuta. At that time, Mahakasyapa's skeleton, dressed in the samghati robe will come forth and pay reverence at the feet of Maitreya. He will ascend into space and manifest again the various transformations described before. Then in the midst of space, he will make his body disappear as he enters parinirvana.
At that time the disciples of Maitreya Buddha will be astonished and will ask, "Who was that man who looked so like a person, but yet was so small? His body was wearing the Dharma robes and he was able to display such transformations."
Maitreya Buddha will say, "That was a disciple of the former Buddha, Shakyamuni. His name was Mahakasyapa. He cultivated dwelling in an aranya where he had but few desires and was easily contented. Among the bhikshus who cultivated the dhutaguna practices he was foremost. He was a great Arhat who had obtained the six superknowledges and the complete liberation. At that time, the lifespan of people was a hundred years, with a few exceeding it but most not reaching it. If he, with such a small body, was able to succeed at such a great matter, why do not all of you, with such sizable physiques and sharp faculties, engage in merit such as this?"
At that time, all of his disciples will be repentant and will develop a great aversion [to worldly dharmas]. Maitreya Buddha, according with the minds of those beings, will speak all manner of dharmas for their sakes. There will be those who gain Arhatship, the stage of the anagamin, the stage of the sakrdagamin, and the stage of the srota-apanna. There will be those who plant the roots of goodness of the pratyekabuddha. There will be those who gain the patience arising from the realization of the non-production of dharmas and the stage of the non-retreating bodhisattva. There will be those who obtain rebirth in the heavens where they shall experience all manner of blessings and bliss. On account of this one should know that Mt. Grdhrakuta is an auspicious place replete with meritorious qualities and is a place where holy men like to dwell and where the Buddha, for the sake of holy men, dwelt himself. For this reason the Buddha mostly dwelt at Mt. Grdhrakuta.
1. A koti is a very large number which, if taken literally, is equal to 10,000,000.
2. An aranya is a secluded and quiet hermitage.
3. The dhutaguna practices are a set of twelve austere, but beneficial, practices specifically recommended by the Buddha. They include such practices as:
1. wearing rag robes
2. possessing only three robes
3. begging for food
4. consecutive begging
5. eating only one meal at midday
6. eating a fixed and moderate amount of food.
7. not drinking juices after noon
8. dwelling in an aranya
9. dwelling beneath a tree
10. dwelling in the open
11. dwelling in a graveyard always sitting and never lying down
[Editor's Note: The Dhutaguna practices are variously reported as being 12,13, or 16 in number. Above listed are the classic list of 12 described in Gunabhadra's Translation of The Sutra on the Twelve Dhutaguna Practices. See Taisho No. 783, Volume 17, page 720]
(End of "Mahakasyapa and Mt. Grdhrakuta")