26. THE BUDDHA WELCOMING THE PERSON WHO HAD RETIRED FROM THE WORLD AND WAS TO BECOME THE VENERABLE MAHAKASSAPA
Pippali was destined to become Venerable Mahakassapa who would protect the dispensation of the Dhamma after His death. He was in charge of 14 villages of workmen and a section of the fighting forces. He belonged to a very rich family worth several crores of money, and together with his wife retired from home-life to lead a religious life. There was a mighty earth-quake at the place where Pippali parted with his wife on retirement from the world. The Buddha surveyed with His Buddha-eye and saw the cause of the earth-quake.
Immediately thereafter the Buddha went to the giant banyan tree about 3 gavutas away (about six miles) to welcome Pippali. He then sat at the foot of the tree causing the six resplendent rays of light to issue forth from His body. Pippaii, who later came to be known as Mahakassapa, saw the Blessed One and, coming to this decision: "He indeed is my master", placed his head upon the feet of the Blessed One and said, "Lord, I am your disciple". The Buddha often honoured him before the assembly of monks by treating him as a member of the Holy Order of a standing equal to Him.