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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

XXVI:39 Anguli Mala* and the elephant

On one ocassion, King Pasenadi and Queen Mallika made an alms offering to the Buddha and his bhikkhus on a scale which could not be surpassed by anyone else. At that ceremony, each bhikkhu was to have an elephant holding a white umbrella over his head as a sunshade. However, there was one elephant short and so they had to put in an untrained elephant and it was alloted to hold the umbrella over Venerable Anguli Mala. Every one was afraid that the untrained elephant might give trouble, but when brought near Anguli Mala, it became docile.

It was with reference to this incident that the bhikkhus later asked Anguli Mala whether he had been frightened. He answered that he was not. When the bhikkhus reported what he had said, the Buddha replied, 'Bhikkhus! It is true that Anguli Mala was not afraid. Arahants who are like him are also not afraid.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.