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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords
J.447 Mahaadhammapaala Jaataka In Dhammapala, a village in Kasi, there lived a family whose head was Mahadhammapala. The bodhisatva was his son and was called Dhammapala-kumara. He went to study at Takkasila. There the teacherís eldest son died, but among all the lamentations, it was noticed that Dhammapala did not weep. When questioned by his fellows as to how he could refrain, he answered that as it was impossible for anybody to die young, he did not believe his friend was dead. The teacher asked him about this and found out that in Dhammapalaís family, no-one died young. Wishing to know if it was true, he left Takkasila and went to the home of Dhammapala carrying with him the bones of a goat. After his welcome had subsided, he announced to Mahadhammapala that his son was dead, and begged him not to grieve. Dhammapala, however, clapped his hands and laughed, saying that such a thing could never be as no member of their family had ever died young. He then told the brahmin, in answer to his query, thath they owed their longevity to their virtuous lives. The Jataka was related to Suddhodana, who told the Buddha how, when the Buddha was practising severe penances, some gods came to him and said that he was dead. However, the king had refused to believe them. Suddhodana was Mahadhammapala and the teacher Sariputta. At the conclusion of the Jataka, Suddhodana became an anagami and Mahapajapati Gotami, a sotapanna. 59/879 Jaataka Khuddhaka J.iv.050ff. longevity

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Last modified on: Sunday, 2 January 2000.