Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “ugratagrihapati-jataka” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Thus Yu-k’ie’t’o kiu-che (Ugratagṛhapati), for offering to five hundred arhats, Chö-li-fou (Śāriputra), etc., on the same day obtained a fruit of retribution: five hundred merchants (vaṇij) who received the remains of his food each gave him a necklace (muktahāra) and he became rich immediately. As a result he was called ‘suddenly rich’ Ugrata.

Notes on the Ugratagṛhapati-jātaka:

This is probably Ugrata-of-Vaiśalī (in Pāli, Ugga Avesālika) who made six delightful gifts to the Buddha (Manāpadāyisutta of Anguttara, III, p. 49–51) and who was proclaimed the foremost of the upāsakas who make pleasing gifts Anguttara, I, p. 26: manāpadāyakānaṃ agga). The Buddha recognized eight wondrous extraordinary qualities in him (Uggasutta in Anguttara, IV, p. 208–212; Madhyama, T 26, k. 9, p. 479c–481b); one day, he explained to him how certain beings are parinirvanized in this very life and others not (Vesālisutta in Saṃyutta, IV, p. 109; Saṃyukta, Y 99, k. 9, p. 57b28–c13).

As homonym, Ugrata had Ugra-of-Hastigrāma (in Pāli, Ugga hatthigāmaka), proclaimed the foremost of the upāsaka benefactors of the Community (Anguttara, I, p. 26: saṅghapaṭṭhākānaṃ agga). Although the lives of the two gṛhapatis are strangely similar, the Commentary of the Anguttara, I, p. 394–396, dedicates distinct notes to them.