Alavaka Sutta, Alavaka Yakkha, Alavika Yakkha, Alavika Sutta, Ālavaka-sutta, Ālavikā-sutta: 1 definition



Alavaka Sutta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Alavaka Sutta in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1) Contains the conversation between Alavika (Sela) and Mara which ended in the latters discomfiture. S.i.128f.

2) Alavaka - The king of Alavi. He was in the habit of holding a hunt once in seven days to keep his army in trim. One day when he was hunting, the quarry escaped from where the king lay in wait and, according to custom, it became the kings duty to capture it. He, therefore, followed the animal for three leagues, killed it and, having cut it in half, carried it in a pingo. On his way back he happened to pass under the banyan tree which was the abode of the Yakkha Alavaka. The Yakkha had been granted a boon by the Yakkha king, which allowed him to eat anybody who came within the shadow of the tree. Accordingly, he seized the king, but later released him on obtaining his promise that he would provide him at regular intervals with a human being and a bowl of food (SnA.i.217ff).

King Alavaka, with the help of the Mayor of the town (Nagaraguttika) and his ministers, was able to keep his promise for some time, by sending criminals to the Yakkha. The Yakkhas power was such that at the sight of him mens bodies became as soft as butter. Soon there were no criminals left, and each household was forced to contribute one child for sacrifice to the Yakkha.

Then women, about to bring forth children, began to leave the kings capital. Twelve years passed in this manner and the only child left was the kings own son, Alavaka Kumara. When the king learnt this, he ordered the child to be dressed in all splendour and taken to the Yakkha. The Buddha, with his Eye of Compassion, saw what was going to happen and went to the Yakkhas abode.

Alavaka was away at a meeting of the Yakkhas in Himava. His doorkeeper Gadrabha admitted the Buddha, after warning him of the Yakkhas unmannerly nature. The Buddha went in and sat down on Alavakas throne while Gadrabha went to Himava to announce to his master the Buddhas arrival. While the Buddha was there, preaching to Alavakas women folk, the Yakkhas Satagira and Hemavata, passing through the air on their way to the assembly in Himava, being made aware of the Buddhas presence by their inability to fly over him, descended to Alavakas palace and made obeisance to the Buddha before resuming their journey.

When Alavaka heard from Gadrabha and from Satagira and Hemavata of the Buddhas visit, he was greatly incensed and uttering aloud his name, he hurried to his abode. There with all the various supernatural powers he could command he tried to dislodge the Buddha from his seat, but without success even his special weapon, the Dussavudha being of no avail against the Buddha. Then, approaching the Buddha, Alavaka asked him to leave his house, which the Buddha did. He then summoned the Buddha back and he came.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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