Asita Devala: 2 definitions



Asita Devala 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»] — Asita Devala in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1. Asita Devala - A sage (isi). His story is given in the Assalayana Sutta (M.ii.154ff). Once there were seven brahmin sages living in thatched cabins in the wilds. They conceived the view that the brahmins are the highest class of men and that they alone are the legitimate sons of Brahma. Hearing of this, Asita Devala appeared before their hermitage in orange attire, with stout sandals and staff, and shouted for them. The brahmins cursed him with the intention of shrivelling him into a cinder, but the more they cursed the more comely and handsome grew Asita. Feeling that their austerities were evidently fruitless, they questioned Asita who urged them to discard their delusion. Having learnt his identity, they saluted him and wished to be instructed; Asita examined and cross questioned them about their pretensions regarding their lineage and they could find no answer. They thereupon followed his advice and renounced their claims to superiority.

Buddhaghosa says that Asita Devala was the Bodhisatta. MA.ii.785.

2. Asita Devala - More commonly called Kala Devala, probably identical with (1) above, and mentioned in the Indriya Jataka (J.iii.463ff). He was one of the seven chief disciples of the Bodhisatta Sarabhanga and lived with many thousand sages in Avanti Dakkhinapatha. He had a younger brother Narada, also an ascetic, who lived in Aranjara. When Narada became enamoured of a courtesan on the river bank near Aranjara, Kala Devala flew to him, and in due course brought Salissara, Mendissara and Pabbatissara to admonish him. When they, too, failed in their efforts to convert Narada, Kala Devala brought the master of all sages, Sarabhanga, who with their help persuaded Narada to give up his love.

In this present age Kala Devala became Maha Kaccana (J.iii.469).

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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