Mettiyabhummajaka, Mettiyabhummajakā: 1 definition


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

A group of monks, followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka forming part of the Chabbaggiya (q.v.). They lived near Rajagaha. Sp.iii.614; J.ii.387; Sp.iii.579 says they were the chief leaders of the Chabbaggiya.

Twice they brought an unfounded charge of breach of morality against Dabba Mallaputta, who seems to have earned their special dislike. Dabba was in charge of the distribution of alms at the arama where they stayed, and one day it was their turn to receive alms from a certain householder who had a reputation for providing good food. When, however, the man heard from Dabba that it was the turn of the Mettiyabhummajaka to receive his hospitality, he was much displeased, and ordered his female slave to look after them. The monks were greatly annoyed, and accused Dabba of having slandered them to the householder. They, therefore, persuaded a nun named Mettiya to go to the Buddha and accuse Dabba of having violated her chastity. The charge was investigated and proved false and the nun expelled from the Order (Vin.ii.76ff.; iii.160ff).

On another occasion, these monks persuaded a Licchavi, named Vaddha, who was their patron and friend, to go to the Buddha and charge Dabba with having had relations with his wife. This, too, was proved false, and other monks refused to accept alms from Vaddha until he had confessed his guilt (Vin.ii.124ff). One day, while descending from Gijjhakuta, the Mettiyabhummajaka monks saw a heifer with a she goat and the idea occurred to them of calling the heifer Dabba and the she goat Mettiya and then of spreading the story that they had seen Dabba mating with Mettiya.

Vin.iii.166ff.; see also iv. 37f., Dhammapala mentions a tradition, but contradicts it, that the persecution of Dabba by the Mettiyabhummajaka was so persistent that in the end he committed suicide to escape from it (UdA.431). In any case, they managed to bring him into disfavour with the laity, and the Buddha had to take special steps to reinstate him in their esteem (UdA.434). The incident regarding the charge brought by Mettiya seems to have given much trouble to later commentators. Sp.iii.582 says that there was a great dispute about this between the monks of the Mahavihara and those of Abhayagiri. In the end, King Bhatikatissa intervened and had the matter settled by Dighakarayana.

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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