Pokkharasati, Pokkharasadi, Pokkharasāti, Pokkharasādi: 1 definition



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

A Mahasala brahmin of great wealth and learning who lived in Ukkattha, on a royal demesne given by Pasenadi. Ambattha was the pupil of Pokkharasati, who sent him to the Buddha at Icchanangala to discover if the report of the Buddhas greatness were true. When Pokkharasati heard later that Ambattha had been rude to the Buddha, he sought the Buddha by night and begged for his forgiveness. The next day he invited the Buddha to a meal, and having listened to his teaching, declared himself his follower and became a sotapanna (D.i.87f., 106ff). Owing to his eminence, he was present at the meetings of the brahmins held in Manasakata (D.i.235) and Icchanangala (SN.p.115). Vasettha, of the Vasettha Sutta, was also his pupil (SN.vs.594). In the Subha Sutta (M.ii.200ff)*, Subha Todeyyaputta, another disciple, is reported to have said that Pokkharasati - here described as Opamanna (of the Upamanna clan) and lord of Subhagavana (Subhapvanika) treated as empty boasts the claims of brahmins and recluses to transcend ordinary human bonds and rise to the height of Ariyan knowledge. This evidently refers to a time prior to his conversion. The same Sutta mentions a slave girl of Pokkharasati, Punnika by name.

* the Vimanavatthu gives the name of another of his disciples, Chattamanava (q.v.), who was killed while bringing presents to his teacher. (Vv.v.3; VvA.229ff.)

The Commentaries (DA.i.244f.; MA.ii.804; SNA.462) dwell at length on Pokkharasatis attractive personality. His body was of the color of the white lotus, like a silver pandal in heaven, his hair the color of sapphire, his eyes like blue lotus, etc. He evidently was of true regal appearance.

In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was a brahmin versed in the three Vedas who, having heard the doctrine and given alms, was reborn in the deva world. Thereafter, scorning birth in the womb of a woman, he sprang to life in a lotus, which grew in a pond in Himava. An ascetic saw the lotus, adopted the boy, and taught him the Vedas. The king was pleased with his great learning, and gave him Ukkattha as a mark of great favor. The name of Pokkharasati was given to him owing to his birth in a lotus.

The Divyavadana (p. 616 ff., 620) calls him Puskarasari, and tells a story of his daughter Prakrti.

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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