Sarabhanga Jataka, Sarabhaṅga-jātaka: 1 definition

Introduction

Introduction:

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

The Bodhisatta was once born as the son of the purohita of the king of Benares. He was called Jotipala because, on the day of his birth, there was a blaze of all kinds of arms for a distance of twelve leagues round Benares. This showed that he would be the chief archer of all India.

After having been educated in Takkasila, he returned to Benares and entered the kings service, receiving one thousand a day. When the kings attendants grumbled at this, the king ordered Jotipala to give an exhibition of his skill. This he did, in the presence of sixty thousand archers. With the bow and arrow he performed twelve unrivalled acts of skill and cleft seven hard substances. Then he drove an arrow through a furlong of water and two furlongs of earth and pierced a hair at a distance of half a furlong. The sun set at the conclusion of this exhibition, and the king promised to appoint him commander in chief the next day. But during the night, Jotipala felt a revulsion for the household life, and, departing unannounced, went into the Kapittha vana on the Godhavari and there became an ascetic. On Sakkas orders, Vissakamma built a hermitage for him, in which he lived, developing great iddhi powers. When his parents and the king with his retinue visited him, he converted them to the ascetic life, and his followers soon numbered many thousands.

He had seven pupils Salissara, Mendissara, Pabbata, Kaladevala, Kisavaccha, Anusissa and Narada. When Kapitthavana became too crowded, Jotipala, now known as Sarabhanga, sent his pupils away to different parts of the country: Salissara to Lambaculaka, Mendissara to Satodika, Pabbata to Anjana Mountain, Kaladevala to Ghanasela, Kisavaccha to Kumbhavati and Narada to Aranjara, while Anusissa remained with him. When Kisavaccha, through the folly of a courtesan, was ill treated by King Dandaki of Kumbhavati and his army, Sarabhanga heard from the kings commander in chief of this outrage and sent two of his pupils to bring Kisavaccha on a palanquin to the hermitage. There he died, and when his funeral was celebrated, for the space of half a league round his pyre there fell a shower of celestial flowers.

Because of the outrage committed on Kisavaccha, sixty leagues of Dandakis kingdom were destroyed together with the king. When the news of this spread abroad, three kings Kalinga, Atthaka and Bhimaratha recalling stories of other similar punishments that had followed insults to holy men, went to visit Sarabhanga in order to get at the truth of the matter. They met on the banks of the Godhavari, and there they were joined by Sakka. Sarabhanga sent Anusissa to greet them and offer them hospitality, and, when they had rested, gave them permission to put their questions. Sarabhanga explained to them how Dandaka, Nalikira, Ajjuna and Kalabu,

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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