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Aruṇa

1. Aruṇa.– A warrior (khattiya), father of Sikhī Buddha and husband of Pabhāvatī (Bu.xxi.15; J.i.41; AA.i.436). Aruna’s chief queen became the Therī Abhayā in the present age (ThigA.41). Another of his wives became, in her last life, the Therī Somā (ThigA.66), who is perhaps to be identified with Uppaladāyikā of the Apadāna (Ap.ii.601 f). In the Samyuttanikāya (S.i.155) he is called Aruṇavā.

2. Aruṇa.– The king of Potali in the Assaka country. (In the main story the king’s name is given as Assaka, but the scholiast says his real name was Aruṇa). The Kāliṅga king of that time, longing for a fight, but finding no one willing to accept his challenge, at last devised a plan. He sent his four beautiful daughters, in a covered carriage and with an armed escort to the various cities in the neighbourhood, proclaiming that any king, who took them as wives, would have to fight their father. No one was found willing to take the risk until they came to Potali in the Assaka country. Even the Assaka king at first merely sent them a present by way of courtesy, but his minister, Nandisena, fertile in expedients, urged the king to marry them, saying that he himself would undertake to face the consequences. The Kāliṅga king at once set out with his army. On his way to Potali, he came across the Bodhisatta, who was leading the ascetic life and, without revealing his identity, consulted him regarding his chances of success in the fight. The Bodhisatta promised that he would see Sakka about it the next day and, having done so, informed the king that the Kāliṅga forces would win. Nandisena heard of this prophecy but, nothing daunted, he gathered together the Assaka forces and all their allies; then, by a well-planned manoeuvre, he managed to have the tutelary deity of Kāliṅga (who was fighting for the Kālinga king) killed by Assaka. Thereupon the Kāliṅga king was routed and fled. The Bodhisatta, finding that his prophecy had turned out false, sought Sakka in his distress; Sakka consoled him thus: “Hast thou never heard that even the gods favour the bold hero of intrepid resolve, who never yields?”

Later, at the suggestion of Nandisena, the Assaka king demanded of Kāliṅga’s ruler dowry for his four daughters, and the Kāliṅga king acceded to his request. The story is told in the Kāliṅga Jātaka (J.iii.3 ff.).

3. Aruṇa.– The pleasance near Anupama where the Buddha Vessabhu first taught his chief disciples, Soṇa and Uttara. Bu.xxii.22, BuA.205.

4. Aruṇa.– The name of the lotus that grows in the Nāga world. It was one of Uppalavannā’s wishes to have a body of the colour of the Aruṇa-lotus. Ap.ii.554(v.39).

5. Aruṇa.– A class of devas present at the teaching of the Mahāsamaya Sutta. They were of diverse hue, of wondrous gifts, mighty powers, comely and with splendid following. D.ii.260.

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