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Asita Devala

1. Asita Devala.– A sage (isi). His story is given in the Assalāyana Sutta (M.ii.154 ff). 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 Kāḷa Devala, probably identical with (1) above, and mentioned in the Indriya Jātaka (J.iii.463 ff). He was one of the seven chief disciples of the Bodhisatta Sarabhaṅga and lived with many thousand sages in Avanti Dakkhiṇāpatha. He had a younger brother Nārada, also an ascetic, who lived in Arañjara. When Nārada became enamoured of a courtesan on the river-bank near Arañjara, Kāḷa Devala flew to him, and in due course brought Sālissara, Mendissara, and Pabbatissara to admonish him. When they, too, failed in their efforts to convert Nārada, Kāḷa Devala brought the master of all sages, Sarabhaṅga, who with their help persuaded Nārada to give up his love.

In this present age Kāḷa Devala became Mahā Kaccana (J.iii.469).

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