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Ātumā

A town that lay between Kusinārā and Sāvatthi. Once the Buddha, with a large company of bhikkhus, visited the town. At that time there dwelt in it a monk who had been ordained late in life (identified by Buddhaghosa at DA.ii.599 with Subhadda, who was ordained by the Buddha) and had formerly been a barber. He had two sons, handsome, elegant and well versed in the barber’s art. When the monk heard of the Buddha’s coming, he sent his sons from house to house to collect salt and oil and rice and meal. The young men, using all their powers of persuasion, collected a large quantity of each of these things, and when the Buddha arrived in Ātumā and went to stay in the threshing hall (Bhusāgāra), they made ready rice-gruel and offered it to him. The Buddha, however, would not accept it as the monk, who had had the food collected, had been guilty of an unlawful act in that one monk had begged for others.

It was on this occasion that it was declared to be an offence of wrong-doing (dukkaṭa) for a monk, who had formerly been a barber, to carry about with him a barber’s equipment (Vin.i.249‑50).

In the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.131‑2) the Buddha tells Pukkusa of another occasion on which he was staying in the Bhūsāgāra in Ātumā. There was a thunderstorm and two peasants (brothers) and four oxen were struck by lightning. A large number of people having gathered at the place, one of them asked the Buddha if he were aware of the accident. However, the Buddha had been in a state of concentration and had neither seen nor heard anything of it. Such was the state of calm of his mind.

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