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Avaroja

A householder in the time of Vipassī Buddha; he had a nephew who was also called Avaroja after his uncle. When the uncle undertook to build a gandhakuṭi for the Buddha, the nephew wished to have a share in the work, but this the uncle would not allow. The former thereupon proceeded to erect an Elephant Hall (kuñjarasālā) on the site opposite the Gandhakuṭi, adorned with the seven kinds of precious minerals. In the centre of the hall was a jewelled pavilion beneath which was a Teacher’s Seat. At the foot of the seat were set four golden rams, of which there were two more under the foot-rest and six round the pavilion. At the festival of dedication, Avaroja invited the Buddha with sixty-eight thousand monks, giving alms to suffice for four months and various gifts to monks and novices.

This Avaroja, the nephew, became Meṇḍaka, the famous treasurer of Bārāṇasī, in the present age (DhA.iii.364 ff).

A story similar to that of the two Avarojas is told of Aparājita, uncle and nephew of the same name, who also were householders in the time of Vipassī Buddha. We are told that this nephew also became the millionaire Meṇḍaka in his last birth.’ We have here, evidently, a confusion of legends (DhA.iv.202‑3).

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