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Belaṭṭhasīsa Thera

An Arahant, preceptor of Ānanda. He was once afflicted with scurvy and his robes clung to him. The monks thereupon applied water to the robes, but when the Buddha heard of it he made a rule allowing necessary therapeutic measures.¹

At one time this Thera would lie in the forest where he kept a store of dried boiled rice. When he needed food, after exiting from attainment (samāpatti) he would sprinkle water on the rice and eat it instead of going for alms. When this was reported to the Buddha, he blamed Belaṭṭhasīsa for storing up food and promulgated a rule forbidding this.²

The Dhammapada Commentary,³ however, states that the offence was committed after the rule was laid down, and, because the food was stored, not because of greed but through lack of covetousness, the Buddha declared Belaṭṭhasīsa free from guilt.

Belaṭṭhasīsa was a brahmin of Sāvatthi who had left the world under Uruvela-Kassapa before the Buddha’s Enlightenment and was converted when Uruvela Kassapa became a follower of the Buddha.

He had been a monk in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, but could achieve no attainment. He once gave a mātuluṅga fruit to Vessabhū Buddha.⁴

He is probably identical with Mātuluṅgaphaladāyaka of the Apadāna.⁵

¹ Vin.i.202, 295 f. ² Vin.iv.86. ³ DhA.ii.171.

⁴ ThagA.i.67 ff; Thag.vs.16. ⁵ Ap.ii.446.

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