When Māra, after wasting seven years trying in vain to discover some shortcoming in the Buddha — six years before the Enlightenment and one year after it — left the Buddha in disgust and weariness, the lute which he carried slung on his shoulder slipped and fell. Sakka picked it up and gave it to Pañcasikha. It was so powerful that when plucked with the fingers the lovely music produced echoed on for four months.¹
The lute (vīnā) was three gāvuta ² in length ³ and had fifty trestles.⁴ The Sumaṅgalavilāsinī ⁵ describes it at length. It was pale yellow, like a ripe beḷuva ⁶ fruit. Its base (pokkhara) was of gold, its stem of sapphire its strings of silver, and its knots (vethikā) of coral.
The lute (vīnā) was probably so called partly because its base was made of a bilva-
¹ SNA.ii.393 f. ² A quarter of a league (yojana). ³ BuA.239.
⁴ AA.i.72. ⁵ DA.iii.699. ⁶ The Vilva tree, Aegle marmelos.