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Biḷālapādaka

A rich man of Sāvatthi. Once a resident of Sāvatthi invited the Buddha and all his monks to a meal and went from house to house asking the householders to share in the almsgiving. Biḷālapādaka, annoyed at the request, gave only as much as could be grasped by three fingers — hence his name (cat-foot). The man took the gifts and added them to the others, but Biḷālapādaka, suspecting that he might be disgraced in public, went to the almsgiving with a knife concealed on his person, ready to kill the man if he should mention his gift in ridicule. However, he heard the man offer the alms to the Buddha, expressing the wish that all who had joined in the almsgiving should receive a rich reward. Moved by the man’s largeness of heart, Biḷālapādaka fell at his feet, confessing his guilty intentions and begging for pardon. The Buddha thereupon taught Biḷālapādaka, who, at the conclusion of the discourse, became a Stream-winner (sotāpanna). DhA.iii.17 ff.

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