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Chattapāṇi

1. Chattapāṇi.– A lay disciple of Sāvatthi. He was a Non-returner according to the Jātaka account (J.i.381 f ) and a Once-returner according to the Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.i.380 f ).

Once, when listening to the Buddha’s teaching, he failed to notice and do reverence to the king, Pasenadi, who arrived during the discourse. Later, when summoned to the king’s palace, he went with every sign of respect and paid obeisance to the king. When asked why he had not so behaved on the previous occasion, Chattapāṇi replied that such an action would have been discourteous to the Buddha. Thereupon Pasenadi asked him to act as instructor in the Dhamma to the women of the palace, but he refused the invitation, deeming that such a course would be unseemly and unwise. The task was therefore given to Ānanda. DhA.i.380 f; cp. Vin.iv.157. The story is also found in J.i.381 f, with several variations in detail. There we are told that the Buddha, seeing that the king was displeased, made special mention to him of Chattapāṇi’s attainments.

2. Chattapāṇi.– The barber of King Yasapāṇi. His story is related in the Dhammaddhaja Jātaka (q.v.) He had four virtues — he was free from envy, drank no intoxicants, had no strong desires and no wrath. In one of his previous lives he was a king whose queen carried on intrigues with sixty-four of the slaves. Having failed to tempt the Bodhisatta, she spoke calumny against him and had him put in prison. However, he explained the matter to the king and was released. From that time the king gave up envy. In another birth he was a king of Bārāṇasī, strongly addicted to drinking and meat-eating; one day the meat prepared for him was eaten by the palace dogs. It was fast-day, and as there was no meat in the town the cook sought the queen’s advice. When the king sat down to eat, his small son, whom he much loved, was brought to him in the hope that he might forget to ask for meat. However, the plan failed, and in his drunkenness he twisted his son’s neck and had his flesh cooked for him to eat. Thenceforth he refrained from strong drink and meat-eating.

Two other births of Chattapāṇi are mentioned, once as Kitavāsa and once as Araka (q.v.) He is identified with Sāriputta. J.ii.186‑96.

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