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Cūḷanāga

1. Cūḷanāga Thera.– Generally referred to as Tipiṭaka-Cūḷanāga. He was evidently a very famous commentator, and his opinions are quoted in the commentaries of Buddhaghosa. (e.g., MA.i.126; SA.iii.206; DhsA.229, 267, 284; Vm.389; also FsA.405). Cūḷanāga was the pupil of Summa Thera of Dīpavihāra (AA.ii.845) and a contemporary of Tipiṭaka-Cūḷabhaya Thera, who seems to have differed from him vehemently on certain points (See VibhA.16; also DhsA.230). Cūḷanāga lived in the reign of Kuṭakaṇṇa-Tissa (16‑38 A.C.), and we are told (VibhA.452) that the king held him in great respect. Once the elder had a boil on his finger, and the king, visiting him, put the finger in his mouth to alleviate the pain. The boil burst and the king swallowed the pus therefrom. When the elder lay dying the king carried on his head the pot containing his stools, lamenting, “The mainstay of the Dhamma is lost.” The Saṃyuttanikāya Commentary (SA.ii.201) tells of an incident which occurred when Cūḷanāga was teaching in the Lohapāsāda. A brahmin, listening to him, was so convinced by the discourse of the impermanence of all things, that he ran home and clasped his son to his heart, saying that he was undone. The elder once received a bowl which it was not right for him to keep and he gave it to the Saṅgha (Sp.iii.699). Cūḷanāga does not always seem to have agreed with his teacher in his interpretations of various matters (VibhA.342). Once when it was announced to Summa that Cūḷanāga had explained the word thūpīkata in a certain way, he expressed great sorrow and resentment and declared that though he had seven times read the Vinaya with Cūḷanāga, he had never taught him such an explanation; but Cūḷanāga was able to uphold his contention (Sp.iv.892; for another incident see Cūḷa-Summa). Cūḷanāga once taught the Chachakka Sutta in Ambilahāla-vihāra, and on that occasion the audience of men extended to a distance of one quarter of a league and that of devas to a distance of a league. At the end of the discourse, one thousand monks became Arahants (MA.ii.1025).

2. Cūḷanāga.– A Thera of Vasāḷanagara. With his brother Mahānāga, he entered the Order and, for thirty years, lived in Cittalapabbata, where he attained Arahantship. He refused to reveal his identity to his mother when visiting her because he did not wish to have any attachments. SA.ii.125.

3. Cūḷanāga.– A Thera of Sri Lanka. An eminent teacher of the Vinaya. Vin.v.3; Sp.i.62.

4. Cūḷanāga.– A monk of Pidhānagalla in the time of Duṭṭhagāmaṇī, Saṅghadattā (q.v.) gave him a robe.

5. Cūḷanāga.– A monk of Asiggāhaka-pariveṇa. One day, after having obtained alms in Candavaṅkavīthi, he fed a starving bitch. That same evening he got large quantities of ghee and molasses which he gave to his colleagues. For thirty-two years he gave alms to thousands of monks from food given to him by the people of Candavaṅkavīthi. Later, he became an Arahant. Once, 500 monks on pilgrimage to the Bodhi-tree, took him with them to avert danger. In four months they reached Koṭṭapaṭṭana and in seven months the Bodhi-tree, being well entertained everywhere. On the way back Cūḷanāga was seized with a colic and died; but before death he advised his colleagues to cremate his body and take his ashes that they might be provided with their wants. Ras.ii.122 f.

6. Cūḷanāga.– A fortress in Rājaraṭṭha (in Sri Lanka). Ras.ii.145.

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