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Dāsaka Thera

1. Dāsaka Thera.– He was born in Sāvatthi and was appointed by Anāthapiṇḍika to look after the vihāra. There, being impressed by what he saw and heard, he entered the Order. Some say that he was the son of a slave-woman of Anāthapiṇḍika. The millionaire was pleased with him and freed him that he might become a monk. It is said that in a previous birth he had ordered an Arahant to do some work for him, hence his birth as a slave. From the time he was ordained he became slothful and fond of sleep. The Buddha admonished him, and, much agitated, he put forth effort and realised Arahantship.

Ninety-one world-cycles ago he met the Pacceka Buddha Ajita and gave him some beautiful mangoes to eat. Later, in the time of Kassapa Buddha, he was a monk (Thag.17; ThagA.i.68 ff).

Perhaps it is this same Dāsaka who is mentioned in the Saṃyuttanikāya (S.iii.127 ff; SA.ii.230) as having been sent by the monks of Kosambī to Khemaka, carrying messages to and fro until he had walked up and down over two leagues (yojana).

2. Dāsaka Thera.– A friend of Soṇaka Thera and pupil of Upāli. He was a learned brahmin of Vesāli, and, meeting Upāli at the Vālikārāma, had a discussion with him, at the end of which he entered the Order for the purpose of studying the Doctrine. He learnt the whole of the Tipiṭaka and became an Arahant. Later he ordained Soṇaka, son of the caravan-guide, and teacher of Siggava and Caṇḍavajji. After Upāli’s death, Dāsaka became chief of the teachers of the Vinaya. Mhv.v.104 ff; Dpv.iv.28 ff; v.77 ff; Vin.v.2; Sp.i.32, 235; but see Dvy.3 ff.

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