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Doṇa

1. Doṇa.– A brahmin. He was at Kusinārā at the time of the Buddha’s death, and it was his intervention which prevented a quarrel among the kings who assembled there to claim the Buddha’s relics. He pointed out to them the impropriety of a quarrel over anything connected with the Buddha, the teacher of Peace. The claimants thereupon asked Doṇa to undertake the distribution of the relics. He divided them into eight parts, one of which he gave to each king. He himself kept the vessel used for collecting and dividing the relics, and over it he built a thūpa, celebrating a feast in its honour (D.ii.166 f; Bu.xxviii.4; UdA.402).

Doṇa first met the Buddha on the road between Ukkaṭṭhā and Setavyā. He saw the Buddha’s footprints and, following them, he came upon the Buddha seated at the foot of a tree. Doṇa asked him various questions as to his identity and the Buddha explained to him his Buddhahood (A.ii.37 f). The Commentary (AA.ii.505 f) states that Doṇa was a teacher with a large following, and that the Buddha’s journey to Setavyā was undertaken for the purpose of meeting him. At the end of the Buddha’s discourse, Doṇa became a Non-returner (anāgāmi) and composed a poem of twelve thousand words in praise of the Buddha. This poem became known as the Doṇagajjita. Doṇa was held in very high esteem as a teacher, and it is said (DA.ii.607 f) that, at some time or other practically all the chiefs of Jambudīpa had sat at his feet. Therefore he was able to dissuade them from quarrelling over the Buddha’s relics. On that occasion he stood on a hill and recited the Doṇagajjita. At first his voice could not be heard through the uproar, but, by degrees, they recognised his voice and listened with wrapt attention.

At the distribution of the relics, Doṇa, watching his opportunity, hid, in his turban, the right eye-tooth of the Buddha, but Sakka saw this, and thinking that Doṇa was incapable of rendering suitable honour to this relic, removed it and placed it in the Cūḷāmaṇi-cetiya (DA.ii.609).

2. Doṇa.– A Nāga king. See Mahādoṇa.

3. Doṇa.– A bathing place in Jambudīpa, where sacrifice was offered to the gods. J.v.388 f.

4. Doṇa.– A Tamil stronghold captured by Duṭṭhagāmaṇī. It was commanded by Gavara. Mhv.xxv.11.

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