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Kāḷa-Buddharakkhita

A Thera of Sri Lanka, an Arahant. He belonged to a minister’s family and was born in a village near Dakkhiṇagiri-vihāra. When he came of age, he entered the Order, learned the whole of the Tipiṭaka, and, on going with a large concourse to see his teacher, was asked to give up his following and go into solitude to practise meditation. He went to the Vātakasitapabbata-vihāra, practised meditation and became an Arahant. While living in the Cetiyapabbata-vihāra, he was once worshipping at the Kaṇṭaka-cetiya and was seated at the foot of a Kāḷatimabara tree. (Legend says on the night of the new moon, thus completing the circle of Kāḷas). One of the monks asked him a question on the Kāḷakārāma Sutta and the elder taught a discourse based on the sutta. King Tissa (probably Saddhā Tissa), who was in the vicinity, came to listen to the discourse, which lasted throughout the night; the king remained standing the whole time. Greatly pleased, the king, at the end of the discourse, offered the sovereignty of Sri Lanka to the monk.

It is said that the elder had been the Nigaṇṭha Saccaka in the time of the Buddha, and that the Buddha had taught him the Mahāsaccaka Sutta, not because he could understand it then, but because the Buddha knew that it would help him to rise to eminence in this last life as Kāḷa-Buddharakkhita. MA.i.469 f.

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