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Kāṇāriṭṭha

One of the four sons of the Nāga-king Dhataraṭṭha and his queen Samuddajā, the others being Sudassana, Bhūridatta and Subhaga. When Kāṇāriṭṭha heard that his mother was a human, wishing to test her one day while drinking her milk, he assumed a serpent’s form and struck her foot with his tail. Samuddajā threw him on to the ground with a shriek and accidentally struck his eye with her nail, thereby blinding him. Henceforth he, whose name had been Ariṭṭha, was known as Kāṇāriṭṭha (J.vi.168). When, after Bhūridatta’s disappearance (see Bhūridatta Jātaka) from the Nāga-world, his brothers set out to search for him, Kāṇāriṭṭha was sent to the world of the gods, for he was so cruel by nature that they knew that if he went to the world of men he would destroy it by fire (J.vi.190). When, after his search, he returned to the Nāga-world, he was appointed doorkeeper of Bhūridatta’s sick-room; there, seeing Subhaga dragging a brahmin roughly into the Nāga-world, he prevented him from ill-treating the man and told him of the greatness of all brahmins, illustrating his words with various stories (J.vi.197; details see pp.200 ff). It is said that in his immediately preceding birth, he had been a brahmin, well-versed in sacrificial lore. Bhūridatta heard (from his bed) Ariṭṭha’s undue praise of brahmins and refuted his statements (J.vi.205 ff).

Kāṇāriṭṭha is identified with Sunakkhatta (J.vi.219).

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