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Kaṇha Jātaka (No.29, 440)

1. Kaṇha Jātaka (No.29).– The story of Ayyikākāḷaka (q.v.) The story was related by the Buddha to the monks, who expressed great wonder at the miracles performed by him at Saṅkassa. It was not only in his last birth that he performed wonders. The old woman in the story is identified with Uppalavaṇṇā (J.i.193 ff).

The story is also given in the Aṅguttaranikāya Commentary (i.415), with a few additional details. The Dhammapada Commentary (iii.213) refers to it as the Kaṇha-usabha Jātaka.

2. Kaṇha Jātaka (No.440).– The story of Kaṇha-tāpasa. He was the only son of a brahmin in Bārāṇasī and inherited great wealth; he was educated at Takkasilā. When his parents died he gave away all his wealth and retired to the Himavā, where he practised rigid asceticism, never entering a village, eating the produce of only one tree, and living not even in a hut. He acquired great mystic powers, and Sakka’s throne was heated by his virtue. Sakka visited him and, having tested him and asked him various questions, granted him six boons. The ascetic chose only such things as pertained to the life of renunciation. Sakka decreed that the tree under which the ascetic lived should bear fruit perennially.

The Sakka of the story was Anuruddha. It is said that the acetic was called Kaṇha on account of his dark complexion.

The story was related to Ānanda in explanation of the Buddha’s smile as he was passing a certain spot in the Nigrodhārāma in Kapilavatthu; it was the spot where the ascetic Kaṇha practised his meditations. J.iv.6 ff

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