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Kapila

1. Kapila.– Father of Pippali-māṇava, who is better known as Mahā-Kassapa. ThagA.ii.142; but see ThagA., p.73, verses 56, 57.

2. Kapila.– A brahmin, the Bodhisatta born as the chaplain of Apacara, king of Cetiya. The king had promised the post of chaplain to his friend Korakalamba, Kapila’s younger brother, and when reminded of his promise, undertook to recover it from Kapila’s son who had been given the appointment at Kapila’s request. The king, in spite of Kapila’s warning, attempted to fulfil his promise by lying, and, as a result, he was swallowed up in Avīci. The king’s five sons thereupon sought Kapila’s protection, and at his advice they left Ceti and founded five cities: Hatthipura, Assapura, Sīhapura, Uttarapañcāla, and Daddarapura (J.iii.454 ff).

Kapila is sometimes called Kapila-tāpasa (J.v.273) and Kapila-isi (J.v.267). His encounter with the Cetiya king is evidently a famous legend, and is often referred to, e.g., in the Saṃkicca Jātaka (J.v.267).

3. Kapila.– A brahmin, the Bodhisatta. When the sons of Okkāka went into voluntary exile and were looking for a spot on which to found a city, they came upon Kapila in his hermitage in Himavā by the side of a lake. He was versed in the science of earthquakes (bhūmicāla), and was, therefore, acquainted with the qualities associated with various sites. He knew that any city built on the site of his hermitage would become the capital of Jambudīpa and that its inhabitants would be invincible. He therefore advised them to found a settlement there. They followed his advice and named the settlement Kapilavatthu after him (q.v.) A hermitage was built near it for the use of Kapila. DA.i.259 f; MT.132 f; SnA.ii.353; see also Mtu.i.348 ff.

4. Kapila.– A monk. He was the younger brother of Sodhana, his mother being Sādhinī and his sister Tāpanā. The whole family entered the Order of Kassapa Buddha; Sodhana learnt meditation and became an Arahant. Kapila learnt the Tipiṭaka and, intoxicated with his learning, disagreed with everybody, right or wrong. He would heed no admonition, and followed a life of evil conduct in which he was followed by his mother and sister. One day, when Kapila was reciting the Pāṭimokkha, none of the other monks gave the responses, and in anger he declared that there was neither Dhamma nor Vinaya. Thus he put obstacles in the way of religion, and was reborn in Avīci.

Later he was born in Aciravatī as a fish, Kapila-maccha. Some fishermen, having caught him, took him to the king of Kosala. At the fish was of golden hue, the king took him to the Buddha, desiring an explanation of his colour. When the fish opened his mouth the whole of Jetavana stank. The Buddha questioned the fish and made him confess his sins. Struck with remorse, the fish died and was reborn once more in hell. DhA.iv.37 ff; SnA.ii.305 f; SA.ii.152; see also UdA.179 f; ThagA.i.356.

5. Kapila.– A wicked monk who lived in a village near Kosambī. He was the friend of Paṇḍaka (q.v.) Vin.iii.67.

6. Kapila.– The Majjhimanikāya Commentary (i.75) has a reference to a monk named Kapila, who, because of his greed for possessions, is described as having been reborn with a flaming outer-robe (saṅghātī pi ādittā hoti). This probably refers to a monk mentioned in the Pārājikā (Vin.iii.107), who was reborn as a peta and who could be seen going through the air with his robe aflame.

7. Kapila.– A city, called Kapilanagara, capital of Pañcāla-raṭṭha. This city once had Cūḷani-Brahmadatta as its king (PvA.161; Netti.142). Perhaps it is this city that is mentioned in the Dīpavaṃsa (iii.17; MT.127) as having been the capital of Abhītatta (v.l. Ajitajina) and his eighty-four thousand descendants.

8. Kapila.– A brahmin of Sāgala, in the Madda Country, father of Bhaddā Kāpilānī. Kapila’s wife was Sucīmatī (ThagA.73; Ap.ii.583). The word Kāpilānī is probably derived from his name.

9. Kapila.– A great physician, mentioned in a list of eminent physicians of old. Mil.272.

10. Kapila.– A minister of King Vohārika­tissa. He was appointed by the king to suppress the Vetullavāda and hold the heretics in check. Mhv.xxxvi.41; Dpv.xxii.44.

11. Kapila.– An ancient teacher of philosophy, mentioned together with Kanāda as having taught that the soul was limitless (na antavā) (UdA.339; see also Svetasvatara Upanisad v.2, and Rāmāyana i.40). He is probably identical with the founder of the Sāṅkhya system.

12. Kapila.– An ancient seer, probably of Sri Lanka, in whose honour Parakkamabāhu I built the Kapila-vihāra near Pulatthipura, with many-storeyed buildings, frescoes, and other ornamentations. Cv.lxxviii.92 ff

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