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Kevaṭṭa

1. Kevaṭṭa (v.l. Kevaḍḍha).– A householder of Nāḷandā. Once when the Buddha was staying in the Pāvārika-ambavana at Nāḷandā, Kevaṭṭa visited him. The interview is recorded in the Kevaṭṭa Sutta. (D.i.211 ff).

Buddhaghosa (DA.i.388) speaks of him as a young householder, distinguished and wealthy, belonging to the gahapati-mahāsala-kula, with four hundred million of wealth. He was possessed of very great piety, and it was his extreme devotion to the Buddha which led him to make the request contained in the Kevaṭṭa Sutta.

2. Kevaṭṭa.– Chaplain of Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, king of Uttarapañcāla. He was wise and learned and clever in device; the king followed his counsel and conquered all the territories of India except that of King Videha in Mithilā (J.vi.391‑5). When at last Brahmadatta laid siege to Mithilā, Kevaṭṭa was responsible for the details of the siege, but his plans were upset by Mahosadha, who, though his junior in age, was far wiser. At one stage of the struggle Kevaṭṭa suggested that a trial of intellect be arranged between him and Mahosadha, the result of the conquest to decide the victory of Brahmadatta or Videha. The challenge was accepted, but Mahosadha, by a ruse, made Kevaṭṭa appear as though paying obeisance to him and rubbed Kevaṭṭa’s head in the dust, bruising it. After the return, in disgrace, of Brahmadatta to Uttarapañcāla, Kevaṭṭa meditated revenge through the instrumentality of Pañcālacaṇḍī. Kevaṭṭa visited Mithilā with a proposal that Videha should go to Uttarapañcāla and marry Pañcālacaṇḍī. During this visit, Kevaṭṭa went to visit Mahosadha, but the latter, guessing that the whole thing was a plot to kill Videha, refused to see Kevaṭṭa and caused him to be ill-treated (J.vi.400‑19). Kevaṭṭa was everywhere defeated in his schemes by Mahosadha. J.vi.424, 438, 461; for details see the Umaṅga Jātaka.

Kevaṭṭa is identified with Devadatta (J.vi.478). He is mentioned as having belonged to the Kosiya-gotta and is addressed as Kosiya. J.vi.418, 419.

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