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Kisavaccha

v.l. Vaccha-Kisa.– (J.v.150, 267)

A hermit (isi), the chief disciple of Sarabhaṅga. Desiring solitude, he lived in the park of King Daṇḍaki, near Kumbhavatī in Kāliṅga. A certain courtesan of the city walking about in the park, having lost the king’s favour, saw Kisavaccha, and considering the sight an ill-omen, she spat on him and threw her tooth stick at his head. That same day she received again the patronage of the king and decided that it was as a result of spitting on the hermit. Later, when the chief priest (purohita) lost his office, she advised him to do as she had done, and by coincidence he, too, was restored. Some time after, the king going to quell a border rising, was advised to spit on the ascetic and throw his tooth stick at him; in this way he would find good luck. The king followed this advice, all his soldiers doing likewise. The king’s general, a supporter of Kisavaccha, bathed the holy man, and on being told that the Gods would destroy the kingdom unless apology were made, urged the king to apologise. The king was, however, unwilling, and the whole tract of Kāliṅga, sixty leagues in extent, was turned into a waste; only three people escaped unhurt — Kisavaccha, the king’s general, and Matuposaka Rāma. Kisavaccha himself was taken in a palanquin to Sarabhaṅga by two of Sarabhaṅga’s pupils (J.iii.463, 469; v.133‑6; MA.ii.599 ff).

The story was evidently well-known in India and is often referred to (e.g., J.v.267; DA.i.266). Kisavaccha is mentioned in a list of eleven sages (e.g., J.vi.99). He is identified with Kolita (Mahā-Moggallāna) (J.v.151).

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