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Kukkuṭamitta

A hunter. The daughter of a rich man in Rājagaha looks out of her window on the seventh storey and seeing the hunter pass through the street, falls in love with him. Learning from her slave that he is leaving the city the next day, she leaves her home secretly, joins Kukkuṭamitta on the road and elopes with him. Seven sons are born to them who, in course of time, marry and set up households of their own. One day, perceiving that the whole family is ripe for conversion, the Buddha goes to the place where Kukkuṭamitta’s nets are spread, leaves there his footprint and sits down under a tree. The hunter, having caught nothing, suspects that someone has set the animals free and on seeing the Buddha draws his bow. By the Buddha’s power he is rooted to the spot, and likewise his sons who come with their wives to seek him. Kukkuṭamitta’s wife also comes, and seeing what has happened exclaims: “Do not kill my father.” (It transpires that she had become a Stream-winner while yet a girl.) The family ask pardon of the Buddha, and all become Stream-winners. When the monks hear of this, they complain that Kukkuṭamitta’s wife, though a Stream-winner (sotāpanna), had all this while assisted her husband to take life. The Buddha assures them that such is not the case. A man may take poison in his hand, but if there be no wound there no harm comes to him.

In a previous existence, a county treasurer bid against a city treasurer for the principal share in the building of a shrine for the relics of Kassapa Buddha. When the city treasurer bid more than the county treasurer possessed, the latter offered to devote himself to the service of the shrine, together with his wife, his seven sons and their wives. Kukkuṭamitta was the county treasurer. DhA.iii.24‑31.

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