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Kuṭumbiyaputta Tissa

1. Kuṭumbiyaputta-Tissa v.l. Kuṭumbikaputta-Tissa.– He once went to Jetavana with twenty-nine of his friends from Sāvatthi to make offerings to the Buddha. Having heard the Buddha’s teaching, they all became monks. After five years’ residence with their teachers, they wished to retire into solitude and obtained from the Buddha topics for their meditations. While on the way to the forest, Kuṭumbiyaputta Tissa weakened in his determination and turned back. When the rains were over, the others, having won Arahantship, returned and reported their various attainments to the Buddha. Kuṭumbiyaputta heard the Buddha praise them, and made up his mind to follow their example and so to go back with them the next day to the forest. That same night, however, filled with a yearning not to delay in beginning his austerities, he slept in an upright posture; but in the middle of the night he fell down and broke his thigh-bone. This accident delayed the departure of the other monks, and the Buddha, hearing of it, blamed Tissa for his unseasonable zeal and related the Varuṇa Jātaka, showing how, in the past too, he had behaved similarly (J.i.316 f).

The Commentaries lead us to believe (e.g., SA.ii.216; AA.i.29; see also Padhānakammika Tissa) that Kuṭumbiyaputta did ultimately attain Arahantship, for he is mentioned several times with Pītimalla and others as an example of one who put forth great exertion while suffering severe pain, in order to win his goal.

2. Kuṭumbiyaputta-Tissa.– An Arahant. He lived in Piyaṅgudīpa. Duṭṭhagāmaṇī, fleeing from the battle at Cūḷaṅganiyapitthi, wished to give a share of his food to a monk before sitting down to eat. When the meal-time was announced, the thera Gotama, hearing it with his divine ear, sent Kuṭumbiyaputta to receive the share set apart for the brotherhood (Mhv.xxiv.22 ff; xxxii.31 f). It transpired later that the food so received was divided by Kuṭumbiyaputta among twelve thousand monks in Piyaṅgudīpa. Mhv.xxxii.55; MT.598.

See also Bodhimātu Mahātissa.

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