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Lakkhaṇa

1. Lakkhaṇa.– Son of Dasaratha and brother of Rāma, Sītā and Bharata. He is identified with Sāriputta. J.iv.130; for details see the Dasaratha Jātaka.

2. Lakkhaṇa.– One of the eight brahmins who recognised the auspicious signs at the birth of the Buddha (J.i.56). The Milindapañha (Mil. 236) speaks of him as one of the Buddha’s first teachers.

3. Lakkhaṇa Thera.– Mentioned as having stayed with Mahā Moggallāna on Gijjhakūṭa. Once, when they were going down to Rājagaha for alms, Lakkhaṇa noticed that at a certain spot Mahā-Moggallāna smiled; on asking him why, he was told to wait until they saw the Buddha. When the question was repeated in the Buddha’s presence, Moggallāna said that he had smiled on seeing various hungry ghosts (peta) with gruesome forms flying through the air. From the text it would appear that these visions were seen again on several occasions. S.ii.254; Vin.iii.104 ff; the stories of some of the hungry ghosts seen and of their past lives are given in detail in DhA.ii.68 ff; iii.60 ff; 410 ff., 479.

The Commentary (SA.ii.159) explains that Lakkhaṇa was one of the thousand Jatiḷā ordained by the Buddha (when he converted the Tebhātika Jatiḷā, s.v. Uruvela-Kassapa). He attained Arahantship at the conclusion of the teaching of the Ādittapariyāya Sutta. He was called Lakkhaṇa because of his marvellous personality, “like unto Brahmā’s” (brahmasamena). It adds further that Lakkhaṇa’s failure to see the ghosts was not because he lacked the divine-eye but because he was not giving attention (anāvajjento), as a clairvoyant must. It is said (Vin.iii.105) that when Moggallāna related his vision, some of the monks blamed him for claiming superhuman powers (uttarimanussadhamma), but the Buddha declared him free from blame.

4. Lakkhaṇa.– A deer, son of the Bodhisatta, identified with Sāriputta. For his story see the Lakkhaṇa Jātaka.

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