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Maccharikosiya

1. Maccharikosiya.– A millionaire (seṭṭhi), worth eight hundred million, of Sakkāra near Rājagaha. His real name was Kosiya, but as he was too miserly to give away even a drop of oil, he came to be called Maccharikosiya. One day, when returning from the palace, he saw a half-starved yokel eating a round cake filled with sour gruel. The sight made him hungry, but fearing to spend his money, he told no one, but lay on his bed in great distress, until his wife found him. Having discovered the reason for his misery, she said she would bake cakes sufficient for everyone in Sakkāra. “But that would be such extravagance,” said Kosiya, and persuaded his wife to bake just one cake, using only broken grains of rice. Fearful lest someone should ask for a piece of his cake, he retired with her to the seventh storey of his house and there made her start the cooking after bolting all the doors.

The Buddha saw him with his divine-eye and sent Moggallāna to him; Moggallāna stood poised in mid-air just outside Kosiya’s window and indicated his wish to have something to eat, but Kosiya blustered and threatened, and, after refusing to give him anything, bade his wife cook another little cake for him. However, each cake she baked grew bigger than the previous one, and when she tried to take a single cake from the basket, they all stuck together. In despair, Kosiya presented cakes and basket to the elder. Moggallāna then taught on the importance of generosity, and transported Kosiya, his wife and the cakes to Jetavana. There the cakes were offered to the Buddha and five hundred monks, and even after they had all eaten, there was no end to the cakes. The spot where the remaining ones were thrown away at the gates of Jetavana was known as Kapallapūvapabbhāra. The Buddha taught Kosiya and his wife and they became Stream-winners. Kosiya then spent all his wealth in the service of the Buddha and his religion. It was in reference to him that the Illisa Jātaka was taught, Illisa being identified with Maccharikosiya. DhA.i.367 ff; J.i.345 ff.

2. Maccharikosiya.– See the Sudhābhojana Jātaka.

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