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Mālukyāputta

v.l. Māluṅkyaputta, Māluṅkyaputta.– An elder. The son of the assessor (agghāpanika) of the king of Kosala, his mother being Māluṅkyā. He was religious by nature, and, when he came of age, became a wanderer (paribbājaka). Later, he heard the Buddha teach and joined the Order, becoming an Arahant (ThagA.i.446 f). The Theragāthā contains two sets of verses attributed to him: one ¹ spoken on his visit to his home after attaining Arahantship when his people tried to lure him back by a great display of hospitality; the other ² in connection with a brief discourse taught him by the Buddha before he became an Arahant. The Thera asked the Buddha for a doctrine in brief and the Buddha gave him one. The verses contain a detailed account of the stanzas, which were only outlined to him by the Buddha.

In the Majjhimanikāya are two suttas — the Cūḷamālukya Sutta and the Mahāmālukya Sutta ³ — both evidently taught before Māluṅkyāputta’s attainment of Arahantship, because in both the Buddha speaks disparagingly of him.

¹ vv. 399‑404

² vv. 794‑817; the reference is probably to the Māluṅkyāputta Sutta of A.ii.248; see also S.iv.72, where the verses are quoted in full. There the monk is described as a broken-down old man, far advanced in years. The Commentators (AA.ii.582 and SA.iii.20) add that he had, in his youth, neglected the detailed teaching and fallen back through love of possessions.

³ This is referred to at Mil. 144

Mālukyāputta Sutta.– Māluṅkyāputta comes to the Buddha in his old age and asks for a teaching in brief. The Buddha first chides him for having wasted his opportunities, but then tells him of the four ways in which craving arises and the advantages of destroying it.

Māluṅkyāputta retires into the forest and shortly after becomes an Arahant. A.ii.248 f; AA.ii.582 f; cp. S.iv.72 f and SA.iii.20 f.

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