A

B

C

D

E

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

V

Y

abb

Home page Up (parent) Next (right) Previous (left) Abbreviations


Page last updated on 8 May, 2017

Association for Insight Meditation Home Page

Mettiyabhummajakā

A group of monks, followers of Mettiya and Bhummajaka forming part of the group of six monks (Chabbaggiyā) (q.v.) They lived near Rājagaha. Sp.iii.614; J.ii.387; Sp.iii.579 says they were the chief leaders of the group of six monks.

Twice they brought an unfounded charge of a breach of morality against Dabba Mallaputta, who seems to have earned their special dislike. Dabba was in charge of the distribution of alms at the ārāma where they stayed, and one day it was their turn to receive alms from a certain householder who had a reputation for providing good food. When, however, the man heard from Dabba that it was the turn of the Mettiya-Bhummajakā to receive his hospitality, he was much displeased, and ordered his female slave to look after them. The monks were greatly annoyed, and accused Dabba of having slandered them to the householder. They, therefore, persuaded a nun named Mettiyā to go to the Buddha and accuse Dabba of having violated her chastity. The charge was investigated and proved false and the nun expelled from the Order (Vin.ii.76 ff; iii.160 ff).

On another occasion, these monks persuaded a Licchavi, named Vaḍḍha, who was their patron and friend, to go to the Buddha and charge Dabba with having had relations with his wife. This, too, was proved false, and other monks refused to accept alms from Vaḍḍha until he had confessed his guilt (Vin.ii.124 ff). One day, while descending from Gijjhakūṭa, the Mettiyabhummajakā monks saw a ram with a she-goat and the idea occurred to them of calling the ram “Dabba” and the she-goat “Mettiyā” and then of spreading the story that they had seen Dabba mating with Mettiyā.¹

¹ Vin.iii.166 ff; see also Vin.iv.37 f., Dhammapāla mentions a tradition, but contradicts it, that the persecution of Dabba by the Mettiyabhummajakā was so persistent that in the end he committed suicide to escape from it (UdA.431). In any case, they managed to bring him into disfavour with the laity, and the Buddha had to take special steps to reinstate him in their esteem (UdA.434). The incident regarding the charge brought by Mettiyā seems to have given much trouble to later commentators. Sp.iii.582 says that there was a great dispute about this between the monks of the Mahāvihāra and those of Abhayagiri. In the end, King Bhātikatissa intervened and had the matter settled by Dīgha-Kārāyana.

www.000webhost.com