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Naḷasākiyā

A branch of the Sākyā. When Viḍūḍabha waged war on the Sākyā, he gave orders that all those admitting to being Sākyā should be slain. His men went about asking for those who were called Sākyā.

The Sākyā were unwilling to tell lies, so some of them took blades of grass in their teeth and others took reeds. When asked if they were Sakyans, the former said “No sāko, tiṇa”nti (Not potherb, but grass), and the latter “No sāko, naḷo”ti (Not potherb but reed). Due to this word-play on their name they escaped death. Thenceforth they were known respectively as Tiṇasākiya and Naḷasākiya (DhA.i.358 f).

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