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Pasūra

Pasūra.– A wanderer (paribbājaka). He was a great debater who wandered from place to place, carrying a rose-apple tree (jambu) branch, which he set up where he stopped, challenging anyone, who wished to engage him in disputation, to dislodge it. When he came to Sāvatthi, Sāriputta, seeing the branch, ordered its removal. Pasūra, followed by a large crowd, went to Sāriputta’s lodgings and had a discussion with him, in which he suffered defeat (cf. Paṭācārā). Later, he joined the Order under Lāḷudāyī, whom he defeated in discussion, and having returned in his monk’s robes to the dwelling of the heretics, he started off in these same robes to visit the Buddha and hold a discussion with him. However, as he entered Jetavana, the deity presiding over the gate made him dumb, and he had to sit before the Buddha, unable to utter a single word in answer to his questions. The Buddha thereupon taught the Pasūra Sutta (see below) before the assembled people. SNA.ii.538 ff.

Pasūra Sutta.– The eighth sutta of the Aṭṭhakavagga of the Suttanipāta. Taught to Pasūra at Jetavana. Disputants quarrel with each other and call each other fools; they wish for praise and, failing to get it, become discontented. No one is purified by dispute (SN.vs.824, 834). This sutta is commented on in the Mahā Niddesa (pp.161 ff).

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