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Pilotika

1. Pilotika.– A wanderer (paribbājaka). Jāṇussoṇi once met him returning from Jetavana, where he had gone early to wait on the Buddha. Pilotika, on being questioned, spoke very highly of the Buddha. It is this conversation which, on its being repeated by Jāṇussoṇi to the Buddha, led to the teaching of the Cūḷahatthipadopama Sutta (M.i.175 ff). Jāṇussoṇi addresses Pilotika as Vacchāyana, which, according to the Commentary (MA.i.393), was the name of his clan. From the same source we gather that the wanderer’s own name was Pilotikā; he was young, of a golden colour, and loved ministering to the Buddha and the Buddha’s eminent disciples. He is spoken of, together with Sabhiya (SA.ii.188), as a wise paribbājaka. Pilotika is identified with Devinda of the Umaṅga Jātaka. J.vi.478.

2. Pilotika Thera.– Ānanda once saw a poor youth going along in a ragged garment, a potsherd in his hand. Ānanda took him to the monastery and ordained him. The youth hung his garment and the potsherd on the branch of a tree and practised meditation. After a time he became fat and discontented and wished to return to the lay life. However, on noticing his rag and his potsherd, he realised his folly and, admonishing himself, returned to his meditation. Three times the same thing happened, but in the end he became an Arahant. He used to speak of the rag as his “teacher.” DhA.iii.84 f.

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