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Pukkusa

1. Pukkusa.– A counsellor of Maddava, king of Bārāṇasī. For details see the Paṇṇaka Jātaka. Pukkusa is identified with Sāriputta. J.iii.341.

2. Pukkusa.– One of the four ministers of Vedeha, king of Mithilā. He joined with his three companions in a conspiracy against Mahosadha, stealing a golden necklace from the king’s palace in order to try and implicate Mahosadha. The details are given in the Umaṅga Jātaka (J.vi.330 ff). On Pukkusa’s thigh was a leprous spot, which he hid from the king because the king loved to lay his head on Pukkusa’s lap. Only his younger brother knew of this secret; but it was discovered later by Mahosadha, and Pukkusa was sent to prison. Pukkusa is identified with Poṭṭhapāda. Ibid., 478.

3. Pukkusa.– A Malla prince (rājaputta). He was a disciple of Āḷāra Kālāma, and one day, while on his way from Kusinārā to Pāvā, he saw the Buddha seated under a tree by the roadside and stayed to talk to him. He mentioned that once five hundred carts had passed by where Āḷāra sat, and yet so deep was he in meditation that he had failed to notice them. The Buddha told him how, when he himself was in Ātumā in the Bhusāgāra, there was a great thunderstorm which killed two peasants and four oxen, but that he had heard and seen nothing, so deep was his concentration. Pukkusa was greatly impressed by this statement, and, having declared himself a follower of the Buddha, he gave to the Buddha two robes of cloth of gold, one of which, at the Buddha’s suggestion, he handed to Ānanda. When Pukkusa had left, Ānanda draped one robe over the Buddha, and was greatly astonished at its pale appearance in comparison with the deep gold of the Buddha’s body (D.ii.130 ff).

Buddhaghosa says (DA.ii.569) that Pukkusa was a merchant, and was the owner of the five hundred carts that had crossed the Kakuṭṭhā (q.v.) shortly before the incident above mentioned.

4. Pukkusa.– The name of a caste, classified among the despised castes (e.g., A.ii.85; M.ii.152). The Commentary explains (e.g., AA.ii.523) them as “those who sweep up flowers that are offered at shrines and are not removed by the devotees who have given them.” The word Pukkusa was evidently not despised as a personal name because, in the case of Pukkusa (3), for instance, the person bearing the name was of the warrior caste (khattiya).

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