1. Roja.– A Malla, inhabitant of Kusinārā. When the Buddha and Ānanda visited Kusinārā, the Malla chieftains decreed that whoever failed to pay homage to the Buddha would be fined five hundred coins. Roja was Ānanda’s friend, and Ānanda was pleased when he arrived to pay homage to the Buddha, but when Roja said that he did so only out of regard for his kinsmen’s decree, Ānanda was bitterly disappointed and asked the Buddha to discover some means by which Roja could be made to become his follower. The Buddha agreed to do this, and by means of the power of his compassion, Roja was induced to visit him again. The Buddha taught Roja, who asked, as a boon, that the monks should accept hospitality only from him. This request was refused by the Buddha, who said that Roja must take his turn with others in showing hospitality to him and his monks. Finding that he had long to wait for his turn, Roja made enquiries, and, discovering that the monks had no supply of green vegetables (dāka) or pastry (pittakhādaniya), he consulted Ānanda, and, with the Buddha’s sanction, offered these things to the Buddha and his monks (Vin.i.247 ﬀ). It is said (J.ii.231 f) that Roja once invited Ānanda to his house, and, after entertaining him lavishly, tried to induce him to leave the Order by offering him half his wealth. However, Ānanda refused this offer, explaining to him the miseries involved in household life. Later, Ānanda repeated this conversation to the Buddha, who related the Vacchanakha Jātaka (q.v.) to show that Roja and Ānanda had been friends in a past life too.
Once Roja forced on Ānanda a linen cloth (khomapilotikā); Ānanda had need of it, and accepted it with the Buddha’s permission (Vin.i.296).
2. Roja.– A primeval king, son of Mahāsammata, and, therefore, an ancestor of the Sākyā. Roja’s son was Vararoja. J.ii.311; iii.454; SNA.i.353; Dpv.iii.4; Mhv.ii.2; MT. 124; cp. Mtu.i.384 where he is called Rava.
3. Roja.– A city in India, the capital of Naradeva and six of his descendants (MT.128; Dpv.iii.27 calls it Rojanā. The KMv. calls it Thūna). v.l. Roma, Jāna.