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Sambara

A chief of the Asurā. In the Samuddakā Sutta (q.v.) we are told that, because Sambara refused the request of the sages for a guarantee of safety, they cursed him, and his mind was deranged. (S.i.227)

Buddhaghosa adds (SA.i.266) that, on account of this mental derangement, he came to be called Vepacitti (s.v.) Elsewhere (S.i.239), however, it is said that once Sakka asked Vepacitti to teach him Sambara’s magic art (sambarimāyā). Vepacitti consulted the Asurā and then warned Sakka against learning it because, through his art, Sambara had fallen into purgatory, where he had been suffering for a century. Buddhaghosa, in this context (SA.i.272), calls Sambara an Asurinda, an illusionist ¹ (māyāvī) who, having practised his illusion (māyā), has roasted for the past century in purgatory.

Mrs. Rhys Davis (KS.i.306 n) thinks there was a rank of Sambara resembling that of Sakka, and that each succeeding Sambara learnt the magic art. See also Saṃvara.

¹ Malalasekera has “juggler,” but illusionist is more appropriate (ed.)

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