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Sela

1. Sela.– A king of long ago who, in spite of great sacrifices, could not get beyond the world of hungry ghosts (peta). J.vi.99.

2. Sela.– A brahmin of Aṅguttarāpa. He was a great friend of Keniya, the Jaṭila, and visited him when Keṇiya was making preparations to entertain the Buddha. Having heard the word “Buddha” from Keṇiya, Sela was filled with joy and fortitude, and went with his two hundred and fifty pupils to visit the Buddha in the woodland near Āpaṇa. There he observed on the person of the Buddha the thirty-two marks of a Great Being all except two — viz., hidden private parts and the long tongue. The Buddha read his thoughts and contrived, by his psychic power, that Sela should be satisfied on these two points as well (This is referred to at Mil.167; DA.i.276, etc.). Sela then praised the Buddha in a series of verses and asked questions of him. At the end of his talk, Sela entered the Order with his pupils, and, at the end of a week, he attained Arahantship (SN. p.104 ff. = M.ii.146 f).

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha Sela had been the leader of the same guild of three hundred men, and, together with them, had built a pariveṇa for the Buddha and done many good acts. As a result of these they received the “come bhikkhu” going-forth (ehi Bhikkhu-pabbajjā) in this last life (SNA.ii.455; MA.ii.782; see also Ap.i.316; Thag.vs.818‑41; Th4gA.ii.47 f).

Mahāsela, mentioned as the teacher of Sugandha Thera (ThagA.i.80 f), is probably identical with this Sela. Sela lived to the age of one hundred and twenty (DA.ii.413).

According to the Dhammapada Commentary (DhA.i.384; also AA.i.219), the Buddha first met Sela on his way to Bhaddiya to convert Visākhā and her kinswomen. Visākhā was then seven years old. The Apadāna says (Ap.i.318) that Sela’s father was a wealthy brahmin, named Vāseṭṭha.

3. Sela.– A mountain in Himavā. ApA.i.96.

4. Sela.– Son of Atthadassī Buddha in his last lay life. BuA.180; but see Sena (15).

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