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Suciloma

v.l. Sūciloma.– A yakkha. Once, when the Buddha was at the Ṭaṅkita­mañca in Gayā, which was the abode of Suciloma, Suciloma and his friend, Khara, happened to be passing by, and Suciloma, coming up to the Buddha, bent his body against the Buddha’s. The Buddha bent his body in the opposite direction, saying that contact with him was an evil thing. Then Suciloma asked him a question regarding the origin of various persuasions, and the Buddha answered him (Ap.ii.434; the same verses occur).

It is said that Suciloma was a lay follower of Kassapa Buddha and used to visit the vihāra eight times a month to hear the Dhamma. (SNA.i.302, 305; in the Saṃyuttanikāya Commentary (SA.i.233) he is said to have been a monk). One day, when he heard the gong announcing the teaching, he was working in a field near the vihāra, and thinking he would be late if he stayed to wash, he entered the uposatha hall, where he lay on a very costly rug. As a result of this action, the hairs of his body resembled needles hence his name. At the end of the Buddha’s discourse Suciloma became a Stream-winner.

An expressive statue of Suciloma is to be found among the bas-reliefs of the Bhārhūt Stūpa. Cunningham: Bhārhūt, p.136.

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