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Sunāparanta

A country in which was the port of Suppāraka, birthplace of Puṇṇa Thera. From there he went with a caravan to Sāvatthi, and, after hearing the Buddha teach, entered the Order. Later, obtaining the Buddha’s permission, he returned to Sunāparanta (ThagA.i.158). There he attained Arahantship, and five hundred men and five hundred women became lay followers of the religion. Under his direction they built a Gandhakuṭi, called Candanasālā, and Puṇṇa, wishing the Buddha to be present at the dedication festival, sent a flower through the air to the Buddha at Sāvatthi as invitation.

The Buddha accepted this invitation and went to Sunāparanta with four hundred and ninety-nine Arahants, including Kuṇḍadhāna and Ānanda, all in pinnacled palanquins, provided by Vissakamma, acting under orders from Sakka. On the way the Buddha stopped at Saccabaddha-pabbata, where he converted the ascetic (tāpasa) of the mountain, who became an Arahant and travelled on with the party in the five hundredth palanquin. The Buddha spent the day in Sunāparanta, and, on his way back, stopped on the banks of the river Nammadā. There the Nāgarājā paid him homage, and the Buddha left his footprint in the Nāga’s abode for him to worship. MA.ii.101 f; SA.iii.176; according to the latter account the Buddha spent seven days in Sunāparanta, at the Maṅkulārāma.

The people of Sunāparanta were reported as being fierce and violent (M.iii.268; S.iv.61 f).

Sunāparanta was also the birthplace of Cūḷa-Puṇṇa and Isidinna (q.v.)

Sunāparanta is probably identical with Aparanta; the Burmese, however, identify it with the country on the right bank of the Irrawaddy River, near Pagan. Sās. Introd., p.ix.

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