1. Tapassu, Tapussa.– A merchant of Ukkalā. He and his friend, Bhalluka (Bhalliya), while on their way to Rājagaha, saw the Buddha at the foot of the Rājāyatana tree, in the eighth week after the Enlightenment. Urged by a deity, who had been their relation, they offered the Buddha rice-
According to the Theragāthā Commentary (ThagA.i.48 f), Tapassu and Bhalluka were brothers, sons of a caravan leader of Pokkharavatī. Some time later they visited the Buddha at Rājagaha, where he taught them; Tapassu, thereupon, became a Stream-
In the time of Sikhī Buddha they were brahmins of Aruṇavatī. Hearing that two caravan leaders, Ujita and Ojita, had given the first meal to the Buddha, they gave alms to the Buddha and his monks, and wished for a similar privilege for themselves under a future Buddha. In the time of Kassapa Buddha, they were sons of wealthy cattle-
The Aṅguttaranikāya Commentary (AA.i.207 f) says that the deity, who caused Tapassu and Bhalluka to give alms to the Buddha, was their mother in their previous birth. The Buddha gave them, for worship, eight handfuls of his hair, which he obtained by stroking his head. They took the hair with them to their city — which, according to this account, was Asitañjana — and there built a cetiya, from which rays of blue light issued on fast-
Tapassu Sutta.– The householder Tapassu visits Ānanda at Uruvelakappa, and expresses surprise that young men in the fullness of life can renounce the pleasures of household life and enter the Order. Ānanda takes Tapassu to the Buddha, who is having his siesta at the foot of a tree in the Mahāvana, and repeats Tapassu’s remark. The Buddha tells Ānanda how he himself had attained to Buddhahood by passing through the nine successive abidings (anupubbavihārā). These nine stages consist of the four rūpa-
The Tapassu mentioned is evidently identical with the brother of Bhalluka mentioned above.
The Commentary (AA.ii.814) on this passage makes no attempt to distinguish him from any other.