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Uposatha

1. Uposatha.– King, son of Varakalyāṇa and an ancestor of the Sākyan clan. His son was Mandhātu (Dpv.iii.4). He was one of the kings at the beginning of the world-cycle (J.ii.311; iii.454). In the Dīghanikāya Commentary (DA.i.258) he is given as the son of Varamandhātu and the father of Cara. In the northern texts he is called Uposadha. Mtu.i.348; Divy.210.

2. Uposatha.– The name of the Elephant-Treasure of the Cakkavatti Mahāsudassana. He was “all white, sevenfold firm (sattappatiṭṭha), wonderful in power, flying through the sky.” (D.ii.174; M.iii.173 f). In the Lalita Vistara his name is given as Bodhi.

Uposatha is also the name of a clan of elephants, the ninth in a series of ten tribes, of ascending importance (DA.ii.573; UdA.403). It is said that a Cakkavatti’s elephant belongs either to the Chaddanta clan or to the Uposatha. If a Chaddanta elephant comes to a Cakkavatti, it is the youngest of the clan that comes, if an Uposatha elephant, then it will be the foremost (DA.ii.624; J.iv.232, 234; KhA.172). When the Cakkavatti dies, the elephant goes back to his fellows (DA.ii.635). The strength of an Uposatha elephant is equal to that of one thousand million men (BuA.37).

In the Milindapañha (p.282), the king of the Uposatha elephants is described as being gentle and handsome, eight cubits in height and nine in girth and length, chewing signs of rut in three places on his body, all white, sevenfold-firm. Just as this elephant could never be put into a cow-pen or covered with a saucer, so could no one keep as slaves the children of Vessantara.

3. Uposatha.– Known as Uposatha-kumāra. The eldest of the ninety-nine brothers of Saṃvara, king of Bārāṇasī. When Saṃvara ascended the throne, his brothers protested and laid siege to his city; but Uposatha, having discovered by means of questions put to Saṃvara, that he was in character by far the best suited for kingship, persuaded the others to renounce their claims to the throne.

Uposatha is identified with Sāriputta. J.iv.133 ff.

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