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Vattaniya

A hermitage (senāsana) where lived Rohaṇa, Nāgasena’s teacher, by whom he was ordained, and Assagutta, with whom he spent a Rainy Season (vassa) to train himself for debate. Mil. 10, 12, 14; from the context it would appear as though these two residences were not identical, but were far away from each other. Was Vattaniyasenāsana rather a generic than a proper name?

Assagutta, who ordained the Ājīvaka Janasāna (q.v.), is also said to have been “Vattaniyasenāsane.” (MT. 192). At the ceremony of the Mahā Thūpa foundation, Uttara Thera came from “Vattaniyasenāsana” in Viñjhātavī with sixty thousand others (Mhv.xxix.40).

Both the Visuddhimagga and the Aṭṭhasālinī (Vism.430; DhSA.419) mention a Thera named Assagutta, evidently a visitor, who, seeing the monks at Vattaniyasenāsana eating dry food, resolved “Every day before meals may the pool of water take on the taste of milk curds.” From that day the pool water tasted of curds before the meal and became natural water again after the meal.

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