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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas

Index

Lakkhana Thera

 


Dictionary of Pali Proper Names: Mentioned as having stayed with Maha Moggalana on Gijjhakuta. Once, when they were going down to Rajagaha for alms, Lakkhana noticed that at a certain spot Moggallana smiled; on asking him why, he was told to wait till they saw the Buddha. When the question was repeated in the Buddha's presence, Moggallana said that he had smiled on seeing various Petas with gruesome forms flying through the air. From the text it would appear that these visions were seen again on several occasions.

The Commentary explains that Lakkhana was one of the thousand Jatilas ordained by the Buddha (when he converted the Tebhatika Jatilas). [for the conversion of the three famous Kassapas see Vin. Texts i, 132-5] He attained arahantship at the conclusion of the preaching of the Adittapariyayadesana. [SN 4.35.28] He was called Lakkhana because of his marvellous personality, "like unto Brahma's" It adds further that Lakkhana's failure to see the Petas was not because he lacked the divine eye but because he was not giving attention as a clairvoyant must. It is said that when Moggallana related his vision, some of the monks blamed him for claiming superhuman powers, but the Buddha declared him free from blame.

 


 

References:
SN 2.19
SN 4.35.28
Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, by G. P. Malalasekera, D.Litt., Ph.D., M.A. (Lond.), O.B.E., Pali Text Society, 1974