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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[216] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Beggars who has speedy intuitive powers[1] is Bahiyo Daruciriyo — Bahiyo The Bark Dressed]

Bahiyo Daruciriyo — Bahiyo The Bark Dressed

(DPPN: He was born in the family of a householder of Bahiya — hence his name — and engaged himself in trade, voyaging in a ship. Seven times he sailed down the Indus and across the sea and returned safely home. On the eighth occasion, while on his way to Suvannabhumi, his ship was wrecked, and he floated ashore on a plank, reaching land near Supparaka. Having lost all his clothes, he made himself a bark-garment, and went about, bowl in hand, for alms in Supparaka. Men, seeing his garment and struck with his demeanor, paid him great honor. Though they offered him costly robes and many other luxuries, he refused them all and his fame increased ... . In due course he came himself to believe that he had attained arahantship, but a devata, reading his thoughts and wishing him well, pointed out to him his error and advised him to seek the Buddha at Savatthi. By the power of the devata, Bahiya reached Savatthi in one night, a distance of one hundred and twenty leagues, and was told that the Buddha was in the city begging alms. Bahiya followed him thither and begged to be taught something for his salvation. Twice he asked and twice the Buddha refused, saying that it was not the hour for teaching. But Bahiya insisted, saying that life was uncertain and that the Buddha or he might die. The Buddha then taught him the proper method of regarding all sense experiences — namely, as experiences and no more. Even as he listened, Bahiya became an arahant and the Buddha left him. Shortly after, Bahiya was gored to death by a cow with a calf. The Buddha, seeing his body lying on the dung heap, asked the monks to remove it and to have it burnt, erecting a thupa over the remains. In the assembly he declared Bahiya to be foremost among those who instantly comprehended the Truth.


[1] Khippabhinnanam: Woodward has "abnormal powers", PED says "intuition", I go with PED here as the powers classed under The Abhinna are intuitive in nature — e.g. "hearing" the root meanings of words; however, see below, where he would hardly have had time to demonstrate such powers, and where the meaning is probably stated most accurately.