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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[211] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Beggars who are first to garner lots is Kundadhano.


[pathamam salakam ganhantanam. I find this phrase interesting: pathamam meaning first from "earth"; salakam (not impossibly etymologically related to OE hlot)meaning "lot", from arrow or pointed stick or needle because it was made from a slip of wood — OED: any of a set of objects used in a method of random selection to secure a decision in deciding disputes, dividing goods, choosing people for an office or duty, etc., by an appeal to chance or the divine agency supposed to be concerned in the results of chance. Meaning, in this case, what is usually translated "Food Tickets." Householders, arranging together to prepare food for so and so many beggars, not wishing to waste food or to be overwhelmed with Beggars, would pass out " ti.kets" letting it be known that whoever came with such a ticket would be fed.]

(DPPN: He came of a brahmin family of Savatthi and his name was Dhana. He knew the Vedas by heart, and when advanced in years, heard the Buddha preach and joined the Order. From that day, however, in all his movements the form of a young woman followed him wherever he went, though he himself could not see the figure. This caused great merriment and evoked many sarcastic remarks, which he could not understand. When he went for alms women would put into his bowl two portions of food, saying, "One is for your Reverence and the other for your friend, the young lady, your companion." In the monastery the novices and young monks would point at him and say: "Look, our venerable one has become a konda" [DPPN says: "(gallant?)"; PED: Kunda: bent, crooked; kontha, crippled; konta, one of dirty habits; Old Pali: k>ka = shit, o = out, on = out and down, da = that > given, bound, so: shit out and down giver or, my guess, "one who ejaculates"] ... Driven to distraction by this teasing, he became abusive and was reported to the Buddha, who bade him be patient as he was only being pursued by the remnant of an evil kamma. Pasenadi, king of Kosala, hearing of Kundadhana, was interested, and being satisfied by personal investigation that the Elder was blameless, provided him with all necessaries, so that he need no longer go round for alms. This enabled him to concentrate his mind, and he became an arahant. Thereupon the figure of the woman disappeared.

[The Jataka (rebirth) story revealing the cause of Kundadhana's female companion is summarized by DPPN as follows:] He was an earthbound sprite in the time of Kassapa Buddha. Seeing two monks, firm friends, on their way to the uposatha (Sabbath) held by the Buddha, he had a mischievous desire to test their friendship, and when one of the monks retired into the forest leaving the other on the road, he followed the former, unseen by him, assuming the form of a woman arranging her hair, adjusting her garments, and so on. The second monk, seeing his friend return and shocked by his apparent misdemeanor, left him in disgust, refusing to perform the uposatha with him. Realizing the effect of his practical joke, the sprite did all he could to make amends, but the friendship of the two monks was forever spoilt. The sprite suffered the fears of hell for a whole Buddha-era, and even in his last birth as Kundadhana his evil kamma pursued him ... ]

His verses in the Psalms:

Five cut thou off; Five leave behind, and five beyond all cultivate
He who the Fivefold Bond transcends — a Brother Flood-crossed is he called