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Personalities of the Buddhist Suttas


[215] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Beggars who is well regarded as a friend of the gods is Pilinda-vaccho


[devatanam piyamanapanam, PIYA> Gothic: frijon; Old High German: Fria; English: Friday, Friend]

(DPPN: He was a brahmin of Savatthi, born before the Buddha's Enlightenment. Pilinda was his personal name, Vaccha being that of his family. He became a recluse and learnt the Cula-Gandhara-vijja [A Magic Charm supposed to enable invisibility, flying through the air, passing through obstacles, polly-presence, and touching the moon and sun.] but, when the Buddha appeared, the charm refused to work. Having heard that the Maha-Gandhara [Cula = Lesser; Maha = Greater] prevented the working of the Cula-Gandhara and having concluded that the Buddha knew the former, he entered the Order at the Buddha's suggestion, in order to acquire it. The Buddha gave him exercises in meditation, and he became an arahant.

The Vinaya Pitaka (Vin. I. 204) mentions that on several different occasions Pilinda suffered from various ailments and the Buddha had to give permission for the provision of suitable remedies. Once Bimbisara [King of Magadha, married to the sister of King Pasenadi of Kosala whose son Ajatasattu allied with Devadatta, who convinced him to murder his father for the throne. Ajatasattu later repented and visited the Buddha who declared that the magnitude of his deed was the only thing that had prevented him from gaining a foothold in the Dhamma.] found Pilinda clearing a cave in order to provide a cell for himself. The king promised to build a monastery for him if he could obtain the Buddha's sanction. The permission was obtained and was reported to the king, but he forgot the matter until one hundred days later. On remembering, he made ample amends, gave Pilinda five hundred attendants to look after the monastery, and granted for their maintenance a village, which came to be called Aramikagama or Pilindagama. One day, while in the village for alms, Pilinda went into a house where a girl was weeping because the day was a feast-day and she had no ornament to wear, her parents being too poor to afford any. Pilinda gave her a roll of grass to put round her head and it turned instantly into solid gold. The king's officers, hearing of this wreath, suspected the family of theft and cast them into prison. The next day Pilinda, discovering what had happened, visited the king and convinced him of his iddhi-powers by turning the whole palace into gold. The family was released, and the king and his courtiers gave to Pilinda large quantities of the five medicaments, all of which Pilinda distributed among those who wished for them.

... he suffered from neither heat nor cold, dust did not adhere to his body, and the rain did not wet him.

From The Psalms:

O welcome this that came, nor came amiss!
O goodly was the counsel given to me!
'Mong divers doctrines mooted among men
Of all 'twas sure the Best I sought and found.