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Arahant Pindola Bharadvaja 1

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self—Enlightened One!

Pali Kanon


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The son of the chaplain of King Udena of Kosambi. He belonged to the Bharadvajagotta. He learnt the Vedas and became a successful teacher, but, finding his work distasteful, he went to Rajagaha. There he saw the gifts and favours bestowed on the Buddha's disciples and joined the Order. He was very greedy, and went about with a large bowl made of dried gourd, which he kept under his bed at night and which made a scraping sound when touched; but the Buddha refused to allow him a bag for it until it should be worn down by constant contact. Later he followed the Buddha's advice, conquered his intemperance in diet, and became an arahant. He then announced before the Buddha his readiness to answer the questions of any doubting monks, thus uttering his “lion's roar.” The Buddha declared him chief of the “lion roarers.” (A.i.23; AA.i.112f.; ThagA.i.245f.; UdA. 252; SA.iii.26). The Udana (iv.6) contains the praise uttered by him of the Buddha, because of his perfected self mastery.

Pindola was in the habit of taking his siesta in Udena's park at Kosambi. (He had been king in a former birth and had spent many days in that park.) One day Udena's women, who had come to the park with him, left him asleep and crowded round Pindola to hear him preach. Udena, noticing their absence, went in search of them, and, in his anger, ordered a nest of red ants to be put on Pindola's body. But Pindola vanished and returned to Savatthi, where the Buddha related the Mahanaga Jataka* and also the Guhatthaka Sutta (SNA.ii.514f). Later, (S.iv.110f.; SA.iii.26) we find Udena consulting him at the same spot and following his advice regarding the control of the senses.

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* J.iv.375 ff.; SA.iii.26 says that when the king went to fetch the red ants from an asoka tree, the ants fell on him and started to sting him. The women, under pretence of helping him, picked up the ants that fell from him and replaced them on his body, because they were angry at his rudeness to Pindola.

In the Vinaya (Vin.ii.110f.; the story is given in greater detail at DhA.iii.201ff.; see also J.iv.263) we find the Buddha rebuking Pindola for performing a cheap miracle. The setthi of Rajagaha had placed a sandal wood bowl on a high pole and challenged any holy person to bring it down. Pindola heard of this and, at Moggallana's suggestion, rose in the air by magic power and brought it down. The Buddha blamed him for using his great gifts for an unworthy end. The bowl was given to the monks to be ground into sandal paste.

In the time of Padumuttara Buddha, Pindola had been a lion in Himava. The Buddha visited the lion in his cave, who waited on him for seven days, paying him great honour. Later, the lion died and was reborn in Hamsavati, where he heard the Buddha preach and declare one of his disciples chief of the "lion roarers."

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Eight kappas ago he was a king named Paduma. AA.i.111f.; Ap.i.50f.; ThagA.i.244f.; the last seems to identify him with Piyalaphaladayaka of the Apadana. (ii.444).

The Theragatha contains two verses (vs.123 4) of Pindola, uttered by him to a former friend, to convince him that he was no longer greedy and self-seeking. The Milindapañha (pp. 398, 404) contains two other verses not traced elsewhere.

Dhammapala says (UdA.252; see also SA.iii.26) that Pindola was so called because he entered the Order from love of food (pindam ulamano pariyesamano pabbajito ti, Pindolo).

May all be happy and well!


පිණ්ඩෝල භාරද්වාජ මහ රහතන් වහන්සේ 1 [Articles — External >>]

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