The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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A setthi of Kosambī. Being born as the son of a courtesan, he is cast away on a refuse heap. A passer-by takes him home, but the Treasurer of Kosambī, knowing from an astrologer that the stars showed the birth of a very lucky boy, seeks him out and adopts him.
All his attempts having failed, he promises a potter one thousand pieces if he will kill the boy. Ghosita is sent to the potter with a message; on the way he meets his foster-brother, and gives him the message, promising to win for him a game of marbles.
The foster-brother goes to the potter and is killed. The Treasurer then sends Ghosaka to the superintendent of his hundred villages with a letter ordering that he be killed. The letter is fastened to the boy's garment.
On the way he stops for a meal at the house of a country-treasurer whose beautiful daughter falls in love with him. Discovering the letter, she substitutes another to the effect that Ghosaka should be married to her with great festivity and that a two-storied house should be built for them. The superintendent carries out these orders and the Treasurer falls ill on receiving the news.
Ghosaka becomes a very pious man and is made the Treasurer of King Udena. Later he meets Sāmavatī, daughter of his friend Bhaddavatiya, adopts her as his daughter and, when the time comes, gives her in marriage to Udena.
In a past life Ghosaka had been Kotūhalaka of Addilarattha, but left there with his wife and child on account of great poverty. On the way he cast off the child on account of its being too heavy, but rescued it later in answer to his wife's importunities.
Ghosaka had two colleagues in Kosambī, Kukkuta and Pavāriya. For a number of years they entertained five hundred ascetics from Himavā, during the rainy season, until one year the ascetics, hearing from a tree-sprite, who had been one of Anāthapindika's labourers, of the arising of the Buddha, informed Ghosaka and his friends of their determination to see the Buddha at Sāvatthi.
Ghosaka is mentioned as an example of a man possessing puññiddhi. He could not have been killed even if stabbed in seven places (BuA.24).
See also Ghosita Sutta.