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Mahapanthaka

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Mahapanthaka; 摩訶槃特 (Skt, Pali; Jpn Makahandoku)

The elder of two brothers who were disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was bright, but his brother Chudapanthaka was so dull-witted he was unable to memorize even a single verse of the Buddhist teachings. According to one account, they were sons of a Brahman living in Shravasti. Mahapanthaka attained the state of arhat and led his slow-witted brother to become a follower of the Buddha. Because his brother could not commit to memory even a single verse, Mahapanthaka thought him unable to follow the Buddha's teachings or adapt to monastic life and was going to expel him from the monastery.

At that time, Shakyamuni gave instruction to Chudapanthaka, who then reached the state of arhat. According to The Monastic Rules of the Sarvastivada School, when Mahapanthaka was born, his father prayed for him to lead a long and healthy life, and had a maidservant place the infant by the side of a main road so that a passing religious practitioner could bless him. When Chudapanthaka was born, the father gave the same instructions to the maidservant, but she put the baby by the side of an alley. According to another account, the daughter of a wealthy man had relations with a servant and ran away with him. Later she became pregnant and wanted to return home. On her way home, she bore a son, Mahapanthaka, on the roadside. Later she gave birth to a second son, Chudapanthaka, also on the roadside.

See also; Chudapanthaka.

Source

www.sgilibrary.org