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Abhibhūta Thera

An elder. He was born in the Rājā’s family in Veṭṭha (v.l. Veṭṭhipura) and succeeded to his father’s estate. When the Buddha came to the city during a tour, Abhibhūta heard him and invited him for a meal; he later entered the Order and became an Arahant.

Three verses ascribed to Abhibhūta occur in the Theragāthā, uttered, it is said, when his kinsmen and retainers came to him lamenting that he had left them without a leader (Thag.vv.255‑7; ThagA.i.372 f). The second of these verses is elsewhere (S.i.156) attributed to Abhibhū, chief disciple of Sikhī Buddha. However, in the Milindapañha (245), Nāgasena ascribes the second verse to the Buddha, and in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (D.ii.121) the third verse also is ascribed to him. The second verse is also assigned to the Buddha in the Divyāvadāna (p.200), but elsewhere in the same books (p.569) it is said to have been uttered by devas.

In a former birth Abhibhūta had been a householder in the time of Vessabhū Buddha and became a believer in the Faith, to which he was led by his friends. When the Buddha died, the populace gathered together to obtain relics, but Abhibhūta, having quenched the pyre with fragrant water, was first able to take those which he desired (ThagA.i.372).

He is evidently to be identified with Citakanibbāpaka Thera of the Apadāna (ii.408).

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