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Aḷāra

v.l. Āḷāra.– A landowner of Mithilā, described also as Videha and Videhiputta, an inhabitant of the Videha country (J.v.166, 167). While journeying on business, in a carriage, attended by five hundred wagons, he saw the Nāga king, Saṅkhapāla, being ill-treated by cruel men who had captured him and, feeling sorry for the Nāga, Aḷāra gave gifts to the men and their wives and thus obtained his release. Saṅkhapāla, thereupon, invited Aḷāra to the Nāga kingdom where, for a whole year, Aḷāra lived in all splendour.

Later, realising that the Nāga’s wonderful possessions were the fruit of good deeds done in the past, he became an ascetic in Himavā and afterwards took up his abode in the king’s park in Bārāṇasī. The king, seeing him on his begging-rounds, was pleased with his deportment and invited him to the palace. There, at the king’s request, he told him the story of his encounter with Saṅkhapāla and his subsequent life and exhorted the king to do acts of piety.

Later he was born in the Brahma-world. See the Saṅkhapāla Jātaka. (J.v.161 ff).

Aḷāra was a previous birth of Sāriputta (Ibid., 177).

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