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Aṅkura

The tenth son of Devagabbhā and Upasāgara (J.iv.81 f), and one of the Andhakaveṇhudāsaputtā. (q.v.) Aṅkura gave his share of the kingdom, won by the ten sons (dāsaputtā), to his sister Añjanā, and started in trade.¹ The Petavatthu ² contains an account of Aṅkura’s later career. Once he took a caravan of a thousand carts from Dvāravatī to Kamboja, led by himself and a brahmin colleague. On the way their water supply fails, but they are befriended by a yakkha of great power, who, in his previous life, had been one of Aṅkura’s trusted and loyal servants. Annoyed by the suggestion of the brahmin that instead of proceeding to Kamboja they should entice the yakkha back with them to Dvāravatī, the yakkha appears before them in person, and in answer to Aṅkura’s questions, tells him that he had been a tailor in Bheruva, where lived the generous Asayha. When suppliants came in search of Asayha’s house, the tailor showed them the way. Impressed by the story, Aṅkura returns forthwith to Dvāravatī, and spends the rest of his life, 60,000 years,³ in acts of unparalleled munificence.⁴ He is reborn in Tāvatiṃsa.

In the assembly of the devas who gather to listen to the Buddha’s teaching of the Abhidhamma, Aṅkura occupies a place in the back row,⁵ while Indaka, who had given but one spoonful of rice to Anuruddha Thera, sits quite close to the Buddha. The Buddha notices this and remarks that Indaka had been lucky in finding a worthy donee; the recipients of Aṅkura’s gifts had not been distinguished for their holiness. Gifts should, therefore, be given with discrimination. At the end of this discourse Aṅkura becomes a Stream-winner.⁶

¹ J.iv.81 f. ² Pv.23 ff; PvA.111 ff. ³ 10,000 says DhA. (loc infra); Sp.i.245.

⁴ There were as many as 3,000 cooks to supply food in his alms-halls and 60,000 youths to cut firewood.

⁵ 12 leagues away says DhA.iii.219; 10 leagues away says Pv.28, v.65.

⁶ DhA.iii.222; ibid., iv.82. See also Lüders, ZDMG. 58, 700.

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