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Jotipāla

1. Jotipāla.– The Bodhisatta born as the son of the chaplain of Brahmadatta, king of Bārāṇasī. He was a great archer and became an ascetic. He is also referred to as Sarabhaṅga (J.v.127 ff).

For his story see the Sarabhaṅga Jātaka. He is evidently identical with Jotipāla of the Indriya Jātaka. He belonged to the Koṇḍañña-gotta. J.v.140, 141, 142.

2. Jotipāla.– The Bodhisatta born as a brahmin of Vegaḷiṅga in the time of Kassapa Buddha. Ghaṭīkāra was his friend and invited Jotipāla to accompany him to the Buddha, but Jotipāla refused to go, saying that a “shaveling recluse” could be of no use to him. However, Ghaṭīkāra was very insistent, and one day, after they had bathed together in the river, seized Jotipāla by the hair and made a final appeal. This boldness on the part of an inferior (Ghaṭīkāra was a potter) caused Jotipāla to realise his extreme earnestness and he agreed to go. After hearing the Buddha teach, Jotipāla became a monk (M.ii.46 ff; J.i.43; Bu.xxv.10; see also S.i.34 f; Mil.221; Mtu.i.319 ff).

This insulting remark made by Jotipāla regarding Kassapa Buddha led to Gotama, in his last life, having to practise austerities for a longer period than did the other Buddhas (Ap.i.301; UdA.265; ApA.i.95). The memory of what he did as Jotipāla was one of the things that made the Buddha smile. DhsA.294, 496.

3. Jotipāla.– A brahmin, son of Govinda, chaplain of Disampati. Jotipāla was a friend of Disampati’s son, Reṇu, who had six other nobles as companions. On the death of Govinda, Jotipāla became chaplain to Disampati. He inspired Reṇu’s six companions to wait on Reṇu and make him promise to share the kingdom with them when he should come to the throne. This promise Reṇu kept when he succeeded his father and appointed Jotipāla to carry out the division of the kingdom, which the latter duly did. All the kings wished Jotipāla to be their chaplain, and he instructed them in the art of government, teaching the mantras also to seven eminent brahmins and to seven hundred young graduates. Jotipāla himself came to be known as Mahā Govinda.

After some time, Jotipāla took leave of the seven kings, his disciples and his wives, and spent the four months of the rainy season in a retired spot outside the city, developing jhāna in order to see Brahmā face to face. At the end of the four months, Brahmā Sanaṅkumāra appeared before him and gave him a boon. Jotipāla asked to be taught the way to reach the Brahma-world, and, having listened to Sanaṅkumāra’s exposition, decided to leave the world. The kings and all the others did their best to make him desist from this course, but finding their efforts of no avail they went with him into the homeless life, where all of them profited thereby.

Jotipāla was the Bodhisatta (D.ii.232‑51; Mtu.i.197 ff). He is twice mentioned in the Aṅguttaranikāya (A.iii.372; iv.135; AA.ii.679) in a list of ancient teachers with very large followings.

4. Jotipāla.– A monk at whose request Buddhaghosa wrote the Sāratthappakāsinī and the Manorathapūraṇī. He seems to have been a colleague of Buddhaghosa and lived with him in several places, including Kañcīpura. Gv.68; SA.iii.235; AA.ii.874.

5. Jotipāla.– A thera of Sri Lanka. He defeated in debate the adherents of the Vetullavāda school, and one of their angry followers, Dāṭhāpabhuti, raised his hand to strike the Thera. An ulcer immediately appeared on Dāṭhāpabhuti’s hand. Aggabodhi I gave the elder a dwelling in the vihāra (Abhayagiri?) — where the discussion took place — and charged his nephew with his care. The king also built for the elder the Nīlageha-pariccheda. Later the Kāliṅga king came with his family to Sri Lanka and was ordained under Jotipāla. Aggabodhi II repaired the Thūpārāma at Jotipāla’s suggestion and deposited therein a relic of the Buddha from the Lohapāsāda (Cv.xlii.35, 45, 51, 60).

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