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Losaka Tissa Thera

He was the son of a fisherman of Kosala. In his village lived one thousand families, and on the day of his conception they all had to starve and various misfortunes gradually befell them. By a process of exclusion, they discovered that their misfortunes were due to Losaka’s family, and therefore drove them out. As soon as Losaka could walk, his mother put a potsherd into his hand and sent him to beg. He wandered about uncared for, picking up lumps of rice like a crow. One day, when he was seven years old, Sāriputta saw him and, feeling pity for him, ordained him. However, he was always unlucky; wherever he went, begging for alms, he received but little and never had a good meal. In due course he became an Arahant, and when the time came for him to die Sāriputta determined that he should have a proper meal. He went with Losaka to Sāvatthi, but no one would even notice them. He then took Losaka back to the monastery and, having collected food himself, sent it to Losaka, but the messengers entrusted with it ate it all themselves. It was afternoon when Sāriputta discovered this; he therefore went to the king’s palace and, having obtained a bowl filled with four sweet things — honey, ghee, butter and sugar — took it to Losaka and asked him to eat out of the bowl as he (Sāriputta) held it, in case the food should disappear. That night Losaka died, and a shrine was erected over his ashes (J.i.234 f). When the Buddha was asked why Losaka was so unlucky, he related the Losaka Jātaka (q.v.) Losaka is identified with Mittavindaka of that story.

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