A young monk whom the Buddha met at the house of Bhaggava, the potter, in Rājagaha. Pukkusāti was already occupying the guest room of the house, and the Buddha asked to be allowed to share it, to which Pukkusāti readily agreed. They sat together for sometime in silence, and then the Buddha taught the Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta. Pukkusāti recognised the Buddha at the end of the discourse and begged his forgiveness for not having paid him due honour; he then begged to have the higher ordination (upasampadā) conferred on him. The Buddha consented and sent him to procure a begging bowl and a robe. On the way Pukkusāti was gored to death by a mad cow. When this was reported to the Buddha, he said that Pukkusāti was a Non-
In his comments on the Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta, Buddhaghosa gives a long account of Pukkusāti. MA.ii.979 ﬀ. Cp. the story of Tissa, king of Roruka (ThagA.i.199 f )
He had been the king of Takkasilā, contemporary of Bimbisāra and of about the same age. A friendly alliance was established between the two kings through the medium of merchants who travelled between the two countries for purposes of trade. In the course of time, although the two kings had never seen each other, there grew up between them a deep bond of affection. Pukkusāti once sent to Bimbisāra, as a gift, eight priceless garments in lacquered caskets. This gift was accepted at a special meeting of the whole court, and Bimbisāra having nothing of a material nature, which he considered precious enough to send to Pukkusāti, conceived the idea of acquainting Pukkusāti with the appearance in the world of the Three Jewels: the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha. He had inscribed on a golden plate, four cubits long and a span in breadth, descriptions of these Three Jewels and of various tenets of the Buddha’s teachings, such as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Thirty-
Pukkusāti was one of seven monks who, in the time of Kassapa Buddha, decided to abstain from eating until they should attain Arahantship. They lived on the top of a mountain. The senior monk attained Arahantship, the second became an Non-
When Pukkusāti, in the solitude of his chamber, read the inscription on the plate, he was filled with boundless joy and decided to renounce the world. He cut off his hair, donned the yellow robes of a monk, and left the palace alone amid the lamentations of his subjects. He travelled the one hundred and ninety-
¹ The cow that killed Pukkusāti is said to have been a yakkhiṇī who was a cow in one hundred births. In her last birth as a cow, she killed, in addition to Pukkusāti, Bāhiya Dārucīriya, Tambadāṭhika, and Suppabuddha the leper (DhA.ii.35).