The Bodhisatta was once born as the son of the chief priest (purohita) of the king of Bārāṇasī. He was called Jotipāla because, on the day of his birth, there was a blaze of all kinds of arms for a distance of twelve leagues round Bārāṇasī. This showed that he would be the chief archer of all India.
After having been educated in Takkasilā, he returned to Bārāṇasī and entered the king’s service, receiving one thousand a day. When the king’s attendants grumbled at this, the king ordered Jotipāla to give an exhibition of his skill. This he did, in the presence of sixty thousand archers. With the bow and arrow he performed twelve unrivalled acts of skill and cleft seven hard substances. Then he drove an arrow through a furlong of water and two furlongs of earth and pierced a hair at a distance of half a furlong. The sun set at the conclusion of this exhibition, and the king promised to appoint him commander-
He had seven pupils — Sālissara, Mendissara, Pabbata, Kāladevala, Kisavaccha, Anusissa and Nārada. When Kapiṭṭhavana became too crowded, Jotipāla, now known as Sarabhaṅga, sent his pupils away to different parts of the country: Sālissara to Lambacūḷaka, Mendissara to Sātodikā, Pabbata to Añjana Mountain, Kāḷadevala to Ghanasela, Kisavaccha to Kumbhavatī and Nārada to Arañjara, while Anusissa remained with him. When Kisavaccha, through the folly of a courtesan, was ill-
Because of the outrage committed on Kisavaccha, sixty leagues of Daṇḍakī’s kingdom were destroyed together with the king. When the news of this spread abroad, three kings — Kaliṅga, Atthaka and Bhimaratha — recalling stories of other similar punishments that had followed insults to holy men, went to visit Sarabhaṅga in order to get at the truth of the matter. They met on the banks of the Godhāvarī, and there they were joined by Sakka. Sarabhaṅga sent Anusissa to greet them and offer them hospitality, and, when they had rested, gave them permission to put their questions. Sarabhaṅga explained to them how Daṇḍaka, Nālikira, Ajjuna and Kalābu, were all born in hell owing to their ill-
The story was told in reference to the death of Mahā-