1. Sopāka Thera.– He was the son of a very poor woman of Sāvatthi. While in labour his mother fell into a long and deep swoon, and her kinsfolk, thinking her dead, took her to the cemetery and prepared for cremation. However, a spirit prevented the fire from burning with a storm of wind and rain, and they went away. The child was safely born and the mother died. The spirit, in human shape, took the child and put it in the watchman’s hut, feeding it for a time. After that the watchman adopted it, and the child grew up with the watchman’s son, Suppiya (q.v.) He was called Sopāka, (the “waif”) because he was born in the cemetery. When he was seven years old he came under the notice of the Buddha, who visited him in the cemetery. Gladdened by the Buddha’s teaching, he sought his father’s consent and entered the Order. The Buddha gave him, as his subject of meditation, the thought of mettā, and Sopāka, developing insight, soon attained Arahantship.
In the time of Kakusandha Buddha, he was a householder’s son and gave the Buddha some bījapūra-
He is perhaps identical with Vibhītakamiñjaya of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.396.
2. Sopāka Thera.– He was born as the child of a cemetery-
Sopāka had been a brahmin in the time of Siddhattha Buddha, expert in the Vedas. He later became an ascetic and lived on a mountain. The Buddha, foreseeing his imminent death, visited him. The brahmin spread for him a seat of flowers. The Buddha taught him on impermanence and left through the air. Thag.vss.480‑6; ThagA.i.477 f; Ap.i.64 f; KhpA.76; see also DhA.iv.176 f.