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Ven Anuruddha

Anuruddha: Master of the Divine Eye

Aniruddha (Sk.) or Anuruddha (Pl.) was a top master of clairvoyance.

Anuruddha was the son of Sukkhodana and brother to Mahanama. Since Sukkhodana was the brother of Suddhodana, king of the Sakyas in Kapilavastu, Anuruddha was cousin to Siddhartha, (Gautama Buddha). He was a kshatriya by birth, enabling him to be raised in wealth.

Anuruddha returned to his home town two years after the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha, preaching his ideas to the Sakyan kingdom. Together with his 3 cousins Bhaddiyam, Ananda, and Devadatta and their barber Upali, to become ordained by the Buddha at the Anupiya Mango Grove.

He once slept in front of the Buddha, so he was rebuked by the Buddha sharply. He swore an oath that he would never sleep again. Although he lost his sight as a result, he got another pair of eyes that could see the truth.

Anuruddha was present when the Buddha died at Kusinara. He was foremost in consoling the monks and admonishing their future course of action, reminding them of the Buddha’s decree to follow the dharma. As the Buddha was reclining and going through the jhanas, Ananda said to Anuruddha: “The Exalted One has attained final Nibbana, Venerable Sir.” Anuruddha, having divine vision, stated that the Buddha was absorbed in the state of “cessation,” but had not yet died. Anuruddha was consulted by the Mallas of Kusinara regarding the Buddha’s last obsequies.

Later, at the First Buddhist Council, he played a notable role and was entrusted with the custody of the Anguttara Nikaya. Anuruddha died at Veluvagama in the Vajji country, in the shade of a bamboo thicket. He was one hundred and fifteen years old at the time of his death.

Bibliography:

  • Great Disciples of the Buddha, Their Lives Their Works Their Legacy, Nyanaponika Thera and Hellmuth Hecker, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi, Wisdom Publications, 2003, ISBN 0-86171-381-8, chapter 5

Websites:
1. Anuruddha – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2. Anuruddha Sutta: To Anuruddha
3. Anuruddha
4. Wh362 — Anuruddha: Master of the Divine Eye — Plain text

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