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#77. Dhanapāla

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Cave No. 17

Identification: episodes 1, 3, 4, 5 by Griffiths (1896, p. 36). It is an episode from the life of the Buddha.—

King Ajātaśatru had an angry elephant, Dhanapāla, at Rājagṛha, who was often involved in rampages. So, whenever Dhanapāla went on his rounds in the town, the public was given prior notice. Once, when the Buddha was staying at a monastery near Rājagṛha, a citizen invited him home for a meal. Monk Devadatta, seeking a chance to kill the Buddha, went to Ajātaśatru and requested him to release the elephant in town on that day around lunchtime. Hesitantly, the king announced the elephant’s outing. The host, disheartened, wondered how he was going to rustle up the lunch for the Buddha, what with the elephant advisory in the town. He thus had food delivered to Buddha in the monastery and also informed him about the adversaries. The Buddha calmly told him to carry on

—Source: Singh 2019, 31-33; Schlingloff 2013, I, 435

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