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  • Apacara

A king of the first kappa. He was the son of Cara and reigned in Sotthivatī-nagara in the Cetiya country. He was one of the ancestors of the Sākiyan race. He belonged to the race of Mahāsammata and was possessed of four iddhi-powers:

  • walking on air,
  • being guarded by four devas,
  • diffusing the fragrance of sandalwood from his body
  • and the fragrance of the lotus from his mouth.

When he was prince he had promised to appoint as his family priest his fellow-student Kosakalamba, brother of the royal chaplain Kapila, when he should become king. But when Apacara came to the throne, Kapila obtained the post for his own son and became an ascetic. When the king realised what had happened he offered to get the post back for Kosakalamba by means of a lie. The latter protested, because lies had hitherto been unknown in the world; but the king persisted in his desire even in spite of Kapila's warning, and seven times in succession uttered a lie to the effect that the post of chaplain belonged by right of seniority to Kosakambala and not to Kapila's son. At the first lie he lost his iddhi-powers and fell to earth, and with each succeeding lie he fell deeper and deeper into the earth until the flames of Avīci seized him. He was the world's first liar.

He had five sons, who sought Kapila's protection, and leaving the city founded five cities, which were called Hatthipura, Assapura, Sīhapura, Uttarapañcāla and Daddarapura, because of certain tokens connected with them (for details see under those names).

According to the Sutta Nipāta Commentary (ii.352) Makhādeva was his son. The king was a previous birth of Devadatta. The story is related in the Cetiya Jātaka (J.iii.454-61; see also Mhv.ii.2.; DA.i.258f.; Dpv. iii.5). v.l. Upacara, Upavara and Uparuvara.

The Milinda (p.202) calls him Suraparicara.


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