1. Bhallika, Bhalliya, Bhalluka Thera
The younger brother of Tapassu, their father being a
caravan leader of Pokkharavatī in Ukkalā (AA.i.207 calls their birthplace
Asitañjana). While they were going along with five hundred trading carts, these
stopped near the Rājāyatana tree where the Buddha was sitting, eight weeks after
his Enlightenment. When they investigated the cause for their carts thus
stopping, a deity, their kinsman in a former life (their mother according to
AA.i.207), pointed out to them the Buddha and asked them to give him a meal as
he had eaten nothing for seven weeks. Not waiting to cook, the merchants gave
the Buddha some butter and honey in a bowl provided by the Four Regent Gods. At
the end of the meal the Buddha talked to them. They accepted the Buddha and the
Dhamma as their Refuge (the Dvevācikasarana, they thus became the Buddha's first
lay disciples; A.i.26), and obtained from the Buddha a few hairs as an object of
worship. Later, when the Buddha was in Rājagaha after the preaching of his First
Sermon, the merchants visited him and listened to his preaching. Tapassu became
a sotāpanna, and Bhallika entered the Order and became an arahant.
In the past, Bhallika had given fruit to a Pacceka Buddha,
named Sumana. During this life of Sikhī Buddha, he was a brahmin of Arunavatī,
and hearing that Ujita and Ojita had given the Buddha his first meal, he and his
friend invited the Buddha to eat at their house, and resolved to win a similar
distinction for themselves in the future. They were herdsmen in the life of
Kassapa Buddha, and for many years supplied milk rice to the Buddha and the
monks (ThagA.ii.48f.; AA.i.207f.; Vin.i.3f.; J. i.80. Mhv.iii.303f).
The Theragāthā (vs.7), contains a verse spoken by Bhallika
when Māra tried to frighten him by assuming a hideous form.
It is said that the hair (eight handfuls) given by the
Buddha was deposited in a cetiya in Asitañjana and that on fast days blue rays
shone from the cetiya. AA.i.208. There is a tradition in Ceylon (recorded in the
Pūjāvaliya) that Tapassu and Bhalluka visited the east coast of Ceylon and built
a cetiya, there. An inscription makes a similar record.
2. Bhallika, Bhalluka. One of the of the chief lay
patrons of Dīpankara Buddha. Bu.ii.215.