1. Chaddanta. A forest in Himavā.
In the forest was the Mandākinī Lake, on the banks of which
in retirement for twelve years, waited upon by eight thousand elephants who had
once ministered to Pacceka Buddhas. SA.i.217; ThagA.ii.3, 7; AA.i.84.
2. Chaddanta. A lake, one of the
seven great lakes of the Himālaya region (A.iv.101; AA.ii.759). It was fifty
leagues long and fifty broad. In the middle of the lake, for a space of twelve
leagues, the water was like a jewel and no weeds grew there. Around this space
were seven girdles of lilies, each girdle of a different hue and each a league
in extent. Round the lake were seven ranges of mountains - Cullakāla, Mahākāla,
Udaka, Candapassa, Suriyapassa, Manipassa and Suvannapassa, the last range being
seven leagues in height and of a golden hue on the side overlooking the lake. On
the west side of the lake was the Kañcanaguhā, twelve leagues in extent, where
the elephant-king lived. J. v.37.
3. Chaddanta. A tribe of
elephants, of which tribe the Bodhisatta was once born as king (see No.4). The
Chaddantas and the Uposathas are the two highest classes of elephant
(DhA.iii.248). The Chaddantakula sometimes provides the hatthiratana for a
Cakkavatti, in which case it is the youngest of the tribe who so functions
(KhpA.172). Of the ten tribes of elephants enumerated in the books (E.g.,
UdA.403; VibhA.397) the Chaddanta is classed as the highest, and the Buddha
possesses the strength of ten Chaddanta-elephants, each elephant having the
strength of ten thousand million men (BuA.37). These elephants have the power of
travelling through the air and are white in hue (J.v.37; Vsm.650).
4. Chaddanta. The Bodhisatta,
born as king of the elephants of the Chaddanta tribe, eight thousand in number.
His body was pure white, with red face and feet, and seven parts of his body
touched the ground. He lived in the Kañcanaguhā on the banks of the Chaddanta
Lake, his chief queens being Cūlasubhaddā and Mahāsubhaddā. Owing to the
preference shown to Mahāsubhaddā by Chaddanta, Cūlasubhaddā conceived a grudge
against him, and one day, when Chaddanta was entertaining five hundred Pacceka
Buddhas, she offered them wild fruits and made a certain wish. As a result she
was reborn in the Madda king's family and was named Subhaddā. Later she became
chief consort of the king of Benares. Remembering her ancient grudge, she
schemed to have Chaddanta's tusks cut off. All the hunters were summoned by the
king, and Sonuttara was chosen for the task. It took him seven years, seven
months and seven days to reach Chaddanta's dwelling-place. He dug a pit and
covered it, and as the elephant passed over it shot at him a poisoned arrow.
When Chaddanta realised what had happened, he charged Sonuttara, but, seeing
that he was clad in a yellow robe, he restrained himself. Having learnt
Sonuttara's story, he showed him how his tusks could be cut off, but Sonuttara's
strength was not sufficient to saw them through. Chaddanta thereupon took the
saw with his own trunk and, wounded as he was and suffering excruciating pain
from the incisions already made in his jaws, he sawed through the tusks, handed
them over to the hunter and died. In seven days, through the magic power of the
elephant's tusks, Sonuttara returned to Benares; but when Subhaddā heard that
her conspiracy had resulted in the death of her former lover and husband, she
died of a broken heart (J.v.36ff).
Chaddanta is mentioned as one of the
births in which the Bodhisatta practised sīla-pāramitā (J.i.45). Chaddanta could
find delight only in the lakes and forests of the Himālaya, not in the crowded
See also Chaddanta Jātaka.