l. Jambuka Thera.He was born in Rājagaha
of rich parents but from infancy he would eat nothing but excrement. When he
grew older he was ordained with the Ājīvakas,
who pulled out his hair with a palmyra comb. When the Ajivakas discovered that
he ate filth, they expelled him and he lived as a naked ascetic, practising all
kinds of austerities and accepting no offerings save butter and honey placed on
the tip of his tongue with the point of a blade of grass. His fame spread far.
When he was fifty-five years old, the Buddha visited him and spent the night in
a cave near his abode. During the night, Jambuka saw mighty gods come to pay
homage to the Buddha and was so impressed that the next day he sought the
Buddha's counsel. The Buddha told him of his past evil deeds which had condemned
him to practise austerities for so long and counselled him to give up his evil
ways. In the course of the sermon, Jambuka grew ashamed of his nakedness and the
Buddha gave him a bath-robe. At the end of the discourse Jambuka became an
arahant, and when the inhabitants of Anga and Magadha came to him with their
offerings, he performed a miracle before them and paid homage to the Buddha,
acknowledging him as his teacher.
In the time of Kassapa Buddha, Jambuka was a monk and had a lay patron who
looked after him. One day a pious monk came to his vihāra, and the layman, being
pleased with him, showed him much attention. The resident monk, very jealous,
reviled the visitor, saying, "It would be better for you to eat filth than food
in this layman's house, to tear your hair with a palmyra comb than let his
barber cut it for you, to go naked than wear robes given by him, to lie on the
ground than on a bed provided by him." The Elder, not wishing to be the cause of
his sinning, left the monastery the next day. Because of this act, the
meditations practised by Jambuka for twenty thousand years were of no avail, and
he was born in Avīci, where he suffered torments during an interval between two
Buddhas. In this last life, too, he was condemned to suffer in many ways, as
related above (DhA.ii.52-63; Thag.283-6; ThagA.i.386f).
In the time of Tissa Buddha he was a householder and made offerings at the
Buddha's Bodhi-tree, fanning the Buddha's seat with a fan. He is probably
identical with Sīhāsanavījanīya of the Apadāna (Ap.ii.403).
It is said (Mil..350; AA.i.57) that when the Buddha preached to Jambuka,
eighty-four thousand others realised the Truth.
2. Jambuka. A parrot, an incarnation of the Bodhisatta, adopted as his
son by Brahmadatta, king of Benares. He
preached to the king on the fivefold power - of limbs, of wealth, of counsel, of
caste and of wisdom - the last being the best. The king thereupon appointed him
commander-in-chief. J. v.111, 120, 125.
See Tesakuna Jātaka.
3. Jambuka. A dog, companion of the she-goat in the
Pūtimamsa Jātaka. J. iii.535.