1. Ugga. A banker in the time of Konāgamana Buddha; he was one of the
Buddha's chief lay-supporters and built for him a residence, half a league in
extent, on the site of the later Jetavana. J. i.94; Bu.xxiv.24.
2. Ugga. The chief minister of Pasenadi, king of Kosala (AA.ii.697).
He once visited the Buddha and told him how he rivalled in power and wealth the
setthi Migāra, grandson of Rohana. He was worth one hundred thousand in gold
alone, to say nothing of silver. The Buddha tells him that all this wealth could
easily be lost in various ways, not so the seven kinds of Ariyan wealth (saddhā,
sīla, etc.). A.iv.6-7.
3. Ugga.One of those that formed the retinue of the rājā Eleyya. He
was a follower of Uddaka-Rāmaputta, whom the king too held in veneration.
4. Ugga (-Gahapati).A householder of
Hatthigāma(ka) of the Vajji country. Among
householders he was declared by the Buddha to be the best of those who waited on
the Order (sanghupatthākānam) (A.i.26). On his father's death he was appointed
to the post of setthi. Once when the Buddha went to Hatthigāma during a tour and
was staying in the Nāgavanuyyāna there, Ugga came to the pleasance, with
dancers, at the conclusion of a drinking-feast of seven days' duration. At the
sight of the Buddha he was seized with great shame and his intoxication
vanished. The Buddha preached to him and he became an anāgāmī. Thereupon he
dismissed his dancers and devoted himself to looking after members of the
Sangha. Devas visited him at night and told him of the attainments of various
monks, suggesting that he should choose only the eminent ones as the recipients
of his gifts. But what he gave, he gave to all with equal delight (AA.i.214-5).
The Buddha once stated that Ugga was possessed of eight special and wonderful
qualities. One of the monks, hearing the Buddha's statement, went to Ugga and
asked him what these qualities were. Ugga replied that he was not aware of what
the Buddha had in mind and proceeded to explain eight wonderful things that had
happened to him, viz.:
- (1) As soon as he saw the Buddha, his state of drunkenness vanished and he
made obeisance to the Buddha, who talked to him on various topics, such as
dāna, sīla, etc.
- (2) When the Buddha saw that Ugga's mind was ready, he preached to him the
Four Truths, which he understood and realised.
- (3) He had had four young and beautiful wives; when he took the vow of
celibacy, he made ample provision for them; for one of them he obtained the
husband of her choice, because she so desired, and this he did with no tinge
- (4) All his immense wealth he shared with men of good and lovely conduct.
- (5) On whatever monk he waited, he did it with whole-heartedness; to the
monk's preaching he listened earnestly; if the monk did not preach, Ugga
himself taught him the doctrine.
- (6) Devas told him of the different attainments of various monks, but he
gave to all alike, without distinction.
- (7) He felt no pride that he should hold converse with devas.
- (8) He did not worry about death because the Buddha had assured him that
he would never more return to this world.
The monk reports this conversation to the Buddha and the Buddha tells him
that these were the very qualities he had in mind when praising Ugga
The Samyutta Nikāya (Vajjī Sutta, S.iv.109f) records a visit paid to
the Buddha by Ugga, at Hatthigāmaka. He asked the Buddha why it was that some
beings attained full freedom in this very life, while others did not. Because of
grasping, says the Buddha.
Ugga had been a householder in the time of Padumuttara Buddha. He once heard
the Buddha preach and declare, at the end of his sermon, one of his lay
disciples to be the best of those who waited on the Order. He wished for himself
a similar attainment and did many good deeds towards that end (AA.i.214). v.l.
5. Ugga. A householder of Vesāli, declared by the Buddha to be the
best of those who gave agreeable gifts (manāpadāyakānam). (A.i.26; in SA.iii.26
he is wrongly described as aggo panītadāyakānam - the title of Mahānāma).
His original name is not known. He came to be called Ugga-setthi, because he
was tall in body, lofty in morals and of striking personality. The very first
time he saw the Buddha, he became a sotāpanna and later an anāgāmī. When he was
old, the thought came to him one day, while he was alone, "I will give to the
Buddha whatever I consider most attractive to myself and I have heard from him
that such a giver obtains his wishes. I wish the Buddha would come to my house
now." The Buddha, reading his thoughts, appeared before his door with a
following of monks. He received them with great respect and, having given them a
meal, announced to the Buddha his intention of providing him and the monks with
whatever they found agreeable (AA.i.213-4).
While staying at the Kūtāgārasālā in Vesāli, the Buddha once declared to the
monks that Ugga was possessed of eight marvellous qualities. The rest of the
story is very similar to that of Ugga of Hatthigāmaka, given above. This Ugga
states as the first wonderful thing which happened to him, the faith he found in
the Buddha at their very first meeting; three and four are the same; the fifth
is that whatever monk he waits on, he does it whole-heartedly; the sixth, that
if the monk preaches he would listen with attention, if the monk does not
preach, Ugga would teach to him the doctrine; the seventh is the same; the
eighth that he has got rid of all the orambhāgiya-samyojanas mentioned by the
Buddha. The conversation is reported to the Buddha who agrees that Ugga does
possess the qualities mentioned (A.iv.208-12).
The Samyutta Nikāya (S.iv.109f) repeats under Ugga of Vesāli the same
discussion with the Buddha as was given in connection with Ugga of Hatthigāma,
regarding the reason why some beings do not attain complete freedom in this very
life. This is perhaps due to uncertainty on the part of the compilers as to
which Ugga took part in the original discussion.
A sutta in the Anguttara Nikāya (A.iii.49-51) gives a list of things of which
Ugga himself was fond. We are told that he offered these things to the Buddha.
The list includes rice-cakes made in the shape of Sāla-blossoms, the flesh of
sucking pig and Kāsi robes. These and other things were given not only to the
Buddha, but, according to the Commentary (AA.ii.602), also to five hundred
monks. The Sutta goes on to say that Ugga died soon after and was born among the
Manomayadevā. He visited the Buddha from the deva-world and stated that he had
achieved his goal (of reaching arahantship).
He is included in a list of householders who possessed six special qualities:
unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, Ariyan conduct,
insight and liberation (A.iv.451).
His desire to become chief of those who give agreeable things was first
conceived in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, when he was a householder in
Hamsavatī; he heard the Buddha describe one of his disciples as being a giver of
such gifts (AA.i.213).
6. Ugga. A thera. He was the son of a banker in Ugga, in the Kosala
country. When the Buddha was staying in the Bhaddārāma there, Ugga heard him
preach and entered the Order. Soon afterwards he became an arahant (Thag.v.80;
He had been a householder in the time of Sikhī Buddha and offered him a
ketaka-flower. As a result, he was born twelve times as king. He is probably to
be identified with Sudassana Thera of the Apadāna (i.164-5).
7. Ugga. A banker of the city of Ugga; he was a friend
of Anāthapindika and, according to some
accounts, his son married Anāthapindika's daughter,
Cūla Subhaddā. He and his family had been
followers of the Niganthas, but they later
became followers of the Buddha through the intervention of Subhaddā. For the
story see Cūla Subhaddā. See also
8. Ugga. A township (nigama) in Kosala. The Buddha
stayed there at the Bhaddārāma (ThagA.ii.74). The town was the residence of the
banker Ugga, and was once a stronghold of the
Niganthas; after the conversion of Ugga's family, through
Cūla Subhaddā's intervention, the people
became faithful followers of the Buddha and for some time Anuruddha lived there,
at the Buddha's special bidding, to preach to the new converts (DhA.iii.465-9;
according to ThagA.i.65 Mahā Subhaddā
also lived in Ugga, in a family of unbelievers).
Probably the Uggārāma, mentioned in the story of Anganika Bhāradvāja
(ThagA.ii.339; Brethren, 157, n.4), was also in Ugga, in which case it was near
the village of Kundiya of the Kuru country.