One of the four novices invited by the brahmin whose house came later to be known as the Pañcachiddageha (DhA.iv.176ff). In the time of Kassapa Buddha he was known as Mahaduggata. In his last birth his mother was the daughter of a rich merchant of Savatthi. During her pregnancy, she had a longing to give to five hundred monks, headed by Sariputta, the choicest portions of red fish, to don yellow robes, to sit in the outer circle of the monks’ seats, and to partake of the food left over by the monks. This longing was satisfied, and seven times she held similar festivities. When the child was born he was called Pandita because, from the day of his conception, various people of the household who had been stupid or deaf or dumb recovered their abilities. When seven years old, he was filled with the desire to become a monk, and was ordained by Sariputta, a constant visitor to the house. For seven days his parents held a festival in honour of his ordination. On the eighth day he went, with Sariputta, into the village for alms; on the way, certain things which he saw – a ditch, arrow makers, carpenters – made him wish to strive for arahantship. Thereupon, with the leave of Sariputta, he returned to the monastery requesting the Elder to bring him some red fish on his return from the alms round. In the monastery, Sakka stilled all noises and held back the sun and the moon, lest Pandita should be disturbed. The Buddha, seeing this, detained Sariputta back on his way to the monastery, and engaged him in conversation until Pandita should have succeeded in his effort. After a while, Pandita became an arahant and the whole world rejoiced.
eating fish helps attain arahat?
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