Doubt about Alavaka Yakkha in Jayamangala Asthagatha

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    • #15002
      Dr. J Chakma

      I am putting this question to Noble Lal for benefit of all, as it identifies a potential inconsistency (of course inconsistency not in this website, but in general).
      I have a doubt about Alavaka Yakkha in Jayamangala Asthagatha.
      In the background story of the gatha, Alavaka Yakkha is supposed to be, about the kill prince of Alavi for eating him, as he got a boon from Yakkha king. And Buddha saw this with His supernatural power and went there to help Alavaka Yakkha. After listening to Buddha’s desana (after initial resistance) Alavaka Yakkha atained Sotapanna stage. So, he must be from Catumaharijika deva loka and cannot be an Asura yakkha (because beings in apayas cannot attain magga phala).
      My question is if Alavaka Yakkha was a Catumaharijika deva, why should he be eating (killing) a human. Are not devas supposed to consume amrutha only and no solid foods. And devas are supposed to be devoid of hate and also greed, so no question of killing a human. Alavaka Yakkha was supposed to be carry weapon all the time known as vastrayudh (he wraps the weapon around his body as a cloth, hence the name).
      It is also possible that the background story I read/heard is wrong or there is some mistranslation.
      I hope Lal can clarify this doubt.

      May the blessings of Triple Gem be with all of us always
      Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu

    • #15004

      There are two kinds of Yakkhas:
      – One kind are Yakkhas in the apayas.

      • The other kind are Catumaharijika devas. This is the lowest deva realm, and there are different types of devas there too. These actually should be called “Yaksa” (meaning “capable”) and not “Yakkha” (meaning “basically destroyers or killers with bad character”). But “Yaksa devas” also have some rough character qualities, just like there are people in certain parts of the world or even certain parts of a given country that have “rough character”. As I mentioned earlier, someone will have a mix of different gati, and thus there are good gati also mixed with bad gati.

      Another good example are police men/women. They had cultivated a mix of good gati (very much like to keep law and order), but cannot tolerate bad behavior and may display “rough character” at times with those who do not abide by law. World is complex.

      Alavaka Yaksa is of the second kind. They can comprehend Dhamma and attain magga phala.

      I am not familiar with Jayamangala Asthagatha or that Alavaka Yaksa was about to kill a prince. Is there a link with that account?

    • #15011
      Dr. J Chakma

      @Lal and others who may be interested
      First of all thanks for the reply.
      I read the story of Alavaka Yakkha (Yaksha) in a book about Jayamangala gatha, which is commonly recited by monks in my place.
      When searching internet I found two references to Jayamangala gatha (eight verses, hence known as atthagatha or asthagatha) and Alavaka Yakkha, here are they:

      Both these stories say Alvaka Yakkha was ferocious and Buddha subdued him.
      Hope the above links can make you familiar with the story. If Catumaharajika Yakkhas are (some of them) capable of killing and they live in close proximity with humans, one should be aware of this possibility.

      May blessing of Triple Gem be with us always.

    • #15012

      Dr.Chakma said, “Both these stories say Alavaka Yakkha was ferocious and Buddha subdued him.”

      That is true. As I explained they have “rough character qualities”. Again, Alavaka yaksa is a better word than Alavaka yakkha.

      However, they don’t normally kill. Alavaka Sutta does not say he tried to kill a prince, and I did not see such an account in the link that you gave; however, I may have missed it because I do not have time to read the whole thing.

      In general, it would save me a lot of time, if people can make it clear where a given quote is within a quoted source, or just copy the relevant text from the source and paste it in the comment, together with source.

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