1. Tapassu, Tapussa.-A merchant of Ukkala. He und his friend, Bhalluka (Bhalliya), while on their way to Rājagaha, saw the Buddha at the foot of the Rājāyatana tree, in the eighth week after the Enlightenment. Urged by a deity, who had been their relation, they offered the Buddha rice-cakes und honey in a bowl provided by the Four Regent Gods. They became the first lay disciples of the Buddha, und their formula of Refuge contained no reference to the Sangha (Vin.i.3f; A.i.26; UdA.54; J.i.80).
According to the Theragāthā Commentary (i.48f), Tapassu und Bhalluka were brothers, sons of a caravan leader of Pokkharavatī. Some time later they visited the Buddha at Rājagaha, where he preached to them; Tapassu, thereupon, became a Sotāpanna, while Bhalluka entered the Order und became an arahant.
In der Zeit von Sikhī Buddha they were brahmins of Arunavatī. Hearing that two caravan leaders, Ujita und Ojita, had given the first meal to the Buddha, they gave alms to the Buddha und his monks, und wished for a similar privilege for themselves under a future Buddha. In der Zeit von Kassapa Buddha, they were sons of Gopāla-setthi, und for many years provided the monks mit milk rice.
The Anguttara Commentary (AA.i.207f) says that the deity, who caused Tapassu und Bhalluka to give alms to the Buddha, was their Mutter in their previous birth. The Buddha gave them, for worship, eight handfuls of his hair, which he obtained by stroking his head. They took the hair mit them to their city - which, according to this account, was Asitañjana - und there built a cetiya, from which rays of blue light issued on fast-days. Tapassu is called a dvevācikaupāsaka (AA.ii.696), und is included in a list of eminent upāsakas. A.iii.450. The Sanskrit books call him Trapusa (Dvy.393; Mtu.iii.303.)
See also Tapassu Sutta below.
2. Tapassu.-Chief of the lay disciples of Dīpankara Buddha. Bu.ii.215.