Jeffrey wrote:Why did the wander Pukkusati not recognize the Buddha? Does the Buddha conceal the mahā purisa lakkhaṇa, or does Pukkusati come from some culture so far away that he has never heard of these?
Ven. Bodhi's note from the Comy.:
..The Buddha saw Pukkusati with his clairvoyant knowledge, and recognising his capacity to attain the paths and fruits, he journeyed alone on foot to Rajagaha to meet him. To avoid being recognised, by an act of will the Buddha caused his special physical attributes such as the marks of a Great Man to be concealed , and he appeared just like an ordinary wandering monk. He arrived at the potter's shed shortly after Pukkusati had arrived there intending to leave for Savatthi the next day in order to meet the Buddha.
Jeffrey wrote:The author tries to highlight this by forcing the narrative, having Pukkusati killed while in search of a bowl and robe. I seem to recall suttas in which aspirants are given the going forth without the bowl and robe. Do you recall any such cases?
We shouldn't jump to conclusions too soon. Ven. Piya Tan gave a bit more details about the kammic cause to Pukkusati's death
..a stray cow running berserk, that Comy says was rushing after her wandering
young calf (MA 5:62). The cow is said to have been a yakshini (ogress) who was a cow in 100 births. In her last
birth as a cow, besides goring Pukkusāti to death (DhA 2:35), she also killed the monk Bāhiya Dāru,ciriya, the public
executioner Tamba,dāhika and the leper Suppabuddha (UA 289). In a past life, the cow was a courtesan and these
four men, the sons of wealthy merchants, took her to a park for the pleasure of her company. In the evening, they
killed her and took back the jewels and money they had given her. While dying, she vowed vengeance to kill them
in a hundred existences. (UA 289; DhA 2:35)