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Why did king Mahāsudassana change the frequency of helpofferings by the elephants?

'Now at that time his 84,000 royal elephants came to attend on him in the morning and evening. Then King Mahāsudassana thought, ‘What if instead half of the elephants took turns to attend on me at the end of each century?’ He instructed the counselor-treasure to do this, and so it was done. ’

It may be trivial but I am intrigued by this. It is the only adjustment Mahāsudassana makes at the end of all the building and creating, and he doesn’t explain why. Does anyone know what the relevance of these lines is?

Funny someone should ask this. Last night I was drafting this passage in the Dirgha Agama’s version of the Parinirvana Sutra (it includes the entire Mahasudarsana sutra). It offers the explanation that the elephants were trampling innumerable sentient beings when they came to the king, so the king decided to only have one come for each century.

It would be interesting to know what the Pali commentators have to say.

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