A landowner of Mithilá, described also as Videha and Videhiputta, an inhabitant of the Videha country (J.v.166, 167). While journeying on business, in a carriage, attended by five hundred wagons, he saw the Nága king, Sankhapála, being ill-treated by lewd men who had captured him and, feeling sorry for the Nága, Alára gave gifts to the men and their wives and thus obtained his release. Sankhapála, thereupon, invited Alára to the Nága kingdom where, for a whole year, Alára lived in all splendour.
Later, realising that the Nága's wonderful possessions were the fruit of good deeds done in the past, he became an ascetic in Himavá and afterwards took up his abode in the king's park in Benares. The king, seeing him on his begging-rounds, was pleased with his deportment and invited him to the palace. There, at the king's request, he told him the story of his encounter with Sankhapála and his subsequent life and exhorted the king to do acts of piety.
Later he was born in the Brahma-world. See the Sankhapala Játaka. (v.161ff.).
Alára was a previous birth of Sáriputta (Ibid., 177). (Álára.)