A landowner of Mithilā, 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 Nāga king, Sankhapāla, being ill-treated by lewd men who had captured him and, feeling sorry for the Nāga, Alāra gave gifts to the men and their wives and thus obtained his release. Sankhapāla, thereupon, invited Alāra to the Nāga kingdom where, for a whole year, Alāra lived in all splendour.
Later, realising that the Nāga's wonderful possessions were the fruit of good deeds done in the past, he became an ascetic in Himavā 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 Sankhapāla and his subsequent life and exhorted the king to do acts of piety.
Later he was born in the Brahma-world. See the Sankhapala Jātaka. (v.161ff.).
Alāra was a previous birth of Sāriputta (Ibid., 177). (Ālāra.)