1. descent to, i.e. approach to, access, fig. chance, opportunity otāraṃ labhati. Only in the Māra myth. He, the tempter, ʻgets his chance’ to tempt the Buddha or the disciples, MN.i.334; SN.i.122; SN.iv.178, SN.iv.185; Dhp-a.iii.121. (avatāraṃ labhati Divy.144, Divy.145) ot˚ adhigacchati, to find a chance Snp.446. [Fausböll here translates ʻdefect’. This is fair as exegesis. Every moral or intellectual defect gives the enemy a chance. But otāra does not mean defect]. Ot gavesati to seek an opportunity, Dhp-a.iii.21. Otārāpekkha watching for a chance, SN.i.122. At one passage, AN.iii.67 = AN.iii.259, it is said that constant association leads to agreement, agreement to trust, and trust to otāra. The Com. has nothing. ʻCarelessness’ would suit the context o. gavesati to look for an opportunity Dhp-a.iii.21, and otāraṃ labhati to get a chance SN.i.122; SN.iv.178, SN.iv.185; MN.i.334; Dhp-a.iii.21 (gloss okāra & okāsa); cp. avatāraṃ labhati Divy.144, Divy.145 etc.
  2. access, fig. inclination to, being at home with, approach, familiarity (cp. otiṇṇa and avacara adj.) AN.iii.67, AN.iii.259.
  3. (influenced by ocarati2 and ociṇṇa) being after something, spying, finding out; hence: fault, blame, defect, flaw Snp.446 (= randha vivara Snp-a.393); also in phrase otārāpekkha spying faults SN.i.122 (which may be taken to meaning 1, but meaning 3 is accredited by BSk. avatāraprekṣin Divy.322) Mrs. Rh. D. translates the latter passage by “watching for access”.

fr. otarati, BSk. avatāra. The Sk. avatāra is centuries later and means ʻincarnation’