HAPPILY HE LIVES WHO DRINKS OF THE DHAMMA
Dhammapiti sukham seti vippasannena cetasa
Ariyappavedite dhamme sada ramati pandito.
He who drinks in the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; the wise man ever delights in the Dhamma revealed by theAriyas.1
Maha Kappina was the king of Kukkutavati. He had a queen, Anoja. He also had a large number of ministers to help him rule the country. One day, the king accompanied by several ministers, was out in the park. There, they met some merchants from Savatthi. On hearing about the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha from these merchants, the king and his ministers set out for Savatthi.
On that day, the Buddha saw in his vision, Maha Kappina and his ministers coming towards Savatthi. He knew that they were ready to attain Arahanthood. The Buddha went and waited for them under a banyan tree on the bank of a river. King Maha Kappina and his ministers came to the place where the Buddha was waiting for them. When they saw the Buddha, with six-coloured rays radiating from his body, they approached and paid homage to him. The Buddha then delivered a discourse to them. After listening to the discourse the king and all his ministers realised the Dhamma and joined the Holy Order.
Meanwhile, Queen Anoja, hearing about the king's departure for Savatthi, sent for the wives of the ministers, and together with them followed the king's trail. They too came to the place where the Buddha was and seeing the Buddha with a halo of six colours, paid homage to him. All this time, the Buddha by exercising his supernormal power had made the king and his ministers invisible so that their wives did not see them. Should they see their husbands with yellow robes and shaven heads, their minds would be disturbed and they would not be able to realise the Dhamma. The queen therefore enquired where the king was. The Buddha replied, 'Just sit down; you will be able to see him even here.' The Queen and the wives of the ministers were overjoyed that they would be able to see their husbands. So they sat down. The Buddha then delivered another discourse and at the end of this discourse the king and his ministers attained Arahanthood. The queen and the wives of the ministers also attained the first stage of Sainthood. At that instant, the queen and her party saw the newly admitted bhikkhus and recognised them as their former husbands. The ladies also asked permission from the Buddha to enter the Order of bhikkhunis. They were directed to go ahead to Savatthi. There they entered the Order and very soon they also attained Sainthood.
The Buddha then returned to the Jetavana monastery accompanied by the bhikkhus. At the monastery, Venerable Kappina while resting during the night or day, would often say, 'Oh, what happiness!' 'Oh, what happiness'! (Aho Sukham! Aho Sukham!). The bhikkhus hearing him saying this so many times a day told the Buddha about it. The Enlightened One explained, 'My son Kappina having had the taste of the Dhamma lives happily with a serene mind; he is saying these words of exultation repeatedly with reference to Nibbana.
- Ariya, which means 'one who is far removed from passions', was originally a racial term. In Buddhism it indicates nobility of character, and is invariably applied to the Buddhas and the Arahants, irrespective of race or clan or caste.