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Bhaddiya Thero 1

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self—Enlightened One!

Published: 2014-04-27

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Bhaddiya Thera, called Kaligodhaputta, chief among monks of aristocratic birth (uccakulikanam) (A. i.23). He belonged to a family of the Sakiyan rajas of Kapilavatthu and entered the Order in the Anupiya Mango grove with Anuruddha and the others, soon afterwards attaining to arahantship. Dwelling in the bliss of Nibbana, under a tree in a lonely spot, Bhaddiya used to exclaim “Aho sukham, aho sukham.” When this was reported to the Buddha, he questioned Bhaddiya, who answered that when he was ruling his principality he was well protected, yet was ever fearful and nervous, whereas now, having renounced all, he was free from all fear (Thag. vss. 842-65; UdA. ii.10; Vin. i.183f.; J. i.140). This incident was the occasion for the preaching of the Sukhaviharī Jataka.

Bhaddiya was the son of Kaligodha, the senior Sakiyan lady of her time. For five hundred births Bhaddiya had been king, hence his eminence in this life, though there were others more aristocratic (AA. i.109). His resolve to gain this distinction was formed in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, when he was born in a very rich family and did various good deeds towards that end.

In the interval between Kassapa Buddha and Gotama Buddha, he was a householder of Benares and, discovering that Pacceka Buddhas took their meals on the banks of the Ganges, placed seven stone planks for them to sit on (ThagA. ii.55f.; Ap. i.95f). When Bhaddiya was ruling his Sakiyan principality he had as general Sona Potiriyaputta, who later joined the Order (ThagA. i.316).

Anuruddha was Bhaddiya’s great friend, and when Anuruddha wished to renounce the world, his mother agreed only on condition that Bhaddiya should accompany him, hoping, in this way, to hold him back. But Anuruddha overcame all Bhaddiya's objections and persuaded him to renounce the household life within a week.

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It is said (Vin. ii.182f) that Bhaddiya attained arahantship in the first rainy season after his ordination.

May all be happy and well!


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