Title- The Layman Ariya Jotika, the Rich Man with Inestimable Wealth

He was born of a rich family of Rajagaha. He had the following virtues.

On the day of his birth and the day on which he was given his name all weapons shone forth with flames of light. The ornaments the people wore at the time emitted brilliant rays of light making the whole of Rajagaha shine with brilliance. Sakka, King of devas brought into being a house for him on a very wide plot of land. There appeared a large seven-tiered mansion decorated with seven kinds of jewels. Seven jewel-studded fence-walls appeared, each behind the other and Padetha trees (the trees which can give things as one’s wish) of plenty grew up between them. In the four corners of the plot there appeared  four big pots of gold and four sugar-cane plants of gold whose stems were as big as those of palm-trees and whose leaves were all of gold. The entrance doors of the mansion were guarded by divine ogres.

King Bimbisara honoured him by giving him a specially-made parasol as a symbol of his status as a man of immense wealth. His wife named Satulakayi was a native of a very far away alien land not easily accessible to ordinary human beings. When she came to Jotika, accompanied by devas, she had brought with her only a very small amount of rice grown in her native land and three pieces of flint-stone to be used in making fire for cooking. The rice and the flint-stone were inexhaustible for the rest of her life.

Jotika entertained the King Bimbisara and Prince Ajatasattu, son of King Bimbisara, to a meal of rice, that extraordinary variety his wife had brought with her from her native land. He also gave this rice-meal to members of the King’s royal guard.

King Ajatasattu had a bad will to take Jotika’s wealth and he paid a visit to Jotika again after crowned by killing his own father. Jotika told Ajatasattu that no one on earth could take away any of his possessions or wealth without his consent.

He extended his hand for Ajatasattu to take away his finger-rings if he could take them off. Ajatasattu exerted all his effort to take off the rings, but he could not take any of them off. When Jotika gave his consent, all the 20 finger-rings fell off by themselves. Ajatasattu’s great greediness taught Jotika a great lesson in the nature of avarice.

Jotika became a member of the Samgha and eventually, through the practice of Dhamma, attained to Arahatship. The Buddha praised Jotika for having no craving for his wealth and no lustful attachment to his wife. Then the Buddha delivered a Dhamma discourse, at the end of which many people became Sotapanna Ariyas.

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