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[253] At the top, Beggars, of those of my Upasakas who gives pleasing gifts (manapadayakanam) is Uggo gahapati Vesaliko.

Uggo gahapati Vesaliko

(DPPN: A householder of Vesali, declared by the Buddha to be the best of those who gave agreeable gifts (manapadayakanam) His original name is not known. He came to be called Ugga-setthi, because he was tall in body, lofty in morals and of striking personality. The very first time he saw the Buddha, he became a sotapanna and later an anagami. When he was old, the thought came to him one day, while he was alone, "I will give to the Buddha whatever I consider most attractive to myself and I have heard from him that such a giver obtains his wishes. I wish the Buddha would come to my house now." The Buddha, reading his thoughts, appeared before his door with a following of monks. He received them with great respect and, having given them a meal, announced to the Buddha his intention of providing him and the monks with whatever they found agreeable.

From: PTS: Hare, trans.; The Book of the Gradual Sayings, The Book of the Eights, III. Gahapati-Vagga: On Householders, #21, IV.208

Ugga of Vesali

Once the Exalted One was dwelling in the Gabled Hall, in Mahavana, near Vesali. There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying: 'Monks!'

'Hold it true, monks, that Ugga, the householder of Vesali, is possessed of eight marvelous and wonderful qualities.'

And when the Well-farer had thus spoken, rising from his seat, he entered his dwelling.

Now a certain monk, robing himself early in the morning, taking bowl and cloak, went to the house of Ugga, the householder, and there sat down on a seat made ready for him, And Ugga of Vesali approached that monk, saluted him and sat down at one side.

Then said that monk to Ugga: 'It has been declared by the Exalted One that you, O householder, are possessed of eight marvelous and wonderful qualities. What are those eight marvelous and wonderful qualities, householder, of which you are declared by the Exalted One to be possessed?'

Said Ugga, the householder of Vesali:

'Nay, reverend sir, I know not of what eight marvelous and wonderful qualities I am declared by the Exalted One to be possessed; but as to the eight marvelous and wonderful qualities found in me, listen, lend and ear and I will tell you.'

'Very well, householder,' replied the monk; and Ugga said:

[1]When I first saw the Exalted One, even a long way off, my heart, sir, at the mere sight of him became tranquil. This is the first marvelous and wonderful quality found in me. Then, with tranquil heart I drew nigh and reverenced the Exalted One. And to me he preached a graduated discourse, that is to say: on almsgiving, on virtue and on heaven. He set forth the peril, the folly, the depravity of lusts and the advantages of renunciation.

[2]And when the Exalted One knew that my heart was clear, malleable, free from hindrance, uplifted, lucid, then he revealed to me that Dhamma-teaching to which Buddhas alone have won, to wit: Ill, its coming-to-be, its ending and the Way. Just as a clean cloth, free of all stain, will take dye perfectly; even so, as I sat there, there arose within me the spotless, stainless Dhamma-sight: that whatsoever is conditioned by coming-to-be, all that is subject to ending. I, sir, saw Dhamma, possessed Dhamma, found Dhamma, penetrated Dhamma, overcame doubt, surpassed uncertainty, possessed without another's aid perfect confidence in the word of the Teacher, and there and then took refuge in the Buddha, in Dhamma and in the Order, and embraced the five rules of training in the godly life ...

[3]Now, sir, I had four wives, young girls, and I went and spoke to them thus: "Sisters, I have embraced the five rules of training in the godly life. Who wishes, may enjoy the wealth of this place, or may do deeds of merit, or may go to her own relations and family; or is there some man you desire to whom I may give you?" And when I stopped speaking, the eldest wife said to me: "Sir, give me to such and such a man!" Then I had that man sent for; and, taking my wife by the left hand and holding the water pot in my right, I cleansed that man (by an act of dedication). Yet I was not a whit discomfited at parting with my wife ...

[4]Moreover, sir, there is wealth in my family, but among the good and lovely in character it is shared impartially ...

[5]And when I wait upon a monk, sir, I serve him respectfully and not without deference.

[6]If, sir, that reverend monk preach Dhamma to me, I listen attentively and not listlessly. If he preach not Dhamma to me, I preach Dhamma to him.

[7]Furthermore, sir, it is not uncommon for devas to come and declare to me: "Perfectly, O householder, is Dhamma proclaimed by the Exalted One!" When they speak thus, I reply: "Ho! You devas, whether you declare so or not, Dhamma is perfectly proclaimed by the Exalted One!" Yet, sir, I feel no elation because of such thoughts as : "It is to me these devas come. I am the man who talks to devas."

[8] Of those five lower fetters, sir, declared by the Exalted One, I see no remnant whatsoever within me. This, sir, is the eighth marvelous and wonderful quality found in me.

These, sir, are the eight marvelous and wonderful qualities found in me; but I do not know of what eight ... I am declared by the Exalted One to be possessed."

Then that monk, after taking alms at Ugga's house, rose from his seat and departed. And when he had eaten his meal, after his alms-round, he went to the Exalted One and saluting him, stood at one side. So standing, he told the Exalted One of all his conversation with Ugga of Vesali.

And the Exalted One said:

'Well done, well done, monk! As Ugga, the householder of Vesali, in explaining the matter rightly should explain; even so, monk, he is declared by me to be possessed of those eight marvelous and wonderful qualities. Moreover, monk, hold it true that Ugga, the householder of Vesali, is so possessed!"


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