The Story of Thera Mahakassapa


Verse 56: The scents of rhododendron and of sandal wood are very faint; but the scent (reputation) of the virtuous is the strongest; it spreads even to the abodes of the deva.

While residing at the Veluvana monastery in Rajagaha, the Buddha uttered Verse 56 of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakassapa.

Arising from nirodhasamapatti*, Thera Mahakassapa entered a poor section of the city of Rajagaha for alms-food. His intention was to give a poor man an opportunity of gaining great merit as a result of offering alms-food to one who had just come out of nirodhasamapatti. Sakka, king of the devas, wishing to take the opportunity of offering alms-food to Thera Mahakassapa, assumed the form of a poor old weaver and came to Rajagaha with his wife Sujata in the form of an old woman. Thera Mahakassapa stood at their door; the poor old weaver took the bowl from the thera and filled up the bowl with rice and curry, and the delicious smell of the curry spread throughout the city. Then it occurred to the thera that this person must be no ordinary human being, and he came to realize that this must be Sakka himself. Sakka admitted the fact and claimed that he too was poor because he had had no opportunity of offering anything to anyone during the time of the Buddhas. So saying, Sakka and his wife Sujata left the thera after paying due respect to him.

The Buddha, from his monastery, saw Sakka and Sujata leaving and told the bhikkhus about Sakka offering alms-food to Thera Mahakassapa. The bhikkhus wondered how Sakka knew that Thera Mahakassapa had just come out of nirodhasamapatti, and that it was the right and auspicious time for him to make offerings to the thera. This question was put up to the Buddha, and the Buddha answered, “Bhikkhus, the reputation of a virtuous one as my son, Thera Mahakassapa, spreads far and wide; it reaches even the deva world. On account of his good reputation, Sakka himself has come to offer alms-food to him.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 56: The scents of rhododendron and of sandal wood are very faint; but the scent (reputation) of the virtuous is the strongest; it spreads even to the abodes of the deva.
* Nirodhasamapatti: sustained deep mental absorption following the attainment of nirodha, i.e., temporary cessation of the four mental khandhas.

Dhammapada Verse 56
Mahakassapatthera Vatthu

Appamatto ayam gandho
yayam tagaracandani
yo ca silavatam gandho
vati devesu uttamo.

Source: Tipitaka

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

The Tipitaka or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The three divisions of the Tipitaka are: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka. ព្រះត្រៃបិដក ប្រែថា កញ្រ្ចែង ឬ ល្អី​ ៣ សម្រាប់ដាក់ផ្ទុកពាក្យពេចន៍នៃព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ

Listen to Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.


As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise. As a deep lake is clear and calm, so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth... Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them. Good people do not babble on about their desires. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, the wise never appear elated or depressed… ~The Dhammapada

Should anyone wish to ridicule me and make me an object of jest and scorn why should I possibly care if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me so long as it does not harm them. May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet respond towards me with anger or faith, may the mere fact of our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm and all forms of abuse that anyone should direct towards me act as a cause of their enlightenment.