Home page Up (parent) Next (right) Previous (left) Abbreviations

Page last updated on 8 October, 2020

Association for Insight Meditation Home Page


1. Bodhi.– He lived at Suṃsumāragiri in the Bhagga country and built a palace called Kokanada. When the palace was completed, the Buddha was staying at Bhesakalāvana nearby, and Bodhi sent a message by Sanjikāputta, inviting the Buddha to the palace, that he might bless it by being its first occupant. The Buddha agreed to come and, the next day, arrived with the monks for a meal. Bodhi came, with his retinue, to meet them at the foot of the steps and asked the Buddha to step on to the carpeting which was spread there. Three times the request was made, three times the Buddha kept silence. Thereupon Ānanda asked for the carpeting to be removed, saying that the Buddha’s refusal to step thereon was as an example to future generations. After the meal, Bodhi had a discussion with the Buddha (Vin.ii.127 f; M.ii.91 ff), recorded in the Bodhirājakumāra Sutta.

The Commentary adds (MA.ii.739 ff) that one of the reasons for the Buddha’s refusal to step on the carpet was that he knew the thoughts of Bodhi. Bodhi was saying to himself: “If I am to have a son, the Buddha will step on this carpet, if not, he will not.” The Buddha knew also that Bodhi was not destined to have a son because in a previous life he and his wife had lived on an island and eaten young birds. DhA.iii.137 ff adds that the Buddha actually told Bodhi of the non-fulfilment of his wish for a son, and related to him the story of his past life in which he and his wife ate birds’ eggs.

Bodhi was the son of Udena, king of Kosambi, and his mother was the daughter of Candappajjota. Bodhi was skilled in the art of managing elephants (see also M.ii.94), which art he learned from his father, a master in this direction. It is said (M.ii.97) that, while Bodhi was yet in his mother’s womb, she visited the Buddha at the Ghositārāma in Kosambī and declared that whatever child was born to her it would accept the Buddha, his teaching and the Order, as its abiding refuge. Later, after Bodhi’s birth, his nurse took him to the Buddha at Bhesakalāvana and made a similar declaration. When, therefore, Bodhi acknowledged the Buddha as his teacher, at the conclusion of the Bodhirājakumāra Sutta, he was seeking the Buddha’s refuge for the third time.

Some accounts ¹ of the building of Bodhi’s palace add that as it was being completed, Bodhi conceived the idea of killing the architect or of blinding him so that he could never design a similar house for anyone else. He confided this idea to Sanjikāputta, who warned the architect. The latter, therefore, obtained special timber from Bodhi, saying it was for the palace, and made out of it a wooden bird large enough to hold himself and his family. When it was ready, he made it fly out of the window, and he and his family escaped to the Himavā country, where he founded a kingdom and came to be known as King Katthavāhana.

¹ E.g., DhA.iii.134 ff; in J.iii.157 it is stated briefly that Bodhi did actually blind the architect. In a previous birth he put out the eyes of one thousand warriors. See the Venasākha Jātaka.

2. Bodhi.– One of the eight brahmins who recognised the signs at the birth of the Buddha. J.i.56; in the Milindapañha (236) he is called Subodhi.

3. Bodhi.– Called Bodhikumāra. The Bodhisatta born as an ascetic. For his story see the Cūḷabodhi Jātaka. J.iv.22 ff.

4. Bodhi.– Also called Mahābodhi; the Bodhisatta born as an ascetic. See the Mahābodhi Jātaka. J.v.227 ff.

5. Bodhi.– A monk of Sri Lanka. At his request Silāmeghavanna proclaimed a regulative act against the undisciplined monks of Abhayagiri-vihāra. The monks, expelled under the act, conspired together and killed Bodhi. However, the king renewed his exertions and, in memory of Bodhi, succeeded in purifying the Order. Cv.xliv.75.

6. Bodhi.– A descendant of Dāṭhopatissa. He married Buddhā (q.v.), and had by her a daughter named Lokitā. Cv.lvii.40.

7. Bodhi.– Laṅkādhinātha Bodhi. General of Mānābharaṇa (2). He was slain in battle. Cv.lxx.294, 309.