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Dhaniya

1. Dhaniya, Dhanika.– A herdsman living on the bank of the river Mahī. He was a millionaire’s son (seṭṭhiputta) of Dhammakoṇḍa in Pabbata­raṭṭha, which belonged to the kingdom of Videha. He had thirty thousand oxen and twenty thousand cows. He had seven sons and seven daughters and numerous retainers. In the dry season he lived on an island formed by the two forks of the river Mahī, and in the rainy season in a house on the upland. One day, while he was in this house, having finished his preparations for the approach of the rains, he sat meditating on his comfortable circumstances and broke forth into song in token of his happiness. The Buddha heard the song at Sāvatthi, seven hundred leagues away, and having travelled through the air, stood over Dhaniya’s dwelling. As Dhaniya proceeded with his song, the Buddha added a verse to each one of Dhaniya’s. At the end of this song Dhaniya, his wife, and two of his daughters, became Stream-winners. The Buddha then revealed himself and Dhaniya and his wife entered the Order. Later they became Arahants and the cowherds erected for their use a monastery, which came to be called the Gokulaṅka-vihāra. SN.vv.18 ff; SNA.i.26 ff.

2. Dhaniya.– A potter of Rājagaha. In his house the Buddha taught Pukkusāti the Dhātu-vibhaṅga Sutta. Dhaniya, hearing that Pukkasāti had died an Arahant the same night, was so impressed by the power of the Dhamma, that he entered the Order (Thag.v.228‑30; Tha.gA.i.347 f). He once made a grass but on the slopes of Isigili and lived there with several others during the rains. He continued to live there after the others had left. While he was away begging for alms, his hut was pulled down by women searching for straw and firewood, but he rebuilt it. Three times this happened, until, in exasperation, Dhaniya very skilfully made bricks and tiles and built a hut both strong and splendid, with tiles of shining crimson which gave out a bell-like sound when tapped. The Buddha, seeing this, chided Dhaniya and ordered the hut to be pulled down. Dhaniya then built a hut of wood which he obtained from a guild of timber merchants, suppliers of wood to the king, giving them to understand that he had the king’s permission. Vassakāra, hearing of this, reported the matter to Bimbisāra, who sent for Dhaniya. Dhaniya maintained that the king, by royal proclamation, had permitted the monks to use the royal supplies of wood and other materials. Bimbisāra admitted the proclamation, but said it referred only to supplies straight from the forest, and he sent Dhaniya away with a warning. The matter created a great uproar and the Buddha blamed Dhaniya. Vin.iii.41‑5; Sp.ii.286.

Dhaniya later changed his ways and became an Arahant. In the time of Sikhī Buddha he was a householder and gave the Buddha a reed-chain? (naḷamālā). He is probably identical with Naḷamāliya of the Apadāna. Ap.ii.412.

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