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Jotika, Jotiya

1. Jotika, Jotiya.– A treasurer of Rājagaha who later became an Arahant. In the past he had been a householder of Bārāṇasī who, with his elder brother, owned a field of sugar-cane. One day, when returning from the field with some stalks of sugar-cane, he saw a Pacceka Buddha from Gandhamādana to whom he gave a bowl full of sugar-cane juice for him to drink, and when he had drunk it, gave him another bowlful which the Pacceka Buddha took to Gandhamādana to share with his colleagues. The householder, when proffering his gifts, wished for glory and for nibbāna. His elder brother, hearing of this, was likewise filled with joy and he, too, wished for nibbāna.

In the time of Vipassī Buddha they were again brothers in a rich family of Bandhumatī, the elder being called Sena and the younger Aparājita. Sena entered the Order and became an Arahant. At his suggestion, Aparājita (According to DhA.iii.364, both uncle and nephew were called Avaroja) built for the Buddha a very costly Gandhakuṭi, with the seven kinds of precious things. His nephew, also called Aparājita, built an elephant stable in front of the Gandhakuṭi and was reborn in this age as Meṇḍaka. The Gandhakuṭi and its surroundings contained all kinds of luxuries and splendours beyond description. (For details see DhA.iv.203 f). Within and without the chamber he caused jewels, pounded and otherwise, to be strewn knee deep. Those who came to listen to the Buddha went away, their hands full of jewels. One day a brahmin tried to carry away a very costly jewel, which much annoyed Aparājita. On mentioning it to the Buddha, the Buddha taught him to make a wish that his property should not be taken away by thieves or lost by fire or water. For nine months Aparājita held the ceremony of dedication of the Gandhakuṭi.

In this age he was born as the son of a millionaire (seṭṭhi) in Rājagaha. On the day of his birth the whole city became one blaze of light, hence his name, Jotika. The king, Bimbisāra, gave one thousand a day for his milk-money. When the time came for his marriage, Sakka provided for him a palace, seven storeys high, made entirely of precious minerals. Four urns of treasure stood at the four corners and four stalks of sugar-cane made of solid gold, each the size of a palmyra tree with leaves of precious stones, to remind Jotika of his good deed in the past. Seven yakkhas guarded the seven gates — Yamakolī, Uppala, Vajira, Vajirabāhu, Kasakanda, Kaṭattha and Disāmukha — each with numerous followers. Bimbisāra, hearing of his splendour, appointed Jotika to the rank of treasurer (seṭṭhi).

The gods brought him a wife from Uttarakuru and lodged her in an apartment in Jotika’s palace. Her name was Satulakāyī (DhA.iv.223). She brought with her a pint-pot of rice and three crystal fire-stones. Whenever they wished to eat, they would put rice over the boiler and set it over the crystals. The stones would immediately become alight and, when the meal was cooked, would extinguish themselves. The pot was inexhaustible. All who came to visit Jotika were provided with food and were allowed to take anything they wished from the treasure, the treasure never growing less. So great were the crowds which flocked to Jotika’s palace that for a long time Bimbisāra had no chance of seeing it. When Bimbisāra did in the end visit him with Ajātasattu, Jotika invited him to a meal which was the most dainty the king had ever tasted. After the meal Jotika presented his wife to Bimbisāra; so delicately was she nurtured that the perfume with which the king was scented hurt her eyes! There were no lamps in Jotika’s house; only the light of jewels was made use of, and as a memento of Bimbisāra’s visit Jotika gave him a huge jewel to be used as a lamp. (This account is taken from DhA.iv.199‑213).

Jotika was a very pious follower of the Buddha. Once, when he was away listening to the Buddha’s teaching, Ajātasattu — who even when visiting the palace as a boy with his father had coveted Jotika’s wealth — went with his soldiers to attack the palace in an attempt to take possession of it. However, the yakkha Yamakolī routed the army, and Ajātasattu fled for refuge to the vihāra where Jotika was listening to the Dhamma. On being charged by Ajātasattu with hypocrisy in that he was there listening to the Dhamma, after having charged his guards to set upon the king, Jotika’s answer was that he had no need of guards since nobody could take anything of his without his sanction. He then challenged the king to remove the rings from his (Jotika’s) fingers. Ajātasattu, trying with all his might, failed. Jotika then held out his hands and his rings all fell off. Agitated by the king’s desire to possess his wealth, Jotika asked for permission to become a monk. Ajātasattu agreed, hoping thus to get possession of his riches. Jotika entered the Order and soon became an Arahant, but at the moment of his attainment of Arahantship all his wealth and earthly glory vanished and his wife returned to Uttarakuru (DhA.iv.221‑4).

Jotika is included among the five persons who possessed great merit and had special powers due to merit (puññiddhi).

DhA.i.385; Vism.383; PsA.502. These five persons are described as immeasurable wealth (amitabhogā) (AA.i.405).

2. Jotika.– A householder of Rājagaha and father of Dīghāvu. When Dīghāvu fell ill he sent Jotika to tell the Buddha (S.v.344 f).

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