The Bodhisatta was once adviser to the king of Bārāṇasī. One day, another horse was washed in the place reserved for the king’s state charger, who, when taken there to bathe, refused to enter. The Bodhisatta, divining the reason, directed that the horse should be taken elsewhere, and not always bathed in the same spot, adding that a man will tire even of the daintiest food, if it never be changed. The Bodhisatta was amply rewarded for his skill in reading the horse’s thoughts.
The story was told in reference to a monk, a disciple of Sāriputta. He had been a goldsmith and the meditation on impurity, prescribed for him by Sāriputta, proved impossible for him. He was taken to see the Buddha, who asked him to gaze at a lotus in a pond nearby. The monk saw the lotus fade and, developing insight, became an Arahant. He marvelled at the Buddha’s power of reading the thoughts and temperaments of others.
The monk is identified with the state charger and Ānanda with the king. J.i.182 ﬀ