| Minor Stories Index
68: The Story of Sumana, the Florist
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (68) of this
reference to Sumana the florist.
A florist, named Sumana, had to supply King Bimbisara of Rajagaha with jasmine
morning. One day, as he was going to the king's palace he saw the Buddha , with a
halo of light-rays
radiating from him, coming into town for alms-food accompanied by many Bhikkhus.
Buddha in his resplendent glory, the florist Sumana felt a strong desire to
offer his flowers to the
Buddha . Then and there, he decided that even if the king were to drive him out
of the country or to
kill him, he would not offer the flowers to the king for that day. Thus, he
threw up the flowers to
the sides, to the back and over and above the head of the Buddha . The flowers
remained hanging in
the air; those over the head formed a canopy of flowers and those at the back
and the sides
formed walls of flowers. These flowers followed the Buddha in this position as
he moved on, and
stopped when the Buddha stopped. As the Buddha proceeded, surrounded by walls of
a canopy of flowers, with the six-coloured rays radiating from his body,
followed by a large
entourage, thousands of people inside and outside of Rajagaha came out of their
houses to pay
obeisance to the Buddha . As for Sumana, his entire body was suffused with
The wife of the florist Sumana then went to the king and said that she had
nothing to do with her
husband failing to supply the king with flowers for that day. The king, being a
felt quite happy about the flowers. He came out to see the wonderful sight and
paid obeisance to
the Buddha . The king also took the opportunity to offer alms-food to the Buddha
and his disciples.
After the meal, the Buddha returned in the Jetavana monastery and the king
followed him for
some distance. On arrival back at the palace King Bimbisara sent for Sumana and
offered him a
reward of eight elephants, eight horses, eight male slaves, eight female slaves,
eight maidens and
eight thousand in cash.
At the Jetavana monastery, the Venerable
Ananda asked the Buddha what benefits
gain by his good deed done on that day. The Buddha answered that Sumana, having
given to the
Buddha without any consideration for his life, would not be born in any of the
four lower worlds
(Apaya) for the next one hundred thousand worlds and that eventually he would
pacceka Buddha . After that, as the Buddha entered the Perfumed Hall (Gandhakuti)
dropped off of their own accord.
That night, at the end of the usual discourse, the Buddha spoke in verse as
Verse 68. That deed is well done if one has not to repent for having done it,
and if one is delightful
and happy with the result of that deed.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016