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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Theragatha >> Thera(60):Sivali

Adapted from the Archaic Translation by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
Commentary (Atthakatha) By Acariya Dhammapala
Note: 'C' in Pali text is pronounced as 'ch' as in 'China'.


Chapter I.
 Single Verses
[]

60. Sīvali[]

Bhante Shivali Shakyaputra[]

He was reborn in this Buddha-age as the son of Suppavāsā, the king's daughter.[1] When his mother was not able to bring forth and lay seven days in great suffering, she said to her husband: 'Before I die I will give a gift.' And she sent him to the Lord(Buddha), saying: 'Go tell of my state to the Lord(Buddha), and invite him; and what he says, mark well and come and tell it me.' He did her reminding, and the Lord(Buddha) said: 'May Suppavasa, daughter of the Koliyas, be happy. May she, happy and healthy, give birth to a healthy child.' The (king)rāja heard, saluted the Exalted One(Buddha) and set out for the village. Even before he came, Suppavāsā was delivered of a son. The persons [61] who had surrounded her with tearful faces went forth delighted to tell the (king)rāja. He saw them coming and thought: 'That which He of the Ten Powers(dasabala i.e. Buddha) told me has been fulfilled.' And he went to the princess and told her what the Lord(Buddha) had pronounced. Then she asked him to show hospitality to the Buddha and the Monk’s order for seven days. And saying, 'The child is born, bringing gladness of heart to all our kin,' they named him Sīvali (Auspicious).

By the seventh day from his birth he was able to do anything. Sāriputta, General of the Path(Dhamma), conversed with him on that day,[2] and said: 'Does it not required of one who has overcome such suffering as you have done to leave the world(for monkhood)?' 'Sir,' babbled the infant, 'I would leave the world(for monkhood).' Suppavāsā saw them talking, and asked the Thera what he had said. 'We spoke of the long suffering he has overcome. With your leave I will initiate him into monkhood.' She replied: 'It is well, sir; initiate him.' And Sāriputta, initiating him, said: 'Sīvali, you want no other teaching than the cause of the long suffering you have overcome. Think on that.' 'Sir,' replied the child, 'yours was the burden of initiating me; but I will find out what I am capable of doing.' At the moment when the first lock of his hair was cut off, he was established in the fruition of the First Path(of nirvanic trance), when the second was cut, in that of the Second Path, and so for the third and fourth. ...[3]

Other teachers say that after Sāriputta had initiated him into monkhood, he went the same day, and taking up his abode in a secluded hut, meditated on his woefully delayed birth, and so, his knowledge attaining maturity, descended into the avenue of insight, throwing out all the intoxicants(defilements/desires) (of the mind)[4] and thus attaining arahantship(enlightenment). Upon that  [62] experiencing the bliss of emancipation(nirvana), he in emotional rapture uttered this saying(gatha):


[60] Te me ijjhaɱsu saŋkappā yadattho pavisiɱ kuṭiɱ||
Vijjāvimuttiɱ paccessaɱ mānānusayamujjahin' ti.|| ||


[60] Now have they prospered, all my highest aims,
To compass which I sought this still retreat.
The holy wisdom and liberty, my quest,
All lurking vain conceits I throw away.


[1] King of Koliya. The story is told in the introduction to the 100th Jataka (i. 242), in Udāna (II. 8), and in Dhp. Com. on verse 414 (cf. Ang., ii. 62). The mother, in the legend, was unable for seven years and seven days to bring forth her child.

[2] The verse in the Dhammapada (414) is here quoted, and the episode narrated in the Commentary (PTS edition, vol. iii.).

[3] Here follows the episode dealt with by the Commentary on Ang., i. 24. where Sīvali's eminence as recipient of offerings is stated.

[4] See p. 52, n. 4.


1.6-10 [60] Commentary on the stanza of

Sīvali Thera[]

10,1. The stanza starting with Te me ijjhiṃsu saṅkappā constitutes that of the venerable Thera Sīvali. That is the origin? This one also, at the time of the Blessed One(Buddha) Padumuttara, went to the monastery in the manner said already (heṭṭhā), stood himself at the extreme end of the audience, and as he kept listening to the truth (dhamma), he saw the Master placing a certain bhikkhu(monk) at the topmost place of gainers of gifts (lābhī). Saying to himself: “It is proper for me also to become in future such a one as this,” he invited Dasabala(Buddha Padumuttara), gave great charitable offering to the Master as well as the clergy of bhikkhus(monks) and made his aspiration thus: “O Blessed One! By means of this devoted deed, I do not aspire for any other prosperity; in future, however, in the dispensation of a Buddha, I also should like to be topmost of gainers of gifts, similar to that bhikkhu(monk) who was placed at this foremost rank (etadagga) by you.” The Master, after having seen the absence of interval (anantarāyaṃ), prophesied to him: “This aspiration of yours will, in time to come, materialise in the presence of Buddha Gotama,” and took His departure. That son of a good family after having done good deeds as long as he lived, wandered about his rounds of repeated rebirths among divine and human beings, and took his conception in a certain village, not far from the city of Bandhumatī at the time of Buddha Vipassī. At that time, the citizens of Bandhumatī, after having discussed together with their king, offered charity to Dasabala of ten kinds of vigour. One day, as they all offered charity unitedly, they said to themselves: “What, indeed, is there in the face of our charity (dānamukha) that does not exist?,” and did not notice honey and ball of milk-curd. They placed men on the entrance road into the city from the district saying thus: “We shall bring them from any and everywhere At that juncture, this son of a good family was on his way to the city carrying a pot of balls of milk-curd from his own village with the idea of bringing back whatever was available; saying to himself: “I shall enter after having my face, hands and legs washed,” he looked round for a suitable site of convenience (phāsu) and came across a bee-free honey-comb (nimmakkhika daṇḍamadhu) as big as the head of a plough-piece, collected it saying to himself: “This has sprung up as a result of my merit: and entered the city. The man posted by citizens saw him and asked thus: “O man! For whom do you bring this?” The reply was:– “Lord’. Not for any one; for sale, however, has this been brought by me.” (The former requested the latter thus):– “O man! In that case, indeed, take this gold coin (kahāpana) and please give your honey as well as ball of milk-curd.” That villager thought to himself: “This commodity is not much costly; this man, however, made much offer even at a single stroke (ekappahāreneva); it behoves me to investigate (Yīmaṃsituṃ).” Thereafter, he replied thus:– “I would not deliver my goods (demi) at the price of a gold coin.” (The buyer said):– “Should such be so, please sell me accepting two (gold coins).” The reply was “Even at the price of two I do not sell.” Increasing the offer in this manner, the bargain reached a thousand.

10,2. That (villager) thought thus:– “It is not proper to increase further; let it be so far; I shall ask about what would possibly be done with this (commodity).” Then he asked that buyer thus:– “This commodity is not much costly; on the other hand, you have made much offer; for doing what, do you take this?” The reply was: “O friend! Here, the citizens, in rivalry and competition (paṭivirujjhitva) with the king, as they offer their charity, not noticing these two in the face of their offering (dānamudha), are in search of the same; if they were not able to obtain those two, there will be defeat of the citizens; therefore, I offered a thousand and I am taking them.” (The villager asked:–) “However, how is this? Is it fitting to the citizens even? Is it not proper to give to others?” (The answer was:) “This has no hindrance to give to any and every body.” (The villager enquired thus:–) “Is there, however, in the offering of the citizens any donor who has made a donation of a thousand in one single day?” (The reply was:) “There is none, O friend!” The villager asked again: “Do you know, however, for a fact, that these two things are worth a thousand?” (the reply was:–) “Yes, I know.” (Then the villager said thus:–) “Well then, indeed, you might go and inform the citizens thus:– ‘A certain person does not give these two at any price; he is desirous of offering them as charity with his own hands even; you should be free from worry (nibbitakka) on account of these two things’; you, however, should be my bodily witness to my being the eldest in this face of charitable offering.” With a small coin (māsaka) which has had brought for incurring expenditure, he procured five grains of spices (kaṭuka), pounded them into powder, took sour sediment (kañjiya) from the milk-curd, there he pressed down the honey-comb, mixed them all with the powder of five grains of spice, packed the mixture in a lotus leaf, arranged the same properly, took the same and sat himself down at a spot not far from Dasabala, looking out for his own occasion to arrive, not far off from the offerings of personal reverence, brought by the multitude of men; when he came to known that his opportune occasion had come he went to the presence of the Master and said thus:– “O Blessed One! This charitable present (of mine) had arisen in a difficult way (duggata); out of compassion for me, please accept this.” The Master, out of compassion for him, accepted that offering in the bowl made of stone offered by four great celestial kings and made His resolution in this manner: “May it not get exhausted as and when it is being offered to sixty eight hundred thousand bhikkhus.” That son of a good family, when the catering of meal came to an end, paid his homage to the Blessed One, stood on one side and said thus:– “Seen by me has been, the Blessed One, today, together with the citizens of Bandhumatī as I brought to you my own respectful offerings (sakkāra); as a result (nissanda) of this (good) deed, may I become one who has attained the height of gain and fame.” The Master, after having said “O young man! May it be so,” offered His thanks-giving to him and the citizens for their meal-offering, and took His departure.

10.3.          That son of a good family, also, continued doing good deeds as long as he lived and after having wandered about his rounds of repeated rebirths among divine and human beings, took his conception, in the womb of Suppavāsā, the king;s daughter when this Buddha(Gotama) arose. Beginning from the time he took conception, in the morning as well as in the evening, hundreds of presents in cart-loads were brought and handed over to Suppavāsā. Then, for the purpose of testing her regarding her merit they asked her to touch their seed-basket with her hand. From each seed even a hundred blades, nay, a thousand blades came out. In each acre (karisa) of a cultivated field (khetta) even fifty, nay, sixty cartload of crops sprang up. At the time of filling up the granary with grains they made her touch the door of the granary. Owing to the merit of the king’s daughter, the place wherever the grain was taken was filled up again for those who took it. Even from the completely full vessel of meal, in giving the meal to any and every one after having said: “The merit of the king’s daughter,” as long as it is not scratched up until then the meal did not get exhausted: while the baby-boy had gone into her womb, seven years had passed.

When, however, her pregnancy was fully mature, she suffered severed pain for seven days. Saying to herself: “Before I die, while I am still living even, I shall offer charity,” she called her husband and sent him to the presence of the Master with this instruction:– “Go, inform this matter to the Master: and invite the Master; whatever the Master might say, you mark it well, come back and tell it to me.” That husband went and intimated her message to the Blessed One. The Master said: “May Suppavāsā, the daughter of koliya (king) by happy and free from ailment; let her give birth to a healthy son.” The king, on having heard it, paid his homage to the Blessed One and went off facing the direction of his own village. Prior to his arrival (at home) even, there came out from the womb of Suppavāsā a baby boy (gabbha) similar to water from a strainer: the crowd of people who were seated surrounding her, with their tearful faces even, began to smile; delighted and glad, the multitude of people went to break the good news to the king.

As soon as he saw them coming to him, the king considered thus:– “I think, the words spoken the Dasabala must have materialised.” He came and delivered the Master’s message to the king’s daughter. The king’s daughter said thus: “The self-same life-meal of mine to which Buddha was invited by you will become auspicious meal-offering; go; invite Dasabala for seven days.” The king did likewise. They brought about a great charity to the clergy headed by Buddha for seven days. The boy was born cooling down the well-heated heart of all relatives; thus, they named him Sīvali dāraka even. Because of his having stayed in the womb for seven years, he became indulgent (khama) as regards all kinds of work (kamma) beginning from the time of his birth. Sāriputta, the commander-in-chief of dhamma, had conversation with him on the seventh day. The Master also spoke a stanza in the Dhammapada:

Whoever has overcome this dangerous

rounds of repeated rebirths (saṃsāra)

which is difficult to go and deluding,

has crossed and gone to the further

shore (of nibbāna), possessed jhāna

(jhāyī), become free from craving (ejā)

and doubt (kathaṃkathī), become calm

being detached (from depravity); him,

I call a brahmin (brāhmaṇa).

10,6. Then the Thera said to him thus:– “How is it, however? After having suffered from this sort of accumulation of pain is it not proper for you to join the Order of monks?” The boy replied: “Venerable Sir! I would become a monk if I were to obtain the same.” Suppavāsā, on having seen that boy (her son) speaking together with the Thera, said to herself: “How is it, indeed? My son speaks together with the Commander-in-chief of the dhamma,” approached the Thera and asked thus:– “Venerable Sir! What did my son speak together with you?” The reply was: “Having spoken about the misery of staying in the womb which he had suffered himself, he said that he would join the Order of monks on being approved (anuññāta) by you.” (The mother replied:–) “Venerable Sir! Good; do let him join the Order of monks.” The Thera led him to the monastery, gave him mental exercise (kammaṭṭhāna) which comprised skin as fifth (in the thirty two parts of a human body) and in allowing him to join the Order of monks, the Thera told him thus:– “O Sīvali! There is no business (kamma) with another advice for you; you should reflect on the very misery (dukkha) suffered by you for seven years.” (Sīvali said thus:–) “Venerable Sir! Your responsibility is but making a monk of me; whatever, however, is possible for me to do, that I shall understand.” He, however, became established in the fruition of the first stage of sanctification (sotāpatti) at the very moment of shaving off the first edge (vaṭṭi) of hair; at the moment of removing the second, in the fruition of Once-returner (sakadāgāni); at the third, in the fruition of Non-returner (anāgāmi); there was neither after nor before the shaving down of the entire hair even of his head however, as well as his visualisation of Arahantship. Beginning from the day he became a monk the four requisites for the clergy of bhikkhus(monks) came to be procured as much as required. In this manner here the story had arisen.

10,7. Subsequently, the Master went to Sāvatthi. The Thera paid his homage to the Master and said thus:– “Venerable Sir! I am going to test my merit; kindly give me five hundred monks.” (Buddha’s response was:–) “O Sīvali! You might take (then).” He took five hundred bhikkhus(monks) and going in the direction of Himavanta, went by the forest road; to him the divinity residing in a banyan (nigrodha) tree first seen (by him) offered a charity for seven days. Thus, he

         

“saw first the nigrodha tree,

second the Paṇḍava hill, third

Aciravatī river, fourth vara

ocean; fifth he (saw) the Hima-

vanta mountain, sixth he went near

the Chaddanta lake; seventh Gandha-

mādana and then, eighth Revata.”

In all the places, they gave offering for seven days each even. On the Gandhamādana hill, however, the divine king, named Nāgadatta, on one day amongst seven days offered milk-alms-food; on another day, ghee alms-food. The clergy of bhikkhus(monks) said thus:–   “Of this divine king, neither the milch cows are seen being milked, nor milk-curd being churned down; O divine-king! From where is this of yours procured?” The divine king replied thus:– “Venerable Sir! This is the fruitful result of my offering of milk meal by lot (salāka) at the time of Dasabala Kassapa.” Subsequently the Master after having made the coming forward to meet (paccuggamana) of Revata, resident in acacia forest (khadiravaniya) an anecdote and placed the Thera at the foremost place of those who had attained the highest gain and fame.

10,8. Some teachers say thus regarding the attainment of Arahantship of this Thera, however, who had attained, in this manner, the highest gain and fame:– “When advice was given by the Commander-in-chief of dhamma in the manner, said already (heṭṭhā), he became a monk saying; ‘Whatever is possible for me to do, that I shall understand’, took hold of mental exercise (kammaṭṭhāna) for the development of spiritual insight (vipassanā), saw a certain secluded cottage on that self-same day, entered it, pondered over (anussaritvā) the misery (dukkha) suffered by himself for seven years in his mother’s womb and while he looked at the past and the future, in conformity with it the three existences (bhava) occurred (upaṭṭhahiṃsu) to him as if burning ablaze. Because of his knowledge having reached all-round maturity, he took himself to (otari) the path of spiritual insight (vipassanā), there and then, by means of successive right noble paths (magga), had all his cankers thrown away and attained Arahantship.” In both ways also the Thera’s attainment of Arahantship even had been made manifest. The Thera, however, became one who had developed (pabhinna) analytical knowledge and six sorts of higher-knowledge. Hence, has it been said in the Apadāna.

“I was then a divine king known

by the name of Varuna. I attended

upon the self-awakened Buddha,

carrying Him in my own strong

conveyance (sayoggabalavāhano).

When Atthadassī, the most excellent

of men, the protector of the world

passed into nibbāna, I went to the

most excellent bodhi tree, taking

along with me, all the musical

instruments. When the playing

of music and dancing, accompanied

by (samāhito) beating of cymbals

(sammatāla), I attended upon the

most excellent bodhi tree as if I

was serving the (living) self-

awakened Buddha in His presence

(sammukha).

After having attended upon that

bodhi tree, the tree growing on

the ground, I sat down cross-

legged and died there.

Satisfied (abhiraddho) with my own

act, I became piously pleased with

the most excellent bodhi tree; be-

cause of that pious mind I sprang

up in the divine world of Nimmānarati.

Sixty thousand musicians surrounded

me constantly. In existences minor

and major (bhavābhave) I turned out

to be (vattamānaṃ) among divine and

human beings.

Three kinds of fire of mine had been

extinguished; all existences had been

eliminated. I now carry my ultimate

body in the dispensation of the well-

self-awakened Buddha.

Five hundred aeons (kappa) ago, from

now, there came to be thirty four world-

kings of warrior-clan (khattiya) endowed

with seven gems and known by the name of

Subāhu. My depravity had been burnt. …

Buddha’s instruction had been carried

out.”

10,9. Having however attained Arahantship, he uttered a stanza starting with “Te me ijjhiṃsu saṅkappā making his joyous utterance (udānento) with the speed of zest aptly experiencing the bliss of emancipation.

60. There te me ijjhiṃsu saṅkappā, yadattho pāvisiṃ kuṭiṃ, vijjā vimuttiṃ paccesaṃ is to be construed thus:– Whatever were specially aspired for by me formerly, namely, such intentions as renunciations and so on, which are makers of self-splitting asunder (samucchedakara) intention over sensual pleasure (kāma) etc., saying to myself: “When, indeed, shall I live having attained (upasampajja) that abode (āyatana), which the holy nobles (ariya) acquired and live in now?” (These holy nobles) had their perceptions meant for emancipation (vimuttadhippāyasaññitā), their intentions were prone (uddissa) towards emancipations; similarly their desired object (manoratha); they had been permanently diligent; whatever desire, whatever application (payojano), for the purpose of accomplishing which, I entered a cottage, an empty silent house (suññāgāra), seeking and searching the three kinds of super-science (vijjā) and fruitful freedom (phalavimutti); even all of them prospered for me; now, (all my efforts) had succeeded and well prospered; my intention of good deeds had become accomplished, all-round full, had my desired object become: thus, is the meaning. In order to show the state of their excellent prosperity (samiddhabhāva), it has been said thus:– “Mananusayamujjahaṃ” which is to be construed as:– since I had forsaken and well cut off the bias of pride (mānānusaya) in giving it up (ujjahaṃ), therefore, those intentions of mine materialised (ijjhiṃsu); thus, is the interpretation (yojanā), Indeed, when the bias of pride had been forsaken there remained no longer any other Bias that is unforsakable; It become but the achievement of Arahantship also; thus, it has been said of the abandonment of bias of pride as the circumstantial cause of the good accomplishment of intention according as had been stated.

The Commentary on the stanza

of the Thera Sīvali

is complete.

**********oOo*********

The Commentary on the Sixth Chapther

is complete.

*********oOo*********


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SIVALI THERA 

At the time of the Buddha Gotama there reigned a righteous King and Queen named Koliya and Suppavasa. After some time Queen Suppavasa conceived a child. The unborn child brought great fortune to the kingdom. Not only did the queen receive many gifts from friends and relatives, but the whole kingdom became prosperous. Crops grew in abundance and everyone was well-fed and healthy. 

The queen grew heavy with child but when the natural time for the birth arrived, she failed to deliver the baby. She grew uneasy as time passed by with still no signs of the birth, and asked the King to invite the Buddha and His retinue of monks for a meal. After the meal the Buddha blessed the queen by saying: 

"May Suppavasa, daughter of the Koliya clan,

Be happy and healthy and give birth to a healthy son." 

After the Buddha left, the queen gave birth to a beautiful, healthy son. As a mark of respect for the Buddha, who had eased the queen’s heavy burden with His blessings, He and His retinue were invited to receive alms at the palace for seven days. The prince was named Sivali, as from the time of his conception, the people’s hardships were alleviated through an abundance of rich crops. 

One day when Sariputta was on his alms round he visited the prince and informed him of the suffering that he and his mother had undergone because of the delayed pregnancy. Sariputta then went on to explain to the prince the unwholesome action that his mother and he had performed and the resulting effects of their actions. 

In a previous birth Sivali had been born as the King of Benares and had waged war on a neighbouring kingdom. He had surrounded the kingdom and told the citizens to surrender or fight back. When they refused to surrender, in collaboration with his consort, his present mother, he had decided to surround the city and hold them hostage until they did so. The citizens, who did not want to fight back or live under the rule of such a king, had not surrendered. As a result they had suffered greatly without food for a very long period. Many of the sick and the elderly had died but the arrogant king and his queen had not given in. Many months later the King had withdrawn his troops and released his hostages but he had paid dearly for the suffering he had caused. At death he was reborn in Avichi hell. The delayed pregnancy and the suffering he and his mother had undergone resulting from the delay were the residual effects of this action. 

After illustrating the Noble Truth of suffering, Sariputta asked the prince if he would like to join the Noble Order so that he could seek the path to end all suffering. The prince was overjoyed at this invitation and agreed to join the order with his mother’s permission. 

The queen, who was a devoted follower of the Buddha, agreed. She escorted Prince Sivali in procession to the monastery to be ordained. On the day of ordination when his hair was shaved, Sariputta advised Sivali to meditate on the impurities of the body. Sivali, who was spiritually advanced resulting from previous wholesome actions, focused his mind as instructed. Before the completion of the shaving of his hair, Sivali attained the supreme wisdom of Nibbana. 

The monks soon noticed a strange phenomenon when they were with Sivali. Sivali always seemed to have an abundance of rich, fragrant food and the other requisites (robes, shelter and medicine). Monks who were with him also had the opportunity to share in the bounty. Wherever Sivali went people flocked around to prepare food for him. Sivali was indeed blessed with all the requisites of a monk. 

And so it was that wherever Sivali travelled he was well taken care of. He and his retinue of 500 monks were in an uninhabited forest for seven days, but they were not short of food. The Devas made sure that all their requirements were met. Similarly when Sivali was travelling through the desert his requisites were provided. The Buddha, seeing that Sivali was fulfilling a previous aspiration in His reign, declared that he was foremost among the monks in obtaining requisites. He also instructed monks who were travelling on long, tedious journeys through uninhabited terrain to be accompanied by Sivali, as with him by their side they would be ensured of the requisites. In fact, on one occasion when the Buddha and His retinue of 30,000 monks were travelling to visit the monk Khadhiravaniya Revata (Sariputta’s younger brother) they had to cross an uninhabited forest. Ananda, fearing that they would not be able to obtain food in the jungle for such a large number of monks, questioned the Buddha about the logistics of the journey. The Buddha assured Ananda that they had nothing to worry about as Sivali was with them. With Sivali present there would be no shortage of food because even the Devas revelled in taking care of his requirements. 

In general the effects of one’s wholesome and unwholesome intentional actions are reaped only by the doer. However, there are instances, as with Sivali, that others too benefit from unusually strong actions of another. This overflow of the results of the effect of a persons strong kamma on others is known as nissandha pala (overflowing results of kamma). While vipaka pala (results of kamma) are reaped only by the doer nissandha pala are experienced by others who happen to be with you. Nissandha pala could be both wholesome and unwholesome in accordance with the deed performed. For instance Sariputta did not obtain alms in one instance resulting from the nissandha pala of Losaka’s strong unwholesome deeds. 

To seek the cause of this strange phenomenon we need to go back many aeons to the time of the Buddha Padumuttara. Sivali, who had been born as a poor man, had the opportunity to see the Buddha Padumuttara confer on another monk the honour of being foremost among monks who obtain the requisites. Fascinated by the way everyone desired to provide alms and robes to this monk, Sivali had decided that he too would like to hold a similar position in a future birth. He had then performed many acts of generosity to the Buddha Padumuttara and His retinue and made an aspiration. 

The Buddha Padumuttara, foreseeing that Sivali’s aspiration would be fulfilled, had prophesied that at the time of the Gotama Buddha he would be foremost among the monks who obtained requisites. From this point onwards, Sivali had started in earnest to work toward his aspiration. At death he was reborn in a heavenly realm where he enjoyed many years of heavenly bliss. 

The next documented birth story took place at the time of the Buddha Vipassi, 91 world cycles before our Gotama Buddha. Sivali was born as a merchant in the City of Bandhumati. The City was preparing a great alms-giving for the Buddha Vipassi and His retinue of monks, when they realized that they were short of curd and honey, a delicacy that was often served after the noonday meal. Messages were sent all over the city to obtain the required delicacy. Unable to obtain the quota required, the king’s men raised the price of the curd and honey from one gold coin to 100 coins. 

In the meantime Sivali, a merchant who sold curd and honey, was approached and offered 100 gold coins for his merchandise. Sivali was surprised at the unusually high offer and asked for whose consumption they were buying the curd. On being told that it was for the Buddha Vipassi and His retinue of monks, Sivali asked permission to donate his wares to the Buddha. He then renewed his aspiration to be foremost among the monks who received requisites. The Buddha Vipassi, seeing that Sivali’s aspiration would be fulfilled, blessed him by saying, "May your aspiration be fulfilled." Sivali then became a devotee of the Vipassi Buddha and practised His Dhamma.

Resulting from this strong aspiration and the meritorious deeds and efforts performed in previous births, Sivali fulfilled his aspiration to be foremost among the monks who obtained requisites at the time of the Gotama Buddha. To date, Buddhists venerate the Arahant Sivali, and often keep a picture or a discourse known as the Sivali Paritta in their home as a symbol of abundance of food and prosperity.