The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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subha : [adj.] lucky; auspicious; pleasant. (nt.), welfare; beauty. || suṇhā (f.), a daughter-in-law.
2. Subha. A young man (mānava) called Todeyyaputta. He once visited the Buddha in Sāvatthi, asking him various questions. The interview is described in the Subha Sutta. At the end of the discourse he declared himself the Buddha's follower. While on his way back from the city, he met Jānussoni, and, on being asked what he thought of the Buddha, spoke of him in terms of the highest praise, saying that none but Gotama's own peer could utter sufficient praise of him (M.i.196f., 208f.; Jānussoni addresses him as Bhāradvāja). Subha is described (MA.ii.802; cf. M.i.202) as the son of the brahmin Todeyya of Tudigāma.
Elsewhere however, a different account is given of his conversion. (DA.ii.384f.; cf. MA.ii.963f., which adds that the Buddha proved the identity of the dog by getting it to indicate the place where Todeyya's treasure lay buried). Subba's father was a very rich merchant, chaplain to Pasenadi, but a great miser. After death he was born as a dog in the same home. One day, when the Buddha was going his alms round in Tudigāma near Sāvatthi, he arrived at Subha's house. The dog saw the Buddha and barked, and the Buddha addressed it as "Todeyya." The dog thereupon ran into the house and lay on a bed, from which no one could drive it away. When Subha asked the cause of the uproar, he was told the story. Thereupon he was very angry, saying that his father had been born in the Brahmaloka, and, in order to refute the Buddha, he visited the monastery. This was the occasion for the preaching of the Subha Sutta. Soon after the Buddha’s death, when Ananda, was staying in Sāvatthi, Subha sent a young man to Ananda, with his respects and an invitation to his house. Ananda, having taken medicine, did not go that day. But he went the next day, accompanied by a monk of Cetiya (Cetaka). Their conversation is recorded in the Subha Sutta (2) (D.i.204f). See also Cūlakammavibhahga Sutta, which too was preached to Subha.
3. Subha. A palace guard, son of Datta. He closely resembled King Yasalālaka-Tissa in appearance, and the king used to place him on the throne, decked in royal ornaments, and watch the ministers doing obeisance to him, while he himself took the guard’s place. One day, while Subha was on the throne, he reprimanded the king, disguised as a guard, for smiling disrespectfully, and had him led away and executed before the truth was discovered. Subha then became king and ruled for six years (120-6 A.C.).
He built the Subharāja-parivena, the Vallī-vihāra, the Ekadvāra vihāra and the Nandīgāmaka-vihāra. He was deposed by Vasabha (Mhv.xxxv.51ff.; Dpv.xxi.45). His daughter married Vankanāsika-Tissa. She had been adopted by a bricklayer, but Vasabha discovered her identity and married her to his son. Her good fortune was owing to a meal she had given to an arahant thera. For details see Mhv.xxxv.101ff.; see also Cv.xxxviii.13f.