The Bodhisatta, called Rakkhita, was born in a wealthy brahmin family. He married, and then, having distributed all his wealth, became an ascetic with five hundred followers. During the rains, his disciples went to Bārāṇasī and dwelt in the king’s park, while Rakkhita stayed in the hermitage. At that time there was a great discussion going on among men as to what constituted auspiciousness, and Rakkhita’s disciples, on being consulted, said that Rakkhita would solve the problem. They, therefore, went to Rakkhita’s hermitage and asked him the question, which he answered in a series of eight verses. (The blessings enumerated in these verses differ from those given in the Maṅgala Sutta). The disciples, having learnt the verses, returned to Bārāṇasī, where they expounded them, thus setting all doubts at rest.
The story was related in reference to the teaching of the Mahāmaṅgala Sutta. It happened that in Rājagaha there was a large assembly at the Mote Hall (Santhāgāra), and a man rose and went out, saying, “This is a day of good omen.” Someone, hearing this, inquired the meaning of “good omen.” One said, “The sight of a lucky thing is a good omen.” However, this was denied, and then began the discussion on omens, which, in the end, was carried to Sakka, and referred by him to the Buddha.
The senior disciple of Rakkhita is identified with Sāriputta (J.iv.72‑9).