Also called Bhatika or Bhatiya. Son of Kutakannatissa and king of Ceylon for twenty eight years (38 66 A.C.). He was called Bhatika or Bhatiya because he was the elder brother of Mahadathika Mahanaga.
He was very pious, and once had the whole of the Maha Thupa covered with sandalwood paste in which were embedded sweet smelling flowers.
On another occasion he covered the whole thupa with flowers and sprinkled them with water drawn by machines from the Abhaya vapi.
He made a plaster covering for the Maha Thupa into which were mixed many, cartloads of pearls.
A net of coral was made and thrown over the cetiya, and in its meshes were fastened lotus flowers of gold, as large as wagon wheels.
One day the king heard the sound of the chanting of arahants in the relic chamber of the Maha Thupa, and he lay down resolving not to rise until he had seen them.
The theras made a door by which he could enter, and, having seen the glories of the chamber, he described them for the benefit of the people, making figures in illustration of his descriptions.
Bhatikabhaya did many other works of merit, held Vesakha festivals, organized offerings for the Bodhi tree, and showed great hospitality to the monks at various places.
He was succeeded by his brother Mahadathika Mahanaga (Mhv.xxxiv.38ff.; MT.553f).
Bhatikabhaya once heard of a skilful judgment being given by Abhidhammika Godha Thera and laid down a rule that all disputes should be taken to the Elder for settlement (Sp.ii.307).
On another occasion he appointed a brahmin minister, named Dighakarayana, to settle a controversy between the monks of Abhayagiri and those of the Mahavihara (Sp.iii.583).
He had a queen called Samadevi who was the daughter of a cattle butcher.
A large number of cattle butchers were once brought before the king, but as they were unable to pay the fine demanded, he appointed them as scavengers in the palace.
One of them had a beautiful daughter, and the king fell in love with her and married her.
Owing to her, her kinsmen, too, lived in happiness (VibhA.440).
Bhatikabhaya once heard a Sutta (see A.v.21f ) in which the Buddha had declared that, of all perfumes, that of jasmine was the strongest.
In order to test this the king filled a room with the four kinds of perfume and then placed in it handfuls of various flowers, including jasmine.
He then left the room and shut the door.
After a while he entered again, and the first scent which greeted him was that of jasmine.
Convinced of the truth of the Buddhas statement, he fell prostrate and worshipped him (AA.ii.819).
It is said (SA.ii.180) that the king once asked a reciter to tell him of an auspicious stanza (jayamangala) connected with all the Three Jewels.
After thinking for a while, he recited the stanza beginning diva tapati adicco, ratti abhati candima (S.ii.284). At the end of the first pada,