Long ago, many seers of virtuous conduct lived in leaf huts in a wild forest. According to Buddhaghosa, they lived in the Himālays (SA.i.265); Vepacitti and Sakka were father- and son-in-law; sometimes they quarrelled, sometimes, as here, they were friends.

One day, Sakka and Vepacitti visited them. Vepacitti entered the hermitage by the principal gate, keeping his shoes on and his sword by his side, thereby insulting the seers and committing sin. Sakka, on the other hand, went in by the usual entrance, doffing his shoes and sword; with his canopy folded up, he stood to leeward of the seers, rendering them homage with clasped hands. The seers, addressing Sakka, asked him if he did not feel disgust at their smell, inasmuch as they were humans and he a god. Sakka answered that the scent of virtuous men is lovely, like unto a wreath of varied blossoms (S.i.226).

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