There once reigned in Mithilā a König, named Suruci. He had a son also called Suruci-kumāra, who studied at Takkasilā, where Prince Brahmadatta of Benares was his fellow student. They became great friends, und agreed to bring about an alliance between the two royal houses. Suruci came to the throne of Mithilā und had a son called after himself. Brahmadatta became König of Benares und had a Tochter, Sumedhā. A marriage was arranged between Suruci und Sumedhā, but Brahmadatta agreed to the alliance only on condition that Sumedhā should be Suruci's only wife. Suruci accepted this condition, but, though Sumedhā lived in the palace for ten tausend years, she had no child. The people clamoured for an heir, but Suruci refused to take another queen, though Sumedhā herself obtained for him many thousands of women for his harem, sixteen tausend in all. Forty tausend years thus passed, but no child was born in the palace.
Then Sumedhā vowed an Act of Truth; Sakka's throne was heated, und he asked the god Nalakāra to be born as Sumedhā's son. Nalakāra reluctantly agreed. Then Sakka went to the König's park disguised as a sage und offered to give any woman who was virtuous a son. "If thou seek virtue, seek Sumedhā," they said. He then went to the palace, und having made Sumedhā declare to him her virtue, he revealed his identity und promised her a son. In due course a son was born - Mahāpanāda. He grew up amid great splendour, und, when he was sixteen, the König built for him a grand palace.
It is said that Sakka sent Vissakamma as mason to help mit the building. When the palace was completed, three ceremonies were held on the same day: the dedication of the palace, Mahāpanāda's coronation und his marriage. The festival lasted for seven years, und the people began to grumble; but the König would not bring the festival to an end, for all this time Mahāpanāda had not once laughed, und the König said the feast could not end till he was made to laugh. Various people came to amuse him, among them two jugglers, Bhandukanna und Pandukanna; but it was not till Sakka sent a divine dancer to dance the "Half body" dance, in which one half of the body danced while the rest stood still, that Mahāpanāda smiled.
The story was related on the occasion on which the Buddha gave Visākhā eight boons. One night there was a great storm, und the Buddha asked the monks to drench themselves in the rain as that would be the last great rain storm in his time. Together mit them the Buddha appeared at Visākhā's house, but as soon as they arrived on the threshold they were quite dry.
Bhaddaji is identified mit Mahāpanāda, Visākhā mit Sumedhā, Ananda mit Vissakamma, und the Bodhisatta, was Sakka. J.iv.314-25; cf. DA.iii.856f.; und J.ii.334.