At the city of Sāvatthī…
Now at that time, the Buddha was sick due to some wind disorder in his body. Venerable Upavāṇa was his attendant. Then the Buddha said to Upavāṇa, “Please, Upavāṇa, find some hot water for me to take a bath.”
“Yes, Bhante,” replied Upavāṇa and he dressed, took his bowl and double- layered robe, and went to the house of Devahita of the brahmin caste, where he stood silently outside.
Devahita saw him standing there and asked him in verse:
“I’m guessing you are a monk
since you have a shaven head and are wearing a robe.
Why are you silently standing here?
What do you want? What are you looking for?
What have you come here to ask for?”
“The Enlightened One, the Holy One in the world,
the Sage, is sick due to some wind disorder in his body.
Dear sir, if there’s hot water, kindly give it to me for my master.
“I wish to bring it to the Buddha
who is worshipped by those who are worshipped,
honored by those who are honored,
respected by those who are respected.”
Then Devahita had a man fetch baskets filled with hot water. He also gave the monk Upavāṇa a parcel of sugar cubes.
Then Upavāṇa Bhante went up to the Buddha and bathed him with the hot water. Then he stirred sugar cubes into hot water and offered it to the Buddha. Then the Buddha was cured.
On a later day Devahita went up to the Buddha, exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side, and asked the Buddha in verse:
“Who should I give gifts to?
Giving to whom can I gain more merits?
To do a successful offering, how should I practise giving?”
“There are noble ones with perfect wisdom
who have knowledge to see their past lives,
to see heaven and places of misery,
They have attained the ending of rebirth.
“You should give gifts to such noble ones.
What’s given to them is very fruitful.
That’s how a donor should practise giving,
and this ensures the successful results of their giving.”
When the Buddha taught this Dhamma, Devahita said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! Just as if someone turned upright, what was upside down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to whoever was lost, or lit a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes could see what’s there, Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma, which is clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge to the Triple Gem for as long as I live.”