Please let me tell you a story about a Buddha's foremost disciple (Etadagga Bhikkhu), Arahant 'Dabba Mallaputta', who was famous for his superb preparation of beds and seats(senaasana).
[Translated from Thai Dhammapada Book by Dr.Tep Sastri]
He was a son of King MullaRaja who ruled the land of Mulla. At the time his mother was about to give birth to him, she suddenly turned sick and died. The King ordered a cremation for her, and so the caretaker put the Queen's body on a big pile of woods and lit the fire. While the fire was burning, the corpse's belly split open and a baby boy rolled down to a safe landing on a pile of woods nearby. Seeing that the baby was alive and in good condition, the caretaker then brought him to his royal grandmother, who named him "Dabba" (meaning 'pile of wood').
By the time he turned seven, the prince's grandmother took him to the Monastery to listen to a Buddha's Dhamma. He was so fascinated by Buddha's majesty that he begged his grandma to allow him to join the Monk Community. Following the permission of the prince's grandmother's, the Buddha told a bhikkhu to teach the boy the five body-foulness as his first meditation subject (Kammatthana) and ordained the boy as a Novice (samanera). The Novice Dabba Mullaputta did not waste anytime at all; he started developing the Kammatthana right away, while his head was being shaped. He continued to concentrate deeply on the meditation subject all the time, and attained the Arahantship right at the time the last lock of his hair fell to the ground. The fruits of his arahantship were the Four Discriminating Knowledges (Patisambhida) and the Six Supranormal Powers (Abhi~n~na).
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He returned with the Buddha to Rájagaha where, with the Buddha's sanction, and wishing to be of service to the Order, he took upon himself the task of appointing night's-lodgings to travelling monks and of directing them to meals. He performed his duties most diligently and with great intelligence, and his fame spread far and wide. Monks coming from afar, wishing to witness his skill, would deliberately arrive late and ask for lodgings in some place remote from Rájagaha; Dabba would "burst into flame" and walk ahead of them, with his finger burning to light them on the way. It was the sight of Dabba on one of these journeys which led to a slave-woman, Punná, being visited by the Buddha, resulting in her becoming a Sotápanna.
It once happened that meals were allotted by Dabba to the Mettiya-Bhummajaká at the house of a rich man, who, discovering their identity, gave orders that they were to be fed anyhow. The Mettiya-Bhummajaká were greatly offended, and believing that Dabba had intended to slight them, induced one of their partisans, Mettiyá, to accuse Dabba of having seduced her. The charge was investigated,Mettiyá was expelled, and Dabba's fame increased. The Mettiya-Bhummajaká persuaded the Licchavi, Vaddha, to make a similar charge against Dabba regarding his wife. The Tandulanáli Játaka mentions another dispute, where Láludáyi charges Dabba with not performing his duties conscientiously.Thereupon Láludáyi was appointed to the task, but proved a failure.
Dabba was given the rank of chief of those who appointed lodgings (senásanapaññápakánam) and was given the upasampadá ordination when only seven years old. He was called Dabba because he was said to be born of his mother while she was being burnt in the funeral pyre; when the flames were extinguished, the child was found lying on one of the posts of the pyre (dabbatthambhe).
Dabba evidently died young. The Udana contains an account of his death. One day, returning from his alms rounds in Rájagaha, he saw that he had but a short while yet to live. He went, therefore, to the Buddha and, with his leave, showed various iddhi-powers and passed away.
Dabba Mallaputta's past lives
He was a setthiputta in Hamsavatí in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, and it was then that he conceived the desire for the rank of chief apportioner of lodgings. One hundred and three times he became king among devas and one hundred and five times king of men. In the time of Vipassí Buddha he spoke calumny about an arahant Thera, hence the conspiracy against him by the Mettiya-Bhummajaká. In the time of Kassapa Buddha he, with six others, went to the top of a hill, determined not to return till they had accomplished their purpose, but five of them died before this came to pass. The other four were Pukkusáti, Sabhiya, Báhiya, and Kumárakassapa .
Love Buddha's dhamma,