At the city of Sāvatthī…
One day, five kings headed by King Pasenadi were entertaining themselves with worldly pleasures, and this discussion came up among them, “Which is the best of the sense pleasures?”
Some of them said, “Sight is the best of the sense pleasures!”
Others said, “Sound is the best!”
Others said, “Smell is the best!”
Others said, “Taste is the best!”
Others said, “Touch is the best!”
Since those kings were unable to convince each other, King Pasenadi said to them, “Come, friends, let’s go to the Buddha and ask him about this. We will agree with his answer.”
“Yes, dear friend,” replied those kings.
Then those five kings headed by King Pasenadi went to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, and sat down to one side. King Pasenadi reported their conversation to the Buddha, and asked, “Bhante, which is the best of the sense pleasures?”
“Great king, whatever sense pleasure is more agreeable to a person, that is the best sense pleasure for that particular individual. The very same sights that are agreeable to some are disagreeable to others. When you’re happy with certain sights, because you’ve got all that you’ve wished for, you don’t want any other sight that’s better or finer. For you, those sights are perfect and supreme.
“That is the same for sounds … smells … tastes … touches. That, which are agreeable to some, are disagreeable to others. When you’re happy with certain touches, because you’ve got all that you’ve wished for, you don’t want any other touch that’s better or finer. For you, those touches are perfect and supreme.”
Now, at that time, the lay follower Candanaṅgalika was sitting in that assembly. Then he got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and said, “I feel inspired to speak, Blessed One! I feel inspired to speak, Holy One!”
“Then speak as you feel inspired,” said the Buddha.
Then the lay follower Candanaṅgalika praised the Buddha with a beautiful verse:
“Like a fragrant red lotus
that blooms in the morning, its fragrance spreads far and wide—
look at the Supreme Buddha,
shining brightly with noble virtues as the bright sun in the sky!”
Then those five kings dressed Candanaṅgalika with five cloths. And Candanaṅgalika offered those five cloths to the Buddha.