The Buddha goes to find the Group of Five; he meets Upaka the ascetic along the way

From the sixth to the eighth weeks after the enlightenment the Buddha spent his time going back and forth between the Great Bodhi tree and the goatherds' banyan tree. On the fourteenth day of the waxing moon of the eighth lunar month, in the eighth week after the enlightenment, the Buddha took leave of the area of the enlightenment to make his way to the Deer Park, nowadays known as Sarnath, in the vicinity of Varanasi. At that time the Group of Five who had once followed the Buddha in his renunciation and lived with and tended him had come to live at this place.

On the way, specifically when he reached the Gaya River on the border of the district in which he had been enlightened, the Buddha met a matted-hair ascetic (ajivaka) by name of Upaka coming the opposite way. An ajivaka is one of the kinds of ascetics who were common in the Buddha's time.

From afar, this ascetic first noticed the rays of light radiating from the Buddha's body. These rays are called the "Sixfold rays." They are

1. Nila: green like the flower of the butterfly pea

 2. Pita: yellow like golden realgar

 3. Lohita: red, the color of the sun low in the sky

 4. Odata: white, like silver

 5. Manjetha: red like a cockscomb flower

 6. Pabhassara: shiny like a pearl

 In later times, when Buddha images with the sixfold ray were built, the rays were known as "pabhamandala," meaning rays that shoot up above the Buddha's head in a conical shape.

As the Buddha drew nearer, the ascetic saw the source of the rays, and was inspired by the sight, so he approached the Buddha and asked him who his teacher was. When the Buddha answered that he had no teacher, that he was a ayambhu, fully self-enlightened, the ascetic responded to his statement in two ways-shaking his head and lolling his tongue-then walked off.
 

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