A new motif has cropped up during my survey of Indra/Śakra/Sakka’s characterization in Buddhist sources. In both the Saṃyutta Nikāya of the Pāli scriptures and the Mahāvastu we find the following exchange:
Śakra approaches some seers to pay them honour. They advise him not to stand downwind of them as they smell bad and the devas can’t cope with that. Śakra assures them that he is perfectly happy as the smell of seers is pleasing to him.
So I am now on the hunt for other references to the smelliness of seers and its offensiveness to the gods! If anybody knows of similar motifs elsewhere I would love to hear from them.