The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 11. Sakkasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses with Sakka

III. The Third Subchapter (Sakka Pentad)

21 (1) Having Slain
At Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove. Then Sakka, lord of the devas, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and stood to one side. Standing to one side, Sakka, lord of the devas, addressed the Blessed One in verse:

939 “Having slain what does one sleep soundly?
      Having slain what does one not sorrow? <509>
      What is the one thing, O Gotama,
      Whose killing you approve?”

[The Blessed One:]

940 “Having slain anger, one sleeps soundly;
      Having slain anger, one does not sorrow;
      The killing of anger, O Vāsava,
      With its poisoned root and honeyed tip:
      This is the killing the noble ones praise,
      For having slain that, one does not sorrow.”

22 (2) Ugly
At Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove. There the Blessed One said this: “Bhikkhus, once in the past a certain ugly deformed yakkha sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas. Thereupon the Tāvatiṃsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, saying: ‘It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! This ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas!’ <510> But to whatever extent the Tāvatiṃsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, to the same extent that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.
    “Then, bhikkhus, the Tāvatiṃsa devas approached Sakka and said to him: ‘Here, dear sir, an ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on your seat…. But to whatever extent the devas found fault with this … [238] that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.’ – ‘That must be the anger-eating yakkha.’
    “Then, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, approached that anger-eating yakkha. Having approached, he arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, and, raising his joined hands in reverential salutation towards that yakkha, <511> he announced his name three times: ‘I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas! I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas!’ To whatever extent Sakka announced his name, to the same extent that yakkha became uglier and uglier and more and more deformed until he disappeared right there.
    “Then, bhikkhus, having sat down on his own seat, instructing the Tāvatiṃsa devas, Sakka, lord of the devas, on that occasion recited these verses:

941 “‘I am not one afflicted in mind,
      Nor easily drawn by anger’s whirl.
      I never become angry for long,
      Nor does anger persist in me.

942 “‘When I’m angry I don’t speak harshly
      And I don’t praise my virtues.
      I keep myself well restrained <512>
      Out of regard for my own good.’”

23 (3) Magic
At Sāvatthī. The Blessed One said this: “Bhikkhus, once in the past Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, was sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then Sakka, lord of the devas, approached Vepacitti to inquire about his illness. Vepacitti saw Sakka coming in the distance and said to him: ‘Cure me, lord of the devas.’ – [239] ‘Teach me, Vepacitti, the Sambari magic.’ – ‘I won’t teach it, dear sir, until I have asked the asuras for permission.’
    “Then, bhikkhus, Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, asked the asuras: ‘May I teach the Sambari magic to Sakka, lord of the devas?’ – ‘Do not teach him the Sambari magic, dear sir.’
    “Then, bhikkhus, Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, addressed Sakka, lord of the devas, in verse: <513>

943 “‘A magician—O Maghavā, Sakka,
      King of devas, Sujā’s husband—
      Goes to the terrible hell,
      Like Sambara, for a hundred years.’”

24 (4) Transgression
At Sāvatthī. Now on that occasion two bhikkhus had a quarrel and one bhikkhu had transgressed against the other. Then the former bhikkhu confessed his transgression to the other bhikkhu, but the latter would not pardon him.
    Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and reported to him what had happened. <514> [The Blessed One said:]
    “Bhikkhus, there are two kinds of fools: one who does not see a transgression as a transgression; and one who, when another is confessing a transgression, does not pardon him in accordance with the Dhamma. These are the two kinds of fools.
    “There are, bhikkhus, two kinds of wise people: one who sees a transgression as a transgression; and one who, when another is confessing a transgression, pardons him in accordance with the Dhamma. These are the two kinds of wise people.
    “Once in the past, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, instructing the Tāvatiṃsa devas in the Sudhamma assembly hall, on that occasion recited this verse: [240]

944 “‘Bring anger under your control;
      Do not let your friendships decay.
      Do not blame one who is blameless;
      Do not utter divisive speech.
      Like a mountain avalanche
      Anger crushes evil people.’”

25 (5) Nonanger
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One said this:
    “Bhikkhus, once in the past Sakka, lord of the devas, instructing the Tāvatiṃsa devas in the Sudhamma assembly hall, on that occasion recited this verse: <515>

945 “‘Do not let anger overpower you;
      Do not become angry at those who are angry.
      Nonanger and harmlessness always dwell
      Within [the hearts of] the noble ones.
      Like a mountain avalanche
      Anger crushes evil people.’” <516>

 

The Book with Verses is finished.
 

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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