Famous Thai Monk

MAHA-SAMAYA-SUTTA

(Digha Nikaya 20)
translated by Rev. Daniel John Gogerly
{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, May 2002}

At that time the following thought occurred to four of the devas residing in the world called Suddha-vasa-kaya: Bhagavā is residing at the forest called Mahā-vana in the city of Kapilavatthu in the country of Sakya, attended by a numerous retinue of bhikkhus, all of them arahats, amounting to about five hundred in number, and the devas from the ten thousand Sakvalas have congregated in great numbers for the purpose of seeing Buddha and the bhikkhus.

At that time the following thought occurred to four of the devas residing in the world called Suddha-vasa-kaya: Bhagava is residing at the forest called Maha-vana in the city of Kapilavatthu in the country of Sakya, attended by a numerous retinue of bhikkhus, all of them arahats, amounting to about five hundred in number, and the devas from the ten thousand Sakvalas have congregated in great numbers for the purpose of seeing Buddha and the bhikkhus. It is well if we should also repair to the place where Buddha is, and speak, each of us, respectively a different stanza in the presence of Buddha. Instantly the said four devas vanished from their residence, the world called Suddha-vasa-kaya, and descending as quickly as a strong made man would stretch out his hand which had been bent, or bend his hand which has been stretched out, presented themselves before Buddha. Having worshipped him they stood on one side. One of them then spoke in his presence the following stanza:

There is a great assembly! a concourse of devas has assembled in the forest; we also came to the righteous assembly for the purpose of seeing the invincible bhikkhus.

Then the other deva spoke in the presence of Buddha the following stanza:

The bhikkhus are engaged in samadhi (meditation); they have wrought up their minds to uprightness; those wise bhikkhus control their senses as a charioteer who holds the reins steadily.

Then the other deva said in the presence of Buddha the following stanza:

Those bhikkhus are moving, having cut off the stake (of lust, anger, and ignorance), having cut off the shield (of lust, anger, and ignorance), and demolished the threshold (of lust, anger, and ignorance), they are moving like unto young elephants, being destitute of desire, free from passions, pure, endued with eyes (the five eyes1), and orderly in their conduct.

Then the other deva said in the presence of Buddha the following stanza:

If any body place himself under the protection of Buddha, he would not go to the four hells; he would quit the human body and acquire a divine body (i.e. he would be born in heaven).

Buddha then called the priests and addressed them thus: Bhikkhus, the devas from the ten thousand Sakvalas have in great numbers congregated for the purpose of seeing Tathagata and the bhikkhus. Bhikkhus! in respect of the sanctified and omniscient Buddhas who had, in the past ages, appeared and on account of those Bhagavas also there were assemblies of devas equal to that which has now congregated because of me. In respect of those sanctified and omniscient Buddhas who would appear in future, on account of those Bhagavas also, Bhikkhus! there would be assemblies of devas equal to the one which has now congregated on account of me. Bhikkhus! I shall tell the names of the devas, Bhikkhus! I shall proclaim the names of the devas, Bhikkhus! I shall declare the names of the devas. Do ye listen to the same, bear it well in mind, and I shall tell the same.

The priests, in reply to Bhagava, saying: "Be it so, our Lord!" Bhagava declared the following:

I shall repeat stanzas: Are these terrestrial devas anywhere, they reside there. Is there any priest who lives in rocky clefts, in his mind prepared (for the attainment of Nibbana), is he of tranquil mind; are many of them like unto lions, possessed of calmness of mind; are they intrepid; are they immaculate in mind; are they pure; are they of undisturbed mind: such priest knew that there were more than five hundred bhikkhus in the forest in the neighbourhood of Kapilavatthu. At that time Sattha (the divine teacher, i.e. Buddha) called his disciples, devotedly attached to his religion, and addressed them thus: Bhikkhus! the multitude of devas is present: do ye know them? and the priests hearing the directions of Buddha, instantly obeyed the same. They became endowed with the faculty of perceiving the Amanussas1 (invisible or spiritual beings). Some of them saw hundreds of invisible beings, some saw thousands, and others seventy thousand. Some perceived hundred thousand invisible beings; some, beyond number, every quarter being filled with them. Cakkhuma2 Buddha knowing the whole distinctly and well, subsequently called his disciples devotedly attached to his religion and said thus: Bhikkhus, shall I announce to you in due order any devas? Know ye them, they being present: seven thousands of Yakkhas3 born in Kapilavatthu p. 292 city, who are possessed of the faculty of iddhi, of power, of personal attractions, and of a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the assembly of priests in the forest; six thousands of Yakkhas horn in Himalaya mountains, who are of various colours, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, full of power, possessed of personal attractions, and with a retinue of attendants, have come rejoicing to the assembly of priests in the forest; three thousands of Yakkhas born in Sata-giri mountain, who are of various colours, etc.

Thus these sixteen thousand Yakkhas, who are of various colours, etc.

Five hundred Yakkhas Wessamittas, who are of various colours, etc.

There is a Yakkha named Kumbhīra of Rajagaha city; his residence is in the mountain Vepulla; he is attended by hundred thousand Yakkhas; and that Kumbhīra of the city of Rajagaha has also come to the assembly of priests in the forest.

The king Dhatara.t.tha regent of the East; he rules the inhabitants of the East; he is the chief of the Gandhabbas1; he is attended by a retinue of attendants. His many sons also of vast power and of the name of Inda, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, etc.

The king Virū.lha regent of the South; he rules the inhahitants of the South; he is the chief of the Kumbha.n.das2, and he is attended by a retinue of attendants. His many sons also of vast power and of the name of Inda, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, etc.

The king Virupakkha the regent of the West; he rules the inhahitants of the West; he is the chief of the Nagas3, and he is attended by a retinue of attendants. His many sons also of p. 293 vast power and of the name of Inda, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, etc.

The king Kuvera the regent of the North; he rules the inhabitants of the North; he is the chief of the Yakkhas1, and he is attended by a retinue of attendants. His many sons also of vast power and of the name of Inda, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, etc.

The four devas (regents of the four quarters) stood in the forest in the vicinity of the city Kapilavatthu illuminating all the four quarters with their splendour, each illuminating his own quarter: Dhatara.t.tha, the East; Virū.lha, the South; Virupakkha, the West; and Kuvera, the North. Their slaves who are versed in devices, tricks, and dissimulation, have also come, and their names are: Maya, Kute.n.du, Ve.te.n.du, Vitucca, and Vitucco; and also: Candana, Kamase.t.tha, Kinnugha.n.du and Niga.n.du; (the Gandhabba devas named) Panada, and Opamańńa, Matali the charioteer, Citta and Sena, the king of Nala, Janesabha, have also come, as well as Pańcasikha, Timbaru, and Suriya-vacasa (the daughter of Timbaru). Along with these devas other Gandhabbas also came rejoicing to the assembly of priests in the forest; and Nagas of the (lake) Nabhasa, those of the city Visala, accompanied by their retinue called Taccakas; Kambala and Assatara, and Nagas of Payaga also have come, accompanied by their relatives. The Nagas of Yamuna, and those of the race of Dhatara.t.tha, who are attended by a retinue of attendants, have also come to the assembly of priests in the forest. Eravana, the great Naga, has also come to the assembly of priests in the forest. Are there any that carry away by force the Nagas endowed with divine power, that are twice born, that are furnished with wings, possessed of clear eyes, those (Garulas) have also come down from the sky to the middle of the forest and their names are Citra Supanna. At that time the Nagas were fearless (of their enemies the Garulas). Buddha p. 294 vouchsafed his protection to the Nagas (from the Garulas), and inviting each, in soft words, the Nagas and Garulas took refuge in Buddha. The Asuras (literally "not gods"), who had been vanquished by Sakka covered the sea: they are cousins (in relationship derived from the virgin Sujata) to Sakka; they are also possessed of the power of iddhi, and attended by a retinue of attendants. Kalakańja assumed a hideous form, Danaveghasa, Vepacitti, Sucitti, Paharada, Namuci (also came). Hundred of the sons of Bali, and all who have the name of Rahu (those who have Rahu for their head) having accoutred an army in full armour, repaired to Bhadda Rahu, and he (giving his benediction) said: "May prosperity attend on you! it is time for you to go to the assembly of priests in the forest." The devas Apa (those who have received birth in heaven by indulging Apa kasina), Pathavi (those who have obtained a celestial birth by means of Pathavi kasina), Teja (those who had been born in heaven by means of Teja kasina), and Vaya (those who had obtained a like birth in heaven by the practice of Vaya kasina), also came at that time; and also the devas Varu.na, Varu.na, and Soma accompanied by Yasasa. The devas who had obtained their birth by the practice of benevolence, kindness and meditations, and possessed of great retinue of attendants also came: all of these ten bodies of devas composed of as many sorts who were of different colours, endowed with the faculty of iddhi, etc.

The devas Ve.nhu, Sahali, Asama, two of the name of Yama; the devas dwelling in the moon, preceded by the moon, and the devas residing in the sun, preceded by the sun, came. The devas of wind, cloud, and heat came, preceded by devas of planets; and Sakka, the chief of terrestrial devas and who is also called Vasava and Purindada, also came; all of these ten bodies of devas, composed of as many sorts, who were of different colours, etc.

Subsequently the devas Sahabhū, shining like unto a flame of fire, Ari.t.thaka, and Roja, shining like the flowers of the Umma (Pontederia hastaka), came; Varu.na, Dhamma, Accuta, p. 295 Anejaka, Suleya, Rucira came, also came Vasavanesi: all of these ten bodies of devas, composed of as many sorts who are of various colours, etc.

Sama.nas, Maha-Sama.nas, Manussas, and Uttama-Manussas, Khi.d.dapadusikas came, also came Manopadusikas. And the devas Hari, those of Lohita came, also came Paragas, Maha-paragas: the whole of the ten bodies of devas, etc.

Sukka, Karumha, Aru.na, and Veghanasa came; Pamokkha called Odatagayha (from the whiteness of his body), and Vicakkhana are also come. Sadamatta, Haragaja, and Missaka, possessed of prosperity, Pajjuna, who causes rain to pour in every direction, came thundering: the whole of the ten bodies of devas, etc.

Khemiyas (the devas of the) Tusita (heaven), the Yamas, and Katthaka possessed of prosperity, Lambitaka, Lama-se.t.tha, Joti (called so from personal attractions), Asava, those of Nimmanarati (heaven) are come, and also those of Parinimmita (heaven): all the ten bodies of devas, etc.

All these sixty kinds of devas who are of different colours and each distinguished by a particular name have come, and if there be any other (known by other colours and names), they have also come with those enumerated above. They have come saying: "Let us see the arahat priests who will never be born again, who are destitute of the stake (of lust, anger and ignorance), who have crossed the (four) streams, and who are free from passions, and also (Buddha) who has crossed the (four) streams, who is called Naga (from the circumstance of his never committing an offence) and who shines like the moon free from darkness." Subrahma and Paramatto, with their sons possessed of the faculty of iddhi, and Tissa sanam-kumara, came to the assembly of priests in the forest. Are there any who are superior to the Maha-Brahmas in the Brahma-worlds, possessed of great powers, of a vast body, prosperous, thousands of such Brahmas are come. Among these ten chief Brahmas, each of whom have control over a different body, have come; and in the midst of them the Brahma called Harita has also come attended (by ten thousand attendants). When all of the devas headed by Inda, and all the Brahmas headed by Harita came, the retinue of Mara also came: look at the power of wicked Mara! Mara called Maha-sena saying: "Come here, capture (them), tie (them), let them be bound by lust, surround (them), suffer not any body to escape," and striking the earth with his hands, and thereby producing a dreadful shock, sent his black army to the midst of the devas. In the same manner as rain does not fall after lightning and thunder, so Mara finding his own followers disobedient to him, and being greatly irritated, remained silent. Buddha who is endowed with (five) eyes, knowing perfectly well all that was transpiring, called his disciples who are devotedly attached to his religion and addressed them thus: "Priests, the retinue of Mara is present, do you known {sic} them?" and they hearing the words of Buddha prepared to enter into meditation. The army of Mara receded from among those free from lust, even so much as a hair in them was not affected. Then Mara saying: "All these (priests) having proved victorious in the war of passions become intrepid, endowed with prosperity, became famous among the people, and these disciples live rejoicing with the arahats of the religion of Buddha," departed.

Back To Topic