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Baka Brahma Sutta

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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> Baka Brahma Sutta

Translation by Bhikkhuni Uppalavanna


I heard thus. At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anàthapiõóika in Jeta's grove in Sàvatthi.

At that time to Brahma Baka this evil view had arisen: `This is always alike, it is certain and perpetual, complete and without decrease, not to be born, not to decay and die not to decrease and not to be born again, and there is no refuge more noble than this."

The Blessed One knew this thought and thought process in Brahma Baka's mind and as quickly as a strong man would stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm, disappeared from Jeta's grove and appeared in the world of Brahma.

Brahma Baka seeing the Blessed One approaching in the distance said: "Welcome sir! It's after a long time that you have come. Venerable sir, this is always alike, it is certain and perpetual, complete and without decrease, not to be produced, not to decay and die not to decrease and not to be born again, and there is no refuge more noble than this."

When this was said the Blessed One said: "Good Baka Brahma is disillusioned, that to something that changes he says, is always alike, to an uncertain thing he says, it is certain. To a thing not perpetual, he says it is perpetual. An incomplete thing he says is complete. To something decreasing he says, is without decrease. To something that is produced, decaying, would die, decreasing and is to be born, he says it is not produced, not decaying, not to die, not decreasing and not to be born again and he says there is no refuge more noble than this."
(Baka:)

"Gotama, there are seventy two meritorious actions,
Doing which those creating others go beyond birth and decay.
This is the highest attainable in the world of brahma,
And innumerable people wish to attain it."


(The Blessed One:)

"Brahma, this is a short lifespan of yours. You think it's long
I know you, going through hundred thousand life spans in Nirabuda hell."


(Baka:)

"O! Blessed One, you see the endless.
How did I overcome birth, decay and grief?
What were my observances and virtues in the past, may I know them."


(The Blessed One:)

"You gave drinking water to many people, who were very thirsty.
These were your virtuous observances in the past,
I recall them, as awakened from sleep.
When antelopes were captured by humans,
You released them leading away the captors.
These were your virtuous observances in the past,
I recall them, as awakened from sleep.
When a ship was wrecked at the mouth of the Ganges,
You protected the humans in it powerfully from an elephant who came for them
These were your virtuous observances in the past,
I recall them, as awakened from sleep.
One forward world cycle you behaved
Thinking to be an all enlightened one
These were your virtuous observances in the past,
I recall them, as awakened from sleep.


(Baka:)

"Know with certainty this is your lifespan.
Further know your superiority there,
Your power in the world of brahma will be a light."

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