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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> Mahàli Sutta

From The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. VoI 1., by Bhikkhu Bodhi. 2000: Wisdom Publications. ppg. 330-331.


Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesali in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then Mahali the Licchavi approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

"Venerable sir, has the Blessed One seen Sakka, lord of the devas?"

"I have, Mahali."

Surely, venerable sir, that must have been one who looked like Sakka, lord of the devas; for Sakka, lord of the devas, is difficult to see."

"I know Sakka, Mahali, and I know the qualities that make for Sakka, by the undertaking of which Sakka achieved the status of Sakka.

"In the past, Mahali, when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he was a brahmin youth named Magha. Therefore he is called Maghava.

"In the past, Mahali, when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he gave gifts in city after city; therefore he is called Purindada, the Urban Giver.

"In the past, Mahali, when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he gave gifts considerably; therefore he is called Sakka.

"In the past, Mahali, when Sakka, lord of the debas, was a human being, he gave a rest house; therefore he is called Vasava.

"Mahali, Sakka, lord of the devas, thinks of a thousand matters in a moment; therefore he is called Sahassakkha, Thousand-eyed.

"Mahali, Sakka's wife is the asura maiden named Suja; therefore he is called Sujampati, Suja's husband.

"Mahali, Sakka, lord of the devas, exercises supreme sovereignty and rulership over the Tavatimsa devas; therefore his called lord of the devas.

"In the past, Mahali,, when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he adopted and undertook seven vows by the undertaking of which he achieved the status of Sakka.

"When a person supports his parents,
And respects the family elders;
When his speech is gentle and courteous,
And he refrains from divisive words;
When he strives to remove meanness,
Is truthful, and vanguishes anger,
The Tavatimsa devas call him
Truly a superior person."

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