Translation of BZA 034. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard once the Buddha was staying in the great hall at the shore of
the Monkey[lake] near Vesāli.
There was a Licchavi, with the name of Mahāli , who came to the Buddha, paid
homage to his feet and addressed him: “World-honered One, have you seen Sakka?”
Buddha said: “ I have seen him.”
The Licchavi addressed him: “There are yakkhas and demons that look like Sakka.
Might it be that the World-honored One has seen a yakkha or demon instead?”
The Buddha told the Licchavi: “I am well acquainted with the Sakka’s appearance.
I also know that there are yakkhas, which look like Sakka. I also completely
know his original practice, the things he has done. When Sakka was a man, he was
obedient to his parents, he respected his elders, his speech was gentle, without
slander, he did away with avarice, always loved to give, he always spoke
truthfully, he did away with anger, did not give rise to hatred.”
At that time the Buddha spoke a verse:
[Whoever] towards one’s parents // displays filial obedience Towards one’s
elders // heartfelt deep respect
Always speaks gentle and friendly // kindly and good
Cuts off slander // greed and hatred
[of someone like this] the thirty three gods // have this to say:
Such a practitioner // is our better
He should dwell apart // as King of the Gods
When the Buddha had finished, the monks, having listened to what he had said,
were happy and practised accordingly.
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