A Yakkha on Sakka’s Throne
Translation of BZA 036. First version published in Buddhist Studies
Review vol. 23-1 (2006).
Thus have I heard, once, the Buddha was staying at Sāvatthī at the Jeta Grove in
the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.
At that time the World-honored One told the monks: “There once was a yakkha, he
was short, his face was ugly and his taint black. People did not like his sight.
[This yakkha now] seated himself on Sakka’s seat. When the thirty-three gods saw
the yakkha sitting on Sakka’s place, they all became very angry, and insulted
him in various ways. There, the ugly aspects of the yakkha slowly diminished, he
became attractive and grew taller. The gods abusing him became more and more
angry. The yakkha in turn grew even taller and more beautiful. The gods went to
Sakka and told him: “There is a yakkha, extremely ugly and short who sat in your
place. We the gods strongly abused him, and the yakkha’s form became beautiful,
his body grew taller!” Sakka said: “There is this yakkha, who on receiving abuse
turns beautiful, he is called Friend-of-men’s-anger. Thereupon Sakka went to his
seat, knelt with his cloth arranged over one shoulder, folded his hands, offered
incense and spoke to the yakkha: “Great seer! I am Sakka. I am Sakka.” Having
uttered his name thrice, the yakkha became small and ugly again and finally
vanished. Sakka resumed his seat and said to the gods: “From now on, let none of
you generate anger. If there is hostility, be carefully not to add to the
anger.” And he spoke this verse:
If someone comes and utters insults // let no one return these insults to
Towards him who came to attack and harm // let everyone generate loving
Those without anger, without violence // one should always befriend
For they are nobles // they are the disciples of nobles
Those who are angry, filled with hatred // are blocked by this mountain of
If one at a time of anger and hate // can control oneself even a little
This I call skilled // like the taming of a wicked horse
The Buddha told the monks: “Sakka is the ruler of the gods, enjoying all kinds of
pleasure. If even he can control his anger, and praise those who control their
anger, how much more should you, oh monks, who, feeling that the family is not
family , went forth and persued the way, cut off you hair, and donned the robes,
how much more should you control anger and praise those who control their anger.
Thus, oh monks, you should practice!
The monks, having listened to what the Buddha had said, were happy and practised
View TEI-XML Source