Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 13: Profit

6. Good Deeds

1. Thus I have heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa near Rājagṛha. He was accompanied by a large assembly of five hundred monks.

2. One day, Śakra the Lord of Gods[2] visited the Bhagavān after nightfall. He bowed his head at the Buddha’s feet and then stood to one side. Śakra then asked about the Tathāgata’s teaching in verse:

4. Once Śakra the Lord of Gods heard what the Buddha taught, he bowed at the Buddha’s feet, withdrew from him, and departed. When Śakra the Lord of Gods heard what the Buddha taught, he rejoiced and approved.


  1. This sūtra is parallel with SN 11.16, SĀ 19.21-22, and T100.52. [back]
  2. Śakra the Lord of Gods. C. 釋提桓因 (EMC. ʃɪɛk-dei-ɦuan-•iĕn = G. śak[ra]-devan[aṃ]-iṃ[dra] = S. śakro-devānām-indrah). This was a well-known abbreviated translit. for Śakra’s full title as the Lord of Gods. The -v- in deva was pronounced as a -w-. [back]
  3. cessation. Here, 無 appears to be a verb meaning “to become inexistent,” which I take to refer to Nirvāṇa. I’ve translated it more literally as “cessation.” [back]
  4. Kauśika. C. 拘翼 (EMC. kɪu-yiək). G. koyig[a] > G. kośiga? > S. kauśika. The derivation of what the C. transliterates is unclear to me since it’s not typical that -ś- becomes -y- in G. sources, but it appears to be the case here.
    I’ve followed the alternate reading, which makes this last stanza the Buddha’s conclusion. The Taisho reads 瞿曇 (“Gautama”) instead, which would make it Śakra addressing the Buddha. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 25 July 2023