Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Alternate Related Discourses

46. The Eighth Day

1. Thus have I heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Buddha addressed the monks, “On the eighth day of the month, the four god kings send an official to assess the world. They examine the world’s people: ‘Are they kind and pious to their parents, respectful to their elders, serve ascetics and priests, and cultivate good things? Or, do they practice what’s bad and therefore ought to cultivate good things, eliminate the many evils, restrict their senses, and guard the precepts?’

3. “On the fourteenth day of the month, the four god kings send a prince to assess the world …

4. “On the fifteenth day of the month, the four god kings personally investigate [the world’s] and search it in the same way.

5. “After the four god kings have investigated this, they go up to Lord Śakra’s Sudharma Hall and together tell Lord Śakra, ‘Gods, many among the world’s humans are not pious to their parents and disrespectful to ascetics and priests. They don’t serve their teachers, families, or elders … there aren’t many who keep the precepts.’

6. “After hearing this statement, Lord Śakra and the host of gods are grieved and unhappy. All the gods say, ‘The host of gods will diminish, and the asuras will increase!’

7. “Suppose there are people in the world who are always pious to their parents, make offerings to ascetics and priests … and many who keep the precepts. Then the four god kings report it to Lord Śakra, and the gods rejoice greatly. They all say, ‘In the world, people cultivate the good practices and are virtuous. They do what should be done. The gods will increase, and the asuras will diminish!’

8. Lord Śakra rejoices and then speaks in verse:

9. The Buddha addressed the monks, “What Lord Śakra said is not called well spoken. Why is that? If an arhat ends the contaminants and accomplishes the task, they should say these verses:

10. “The Buddha and the arhat should speak these verses, which are famous and true words called ‘well spoken.’”

11. After he said this, the monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.

Notes

  1. This sūtra is parallel with AN 3.37-38, SA 19.15, and EA 24.6. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 9 December 2020