bza038 -- Sakka debates with Vepacitti 天與阿脩羅決勝負

別譯雜阿含: bza038 BZA English: 別譯雜阿含英譯 雜阿含: za1109 SN: SN,I,222 (Subhāsitajaya) Sk(E): Enomoto 1994, no.1109 (Uv 20.21f.)


如是我聞:一時佛在舍衛國 祇樹給孤獨園


「昔釋提桓因將諸天眾,將欲往與阿脩羅戰。時釋提桓因語毘摩質多羅阿脩羅王言: 『 我等今者不必苟須多將人眾,共相傷害,但共講論,以決勝負。』 毘摩質多羅 * 語釋提桓因言: 『憍尸迦 * 我等講論,若有勝負,誰當分別?』 釋提桓因言: 『 我等眾中 * 并阿修羅亦有聰哲,智慧辯才,能 * 當善惡,決勝負者。』 毘摩質多言: 『帝釋!汝今先說。』 帝釋答言: 『 我亦能說。汝是舊天,應當先說。』 毘摩 * 質多即說偈言:

今我見忍過    愚者謂忍法
彼怖故生忍    便以己為勝


隨彼言怖畏    己利最為勝
財寶及諸利    無勝忍辱者


愚者無智慧    要當須 * 止制
譬如彼後牛    騰陌先牛上
是故須刀杖    摧伏於愚者


我觀止制愚    默忍最為勝
極大瞋恚忿    能忍彼自息
無瞋無害者    彼即是賢聖
亦賢聖弟子    常應親近之
諸有瞋恚者    瞋重障如山
若有瞋恚時    能少禁制者
是名為善 * 業    如轡制惡馬

諸天及阿脩羅眾有智慧者,詳共 * 評議,量其勝負。以阿脩羅說諍鬪為本,釋提桓因止息諍訟,心無忿競。以阿脩羅負,帝釋為勝。 」




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Sakka debates with Vepacitti

Translation of BZA 038. 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: “Long time ago, Sakka Devānam Indo, Leader of the Gods, was about to do battle with the asuras. At that time Sakka Devānam Indo said to Vepacitti, King of the asuras: “We should not carelessly lead our hosts to harm each other, but instead debate, and thus decide who wins, who loses.” Vepacitti said to Sakka Devānam Indo: “Kosiya, if we were to debate, who would determine the winner and the loser?” Sakka Devānam Indo said: “In both our hosts there are intelligent people, of wise judgment, who are able to tell good from bad, and can decide who the winner, who the loser will be.” Vepacitti said: “You speak first, Sakka!” [But] Sakka answered: “My turn will come. You are the older deva. You speak first.” And Vepacitti spoke this verse:

IIf I would tolerate transgressions // the foolish would say about my patient manner
“His patience is born from fear” // and deem themselves superior

In reply Sakka Devānam Indo spoke this verse:

Though the other might call it fear // and [think] he gained the upper hand
Precious treasures and all the gain // [are for those] invincible ones who are patient when insulted

There Vepacitti spoke another verse:

The foolish have no wisdom // they have to be restrained
Like when a cow in the back // attempts to run over the one before her on the path
It needs blades and cudgels // to reign in the fools

Sakka Devānam Indo answered with this verse:

I believe that for restraining the foolish // silent patience is the best
Extreme hatred or anger or rage // when suffered patiently the other will naturally calm down
Who is without hatred and aggression // is indeed a saintly person
And the disciples of a saintly person // should strive to befriend these
Those filled with hatred and anger // their hatred is an obstacle heavy like a mountain
Whenever at a time of hate and anger // one can restrain oneself even a little
It is called a skillful action // like reigning in a wicked horse

The wise among the Devas and the asuras debated this thoroughly, to mete out victory and defeat. [They agreed] that the [King of the] asuras spoke in favor of strife and battle, while Sakka Devānam Indo [spoke to] end quarrels, the mind without frenzy wanting to compete. Thus the asura [King] lost and Sakka won.”

The Buddha told the monks: “Sakka Devānam Indo, who rules freely in [Tuṣita] heaven, has during the long night [of Saṃsāra] patiently suffered insults, now extols the way of patience. You too, oh monks, who are supposed to have left the householders way of life, should be able to patiently bear insults, and extol those who are patient.”

When the Buddha had finished, the monks, having listened to what he had said, were happy and practiced accordingly.

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