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The Maha Samaya Sutta: The Great Meeting Sutra: refuge from fear in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

The Maha Samaya Sutta: The Great Meeting Sutra: refuge from fear in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

The Maha Samaya Sutta is often chanted as a daily practice in Pali — and often at weddings and dedications of new buildings — and is considered a “protective blessing” as much as it teaches doctrine. The core message, though, is to emphasize the importance of refuge.

Mara’s (demon) army, representing a personification of fear and lust, surrounds the “Great Meeting” to attack, but leaves “without even raising a hair on their bodies.” Why? Because, the gathering “listened to the Awakened One” — teaching that the words of the Buddha (Dharma) is refuge from fear.

Although a part of the Pali Canon — and a very ancient sutta — some rationalists put this great Sutra into the category of “Buddhist folklore” because it contains a veritable “Who’s Who of the ancient Vedic gods. But to do so is to lightly dismiss its importance as a teaching. The “devas” serve as backdrop and framing, and even “attend” the teaching — but this is to punctuate the importance of the core message.

The main doctrinal message of this Sutta is refuge. The long tribute at the beginning, listing all the great gods of the time, set to frame the importance of not taking refuge in gods — but rather in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

The sutra says:

Those who have gone to the Buddha for refuge Will not go to the plane of woe.

Mantra context

Interestingly, in this Pali sutra, Buddha expresses the belief in the power of mantras and their use. Although, typically, mantra is associated with Mahayana and Vajrayana, this is clear evidence that the ancient Pali Canon also mentioned the use of mantra.

But ultimately, the refuge from Fear (Mara) is Buddha, or specifically the words of Buddha (Dharma). Mara, an important personification of temptation, lust and fear, is a central character here, as he was when Buddha meditated under the Bodhi Tree, or later when Sister Soma meditated in the forest. [Sister Soma Sutta found here>>]

Mara the evil, the tempter, often comes into dreams or meditations to challenge meditators. Mara assailed Shakyamuni Buddha under the Bodhi tree prior to his Enlightenment. Here, in The Great Meeting Sutra, Mara assails the followers of Buddha at the Great Meeting with his army.

Why gods and devas?

The use of “folklore” and deities of the day can be thought of as symbolic, or “real”, but in either case the supernatural aspects aren’t that important. Buddha often dismissed “devas” (gods and goddesses) as not important to the spiritual path. It is often said one can believe in “gods” of any faith, and still practice Buddhism. Yet they are often featured in Sutras in this context (as students there to learn from the Awakened One) to help punctuate the importance of Enlightenment for all classes of being from low to high.

Still, this sutra begs the question, if Buddha felt the devas were not important to Buddhist spiritual practice, why does “The Great Meeting” exhaustively list them all? As with any argument or statement, context is needed. The Who’s Who of devas is important context to the core message that ultimately, refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha are the path to Enlightenment. Even devas themselves must seek refuge if they hope for Enlightenment.

 

Here is the Maha Samaya Pali chanting often performed as a blessing or daily practice:


[NOTE: If you wish to chant along in Pali, the Pali text in full, with English translation in full, is at the end of this feature.]

Key Doctrines of the Sutra

The main teachings from the Sutta are important ones:

  • Buddhist meditation in general removes the causes of fear
  • Taking Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha we will not have lower rebirth
  • That attachments and clinging are the causes of fear and warfare, strife and suffering.

There are also some contextual doctrines that relate to Devas, but depending on our views — remembering that Buddha’s path to Enlightenment is not in any way dependent on any gods — they are more part of the “Who’s Who” aspect of the Sutra:

  • Devas regularly attended Buddha’s teachings
  • Only those who are advanced in practice can see devas (gods)
  • Devas live invisibly among us
  • 10 worlds and 6 classes of beings
  • And so on.

These “magical” or “supernatural” aspects aren’t the message of the Buddha. They follow the traditional style of teachings in the days of Buddha: beginning with an exhaustive list of attendees, and serve to illustrate that all classes of beings, from Devas to lowly, can benefit from the teachings.

Sutra English Translation

Maha-Samaya Sutta

The Great Meeting 

 

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood, together with a large Sangha of approximately five hundred Bhikkhus, all of them arahants. And most of the devatas from ten world-systems had gathered in order to see the Blessed One and the Bhikkhu Sangha. Then the thought occurred to four devatas of the ranks from the Pure Abodes: “The Blessed One is dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood, together with a large Sangha of about five hundred Bhikkhus, all of them arahants. And most of the devatas from ten world-systems have gathered in order to see the Blessed One and the Bhikkhu Sangha. Let us also approach the Blessed One and, on arrival, let us each speak a verse in his presence.”

Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, those devatas disappeared from among the devas of the Pure Abodes and reappeared before the Blessed One. Having paid homage to the Blessed One, they stood to one side. As they were standing there, one devata recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

A great meeting in the woods: The deva hosts have assembled. We have come to this Dhamma meeting To see the invincible Sangha.

Then another devata recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

The Bhikkhus there are concentrated, Have straightened their own minds. Like a charioteer holding the reins, The wise ones guard their faculties.

Then another devata recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

Having cut through barrenness, cut the crossbar, Having uprooted Indra’s pillar, unstirred, They wander about pure, unstained, Young nagas well tamed by the One with Vision.

Then another devata recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

Those who have gone to the Buddha for refuge Will not go to the plane of woe. On discarding the human body, They will fill the hosts of the devas.

Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Monks, most of the devatas from ten world-systems have gathered in order to see the Tathágata and the Bhikkhu Sangha. Those who, in the past, were Pure Ones, Rightly Self-awakened, at most had their devata-gathering like mine at the present. Those who, in the future, will be Pure Ones, Rightly Self-awakened, will at most have their devata-gathering like mine at the present. I will detail for you the names of the deva hosts. I will describe to you the names of the deva hosts. I will teach you the names of the deva hosts. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks replied. The Blessed One said:

I recite a verse of tribute. Those who live where spirits dwell, who live in mountain caves, resolute, concentrated, many, like hidden lions, who have overcome horripilation, white-hearted, pure, serene, and undisturbed: Knowing that more than 500 of them had come to the forest of Kapilavatthu, the Teacher then said to them, disciples delighting in his instruction, “The deva hosts have approached. Detect them, monks!” Listening to the Awakened One’s instruction, they made a diligent effort. Knowledge appeared to them, vision of non-human beings. Some saw 100, some 1,000, some 70,000, some had vision of 100,000 non-human beings. Some gained vision of innumerable devas filling every direction. Realizing all this, the One-with-Vision felt moved to speak. The Teacher then said to them, disciples delighting in his instruction, “The deva hosts have approached. Detect them, monks, as I describe their glories, one by one.

7,000 yakkhas inhabiting the land of Kapilavatthu, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

6,000 yakhas from the Himalayas, of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

From Mount Sata 3,000 yakkhas of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

These 16,000 yakkhas of varied hue powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

500 yakkhas from Vessamitta, of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Kumbhira from Rajagaha, who dwells on Mount Vepulla, accompanied by more than 100,000 yakkhas — Kumbhira from Rajagaha: He, too, has come to the forest meeting.

And Dhatarattha, who rules as king of the Eastern Direction, as lord of the gandhabbas: A glorious, great king is he, and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

And Virulha, who rules as king of the Southern Direction, as lord of the kumbandas: A glorious, great king is he, and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

And Virupakkha, who rules as king of the Western Direction, as lord of the nagas: A glorious, great king is he, and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

And Kuvera, who rules as king of the Northern Direction, as lord of the yakkhas: A glorious, great king is he, and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Dhatarattha from the Eastern Direction, Virulhaka from the South, Virupakkha from the West, Kuvera from the Northern Direction: These four Great Kings encompassing the four directions, resplendent, stand in the Kapilavatthu forest.

Their deceitful vassals have also come — deceptive, treacherous — Maya, Kutendu, vetendu, Vitu with Vituta, Candana, the Chief of Sensual Pleasure, Kinnughandu, Nighandu, Panada, the Mimic, Matali, the deva’s charioteer, Cittasena the gandhabba, King Nala, the Bull of the People, Pañcasikha has come with Timbaru and his daughter, Suriyavacchasa. These and other kings, gandhabbas with their kings, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Then there have also come nagas from Lake Nabhasa, Vesali, and Tacchaka. Kambalas, Assataras, Payagas, and their kin.

And from the River Yamuna comes the prestigious naga, Dhatarattha. The great naga Eravanna: He, too, has come to the forest meeting.”

They who swoop down swiftly on naga kings, divine, twice born, winged, their eyesight pure: (Garudas) came from the sky to the midst of the forest. Citra and Supanna are their names. But the Buddha made the naga kings safe, made them secure from Supanna. Addressing one another with affectionate words, the nagas and Supannas made the Buddha their refuge.

“Defeated by Indra of the thunderbolt hand, Asuras dwelling in the ocean, Vasava’s brothers — powerful, prestigious — Greatly terrifying Kalakañjas, the Danaveghasa asuras Vepacitti and Sucitti, Paharada, with Namuci, and Bali’s hundred sons, all named Veroca, arrayed with powerful armies have approached their honored Rahu [and said]: ‘Now is the occasion, sir, of the monk’s forest meeting.’

Devas of water, earth, fire, and wind have come here. Varunas, Varunas, Soma together with Yasa, the prestigious devas of the hosts of goodwill and compassion have come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Vendu (Visnu) and Sahali, Asama and the Yama twins, the devas dependent on the moon surrounding the moon have come. The devas dependent on the sun surrounding the sun have come. Devas surrounding the zodiac stars and the sprites of the clouds have come. Sakka, chief of the Vasus, the ancient donor, has come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Then come the Sahabhu devas, blazing like crests of fire-flame. The Arittakas, Rojas, cornflower blue. Varunas and Sahadhammas, Accutas and Anejakas, Suleyyas and Ruciras, and Vasavanesis have come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Samanas and Great Samanas, Manusas and Super Manusas, the devas corrupted by fun have come, as well as devas corrupted by mind. Then come green-gold devas and those wearing red. Paragas and Great Paragas, prestigious devas have come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

White devas, ruddy-green devas, dawn-devas have come with the Veghanas headed by devas totally in white. The Vicakkhanas have come. Sadamatta, Haragajas, and the prestigious multi-coloreds, Pajunna, the thunderer, who brings rain to all lands: These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

The Khemiyas, Tusitas, and Yamas, the prestigious Katthakas, Lambitakas, and Lama chiefs, the Jotinamas and Asavas, the Nimmanaratis have come, as have the Paranimmitas. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

These 60 deva groups, all of varied hue, have come arranged in order, together with others in like manner [thinking:] ‘We’ll see him  who has transcended birth, who has no bounds, who has crossed over the flood, the Mighty One, beyond evil, like the moon released from a cloud.’

Subrahma and Paramatta Brahma, together with sons of the Powerful One, Sanankumara and Tissa: They too have come to the forest meeting. Great Brahma, who stands over 1,000 Brahma worlds, who arose there spontaneously, effulgent: Prestigious is he, with a terrifying body. And ten Brahma sovereigns, each the lord of his own realm — and in their midst has come Harita Brahma surrounded by his retinue.”

When all these devas with Indras and Brahmas had come, Mara came as well. Now look at the Dark One’s foolishness!

[Mara said:] “Come seize them! Bind them! Tie them down with passion! Surround them on every side! Don’t let anyone at all escape!” Thus the great war-lord urged on his dark army, slapping the ground with his hand, making a horrendous din, as when a storm cloud bursts with thunder, lightening, and torrents of rain. But then he withdrew-enraged, with none under his sway. Realizing all this, the One-with-Vision felt moved to speak.”

The Teacher then said to them, disciples delighting in his instruction,

“Mara’s army has approached. Detect them, monks!” Listening to the Awakened One’s instruction, they made a diligent effort. The army retreated from those without passion, without raising even a hair on their bodies. Having all won the battle — prestigious, past fear — they rejoice with all beings: Disciples outstanding among the human race.

 

Sutra in full with Pali transliteration and English Translation

Maha-samaya Sutta

The Great Meeting

[Evam-me sutaa.] Ekaa samayaa Bhagav›, Sakkesu viharati Kapilavatthusmia Mah›vane, mahat› bhikkhu-saoghena saddhia pañca-mattehi bhikkhu-satehi sabbeheva arahantehi. Dasahi ca loka-dh›tÒhi devat› yebhuyyena sannipatit› honti Bhagavantaa dassan›ya bhikkhu-saoghañca.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood, together with a large Sangha of approximately five hundred bhikkhus, all of them arahants. And most of the devat›s from ten world-systems had gathered in order to see the Blessed One & the Bhikkhu Sangha.

Atha kho catunnaa suddh›v›sa-k›yik›naa dev›naa etad-ahosi, “Ayaa kho Bhagav› Sakkesu viharati Kapilavatthusmia Mah›vane,
mahat› bhikkhu-saoghena saddhia pañca-mattehi bhikkhu-satehi sabbeheva arahantehi.
Dasahi ca loka-dh›tÒhi devat› yebhuyyena sannipatit› honti Bhagavantaa dassan›ya bhikkhu- saoghañca. YannÒna mayam-pi yena Bhagav› ten’upasaokameyy›ma, upasaokamitv› Bhagavato santike pacceka-g›th› bh›seyy›m›ti.”

Then the thought occurred to four devat›s of the ranks from the Pure Abodes: “The Blessed One is dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Great Wood, together with a large Sangha of about five hundred bhikkhus, all of them arahants. And most of the devat›s from ten world-

systems have gathered in order to see the Blessed One & the Bhikkhu Sangha. Let us also approach the Blessed One and, on arrival, let us each speak a verse in his presence.”

Atha kho t› devat› seyyath›-pi n›ma balav› puriso sammiñjitaa v› b›haa pas›reyya,
pas›ritaa v› b›haa sammiñjeyya,
evam-eva suddh›v›sesu devesu antarahit› Bhagavato purato p›turahaasu.

Atha kho t› devat› Bhagavantaa abhiv›detv› ekam-antaa a ̨ ̨haasu.
Ekam-antaa ̨hit› kho ek› devat› Bhagavato santike imaa g›thaa abh›si.

Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, those devat›s disappeared from among the devas of the Pure Abodes and reappeared before the Blessed One. Having paid homage to the Blessed One, they stood to one side. As they were standing there, one devat› recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

Mah›-samayo pavanasmia Deva-k›y› sam›gat› figatamha imaa dhamma-samayaa Dakkhit›yeva apar›jita-saoghanti.

“A great meeting in the woods:
The deva hosts have assembled.
We have come to this Dhamma meeting to see the unvanquished Sangha.”

Atha kho apar› devat› Bhagavato santike imaa g›thaa abh›si.

Tatra bhikkhavo sam›dahaasu Cittaa attano ujukam-akaasu

S›rathı va nett›ni gahetv› Indriy›ni rakkhanti pa ̊ ̃it›ti.

Then another devat› recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

“There the bhikkhus are concentrated, have straightened their own minds. Like a charioteer holding the reins, the wise ones guard their faculties.”

Atha kho apar› devat› Bhagavato santike imaa g›thaa abh›si.

Chetv› khılaa chetv› palıghaa Inda-khılaa ohaccam-anej›,

Te caranti suddh› vimal›
Cakkhumat› sudant› susu-n›g›ti.

Then another devat› recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

“Having cut through barrenness, cut the cross-bar, having uprooted Indra’s pillar, unstirred,
they wander about pure, unstained,
young n›gas well tamed by the One with Vision.”

Atha kho apar› devat› Bhagavato santike imaa g›thaa abh›si.

Ye keci Buddhaa sara ̊aa gat›se
Na te gamissanti ap›ya-bhÒmia.

Pah›ya m›nusaa dehaa Deva-k›yaa paripÒressantıti.

Then another devat› recited this verse in the Blessed One’s presence:

“Those who have gone to the Buddha for refuge will not go to the plane of woe.
On discarding the human body,

they will fill the hosts of the devas.”

Atha kho Bhagav› bhikkhÒ ›mantesi, “Yebhuyyena bhikkhave dasasu loka-dh›tÒsu devat› sannipatit› honti Tath›gataa dassan›ya bhikkhu- saoghañca.

Ye-pi te bhikkhave ahesua atıtam-addh›naa arahanto Samm›-sambuddh›,
tesam-pi Bhagavant›naa eta-param›yeva devat› sannipatit› ahesua, seyyath›-pi mayhaa etarahi.

Ye-pi te bhikkhave bhavissanti an›gatam- addh›naa arahanto Samm›-sambuddh›,

tesam-pi Bhagavant›naa eta-param›yeva devat› sannipatit› bhavissanti, seyyath›-pi mayhaa etarahi.

Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Monks, most of the devat›s from ten world-systems have gathered in order to see the Tath›gata & the Bhikkhu Sangha. Those who, in the past, were Pure Ones, Rightly Self- awakened, at most had their devat›-gathering like mine at the present. Those who, in the future, will be Pure Ones, Rightly Self-awakened, will at most have their devat›-gathering like mine at the present.

ficikkhiss›mi bhikkhave deva-k›y›naa n›m›ni. Kittayiss›mi bhikkhave deva-k›y›naa n›m›ni. Desiss›mi bhikkhave deva-k›y›naa n›m›ni.
Taa su ̊›tha s›dhukaa manasikarotha bh›siss›mıti.”

“Evam-bhanteti” kho te bhikkhÒ Bhagavato paccassosua. Bhagav› etad-avoca.

“I will tell you the names of the deva hosts. I will describe to you
the names of the deva hosts. I will teach you the names of the deva hosts. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks replied. The Blessed One said:

Silokam-anukass›mi Ye sit› giri-gabbharaa PuthÒ sıh›va sallın› Od›ta-manas› suddh›

Yattha bhumm› tadassit› Pahitatt› sam›hit› Loma-haas›bhisambhuno Vippasannam-an›vil›

I recite a verse of tribute.
Those who live where spirits dwell,
who live in mountain caves, resolute, concentrated, many, like hidden lions, who have overcome horripilation, white-hearted, pure, serene, & undisturbed:

Bhiyyo pañca-sate ñatv›
Tato ›mantayi Satth›
”Deva-k›y› abhikkant›
Te ca ›tappam-akarua
Tesam-p›turahu ñ› ̊aa
Appeke satam-addakkhua Sahassaa atha sattaria Sataa eke sahass›naa Amanuss›nam-addasua Appekenantam-addakkhua Dis› sabb› phu ̨› ahua

Vane K›pilavatthave S›vake s›sane rate
Te vij›n›tha bhikkhavo” Sutv› Buddhassa s›sanaa Amanuss›na dassanaa

Knowing that more than 500 of them
had come to the forest of Kapilavastu,
the Teacher then said to them,
disciples delighting in his instruction,
“The deva hosts have approached. Detect them, monks!” Listening to the Awakened One’s instruction,

they made an ardent effort.
Knowledge appeared to them, vision of non-human beings. Some saw 100, some 1,000, some 70,000,
some had vision of 100,000 non-human beings.
Some gained vision of innumerable devas

filling every direction.

Tañca sabbaa abhiññ›ya Tato ›mantayi Satth› “Deva-k›y› abhikkant› Ye vohaa kittayiss›mi

Vavakkhitv›na cakkhum› S›vake s›sane rate
Te vij›n›tha bhikkhavo Gir›hi anupubbaso.”

Realizing all this,
the One-with-Vision felt moved to speak.
The Teacher then said to them,
disciples delighting in his instruction,
“The deva hosts have approached. Detect them, monks, as I describe their glories, one by one.

Satta-sahass› va yakkh› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Bhumm› K›pilavatthav› Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

7,000 yakkhas inhabiting the land of K›pilavastu, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Cha-sahass› hemavat› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Yakkh› n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

6,000 yakkhas from the Him›layas, of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

S›t›gir› ti-sahass› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Yakkh› n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

From Mount S›ta 3,000 yakkhas of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Iccete so ̆asa-sahass› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Yakkh› n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

These 16,000 yakkhas of varied hue
powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Vess›mitt› pañca-sat› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Yakkh› n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

500 yakkhas from Vess›mitta, of varied hue, powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Kumbhıro R›jagahiko Bhiyyo naa sata-sahassaa Kumbhıro R›jagahiko

Vepullassa nivesanaa Yakkh›naa payirup›sati

Sop’›ga samitia vanaa.

Kumbhıra from R›jagaha,
who dwells on Mount Vepulla,
attended to by more than 100,000 yakkhas— Kumbhıra from R›jagaha:
He, too, has come to the forest meeting.

Purimañca disaa r›j› Gandhabb›naa ›dhipati Putt›-pi tassa bahavo Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Dhatara ̨ ̨ho pas›sati Mah›r›j› yasassi so Inda-n›m› mahabbal› Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

And Dhatara ̨ ̨ha, who rules as king of the Eastern Direction,

as lord of the gandhabbas: A glorious, great king is he,
and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious,
rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Dakkhi ̊añca disaa r›j› Kumbha ̊ ̃›naa ›dhipati Putt›-pi tassa bahavo Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

VirÒ ̆ho tappas›sati Mah›r›j› yasassi so Inda-n›m› mahabbal› Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

8

And VirÒ ̆ha, who rules as king of the Southern Direction, as lord of the kumba ̊ ̃as: A glorious, great king is he,
and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious,

rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Pacchimañca disaa r›j› N›g›naa ›dhipati Putt›-pi tassa bahavo Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

VirÒpakkho pas›sati Mah›r›j› yasassi so Inda-n›m› mahabbal› Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

And VirÒpakkha, who rules as king of the Western Direction, as lord of the n›gas: A glorious, great king is he,
and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious,

rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Uttarañca disaa r›j› Yakkh›naa ›dhipati Putt›-pi tassa bahavo Iddhimanto jutimanto

Kuvero tappas›sati Mah›r›j› yasassi so Inda-n›m› mahabbal› Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino

Modam›n› abhikk›mua BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

And Kuvera, who rules as king of the Northern Direction, as lord of the yakkhas: A glorious, great king is he,
and many are his sons named Indra, of great strength. Powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious,

rejoicing, they have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Purima-disaa Dhatara ̨ ̨ho Pacchimena VirÒpakkho Catt›ro te mah›r›j› Daddallam›n› a ̨ ̨haasu

Dakkhi ̊ena VirÒ ̆hako Kuvero uttaraa disaa Samant› caturo dis› Vane K›pilavatthave

Dhatara ̨ ̨ha from the Eastern Direction,
VirÒ ̆haka from the South,
VirÒpakkha from the West,
Kuvera from the Northern Direction:
These four Great Kings encompassing the four directions, resplendent, stand in the K›pilavastu forest.

Tesaa m›y›vino d›s› M›y› Ku ̨e ̊ ̃u Ve ̨e ̊ ̃u Candano K›ma-se ̨ ̨ho ca Pan›do Opamañño ca Cittaseno ca gandhabbo figÒ Pañcasikho c’eva Ete c’aññe ca r›j›no Modam›n› abhikk›mua

figÒ vañcanik› sa ̨h›
Vi ̨Ò ca Vi ̨u ̨o saha Kinnugha ̊ ̃u Nigha ̊ ̃u ca Deva-sÒto ca M›tali

Na ̆o r›j› Janosabho
TimbarÒ Suriyavacchas› Gandhabb› saha r›jubhi BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

Their deceitful vassals have also come —deceptive, treacherous—

M›y›, Ku ̨e ̊ ̃u, Ve ̨e ̊ ̃u, Vi ̨u with Vi ̨u ̨a, Candana, the Chief of Sensual Pleasure, Kinnugha ̊ ̃u, Nigha ̊ ̃u,

Pan›da, the Mimic, M›tali, the deva’s charioteer, Cittasena the gandhabba, King Na ̆a, the Bull of the People, Pañcasikha has come
with Timbaru [and his daughter,] Suriyavacchas›.
These & other kings, gandhabbas with their kings, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Ath›gÒ N›bhas› n›g› Kambal’Assatar› ›gÒ Y›mun› Dhatara ̨ ̨h› ca Er›va ̊ ̊o mah›n›go

Ves›l› saha Tacchak› P›y›g› saha ñ›tibhi figÒ n›g› yasassino Sop’›ga samitia vanaa.

Then there have also come n›gas
from Lake N›bhasa, Ves›lı & Tacchaka. Kambalas, Assataras, Pay›gas, & their kin. And from the River Y›muna
comes the prestigious n›ga, Dhatara ̨ ̨ha. The great n›ga Erava ̊ ̊a:
He, too, has come to the forest meeting.”

Ye n›ga-r›je sahas› haranti
Dibb› dij› pakkhi visuddha-cakkhÒ Veh›yas› te vana-majjha-patt›
Citr› Supa ̊ ̊› iti tesa’n›maa Abhayantad› n›ga-r›j›nam›si
Supa ̊ ̊ato khemam-ak›si Buddho Sa ̊h›hi v›c›hi upavhayant›
N›g› Supa ̊ ̊› sara ̊am-akaasu Buddhaa

They who swoop down swiftly on n›ga kings,
divine, twice-born, winged, their eyesight pure: (Garu ̃as) came from the sky to the midst of the forest. Citra & Supa ̊ ̊a are their names.
But the Buddha made the n›ga kings safe,

made them secure from Supa ̊ ̊a.
Addressing one another with affectionate words,
the n›gas & Supa ̊ ̊as made the Buddha their refuge.

Jit› vajira-hatthena Bh›taro V›savassete K›lakañj› mah›bhism› Vepacitti Sucitti ca Satañca Bali-putt›naa Sannayhitv›baliasenaa Samayod›ni bhaddante

Samuddaa asur› sit› Iddhimanto yasassino
Asur› D›naveghas› Pah›r›do Namucı saha Sabbe Veroca-n›mak› R›hu-bhaddam-up›gamua BhikkhÒnaa samitaa vanaa

“Defeated by Indra of the thunderbolt hand,
Asuras dwelling in the ocean,
V›sava’s brothers—powerful, prestigious—
Greatly terrifying K›lakañjas, the D›naveghasa asuras, Vepacitti & Sucitti, Pah›r›da, with Namucı,

and Bali’s hundred sons, all named Veroca, arrayed with powerful armies
have approached their honored R›hu
[and said]: ‘Now is the occasion, sir,

of the monk’s forest meeting.’

fipo ca dev› Pa ̨havı ca Varu ̊› V›ru ̊› dev› Mett›-Karu ̊›-k›yik› Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Tejo V›yo tad-›gamua Somo ca Yasas› saha
figÒ dev› yasassino
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

Devas of water, earth, fire, & wind have come here. Varu ̊as, V›ru ̊as, Soma together with Yasa,
the prestigious devas of the hosts
of goodwill & compassion have come.

These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,
powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Ve ̊ ̃Ò ca dev› Sahalı ca CandassÒpanis› dev› SuriyassÒpanis› dev› Nakkhatt›ni purakkhitv› VasÒnaa V›savo se ̨ ̨ho Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Asam› ca duve Yam› Candam-›gÒ purakkhit› Suriyam-›gÒ purakkhit› figÒ mandaval›hak› Sakkop’›ga purindado
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

12

Ve ̊ ̃u (Vi ̋ ̊u) & Sahalı,
Asama & the Yama twins,
the devas dependent on the moon
surrounding the moon have come.
The devas dependent on the sun
surrounding the sun have come.
Devas surrounding the zodiac stars
and the sprites of the clouds have come.
Sakka, chief of the Vasus, the ancient donor, has come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,
powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Ath›gÒ SahabhÒ dev› Ari ̨ ̨hak› ca Roj› ca Varu ̊› Sahadhamm› ca SÒleyya-Rucir› ›gÒ Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Jalam-aggi-sikh›riva Umm›-pupphanibh›sino Accut› ca Anejak›
figÒ V›savanesino
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

Then come the Sahabhu devas,
blazing like crests of fire-flame.
The Ari ̨ ̨akas, Rojas, cornflower blue.
Varu ̊as & Sahadhammas, Accutas & Anejakas, SÒleyyas & Ruciras, and Vasavanesis have come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,
powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Sam›n› Mah›sam›n› Khi ̃ ̃›-padÒsik› ›gÒ Ath›gÒ Harayo dev› P›rag› Mah›p›rag› Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

M›nus› M›nusuttam›
figÒ Mano-padÒsik›
Ye ca Lohitav›sino
figÒ dev› yasassino
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

13

Sam›nas, Great Sam›nas, M›nusas, Super Manusas, the devas corrupted by fun have come,
as well as devas corrupted by mind.
Then come green-gold devas and those wearing red. P›ragas, Great P›ragas, prestigious devas have come. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,

powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Sukk› Karumh› Aru ̊› Od›tagayh› p›mokkh› Sad›matt› H›ragaj› Thanayaa ›g› Pajunno Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

figÒ Veghanas› saha
figÒ dev› Vicakkha ̊› Missak› ca yasassino
Yo dis› abhivassati
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

White devas, ruddy-green devas, dawn-devas have come with the Veghanas
headed by devas totally in white.
The Vicakkha ̊as have come.

Sad›matta, H›ragajas, & the prestigious multi-coloreds, Pajunna, the thunderer, who brings rain to the lands: These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,
powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious,

rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Khemiy› Tusit› Y›m› Lambitak› L›mase ̨ ̨h› Nimm›naratino ›gÒ Dasete dasadh› k›y› Iddhimanto jutimanto Modam›n› abhikk›mua

Ka ̨ ̨hak› ca yasassino Jotin›m› ca ›sav›
Ath›gÒ Paranimmit›
Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino Va ̊ ̊avanto yasassino BhikkhÒnaa samitia vanaa.

The Khemiyas, Tusitas, & Y›mas, the prestigious Ka ̨ ̨hakas, Lambitakas & L›ma chiefs, the Jotin›mas & fisavas,
the Nimm›naratis have come, as have the Paranimmitas. These ten ten-fold hosts, all of varied hue,

powerful, effulgent, glamorous, prestigious, rejoicing, have approached the monks’ forest meeting.

Sa ̨ ̨hete deva-nik›y› Sabbe n›natta-va ̊ ̊ino N›manvayena›gañchua Yec’aññesadis›saha “Pavuttha-j›tim-akkhılaa Ogha-ti ̊ ̊am-an›savaa Dakkhem’oghataraa n›gaa Candaa va asit›titaa.”

These 60 deva groups, all of varied hue,
have come arranged in order,
together with others in like manner [thinking:] ‘We’ll see the one who has transcended birth,
who has no bounds, who has crossed over the flood,

fermentation-free,
the Mighty One, crossing over the flood,
like the moon emerging from the dark fortnight.’

Subrahm› Paramatto ca Sanaokum›ro Tisso ca Sahassa-brahma-lok›naa Upapanno jutimanto Desettha issar› ›gÒ Tesañca majjhato ›g›

Putt› iddhimato saha Sop’›ga samitia vanaa. Mah›-brahm›bhiti ̨ ̨hati Bhism›-k›yo yasassi so Pacceka-vasavattino H›rito pariv›rito.”

Subrahm› and Paramatta Brahma,
together with sons of the Powerful One,
Sanaokum›ra and Tissa:
They too have come to the forest meeting.
Great Brahm›, who stands over 1,000 Brahma worlds,
who arose there spontaneously, effulgent:
Prestigious is he, with a terrifying body.
And ten brahma sovereigns, each the lord of his own realm— and in their midst has come Harita Brahma
surrounded by his retinue.”

Te ca sabbe abhikkante Sinde deve sabrahmake M›ra-sen› abhikk›mi Passa ka ̊hassa mandiyaa “Etha ga ̊hatha bandhatha R›gena bandhamatthu vo

Samant› pariv›retha
Iti tattha mah›seno P› ̊in› talam-›hacca Yath› p›vussako megho Tad› so paccud›vatti

M› vo muñcittha koci naa.” Ka ̊ha-senaa apesayi Saraa katv›na bheravaa Thanayanto savijjuko Saokuddho asayaa-vase

When all these devas with Indras & Brahmas had come, M›ra’s army came as well.

Now look at the Dark One’s foolishness! [He said:] “Come seize them! Bind them! Tie them down with passion!
Surround them on every side!

Don’t let anyone at all escape!”
Thus the great warlord urged on his dark army, slapping the ground with his hand,
making a horrendous din, as when
a storm cloud bursts with thunder,
lightning, & torrents of rain.
But then he withdrew—enraged,
with none under his sway.

Tañca sabbaa abhiññ›ya Tato ›mantayi Satth› “M›ra-sen› abhikkant› Te ca ›tappam-akarua Vıtar›gehi pakk›mua Sabbe vijita-saog›m› Modanti saha bhÒtehi,

Vavakkhitv›na cakkhum› S›vake s›sane rate
Te vij›n›tha bhikkhavo” Sutv› Buddhassa s›sanaa Nesaa lomam-pi iñjayua Bhay›tıt› yasassino S›vak› te janesut›ti.

Realizing all this,
the One-with-Vision felt moved to speak.
The Teacher then said to them,
disciples delighting in his instruction,
“M›ra’s army has approached. Detect them, monks!” Listening to the Awakened One’s instruction,

they made an ardent effort.
The army retreated from those without passion, without raising even a hair on their bodies.
Having all won the battle—prestigious, past fear—

they rejoice with all beings:
disciples outstanding among the human race.

 

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