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Saŋyutta Nikāya
I. Sagatha Vagga
4. Mārasaɱyutta

Sutta 20

Rajja Sutta

Rulership

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[8.2][pts][wp] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Kosalans in a wilderness hut in a Himalayan district. Then, as he was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in his awareness: "Is it possible to exercise rulership without killing or causing others to kill, without confiscating or causing others to confiscate, without sorrowing or causing others sorrow — righteously?"

Then Mara, the Evil One, knowing with his awareness the train of thought in the Blessed One's awareness, went to him and on arrival said to him: "Exercise rulership, Blessed One! Exercise rulership, O One Well-gone! — without killing or causing others to kill, without confiscating or causing others to confiscate, without sorrowing or causing others sorrow — righteously!"

"But what do you see in me, Evil One, that you say to me, 'Exercise rulership, Blessed One! Exercise rulership, O One Well-gone! — without killing or causing others to kill, without confiscating or causing others to confiscate, without sorrowing or causing others sorrow — righteously!'?"

"Lord, the Blessed One has developed the four bases of power, pursued them, handed them the reins and taken them as a basis, given them a grounding, steadied them, consolidated them, and undertaken them well. If he wanted to, he could resolve on the Himalayas, king of mountains, as gold, and it would become a mountain of gold."

[The Buddha:]

The entirety
of a mountain of gold,
of solid bullion:
even twice that
wouldn't suffice
for one person.
    Knowing this,
    live evenly,
    in tune with the contemplative life.

When you see stress,
and from where it comes,
how can you incline
to sensual pleasures?
Knowing acquisition
to be a bond in the world,
    train for
    its subduing.

Then Mara the Evil One — sad and dejected at realizing, "The Blessed One knows me; the One Well-gone knows me" — vanished right there.

 


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