4. Catukka Nipāta
VII. Pattakamma Vagga
The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter VII: Deeds of Merit
Ahi (Metta) Suttaɱ
Lord of Snakes
Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.
On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvaṭṭhī, in Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.
Now at that time at Sāvaṭṭhī a certain monk had been bitten by a snake and had died.
So a great number of monks came to visit the Exalted One, and on coming to him saluted him and sat down at one side.
So seated those monks said this to the Exalted One:
"Lord, a certain monk here in Sāvaṭṭhī has been bitten by a snake and has died."
"Then, monks, that monk did not suffuse with heart of amity the four royal families of snakes.
Had he done so that monk would not have died of snake-bite.
What are the four royal families of snakes?
The royal family of snakes called Virūpakkha,
that called Erāpatha,
that called Chabyāputta and
the royal family of  snakes called Kaṇhā-gotamaka.
Monks, that monk did not suffuse with heart of amity these four royal families of snakes;
had he done so he would not have died of snake-bite.
Monks, for self-warding,
for self-protection I do enjoin
that ye suffuse with heart of amity
these four royal families of snakes, thus:
May I have kindness with Virūpakkhas,
May I have kindness with Erāpathas,
With Chabyāputtas may I kindness have.
With Kaṇhā-gotamakas may I have kindness.
May I have kindness with the footless,
With those of two feet may I kindness have,
With quadrupeds may I have kindness.
May I have kindness with the many-footed.
Let not the footless do me harm,
Nor those that have two feet;
Let not four-footed ones me harm,
Nor those with many feet.
All creatures, living things, - may all that has become, -
May one and all see luck, and may no harm befall.
Infinite the Buddha, infinite is Dhamma, infinite the Order.
Finite are creeping things, snakes, scorpions, centipedes;
Finite are spinning spiders, house-lizards, rats and mice.
Done by me is warding, done by me is protection.
Let all things living now depart in peace.
I, even I, before the Exalted One bow down;
Before the seven fully Enlightened Ones I bow.'
Virūpakkha was regarded as regent of the western quarter (D. iii, 199). Comy. can tell us nothing of the other three. Jātaka Comy. says that the Bodhisattva promised long life to those who observed this paritta, or charm, and that thereafter the monks lived long, while the B. himself 'by developing the divine moods (brahmavihāre) was bound for the Brahma world.' For Metta-Sutta see KhpA. ix and Manual of a Mystic, p. 4 ff.
 Uṇṇānabhi, 'belly-spinners.' JA. Comy.