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Saɱyutta Nikāya
3. Khandha Vagga
22. Khandha Saɱyutta
8. Khajjaniya Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
3. The Book Called the Khandhā-Vagga
Containing Kindred Sayings on the Elements of Sensory Existence and other Subjects
22. Kindred Sayings on Elements
8. On what Must be Devoured

Sutta 78

Sīh'Opama Suttaɱ

The Lion[1]

Translated by F. L. Woodward
Edited by Mrs. Rhys Davids

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[84] [70]

[1][bodh][than] Thus have I heard:—

The Exalted One was staying at Sāvatthī
In jeta Grove,
at Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Then the Exalted One said:

"The lion, brethren,
king of beasts,
at eventide comes forth from his lair.

Having come forth from his lair
he stretches[2] himself.

Having done so
he surveys the four quarters.

Surveying the four quarters
he utters thrice his lion's roar.

Thrice having uttered his lion's roar
he sallies forth on his round.

Whatsoever brute creatures,[3] brethren,
hear the sound of the roar of the lion,
king of beasts,
for the most part are afraid,
fall a-quaking and a-tremblmg.

Those that dwell in holes seek them;
water-dwellers make for the water;
forest-dwellers enter the forest;
birds mount into the air.

Then, brethren, whatsoever royal elephants
at royal seats,
in villages,
in towns
are tethered with stout leathern bonds,[4]
[71] burst and rend those bonds asunder,
voiding excrements
and run to and fro
for very fear.[5]

Thus potent, brethren, is the lion,
king of beasts,
over brute creatures;
of such might,
of such power is he.

Even so, brethren,
when a Tathāgata ariseth in the world,[6]
an Arahant,
fully awakened,
perfect in lore and conduct,
unsurpassed charioteer of men to be tamed,
teacher of devas and mankind,
a Buddha,
an Exalted One, -
thus he teacheth the Norm:

'Such and such is body,
its arising and its ceasing.

Such and such is feeling,
its arising and its ceasing.

Such and such is perception,
its arising and its ceasing.

Such and such the activities,
their arising and their ceasing.

Such and such is consciousness,
its arising and its ceasing.'

Then, brethren, whatsoever devas there be,
and blissful,
long established in lofty palaces,
when they hear the Norm-teaching of the Tathāgata,
for the most part[7] they become fearful,
fall a-trerablmg and a-quaking,
(and they say):

'It seems, friends,
that impermanent are we,
and permanent we deemed ourselves.

Unstable are we, it seems,
and stable we deemed ourselves.

Not to last, friends, it seems are we,
and lasting we deemed ourselves.

Verily, friends, are we impermanent,
not to last,
prisoned in a person.'

Thus potent, brethren, is the Tathāgata
over devas and their world;
of such might,
of such power is he."



So spake the Exalted One,
and when the Well-farer had thus spoken,
the Teacher added this further:

[72] "When the 'waked by mighty wisdom sets the Norm-wheel rolling on, -
Teacher he without a rival of the devas and the world -
Teacher that the person[8] ceases and the person comes to be,
And the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to calming of all woe, -
Devas, they who live for ages, beauteous, of great renown,
Like the beasts before the lion, fall a-trembling, are afraid:[9]
For they have not conquered selfhood. 'Transient, friends,' say they 'are we,'
When they hear the Ar'hant's words, of him who hath won liberty."


[1] Cf. A. ii. 33, K.S. ii, 23, 41.

[2] Comy. describes in detail how a lion stretches himself.

[3] Tiracchānagatā pāṇā: explained elsewhere as 'going horizontally, as opposed to the erect gait of humans.'

[4] Reading varattehi with Comy.

[5] Comy. 'Few are they that fear not. Who are they? Lions of like nature, elephants, and steeds and bull and men of noble breed. Lions fear not because they say, 'we be of one blood, you and we' Elephants, because they trust in self and mighty power. But holy saints fear not because they have put away belief in self.'

[6] Comy. seizes the opportunity to describe in detail the Buddha's enlightenment and first sermon and gives in brief the eight orthodox derivations of the word Tathāgato (cf. Chalmers s.v. and Papañc. 45; Vis.M. 203; D. iii, 134; and Udan. Comy. (S. 84), and refers us to Vis.M. (203) and Niddesa (Culla N. 156). It is a little curious that the Comy. refers to the very slender notice in the Vism. and not to D. iii, 135, or to the full analysis in Sum Vilāsinī, p. 59.

[7] Comy., 'except those devas in this world who are Ariyan disciples' (an interesting point). Mrs. Rhys-Davids suggests 'who were so on earth.'

[8] Sakkāya. Cf. above, p. 38.

[9] Reading santāsaɱ āpāduɱ for text santā samāpāduɱ.

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