Samyukta Āgama (2) 42
Sakka pays obeisance to the Buddha 3 (Saṅgha)
At that time the Buddha told the monks: “A long time ago Sakka Devānaṃ Inda wanted to go for a ride and enjoy his parkland. He ordered his charioteer Mātali: “Harness the thousand-horse chariot!” Soon Mātali had harnessed the chariot, went to Sakka, and said to him: “The chariot is ready. We may leave whenever you please.” Thereupon Sakka left the Vejayanta Palace and with palms together paid obeisance facing west. When Mātali saw this, surprise and fear arose in him, and he dropped whip and reins.
Sakka said: “What have you seen that you are so scared?” Mātali said: “Maghavā! Husband of Sujā! When I saw you with folded hands paying obeisance facing west, my mind became filled with fear and I dropped whip and reins. All beings revere you; all the kings are under your rule. The four heavenly kings and the thirty-three gods all respectfully revere you. Who then surpasses you in power, that you stand and pay obeisance with folded hands facing west?” Sakka answered: “I am revered by everyone: this might be as you say. However, what all gods and human beings respectfully venerate is the Saṅgha. I respectfully pay obeisance to the Saṅgha.”
Thereupon Mātali spoke a verse:
“The human body is filled with pus and sweat, /
worse than an exposed corpse,
always afflicted by hunger and thirst. /
Why do you admire these homeless ones?
Why do you now /
venerate them thus?
What beauty do they have /
and what virtue?
Please tell me, /
I will now listen attentively.”
Then Sakka Devānaṃ Inda spoke a verse:
They have left all tasks and business /
to frugally live out their lives in harmony.
They keep the precepts well, /
discuss the wonderful Dhamma.
Brave and firm are they, without fear, /
practicing noble silence.
Then Mātali spoke this verse: