Saṃyutta Nikāya 1

Connected Discourses with Devatas

38. The Stone Splinter

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Maddakucchi Deer Park. Now on that occasion the Blessed One’s foot had been cut by a stone splinter. Severe pains assailed the Blessed One—bodily feelings that were painful, racking, sharp, piercing, harrowing, disagreeable. But the Blessed One endured them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed. Then the Blessed One had his outer robe folded in four, and he lay down on his right side in the lion posture with one leg overlapping the other, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Then, when the night had advanced, seven hundred devatās belonging to the Satullapa host, of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Maddakucchi Deer Park, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, they paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side.

Then one devatā, standing to one side, uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed a naga, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, harrowing, disagreeable, through his naga-like manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed a lion, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, harrowing, disagreeable, through his leonine manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed a thoroughbred, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful … disagreeable, through his thoroughbred manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed a chief bull, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful … disagreeable, through his chief bull’s manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed a beast of burden, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful … disagreeable, through his beast-of-burden’s manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “The ascetic Gotama is indeed tamed, sir! And when bodily feelings have arisen that are painful, racking, sharp, piercing, harrowing, disagreeable, through his tamed manner he endures them, mindful and clearly comprehending, without becoming distressed.”

Then another devatā uttered this inspired utterance in the presence of the Blessed One: “See his concentration well developed and his mind well liberated—not bent forward and not bent back, and not blocked and checked by forceful suppression! If anyone would think such a one could be violated—such a naga of a man, such a lion of a man, such a thoroughbred of a man, such a chief bull of a man, such a beast of burden of a man, such a tamed man—what is that due to apart from lack of vision?”

Though brahmins learned in the five Vedas
Practise austerities for a hundred years,
Their minds are not rightly liberated:
Those of low nature do not reach the far shore.

They founder in craving, bound to vows and rules,
Practising rough austerity for a hundred years,
But their minds are not rightly liberated:
Those of low nature do not reach the far shore.

There is no taming here for one fond of conceit,
Nor is there sagehood for the unconcentrated:
Though dwelling alone in the forest, heedless,
One cannot cross beyond the realm of Death.

Having abandoned conceit, well concentrated,
With lofty mind, everywhere released:
While dwelling alone in the forest, diligent,
One can cross beyond the realm of Death.