Saṃyutta Nikāya 11

Connected Discourses with Sakka

10. Seers by the Ocean

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, once in the past a number of seers who were virtuous and of good character had settled down in leaf huts along the shore of the ocean. Now on that occasion the devas and the asuras were arrayed for a battle. Then it occurred to those seers who were virtuous and of good character: ‘The devas are righteous, the asuras unrighteous. There may be danger to us from the asuras. Let us approach Sambara, lord of the asuras, and ask him for a guarantee of safety.’

“Then, bhikkhus, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his drawn-in arm or draw in his extended arm, those seers who were virtuous and of good character disappeared from their leaf huts along the shore of the ocean and reappeared in the presence of Sambara, lord of the asuras. Then those seers addressed Sambara in verse:

“‘The seers who have come to Sambara
Ask him for a guarantee of safety.
For you can give them what you wish,
Whether it be danger or safety.’

Sambara:

“‘I’ll grant no safety to the seers,
For they are hated devotees of Sakka;
Though you appeal to me for safety,
I’ll give you only danger.’

The seers:

“‘Though we have asked for safety,
You give us only danger.
We receive this at your hands:
May ceaseless danger come to you!

“‘Whatever sort of seed is sown,
That is the sort of fruit one reaps:
The doer of good reaps good;
The doer of evil reaps evil.
By you, dear, has the seed been sown;
Thus you will experience the fruit.’

“Then, bhikkhus, having put a curse on Sambara, lord of the asuras, just as quickly as a strong man might extend his drawn-in arm or draw in his extended arm, those seers who were virtuous and of good character disappeared from the presence of Sambara and reappeared in their leaf huts on the shore of the ocean. But after being cursed by those seers who were virtuous and of good character, Sambara, lord of the asuras, was gripped by alarm three times in the course of the night.” <492>