Saṃyutta Nikāya 11

Connected Discourses with Sakka

22. Ugly

At Savatthī in Jeta’s Grove. There the Blessed One said this: “Bhikkhus, once in the past a certain ugly deformed yakkha sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas. Thereupon the Tavatiṃsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, saying: ‘It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! This ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas!’ But to whatever extent the Tavatiṃsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, to the same extent that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.

“Then, bhikkhus, the Tavatiṃsa devas approached Sakka and said to him: ‘Here, dear sir, an ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on your seat…. But to whatever extent the devas found fault with this … that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.’—‘That must be the anger-eating yakkha.’

“Then, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, approached that anger-eating yakkha. Having approached, he arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, and, raising his joined hands in reverential salutation towards that yakkha, he announced his name three times: ‘I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas! I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas!’ To whatever extent Sakka announced his name, to the same extent that yakkha became uglier and uglier and more and more deformed until he disappeared right there.

“Then, bhikkhus, having sat down on his own seat, instructing the Tavatiṃsa devas, Sakka, lord of the devas, on that occasion recited these verses:

“‘I am not one afflicted in mind,
Nor easily drawn by anger’s whirl.
I never become angry for long,
Nor does anger persist in me.

“‘When I’m angry I don’t speak harshly
And I don’t praise my virtues.
I keep myself well restrained
Out of regard for my own good.’”