Saṃyutta Nikāya 11

Connected Discourses with Sakka

9. Seers in a Forest

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, once in the past a number of seers who were virtuous and of good character had settled down in leaf huts in a tract of forest. Then Sakka, lord of the devas, and Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, approached those seers.

“Vepacitti, lord of the asuras, put on his boots, bound his sword on tightly, and, with a parasol borne aloft, entered the hermitage through the main gate; then, having turned his left side towards them, he walked past those seers who were virtuous and of good character. But Sakka, lord of the devas, took off his boots, handed over his sword to others, lowered his parasol, and entered the hermitage through an ordinary gate; then he stood on the lee side, raising his joined hands in reverential salutation, paying homage to those seers who were virtuous and of good character.

“Then, bhikkhus, those seers addressed Sakka in verse:

“‘The odour of the seers long bound by their vows,
Emitted from their bodies, goes with the wind.
Turn away from here, O thousand-eyed god,
For the seers’ odour is foul, O deva-king.’

Sakka:

“‘Let the odour of the seers long bound by their vows,
Emitted from their bodies, go with the wind;
We yearn for this odour, O venerable sirs,
As for a garland of flowers on the head.
The devas do not perceive it as repulsive.’”