Sutta Nipāta

Sūciloma Sutta

2.5. To the Yakkha Sūciloma

Thus have I heard:

At one time the Radiant One was dwelling in Gaya at the Stone Couch in the place of the yakkha Sūciloma. At that time the yakkhas Khara and Sūciloma paused nearby and the former said: “That is a monk”. “He’s not a monk, he’s just a ‘mere-monk’; but wait until I find out whether he’s a monk or a ‘mere-monk’.”

Then the yakkha Sūciloma approached the Radiant One and pressed his body against him, at which the Radiant One drew back. The yakkha then said to him, “Are you afraid of me, monk?” “Friend, I am not afraid of you, but your touch is evil.”

“Monk, I shall ask you a question and if you do not reply to me I shall overturn your mind, split your heart, and grasping you by the feet fling you to the other side of the Ganges.”

“Friend, I do not see anyone indeed who in this world with its devas, Māras and Brahmā-gods, together with its people—monks and brahmins, rulers and ordinary persons—who could overturn my mind, split my heart and grasping me by the feet fling me to the other side of the Ganges. Still, friend, you can ask whatever you wish.”

Then the yakkha Sūciloma addressed the Radiant One with this verse.

From whence the causes of both lust and hate,
from what are likes, dislikes and terror born,
what origin’s there for thoughts in mind,
as boys harass a (captive) crow?

From causes here come lusts and hate,
from here, likes, dislikes and terror’s born,
present origin’s there for the thoughts in mind,
as boys release a (captive) crow.

Born of lubricity, arisen from self,
bearing branch-born roots as the banyan figs,
such are they in sensuality entwined,
as woods entangled by the stinky-vine.

Listen, O yakkha, for those who know,
from where these causes come—all they dispel,
they cross this flood so hard to cross,
uncrossed before, to not become again.