A Pair of Swift Messengers – V –


What the Buddha said, after seeing the appeal of the Deva Brahma Sahampati:

“Then I, Bhikkhus, out of compassion for all beings, looked down upon the world with the eye of a Buddha.  And as I looked down upon the world with a Buddha’s eye, I beheld beings whose eyes were but little clouded with dust, also beings whose eyes were much clouded with dust; beings of sharp wits and beings of dull wits, beings of good and beings of evil natures; beings docile and beings of stubborn sort, and some of these abode in understanding of the danger of lives to come and fear of evil deeds.

As in a pond of lotuses blue and red and white, some plants which spring and grow in the water come not to the surface, but flourish underneath; and some spring and grow in the water and reach up to the surface; and yet others in like manner push up above the surface and are not wetted by the water, even so, Bhikkhus, did I, looking over the world with a Buddha’s eye, behold beings whose eyes were but little clouded with dust…

Then, Bhikkhus, did I make answer to the Deva Brahma Sahampati in verse:

Open for such is the Door to the Deathless State.

Ye that have ears, renounce the creed ye hold.

Conscious of danger, in its depth, Deva Brahma Sahampati,

I would not preach the Dhamma of Dhammas to men.”  (*)


(*) – In other passages the Buddha has pointed out that if a Buddha give out Ariya Dhamma-Vinaya to an unbelieving generation, harm befalls the man who rejects it.  E.g. Samyutta Nikaya, ii. 261: 

“I also, Bhikkhus, have seen these things before, yet I did not reveal them.  I might have revealed it, and others would not have believed it.  Now, had they not believed me, it would have been to their loss and sorrow.”



(Some Sayings of the Buddha – According to the Pali Canon, translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, Oxford University Press, Madras, 1925).