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Samyutta Nikaya
Sakka Saṁyutta

11.13 Mahāli Sattavatapada Sutta
The Discourse about the Noble Promises Given to Mahāli the Licchavi

The Buddha explains the qualities of God Sakka.

This is how I heard. One time the Blessed one was staying in the Hall with Peaked Roofs, in the great woods, in the province of Vesāli. Then Mahāli the Licchavi went to the Blessed One, paid homage to the Buddha, sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:

“Bhante, have you ever seen Sakka, lord of the gods?”

“Yes Mahāli, I have seen Sakka, lord of the gods.”

“Surely Bhante, the one that Bhante has seen must have been one who looked like Sakka. Bhante, Sakka, lord of the gods, is difficult to see.”

“Mahāli, I know god Sakka, and I know qualities that make someone the god Sakka, and I also know by practicing which noble promises one achieves the status of god Sakka.

“Mahāli, in the past, when Sakka, lord of the gods, was a human being, he was a youth named Magha; therefore he is called Maghavā.

“Mahāli, in the past, when Sakka, lord of the gods, was a human being, he gave gifts before others gave theirs on every occasion; therefore he is called Purindada.

“Mahāli, in the past, when Sakka, lord of the gods, was a human being, he gave gifts in a well organized manner; therefore he is called Sakka.

“Mahāli, in the past, when Sakka, lord of the gods, was a human being, he gave houses; therefore he is called Vāsava.

“Mahāli, Sakka, lord of the gods, thinks a thousand matters in a moment; therefore he is called Sahassa-netta, Thousand-eyed.

“Mahāli, Sakka’s wife is the titan-maiden named Sujā; therefore he is called Sujampati, Sujā’s husband.

“Mahāli, Sakka, lord of the gods, lives in great luxury, practices supreme power and rules over the Tāvatiṁsa gods; therefore he is called lord of the gods.

“Mahāli, in the past, when Sakka, lord of the gods, was a human being, he practiced seven noble promises. Since he did that, he achieved the position of lord of the gods, Sakka.”

When a person supports his parents, respects the family elders, speaks gentle and pleasing words, doesn’t speak divisive words, removes greediness, speaks truthfully, and controls anger, the Tāvatiṁsa gods call him a truly superior person.

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 11.13 Mahāli Sattavatapada Sutta: The Discourse about the Noble Promises Given to Mahāli the Licchavi

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