At Sāvatthi. There, the Blessed One said this: “Monks, once in the past Sakka, lord of the gods, addressed his charioteer, Mātali thus: ‘Mātali, prepare the chariot with its team of a thousand of the best horses. Let us go to see the beautiful park.’ Then, monks, the charioteer Mātali replied, ‘Yes sire, as you wish,’ to the god Sakka. Then he prepared the chariot with its team of a thousand of the best horses and told Sakka, lord of the gods, ‘The chariot has been prepared, dear sir. You may come at your own convenience.’ Then, monks, God Sakka while coming down from Vejayanta Palace, put his hands together and worshipped the community of monks. Then monks, Mātali the charioteer asked Sakka, lord of the gods, in verse:
“‘These people with dirty bodies worship you, they are stuck in these very same dirty bodies. They are badly affected with hunger and thirst.
“‘God Sakka, they do not have homes and they are ascetics. Which conduct of those seers do you favour? We wish to hear what you have to say.’
“‘Mātali, those seers who do not have homes, when they depart from a village, leave without any attachments. That is why I favour them.
“‘They do not store things in a storage place, neither in a pot nor in a box; they survive by what is given to them by others. They are virtuous, wise and quiet. They only speak good words. They live peacefully.
“‘While gods fight with titans, and people fight with one another, among those who fight, these seers do not fight. Among the violent, they are quenched. Among those who are attached to the world, they are not attached. Mātali, these are the ones I worship.’
“‘Those you worshiped, my Lord Sakka, are indeed the best in the world. I too will worship them—those you worship, Lord Sakka.’”
(The verse recited by the liberated ones in the first council:)
“Having answered the question, having worshiped the community of monks, the king of gods—Magha, Sujā’s husband, god Sakka—climbed into his chariot.”