Samyutta Nikaya
Sakka Saṁyutta

SN 11.6 Kulāvaka Sutta
The Bird Nests

As God Sakka is running from the titans, an act of compassion ultimately wins in the end.

At Sāvatthi. “Monks, once in the past the gods and the titans were in battle. In that battle the titans won and the gods were defeated. Monks, in defeat, the gods fled towards the north while the titans chased after them. Then, monks, Sakka, lord of the gods, addressed his charioteer Mātali in verse:

“‘Watch out, O Mātali, there may be bird nests in the silk-cotton woods. Avoid them and turn the chariot back. Let’s surrender our lives to the titans rather than make these birds be without nests.’

“‘Yes, as you wish lord,’ Mātali the charioteer replied, and he turned back the chariot with its team of one thousand of the best horses.

“Then, monks, it occurred to the titans: ‘Now that Sakka’s chariot with its team of one thousand of the best horses has turned back, it seems that the gods will have a battle with the titans for a second time.’ Struck by fear, they fled to the city of the titans. In this way, monks, Sakka, lord of the gods won a victory by righteousness itself.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 11.6 Kulāvaka Sutta: The Bird Nests

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