One day, King Ajātasattu of the Magadha province mobilized an army of four divisions and marched to Kāsi province to attack King Pasenadi. When King Pasenadi heard of this, he mobilized an army of four divisions and marched to Kāsi province to defend it against Ajātasattu. Then the two kings met in battle. And in that battle Pasenadi defeated Ajātasattu and captured him alive.
Then King Pasenadi thought, “Even though I’ve never betrayed this King Ajātasattu, he betrayed me. Still, he is my nephew. Therefore, now I must take all of Ajātasattu’s elephant troops, horse troops, chariots, and army, and let Ajātasattu return to his kingdom.”
And that’s what he did.
Then several monks, in the morning, wore their robes, took their bowls and double-layered robes, and entered the city of Sāvatthī for alms. Then, after the meal, when they returned from the alms round, they went up to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and told him about the battle.
Then, on that occasion, the Buddha recited these verses in relation to that incident:
“A man goes on fighting with others
as long as he is strong.
But the day others defeat him,
he is destroyed.
“The fool is happy after doing an evil thing
as long as bad kamma doesn’t ripen.
But when bad kamma ripens,
the fool falls into suffering.
“A killer creates a killer and gets killed one day;
the one who gives victory to others wins himself;
an abuser creates an abuser
who will in turn abuse the former,
and an irritator creates an irritator
who will in turn irritate the former.
When bad kamma matures,
the killer is killed by others.”