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Samyutta Nikaya
Brahma Saṁyutta

6.4 Baka Brahmā Sutta
The Discourse Given to Brahmā Baka

The Buddha teaches the reality to a Brahmā who thought his world is permanent.

This is how I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying in the province of Sāvatthi, in Jeta’s garden, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Monastery. In those days, the following evil view had arisen in Brahmā Baka: “This brahmā world is permanent, this is stable, this is eternal, this is complete, this is everlasting. Indeed, this brahmā world is where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn; and there is no other liberation superior to this.”

Then, having known with his mind the thought in Brahmā Baka’s mind, just as quickly as a strong man extends his drawn-in arm or draws in his extended arm, the Blessed One disappeared from Jeta’s garden and reappeared in the brahmā world. Brahmā Baka saw the Blessed One coming in the distance and said to the Blessed One: “Come, dear sir! Welcome, dear sir! It has been a long time since you have visited us, dear sir. Dear sir, this brahmā world is permanent, this is stable, this is eternal, this is complete, this is everlasting. Indeed, this brahmā world is where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn; and there is no other liberation superior to this.”

When this was said, the Blessed One said to Brahmā Baka: “Alas sir, Brahmā Baka is drowned in ignorance! Alas sir, Brahmā Baka is drowned in ignorance. You say that what is actually impermanent is permanent, that what is actually unstable is stable, that what is actually not eternal is eternal, that what is actually incomplete is complete, that what is actually ending is everlasting and of a place where one is born, ages, dies, passes away, and is reborn. You say this: ‘Indeed, this brahmā world is where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn, and there is no other liberation superior to this.’

Brahmā Baka:

“Oh Gotama, we seventy-two were merit-makers. Now we wield power. We have gone beyond birth and aging. This is our final birth. We have come to the end of the world. Chanting various mantras, many people long for us.”

The Blessed One:

“O Brahmā, though you imagine you have a long life span here, it is actually short. I know you only have a hundred thousand nirabbudas as your remaining life span.”

Brahma Baka:

“O Blessed One, you say, ‘I am one of infinite vision who has overcome birth, aging and sorrow.’ So, what was my previous kamma, practice, and virtue? Please tell me this so I might understand.”

The Blessed One:

“You gave water to many people who were thirsty and troubled by heat. That was your previous kamma, practice, and virtue, which I recollect as if just waking up.

“When people were kidnapped on the riverbank, you released the captive people led away. That was your previous kamma, practice, and virtue, which I recollect as if just waking up.

“When a ship was seized on the river Ganges by a fierce cobra longing for human flesh, you freed those people by bravely taming that cobra. That was your previous kamma, practice, and virtue, which I recollect as if just waking up.

“In that time I was your pupil named Kappa. Back then, I thought you were intelligent and well trained in good practices. That was your previous kamma, practice, and virtue, which I recollect as if just waking up.”

Brahmā Baka:

“Surely you know my life span; you also know the other things in my life. You are absolutely a Buddha. This blazing majesty of yours brightens even the brahmā world.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 6.4 Baka Brahmā Sutta: The Discourse Given to Brahmā Baka

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