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Udāna

Udāna
4.4 Juṇha Sutta
Moonlight

See the great power of the Arahant Sāriputta and Arahant Moggallāna!

This is as I heard from the Blessed One. Those days, the Blessed One was living in the province of Rājagaha, at the Bamboo forest, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. Those days, Venerable Sāriputta and Venerable Mahā Moggallāna were staying at Kapotakandara Village. Then, on a moonlit night, Venerable Sāriputta, his head newly shaven, was sitting in the open air, having attained a certain level of concentration.

Two demons who were companions were flying from north to south on some business. They saw Venerable Sāriputta, his head newly shaven, sitting in the open air. Seeing him, the first demon said to the second, “Friend, I badly need to give this monk a blow on the head.”

When this was said, the second demon said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the monk. He’s an outstanding monk, of great power and great might.”

A second time, the first demon said to the second, “Friend, I badly need to give this monk a blow on the head.”

A second time, the second demon said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the monk. He’s an outstanding monk, of great power and great might.”

A third time, the first demon said to the second, “Friend, I badly need to give this monk a blow on the head.”

A third time, the second demon said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the monk. He’s an outstanding monk, of great power and great might.”

Then the first demon, ignoring the second demon, gave Venerable Sāriputta a blow on the head. With that blow he might have knocked over an elephant ten or twelve feet tall, or split a great rock. But right there the demon, yelling, “I’m burning! I’m burning!,” fell into the Great Hell.1

At that time, Venerable Moggallāna, with his divine eye, pure and surpassing the human, saw the demon give Venerable Sāriputta a blow on the head. Seeing this, he went to Venerable Sāriputta and said to him, “I hope you are well, friend Sāriputta. I hope you are managing. I hope you are feeling no pain.”

“I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am managing. But I do have a slight headache.”

“How amazing, friend Sāriputta! How astounding! How great your power and might! Just now a demon gave you a blow on the head. So great was that blow that he might have knocked over an elephant ten or twelve feet tall, or split a great rock. But all you say is this: ‘I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am managing. But I do have a slight headache’!”

“How amazing, friend Moggallāna! How astounding! How great your power and might! Where you saw a demon just now, I didn’t even see a tiny dust ghost!”

The Blessed One with the divine ear, pure and surpassing the human, heard those two great enlightened monks conversing in this way.

Then, on realizing the power of liberation, the Blessed One spoke the following inspired verse:

“His mind is well established in Nibbāna, like a steady solid rock. He’s not shaken by the ups and downs of life. He’s not attached to any object of desire. When his mind is developed like this, from where can pain come to him?”

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Udāna 4.4 Juṇha Sutta: Moonlight

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