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Verse 30: The Story of Magha:

While residing at the Kutagara monastery near Vesali, the Buddha uttered Verse (30) of this book,
with reference to Sakka, king of the devas.

On one occasion, a Licchavi prince, named Mahali, came to listen to a religious discourse given by
the Buddha. The discourse given was Sakkapanha Suttanta. The Buddha spoke of Sakka vividly in
glowing terms; so, Mahali thought that the Buddha must have personally met Sakka. To make sure,
he asked the Buddha, and the Buddha replied, "Mahali, I do know Sakka; I also know what has
made him a Sakka." He then told Mahali that Sakka, king of the devas, was in a previous existence
a young man by the name of Magha, in the village of Macala. The youth Magha and his thirty-two
companions went about building roads and rest houses. Magha took upon himself also to observe
seven obligations. These seven obligations he kept throughout his life, (1) he would support his
parents; (2) he would respect the elders ; (3) he would be gentle of speech; (4) he would avoid
back-biting; (5) he would not be avaricious, but would be generous; (6) he would speak the truth;
and (7) he would restrain himself from losing his temper.

It was because of his good deeds and right conduct in that existence that Magha was reborn as
Sakka, king of the devas.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 30. Through mindfulness (in doing meritorious deeds) Magha became king of the devas.
Mindfulness is always praised, but negligence is always blamed.

At the end of the discourse Mahali attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.

Saved: 24 December 2016  https://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/KN/Dhammapada.Verse_30.story.htm