| Minor Stories Index
The Story of
Mahakala (Verses 7 and
While residing in the neighbourhood of the town of Setabya, the Buddha uttered
(7) and (8) of this book, with reference to Mahakala and his brother Culakala.
and Culakala were two merchant brothers from the town of Setabya. While
about with their merchandise on one occasion, they had a chance to listen to a
discourse given by the Buddha. After hearing the discourse Mahakala asked the
for admission to the Order of the Bhikkhus. Culakala also joined the Order but
intention of coming out of the Order and to bring out his brother along with
Mahakala was serious in his ascetic practice at the cemetery (Sosanika dhutinga)
diligently meditated on decay and impermanence. He finally gained Insight and
Later, the Buddha and his disciples, including the brothers, happened to be
staying in the
forest of Simsapa, near Setabya. While staying there, the former wives of
invited the Buddha and his disciples to their house. Culakala himself went ahead
prepare seating arrangements for the Buddha and his disciples. Once there, the
wives of Culakala made him change into lay clothes.
The next day, the wives of Mahakala invited the Buddha and his disciples to
hoping to do the same with Mahakala as the wives of Culakala had done to
the meal they requested the Buddha to let Mahakala remain to "express
(anumodana). So the Buddha and the other disciples left.
Arriving at the village gate the Bhikkhus expressed their dissatisfaction and
apprehension. They were dissatisfied because Mahakala was permitted to stay
they were afraid that, like Culakala, his brother, Mahakala, too, would be made
the Order by his former wives. To this, the Buddha replied that the two brothers
not alike. Culakala indulged in sensual pleasures and was lazy and weak; he was
just like a
weak tree. Mahakala, on the other hand, was diligent, steadfast and strong in
his faith of
the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha; he was like a mountain of rock.
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows: Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on
objects, who is uncontrolled in his senses, immoderate in his food, and is lazy
in energy, will certainly be overwhelmed by Mara, just as stormy winds uproot a
Verse 8: He who keeps his mind on the impurities (of the body), who is
his senses and is full of faith and energy, will certainly be not overwhelmed by
as stormy winds cannot shake a mountain of rock.
Meanwhile, the former wives of Mahakala surrounded him and tried to remove his
robes. The thera, sensing their attitude, stood up and rising up into the air by
supernormal powers passed through the roof of the house into the sky. He landed
feet of the Buddha at the very moment the master was coming to the end of his
of the above two stanzas. At the same time, all the Bhikkhus assembled there
established in Sotapatti Fruition.
Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A.,
Burma Pitaka Association, Rangoon, Burma 1986.
24 December 2016