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With Hatthaka—Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 3

13. Kusināra

127. With Hatthaka

1.1At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. 1.2Then, late at night, the glorious god Hatthaka, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha. Thinking:

1.3“I will stand before the Buddha,” he sank and melted down, and wasn’t able to stay still. 1.4It’s like when ghee or oil is poured on sand, it sinks and melts down, and can’t remain stable. 1.51.6

2.1Then the Buddha said to Hatthaka:

2.2“Hatthaka, manifest in a solid life-form.”

2.3“Yes, sir,” replied Hatthaka. He manifested in a solid life-form, bowed to the Buddha, and stood to one side. 2.4The Buddha said to him:

3.1“Hatthaka, I wonder whether you still rehearse now the teachings that you rehearsed when you were a human being?”

3.2“I still rehearse now the teachings that I rehearsed as a human being. 3.3And I also rehearse teachings that I didn’t rehearse as a human being. 3.4Just as the Buddha these days lives crowded by monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen; by rulers and their ministers, and teachers of other paths and their disciples, 3.5so I live crowded by the gods. 3.6The gods come from far away, thinking, ‘We’ll hear the teaching in the presence of Hatthaka.’ 3.7Sir, I passed away without getting enough of three things. 3.8What three? 3.9Seeing the Buddha; 3.10hearing the true teaching; 3.11and serving the Saṅgha. 3.12I passed away without getting enough of these three things.

4.1I could never get enough
4.2of seeing the Buddha,
4.3serving the Saṅgha,
4.4or hearing the teaching.

5.1Training in the higher ethics,
5.2loving to hear the true teaching,
5.3Hatthaka has gone to the Aviha realm
5.4without getting enough of these three things.”