Magha : Sakka, King Of The Devas
[Translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin,MA]
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 are that 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.
(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:
devanam setthatam gato
pamado garahito sada.
Verse 30: Through mindfulness (in doing meritorious deeds) Magha became king of the devas. Mindfulness is always praised, but negligence is always blamed.
1. appamadena: through mindfulness; i.e., mindfulness in doing meritorious deeds. In the above story, Magha, the young man from Macala village, by cleaning and clearing land and making roads was reborn as Indra or Sakka, king of the devas. (The devas are celestial beings.)
At the end of the discourse Mahali attained Sotapatti Fruition.
Love Buddha's dhamma,