SN.11.10. Samuddakasutta ("Hermits by the Ocean")

Saṁyutta Nikāya ("The Linked Discourses")

At Sāvatthī.

“Once upon a time, mendicants, several hermits who were ethical, of good character, settled in leaf huts on the ocean shore.

Now at that time a battle was fought between the gods and the demons.

Then the hermits thought, ‘The gods are principled, the demons are unprincipled. We may be at risk from the demons. Why don’t we approach Sambara, lord of demons, and beg him for a pledge of safety.’

Then, as easily as a strong person would extend or contract their arm, those hermits vanished from those leaf huts on the ocean shore and reappeared in Sambara’s presence. Then those hermits addressed Sambara in verse:

‘The hermits have come to Sambara
to beg for a pledge of safety.
For you can give them what you wish,
whether danger or safety.’

‘There is no safety for hermits,
the hated associates of Sakka!
Though you beg me for your safety,
I’ll only give you fear!’

‘Though we beg you for our safety,
you give us only fear.
This is what we get from you:
may endless peril come to you!

Whatever kind of seed you sow,
that is the fruit you reap.
A doer of good gets good,
a doer of bad gets bad.
You have sown your own seed, friend,
now you’ll experience the fruit.’

Then those hermits, having cursed Sambara, as easily as a strong person would extend or contract their arm, vanished from Sambara’s presence and reappeared in those leaf huts on the ocean shore.

But after being cursed by the hermits, Sambara woke in alarm three times that night.”

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