Sūciloma Sutta | Sn II-5


5. Sūciloma Sutta

Discourse on the Demon Sūciloma

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Buddha made his (temporary) residence in the rock near the abode of Sūciloma the demon, near the village of Gaya.

At that time Kharaloma the demon and Sūciloma went past the Buddha at a distance. The former remarked, This man is a monk.

The latter replied, He might be a true monk or he might be a bogus one. (Anyway) I will find it out!

(So saying,) Sūciloma approached the Buddha and held himself close to the Buddha. Whereupon the Buddha (gently] moved aside.

Then Sūciloma asked Monk, are you afraid of me?

Friend demon, I am not afraid of you. But contact with your body is wicked, the Buddha replied.

Monk, I will ask some questions to you!

If you cannot answer, I will either send you out of your mind, or break open your heart, of take you by the feet and throw you away onto the yonder bank of the river.

Friend demon, in celestial worlds of Brahmas, Devas, including Māra himself and all the human world of monarchs, recluses, monks and Brahmins,

I see no one who could either send me out of my mind, or break open my heart, or take me by the feet and throw me away onto then yonder bank.

Anyway, Friend, ask me the questions that you have in (your) mind.

Then Sūciloma put his questions in the following stanzas.

273. (Monk,) where does passion originate? And where anger? Where do boredom and delight take birth? And where is the friend that sends the hair bristling?

From where do unprofitable thoughts such as sensuality give up their hold, (on the profitable thoughts) like children let go the crow they had caught? ( 1)

274. O Demon, passion and anger originate from this body.

Boredom, delight and hair-bristling fright, and all wholesome thoughts and unwholesome thinking (speculation) arise in the Self-same body, like children releasing the captive crow. (2)

274. Just as the hanging roots of the banyan tree grow on the body (trunk) of the tree, even so the defilements such as passions, thriving on the gum of craving, grow on one's body.

Just as the creeper coils up entangling everything around the tree trunk on which it grows, even so the much defilement gets entangled in sensual pleasures. (3)

275. Listen, O Demon, they who know the body well by Insight-knowledge, know well craving where it grows.

Then they remove the gum of craving, and cross the floods of Saṁsāra which are hard to cross, thereby, achieving the end of rebirth.

(Thus said the Buddha.)

End of the Fifth Sūciloma Sutta