Kokālika Sutta | Sn III-10


10. Kokālika Sutta

Discourse on the Bhikkhu Kokālika

Thus have I heard.

On one occasion the Buddha was residing in the Jetavana monastery built by Anāthapiṇḍika, the rich householder in Sāvatthī.

Then Bhikkhu Kokālika approached the Buddha, and making obeisance to the Buddha, sat at a (suitable) place. He then addressed the Buddha thus:

Venerable Sir, Venerable Sāriputta and Moggallāna had evil desires and had yielded to evil desires.

When he said so, the Buddha replied,

Kokālika, don’t say so; Kokālika, don’t say so. Have faith in Sāriputta and Moggallāna. Both of them have commendable conduct.

For the 2nd time... (sic) Kokālika said to the Buddha:

Venerable Sir, the Buddha is trustworthy and dependable. But Sāriputta and Moggallāna had evil desires and had yielded to evil desires.

For the 3rd time... (sic) the Buddha said

Kokālika, don’t say so; Kokālika, don’t say so. Keep faith in Sāriputta and Moggallāna. Both are of commendable conduct.

Thereafter Kokālika rose, made obeisance to the Buddha, and left the place. No sooner had he left than there appeared all over his body tiny rashes the size of mustard seed.

The rashes soon developed into boils the size green gram, and then into that of breakfast beans, and then into that of the plum, and stone (seed) of the plum,

and then into that of the plum, and then into that of Āmalakī fruit and then into that of a young bale fruit, and then into the size of ripe bale fruit.

Then the boils burst, and out came pus and blood streaming. Finally Bhikkhu Kokālika died of those boils. And for having harboured malice against Sāriputta and Moggallāna, he went to Paduma Niraya, the neither world of retribution.

Then after mid-night on that day Sahampati Brahma with a very resplendent appearance, flooding the whole of the Jetavana monastery in his radiance approached the Buddha.

He made obeisance to the Buddha and standing at a (suitable) place, addressed the Buddha thus:

Venerable Sir, Bhikkhu Kokālika has expired. After his death, Kokālika, for having harboured malice against Sāriputta and Moggallāna, went to Paduma Niraya.

So saying, Sahampati Brahma made his obeisance to the Buddha and vanished.

Thereupon, after the night had passed, the Buddha said to the Bhikkhus,

O Bhikkhus, tonight, after midnight, Brahma Sahampati.... so saying, he made obeisance and vanished there and then.

On hearing this, a Bhikkhu asked the Buddha,

Venerable Sir, what is the life span like in Paduma Niraya?

O Bhikkhu, replied the Buddha, It’s a very long life span indeed in Paduma Niraya.

The life span there may not be possible to reckon by years, nay, by decades, or by centuries, or by millenniums, or by 100s of millenniums.

If so, Sir, asked the Bhikkhu, Could it be illustrated?

Yes, O Bhikkhu, replied the Buddha, and gave the following illustration:-

O Bhikkhu, in Kosala Province, 20 ‘Kharis of sesame makes a cartload. Let’s say, from 1 such cartload of sesame, 1 grain of sesame is taken out once in a 100 years.

By the time the cartload of sesame is thus emptied, the life span in Abbuda Niraya would not have ended. Now, 20 life spans in Abbuda Niraya is equal to one life span in Nirabbuda Niraya.


20 life-spans in Nirabbuda Niraya equals one Ababa Niraya; 20 Ababa’s equal one Ahaha; 20 Ahaha’s, one Atata; 20 Atata’s one Kumuda; 20 Atata’s one Sogandika; 20 Sogandika’s one Uppala; 20 Uppala’s one Pundarika; 20 Pundarika’s one Paduma Niraya.

And Bhikkhu, that Paduma Niraya is where Bhikkhu Kokālika has now fallen, for harbouring malice against Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

After saying thus, the One-with-benign-speech, the Buddha, made the following discourse:-

662. Human speech, like a sharp blade, comes with a man’s birth; speech ill-spoken, cuts the speaker himself who simply is a fool. (1)

663. He praises the blameworthy, but blames the praiseworthy; that fool gathers demerit by his (speech); and no happiness would he find thereby. (2)

664. Losing a wager, and having to forfeit one’s all is a trivial disaster when compared to the disaster that’ll befall one who, by malicious thought alone, would with ill-will regard those Noble Ones, who have gone to Nibbāna. (3)

665. Evil words or thoughts directed to the disparagement of the Noble One (Arahant) will result in retribution in the neither world of Nirabbuda Niraya for a 100 thousand and 36 times plus 5 times in Abbuda Niraya. (4)

666. He who speaks falsehood falls to the Niraya world, as also he who denies his own evil deed. Both are counted as evil doers, and after death they share the same fate in the neither world. (5)

667. He wrongs an innocent, pure and unblemished Arahant; his action has (a boomerang) effect, like the fool throwing fine dust against the wind exposing himself to the self-same dirt coming back to him. (6)

668. He is addicted to greed, he puts no faith in the Buddha, his Teaching and the Saṅgha, he is avaricious, he is not amenable to good advice, he is given to Back-biting. And he reviles the others. (7)

669. O, you foul-mouthed, crooked and despicable fellow, bloodsucker, villain, mischief-maker, filthy one, a mean follower of the Buddha, nay, vile man, don’t speak much, you are doomed to the Niraya world! (8)

670. (O Kokālika,) you have scattered the dirt of malice onto yourself, calling down your own curse; your disparagement of the innocent persons bring you great demerit; having committed a callous misdeed, where a lengthy retribution will be your lot. (9)

671. All actions bring their own consequence; no one is above this law.

The consequence of one’s doing, one always must collect. The evil-doer will have to suffer the folly of his misdeed in the next life. (10)

672. He may go to the ‘Niraya’ world that is packed with pikes, or where sharp pointed iron stakes stand whichever way he turns, or cauldrons of smelted iron resembling molasses froth and foam, making his mouth water and his only food there, as his evil action sets in store for him. (11)

673. No pleasant world he may ever hear from those hellish taskmasters and they hasten to him not to extend hospitality. All the inhabitants there the ‘Niraya’ world have live coals for their beds, only to enter into blazing fires (as they rise) (12)

674. Enmeshed in iron netting, he is hit (incessantly) by sledgehammers; the inhabitants in that Niraya world in pitch darkness that turns blind, and the darkness envelopes an area as vast as the Earth. (13)

675. Further, the inhabitants in the (Lohakumbhi) Niraya, enter into iron cauldrons that are ablaze underneath and all around;

there they stew in the molten iron as hot as the fire that boils it, undergoing the tribulation for a very long period, only occasionally buying to the surface. (14)

676. Moreover, the evil-doer also stews in iron cauldrons boiling with pus and blood and wherever he tries to go, he can not escape the dreadful boiling cauldrons of pus and blood. (15)

677. The evil-doer also falls to cauldrons of septic water teeming with maggots, both inside and out; as he stews in the boiling filthy water, there’s no escape from the filth, four it’s everywhere. (16)

678. Further, the evil-doers have to enter the forest of sharp blades to get their bodies mutilated to bits and pieces; time and again their tongues are pulled out by warders by piercing through with iron hooks. (17)

679. Further, they are forced across a wicked stream thickly set with sharp blades. Thus the foolish ones go through retribution for their own evil actions. (18)

680. And as they bewail at the wicked stream of razors, Dark dogs or mottled dogs and jackals voraciously feed on them as they fall. Flights of ravens, kits and crows also fall upon them to peek and to eat. (19)

681. The painful retribution in the Niraya worlds is the lot of the evil-doers, hard indeed.

That’s why, while one’s life lasts, one should do whatever meritorious deeds one can, without being frivolous or forgetful. (20)

682. According to the wisemen’s calculations, the lifespan at Paduma Niraya is to the tune of 51 thousand and 200 cores of cartloads of sesame, as mentioned above.

That’s certainly so. (21)

683. In this world such is the painfulness said about the nether regions of ‘Niraya’. In spite of so much painfulness, the lifespans there are immense. That’s why one should be careful in word or thought concerning the virtue-loving and nobly-endowed Arahants. (22)

End of the 10th Kokālika Sutta