Dhamma Talk by Bhikku Vijita Vaṁsa

February 17, 2018

The Sutta “The Seven Vows”, Samyutta Nikaya 11.11

These are the seven commitments that Sakka, Lord of devas, devoted himself to:

As long as I live, may I:

  • Support my parents
  • Respect the family elders
  • Speak kindly and gently
  • Not speak divisively
  • Dwell at home with a mind devoid of the stain of selfishness, generous, open-handed, delighted to relinquish, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing
  • Speak the truth
  • Be free from anger and if anger should arise in me may I dispel it quickly

Complete Sutta

THE SEVEN VOWS

11(1) Vows

At Sāvatthı̄. “Bhikkhus, in the past when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he adopted and undertook seven vows by the undertaking of which he achieved the status of Sakka. 634 What were the seven vows?

  1. “‘As long as I live may I support my parents.’
  2. “‘As long as I live may I respect the family elders.’
  3. “‘As long as I live may I speak gently.’
  4. “‘As long as I live may I not speak divisively.’
  5. “‘As long as I live may I dwell at home with a mind devoid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, 635 delighting in giving and sharing.’
  6. “‘As long as I live may I speak the truth.’
  7. “‘As long as I live may I be free from anger, and if anger should arise in me may I dispel it quickly.’

“In the past, bhikkhus, when Sakka, lord of the devas, was a human being, he adopted and undertook these seven vows by the undertaking of which he achieved the status of Sakka.< 493 >

904    “When a person supports his parents,

          And respects the family elders;

          When his speech is gentle and courteous,

          And he refrains from divisive words;

905    When he strives to remove meanness,

          Is truthful, and vanquishes anger,

          The Tāvatiṃsa devas call him

          Truly a superior person.” [229]

Bodhi, Bhikkhu, translator. The Connnected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Saṃyutta Nikāya. Sutta Number 11.11. Wisdom Publications, 2000.

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