Heaven of 33 [Chapter 2. Compassion]
that time, so very long ago, there were some unfortunate ugly gods
called 'Asuras'. They had taken to living in the second heaven world.
one who had been Magha the Good in his previous life, was now Sakka,
King of the Heaven of 33. He thought, "Why should we, who are
the 33, live in our Heaven of 33 with these unfortunate ugly Asuras?
Since this is our world, let us live happily by ourselves."
he invited them to a party and got them drunk on very strong liquor.
It seems that, in being reborn, King Sakka had forgotten some of
his own teachings as Magha the Good. After getting the Asuras drunk,
he got them to go to a lower world, just as big as the Heaven of
they sobered up and realized they had been tricked into going to
a lower heaven world, the Asuras became angry. They rose up and
made war against King Sakka. Soon they were victorious, and Sakka
was forced to run away.
retreating in his mighty war chariot, he came to the vast forest
where the Garudas have their nests. These are gods who, unfortunately,
have no super powers. Instead they are forced to get around by flapping
huge heavy wings.
King Sakka's chariot drove through their forest, it upset their
nests and made the baby Garudas fall down. They cried in fear and
agony. Hearing this, Sakka asked his charioteer where these sad
cries were coming from. He answered, "These are the shrieks
of terror coming from the baby Garudas, whose nests and trees are
being destroyed by your powerful war chariot."
this suffering, King Sakka realized that all lives, including his
own, are only temporary. Hearing this suffering, the compassion
of the Great Being, which passes from life to life, arose within
him and said, "Let the little ones have no more fear. The first
training step must not be broken. There can be no exception. I will
not destroy even one life for the sake of a heavenly kingdom that
must some day end. Instead I will offer my life to the victorious
Asuras. Turn back the chariot!"
the chariot returned in the direction of the Heaven of 33. The Asuras
saw King Sakka turn around, and thought he must have reinforcements
from other worlds. So they ran, without looking back, down to their
lower heaven world.