Ja 19 The Story about the Feasts following a Vow

In the present the monks hear about a tradition of making a sacrifice following a journey, after making a vow to the gods, and ask the Buddha if any good can come of it. The Buddha replies that it cannot, and tells a story of someone who wanted to make a sacrifice to a Tree Devatā, only to be reproved by that very same god (full story).

1. Sace mucce pecca mucce, muccamāno hi bajjhati,
Na hevaṁ dhīrā muccanti, mutti bālassa bandhanan-ti.

If you would be released after dying, know that releasing surely binds you, for the wise do not release in this way, such release is only a fool’s bondage.

In this connection, if you would be released after dying, dear fellow, if you would be released, if you desire release.

Released after dying, just as you do not want to be bound in the after life, so you must release others now.

Releasing surely binds you, This is very elliptic and sounds awkward in English, but it means releasing another creature from its life. We can compare the English phrase: relieving someone of life. just as, having slain a living being, you wish to be released, so surely releasing in this way binds you through a wicked deed.

Therefore the wise do not release in this way, whatever wise people there are promise not to release in this way.

What is the reason? Such release is a fool’s bondage, having killed these living beings, what is called release is only a fool’s bondage, this is the Dhamma he taught.

Beginning from then, such people, putting aside deeds such as killing living beings, and living according to Dhamma, filled up the city of the Devas.