Ja 194 The Story about the Jewel Thief

In the present Devadatta goes about trying to kill the Buddha, who tells a story where an unjust king tried to steal the virtuous wife of the Bodhisatta by first having his head cut off. Sakka is alerted and intervenes and the Bodhisatta becomes the new and righteous king.

1. Na santi Devā, pavasanti nūna,
Na hi nūna santi idha lokapālā.
Sahasā karontānam-asaññatānaṁ,
Na hi nūna santī paṭisedhitāro ti.

There are no Devas, they surely live far off, here are surely no guardians of the world. The uncontrolled, behaving with violence, there are surely none who can ward them off.

In this connection, there are no Devas, the virtuous in this world, who look around and ward off wickedness, there are surely none of these Devas.

They surely live far off, when such duties arise, they surely live far off, they go abroad.

Here are surely no guardians of the world, in this world, of those virtuous ascetics and brahmins considered guardians of the world, and helpers, there are none.

The uncontrolled, behaving with violence, with violence, without reflecting, they are violent and savage, they perform deeds that are unvirtuous.

Ward them off, saying: ‘You must not do such deeds, to do this is not allowed,’ there is nothing warding them off (at present), this is the meaning.

2. Akāle vassatī tassa, kāle tassa na vassati,
Saggā ca cavati ṭhānā, nanu so tāvatā hato ti.

For him it rains out of season, for him in season it rains not, from his place in heaven he fell, on that account he is slaughtered.

In this connection, out of season, in the kingdom of the unjust king at an unsuitable time, or when the crops ripen, or the Deva rains at the time of reaping, or threshing, and so on.

In season means at a suitable, or very suitable time, such as at the time of sewing, at the time of tender crops, and at the time of threshing, it does not rain.

From his place in heaven he fell means from what is reckoned as his place in heaven, the Deva Realm, he fell, this is the meaning. The unjust king, because of not acquiring merit, surely fell from the Deva Realm. While reigning in heaven, the unjust king fell from there, this is also the meaning.

On that account he is slaughtered means surely the unjust king is slaughtered in this way. Or, here the sound nu is a word meaning certain, he is certainly slaughtered in this way, in the eight great hells, and in the sixteen prominent hells, he is struck down for a long time, this is the meaning here.