Ja 282 The Story about the Best

In the present an innocent courtier is thrown into prison, but later released and honoured by the king. The Buddha tells a story of how a man intrigued in the palace in Benares, was exiled and enticed a foreign king to attack his former country. King Kaṁsa of Benares, rather than cause the deaths of others, allowed himself to be captured, and the conqueror, seeing his virtue, relented and set him free.

1. Seyyaṁso seyyaso hoti yo seyyam-upasevati,
Ekena sandhiṁ katvāna, sataṁ vajjhe amocayiṁ.

He who frequents the best has the best share, or even better, reconciling them as one, I released a hundred from slaughter.

2. Tasmā sabbena lokena sandhiṁ katvāna ekato,
Pecca saggaṁ nigaccheyya, idaṁ suṇātha, Kāsiyā ti.

Therefore by reconciling them with all of the world together, when dead he would go to heaven, listen to this, you of Kāsi.

In this connection, he who frequents the best has the best share, or even better, what is reckoned as the guiltless, supreme Dhamma, he who … has the best share means the one with the best portion, the best share, the person who depends on wholesome Dhamma. He who, again and again, develops the best, wholesome Dhamma, or rejoices in the wholesome, he who frequents the supreme person is even better, he is praiseworthy and superior.

Reconciling them as one, I released a hundred from slaughter, with that also this is to be understood: truly practicing the best meditation of loving-kindness, through that meditation of loving-kindness, by making association with that thieving king, having developed loving-kindness, I released your one hundred men from slaughter.

The meaning of the second verse: since I have reconciled one side with the other through meditation of loving-kindness, I have released your hundred men from being slaughtered, so is it to be understood, therefore I have reconciled them together with the whole world through meditation of loving-kindness, from this a person when dead would go to heaven in the next world. Therefore access concentration on loving-kindness gives rebirth in the Sense Realms, fixed concentration gives rebirth in the Brahmā Realm. Listen to this my word, all you people who dwell in the Kāsi country.

3. Idaṁ vatvā, mahārājā Kaṁso, Bārāṇasiggaho,
Dhanuṁ kaṇḍañ-ca nikkhippa, saṁyamaṁ ajjhupāgamī ti

Having said this, I, the great king Kaṁsa, who had seized Benares, laying down my bow and quiver, entered upon moral restraint.

In this connection, Kaṁsa, this is his name.

Having seized Benares, from dwelling there he was the one who had seized Benares.

The king, having spoken this word, laying down, abandoning, putting aside his bow and what is reckoned his quiver of arrows, and undertaking the practice of moral restraint, went forth, and after going forth, through producing absorption, and not losing absorption, he was reborn in the Brahmā Realm.